Q UESTION: The Expedient Means chapter in the first volume of the Lotus Sutra states, The true aspect of all phenomena [can only be understood and shared between Buddhas. This reality consists of the appearance, nature . . . and] their consistency from beginning to end. What does this passage mean?
Answer: It means that all beings and environments in the Ten Worlds, from hell, the lowest, to Buddhahood, the highest, are without exception manifestations of Myoho-renge-kyo. If there is an environment, living beings are bound to dwell there. A commentary states, Living beings and their environments always manifest Myoho-renge-kyo.1 Another says: The true aspect invariably manifests in all phenomena, and all phenomena invariably manifest in the ten factors. The ten factors invariably manifest in the Ten Worlds, and the Ten Worlds invariably manifest in life and its environment.2 And Both the beings and the environment of the Avichi hell exist entirely within the life of the highest sage [Buddha], and what is more, the life and the environment of Vairochana [Buddha] never transcend the lives of common mortals.3 These explanations are precise and clear. Who could have doubts? Thus, the entire realm of phenomena is no different than the five characters of Myoho-renge-kyo.
Even the two Buddhas, Shakyamuni and Many Treasures, in performing the function of the benefit of the five characters of Myoho-renge-kyo, manifested themselves as the two Buddhas, and seated together in the treasure tower, nodded in mutual agreement.
No one but Nichiren has ever revealed teachings like these. Though Tien-tai, Miao-lo, and Dengyo knew about them in their hearts, they never put them into words. They went about their lives keeping this knowledge to themselves. And there was good reason for this. The Buddha had not entrusted them with the task, the time had not yet come, and they had not been the Buddhas disciples from the distant past. Only Superior Practices, Boundless Practices, and the other foremost leaders and guiding teachers among the Bodhisattvas of the Earth can not only appear during the first five hundred years of the Latter Day of the Law and spread the five characters of Myoho-renge-kyo, the essence of all phenomena, but also give concrete form to the ceremony of the two Buddhas seated side by side in the treasure tower. The reason is that what they are to spread and give concrete form to is none other than the teaching of the actual three thousand realms in a single moment of life in the Life Span chapter of the essential teaching. Written by Nichiren