O N the twelfth day of the ninth month, I incurred the wrath of the government authorities, and on the tenth day of the tenth month of this year, I am to leave for the province of Sado.
From the beginning, I pursued my studies because I wanted to master Buddhism and attain Buddhahood, and also to save the people to whom I am indebted. It seems to me that on the path to attain Buddhahood it may invariably be when one has done something like lay down ones life that one becomes a Buddha. I think that perhaps it is encountering such difficulties as have already been explained in the sutra being cursed, vilified, attacked with swords and staves, shards and rubble, and banished again and againthat is reading the Lotus Sutra with ones life. My faith springs up all the more, and I am confident about my next existence. If I should die, I will definitely also save each of you.
In India a man called the Venerable Aryasimha was beheaded by King Dammira, and Bodhisattva Aryadeva
was murdered by a non-Buddhist. In China, a man named Chu Tao-sheng was banished to a mountain in a place called Su-chou, and the Tripitaka Master Fa-tao was branded on the face and exiled to a place south of the Yangtze River. All these were because of the virtue of the Lotus Sutra, and because of the Buddhist teachings.
Nichiren is the son of a chandala family who lived near the sea in Tojo in Awa Province, in the remote countryside of the eastern part of Japan. How could giving up a body that will decay uselessly for the sake of the Lotus Sutra not be exchanging rocks for gold? None of you should lament for me. Please convey what I have said to the Reverend Dozen-bo, too. I have also thought of writing to the wife of the lord of the manor,1 but because of my present circumstances, she may no longer wish to be reminded of me. Should the opportunity arise, please tell her what I have said.