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Reply to Lady Onichi-nyo


Nichiren Daishonin wrote this letter at Minobu in 1280, at the age of fifty-nine, to a believer named Onichi-nyo. Though not much is known about her, the opening passage of the letter suggests that she had some connection with Ben Ajari Nissh6, one of the Daishonin's senior disciples.

Citing the well-known Buddhist stories about Tokusho Doji and about the poor woman who sold her hair for oil, the Daishonin first praises Onichi-nyo's offerings, which, though small, were given with a sincere heart. He then explains the great power of the Mystic Law by comparing it to the earth, which nurtures all living things; the ocean, into which all rivers flow; and the sun and moon, which dispel the darkness of the entire world. He further suggests that the Mystic Law is inherent in all phenomena, and can enable us to attain Buddhahood.

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