Gosho Yōmon
(Vital Passages of the Honored Writings)

Nichiren Shonin's words

▼ Returning Buddha Dharma to the West

Kangyō Hachiman-shō
(Returning Buddha Dharma to the West)

Chant before Shodai

India is called the country of the moon, where theBuddha appears shining in the world as brightly as the moon.

Japan is called the origin of the sun. How can it be that no sage asbright as the sun appears in Japan? The moon moves from west toeast.

It is the omen of Buddhism in India spreading to the east. Thesun orbits from east to west. This is a lucky omen of Buddhismin Japan returning to India. Moonlight is not as bright as sunlight,therefore the Buddha preached the Lotus Sūtra for only eight yearsof his lifetime. Sunlight is brighter than moonlight.

This is anauspicious omen of Japanese Buddhism shining through the longdarkness of the fifth 500-year period.

The Buddha did not save theslanderers of the Lotus Sūtra because there existed no slanderersduring his lifetime.

In the Latter Age of Degeneration, there willbe many formidable enemies of the One Vehicle Lotus teachingeverywhere. This is the time when we can reap the harvest ofNever-Despising Bodhisattva’s aggressive propagation sowing theseed of Buddhahood. Each of my disciples should exert himself tospread the teaching of the Buddha even at the cost of life.

▼ The Living Body of the Buddha

Mokue Nizō Kaigen no Koto
(The Living Body of the Buddha)

Chant before Shodai

The Buddha possesses 32 marks of physical excellence, allof which belong to the category of matter.

Of the 32 marks, 31 arevisible, beginning with the lowest, the thousand-spoke wheel onthe sole of each foot, up to the unseen crown on his head.

They cantherefore be depicted in pictures or statues.

The Brahma’s voice,pure and immaculate voice of the Buddha, however, is invisible.

Therefore, it is impossible for us to depict it in pictures or statues.

Since the passing of the Buddha, his image has beenpreserved in two forms: wooden statues and portraits.

They alldepict 31 of the 32 marks of physical excellence of the Buddha,missing the last mark, the Brahma’s voice.

Without being equippedwith all 32 marks, these images of the Buddha cannot claim tobe the Buddha.

Besides, they lack the spiritual aspect.

When onecompares these images of the Buddha against the living Buddha,a difference as great as the distance between heaven and earth orchalk and cheese is apparent.

How, then, is it possible to assert thatafter the passing of the Buddha the living Buddha and a woodenstatue or portrait of the Buddha have the same merit?

Moreover,it is stated in the Great Necklace Sūtra that the two types of theBuddha’s image, wooden statue or portrait, are inferior in merit tothe living Buddha.

This being said, when a sūtra is placed in frontof such a wooden or painted image of the Buddha, the image thenbecomes equipped with the 32 marks of the Buddha’s physicalexcellence.

Nevertheless, if the mind of the Buddha is lacking, itdoes not become the Buddha, as there are some beings in thehuman and heavenly realms that possess the 32 marks.

[The physical aspect and the spiritual aspect areinseparable, yet sometimes they appear separately,] revealing theintent of the Buddha as the letters of the Lotus Sūtra or the lettersof the Lotus Sūtra as the mind of the Buddha.

Those who read theLotus Sūtra, therefore, should not regard it as consisting of merelywritten words.

The words are the mind of the Buddha.

When we define the Lotus Sūtra as the spiritual aspect andenshrine it alongside a wooden or painted image of the Buddhawith 31 marks of physical excellence, the image itself become theliving Buddha, This is what is called the attainment of Buddhahoodby trees and plants.

▼ The Three Virtues of Ruler, Teacher, and Parent

Shushishin Gosho
(The Three Virtues of Ruler, Teacher, and Parent)

Chant before Shodai

Śākyamuni Buddha is our ruler, teacher, and parent.

Hesaid, “Only I can save all living beings.”Amitābha Buddha is notour ruler, teacher, or parent.

That is why Grand MasterT’ien-t’ai said, “The Buddha of the western paradise is different[than Śākyamuni Buddha] and has no causal connection with us.

Since this Buddha is different, the doctrine of “hiding one’s trueidentity and manifesting an accommodated appearance” cannotapply to him.

As the causal connection is different, that’s why therelationship between the [rich] father [who hides his true identitybut reveals it later] and the [poor] son [who is able to inherit hisfather’s wealth in the parable of third chapter of the Lotus Sūtra]does not apply [to the relationship between Amitābha Buddhaand ourselves].

[Amitābha is not the true nature of ŚākyamuniBuddha, and Śākyamuni is not the accommodated appearance ofAmitābha Buddha.] The [Lotus] Sūtra does not teach anythinglike this.

Close your eyes and delve deeply [into the truth of thismatter].

” It’s true. Śākyamuni Buddha was born as the prince ofKing Śuddhodana of central India.

He left his palace at the age ofnineteen to reside on Mount Dandaka, where he climbed the high
peaks to collect firewood and went down into the deep valleys tofetch water. After many difficult and painful practices he attainedBuddhahood at the age of thirty.

He then preached all of his sacredteachings.

Although outwardly he expounded various teachingssuch as the Flower Garland Sūtra, the Āgama sūtras, theExpanded sūtras, and the Wisdom sūtras, inwardly he vowed toexpound the Lotus Sūtra.

However the capacities of the peoplewere all different and not singular.

That’s why he didn’t preach inaccordance with his own mind, but instead taught various teach-
ings according to other people’s mindsets.

That is why the Buddhahad a difficult time for forty-two years.

Finally, he felt that his vowwas fulfilled at the time of the preaching of the Lotus Sūtra.

Healso said, “Since the remotest past I have been a deer, or sometimesa bear, or sometimes eaten by a demon, and the merits I garnered[in those lifetimes] will be transferred to the sentient beings whotake faith in this Lotus Sūtra, as [they are] true children of the Buddha. These are my true children!

These merits should be given tothese people.

” How can someone attain Buddhahood if they despise Śākyamuni Buddha, who regarded us as a parent does a child,and don’t take faith in the Lotus Sūtra, that teaches [the Buddha’s]
great purpose [for appearing in the world]? Keep this in mind andthink it over.


▼ True Purpose of the Buddha’s Birth

Totai Gi-shō
(True Purpose of the Buddha’s Birth)

Chant before Shodai

[In the unquantifiable distant past] “five hundred kalpas”ago, Śākyamuni Buddha attained the noumenal Lotus Flower ofthe Wonderful Dharma and declared his awakening throughoutsuccessive ages.

He revealed the authentic doctrine of realizationof the truth and the one who realizes it.

In this age, he was againborn in Magadha in central India, as he wanted to reveal this lotusflower. However, the people had no capacity for it and the timewas not yet suitable.

That is why he divided the Lotus of the OneDharma into three by expounding the expedient Dharma of thethree vehicles according to their inclinations for forty somethingyears in order to draw them in.

During this time, people’s natureswere all quite different, that’s why he cultivated different kinds ofplants and flowers, but never offered the Lotus Flower of theWonderful Dharma.

That is why the Sūtra of InnumerableMeanings says, “After sitting upright [for six years] under the
Bodhi tree [at the place of the Way, I could attain supremeawakening.] ... And after more than forty years the truth has notyet been revealed.

”2 At the time of expounding the Lotus Sūtra,the Buddha discarded the expedient teachings of the four tastes andthree doctrinal teachings and other Hīnayāna teachings.

Herevealed the One [Great Vehicle] of the Sūtra of the Lotus Flowerof the Wonderful Dharma.

When he opened the three flowers toshow the Lotus Flower of the Wonderful Dharma, the people of theexpedient teachings of the four tastes and three doctrinal teachingsreceived the lotus flower of the abode of “aspiration,” [first of theten abodes].

Finally he revealed the lotus flower of “opening thenear and revealing the far” so that they could go on to attain thefruition of the second, third, and tenth of the abodes and ultimatelyproceed onward to the preliminary awakening and supreme subtleawakening.


▼ Never Become Extinct

(Never Become Extinct)

Chant before Shodai

Yet the voice announcing the impending death of theBuddha on the morning of the fifteenth day of the second monthat the age of 80 by the River Hiranyavati at Kuśinagara, Śrāvastī, in Eastern India resounded from the Highest Heaven abovethroughout the universe causing all living beings to feel dizzy andstunned.

Everyone throughout all of India – the 16 major states,500 intermediary states, tens of thousands of minor states, and thenumerous states as small as a grain of millet – all gathered togetherwithout regard to status or rank and without having time to eat ordress properly.

Not only human beings but also 52 kinds of livingbeings such as cattle, horses, wolves, dogs, hawks, eagles,mosquitoes, and horseflies – each as numerous as the dust-particlesof the great earth – got together respectively and offered flowers,incenses, cloths, and food, as the last offering to the Buddha.

Whenthe voice announcing: “The treasured bridge of all sentient beingsis about to collapse; the eye of all the sentient beings is about to begouged out; and the parent, ruler, and teacher of all sentient beingsis about to pass away” resounded, their hair stood on end and theyall shed tears.

They wailed mightily while beating their heads andchests with their fists until they shed tears of blood and sweatedblood, flooding the town of Kuśinagara.

It was as though the townhad a downpour of rain and was drowning in the flow of a greatriver.

This was solely because they were allowed to be Buddhas inthe Lotus Sūtra preached by the Buddha, but they were never ableto repay his great favor.


▼ The Vanguard

Shuju Onfurumai Gosho
(The Vanguard)

Chant before Shodai

Each of you who claim to be my disciple should never bea coward.

Do not think of your parents, wife and children, or yourfiefs for the sake of the Lotus Sūtra.

Since innumerable ages in thepast till today, I have sacrificed my life more times than thenumber of dust particles on the earth for the sake of my parents,children and fiefs.

However, I never lost my life for the sake of theLotus Sūtra. Though I practiced this sūtra more or less in the past,I stopped it whenever I encountered any danger to my life.

It islike adding cold water into a kettle of boiling water and ceasing tostrike flints before starting a fire.

We shall never have hot water orget the fire started.

Now is the time when you, disciples of Nichiren, shouldmake up your mind.

Exchanging this spoiled body for the LotusSūtra is like exchanging a stone for gold and dung for rice.

The five Chinese characters of myō, hō, ren, ge, and kyō,the gist of the Lotus Sūtra and the eyes of Buddhas, have neverbeen propagated even by such disciples of the Buddha as Kāśyapaand Ānanda, such great commentators in India as Aśvaghosa andNāgārjuna, or such great teachers as Nan-yüeh, T’ien-t’ai, andMiao-lê in China, and Dengyō of Japan in some 2,200 years afterthe death of the Buddha.

They have only just begun to spread inthis world and at this very moment in the beginning of the LatterAge of Degeneration with I, Nichiren, heading the van.

All those inour group, follow me in the second and third battle lines,performing greater exploits than those of Kāśyapa and Ānanda aswell as T’ien-t’ai and Dengyō.

How will you deal with thepunishment of King Yama, the lord in the realm of the dead, whenyou, threatened by the Hōjōs who are mere rulers of a small islandkingdom, abandon the Lotus Sūtra and are condemned to fall intohell?

Such a person who claims to be a messenger of the Buddhabut is scared of a minor persecution such as this is nothing but acoward.

Thus I told them.


▼ The Men and Women Emerging from the Earth

Shohō Jissō-shō
(The Men and Women Emerging from the Earth)

Chant before Shodai

Whatever happens to you, have a firm faith and maintainyourself as a practitioner of the Lotus Sūtra and join the ranksof my followers.

As long as you agree with me, you will be oneof the bodhisattvas who emerged from the earth.

And if you aredetermined to be a bodhisattva of the earth, there is no doubt thatyou have been a disciple of the Eternal Śākyamuni Buddha fromthe remotest past.

The “Emerging from the Earth” chapter states,“I have been teaching and converting these people ever since theeternal past.”

Those who spread the five characters of myō, hō, ren,ge, and kyō in the Latter Age of Degeneration should not make adistinction between males and females, for it would be difficult tochant the Daimoku unless they were all Bodhisattvas of the Earth.

At first only I, Nichiren, started chanting the Daimoku,Namu Myōhō Renge Kyō, but then two, three, then one hundredpeople, gradually began chanting it.

This will continue in thefuture. Isn’t this what emerging from the earth means?

When aninnumerable number of people emerge from the earth and thisWonderful Dharma spreads extensively, there will be no mistake,just as a shooting never misses the earth, Japan will be filled withpeople chanting Namu Myōhō Renge Kyō.

You should thereforeestablish your fame as a practitioner of the Lotus Sūtra, and devoteyour life to it.

▼ Establishment of the Teaching and Opening the School

Seichōji Daishū-chū
(Establishment of the Teaching and Opening the School)

Chant before Shodai

I began speaking of this to Jōen-bō and a small number ofpeople of the Seichō-ji temple at the southern side of theBuddha Hall of Dōzen-bō’s quarters in the Seicho-ji temple locatedin the Tōjō District of Awa Province on the 28th day of the fourthmonth in the fifth year of the Kenchō era (1253).

For 20 years or sothereafter I continued to speak of this diligently.

As a result, I waschased out of my residence and sent into exile. In ancient times,Bodhisattva Never Despising was beaten with sticks and piecesof wood for spreading the Lotus Sūtra, and today, I, Nichiren, ampursued with swords on account of the Lotus Sūtra.

▼ The Ito Incident

Funamori Yasuburō Moto Gosho
(The Ito Incident)

When I, Nichiren, was exiled on May 12th, I was strandedon the shore. You, [Yasaburō,] didn’t even ask my name, [butseeing that] I was suffering after leaving the boat you still tookcare of me.

What kind of causal connection was there [betweenus]?

You must have been a practitioner of the Lotus Sūtra in thepast, but now you have been reborn as Funamori no Yasuburō inthe Latter Age of Degeneration and have shown mercy to Nichiren.

[Addressing your wife:] A man might be like this; however, I havenever met a lady like you, who provided meals, water for washingmy hands and feet, and took such great care of me.

It fills me withwonder.

In particular, [both of you] in your heart took faith in theLotus Sūtra and gave offerings to Nichiren for thirty or more days.

What was the reason for this?

The steward and the people there [inItō] hated me more than even the people of Kamakura.

Thosewho saw me closed their eyes, and those who heard me cursed.

Although it was in May and there was little rice, you secretly tookcare of Nichiren.

I wonder if my parents were reborn in Kawanaof Itō in Izu? The fourth fascicle of the Lotus Sūtra says, “[I willmanifest...] men and women of pure faith, and dispatch them to[the teacher of the Dharma] so that they may make offerings tohim.”

This phrase explains that the heavenly gods andbenevolent deities should transform into men and women inorder to make offerings and help the person who practices theLotus Sūtra.

There can be no doubt that they must have beenreborn as Yasburō and his wife in order to make offerings toNichiren.

▼ Matsubagayatsu Incident

Shimoyama Goshōsoku
(Matsubagayatsu Incident)

Chant before Shodai

Therefore, first of all, he wrote the one-fascicle Risshōankoku ron (The Treatise on Spreading Peace throughout theCountry by Establishing the True Dharma) motivated by the severeearthquake that occurred in the eighth month of the first year of theShōka Era (1257).

He then submitted it to the late Lord HōjōTokiyori, lay priest of the Saimyō-ji temple, in the seventh monthof the first year of the Bunnō era (1260).

The shogunate, however,did not inquire further, nor accept his suggestions.

The people might have thought that it would not be a crimeto kill such a monk, for whom the shogunate had no regard.

Withthe secret consent of monks and lay followers of the Pure LandSchool, as well as certain men in power, thousands of peopleattacked Nichiren Shōnin with the intent to kill him in his hut at

However, he was somehow saved from the attack that night,and those who attacked him were not punished at all because theyhad acted under the secret consent of those in power.

Theshogunate thus greatly erred in governing.

After this, the shogunate exiled Nichiren Shōnin to IzuProvince claiming that it was unpardonable for them to seeNichiren still alive.

Did these people possess so much hate thatthey could not realize they were committing a crime of

Did they break their own vows of the Jōei Code,verified in the names of such deities as the King of the BrahmaHeaven, Indra, the Four Heavenly Kings, Goddess Amaterasu, andShō-hachiman?

Since the teaching that Nichiren Shōnin propagated wasquite unique, it may have been something they could notunderstand at all.

Even if they could not comprehend histeaching, however, they should have let him engage in a debatewith the monks whom the shogunate believed in.

If this did notclarify matters, then they should have asked questions ofscholar-monks in India or China.

If this still did not resolve things,they should have waited for awhile, and considered that Nichiren
Shōnin might have some plausible explanation.

Nevertheless, they,those who could not grasp the details, and without realizing thedanger of self-destruction, unreasonably broke the all importantvow of the Jōei Code.

It may sound self-conceited, but according to the sūtras,Nichiren Shōnin seems closely related to all the people of Japan,from the Emperor above to all the people below. To them he hasthree virtues: first, the virtue of parents; second, that of the teacher;and third, that of a messenger of a ruler.

The “messenger of theBuddha,” “eyes” and “sun and moon” mentioned in the Lotus Sūtraall mean Nichiren Shōnin.

Grand Master Chang-an says in hisCommentary on the Nirvāna Sūtra: “He who removes evil from aman, is a man’s real parents.”

Nevertheless, the shogunate listenedto the false charges made by slanderers of the True Dharma, monkswithout faith and enemies of the country, and without examiningthese charges exiled Nichiren Shōnin by bending the law.

Werethey intending to invite disasters?

What a pity!

▼ Komatsubara Incident

Nanjō Hyōe Shichirō-dono Gosho
(Komatsubara Incident)

Chant before Shodai

On the 11 th day of the 11 th month this year, on the thoroughfare of Matsubara in Tōjō, Awa Province, about four or six o’clock in the afternoon, hundreds of nembutsu followers ambushed me.

I was accompanied by about ten people, of whom only three or four were strong enough to fight. Arrows shot by nembutsu followers were falling like rain, and their swords were attacking us like lightning.

One of my disciples was killed at the spot and two others were seriously wounded.

I was also hit and wounded, and faced mortal danger, but somehow I escaped death and am still alive today.

My faith in the Lotus Sūtra has been strengthened as I experienced persecutions such as this.

It is said in the 10th chapter, “The Teacher of the Dharma” in the Lotus Sūtra, fascicle four, “Many people hate it (the Lotus Sūtra) with a passion, even in my lifetime.

Needless to say, more 7 There are no extant copies of the original of this particular Shijō Kingo-dono Goshōsoku.

Supposedly written by Nichiren Shōnin at the age of 50.

It is listed in the Rokuge. people will do so after my death.”

And in the 14th chapter, “ Peaceful Practices,” in fascicle five, it states, “Many people in the world would have hated it (the Lotus Sūtra) and few would have believed it.”

There are many people in Japan who read and study the Lotus Sūtra.

Many people are punished because they steal or commit adultery, but no one has been punished due to his faith in the Lotus Sūtra. Therefore, none of the followers of the Lotus Sūtra in Japan have practiced the sūtra as it is preached.

Only I, Nichiren, have truly read it.

This is what the chapter of “Encouragement for Upholding This Sūtra” states: “We will not spare even our lives.

We treasure only unsurpassed enlightenment.”

Therefore, I, Nichiren, am the foremost practitioner of the Lotus Sūtra in Japan.

▼ Widespread Compassion

(Widespread Compassion)

Chant before Shodai

With Nichiren’s boundless compassion, “Namu Myōhō Renge Kyō” will be heard forever even beyond the ten thousand year-period.

It has the merit of curing the “blindness” of all the people in Japan, blocking the way to hell.

This merit is superior to those of Dengyō, T’ien-t’ai, Nāgārjuna, and Kāśyapa.

Practice for a hundred years in the Pure Land is not worth the merit of chanting the Daimoku for one day in this defiled world.

Propagation of the Daimoku in a two thousand year-period following the death of the Buddha is not worth as much as spreading the Daimoku for even a short while in the Latter Age of Degeneration.

This is not from my wisdom; it is solely due to the time in which I live. In spring, flowers bloom; in autumn, fruits ripen; in summer, it is warm; and in winter, it is cold; they all go along with the laws of nature.

▼ Cherish It Even After the Buddha’s Passing

Oto Gozen Goshōsoku
(Cherish It Even After the Buddha’s Passing)

Chant before Shodai

According to the Lotus Sūtra, the Buddha carries on his shoulders and back men and women who have firm faith in the sūtra.

Tripitaka Master Kumārāyana is said to have been carried on the back of a wooden statue of Śākyamuni Buddha.

As for myself, the Buddha took my place to save my life at Tatsunokuchi.

This has always been true, today as in the past.

You are my followers.

How can you each fail to attain Buddhahood?

No matter whom you remarry, do not follow him if he does not believe in the Lotus Sūtra. Have a stronger affirmation than ever.

Ice is made of water, but it is colder than water.

Blue colored cloth is colored by indigo, but it will be bluer than indigo when dyed repeatedly.

In the same fashion, if you pile up faith in the Lotus Sūtra, you will be filled with more vitality and blessings than other people.

A tree can be burnt by fire, but a margoso tree will not be.

Fire can be extinguished by water, but the fire of Buddha’s cremation will not.

Flowers can be scattered by wind, but the flowers in the Heaven of Pure Inhabitants will not.

Water can evaporate in a severe drought, but not when it enters the Yellow River.

A wicked king named Dammira did not receive any punishments when he beheaded Indian monks.

When he beheaded Venerable Āryasimha, however, the king’s sword and hand fell to the ground at the same time.

When King Puśyamitra burnt Kukkutārāma Temple, his head was broken by the sticks of the twelve heavenly generals.

Now the people of Japan have become enemies of the Lotus Sūtra, destroying themselves as well as their country.

Some people, who do not understand me, may call me self-conceited for what I say.

I am not self-conceited.

As a practitioner of the Lotus Sūtra, I must speak out.

When what I say is proven to the true in the future, people will believe me.

I write this now because I am certain that people in the future will recognize my wisdom.

It is said in the Nirvāna Sūtra that the Dharma is more important than our lives, so we should propagate the Dharma at the cost of our lives.

My life is insignificant; I have been struck and hated by the people.

Nevertheless, because the Dharma is important it will inevitably spread.

With the Lotus Sūtra spreading I should be more revered after I die than when I am alive.

If my remains should be revered, then they should be beneficial to the people.

If my remains should be beneficial, I should be revered just as Great Bodhisattva Hachiman.

You should know that all men and women who support me will then be respected just as Takenouchi-no-Sukune, who served Great Bodhisattva Hachiman, or his young prince.

▼ All Vehicles Return to the One

Nyosetsu Shugyō-shō
(All Vehicles Return to the One)

Chant before Shodai

When all the people under heaven and the various schools of Buddhism are converted to the One Vehicle teaching of the Lotus Sūtra, and when the Lotus Sūtra flourishes and all the people recite “Namu Myōhō Renge Kyō” in unison, the howling wind will not blow on the branches, falling rain will not erode the soil, and the world will become as ideal as during the reigns of Emperor Fu-hsi and Shen-nung of ancient China.

A time is coming when calamities will cease to exist, people live long, and people and the land they live in become eternal. There should be no doubt about the peaceful life in this world as promised in the Lotus Sūtra.

▼ The Sky is Clear and the Land is Bright

Nyorai Metsugo Go-gohyaku-sai Shi Kanjin Honzon-shō
(The Sky is Clear and the Land is Bright)

Chant before Shodai

When the sky is blue, the land is bright, so those who know the Lotus Sūtra can see the reasons for the occurrences in the world.

For those who are incapable of understanding the truth of the “3,000 worlds in a single thought-moment,” Lord Śākyamuni Buddha, with his great compassion, wraps this jewel with the five characters of myō, hō, ren, ge, and kyō and hangs it around the necks of the ignorant in the Latter Age of Degeneration, The four great bodhisattvas will protect such people, just as T’ai-kung-wang and the Duke of Chou assisted the young ruler, King Chen, of the Chou dynasty, or the Four Elders of the Shang-shan attended child Emperor Hui of the Han dynasty in ancient China.

▼ The Sūtra of Filial Piety

(The Sūtra of Filial Piety)

Chant before Shodai

Filial devotion preached in Confucianism is limited to this life.

Confucian sages and wise men exist in name only because they do not help parents in their future lives.

Non-Buddhist religions in India know of the past as well as the future, but they do not know how to help parents.

Only Buddhism is worthy of being the way of sages and wise men, as it helps parents in future lives.

However, both the Mahāyāna and Hīnayāna sūtras expounded before the Lotus Sūtra preach Buddhahood in name only, without substance.

Therefore the practitioners of such sūtras will not be able to obtain Buddhahood even for themselves, not to speak of helping parents obtain Buddhahood.

Now coming to the Lotus Sūtra, when the awakening of women was revealed, the awakening of mothers was realized; and when a man as wicked as Devadatta could attain Buddhahood, the awakening of fathers was realized.

These are the two proclamations of the Buddha in the “Devadatta” chapter, and this is the reason why the Lotus Sūtra is the sūtra of the filial way among all the Buddhist scriptures.

▼ Everyone Attains the Buddha Way

Urabon Gosho
(Everyone Attains the Buddha Way)

Chant before Shodai

The worst of the evil will not return only to the one who committed the offence but also his children, grandchildren and everyone on down to seven generations.

The same is true to the most virtuous of the virtuous.

The great virtue of Venerable Maudgalyāyana having faith in the Lotus Sūtra not only enabled him to attain Buddhahood but also enabled his parents to become Buddhas.

Moreover, all the parents in seven generations above and below, and all the parents in the limitless generations above and below became Buddhas unexpectedly.

In addition, sons, husbands and wives, their retainers, devotees, and an incalculable number of people all were emancipated from the three evil realms.

Not only that, they all entered the first abode and eventually attained Buddhahood.

Therefore, it is preached in the Lotus Sūtra, fascicle three (“Parable of a Magic City” chapter), “May this merit be spread over all living beings so that we and all others may attain Buddhahood together.

▼ The Ten Worlds in Our Minds

Omonsu-dono Nyōbō Gohenji
(The Ten Worlds in Our Minds)

Chant before Shodai

The first day of the first month brings about a new day, a new month, a new year and the beginning of spring.

One who values this day accumulates one’s value inside and is held in high esteem by others just as the moon becomes full moving from west to east, and the sun shines from east to west.

To begin with, as we ask where do hell and the Buddha exist, some sūtras state that hell exists underground while others state that the Buddha exists to the west.

Upon closer inspection, however, it is preached that both hell and the Buddha exist within our five-foot bodies.

As proof of this, we sometimes disdain our fathers or neglect our mothers in our minds.

This indicates that our minds contain the function of hell.

It is like the seed of the lotus plant that contains both the flower and the fruit.

The Buddha also stays in our minds.

It is like the fire that exists within a flint and the fortune that can be found within a gem.

We ordinary people cannot see our own eyelashes, which are too close, or the end of the sky, which is too far.

Likewise, we are unaware of the Buddha residing in our own minds.

▼ Protection of the Buddha and Heavenly Beings

(Protection of the Buddha and Heavenly Beings)

Chant before Shodai

And yet even though a finger might point to the great earth and miss it, a person tie up the sky, the ocean’s tide lack an ebb and flow, or if the sun should rise in the west, there cannot be a time when the prayer of a practitioner of the Lotus Sūtra is not answered.

If the various bodhisattvas, human and heavenly beings, eight kinds of gods and demi-gods who protect Buddhism, the two sage bodhisattvas (Medicine King and Brave Donor Bodhisattvas), the two heavenly kings (Jikoku-ten and Bishamon-ten), and ten female rākshasa demons, or even one out of 1,000, do not rush to protect the practitioner of the Lotus Sūtra, they commit the offence of fooling Śākyamuni and the other Buddhas above and in the nine worlds below.

Thus they will protect the practitioners of the Lotus Sūtra without fail regardless if the practitioners are insincere, unwise, impure, and do not observe the precepts so long as they chant “Namu Myōhō Renge Kyō.”

Do not throw away gold just because the bag that contains it is dirty.

Hating the strong smell of eranda will not allow one to enjoy the fragrance of sandalwood.

Detesting the dirty water of a valley pond, will not allow one to get the lotus.

If they reject the practitioner of the Lotus Sūtra and do not protect him, they will violate their vow made before the Buddha.

As the ages of the True and Semblance Dharma have already passed, those who observe the precepts today are as scarce as tigers in a marketplace; and finding people of wisdom is as rare as unicorn’s horn.

We have to depend on a light before the moon appears; where gems do not exist, gold and silver are treasures.

As there exists a precedent of returning a favor received from a white crow to a black crow, favors of a holy monk should be returned to an ordinary monk today.

How then can there be no answer when a practitioner of the Lotus Sūtra says a prayer that requires a prompt answer?

▼ Devotion to the True and Sole Teaching

Risshō Ankoku-ron
(Devotion to the True and Sole Teaching)

Chant before Shodai

You should promptly discard your false faith, and take up the true and sole teaching of the Lotus Sūtra at once.

Then this triple world of the unenlightened will all become Buddha-lands.

Will Buddha-lands ever decay?

All the worlds of the universe will become pure lands.

Will the pure lands ever be destroyed?

When our country does not decay and the world is not destroyed, our bodies will be safe and our hearts tranquil.

Believe these words and revere them!

▼ Knowing and Requiting Debts of Gratitude

(Knowing and Requiting Debts of Gratitude)

Chant before Shodai

The 3,000 scrolls of Confucian writings (geten) can be boiled down to two: filial devotion and loyalty to the ruler.

Loyalty also stems from filial devotion.

To be filial means to be high; heaven is high but not at all higher than being filial.

To be filial also means to be deep; the earth is deep but not any deeper than being filial.

Both sages and wise men also come from filial devotion.

How much more should students of Buddhism realize the favors they receive and repay them?

Disciples of the Buddha should not fail to feel grateful for the Four Favors (received from parents, people, sovereign, and Buddhism) and repay them. (WNS 2, p.

▼ The Two Ways of Practice and Study

Shohō Jissō-shō
(The Two Ways of Practice and Study)

Chant before Shodai

Have faith in the Great Mandala Gohonzon, the focus of devotion for the entire world.

Earnestly endeavor to strengthen your faith, so that you may be blessed with the protective powers of Śākyamuni Buddha, the Buddha of Many Treasures, and Buddhas in manifestation throughout the universe.

Strive to carry out the two ways of practice and learning.

Without practice and learning Buddhism will cease to exist.

Endeavor yourself and cause others to practice these two ways of practice and learning, which stem from faith.

If possible, please spread even a word or phrase to others.

▼ The Honzon of the Ten Worlds

Nichinyo Gozen Gohenji
(The Honzon of the Ten Worlds)

Chant before Shodai

It is not mere coincidence that I, Nichiren, hoisted the great mandala for the first time during the two-hundred or so year interval at the start of the Latter Age of the Decadent Dharma as a symbol of propagation of the Lotus Sūtra, although it was not mentioned by either Nāgārjuna, Vasubandhu, T’ien-t’ai, or Miao-lê.

This mandala is not my creation but is the honzon created by Śākyamuni and other Buddhas in the Stūpa of Treasures.

The characters for “Namu Myōhō Renge Kyō,” representing the Stūpa of Treasures, are written in the center of the Mandala, whose four corners are occupied by the Four Heavenly Kings, with Śākyamuni Buddha, Tahō Buddha, and the Four Bodhisattvas, who are disciples of the Original Buddha, sitting on either side of the Stūpa. Beneath this, Bodhisattvas like Fugen (Samantabhadra) and Monju (Mañjuśri), disciples of Temporal Buddhas, as well as such śrāvaka as Śāriputra and Maudgalyāyana are also present.

Seated in the south and north, respectively, are the Sun god, Moon god, the Devil King of the Sixth Heaven, the Dragon King, and Asura (a Titan in a frenzy or rage), as well as the fierce-spirited Fudō (Acala) and the god of Love (Rāgā Vidyārāja).

Also present is the negatively-evocative Devadatta, and the figure of an ignorant female dragon. Other occupants of the Mandala are the guardian god (Hārītī), a murderously evil devil who once took the lives of three-thousand souls, ten female rākshasa demons, as well as such protectors of Japan as Sun Goddess Amaterasu, Great Bodhisattva Hachiman, the seven generations of the heavenly gods, the five generations of the earth gods, and all other gods; and it is quite clear that none of the gods transformed from certain Buddhas or Bodhisattvas have been omitted.

It is stated in chapter 11, “Beholding the Stūpa of Treasures,” of the Lotus Sūtra that all those who were present at the Buddha’s sermon were raised to the sky.

Thus, without exception, all Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, great sages, and eight groups of creatures in the two realms (of Desire and Form), who were present in the first “Introductory” chapter of the sūtra are all seated in the honzon. Illuminated by rays of light emanating from the characters “Namu Myōhō Renge Kyō,” all have been transformed into Buddhas, whom they originally were.

This is the honzon.

▼ Three Great Vows

(Three Great Vows)

Chant before Shodai

In the final analysis, no matter how I am abandoned by gods and how much difficulty I encounter, I will uphold the Lotus Sūtra at the cost of my life.

Śāriputra could not attain Buddhahood after having practiced the way of the bodhisattvas for as long as sixty kalpa because he could not endure the difficulty presented by a brahman who asked him for his eyes.

Those who had received the seed of buddhahood from the Eternal Buddha and Great Universal Wisdom Buddha an incalculable number of kalpa ago could not obtain Buddhahood for as long as 500 or 3,000 dust-particle kalpa until they listened to the preaching of the Lotus Sūtra on Mt. Sacred Eagle in this world.

It was because they had been misled by these “evil friends” to abandon the Lotus Sūtra. No matter what happens, abandoning the Lotus Sūtra will cause us to be plunged into hell.

I have made a vow. Even if someone says that he would make me the ruler of Japan on the condition that I give up the Lotus Sūtra and rely upon the Sūtra of Meditation on the Buddha of Infinite Life for my salvation in the next life, or even if someone threatens me saying that he will execute my parents if I do not say “Namu Amida Butsu,” and no matter how many great difficul- ties fall upon me, I will not submit to them until a man of wisdom defeats me by reason.

Other difficulties are like dust in the wind.

I will never break my vow to become the pillar of Japan, to become the eyes of Japan, and to become a great vessel for Japan.

▼ Changing One’s Fixed Karma

Kaen Jōgō Gosho
(Changing One’s Fixed Karma)

Chant before Shodai

To begin with there are two kinds of illnesses: minor and major illnesses.

Even a major illness can be cured and the life span lengthened if a skillful physician is available to treat it immediately, to say nothing of a minor illness.

Also there are two kinds of karma: mutable karma and immutable karma.

Even an immutable karma will inevitably disappear when fully atoned for, to say nothing of a mutable karma.

It is preached in the 7th fascicle of the Lotus Sūtra (“Medicine King Bodhisattva” chapter), “This sūtra is a good medicine for the diseases of the people of the Jambudvipa.”

Therefore, when I prayed for the recovery of my ill mother through the Lotus Sūtra, not only did she actually recover from her illness but also extended her life span by four years.

▼ The Natural Transfer & 45 Kanji

Nyorai Metsugo Go-gohyaku-sai Shi Kanjin Honzon-shō
(The Natural Transfer & 45 Kanji)

Chant before Shodai

His attainment of Buddhahood is altogether contained in the five characters of myō, hō, ren, ge, and kyō and that consequently, when we uphold the five characters, the merits that he accumulated before and after his attainment of Buddhahood are naturally transferred to us.

When the Eternal Buddha was revealed in the Original Gate of the Lotus Sūtra, this Sahā world became the Eternal Pure Land, indestructible even by the three calamities of conflagration, flooding, and strong winds, which are said to destroy the world.

It transcends the four periods of cosmic change: the kalpa of construction, continuance, destruction, and emptiness. Śākyamuni Buddha, the Lord-preacher of this pure land, has never died in the past, nor will he be born in the future.

He exists forever throughout the past, present, and future.

All those who receive his guidance are one with this Eternal Buddha.

It is because each of our minds is equipped with the “3,000 worlds in a single thought-moment” and the “three realms,” namely, all living beings, the land in which they live, and the five aggregates of living beings.

▼ The Authentic Way to Requite Debts of Gratitude

(The Authentic Way to Requite Debts of Gratitude)

Chant before Shodai

Old foxes never forget their native home.

When they are dying, they lie with their heads turned toward the hill where they had lived.

The white tortoise once saved by Mao-pao of Chin in China showed its gratitude to Mao-pao by carrying him on its back when he was defeated in a battle and had to flee across a river.

Even beasts express their gratitude!

It is needless to say that we human beings should also do so.

Yü-jang, a wise man of Chin in ancient China, pretended to be a leper by painting his body with lacquer and acted like a fool by drinking charcoal, trying to repay his indebtedness to his Lord Chih-pai.

Similarly, while Hung-yen of Wei was sent away as an envoy to a distant state by order of the Duke of Yee, his lord was killed. Finding only the lord’s liver abandoned on a road, Hung-yen cut open his own stomach and died after inserting the lord’s liver inside.

Thus, even common people behaved in this way.

Those who learn and practice the teachings of the Buddha should never forget the kindness of their parents, teachers, and ruler.

What is the best way for Buddhists to express their gratitude for the unfathomable kindness that they have received?

Mastering Buddhism completely and to be sagacious in the way.

Various Vital Passages

▼ Contemplation on Entering the Place of Practice

Nyū Dōjō Kan
(Contemplation on Entering the Place of Practice)

Kyo-zen yomon (Before sutra vital passage)

Chant before Kaikyo-ge

When the practitioner enters into the place of practice he should contemplate the following: Now this place of practice is composed of the four great elements.

These four great elements pervade the ten directions in the past, present, and future.

The character of these four great elements is amorphous and each of them is imperceptible.

That is why everything is like a reflection in the water, though there is nothing outside of the water itself.

The four great elements are originally mutually contained.

That is why the primary and secondary fruitions [of past causes], as well as mind and form, all reflect one another like the jewels of the Net of Indra.

That is why this place of practice is the Pure Land of Tranquil Light.

Innumerable inconceivable lands appear in this place.

That is why every pillar is the Dharma-nature.

Every wall is the Dharma-realm.

Every nail and plank is like the sands of the Ganges.

Every roof tile and plate covers the vastness of space. Innumerable Buddhas, bodhisattvas, and heavenly beings are not just confined to this place - just as the light of a candle spreads all over and shines throughout this boundless treasure land (temple), and just as the fragrance of incense is offered to all sages of the past, present, and future.

Each character that we recite and the sound of each voice spreads throughout the ocean of the Dharma-realm until the end of time so that the Dharma will always be heard.

You should know this place of practice is the inconceivable sphere [of activity] of all the Buddhas.

(Udana-in Nichiki)

▼ Contemplation on Bowing to the Three Treasures

Rai Sanbō Kan
(Contemplation on Bowing to the Three Treasures)

Kyo-zen yomon (Before sutra vital passage)

Chant before Kaikyo-ge

One mind is the entirety of the Three Treasures.

The Three Treasures are the wondrous virtue of one mind.

Truly, the nature of a single thought-moment is pervasive and encompasses all Dharma-qualities.

All Buddhas have already certified this entity and achieved the perfect fruition.

The sūtras explicate the principles thoroughly and this became the teaching of the Dharma.

The Sangha has protected this Buddha Dharma well and spread it throughout the world.

The innumerable great virtues of the Dharma-realm is where the Three Treasures and all human and heavenly beings abide and what the Dragon King looks up to in reverence.

These Three Treasures are not only of great benefit and win over all sentient beings but are also of the same nature and entity as us.

That is why all the Buddhas respond to sentient beings in their minds and all sentient beings perceive all the Buddhas in their minds.

All the Buddhas and sentient beings thereby have a profound receptivity and response to one another and manifest wondrous virtue.

That is why we now wholeheartedly bow to the Three Treasures.

Our own bowing and the Buddhas who are bowed to are all originally within the one mind in which there is no bowing and no one to receive it.

Although there is no bowing and no one to receive it there is certainly the response [of the Buddhas] and receptivity [of the ordinary people].

Bowing without bowing, there is no place without bowing.

That is why the Dharma-realm with its ten directions is the whole entity of one mind.

The meaning of “always abiding” is that the function of the one mind is far-reaching.

The meaning of the Three Treasures is that the one mind is exalted in it’s standing.

(Udana-in Nichiki)

▼ On Reciting the Sūtra

Ju Kyō Mon
(On Reciting the Sūtra)

Kyo-zen yomon (Before sutra vital passage)

Chant before Kaikyo-ge

To begin with, the benefit of chanting the sūtra is enormous.

Some sūtras say that even if someone donates innumerable treasures the merit of such an act will not equal the merit of upholding and chanting even one phrase [of the sūtra].

We have to concentrate and make sure that our voices project with strength and clarity.

The words must be properly enunciated.

We must chant the Dharma so that it’s sound will be musical.

Grand Master T’ien-t’ai Chih-i said [in Kanjin-jukyō-hō (The Way of Contemplative Recitation)], “When we chant the sūtra all the heavenly dragons, the eight kinds of supernatural beings, the monks, nuns, laymen, and laywomen will all gather around to listen.

When we become a Dharma-master we must understand that we are to convey the True Dharma and teach the four kinds of devotees.

After we finish chanting the sūtra we must pray that in the future we will attain awakening together with all sentient beings by this merit.”

Grand Master Nan-yüeh Hui-ssŭ said [in Hokekyō-anrakugyō-gi (Annotations on the Peaceful Practices Chapter of the Lotus Sūtra)], “With a scattered mind you cannot chant the Lotus Sūtra, nor can you enter into the concentration of meditative absorption.

Concentrate and be mindful of each word of the Lotus Sūtra when you practice it whether sitting or standing.

If you accomplish this practice you will see the body of Universal Sage Bodhisattva.

” The Venerable Ching-hsi (aka Miao-lê Chan-jan) said [in the Hokke-mongu-ki (Annotations on the Words and Phrases of the Lotus Sūtra)], “If a phrase of the sūtra fills your heart it will be an aid to reaching the other shore. By deeply reflecting on and mastering the Dharma it will become a great vessel for crossing over.

Being able to see and hear the Dharma follows upon its joyful reception, as a vassal always follows after his lord.

Whether somebody accepts this teaching or abandons it, they will form a causal connection with it through hearing.

Whether somebody follows it or goes against it, they will finally be able to achieve liberation through hearing it.”

The lay follower Wu-chin said [in Gohō-ron (Treatise on Protecting the Dharma)], “The Buddha is the unexcelled King of the Dharma.

Once we chant what he preached with his golden lips, the spiritual phrases of the sacred teachings, those words will become a Dharma-wheel that travels throughout the earth.

The yakshas chant to the sky as an offering to the Four Heavenly Kings.

After the Heavenly Kings hear it, they then pass it on until it reaches the King of the Brahmā Heaven.

This chanting spreads out to the dead and to the living.

The dragon-gods are as pleased as when people listen to the speech of a king.

Who would not praise it?

The merit of chanting is like this.”


▼ Contemplation on Reading & Reciting the Sūtra

Dokuju Kyōden Kan
(Contemplation on Reading & Reciting the Sūtra)

Kyo-go yomon (After sutra vital passage)

Chant before Shodai

The five characters of myō, hō, ren, ge, and kyō are the wondrousness that opens.

The 28 chapters are the Dharma that is to be opened.

That is why each phrase converges in the wonderful name.

Each character is a true Buddha.

Therefore, each of the 69,000 characters is the Dharma-realm.

The virtues [of those characters] are mutually embracing with no increase or decrease.

[Each character produces virtue just as] the wish-fulfilling jewel constantly rains down many other jewels.

Even one jewel is enough, while 10,000 jewels are not too many.

No matter the quantity what is produced is sufficient.

You should know that each character and sound spreads throughout the Dharma-realm to propagate the Buddha’s teaching in the past, present, and future, bringing benefit to all beings.

This is the place of practice where the Three Treasures of ultimate truth and the unseen beings who protect the Dharma now appear and accept our offerings.

This land is the Buddha’s Pure Land of Eternally Tranquil Light.

Our body is the awakened body of the uncreated three-bodies.

The sūtra that we are upholding is the objective sphere where all the Buddhas of the past, present, and future certify the Dharma.

The thought that is rightly upheld is the mind-only Dharma-realm of three thousand worlds in a single thought-moment.

Therefore, may each sound and each thought spread throughout the Dharma-realm, as offerings to the Three Treasures, contributions to all sentient beings, and adornments of the Buddha’s land that will equally benefit the natural spirits and other beings of heaven and earth inside and outside the place of practice and also the good men and good women who are seeing, hearing, and enjoying them.

This virtue will be limitless.

This is the place of practice where the Three Treasures of ultimate truth and the unseen beings who protect the Dharma now appear and descend to this place.

They see us clearly with the light of their wisdom.

This place of practice where we are is the Pure Land of Eternally Tranquil Light.

This present form-body is the awakened Dharma-body.

The sūtra that we are upholding is what all Buddhas certify as the Dharma.

The thought that is rightly upheld is the entire Dharma-realm.

May each sound and each thought and all the virtues spread equally to adorn the Buddha’s land as offerings to the Three Treasures and contributions to all sentient beings.

May awakening spread everywhere manifesting its light.

May all the natural spirits, other beings, and the four kinds of devotees in this world, those who are far and near, inside and outside the place of practice, and throughout heaven and earth, and those who have a relationship [with the Dharma] and are seeing, hearing, and enjoying it receive conspicuous and inconspicuous benefit equally and limitlessly.

▼ Verses for Joyfully Upholding the Sūtra

Chōkyō Ge
(Verses for Joyfully Upholding the Sūtra)

Kyo-go yomon (After sutra vital passage)

Chant before Shodai

Chapter one of the Annotations on the Words and Phrases of the Lotus Sūtra says, “The calling of the Wonderful Dharma is not just the main part of the sūtra. All the 28 chapters together are called wonderful.

That is why each chapter contains the entity and each phrase converges in the wonderful name.”

We bow to Myōhō Renge Kyō, the Saddharma-pundarīka, in one set with 8 fascicles, 28 chapters, and 69,384 characters.

Each character is a true Buddha.

The preaching of a true Buddha benefits all sentient beings.

Therefore, all sentient beings have already attained the Buddha Way.

That is why we bow to the Lotus Sūtra.

▼ Directing Thoughts

(Directing Thoughts)

Kyo-go yomon (After sutra vital passage)

Chant before Shodai

The Wonderful Dharma expounded in the sūtra whose sacred title we now chant, is what the past Buddhas taught, the present Buddhas are teaching, and the future Buddhas shall teach.

It is the Great Dharma, true and pure, the propagation of which was entrusted primarily to the Great Bodhisattva Superior Practice by the Buddha on Vulture Peak.

Once we chant the sacred title Namu Myōhō Renge Kyō, we shall attain the right view that the three thousand worlds exist in our minds just as they are; the Pure Land of Tranquil Light shall be made manifest in our sight; our Buddha-nature shall be identified with the Buddha of Three-Bodies-in-One; and, together with all other beings, we shall enjoy living in the Land of Truth.

May the sound of our chanting the sacred title permeate the whole world, be offered to the Three Treasures, and bestowed on all beings.

May all beings enter the World of the One Reality, the Great Vehicle; may the Buddha-land be adorned and all beings favored with the merits of our chanting.

(Udana-in Nichiki)

▼ Phrases for Contemplating the Four Dedications

Shise Gan Mon
(Phrases for Contemplating the Four Dedications)

Kyo-go yomon (After sutra vital passage)

Chant before Shodai

If a phrase of the sūtra fills your heart it will be an aid to reaching the other shore.

By deeply reflecting on and mastering the Dharma it will become a great vessel for crossing over.

Being able to see and hear the Dharma follows upon its joyful reception, as a vassal always follows after his lord.

Whether somebody accepts this teaching or abandons it, they will form a causal connection with it through hearing.

Whether somebody follows it or goes against it, they will finally be able to achieve liberation through hearing it.

On the day of liberation, may the primary and secondary fruitions [of past causes that constitute beings and their environments] always widely expound the wondrous teaching, so that even a single land or a single dust mote is not without benefit.

May we have the power of all the Buddhas’ protection, and subtly borrow the august spirit of all the bodhisattvas.

May all of [the Buddhas and bodhisattvas] go to those places where the Buddha did not preach.

In all of the places of preaching, [the sentient beings] directly receive [the Dharma] and make offerings.

Even a single phrase or a single verse develops awakening.

Every sight and every smell enables us to be forever non-regressing [in our practice].

(Grand Master Miao-lê)

▼ Contemplation on Chanting Odaimoku

Shōdai Kan
(Contemplation on Chanting Odaimoku)

Kyo-zen yomon (Before sutra vital passage)

Chant before Kaikyo-ge

The practitioner of Odaimoku chanting initially looks up and observes the appearance of the focus of devotion.

There are two kinds of foci of devotion: the paper mandala and wooden images.

They are only differentiated by whether they are made of paper or wood.

They are no different in meaning. Some say that “Namu Myōhō Renge Kyō” in the center is manifesting the entity of the Original Buddha in our mind.

It’s entity embraces and contains all the Buddhas of the ten directions, the sentient beings of the Dharma-realm, innumerable lands, and everything in them.

They are waves in the ocean of the true nature of our mind and shadowy images appearing in the depths of the spiritually clear mirror.

The ten worlds mutually possess one another and their virtues are thereby perfectly interfused. [World Voice Perceiver Bodhisattva] showed the universal gate of 32 forms.

These are regarded as innumerable bodily appearances.

One body is innumerable bodies. Innumerable bodies are one body.

Regarding the appearance of innumerable lands, one land contains all lands, and all lands are contained in one land.

Each particle of dust is the Pure Land of Tranquil Light.

Each dharma is Vairocana Buddha.

There is eternity, bliss, self, and purity, the ultimate Dharma-body, pure prajñā, and the freedom of liberation.

These are all called the Original Buddha of the mind nature of Myōhō Renge Kyō.

That is why Śākyamuni Buddha, Many Treasures Buddha, and the others are flanking [the Odaimoku].

That is why when we contemplate the Original Buddha with every thought and chant the wondrous name with every utterance the inconceivable power of the wondrous name and the wondrous entity manifests itself.

All delusions will be eliminated and all merits will be achieved.

Dedicate this merit so it will spread to the entire Dharma-realm and benefit all sentient beings in the depths of their minds so that they will attain the merit of the Buddha of inherent existence.

(Udana-in Nichiki)

▼ Perfect and Sudden Concentration and Insight

Endon Shō
(Perfect and Sudden Concentration and Insight)

Kyo-go yomon (After sutra vital passage)

Usually chant after shodai (sometimes chanted before Kaikyo-ge as Kyo-zen yomon)

“The perfect and sudden tranquility and insight from the very beginning takes ultimate reality as its object.

No matter what the object of insight might be, it is seen to be identical to the middle.

There is here nothing that is not true reality.

When one fixes [the mind] on the Dharma-realm [as object] and unifies one’s mindfulness with the Dharma-realm [as it is], then there is not a single sight nor smell that is not the Middle Way.

The same goes for the realm of self, the realm of Buddha, and the realm of living beings.

Since all aggregates and sense bases [of body and mind] are thusness, there is no suffering to be cast away.

Since ignorance and the defilements are themselves identical with enlightenment, there is no origin of suffering to be eradicated.

Since the two extreme views are the Middle Way and false views are the right view, there is no path to be cultivated.

Since samsāra is identical with Nirvāna, there is no cessation to be achieved.

Because of the [intrinsic] inexistence of suffering and its origin, the mundane does not exist; because of the inexistence of the path and cessation, the supramundane does not exist.

A single, unalloyed reality is all there is – no entities whatever exist outside of it.

That all entities are by nature quiescent is called “tranquility”; that, though quiescent, this nature is ever luminous, is called “insight.”

Though a verbal distinction is made between earlier and later stages of practice, there is ultimately no duality, no distinction between them.

This is what is called the “perfect and sudden tranquility and insight.

You should know that there are 3,000 worlds in one thought-moment within this body and land.

So when [the Buddha] attained the Way, this true principle found in all bodies and all thought-moments was able to spread throughout the Dharma realm.

(Grand Master Miao-lê)