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Full text of "Outlines of the doctrine of the Nichiren sect [microform]. With the life of Nichiren, the founder of the Nichiren sect"

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the Founder of the Nichiren Sect, one of the Buddhist Sects in Japan. 


The portrait shows very well Nichiren's virtuous countenance. It is 
copied from one preserved in the Temple of Minobu which contains the 
sepulchre of Nichiren and is the head of all temples of the Sect. When 
Nichiren was still yet alive, one of his noble believers called Sanenaga 
Hakiwi let a painter sketch his portrait. The portrait thus sketched is that 
one which is now preserved in the Temple of Minobu. 


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(1893 A.D.) 



Sakyamuni Buddha wanted to teach the Truth in accordance 
with the different, degrees of the intellectual power of those, to 
whom he came in contact. So he set up various doctrines : some 
are called the great vehicle doctrines and another the small 
vehicle doctrines while some are called the real doctrines and 
another the temporary doctrines. But the aim, for which they 
were taught, is one and the same : to let the living beings unfold 
their innate Buddha-intellect and to let them recognize the 
Paradise in this earthly world. 

The early Buddhists divided the promulgation of Sakyamuni's 
doctrines into three periods. The 'first of them is called the Period 
of the True Laws, the second the, Period of the Image Laws, and 
the third the period of the Latter Day Laws. The Period of the 
True Laws corresponds to one thousand years just after the De- 
parture of Sakyamuni from this world ; the Period of the Image 
Laws corresponds to one thousand years after the Period of the 
True Laws ; and the Period of the Latter Day Laws contains ten 
thousand years after the Period of the Image Laws. During the 
first thousand years or the Period of the True Laws, Buddhism 
prevailed in India ; during the next thousand years or the Period 
of the Image Laws, it prevailed in China, Corea and Japan ; and 
after these two thousand years it left no traces in India and almost 


disappeared in China, while it was flourishing in Japan alone. 
The laws or doctrines fit and requisite for the Period of the Latter 
Day Laws are those found in the Holy Book of the Lotus of the 
Good Law. One, who established a new Buddhist Sect in promul- 
gating the doctrines of this Holy Book, was a priest called Nichi- 
ren. The Sect founded by him has been known by the name of 
the Nichiren Sect. In one of his religious works Nichiren says: 
" Indian Buddhism came to the East. Japanese Buddhism will 
certainly go to the West." It just now happens that a great 
congress of Religions is opened in the city of Chicago in the 
United States of North America. We are happy enough to have 
an opportunity of making Nichiren fulfill his words, in sending 
this petit pa-mplilet, in which Nichiren's portrait and life as well as 
the outlines of the doctrine of his Sect are contained. 


Tokyo, Japan. 

Aligns t, the 26th year of Meiji (1893). 



Two thousand one hundred seventy-one years after Sa- 
kyamuni Buddha's Departure from this world, that is, 1222 A.D., 
there was born in Japan a great religious hero who in his manhood 
brought forth a great revolution in the religious community of his 
age. This hero is known to the posterity by the name of " Nichi- 
ren," that is, " Sun Lotus." He founded a new sect of Buddhism 
which is called the Nichiren Sect after his name. He was a native 
of a small village called Kominato in Nagase a district of the 
province of Awa. He belonged to the Fujiwara clan and his 
family was called Nukina. The name of his father was Shigetada 
Jiro. When twelve years old, Nichiren entered the order of 
priests ; being sixteen years old he shaved off the hairs of his 
head. After that he visited Buddhist teachers in various places 
in order to inquire after the true doctrine. 

It being long since Sakyamuni Buddha had departed, there 
were many errors and faults in the then prevalent explanations 
of the Buddhist doctrines. What were said by the founders Of 
the various sects were not to be entirely relied on. There were 
then the Tendai sect, the Shingon sect, the Zen sect, the Jodo 
sect, etc. These sects were to be classed into two groups. One 
group taught the reliance of a devotee on his own power, while 
the other taught the reliance of a devotee on the Buddha's power. 
The former became too high and speculative for men of ordinary 
intellect while the latter degenerated into vulgarism and senti- 
mentalism and was marked with extreme pussillanimity. Both 


went out of the right way shown by Sakyamuni. The people and 
the State were on the point of being brought to ruin. 

Such religious conditions of his age caused Nichiren to think 
that there was no better method for knowing the true doctrine 
than to seek it both in his own mind and the holy books. Then 
he excluded himself out of the social intercourse and confined him- 
self in a Buddhist library ; he read all holy books for many times 
which was not an easy task. At the end he found out that the 
reason why Sakyamuni descended on this world is to be found 
only in the Holy Book of the Lotus of the Good Law ; and he 
determined that the good doctrines in this Holy Book alone are 
fit to make the people and the State quiet and peaceful while they 
could enable him to revolutionize the religious community of his 
age. So he set out for his great mission. 

Then he was thirty-two years old. It is his characteristics 
that he infused the idea of nationality into his new principles. 
Therefore the works written by him bear such titles as these : " To 
gaurd the People and the State," " To set up the Good Law and 
to make the State peaceful," etc. Among the rest the work "To 
set up the Good Law and to make the State peaceful " is most full 
of the idea of nationality. Seeing the danger of Japan to be in- 
vaded by the Chinese Mongols, Nichiren wrote this work and 
offered it to the de facto government of that day. A family called 
Hojo was then in possession of the sovereign right of Japan, while 
the Imperial House was nominally standing. In this work Nichi- 
ren says that the prosperity or decline of the State depends on the 
truth or falsehood of its Religion, and that the ruling society and 
the ruled society of his age were both committing errors as re- 
gards religious affairs. He insists on the necessity that the true 
Religion must be substituted for the false one in order to make 
the State peaceful. He defies the authority of the government. 
For writing this grand work, lie is to be said to have dropped 
the boiling blood to use it for ink and to have taken out the 


iron-like bones to use them for pens. This grand work is con- 
sisted of more than ten thousand Chinese characters. Its argu- 
ments are sharp and deep ; the phrases and sentences are vivid 
and fiery ; and the quotations are well chosen and exquisitely 

Indeed Nichiren appeared after all the great religious found- 
ers. His mission was to suppress all the then prevalent sects of 
Buddhism. His enemies were so much enraged that he was 
successively persecuted and exiled. But he was not frightened. 
He thought the blessings of the State so much that the danger 
of his life did not trouble his mind. Nay, he recognised a sweet 
food and a delicious drink in the tools of punishment and ex- 

The situation of Japan of Nichiren's Age was very much 
similar to that of the Prankish kingdom at the last days of the 
Merovingian dynasty. The last kings of this dynasty were good- 
for-nothing. The state affairs devolved on the mayors of palace, 
of whom the most famous was Charles Martel. At his time the 
kingdom was invaded by the Saracens. He defeated them and 
forced them back to Spain. Who was his son ? Was his son 
not that Pepin who dethroned his master in order to make himself 
the ruler of the kingdom ? At the time of Nichiren Japan was 
de facto ruled by the Hojo family. The chief of the family, to 
whom Nichiren offered his grand work, was called Tokiyori. His 
ancestors deposed and exiled many emperors. His son Tokimune 
defeated the hundred thousand Chinese Mongols who dared to 
invade Japan. The strength and authority of the Hojo family are 
well to be compared with those of Charles and Pepin. It was the 
blessing of the Imperial House that any one of the chiefs of the 
family did stop short of Pepin's audacity. 

Besides, the Hojo family believed in the Zen sect which had 
the tendency of making no difference between the Buddha and the 
vulgar people and between the sovereign and the subjects. There- 


fore this family was religiously Nichiren's first and greatest enemy. 
He in vain forced this family to suppress all sects without the 
exception of the Zen sect. It is out of question that he met great 
difficulties. But his efforts were not fruitless. 

At the age of sixty-one, Nichiren entered the state of Nirvana. 
This event happeneol six hundred and twelve years ago. His best 
disciples then numbered more than forty. They all shared his 
'difficulties. The religious works left by him number thirty or 
forty volumes. They are now all extant. At present the Nichiren 
sect has five thousand "tera" or temples, seven thousand priests 
and more than two millions ef believers. Among the "tera" or 
temples the largest ones are all those to which Nichiren had some 
personal concerns. Some biographical critics call Nichiren the 
oriental Luther. We can not give a credit to this comparison, 
for it arises from the superficial investigation of Nichiren's charact- 
er and mission. One who wants to know how high was his virtue, 
how profound and extensive was his learning, how heroic and 
grand was his character, and how gigantic and epoch-making was 
his mission, needs only to read his works. Nichiren says : "If 
my benevolence is really great and extensive, the Holy Book of 
the Lotus will continue predominant even for a million years after 
now." And also he says: " Indian Buddhism came to the East. 
Japanese Buddhism will go to the West." We now see that his 
words are to be fulfilled. 





If a vessel inclines, the water in it overflows : if a State is not 
tranquil, the individuals in it find their persons in danger. There- 
fore the original doctrine of the " Holy Book of the Lotus of the 
Good Law "* expounds the eternity of all countries and the 
original enlightenment of all living beings, and wants to make all 
living beings lead their present life easily and have their future 
life delivered from pains. Consequently, whenever Nichiren, the 
founder of our Sect, opened his mouth to preach, he used to say 
that it is the merit of our Sect "to set up the Good Law and to 
make the State peaceful." Well, the State prospers by the Law, 
and the Law is made worthy by men. It seems then the prosperity 
or decline of the State depends merely upon whether the doctrines 
of its Religion are true or not. If it be so, let us promulgate the 
Good Law faithfully and seek out the peace and tranquility of our 
State. What is meant by the Good Law ? It is nothing else than 
the collection of those doctrines which are taught in the original 
part of the " Holy Book of the Lof;us of the Good Law" (# ^ fg 

This Holy Bookt consists of two parts, origi- 

* The Saddharma-pundarlka-Sutra. 

\ The phrase " Holy Book " is hereafter substituted for the long title of this Buddhist 



nal and subordinate. The original part treats of the original 
Buddha and the original real state of all living beings, while the 
subordinate part treats of the subordinate Buddha and the transient 
state of all living beings. There are two states of the Buddha. 
One is the original Buddha and the other is the subordinate Bud- 
dha. The original Buddha is the Buddha originally enlightened 
while the subordinate Buddha is the Buddha who has attained at 
enlightenment after study and meditation. The real state of all 
living beings means the real state of things perceived by the intel- 
lect of the Buddha, that is, the state natural and proper to all 
living beings. The real state of things is void and indifferent. 
All phenomena, mental and material, in all the times and all the 
spaces, are to be considered as contained in the person of any 
single individual, as his physical features and mental states. The 
difference and variety among all living beings are to be extingu- 
ished as the false representations. Think so, and there is the 
Truth : all living beings do then appear in their real original state. 


They are the Truth itself. 

This Truth exists through all the times, past, present and 
future ; and pervades through all the spaces, up and down, right 
and left, front and back, and so forth. Look up and there are the 
sun, the moon and millions of stars ; look down and there are 
mountains, rivers, plants, trees and minerals ; between the heaven 
and the earth there are human beings, beasts, birds, reptiles and 
insects ; all these things and phenomena are nothing else 
than the mere state of our " individual self." A mere thought 
contains all phenomena ; between the external world and our 
" self" there is not any difference to be found out. If this Truth be 
known, we are said to have attained at the " Great Self," that is, 
the perfect state of enlightenment. This attainment is explained 
through the Buddha's mouth in the Holy Book : " I have really 
been the Buddha of original enlightenment since very remote 



When Sakyamuni, the founder of Buddhism, was thirty 
years old, he for the first time perceived that he had been, as said 
above, the Buddha of original enlightenment since very remote 
times. Sakyamuni after this perception is called the subordinate 
Buddha, while he, as the Buddha of original enlightenment since 
very remote times, i.e. as the personification of the Truth, is called 
the original Buddha. Then wishing to teach the vulgar people 
that any one of them could become Buddha, Sakyamuni lectured 
the doctrines contained in a holy book called Kegon-kyo.* But 
they being not wise enough to understand it entirely, he was 
obliged to teach them for more than forty years about the discip- 
lines, the practice of which should be preparatory for making them 
understand its true meaning. When he was seventy two years old, 
he was able to put his former design in execution. What he then 
taught in the first chapter of the Holy Book is as follows: "Jt is 
only Buddhas who can with the Buddha investigate the real state 
of things." The real state of things means the real state of things 
in all the times and all the spaces. All things and all phenomena 
in all the times and all the spaces they are in essence each ori- 
ginally identical with the Buddha, and keep in themselves the 
three bodies of the Buddha, viz. the spiritual body, the compen- 
sation body and the transformation body. The Buddha's spiritual 
body is the Truth itself, his compensation body is the Intellect 
which can find out the Truth, and his transformation body is the 
object of worship to the vulgar people. Ail things and all pheno- 
mena being originally identical with the Buddha or the Truth, 
they are eternal and unchangeable and their true nature is one 
and the same. The vulgar people perceive variety in things, but 
Buddhas perceive identity in things. The perception of variety in 
things rises from the confusion in the minds of those who look at 
things. Things in themselves are not mutually different. Identity 
perceived by Buddhas in things is the real state of things, that is, 

* The Bucldlmhavatamsalca-mahavaipulya-sutra. 


the Truth itself. Sakyamuni fearing that such reasons could not 
be understood by the vulgar people, put the Truth in his person in 
order to let them see it there, and addressed to them as follows : 
" Now, these three worlds the mortal world*, the material world 
and the spiritual world, are all of my own possession ; all living 
beings in them are all my own children." According to his 
opinion, all mountains, all rivers, all lands, and all kinds of flora 
and fauna are identical with his own person. Therefore, the three 
worlds, mortal, material and spiritual, are said to be of his own 
possession. And also all living beings in these world are said to 
be his own children. By calling all living beings his own children, 
he meant that they are merely the images and transformations 
of his own body. This reason was not known by him until he 
was thirty years old. Therefore, in the above quoted sentence 

he says: " AW, these three worlds " This one 

word " Now" implies that he had been ignorant of his original en- 
lightenment until that time, and recognised it for the first at 
that time. Therefore the Holy Book says : " The Buddha be- 
gins really to know and perceive the real state of the three 
worlds, mortal, material and spiritual." As regards knowing and 
perceiving, it is certain that the real state of things or the Truth 
ivas not clear to Sakyamuni until then. But as regards the real 
nature of Sakyamuni, we must say that he had already been per- 
fectly enlightened since very remote times. Therefore he himself 
says : " I have been the Buddha of original enlightenment since 
very remote times." 

Therefore it is false and illusive to think that Sakyamuni 
sixteen feet high and possessed of thirty-two glorious features 
is the true Buddha. Sakyamuni in this sense is not the true 
Buddha, but merely a delusive image. What is then the true Bud- 
dha ? The true Buddha is that Sakyamuni who has been imme- 
morially enlightened enough to know the identity of all things with 

* Technically called the world of appetites. 


one another, and the sameness of his own person with the external 
world ; he is that Buddha who identifies a mere thought with all 
things in all the times and all the spaces ; he is that state of the 
Mind in which the Truth and the Intellect cease to be two arid 
mutually different. If this is the case with Shakyamuni, it must 
not be otherwise with the vulgar people. As all things in all the 
times and all the spaces are nothing else than the images of Sakya- 
muni, so all things in all the times and all the spaces are nothing 
else than the images of any individual person. As Sakyamuni 
takes all living beings for his own children, so any individual 
person can take all living beings for his own children. The 
Buddha and any vulgar people are one and the same : the Buddha 
is the vulgar people while the Vulgar people are the Buddha. In 
a holy book called " Kegon-kyo," it is said that the Mind, the 
Buddha and the vulgar people are not different from one another 
though they have the different names and appearances. 

As said above, since any vulgar person is the Buddha, the 
country where he lives is the paradise inhabited by all Buddhas. 
Therefore the Buddha says : I am always in this low world of 
evils/" " And also he says : " I am always on the Vulture Peak." 
These words of the Buddha signify that this world, though full of 
evils apparently, is in reality not different from the paradise of all 
Buddhas, which is illuminated with Glorious Light. t This world, 
which is full of evils, seems to be a Avorld of fire to the eyes of the 
vulgar people, while it is recognized by the Buddha as the peaceful 
and happy place inhabited by the beings of superior order. Is this 
world pure and full of pleasures, or dirty and full of pains ? The 
solution of the problem merely depends on the confusion or en- 
lightenment of any man's mind. The world seen by the Buddha 
and the world seen by the vulgar people are in reality not two but 
one. When enlightenment is attained at, all the worlds are found 

* Technically called " the Saba world, i.e. the world of endurance, 
f Technically called " the Calm Light." 


equally glorious and splendid. The first greatest mission of Sa- 
kyamuni in this world is to make the vulgar people unfold their 
Buddha-intellect and get pure and clean in their nature. 

When the vulgar people can once unfold their Buddha-intel- 
lect, they can perceive the real state of this world of evils, that is, 
the glorious state of the world of eternity. Hence to show the 
identity between the world of evils and the world of glory, to 
explain how to become Buddhas, to open the road of salvation, 
and especially let the vulgar people become Buddhas in their 
present life, this is the mission of the Nichiren Sect. Therefore 
the founder of this Sect says in his work " Honzon-syo," i.e. " the 
object of worship" as follows: "The world of evils is now free 
from the three calamities of Conflagration, Wind, and Deluge, and 
get rid of the four epochs of Creation, Existence, Destruction, and 
Voidness. So it finds itself changed into the Paradise. The 
Buddha did not die in the past time and will not be born in the 
future. He is one and the same with those whom he teaches to be 
enlightened. His mind contains all phenomena in all the times 
and all the spaces." 

Therefore when Nichiren began to promulgate his doctrines 
he drew up an essay called " Risyo Ankoku Ron," i.e. "Argument 
as regards the Setting-up of the Good Law and the Pacification of 
the State," which he offered to the government of that time in 
order to let it believe in the Good Law and keep up the tranquility 
of the State. The peace and prosperity of an individual necessarily 
depend on those of his family and those of his family necessarily 
depend on those of his State. On the contrary, when the State 
is not peaceful and prosperous, its families and individuals can not 
be peaceful and prosperous. The world of evils is the world of 
Buddhas. It is the world of Glorious Light. But the vulgar 
people are not enlightend so that they can not see the paradise of 
Glorious Light, into which they are actually entered. Their minds 
being confused, they give the rise to the four passions of Avarice, 


Anger, Folly and Pride, and find themselves fallen into the painful 
regions of Birth, Old Age, Disease, and Death, so that they are 
obliged to pass through a series of transmigrations in the world of 
evils burnt up by great fire in the times past, present and future. 
These troubles, pains and miseries are those which thq vulgar 
people voluntarily seek out for themselves, but not those which are 
proper and natural to the real state of the world of evils, since the 
real state of the world of evils is free from them altogether. Sa- 
kyamuni explaining the real state of this world says : "This my 
region is Peace and Rest." 

This world is indeed the region of Peace, Pleasure, Purity and 
Cleanness, and is free from Sadness, Sorrow, Pains and Troubles. 
The Buddha says : " We are peaceful and happy in the present life 
and shall go to the Good Region in the future." The inhabitants 

of the world are destined to be fortunate in accordance with this 


saying of the Buddha. But they have got the bad habits of illusion 
and confusion which pursue them into the close nets of absurd 
imaginations and false thoughts. Alas ! they groan in the nets 
from which they can not easily get out again. If a man unfolds 
the Buddha-intellect, the world displays itself in its real state, that 
is, transforms itself into the paradise of Buddhas and Glorious 
Light. Therefore those, who wish to unfold the Buddha-intellect 
and to enjoy the spiritual pleasures, ought at once to believe in the 
Good Law of our Sect. Try to throw away the temporary and 
false doctrines taught by other sects and to embrace the eternal 
and true doctrines which are contained in the Holy Book ! Then 
it is sure enough that the heaven and the- earth are peaceful and pro- 
sperous forever ; that the order of things is kept in harmony; that 
the climate and temperature make themselves fit to the health of 
man and to the production of land ; that this world becomes the 
paradise .of Buddhas and Glorious Light ; that all the nations live 
in peace with each another as if they were brethren ; and that there 
is no single disatisfied person to be found in this wide world.. 


The result of believing in the Good Law is of such nature. Don't 
doubt the merits of the Good Law ; just merely put them in action 
before inquiring after them. Come! let us believe in the Good 

The promulgation of the Buddhist doctrines has been divided 
from the earliest times into three periods. The last of these periods 
is called the Period of the Latter Day Law. Nichiren thought his 
own time to be the Period of the Latter Day Law, in which the 
doctrines in the Holy Book must be promulgated. So he began 
to promulgate these doctrines in 1252 A.D. Then the false and 
temporary doctrines had been entangled with the true and original 
ones and the belief of the Buddhists in the Buddha was not pure 
and undivided. Not helping to look at the errors and confusions 
of the vulgar people, Nichiren took great pains for the promulga- 
tion of the Good Law. However, not only he found that they 
could not easily adopt it, but also that there were many opponents 
and enemies raised against him in order to disturb him in his mis- 
sion. The difficult situation in which he now found himself, very 
well coincided with that which was foretold by Sakyamuni two 
thousand years ago. In the Holy Book he says : The Law has 
many opponents and enemies even now when I find myself in the 
world. It will necessarily have much more opponents and enemies 
after my departure from the world." Now being determined to 
stake his life for the promulgation of the Good Law, Nichiren add- 
resses to the Buddha as follows : 

" The Holy book of our Sect, be it good or bad, to despise 
and cast it away is the action proper to the beings of the hell. 
Suppose that there is an emperor who says to me that if I cast 
away the Holy Book and take up the religious books used 
by other sects, he shall deliver me the sovereignty of the 
empire ; and also suppose that he says that he shall cut 
off the heads of my father and mother unless I do merely 
repeat the Buddha's name as the adherents of the Pure Land Sect 


do in order to be born in the Pure Land after death. Even such 
a benefit and such a trouble can not make me give up my belief 
in the Holy Book unless my reasoning is out-reasoned by a wise 
man. Such a wise man cannot be easily found out. Other bene- 
fits and troubles cannot make any impression upon my heart and 
mind.' I want to be the pillars for Japan ; to he the eyes for 
Japan ; and to be the ship for Japan. This demand I will never 

change ; this oath I will never break." 

Thus making an oath Nichiren founded a new religious sect, 
called "Nichiren Sect" after his name, or called " Hokke Sect" 
after the title of the Holy Book. 


The Nichiren Sect sets up three Secret Laws. They are as 
follows : 

1. " Honzon " or the chief object of worship. 

2. " Daimoku " or the title of the Holy Book of the Lotus 

of the Good Law. 

3. " Kaidan " or the place for learning moral precepts. 

What the Sect takes for the chief object of worship is a hang- 
ing chart called " Great Mandala." The Mandala is identified 
with Sakyamuni and the Truth. In its middle part there are in- 
scribed these seven Chinese Characters: T&^ffi&iJL'jjs;!j&.- The 
group of these seven characters is called the "body-in-general" 
of the Buddha while the beings arranged on both sides -of these 
seven characters are called the " bodies separate of the Buddha." 
These beings are the representatives of the ten worlds of living 
beings. The ten worlds represented by them are as follows : 

1. The world of Buddhas. 

2. The world of Bodhisattvas or wise beings. 

3. The world of singly enlightened beings. 

4. The world of beings of low understanding. 

5. The world of deities. 


6. The world of human beings. 

7. The world of evil spirits. 

8. The world of beasts. 

9. The world of hungry devils. 
10. The world of infernal beings. 

These ten worlds when looked at as regards their degrees of 
enlightenment are called as follows : 

1. The state of the Mind where the Intellect and Virtue are 

perfectly attained at. 

2. The state of the Mind when one can save both himself 

and others from evils of all kinds. 

3. The state of the Mind where one saves only himself without 

any effort. 

4. The state of the Mind where one saves only himself with 

a great effort. 

5. The state of the Mind where one merely enjoys pleasures. 

6. The state of the Mind where one acts well for the duty's 


7. The state of the Mind where one acts well for the sake 

of his own fame and interest. 

8. The state of the Mind where one is fool and without 


9. The state of the Mind where one is sordid and covetous. 

10. The state of the Mind where one is hard-hearted and 


The Mandala shows that all things and all phenomena in 
all the times and all the spaces are in essence one and the 
same, and that they are in nature pure and eternal. In short, 
the Mandala is the Buddha of original enlightenment, but not the 
Buddha of glorious stature and features. The Buddha of original 
enlightenment pervades through all the times and all the spaces, 
and is closely interwoven with all things and all phenomena. He 
is universal and all-present. Earth, Water, Fire and Air are the 


the spiritual body of the Buddha. Color, Sound, Smell, Taste* 
Touch and Things are also the Buddha's spiritual body. Form, 
Perception, Name, Conception and Knowledge, as well as the 
Actions of Body, Mouth and Will, are the Buddha's compensation- 
body. Head, Trunk, Hands and Feet, as well as Eyes, Ears, Nose, 
Tongue and so forth, are the Buddha's transformation-body. 
Things and events are all convertible with one another ; they are 
not different from one another even a bit. When these reasons are 
understood, there are displayed the three bodies of the Buddha of 
original enlightenment. The anger of infernal beings, the folly of 
beasts, the avarice of hungry devils, and all base qualities proper 
to other living beings, they all put together form the whole body 
of the Buddha of original enlightenment. What represents this 
mysterious relation of things is called the Great Mandala. As the 
waters of thousand rivers entering into the ocean are mixed up 
with one another and have one and the same taste in spite of their 
original difference of taste, so all things and all beings of all 
the worlds, when once entered in the Ocean of the Truth and 
seen by the intellectual eyes of the Buddha, instantly become 
one and the same and show themselves identical with the great 
intellect of the Buddlia of original enlightenment. 

Thus Sakyamuni showed that the chief object of worship or 
Mandala is his own body. But his true idea does not stop here. 
He meant that even the body of any vulgar person, nay of any 
living being, can be the object of worship since it is one and the 
same with the Truth and the Buddha's body. Nichiren says : 
" What is the real substance of the Holy Book ? It is nothing else 
than a human being, who being begotten by a father and a mother 
believes in the Holy Book." The Mandala is a grand mirror of 
enlightenment, in which all things and all phenomena are at once 
reflected together. If a man sits in front of this mirror and reflects 
his own body there-on, he will find his body instantly changed into 
the spiritual body of the Buddha of original enlightenment, and 


also discover in his body the source from which all things and all 
phenomena in the external world have' taken their rise. So the 
title of the Holy Book inscribed in the middle part of the Mandala 
is what represents his body proper while the various figures put in 
its surroundings represent the thousand transformations of his 
body. These figures are the representatives of the ten worlds of 
living beings. Therefore the body of any individual, when reflect- 
ed on the Mandala-mirror, is the sum total of these ten worlds, 
nay the sum total of all things and all phenomena in all the times 
and all the spaces. The ten worlds are in reality one and the 
same body. Since good ideas and bad ideas arise out of this one 
body, they pervade through the ten transformations of this one 
body, that is, the ten worlds. Hence if one m-ere thought becomes 
refined and the Buddha's mind, these ten worlds become the Bud- 
dha's mind. On the contrary, if one mere thought becomes debas- 
ed into the mind of an infernal being, the ten worlds become 
debased into the mind of an infernal being. In spite of its little- 
ness, one mere thought has a widely and quickly influencing power. 
This power may be compared to that possessed by water and fire. 
If a handful of water is put into the mouth, the whole body instant- 
ly feels the sensation of coolness. If the tsvo hands are put over a 
stove, warmth is felt at the tiptoes. So one mere thought, if good, 
displays enlightenment, and, if bad, brings forth darkness. The 
reason is that since the essence is one and the same, the influence 
is universal. Therefore we must be careful in forming even a 
mere thought. Selfish motive and public motive are the point on 
which the two different roads of the " Good " and the " Bad" take 
their departure. Therefore Sakyamuni chiefly insisted on the 
doctrines, that we ought to forget the difference between " the 
self" and " the other," that we ought to practice self-denial and to 
know the limit of satisfaction, that we ought to lead the conduct of 
Fugen or the personification of Reason, and that we ought to live 
in peace with our neighbors. If a man sitting in front of the 


.Mandala finds out his body's being 1 identical with the real state of 
the ten worlds ; if he destroys in his mind the distinction between 
his own self and all other things ; if he gets free from the passions 
of Love and Hatred, it is then certain that he can well control 
Pleasure, Cheerfulness, Anger, Sorrow, and so forth, whenever 
they arise, and can be just and impartial wherever he comes in 
contact with other persons. Then his person is already partially 
entered in the region of Buddhas even in his present life. Why 
does he doubt that he will become Buddha in the after life ? 
Therefore Nichiren says : 

" The doctrines of our Sect stand far above those of the other 
eight sects. Our doctrines teach us that we can become Buddhas 
quickly and instantly. If one sees that the Mind, the Buddha and 
all living beings are all together kept in his mere thought and 
cannot be found anywhere else, he, however low in intellect, can 
certainly attain at enlightenment in his present life. If this man 
of low intellect can attain at enligntenment, why can not it be at- 
tained at by any one who has higher .intellect ? If it be so with 
him, it is still more so with one who is possessed of highest 
intellect. Since the life-long taught doctrines of Sakyamuni are 
those which make the nature of " a living being " their basis to 
stand upon, any one who can understand his own nature is called 
Buddha, and any one who cannot understand his own nature is 
called vulgar person." 

Sakyamuni advanced with one step from the state of a human 
being to that of Buddha and brought forth thousand ever-lasting 
blessings upon this world. Nichiren also advanced with one step 
from the state of a human being to that of a Bodhisattva or wise 
being which is only one stage below that of a Buddha. He be- 
coming a Bodhisattva made a great mission, the influence of which 
has continued without any loss for about seven hundred years. 
It is not difficult for any one to become a Bodhisattva or a Buddha. 
Though it is generally regarded as a difficult matter that women 


become Buddhas, a female Dragon is said to have become a 
Buddha. If a female Dragon could become a Buddha, why can 
we say that women cannot become Buddhas at all ? Deva-datta 
became a Buddha inspite of his infernal character. If he became 
a Buddha why can not another man become a Buddha ? That 
Nichiren became enlightened shows that even the vulgar people 
of the Last Days of the Law can get free from all evils and be- 
come Buddhas. To attempt to be a Nichiren and a Sakyamuni 
ought to be the first motive of any one who believes in the 
doctrine of our Sect and stretches his self-reliance as much as 
possible. The Man is said by the Chinese Teachers to be the chief 
of all living beings in this world. If a man is busy in pursuing 
his own interest and does not know how to live in peace 
with his neighbors, why can he be called the chief of all living be- 
ings ? There is one who does not know that his real nature is iden- 
tical with the Buddha of original enlightenment, but does regard 
himself only as a base and mean fellow who can never become en- 
lightened. There is one who has become a beggar. He was 
formerly the only son of a rich man who loved him very much. He 
left his father and wandered to and fro. Thus elapsed fourty or 
fifty years while the father removed his house to a foreign land. 
So the son can not return home and has become a beggar. A great 
Chinese Teacher called Sosyu is said to have become a butterfly in 
a dream. This butterfly, of couse, is not the real Sosyu. So the 
beggarliness is not the real state of the only son of a rich man, but 
only a temporary image of that son. Alas ! he thinks himself a 
beggar. So thinking he is taken a captive by the five appetites of 
Color, Sound, Smell, Taste and Touch and humbled by the seven 
passions of Chearfulness, Anger, Sorrow, Pleasure, Love, Hatred 
and Avarice ; he becomes unjust and partial and .only aims at self- 
interests ; he sinks in the gulfs of Sadness, Melanchory, Pain and 
Trouble ; he presumes that in the future his soul is destined to 
pass through a series of painful transformations, in the Six Forms 


of living beings such as those of infernal beings, hungry devils, 
brutes and so forth. Let such a one awake from the dream and get 
unconfused. Our Sect sets up the Great Mandala or the chief 
object of worship, which shows the identity of the vulgar people 
with the Buddha and makes the vulgar people able to have the 
determination of becoming enlightened. 

If that beggar looks at this Mandala and has his body reflected 
there so that he gets free from the base idea of self-renunciation, he 
will soon become the Buddha of original enlightenment in spite of 
his being a valgar person in appearance, just as when Sosyu awak- 
ing from his dream the butterfly again became Sosyu himself. Thus 
restored the beggar will be once more the real son of a rich man. 
Sariputra, one of Sakyamuni's disciples, is said to have become Keko 
Buddha without any change in his appearance. Therefore Sakya- 
muni says : " The Mandala is the mysterious scene where the vul- 
gar people can get enlightened and become Buddhas." 

So far for the chief object of worship. The <( Daimoku" or the 
title of the Holy Book is now to be explained. It is said above that 
the body of any one is nothing else than the Buddha's body. If 
this reason is known, every body ought to set forth the Buddha- 
heart when any thought is formed in his mind. The Buddha-heart 
means a benevolent heart. He ought to pursue the greatest in- 
terest proper to his real nature which is nothing else than enlight- 
enment, and to reap the fruits which issue from the mutual plea- 
sure between himself and his fellows. * But the vulgar people being 
not firm in their determination cannot maintain and enjoy these 
fruits with a strong will and a deep meditation. Therefore our Sect 
lets them pursue the oral practice instead of the mental one, that 
is, substitute the repetition of the "Daimaku" or the title of the 
Holy Book for the intellectual discipline. To repeat the words 
" Na-Mu Myo-Ho Ren-Ge Kyo (}f SJ>&Jl^M)'' is the oral prac- 
tice in our Sect, the merits of which were known by Sakya- 
muni himself very long ago. Indeed the " Daimoku " is the es- 


senceof the Holy Book. If any one sincerely meditates on the Truth 
in mind and repeates the " Daimoku " in heart, he will surely re- 
ceive and enjoy great blessings. Even as regards daily actions 
and engagements, whether they are pleasant or painful, and whe- 
ther they are good or bad, if they are regarded as the mysterious 
manifestions of the Truth of the Good Law and as the representa- 
tions of the transendent power of the Holy Book, we are able not 
to make ourselves enslaved by an enrapturing condition in which 
we might chance to find ourselves, and also not to struggle to get 
free from an unhappy condition into which we might chance to 
fall ; we can take pains for pains and pleasures for pleasures ; we 
are not to be confused in the scenes of pains and pleasures ; we 
are able to make ourselves the masters of our heart and mind but 
not to make our heart and mind the masters of ourselves ; we can 
suppress the five appetites and seven passions and become pos- 
sessed of a Buddha-body which is full of the four virtues of Eter- 
nity, Peace, Enlightenment and Purity. Thus conditioned we are 
able to make our mind get rid of baseness and meanness. If anger 
and fury are raging, let us quiet ourselves and meditate on the 
matter, when we are able to attain at our goal. Among the 
figures inscribed in the Mandala there is that of Deva-datta the 
bitterest enemy of Sakyamuni. Deva-datta is put in the Mandala 
as the representative of infernal beings. He fell into the infernal 
world since he had let anger and fury rage freely in his heart. 
But he could cast away illusions and confusions out of his mind 
and attain at the real state of anger and fury, that is, the Truth. 
He now became Tenwo Buddha without any change in his infernal 
form. Anger and fury formerly brought forth the infernal world : 
now they as the real state of things or the Truth brought forth the 
state of Buddha. This arose merely from the fact that Deva-datta 
became able to control his anger and fury. So it was with Deva- 
datta. Why might it be different with us ? If we once open our 
eyes to look at the Truth, in spite of our anger and fury we can 


feel peaceful and happy both in heart and mind ; we can find out 
equality and impartiality between ourselves and all others and at- 
tain at that pleasant condition which we can enjoy with all others. 
Is there a reason that we cannot become Buddhas, unless we can 
get free from anger and fury and become void and annihilated ? 
Ignorant men and women, who cannot read and write, can surely 
attain at the state of Buddhas, if they sincerely repeat the " Dai- 
moku" or " Na-Mu Myo Ho Ren-Ge Kyo." This is the miracul- 
ous oral practice in our Sect. 

What is the "Kaidan" or the place for receiving moral pre- 
cepts ? It is easily to be understood, since we have already 
learned what are the "Honzon" and the " Daimoku," namely 
the chief object of worship and the title of the Holy Book. It 
is said above that our bodies are the body of the Buddha of 
original enlightenment. The real state of things is the mira- 
culous scene to be reflected by the Buddha's enlightenment, that 
is, to be known by the Buddha's intellect. We ourselves are the 
Buddha's intellect while the real state of things is a scene to be 
reflected by our own enlightenment. The Intellect is in the same 
relation to this miraculous scene as the cover of a vessel is to the 
vessel itself. As the cover does correspond to the vessel, so the 
Intellect does correspond to the scene. If we practice the repe- 
tition of the "Daimoku" and make our thoughts pure and clean, 
the bad appetites and passions naturally disappear by themselves 
so that we are inspired with the good moral precepts of our Sect. 
Walking, stopping, sitting upright, lying down, speaking, being 
silent, engaging in an action, refraining from an action, in all these 
situations we can let ourselves get at the mysterious deliverance ; 
Birth, Old Age, Disease and Death disappear by themselves ; 
Fears, Sorrows, Pains and Troubles vanish away forever. What 


are left behind are only Eternity, Peace, Enlightenment and 
Purity. Thus we find ourselves in the paradise of Buddhas. The 
region on which we live is the land of Glorious Light. Therefore 


the Holy Book says : " We ought to know that this place is the 
'Kaidan.'" This means that whatever a pface, where we practice 
the doctrines of the Holy Book, is fit for a " Kaidan." If it is fit 
for a " Kaidan," it is inhabited by all Buddhas. Such is the nature 
of the "Kaidan" taught by our Sect. In the " Rissyo-ankoku 
Ron " Nichiren says as follows : 

"The believers in the false doctrines! change your manner 
of belief and return back to the true doctrines. You will then find 
that the worlds of evils, mortal, material and spiritual, are all the 
World of the Buddhas. Why does the World of Buddhas decline ? 
All worlds in all the spaces are the Land of Jewels. Why does 
does the Land of Jewels fall down ? The World is free from de- 
cline : The Land is without ruin. Then any one's body is quiet 
and peaceful : his mind is in ecstacy." 

To set up the Good Law and to make the State peaceful, this 
is the fundamental doctrine of the Nichiren Sect. The Sect es- 
tablishes, as seen above, the three Secret Laws the " Honzon," 
the " Daimoku " and the "Kaidan." They are the means by 
which the vulgar people can become Buddhas. The Sect also 
promulgates the doctrine on the eternity of countries. 

This doctrine makes the family and the State quiet and peace- 
ful. Summing up all said above, we may say that our Sect blesses 
all living beings in the present life and delivers them from pains 
in the future. 





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