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Record of the Orally Transmitted
Teachings of Nichiren Daishonin

- Ongi Kuden -

Chapter 18: The Benefits of Joyful Acceptance [Zuiki Kudoku]

'Joyful' signifies delight for oneself and others. To share wisdom and compassion for both oneself and others is what is meant by 'joyful.' 'Joy' means that oneself and others rejoice. Therefore, 'acceptance' refers to the Law and 'joyful' refers to the 'Person'. The 'Person' is the Venerable Shakyamuni, the dignified Buddha of gohyaku-jintengo. The Law is Nam Myoho Renge Kyo of the Juryo [16th] Chapter [of the Lotus Sutra]. 'Joyful Acceptance' means to follow and take joy in this teaching. 'Acceptance' is therefore another word for faith. Only faith may be called 'acceptance.' (Gosho Zenshu p. 761)

In conclusion, 'acceptance' means to abide by the inner Buddhahood in the depths of the Juryo [of Myoho Renge Kyo] and 'joyful' means to possess and share with others both wisdom and mercy. In the final analysis, when Nichiren and his disciples, chant the Daimoku they are expressing joy in the fact that they will become Buddhas endowed with the three enlightened properties. This is the meaning of 'joyful.' (Gosho Zenshu p. 761)

The sutra states, "One person, having heard [this sutra], responds with joy and spreads the teachings, and the teachings in this way continue to be handed down along from one to another until they reach the fiftieth person. Ajita, the benefits received by this fiftieth good man or good woman who responds with joy I will now describe to you." (LS p. 240, 3LS p. 272)

'Fifty' does not indicate an actual number but means that all people will experience unbounded joy and good fortune by embracing Myoho Renge Kyo. (Gosho Zenshu p. 761)

In the description of the continuous propagation to 'the fiftieth person,' the number five in the number fifty [written with two Chinese characters standing for five and ten] represents the five characters of the Mystic Law, while ten represents the living beings of the ten worlds. The term 'continuous propagation' stands for the principle of ichinen sanzen. In terms of the surface meaning of the sutra, this chapter explores the vast benefit received by the fiftieth person who responds to the teaching. Here, 'the fiftieth person' represents all living beings. (Gosho Zenshu p. 799)

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