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Banishment to Sado

On the twelfth day of the ninth month, I incurred the wrath of the government authorities, and I am to leave for the province of Sado on the tenth day of the tenth month of this year.

My original aim in studying was to master the Buddhist teachings, so that I might attain Buddhahood and thereby also save the people to whom I am indebted. I always assumed that, on the path of attaining Buddhahood, one is certain to meet some great trial that will demand of him that he be willing to give up his life; only then can one become a Buddha. And already, just as the sutra states, I have been cursed and vilified, attacked with swords and staves, rocks and tiles, and banished again and again. I therefore believe that I am reading the Lotus Sutra with my entire being. My faith increases all the more and I am confident of my future existence. Should I die, I will surely save each one of you as well.

In India a person called the Venerable Aryasimha was beheaded by King Dammira, and Bodhisattva Aryadeva was murdered by a Brahman. In China, a person called Chu Tao-sheng was banished to Mount Su, and the Learned Doctor Fa-tao was branded on the face and exiled south of the Yangtze River. All these men suffered persecution on account of the virtue of the Lotus Sutra and for the sake of the Buddhist Law.

I, Nichiren, am the son of a chandala family who lived near the seashore in Tojo in Awa Province, in the remote countryside of the eastern part of Japan. To discard my body, which would otherwise decay in vain, for the sake of the Lotus Sutra will be like exchanging rocks for gold. None of you should lament for me. Please convey what I have said to the priest Dozen-bo. I had also thought of writing to the nun of the manor, but because of my present circumstances, she may no longer wish to be reminded of me. Should the opportunity arise, please tell her what I have said.


The tenth month

Major Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, Vol. 5, page 123.

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