I HAVE received various articles from your messenger, including a white quilted robe and a string of coins, and the goods mentioned in Tokis letter.1 The persimmons, pears, and fresh and dried seaweed are particularly welcome.
I am most grieved over your lords illness. Although he has not professed faith in the Lotus Sutra, you are a member of his clan, and it is thanks to his consideration that you are able to make offerings to the sutra. Thus, these may become prayers solely for your lords recovery. Think of a small tree under a large one, or grass by a great river. Though they do not receive rain or water directly, they nonetheless thrive, partaking of dew from the large tree or drawing moisture from the river. The same holds true with the relationship between you and your lord. To give another example, King Ajatashatru was an enemy of the Buddha. But because Jivaka, a minister in the kings court, believed in the Buddha and continually made offerings to him, the blessings accruing from his actions are said to have returned to Ajatashatru.
Buddhism teaches that, when the Buddha nature manifests itself from within, it will receive protection from without. This is one of its fundamental principles. The Lotus Sutra says, I have profound reverence for you.2 The Nirvana Sutra states, All living beings
alike possess the Buddha nature. Bodhisattva Ashvaghoshas Awakening of Faith in the Mahayana says, Because the true abiding Law invariably permeates ones life and exerts its influence, illusions are instantly extinguished, and the Dharma body manifests itself. Bodhisattva Maitreyas Treatise on the Stages of Yoga Practice contains a similar statement. What is hidden turns into manifest virtue.
The heavenly devil knew about this from before, and he therefore possessed your colleagues, causing them to invent that preposterous lie3 in order to prevent you from making offerings to the Lotus Sutra. Since your faith is profound, however, the ten demon daughters must have come to your aid and caused your lords illness. He does not regard you as his enemy, but since he once acted against you by giving credit to the false accusations of your colleagues, he has become seriously ill, and the malady persists.
Ryuzo-bo, whom these people count on as their pillar of strength, has already been toppled, and those who spoke falsely of you have contracted the same disease as your lord. Because Ryokan is guilty of a much graver offense, it is more than likely that he will meet with or cause a bad accident. Surely he will not escape unharmed.
As things stand now, I have a feeling