Goddess, Great Bodhisattva Hachiman, and the seven reigns of the heavenly gods and five reigns of the earthly gods, who are the guardian deities of Japan all the various great and small gods, that is, the main gods, are ranged in rows. How then could the remaining subordinate gods be left out? The Treasure Tower chapter states, [Shakyamuni Buddha used his transcendental powers to] lift all the members of the great assembly up into the air.
Without exception, all these Buddhas, bodhisattvas, great sages, and, in general, all the various beings of the two worlds and the eight groups2 who appear in the Introduction chapter of the Lotus Sutra dwell in this Gohonzon. Illuminated by the light of the five characters of the Mystic Law, they display the dignified attributes that they inherently possess. This is the object of devotion.
This is what is meant when the sutra says the true aspect of all phenomena.3 Miao-lo stated: 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.4 It is also stated that the profound principle of the true aspect is the originally inherent Myoho-renge-kyo.5 The Great Teacher Dengyo said, A single moment of life comprising the three thousand realms is itself the Buddha of limitless joy; this Buddha has forsaken august appearances.6 Therefore, this Gohonzon shall be called the great mandala never before known; it did not appear until more than 2,220 years after the Buddhas passing.
A woman who makes offerings to such a Gohonzon invites happiness in this life, and in the next, the Gohonzon will be with her and protect her always. Like a lantern in the dark, like a strong guide and porter on a treach
erous mountain path, the Gohonzon will guard and protect you, Nichinyo, wherever you go. Therefore, you should take every care to ward off slanderers of the Law in the same way that you would never wish a courtesan even to come near your home. This is the meaning of Thrust aside evil friends and associate with good companions.7
Never seek this Gohonzon outside yourself. The Gohonzon exists only within the mortal flesh of us ordinary people who embrace the Lotus Sutra and chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. The body is the palace of the ninth consciousness,8 the unchanging reality that reigns over all of lifes functions. To be endowed with the Ten Worlds means that all ten, without a single exception, exist in one world. Because of this it is called a mandala. Mandala is a Sanskrit word that is translated as perfectly endowed or a cluster of blessings. This Gohonzon also is found only in the two characters for faith.9 This is what the sutra means when it states that one can gain entrance through faith alone.10
Since Nichirens disciples and lay supporters believe solely in the Lotus Sutra, honestly discarding expedient means11 and not accepting even a single verse of the other sutras,12 exactly as the Lotus teaches, they can enter the treasure tower of the Gohonzon. How reassuring! Make every possible effort for the sake of your next life. What is most important is that, by chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo alone, you can attain Buddhahood. It will no doubt depend on the strength of your faith. To have faith is the basis of Buddhism. Thus the fourth volume of Great Concentration and Insight states, Buddhism is like an ocean that one can only enter with faith. The fourth volume of The Annotations on Great Concentration and Insight explains this: With regard to the phrase Buddhism is like an ocean that one can