a father and mother who see their only child inflicted with great suffering. Honen, however, shows not the least concern about their compassion, but would tightly shut the gates to the Lotus Sutra in the Latter Day of the Law so that no one would have access to it. Like a person who tricks a demented child into throwing away a treasure, he tries to induce people to discard the Lotus Sutra, a shameless thing to do indeed!
If someone is about to kill your father and mother, shouldnt you try to warn them? If a bad son who is insane with drink is threatening to kill his father and mother, shouldnt you try to stop him? If some evil person is about to set fire to the temples and pagodas, shouldnt you try to stop him? If your only child is gravely ill, shouldnt you try to cure him or her with moxibustion treatment? To fail to do so is to act like those people who see but do not try to put a stop to the Zen and Nembutsu followers in Japan. [As Chang-an says,] If one befriends another person but lacks the mercy to correct him, one is in fact his enemy.
I, Nichiren, am sovereign, teacher, and father and mother to all the people of Japan. But the men of the Tendai school [who do not refute misleading teachings] are all great enemies of the people. [As Chang-an has noted,] One who rids the offender of evil is acting as his parent.
One who has not conceived a desire for the way can never free oneself from the sufferings of birth and death. Shakyamuni Buddha, the lord of teachings, was cursed by all the followers of non-Buddhist teachings and labeled as a man of great evil. The Great Teacher Tien-tai was regarded with intense enmity by the three schools of the
south and seven schools of the north, and Tokuitsu of Japan criticized him for using his three-inch tongue to try to destroy the five-foot body of the Buddha222. The Great Teacher Dengyo was disparaged by the priests of Nara, who said, Saicho has never been to the capital of Tang China!223 But all of these abuses were incurred because of the Lotus Sutra, and they are therefore no shame to the men who suffered them. To be praised by foolsthat is the greatest shame. Now that I, Nichiren, have incurred the wrath of the authorities, the priests of the Tendai and True Word schools are no doubt delighted. They are strange and shameless men.
Shakyamuni Buddha appeared in the saha world, Kumarajiva journeyed to the Chin dynasty in China,224 and Dengyo likewise went to China [all for the sake of the Lotus Sutra]. Aryadeva and Aryasimha sacrificed their bodies. Bodhisattva Medicine King burned his arms as an offering, and Prince Jogu stripped off the skin on his hand [and copied the sutra on it].225 Shakyamuni, when he was a bodhisattva, sold his flesh to make offerings,226 and another time, when he was a bodhisattva named the ascetic Aspiration for the Law, he used one of his bones as a pen [to write down the Buddhas teaching].
Tien-tai has said that the method chosen should be that which accords with the time. The propagation of the Buddhist teachings should follow the time. For what I have done, I have been condemned to exile, but it is a small suffering to undergo in this present life and not one worth lamenting. In future lives I will enjoy immense happiness, a thought that gives me great joy.