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The Wonderful Means of Surmounting Obstacles


While the year that this letter was written is not known with certainty, it is thought to date from around 1277. It was addressed to the Daishonin's follower Shijo Kingo.

The Daishonin begins by stating that the theoretical teaching (first half) of the Lotus Sutra assumes that Shakyamuni attained enlightenment for the first time in India. Because the theoretical teaching does not reveal the eternity of Buddhahood, and since the view of life it offers is, therefore, a shallow one, it is lacking in the power to overcome impediments.

Although the essential teaching (latter half) surpasses these initations by explaining that Shakyamuni attained enlightenment in the remote past of gohyaku-jintengo, it is still unable to help people of the Latter Day of the Law, who have not formed a connection with Shakyamuni Buddha.

The Daishonin concludes by stressing that only the daimoku of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo enables all people in the Latter Day to truly overcome their physical and spiritual obstacles.

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