Quotes from the Writings of Nichiren

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

Archive for the tag “Gautama Buddha”

The Pure and Far-Reaching Voice, WND Vol. 1, pp. 332-333

The foremost among the Buddha’s thirty-two features is his pure and far- reaching voice.22 Lesser kings, great kings, and wheel-turning kings all possess this feature in some degree. Therefore, a single word from one of these kings can destroy the kingdom or insure order within it. The edicts handed down by rulers represent a type of pure and far-reaching voice. Ten thousand words spoken by ten thousand ordinary subjects cannot equal one word spoken by a king. The works known as the Three Records and the Five Canons represent the words of lesser kings.

What brings order to this small kingdom of Japan, what enables the heavenly king Brahma to command the inhabitants of the threefold world, and what enables the Buddha to command Brahma, Shakra, and the other deities, is none other than this pure and far-reaching voice. The Buddha’s utterances have become the works that compose the entire body of sutras and bring benefit to all living beings. And among the sutras, the Lotus Sutra is a manifestation in writing of the Thus Come One Shakyamuni’s intent; it is his voice set down in written words. Thus the Buddha’s heart is embodied in these written words. To illustrate, it is like seeds that sprout, grow into plants, and produce rice. Though the form of the rice changes, its essence remains the same.

Shakyamuni Buddha and the written words of the Lotus Sutra are two different things, but their heart is one.


A Sage and an Enlightened Man (1), WND, p. 109

“The Great Teacher T’ien-t’ai states, ‘That which accords with the sutras is to be written down and made available. But put no faith in anything that in word or meaning fails to do so.’40 Here we see that one should accept what is clearly stated in the text of the sutras, but discard anything that cannot be supported by the text. The Great Teacher Dengyo says, ‘Depend upon the preachings of the Buddha, and do not put faith in traditions handed down orally,’41 which expresses the same idea as the passage from T’ien-t’ai’s commentary. And Bodhisattva Nagarjuna says that one should rely on treatises that are faithful to the sutras, but not rely on those that distort the sutras.42 This passage may be understood to mean that, even among the various sutras, one should discard the provisional teachings put forth prior to the Lotus Sutra and put one’s faith in this sutra, the Lotus. Thus both sutras and treatises make it perfectly clear that one should discard all scriptures other than the Lotus.

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)

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.

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. 14 – The Izu Exile, WND p. 36

Living beings like ourselves have dwelt in the sea of the sufferings of birth and death since time without beginning. But they become votaries of the Lotus Sutra, and realize that their bodies and minds, which have existed since the beginningless past, are inherently endowed with the eternally unchanging nature; awaken to their mystic reality with their mystic wisdom; and attain the Buddha’s body, which is as indestructible as a diamond. How then could they be different from that Buddha?? Shakyamuni Buddha, the lord of teachings, who said numberless major world system dust particle kalpas ago, “I am the only person [who can rescue and protect others],” refers to living beings like ourselves. This is the Lotus Sutra’s teaching of three thousand realms in a single moment of life, and the action of “I am always here, preaching the Law.”

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