Quotes from the Writings of Nichiren

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

Archive for the tag “Japan”

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.

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THE TRIPITAKA MASTER SHAN-WU-WEI, WND Vol. 1, p. 178

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.

Nichiren

The seventh year of Bun’ei (1270)

To Gijo-bo and Joken-bo

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