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Reply to Soya Nyudo


Nichiren Daishonin wrote this letter at Minobu in the third month of 1275 to Soya Kyoshin, one of his followers who lived in Soya Village of Katsushika District in Shimosa Province. Soya Kyoshin converted to the Daishonin's teachings around 1260 and became one of the leading- believers in the area, together with Toki Jonin and Ota Jomyo. Later, he took the tonsure, and the Daishonin gave him the Buddhist name Horen Nichirai. He is also called Soya Nyudo, nyudo meaning a priest who continues to live as a layman even after taking Buddhist vows.

In this letter, Nichiren Daishonin urges Soya Kyoshin to recite both a portion of the Hoben (second) chapter of the Lotus Sutra and the Jigage or verse section of the Juryo (sixteenth) chapter, the two key chapters of the Lotus Sutra, in his daily performance of gongyo. He also states that each character of the Lotus Sutra is in fact a living Buddha of supreme enlightenment. Therefore, to hold and recite this sutra is to hold the body of the Buddha - that is, to attain Buddhahood in one's present form.

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