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On Persecutions Befalling the Buddha
- Shonin Gonanji -


Just eleven days before he inscribed the Dai-Gohonzon, Nichiren Daishonin wrote to his disciples. His letter reviews some of the outstanding incidents in his life. But more importantly, it contains the sole reference to his inscription of the Dai-Gohonzon as the purpose of his life.

The first paragraph states that after twenty-seven years of propagating Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, the Daishonin has fulfilled his ultimate purpose. He states, "For me it took twenty-seven years . . ."   "It" here means the reason for his appearance in the world - the inscription of the object of worship for all mankind.

There are details of the persecutions encountered by Shakyamuni Buddha and Nichiren Daishonin as well as the important prophecies for the Latter Day of the Law in the Lotus Sutra. The explanation of the types of ill-effects suffered by slanderers is meant to show the impact of the strict law of cause and effect on individuals and on societies.

The miserable fate of several treacherous disciples, as well as the crisis facing Japan at the time, were retribution for hostility shown toward the votary of the Lotus Sutra. His enemies had begun to realize that any suffering they inflicted on the Daishonin would rebound on themselves, so they no longer dared oppose him directly. Instead, they tried to foment disunity among his followers. He tells his disciples that they must now "summon up the courage of a lion." Furthermore, he urges that believers in the Atsuhara area should be prepared for the worst.

In the last section, the Daishonin cites the example of Sammi-bo who forsook his faith and met his doom while assaulting the Daishonin's disciples at Atsuhara.

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