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The Embankments of Faith


This Gosho is dated September 3, 1275, the second year after Nichiren Daishonin's return from exile in Sado. It is addressed to the wife of Abutsu-bo, who was known as Sennichi-ama.

This reply is to a question Sennichi-ama asked concerning the degrees and effects of slander against true Buddhism. The concept of slander here implies the slandering of the Mystic Law existing in one's own life rather than the criticism of a particular doctrine. To slander the Lotus Sutra means to slander the Mystic Law revealed in it. Hence slander leads to the degradation of human life itself, the denial of its inherent dignity. Slander in this sense is any thought, word or deed which denies another's Buddha nature, and thus the inherent dignity of his life. That is why its effects are so serious. The Daishonin sternly admonishes against slander, and urges believers to consider it their responsibility to remove another's evil and to lead him to enlightenment. He encourages Sennichi-ama to cherish the supreme aspiration for happiness in her next lifetime, to solidify "the embankments of her faith" and to continue her quest for greater understanding of true Buddhism.

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