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NS 1.27.7.2

12 January 2015

<< Sunday January 11, 2015 >>
NS1.27.7.2
Tone: SOLAR
Tribe: MIRROR
sp
<< Kin: 178 >>
WHITE SOLAR MIRROR

sp
Tone: 9 Solar
Realize * Intention * Pulse
sp
Tribe: 18 Mirror
Reflect * Order * Endlessness
sp
Affirmation for: White Solar Mirror I Pulse in order to Reflect
I Realize Order
I seal the matrix of endlessness
With the Solar tone of Intention
I am guided by the power of Timelessness

Reading for: White Solar Mirror
+======+

FOUNDATION FOR THE LAW OF TIME

SYNCHRONOTRON
Basic Daily Synchronotron Calculations

Gregorian Date 1/11/2015
NS.1.27.7.2 Kin 178
White Solar Mirror

Solar Moon Year Power of : Universal Water
Resonant Monkey Moon Power of : Channel
Canalizar – Inspirar => ¿Como puedo sintonizar mi servicio a los demás?
Heptad 25
Red Heptad: Knowledge Initiates View
Resonant Monkey Moon Path of Inner Radiance
Inner Matrix
Heptad Path 25, Navigation Synchronizes Meditation

KIN 178

ETZNAB
White Solar Mirror Power of : Endlessness

Kin 178 – Precept 22 – The purpose of the creation of the human being is to create a highly evolved and intricate medium not only to act as a vehicle of cosmic intelligence, but as a conduit for ever-evolving consciousness and spirit.

365 COSMIC HISTORY QUOTES

Moon 7, 2 – When the artist becomes conscious of what he/she is transmitting, then that artist becomes a medium of the higher orders.
Psi Chrono 85 CHICCHAN Red Resonant Serpent
Power of : Life Force

WAVESPELL 14
White Magnetic Dog
Power of : Heart
O R A C L E
Guide
Antipode

Destiny

Analog

Ocult
MEET THE GALACTIC ARCHETYPES
The adjustment of the lower will to the Divine Will is a manifest act of evolutionary consciousness. To project a new archetype at first requires a combination of will, contemplation and visualization. Intensity of purpose is responsible for lifting you from the world of mediocrity into the pulsing world of higher consciousness.
Learning to project a new archetype or to construct a cosmic personality is a living process, growing out of conscious daily exertion and experience. It is dependent on the expression of the divine aspects in the life upon the physical plane.

Heptad 25 / Precept 25 – By becoming conscious of the three universes: phenomenal, imaginal and moral, that are always simultaneously in operation, you may begin to create an enlarged assessment of who you really are and what you are really doing here.
READING OF THE SYNCHRONOTRON
Heptad 25
Heptad Path Frequency: 798
BMU: 357
Kin Equivalent: 18

2ND HEPTAD GATE

Seli – middle back of head
Arcanum of the Avatar – Hand
Seat of the Power of Cosmic Knowledge – Alpha-Beta – Earth GK
BMU: 291
Vertical Coordinate: V11
Horizontal Coordinate: H5
Moon-Day: 7.2
TIME MATRIX

BMU: 122
Vertical Coordinate: V2
Horizontal Coordinate: H7
Time Matrix: 26
Space Matrix: 33
Synchronic Matrix: 49
Time Matrix Telepathic Frequency Index (TFI): 26 + 33 + 49 = 108
SPACE MATRIX

BMU: 195
Vertical Coordinate: V3
Horizontal Coordinate: H13
Space Matrix: 178
Synchronic Matrix: 97
Time Matrix: 168
Space Matrix TFI: 178 + 97 + 168 = 443
SYNCHRONIC MATRIX

BMU: 211
Vertical Coordinate: V13
Horizontal Coordinate: H19
Synchronic Matrix: 178
Time Matrix: 281
Space Matrix: 224
Synchronic Matrix TFI: 178 + 281 + 224 = 683
MASTER COORDINATING TFI

Time Matrix TFI: 108
Space Matrix TFI: 443
Synchronic Matrix TFI: 683
Master Coordinating (MC) TFI: 108 + 443 + 683 = 1234
MASTER COORDINATING BMU: 352

MASTER COORDINATING TFI KIN EQUIVALENT (KE): 194 White Crystal Wizard

CUMULATIVE HARMONIC FREQUENCY TFI : 2348

CUMULATIVE HARMONIC FREQUENCY BMU : 143

KIN EQUIVALENT : 8 – Yellow Galactic Star

Resonant Monkey Moon Path of Inner Radiance
Inner Matrix
Heptad Path 25, Navigation Synchronizes Meditation

Solar Moon Year

Heptad Gate BMU
108 291 144 315 414 402 441

Mantra
OM
Crown HRAM
Root HRAHA
3rd Eye HRIM
Secret Center HRAUM
Throat HRUM
Solar Plexus HRAIM
Heart
Plasma

Dali
142857
Seli
285714
Gama
428571
Kali
571428
Alfa
714285
Limi
857142
Silio
999999
Mudra
KIN
Kin 177

Kin 178

Kin 179

Kin 180

Kin 181

Kin 182

Kin 183

Time Matrix
BMU
47 122 189 248 299 342 377

Space Matrix
BMU
131 195 353 429 383 351 305

Synchronic
Matrix BMU
268 211 146 73 28 105 174

Master
Coordinating
Tfi
1114 1234 1331 1608 1192 930 1025

Master
Coordinating
Frequency
BMU
232 352 8 285 310 48 143

Mcf Kin
Equivalent
(KE)
Kin 74

Kin 194

Kin 31

Kin 48

Kin 152

Kin 150

Kin 245

Cumulative
Harmonic
Frequency
Tfi
1114 2348 3679 5287 6479 7409 8434

Cumulative
Harmonic
Frequency
BMU
232 143 151 436 305 353 55

Cumulative
Harmonic
Frequency
Kin
Equivalent
Kin 74

Kin 8

Kin 39

Kin 87

Kin 239

Kin 129

Kin 114

The Synchronotron is the work of Jose Arguelles/Valum Votan and Stephanie South/Red Queen
To learn more see lawoftime.org/synchronotron and Book of the Cube, Cosmic History Chronicles Vol. VII

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“18 YOGI/YOGINI//I AM THE YOGI YOGINI /// PRACTICE ALONE BRINGS KNOWLEDGE AND WISDOM//

http://www.13lunas.net/synchronotronen.htm
—-

RESONANT 2
Sun Jan 11, 2015
WHITE
SOLAR
MIRROR
Guided by Timelessness
SOLARMIRROR KIN
178
Last Quarter Last Quarter
70.2%

Seli

13-Moon Natural Time Calendar

RESONANT MOON 7
Channel – Inspire – Attunement

—–
Chapter 5 • Synchrogalactic Yoga II: the Practices
9
Day Two: SELI
Level 1: Meditating the Muladhara (Root) Chakra
Sit in a comfortable meditative posture. Keep your spine erect and body relaxed. With the body
completely still, practice a few moments of natural mind meditation. Once the mind is sufficiently
clear, direct your attention to your root or Muladhara chakra. Make it as clear and pristine as possible,
glistening and sparkling with vibrant energy. When it is pure and translucent, pulsing at your root,
allow it to dissolve and transform itself into a four-petalled red lotus.
Concentrate on this area inside of your root chakra. This is a key chakra in Kundalini Yoga where
the awakening of the vital force begins; it is also the conjunction of 72,000 pairs of nerve endings in
the body.
In Samkhya philosophy, Muladhara is understood as moola prakriti, the transcendental basis of
physical nature. This is the base from which the three main psychic channels or nadis emerge and
flow up the spinal cord: Ida (mental force), left; Pingala (vital force), right; and Sushumna (spiritual
force), center.
This chakra is governed by the feminine principle or Shakti Goddess Dakini (Security). The
physical body zone of psychic activation extends from the root chakra to the solar plexus. Emotional
information from the solar plexus comes into the physical body at the root. At its base level this
chakra deals with security and survival—the basic instincts.
This chakra also serves as a storage center for much unconscious energy including “lower” emotions
such as guilt and other psychic complexes. With the awakening of this chakra, we proceed from the
unconscious to the conscious.
Muladhara affirmation: May the highest yogic force within the planetary consciousness direct all
manifestation to its fulfillment!Day Two: SELI
Level 1: Meditating the Muladhara (Root) Chakra
Sit in a comfortable meditative posture. Keep your spine erect and body relaxed. With the body
completely still, practice a few moments of natural mind meditation. Once the mind is sufficiently
clear, direct your attention to your root or Muladhara chakra. Make it as clear and pristine as possible,
glistening and sparkling with vibrant energy. When it is pure and translucent, pulsing at your root,
allow it to dissolve and transform itself into a four-petalled red lotus.
Concentrate on this area inside of your root chakra. This is a key chakra in Kundalini Yoga where
the awakening of the vital force begins; it is also the conjunction of 72,000 pairs of nerve endings in
the body.
In Samkhya philosophy, Muladhara is understood as moola prakriti, the transcendental basis of
physical nature. This is the base from which the three main psychic channels or nadis emerge and
flow up the spinal cord: Ida (mental force), left; Pingala (vital force), right; and Sushumna (spiritual
force), center.
This chakra is governed by the feminine principle or Shakti Goddess Dakini (Security). The
physical body zone of psychic activation extends from the root chakra to the solar plexus. Emotional
information from the solar plexus comes into the physical body at the root. At its base level this
chakra deals with security and survival—the basic instincts.
This chakra also serves as a storage center for much unconscious energy including “lower” emotions
such as guilt and other psychic complexes. With the awakening of this chakra, we proceed from the
unconscious to the conscious.
Muladhara affirmation: May the highest yogic force within the planetary consciousness direct all
manifestation to its fulfillment!
Book of the Transcendence • Cosmic History Chronicles • Volume VI
10
Level 2: Activating Radial Plasma: Seli
Breathe deeply through your nostrils and allow your awareness to flow down from your nose and into
your root chakra. Bring your awareness to the inner Seli plasma at the center of the chakra. Visualize
the red symbol radiating streams of white light. This plasma accounts for the intensity of inner light.
Repeat the following while focusing on your root chakra: “My mother is the ultimate sphere, I see
the light.” Feel this sphere of light as the perfect form at your root chakra. This quality of perfection
is the actual nature of reality.
Cover your left nostril with your left thumb and breathe slowly and deeply three times in and out
through your right nostril. Flash onto the Seli plasma and feel the light of the ultimate sphere
emanating out of the root chakra. Now cover your right nostril with your right thumb and
repeat the three breaths, focusing all of your attention to your root chakra, Seli plasma. Feel this
luminosity (light) emanate from your root chakra, moving up your spinal column to your crown
chakra and then permeating your body to the tips of your fingers and toes. Feel your entire body
flooded with this radiant light, grounding you into the Earth and extending upward to the crown
of cosmic consciousness.
Feel the emanations of flowing streams of light clearing and releasing any blockages in your system.
The Great Mother energy nurtures the root of your being, the base or seat of the kundalini force.
Kundalini (life-force) energy is released from the root, activating the secret center and opening the
inner wisdom channel of the third eye.
Seli is the second stage of the three-part primary sensory quantum. A sensory quantum
is the first stage building block of sensory experience.
Level 3: Engaging the Second Mental Sphere (Sub- or Unconscious)
Level 2: Activating Radial Plasma: Seli
Chapter 5 • Synchrogalactic Yoga II: the Practices
11
Informative samadhi activates second mental sphere.
Visualize the second mental sphere (sub- or unconscious) in the brain and centered in the optic
nerve, encompassing the pineal gland and corpus callosum. This mental sphere governs the right
front hemisphere.
This sphere contains every perception and life experience that was not consciously registered or that
is filtered out of your day-to-day conscious mind (third mental sphere). What people think of as their
personality is primarily based on their own evaluation of their reactions to a set of circumstances.
Everyone experiences a different set and order of life circumstances and is given an equal opportunity
of responding consciously or unconsciously and/or positively or negatively.
This sphere corresponds to the third time dimension: Cosmic synchronization. Cosmic synchronization
refers to mastery of the synchronic order: Self-creation through time. Here, we impress the codes of
the synchronic order, embedding them into our subconscious.
The second mental sphere is activated as informative samadhi. Cultivation of unbroken meditative
awareness allows us to access information previously out of range of our waking conscious.
Knowledge of the Law of Time lies dormant in this mental sphere. The Law of Time makes
conscious what was previously unconscious. According to the Law of Time all life possesses
unconscious energy
This mental sphere is activated by cultivating states of peripheral awareness, both through meditation
and by contemplation of the Law of Time: Time as the evolution of consciousness.
If our day to day experience remains unconscious of the Law of Time, then when an experience
occurs in our timespace, we will not be aware of the opportunity for heightened consciousness that is
being presented to us. However, if we are conscious of the Law of Time, then our experiences become
triggers that enter us into higher consciousness.
Book of the Transcendence • Cosmic History Chronicles • Volume VI
12
Level 4: Opening the Second Heptad Gate (291)
Visualize the red four-petaled lotus Muladhara chakra with the red Seli plasma
superimposed over it at your root. Hold this visualization and feel the two intermingle
as you chant the sacred letter HRAM as long as your breath can sustain it.
Locate Heptad Gate 291 and the Alpha-Beta symbol on the 441 holomind perceiver. Its matrix
location is V11:H5, fifth circuit, 7th time dimension, vertical time cosmic command descending. Now
locate it in your body at the middle back of your skull, halfway between base and crown (see graphic
at the end of this chapter).
Visualize the Alpha-Beta hyperplasma above the red Seli in your root chakra. Take the Alpha-
Beta into the second mental sphere in the third time dimension (cosmic synchronization) where
it activates the subconscious as informative samadhi. Here is the intergalactic channel (BMU
351) through which the Alpha-Beta hyperplasma is secreted into the front, right hemisphere of
the brain.
From the second mental sphere, mentally direct the Alpha-Beta hyperplasma to the root chakra
and impress it above the Seli seal. Hold this with four alternate nostril breaths (four times in and out
through each nostril), followed by one breath through both nostrils.
Ascend up the central column (spine), secreting this Alpha-Beta hyperplasma into all 144,000
etheric fibers of the astral body. Practice the breath of fire, rapid shallow breathing through the
nose, transmuting any blockages or obscurations into streams of crystal clear informative samadhi
spreading throughout your entire nervous system.
Spectral, electric red and blue Alpha-Beta vibrates subtle activating force into all etheric fibers.
Descend back down central channel and leave Seli at the root chakra. Ascend back up central
channel and return your consciousness to the second mental sphere, then close and seal the Heptad
Gate at the middle of the back of your skull. Relax and breathe slowly and deeply at least 13 times.
Harmonic UR rune 88: Galactic Life Whole Realized as Cosmic Consciousness.
For additional practice: Locate Heptad Gate 291 on the Hunab Ku 21. Note that it corresponds to
the Avatar, Accomplisher of Knowledge, the Exemplar; G/K Earth, Bode Number 10. Study all of the
connections (see graphic at the end of this chapter).

——-

2
On Establishing the Correct Teaching
for the Peace of the Land

Background

ONCE there was a traveler who spoke these words in sorrow to his host:

In recent years, there have been unusual disturbances in the heavens, strange occurrences on earth, famine and pestilence, all affecting every corner of the empire and spreading throughout the land. Oxen and horses lie dead in the streets, and the bones of the stricken crowd the highways. Over half the population has already been carried off by death, and there is hardly a single person who does not grieve.

All the while some put their whole faith in the “sharp sword”1 of the Buddha Amida and intone the name of this lord of the Western Land; others believe that hearing the name of the Buddha Medicine Master will “heal all ills”2 and recite the sutra that describes this Thus Come One of the Eastern Region. Some, putting their trust in the passage in the Lotus Sutra that says, “His illness will be wiped out and he will know neither old age nor death,”3 pay homage to the wonderful words of that sutra; others, relying upon the sutra passage that reads, “The seven disasters will instantly vanish, and the seven blessings will instantly appear,”4 conduct ceremonies at which a hundred priests expound the sutra at a hundred preaching platforms.5 There are those who follow the esoteric teachings of the True Word school and conduct rituals in which they fill five jars with water,6 and others who devote themselves entirely to seated meditation and try to perceive the emptiness of all phenomena as clearly as the moon.7 Some write out the names of the seven guardian spirits8 and paste them on a thousand gates, others paint pictures of the five mighty bodhisattvas9 and hang them over ten thousand thresholds, and still others pray to the heavenly gods and earthly deities in ceremonies conducted at the four corners of the capital and on the four boundaries of the nation. Taking pity on the plight of the common people, the rulers carry out government on the national and local levels in a benevolent manner.

But despite all these efforts, they merely exhaust themselves in vain. Famine and epidemics rage more fiercely than ever, beggars are everywhere in sight, and scenes of death fill our eyes. Corpses pile up in mounds like observation platforms, and dead bodies lie side by side like planks on a bridge.

If we look about, we find that the sun and moon continue to move in their accustomed orbits, and the five planets10 follow the proper course. The three treasures of Buddhism continue to exist, and the period of a p.7hundred reigns has not yet expired.11 Then why is it that the world has already fallen into decline and that the laws of the state have come to an end? What is wrong? What error has been committed?

The host then spoke: I have been brooding alone upon this matter, indignant in my heart, but now that you have come, we can lament together. Let us discuss the question at length.

When a man leaves family life and enters the Buddhist way, it is because he hopes to attain Buddhahood through the teachings of the Buddha. But attempts now to move the gods fail to have any effect, and appeals to the power of the Buddhas produce no results. When I observe carefully the state of the world today, I see people who give way to doubt because of the lack of understanding [on the part of eminent priests]. They look up at the heavens and mouth their resentment, or gaze down at the earth and sink deep into despair.

I have pondered the matter carefully with what limited resources I possess, and have looked a little at the scriptures for an answer. The people of today all turn their backs upon what is right; to a person, they give their allegiance to evil. This is the reason that the benevolent deities have abandoned the nation and departed together, that sages leave and do not return. And in their stead devils and demons come, and disasters and calamities occur. I cannot keep silent on this matter. I cannot suppress my fears.

The guest said: These disasters that befall the empire, these calamities of the nation—I am not the only one pained by them; the whole populace is weighed down with sorrow. Now I have been privileged to enter the orchid room12 and listen to these enlightening words of yours. You speak of the gods and sages taking leave, and of disasters and calamities arising in sequence—upon what sutras do you base your views? Could you describe for me the passages of proof?

The host said: There are numerous passages that could be cited and a wide variety of proofs. For example, in the Golden Light Sutra we read: “[The four heavenly kings said to the Buddha], ‘Though this sutra exists in the nation, its ruler has never allowed it to be propagated. In his heart he turns away from it, and he takes no pleasure in hearing its teachings. He neither makes offerings to it, honors it, nor praises it. Nor is he willing to honor or make offerings to the four kinds of Buddhists who embrace the sutra. In the end, he makes it impossible for us and the other countless heavenly beings who are our followers to hear this profound and wonderful teaching. He deprives us of the sweet dew of its words and cuts us off from the flow of the correct teaching, so that our majesty and strength are drained away. Thus the number of beings who occupy the evil paths increases, and the number who dwell in the human and heavenly realms decreases. People fall into the river of the sufferings of birth and death and turn their backs on the road to nirvana.

“‘World-Honored One, we, the four heavenly kings, as well as our various followers and the yakshas and other beings, observing this state of affairs, have decided to abandon this nation, for we have no heart to protect it. And it is not we alone who cast aside this ruler. All the great benevolent deities who guard and watch over the countless different regions of the country will also invariably reject him. And once we and the others abandon and desert this nation, then many different types of disasters will occur in the country, and the ruler will fall from power. Not a single person in the entire population will possess a heart of goodness; there will be nothing p.8but binding and enslaving, killing and injuring, anger and contention. People will slander each other or fawn upon one another, and the laws will be twisted until even the innocent are made to suffer. Pestilence will become rampant, comets will appear again and again, two suns will come forth side by side, and eclipses will occur with unaccustomed frequency. Black arcs and white arcs will span the sky as harbingers of ill fortune, stars will fall, the earth will shake, and noises will issue from the wells. Torrential rains and violent winds will come out of season, famine will constantly occur, and grains and fruits will not ripen. Marauders from many other regions will invade and plunder the nation, the people will suffer all manner of pain and affliction, and no place will exist where one may live in safety.’”

The Great Collection Sutra says: “When the teachings of the Buddha truly become obscured and lost, then people will all let their beards, hair, and fingernails grow long, and the laws of the world will be forgotten and ignored. At that time, loud noises will sound in the air, and the earth will shake; everything in the world will begin to move as though it were a waterwheel. City walls will split and tumble, and all houses and dwellings will collapse. Roots, branches, leaves, petals, and fruits will lose their medicinal properties. With the exception of the heavens of purity,13 all the regions of the world of desire will become deprived of the seven flavors14 and the three kinds of vitality,15 until not a trace of them remains any more. All the good discourses that lead people to emancipation will at this time disappear. The flowers and fruits that grow in the earth will become few and will lose their flavor and sweetness. The wells, springs, and ponds will all go dry, the land everywhere will turn brackish and will crack open and warp into hillocks and gullies. All the mountains will be swept by fire, and the heavenly beings and dragons will no longer send down rain. The seedlings of the crops will all wither and die, all the living plants will perish, and even the weeds will cease to grow any more. Dust will rain down until all is darkness and the sun and moon no longer shed their light.

“All the four directions will be afflicted by drought, and evil omens will appear again and again. The ten evil acts will increase greatly, particularly greed, anger, and foolishness, and people will think no more of their fathers and mothers than does the roe deer.16 Living beings will decline in numbers, in longevity, physical strength, dignity, and enjoyment. They will become estranged from the delights of the human and heavenly realms, and all will fall into the paths of evil. The wicked rulers and monks who perform these ten evil acts will curse and destroy my correct teaching and make it difficult for those in the human and heavenly realms to stay there. At that time the benevolent deities and heavenly kings, who would ordinarily take pity on living beings, will abandon this impure and evil nation, and all will make their way to other regions.”

The Benevolent Kings Sutra states: “When a nation becomes disordered, it is the spirits that first show signs of rampancy. Because the spirits become rampant, all the people of the nation become disordered. Invaders come to plunder the country, and the common people face annihilation. The ruler, the high ministers, the crown prince, the other princes, and the hundred officials all quarrel with one another over right and wrong. Heaven and earth manifest prodigies and strange occurrences; the twenty-eight constellations, the stars, and the sun and moon appear at irregular times and in irregular positions; and numerous outlaws rise up.”

p.9The same sutra also states: “Now when I use the five types of vision to clearly perceive the three existences, I see that in their past existences all the rulers served five hundred Buddhas, and that is the reason that they were able to become emperors and sovereigns. And that also is the reason that all the various sages and arhats are born in their nations and bring great benefits. But if a time should come when the good fortune of these rulers runs out, then all the sages will abandon them and depart. Once the sages have departed, then the seven disasters are certain to arise.”

The Medicine Master Sutra states: “If disasters and calamities should befall members of the ruling Kshatriya class and anointed kings,17 such disasters will be as follows: the calamity of disease and pestilence among the populace; the calamity of invasion from foreign lands; the calamity of revolt within one’s own domain; the calamity of irregularities and strange occurrences among the stars and constellations; the calamity of eclipses of the sun and moon; the calamity of unseasonable wind and rain; and the calamity of rain that fails to fall even when the season for it has come and gone.”

In the Benevolent Kings Sutra [the Buddha addresses King Prasenajit with these words]: “Great King, the region where my teachings now hold sway consists of one billion Sumeru worlds with one billion suns and moons. Each of these Sumeru worlds comprises four continents. In the southern continent of Jambudvīpa, there are sixteen great states, five hundred middle-sized states, and ten thousand small states. In these states, seven types of fearful disasters may occur. All the rulers of these states agree that these are indeed disasters. What, then, are these disasters?

“When the sun and moon depart from their regular courses, when the seasons come in the wrong order, when a red sun or a black sun appears, when two, three, four, or five suns appear at the same time, when the sun is eclipsed and loses its light, or when one, two, three, four, or five coronas appear around the sun, this is the first disaster.

“When the twenty-eight constellations do not move in their regular courses, when the Metal Star,18 the Broom Star, the Wheel Star, the Demon Star, the Fire Star, the Water Star, the Wind Star, the Ladle Star, the Southern Dipper, the Northern Dipper, the great stars of the Five Garrisons, and all the many stars that govern the ruler, the three high ministers, and the hundred officials—when each of these stars manifests some peculiar behavior, this is the second disaster.

“When huge fires consume the nation, and the people are all burned to death, or when there are outbreaks of demon fire, dragon fire, heavenly fire, mountain god fire, human fire, tree fire, or bandit fire19—when these prodigies appear, this is the third disaster.

“When huge floods drown the population; when the seasons come out of order and there is rain in winter, snow in summer, thunder and lightning in winter, and ice, frost, and hail in the sixth month;20 when red, black, or green rain falls; when mountains of dirt and stones come raining down, or when it rains dust, sand, or gravel; when the rivers and streams run backward; when mountains are afloat and boulders are washed away—when freakish happenings of this kind occur, this is the fourth disaster.

“When huge winds blow the people to their death, and the lands, the mountains and rivers, and the trees and forests are all at one time wiped out; when great winds come out of season, or when black winds, red winds, green winds, heavenly winds, earthly winds, fire winds, and water p.10winds blow21—when prodigies of this kind occur, this is the fifth disaster.

“When heaven and earth and the whole country are stricken by terrible heat so that the air seems to be on fire, when the hundred plants wither and the five kinds of grain22 fail to ripen, when the earth is red and scorched and the inhabitants all perish—when prodigies of this kind occur, this is the sixth disaster.

“When enemies rise up on all four sides and invade the nation, when rebels appear in the capital and the outlying regions, when there are fire bandits, water bandits, wind bandits, and demon bandits,23 and the population is subjected to devastation and disorder, and fighting and plundering break out everywhere—when prodigies of this type occur, this is the seventh disaster.”

The Great Collection Sutra says: “Though for countless existences in the past the ruler of a state may have practiced the giving of alms, observed the precepts, and cultivated wisdom, if he sees that my teaching is in danger of perishing and stands idly by without doing anything to protect it, then all the inestimable roots of goodness that he has planted through the practices just mentioned will be entirely wiped out, and his country will become the scene of three inauspicious occurrences. The first is high grain prices, the second is warfare, and the third is epidemics. All the benevolent deities will abandon the country, and although the ruler may issue commands, the people will not obey them. The country will constantly be invaded and vexed by neighboring nations. Violent fires will rage out of control, fierce winds and rains will abound, the waters will swell and overflow, and the inhabitants will be blown about by winds or swept away by floods. The paternal and maternal relatives of the ruler will join in plotting revolt. Before long, the ruler will fall gravely ill, and after his life has come to an end, he will be reborn in the great hell. . . . And the same fate will befall the ruler’s consort, his heir, the high ministers of the state, the lords of cities, the village heads and generals, the magistrates of districts, and the other officials.”

The passages I have quoted from these four sutras are perfectly clear—what person in ten thousand could possibly doubt their meaning? And yet the blind and the deluded recklessly trust to distorted doctrines and fail to recognize the correct teaching. Therefore, throughout the empire these days people are inclined to turn away from the Buddhas and the sutras, and no longer endeavor to protect them. Because of this, the benevolent deities and sages abandon the nation and leave their accustomed places. As a result, demons and evil spirits24 bring about disasters and cause calamities.

The guest thereupon flushed with anger and said: Emperor Ming of the Later Han dynasty, having comprehended the significance of his dream of a golden man, welcomed the teachings [of Buddhism] brought by white horses.25 Prince Jōgū, having put down the rebellion of Moriya [an opponent of Buddhism],26 proceeded to construct temples and pagodas. Since that time, from the ruler on down to the common people, all have worshiped the Buddha images and devoted their attention to the scriptures. As a result, in the monasteries of Mount Hiei and the southern capital at Nara, at the temples of Onjō-ji and Tō-ji, throughout the land bounded by the four seas, in the five provinces of the capital area and along the seven marches, Buddha images and Buddhist scriptures have been ranged like stars in the sky, and halls of worship have spread like clouds. Those who belong to the lineage of Shāriputra meditate on the moon atop Eagle Peak, while those p.11who adhere to the traditions of Haklenayashas transmit the teachings of Mount Kukkutapāda.27 How, then, can anyone say that the teachings of the Buddha’s lifetime are despised, or that the three treasures of Buddhism have ceased to exist? If there is evidence to support such a contention, I would like to hear all the facts.

The host, anxious to clarify his words, replied: To be sure, Buddhist halls stand rooftop to rooftop, and sutra storehouses are ranged eave to eave. Priests are as numerous as bamboo plants and rushes, monks as common as rice and hemp seedlings. The temples and priests have been honored from centuries past, and every day respect is paid them anew. But the monks and priests today are fawning and devious, and they confuse the people and lead them astray. The ruler and his subjects lack understanding and fail to distinguish between what is correct and what is erroneous.

The Benevolent Kings Sutra, for example, says: “Evil monks, hoping to gain fame and profit, in many cases appear before the ruler, the crown prince, or the other princes, and take it upon themselves to preach doctrines that lead to the violation of the Buddhist Law and the destruction of the nation. The ruler, failing to perceive the truth of the situation, listens to and puts faith in such doctrines, and proceeds to create regulations that are perverse in nature and that do not accord with the rules of Buddhist discipline. In this way he brings about the destruction of Buddhism and of the nation.”

The Nirvana Sutra states: “Bodhisattvas, have no fear of mad elephants. What you should fear are evil friends! . . . Even if you are killed by a mad elephant, you will not fall into the three evil paths. But if you are killed by an evil friend, you are certain to fall into them.”

The Lotus Sutra says: “In that evil age there will be monks with perverse wisdom and hearts that are fawning and crooked who will suppose they have attained what they have not attained, being proud and boastful in heart. Or there will be forest-dwelling monks wearing clothing of patched rags and living in retirement, who will claim they are practicing the true way, despising and looking down on all humankind. Greedy for profit and support, they will preach the Law to white-robed laymen and will be respected and revered by the world as though they were arhats who possess the six transcendental powers. . . . Because in the midst of the great assembly they constantly try to defame us, they will address the rulers, high ministers, Brahmans, and householders, as well as the other monks, slandering and speaking evil of us, saying, ‘These are men of perverted views who preach non-Buddhist doctrines!’ . . . In a muddied kalpa, in an evil age there will be many things to fear. Evil demons will take possession of others and through them curse, revile, and heap shame on us. . . . The evil monks of that muddied age, failing to understand the Buddha’s expedient means, how he preaches the Law in accordance with what is appropriate, will confront us with foul language and angry frowns; again and again we will be banished.”28

The Nirvana Sutra says: “After I have passed away and countless hundreds of years have gone by, the sages of the four stages29 too will have all passed away. After the Former Day of the Law has ended and the Middle Day of the Law has begun, there will be monks who will give the appearance of abiding by the rules of monastic discipline. But they will scarcely ever read or recite the sutras, and instead will crave all kinds of food and drink to nourish their bodies. Though they wear the clothes of a monk, they will p.12go about searching for alms like so many huntsmen who, narrowing their eyes, stalk softly. They will be like a cat on the prowl for mice. And they will constantly reiterate these words, ‘I have attained arhatship!’ Outwardly they will seem to be wise and good, but within they will harbor greed and jealousy. [And when they are asked to preach the teachings, they will say nothing,] like Brahmans who have taken a vow of silence. They are not true monks—they merely have the appearance of monks. Consumed by their erroneous views, they slander the correct teaching.”

When we look at the world in the light of these passages of scripture, we see that the situation is just as they describe it. If we do not admonish the evil priests, how can we hope to do good?

The guest, growing more indignant than ever, said: A wise monarch, by acting in accord with heaven and earth, perfects his rule; a sage, by distinguishing between right and wrong, brings order to the world. The monks and priests of the world today enjoy the confidence of the entire empire. If they were in fact evil monks, then the wise ruler would put no trust in them. If they were not true sages, then worthies and learned persons would not look up to them. But now, since worthies and sages do in fact honor and respect them, they must be nothing less than paragons of their kind. Why then do you pour out these wild accusations and dare to slander them? To whom are you referring when you speak of “evil monks”? I would like an explanation.

The host said: In the time of the Retired Emperor Gotoba there was a priest named Hōnen who wrote a work entitled The Nembutsu Chosen above All. He contradicted the sacred teachings of the Buddha’s entire lifetime and brought confusion to people in every direction. Nembutsu Chosen above All states: “Regarding the passage in which the Meditation Master Tao-ch’o distinguished between the Sacred Way teachings and the Pure Land teachings and urged people to abandon the former and immediately embrace the latter, first of all, there are two kinds of Sacred Way teachings, [the Mahayana and the Hinayana]. . . . Judging from this, we may assume that the esoteric Mahayana teachings and the true Mahayana teachings are both included in the Sacred Way. If that is so, then the eight present-day schools—the True Word, Zen, Tendai, Flower Garland, Three Treatises, Dharma Characteristics, Treatise on the Ten Stages Sutra, and Summary of the Mahayana—all are included in the Sacred Way that is to be abandoned.

“The Dharma Teacher T’an-luan in his Commentary on ‘The Treatise on Rebirth in the Pure Land’ states, ‘I note that Bodhisattva Nāgārjuna’s Commentary on the Ten Stages Sutra says, “There are two ways by which a bodhisattva may reach the state of avaivartika, or non-retrogression. One is the difficult-to-practice way, the other is the easy-to-practice way.”’

“The difficult-to-practice way is the same as the Sacred Way teachings, and the easy-to-practice way is the Pure Land teachings. Students of the Pure Land school should first of all understand this point. Though they may be people who have previously studied the Sacred Way teachings, if they wish to become followers of the Pure Land teachings, they must discard the Sacred Way and give their allegiance to the Pure Land teachings.”

Hōnen also says: “Regarding the passage in which the Reverend Shan-tao distinguished between correct and sundry practices and urged people to abandon the sundry and embrace the correct: Concerning the first of the sundry practices, that of reading and reciting sutras, with the exception of p.13the recitation of the Meditation on the Buddha Infinite Life Sutra and the other sutras that preach rebirth in the Pure Land, the embracing, reading, and recitation of all other sutras, whether Mahayana or Hinayana, exoteric or esoteric, is to be regarded as a sundry practice. . . . Concerning the third of the sundry practices, that of worshiping, with the exception of worshiping the Buddha Amida, the worshiping or honoring of any other Buddha or bodhisattva, or deity of this world is to be regarded as a sundry practice. . . . In the light of his statement, I declare that one should abandon such sundry practices and concentrate upon the practice of the Pure Land teachings. What reason would we have to abandon the correct practices of the Pure Land teachings, which insure that out of a hundred persons all one hundred will be reborn in the Pure Land, and cling instead to the various sundry practices and procedures, which could not save even one person in a thousand? Followers of the way should ponder this carefully.”

Hōnen further states: “In The Chen-yüan Era Catalog of the Buddhist Canon we find it recorded that, from the 600 volumes of the Great Wisdom Sutra to the Eternity of the Law Sutra, the exoteric and esoteric sutras of Mahayana, or the great vehicle, total 637 works in 2,883 volumes. The phrase [from the Meditation Sutra] ‘reading and reciting the great vehicle’ should be applied to all these works. You should understand that, when the Buddha was preaching according to the capacity of his various listeners, he for a time taught the two methods of concentrated meditation and unconcentrated meditation.30 But later, when he revealed his own enlightenment, he ceased to teach these two methods. The only teaching that, once revealed, shall never cease to be taught is the single doctrine of the Nembutsu.”

Hōnen also states: “Regarding the passage that says that the practitioner of the Nembutsu must possess three kinds of mind,31 it is found in the Meditation Sutra. In his commentary on that sutra [Shan-tao says]: ‘Someone may ask, “If there are those who differ in understanding and practice from the followers of the Nembutsu, persons of distorted and mistaken belief, [how should we confront them]?” I will now make certain that their perverse and differing views will not cause trouble. These persons of evil views with different understanding and different practices are compared to a band of robbers who call back the traveler who has already gone one or two steps along his journey.’ In my opinion, when this commentary speaks of different understanding, different practices, varying doctrines, and varying beliefs, they are referring to the teachings of the Sacred Way.”

Finally, in a concluding passage, Hōnen says: “If one wishes to escape quickly from the sufferings of birth and death, one should confront these two superior teachings and then proceed to put aside the teachings of the Sacred Way and choose those of the Pure Land. And if one wishes to follow the teachings of the Pure Land, one should confront the correct and sundry practices and then proceed to abandon all of the sundry and devote one’s entire attention to the correct.”

When we examine these passages, we see that Hōnen quotes the erroneous explanations of T’an-luan, Tao-ch’o, and Shan-tao, and establishes the categories of the Sacred Way and the Pure Land teachings, and of the difficult-to-practice and the easy-to-practice ways. He then takes all the 637 works in 2,883 volumes that comprise the Mahayana teachings of the Buddha’s lifetime, including those of the Lotus Sutra and the True Word sutras, along with all the Buddhas and bodhisattvas and the deities of this world, p.14and assigns them all to the categories of the Sacred Way teachings, the difficult-to-practice way, and the sundry practices, and urges people to “discard, close, ignore, and abandon” them. With these four injunctions, he leads all people astray. On top of that, he groups together all the sage monks of the three countries [of India, China, and Japan] as well as the students of Buddhism of the ten directions, and calls them a “band of robbers,” causing the people to insult them.

In doing so, he turns his back on the passage in the three Pure Land sutras, the sutras of his own school, which contains Amida’s vow to save the people “excepting only those who commit the five cardinal sins and those who slander the correct teaching.”32 More fundamentally, he shows that he fails to understand the warning contained in the second volume of the Lotus Sutra, the heart and core of the entire body of teachings the Buddha expounded in the five periods of his preaching life, which reads, “If a person fails to have faith but instead slanders this sutra . . . When his life comes to an end he will enter the Avīchi hell.”33

Now we have come to this latter age, when people are no longer sages. Each enters his own dark road, and all alike forget the direct way. How pitiful that no one cures them of their blindness! How painful to see them taking up these false beliefs in vain! As a result, everyone from the ruler of the nation on down to the common people believes that there are no true sutras outside the three Pure Land sutras, and no Buddhas other than the Buddha Amida with his two attendants.34

Once there were men like Dengyō, Gishin, Jikaku, and Chishō who journeyed ten thousand miles across the waves to China to acquire the sacred teachings, and there visited the mountains and rivers to pay reverence to Buddhist statues [and carry them back]. In some cases they built holy temples on the peaks of high mountains in which to preserve those scriptures and statues; in other cases they constructed sacred halls in the bottoms of deep valleys where such objects could be worshiped and honored. As a result, the Buddhas Shakyamuni and Medicine Master35 shone side by side, casting their influence upon present and future ages, while the bodhisattvas Space Treasury and Earth Repository brought benefit to the living and the dead. The rulers of the nation contributed districts or villages so that the lamps might continue to burn bright before the images, while the stewards of the great estates gave their fields and gardens as an offering.

But because of this book by Hōnen, this Nembutsu Chosen above All, the lord of teachings, Shakyamuni, is forgotten, and all honor is paid to Amida, the Buddha of the Western Land. The transmission of the Law [from Shakyamuni Buddha] is ignored,36 and Medicine Master, the Thus Come One of the Eastern Region, is neglected. Attention is paid only to the three Pure Land sutras in four volumes, and all the other wonderful scriptures that Shakyamuni expounded throughout the five periods of his preaching life are cast aside. If temples are not dedicated to Amida, then people no longer have any desire to support them or pay honor to the Buddhas enshrined there; if priests are not practitioners of the Nembutsu, then people quickly forget all about giving those priests alms. As a result, the halls of the Buddha have fallen into ruin, scarcely a wisp of smoke rising above their moss-covered roof tiles; and the priests’ quarters have become empty and dilapidated, the dew deep on the grasses in their courtyards. And in spite of such conditions, no one gives a thought to protecting the Law or to restoring the temples. Hence the sage priests who once presided over the p.15temples leave and do not return, and the benevolent deities who guarded the nation depart and no longer appear. This has all come about because of this Nembutsu Chosen above All by Hōnen. How pitiful to think that, in the space of a few decades, hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands of people have been deluded by these devilish teachings and in so many cases confused as to the true teachings of Buddhism. If people favor what is only incidental and forget what is primary, can the benevolent deities be anything but angry? If people cast aside what is perfect and take up what is biased, can the world escape the plots of demons? Rather than offering up ten thousand prayers for remedy, it would be better simply to outlaw this one evil .

This time the guest was truly enraged and said: In the ages since our original teacher, the Buddha Shakyamuni, preached the three Pure Land sutras, the Dharma Teacher T’an-luan had originally studied the four treatises,37 but abandoned them and put all his faith in the Pure Land teachings. Similarly, the Meditation Master Tao-ch’o ceased to spread the varied practices of the Nirvana Sutra and devoted all his attention to propagating the practice that leads one to the Western Pure Land. The Reverend Shan-tao discarded the sundry practices and established the single practice of the Nembutsu, and the Supervisor of Priests Eshin collected essential passages from various sutras to form his work, making the single practice of the Nembutsu the essence of his teaching. Such was the manner in which these men honored and respected the Buddha Amida, and uncountable numbers of people as a result were able to gain rebirth in the Pure Land.

Of particular note was the Sage Hōnen, who as a child entered the monastery on Mount Hiei. By the time he was seventeen, he had worked his way through all sixty volumes of Tendai literature,38 and had investigated all the eight schools and mastered their essentials. In addition, he had read through the entire body of sutras and treatises seven times, and exhausted all the works of exegesis and biography. His wisdom shone like the sun and moon, and his virtue exceeded that of the earlier teachers.

In spite of all this, he was in doubt as to the proper path to emancipation and could not make out the true meaning of nirvana. Therefore, he read and examined all the texts he could, pondered deeply and considered every possibility, and in the end put aside all the sutras and concentrated on the single practice of the Nembutsu. In addition, he received confirmation of his decision when Shan-tao miraculously appeared to him in a dream,39 and he proceeded to spread his doctrines among friends and strangers in all four corners of the land. Thereafter, he was hailed as a reincarnation of Bodhisattva Great Power, or was revered as Shan-tao reborn. In every quarter, people of eminent and lowly birth alike bowed their heads in respect, and men and women from all over Japan sought him.

Since that time, the springs and autumns have succeeded each other, and the years have piled upon years. And yet you insist upon putting aside the venerable teachings of Shakyamuni Buddha [contained in the Pure Land sutras] and willfully speak evil of the passage describing the oath of the Buddha Amida. Why do you try to blame the sacred age of Hōnen for the disasters of recent years, going out of your way to slander the former teachers of Pure Land doctrines and to heap abuse on the Sage Hōnen? You are, as the saying goes, deliberately blowing back the fur and hunting for flaws in the leather, deliberately piercing the skin in hopes of drawing blood. From ancient times to the present, the world has p.16never seen such a speaker of evil. You had better learn a little caution and restraint. When you pile up such grave offenses, how can you hope to escape punishment? I am afraid even to sit here in your company. I must take up my staff and be on my way!

The host, smiling, restrained his guest and said: Insects that live on smartweed forget how bitter it tastes; those who stay long in privies forget how foul the smell is. Here you listen to my good words and think them wicked, point to a slanderer of the Law and call him a sage, mistrust a correct teacher and take him for an evil priest. Your confusion is great indeed, and your offense anything but light. Listen to my explanation of how this confusion arose, and let us discuss the matter in detail.

Shakyamuni Buddha expounded the five periods of doctrines, established the order in which they were preached, and divided them into the provisional and the true teachings. But T’an-luan, Tao-ch’o, and Shan-tao embraced the provisional teachings and forgot about the true ones, went by what had been taught in the earlier period of the Buddha’s life and discarded what was taught later. They were not the kind of men who delve into the deep places of Buddhist doctrine.

Hōnen in particular, though he followed the practices advocated by these earlier men, was ignorant as to their source. How do we know this? Because he lumped together all the 637 Mahayana scriptures in 2,883 volumes and along with them all the Buddhas and bodhisattvas and the deities of this world, and urged people to “discard, close, ignore, and abandon” them, with these four injunctions corrupting the hearts of all people. Thus he poured out perverted words of his own invention and took absolutely no cognizance of the explanations put forth in the Buddhist scriptures. His is the worst kind of baseless talk, a clear case of defamation. There are no words to describe it, no way to censure it that is not too mild. And yet people all put faith in this baseless talk of his, and without exception pay honor to his Nembutsu Chosen above All. As a consequence, they revere the three sutras of the Pure Land and cast all the other sutras aside; they look up to one Buddha alone, Amida of the Land of Perfect Bliss, and forget about the other Buddhas. A man such as Hōnen is in truth the archenemy of the Buddhas and the scriptures, and the foe of sage priests and ordinary men and women alike. And now his distorted teachings have spread throughout the eight regions of the country, permeating the ten directions.

You became quite horrified when I blamed an earlier period40 for the disasters that have occurred in recent years. Perhaps I should cite a few examples from the past to show you that you are mistaken in your feelings.

The second volume of Great Concentration and Insight quotes a passage from Records of the Historian that says, “In the closing years of the Chou dynasty, there were persons who let their hair hang down, went about naked to the waist, and did not observe the rites and regulations.” The Annotations on “Great Concentration and Insight,” in the second volume, explains this passage by quoting from Tso’s Commentary on “Spring and Autumn Annals” as follows: “When King P’ing of the Chou first moved his capital to the east, he saw men by the Yi River who let their hair hang down and performed sacrifices in the fields. Someone who had great understanding said, ‘In less than a hundred years the dynasty will fall, for the rites are already neglected.’” From this it is evident that the portent appears first, and later the disaster itself comes about.

[The Great Concentration and Insight p.17passage goes on to say:] “Juan Chi41 was a man of extraordinary talent, but he let his hair grow like a mass of brambles and left his belt undone. Later, the sons of the aristocracy all imitated him, until those who behaved in a churlish and insulting manner were thought to be acting quite naturally, and those who were restrained and proper in their behavior were ridiculed as mere peasants. This was a sign that the Ssu-ma family [the rulers of the Western Chin dynasty] would meet with their downfall.”

Similarly, The Record of a Pilgrimage to China in Search of the Law by the Great Teacher Jikaku states that, in the first year of the Hui-ch’ang era (841), Emperor Wu-tsung of the T’ang dynasty commanded the priest Ching-shuang of Chang-ching-ssu temple to transmit the Nembutsu teachings of the Buddha Amida in the various temples. Ching-shuang spent three days in each temple, going about from one temple to another without ever ceasing.

In the second year of the same era, soldiers from the land of the Uighurs42 invaded the borders of the T’ang empire. In the third year of the same era, the regional commander in the area north of the Yellow River suddenly raised a revolt. Later, the kingdom of Tibet once more refused to obey orders from China, and the Uighurs repeatedly seized Chinese territory. On the whole, the conflicts and uprisings were like those that prevailed at the time when the Ch’in dynasty and the military leader Hsiang Yü were overthrown, and the towns and villages were devastated by fire and other disasters. What was even worse, Emperor Wu-tsung carried out a vast campaign to wipe out Buddhist teachings and destroyed a great many temples and pagodas. He was never able to put down the uprisings and died in agony shortly after. (This is the essence of Jikaku’s original passage.)

In view of these events, we should consider the fact that Hōnen belonged to the time of the Retired Emperor Gotoba, around the Kennin era (1201–1204). And what happened to the retired emperor is evident before our very eyes.43 Thus T’ang China provided an earlier example of the fall of an emperor, and our own country offers similar proof. You should neither doubt this nor consider it strange. The only thing to do now is to abandon the evil ways and take up those that are good, to cut off this affliction at the source, to cut it off at the root.

The guest, looking somewhat mollified, said: Though I have not yet probed deeply into the matter, I believe I understand to some degree what you are saying. Nevertheless, throughout the area from Kyoto, the capital, to Kamakura, the headquarters of the shogun, there are numerous eminent Buddhist leaders and key figures in the clergy. And yet none of them has so far appealed to the shogun concerning this affair, or submitted a memorial to the throne. You, on the other hand, a person of humble position, think nothing of spewing out offensive accusations. Your assertion goes too far and your behavior is unreasonable.

The host said: Though I may be a person of little ability, I have reverently given myself to the study of the Mahayana. A blue fly, if it clings to the tail of a thoroughbred horse, can travel ten thousand miles, and the green ivy that twines around the tall pine can grow to a thousand feet. I was born as the son of the one Buddha, Shakyamuni, and I serve the king of scriptures, the Lotus Sutra. How could I observe the decline of the Buddhist Law and not be filled with emotions of pity and distress?

Moreover, the Nirvana Sutra states: “If even a good monk sees someone destroying the teaching and disregards him, failing to reproach him, to oust p.18him, or to punish him for his offense, then you should realize that that monk is betraying the Buddha’s teaching. But if he ousts the destroyer of the Law, reproaches him, or punishes him, then he is my disciple and a true voice-hearer.”

Although I may not be a “good monk,” I certainly do not want to be accused of “betraying the Buddha’s teaching.” Therefore, in order to avoid such charges, I have cited a few general principles and given a rough explanation of the matter.

Earlier, in the Gennin era (1224–1225), petitions to the throne were submitted time and again by the two temples of Enryaku-ji and Kōfuku-ji. And as a result, an imperial command and a letter of instruction from the shogunate were handed down, ordering that the woodblocks used in printing Hōnen’s Nembutsu Chosen above All be confiscated and brought to the Great Lecture Hall of Enryaku-ji. There they were burned in order to repay the debt owed to the Buddhas of the three existences. In addition, orders were given that the menials at Kanjin-in Shrine should dig up and destroy Hōnen’s grave. Then, Hōnen’s disciples Ryūkan, Shōkō, Jōkaku, Sasshō, and others were condemned by the imperial court to exile in distant regions and were never pardoned.

In view of these facts, how can you say that no one has submitted a complaint to the authorities concerning these matters?

The guest, continuing to speak in a mild manner, replied: One could hardly say that Hōnen is the only one who disparages sutras and speaks ill of other priests [since you do the same thing yourself]. However, it is true that he takes the 637 Mahayana scriptures in 2,883 volumes, along with all the Buddhas and bodhisattvas and the deities of this world, and urges people to “discard, close, ignore, and abandon” them. There is no doubt that these four injunctions are his very words; the meaning of the passage is quite clear. But you keep harping on this one little “flaw in the jewel” and severely slandering him for it. I do not know whether he spoke out of delusion or out of enlightenment. Between you and Hōnen, I cannot tell which is wise and which is foolish, or determine whose assertions are right and whose are wrong.

However, you assert that all the recent disasters are to be traced to Nembutsu Chosen above All, speaking quite volubly on that point and elaborating on the meaning of your assertion. Now surely the peace of the world and the stability of the nation are sought by both ruler and subject and desired by all the inhabitants of the country. The nation achieves prosperity through the Buddhist Law, and the Law is proven worthy of reverence by the people who embrace it. If the nation is destroyed and the people are wiped out, then who will continue to pay reverence to the Buddhas? Who will continue to have faith in the Law? Therefore, one must first of all pray for the safety of the nation and then work to establish the Buddhist Law.44 Now if you know of any means whereby disasters can be prevented and troubles brought to an end, I would like to hear about it.

The host said: There is no doubt that I am the foolish one—I would never dare claim to be wise. However, I would just like to quote some passages from the scriptures and offer some brief thoughts. Concerning the means for insuring order in the nation, there are numerous passages in both Buddhist and non-Buddhist texts, and it would be difficult to cite them all here. Since taking up the study of Buddhism, however, I have frequently given thought to this matter, and it seems to me that restraining those who slander the Law and respecting the followers of the correct way will assure p.19stability within the nation and peace in the world at large.

In the Nirvana Sutra, we read: “The Buddha said, ‘With the exception of one type of person, you may offer alms to all kinds of persons, and everyone will praise you.’

“Chunda said, ‘What do you mean when you speak of “one type of person”?’

“The Buddha replied, ‘I mean the type described in this sutra as violators of the precepts.’

“Chunda spoke again, saying, ‘I am afraid I still do not understand. May I ask you to explain further?’

“The Buddha addressed Chunda, saying, ‘By violators of the precepts, I mean the icchantika. In the case of all other types of persons, you may offer alms, everyone will praise you, and you will achieve great rewards.’

“Chunda spoke once more, asking, ‘What is the meaning of the term icchantika?’

“The Buddha said: ‘Chunda, suppose there should be monks or nuns, lay men or women who speak careless and evil words and slander the correct teaching, and that they should go on committing these grave acts without ever showing any inclination to reform or any sign of repentance in their hearts. Persons of this kind I would say are following the path of the icchantika.

“‘Again there may be those who commit the four grave offenses45 or are guilty of the five cardinal sins, and who, though aware that they are guilty of serious faults, from the beginning have no trace of fear or contrition in their hearts or, if they do, give no outward sign of it. When it comes to the correct teaching, they show no inclination to protect, treasure, and establish it over the ages, but rather speak of it with malice and contempt, their words replete with error. People of this kind too I would say are following the path of the icchantika. With the exception of this one group of people called icchantika, however, you may offer alms to all others, and everyone will praise you.’”

Elsewhere in the same sutra, the Buddha spoke in these words: “When I recall the past, I remember that I was the king of a great state in this continent of Jambudvīpa. My name was Sen’yo, and I loved and venerated the great vehicle scriptures. My heart was pure and good and had no trace of evil, jealousy, or stinginess. Good men, at that time I cherished the great vehicle teachings in my heart. When I heard the Brahmans slandering these correct and equal sutras, I put them to death on the spot. Good men, as a result of that action, I never thereafter fell into hell.”

In another passage it says, “In the past, when the Thus Come One was the ruler of a nation and practiced the way of the bodhisattva, he put to death a number of Brahmans.”

Again it says: “There are three degrees of killings: the lower, middle, and upper degrees. The lower degree constitutes the killing of any humble being, from an ant to any of the various kinds of animals. But the killing of any being that a bodhisattva has chosen to be born as [to help other living beings] is excluded. As a result of a killing of the lower degree, one will fall into the realms of hell, hungry spirits, and animals, and will suffer all the pains appropriate to a killing of the lower degree. Why should this be? Because even animals and other humble beings possess the roots of goodness, insignificant though those roots may be. That is why a person who kills such a being must suffer full retribution for his offense.

“Killing any person from an ordinary mortal to an anāgāmin46 constitutes what is termed the middle degree. As a consequence of such an act p.20of killing, one will fall into the realms of hell, hungry spirits, and animals, and will suffer all the pains appropriate to a killing of the middle degree. The upper degree of killing refers to the killing of a parent, an arhat, a pratyekabuddha, or a bodhisattva who has reached the stage of non-retrogression. For such a crime one will fall into the great Avīchi hell. Good men, if someone were to kill an icchantika, that killing would not fall into any of the three categories just mentioned. Good men, the various Brahmans that I have said were put to death—all of them were in fact icchantikas.”

In the Benevolent Kings Sutra, we read: “The Buddha announced to King Prasenajit, ‘Thus I entrust the protection of my teachings to the ruler of the nation rather than to the monks and nuns. Why do I do so? Because they do not possess the kind of power and authority that the king has.’”

The Nirvana Sutra states: “Now I entrust the correct teaching, which is unexcelled, to the rulers, the ministers, the high officials, and the four kinds of Buddhists. If anyone should vilify the correct teaching, then the ministers and four kinds of Buddhists should reprimand him and bring him to order.”

It also states: “The Buddha replied: ‘[Bodhisattva] Kāshyapa, it is because I was a defender of the correct teaching that I have been able to attain this diamond-like body. . . . Good man, defenders of the correct teaching need not observe the five precepts or practice the rules of proper behavior. Rather they should carry knives and swords, bows and arrows, halberds and lances.’”

Again the Buddha said: “Even though there may be those who observe the five precepts, they do not deserve to be called practitioners of the great vehicle. But even if one does not observe the five precepts, if one defends the correct teaching, then one may be called a practitioner of the great vehicle. Defenders of the correct teaching ought to arm themselves with knives and swords, weapons and staves. Even though they carry swords and staves, I would call them men who observe the precepts.”

The Buddha likewise said: “Good man, in past ages in this very city of Kushinagara, a Buddha appeared whose name was the Thus Come One Joy Increasing. After this Buddha passed away, the correct teaching that he had taught remained in the world for countless millions of years. Finally, only forty more years were left before the Buddhist teaching was due to come to an end.

“At that time there was a monk named Realization of Virtue who observed the precepts. There were many monks at this time who violated the precepts, and when they heard this monk preaching, they all conceived evil designs in their hearts and, arming themselves with swords and staves, approached this teacher of the Law.

“At this time the ruler of the kingdom was named Possessor of Virtue. He received reports of what was happening, and, in order to defend the teaching, he went at once to the place where the monk was preaching the Law and fought with all his might against the evil monks who broke the precepts. As a result, the monk who had been preaching was able to escape grievous injury. But the king received so many wounds from the knives and swords, halberds and lances, that there was not a spot on his body the size of a mustard seed that remained unharmed.

“At this time the monk Realization of Virtue praised the king, saying: ‘Splendid, splendid! You, O king, are now a true defender of the correct teaching. In ages to come, this body of yours will surely become a boundless vessel of the Law!’

p.21“At that time, the king had already heard the teaching, and he felt great joy in his heart. Thereupon his life came to an end, and he was reborn in the land of the Buddha Akshobhya, where he became the Buddha’s principal disciple. Moreover, all the military leaders, citizens, and associates of the king who had fought beside him or had rejoiced in his effort were filled with an unflagging determination to achieve enlightenment, and when they died, all of them were reborn in the land of the Buddha Akshobhya.

“Later, the monk Realization of Virtue also died, and he too was reborn in the land of the Buddha Akshobhya, where he became second among the Buddha’s voice-hearer disciples. Thus, if the correct teaching is about to come to an end, this is the way one ought to support and defend it.

“Kāshyapa, the king who lived at that time was I myself, and the monk who preached was the Buddha Kāshyapa.47 Kāshyapa, those who defend the correct teaching enjoy this kind of boundless reward. As a consequence, I have been able to obtain the distinguished characteristics that I possess today, to adorn myself with them, and to put on the Dharma body that can never be destroyed.”

Then the Buddha declared to Bodhisattva Kāshyapa: “For this reason, laymen believers and others who wish to defend the Law should arm themselves with swords and staves and protect it in this manner.

“Good man, in the age of impurity and evil after I have passed away, the nation will fall into devastation and disorder, men will plunder and steal from one another, and the common people will be reduced to starvation. Because of hunger, many men at that time will declare their determination to leave their families and become monks. Men such as these may be called shavepates.48 When this crowd of shavepates see anyone who is attempting to protect the correct teaching, they will chase after him and drive him away, or even kill him or do him injury. That is why I now give permission for monks who observe the precepts to associate with and keep company with white-robed laymen who bear swords and staves. Even though they carry swords and staves, I would call them men who observe the precepts. But although they may carry swords and staves, they should never use them to take life.”

The Lotus Sutra says: “If a person fails to have faith but instead slanders this sutra, immediately he will destroy all the seeds for becoming a Buddha in this world. . . . When his life comes to an end he will enter the Avīchi hell.”

The meaning of these passages from the sutras is perfectly clear. What need is there for me to add any further explanation? If we accept the words of the Lotus Sutra, then we must understand that slandering the Mahayana scriptures is more serious than committing the five cardinal sins countless times. Therefore, one who does so will be confined in the great citadel of the Avīchi hell and cannot hope for release for an immeasurable length of time. According to the Nirvana Sutra, even though you may give alms to a person who has committed the five cardinal sins, you must never give alms to a person who has slandered the Law. One who kills so much as an ant will invariably fall into the three evil paths, but one who helps eradicate slander of the Law will ascend to the state from which there can be no retrogression. Thus the passage tells us that the monk Realization of Virtue was reborn as the Buddha Kāshyapa, and that King Possessor of Virtue was reborn as the Buddha Shakyamuni.

The Lotus and the Nirvana sutras represent the very heart of the doctrines that Shakyamuni preached during the five periods of his teaching life. p.22Their warnings must be viewed with the utmost gravity. Who would fail to heed them? And yet those people who forget about the correct way and slander the Law put more trust than ever in Hōnen’s Nembutsu Chosen above All and grow blinder than ever in their foolishness.

Thus some of them, remembering how their master looked in life, fashion wooden sculptures and paintings of him, while others, putting faith in his perverse teachings, carve woodblocks with which to print his ugly words. These writings they scatter about throughout the area bounded by the seas, carrying them beyond the cities and into the countryside until, wherever honor is paid, it is to the practices of this school, and wherever alms are given, it is to the priests of this school.

As a result, we see people cutting off the fingers of the images of Shakyamuni and refashioning them to form the gesture of Amida, or converting the temples formerly dedicated to Medicine Master, the Thus Come One of the Eastern Region, and replacing his statues with those of Amida, the Thus Come One of the Western Land. Or we find the ceremony of copying the Lotus Sutra, which had been carried out for over four hundred years on Mount Hiei, being suspended and the copying of the three Pure Land sutras substituted in its place, or the annual lectures49 on the doctrines of the Great Teacher T’ien-t’ai being replaced by lectures on the teachings of Shan-tao. Indeed, the slanderous people and their associates are too numerous to count. Are they not destroyers of the Buddha? Are they not destroyers of the Law? Are they not destroyers of the Buddhist Order? And all their distorted teachings derive from Nembutsu Chosen above All.

Alas, how pitiful that people should turn their backs on the true words of prohibition spoken by the Thus Come One [Shakyamuni]! How tragic that they should heed the gross and deluded words of this ignorant priest! If we hope to bring order and tranquillity to the world without further delay, we must put an end to these slanders of the Law that fill the country.

The guest said: If we are to put an end to these people who slander the Law and do away with those who violate the prohibitions of the Buddha, then are we to condemn them to death as described in the sutra passages you have just cited? If we do that, then we ourselves will be guilty of inflicting injury and death upon others, and will suffer the consequences, will we not?

In the Great Collection Sutra, the Buddha says: “If a person shaves his head and puts on clerical robes, then, whether that person observes the precepts or violates them, both heavenly and human beings should give him alms. In doing so, they are giving alms and support to me, for that person is my son. But if men beat that person, they are beating my son, and if they curse and insult him, they are reviling me.”

If we stop to consider, we must realize that, regardless of whether one is good or bad, right or wrong, if he is a priest, then he deserves to have alms and nourishment extended to him. For how could one beat and insult the son and still not cause grief and sorrow to the father? The Brahmans of the Bamboo Staff school who killed the Venerable Maudgalyāyana have for a long time been sunk in the depths of the hell of incessant suffering. Because Devadatta murdered the nun Utpalavarnā, he has for a long time gasped in the flames of the Avīchi hell. Examples from earlier ages make the matter perfectly clear, and later ages fear this offense most of all. You speak of punishing those who slander the Law, but to do so would violate the Buddha’s p.23prohibitions. I can hardly believe that such a course would be right. How can you justify that?

The host said: You have clearly seen the sutra passages that I have cited, and yet you can ask a question like that! Are they beyond the power of your mind to comprehend? Or do you fail to understand the reasoning behind them? I certainly have no intention of censuring the sons of the Buddha. My only hatred is for the act of slandering the Law. According to the Buddhist teachings, prior to Shakyamuni slanderous monks would have incurred the death penalty. But since the time of Shakyamuni, the One Who Can Endure, the giving of alms to slanderous monks is forbidden in the sutra teachings. Now if all the four kinds of Buddhists within the four seas and the ten thousand lands would only cease giving alms to wicked priests and instead all come over to the side of the good, then how could any more troubles rise to plague us, or disasters come to confront us?

With this the guest moved off his mat in a gesture of respect, straightened the collar of his robe, and said: The Buddhist teachings vary greatly, and it is difficult to investigate each doctrine in full. I have had many doubts and perplexities, and have been unable to distinguish right from wrong.

Nevertheless, this work by the Sage Hōnen, Nembutsu Chosen above All, does in fact exist. And it lumps together all the various Buddhas, sutras, bodhisattvas, and deities, and says that one should “discard, close, ignore, and abandon” them. The meaning of the text is perfectly clear. And as a result of this, the sages have departed from the nation, the benevolent deities have left their dwelling places, hunger and thirst fill the world, and disease and pestilence spread widely.

Now, by citing passages from a wide variety of scriptures, you have clearly demonstrated the rights and wrongs of the matter. Therefore, I have completely forsaken my earlier mistaken convictions, and my ears and eyes have been opened on point after point.

There can be no doubt that all people, from the ruler on down to the general populace, rejoice in and desire the stability of the nation and the peace of the world. If we can quickly put an end to the alms that are given to these icchantikas and insure that continuing support is instead given to the host of true priests and nuns, if we can still these “white waves”50 that trouble the ocean of the Buddha and cut down these “green groves” that overgrow the mountain of the Law, then the world may become as peaceful as it was in the golden ages of Fu Hsi and Shen Nung, and the nation may flourish as it did under the sage rulers Yao and Shun.51 After that, there will be time to dip into the waters of the Law and to decide which are shallow doctrines and which are deep, and to pay honor to the pillars and beams that support the house of the Buddha.

The host exclaimed with delight: The dove has changed into a hawk, the sparrow into a clam.52 How gratifying! You have associated with a friend in the orchid room and have become as straight as mugwort growing among hemp.53 If you will truly give consideration to the troubles I have been describing and put entire faith in these words of mine, then the winds will blow gently, the waves will be calm, and in no time at all we will enjoy bountiful harvests.

But a person’s heart may change with the times, and the nature of a thing may alter with its surroundings. Just as the moon on the water will be tossed about by the waves, or the soldiers in the vanguard will be cowed by the swords of the enemy, so, although at this moment you may say you believe in my words, I fear that later p.24you will forget them completely.

Now if we wish first of all to bring security to the nation and to pray for our present and future lives, then we must hasten to examine and consider the situation and take measures as soon as possible to remedy it.

Why do I say this? Because, of the seven types of disasters described in the Medicine Master Sutra, five have already occurred. Only two have yet to appear, the calamity of invasion from foreign lands and the calamity of revolt within one’s own domain. And of the three calamities mentioned in the Great Collection Sutra, two have already made their appearance. Only one remains, the disaster of warfare.

The different types of disaster and calamity enumerated in the Golden Light Sutra have arisen one after the other. Only that described as marauders from other regions invading and plundering the nation has yet to materialize. This is the only trouble that has not yet come. And of the seven disasters listed in the Benevolent Kings Sutra, six are now upon us in full force. Only one has not yet appeared, the calamity that occurs “when enemies rise up on all four sides and invade the nation.”

Moreover, as the Benevolent Kings Sutra says: “When a nation becomes disordered, it is the spirits that first show signs of rampancy. Because the spirits become rampant, all the people of the nation become disordered.”

Now if we examine the present situation carefully in the light of this passage, we will see that the various spirits have for some time been rampant, and many of the people have perished. If the first predicted misfortune in the sutra has already occurred, as is obvious, then how can we doubt that the later disasters will follow? If, in punishment for the evil doctrines that are upheld, the troubles that have yet to appear should fall upon us one after the other, then it will be too late to act, will it not?

Emperors and kings have their foundation in the state and bring peace and order to the age; ministers and commoners hold possession of their fields and gardens and supply the needs of the world. But if marauders come from other regions to invade the nation, or if revolt breaks out within the domain and people’s lands are seized and plundered, how can there be anything but terror and confusion? If the nation is destroyed and people’s homes are wiped out, then where can one flee for safety? If you care anything about your personal security, you should first of all pray for order and tranquillity throughout the four quarters of the land, should you not?

It seems to me that when people are in this world they all fear what their lot may be in the life to come. So it is that they put their faith in distorted doctrines and pay honor to slanderous teachings. It distresses me that they should be so confused about right and wrong, and at the same time I feel pity that, having embraced Buddhism, they should have chosen the wrong kind. With the power of faith that is in their hearts, why must they recklessly give credence to distorted doctrines? If they do not shake off these delusions that they cling to but continue to harbor erroneous views, then they will quickly leave this world of the living and surely fall into the hell of incessant suffering.

Thus the Great Collection Sutra says: “Though for countless existences in the past the ruler of a state may have practiced the giving of alms, observed the precepts, and cultivated wisdom, if he sees that my teaching is in danger of perishing and stands idly by without doing anything to protect it, then all the inestimable roots of goodness that he has planted through the practices just mentioned will be entirely wiped p.25out . . . Before long, the ruler will fall gravely ill, and after his life has come to an end, he will be reborn in the great hell. . . . And the same fate will befall the ruler’s consort, his heir, the high ministers of the state, the lords of cities, the village heads and generals, the magistrates of districts, and the other officials.”

The Benevolent Kings Sutra states: “If persons destroy the teachings of the Buddha, they will have no filial sons, no harmony with their six kinds of relatives,54 and no aid from the heavenly deities and dragons. Disease and evil demons will come day after day to torment them, disasters will descend on them incessantly, and misfortunes will dog them wherever they go. And when they die, they will fall into the realms of hell, hungry spirits, and animals. Even if they should be reborn as human beings, they will be destined to become soldiers or slaves. Retribution will follow as an echo follows a sound, or a shadow follows a form. Someone writing at night may put out the lamp, but the words he has written will still remain. It is the same with the effect of the deeds we perform in the threefold world.”

The second volume of the Lotus Sutra says, “If a person fails to have faith but instead slanders this sutra . . . When his life comes to an end he will enter the Avīchi hell.” And in the “Never Disparaging” chapter in the seventh volume, it says, “For a thousand kalpas they underwent great suffering in the Avīchi hell.”

In the Nirvana Sutra, we read: “If a person separates himself from good friends, refuses to listen to the correct teaching, and instead embraces evil teachings, then as a result he will sink down into the Avīchi hell, where the size of his body will become eighty-four thousand yojanas in total length and breadth.”55

When we examine this wide variety of sutras, we find that they all stress how grave a matter it is to slander the correct teaching. How pitiful that people should all go out of the gate of the correct teaching and enter so deep into the prison of these distorted doctrines! How stupid that they should fall one after another into the snares of these evil doctrines and remain for so long entangled in this net of slanderous teachings! They lose their way in these mists and miasmas, and sink down amid the raging flames of hell. How could one not grieve? How could one not suffer?

Therefore, you must quickly reform the tenets that you hold in your heart and embrace the one true vehicle, the single good doctrine [of the Lotus Sutra]. If you do so, then the threefold world will become the Buddha land, and how could a Buddha land ever decline? The regions in the ten directions will all become treasure realms, and how could a treasure realm ever suffer harm? If you live in a country that knows no decline or diminution, in a land that suffers no harm or disruption, then your body will find peace and security, and your mind will be calm and untroubled. You must believe my words; heed what I say!

The guest said: Since it concerns both this life and the lives to come, who could fail to be cautious in a matter such as this? Who could fail to agree with you? Now when I examine the passages you have cited from the sutras and see exactly what the Buddha has said, I realize that slandering the Law is a very grave fault indeed, that violating the Law is in truth a terrible offense. I have put all my faith in one Buddha alone, Amida, and rejected all the other Buddhas. I have honored the three Pure Land sutras and set aside the other sutras. But this was not due to any distorted ideas of my own conception. I was simply obeying the words of the eminent men of the past. And the p.26same is true of all the other persons in the ten directions.

But now I realize that to do so means to exhaust oneself in futile efforts in this life and to fall into the Avīchi hell in the life to come. The texts you have cited are perfectly clear on this point, and their arguments are detailed—they leave no room for doubt. From now on, with your kind instruction to guide me, I wish to continue dispelling the ignorance from my mind. I hope we may set about as quickly as possible taking measures to deal with these slanders against the Law and to bring peace to the world without delay, thus insuring that we may live in safety in this life and enjoy good fortune in the life to come. But it is not enough that I alone should accept and have faith in your words—we must see to it that others as well are warned of their errors.
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Background

On the twenty-eighth day of the fourth month, 1253, Nichiren Daishonin established the teaching of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo at Seichō-ji temple in his native province of Awa, and later he returned to Kamakura, the seat of the military government, to begin propagation. In examining the records, we find that in those days the era names were changed frequently. The year 1253 was in the Kenchō era. Three years later, in 1256, the era name changed to Kōgen, and the next year, to Shōka. Then, two years later, in 1259, it was changed to Shōgen, the following year to Bunnō, and the year after that to Kōchō. In the five years from 1256 to 1261, the era name changed five times. An era name was usually changed only on the accession of a new emperor, or when some natural disaster of severe proportions occurred; the frequency of these changes attests to the magnitude of the disasters that struck Japan during this period.

Soon after the Daishonin’s arrival, Kamakura and the country as a whole faced a series of disasters and conflicts that served to emphasize his conviction that the Latter Day of the Law had indeed been entered upon. On the sixth day of the eighth month of 1256, torrential rainstorms caused floods and landslides, destroying crops and devastating much of Kamakura. In the ninth month of the same year, an epidemic swept through the city, taking many lives. During the fifth, eighth, and eleventh months of 1257, violent earthquakes rocked the city, and the sixth and seventh months witnessed a disastrous drought. Most frightful of all was an earthquake of unprecedented scale that occurred on the twenty-third day of the eighth month. The year 1258 witnessed no lessening of natural calamities. The eighth month saw storms destroy crops throughout the nation, and floods in Kamakura drowned numerous people. In the tenth month of the same year, Kamakura was visited by heavy rains and severe floods. In the first month of 1258, fires consumed Jufuku-ji temple, and in 1259, epidemics and famine were rampant, and a violent rainstorm decimated crops.

Nichiren Daishonin sought answers to the cause of these disasters in the scriptural writings of Buddhism. In an effort to clarify it, he went to Jissō-ji temple at Iwamoto in Suruga Province, and he stayed there from 1258 through the middle of 1260. As a major temple of the Tendai school in eastern Japan, p.27Jissō-ji housed many important sutras in its scripture library. The Daishonin pored over them all.

As a result, Nichiren Daishonin found evidence for his theory in such sutras as the Benevolent Kings, Medicine Master, Great Collection, and Golden Light. He quotes passages from these sutras in the present text, On Establishing the Correct Teaching for the Peace of the Land, chronologically the first of his five major works.

The work was originally written in classical Chinese and submitted to Hōjō Tokiyori through the offices of high-ranking government official Yadoya Mitsunori on the sixteenth day of the seventh month in the first year of Bunnō (1260). Tokiyori was then living in retirement, but was still the most influential member of the ruling Hōjō clan. The work occasioned no immediate reaction, and no official response was made to the Daishonin. But the members of the government were incensed at the rational but unrelenting attack that the work made on the Pure Land teachings of Hōnen and his followers. Government officials who were Pure Land followers apparently encouraged an attack made on the Daishonin’s dwelling at Matsubagayatsu in Kamakura on the twenty-seventh day of the eighth month. The Daishonin narrowly escaped and made his way to the province of Shimōsa to stay at the home of a follower. He returned to Kamakura early in the following year, 1261. He remained continually under the threat of persecution and was summarily banished to Izu on the twelfth day of the fifth month of the same year.

The work consists of a dialogue between a host and a visitor. The host represents Nichiren Daishonin, and the visitor, it is thought, represents Hōjō Tokiyori. At the outset, the host lays the blame for the disasters that have befallen the country on the belief in an erroneous religion, the Pure Land teachings of Hōnen. Presented are numerous scriptural references to disasters that will befall a nation that follows false teachings. The Daishonin puts particular emphasis on a passage in the Medicine Master Sutra that describes seven types of disasters that will strike such a nation. Of these calamities, he points out, five have already occurred, and two, the “calamity of invasion from foreign lands” and the “calamity of revolt within one’s own domain,” have yet to occur. The Daishonin cautions that these will come about if the doctrines of the Lotus Sutra are not followed. Later, the prophecies of internal strife and foreign invasion were fulfilled when Hōjō Tokisuke revolted against his younger half brother, Regent Hōjō Tokimune, in 1272, and when the Mongols attacked Japan twice, in 1274 and 1281.

In terms of its view of the relationship between the people’s religious beliefs and the realization of a peaceful society, On Establishing the Correct Teaching holds an important position in Nichiren Daishonin’s writings. The Daishonin lived at a time of authoritarian government, and he probably felt that through an appeal to the most powerful members of the government he could help bring about a reformation of society. That his appeal was ignored only spurred his unremitting effort to propagate his teaching for the peace and happiness of society, a task he would pursue to the end of his life.
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Notes

1. Reference is to a passage in Shan-tao’s Praising the Meditation to Behold the Buddha, in which he says that calling on the name of Amida Buddha serves as a sword to cut off earthly desires, karma, and suffering.

p.28 2. One of the twelve vows of the Buddha Medicine Master, which appear in the Medicine Master Sutra. As a bodhisattva he made these vows to cure all illnesses and lead all people to enlightenment.

3. Lotus Sutra, chap. 23. This is a reference to a practice of the Tendai school.

4. Benevolent Kings Sutra. This is another reference to the Tendai school, which held a ritual of prayer based on this passage.

5. According to the Benevolent Kings Sutra, a type of ceremony originally held by the god Shakra to defeat the evil king Born from the Crown of the Head.

6. Ritual in which priests of the True Word school placed five jars, colored white, blue, red, yellow, and black, on a platform and put into them, respectively, gold, silver, lapis lazuli, pearls, and crystal. In addition, they placed in these jars the five grains, five herbs, and five types of incense, and then filled them with water and set flowers in them. The ritual of filling the jars in this manner was believed to drive away disasters.

7. Reference is to the practice of the Zen school.

8. The names of the seven guardian spirits appear in the Mysterious Spells for Eliminating the Illnesses of the Five Components Sutra.

9. The five mighty bodhisattvas enumerated in the Benevolent Kings Sutra. According to this sutra, if a ruler embraces the correct teaching of Buddhism, these five powerful bodhisattvas will protect him and the people of his country.

10. Jupiter, Mars, Venus, Mercury, and Saturn.

11. This refers to an oracle said to have been received from Great Bodhisattva Hachiman in the reign of the fifty-first sovereign, Emperor Heizei (r. 806–809). In it Hachiman vowed to protect the nation until the reign of the hundredth sovereign. On Establishing the Correct Teaching for the Peace of the Land was written in the reign of the ninetieth sovereign, Emperor Kameyama (r. 1259–1274).

12. The orchid room indicates the dwelling of a virtuous person.

13. The heavens of purity refer to the five highest heavens in the world of form, the second division of the threefold world, located above the world of desire.

14. Sweet, pungent, sour, bitter, salty, astringent, and faint flavors.

15. The power of earth that nourishes grains and fruits, the power of living beings that raise the people and vitalize human society, and the power of the Buddhist Law that brings about peace and happiness.

16. In the Great Collection Sutra, the roe deer is described as a small deer so timid that it flees immediately whenever danger approaches, without giving a thought to the welfare of its parents or others.

17. Anointed kings refer to the rulers of major kingdoms. In ancient India, when the ruler of a powerful kingdom ascended the throne, the rulers of smaller kingdoms and their ministers poured water on his head.

18. The Metal Star is Venus. The Broom Star, the Fire Star, and the Water Star refer to comets, Mars, and Mercury, respectively. Most of the other stars mentioned make up parts of the twenty-eight celestial houses.

19. Demon fire refers to fires of unknown origin attributed to the anger of demons. Dragon fire means fires ascribed to the wrath of dragons, who were thought to be able to change water into fire at will. Heavenly fire is said to be caused by the wrath of heaven, and mountain god fire—possibly a reference to volcanic eruptions—by the wrath of mountain gods. Human fire refers to fires caused by human error or negligence. Tree fire probably indicates forest fires, and bandit fire means fires set by invaders.

20. According to the Japanese lunar calendar, the sixth month corresponds to the last month of summer.

21. Black, red, and green winds refer to winds that stir up and convey clouds of sand, while heavenly and earthly winds correspond to tornados or cyclones. Fire winds indicate hot air in the dry season, and water winds refer to rainstorms.

22. Wheat, rice, beans, and two types of millet. Also a generic term for all grains, which is the meaning here.

23. Bandits who do evil amid the confusion of disasters caused by fire, water, and wind, respectively. Demon bandits are said to be abductors.

24. The original word is gedō, which literally means “outside of the way” and usually indicates heretics and non-Buddhists. Here the word means something or someone that brings about p.29disasters. Hence the expression “evil spirits.”

25. This refers to the tradition that Emperor Ming (28–75) dreamed of a golden man levitating above the garden. He awakened and asked his ministers about the dream. One of them said that he had once heard of the birth of a sage in the western region (India) during the reign of King Chao of the Chou dynasty, and that this sage had been called the Buddha. The emperor sent eighteen envoys to the western region in order to obtain the Buddha’s teachings. And at the request of these envoys, two Indian Buddhist monks came to China in c.e. 67 with Buddhist scriptures and images on the backs of white horses.

26. In 587, while still a youth, Jōgū, or Prince Shōtoku, is said to have joined with Soga no Umako in attacking and killing Mononobe no Moriya, a powerful minister who opposed Buddhism and the Soga clan.

27. “Those who belong to the lineage of Shāriputra” refers to those who attach greater importance to practicing meditation than to abiding by the teachings. “Those who adhere to the traditions of Haklenayashas” refers to those who hold doctrinal study to be more important than the practice of meditation. Haklenayashas was the twenty-third of Shakyamuni’s twenty-four successors. Kukkutapāda is present-day Kurkihar, located about thirty kilometers northeast of Buddhagayā. Mahākāshyapa is said to have transmitted the teachings to Ānanda and to have died on this mountain.

28. Lotus Sutra, chap. 13. This is often called the “twenty-line verse of the ‘Encouraging Devotion’ chapter,” which enumerates the types of persecutions that will be met in propagating the Lotus Sutra in the fearful latter age. These persecutions were later summarized as the three powerful enemies by Miao-lo of China.

29. The sages of the four stages refer to the Buddhist teachers who embrace and propagate the correct teaching and benefit the people. Often this expression refers to the sages of Hinayana, who are classified into four ranks according to their level of understanding, but generally it indicates those successors of the Buddha who propagate his teachings and lead people to salvation.

30. “Concentrated meditation and unconcentrated meditation” refers to the sixteen types of meditation that are described as practices leading people to rebirth in the Pure Land. In the first thirteen types of meditation, one concentrates one’s mind on the splendor of the Pure Land and the features of the Buddhas and bodhisattvas. These are regarded as “concentrated meditation.” The other three types of meditation can be carried out even if one’s mind is not focused. Therefore, they are called “unconcentrated meditation.”

31. The three kinds of mind refer to the three requisites for reaching the Pure Land: a sincere mind, a mind of deep faith, and a mind resolved to attain the Pure Land.

32. This refers to the eighteenth of the forty-eight vows, described in the Buddha Infinite Life Sutra, that Bodhisattva Dharma Treasury, the name of Amida Buddha before his enlightenment, made to bring all people to the Pure Land, except those mentioned here.

33. Lotus Sutra, chap. 3.

34. The two attendants are the bodhisattvas Perceiver of the World’s Sounds and Great Power.

35. Shakyamuni and Medicine Master were Buddhas whose images were enshrined in the head temple of the Tendai school on Mount Hiei. The images of the bodhisattvas Space Treasury and Earth Repository were also enshrined on Mount Hiei. Space Treasury is a bodhisattva said to possess immeasurable wisdom and blessings. Earth Repository is a bodhisattva entrusted by Shakyamuni Buddha with the mission of saving people.

36. At the ceremony of the Lotus Sutra, Shakyamuni Buddha transferred his teachings to the bodhisattvas of the theoretical teaching led by Medicine King and entrusted them with the mission of propagating them in the Middle Day of the Law. It is said that Bodhisattva Medicine King was later born as the Great Teacher T’ien-t’ai in China and the Great Teacher Dengyō in Japan. On the basis of the parable of the skilled physician in the “Life Span” chapter of the Lotus Sutra, T’ien-t’ai and Dengyō used the Buddha Medicine Master, the lord of the Pure Emerald World in the eastern part of the universe, as an object of devotion for their school. In this sense, to neglect the Buddha Medicine Master and revere the Buddha Amida is to ignore Shakyamuni Buddha’s transmission.

37. The four treatises refer to Nāgārjuna’s Treatise on the Middle Way and Treatise p.30on the Twelve Gates, and The Treatise on the Great Perfection of Wisdom also attributed to Nāgārjuna, as well as The One-Hundred-Verse Treatise attributed to Āryadeva.

38. T’ien-t’ai’s three major works: Great Concentration and Insight, The Words and Phrases of the Lotus Sutra, and The Profound Meaning of the Lotus Sutra, consisting of thirty volumes, and Miao-lo’s three commentaries on them, which also consist of thirty volumes.

39. According to Hōnen’s biography, in a dream he received permission from Shan-tao to spread the practice of calling on the name of Amida and was entrusted with the Pure Land teachings.

40. “An earlier period” refers to the period in which Hōnen propagated the Pure Land teaching.

41. Juan Chi (210–263) was one of the Seven Worthies of the Bamboo Grove, a group of scholars who, in the troubled political times at the end of the Wei dynasty, are said to have gathered in a bamboo grove to drink, play music, write poems, and discuss philosophy, particularly the Taoist philosophy of Lao Tzu and Chuang Tzu. Juan Chi is also known as a noted poet.

42. Uighurs: A Turkish people of Central Asia who prospered from the eighth through the mid-ninth century.

43. In 1221, the Retired Emperor Gotoba played a leading role in a struggle for power between the imperial court in Kyoto and the Hōjō clan in Kamakura, an incident known as the Jōkyū Disturbance. The imperial forces were defeated, and he and two other retired emperors were sent into exile.

44. This statement by the guest, who represents the highest political authority in the land, reflects his position as a ruler who puts matters of government first. In contrast, the Daishonin teaches that the refutation of misleading teachings and the propagation of the correct teaching are the surest way to establish the true security of the nation.

45. The four grave offenses are those particularly grave among the ten evil offenses: killing, stealing, committing adultery, and lying.

46. An anāgāmin, or “non-returner,” is one who has reached the third of the four stages that voice-hearers can attain. The fourth and highest stage is that of arhat.

47. Kāshyapa was one of the seven ancient Buddhas or Buddhas of the past. Of these seven, the Buddha Kāshyapa was the sixth to appear, and Shakyamuni Buddha was the seventh.

48. Shavepate refers here to someone who has received tonsure and become a monk for self-serving reasons, such as to gain personal security or financial comfort, and is negligent in the practice and study of Buddhism.

49. Lectures held on the anniversary of T’ien-t’ai’s death on the twenty-fourth day of the eleventh month of each year.

50. A Chinese term referring to rebels and outlaws. Here “white waves” indicates Hōnen and other priests of the Pure Land school, as well as the followers of other misleading schools. The “ocean of the Buddha” signifies Shakyamuni’s teachings. The phrases “green groves” and “mountain of the Law” likewise refer to Hōnen and his followers and Shakyamuni’s teachings, respectively.

51. Fu Hsi, Shen Nung, Yao, and Shun are legendary sage rulers of ancient China.

52. Expressions taken from early Chinese literature that indicate dramatic change.

53. “A friend in the orchid room” indicates a person of virtue. The implication is that the company of a virtuous person works as a good influence, just as one is imbued with fragrance on entering a room filled with orchids. It is said that mugwort supported by hemp plants grows upright.

54. The six kinds of relatives refer to a father, a mother, an elder brother, a younger brother, a wife, and a son or daughter.

55. According to the Nirvana Sutra, the place called the Avīchi hell, or the hell of incessant suffering, measures eighty-four thousand yojanas in total length and breadth. It is said that when a person falls into this hell he or she alone is sufficient to fill it up completely. The great size of the body symbolizes the magnitude of the pain one suffers in this hell.
The Postscript to “On Establishing the Correct Teaching for the Peace of the Land”

Background

I COMPILED the above work in the first year of the Bunnō era (1260), with the cyclical sign kanoe-saru. That is, I began the work during the Shōka era (1257–1259) and completed it in the first year of Bunnō.

In the first year of the Shōka era, cyclical sign hinoto-mi, on the twenty-third day of the eighth month, at the time when the hour of the dog gives way to the hour of the boar (around 9:00 p.m.), there was a severe earthquake. Observing this event, I conceived the work. Later, in the first year of Bunnō, cyclical sign kanoe-saru, on the sixteenth day of the seventh month, I presented it to His Lordship, the lay priest of Saimyō-ji,1 who is now deceased, by way of the lay priest Yadoya.2 Still later, in the first year of the Bun’ei era (1264), cyclical sign kinoe-ne, on the fifth day of the seventh month, when a great comet appeared, I became even more certain of the origins of these disasters. Then, on the eighteenth day of the intercalary first month of the fifth year of Bun’ei, cyclical sign tsuchinoe-tatsu, nine years after the first year of Bunnō [when I submitted On Establishing the Correct Teaching for the Peace of the Land], an official letter came from the great kingdom of the Mongols that lies to the west, threatening to attack our country. Again, in the sixth year of the same era (1269), a second letter arrived. Thus the prediction that I made in my memorial [On Establishing the Correct Teaching] has already proved to be true. In view of this, we may suppose that the predictions I made will continue to come true in the future as well.

This work of mine has now been substantiated by fact. But this is not solely due to Nichiren’s power. Rather it has come about as a response to the true words of the Lotus Sutra.

I copied this work on the eighth day of the twelfth month in the sixth year of Bun’ei (1269), cyclical sign tsuchinoto-mi.
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Background

In 1269, Mongol emissaries again arrived at Dazaifu, the government outpost on the southern island of Kyushu, pressing for an answer to their earlier demands. Nichiren Daishonin is believed to have sent off another round of letters to high officials, which again failed to elicit a response. On the eighth day of the twelfth month of 1269, the Daishonin copied On Establishing the Correct Teaching for the Peace of the Land and appended this postscript. In the postscript, he warns that the prophecies set forth in that document nine years earlier are now coming true.
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p.32Notes

1. The lay priest of Saimyō-ji indicates Hōjō Tokiyori (1227–1263), the fifth regent of the Kamakura shogunate. He became regent in 1246, but relinquished the regency to Hōjō Nagatoki and took holy orders under Dōryū, a naturalized Zen priest from China, in 1256. As a lay priest he lived at Saimyō-ji temple, which he had built, but he continued as the de facto ruler. He was called the lay priest of Saimyō-ji.

2. Yadoya Mitsunori, also known as the lay priest Yadoya, was a ranking official close to Hōjō Tokiyori.
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174
Questions and Answers
on the Various Schools

Background

QUESTION: In expounding its doctrines, does the Lotus school make use of the commentaries of T’ien-t’ai, Miao-lo, Dengyō, and the others?

Answer: Indeed it does. These various commentaries serve as a bright mirror to aid in the understanding of its doctrines.

Question: How can they serve as a bright mirror? These various commentaries quote from the sutras preached prior to the Lotus Sutra and from the provisional teachings and do not set these aside. Thus they say, for example, that “the Buddha wisdom shown at the beginning and that at the latter time are alike in representing the principle of perfect and immediate enlightenment.”1 “Concerning the myō, or wonderful, the myō of this teaching and the myō of the other teachings are not different in meaning.”2 They say that the Flower Garland Sutra and the Lotus Sutra both represent the Buddha wisdom, that the Buddha wisdom does not differ in these two, and that the Buddha wisdom set forth in the connecting teaching and the specific teaching can be viewed as identical with that of the Lotus Sutra. How can you hold the Lotus Sutra to be uniquely superior to these other teachings? We cannot agree with such ideas.

Answer: These passages you have cited from the commentary of T’ien-t’ai most certainly fit in with the teachings of the Tendai [Lotus] school. But you must understand that the sixty volumes of T’ien-t’ai’s commentaries3 are made up of two types of approaches, that of the way of doctrine and that of the way of enlightenment. The term “way of doctrine” refers to the doctrinal classification of the sutras, while the term “way of enlightenment” refers to the inner realization of enlightenment.

With regard to the passages from the commentary that you have just cited, we must first ask to which category of writings and ideas they belong. If they belong to the comments that pertain to the doctrinal teachings, then we must note here that, when discussing the doctrinal classification of such teachings, T’ien-t’ai posits three standards of comparison by which one may determine the relative superiority of the Lotus Sutra and the sutras preached before it.

What then are these three standards of comparison? First of the three is that which inquires whether or not people of all capacities can attain Buddhahood through a particular sutra. Second is that which inquires whether or not the process of teaching, that is, the process of planting the seed of Buddhahood in people’s lives and finally harvesting its fruit by leading them to Buddhahood, p.11is revealed in full. Third is that which inquires whether the original relationship between teacher and disciple is revealed.

Then we must determine to which of these three categories the passages cited from the commentary belong. If they belong to the first, that concerning whether or not people of all capacities can attain Buddhahood through a particular sutra, then we must further inquire which of the two sets of criteria the answer to this depends on, the criteria pertaining to the four teachings of doctrine and the four teachings of method, or those pertaining to the five periods of the Buddha’s teachings.

If the answer is that it depends on the criteria pertaining to the four teachings of doctrine and the four teachings of method, then we must note here that, with regard to these criteria, and to the criteria pertaining to the five periods of the Buddha’s teachings, the commentaries distinguish between two types of interpretation, a lenient interpretation and a strict interpretation.4 We must therefore ask whether the passages cited are following a lenient interpretation or a strict interpretation.

If one cannot distinguish between passages that depend on the criteria pertaining to the four teachings of doctrine and the four teachings of method and those that depend on the criteria pertaining to the five periods, or between a lenient interpretation and a strict interpretation, then we would have to say that [though one claims to be a follower of the Tendai Lotus school] one is grossly ignorant of the doctrines of that school.

The teachings of the Tendai Lotus school use these doctrinal classifications to reveal the original intentions of the various Buddhas. If one is ignorant of these doctrinal classifications and yet tries to discuss the teachings of the Lotus Sutra, then [as the Great Teacher Dengyō has said] “Though one praises the Lotus Sutra, one on the contrary kills its very heart,”5 that is, one destroys the intent of the Lotus.

Moreover, [as the Great Teacher T’ien-t’ai says] in his commentary, “When one tries to propagate the other sutras, one need not inquire into their exact position in the comparative classification of the doctrines, and this will not impair the understanding of their meaning. But when one tries to propagate the Lotus Sutra, unless one grasps its position in the doctrinal classification, one will fail to understand the meaning of the text.”6

These doctrinal classifications in fact constitute the very foundation upon which T’ien-t’ai’s teachings are erected. T’ien-t’ai himself has given grave warning that if someone should attempt to describe his teachings, as you have, without taking into consideration the order in which the Buddha’s teachings were set forth, without distinguishing between partial and perfect or choosing between what is erroneous and what is correct, then no one should believe or accept what that person says.

When you do not even understand this much, surely you deserve censure for attempting to quote from T’ien-t’ai’s commentaries in this irresponsible fashion!

In the section dealing with the first of the three standards of comparison set forth in T’ien-t’ai’s commentary, that which inquires whether or not people of all capacities can attain Buddhahood through a particular sutra, he distinguishes two viewpoints of myō, or wonderful, the comparative myō and the absolute myō.

From the viewpoint of the comparative myō, he further explains how one can determine the superiority or inferiority of any given Buddhist teaching by the criteria of the four teachings of doctrine and the four teachings of p.12method, and those of the five periods of the Buddha’s teachings.

In cases where one is referring to the four teachings of doctrine, the teachings of the Buddha’s lifetime are divided into four categories, the Tripitaka teaching, the connecting teaching, the specific teaching, and the perfect teaching, and one uses these categories to determine the relative superiority of the teaching. At such times [as described in The Annotations on “The Profound Meaning of the Lotus Sutra”] “The first three [of the four teachings] are designated as ‘rough,’ while the last one [the perfect teaching] is designated as ‘wonderful.’” Hence the Tripitaka, connecting, and specific teachings, which are “rough” teachings, are to be rejected, and the last one, the wonderful Law, is to be chosen.

However, at this stage in the proceedings, by applying a lenient interpretation, the provisional teachings set forth in the sutras preached prior to the Lotus are still given a degree of recognition as providing a kind of temporary or tentative attainment of the way. For the time being, the Buddha wisdom expressed in the Flower Garland Sutra and that expressed in the Lotus Sutra are regarded as of equal worth. That is why T’ien-t’ai in his commentary expresses the lenient interpretation that “the Buddha wisdom shown at the beginning and that at the latter time are alike in representing the principle of perfect and immediate enlightenment.”

In cases where one is referring to the five periods of the Buddha’s teachings, however, the teachings of his lifetime are divided into five time periods that correspond to the five flavors, namely, the Flower Garland period, the Āgama period, the Correct and Equal period, the Wisdom period, and the Lotus period. In this case a strict interpretation is applied; the first four periods, or flavors, are designated as “rough” and the last is judged to be “wonderful.” Thus, the passage dealing with this strict interpretation states, “Those with the refined view [that is, the Flower Garland view] and those with the rough view [that is, the Āgama, Correct and Equal, and Wisdom view] are both guilty of error. Hence, because of their error, they deserve to be called persons with a rough view.”7

The meaning of this passage of commentary is that, though the Flower Garland Sutra embodies both the specific teaching and the perfect teaching, the perfect teaching part of it may be said to represent the Buddha wisdom. The Correct and Equal sutras expound all four teachings, the Tripitaka teaching, the connecting teaching, the specific teaching, and the perfect teaching, and the perfect teaching part likewise represents the Buddha wisdom. The Wisdom sutras expound three teachings, the connecting, specific, and perfect teachings, and in this case as well the perfect teaching part represents the Buddha wisdom.

However, since the Flower Garland Sutra expounds the specific teaching, a spurious teaching, along with the perfect teaching, the Buddha wisdom embodied in the sutra is contaminated with bad elements and therefore to be rejected. The Buddha wisdom embodied in the perfect teaching of the Correct and Equal sutras is likewise contaminated by the three earlier teachings accompanying it, which are spurious in nature. The Buddha wisdom embodied in the perfect teaching of the Wisdom sutras in the same way is mixed with the spurious teachings of the two earlier teachings, the connecting and specific teachings, which belong to the “rough” category.

As a result of all this, although the term “Buddha wisdom” is used in the same way in all cases, the Buddha wisdom contained in the perfect teaching of these three categories of sutras is bad p.13because of its “rough” nature, which derives from the errors it contains, and therefore it is relegated to a lower level.

Thus a commentary,8 using these categories of the four teachings to determine the true superiority or inferiority of the various sutras, determines that on first consideration the term “Hinayana,” or lesser vehicle, applies only to the Tripitaka teaching, but on further consideration, all three teachings, the Tripitaka, connecting, and specific, should be termed Hinayana.

That is, one first considers that the doctrines of the Tripitaka teaching set forth in the Āgama sutras, which deal with the two hundred and fifty precepts, should all be labeled Hinayana doctrines and rejected for that reason. But on further consideration, the commentary concludes that all three teachings, the Tripitaka teaching and the connecting and specific teachings, the latter two of which are usually called Mahayana, or great vehicle, teachings, should all be labeled Hinayana doctrines. Such is the judgment set forth by the Great Teacher Chishō of our own country of Japan in his work The Commentary on “The Treatise on the Lotus Sutra.”

We come next to a discussion of the absolute myō, which is the doctrine dealing with the opening up and merging of the teachings. At this time the teachings set forth in the sutras preached prior to the Lotus, the provisional teachings, which had been cast aside as undesirable, are now all merged in the great sea of the Lotus Sutra. Therefore, since these provisional teachings of the pre-Lotus sutras enter into the great sea of the Lotus Sutra, there is no longer anything undesirable about them. All are blended into the single flavor of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo because of the inconceivably wonderful function of the great sea of the Lotus Sutra. Hence there is no longer any reason to call them by separate names such as the Nembutsu school, Precepts school, True Word school, or Zen school, as was done in the past.

Accordingly, the Great Teacher T’ien-t’ai in his commentary states: “[The Treatise on the Great Perfection of Wisdom says], ‘When the various waters enter the sea, all alike become one salty flavor.’ When the various kinds of wisdom enter the wisdom that perceives the true nature of things, they lose the names they previously bore.”9 The commentary is saying that there is no longer the slightest need to distinguish them by using the names that they originally bore.

People in the world today as well as followers of the Tendai school intone the names of the sutras that correspond to the first four flavors, sutras that were cast aside from the viewpoint of comparative myō, or again they intone the names of various Buddhas or bodhisattvas, because they claim that, after the opening up and merging of these with the Lotus Sutra, all belong to the wonderful entity of the Lotus. Before they had entered the great sea of the Lotus Sutra, they were each considered distinct and separate from the sutra. But since they are now merged in the great sea, it is a great mistake to go on labeling them “good” or “bad” as was done in the past. The streams that in the past were shunned as undesirable, along with the cool waters that were found acceptable, have now become a single body of water issuing from one source alone, the great sea. Thus, whatever name one may call it by, it is the same water of the great sea. Indeed, to call it by various different names is fine, but to do so while thinking of them as representing various different approaches is in itself an erroneous approach. So long as one thinks of it as the single body of water that is the great sea, there is no harm in following one’s inclinations, going along with the teachings of a particular Buddha or p.14bodhisattva, and continuing to intone whatever names one has in the past. Thus, because of such reasoning, people go on following their inclinations and intoning the Nembutsu or carrying out True Word practices as before.

If one applies a lenient interpretation in approaching the matter, one may perhaps view it in this way. But if one applies a strict interpretation, one can only say that such reasoning will most certainly lead one to fall into hell. I say this because, although one person, reasoning in this fashion, may believe and go on intoning as in the past, if ten thousand people, without understanding such reasoning, simply believe and continue to carry out intoning practices based on biased views and biased emotions, then, although the one person may thereby attain Buddhahood, the ten thousand people will all fall into hell because they have been following evil doctrines based on erroneous views.

The names and words used in the sutras preached before the Lotus in setting forth their doctrines, and the reasoning that underlies their exposition, are all based on biased views and biased emotions, the kind of provisional teachings that the Lotus Sutra is referring to when it says, “They stray into the dense forest of mistaken views, debating as to what exists and what does not.”10 Therefore, those who continue to have faith and intone these names and words and go on contemplating the reasoning that underlies them, whether they truly understand what they are doing or not, are all without exception destined to fall into the great hell.

If they understand what they are doing and yet go on intoning, they are like persons who look for the great sea in the puddle left in the track of an ox’s hoof, holders of erroneous views—how could they hope to escape rebirth in the three evil paths of existence? And if they do not understand what they are doing but go on intoning, they are persons who have been deceived and misled from the start—because of their dogged adherence to the erroneous views of the provisional teachings, they are without doubt headed for the great citadel of the hell of incessant suffering.

Likewise, even after the provisional teachings have been opened up and merged with the Lotus Sutra, one must not accept these evil doctrines, which have been rejected and cast aside as mere “rough teachings,” or intone their names or words or the principles that underlie them, mixing such doctrines with those of the Lotus Sutra.

The Annotations on “Great Concentration and Insight” states: “From both the comparative and absolute viewpoints, we should abandon all that is bad. To be attached to the perfect teaching is bad, and to be attached to the other teachings is of course even worse.”

The meaning of this passage is that, whether dealing with the comparative myō or with the absolute myō, in both cases one must remove oneself from wrong or evil doctrines. It is wrong to cling even to the perfect teaching of the earlier sutras, to say nothing of clinging to the other teachings put forth in them.

The word “perfect” here means that which is complete or fully satisfactory, while the word “other” means that which is defective. It is wrong to cling even to the perfect teaching, in which all beings in the Ten Worlds are equally capable of attaining Buddhahood, and such clinging must be rejected. How much worse is it, then, to cling to the evil or mistaken doctrines, which are defective because they do not recognize that all beings in the Ten Worlds are equally capable of attaining Buddhahood, morning and evening to accept and uphold, read, recite, expound, and transcribe them!

p.15Even though the perfect teaching of the earlier sutras may now have been “opened up and merged” with the Lotus Sutra, this does not mean that the perfect teaching of the earlier sutras is one in flavor with the Lotus Sutra. Though it may be opened up and merged with the body of the Lotus Sutra, it is still what is termed the provisional teaching within the body of the Lotus Sutra, not the true teaching.

When this provisional teaching within the body of the Lotus Sutra is for a time extracted and becomes external to that body, when the Buddhas “apply distinctions to the one Buddha vehicle and preach as though it were three,”11 then the term “perfect” is applied to this provisional teaching and one speaks of the perfect teaching that is in the three vehicles.

From early times the simile of the golden staff has been employed in explaining this matter of the three vehicles. Suppose that one were to take a golden staff, break it into three pieces, and hand one piece to each of the persons who, because of their different capacities, represent the three vehicles of the voice-hearer, the cause-awakened one, and the bodhisattva. One might then say to them, “These are all made of gold. And since they are all alike in being gold, how can you regard them as different from one another and judge one to be superior to another?”

On first hearing, this would seem to be a reasonable interpretation, but in fact it is based on an erroneous understanding by scholars. Now if we examine the true meaning of the simile, we see that when the Buddha took the golden staff, which represents the provisional teaching found within the body of the Lotus Sutra, he directed it toward the representatives of the three different capacities12 and, as something external to the body of the Lotus Sutra, flourished it three times. But the persons of different capacities, seeing the shining of the staff, failed to understand what had happened, and all supposed that the staff had actually been bestowed upon them.

If that were true, if the golden staff had indeed been broken into three pieces, then the simile would be perfectly apt. But the Buddha did not break the golden staff of the provisional teaching into three pieces, he merely waved it three times. The persons, with their different capacities, however, persisted in thinking that the staff had been broken into three pieces. This misunderstanding has led to an erroneous view of truly great proportions, of great proportions indeed!

The benefits of the provisional teaching that is within the body of the Lotus Sutra are merely flourished three times in the presence of the persons of three different capacities who are external to that body. But this does not mean that the inconceivably perfect and true teaching of the wonderful entity of the Lotus Sutra is being flourished in their presence. Thus, though one may argue that the external shining that was visible to the persons of the three vehicles has now been opened up and merged with the entity of the provisional teaching that was present all along within the body of the Lotus Sutra, it is still the provisional teaching that was present all along, not in any sense the perfect teaching within that body. One must keep this in mind in order to correctly understand the doctrines as they apply to the provisional and the true teachings within the body of the Lotus Sutra and external to it.

Next we come to the doctrines of the Zen school, which claim to represent a “separate transmission outside the sutras, independent of words or writing,” which speak of something “not transmitted by the Buddha and patriarchs,” which state that the p.16teachings of the sutras are like “a finger pointing at the moon,” or that “this very body is the Buddha,” doctrines that say they do not depend on words and writing, do not rely on the Buddha and patriarchs, do not study or practice doctrinal teachings, do not put faith in painted or wooden images.

In refuting such doctrines, one should ask why, if the Zen school does not rely on the Buddha and patriarchs, it talks about the twenty-eight patriarchs of India and the six patriarchs of China. And why it keeps talking about how the Venerable Mahākāshyapa was handed a flowering branch by Shakyamuni Buddha and smiled, receiving the single truth of the mind on Eagle Peak and handing it down to the Zen school.

Again, if this school has no use for the patriarchs, then why does it revere the Great Teacher Bodhidharma as its founding patriarch? And if it has no use for the doctrines of the sutras, then why, in its morning and evening devotions, does it keep on intoning mantras and dhāranīs? Why does it discuss and read and recite the Shūramgama Sutra, the Diamond Sutra, or the Perfect Enlightenment Sutra? And if it puts no faith in the Buddhas and bodhisattvas, then why, when walking, standing, sitting, or lying down, do its followers recite the formula “Homage to the Three Treasures”? Press them with questions such as these.

If they next come at you with various kinds of wild statements couched in terms you have never heard before, address them as follows. Point out that there are three types of persons, those of superior capacity, those of middling capacity, and those of inferior capacity, and that the Buddhist teachings are consequently taught in three ways in order to fit these three capacities. The Zen school too in its doctrines presents its teachings in the three categories of reasoning approach, capacity gates, and highest attainment13 to fit these three capacities. Ask, then, which of the three categories of capacity your interlocutors believe you belong to, that they confront you with these doctrinal terms you have never heard before. Press them to answer whether they think you should be addressed through the reasoning approach, the capacity gates, or the highest attainment.

The reasoning approach designates that which is employed to explain the Zen doctrines to a person of inferior capacity through the use of reason. The capacity gates approach is that used with a person of middling capacity. If the question is posed, “What is your original face14?” one answers, “The arborvitae tree in the garden,” and in this way sets forth the Zen doctrine. The term “highest attainment” applies to a person of superior capacity. Such a person does not receive the Zen doctrine from the patriarchs, nor does he receive it from the Buddha. He has the capacity to understand the Zen doctrine by himself. When Mahākāshyapa smiled and received the flower on Eagle Peak, thereby becoming the recipient of the single truth of the mind, this was still an example of a capacity of the middling category.

In effect, then, what is known as the Zen doctrine began when Mahākāshyapa received the flowering branch, and the doctrine has come down to the present time. This flower that was given to him—was it a flower from a tree or a flower from a plant? To which of the five primary colors did it belong, what color was it? And what sort of leaves did it have? One should inquire in detail about such matters.

If the Zen school were able to present this flower just as it is, then we would know that it has in truth grasped at least a portion of the single truth of the mind. But even if it has, that does not accord with the true intention of the Buddha. Why? Because p.17the Zen school does not put faith in the Lotus Sutra. That intention is described in detail at the end of the prose section in the “Expedient Means” chapter of the Lotus Sutra,15 which they may look up and read for themselves.

Again, the Zen doctrine teaches that one should rid oneself of all attachments. If one leans to the left, that is an attachment to that direction, if to the right, that too is an attachment, and so it is a teaching that ceaselessly wavers between one side and another.

In refuting such an argument, you should reply by asking why the Zen proponents, while constantly criticizing others for their attachments, fail to free themselves from their own attachments. You should state the matter this way: “Though you blame others for their attachments, why can you not abandon your own attachment to the view that regards others’ attachments as attachments?”

Of all the teachings that exist, there is not one that has not been expounded by the Buddhas of the three existences of past, present, and future. If you, the proponents of Zen, claim that your teachings are “not transmitted by the Buddha and patriarchs,” that they have not been handed down from the Buddha and patriarchs, then the Zen doctrine must be something handed down from the heavenly devil, must it not? Therefore, you have not gone beyond the stage of the two opposing views of a self that ends with death and a self that is eternally unchanging, and without doubt are destined to fall into the hell of incessant suffering.

You should keep using their own words again and again in this fashion to drive them into a corner. However, since they lack all learning, they will not listen to reason. They cannot understand the reasoning of others, nor do they understand the flaws in their own reasoning; they are persons of benighted comprehension. And since they refuse to bow to reason, addressing them is like trying to paint a picture on flowing water.

Next, with regard to the assertion that “this very body is the Buddha,” you should demand to know what kind of reasoning supports such an assertion. If there is no reasoning to support it, if they are simply claiming that “this very body is the Buddha” without any justification, point out that it must then be the teaching of the heavenly devil.

Moreover, as soon as one hears the words “this very body is the Buddha,” one immediately suspects that the Zen school has simply stolen the assertion made by the Tendai Lotus school that one may “attain Buddhahood in this very body”16 and adapted it to its own school. If so, then demand to know if “this very body is the Buddha” means that one can attain Buddhahood as described in the Lotus Sutra. If there is no such reasoning behind the statement, if it is simply a set of words one uses, then it is a meaningless assertion that anyone at all may use.

It is like, for example, a mere commoner who goes about proclaiming that he is a king. There is nothing to stop him from declaring himself to be a king. But no matter how his tongue may delight in making such a declaration, he remains no more than a commoner, humble and despised in station.

Or it is like someone insisting that mere shards and rubble are in fact jewels. Simply declaring that stones and shards are jewels has never once turned stones into real jewels. And you are doing the same thing when you go on repeating the formula “This very body is the Buddha,” mere words that have no reality behind them, a pitiful, a most pitiful performance!

Next, with regard to the statement that the Zen doctrine is “independent of words or writing,” just what do you mean by words or writing, that you p.18can claim that the Zen doctrine stands independent from them? Words and writing are the medium by which the minds of all living beings are revealed. A person’s writings tell us the nature of that person’s mind. The mental and physical components of the individual are in the end inseparable, and hence what a person has written will reveal whether that person is well or poorly endowed in nature.

Words and writing, then, are the medium through which these inseparable factors of the mental and physical makeup of all living beings are revealed. If you do not depend on words or writing, then you cannot give expression to your mental and physical makeup. Show me, if you can, how you express even one phrase of the Zen doctrine without having recourse to the six sense organs! Press the argument in this manner.

Moreover, if you say that there is something that exists apart from the six sense organs, or if you say there is nothing that exists apart from them, in either case you are still within the scope of the two opposing views of existence and nonexistence. If you say nothing exists, this is the view of nonexistence; if you say something exists, this is the view of existence. And neither of these two views accords with the truth.

Finally, with regard to the statement that the teachings of the sutras are like a finger pointing at the moon, does this mean in effect that, once one has seen the moon, the finger becomes superfluous? If that is the meaning, then as far as you are concerned, are your own father and mother superfluous? Is the teacher superfluous as far as the disciple is concerned? Is the earth superfluous? Is the sky superfluous?

Your statement is like saying that before you were born, your father and mother were indeed necessary, but once you were born, they ceased to be of any use. Or like saying that a teacher is certainly needed while one is acquiring a skill, but after one has acquired the skill, he is no longer needed. That the sky is useful while it is sending down moisture, but becomes useless after the rain has fallen. Or that the earth must exist so that it can bring forth plants and trees, but that after the plants and trees have come forth it is no longer needed.

There is a common saying: “Once past the throat, the hotness is forgotten; once the sickness is cured, the physician is forgotten.” And your statement is no different from this.

The sutras are nothing other than words and writing, and words and writing are the very life of the Buddhas of the three existences of past, present, and future, as T’ien-t’ai states in his commentary.17 T’ien-t’ai was among the patriarchs of the Zen school in China.18 Would you reject the words of one of your own patriarchs?

Moreover, words and writing are your very body and mind. They are the ever-continuing body and mind of all living beings of the three existences. Why would you discard what is in fact your “original face” in favor of something that is “independent of words or writing”? This is like the man long ago who, when he moved to a new house, forgot to take his wife along.19

By proceeding in such a manner, how can you hope to learn the true Zen doctrine? How pitiful, this Zen teaching! Refute it in this fashion.

We come next to the doctrines of the so-called six schools, the Flower Garland, Dharma Characteristics, Three Treatises, Dharma Analysis Treasury, Establishment of Truth, and Precepts schools. However florid may be their presentation of their doctrines, they are easily refuted. After you have let them say their fill, simply read to them the memorial in which the leaders of the schools of Buddhism p.19of Nara, the southern capital, admitted their defeat.20 The patriarchs and teachers of the six schools long ago wrote this document admitting that they submit to the teachings of the Tendai school and presented it to Emperor Kammu. Accordingly, this document has been preserved at the head temple of the Tendai school on Mount Hiei. In addition, a copy of it is in the possession of the imperial court, and copies have also been preserved and handed down in the families of various scholars.

From that time down to the present, in the Latter Day of the Law, the proponents of the Flower Garland and the other teachings that make up the six schools have never once been able to raise their head. Why, then, should anyone come forward now with the provisional teachings, which have already been discarded, with these doctrines by which one can never attain the way, and declare, as these schools do, that they represent the truth? Rebuke the proponents of these schools for their lack of understanding.

I will speak next about the doctrines of the True Word school. You should begin your discussion by asking whether the persons you are addressing believe that the three sutras21 upon which the True Word school bases its doctrines were expounded by the Thus Come One Mahāvairochana or by the Thus Come One Shakyamuni.

If they reply that they were expounded by Shakyamuni, then point out that the teachings expounded by Shakyamuni over the fifty years of his preaching life fall into three categories, those that the Buddha “has preached, now preaches, and will preach.”22 Ask to which category the Mahāvairochana Sutra and the others of the three True Word sutras belong. When they indicate to which of the three categories the sutras belong, you may then easily use that teaching I taught you23 to prove that they must be inferior to the Lotus Sutra.

If they should assert that these three sutras were preached at the same time as the Lotus Sutra and are the same as the Lotus Sutra in principle, then point out that the Lotus Sutra sets forth only the single truth that is pure and perfect, which is unmixed with any of the expedient means that were expounded earlier. The Mahāvairochana Sutra and the other True Word sutras, on the other hand, contain all of the four teachings. How, then, can one say that they were preached at the same time as the Lotus Sutra and are the same as it in principle? Berate them for making such an erroneous assertion.

Next, if they should say that the True Word sutras were preached by the Thus Come One Mahāvairochana, then inquire in detail as to the father and mother of this Thus Come One Mahāvairochana, and as to where he was born and where he died. There is in fact not a single phrase or verse in these sutras that tells who Mahāvairochana’s father and mother were or reveals where he was born and died, or where he preached. The Thus Come One Mahāvairochana is a name without a reality. By taking this approach, the True Word doctrines are particularly easy to disprove.

In judging the principles that underlie the doctrines of a school one must first determine whether the lord of teachings who expounded them actually existed before one can decide if these teachings are effective. For example, in matters pertaining to the esoteric teachings in theory and the esoteric teachings in practice,24 the most profound doctrines of the True Word school, one finds on examination that there are errors or untruths introduced by the persons who translated the sutras into Chinese, or that the profound doctrines of the Lotus Sutra have been stolen and read into those p.20parts of the True Word teachings that deal with the esoteric teachings in practice. There is much that is suspicious here! Therefore one should stress how important it is to determine the superiority or inferiority of the sutras on the basis of whether or not the lord of teachings for these sutras actually existed.

Next, if they should state that the Thus Come One Mahāvairochana is a Buddha of the Dharma body, point out that among the provisional teachings expounded prior to the Lotus Sutra there are some that speak of a Thus Come One of the Dharma body, but that as far as the Lotus Sutra is concerned, all such teachings have been discarded because they belong to the time when, as the Buddha said, “I have not yet revealed the truth.”25 What, then, is so wonderful about the fact that Mahāvairochana is a Buddha of the Dharma body?

If they reply by saying that he is wonderful because he is without beginning and without end, then point out that this is invariably true not only of the Thus Come One Mahāvairochana but of all living beings, even down to mole crickets, ants, mosquitoes, or gadflies. All in body and mind are without beginning and without end. If they believe that living beings have a beginning and have an end, then they subscribe to an erroneous view put forth by the non-Buddhists! Ask them if their views are the same as those of the non-Buddhists.

Finally, we come to the Nembutsu, which represents the doctrine in use by the Pure Land school. This doctrine is among the most provisional of all the provisional teachings, comparable to a dream seen within a dream. It is a name without a reality. And because there is no reality to it, it could not possibly fulfill the wishes of all living beings for rebirth in the Pure Land. The Buddha of which it speaks is Amida Buddha, who is conditioned in nature and impermanent. How, then, could he surpass a principle that is eternal and imperishable?

Therefore the Great Teacher Kompon [Dengyō] of our country states in his commentary, “The Buddha of the reward body, which exists depending on causes and conditions, represents a provisional result obtained in a dream, while the Buddha eternally endowed with the three bodies represents the true Buddha from the time before enlightenment.”26 Thus with these words he warns against belief in Amida Buddha, a Buddha who is conditioned and impermanent, and rejects him.

And since this Amida Buddha upon whom the Pure Land proponents rely is a name without a reality, something existing in name only, without any body, then though they may expound in great detail the doctrines that promise rebirth in the Pure Land, preaching them so that they sound as lofty as Mount Sumeru or as deep as the great ocean, such doctrines are all utterly useless.

If the proponents of the Pure Land doctrine insist that there are clear and authoritative passages in the sutras and treatises to support their views, point out that these passages appear in works preached when the Buddha had “not yet revealed the truth.”

Not only in the three Pure Land sutras, but in other works, beginning with the Flower Garland Sutra and other sutras, teachings, treatises, and commentaries, there are perfectly clear passages pertaining to the achievement of Buddhahood, are there not? But when they are passages belonging to the provisional teachings, it is surely foolish of you to cling to them as you do! For they represent warped views not found in the true sutras and treatises.

Whatever reasons the Pure Land proponents may put forward to support p.21and ornament their doctrines, whatever sutra passages they may cite, they relate to “a provisional result obtained in a dream realm,” a doctrine that is of no use. Keep repeating this point again and again.
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Background

This letter, thought to have been addressed to Sammi-bō Nichigyō, a priest-disciple of Nichiren Daishonin, summarizes the approaches to be taken in refuting the doctrines of major Japanese Buddhist schools, the Tendai, Zen, True Word, and Nembutsu, or Pure Land, schools in particular. It was written in Kamakura in 1255, some two years after the Daishonin first publicly set forth his teaching.

Sammi-bō had received his Buddhist education at Enryaku-ji on Mount Hiei, the head temple of the Tendai school and a prestigious center of Buddhist learning, where the Daishonin himself had once studied. This is one of several letters the Daishonin wrote to him over the years concerning how to debate with priests representing the various Buddhist schools.

This letter is unusual in that it is one of the few works written in this early period that addresses the errors in doctrines of the Tendai school. The Daishonin focuses on the school’s misinterpretation of the T’ien-t’ai doctrines that Dengyō had brought to Japan and used to found the Tendai school.

T’ien-t’ai established the doctrinal classification of the eight teachings and five periods. In this letter, first, from the viewpoint of comparative myō, or wonderful, the relative superiority of the sutras is discussed with the criteria of the four teachings of doctrine (from among the eight teachings); in this case a lenient interpretation is applied in order to allow the first three teachings—the Tripitaka, connecting, and specific teachings—to indicate the possible attainment of Buddhahood. Next, when the relative superiority of the sutras is addressed with the criteria of the five periods, a strict interpretation is applied in order to deny the first four periods of teachings—the Flower Garland, Āgama, Correct and Equal, and Wisdom sutras—the possible attainment of Buddhahood.

From the viewpoint of absolute myō, all the sutras are opened up and merged in the Lotus Sutra. However, this viewpoint does not deny that a distinction between the Lotus Sutra, which opens up and merges, and the other sutras, which are opened up and merged, exists.

In this letter, the Daishonin points out the misinterpretation of the above doctrine that was widespread in his time, namely, that “since these provisional teachings of the pre-Lotus sutras enter into the great sea of the Lotus Sutra, there is no longer anything undesirable about them,” and that thus there is not the slightest need “to distinguish them by using the names that they originally bore.” The Tendai school itself was guilty of such a misinterpretation.

On the other hand, in his later criticism of the Tendai school, the Daishonin focuses on its incorporation of the esoteric True Word teachings into its doctrines.

Next the Daishonin addresses some core contentions of the Zen school: it represents a “separate transmission outside the sutras, independent of words or writing,” its teaching was “not transmitted by the Buddha and p.22patriarchs,” the teachings of the Buddhist sutras are comparable to “a finger pointing at the moon,” and “this very body is the Buddha.” He addresses each of these contentions, paying particular attention to the Zen school’s claim that it represents a teaching that is independent of words or writing. Words and writing, he points out, constitute a medium by which human beings convey the nature of their minds; to deny them is to deny the fact that the Zen doctrines must be communicated through the “six sense organs,” that is, through the ordinary faculties of human beings that include speech and writing.

Next, he briefly explains the method to be used in refuting the “six schools of Nara, the southern capital,” representing the long established schools of Buddhism in Japan. These are the Flower Garland, Dharma Characteristics, Three Treatises, Dharma Analysis Treasury, Establishment of Truth, and Precepts schools. These schools were long ago refuted by the Great Teacher Dengyō, he states, and for proof of this he presents the document that the leaders of these schools submitted to the imperial court, acknowledging the supremacy of Dengyō’s teachings based on the Lotus Sutra. Therefore no further argument, he says, is necessary.

The Daishonin then moves on to the True Word teachings, countering that school’s assertion that the Mahāvairochana Sutra and the other sutras upon which it relies are the “same in principle” as the Lotus Sutra, and pointing out that the Mahāvairochana Buddha, who is central to those scriptures and the school, is not a Buddha associated with this world, there being no record or evidence of his actual existence.

Finally he points out the errors of the Nembutsu, or Pure Land, school, whose doctrine he refers to as “the most provisional of all the provisional teachings,” “a dream seen within a dream.” He states, “Since this Amida Buddha upon whom the Pure Land proponents rely is a name without a reality, something existing in name only, without any body, then though they may expound in great detail the doctrines that promise rebirth in the Pure Land, preaching them so that they sound as lofty as Mount Sumeru or as deep as the great ocean, such doctrines are all utterly useless.”
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Notes

1. The Profound Meaning of the Lotus Sutra. The words “at the latter time” refer to the period when the Lotus Sutra was preached.

2. Ibid.

3. The sixty volumes of T’ien-t’ai’s commentaries refer to T’ien-t’ai’s three major works, Great Concentration and Insight, The Words and Phrases of the Lotus Sutra, and The Profound Meaning of the Lotus Sutra, consisting of thirty volumes, and Miao-lo’s three commentaries on them, which also consist of thirty volumes.

4. A lenient interpretation refers to the manner in which one explains the teachings in accordance with another’s capacity of understanding without directly revealing the essential meaning of the teachings. A strict interpretation refers to the manner in which one interprets the teachings strictly to clarify the essential meaning of the teachings. For example, when a lenient interpretation is applied, “the four teachings of doctrine” regards the perfect teaching of the Lotus Sutra and the perfect teaching of the other sutras as the same. When one applies a strict interpretation, “the five periods of teachings” regards the Lotus Sutra as superior to the other sutras.

5. The Outstanding Principles of the Lotus Sutra.

6. Profound Meaning.

7. The Annotations on “The Profound Meaning of the Lotus Sutra.”

8. The Commentary on “The Treatise on the Lotus Sutra” written by Chishō.

p.23 9. Profound Meaning.

10. Lotus Sutra, chap. 2.

11. Ibid.

12. The three different capacities are superior, middling, and inferior capacities.

13. “Reasoning approach” means to teach persons of inferior capacity the sutras and treatises to lead them to the practice of Zen, “capacity gates” means to lead persons of middling capacity to go through one gate after another on the road of practice for enlightenment, and “highest attainment” means to enable persons of superior capacity to attain the highest enlightenment.

14. “Original face” is a concept of Zen Buddhism that originated from the following koan: “What did your face look like before your parents were born?” The “face” here means the true self as distinguished from what one mistakenly considers one’s self.

15. This is thought to refer to the following passage: “Shāriputra, if there should be monks or nuns who claim that they have already attained the status of arhat, that this is their last incarnation, that they have reached the final nirvana, and that therefore they have no further intention of seeking supreme perfect enlightenment, then you should understand that such as these are all persons of overbearing arrogance. Why do I say this? Because if there are monks who have truly attained the status of arhat, then it would be unthinkable that they should fail to believe this Law.”

16. This is another way of saying, “attain Buddhahood in one’s present form.” The phrase is slightly modified for comparison with the Zen school’s assertion that “this very body is the Buddha.” According to the Lotus Sutra, one’s body becomes a Buddha body because one’s life is endowed with Buddhahood. The Daishonin says that the Zen school has no such reasoning behind its assertion.

17. Profound Meaning.

18. This description is found in The Continued Biographies of Eminent Priests (also known as The T’ang Dynasty Biographies of Eminent Priests) compiled by Tao-hsüan and in other works.

19. This description is found in The Essentials of Government in the Chen-kuan Era. According to this work, Duke Ai (r. 494–468 b.c.e.) of the state of Lu in China spoke to Confucius of this forgetful man.

20. Acting on imperial command, the court official Wake no Hiroyo summoned fourteen leading priests of the six schools of Nara to Takao-dera temple on the nineteenth day of the first month in the twenty-first year of Enryaku (802) to listen to the Great Teacher Dengyō preach T’ien-t’ai’s doctrines. Thereafter, they submitted to Emperor Kammu a document stating that T’ien-t’ai’s doctrines were superior to their own.

21. The Mahāvairochana, Diamond Crown, and Susiddhikara sutras.

22. Lotus Sutra, chap. 10.

23. For example, in On the Relative Superiority of the Lotus Sutra and the True Word Teachings, the Daishonin cites the passage in chapter ten of the Lotus Sutra: “Among the sutras I have preached, now preach, and will preach, this Lotus Sutra is the most difficult to believe and the most difficult to understand.” He then says, “If we go by this passage in the sutra, then of all the sutras preached by Shakyamuni Buddha in the fifty or so years of his preaching life, the Lotus Sutra is to be regarded as foremost. . . . There is no passage in the Mahāvairochana Sutra or the other True Word sutras that states that these sutras are superior to the Lotus Sutra” (p. 283).

24. “Esoteric teachings in theory” means those teachings that contain the principles of esoteric doctrine, but fail to describe mudras (hand gestures) and mantras (mystic formulas), which constitute esoteric practice. Hence “esoteric teachings in practice” means those teachings that describe mudras and mantras.

25. Immeasurable Meanings Sutra, a prologue to the Lotus Sutra.

26. An Essay on the Protection of the Nation. “The true Buddha from the time before enlightenment” means the Buddha who is eternally enlightened. He is referred to here in contrast with a provisional Buddha, whose enlightenment, depending on conditions, is impermanent.
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CHAPTER 2

Expedient Means

At that time the world-honored one calmly arose from his samadhi and addressed Shariputra, saying: “The wisdom of the buddhas is infinitely profound and immeasurable. The door to this wisdom is difficult to understand and difficult to enter. Not one of the voice-hearers or pratyekabuddhas is able to comprehend it.

“What is the reason for this? The buddhas have personally attended a hundred, a thousand, ten thousand, a million, a countless number of buddhas and have fully carried out an immeasurable number of buddhas’ ways and doctrines. They have exerted themselves bravely and vigorously, and their names are universally known. They have realized the Law that is profound and never known before, and preach it in accordance with what is appropriate, yet their intentions are difficult to understand.

“Shariputra, ever since I attained buddhahood I have through various causes and various similes widely expounded my teachings and have used countless expedient means to guide living beings and cause them to renounce their attachments. Why is this? Because the thus come ones are fully possessed of both expedient means and the paramita of wisdom.

“Shariputra, the wisdom of the thus come ones is expansive and profound. They have immeasurable [compassion], unlimited [eloquence], power, fearlessness, concentration, emancipation, p.57and samadhis, and have deeply entered the boundless and awakened to the Law never before attained.

“Shariputra, the thus come ones know how to make various distinctions and to expound the teachings skillfully. Their words are soft and gentle and can delight the hearts of the assembly.

“Shariputra, to sum it up: the buddhas have fully realized the Law that is limitless, boundless, never attained before.

“But stop, Shariputra, I will say no more. Why? Because what the buddhas have achieved is the rarest and most difficult-to-understand Law. The true aspect of all phenomena can only be understood and shared between buddhas. This reality consists of the appearance, nature, entity, power, influence, internal cause, relation, latent effect, manifest effect, and their consistency from beginning to end.”

At that time the world-honored one, wishing to state his meaning once more, spoke in verse form, saying:

The heroes of the world are unfathomable.

Among heavenly beings or the people of the world,

among all living beings,

none can understand the buddhas.

The buddhas’ power, fearlessness,

emancipation, and samadhis

and the buddhas’ other attributes

no one can reckon or fathom.

Earlier, under the guidance of countless buddhas

I fully acquired and practiced various ways,

profound, subtle, and wonderful doctrines

that are hard to see and hard to understand.

Having practiced these ways for immeasurable millions of kalpas,

in the place of enlightenment I achieved the goal.

I have already come to see and know completely

the meainig of this great effect,

the various natures and appearances.

I and the buddhas of the ten directions

can now understand these things.

p.58This Law cannot be described,

words fall silent before it.

Among the other kinds of living beings

there are none who can comprehend it,

except the many bodhisattvas

who are firm in the power of faith.

The many disciples of the buddhas

in the past have given offerings to the buddhas,

have already cut off all outflows

and now are dwelling in their last incarnations.

But even such persons as they

have not the power needed.

Even if the whole world

were filled with men like Shariputra,

though they exhausted their thoughts and pooled their capacities,

they could not fathom the buddha wisdom.

Even if the ten directions

were all filled with men like Shariputra

or like the other disciples,

though they filled the lands in the ten directions

and exhausted their thoughts and pooled their capacities,

still they could not understand it.

If pratyekabuddhas, acute in understanding,

without outflows, in their last incarnations,

should fill the worlds in the ten directions,

as numerous as bamboos in a grove,

though they should join together with one mind

for a million or for countless kalpas,

hoping to conceive of the Buddha’s true wisdom,

they could not understand the smallest part of it.

If bodhisattvas newly embarked on their course

should give offerings to numberless buddhas,

completely mastering the intent of the various doctrines

and also able to preach them effectively,

like so many rice and hemp plants, bamboos or reeds,

filling the lands in the ten directions,

p.59with a single mind, with their wonderful wisdom,

for kalpas numerous as Ganges sands

should all together pool their thoughts and capacities,

they could not understand the buddha wisdom.

If bodhisattvas who never regress,

their number like Ganges sands,

with a single mind should join in pondering and seeking,

they could not understand it either.

I also announce to you, Shariputra,

that this profound, subtle, and wonderful Law

without outflows, incomprehensible,

I have now attained in full.

Only I understand its characteristics,

and the buddhas of the ten directions do likewise.

Shariputra, you should know

that the words of the various buddhas never differ.

Toward the Law preached by the buddhas

you must cultivate a great power of faith.

The world-honored one has long expounded his doctrines

and now must reveal the truth.

I announce this to the assembly of voice-hearers

and to those who seek the vehicle of the cause-awakened one:

I have enabled people to escape the bonds of suffering

and to attain nirvana.

The Buddha, through the power of expedient means,

has shown them the teachings of the three vehicles,

prying living beings loose from this or that attachment

and allowing them to attain release.

At that time among the great assembly there were voice-hearers, arhats whose outflows had come to an end, Ajnata Kaundinya and others numbering twelve hundred persons. And there were monks, nuns, laymen, and laywomen who had conceived a desire to become voice-hearers or pratyekabuddhas. Each of these had this thought: Now for what reason does the world-honored one so earnestly praise expedient means and p.60state that the Law attained by the Buddha is profound and difficult to understand, that it is very difficult to comprehend the meaning of the words he preaches, that not one of the voice-hearers or pratyekabuddhas can do so? If the Buddha preaches but one doctrine of emancipation, then we too should be able to attain this Law and reach the state of nirvana. We cannot follow the gist of what he is saying now.

At that time Shariputra understood the doubts that were in the minds of the four kinds of believers, and he himself did not yet fully comprehend. So he addressed the Buddha, saying, “World-Honored One, what causes and conditions lead you to earnestly praise the foremost expedient means of the buddhas, the profound, subtle, and wonderful Law that is difficult to understand? From times past I have never heard this kind of preaching from the Buddha. Now the four kinds of believers all have doubts. We beg that the world-honored one will expound this matter. For what reason does the world-honored one earnestly praise this Law that is profound, subtle and wonderful, difficult to understand?”

At that time Shariputra, wishing to state his meaning once more, spoke in verse form, saying:

Sun of wisdom, great sage and venerable one,

at long last you preach this Law.

You yourself declare you have attained

power, fearlessness, samadhis,

concentration, emancipation, and other such attributes,

and the Law that is beyond comprehension.

This Law attained in the place of enlightenment

no one is capable of questioning you about.

“My intention is hard to fathom,

and no one can question me.”

No one questions, yet you yourself preach,

praising the path you walk on.

Your wisdom is very subtle and wonderful,

that which all the buddhas attain.

The arhats who are without outflows

p.61and those who seek nirvana

now have all fallen into the net of doubt,

wondering for what reason the Buddha preaches this.

Those who seek to become cause-awakened ones,

the monks and nuns,

heavenly beings, dragons, and spirits,

and gandharvas and others,

look at one another, filled with perplexity,

gazing upward at the most honored of two-legged beings.

What is the meaning of all this?

I beg the Buddha to explain it for us.

Among the assembly of voice-hearers

the Buddha has said I am foremost,

yet now I lack the wisdom

to solve these doubts and perplexities.

Have I in fact grasped the ultimate Law,

or am I still on the path of practice?

The sons born from the Buddha’s mouth

press palms together, gaze upward and wait.

We beg you to put forth subtle and wonderful sounds

and at this time explain to us how it really is.

The heavenly beings, dragons, and others,

their numbers like Ganges sands,

the bodhisattvas seeking to be buddhas

in a great force of eighty thousand,

as well as the wheel-turning sage kings

come from ten thousands of millions of lands,

all press their palms and with reverent minds

wish to hear the teaching of perfect endowment.

At that time the Buddha addressed Shariputra, saying, “Stop, stop! There is no need to speak further. If I speak of this matter, then the heavenly and human beings throughout the worlds will all be astonished and doubtful.”

Shariputra once more spoke to the Buddha, saying, “World-Honored One, we beg you to preach! We beg you to preach! What is the reason? Because this assembly of countless hundreds, p.62thousands, ten thousands, millions of asamkhyas of living beings in the past have seen the buddhas; their faculties are vigorous and acute and their wisdom is bright. If they hear the Buddha preach, they will be capable of reverent belief.”

At that time Shariputra, wishing to state his meaning once more, spoke in verse form, saying:

Dharma King, none more highly honored,

speak, we beg you, without reserve!

In this assembly of numberless beings

are those capable of reverent belief.

The Buddha stopped Shariputra, saying, “If I speak of this matter, the heavenly and human beings and asuras throughout the worlds will all be astonished and doubtful. The monks who are overbearingly arrogant will fall into a great pit.”

At that time the world-honored one repeated what he had said in verse form:

Stop, stop, no need to speak!

My Law is wonderful and difficult to ponder.

Those who are overbearingly arrogant

when they hear it will never show reverent belief.

At that time Shariputra once more spoke to the Buddha, saying, “World-Honored One, we beg you to preach! We beg you to preach! In this assembly at present persons like myself number in the hundreds, thousands, ten thousands, millions. In age after age we have already attended the buddhas and received instruction. People of this kind are certain to be capable of reverent belief. Throughout the long night they will gain peace and rest and will enjoy many benefits.”

At that time Shariputra, wishing to state his meaning once more, spoke in verse form, saying:

Supremely honored among two-legged beings,

we beg you to preach this foremost Law.

p.63I who am regarded as the Buddha’s eldest son

ask you to favor us by making distinctions and preaching.

The countless members of this assembly

are capable of according reverent belief to this Law.

The buddhas have already in age after age

taught and converted them in this manner.

All with a single mind and palms pressed together

desire to hear and receive the Buddha’s words.

I and the others of the twelve hundred of our group,

as well as the others who seek to become buddhas,

beg that for the sake of this assembly

you will favor us by making distinctions and preaching.

When we hear this Law

we will be filled with great joy.

At that time the world-honored one said to Shariputra, “Three times you have stated your earnest request. How can I do other than preach? Now you must listen attentively and carefully ponder. For your sake I will now analyze and explain the matter.”

When he had spoken these words, there were some five thousand monks, nuns, laymen, and laywomen in the assembly who immediately rose from their seats, bowed to the Buddha, and withdrew. What was the reason for this? These persons had roots of guilt that were deep and manifold, and in addition they were overbearingly arrogant. What they had not attained they supposed they had attained, what they had not understood they supposed they had understood. And because they had this failing, they did not remain where they were.

The world-honored one was silent and did not try to detain them.

At this time the Buddha said to Shariputra, “Now this assembly of mine is free of branches and leaves, made up solely of the steadfast and truthful. Shariputra, it is well that these persons of overbearing arrogance have withdrawn. Now listen carefully and I will preach for you.”

Shariputra said, “So be it, World-Honored One. We are eager to listen!”

p.64The Buddha said to Shariputra, “A wonderful Law such as this is preached by the buddhas, the thus come ones, at certain times. But like the blooming of the udumbara, such times come very seldom. Shariputra, you and the others must believe me. The words that the buddhas preach are not empty or false.

“Shariputra, the buddhas preach the Law in accordance with what is appropriate, but the meaning is difficult to understand. Why is this? Because we employ countless expedient means, discussing causes and conditions and using words of simile and parable to expound the teachings. This Law is not something that can be understood through pondering or analysis. Only those who are buddhas can understand it. Why is this? Because the buddhas, the world-honored ones, appear in the world for one great reason alone. Shariputra, what does it mean to say that the buddhas, the world-honored ones, appear in the world for one great reason alone?

“The buddhas, the world-honored ones, wish to open the door of buddha wisdom to all living beings, to allow them to attain purity. That is why they appear in the world. They wish to show the buddha wisdom to living beings, and therefore they appear in the world. They wish to cause living beings to awaken to the buddha wisdom, and therefore they appear in the world. They wish to induce living beings to enter the path of buddha wisdom, and therefore they appear in the world. Shariputra, this is the one great reason for which the buddhas appear in the world.”

The Buddha said to Shariputra, “The buddhas, the thus come ones, simply teach and convert the bodhisattvas. All the things they do are at all times done for this one purpose. They simply wish to show the buddha wisdom to living beings and enlighten them to it.

“Shariputra, the thus come ones have only the single buddha vehicle that they employ in order to preach the Law to living beings. They do not have any other vehicle, a second one or a third one. Shariputra, the Law preached by all the buddhas of the ten directions is the same as this.

“Shariputra, the buddhas of the past used countless numbers p.65of expedient means, various causes and conditions, and words of simile and parable in order to expound the doctrines for the sake of living beings. These doctrines are all for the sake of the one buddha vehicle. These living beings, by listening to the doctrines of the buddhas, are all eventually able to attain wisdom embracing all species.

“Shariputra, when the buddhas of the future make their appearances in the world, they too will use countless numbers of expedient means, various causes and conditions, and words of simile and parable in order to expound the doctrines for the sake of living beings. These doctrines will all be for the sake of the one buddha vehicle. And these living beings, by listening to the doctrines of the buddhas, will all eventually be able to attain wisdom embracing all species.

“Shariputra, the buddhas, the world-honored ones, who exist at present in the countless hundreds, thousands, ten thousands, and millions of buddha lands in the ten directions, benefit and bring peace and happiness to living beings in large measure. These buddhas too use countless numbers of expedient means, various causes and conditions, and words of simile and parable in order to expound the doctrines for the sake of living beings. These doctrines are all for the sake of the one buddha vehicle. And these living beings, by listening to the doctrines of the buddhas, are all eventually able to attain wisdom embracing all species.

“Shariputra, these buddhas simply teach and convert the bodhisattvas. They do it because they wish to show the buddha wisdom to living beings. They do it because they wish to awaken living beings to the buddha wisdom. They do it because they wish to cause living beings to enter the path of buddha wisdom.

“Shariputra, I too will now do the same. I know that living beings have various desires, attachments that are deeply implanted in their minds. Taking cognizance of this basic nature of theirs, I will therefore use various causes and conditions, words of simile and parable, and the power of expedient means and expound the doctrines for them. Shariputra, I do this so that all p.66of them may attain the one buddha vehicle and wisdom embracing all species.

“Shariputra, in the worlds of the ten directions, there are not two vehicles, much less three! Shariputra, the buddhas appear in evil worlds of five impurities. These are the so-called impurity of the age, impurity of desire, impurity of living beings, impurity of view, and impurity of life span.

“Shariputra, when the age is impure and the times are chaotic, then the defilements of living beings are grave, they are greedy and jealous and put down roots that are not good. Because of this, the buddhas, utilizing the power of expedient means, apply distinctions to the one buddha vehicle and preach as though it were three.

“Shariputra, if any of my disciples should claim to be an arhat or a pratyekabuddha and yet does not heed or understand that the buddhas, the thus come ones, simply teach and convert the bodhisattvas, then he is no disciple of mine, he is no arhat or pratyekabuddha.

“Again, Shariputra, if there should be monks or nuns who claim that they have already attained the status of arhat, that these are their last incarnations, that they have reached the final nirvana, and that therefore they have no further intention of seeking supreme perfect enlightenment, then you should understand that such as these are all persons of overbearing arrogance. Why do I say this? Because if there are monks who have truly attained the status of arhat, then it would be unthinkable that they should fail to believe this Law. The only exception would be in a time after the Buddha had passed away, when there was no buddha present in the world. Why is this? Because after the Buddha has passed away it will be difficult to find those who can embrace, read, recite, and understand the meaning of a sutra such as this. But if they encounter another buddha, then they will attain decisive understanding with regard to this Law.

“Shariputra, you and the others should with a single mind believe and accept the words of the Buddha. The words of the buddhas, the thus come ones, are not empty or false. There is no other vehicle, there is only the one buddha vehicle.”

p.67At that time the world-honored one, wishing to state his meaning once more, spoke in verse form, saying:

There are monks and nuns

who behave with overbearing arrogance,

laymen full of self-esteem,

laywomen who are lacking in faith.

Among the four kinds of believers, the likes of these

number five thousand.

They fail to see their own errors,

are heedless and remiss with regard to the precepts,

clinging to their shortcomings, unwilling to change.

But these persons of small wisdom have already left;

the chaff among this assembly

has departed in the face of the Buddha’s authority.

These persons were of paltry merit and virtue,

incapable of receiving this Law.

This assembly is now free of branches and leaves,

made up only of those steadfast and truthful.

Shariputra, listen carefully,

for the Law that the buddhas have attained,

through the power of countless expedient means

they preach for the benefit of living beings.

The thoughts that are in the minds of living beings,

the different types of paths they follow,

their various desires and natures,

the good and bad deeds they have done in previous existences—

all these the Buddha takes cognizance of,

and then he employs causes, similes, and parables,

words that embody the power of expedient means,

in order to gladden and please them all.

Sometimes he preaches sutras,

verses, stories of the previous lives of disciples,

stories of the previous lives of the Buddha, of unheard-of things.

At other times he preaches regarding origins,

p.68uses similes, parables, passages of poetry

or discourses.

For those of dull capacities who delight in a lesser teaching,

who greedily cling to birth and death,

who, despite the innumerable buddhas,

fail to practice the profound and wonderful way

but are perplexed and confused by a host of troubles—

for these I preach nirvana.

I devise these expedient means

and so cause them to enter into the buddha wisdom.

Up to now I have never told you

that you were certain to attain the buddha way.

The reason I never preached in that manner

was that the time to preach so had not yet come.

But now is the very time

when I must decisively preach the great vehicle.

I use these nine devices,

adapting them to the living beings when I preach,

my basic aim being to lead them into the great vehicle,

and that is why I preach this sutra.

There are sons of the buddha whose minds are pure,

who are gentle and of acute capacities,

who under innumerable buddhas

have practiced the profound and wonderful way.

For these sons of the buddha

I preach this sutra of the great vehicle.

And I predict that these persons

in a future existence will attain the buddha way.

Because deep in their minds they think of the Buddha

and practice and uphold the pure precepts,

they are assured they will attain buddhahood,

and hearing this, their whole bodies are filled with great joy.

The Buddha knows their minds and their practices

and therefore preaches for them the great vehicle.

When the voice-hearers and bodhisattvas

p.69hear this Law that I preach,

as soon as they have heard one verse

they will all without doubt be certain of attaining buddhahood.

In the buddha lands of the ten directions

there is only the Law of the one vehicle,

there are not two, there are not three,

except when the Buddha preaches so as an expedient means,

merely employing provisional names and terms

in order to conduct and guide living beings

and preach to them the buddha wisdom.

The buddhas appear in the world

solely for this one reason, which is true;

the other two are not the truth.

Never do they use a lesser vehicle

to save living beings and ferry them across.

The Buddha himself dwells in the great vehicle,

and adorned with the power of meditation and wisdom

that go with that Law he has attained,

he uses it to save living beings.

I myself testify to the unsurpassed way,

the great vehicle, the Law in which all things are equal.

If I used a lesser vehicle

to convert even one person,

I would be guilty of stinginess and greed,

but such a thing would be impossible.

If a person will believe and take refuge in the Buddha,

the thus come one will never deceive him,

nor will he ever show greed or jealousy,

for he has rooted out evil from among the phenomena.

Therefore throughout the ten directions

the Buddha alone is without fear.

I adorn my body with the special characteristics

and shine my light upon the world.

I am honored by numberless multitudes

and for them I preach the emblem of the reality of things.

p.70Shariputra, you should know

that at the start I took a vow,

hoping to make all persons

equal to me, without any distinction between us,

and what I long ago hoped for

has now been fulfilled.

I have converted all living beings

and caused them all to enter the buddha way.

If when I encounter living beings

I were in all cases to teach them the buddha way,

those without wisdom would become confused

and in their bewilderment would fail to accept my teachings.

I know that such living beings

have never in the past cultivated good roots

but have stubbornly clung to the five desires,

and their folly and craving have given rise to affliction.

Their desires are the cause

whereby they fall into the three evil paths,

revolving wheel-like through the six paths of existence

and undergoing every sort of suffering and pain.

Having received a tiny form in the womb,

in existence after existence they constantly grow to maturity.

Persons of meager virtue and small merit,

they are troubled and beset by manifold sufferings.

They stray into the dense forest of mistaken views,

debating as to what exists and what does not,

and in the end cling to such views,

embracing all sixty-two of them.1

They are profoundly committed to false and empty doctrines,

holding firmly to them, unable to set them aside.

Arrogant and puffed up with self-importance,

p.71fawning and devious, insincere in mind,

for a thousand, ten thousand, a million kalpas

they will not hear a buddha’s name,

nor will they hear the correct teaching—

such people are difficult to save.

For these reasons, Shariputra,

I have for their sake established expedient means,

preaching the way that ends all suffering,

and showing them nirvana.

But although I preach nirvana,

this is not a true extinction.

All phenomena from the very first

have of themselves constantly borne the marks of tranquil extinction.

Once the sons of the Buddha have carried out the way,

then in future existences they will be able to become buddhas.

I have employed the power of expedient means

to unfold and demonstrate this doctrine of three vehicles,

but the world-honored ones, every one of them,

all preach the single vehicle way.

Now before this great assembly

I must clear away all doubts and perplexities.

There is no discrepancy in the words of the buddhas,

there is only the one vehicle, not two.

For numberless kalpas in the past

countless buddhas who have now entered extinction,

a hundred, thousand, ten thousand, million types

in numbers incapable of calculation—

such world-honored ones,

using different types of causes, similes, and parables,

the power of countless expedient means,

have expounded the characteristics of all phenomena.

These world-honored ones

have all preached the doctrine of the single vehicle,

converting countless living beings

and causing them to enter the buddha way.

p.72And these great sage lords,

knowing what is desired deep in the minds

of the heavenly and human beings and the other living things

throughout all the worlds,

have employed still other expedient means

to help illuminate the highest truth.

If there are living beings

who have encountered these past buddhas,

and if they have listened to the Law, presented alms,

or kept the precepts, shown forbearance,

been assiduous, practiced meditation and wisdom, and so forth,

cultivating various kinds of merit and virtue,

then persons such as these

all have attained the buddha way.

After the buddhas have passed into extinction,

if persons are of good and gentle mind,

then living beings such as these

have all attained the buddha way.

After the buddhas have passed into extinction,

if persons make offerings to the relics,

raising ten thousand or a million kinds of towers,

using gold, silver, and crystal,

seashell and agate,

carnelian, lapis lazuli, pearls

to purify and adorn them extensively,

in this way erecting towers;

or if they raise up stone mortuary temples

or those of sandalwood or aloes,

hovenia or other kinds of timber,

or of brick, tile, clay, or earth;

if in the midst of the broad fields

they pile up earth to make a mortuary temple for the buddhas,

or even if little boys at play

should collect sand to make a buddha tower,

p.73then persons such as these

have all attained the buddha way.

If there are persons who for the sake of the buddhas

fashion and set up images,

carving them with many distinguishing characteristics,

then all have attained the buddha way.

Or if they make things out of the seven kinds of gems,

of copper, red or white copper,

pewter, lead, tin,

iron, wood, or clay,

or use cloth soaked in lacquer or resin

to adorn and fashion buddha images,

then persons such as these

have all attained the buddha way.

If they employ pigments to paint buddha images,

endowing them with the characteristics of hundredfold merit,

if they make them themselves or have others make them,

then all have attained the buddha way.

Even if little boys in play

should use a piece of grass or wood or a brush,

or perhaps a fingernail

to draw an image of the buddha,

such persons as these

bit by bit will pile up merit

and will become fully endowed with minds of great compassion;

they all have attained the buddha way.

Merely by converting the bodhisattvas

they bring salvation and release to numberless multitudes.

And if persons, in the presence of such memorial towers,

such jeweled images and painted images,

should with reverent minds make offerings

of flowers, incense, banners, or canopies,

or if they should employ persons to make music,

striking drums or blowing horns or conch shells,

playing pipes, flutes, zithers, harps,

p.74balloon guitars, cymbals, and gongs,

and if these many kinds of wonderful notes

are intended wholly as an offering;

or if one with a joyful mind

sings a song in praise of the buddha’s virtue,

even if it is just one small note,

then all who do these things have attained the buddha way.

If someone with a confused and distracted mind

should take even one flower

and offer it to a painted image,

in time he would come to see countless buddhas.

Or if a person should bow or perform obeisance,

or should merely press his palms together,

or even should raise a single hand,

or give no more than a slight nod of the head,

and if this were done in offering to an image,

then in time he would come to see countless buddhas.

And if he himself attains the unsurpassed way

and spreads salvation abroad to countless multitudes,

he will enter the nirvana of no remainder

as a fire dies out when the firewood is exhausted.

If persons with confused and distracted minds

should enter a memorial tower

and once exclaim, “Hail to the buddha!”

then all have attained the buddha way.

If from past buddhas

when they were in the world or after their extinctions,

there should be those who heard this Law,

then all have attained the buddha way.

The world-honored ones of the future,

whose numbers will be incalculable,

these thus come ones

will also employ expedient means to preach the Law,

and all these thus come ones

through countless expedient means

p.75will save and bring release to living beings

so that they enter the buddha wisdom free of outflows.

If there are those who hear the Law,

then not a one will fail to attain buddhahood.

The original vow of the buddhas

was that the buddha way, which they themselves practice,

should be shared universally among living beings

so that they too may likewise attain this way.

The buddhas of future ages,

although they preach hundreds, thousands, millions,

a countless number of doctrines,

in truth do so for the sake of the single vehicle.

The buddhas, most honored of two-legged beings,

know that phenomena have no constantly fixed nature,

that the seeds of buddhahood sprout through causation,

and for this reason they preach the single vehicle.

But that these phenomena are part of an abiding Law,

that the characteristics of the world are constantly abiding—

this they have come to know in the place of enlightenment,

and as leaders and teachers they preach expedient means.

The presently existing buddhas of the ten directions,

whom heavenly and human beings make offerings to,

who in number are like Ganges sands,

they have appeared in the world

in order to bring peace and comfort to living beings,

and they too preach the Law in this way.

They understand the foremost truth of tranquil extinction

and therefore employ the power of expedient means,

and though they point out various different ways,

in truth they do so for the sake of the buddha vehicle.

They understand the actions of living beings,

the thoughts that lie deep in their minds,

the deeds they have carried out in the past,

their desires, their natures, the power of their exertions,

and whether their capacities are acute or dull,

p.76and so they employ various causes and conditions,

similes, parables, and other words and phrases,

adapting what expedient means are suitable to their preaching.

Now I too am like this;

in order to bring peace and comfort to living beings

I employ various different doctrines

to disseminate the buddha way.

Through the power of my wisdom

I know the natures and desires of living beings

and through expedient means I preach these doctrines,

causing all living beings to attain joy and gladness.

Shariputra, you should understand

that I view things through the buddha eye,

I see the living beings in the six paths,

how poor and distressed they are, without merit or wisdom,

how they enter the perilous road of birth and death,

their sufferings continuing with never a break,

how deeply they are attached to the five desires,

like a yak enamored of its tail,

blinding themselves with greed and infatuation,

their vision so impaired they can see nothing.

They do not seek the Buddha, with his great might,

or the Law that can end their suffering,

but enter deeply into erroneous views,

hoping to shed suffering through greater suffering.

For the sake of these living beings

I summon up a mind of great compassion.

When I first sat in the place of enlightenment

and gazed at the tree and walked around it,

for the space of three times seven days

I pondered the matter in this way.

The wisdom I have attained, I thought,

is subtle, wonderful, the foremost.

But living beings, dull in capacity,

p.77are addicted to pleasure and blinded by foolishness.

With persons such as this,

what can I say, how can I save them?

At that time the Brahma kings,

along with the heavenly king Shakra,

the four heavenly kings who guard the world,

and the heavenly king Great Freedom,

in company with the other heavenly beings

and their hundreds and thousands and ten thousands of followers,

reverently pressed their palms together and bowed,

begging me to turn the wheel of the Law.

Immediately I thought to myself

that if I merely praised the buddha vehicle,

then the living beings, sunk in their suffering,

would be incapable of believing in this Law.

And because they rejected the Law and failed to believe in it,

they would fall into the three evil paths.

It would be better if I did not preach the Law

but quickly entered into nirvana.

Then my thoughts turned to the buddhas of the past

and the power of expedient means they had employed,

and I thought that the way I had now attained

should likewise be preached as three vehicles.

When I thought in this manner,

the buddhas of the ten directions all appeared

and with brahma sounds comforted and instructed me.

“Well done, Shakyamuni!” they said.

“Foremost leader and teacher,

you have attained the unsurpassed Law.

But following the example of all other buddhas,

you will employ the power of expedient means.

We too have all attained

the most wonderful, the foremost Law,

but for the sake of living beings

p.78we make distinctions and preach the three vehicles.

People of small wisdom delight in a small doctrine,

unable to believe that they themselves could become buddhas.

Therefore we employ expedient means,

making distinctions and preaching various goals.

But though we preach the three vehicles,

we do it merely in order to teach the bodhisattvas.”

Shariputra, you should understand this.

When I heard these saintly lions

and their deep, pure, subtle, wonderful sounds,

I rejoiced, crying, “Hail to the buddhas!”

Then I thought to myself,

I have come into this impure and evil world,

and as these buddhas have preached,

I too must follow that example in my actions.

After I had thought of the matter in this way,

I set out at once for Varanasi.

The marks of tranquil extinction borne by all phenomena

cannot be explained in words,

and therefore I used the power of expedient means

to preach to the five ascetics.

This I termed turning the wheel of the Law,

and also with regard to “the sound of nirvana,”

and “arhat,” “Dharma,” and “Samgha,”

I used these terms to indicate distinctions.

“From infinite kalpas in the past

I have extolled and taught the Law of nirvana,

ending the long sufferings of birth and death.”

This is how I customarily preached.

Shariputra, you should know this.

When I looked at the buddha sons,

I saw incalculable thousands, ten thousands, millions

who had determined to seek the buddha way,

every one with a respectful and reverent mind,

all coming to the place of the Buddha,

p.79people who in the past had listened to other buddhas

and heard the Law preached through expedient means.

Immediately the thought came to me

that the reason the thus come one has appeared

is so he may preach the buddha wisdom.

Now is precisely the time to do so.

Shariputra, you should understand

that persons of dull capacity and small wisdom,

who are attached to appearances, proud and overbearing,

are incapable of believing in this Law.

Now I, joyful and fearless,

in the midst of the bodhisattvas,

honestly discarding expedient means,

will preach only the unsurpassed way.

When the bodhisattvas hear this Law,

they will be released from all entanglements of doubt.

The twelve hundred arhats,

they too will all attain buddhahood.

Following the same fashion that the buddhas of the three existences

employ in preaching the Law,

I now will do likewise,

preaching the Law that is without distinctions.

The times when the buddhas appear in the world

are far apart and difficult to encounter.

And even when they appear in the world

it is difficult for them to preach this Law.

Throughout incalculable, innumerable kalpas

it is rare that one may hear this Law,

and a person capable of listening to this Law,

such a person is likewise rare.

It is like the udumbara flower,

which all the world loves and delights in,

which heavenly and human beings look on as something rare,

but which appears only once in many many ages.

p.80If a person hears this Law, delights in and praises it,

even if he utters just one word,

then he has made offerings

to all the buddhas of the three existences.

But a person like this is very rarely found,

rarer than the udumbara flower.

You should have no doubts.

I, being king of the doctrines,

make this announcement to the entire great assembly.

I employ only the single vehicle way

to teach and convert the bodhisattvas,

I have no voice-hearer disciples.

You, Shariputra,

and the voice-hearers and bodhisattvas,

you should understand that this wonderful Law

is the secret crux of the buddhas.

In an evil world of the five impurities

those who merely delight in and are attached to the desires,

living beings such as this

in the end will never seek the buddha way.

When evil persons in the world hereafter

hear about the single vehicle preached by the Buddha,

they will be confused, will not believe or accept it,

will reject the Law and fall into the evil paths.

But if there are those with a sense of shame, persons of purity

who have determined to seek the buddha way,

then for the sake of such as these

one should widely praise the way of the single vehicle.

Shariputra, you should understand this.

The Law of the buddhas is like this.

Employing ten thousand, a million expedient means,

they accord with what is appropriate in preaching the Law.

Those who are not versed in the matter

p.81cannot fully comprehend this.

But you and the others already know

how the buddhas, teachers of the world,

accord with what is appropriate in employing expedient means.

You will have no more doubts or perplexities

but, your minds filled with great joy,

will know that you yourselves will attain buddhahood.
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Notes

1. Sixty-two possible views that arise from the two views that there is existence and that there is no existence. The term is often used to refer to all the non-Buddhist views that were current in Shakyamuni’s time.

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IMMEASURABLE MEANSINGS SUTRA CHAPTER 2 OF 3:

CHAPTER 2

Preaching the Law

At that time the bodhisattva mahasattva Great Adornment and the others of the eighty thousand bodhisattvas mahasattva, having spoken these verses in praise of the Buddha, all together addressed the Buddha, saying: “World-Honored One, we, this multitude of eighty thousand bodhisattvas, now desire to pose some questions regarding the Law of the thus come one. We wonder if the world-honored one will be kind enough to listen?”

The Buddha said to Bodhisattva Great Adornment and the others of the eighty thousand bodhisattvas, “Excellent, excellent, good men. You know when the time is right. Proceed with your questions! Before long, the thus come one will enter parinirvana, and he wishes to make certain that there will be no more doubts anywhere after he has entered nirvana. What do you wish to ask about? Now is the time to speak.”

Bodhisattva Great Adornment and the others of the eighty thousand bodhisattvas, speaking in a single voice, then addressed the Buddha, saying: “World-Honored One, if bodhisattvas mahasattva wish to succeed quickly in gaining supreme perfect enlightenment, what sort of doctrines should they practice? What sort of doctrines can cause bodhisattvas mahasattva to succeed quickly in gaining supreme perfect enlightenment?”

The Buddha said to Bodhisattva Great Adornment and the others of the eighty thousand bodhisattvas, “Good men, there is a single doctrine that can cause bodhisattvas to succeed quickly p.12in gaining supreme perfect enlightenment. If bodhisattvas study this doctrine, then they will be able to gain supreme perfect enlightenment.”

“World-Honored One, what is the name of this doctrine? What is its meaning? What practices does it prescribe for bodhisattvas?”

The Buddha said: “Good men, this single doctrine is called the doctrine of immeasurable meanings. If bodhisattvas wish to practice and study these immeasurable meanings, then they should observe and perceive how all phenomena, from the beginning down to the present, are in nature and aspect empty and tranquil, without bigness or littleness, without birth or extinction, not abiding, not moving, neither advancing nor retreating, but like vacant space, without any dualism.

“But living beings in their vain delusions make wild calculations, saying, this is one thing, that is another, this brings gain, that brings loss, and give rise to thoughts that are not good, carrying out evil acts, transmigrating through the six paths of existence and undergoing sufferings and bitterness for immeasurable millions of kalpas without ever being able to escape.

“Bodhisattvas mahasattva, clearly perceiving that this is so, are moved to pity in their minds, and inspired by great compassion, wish to rescue these beings from their plight. They should then once more enter deeply into the study of all phenomena. If the aspects of phenomena are such, then such-and-such phenomena will be born. If the aspects of phenomena are such, then such-and-such phenomena will abide. If the aspects of phenomena are such, then such-and-such phenomena will change. If the aspects of phenomena are such, then such-and-such phenomena will undergo extinction. If the aspects of phenomena are such, this can lead to the birth of bad phenomena. If the aspects of phenomena are such, this can lead to the birth of good phenomena. And the same applies in the case of the abiding, changing, and extinction of phenomena.

“When bodhisattvas have in this manner observed the beginning and end of these four aspects and have understood them in their entirety, then they will clearly perceive that all phenomena, p.13never abiding from one instant to the next, are constantly being born anew and passing into extinction, and then they will immediately perceive the true aspect of birth, abiding, change, and extinction.

“Once they have gained this perception, then they must turn to the capacities, natures, and desires of living beings. Because such natures and desires are immeasurable in variety, the ways of preaching the Law are immeasurable; and because the ways of preaching the Law are immeasurable, its meanings are likewise immeasurable. These immeasurable meanings are born from a single Law, and this Law is without aspect. What is without aspect is devoid of aspect and does not take on aspect. Not taking on aspect, being without aspect, it is called the true aspect.

“When bodhisattvas mahasattva rest and abide in this understanding of the true aspect of all phenomena, then the pity and compassion that they put forth will be based on clear understanding and not groundless, and they will be truly capable of rescuing living beings from the sufferings that they undergo. And once they have rescued them from suffering, they will preach the Law for them and enable living beings to enjoy ease and delight.

“Good men, if bodhisattvas are able in this manner to practice the immeasurable meanings of this all-embracing doctrine, then they are certain to succeed quickly in attaining supreme perfect enlightenment. Good men, this profound, unsurpassed great vehicle Immeasurable Meanings Sutra is true and correct in word and principle, worthy of unsurpassed veneration. It is guarded and protected by all the buddhas of the three existences. There is no devil host, no congregation of non-Buddhist believers who can invade it, nor can it be destroyed by any erroneous views or accidents of birth and death. Therefore, good men, if bodhisattvas mahasattva wish to gain unsurpassed enlightenment quickly, they should practice and study this profound, unsurpassed great vehicle Immeasurable Meanings Sutra.”

At that time Bodhisattva Great Adornment addressed the Buddha once more, saying: “World-Honored One, the Law preached by the world-honored one is beyond ordinary p.14comprehension, the capacities and natures of living beings are also beyond ordinary comprehension, and the doctrines and emancipations are likewise beyond ordinary comprehension. Regarding the doctrines that the Buddha has preached to us, we have no more doubts or difficulties. But because confusion and misunderstanding arise in the minds of living beings, we wish to question the world-honored one further.

“In the forty and more years since the thus come one gained the way, he has constantly expounded for the sake of living beings upon the principle of the four aspects of phenomena, the principle of suffering, of emptiness, impermanence, no self, no bigness, no littleness, no birth, no extinction, one aspect that is no aspect, the nature of phenomena, the aspect of phenomena, from the beginning emptiness and tranquillity, neither coming nor going, neither appearing nor disappearing.

“Those who listened to you were perhaps able to gain the heat stage, the peak stage, or the foremost worldly stage, to attain the stage of the stream-winner, of the once-returner, of the non-returner, or the arhat, to gain the way of the pratyekabuddha, to conceive a desire for enlightenment, to ascend to the first level, the second level, the third level, and so forth to the tenth level.

“The principles of these various doctrines that you have expounded upon in past days—how do they differ from those you are expounding now? You say that if bodhisattvas practice this profound, unsurpassed great vehicle Immeasurable Meanings Sutra, they are certain to quickly attain unsurpassed enlightenment. Just what does this mean? We beg the world-honored one to have compassion and pity for all, and for the sake of living beings far and wide to make clear the distinctions, so that all those everywhere in this present existence and in ages to come, when they hear the doctrines, may be free from the net of residual doubt!”

Thereupon the Buddha said to Bodhisattva Great Adornment: “Excellent, excellent, you great and good men. You have seen fit to ask the thus come one about the subtle and wonderful meaning of this profound, unsurpassed great vehicle. You should understand that by doing so you can benefit many people, assure p.15peace and joy to human and heavenly beings, and rescue living beings from suffering. This is in truth great pity and compassion. And because it is true, it cannot be vain. As a result of this, you will without fail quickly attain unsurpassed enlightenment. And you will also make it possible for all living beings in the present age and in ages to come to attain unsurpassed enlightenment.

“Good men, in the past I sat upright for six years under the bodhi tree in the place of enlightenment and was able to gain supreme perfect enlightenment. With the Buddha eye I observed all phenomena and knew that this enlightenment could not be explained or described. Why? Because I knew that living beings are not alike in their natures and desires. And because their natures and desires are not alike, I preached the Law in various different ways. Preaching the Law in various different ways, I made use of the power of expedient means. But in these more than forty years, I have not yet revealed the truth. Therefore the ways they gained were not uniform but differed in different cases, and they have not been able to quickly attain unsurpassed enlightenment.

“Good men, the Law may be compared to water that can wash away dirt and defilement. A well, a pond, a river, a stream, a brook, a channel, a vast sea—all are capable of washing away all kinds of dirt and defilement. And the water of the Law is like this, because it can wash living beings clean of the dirt of earthly desires.

“Good men, water possesses a single nature, but rivers, streams, wells, ponds, brooks, channels, and vast seas each have their particular differences. The nature of the Law is like this too—in its ability to wash away grime and impediment, it is without differentiation. But in its categories of three doctrines, four stages, or two ways,1 it is not uniform.

“Good men, although all forms of water can be used for washing, a well is not the same as a pond, a pond is not the same as p.16a river or stream, a brook or channel is not the same as the sea. And as the thus come one, hero of the world, enjoys complete freedom with regard to the Law, so the various doctrines that he preaches are like [these bodies of water]. What he preaches in the beginning, in the middle, and later, is in all cases capable of washing clean the earthly desires of living beings. But what he preaches in the beginning is not the same as what he preaches in the middle, and what he preaches in the middle is not the same as what he preaches later. The beginning, middle, and later preachings are identical in their words and phrases, but each is different in meaning.

“Good men, when I rose up from under the kingly [bodhi] tree, proceeded to Deer Park in Varanasi, and turned the wheel of the Law, preaching the four noble truths for Ajnata Kaundinya and the others of the five ascetics, I explained that the various phenomena are from the beginning all empty and tranquil, that they succeed each other without ever abiding, that from one instant to the next they are born and pass into extinction. During the middle period, both here and in various other places, for the sake of the monks and the host of bodhisattvas I expounded and set forth the twelve-linked chain of causation and the six paramitas, likewise explaining that the various phenomena are from the beginning all empty and tranquil, that they succeed each other without abiding, that from instant to instant they are born and pass into extinction. And now once more I am here expounding this great vehicle Immeasurable Meanings Sutra, again explaining that the various phenomena are from the beginning all empty and tranquil, that they succeed each other without abiding, that from instant to instant they are born and pass into extinction. Therefore, good men, though in what I preach at the beginning, in the middle, and at a later time the words and phrases are the same, the meaning is quite different. Because the meaning is different, the understanding of living beings is different. And because their understanding is different, the doctrines they gain, the stages they gain, the ways they gain are likewise different.

“Good men, in the beginning I preached the four noble truths p.17for the sake of those who wished to become voice-hearers. At that time eight million heavenly beings came down to listen to the Law and conceived a desire for enlightenment. In the middle period in one place and another I expounded the profound teaching of the twelve-linked chain of causation for the sake of those who wished to become pratyekabuddhas, and immeasurable numbers of living beings conceived the desire for enlightenment or abided at the level of voice-hearers.

“Then I preached the twelve divisions of the broad and impartial sutras, the teaching of great wisdom, and the Flower Garland teaching of the ocean-imprint meditation, describing the many kalpas of practice for bodhisattvas, and hundreds and thousands of monks and ten thousands and millions of human and heavenly beings, immeasurable living beings, were able to attain and abide in the stage of stream-winner, once-returner, non-returner, arhat, or pratyekabuddha, or in the doctrine of original causation.

“Good men, you should understand that in this sense, though my preachings are the same, they differ in their meaning. Because their meaning is different, the understanding of living beings is different. And because their understanding is different, the doctrines they gain, the stages they gain, the ways they gain are likewise.

“Therefore, good men, from the time I gained the way and first began to preach the Law down to the present day, when I expound the great vehicle Immeasurable Meanings Sutra, I have never failed to preach suffering, emptiness, impermanence, no self, not absolute, not provisional, not big, not little, from the beginning not born, at the present time not passing into extinction, one aspect that is no aspect, the aspect of phenomena, the nature of phenomena, neither coming nor going, living beings shifting from one to another of the four aspects.

“Good men, for this reason none of the many buddhas ever vary in the words they speak. They can use a single sound to respond to all the multitude of voices everywhere, can use a single body to manifest bodies as numerous as the immeasurable, countless sands of hundreds, thousands, ten thousands, millions p.18of nayutas of Ganges Rivers. And each of these bodies in turn manifests different types of forms numerous as the sands of some hundreds, thousands, ten thousands, millions of nayutas and asamkhyas of Ganges Rivers. And each of these forms in turn manifests forms numerous as the sands of some hundreds, thousands, ten thousands, millions of nayutas and asamkhyas of Ganges Rivers.

“Good men, this then is the inconceivably profound realm of the buddhas. It cannot be understood by persons of the two vehicles, nor can it be grasped even by bodhisattvas in the ten stages of security. Only between one buddha and another can it be fully comprehended.

“Good men, for this reason I have stated that this subtle, wonderful, profound, unsurpassed great vehicle Immeasurable Meanings Sutra is true and correct in word and principle, worthy of unsurpassed veneration. It is guarded and protected by all the buddhas of the three existences. There is no devil host, no congregation of non-Buddhist believers who can invade it, nor can it be destroyed by any erroneous views or accidents of birth and death. If bodhisattvas mahasattva wish to gain unsurpassed enlightenment quickly, they should practice and study this profound, unsurpassed great vehicle Immeasurable Meanings Sutra.”

When the Buddha finished speaking, the major world system quaked and trembled in six different ways. From the sky various different kinds of heavenly flowers rained down of their own accord, heavenly utpala flowers, padma flowers, kumuda flowers, pundarika flowers. There also rained down countless varieties of heavenly incense, heavenly robes, heavenly necklaces, and priceless heavenly jewels that came tumbling and turning through the air and descended as offerings to the Buddha and the great assembly of bodhisattvas and voice-hearers. Heavenly vessels from heavenly kitchens heaped and overflowing with heavenly foods of a hundred flavors, heavenly streamers, heavenly banners, heavenly canopies, and wonderful heavenly playthings were ranged here and there, heavenly musical instruments played, and songs were sung to praise the Buddha.

Then in the eastern region the buddha worlds, numerous as p.19Ganges sands, also quaked and trembled in six different ways, raining down heavenly flowers, heavenly incense, heavenly robes, heavenly necklaces, priceless heavenly jewels, heavenly vessels from heavenly kitchens, a hundred heavenly flavors, heavenly streamers, heavenly banners, heavenly canopies, and wonderful heavenly playthings. Heavenly musical instruments played and songs were sung in praise of the buddhas and the great assembly of bodhisattvas and voice-hearers, and the same occurred in the southern, western, and northern regions, in the four intermediate directions, and in the upper and lower regions.

In this assembly, thirty-two thousand bodhisattvas mahasattva gained the samadhi of immeasurable meanings, thirty-four thousand bodhisattvas mahasattva gained countless immeasurable dharanis, and all were able to turn the unregressing wheel of the Law of all the buddhas of the three existences.

When the monks, nuns, laymen, laywomen, heavenly beings, dragons, yakshas, gandharvas, asuras, garudas, kimnaras, mahoragas, great wheel-turning kings, petty wheel-turning kings, kings of the silver wheel, the iron wheel, and other kinds of wheels, kings of states, princes, ministers, subjects, gentlemen and ladies of the state, and rich men of the state, along with the hosts of hundreds and thousands of followers accompanying them, heard the Buddha, the thus come one, preach this sutra, some gained the heat stage, the peak stage, the foremost worldly stage, the stage of stream-winner, of once-returner, of non-returner, of arhat, or of pratyekabuddha. Some gained the bodhisattva’s truth of birthlessness. Some gained one dharani, some two dharanis, some three dharanis, some four dharanis, some five, six, seven, eight, nine, or ten dharanis. Some gained hundreds, thousands, ten thousands, millions of dharanis, and some gained an asamkhya of dharanis, immeasurable, countless as Ganges sands.

All were able to acquiesce and obey and to turn the unregressing wheel of the Law. Immeasurable numbers of living beings conceived the desire for supreme perfect enlightenment.
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Notes

1. The three doctrines are the four noble truths, the twelve-linked chain of causation, and the six paramitas. The four stages are those of the stream-winner, once-returner, non-returner, and arhat. The two ways of enlightenment are the two vehicles of the voice-hearer and the pratyekabuddha, and the bodhisattva vehicle.
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Chapter Two: Expedient Means
Eight important points

Point One, regarding the “Expedient Means” chapter

(Translator’s note: According to Words and Phrases, there are three types of hōben, or expedient means. The first is known as hōyū hōben, or “adaptations of the Law expedient means,” teachings that were preached in accordance with people’s capacities and tastes. They stress the truth of impermanence and the severing of attachment to the phenomenal world and correspond to Hinayana and early Mahayana. The second is called nōtsū hōben, or “expedient means that can lead one in,” teachings that the Buddha preached as a gateway to the true teaching. The third is called himyō hōben, or “the secret and wonderful expedient means,” which corresponds to the ultimate truth. “Secret and wonderful” refers to the fact that the Buddha concealed the truth for the first more than forty years of his preaching life, explaining it only in the Lotus Sutra. Unlike the first two expedients, the third type not only leads people to the truth but simultaneously contains the truth.)

Words and Phrases, volume three, states, “The hō of hōben (expedient means) means secret. The ben means wonderful. ‘Wonderful’ leads to ‘secret’; this is identical with the truth, which is kept secret. When we examine what is meant by the priceless jewel sewn into the lining of the man’s robe (chapter eight, Prophecy of Enlightenment for Five Hundred Disciples), we see that it is in no way different from the jewel in the topknot of the king (chapter p.21fourteen, Peaceful Practices). And the man who is called a hired laborer is in fact no different from or apart from the rich man’s son (chapter four, Belief and Understanding). All of these similes point to what is secret, what is wonderful.

“It is as the Lotus Sutra says: ‘Only I [Shakyamuni] understand its [the Law’s] characteristics, / and the Buddhas of the ten directions do likewise’ (chapter two). ‘Stop, stop, no need to speak! / My Law is wonderful and difficult to ponder’ (ibid.). Therefore the term ‘secret’ is used to explain the hō of hōben, and the term ‘wonderful’ is used to explain the ben. This is in fact the meaning that underlies this chapter. So it is called the ‘Expedient Means’ chapter.”

On “The Words and Phrases,” volume three, says, “The third type of expedient means is characterized as secret and wonderful. Because it can be termed wonderful, it is identical [with the truth]. . . . The perfect [teaching] is regarded as identical [with the truth], but the three [teachings—the Tripitaka, the connecting, and the specific teachings] are characterized as not identical [with the truth]. Therefore it is in contrast to these non-identical teachings that the teaching [of the Lotus Sutra] is characterized as being identical [with the truth].”

The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings says: The priceless “jewel” mentioned in the passage of commentary from Words and Phrases is the jewel sewn into the lining of the robe, which is the same as the jewel in the king’s topknot. And the hired laborer is absolutely identical with the rich man’s son. But in the end persons who slander the Law and fail to have faith in it are followers of the provisional teachings outside the body of the truth, the teachings represented by two types of expedient means known as “adaptations of the Law” and those “that can lead one in.” For that reason, such persons cannot recognize [that the two jewels or the two persons in the above similes are] the same and no different from each other.

Now Nichiren and his followers, who recite Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, are observers of the “secret and wonderful expedient p.22means,” teachings that are within the body of the truth. Therefore, after the title of the sutra, Myoho-renge-kyo, comes the chapter entitled “Expedient Means.”

In explaining the statement in Words and Phrases that “this is identical with the truth, which is kept secret,” in his On “The Words and Phrases,” volume three, Miao-lo says, “The perfect [teaching] is regarded as identical [with the truth].” And if identical means the perfect [teaching], then this must be another name for the Lotus Sutra. Identical must indicate the truth that ordinary people are identical with the highest level of being, or the Buddha of the true aspect of all phenomena. Perfect refers to the principle of three thousand realms in a single moment of life. Though the words “identical” and “perfect” are different, they are each another name for “wonderful.” That all living beings are in fact the Buddha of the true aspect of all phenomena is a wonderful thing, an unfathomable thing! But persons who slander the Law are at present unaware of this fact. Therefore it is referred to as being secret.

The Record also says: The three thousand worlds of the Dharma-realm may be termed secret and wonderful. Secret means strict [or without a single exception]. The three thousand worlds, every single one of them, exit [in one’s life]. There is nothing more unfathomable than this! Even persons who are called great slanderers of the Law will in time come to accept and uphold Myoho-renge-kyo—this is the purpose of the “Expedient Means” chapter of the Lotus Sutra.

Now that we have entered the Latter Day of the Law, Nichiren and his followers are carrying out this task correctly. To take the persons and teachings of the sutras preached prior to the Lotus Sutra and lead them into the body of teachings of the Lotus Sutra—this is the purpose of the “Expedient Means” chapter of the Lotus Sutra. This is also termed the attainment of Buddhahood in one’s present form, or “their consistency from beginning to end” (chapter two), the consistency of the ten factors.

Again, the “Expedient Means” chapter represents the Ten Worlds, or in another sense it represents ignorance or darkness. p.23Myoho-renge-kyo, or the Lotus Sutra, stands at the apex of the Ten Worlds, and at the same time represents the Dharma nature. It exemplifies the principle that earthly desires are identical with enlightenment, that the sufferings of birth and death are identical with nirvana.

“The perfect [teaching] is regarded as identical [with the truth]” refers to the three thousand realms in a single moment of life. “Wonderful” and “identical [with the truth]” are synonymous. “Perfect” and “wonderful” are the principle of three thousand realms in a single moment of life expressed in a single word. “Perfect” refers to the true aspect of all phenomena. A commentary [The Annotations on “Great Concentration and Insight,” volume one] explains the word “perfect” by saying, “Perfect means perfect and interfused or perfect and full.” “Perfect and interfused” refers to the theoretical teaching; “perfect and full” refers to the essential teaching. “Perfect” also refers to the two practices of concentration and insight. Again, it refers to the fact that we are made up of the two elements of body and mind. The expression of three thousand realms in a single moment of life, in a single word, is the secret storehouse of the Eshin school of teachings.

In the character en 圓, or “perfect,” the outer enclosure 囗 represents a single moment of life, while the element 員 (literally, number) represents three thousand realms. The principle of three thousand realms in a single moment of life is unfathomable. This wonderful principle was never expounded in the three teachings previous to the Lotus Sutra, the Tripitaka teaching, the connecting teaching, and the specific teaching. Therefore it is called “secret.”

From all this you should understand that Nam-myoho-renge-kyo represents the expedient means of the single mind or life.1 Myoho-renge-kyo represents the ninth consciousness, while the Ten Worlds represent the levels from the eighth consciousness on down.

You should think all these matters over carefully. The hō of p.24hōben may also refer to the ten directions. The ten directions are the same as the Ten Worlds. The ben of hōben indicates something that is unfathomable in nature.

Point Two, regarding the words “The wisdom of the Buddhas is infinitely profound and immeasurable. The door to this wisdom is difficult to understand and difficult to enter. Not one of the voice-hearers or pratyekabuddhas is able to comprehend it.”

Words and Phrases, volume three, says, “First the passage praises the true wisdom, and then it praises the provisional wisdom. ‘True’ here refers to ‘the wisdom of the Buddhas.’ This is not the ‘true and provisional’ that applies to the teachings expounded in accordance with the capacities of people, the three teachings prior to the Lotus Sutra, the Tripitaka, the connecting, and the specific teachings. Therefore the text describes it as the wisdom ‘of the Buddhas.’ It is a manifestation of the truth the Buddhas realized for themselves, and therefore it is termed ‘wisdom.’

“The essence of this wisdom is the three kinds of wisdom of a single mind. ‘Infinitely profound and immeasurable’ are the words of praise applied to this wisdom. The true wisdom of the Buddhas is of such depth that it can clearly penetrate to the very base of universal truth; therefore it is described as ‘infinitely profound.’ And it is of such width that it extends to the very limits of the Dharma-realm; therefore it is described as ‘immeasurable.’ ‘Infinitely profound and immeasurable’ refers to its vertical and horizontal dimensions.

“To employ a simile, if the roots of a tree reach far down, then its branches will flourish; and if the source of a river is far away, its flow will be long-lasting. Such are the terms used to describe true wisdom. And those used to describe provisional wisdom follow the same pattern.

“When the sutra speaks of ‘the door to this wisdom,’ it is praising the provisional wisdom. It is an expedient means that acts as a corridor to the teaching of the Buddhas’ enlightenment, a force p.25that enables one to advance on one’s way. Therefore it is described as a ‘door.’ A door is that by which one enters upon the way. The ‘way’ one enters upon is the true teaching, and the corridor leading to the way is the provisional teachings.

“The sutra praises the provisional wisdom by saying that it is ‘difficult to understand and difficult to enter.’ It is beyond comprehension, yet we comprehend it; it has indescribably great assistance to offer. To those acquainted only with the seven expedient means it is beyond measuring. Only when one reaches the ten stages of security can one for the first time be said to ‘understand’ it. And when one reaches the ten stages of development, one may be said to ‘enter’ it. Here we mention only the earlier stages, the stages of security, and the later stages, the stages of development. During the intervening stages, one comes to realize that this wisdom is truly difficult to expound and difficult to awaken to.

“The sutra, however, makes a special point of saying that none of the voice-hearers or pratyekabuddhas are able to comprehend it. Because such persons are so heavily weighed down by their attachments, it makes a special point of admonishing them.”

On “The Words and Phrases,” volume three, says, “The [passage that includes the] words ‘refer to its vertical and horizontal dimensions’ consists of a doctrine, its simile, and a reference to both true and provisional wisdom. This shows the pattern to be followed. Here the true wisdom has been interpreted as being vast in its horizontal dimensions and all-reaching in its vertical dimensions or depth. In what follows, we are to understand that the provisional wisdom should be interpreted to be extremely profound in principle. The interpretation of the provisional wisdom is to be given in what follows, and so its characteristics are described in advance in this passage. That is why the commentary says what it does.

“In the passage ‘The door to this wisdom,’ the word ‘this’ refers to the wisdom that is the cause of the true wisdom mentioned earlier in the text [as ‘the wisdom of the Buddhas’]. If the wisdom here is likened to a door, then it must be provisional. But if this is p.26the door to wisdom, then the wisdom must be the true wisdom that results from the cause. In this passage, therefore, the ten stages of development are to be understood as the corridor that leads to the way, perfect enlightenment as the way itself, and the state following enlightenment as what comes after one has attained the way.

“Therefore one should understand that the purpose underlying this passage is to describe the cause that leads to enlightenment.”

The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings says: The meaning of this passage in Words and Phrases and the commentary on it in On “The Words and Phrases” is perfectly clear. In the passage referring to the vertical and horizontal dimensions, the vertical dimensions represent the essential teaching and the horizontal dimensions represent the theoretical teaching. The “roots” are the roots of a plant or tree. Plants and trees in their growth climb upward. Hence the roots here stand for the theoretical teaching [that leads one upward to enlightenment in the essential teaching]. The “source” represents the essential teaching. The source is the fountainhead from which the river flows. Rivers flow downward. Hence the source here stands for the essential teaching [from which enlightenment flows downward]. The flourishing branches stand for the fourteen chapters of the theoretical teaching in the Lotus Sutra, and the long-lasting flow or the river stands for the fourteen chapters of the essential teaching.

The wisdom referred to is the three kinds of wisdom of a single mind. The “door” is the door that enables one to enter into this wisdom. The essence of the three kinds of wisdom of a single mind is Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, and the door is the mind of faith. So the passage in volume two of the Lotus Sutra (chapter three, Simile and Parable) says, “Even you, Shāriputra, / in the case of this sutra / were able to gain entrance through faith alone.” Here “entrance” is the same in meaning as “door.”

Now when Nichiren and his followers recite Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, they are giving expression to this wisdom. The “Simile and Parable” chapter says, “This house has only one gate p.27(door).” With regard to gates, there is the gate of being, the gate of emptiness, the gate that is both being and emptiness, and the gate that is neither being nor emptiness. The gate of being is birth. The gate of emptiness is death. The gate that is both being and emptiness is the birth and death of a single mind or life. The gate that is neither being nor emptiness is that which is not birth and not death.

The gate of being is exemplified by the five characters that make up the daimoku. The gate of emptiness is exemplified by the way in which these five characters are endowed with all the phenomena of the universe, without respect to any one particular direction or another. The gate of both being and emptiness is exemplified by the way in which these five characters are endowed with the essential and the theoretical teachings. And the gate that is neither being nor emptiness is exemplified by the underlying meaning of the whole sutra.

This kind of inner enlightenment is not something that can be comprehended by the wisdom of the people of the two vehicles who had yet to hear the Lotus Sutra. Therefore volume three of Words and Phrases says, “To those acquainted only with the seven expedient means it is beyond measuring.”

Now Nichiren and his followers have gained entrance to this wisdom. Therefore when the verse passage [in chapter two of the Lotus Sutra] says, “Among the other kinds of living beings / there are none who can comprehend it, / except the many bodhisattvas / who are firm in the power of faith,” it is referring to persons like us, who are votaries of the Lotus Sutra.

Point Three, regarding the passage “Because the Buddhas, the World-Honored Ones, appear in the world for one great reason (ichidaiji innen) alone.”

Words and Phrases, volume four, says, “‘One’ here means the one true aspect. It is not simply ‘one’ as contrasted to five, or to three, or to seven, or to nine. Therefore the text says ‘one’ (ichi). In its nature this ‘one’ is vast and broad, far broader than five, three, p.28seven, or nine. Therefore the text defines it as ‘great’ (dai). It is the ceremony in which the Buddhas appear in the world. Therefore the text describes it as an event or affair (ji). Living beings possess the capacity to aspire after the Buddhas. Therefore this is designated as the in, or ‘cause,’ part of the word ‘reason’ (innen, or causes and conditions). The Buddhas, observing this capacity, act in response to it. Therefore this is designated as the en, or ‘condition,’ part of the word ‘reason.’ This is the true reason for which the Buddhas appear in the world.”

The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings says: “One” represents the Middle Way teachings of the Lotus Sutra. “Great” represents the teachings on non-substantiality of the Flower Garland Sutra. And the “affair” represents the teachings on temporary existence of the Āgama, Correct and Equal, and Wisdom sutras, the three lesser flavors of milk, cream, and curdled milk. The sutras preached prior to the Lotus Sutra set forth this doctrine of the three truths, but in a form like that of a shattered jewel, not that of a perfect treasure.

Again we may say that “one” stands for myō, “great” stands for hō, “affair” stands for ren, “cause” stands for ge, and “condition” stands for kyō. Or again we may say that our head corresponds to myō, our throat to hō, our chest to ren, our stomach to ge, and our legs to kyō. Hence this five-foot body of ours constitutes the five characters of Myoho-renge-kyo.

For a period of more than forty years the Thus Come One Shakyamuni concealed and kept secret this great affair. Only when he came to preach the Lotus Sutra did he reveal it. It was for the purpose of preaching this great affair that the Buddha made his appearance in the world. When he revealed that our own bodies are the embodiments of the five characters of Myoho-renge-kyo, he was [as chapter two of the Lotus Sutra says] “opening the door of Buddha wisdom,” revealing that we can attain Buddhahood in our present bodies or existences.

“Opening” here is another name for the mind of faith. When we recite Myoho-renge-kyo with the mind of faith, we are in that p.29very act opening the door of Buddha wisdom. And at the same time, when we open up the mind of faith and [chant and] manifest Nam-myoho-renge-kyo within our lives, we are “showing the Buddha wisdom to living beings” (chapter two). And when we show them this, we are awakening them to the fact that this place where we dwell now is the Pure Land of Eagle Peak. We are awakening them to the fact that we can attain Buddhahood in our present bodies, which is what is called “causing living beings to awaken to the Buddha wisdom” (ibid.). And when these beings who have awakened can “mount this jeweled vehicle / and proceed directly to the place of practice” (chapter three, Simile and Parable), this is “inducing living beings to enter the path of Buddha wisdom” (chapter two). This is what it truly means to use the mind of faith to open the door of Buddha wisdom.

With regard to the word “enter” in the phrase “inducing living beings to enter the path of Buddha wisdom,” if viewed in terms of the theoretical teaching, it refers to entering into or embracing the theoretical principle of the true aspect of all phenomena. If viewed in terms of the essential teaching, it means entering into an awakening that a person at the stage of being a Buddha in theory is actually a Buddha of original enlightenment. Now persons like Nichiren and his followers, who have learned to chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, may be said to have entered the treasure tower.

With regard to the word “Buddha” in the phrase “opening the door of Buddha wisdom,” this refers to the Buddha world that is inherent in the nine worlds. With regard to the word “wisdom,” it refers to the two characters myōhō, or “Wonderful Law,” to the two characters shikan, or “concentration and insight,” to the two virtues of tranquility and brightness that pertain to enlightenment, to the two phases of birth and death, to the cause and effect of body and mind.

In the end, “wisdom” means the Wonderful Law. It means to use the wisdom of the Lotus Sutra to open up the Buddha mind that is inherent in the nine worlds. If we think of this, we realize that Buddha in fact is the living beings of the nine worlds.

p.30When the Buddha opens up and reveals this Buddha wisdom, and asks them if they will uphold it in their present bodies till they manifest Buddha bodies, this is showing the Wonderful Law, or what the sutra calls “showing the Buddha wisdom to living beings.” And when teacher and disciples have fully responded to one another and the disciples have received the teaching, so that they gain the awakening referred to where the sutra says, “I took a vow, / hoping to make all persons / equal to me, without any distinction between us” (chapter two), this is what the sutra calls “causing living beings to awaken to the Buddha wisdom.”

When the disciples reach such an awakening, they see that all the various and individual entities in the three thousand worlds of the Dharma-realm are the Lotus Sutra. Entering into this kind of inner enlightenment is what is called “entering the path of Buddha wisdom.” This is a matter that must be treated with secrecy.

Again we may say that the four processes related to the Buddha wisdom, the “opening,” “showing,” “awakening,” and “entering,” correspond to the eight phases of the Buddha’s existence. “Opening” corresponds to the birth phase of the Buddha’s existence, and “entering” corresponds to the death phase. And the two processes in between, “showing” and “awakening,” correspond to the other six phases. Thus the two phases that precede birth, namely, descending from heaven and entering his mother’s womb, correspond to the “showing” of the Buddha wisdom, and the phases of renouncing the world, conquering the devils, attaining enlightenment, and turning the wheel of the Law, correspond to the “awakening” of the Buddha wisdom.

The doctrines embodied in the provisional teachings were designed to remove one from the realm of birth and death. Therefore they cannot be termed the “opening,” “showing,” “awakening,” and “entering” of the Buddha wisdom. But when we come to the present sutra, the Lotus, we awaken to the realization that the two phases of life and death are the wonderful workings of one mind, and that the two ways of existence and nonexistence are the true functions of an inherently enlightened mind. This is p.31what is meant by the “opening,” “showing,” “awakening,” and “entering” of the Buddha wisdom. Intending to carry out these four activities with regard to the Buddha wisdom, the Buddhas of the three existences “for this one great reason” made their appearance in the world.

And yet, speaking of this Lotus Sutra that can “open the door of Buddha wisdom,” Hōnen tells us to “discard, close, ignore, and abandon” it; and the Great Teacher Kōbō assigns it to the third level and disparages it by calling it a doctrine of “frivolous theory.” Persons such as this may be said to cut off the tongues of the five categories of Buddhas who preach in a uniform manner, may they not? And the Great Teachers Jikaku and Chishō and their kind are like men who place a sword in the hands of a wicked son so that he may cut off the head of his own parent, are they not?

Again, in the phrase ichidaiji, or “one great affair,” the ichi, or “one,” stands for the truth of the Middle Way in the doctrine of the three truths, the dai, or “great,” stands for the truth of non-substantiality, and the ji, or “affair,” stands for the truth of temporary existence.

And what are the three truths that join to form a perfect unity? They are that which is Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. These five characters constitute the fundamental purpose for which Nichiren appeared in this world, and therefore they are referred to as a ji, or “affair.”

Among all people in the country of Japan, those who become disciples and supporters of Nichiren are the ones of whom it may be said, “Living beings possess the capacity to aspire after the Buddhas. Therefore this is designated as the in, or ‘cause,’ part of the word ‘reason’ (innen, or causes and conditions).” And when for their sake I propagate the ultimate principle of the Lotus Sutra, this is what is meant by “The Buddhas, observing this capacity, act in response to it. Therefore this is designated as the en, or ‘condition,’ part of the word ‘reason,’” is it not?

The in, or “causes,” is the planting of the original seed of Buddhahood, and the en, or “conditions,” goes back to the en that was p.32established in one’s previous existence major world system dust particle kalpas ago or numberless major world system dust particle kalpas ago. The ji, or “affair,” which is the actuality of three thousand realms in a single moment of life, refers to Nichiren himself, and is indeed a great affair.

“One” is one single moment of life, and “great” is the three thousand realms. The preaching of the three thousand realms came about through the “affair” of causes and conditions. The “affair” refers to the realm of living beings, the “causes” refers to the realm of the five components, and the “conditions” refers to the realm of the environment. With regard to the “conditions,” or the realm of the environment, we may say that basic conditions dictate that Jambudvīpa is the land where Myoho-renge-kyo, or the Lotus Sutra of the Wonderful Law, should be propagated. Therefore, the sutra says, “I will cause it to be widely propagated throughout Jambudvīpa and will see that it never comes to an end” (chapter twenty-eight, Universal Worthy).

Point Four, regarding the “five impurities” in the passage “Shāriputra, the Buddhas appear in evil worlds of five impurities. These are the so-called impurity of the age, impurity of desire, impurity of living beings, impurity of view, and impurity of life span.”

Words and Phrases, volume four, says, “The impurity of the kalpa or age has no separate form [but is the impurities associated with that particular age]. Kalpa refers to a long period of time, while kshana refers to a short period of time. . . . The impurity of living beings has no separate form [but is the impurities associated with those particular living beings]. It is the results of illusions of thought and arrogance [and other illusions of desire] as they are manifested among living beings. . . . The impurity of desire takes form as one is driven by the five delusive inclinations. The impurity of view takes form as one is driven by the five false views. The impurity of life span takes form through the continued existence of one’s body and mind.”

p.33The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings says: Nichiren and his followers have removed themselves from these five impurities. Since, as the sutra says, “This, my land, remains safe and tranquil” (chapter sixteen, Life Span), we are not affected by the impurity of the age. Since we manifest the unconditioned Buddha body of the true aspect, we are not affected by the impurity of living beings. Since we understand the wonderful truth that earthly desires are enlightenment and that the sufferings of birth and death are nirvana, we are not affected by the impurity of desire. Since we possess the Buddha body that has existed without beginning from numberless major world system dust particle kalpas ago, we are not affected by the impurity of life span. And since we are votaries of the Lotus Sutra who “honestly discarding expedient means, / will preach only the unsurpassed way” (chapter two), we are not affected by the impurity of view.

In effect, it is faith in Nam-myoho-renge-kyo that determines whether these five impurities will arise. Therefore the passage on the five impurities applies to all the living beings of Japan [who do not have such faith]. Hence volume four of Words and Phrases says, “The mark of the impurity of the age is the fact that the other four types of impurity appear in increased number and intensity and flock about the age. Because anger increases in intensity, strife of arms occurs. Because greed increases in intensity, famine arises. Because foolishness increases in intensity, pestilence breaks out. And because these three calamities occur, earthly desires grow more powerful and false views increasingly flourish.”

This is what the sutra means when it says, “Since hatred and jealousy toward this sutra abound even when the Thus Come One is in the world, how much more will this be so after his passing?” (chapter ten, The Teacher of the Law).

Persons who do not have faith in the Lotus Sutra are gravely impeded by the five impurities. Hence the sutra says, “In this evil world of the five impurities / those who merely delight in and are attached to the desires, / living beings such as this / in the end will never seek the Buddha way” (chapter two). Here “the p.34Buddha way” is simply another name for the Lotus Sutra. As T’ien-t’ai says, “The term ‘Buddha way’ refers to this sutra [the Lotus] in particular.”

Point Five, regarding the passage “There are monks and nuns / who behave with overbearing arrogance, / laymen full of self-esteem, / laywomen who are lacking in faith. / Among the four kinds of believers, the likes of these / number five thousand. / They fail to see their own errors, / are heedless and remiss with regard to the precepts, / clinging to their shortcomings, unwilling to change. / But these persons of small wisdom have already left; / the chaff among this assembly / has departed in the face of the Buddha’s authority. / These persons were of paltry merit and virtue, / incapable of receiving this Law. / This assembly is now free of branches and leaves, / made up only of those steadfast and truthful.”

Words and Phrases, volume four, says, “Overbearing arrogance, self-esteem, and lack of faith are faults common to all four kinds of believers. But the two types of believers who have left the household life, the monks and nuns, because they have devoted much practice to the way and have gained proficiency in meditation, often mistakenly believe that they have attained the goal of enlightenment, and are therefore particularly given to overbearing arrogance. The two types of believers who remain in ordinary life, the laymen and laywomen, are often puffed up with pride and frequently display self-esteem. Women, being shallow in wisdom, often fall into mistaken views. The words ‘They fail to see their own errors’ refer to all three errors of the mind, overbearing arrogance, self-esteem, and lack of faith. Because these people conceal their failings, flaunt their virtues, and are incapable of self-reflection, they show themselves to be persons of no shame. If they could see their own errors, they would be monks with a sense of shame.”

On “The Words and Phrases,” volume four, says, “The words p.35‘Because these people conceal their failings’ refer to the three errors of overbearing arrogance, self-esteem, and lack of faith. ‘Because these people conceal their failings, flaunt their virtues’ refers to overbearing arrogance. ‘Incapable of self-reflection’ refers to self-esteem. ‘Persons of no shame’ refers to a lack of faith. But if a person is capable of ‘seeing his own errors,’ then he is without these three errors. Although he has not yet reached the goal of enlightenment, he can still be called a person with a sense of shame.”

The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings says: The purpose of these passages in the commentary Words and Phrases and the subcommentary On “The Words and Phrases” is to explain the arrogance of the five thousand monks, nuns, laymen, and laywomen in the assembly who rose from their seats, bowed to the Buddha, and withdrew (chapter two). You should examine them carefully. The two categories of monks and nuns are persons who have left the household life, and both are said to display overbearing arrogance. To conceal their failings and flaunt their virtues is their basic characteristic. The upāsaka, or laymen, are men, and their basic characteristic is self-esteem. The upāsikā, or laywomen, are women, and their basic characteristic is shamelessness.

These four kinds of believers are very plentiful in Japan today. The sutra says that they “number five thousand.” But in fact in Japan there are 4,994,828 such persons to be seen. When Shakyamuni Buddha was in the world, five thousand persons rose from their seats and withdrew from the assembly where he was preaching. But now, in the Latter Day of the Law, all the living beings in this land of Japan rise from their seats and withdraw from the place where Nichiren is preaching.

The monks and nuns who display overbearing arrogance—they are priests like Dōryū and Ryōkan, are they not? Or like the nuns of Kamakura. The laymen are persons like [the lay priest of] Saimyō-ji [Hōjō Tokiyori], and the laywomen are all the women, whether high or low in station [who are lacking in faith], are they not? None of these deign to see their own errors.

p.36Now these people slander Nichiren and his followers, trying to give them an evil name. Are they not those who “fail to see their own errors”? They are guilty of great slander against the Law. Without doubt they are persons who withdraw from the assembly where the Lotus Sutra is preached.

But when they have encountered Nichiren, they may be said, in the words of the sutra, to have “bowed to the Buddha and withdrawn” (ibid.). This “bowing to the Buddha and withdrawing” is a mark of their contempt for him. It is not in any sense the bowing and departing of those who have understanding and belief. This is why the sutra, speaking of such persons, says, “They are heedless and remiss with regard to the precepts.” Volume four of Words and Phrases says, “In the phrase ‘heedless and remiss with regard to the precepts,’ the word ‘heedless’ refers to errors in the precepts pertaining to the code of conduct, and the word ‘remiss’ refers to errors in the precepts that accompany meditation and the precepts that accompany the way [or emancipation from earthly desires].”

These five thousand arrogant persons are the five types of abiding earthly desires2 that are always part of our makeup. But now when we encounter the Lotus Sutra, we awake to the fact that arrogance itself is part of the Dharma-realm, so that “bowing to the Buddha and withdrawing” means that it has “departed in the face of the Buddha’s authority.” The “Buddha” here is the Buddha realm that is part of our nature, and his “authority” is Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. Therefore when we speak of withdrawing or departing, it refers to a “departure that is not a departure.” You should think of it as the kind of departure described in the passage at the end of the “Universal Worthy” chapter that reads, “They bowed in obeisance and departed.”

On the other hand, we may also say that the withdrawal of the five thousand persons from the assembly signifies that in fact p.37there is no withdrawing from the assembly where the Lotus Sutra is preached. The reason is that one has already gained enlightenment through the briefly expressed replacement of the three vehicles with the one vehicle that took place with “the true aspect of all phenomena” passage (chapter two). At that time it was made clear that, as far as self-esteem and overbearing arrogance are concerned, such arrogance itself is a part of the Dharma-realm, the impulse to arrogance that is intrinsic to our nature. The phrase “the likes of these number five thousand” refers to the five types of abiding earthly desires that are at all times a part of our makeup. If we were without these five types of abiding earthly desires, then the whole meaning of the Lotus Sutra would be lost.

When we realize that these five types of abiding earthly desires are an intrinsic and constantly present part of our nature, then we may speak of them as numbering five thousand. And when we do not endeavor to cut off such delusions but look on these five abiding elements, just as they are, as constituting an inherent part of the myōhō, or Wonderful Law, then it may be said that we “fail to see our own errors.”

As to the phrase “heedless and remiss with regard to the precepts,” this does not refer to the kind of precepts and rules put forth in the Hinayana and provisional teachings, which are designed to cure various sicknesses in human nature. Rather it refers to the Wonderful Law embodied in the passage [that describes a person who can accept and uphold the Lotus Sutra], saying of such a person that “this is what is called observing the precepts” (chapter eleven, Treasure Tower). Therefore the act of being heedless and remiss is in essence, just as it is, the entity referred to in the words “This is what is called observing the precepts.”

Therefore, since we recognize this heedlessness and remissness as, just as it is, a part of our basic nature, we may be said, in the words of the sutra, to “cling to our shortcomings, unwilling to change.” From the beginning, these are the wonderful precepts of the one vehicle, a vehicle in which the entire Dharma-realm is contained in one particle of dust and the ten directions are all present in a single moment of life, and therefore we may say with the p.38sutra that “these persons of small wisdom have already left.”

The “chaff” that the sutra speaks of, each and every speck of dust, each and every phenomenon, is the three bodies of original enlightenment. Therefore, although, as the sutra says, such persons may be “of paltry merit and virtue,” they are the enlightened body of original and unconditioned enlightenment. Regarding the passage of the sutra that says that these persons are “incapable of receiving this Law”: Having heard the substance of the doctrine as it was expounded in the brief replacement of the three vehicles by the one, the passage on “the true aspect of all phenomena,” they attain enlightenment just as they are. The venerable Shāriputra then asks the Buddha to preach and expound the doctrine with distinctions for the benefit of persons of dull capacity. This refers to the fact that, when the extended exposition of the replacement of the three vehicles by the one was delivered, these persons were “incapable of receiving this Law” [because they already understood it].

But to return to the true meaning of the Lotus Sutra, the substance of the Wonderful Law knows no distinction between the persons who are capable of receiving the Law and the Law that is capable of being received. It is truly a Wonderful Law that is beyond imagination. And when one proceeds to awaken to its importance, the sutra can declare that “this assembly is now free of branches and leaves.”

This kind of inner awakening, an awakening to the true aspect in its purity, is the realization that outside of this true aspect no other phenomenon whatsoever exists. Therefore the sutra can say that it is made up “only of those steadfast and truthful.” In essence, steadfast and truthful refer to the realization that the body and mind are the Wonderful Law.

When Nichiren and his followers chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, we may say that the company is made up “only of those steadfast and truthful.” “Those” refers to the Buddha of the true aspect of all phenomena. “Those” also refers to the Ten Worlds, and “steadfast and truthful” refers to the realization that the p.39bodies and minds of beings in the Ten Worlds are the Wonderful Law. And the word “only” is applied because such realization is limited to this sutra [the Lotus].

The five thousand arrogant persons are in fact nothing other than the Lotus Sutra. The five thousand arrogant persons are the five elements of which we are made. The five elements themselves are Myoho-renge-kyo.

Again, the five thousand arrogant persons represent fundamental darkness. Hence it is said of them that they “bowed to the Buddha and withdrew.” This is speaking of persons who withdraw from the ninth consciousness to the eighth consciousness, and on down to the six consciousnesses, that is, those who transmigrate in the realm of birth and death. And when the sutra says that such persons have “departed in the face of the Buddha’s authority,” it is speaking of the teachings that lead to the extinguishing of the sufferings of birth and death and the return to nirvana. Hence the “authority” spoken of here is Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. This is the total entity of original delusion and original enlightenment. You should give very careful thought to this matter.

Point Six, regarding the passage “Shāriputra, you should know / that at the start I took a vow, / hoping to make all persons / equal to me, without any distinction between us, / and what I long ago hoped for / has now been fulfilled. / I have converted all living beings / and caused them all to enter the Buddha way.”

The commentary [volume four of Words and Phrases] says, “This points out the cause [for the attainment of Buddhahood] in order to encourage faith.”

The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings says: The “I” here refers to Shakyamuni Buddha, who in fact attained Buddhahood in the remote past. This Shakyamuni Buddha of the essential teaching is none other than we, living beings.

p.40The “me” in the phrase “equal to me” [that is, the Buddha] represents the last seven of the ten factors of life. The living beings of the nine worlds represent the first three of the ten factors. We living beings are the parent, and the Buddha is the child. Father and son constitute a single entity, a beginning and end that are ultimately equal. We living beings are described in the “Life Span” chapter of the Lotus Sutra as the Buddha eternally endowed with the three bodies.

Nichiren and his followers, who today chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, are the ones meant here. And if we stop to think of it, we realize that the two vows taken by Shakyamuni, the universal or general vow and the individual or particular vow, were taken for the sake of living beings such as us. Therefore when Nichiren chants Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, vowing to make it possible for all the living beings in this country of Japan to attain Buddhahood, this is what is described in the sutra in the words “at the start I took a vow, / hoping to make all persons / equal to me.” And when in the end he has guided and led all beings so that they become one with the Buddha himself, you should understand that this is what is referred to by the words “what I long ago hoped for / has now been fulfilled.”

In the phrase “has now been fulfilled” (kon ja i manzoku), the character i means “already.” What is the passage referring to when it says that “now it has already been fulfilled”? On the whole, the commentaries of T’ien-t’ai indicate that the “already” refers to the pronouncement on the “true aspect of all phenomena” made earlier by the Buddha. But from the point of view of the teachings of our school, you should understand that it refers to Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, and that this is what is being described in the words “now it has already been fulfilled.”

For this reason the passage “hoping to make all persons / equal to me, without any distinction between us” is one of great importance. “What I long ago hoped for” is the True Cause. And “to make all persons / equal to me, without any distinction between us” is the True Effect. The Shakyamuni Buddha of perfect p.41enlightenment is our own flesh and blood. His practices and the resulting virtues are our bones and marrow, are they not?

The commentary of T’ien-t’ai says, “This points out the cause [for the attainment of Buddhahood] in order to encourage faith.” “Pointing out the cause” is none other than the True Effect.3 And now when Nichiren chants Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, he is enabling all living beings to attain Buddhahood in the ten thousand years of the Latter Day of the Law. Is it not right, therefore, to say, “What I long ago hoped for / has now been fulfilled”?

“Already” refers to the daimoku, which was chanted for the first time on the twenty-eighth day of the fourth month of the fifth year of the Kenchō era (1253), and hence we may think of it as something that has taken place “already.” There can be no question that through this act the truly excellent medicine of the Wonderful Law is being applied in order to cure the grave illness of darkness that afflicts all living beings. In the light of this act, Nichiren has “fulfilled” his vow. “Fulfilled” may also be taken to refer to the achieving of Buddhahood on the part of the living beings.

The passage in a commentary [volume one of On “Great Concentration and Insight”] says, “Perfect means perfect and interfused or perfect and full. Sudden means sudden and complete or sudden and satisfactory.”4 You should think about this.

Point Seven, regarding the passage “Now I, joyful and fearless, / in the midst of the bodhisattvas, / honestly discarding expedient means, / will preach only the unsurpassed way.”

Words and Phrases, volume four, says, “The three lines of verse beginning with the line ‘in the midst of the bodhisattvas’ refer to p.42the moment when the true teaching is revealed. The five vehicles [or the teachings for achieving the realms of human beings, heavenly beings, voice-hearers, pratyekabuddhas, and bodhisattvas] are distorted teachings, not straightforward. The connecting teaching and the specific teaching are one-sided and secondary, not the correct and primary teaching. But now the Buddha discards all these biased and distorted teachings and honestly preaches only the one way.”

The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings says: The bodhisattvas referred to here are the bodhisattvas that dwell in the ninth of the nine worlds. Again, bodhisattvas also refers to all living beings. Now it means Nichiren and his followers. Again, the heavenly gods and benevolent deities are also bodhisattvas.

“Honestly” refers to the principle that earthly desires are enlightenment and the sufferings of birth and death are nirvana. The “one way” that the commentary speaks of is Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. Now, in the Latter Day of the Law, it is Nichiren and his followers, is it not, who honestly work to propagate the one way?

Point Eight, regarding the passage “When evil persons in ages to come / hear the Buddha preach the single vehicle, / they will be confused, will not believe or accept it, / will reject the Law and fall into the evil paths.”

The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings says: “In ages to come” refers to the Latter Day of the Law. “Evil persons” refers to Hōnen, Kōbō, Jikaku, Chishō, and their like. “The Buddha” refers to Nichiren and his followers. “The single vehicle” refers to Myoho-renge-kyo. Because these persons fail to have faith in this, they are bound to fall into the three evil paths.
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Notes

1. Here “the expedient means” indicates the three thousand realms and “the single mind or life” indicates a single moment of life. Together they mean the three thousand realms in a single moment of life.

2. The Lion’s Roar of Queen Shrīmālā Sutra (Columbia University Press, 1974) lists four static kinds of defilement: the static kind based on a particular viewpoint, the static kind in attraction to desire, the static kind in attraction to form, and the static kind in attraction to gestation. The five types of abiding earthly desires consist of these and the static kind based on darkness or ignorance.

3. Realizing the cause for the attainment of Buddhahood means the attainment of Buddhahood itself. Hence “pointing out the cause” means the True Effect, or the effect of Buddhahood.

4. The quotation explains the key principles of the Lotus Sutra that enable ordinary people to attain Buddhahood immediately. It is cited to describe the characteristics of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, which Nichiren expounded to lead all people in the Latter Day of the Law to Buddhahood.

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The Universal Worthy Sutra
Five important points

Point One, concerning the Universal Worthy Sutra

The full title is Sutra on How to Practice Meditation on Bodhisattva Universal Worthy, as Spoken by the Buddha.

The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings says: The Lotus Sutra represents the substance of the doctrine as seen in the p.204mutual possession of the Ten Worlds and the possession of the three thousand realms. Hence we may say that all the three thousand realms and the Ten Worlds are “universally worthy.” Not an element of the Dharma-realm is missing; therefore it is “universally worthy.”

The Ten Worlds of myōhō, the Wonderful Law, and the Ten Worlds of renge, the lotus flower, represent the two phenomena of life or the self and environment, respectively. The Universal Worthy Sutra concludes that these phenomena are none other than the Lotus Sutra. Hence it is called the concluding sutra to the Lotus. This being the case, we may conclude that the Ten Worlds are all Myoho-renge-kyo, combining Buddhahood and the nine worlds.

Point Two, regarding the passage “How, without cutting off earthly desires or separating themselves from the five desires, can they purify their senses and wipe away their sins?”

The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings says: This passage states that earthly desires are enlightenment, and that the sufferings of birth and death are nirvana.

For the votaries of the Lotus Sutra, greed is greed and remains just as it is; anger is anger and remains just as it is; foolishness is foolishness and remains just as it is. And yet they are carrying out Bodhisattva Universal Worthy’s practice of the Law. One should understand this clearly.

Point Three, regarding the six things to keep in mind

Keeping in mind the Buddha, keeping in mind the Law, keeping in mind the Order, keeping in mind the precepts, keeping in mind almsgiving, keeping in mind heavenly beings

The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings says: Keeping in mind the Buddha means keeping in mind the guide and teacher who said, “I am the only person / who can rescue and protect p.205others” (Lotus Sutra, chapter three, Simile and Parable).

Keeping in mind the Law means keeping in mind the five characters of the daimoku in the age after the passing of the Buddha.

Keeping in mind the Order means keeping in mind the practitioners who are ordinary mortals in the Latter Day of the Law.

Keeping in mind the precepts means keeping in mind the passage in the Lotus Sutra that says, “This is what is called observing the precepts” (chapter eleven, Treasure Tower).

Keeping in mind almsgiving means keeping in mind that one should bestow the daimoku on all living beings.

Keeping in mind heavenly beings means keeping in mind the fact that, as the Lotus Sutra says, “The heavenly beings day and night will for the sake of the Law constantly guard and protect them” (chapter fourteen, Peaceful Practices).

These six practices described above should be carried out by practitioners of the Lotus Sutra in this, the Latter Day of the Law. One should think about this.

Point Four, regarding the passage “All the entire sea of karmic impediments / is born from deluded thoughts. / If one wishes to carry out repentance, / sit upright and ponder the true aspect. / Then the host of sins, like frost or dew, / can be wiped out by the sun of wisdom.”

The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings says: The “host of sins” are karmic impediments that come from the six sense organs, and these are like frost or dew. Thus, although they exist, they can be wiped out by the sun of wisdom. The “sun of wisdom” is Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, which Nichiren is propagating now in the Latter Day of the Law.

The words “sun of wisdom” refer both to the Buddha and to the Law. Shakyamuni Buddha is referred to in the Lotus Sutra as the “sun of wisdom, great sage and venerable one” (chapter two, Expedient Means). And the Lotus Sutra explains that “just as the sun, a god’s son, can banish all darkness, so too this sutra is capable of destroying the darkness of all that is not good” (chapter p.206twenty-three, Medicine King). Referring to the guide and teacher of the Latter Day of the Law, it also states that “as the light of the sun and moon / can banish all obscurity and gloom, / so this person as he passes through the world / can wipe out the darkness of living beings” (chapter twenty-one, Supernatural Powers).

Point Five, regarding the passage “The third act of repentance is to use the correct Law to order the country and not to lead the people astray with erroneous views.”

The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings says: The “correct Law” in the Latter Day of the Law is Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. These five characters are a secret Law that does not deceive any living being. If all those under heaven join together in believing in it, then this country will be peaceful and calm. Thus [volume eight of] Profound Meaning says, “If one relies upon this Law, then all under heaven will be at peace.” The words “this Law” refer to the Lotus Sutra. So there can be no doubt that, if one believes in the Lotus Sutra, then all under heaven will be peaceful and secure.

This concludes the 231 important points.
=====
All the Twenty-eight Chapters of
the Lotus Sutra Are
Nam-myoho-renge-kyo

[Speaking of the sutra as a whole]

Words and Phrases, volume ten, says, “The sutra as a whole is summed up in these four phrases.1 These four represent the essence of the sutra. The Buddha hands it on to others.”

The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings says: “The sutra as a whole” refers to the twenty-eight chapters of the Lotus Sutra, the essential teaching and the theoretical teaching. “These four phrases” refers to the four principles of name, function, essence, and quality. “The essence of the sutra” refers to the five characters of the daimoku. “Hand it on to others” means handing it on to Bodhisattva Superior Practices. “It” refers to Myoho-renge-kyo.

This passage of the commentary is perfectly clear. Now when Nichiren and his followers propagate Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, this is the principle of essence or heart. The twenty-eight chapters of the Lotus Sutra are the principle of function. The recitation of [any of] the twenty-eight chapters is a supplementary practice, while p.222the recitation of the daimoku is the main practice. The supplementary practice is included within the main practice.
Regarding the Immeasurable Meanings Sutra

The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings says: The Immeasurable Meanings Sutra serves as an introduction to the Wonderful Law. Therefore all the Ten Worlds may be regarded as an introduction to Myoho-renge-kyo.

[The Lotus Sutra]

1. Introduction

The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings says: If one gives careful consideration to the four opening characters of the chapter that represent “This is what I heard,” then one can easily understand all the immeasurable meanings of the entire sutra. What is “heard” is the wonderful truth of the mutual possession of the Ten Worlds and of the inclusion of the three thousand realms [in a single moment of life]. Because that which is heard is Myoho-renge, it means that in the Dharma-realm of the Wonderful Law the Ten Worlds are mutually possessed, and that the three thousand realms are clean and pure.

The four characters permeate the entire sutra from beginning to end. The meaning behind each and every word and phrase of the twenty-eight chapters of the sutra refers to the hearing of this doctrine as it applies to one’s own self, and this is summed up in the words “This is what I heard.”

This thing that is heard is Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. Therefore the sutra says that all achieve the Buddha way (chapter one). The two words “all achieve” refer to all the Ten Worlds and three thousand realms, because “all achieve” means that all beings attain [the Buddha way through] the Wonderful Law. Again, the word “Buddha” refers to the single mind of the individual, to the various minds of the Ten Worlds and three thousand realms. The word “way” indicates something that allows one to pass through, and p.223hence it refers to the [Buddha] way that these various minds of the Ten Worlds pass through. When this happens, then the state characterized as “all achieve the Buddha way” is manifested. The Law underlying the words “all achieve the Buddha way” is Nam-myoho-renge-kyo.

2. Expedient Means

The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings says: This chapter describes the ten factors of life. The ten factors are the Ten Worlds. This Expedient Means refers to the Ten Worlds and three thousand realms manifested by all phenomena. Since all of these have already been preceded by the words Myoho-renge-kyo in the title of the chapter, it is stated that “in the Buddha lands of the ten directions / there is only the Law of the one vehicle” (chapter two).

This is the Expedient Means of the Wonderful Law (myōhō), the Expedient Means of the [truth of the] lotus (renge), and therefore it is termed “secret and wonderful,” “clean and pure.”

The five characters of Myoho-renge-kyo represent the ninth consciousness, while the Expedient Means represents the levels from the eighth to the first five consciousnesses. The ninth consciousness is the realm of enlightenment, while the levels from the eighth to the first five consciousnesses are the realm of delusion. Since the chapter is entitled Myoho-renge-kyo Hōben-bon, “The Lotus Sutra of the Wonderful Law, Expedient Means Chapter,” this indicates that delusion and enlightenment are not two different things. This means that of all the myriad phenomena and the three thousand realms, there are none that are not part of the Expedient Means of Myoho-renge-kyo.

“Chapter” indicates teachings that are alike (dō) in doctrinal content (girui). The word gi (content) here indicates the three thousand realms, rui (categories or likeness) indicates the mutual possession of the Ten Worlds, and dō indicates a single moment of life. Therefore the word “chapter” here indicates the principle of three thousand realms in a single moment of life. This truth of p.224three thousand realms in a single moment of life represents the point upon which the three [groups of] Buddhas, Shakyamuni, Many Treasures, and the Buddhas of the ten directions that are emanations of Shakyamuni, are all in agreement. Hence each chapter of the sutra has this word “chapter” in its title.

The moment one has the single mind [a single moment] of faith in Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, one becomes endowed with the three thousand realms, and thus one has heard the message of this chapter.

3. Simile and Parable

The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings says: In this chapter the carts drawn by big white oxen are used to illustrate that “ignorance or illusions are in themselves the Dharma nature [or enlightenment to the essential nature of phenomena]” (Great Concentration and Insight, volume five), the principle that enlightenment and darkness are a single entity. That is, because these carts come bearing the one vehicle of the endowment of the three thousand realms, enlightenment and darkness are seen to constitute a single entity, and this principle of the endowment of the three thousand realms is made manifest.

The term “one vehicle” indicates that although this principle applies to everything in the entire Dharma-realm, it is a single Law. This “one vehicle” is the one vehicle endowed with all vehicles or doctrines. It is the one Law endowed with all phenomena. Therefore there is one white ox to each cart.

Again, although there is only one white ox to each cart, there are a countless number of white oxen, because the true nature of every living being is this cart drawn by a big white ox. Hence we may say that these big white ox carts of the Wonderful Law are vehicles for all the living beings of the Ten Worlds and three thousand realms that are entities of the Wonderful Law. Because they are big white ox carts of renge, the lotus, all the living beings of the Ten Worlds and three thousand realms are lotuses, and hence p.225are clean and pure. The reality of the Law, Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, is just such a thing as this.

4. Belief and Understanding

The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings says: This “belief and understanding” is not limited to the belief and understanding of the four great voice-hearer disciples of intermediate capacity. It is the belief and understanding of the Wonderful Law, and therefore it is the belief and understanding of all the Ten Worlds and three thousand realms. It is the belief and understanding of renge, the lotus, and therefore it is the belief and understanding of all the Ten Worlds and three thousand realms that is clean and pure.

The entity or object of this belief and understanding is Nam-myoho-renge-kyo.

5. The Parable of the Medicinal Herbs

The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings says: The poisonous herbs of the Ten Worlds and three thousand realms are the medicinal herbs of the Wonderful Law. Because these are also the medicinal herbs of renge, or the lotus, they have always been clean and pure. And being clean and pure, they are the Buddha. This teaching preached by the Buddha is Nam-myoho-renge-kyo.

For this reason, in this chapter the word shu, “seed” or “species” in the passage “because only the Thus Come One understands the species, the form, the substance, the nature of these living beings,” embodies two revelations, those of shuruishu, or “seeds of similar species,” and sōtaishu, or “seeds of their opposites.” The term “seeds of their opposites” means that the three poisons of greed, anger, and foolishness are none other than the three virtues of the Dharma body, wisdom, and emancipation. In the term shuruishu, or “seeds of similar species,” the first shu, or “seeds,” refers to the Ten Worlds and three thousand realms. The word rui, or “similar,” refers to the mutual possession p.226of the Ten Worlds. And the second shu refers to Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. This is the makeup of the term shuruishu. The various plants and trees of the Ten Worlds and three thousand realms are of many individual kinds, but in the end they are all simply this one seed or species of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. The poison of the poisonous herbs ceases to exist. These plants and trees are clean and pure, and hence they are called medicinal herbs.

6. Bestowal of Prophecy

The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings says: The words spoken by each individual entity in the Ten Worlds are a bestowal of prophecy of Myoho-renge-kyo, and therefore these bestowals of prophecy are clean and pure. And because they are clean and pure bestowals of prophecy, all the beings of the Ten Worlds are the Buddha endowed with the Ten Worlds and three thousand realms. Thus it is that the Buddha makes Nam-myoho-renge-kyo his bestowal of prophecy.

7. The Parable of the Phantom City

The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings says: Because this is the phantom city of the Wonderful Law, it represents the fact that the Ten Worlds are all at the same time impermanent. Because it is the phantom city of renge, the lotus, it represents the fact that the Ten Worlds and three thousand realms open up and fall like blossoms.

But both impermanence and the quality of being eternal and immutable characterize the complete reality of Myoho-renge-kyo. The phantom city and “the place where the treasure is” (chapter seven) represent the fact that birth and death are inherent in life itself. The entity of which birth and death are an innate part is Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. Thus a commentary [Great Concentration and Insight, volume five] says, “Arising is the arising of the Dharma nature, and extinction is the extinction of that nature.”

p.2278. Prophecy of Enlightenment for Five Hundred Disciples

The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings says: In this chapter it is clearly stated that five hundred disciples are given a prophecy that they will attain Buddhahood. Since these five hundred are disciples of the Wonderful Law, however, it means that all the living beings of the Ten Worlds and three thousand realms are included among these five hundred disciples. And since they are disciples of renge, the lotus, it likewise means that they are clean and pure.

In effect, it is stating that, among all the beings of the Ten Worlds and three thousand realms, there are none who are not disciples of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. This is the “prophecy of enlightenment” given by this sutra.

9. Prophecies Conferred on Learners and Adepts

The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings says: In this chapter the various sages, both learners and adepts who have nothing more to learn, come forward and are given prophecies that they will attain Buddhahood. Since they are learners and adepts who have already received the Wonderful Law, they are learners and adepts embodying the mutual possession of the Ten Worlds and endowed with the three thousand realms. And because they are learners and adepts of the Wonderful Law, they understand that in these Ten Worlds that are beyond comprehension earthly desires have not yet come to an end. And since they are learners and adepts of renge, the lotus, they understand that the Ten Worlds and the three thousand realms are clean and pure and open up and fall like blossoms.

Who then are these learners and adepts? The learners are hō, or the Law, and the adepts are myō, or wonderful. This is Nam-myoho-renge-kyo.

p.22810. The Teacher of the Law

The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings says: This teacher of the Law is a teacher of the Wonderful Law, and therefore all the [beings of the] Ten Worlds are teachers of the Law who accept and uphold a single phrase and verse of the Wonderful Law. He is a teacher of the Law of renge, the lotus, and therefore all the [beings of the] Ten Worlds and three thousand realms are teachers of the Law who are clean and pure.

The physical forms of the living beings of the Ten Worlds are the persons who uphold the Law. And the nature of the mind of the Ten Worlds is the Law that is upheld. Consequently, both bodies and minds together act as teachers of the Law, manifesting themselves in practicing for one’s own sake and in converting others. This is because they are teachers of the Law of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo.

11. The Emergence of the Treasure Tower

The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings says: This treasure tower “came forth and appeared” from a world called Treasure Purity. As for the Buddha of this Treasure Purity World, we may for the moment set aside the meaning he has in terms of the sutra teaching itself; but when viewed in terms of the meditation conducive to the achievement of the way, the Treasure Purity World represents the womb of the mother. Thus, the fathers and mothers are the carpenters, as it were, who construct the treasure tower. And the treasures tower are the five bodily sections and the five elements that make up ourselves. Therefore the wombs in which these bodies are formed are called the Treasure Purity World, and the process of emerging from this wombs is called “coming forth and appearing” (chapter eleven).

Such coming forth and appearing of living beings as a whole takes place when they emerge from the element of earth. Therefore the sutra speaks of the treasure tower as “rising up out of the earth” (ibid.). The Treasure Purity World is a world of the p.229Wonderful Law, and therefore the wombs of the living beings of the Ten Worlds are all these Treasure Purity worlds. And the Treasure Purity World is a world of renge, the lotus, and therefore the wombs of the beings of the Ten Worlds are all worlds that are clean and pure and free of defilement.

Because their earth is that of the Wonderful Law, it pervades all the Ten Worlds. And because it is the earth of renge, the lotus, it is clean and pure earth. Because our bodies come forth from the Treasure Purity worlds of the Wonderful Law, they are treasure towers that are clean and pure. And because this is the coming forth of Myoho-renge, the Wonderful Law of the Lotus, the birth canals from which the beings of the Ten Worlds are born have always been these treasure towers that are clean and pure.

These are the stupas of the Dharma-realm, and hence all beings in the Dharma-realm of the Ten Worlds are such stupas. The two Buddhas seated in the treasure tower are the Buddhas of the Wonderful Law, and hence represent the fact that all within the Ten Worlds and three thousand realms are Buddhas who possess the two principles of reality and wisdom. Since the two Buddhas are seated side by side on the single seat of the Wonderful Law, this symbolizes the fact that the nature of the minds of all beings in the three thousand realms has a seat for these two venerable Buddhas. The fact that these two Buddhas of Myoho-renge occupy a single seat is representative of their wondrous nature, and of their cleanness and purity.

Because ken, “to emerge” or “to be seen,” [of the Japanese chapter title Ken-hōtō] is that of Myoho-renge, the living beings of the Ten Worlds, the various different species of the three thousand realms, all see the stupas in their own bodily forms. Although the Ten Worlds differ from one another, when one looks at one’s own body, one can see that that body is a stupa endowed with the three thousand realms. And when one looks at one’s mind, one can see that it is a Buddha endowed with the three thousand realms.

As to the “emanation bodies” [mentioned in this chapter], the term means a body that emanates from the father and mother. p.230While one is in a state of delusion, it is a body that undergoes rebirth in various different realms. But when one gains enlightenment, it is a body that enjoys the fruit of attainment. To understand how such “emanation bodies” [that enjoy the fruit of attainment] can come about, one should understand that they originate in the realm of hell [or any of the other realms that make up the Ten Worlds].

Thus we see that these treasure towers are nothing other than the five characters Myoho-renge-kyo. If we examine the nature of Myoho-renge-kyo, we see that the treasure towers are none other than all living beings, and all living beings are none other than the complete entities of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo.

12. Devadatta

The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings says: This chapter deals with the achievement of Buddhahood by Devadatta, a former teacher of Shakyamuni Buddha, and the achievement of Buddhahood by the dragon king’s daughter, who was taught and converted by Manjushrī. And since these are the Devadatta and dragon king’s daughter of Myoho-renge-kyo, it means that all living beings in the Ten Worlds and three thousand realms are likewise Devadattas and dragon king’s daughters. Those living beings of the Dharma-realm who are contrary or hostile in nature are Devadattas, and those of the Dharma-realm who are marked by greed, anger, and foolishness are all dragon king’s daughters.

In the case of Devadatta, the offense of hostility was an acquired quality, whereas in the case of all living beings as a whole the offense of hostility is an essential or intrinsic quality. Similarly, living beings as a whole have the attainment of Buddhahood of Heavenly King Thus Come One as an intrinsic quality, while Devadatta has the attainment of Buddhahood of Heavenly King Thus Come One as an acquired quality.

Likewise, the dragon king’s daughter is the dragon king’s daughter as an acquired quality, while all living beings are the dragon king’s daughter as an essential or intrinsic quality.

p.231In effect, then, both Shakyamuni Buddha and Manjushrī, Devadatta and the dragon king’s daughter, are all efficacies of the single seed of Myoho-renge-kyo, and hence all originally have attained Buddhahood. Therefore, when one chants Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, all the living beings in the Ten Worlds simultaneously attain Buddhahood. This is called the Devadatta of Myoho-renge-kyo.

Because the living beings in the Ten Worlds and three thousand realms are the dragon king’s daughter, there is no place that is not the “Spotless World” (chapter twelve). The dragon king’s daughter in her own body has originally attained Buddhahood and is the entity of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo.

13. Encouraging Devotion

The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings says: In this chapter, when Shakyamuni’s aunt, Mahāprajāpatī, and Yashodharā are given a prophecy that they will attain Buddhahood, this is a prophecy that all living beings of the Ten Worlds will simultaneously attain Buddhahood. This is because Shakyamuni’s aunt is the aunt of the Wonderful Law, and Yashodharā is the Yashodharā of the Wonderful Law.

The nature of the minds of the living beings of the Ten Worlds is the essence of the sutra that is to be accepted and upheld. This is the transmission of the sutra that is expressed in this, the “Encouraging Devotion” chapter. That is, one is being encouraged to pay devotion to the sutra that upholds the nature of the mind, and to devote oneself to practicing for one’s own sake and converting others.

Shakyamuni’s aunt and Yashodharā represent the attainment of Buddhahood by women. And the reference to the twenty thousand bodhisattvas at the beginning of the chapter refers to the transmission carried out by men. This passage, then, is indicating that yin and yang, female and male, are a single entity, the entity of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo.

p.23214. Peaceful Practices

The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings says: Since these are peaceful practices of the Wonderful Law, the actions of those in the Ten Worlds and three thousand realms are all peaceful practices. They are “the entity [inherently endowed with boundless benefits] that is freely received and used,” or the Buddha bodies of limitless joy.

The actions of the body, the mouth, the mind, and the vows are all peaceful practices. And since they are peaceful practices of renge, the lotus, the actions of those in the three thousand realms and the Ten Worlds are religious practices that are clean and pure.

Since they are “the true aspect of all phenomena” (chapter two, Expedient Means), there are none that are not peaceful practices. The meaning of the essential teaching is that the bodies and minds of the beings of the Ten Worlds have always been carrying out the true peaceful practices. The essence of these peaceful practices is this Nam-myoho-renge-kyo that was transmitted to the bodhisattva Superior Practices. With these peaceful practices, let us proceed to the Pure Land of Holly Eagle Peak with ease.

15. Emerging from the Earth

The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings says: This chapter follows the transmission section of the theoretical teaching and constitutes the preparation section of the revelation of the essential teaching. Therefore, in order first of all to reveal the identity of the Buddha of the original state who is eternally endowed with the three bodies, the Buddha summons forth the disciples of the essential teaching whom Shakyamuni taught in his original state, the bodhisattvas who exist in [the inner life of] Shakyamuni Buddha himself.

These bodhisattvas emerge from the earth of the Wonderful Law, which is hence the great earth of the Ten Worlds. They emerge and come forth from the Wonderful Law, and hence the beings of the Ten Worlds all emerge in this fashion. These living p.233beings of the Ten Worlds are bodhisattvas of the Wonderful Law, and hence all are great beings endowed with profound pity and compassion who benefit all sentient beings in great abundance.

They come forth from the great earth of renge, the lotus, and hence both the great earth of the Ten Worlds and the bodhisattvas who emerge from it have from the beginning always been clean and pure.

In effect, then, when one reaches a state of enlightenment, one can see that this “[emerging] from the earth” is a process by which the great seeds [of Buddhahood] of the living beings of the Ten Worlds are born. And “emerging” is the appearance of these living beings of the Ten Worlds as they come forth from the womb.

These bodhisattvas embody the pity and compassion that are inherently a part of all living beings of the Ten Worlds. And because the original Law of Myoho-renge-kyo is being transferred to these bodhisattvas, they emerge from the earth in this fashion. Nichiren and his followers, who chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, are just such bodhisattvas who emerge from the earth. One should not seek for such bodhisattvas anywhere else.

16. The Life Span of the Thus Come One

The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings says: “The Life Span of the Thus Come One” chapter deals with the original life of the living beings of the Ten Worlds. This chapter is called the hommon, or essential teaching, because it is the gateway (mon), or teaching, by which one enters into what is essential or original (hon). The flesh-and-blood bodies and the minds of ordinary beings are described in this chapter as essentially or inherently eternal, and therefore this is called the essential teaching.

The part of the sutra before this important point is revealed is called an acquired enlightenment2 and represents the theoretical p.234teaching. But when one comes to understand this point, this is called original enlightenment, and this represents the essential teaching.

Nam-myoho-renge-kyo is the place where all living beings originally dwell. Therefore the sutra says, “. . . since I in fact attained Buddhahood” (chapter sixteen).3

17. Distinctions in Benefits

The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings says: Regarding this chapter, in the preceding chapter those in the assembly were informed about the life span of the Thus Come One who is originally and eternally endowed with the three bodies, and therefore in this chapter they learn to believe in and understand this Buddha who is eternally endowed with the three bodies. That is, the chapter concerns the distinctions in the benefits that come to one through such belief and understanding.

As to the benefits, the distinction is here made clear that earthly desires associated with the three poisons of greed, anger, and foolishness that are a part of each and every one of the living beings of the Ten Worlds will now, just as they are, become the benefits of the Wonderful Law. These benefits are none other than Nam-myoho-renge-kyo that exists in our original existences.

18. The Benefits of Responding with Joy

The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings says: This chapter describes how one responds with joy to the benefits of the Wonderful Law. In its description of the continual propagation to the fiftieth person, the numeral 5 in the number 50 (5 multiplied by 10)4 represents the five characters of the Wonderful Law, p.235while the numerical 10 represents the living beings of the Ten Worlds. The words “continual propagation” stand for the principle of three thousand realms in a single moment of life.

When one speaks in terms of the doctrinal studies of the sutra, this chapter estimates the amount of benefit received by the fiftieth person who responds with joy to the teachings. The fifty persons involved stand for all living beings. It is the fifty persons of the Wonderful Law, since we are speaking here of the continual propagation of Myoho-renge-kyo. In other words, this is the continual propagation of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo.

19. Benefits of the Teacher of the Law

The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings says: The Thus Come One eternally endowed with the three bodies, his life span, the distinctions of benefits, the benefits of responding with joy—all these are matters that pertain to one’s own person. Hence the six sense organs that one received at the time of birth from one’s father and mother are all clean and pure and operate freely and without obstruction.

They are the six sense organs of the Wonderful Law, and therefore the six sense organs of all the beings in the Ten Worlds and three thousand realms are clean and pure. They are the six sense organs that belong to renge, the lotus, and therefore they are in no way defiled. When by means of these six sense organs one sees, hears, realizes, and understands Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, then one will know that these six sense organs have always existed and have from the beginning been clean and pure.

20. The Bodhisattva Never Disparaging

The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings says: The practice of bowing and paying obeisance to others carried out by this bodhisattva is a matter that concerns all living beings, for it is a bowing and paying obeisance carried out between one and others to the single moment of life [encompassing the three thousand p.236realms] that they all share. It is a bowing and obeisance to the fact that one’s body, the legacy of one’s father and mother that is subject to the various bonds, is Myoho-renge-kyo.

Since the Buddha nature and the Buddha body are both none other than the bodies and minds that constitute living beings, one proceeds immediately to carry out the practice of bowing and paying obeisance to them. Hence the four-character pronouncement that “you are all certain to attain Buddhahood” (chapter twenty) is something that springs from the seed of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo.

21. Supernatural Powers of the Thus Come One

The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings says: In this chapter the Buddha displays the ten types of supernatural powers and transfers the five characters of Myoho-renge-kyo to the bodhisattva Superior Practices. These supernatural powers belong to the living beings of the Ten Worlds and three thousand realms.

Ordinary beings represent the entities of the supernatural powers, while the Buddhas of the three existences represent the function of the supernatural powers. The word “supernatural” refers to the element of the mind, while the word “powers” refers to the element of the body.

Again, “powers” stands for the Law, while “supernatural” stands for wonderful. And because these are the supernatural powers of the Wonderful Law, it means that they are the supernatural powers of all of the Ten Worlds. And because they are the supernatural powers of renge, the lotus, it means that the supernatural powers of the Ten Worlds are clean and pure.

We may say, then, that the supernatural powers of the Buddhas of the three existences are displayed to the full in this chapter. And the true reason why Shakyamuni Buddha manifested his supernatural powers by appearing in the world is likewise embodied in the supernatural powers of this chapter.

This is the supernatural power of Myoho-renge-kyo. The Buddhas have no supernatural power other than that described as the p.237power to lead all beings of the Ten Worlds to Buddhahood. There are none among the various teachings of the Buddhas that do not pertain to this supernatural power.

22. Entrustment

The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings says: This chapter describes how the Buddha patted the heads of the bodhisattvas and transmitted the teachings to them, insuring that this Wonderful Law would remain in the world after he had passed into extinction.

And since this represents the transmission [ceremony] of the Wonderful Law, all the living beings of the Ten Worlds and three thousand realms are bodhisattvas to whom this transmission is made.

Again, the fact that he patted the heads of the bodhisattvas three times indicates that he is using his hand, which is an implement of conversion symbolic of threefold contemplation in a single mind and the three bodies of the Buddha, to bestow the bright jewel upon the heads of those who are converted.

Speaking in broad terms, this bright jewel bestowed on the heads of the bodhisattvas is enlightenment and understanding. More specifically, the bright jewel bestowed on the heads of the bodhisattvas is none other than Nam-myoho-renge-kyo.

23. Former Affairs of the Bodhisattva Medicine King

The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings says: This chapter describes how the bodhisattva Medicine King will propagate the Lotus Sutra in the period after the Buddha has entered extinction. In the phrase “burning his body” and “burning his arms” used in the chapter, in effect, the word “burn” means to glow or shine. “Glow” here has the meaning of wisdom. Wisdom is able to burn away the body of earthly desires and the arms of the sufferings of birth and death.

The Great Teacher T’ien-t’ai in his original state is the p.238bodhisattva Medicine King, and when he appears as an able expounder of the Law, he is Shakyamuni. And in his aspect as one who can do away with the grave ills of living beings, he is the bodhisattva Medicine King or the Thus Come One Medicine Master [the Buddha of Healing].

Again, in his aspect as one who benefits others, he is Medicine King, while in his aspect as one who attains enlightenment, he is Medicine Master. When these figures Medicine King and Medicine Master appeared in the world, they were the Great Teacher T’ien-t’ai. As Medicine King he propagated the Lotus Sutra in the period after the Buddha’s extinction, and as Medicine Master he brought benefit to living beings for a period in the Middle Day of the Law. When the time was appropriate, they appeared in bodily form, and in accordance with their names they showed their meaning. This is what the Buddha [Shakyamuni] expounded.

Bodhisattva Medicine King propagated the doctrine of three thousand realms in a single moment of life in Great Concentration and Insight. And this doctrine of three thousand realms in a single moment of life is none other than Nam-myoho-renge-kyo.

24. The Bodhisattva Wonderful Sound

The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings says: This bodhisattva Wonderful Sound is a bodhisattva who propagates the Lotus Sutra. Therefore he manifests thirty-four different forms, illustrating the principle of the mutual possession of the Ten Worlds and preaching the Law so as to bring benefits to others.

Further, because he represents the wonderful sound of the Wonderful Law, all the sounds of the Ten Worlds are wonderful sounds. The Ten Worlds are all wonderful sounds of the thirty-four bodily forms manifested by this bodhisattva. And because these are the wonderful sounds of renge, the lotus, it means that the sounds of the Ten Worlds and three thousand realms are all undefiled, clean and pure.

It is customary to say that the Great Teacher Jikaku was a reincarnation of the bodhisattva Wonderful Sound. According to this p.239view, when he received the teachings in T’ang dynasty China, he learned the technique for prolonging the voice when chanting so as to produce wonderful sounds and transmitted this technique to Japan. Why, then, did he slander the Lotus Sutra by declaring that it is inferior to the Mahāvairochana and other sutras?

In fact, the sounds of the Dharma-realm are all of them none other than the sound of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo.

25. The Universal Gateway of the Bodhisattva Perceiver of the World’s Sounds

The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings says: This chapter is one of profound secrecy. It is a chapter that deals with the averting of disaster and prolonging of one’s life span. It is called the king among pivotal sutras. For this reason, it is customary to assert with regard to this chapter that through it one may carry on the teachings of the highest stage of enlightenment.

The Great Teacher T’ien-t’ai, in addition to his three major works, also produced The Profound Meaning of the “Perceiver of the World’s Sounds Chapter”, and the Great Teacher Chang-an likewise wrote a commentary in two volumes on the same chapter. It is indeed a chapter of great secrecy.

Just as the words gen and moku are two different names for the same thing, the eye, so the words the “Perceiver of the World’s Sounds” chapter (also known as the Perceiver of the World’s Sounds Sutra) and the Lotus Sutra are two names for the same thing. That is to say, the eye of the “Perceiver of the World’s Sounds” chapter represents the essence of the Lotus Sutra. The essence is Nam-myoho-renge-kyo.

26. Dhāranī

The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings says: In this chapter the two sages, the bodhisattvas Medicine King and Brave Donor; the two heavenly kings Vaishravana and Upholder of the Nation; and the ten demon daughters pronounce dhāranīs and say p.240that they will shield and guard those who uphold the Lotus Sutra. In effect, we may say that since these “true words,” or mantras, are dhāranīs of the Wonderful Law, then the words and utterances of the beings of the Ten Worlds are all dhāranīs. Thus the Great Teacher Dengyō stated, “These true words of the Wonderful Law are not revealed in any of the other sutras, and the constant protection afforded by Bodhisattva Universal Worthy is not described in any of the other sutras” [The Outstanding Principles of the Lotus Sutra].

The dhāranīs represent a function or activity of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. And in the five characters of Myoho-renge-kyo, the utterance of the dhāranī originates in the first character, myō, or wonderful.

27. Former Affairs of King Wonderful Adornment

The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings says: In this chapter the two sons, through their teaching and converting, are able to persuade their father, King Wonderful Adornment, to abandon his false views, to adopt and hold on to correct views, and thus to become a Buddha named Sal Tree King.

The title Sal Tree King derives from Sanskrit and here indicates a brightly burning light. It means that all living beings are every one of them beings who are born and come forth from this brightly burning light. Therefore it is the father of all the beings of the Ten Worlds.

In terms of the meaning of the Lotus Sutra, this brightly burning light represents the wisdom of the Buddha of limitless joy. This is what the sutra refers to when it says, “A fire suddenly broke out on all sides, spreading through the rooms of the house” (chapter three, Simile and Parable). When the fire of a single mind of earthly desires breaks out, it burns the house in which delusion and enlightenment are viewed as nondual. This results in what is known as a false or mistaken view. But then the wisdom of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo illuminates the situation, revealing that this p.241false view is a false view that is none other than a correct view.

The six paths, or six lower realms of existence, are the father, while the four noble states are the sons. The four noble states represent correct views, while the six paths represent false views. Therefore this means that the living beings of the six paths are all our fathers and mothers.

28. Encouragement of the Bodhisattva Universal Worthy

The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings says: This chapter is a restatement of the Lotus Sutra. The profound principles expounded in both the essential and the theoretical teachings reach their highest point in this chapter. The Great Teacher Jikaku comments that in this chapter “the living beings of the Ten Worlds set their minds on enlightenment and carry out the practices.”

Generally speaking, the “Introduction” chapter (chapter one) and this chapter represent the two phenomena of birth and death. The “Introduction” chapter stands for the births of all of us who are living beings, while this chapter stands for the deaths of all living beings. And birth and death in a single moment of life is called Myoho-renge-kyo. Within each individual chapter, moreover, the title of the chapter represents the phase of birth, while the conclusion of the chapter represents the phase of death.

Thus the Lotus Sutra represents the continuing cycle of birth and death, birth and death. Because there is birth, the sutra begins with the words nyo ze gamon, “This is what I heard” (chapter one). The first word nyo has the meaning of birth. And because there is death, the sutra concludes with the words sarai ni ko, “they bowed in obeisance and departed” (chapter twenty-eight). The last word ko, or “departed,” has the meaning of death.5 And the word sarai, or “bowed in obeisance,” represents the actions of us living beings in the interval between birth and death. These p.242actions are actions of Myoho-renge-kyo. The word rai, or “obeisance,” means that which is not disordered. The Dharma-realm is the Wonderful Law, and hence it is not disordered.

The Great Teacher T’ien-t’ai states in [The Profound Meaning of the Lotus Sutra, volume one], “The character tai, body or substance, can be glossed as rai, a bow or obeisance. To do obeisance is to act in accordance with the law. That is, each person treats his or her parents as parents, and each person treats his or her children as children. . . . And the substance of the Law in the practice of Buddhism is the same as this.”

In this quotation the word tai, or substance, refers to Myoho-renge-kyo. Thus the Great Teacher T’ien-t’ai commented on the profound meaning of the word tai, or substance. Tai also refers to the different entities that make up the Ten Worlds [but that are in effect the entities of Myoho-renge-kyo]. This is the substance of the Lotus Sutra and he explains that “one bows in obeisance [to this substance] and departs [for the true aspect of reality].”

Of the thousand grasses and ten thousand trees that make up the Dharma-realm, the realm of hell dwellers, the realm of hungry spirits, or any of the other realms of the Ten Worlds, there is none that does not do obeisance to the true aspect of all phenomena. This is symbolized in the bodhisattva Universal Worthy. The word Universal refers to the Dharma-realm, while the word Worthy refers to the fact that all “bow in obeisance and depart.” This is none other than Myoho-renge-kyo.

Hence it is that each chapter of the sutra begins with the five characters Myoho-renge-kyo in the title, and the sutra concludes with these five characters. And the beginning, the end, and what comes in between are all the seven characters of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo.

The essential Law that is to be propagated in the Latter Day of the Law is contained in the above paragraph. Anyone who fails to understand this fact and tries to propagate Buddhism in the Latter Day while leaving out this essential Law will not only be found wanting, but will in addition be going against the true intention of p.243Nichiren. Nichiren’s disciples and lay followers will not benefit by having any special talent or understanding other than this.

The Great Teacher Miao-lo in his commentary [On “The Words and Phrases,” volume nine] says, “The children propagate the Law of the father, and this benefits the world.” The children are the Bodhisattvas of the Earth, the father is Shakyamuni Buddha, and the world is the country of Japan. To benefit here means to lead others to the attainment of Buddhahood. And the Law is Nam-myoho-renge-kyo.

Or again, we may look at it like this: the father is Nichiren, the children are Nichiren’s disciples and lay followers, and the world is the country of Japan. To benefit means to lead others to accept and uphold [the Law] and to attain Buddhahood. And the Law is the daimoku that is transmitted by Bodhisattva Superior Practices.

The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings, Part Two, ends here.

The first day of the first month of the first year of the Kōan era, cyclical sign tsuchinoe-tora

Recorded by Nikkō
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Notes

1. “These four phrases” refers to the following four phrases in the passage from chapter twenty-one, “Supernatural Powers,” which reads, “To put it briefly, [1] all the doctrines possessed by the Thus Come One [the principle of name], [2] all the freely exercised supernatural powers of the Thus Come One [the principle of function], [3] the storehouse of all the secret essentials of the Thus Come One [the principle of essence], [4]) all the most profound matters of the Thus Come One [the principle of quality]—all these are proclaimed, revealed, and clearly expounded in this sutra.”

2. According to the doctrine of original enlightenment, enlightenment is not something that one acquires for the first time through religious practice, but something that is inherent in one’s original state of life. From this viewpoint, “acquired enlightenment” falls into the category of the theoretical teaching, and original enlightenment into that of the essential teaching. In the theoretical teaching, as in the provisional teachings, it is said that Shakyamuni first attained enlightenment in India.

3. As for the meaning of the phrase “since I in fact attained Buddhahood,” see pages 125–126, chapter sixteen, point three.

4. The number 50 reads gojū (five-ten) in Japanese. In the text this is shown as 5 x 10.

5. See page 192, chapter twenty-eight, point six.
——

Word

Bālāditya[幻日王] (n.d.) (Skt; Jpn Gennichi-ō)
Balin[婆稚阿修羅王] (Skt; Jpn Bachiashura-ō)
Bamboo Grove Monastery[竹林精舎] (Skt Venuvana-vihāra; Jpn Chikurin-shōja)
Bamboo Staff school[竹杖外道] (Jpn Chikujō-gedō)
before and after Sado[佐前佐後] (Jpn sazen-sago)
begging bowl[鉢] (Jpn hachi or hatsu)
beings of the two worlds and the eight groups[二界八番] (Jpn nikai-hachiban)
“Belief and Understanding” chapter[信解品] (Jpn Shinge-hon)
Benchō[弁長] (1162–1238)
benefit[功徳] (Skt guna or punya; Jpn kudoku)
benefiting oneself and benefiting others[自利利他・自益益他・自利利人・自行化他] (Jpn jiri-rita, jiyaku-yakuta, jiri-rinin, or jigyō-keta)
“Benefits of Responding with Joy” chapter[随喜功徳品] (Jpn Zuiki-kudoku-hon)
“Benefits of the Teacher of the Law” chapter[法師功徳品] (Jpn Hosshi-kudoku-hon)
benevolent gods[善神] (Jpn zenjin)
Benevolent Kings Sutra[仁王経] (Chin Jen-wang-ching; Jpn Ninnō-kyō)
Bennen[弁円]
Benten[弁天] (Jpn)
Benzai-ten[弁才天] (Jpn)
“Bestowal of Prophecy” chapter[授記品] (Jpn Juki-hon)
Bestower of Fearlessness[施無畏者] (Skt abhayam-dada; Jpn semui-sha)
Bhadrapāla[跋陀婆羅] (Skt; Jpn Baddabara)
Bhadraruchi[賢愛論師] (n.d.) (Skt; Jpn Ken’ai-ronji)
Bhadrika[跋提・跋提梨迦] (Skt; Jpn Batsudai or Batsudairika)
bhagavat[世尊] (Skt, Pali; Jpn seson)
bhaishajya[薬] (Skt; Jpn yaku or kusuri)
Bhaishajyaguru[薬師如来] (Skt; Jpn Yakushi-nyorai)
Bhāvaviveka[清弁] (c. 490–570) (Skt; Jpn Shōben)
bhikshu[比丘] (Skt; Pali bhikkhu; Jpn biku)
bhikshunī[比丘尼] (Skt; Pali bhikkhunī; Jpn bikuni)
Bimbisāra[頻婆娑羅王] (Skt, Pali; Jpn Bimbashara-ō)
Biographies of Eminent Priests, The[高僧伝] (Jpn Kōsō-den)
Biographies of Eminent Priests of the Great T’ang Dynasty Who Sought the Law in the Western Regions, The[大唐西域求法高僧伝] (Chin Ta-t’ang-hsi-yü-ch’iu-fa-kao-seng-chuan; Jpn Daitō-saiiki-guhō-kōsō-den)
Biographies of Eminent Priests Who Sought the Law, The[求法高僧伝] (Jpn Guhō-kōsō-den)
Biography of the Tripitaka Master of Ta-tz’u-en-ssu Temple, The[大慈恩寺三蔵法師伝] (Chin Ta-tz’u-en-ssu-san-tsang-fa-shih-chuan; Jpn Daijionji-sanzō-hosshi-den)
Bishamon-ten[毘沙門天] (Jpn)
Bodh Gaya[仏陀伽耶] (Jpn Buddagaya)
bodhi[菩提] (Skt, Pali; Jpn bodai)
Bodhidharma[菩提達磨] (n.d.) (Skt; Jpn Bodaidaruma)
Bodhiruchi(Skt) (1) [菩提流支] (d. 527) (Jpn Bodairushi); (2) [菩提流志] (d. 727) (Jpn Bodairushi)
bodhisattva[菩薩] (Skt; Jpn bosatsu)
bodhisattva mahāsattva[菩薩摩訶薩] (Skt; Jpn bosatsu-makasatsu)
“Bodhisattva Never Disparaging” chapter[常不軽菩薩品] (Jpn Jōfukyō-bosatsu-hon)
“Bodhisattva Perceiver of the World’s Sounds” chapter[観世音菩薩品・観音品] (Jpn Kanzeon-bosatsu-bon or Kannon-bon)
Bodhisattva Practice Jeweled Necklace Sutra[菩薩瓔珞本業経] (Chin P’u-sa-ying-lo-pen-yeh-ching; Jpn Bosatsu-yōraku-hongō-kyō)
Bodhisattvas of the Earth[地涌の菩薩] (Jpn jiyu-no-bosatsu)
bodhisattvas of the essential teaching[本化の菩薩] (Jpn honge-no-bosatsu)
bodhisattvas of the theoretical teaching[迹化の菩薩] (Jpn shakke-no-bosatsu)
“Bodhisattva Universal Worthy” chapter[普賢菩薩品] (Jpn Fugen-bosatsu-hon)
“Bodhisattva Wonderful Sound” chapter[妙音菩薩品] (Jpn Myō’on-bosatsu-hon)
bodhi tree[菩提樹] (Skt, Pali; Jpn bodai-ju)
body of the Law[法身] (Jpn hosshin)
Bonten[梵天] (Jpn)
Born from the Crown of the Head[頂生王・曼陀多王] (Skt Mūrdhagata or Māndhātri; Jpn Chōshō-ō or Mandata-ō)
bo tree[菩提樹] (Jpn bodai-ju)
Boundless Practices[無辺行菩薩] (Skt Anantachāritra; Jpn Muhengyō-bosatsu)
“bowed in obeisance and departed”[作礼而去] (Jpn sarai-niko)
Brahmā[梵天] (Skt, Pali; Jpn Bonten)
Brahmā Excellent Thought Sutra[思益経] (Chin Ssu-i-ching; Jpn Shiyaku-kyō)
Brahma Heaven[梵天] (Skt, Pali; Jpn Bon-ten)
Brahman[婆羅門] (Skt, Pali brāhmana; Jpn baramon)
Brahmā Net Sutra[梵網経] (Chin Fan-wang-ching; Jpn Bommō-kyō)
brahma practice[梵行] (Skt brahma-charyā or brahma-charya; Jpn bon-gyō)
brahma sound[梵音声] (Skt; Jpn bonnonjō)
branch teaching[枝末法輪・枝末教] (Jpn shimatsu-hōrin or shimatsu-kyō)
breath-counting meditation[数息観] (Skt ānāpāna-smriti or ānāpāna-samādhi; Jpn susoku-kan)
Brief History of Japan, A[扶桑略記] (Jpn Fusō-ryakki)
Buddha[仏] (Skt, Pali; Jpn hotoke or butsu)
Buddha-beholding meditation[般舟三昧] (Jpn hanju-zammai)
Buddhabhadra[仏陀跋陀羅] (359–429) (Skt; Jpn Buddabaddara)
Buddhacharita[仏所行讃] (Skt; Jpn Busshogyō-san)
Buddha eye[仏眼] (Jpn butsu-gen)
Buddha Eye[仏眼] (Skt Buddhalochanā; Jpn Butsugen)
Buddhagayā[仏陀伽耶] (Skt, Pali; Jpn Buddagaya)
Buddhaghosa[仏音] (n.d.) (Pali; Jpn Button)
Buddhahood[仏界] (Jpn bukkai)
Buddha Infinite Life Sutra[無量寿経] (Skt Sukhāvatīvyūha; Chin Wu-liang-shou-ching; Jpn Muryōju-kyō)
Buddhajīva[仏陀什] (n.d.) (Skt; Jpn Buddajū)
Buddha land[仏国土] (Skt buddha-kshetra; Jpn bukkoku-do)
Buddhamitra[仏陀密多] (n.d.) (Skt; Jpn Buddamitta)
Buddha Mother[仏母] (Jpn Butsumo)
Buddhananda[仏陀難提] (Skt; Jpn Buddanandai)
Buddha nature[仏性] (Skt buddha-dhātu or buddha-gotra; Jpn busshō)
Buddha of absolute freedom[自受用身] (Jpn jijuyūshin)
Buddha of beginningless time[久遠元初の自受用身] (Jpn kuonganjo-no-jijuyūshin)
Buddha of beneficence[他受用身] (Jpn tajuyūshin)
Buddha of Healing[薬師如来] (Jpn Yakushi-nyorai)
Buddha of Infinite Life[無量寿仏] (Jpn Muryōju-butsu)
Buddha of Infinite Light[無量光仏] (Jpn Muryōkō-butsu)
Buddha of limitless joy[自受用身] (Jpn jijuyūshin)
Buddha of Medicine[薬師如来] (Jpn Yakushi-nyorai)
Buddha of self-enjoyment[自受用身] (Jpn jijuyūshin)
Buddha of the Dharma body[法身・法身仏] (Jpn hosshin or hosshin-butsu)
Buddha of the inferior manifested body[劣応身] (Jpn retsu-ōjin)
Buddha of the manifested body[応身・応身仏] (Jpn ōjin or ōjin-butsu)
Buddha of the reward body[報身・報身仏] (Jpn hōshin or hōshin-butsu)
Buddha of the superior manifested body[勝応身] (Jpn shō-ōjin)
Buddhapālita[仏護] (c. 470–540) (Skt; Jpn Butsugo)
Buddhashānta[仏陀扇多] (n.d.) (Skt; Jpn Buddasenta)
Buddha-shāsana[仏教] (Skt; Pali Buddha-sāsana; Jpn Bukkyō)
Buddhasimha[師子覚] (n.d.) (Skt; Jpn Shishikaku)
Buddha’s Legacy Teachings Sutra[仏遺教経] (Jpn Butsu-yuikyō-gyō)
Buddhas’ Names Sutra[仏名経] (Chin Fo-ming-ching; Jpn Butsumyō-kyō)
Buddha’s relics[仏舎利] (Jpn busshari)
Buddha’s Successors Sutra[付法蔵経] (Jpn Fuhōzō-kyō)
Buddha Treasury Sutra[仏蔵経] (Chin Fo-tsang-ching; Jpn Butsuzō-kyō)
Buddha vehicle[仏乗] (Jpn butsujō)
Buddha wisdom[仏智] (Jpn butchi)
Buddhayashas[仏陀耶舎] (n.d.) (Skt; Jpn Buddayasha)
Buddh Gaya[仏陀伽耶] (Jpn Buddagaya)
Buddhism of sowing[下種仏法] (Jpn geshu-buppō)
Buddhism of the harvest[脱益仏法] (Jpn datchaku-buppō)
Buddhist Councils[結集] (Skt samgīti; Jpn ketsujū)
Buddhist gods[諸天善神] (Jpn shoten-zenjin)
burning house[火宅] (Jpn kataku)
Burning Torch[燃燈仏] (Skt, Pali Dīpamkara; Jpn Nentō-butsu)

——–

Selections from the
Book of Moses
Chapters
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
An extract from the translation of the Bible as revealed to Joseph Smith the Prophet, June 1830–February 1831.
Chapter 1
God reveals Himself to Moses—Moses is transfigured—He is confronted by Satan—Moses sees many inhabited worlds—Worlds without number were created by the Son—God’s work and glory is to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.
Chapter 2
God creates the heavens and the earth—All forms of life are created—God makes man and gives him dominion over all else.
Chapter 3
God created all things spiritually before they were naturally upon the earth—He created man, the first flesh, upon the earth—Woman is a help meet for man.
Chapter 4
How Satan became the devil—He tempts Eve—Adam and Eve fall, and death enters the world.
Chapter 5
Adam and Eve bring forth children—Adam offers sacrifice and serves God—Cain and Abel are born—Cain rebels, loves Satan more than God, and becomes Perdition—Murder and wickedness spread—The gospel is preached from the beginning.
Chapter 6
Adam’s seed keep a book of remembrance—His righteous posterity preach repentance—God reveals Himself to Enoch—Enoch preaches the gospel—The plan of salvation was revealed to Adam—He received baptism and the priesthood.
Chapter 7
Enoch teaches, leads the people, and moves mountains—The city of Zion is established—Enoch foresees the coming of the Son of Man, His atoning sacrifice, and the resurrection of the Saints—He foresees the Restoration, the Gathering, the Second Coming, and the return of Zion.
Chapter 8
Methuselah prophesies—Noah and his sons preach the gospel—Great wickedness prevails—The call to repentance is unheeded—God decrees the destruction of all flesh by the Flood.

+—–+
Selections from the
Book of Moses
Chapter 2
(June–October 1830)
God creates the heavens and the earth—All forms of life are created—God makes man and gives him dominion over all else.

1 And it came to pass that the Lord spake unto Moses, saying: Behold, I reveal unto you concerning this heaven, and this earth; write the words which I speak. I am the Beginning and the End, the Almighty God; by mine Only Begotten I created these things; yea, in the beginning I created the heaven, and the earth upon which thou standest.

2 And the earth was without form, and void; and I caused darkness to come up upon the face of the deep; and my Spirit moved upon the face of the water; for I am God.

3 And I, God, said: Let there be light; and there was light.

4 And I, God, saw the light; and that light was good. And I, God, divided the light from the darkness.

5 And I, God, called the light Day; and the darkness, I called Night; and this I did by the word of my power, and it was done as I spake; and the evening and the morning were the first day.

6 And again, I, God, said: Let there be a firmament in the midst of the water, and it was so, even as I spake; and I said: Let it divide the waters from the waters; and it was done;

7 And I, God, made the firmament and divided the waters, yea, the great waters under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament, and it was so even as I spake.

8 And I, God, called the firmament Heaven; and the evening and the morning were the second day.

9 And I, God, said: Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and it was so; and I, God, said: Let there be dry land; and it was so.

10 And I, God, called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters, called I the Sea; and I, God, saw that all things which I had made were good.

11 And I, God, said: Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, the fruit tree yielding fruit, after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed should be in itself upon the earth, and it was so even as I spake.

12 And the earth brought forth grass, every herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed should be in itself, after his kind; and I, God, saw that all things which I had made were good;

13 And the evening and the morning were the third day.

14 And I, God, said: Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven, to divide the day from the night, and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and for years;

15 And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth; and it was so.

16 And I, God, made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night, and the greater light was the sun, and the lesser light was the moon; and the stars also were made even according to my word.

17 And I, God, set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth,

18 And the sun to rule over the day, and the moon to rule over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness; and I, God, saw that all things which I had made were good;

19 And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.

20 And I, God, said: Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl which may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.

21 And I, God, created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind; and I, God, saw that all things which I had created were good.

22 And I, God, blessed them, saying: Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the sea; and let fowl multiply in the earth;

23 And the evening and the morning were the fifth day.

24 And I, God, said: Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping things, and beasts of the earth after their kind, and it was so;

25 And I, God, made the beasts of the earth after their kind, and cattle after their kind, and everything which creepeth upon the earth after his kind; and I, God, saw that all these things were good.

26 And I, God, said unto mine Only Begotten, which was with me from the beginning: Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and it was so. And I, God, said: Let them have dominion over the fishes of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

27 And I, God, created man in mine own image, in the image of mine Only Begotten created I him; male and female created I them.

28 And I, God, blessed them, and said unto them: Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

29 And I, God, said unto man: Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree in the which shall be the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.

30 And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to everything that creepeth upon the earth, wherein I grant life, there shall be given every clean herb for meat; and it was so, even as I spake.

31 And I, God, saw everything that I had made, and, behold, all things which I had made were very good; and the evening and the morning were the sixth day.
+—–+
The
Doctrine and Covenants
Section 2
An extract from Joseph Smith’s history relating the words of the angel Moroni to Joseph Smith the Prophet, while in the house of the Prophet’s father at Manchester, New York, on the evening of September 21, 1823. Moroni was the last of a long line of historians who had made the record that is now before the world as the Book of Mormon. (Compare Malachi 4:5–6; also sections 27:9; 110:13–16; and 128:18.)
1, Elijah is to reveal the priesthood; 2–3, The promises of the fathers are planted in the hearts of the children.

1 Behold, I will reveal unto you the Priesthood, by the hand of Elijah the prophet, before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.

2 And he shall plant in the hearts of the children the promises made to the fathers, and the hearts of the children shall turn to their fathers.

3 If it were not so, the whole earth would be utterly wasted at his coming.

+—–+
The Second Book of Nephi
Chapter 2
Redemption comes through the Holy Messiah—Freedom of choice (agency) is essential to existence and progression—Adam fell that men might be—Men are free to choose liberty and eternal life. About 588–570 B.C.

1 And now, Jacob, I speak unto you: Thou art my firstborn in the days of my tribulation in the wilderness. And behold, in thy childhood thou hast suffered afflictions and much sorrow, because of the rudeness of thy brethren.

2 Nevertheless, Jacob, my firstborn in the wilderness, thou knowest the greatness of God; and he shall consecrate thine afflictions for thy gain.

3 Wherefore, thy soul shall be blessed, and thou shalt dwell safely with thy brother, Nephi; and thy days shall be spent in the service of thy God. Wherefore, I know that thou art redeemed, because of the righteousness of thy Redeemer; for thou hast beheld that in the fulness of time he cometh to bring salvation unto men.

4 And thou hast beheld in thy youth his glory; wherefore, thou art blessed even as they unto whom he shall minister in the flesh; for the Spirit is the same, yesterday, today, and forever. And the way is prepared from the fall of man, and salvation is free.

5 And men are instructed sufficiently that they know good from evil. And the law is given unto men. And by the law no flesh is justified; or, by the law men are cut off. Yea, by the temporal law they were cut off; and also, by the spiritual law they perish from that which is good, and become miserable forever.

6 Wherefore, redemption cometh in and through the Holy Messiah; for he is full of grace and truth.

7 Behold, he offereth himself a sacrifice for sin, to answer the ends of the law, unto all those who have a broken heart and a contrite spirit; and unto none else can the ends of the law be answered.

8 Wherefore, how great the importance to make these things known unto the inhabitants of the earth, that they may know that there is no flesh that can dwell in the presence of God, save it be through the merits, and mercy, and grace of the Holy Messiah, who layeth down his life according to the flesh, and taketh it again by the power of the Spirit, that he may bring to pass the resurrection of the dead, being the first that should rise.

9 Wherefore, he is the firstfruits unto God, inasmuch as he shall make intercession for all the children of men; and they that believe in him shall be saved.

10 And because of the intercession for all, all men come unto God; wherefore, they stand in the presence of him, to be judged of him according to the truth and holiness which is in him. Wherefore, the ends of the law which the Holy One hath given, unto the inflicting of the punishment which is affixed, which punishment that is affixed is in opposition to that of the happiness which is affixed, to answer the ends of the atonement—

11 For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things. If not so, my firstborn in the wilderness, righteousness could not be brought to pass, neither wickedness, neither holiness nor misery, neither good nor bad. Wherefore, all things must needs be a compound in one; wherefore, if it should be one body it must needs remain as dead, having no life neither death, nor corruption nor incorruption, happiness nor misery, neither sense nor insensibility.

12 Wherefore, it must needs have been created for a thing of naught; wherefore there would have been no purpose in the end of its creation. Wherefore, this thing must needs destroy the wisdom of God and his eternal purposes, and also the power, and the mercy, and the justice of God.

13 And if ye shall say there is no law, ye shall also say there is no sin. If ye shall say there is no sin, ye shall also say there is no righteousness. And if there be no righteousness there be no happiness. And if there be no righteousness nor happiness there be no punishment nor misery. And if these things are not there is no God. And if there is no God we are not, neither the earth; for there could have been no creation of things, neither to act nor to be acted upon; wherefore, all things must have vanished away.

14 And now, my sons, I speak unto you these things for your profit and learning; for there is a God, and he hath created all things, both the heavens and the earth, and all things that in them are, both things to act and things to be acted upon.

15 And to bring about his eternal purposes in the end of man, after he had created our first parents, and the beasts of the field and the fowls of the air, and in fine, all things which are created, it must needs be that there was an opposition; even the forbidden fruit in opposition to the tree of life; the one being sweet and the other bitter.

16 Wherefore, the Lord God gave unto man that he should act for himself. Wherefore, man could not act for himself save it should be that he was enticed by the one or the other.

17 And I, Lehi, according to the things which I have read, must needs suppose that an angel of God, according to that which is written, had fallen from heaven; wherefore, he became a devil, having sought that which was evil before God.

18 And because he had fallen from heaven, and had become miserable forever, he sought also the misery of all mankind. Wherefore, he said unto Eve, yea, even that old serpent, who is the devil, who is the father of all lies, wherefore he said: Partake of the forbidden fruit, and ye shall not die, but ye shall be as God, knowing good and evil.

19 And after Adam and Eve had partaken of the forbidden fruit they were driven out of the garden of Eden, to till the earth.

20 And they have brought forth children; yea, even the family of all the earth.

21 And the days of the children of men were prolonged, according to the will of God, that they might repent while in the flesh; wherefore, their state became a state of probation, and their time was lengthened, according to the commandments which the Lord God gave unto the children of men. For he gave commandment that all men must repent; for he showed unto all men that they were lost, because of the transgression of their parents.

22 And now, behold, if Adam had not transgressed he would not have fallen, but he would have remained in the garden of Eden. And all things which were created must have remained in the same state in which they were after they were created; and they must have remained forever, and had no end.

23 And they would have had no children; wherefore they would have remained in a state of innocence, having no joy, for they knew no misery; doing no good, for they knew no sin.

24 But behold, all things have been done in the wisdom of him who knoweth all things.

25 Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy.

26 And the Messiah cometh in the fulness of time, that he may redeem the children of men from the fall. And because that they are redeemed from the fall they have become free forever, knowing good from evil; to act for themselves and not to be acted upon, save it be by the punishment of the law at the great and last day, according to the commandments which God hath given.

27 Wherefore, men are free according to the flesh; and all things are given them which are expedient unto man. And they are free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil; for he seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself.

28 And now, my sons, I would that ye should look to the great Mediator, and hearken unto his great commandments; and be faithful unto his words, and choose eternal life, according to the will of his Holy Spirit;

29 And not choose eternal death, according to the will of the flesh and the evil which is therein, which giveth the spirit of the devil power to captivate, to bring you down to hell, that he may reign over you in his own kingdom.

30 I have spoken these few words unto you all, my sons, in the last days of my probation; and I have chosen the good part, according to the words of the prophet. And I have none other object save it be the everlasting welfare of your souls. Amen.

+—–+

The Second Book of Moses Called
Exodus
Chapter 2
Moses is born to Levite parents, is raised by Pharaoh’s daughter, slays an Egyptian in defense of an Israelite, flees to Midian, and marries Zipporah—Israel in bondage cries to the Lord.

1 And there went a man of the house of Levi, and took to wife a daughter of Levi.

2 And the woman conceived, and bare a son: and when she saw him that he was a goodly child, she hid him three months.

3 And when she could not longer hide him, she took for him an ark of bulrushes, and daubed it with slime and with pitch, and put the child therein; and she laid it in the flags by the river’s brink.

4 And his sister stood afar off, to wit what would be done to him.

5 ¶And the daughter of Pharaoh came down to wash herself at the river; and her maidens walked along by the river’s side; and when she saw the ark among the flags, she sent her maid to fetch it.

6 And when she had opened it, she saw the child: and, behold, the babe wept. And she had compassion on him, and said, This is one of the Hebrews’ children.

7 Then said his sister to Pharaoh’s daughter, Shall I go and call to thee a nurse of the Hebrew women, that she may nurse the child for thee?

8 And Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, Go. And the maid went and called the child’s mother.

9 And Pharaoh’s daughter said unto her, Take this child away, and nurse it for me, and I will give thee thy wages. And the woman took the child, and nursed it.

10 And the child grew, and she brought him unto Pharaoh’s daughter, and he became her son. And she called his name Moses: and she said, Because I drew him out of the water.

11 ¶And it came to pass in those days, when Moses was grown, that he went out unto his brethren, and looked on their burdens: and he spied an Egyptian smiting an Hebrew, one of his brethren.

12 And he looked this way and that way, and when he saw that there was no man, he slew the Egyptian, and hid him in the sand.

13 And when he went out the second day, behold, two men of the Hebrews strove together: and he said to him that did the wrong, Wherefore smitest thou thy fellow?

14 And he said, Who made thee a prince and a judge over us? intendest thou to kill me, as thou killedst the Egyptian? And Moses feared, and said, Surely this thing is known.

15 Now when Pharaoh heard this thing, he sought to slay Moses. But Moses fled from the face of Pharaoh, and dwelt in the land of Midian: and he sat down by a well.

16 Now the priest of Midian had seven daughters: and they came and drew water, and filled the troughs to water their father’s flock.

17 And the shepherds came and drove them away: but Moses stood up and helped them, and watered their flock.

18 And when they came to Reuel their father, he said, How is it that ye are come so soon to day?

19 And they said, An Egyptian delivered us out of the hand of the shepherds, and also drew water enough for us, and watered the flock.

20 And he said unto his daughters, And where is he? why is it that ye have left the man? call him, that he may eat bread.

21 And Moses was content to dwell with the man: and he gave Moses Zipporah his daughter.

22 And she bare him a son, and he called his name Gershom: for he said, I have been a stranger in a strange land.

23 ¶And it came to pass in process of time, that the king of Egypt died: and the children of Israel sighed by reason of the bondage, and they cried, and their cry came up unto God by reason of the bondage.

24 And God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob.

25 And God looked upon the children of Israel, and God had respect unto them.

+—–+
The Gospel According to
St Mark
Chapter 2
Jesus forgives sins, heals a paralytic, eats with tax gatherers and sinners, and announces that He is Lord of the Sabbath.

1 And again he entered into Capernaum after some days; and it was noised that he was in the house.

2 And straightway many were gathered together, insomuch that there was no room to receive them, no, not so much as about the door: and he preached the word unto them.

3 And they come unto him, bringing one sick of the palsy, which was borne of four.

4 And when they could not come nigh unto him for the press, they uncovered the roof where he was: and when they had broken it up, they let down the bed wherein the sick of the palsy lay.

5 When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee.

6 But there were certain of the scribes sitting there, and reasoning in their hearts,

7 Why doth this man thus speak blasphemies? who can forgive sins but God only?

8 And immediately when Jesus perceived in his spirit that they so reasoned within themselves, he said unto them, Why reason ye these things in your hearts?

9 Whether is it easier to say to the sick of the palsy, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and take up thy bed, and walk?

10 But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (he saith to the sick of the palsy,)

11 I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house.

12 And immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went forth before them all; insomuch that they were all amazed, and glorified God, saying, We never saw it on this fashion.

13 And he went forth again by the sea side; and all the multitude resorted unto him, and he taught them.

14 And as he passed by, he saw Levi the son of Alphæus sitting at the receipt of custom, and said unto him, Follow me. And he arose and followed him.

15 And it came to pass, that, as Jesus sat at meat in his house, many publicans and sinners sat also together with Jesus and his disciples: for there were many, and they followed him.

16 And when the scribes and Pharisees saw him eat with publicans and sinners, they said unto his disciples, How is it that he eateth and drinketh with publicans and sinners?

17 When Jesus heard it, he saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

18 And the disciples of John and of the Pharisees used to fast: and they come and say unto him, Why do the disciples of John and of the Pharisees fast, but thy disciples fast not?

19 And Jesus said unto them, Can the children of the bridechamber fast, while the bridegroom is with them? as long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast.

20 But the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken away from them, and then shall they fast in those days.

21 No man also seweth a piece of new cloth on an old garment: else the new piece that filled it up taketh away from the old, and the rent is made worse.

22 And no man putteth new wine into old bottles: else the new wine doth burst the bottles, and the wine is spilled, and the bottles will be marred: but new wine must be put into new bottles.

23 And it came to pass, that he went through the corn fields on the sabbath day; and his disciples began, as they went, to pluck the ears of corn.

24 And the Pharisees said unto him, Behold, why do they on the sabbath day that which is not lawful?

25 And he said unto them, Have ye never read what David did, when he had need, and was an hungred, he, and they that were with him?

26 How he went into the house of God in the days of Abiathar the high priest, and did eat the shewbread, which is not lawful to eat but for the priests, and gave also to them which were with him?

27 And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath:

28 Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.

+—–+

ESSENE.COM:

What is a Nazarene?
He shall be called a Nazarene. ~Matt 2:23

Nazarene is the title by which Jesus and his followers were referred to. The word ‘Christian’ was never used by Jesus or used to describe those who followed him.

In the New Testament book of Acts, Paul is tried in Caesarea, and Tertullus is reported as saying:

“We have, in fact, found this man a pestilent fellow, an agitator among all the Jews throughout the world, and a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes” (Acts 24:5, New Revised Standard Version).

It is clear that “Christian” was not the earliest term for the followers of Jesus, since Acts 11:26 reports its first use in Antioch – at a time and in a place at least 10 and possibly 20 or more years after the death of Jesus.

Many authors have argued that “Nazarene” was not just one term that was used, but the dominant term, and that it was also used to describe Jesus himself. The chief argument for this claim rests on an interpretation of the way Jesus is referred to by the writers of the gospels. The original Greek forms of all four gospels call him, in places, “Iesou Nazarene” (e.g. Matthew 26:71; Mark 1:24, 10:47, 14:67; Luke 4:34; John 17:5; Acts 2:22).

Translations of the Bible, from the fifth century Vulgate on, have generally rendered this into a form equivalent to “Jesus of Nazareth.” However, it is not the only possible translation. Linguistically, “Jesus the Nazarene” would be at least as correct, and some critics have argued that it is more plausible given that city of Nazareth seems to have not existed at the time of Jesus; it is unmentioned in any contemporary history and it is not possible to prove its early existence other than by reference to the gospels.

The Vulgate does use a form equivalent to “Nazarene” in one verse (Matthew 2:23), where its reading is Nazaroeus (Nazoraios), but here the original Greek has the word Nazarene on its own, without Iesou.

However we translate these verses from the gospels, the evidence from Acts 24 does support the claim that “Nazarene” was an early term for the followers of Jesus. But it does not appear to have been the term most used by those followers: the earliest Christian writings we have, the letters of Paul (which predate the gospels by ten to forty years), use the phrase “followers of the way” or, by far the most common, “the church.”

Derivations of “Nazarene”

Regardless of these issues of translation, it seems clear that the term “Nazarenes” had at least some currency as a description of some followers of Jesus. What, therefore, does the word mean? The word Nazarene might come from at least four different sources:

1) The place-name Nazareth, via the Greek form Iesou Nazarene; this is the traditional interpretation within mainstream Christianity. In support of this interpretation is that Iesou Nazarene is applied to Jesus in the Gospels only by those who are outside the circle of his intimate friends, as would be natural if a place-name was meant. However in Acts it is employed by Peter and Paul, and attributed by Paul to the risen Christ (Acts, 22:8). Matthew 2:23 reads that “coming he dwelt in a city said by the prophets: That he shall be called a Nazarene,” though no convincing identification of the prophecy concerned has been brought forward, the phrasing again strongly suggests that Matthew meant Nazarene to refer to a place name.

2) The word netzer meaning “branch” or “off-shoot.” This could in turn refer to the claim that Jesus was a “descendant of David,” or to the view that Jesus (or rather the teachings he or his followers advocated) were an offshoot from Judaism.

3) The word nosri which means “one who keeps (guard over)” or “one who observes”.

4) The word nazir which refers to a man who is consecrated and bound by a vow to God, symbolized by avoiding cutting his hair, eating meat or drinking alcohol. Such a man is usually referred to as a Nazirite in English translations, and there are a number of references to Nazirites in the Old Testament.

None of these interpretations is unproblematic. It is therefore, quite possible that “Nazarene” was simply a deliberate play on words combining Nazirite with Essene.

Nazarenes: Jewish Christians

After the word “Christian” had become established as the standard term for the followers of Jesus, there appear to have been one or more groups calling themselves “Nazarenes”, perhaps because they wished to lay claim to a more authentic and/or a more Jewish way of following Jesus.

Descriptions of groups with this title are given by the fourth century church father Epiphanius (flourished 370 CE), and Jerome. On the basis of their accounts, the Encyclopaedia Britannica of 1911 stated definitely that the name Nazarenes specifically identified an obscure Jewish-Christian sect, existing at the time of Epiphanius.

Epiphanius gives the more detailed, though thoroughly disapproving, description, calling the Nazarenes neither more nor less than Jews pure and simple. He mentions them in his Panarion (xxix. 7) as existing in Syria, Decapolis (Pella) and Basanitis (Cocabe).

According to Epiphanius they dated their settlement in Pella from the time of the flight of the Jewish Christians from Jerusalem, immediately before the siege in 70 CE. He describes them as those “…who accept Messiah in such a way that they do not cease to observe the old Law.” Epiphanius adds, however, that they recognized the new covenant as well as the old, and believed in the resurrection, and in the one God and His Son Jesus Christ.

He cannot say whether their christological views were identical with those of Cerinthus and his followers, or whether they differed at all from his own.

Jerome (Epistle 79, to Augustine), on the other hand, says that though the Nazarenes believed in Christ the Son of God, born of the Virgin Mary, who suffered under Pontius Pilate, and rose again, desiring to be both Jews and Christians, they are neither the one nor the other.

They used the Aramaic Gospel of the Hebrews, also known as the Gospel of the Holy Twelve, but while adhering as far as possible to the Mosaic economy as regarded circumcision, Sabbaths, vegetarian foods and the like, they did refuse to recognize the apostolicity of Paul. (Jerome’s Commentary on Isaiah, ix. I).

Jerome’s description, taken along with the name (cf. Acts 24:5) and geographical position of the sect, strongly suggest that the Nazarenes of the 4th century interacted with the Ebionites in spite of Epiphanius’ distinction.

Earlier church fathers such as Justin Martyr, Origen and Eusebius mention other groups who, to varying extent, accepted Jesus as Messiah while continuing to observe the Jewish Law. It is often suggested that these are the same as the groups identified by Jerome and Epiphanius as Nazarenes. One such group were the Ebionites, referred to in second century writings. There Epiphanius draws a comparative distinction between the Nazarenes and the Ebionites.

The Nazarenes of Mount Carmel
Copyright © 1999-2006. All rights reserved.
The Essene Numerology Chart | Ministerial Training Course

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Golden Verses of Pythagoras # 2 THEN REVERENCE THY OATH, AND THEN THE ILLUSTRIOUS CHAMPIONS, THEN VENERATE THE DIVINITIES UNDER THE EARTH, DUE RITES PERFORMING
+—–+

The Essene Gospel Of Peace

Book Two

THE UNKNOWN BOOKS
OF THE ESSENES

The Original Hebrew and Aramaic Texts
Translated and edited by
EDMOND BORDEAUX SZEKELY
MCMLXXXI
INTERNATIONAL BIOGENIC SOCIETY
Book Design by Golondrina Graohics
Copyright @ 1981, by the Internation,l Blogenic Society
Printed In the United States of America-All Rights Reserved

Order a hard copy of The Essene Gospel of Peace Book 2

This Book Two of the Essene Gospel of Peace is dedicated to all those who have waited patiently for forty years in the spiritual desert of the twentieth century for the promised land, the continuation of Book One, disseminated in 200,000 copies in seventeen languages. *
E.B.S.

CONTENTS

Preface

Introduction

The Vision Of Enoch,
God speaks to man the most ancient revelation
From the Essene Book Of Moses
The Ten Commandments
The Communions

Communions with the Angels of the Earthly Mother

The Angel of Sun

The Angel of Water

The Angel of Air

The Angel of Earth

The Angel of Life

The Angel of Joy

The Earthly Mother
Communions with the Angels of the Heavenly Father

The Angel of Power

The Angel of Love

The Angel of Wisdom

The Angel of Eternal Life

The Angel of Work

The Angel of Peace

The Heavenly Father
From the Essene Book of Jesus

The Sevenfold Peace

Peace with the Body

Peace with the Mind

Peace with the Brotherhood

Peace with Mankind

Peace with the Wisdom of the Ages

Peace with the Kingdom of the Earthly Mother

Peace with the Kingdom of the Heavenly Father
PREFACE

Book Two of the Essene Gospel of Peace

I have to begin this preface with a great confession: this is not my first translation of Book Two of the Essene Gospel of Peace; it is my second. The first effort took many years to complete, and it was composed painstakingly and literally, with hundreds of cross references and abundant philological and exegetical footnotes. When it was finished, I was very proud of it, and in a glow of selfsatisfied accomplishment, I gave it to my friend, Aldous Huxley, to read. Two weeks later, I asked him what he thought of my monumental translation. “It is very, very bad, he answered. “It is even worse than the most boring treatises of the patristics and scholastics, which nobody reads today. it is so dry and uninteresting, in fact, that I have no desire to read Book Three.” I was speechless, so he continued. “You should rewrite it, and give it some of the vitality of your other books-make it literary, readable and attractive for twentieth century readers. I’m sure the Essenes did not speak to each other in footnotes! In the form it is in now, the only readers you will have for it may be a few dogmatists in theological seminaries, who seem to take masochistic pleasure in reading this sort of thing. However,” he added with a smile, “you might find some value in it as a cure for insomnia; each time I tried to read it I fell asleep in a few minutes. You might try to sell a few copies that way by advertising a new sleep remedy in the health magazines-no harmful chemicals, and all that.”

It took me a long time to recuperate from his criticism-. I put aside the manuscript for years. Meanwhile, I continued to receive thousands of letters from many readers from all parts of the world of my translation of Book One of the Essene Gospel of Peace, asking for the second and third books promised in the preface. Finally, I got the courage to start again. The passing of the years had mellowed my attitude and I saw my friend’s criticism in a new light. I rewrote the entire manuscript, treating it as literature and poetry, coming to grips with the great problems of life, both ancient and contemporary. it was not easy to be faithful to the original, and at the same time to present the eternal truths in a way that would appeal to twentieth century man. And yet, it was vitally important that I try; for the Essenes, above all others, strove to win the hearts of men through reason, and the powerful and vivid example of their li ves.

Sadly, Aldous is no longer here to read my second translation. I have a feeling he would have liked it (not a single footnote!), but I will have to leave the final judgment to my readers. If Books Two and Three will become as popular as Book One, my efforts of many, many years will be amply rewarded.

EDMOND BORDEAUX SZEKELY

San Diego, California
the first of November, 1974.
INTRODUCTION

There are three paths leading to Truth. The first is the path of the consciousness, the second that of nature, and the third is the accumulated experience of past generations, which we receive in the shape of the great masterpieces of all ages. From time immemorial, man and humanity have followed all three paths.

The first path to Truth, the path of the consciousness, is that followed by the great mystics. They consider that the consciousness is the most immediate reality for us and is the key to the universe. it is something which is in us, which is us. And throughout the ages the mystics have made the discovery that the laws of human consciousness contain an aspect not found in the laws governing the material universe.

A certain dynamic unity exists in our consciousness, where one is at the same time many. it is possible for us to have simultaneously different thoughts, ideas, associations, images, memories and intuitions occupying our consciousness within fragments of a minute or a second, yet all this multiplicity will still constitute only a single dynamic unity. Therefore the laws of mathematics, which are valid for the material universe and are a key to its understanding, will not be valid in the field of consciousness, a realm where two and two do not necessarily make four. The mystics also found that measurements of space, time and weight, universally valid in nature and throughout the material universe, are not applicable to the consciousness, where sometimes a few seconds seem like hours, or hours like a minute.

Our consciousness does not exist in space and therefore cannot be measured in spatial terms. It has its own time, which is very often timelessness, so temporal measurements cannot be applied to Truth reached by this path. The great mystics discovered that the human consciousness, besides being the most immediate and the inmost reality for us, is at the same time our closest source of energy, harmony and knowledge. The path to Truth leading to and through the consciousness produced the great teachings of humanity, the great intuitions and the great masterpieces throughout the ages. Such then is the first path to or source of Truth, as the Essene traditions understand and interpret it.

Unfortunately, the magnificent original intuitions of the great masters often lose their vitality as they pass down the generations. They are very often modified, distorted and turned into dogmas, and all too frequently their values become petrified in institutions and organized hierarchies. The pure intuitions are choked by the sands of time, and eventually have to be dug out by seekers of Truth able to penetrate into their essence.

Another danger is that persons following this path to Truth, the path of the consciousness-may fall into exaggerations. They come to think that this is the only path to Truth and disregard all others. Very often, too, they apply the specific laws of the human consciousness to the material universe where they lack validity, and ignore the laws proper to the latter sphere. The mystic often creates for himself an artificial universe, farther and farther removed from reality, till he ends by living in an ivory tower, having lost all contact with reality and life.

The second of the three paths is the path of nature. While the first path of the consciousness starts from within and penetrates thence into the totality of things, the second path takes the opposite way. Its starting point is the external world. it is the path of the scientist, and has been followed in all ages through experience and through experiment, through the use of inductive and deductive methods.

The scientist, working with exact quantitative measurements, measures everything in space and time, and makes all possible correlations.

With his telescope he penetrates into far-distant cosmic space, into the various solar and galactic systems; through spectrum analysis he measures the constituents of the different planets in cosmic space; and by mathematical calculation he establishes in advance the movements of celestial bodies. Applying the law of cause and effect, the scientist establishes a long chain of causes and effects which help him to explain and measure the universe, as well as life.

But the scientist, like the mystic, sometimes falls into exaggerations. While science has transformed the life of mankind and has created great values, for man in all ages, it has failed to give entire satisfaction in the solution of the final problems of existence, life and the universe. The scientist has the long chain of causes and effects secure in all its particles, but he has no idea what to do with the end of the chain. He has no solid point to which he may attach the end of the chain, and so by the path to Truth through nature and the material universe he is unable to answer the great and eternal questions concerning the beginning and end of all things.

The greatest scientists recognize that in the metaphysical field beyond the scientific chain there is something else – continuing from the end of that chain. However, there are also the dogmatic scientists who deny any other approach to Truth than their own, who refuse to attribute reality to the facts and phenomena which they cannot fit neatly into their own categories and classifications.

The path to Truth through nature is not that of the dogmatic scientist, just as the first path is not that of the one-sided mystic. Nature is a great open book in which everything can be found, if we learn to draw from it the inspiration which it has given to the great thinkers of all ages. if we learn her language, nature will reveal to us all the laws of life and the universe.

It is for this reason that all the great masters of humanity from time to time withdrew into nature: Zarathustra and Moses into the mountains, Buddha to the forest, Jesus and the Essenes to the desert-and thus followed this second path as well as that of the consciousness. The two paths do not contradict one another, but harmoniously complete one another in full knowledge of the laws of both. It was thus that the great teachers reached wonderful and deeply profound truths which have given inspiration to millions through thousands of years.

The third path to Truth, is the wisdom, knowledge and experience acquired by the great thinkers of all ages and transmitted to us in the form of great teachings, the great sacred books or scriptures, and the great masterpieces of universal literature which together form what today we would call universal culture.

In brief, therefore, our approach to Truth is a threefold one: through consciousness, nature and culture.

In the following chapters we shall follow this threefold path leading to Truth and shall examine and translate some of the great sacred writings of the Essenes.

There are different ways of studying these great writings. One way-the way of all theologians and of the organized Churches-is to consider each text literally. This is the dogmatic way resulting from a long process of petrification, by which truths are inevitably transformed into dogmas.

When the theologian follows this most easy but one-sided path, he runs into endless contradictions and complications, and he reaches a conclusion as far removed from the truth as that of the scientific interpreter of these texts who rejects them as entirely valueless and without validity. The approaches of the dogmatic theologian and the exclusivist scientist represent two extremes.

A third error is to believe, as do certain symbolists, that these books have no more than a symbolic content and are nothing more than parables. With their own particular way of exaggeration these symbolists make thousands of different and quite contradictory interpretations of these great texts.

The spirit of the Essene traditions is opposed to all three of these ways of interpreting these ageless writings and follows an entirely different approach.

The Essene method of interpretation of these books is, on the one hand, to place them in harmonious correlation with the laws of the human consciousness and of nature, and, on the other, to consider the facts and circumstances of the age and environment in which they were written. This approach also takes into account the degree of evolution and understanding of the people to whom the particular master was addressing his message.

Since all the great masters had to adapt their teaching to the level of their audience, they found it necessary to formulate both an exoteric and esoteric teaching. The exoteric message was one comprehensible to the people at large and was expressed in terms of various rules, forms and rituals corresponding to the basic needs of the people and the age concerned. Parallel with this, the esoteric teachings have survived through the ages partly as written and partly as unwritten living traditions, free from forms, rituals, rules and dogmas, and in all periods have been kept alive and practiced by a small minority.

It is in this spirit of the interpretation of the Truth that the Essene Gospel of Peace will be translated in the following pages. Rejecting the dogmatic methods of literal and purely scientific interpretation as well as the exaggeration of the symbolists, we shall try to translate the Essene Gospel of Peace in the light of our consciousness and of nature, and in harmony with the great traditions of the Essenes, to whose brotherhood the authors of the Dead Sea Scrolls themselves belonged.
THE VISION OF ENOCH

THE MOST ANCIENT REVELATION

God Speaks to Man

I speak to you.
Be still
Know
I am
God.

I spoke to you
When you were born.
Be still
Know
I am
God.

I spoke to you
At your first sight.
Be still
Know
I am
God.

I spoke to you
At your first word.
Be still
Know
I am
God.

I spoke to you
At your first thought.
Be still
Know
I am
God.

I spoke to you
At your first love.
Be still
Know
I am
God.

I spoke to you
At your first song.
Be still
Know I am
God.

I speak to you
Through the grass of the meadows.
Be still
Know
I am
God.

I speak to you
Through the trees of the forests.
Be still
Know
I am
God.

I speak to you
Through the valleys and the hills.
Be still
Know
I am
God.

I speak to you
Through the Holy Mountains.
Be still
Know
I am
God.

I speak to you
Through the rain and the snow.
Be still
Know
I am
God.

I speak to you
Through the waves of the sea.
Be still
Know
I am
God.

I speak to you
Through the dew of the morning.
Be still
Know
I am
God.

I speak to you
Through the peace of the evening.
Be still
Know
I am
God.

I speak to you
Through the splendor of the sun.
Be still
Know
I am
God.

I speak to you
Through the brilliant stars.
Be still
Know
I am
God.

I speak to you
Through the storm and the clouds.
Be still
Know
I am
God.

I speak to you
Through the thunder and lightning.
Be still
Know
I am
God

I speak to you
Through the mysterious rainbow.
Be still
Know
I am
God.

I will speak to you
When you are alone.
Be still
Know
I am
God

I will speak to you
Through the Wisdom of the Ancients.
Be still
Know
I am
God

I will speak to you
At the end of time.
Be still
Know
I am
God.

I will speak to you
When you have seen my Angels.
Be still
Know
I am
God.

I will speak to you
Throughout Eternity.
Be still
Know
I am
God

I speak to you.
Be still
Know
I am
God.
FROM THE ESSENE BOOK OF MOSES

THE TEN COMMANDMENTS

And Mount Sinai was altogether in smoke because the Lord descended upon it in fire: and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mount quaked greatly.

And the Lord came down upon Mount Sinai, on the top of the mount: and the Lord called Moses up to the top of the mount: and Moses went up.

And the Lord called unto Moses out of the mountain, saying, Come unto me, for I would give thee the Law for thy people, which shall be a covenant for the Children of Light.

And Moses went up unto God. And God spake all these words, saying,

I am the Law, thy God, which hath brought thee out from the depths of the bondage of darkness.

Thou shalt have no other Laws before me.

Thou shalt not make unto thee any image of the Law in heaven above or in the earth beneath. I am the invisible Law, without beginning and without end.

Thou shalt not make unto thee false laws, for I am the Law, and the whole Law of all laws. If thou forsake me, thou shalt be visited by disasters for generation upon generation.

If thou keepest my commandments, thou shalt enter the Inftnite Garden where stands the Tree of Life in the midst of the Eternal Sea.

Thou shalt not violate the Law. The Law is thy God, who shall not hold thee guiltless.

Honor thy Earthly Mother, that thy days may be long upon the land, and honor thy Heavenly Father, that eternal life be thine in the heavens, for the earth and the heavens are given unto thee by the Law, which is thy God.

Thou shalt greet thy Earthly Mother on the morning of the Sabbath.

Thou shalt greet the Angel of Earth on the second morning.

Thou shalt greet the Angel of Life on the third morning.

Thou shalt greet the Angel of Joy on the fourth morning.

Thou shalt greet the Angel of Sun on the fifth morning.

Thou shalt greet the Angel of Water on the sixth morning,

Thou shalt greet the Angel of Air on the seventh morning-

All these Angels of the Earthly Mother shalt thou greet, and consecrate thyself to them, that thou mayest enter the Infinite Garden where stands the Tree of Life.

Thou shalt worship thy Heavenly Father on the evening of the Sabbath.

Thou shalt commune with the Angel of Eternal Life on the second evening.

T’hou shalt commune with the Angel of Work on the third evening.

Thou shalt commune with the Angel of Peace on the fourth evening.

Thou shalt commune with the Angel of Power on the fifth evening,

Thou shalt commune with the Angel of Love on the sixth evening.

Thou shalt commune with the Angel of Wisdom on the seventh evening.

All these Angels of the Heavenly Father shalt thou commune with, that thy soul may bathe in the Fountain of Light, and enter into the Sea of Eternity.

The seventh day is the Sabbath: thou shalt remember it, keep it holy. The Sabbath is the day of the Light of the Law, thy God. In it thou shalt not do any work, but search the Light, the Kingdom of thy God, and all things shall be given unto thee.

For know ye that during six days thou shalt work with the Angels, but the seventh day shalt thou dwell in the Light of thy Lord, who is the holy Law.

Thou shalt not take the life from any living thing. Life comes only from God, who giveth it and taketh it away.

Thou shalt not debase Love. It is the sacred gift of thy Heavenly Father.

Thou Shalt not trade thy Soul, the priceless gift of the loving God, for the riches of the world, which are as seeds sown on stony ground, having no root in themselves, and so enduring but for a little while.

Thou shalt not be a false witness of the Law, to use it against thy brother: Only God knoweth the beginning and the ending of all things, for his eye is single, and he is the holy Law.

Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s possessions. The Law giveth unto thee much greater gifts, even the earth and the heavens, if thou keep the Commandments of the Lord thy God.

And Moses heard the voice of the Lord, and sealed within him the covenant that was between the Lord and the Children of Light.

And Moses turned, and went down from the mount, and the two tablets of the Law were in his hand.

And the tablets were the work of God, and the writing was the writing of God, graven upon the tablets.

And the people knew not what became of Moses, and they gathered themselves together and brake off their golden earrings and made a molten calf. And they worshipped unto the idol, and offered to it burnt offerings.

And they ate and drank and danced before the golden calf, which they had made, and they abandoned themselves to corruption and evil before the Lord.

And it came to pass, as soon as he came nigh unto the camp, that he saw the calf, and the dancing, and the wickedness of the people: and Moses’ anger waxed hot, and he cast the tablets out of his hands, and brake them beneath the mount.

And it came to pass on the morrow, that Moses said unto the people, Ye have sinned a great sin, ye have denied thy Creator. I will go up unto the Lord and plead atonement for thy sin.

And Moses returned unto the Lord, and said, Lord, thou hast seen the desecration of thy Holy Law. For thy children lost faith, and worshipped the darkness, and made for themselves a golden calf. Lord, forgive them, for they are blind to the light.

And the Lord said unto Moses, Behold, at the beginning of time was a covenant made between God and man, and the holy flame of the Creator did enter unto him. And he was made the son of God, and it was given him to guard his inheritance of the firstborn, and to make fruitful the land of his Father and keep it holy. And he who casteth out the Creator from him doth spit upon his birthright, and no more grievous sin doth exist in the eyes of God.

And the Lord spoke, saying, Only the Children of Light can keep the Commandments of the Law. Hear me, for I say thus: the tablets which thou didst break, these shall nevermore be written in the words of men. As thou didst return them to the earth and fire, so shall they live, invisible, in the hearts of those who are able to follow their Law. To thy people of little faith, who did sin against the Creator, even whilst thou stood on holy ground before thy God, -I will give another Law. It shall be a stem law, yea, it shall bind them, for they know not yet the Kingdom of Light.

And Moses hid the invisible Law within his breast, and kept it for a sign to the Children of Light. And God gave unto Moses the written law for the people, and he went down unto them, and spake unto them with a heavy heart.

And Moses said unto the people, these are the laws which thy God hath given thee.

Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image.
Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.
Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.
Honor thy father and thy mother.
Thou shalt not kill.
Thou shalt not commit adultery.
Thou shalt not steal.
Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.
Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s house, nor thy neighbor’s wife, nor anything that is thy neighbor’s.

And there was a day of mourning and atonement for the great sin against the Creator, which did not end. And the broken tablets of the Invisible Law lived hidden in the breast of Moses, until it came to pass that the Children of Light appeared in the desert, and the angels walked the earth.
THE COMMUNIONS

And it was by the bed of a stream, that the weary and afflicted came again to seek out Jesus. And like children, they had forgotten the Law; and like children, they sought out their father to show them where they had erred, and to set their feet again upon the path. And when the sun rose over the earth’s rim they saw Jesus coming toward them from the mountain, with the brightness of the rising sun about his head.

And he raised his hand and smiled upon them, saying, “Peace be with you.”

But they were ashamed to return his greeting, for each in his own way had turned his back on the holy teachings, and the Angels of the Earthly Mother and the Heavenly Father were not with them. And one man looked up in anguish and spoke: “Master, we are in sore need of your wisdom. For we know that which is good, and yet we follow evil. We know that to enter the kingdom of heaven we must walk with the angels of the day and of the night, yet our feet walk in the ways of the wicked. The light of day shines only on our pursuit of pleasure, and the night falls on our heedless stupor. Tell us, Master, how may we talk with the angels, and stay within their holy circle, that the Law may burn in our hearts with a constant flame?”

And Jesus spoke to them:

“To lift your eyes to heaven

When all mens’ eyes are on the ground,

Is not easy.

To worship at the feet of the angels

When all men worship only fame and riches,

Is not easy.

But the most difficult of all

Is to think the thoughts of the angels,

To speak the words of the angels,

And to do as angels do. ”

And one man spoke: “But, Master, we are but men, we are not angels. How then can we hope to walk in their ways? Tell us what we must do.”

And Jesus spoke:

“As the son inherits the land of his father,

So have we inherited a Holy Land

From our Fathers.

T’his land is not a field to be ploughed,

But a place within us

Where we may build our Holy Temple.

And even as a temple must be raised,

Stone by stone,

So will I give to you those stones

For the building of the Holy Temple;

That which we have inherited

From our Fathers,

And their Fathers’ Fathers.”

And all the men gathered around Jesus, and their faces shone with desire to hear the words which would come from his lips. And he lifted his face to the rising sun, and the radiance of its rays filled his eyes as he spoke:

“The Holy Temple can be built

Only with the ancient Communions,

Those which are spoken,

Those which are thought,

And those which are lived.

For if they are spoken only with the mouth,

They are as a dead hive

Which the bees have forsaken,

That gives no more honey.

Communions are a bridge

Between man and the angels,

And like a bridge,

Can be built only with patience,

Yea, even as the bridge over the river

Is fashioned stone by stone,

As they are found by the water’s edge.
And the Communions are fourteen in number

As the Angels of the Heavenly Father

Number seven,

And the Angels of the Earthly Mother

Number seven.

And just as the roots of the tree

Sink into the earth and are nourished,

And the branches of the tree

Raise their arms to heaven,

So is man like the trunk of the tree,

With his roots deep

In the breast of his Earthly Mother,

And his soul ascending

To the bright stars of his Heavenly Father.

And the roots of the tree

Are the Angels of the Earthly Mother,

And the branches of the tree

Are the Angels of the Heavenly Father.

And this is the sacred Tree of Life

Which stands in the Sea of Eternity.
The first Communion is with the Angel of Sun

The Angel of Sun,

She who cometh each morning

As a bride from her chamber,

To shed her golden light on the world.

O thou immortal, shining, swift-steeded

Angel of the Sun!

There is no warmth without thee,

No fire without thee,

No life without thee.

As green leaves of the trees

Do worship thee,

And through thee is the tiny wheat kernel

Become a river of golden grass,

Moving with the wind.

Through thee is opened the flower

In the center of my body.

Tnerefore will I never hide myself

From thee.

Angel of Sun,

Holy messenger of the Earthly Mother,

Enter the holy temple within me

And give me the Fire of Life!
The second Communion is with the Angel of Water

The Angel of Water,

She who makes the rain

To fall on the and plain,

Who fills the dry well to overflowing.

Yea, we do worship thee,

Water of Life-

From the heavenly sea

The waters run and flow forward

From the never-failing springs.

In my blood flow

A thousand pure springs,

And vapors, and clouds,

And all the waters

T’hat spread over all the seven Kingdoms.

All the waters

The Creator hath made Are holy.

The voice of the Lord

Is upon the waters:

The God of Glory thundereth;

The Lord is upon many waters.

Angel of Water,

Holy messenger of the Earthly Mother,

Enter the blood that flows through me,

Wash my body in the rain

That falls from heaven,

And give me the Water of Life.
The third Communion is with the Angel of Air

The Angel of Air,

Who spreads the perfume

Of sweet-smelling fields,

of spring grass after rain,

of the opening buds of the

Rose of Sharon.

We worship the Holy Breath

Which is placed higher

T’han all the other things created.

For, lo, the eternal and sovereign Luminous space,

Where rule the unnumbered stars,

Is the air we breathe in

And the air we breathe out.

And in the moment betwixt the breathing in

And the breathing out

Is hidden all the mysteries of the Infinite Garden.

Angel of Air,

Holy messenger of the Earthly Mother,

Enter deep within me,

As the swallow plummets from the sky,

That I may know the secrets of the wind

And the music of the stars.
The fourth Communion is with the Angel of Earth

The Angel of Earth,

She who brings forth corn and grapes

From the fulness of the earth,

She who brings children

From the loins of husband and wife.

He who would till the earth,

With the left arm and the right,

Unto him will she bring forth

An abundance of fruit and grain,

Golden-hued plants

Growing up from the earth

During the spring,

As far as the earth extends,

As far as the rivers stretch,

As far as the sun rises,

To impart their gifts of food unto men.

This wide earth do I praise,

Expanded far with paths,

The productive, the full-bearing,

Thy Mother, holy plant!

Yea, I praise the lands

Where thou dost grow

Sweet-scented swiftly spreading,

The good growth of the Lord.

He who sows corn, grass and fruit,

Soweth the Law.

And his harvest shall be bountiful,

And his crop shall be ripe upon the hills

As a reward for the followers of the Law,

The Lord sent the Angel of Earth,

Holy messenger of the Earthly Mother

To make the plants to grow,

And to make fertile the womb of woman,

That the earth may never be without

The laughter of children.

Let us worship the Lord in her!
The fifth Communion is with the Angel of Life

The Angel of Life,

She who gives strength and vigor to man.

For, lo, if the wax is not pure,

How then can the candle give a steady flame?

Go, then, toward the high-growing trees,

And before one of them which is beautiful,

High-growing and mighty,

Say these words:

‘Hail be unto thee! O good, living tree,

Made by the Creator!’

Then shall the River of Life

Flow between you and your Brother,

The Tree,

And health of the body,

Swiftness of foot,

Quick hearing of the ears,

Strength of the arms

And eyesight of the eagle be yours.

Such is the Communion

With the Angel of Life,

Holy messenger of the Earthly Mother.
The sixth Communion is with the Angel of Joy

The Angel of Joy,

She who descends upon earth

To give beauty to all men.

For the Lord is not worshipped with sadness,

Nor with cries of despair.

Leave off your moans and lamentations,

And sing unto the Lord a new song:

Sing unto the Lord, all the earth.

Let the heavens rejoice

And let the earth be glad.

Let the field be joyful,

Let the floods clap their hands;

Let the hills be joyful together Before the Lord.

For you shall go out with joy

And be led forth with peace:

The mountains and the hills

Shall break forth before you into singing.

Angel of Joy,

Holy messenger of the Earthly Mother,

I will sing unto the Lord

As long as I live:

I will sing praise to my God

While I have my being.
The seventh Communion is with Our Earthly Mother

Our Earthly Mother,

She who sends forth her Angels

To guide the roots of man

And send them deep into the blessed soil.

We invoke the Earthly Mother!

The Holy Preserver!

The Maintainer!

It is She who will restore the world!

The earth is hers,

And the fulness thereof the world,

And they that dwell therein.

We worship the good, the strong,

The beneficent Earthly Mother

And all her Angels,

Bounteous, valiant,

And full of strength;

Welfare-bestowing, kind,

And health-giving.

Through her brightness and glory

Do the plants grow up from the earth,

By the never-failing springs.

Through her brightness and glory

Do the winds blow,

Driving down the clouds

Towards the never-failing springs.

The Earthly Mother and I are One.

I have my roots in her,

And she takes her delight in me

According to the Holy Law. ”
Then there was a great silence, as the listeners pondered the words of Jesus. And there was new strength in them, and desire and hope shone in their faces. And then one man spoke: “Master, we are filled with eagerness to begin our Communions with the Angels of the Earthly Mother, who planted the Great Garden of the Earth. But what of the Angels of the Heavenly Father, who rule the night? How are we to talk to them, who are so far above us, who are invisible to our eyes? For we can see the rays of the sun, we can feel the cool water of the stream where we bathe, and the grapes are warm to our touch as they grow purple on the vines. But the Angels of the Heavenly Father cannot be seen, or heard, or touched. How then can we talk to them, and enter their Infinite Garden? Master, tell us what we must do.”

And the morning sun encircled his head with glory as Jesus looked upon them and spoke:

“My children, know you not that the Earth

And all that dwells therein

Is but a reflection of the

Kingdom of the Heavenly Father?

And as you are suckled and comforted

By your mother when a child,

But go to join your father in the fields

When you grow up,

So do the Angels of the Earthly Mother

Guide your steps

Toward him who is your Father,

And all his holy Angels,

That you may know your true home

And become true Sons of God.

While we are children,

We will see the rays of the sun,

But not the Power which created it;

While we are children,

We will hear the sounds of the flowing brook,

But not the Love which created it;

While we are children,

We will see the stars,

But not the hand which scatters them

Through the sky,

As the farmer scatters his seed.

only through the Communions

With the Angels of the Heavenly Father,

Will we learn to see the unseen,

To hear that which cannot be heard,

And to speak the unspoken word.
The first Communion is with the Angel of Power

The Angel of Power,

Who fills the sun with heat,

And guides the hand of man

In all his works.

Thine, O Heavenly Father!

Was the Power,

When thou didst order a path

For each of us and all.

Through thy power

Will my feet tread the

Path of the Law;

Through thy power

Will my hands perform thy works.

May the golden river of power

Always flow from thee to me,

And may my body always turn unto thee,

As the flower turns unto the sun.

For there is no power save that

From the Heavenly Father;

All else is but a dream of dust,

A cloud passing over the face of the sun.

T’here is no man that hath power

Over the spirit;

Neither hath he power in the day of death.

Only that power which cometh from God

Can carry us out from the City of Death.

Guide our works and deeds,

O Angel of Power,

Holy messenger of the Heavenly -Father!
The second Communion is with the Angel of Love

T’he Angel of Love,

Whose healing waters flow

In a never-ending stream

From the Sea of Eternity.

Beloved, let us love one another:

For love is of the Heavenly Father,

And every one that loveth

Is born of the Heavenly Order

And knoweth the Angels.

For without love,

A man’s heart is parched and cracked

As the bottom of a dry well,

And his words are empty

As a hollow gourd.

But loving words are as a honeycomb

Sweet to the soul;

Loving words in a man’s mouth

Are as deep waters,

And the wellspring of love

As a flowing brook.

Yea, it was said in the ancient of days,

T’hou shalt love thy Heavenly Father

With all thy heart,

And with all thy mind,

And with all thy deeds,

And thou shalt love thy brothers

As thyself

The Heavenly Father is love;

And he that dwelleth in love

Dwelleth in the Heavenly Father,

And the Heavenly Father in him.

He that loveth not is as a wandering bird

Cast out of the nest;

For him the grass faileth

And the stream has a bitter taste.

And if a man say,

I love the Heavenly Father

But hate my brother,

He is a liar:

For he that loveth not his brother

Whom he hath seen,

How can he love the Heavenly Father

Whom he hath not seen?

By this we know the Children of Light:

T’hose who walk with the Angel of Love,

For they love the Heavenly Father,

And they love their brethren,

And they keep the Holy Law.

Love is stronger

Than the currents of deep waters:

Love is stronger than death.
The third Communion is with the Angel of Wisdom

The Angel of Wisdom,

Who maketh man free from fear,

Wide of heart,

And easy of conscience:

Holy Wisdom,

The Understanding that unfolds,

Continuously,

As a holy scroll,

Yet does not come through learning.

All wisdom cometh

From the Heavenly Father,

And is with him for ever.

Who can number the sand of the sea,

And the drops of rain,

And the days of eternity?

Who can find out the height of heaven,

And the breadth of the earth?

Who can tell the beginning

Of wisdom?

Wisdom hath been created

Before all things.

He who is with out wisdom

Is like unto him that saith to the wood,

‘Awake’, and to the dumb stone,

‘Arise, and teach!’

So are his words empty,

And his deeds harmful,

As a child who brandishes his father’s sword

And knoweth not its cutting edge.

But the crown of wisdom

Makes peace and perfect health

To flourish,

Both of which are the gifts of God.

O thou Heavenly Order!

And thou, Angel of Wisdom!

I will worship thee and

The Heavenly Father,

Because of whom

The river of thought within us

Is flowing towards the

Holy Sea of Eternity.
The fourth Communion is with the Angel of Eternal Life

The Angel of Eternal Life,

Who brings the message of eternity

To man.

For he who walks with the Angels

Shall learn to soar

Above the clouds,

And his home shall be

In the Eternal Sea

Where stands the sacred Tree of Life.

Do not wait for death

To reveal the great mystery;

If you know not your Heavenly Father

While your feet tread the dusty soil,

There shall be naught but shadows for thee

In the life that is to come.

Here and now

Is the mystery revealed.

Here and now

Is the curtain lifted.

Be not afraid, O man!

Lay hold of the wings of the

Angel of Eternal Life,

And soar into the paths of the stars,

The moon, the sun,

And the endless Light,

Moving around in their

Revolving circle forever,

And fly toward the Heavenly Sea Of Eternal Life.
The fifth Communion is with the Angel of Work

The Angel of Work,

Who sings in the humming of the bee,

Pausing not in its making of golden honey;

In the flute of the shepherd,

Who sleeps not lest his flock go astray;

In the song of the maiden

As she lays her hand to the spindle.

And if you think that these

Are not as fair in the eyes of the Lord

As the loftiest of prayers

Echoed from the highest mountain,

Then you do indeed err.

For the honest work of humble hands

Is a daily prayer of thanksgiving,

And the music of the plough

Is a joyful song unto the Lord.

He who eats the bread of idleness

must die of hunger,

For a field of stones

Can yield only stones.

For him is the day without meaning,

And the night a bitter journey of evil dreams.

The mind of the idle

Is full of the weeds of discontent;

But he who walks with the

Angel of Work

Has within him a field always fertile,

Where corn and grapes

And all manner of sweet-scented

Herbs and flowers grow in abundance.

As ye sow, so shall ye reap.

The man of God who has found his task

Shall not ask any other blessing.
The sixth Communion is with the Angel of Peace

The Angel of Peace,

Whose kiss bestoweth calm,

And whose face is as the surface

Of untroubled waters,

Wherein the moon is reflected.

I will invoke Peace,

Whose -breath is friendly,

Whose hand smooths the troubled brow.

In the reign of Peace,

There is neither hunger nor thirst,

Neither cold wind nor hot wind,

Neither old age nor death.

But to him that hath not peace in his soul,

There is no place to build within

The Holy Temple;

For how can the carpenter build

In the midst Of a whirlwind?

The seed of violence can reap

Only a harvest of desolation,

And from the parched clay

Can grow no living thing.

Seek ye then the Angel of Peace,

Who is as the morning star

In the midst of a cloud,

As the moon at the full,

As a fair olive tree budding forth fruit,

And as the sun shining on the temple

Of the most High.

Peace dwells in the heart of silence:

Be still, and know that I am God.
The seventh Communion is with the Heavenly Father

The Heavenly Father,

Who is,

Who was, and

Who ever shall be.

O Great Creator!

Thou didst create the Heavenly Angels,

And thou didst reveal the

Heavenly Laws!

7’hou art my refuge and my fortress,

Thou artfrom everlasting.

Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place

In al l generations.

Before the mountains were brought forth,

Or ever thou hadst formed the earth,

Even from everlasting to everlasting,

Thou art God.

Who hath made the waters,

And who maketh the plants?

Who to the wind

I Hath yoked the storm-clouds,

The swift and even the fleetest?

Who, O Great Creator!

Is the fountain of Eternal Life

Within our souls?

Who hath made the Light and the Darkness?

Who hath made sleep

And the zest of the waking hours?

Who spread the noontides

And the midnight? Thou,

O Great Creator!

Thou hast made the earth By thy power,

Hath established the world By thy wisdom,

And hath stretched out the heavens By thy love.

Do thou reveal unto me, O Heavenly Father,

Thy nature,

Which is the power of the

Angels of thy Holy Kingdom.

Immortality and the Heavenly order

Hast thou given, O Creator,

And the best of all things, Thy Holy Law!

I will praise thy works

With songs of thanksgiving,

Continually,

In all the generations of time.

With the coming of day

I embrace my Mother,

With the coming of night,

I join my Father,

And with the outgoing

Of evening and morning

I will breathe Their Law,

And I will not interrupt these Communions Until the end of time ”

And over heaven and earth was a great silence, and the peace of the Heavenly Father and the Earthly Mother shone over the heads of Jesus and the multitude.
FROM THE ESSENE BOOK OF JESUS

THE SEVENFOLD PEACE

And seeing the multitudes, Jesus went up into a mountain, and his disciples came unto him, and all those who hungered for his words. And seeing them gathered, he opened his mouth and taught them, saying:

“Peace I bring to thee, my children,

The Sevenfold Peace

Of the Earthly Mother

And the Heavenly Father.

Peace I bring to thy body,

Guided by the Angel of Power; Peace I bring to thy heart,

Guided by the Angel of Love; Peace I bring to thy mind,

Guided by the Angel of Wisdom. Through the Angels of

Power, Love and Wisdom,

Thou shalt travel the Seven Paths

Of the Infinite Garden,

And thy body, thy heart and thy mind

Shall join in Oneness

In the Sacred Flight to the Heavenly Sea of Peace.
Yea, I tell thee truly,

The paths are seven

Trough the Infinite Garden,

And each must be traversed

By the body, the heart and the mind As one,

Lest thou stumble and fall

Into the abyss of emptiness.

For as a bird cannot fly with one wing,

So doth thy Bird of Wisdom

Need two wings of Power and Love

To soar above the abyss

To the Holy Tree of Life.
For the body alone

Is an abandoned house seen from afar:

What was thought beautiful

Is but ruin and desolation

When drawing near.

Are body alone

Is as a chariot fashioned from gold,

Whose maker sets it on a pedestal,

Loath to soil it with use.

But as a golden idol,

It is ugly and without grace,

For only in movement

Doth it reveal its purpose.

Like the hollow blackness of a window

When the wind puts out its candle,

Is the body alone,

With no heart and no mind

To fill it with light.
And the heart alone

is a sun with no earth to shine upon,

A light in the void,

A ball of warmth drowned

In a sea of blackness.

For when a man doth love,

Aat love turneth only to

Its own destruction

When there is no hand to stretch forth

In good works,

And no mind to weave the flames of desire

Into a tapestry of psalms.

Like a whirlwind in the desert

Is the heart alone,

With no body and no mind

To lead it singing

through the cypress and the pine.
And the mind alone

Is a holy scroll

Which has worn thin with the years,

And must be buried.

The truth and beauty of its words

Have not changed,

But the eyes can no longer read the faded letters,

And it falleth to pieces in the hands.

So is the mind without the heart

To give it words,

And without the body

To do its deeds.

For what availeth wisdom

Without a heart to feel

And a tongue to give it voice?

Barren as the womb of an aged woman

Is the mind alone,

With no heart and no body To fill it with life.
For, lo, I tell thee truly,

The body and the heart and the mind

Are as a chariot, and a horse, and a driver.

The chariot is the body,

Forged in strength to do the will

of the Heavenly Father

And the Earthly Mother.

The heart is the fiery steed,

Glorious and courageous,

Who carries the chariot bravely,

Whether the road be smooth,

Or whether stones and fallen trees

Lie in its path.

And the driver is the mind,

Holding the reins of wisdom,

Seeing from above what lieth

On the far horizon,

Charting the course of hoofs and wheels.
Give ear, O ye heavens,

And I will speak;

And hear, O earth,

The words of my mouth.

My doctrine shall drop as the rain,

My speech shall distil as the dew,

As the small rain

Upon the tender herb,

And as the showers upon the grass.
Blessed is the Child of Light

Who is strong in body,

For he shall have oneness with the earth.

Thou shalt celebrate a daily feast

With all the gifts of the Angel of Earth:

The golden wheat and corn,

T’he purple grapes of autumn,

The ripe fruits of the trees,

The amber honey of the bees.

Thou shalt seek the fresh air

of the forest and of the fields,

And there in the midst of them

Shalt thou find the Angel of Air.

Put off thy shoes and clothing

And suffer the Angel of Air

To embrace all thy body.

Then shalt thou breathe long and deeply,

That the Angel of Air

May be brought within thee.

Enter into the cool and flowing river

And suffer the Angel of Water

To embrace all thy body.

Cast thyself wholly into his enfolding arms,

And as often as thou movest the air with thy breath,

Move with thy body the water also.

T’hou shalt seek the Angel of Sun,

And enter into that embrace

Which doth purify with holy flames.

And all these things are of the

Holy Law of the Earthly Mother,

She who did give thee birth.

He who hath found peace with the body

Hath built a holy temple

Wherein may dwellforever

The spirit of God.

Know this peace with thy mind,

Desire this peace with thy heart,

Fulfill this peace with thy body.
Blessed is the Child of Light

Who is wise in mind,

For he shall create heaven.

The mind of the wise

Is a well-ploughed field,

Which giveth forth abundance and plenty.

For it thou showest a handful of seed

To a wise man,

He will see in his mind’s eye

A field of golden wheat.

And if thou showest a handful of seed

To a fool,

He will see only that which is before him,

And call them worthless pebbles.

And as the field of the wise man

Giveth forth grain in abundance,

And the field of the fool

Is a harvest only of stones,

So it is with our thoughts.

As the sheaf of golden wheat

Lieth hidden within the tiny kernel,

So is the kingdom of heaven

Hidden within our thoughts.

If they be filled with the

Power, Love and Wisdom

of the Angels of the Heavenly Father,

So they shall carry us

To the Heavenly Sea.

But if they be stained

With corruption, hatred and ignorance,

They shall chain our feet

To pillars of pain and suffering.

No man can serve two masters;

Neither can evil thoughts abide in a mind

Filled with the Light of the Law.

He who hath found peace with the rnind

Hath leamed to soar beyond

The Realm of the Angels.

Know this peace with thy mind,

Desire this peace with thy heart,

Fulfill this peace with thy body.
Blessed is the Child of Light

Who is pure in heart,

For he shall see God.

For as the Heavenly Father hath given thee

His holy spirit,

And thy Earthly Mother hath given thee

Her holy body,

So shall ye give love

To all thy brothers.

And thy true brothers are all those

Who do the will of thy Heavenly Father

An d thy Earthly Mother.

Let thy love be as the sun

Which shines on all the creatures of the earth,

And does not favor one blade of grass

For another.

And this love shall flow as a fountain

From brother to brother,

And as it is spent,

So shall it be replenished.

For love is eternal.

Love is stronger

Than the currents of deep waters.

Love is stronger than death.

And if a man hath not love,

He doth build a wall between him

And all the creatures of the earth,

And therein doth he dwell

In loneliness and pain.

Or he may become as an angry whirlpool

Which sucks into its depths

All that floats too near.

For the heart is a sea with mighty waves,

And love and wisdom must temper it,

As the warm sun breaks through the clouds

And quiets the restless sea.

He who hath found peace with his brothers

Hath entered the kingdom of Love,

And shall see God face to face.

Know this peace with thy mind,

Desire this peace with thy heart,

Fulfill this peace with thy body.
Blessed is the Child of Light

Who doth build on earth

Thekingdom of heaven,

For he shall dwell in both worlds.

Thou shalt follow the Law of the Brotherhood,

Which saith that none shall have wealth,

And none shall be poor,

And all shall work together

In the garden of the Brotherhood.

Yet each shall follow his own path,

And each shall commune with his own heart.

For in the Infinite Garden

There are many and diverse flowers:

Who shall say that one is best

Because its color is purple,

Or that one is favored

Because its stalk is long and slender?

Though the brothers

Be of different complexion,

Yet do they all toil

In the vineyard of the Earthly Mother,

And they all do lift their voices together

In praise of the Heavenly Father.

And together they break the holy bread,

And in silence share the holy meal

Of thanksgiving.

There shall be no peace among peoples

Til there be one garden of the brotherhood

Over the earth.

For how can there be peace

When each man pursueth his own gain

And doth sell his soul into slavery?

Thou, Child of Light,

Do ye gather with thy brothers

And then go ye forth

To teach the ways of the Law

To those who would hear.

He who hath found peace

With the brotherhood of man

Hath made himself

The co-worker of God

Know this peace with thy mind,

Desire this peace with thy heart,

Fulfill this peace with thy body.
Blessed is the Child of Light

Who doth study the Book of the Law,

For he shall be as a candle

In the dark of night,

And an island of truth

In a sea of falsehood

For know ye, that the written word

Which cometh from God

Is a reflection of the Heavenly Sea,

Even as the bright stars

Reflect the face of heaven.

As the words of the Ancient Ones

Are etched with the hand of God

On the Holy Scrolls,

So is the Law engraved on the hearts of the faithful who do study them.

For it was said Of old,

That in the beginning there were giants

In the earth,

And mighty men which were of old,

Men Of renown.

And the Children of Light

Shall guard and preserve

Their written word,

Lest we become again as beasts,

And know not the Kingdom of the Angels.

Know ye, too,

That only through the written word

shalt thou find that Law

Which is unwritten,

As the spring which floweth from the ground

Hath a hidden source in the secret depths beneath the earth.

The written Law

Is the instrument by which

The unwritten Law is understood,

As the mute branch of a tree

Becomes a singing flute

In the hands of the shepherd.

Many there are

Who would stay in the tranquil

Valley of ignorance,

Where children play

And butterflies dance in the sun

For their short hour of life.

But none can tarry there long,

And ahead rise the somber

Mountains of learning.

Many there are

Who fear to cross,

And many there are

Who have fallen bruised and bleeding

From their steep and rugged slopes.

But faith is the guide

Over the gaping chasm,

And perseverance the foothold In the jagged rocks.

Beyond the icy peaks of struggle

Lies the peace and beauty

Of the Infinite Garden of Knowledge,

Where the meaning of the Law

Is made known to the Children of Light.

Here in the center of its forest

Stands the Tree of Life,

Mystery of mysteries.

He who hath found peace

With the teachings of the Ancients,

Through the light of the mind,

Through the light of nature,

And through the study of the Holy Word,

Hath entered the cloud-filled

Hall of the Ancients,

Where dwelleth the Holy Brotherhood,

of whom no man may speak.

Know this peace with thy mind,

Desire this peace with thy heart,

Fulfill this peace with thy body.
Blessed is the Child of Light

Who knoweth his Earthly Mother,

For she is the giver of life.

Know that thy Mother is in thee,

And thou art in her.

She bore thee

And she giveth thee life.

She it was who gaveth thee thy body,

And to her shalt thou one day

Give it back again.

Know that the blood which runs in thee

is born of the blood

Of thy Earthly Mother.

Her blood falls from the clouds,

Leaps up from the womb of the earth,

Babbles in the brooks of the mountains,

Flows wide in the rivers of the plains,

Sleeps in the lakes,

Rages mightily in the tempestuous seas.

Know that the air which thou dost breathe

Is born of the breath

Of thy Earthly Mother.

Her breath is azure

In the heights of the heavens,

Soughs in the tops of the mountains,

Whispers in the leaves of the forest,

Billows over the cornfields,

Slumbers in the deep valleys,

Bums hot in the desert.

Know that the hardness of thy bones

Is born of the bones

Of thy Earthly Mother,

Of the rocks and of the stones.

Know that the tenderness of thy flesh

Is born of the flesh

Of thy Earthly Mother,

She whose flesh waxeth yellow and red

In the fruits of the trees.

The light of thy eyes,

The hearing of thy ears,

These are born

Of the colors and the sounds

Of thy Earthly Mother,

Which doth enclose thee about,

As the waves of the sea enclose a fish,

As the eddying air a bird.

I tell thee in truth,

Man is the Son

Of the Earthly Mother,

And from her did the Son of Man

Receive his whole body,

Even as the body of the newborn babe

Is born of the womb of his mother.

I tell thee truly,

Thou art one with the Earthly Mother;

She is in thee, and thou art in her.

Of her wert thou born,

In her dost thou live,

And to her shalt thou return again.

Keep, therefore, her laws,

For none can live long,

Neither be happy,

But he who honors his Earthly Mother

And keepeth her laws.

For thy breath is her breath,

Thy blood her blood,

Thy bone her bone,

Thy flesh her flesh,

Thy eyes and thy ears

Are her eyes and her ears.

He who hath found peace

With his Earthly Mother

Shall never know death.

Know this peace with thy mind,

Desire this peace with thy heart,
Blessed is the Child of Light

Who doth seek his Heavenly Father,

For he shall have eternal life.

He that dwelleth in the secret place

Of the Most High

Shall abide under the shadow

of the Almighty.

For he shall give his Angels charge over thee,

To keep thee in all thy ways.

Know ye that the Lord hath been

our dwelling place

In all generations.

Before the mountains were brought forth,

Or ever he had formed

The earth and the world,

Even from everlasting to everlasting,

Hath there been love

Between the Heavenly Father

And his children.

And how shall this love be severed?

From the beginning

Until the ending of time

Doth the holy flame of love

Encircle the heads

Of the Heavenly Father

And the Children of Light:

How then shall this love be extinguished?

Ye that love thy Heavenly Father,

Do ye then his bidding:

Walk ye with his Holy Angels,

And find thy peace with his Holy Law.

For his Law is the entire Law:

Yea, it is the Law of laws.

Through his Law he hath made

The earth and the heavens to be one;

The mountains and the sea

Are his footstools.

With his hands he hath made us

And fashioned us,

And he gaveth us understanding

That we may learn his Law.

He is covered with Light

As with a garment:

He stretcheth out the heavens

Like a curtain.

He maketh the clouds his chariot;

He walketh upon the wings of the wind.

He sendeth the springs into the valleys,

And his breath is in the mighty trees.

In his hand are the deep places of the earth:

The strength of the hills is his also.

T’he sea is his,

And his hands formed the dry land.

All the heavens declare the Glory of God,

And the firmament showeth his Law.

And to his children

Doth he bequeath his Kingdom,

To those who walk with his Angels,

And find their peace with his Holy Law.

Wouldst thou know more, my children?

How may we speak with our lips

That which cannot be spoken?

It is like a pomegranate eaten by a mute:

How then may he tell of its flavor?

If we say the Heavenly Father

Dwelleth within us,

Then are the heavens ashamed;

If we say he dwelleth without us,

It is falsehood.

The eye which scanneth the far horizon

And the eye which seeth the hearts of men

He maketh as one eye.

He is not manifest,

He is not hidden.

He is not revealed,

Nor is he unrevealed.

My children, there are no words

To tell that which he is!

Only this do we know:

We are his children,

And he is our Father.

He is our God,

And we are the children of his pasture,

And the sheep of his hand.

He who hath found peace

With his Heavenly Father

Hath entered the Sanctuary

of the Holy Law,

And hath made a covenant with God

Which shall endure forever.

Know this peace with thy mind,

Desire this peace with thy heart,

Fulfill this peace with thy body,

Though heaven and earth may pass away,

Not one letter of the Holy Law

Shall change or pass away.

For in the beginning was the Law,

And the Law was with God,

And the Law was God.

May the Sevenfold Peace

Of the Heavenly Father

Be with thee always.

Back to Gospel Of Peace page

+—–+
Morning, Noon, and Evening EsseneCommunions to Follow

Day Contemplative Force
Seek Peace With:
MORNING COMMUNIONS
Saturday =Earthly Mother = Food = Nutrition
Sunday =Angel of Earth = Top Soil Growth = Regeneration Glands
Monday =Angel of Life = Trees = Vitality
Tuesday=Angel of Joy = Beauty = Harmony
Wednesday=Angel of Sun = Sunrise =Fire of Life
Thursday =Angel of Water = Blood, Rivers, Etc.= Circulation
Friday =Angel of Air = Breath = Energies of Atmosphere

NOON CONTEMPLATIONS
Saturday =Kingdom of the Heavenly Father
Sunday =Kingdom of the Earthly Mother
Monday= Culture
Tuesday = Humanity (Social Peace)
Wednesday=Family (Feeling Body)
Thursday=Mind (Thinking Body)
Friday = Body (Acting Body)

EVENING COMMUNIONS
Saturday =Angel of Eternal Life = Superior Planets= Overcoming Gravity
Sunday =Angel of Creative Work= Bees = Creative Work of Man
Monday =Angel of Peace =Crescent Moon=Peace Within
Tuesday =Angel of Power = Stars, Superior Acts = Nervous System, Cosmic Ocean of Life
Wednesday =Angel of Love =Superior Feeling= Emotions, Cosmic Ocean of Love
Thursday =Angel of Wisdom = Superior Thoughts = Thinking Body
Friday =Heavenly Father =Cosmic Currents = Final Union with Cosmic Ocean
Go to Essene-Nazarean
+—-+

SUNDAY MORNING, ANGEL OF LIFE, ENTER MY LIMBS AND GIVE STRENGTH TO MY WHOLE BODY, TREES, VITALITY; SUNDAY EVENING, ANGEL OF CREATIVE WORK, DESCEND UPON HUMANITY AND GIVE ABUNDANCE TO ALL MEN, BEES, CREATIVE WORK.

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