numerous years. Even if one observes ten thousand precepts and performs ten thousand good deeds, if one does so with a mind only half intent, one cannot be reborn in any heaven of the world of form. To be born a king in the Brahma heaven of that world, one must add the spirit of compassion to ones karma that is laden with outflows and draws one to the world of humanity. The poor woman in the sutra passage was reborn in the Brahma heaven because of her concern for her child. Her case is different from the nature of causality that is commonly known. Chang-an offers two interpretations of it, but in the end it is nothing other than the loving kindness with which the woman cares for her child that makes the difference. Her concern concentrates on one thing just like the Buddhist practice of concentration. She thinks of nothing but her child, which is similar to Buddhist compassion. That must be why, although she created no other causes to bring it about, she was reborn in the Brahma heaven.
The path to Buddhahood is not to be found in the Flower Garland doctrine of the phenomenal world as created by the mind alone, in the eight negations of the Three Treatises school, in the Consciousness-Only doctrine of the Dharma Characteristics school, or in the True Word type of meditation on the five elements of the universe. Only the Tien-tai doctrine of three thousand realms in a single moment of life is the path to Buddhahood. Even in the case of this doctrine of three thousand realms in a single moment of life, we do not possess the kind of wisdom and understanding to comprehend it fully. Nevertheless, among all the sutras preached by the Buddha during his lifetime, the Lotus Sutra alone contains this jewel that is the doctrine of three thousand realms in a single moment of life. The doctrines of the other sutras are merely yellow stones that appear to
be jewels. They are like sand, from which you can extract no oil no matter how hard you squeeze it, or a barren woman who can never bear a child. Even a wise person cannot become a Buddha through the other sutras, but with the Lotus Sutra, even fools can plant the seeds that lead to Buddhahood. As the sutra passage I have quoted earlier puts it, Although they do not seek emancipation, emancipation will come of itself.
Although I and my disciples may encounter various difficulties, if we do not harbor doubts in our hearts, we will as a matter of course attain Buddhahood. Do not have doubts simply because heaven does not lend you protection. Do not be discouraged because you do not enjoy an easy and secure existence in this life. This is what I have taught my disciples morning and evening, and yet they begin to harbor doubts and abandon their faith.
Foolish men are likely to forget the promises they have made when the crucial moment comes. Some of them feel pity for their wives and children and grieve at the thought of parting from them in this life. In countless births throughout many long kalpas they have had wives and children but parted from them in every existence. They have done so unwillingly and not because of their desire to pursue the way of the Buddha. Since they must part with them in any case, they should remain faithful to their belief in the Lotus Sutra and make their way to Eagle Peak, so that they may lead their wives and children there as well.
Question: You insist that the followers of the Nembutsu and Zen schools will fall into the hell of incessant suffering. This shows that you have a contentious heart. You yourself are in danger of falling into the realm of the asuras. Moreover, it is said in the Peaceful Practices chapter of the Lotus Sutra, He should not delight in