"The wind in the pines played
a melody of eternity, happiness, true self and purity, and the emerald
stream that bubbled along in front sent its waves striking against the bank
with echoes of the perfection of these four virtues. The flowers carpeting
the deep valley bloomed with the hue of the true aspect of the Middle Way,
and from the plum blossoms just beginning to open in the broad meadow
wafted the fragrance of the three thousand realms. Truly it was beyond the
power of words to describe, beyond the scope of the mind to imagine. One
might have thought it the place where the Four White-haired Recluses of
Mount Shang lived, or the site where some ancient Buddha had walked about
after meditation. Auspicious clouds rose up at dawn, a mysterious light
appeared in the evening. Ah, the mind cannot grasp it nor words set it
forth!" A Conversation Between a Sage and an Unenlightened Man
"This place is deep in the mountains, far removed from any village or hamlet. No dwellings can be seen in any direction. Even here, in this desolate location, within the mortal flesh of my bosom, I, Nichiren, secrete the Ultimate Mystic Law received from Lord Shakyamuni at Eagle Peak. Therefore, my heart is where all Buddhas enter nirvana; my tongue is the place where they preach the law; my throat is the place where they are born, and my mouth is where they attain enlightenment."
The Person And The Law
"The bodhisattvas Yakuo, Yakujo, Kannon and Seishi, on the other
hand, were envoys of the Buddha during the two thousand years of the Former
and Middle Days of the Law. Because their turn has already passed, they
can no longer benefit people as they did in that time of high antiquity.
Just observe what happens when prayers are offered to them at present! All
such prayers go unanswered. Now, in the present age, the Latter Day of the
Law, it is the turn of the bodhisattvas Jogyo, Muhengyo and the others.
Only when one understands all this clearly and has faith in it can
the power of the Law be manifested and the Buddhas and bodhisattvas bring
benefit to the people. To illustrate, in kindling a fire, three things are
needed: a good piece of steel, a good flint and good tinder. The same is
true of prayer. Three things are required--a good teacher, a good believer
and a good doctrine--before the prayers can be effective and disasters
banished from the land.
A "good teacher" is a priest who is innocent of any wrongdoing in
secular affairs, who never fawns upon others even in the slightest, who has
few desires and is satisfied with little, and who is compassionate, a
priest who trusts to the scriptures, reads and upholds the Lotus Sutra and
also encourages others to embrace it. Such a priest the Buddha has praised
by calling him, among all priests, the finest teacher of the Dharma.
A "good believer" is one who does not depend upon persons of
eminence nor despise persons of humble station, who does not rely on the
backing of his superiors nor look down on his inferiors, who, not relying
upon the opinions of others, upholds the Lotus Sutra among all the various
sutras. Such a person the Buddha has called the best of all people.
As for a "good doctrine," the Buddha has told us that this sutra,
the Lotus, represents the foremost among all doctrines. Among all the
sutras the Buddha "has preached," among those he "now preaches," and among
those he "will preach," this sutra is designated as foremost, and therefore
it is a "good doctrine."" How Those Initially Aspiring to the Way can Attain Buddhahood through the Lotus Sutra
The True Object of Worship "The true object of worship is described in the ceremony of the
transmission as follows:
In the air above the saha world [which the Buddha of the essential
teaching identified as the pure and eternal land], Nam-myoho-renge-kyo
appears in the center of the Treasure Tower with Shakyamuni and Taho
Buddhas seated to the right and left, and the Four Bodhisattvas of the
Earth, led by Jogyo, flank them. Around them are Monju, Miroku and the
other followers of the Four Bodhisattvas. All the other bodhisattvas,
whether they are disciples of the Buddha of the theoretical teaching or of
the Buddhas of the other worlds, take their seats further below, like
commoners kneeling on the ground in the presence of nobles and high
ministers. The Buddhas who gathered from the other worlds in the ten
directions of the universe all remain on the ground, showing that they are
only manifestations of the eternal Buddha and that their lands are
transient, not eternal and unchanging.
During the entire fifty years of Shakyamuni's teaching, only in the
last eight years did he preach the twenty-eight chapters of the Lotus
Sutra. Again, of all these chapters, only in the eight vital chapters did
he reveal and transfer the object of worship to the Bodhisattvas of the
Earth50. During the two millennia of the Former and Middle Days of the
Law, statues were made showing Mahakashyapa and Ananda flanking Shakyamuni
Buddha as he preached Hinayana, and Monju and Fugen flanking Shakyamuni
Buddha as he preached the provisional Mahayana, the Nirvana Sutra and the
theoretical teachings of the Lotus Sutra.
Even though statues and images were made of Shakyamuni Buddha
during the two millennia, no image or statue was made of the Buddha of the
Juryo chapter. Only in the Latter Day of the Law shall the
representation of that Buddha appear."