Quotes from the Writings of Nichiren

Daily quotes from the Writings of Nichiren Vol. 1 & 2

Archive for the month “December, 2011”

The Opening of the Eyes 1, WND, p. 235

When we come to the essential teaching of the Lotus Sutra, then the belief that Shakyamuni first obtained Buddhahood during his present lifetime is demolished, and the effects of the four teachings are likewise demolished. When the effects of the four teachings are demolished, the causes51 of the four teachings are likewise demolished. Thus the cause and effect of the Ten Worlds as expounded in the earlier sutras and the theoretical teaching of the Lotus Sutra are wiped out, and the cause and effect of the Ten Worlds52 in the essential teaching are revealed. This is the doctrine of original cause and original effect. It reveals that the nine worlds are all present in beginningless Buddhahood and that Buddhahood is inherent in the beginningless nine worlds. This is the true mutual possession of the Ten Worlds, the true hundred worlds and thousand factors, the true three thousand realms in a single moment of life.


On the Treasure Tower, WND, p. 299

In essence, the appearance of the treasure tower indicates that on hearing the Lotus Sutra the three groups of voice-hearers perceived for the first time the treasure tower within their own lives. Now Nichiren’s disciples and lay supporters are also doing this. In the Latter Day of the Law, no treasure tower exists other than the figures of the men and women who embrace the Lotus Sutra. It follows, therefore, that whether eminent or humble, high or low, those who chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo.are themselves the treasure tower, and, likewise, are themselves the Thus Come One Many Treasures. No treasure tower exists other than Myoho-renge-kyo. The daimoku of the Lotus Sutra is the treasure tower, and the treasure tower is Nam-myoho-renge-kyo.

Daisaku Ikeda

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“I AM NOT OBLIGED to fall into decline. I am not obliged to be miserable. I have a right to be happy. The honest and true have a right to triumph.
I despise the arrogant. Irrespective of their status or celebrity, they will remain strangers to a genuinely fulfilling life.
I love people who sincerely work on their continuing growth and development. How sublime it is to look up at the heavens and converse with the stars after a discussion meeting — on cold winter nights, on sweltering summer nights, on cool spring and autumn nights. I have won again today.  I have savored life’s essence.”

~by Daisaku Ikeda, p. 26, Men of Dedication & Commitment chapter, from pamphlet MEN Shining with Youthful Brilliance, Guidance to Men of the SGI-USA


Even though one may resort to harsh words, if such words help the person to whom they are addressed, then they are worthy to be regarded as truthful words and gentle words. Similarly, though one may use gentle words, if they harm the person to whom they are addressed, they are in fact deceptive words, harsh words.

The Buddhist doctrines preached by scholars these days are regarded by most people as gentle words, truthful words, but in fact they are all harsh words and deceptive words. I say this because they are at variance with the Lotus Sutra, which embodies the Buddha’s true intention.

On the other hand, when I proclaim that the practitioners of the Nembutsu will fall into the hell of incessant suffering or declare that the Zen and True Word schools are likewise in error, people may think I am uttering harsh words, but in fact I am speaking truthful and gentle words. As an example, I may point to the fact that Dozen-bo has embraced the Lotus Sutra and fashioned an image of Shakyamuni Buddha, actions that came about because I spoke harshly to him. And the same thing holds true for all the people of Japan. Ten or more years ago, virtually everyone was reciting the Nembutsu. But now, out of ten persons, you will find that one or two chant only Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, while two or three recite it along with the Nembutsu. And even among those who recite the Nembutsu exclusively, there are those who have begun to have doubts and so in their hearts believe in the Lotus Sutra; some have even begun to paint or carve images of Shakyamuni Buddha. All this, too, has come about because I have spoken harsh words.

This response is like the fragrant sandalwood trees that grow among the groves of foul-smelling eranda trees, or lotus blossoms that rise from the mud. Thus, when I proclaim that the followers of the Nembutsu will fall into the hell of incessant suffering, the “wise men” of our day, who are in fact no wiser than cattle or horses, may venture to attack my doctrines. But in truth they are like scavenger dogs barking at the lion king, or foolish monkeys laughing at the god Shakra.


The seventh year of Bun’ei (1270)

To Gijo-bo and Joken-bo

Wisdom for Modern Life, p. 186

“Every child is precious. The Lotus Sutra tells the parable of the three kinds of medicinal herbs and two kinds of trees. There are many different kinds of plants: their shape, size and nature come in myriad varieties. Some plants grow fast while others take time to mature. In this parable, however, the heavens rain upon all the plants equally, nurturing their growth. And the plants blossom and bear fruits according to their own unique character. This parable symbolizes the Buddha‘s vast compassion to nurture all living beings despite their differences. All children are different; each possesses his or he wonderful unique quality. We must pour upon all children our great love and compassion so that each child can blossom, true to his or her unique quality.”

Wisdom for Modern Life – Daisaku Ikeda (p. 186)

Opening the Eyes of Wooden and Painted Images, WND, p. 85

The Buddha possesses thirty-two features. All of them represent the physical aspect. Thirty-one of them, from the lowest, the markings of the thousand-spoked wheel on the sole of each foot, up to the unseen crown of his head,1 belong to the category of visible and non-coextensive physical attributes.2 They can therefore be depicted in tangible form, such as pictures or statues. The remaining feature, the pure and far-reaching voice, belongs to the category of invisible and coextensive physical attributes.3 It therefore cannot be captured either in a painting or in a wooden image.

Encouragement to a Sick Person, WND, p. 81

Consequently, since their teachings are no match for mine, they resort to sheer force of numbers in trying to fight against me. Nembutsu believers number in the thousands or ten thousands, and their supporters are many. I, Nichiren, am alone, without a single ally. It is amazing that I should have survived until now. This year, too, on the eleventh day of the eleventh month, between the hours of the monkey and the cock (around 5:00 P.M.) on the highway called Matsubara in Tojo in the province of Awa, I was ambushed by several hundred Nembutsu believers and others. I was alone except for about ten men accompanying me, only three or four of whom were capable of offering any resistance at all. Arrows fell on us like rain, and swords descended like lightning. One of my disciples was slain in a matter of a moment, and two others were gravely wounded. I myself sustained cuts and blows, and it seemed that I was doomed. Yet, for some reason, my attackers failed to kill me; thus I have survived until now.

This has only strengthened my faith in the Lotus Sutra. The fourth volume of the sutra says, “Since hatred and jealousy toward this sutra abound even when the Thus Come One is in the world, how much more will this be so after his passing?” The fifth volume states, “It [the Lotus Sutra] will face much hostility in the world and be difficult to believe.”1 In Japan there are many who read and study the Lotus Sutra. There are also many who are beaten in punishment for attempting to seduce other men’s wives or for theft or other offenses. Yet not one person has ever suffered injury on account of the Lotus Sutra.

A single ordinary human thought…

A society that has sacrificed so much to material wealth that it has forgotten the human heart and the better human aspirations degenerates into something compassionless, doctrinaire, ignorant and ultra-conservative.  When this happens fundamental solutions to calamities become impossible.  If we protect the truth and are resolute,  we are capable of creating peace and prosperity.  And the truth we must protect ought to be high and great.

Our great truth — the thing that we must protect to the utmost — involves ethics and the best of human nature.   But more basic than anything else is our duty to guard the truth of life, the truth that we and the universe are one, and that a single ordinary human thought contains the entirety of universal life.

by Daisaku Ikeda

Questions and Answers about Embracing the Lotus Sutra, WND p. 55

Now, if you wish to attain Buddhahood, you have only to lower the banner of your arrogance, cast aside the staff of your anger, and devote yourself exclusively to the one vehicle of the Lotus Sutra. Worldly fame and profit are mere baubles of your present existence, and arrogance and prejudice are ties that will fetter you in the next one. Ah, you should be ashamed of them! And you should fear them, too!

Dec. 15 – The Universal Salty Taste, WND p. 39


THERE are six kinds of flavors. The first is subtle, the second, salty, the third, pungent, the fourth, sour, the fifth, sweet, and the sixth, bitter. Even if one were to prepare a feast of a hundred flavors, if the single flavor of salt were missing, it would be no feast for a great king. Without salt, even the delicacies of land and sea are tasteless.

The ocean has eight mysterious qualities. First, it gradually becomes deeper. Second, being deep, its bottom is hard to fathom. Third, its salty taste is the same everywhere. Fourth, its ebb and flow follows certain rules. Fifth, it contains various treasure storehouses. Sixth, creatures of great size exist and dwell in it. Seventh, it refuses to house corpses. Eighth, it takes in all rivers and heavy rainfall without either increasing or decreasing.

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