The Person and the Law
- Nanjo-dono Gohenji -
I have just heard from your messenger that you are suffering from a serious illness. I hope you will recover soon and come
to see me.
Also, I have received your gifts of two sacks of salt, a sack of soybeans, a bag of seaweed and a bamboo container of sake.
I have not seen you since you returned home from the province of Kozuke, and I have been wondering how you are. I can hardly
find words to say how much I appreciate your sincerity in sending me a letter and your many gifts.
As you well know, one of the sutras tells us the story of Tokusho Doji, who offered a mud pie to the Buddha and was later
reborn as King Ashoka who ruled over most of India. Since the Buddha is worthy of respect, the boy was able to receive this
great reward even though the pie was only mud. However Shakyamuni Buddha teaches that one who makes offerings to the votary
of the Lotus Sutra in the Latter Day of the Law for even a single day will gain incomparably greater fortune than he would
by offering countless treasures to the Buddha for one hundred thousand aeons. How wonderful then is your heartfelt sincerity
in supporting the votary of the Lotus Sutra over the years! According
to the Buddha's own words, you are certain to be reborn in the pure land of Eagle Peak. What great
good fortune you possess!
This is a mountainous place, remote from all human habitation. There is not a single village in any direction. Although
I live in such a forsaken hovel, deep in this mortal flesh I
preserve the ultimate secret Law inherited from Shakyamuni Buddha at Eagle Peak. My heart is where
all Buddhas enter nirvana; my tongue, where they turn the wheel of doctrine; my throat, where they are born into this world;
and my mouth, where they attain enlightenment. Because this mountain is where the wondrous votary of the Lotus Sutra dwells,
how can it be any less sacred than the pure land of Eagle Peak? Since
the Law is supreme, the Person is worthy of respect; since the Person is worthy of respect, the Land is sacred. The Jinriki chapter reads, "Whether in a grove, under a tree, or in a monastery...the Buddhas enter nirvana." Those who visit this place can instantly expiate the sins they have committed
since the infinite past and transform their illusions into wisdom, their errors into truth, and their sufferings into freedom.
A suffering traveler in central India once came to Munetchi Lake to quench the fires of anguish in his heart. He proclaimed
that its waters satisfied all his desires, just as a cool, clear pond quenches thirst. Although Munetchi Lake and this place
are different, the principle is exactly the same. Thus, the Eagle
Peak of India is now here at Mount Minobu. It has been a long time since you were last here. You
should come to see me as soon as you possibly can. I am eagerly looking forward to seeing you.
How can I describe your sincerity? In truth, it is splendid!
The eleventh day of the ninth month in the fourth year of Koan (1281)