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The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin

The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin - Page 1050

THE SONS PURE STOREHOUSE AND PURE EYE

himself may have entered your body. Or perhaps your deceased son has become a Buddha and, in order to guide his father and mother, has entered your hearts.

The king Wonderful Adornment2 was an evil king. However, because his two sons, Pure Storehouse and Pure Eye, guided him to the way, he and his wife were both able to place their trust in the Lotus Sutra and become Buddhas. Mysteriously enough, your own circumstances are much the same.

Kai-ko3 said: “He [the deceased son] was above the ordinary in both features and form. In addition, he was honest at heart and rich in wisdom. I felt it a terrible pity that someone such as he, outstanding in every respect, should die so young. Reconsidering the matter, however, I realized that it was because of this boy’s death that his mother became a seeker of the way and his father began to practice, praying for his repose. How marvelous, I thought.

Moreover, the fact that they have put their trust in the Lotus Sutra, which all people detest, must mean that their deceased son has been at their side and encouraged them to do so.” I also believe this to be the case.

Before, I had thought that your sincerity was just an ordinary matter, but now, for the first time, I have sensed the depth of your faith. If anything should happen to you, just as the moon emerges to shine in the dark night, so the five characters of Myoho-renge- kyo will appear as a moon for you. Be convinced that Shakyamuni Buddha, the Buddhas of the ten directions, and the son who preceded you in death will appear in this moon. I will explain in greater detail on another occasion.

With my deep respect,
Nichiren

The seventh day of the seventh month



Background

This letter was written in the seventh month of the third year of Koan (1280), but it is not certain to whom it was addressed. One view holds that the recipient was Matsuno Rokuro Saemonnojo, who lived in Matsuno Village in Ihara District of Suruga Province, while another says that it was sent to Niike Saemon-no-jo. The Daishonin’s priest-disciple Kai-ko Nichiji’s description of the son’s appearance and character suggests that he knew him personally, thus supporting the notion that the letter was meant for Matsuno Rokuro Saemon-no-jo, Nichiji’s elder brother.

In this letter, the Daishonin uses the example of the wealthy man Pleasure

Virtue to illustrate how even the devil king of the sixth heaven fears and is subservient to a votary of the Lotus Sutra. He expresses joy that the recipient of the letter has persevered in his faith despite the opposition of the people of Japan to the Daishonin’s teachings.

Next, the Daishonin mentions the story of the king Wonderful Adornment, who was introduced to the correct teaching by his sons, Pure Storehouse and Pure Eye. In conclusion, he assures the recipient and his wife that their son has indeed attained enlightenment and encourages them in their faith.