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Letter from Sado


The "Letter from Sado" was written on March 20, 1272 nearly six months after the Daishonin's exile began. He was writing to Toki Jonin and other disciples.

First, he states that the direct path to enlightenment is the consecration of one's life, the most precious possession, to Buddhism. Next, he says that the method of propagation known as shakubuku is appropriate to this age and that one can attain Buddhahood only by dedicating himself to it wholeheartedly. He then declares that he is the "pillar, sun, moon, mirror and eyes" of the country; these are symbolic references to the three virtues of the Buddha, those of parent, teacher and sovereign. He mentions his earlier prophecies in the "Rissho Ankoku Ron" concerning political upheaval and violent feuds within the country.

Lastly, he gives an elaborate lesson on karma or destiny, stating that his present difficulties result from the fact that he slandered the Lotus Sutra in a past existence. Though, in terms of his identity of the original Buddha, he was guilty of no such slander, he uses himself as an example to show the loss that results from evil causes and to show his disciples how they can alter their karma. He adds that persons who strenuously try to propagate Buddhism will invariably face opposition, and that such opposition in reality presents an opportunity to change their destiny. Those who gave up their faith are admonished that their actions bear the heaviest consequences. He compares their lack of vision to fireflies who laugh at the sun.

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