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Record of the Orally Transmitted
Teachings of Nichiren Daishonin

- Ongi Kuden -

Chapter 23: The Former Deeds of Bodhisattva Medicine King [Yakuo Bosatsu Honji]

The sutra states, "[He] rained also incense of the sandalwood that grows by the southern seashore." (LS p. 282, 3LS p. 304)

This passage means continual meditation on the truth that even colors and fragrances embody the Middle Ways amounts to making offerings to the Buddha with the True Law. Because Nam Myoho Renge Kyo is the vehicle [in the sutra] it is the True Law. Both laity and priests [who chant] are entities of the one pure truth. (Gosho Zenshu p. 792)

The sutra states, "[C]alling on his transcendental powers, [he] set fire to his body." (LS p. 282, 3LS p. 305)

The Lotus Sutra says Bodhisattva Yakuo burned his body and arms. When fire burns, it becomes bright. Therefore, to burn indicates to illuminate and to illuminate indicates the wisdom [to reveal the truth]. The fire of wisdom burns the body of earthly desires and the arms of birth and death. (Gosho Zenshu p. 773)

The sutra states, "Such is this Lotus Sutra. It can cause all living beings to cast off all distress, all sickness and pain. It can unloose the bonds of birth and death." (LS p. 286, 3LS p. 309)

The heart of the Lotus Sutra is that worldly passions are precisely enlightenment and that birth and death are precisely nirvana. The two words 'cast off' and 'unloose' go against this teaching. Nevertheless, the word 'cast off' is interpreted as 'becoming enlightened concerning.' When one observes them by opening the eyes of wisdom of the Juryo-bon of the essential teaching, then sickness, pains, sufferings, and troubles are illuminated as being originally inherent; this is the wisdom of the Buddha who has received the property of wisdom [hoshin] for his own enjoyment. 'Unloose' means that our birth and death are not birth and death that have just now begun; they are birth and death that are originally inherent. [This realization] looses the fetters of the notion that enlightenment is acquired. The two words 'cast off' and 'unloose' represent Nam Myoho Renge Kyo. (Gosho Zenshu p. 773)

The sutra states, "The good fortune you gain thereby is immeasurable and boundless. It cannot be burned by fire or washed away by water." (LS p. 288-29, 3LS p. 310)

'Fire' represents the flames of the hell of incessant suffering and 'water' signifies the hell of unspeakable cold. (Gosho Zenshu p. 773)

Eho and Shoho, the physical and the spiritual in the universe, are endowed with immeasurable good fortune and wisdom. Nam Myoho Renge Kyo embodies both. (Gosho Zenshu p. 792)

The sutra states, "[T]his sutra provides good medicine for the ills of the people of Jambudvipa. If a person who has an illness is able to hear this sutra, then his illness will be wiped out and he will know neither old age or death." (LS p. 288, 3LS p. 311)

'Know neither old age' means happiness [of the four virtues] while 'or death' represents eternal life. Hearing this sutra enables one to attain eternal happiness. (Gosho Zenshu p. 680)

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