five characters of the daimoku that were entrusted to Bodhisattva Superior Practices when the two Buddhas were seated together within the treasure tower. Does this not mean that I am an envoy of Bodhisattva Superior Practices?? Moreover, following me, you, as a votary of the Lotus Sutra, have told others of this Law. What else could this be but the transmission of the Law?
Carry through with your faith in the Lotus Sutra. You cannot strike fire from flint if you stop halfway. Bring forth the great power of faith, and be spoken of by all the people of Kamakura, both high and low, or by all the people of Japan, as Shijo Kingo, Shijo Kingo of the Lotus school!5 Even a bad reputation will spread far and wide. A good reputation will spread even far
ther, particularly if it is a reputation for devotion to the Lotus Sutra.
Explain all this to your wife too, and work together like the sun and moon, a pair of eyes, or the two wings of a bird. With the sun and moon, could there be a path of darkness? With a pair of eyes, no doubt you will see the faces of Shakyamuni, Many Treasures, and the Buddhas of the ten directions. With a pair of wings, you will surely fly in an instant to the treasure land of Tranquil Light. I will write in more detail on another occasion.
With my deep respect,
The second day of the fifth month
In the fourth month of the ninth year of Bunei (1272), Shijo Kingo traveled from Kamakura to Sado Island to visit Nichiren Daishonin. Kingo was a samurai who served the Ema family, a branch of the ruling Hojo clan. The journey to Sado was a long, arduous one, involving a boat trip across the Sea of Japan, and required that he absent himself from his duties in Kamakura for more than a month.
In the fifth month of the same year, soon after Shijo Kingo returned to Kamakura, Nichiren Daishonin sent him this letter. It was written in gratitude for the samurais visit.
In the letter, the Daishonin explains the power of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo in terms of such profound Buddhist principles as the fusion of reality and wisdom, and earthly desires are enlightenment. Although Hinayana Buddhism teaches that earthly desires must be eliminated to attain enlightenment,
Mahayana, and particularly the Lotus Sutra, teaches that earthly desires are one with and inseparable from enlightenment. The reason is that both are the workings, or expression, of life itself, and thus are the same in their source.
Nichiren Daishonin teaches that, when one bases ones life on Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, earthly desires work naturally for ones own and others happiness. The great power of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, which is inherently positive and creative, directs the great energy of ones earthly desires toward happiness and value for all. Thus, when one chants the daimoku, earthly desires are enlightenment.
Until his near-execution at Tatsunokuchi in the ninth month of 1271, the Daishonin had assumed the role of Bodhisattva Superior Practices, the votary whose appearance is predicted in the Lotus Sutra. He had spent all his time teaching the essence of the sutra and