Now the scaffolding represents the various other sutras, and the great pagoda, the Lotus Sutra. When the Buddha preached the other sutras, he was in effect erecting a scaffolding in preparation for the preaching of the Lotus Sutra.
In the same manner as the sutra describes when it says, honestly discarding expedient means, persons who put their faith in the Lotus Sutra should first cast aside and fling away the Namu Amida Butsu invocation based on the Amida and other sutras, the teachings of the True Word school based on the Mahavairochana and other sutras, and the two hundred and fifty precepts of the Precepts school based on the Agama sutras, and other teachings, and then they should embrace the Lotus Sutra alone. When one is preparing to build a great pagoda, the scaffolding is of great importance. But once the pagoda is completed, then the scaffolding is removed and thrown away. This is the meaning of the passage about honestly discarding expedient means.
Though the scaffolding is necessary to complete the pagoda, no one would ever dream of discarding the pagoda and worshiping the scaffolding. And yet the people who seek the way in the world today spend their whole lives reciting Namu Amida Butsu only, and never once chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. They are like persons who discard the pagoda and worship the scaffolding. They are examples of the secular saying, seemingly wise, but actually foolish.
The late Shichiro Goro did not take after other people in Japan today. Though still a youth, he followed in the footsteps of his sagacious father. And at an early age, having not yet turned twenty, he began chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, and thus he became a Buddha. This is what the sutra means when it says, Then not a one will fail
to attain Buddhahood.7 I hope that, if you, his loving mother, are thinking with longing about your son, you will chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo and pray to be reborn in the same place as the late Shichiro Goro and your husband, the late Nanjo.
The seeds of one kind of plant are all the same; they are different from the seeds of other plants. If all of you nurture the same seeds of Myoho-renge- kyo in your hearts, then you all will be reborn together in the same land of Myoho-renge-kyo. When the three of you are reunited there face to face, how great your joy will be!
Now when we open the Lotus Sutra and read what it says, we find these words The Thus Come One will cover them with his robe, and they will also be protected and kept in mind by the Buddhas who are now present in other regions.8
The meaning of this passage is that the Buddhas of the ten directions will all assemble in throngs and fill in the lands to the east, west, north, and south, in the eight directions, the major world system, and all the four hundred ten thousand million nayutas of lands. They will be seated side by side like the stars in the heavens, or the rows of rice and hemp plants on the earth, and will guard and protect the votaries of the Lotus Sutra just as the various ministers and subjects guard and protect the heir of a great ruler.
To be guarded by the four heavenly kings and their retainers is a great honor. But with the protection of all the four heavenly kings, all the stars and constellations, all the deities of the sun and moon, all the Shakras and Brahmas, one can be completely confident. Moreover, all the persons of the two vehicles, all the bodhisattvas, Bodhisattva Maitreya in the inner court of the Tushita heaven, Bodhisattva Earth Repository on Mount Kharadiya, Bodhisattva Perceiver of the Worlds Sounds