The Birth of Tsukimaro
I received the message that your baby was born. Congratulations! It is especially significant that today is the eighth day of the month. Not only have you had your baby, but on such an auspicious day! The fulfillment of your wish is now complete, just like the tide at the high water mark or the blossoming of flowers in a spring meadow. Thus, I have wasted no time in giving her a name. Please call her Tsukimaro.
The Great Bodhisattva Hachiman, the sovereign deity of this country, was born on the eighth day of the fourth month. Shakyamuni Buddha, the lord of this saha world, was also born on the eighth day of the fourth month. Your baby girl was born on the eighth day, though in a different month. She could well be the reincarnation of Shakyamuni or Hachiman. Ordinary man that I am, I, Nichiren, have no way to tell for certain, but I am convinced that this auspicious birth is attributable to the mystic agent1 I gave you. How happy you both must be! In celebration, you have kindly sent me rice cakes, sake and one string of coins.2 I also reported this to the Gohonzon and the Ten Goddesses.
When the Buddha was born, there were thirty-two auspicious phenomena,3 as is recorded in a book called Shusho no Iki.4 Shakyamuni Buddha took seven steps immediately following his birth, opened his mouth and uttered the words, expressed in sixteen Chinese characters: "Throughout heaven and earth, I alone am worthy of respect. The threefold world is a place of suffering from which I shall save all people." Tsukimaro must have chanted Nam-myoho-renge-kyo with her very first cry at birth. The Lotus Sutra speaks of "the true entity of all phenomena."5 Tien-tai says, "Voices do the Buddhas work."6 The deaf cannot hear the thunder, and the blind cannot see the light of the sun and moon. But I, Nichiren, am quite certain that the Ten Goddesses must be together side by side, giving the baby her first bath and watching over her growth.
Let me heartily congratulate you. I can imagine your joy. I have respectfully reported this to the Ten Goddesses and to the Sun Goddess. I am too excited to write any more. I shall be writing you again.
Major Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, Vol. 3, page 39.
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