Reply to Kyo-o
- Kyo-o dono Gohenji -
Just when I was longing to hear once again from you, the messenger, whom you troubled to send, arrived. In my present circumstances, your gift of money is far more valuable than any treasure to be found on land or sea.
Since I heard from you about Kyo'o Gozen, I have been praying to the gods of the sun and moon for her every moment of the day. Always cherish the Gohonzon which I sent some time ago for her protection. This Gohonzon was never known, let alone inscribed by anyone in the Former or Middle Day of the Law. The lion, king of beasts, is said to advance three steps, then gather himself to spring, unleashing the same power whether he traps a tiny ant or attacks a fierce animal. In inscribing this Gohonzon for her protection, Nichiren is equal to the lion king. This is what the sutra means by "the power of an attacking lion."1 Believe in this mandala with all your heart. Nam-myoho-renge-kyo is like the roar of a lion. What sickness can therefore be an obstacle?
It is written that those who embrace the daimoku of the Lotus Sutra will be protected by Kishimojin and her ten daughters. They will enjoy the happiness of Aizen and the good fortune of Bishamon.2 Wherever your daughter may frolic or play, no harm will come to her; she will be free from fear like the lion king. Among Kishimojin's ten daughters, the protection of Kodainyo3 is the most profound. But your faith alone will determine all these things. A sword will be useless in the hands of a coward. The mighty sword of the Lotus Sutra must be wielded by one courageous in faith. Then he will be as strong as a demon armed with an iron staff. I, Nichiren, have inscribed my life in sumi,4 so believe in the Gohonzon with your whole heart. The Buddha's will is the Lotus Sutra, but the soul of Nichiren is nothing other than Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. Miao-lo states in his interpretations, "The revelation of the Buddha's original enlightenment is the heart of the sutra."5
Kyo'o Gozen's misfortunes will change into fortune. Muster your faith and pray to this Gohonzon. Then what is there that cannot be achieved? You should believe the Lotus Sutra when it says, "This sutra fulfills one's desires. It is the pond's cool, clear water that quenches thirst,"6 and "They will have peace and security in this life and good circumstances in the next."7 When I am pardoned from exile to this province, I will hasten to Kamakura where we will meet. If one considers the power of the Lotus Sutra, he will find perpetual youth and eternal life before his eyes. My only worry is that she may die young; therefore, I am praying with all my might for the gods to protect her. Raise her to be like Lady Jotoku8 or the Dragon King's daughter. Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, Nam-myoho-renge-kyo.
Major Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, Vol. 1, p. 119.
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