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Reply to the Followers


This letter was written at Minobu on the twenty-first day of the third month in 1278, and was addressed to the followers living in Kamakura. It appears that preparations were underway it, Kamakura for a public debate to determine which was correct, the teaching of the Daishonin or the teachings of the Shingon, Zen and other sects. A report about this was conveyed with great haste to the Daishonin. This Gosho is his reply.

In the opening line, the Daishonin notes that the letter bearing this news reached him on the second day after the messenger had departed from Kamakura, a fact that suggests that the message was quite urgent. At that time, the trip from Kamakura to Minobu usually took from four to five days.

It had been a tradition from ancient times for learned priests from various Buddhist sects to hold religious debates I the presence of rulers and ministers of state in order to determine the relative truth, superiority and profundity of the diverse teachings.

Convinced that such a debate can only result in victory for his teaching, the Daishonin rejoices, stating that the debate is a sign that his lifelong prayer-the establishment of security in the land and the achievement of widespread understanding of Buddhism-is about to be fulfilled.

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