opinions. Nevertheless, for reasons I had carefully considered, I came to this mountain in this province, where I have already passed seven springs and autumns.
Setting aside for now the question of my wisdom, in enduring hardship and in suffering injury as an ally of the Lotus Sutra, I surpass even the Great Teacher Tien-tai of China and excel even the Great Teacher Dengyo of Japan. This is because the time has made it so. If indeed I am a votary of the Lotus Sutra, then Shakyamuni, the lord of teachings of Eagle Peak; the Thus Come One Many Treasures of the World of Treasure Purity; the Buddhas of the ten directions who are Shakyamunis emanations; the great bodhisattvas of the essential teaching; the great bodhisattvas of the theoretical teaching; Brahma, Shakra, the dragon deities, and the ten demon daughters must all be present in this place. Where there is water, fish dwell. Where there
are woods, birds gather. On the mountain island of Peng-lai there are many jewels, and on Mount Malaya sandalwood trees grow. There is gold in the mountains from which the river Lishui7 flows. Now this place, too, is like that. It is the place of the cluster of blessings8 where the Buddhas and bodhisattvas dwell.
The blessings of the Lotus Sutra, which I have recited over these many years, must be vaster even than the sky. Thus, by having come here frequently year after year, it is certain that within this lifetime you will eradicate the karmic hindrances you have accumulated since the beginningless past. You should exert yourself all the more.
The eighth day of the tenth month
Reply to Shijo Nakatsukasa Saburo Saemon
Nichiren Daishonin wrote this letter to Shijo Nakatsukasa Saburo Saemon, or Shijo Kingo, in the tenth month of the third year of Koan (1280) to express his thanks for an offering of rice. He also praises Kingos unusual dedication, voicing gratitude not only for the indomitable spirit that the samurai displayed at the time of the Tatsunokuchi Persecution, when the Daishonin was nearly executed, but also for the great efforts he has made since then in visiting the Daishonin and providing him with needed supplies, both on Sado Island and at Mount Minobu.
In the latter part of the letter, the Daishonin states his conviction that, by
undergoing various hardships on the Lotus Sutras account, he has surely freed himself from the karma of past slanders. In undergoing such persecution for the sake of the Mystic Law, he says, he surpasses even those great masters of the past, Tien-tai and Dengyo. By so doing, he has shown himself to be the votary of the Lotus Sutra in the Latter Day of the Law. He expresses his enlightenment as a person whose life is one with the Law by describing his dwelling in the wilderness of Mount Minobu as the place of the cluster of blessings where Buddhas, bodhisattvas, and deities gather.