Reply to a Believer
I have just received your letter. Considering how disasters have struck one after another in the wake of Nichiren’s
exile, would they dare attempt to harass us any further? I feel they will do no more, but people on the brink of ruin are
capable of anything. Should some persecution be about to occur, there will certainly be signs. Even if I were to be exiled
again, it would bring ten billion times greater good fortune than if my teachings were to be accepted. The next exile would
be my third. Should it happen, the Lotus Sutra could never accuse
me of being a fainthearted votary. I might well become heir to the blessings of Shakyamuni, Taho
and all the other Buddhas of the ten directions, as well as those of the countless Bodhisattvas of the Earth. How wonderful
if that were to come about!
I will follow in the path of Sessen Doji and live as did Bodhisattva Fukyo. In comparison to such a life, how wretched
and meaningless it would be to fall victim to an epidemic or simply die of old age! I would far rather suffer persecution
from this country’s ruler for the sake of the Lotus Sutra and thereby free myself from the sufferings of birth and death.
Then I could test the vows that the Sun Goddess, Hachiman, the
gods of the sun and the moon, Taishaku and Bonten made in the presence of the Buddha. Above all,
I will urge them to protect every one of you.
If you continue living as you are now, there can be no doubt that you are practicing the Lotus Sutra twenty-four hours
each day. Regard your service to your lord as the practice of
the Lotus Sutra. [The Hokke Gengi makes precisely this point when it says:] "No affairs of life or work are in any way different
from the ultimate reality."
I fully understand what you have said in your letter.
With my deep respect,
The eleventh day of the fourth month.