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It is the Law which is Supreme. We venerate the three treasures --The Buddha, The Dharma ( Nam Myoho Renge Kyo) and the Sangha ( The Priesthood ) Ultimately we each stand on our own not subject to higher Human Authority but accessing the Ultimate truth with our beloved Master , The Buddha Nichiren Daishonin. Each of us is free through our unique connection and devotion to the Law to create a New World of unlimited Human aspiration and freedom.


The Law is described in one of Nichiren Daishonin`s most important Gosho The Heritage of the Ultimate Law of Life Shoji Ichidaiji Kechimyaku Sho


I have just carefully read your letter. To reply, the ultimate law of life and death as transmitted from the Buddha to all living beings is Myoho-renge-kyo. The five characters of Myoho-renge-kyo1 were transferred from the two Buddhas inside the Treasure Tower, Shakyamuni and Taho, to Bodhisattva Jogyo, carrying on a heritage unbroken since the infinite past. Myo represents death and ho represents life. Life and death are the two phases passed through by the entities of the Ten Worlds, the entities of all sentient beings which embody the law of cause and effect (renge).

T'ien-t'ai said, "You must realize that the interrelated actions and reactions of sentient beings and their environments all manifest the law of simultaneity of cause and effect."2 Sentient beings and their environments" here means the reality of life and death. The law of simultaneity of cause and effect is clearly at work in everything that lives and dies.

The Great Teacher Dengyo said, "Birth and death are the mysterious workings of the life essence. The ultimate reality of life lies in existence and nonexistence."3 No phenomena -- heaven or earth, Yin or Yang4, the sun and moon, the five planets5, or any life-condition from Hell to Buddhahood -- are free from birth and death. Thus the life and death of all phenomena are simply the two phases of Myoho-renge-kyo. In his Maka Shikan, T'ien-t'ai says, "The emergence of all things is the manifestation of their intrinsic nature, and their extinction, the withdrawal of that nature into the state of latency."6 Shakyamuni and Taho Buddhas, too, are the two phases of life and death.

Shakyamuni who attained enlightenment countless aeons ago, the Lotus Sutra which leads all people to Buddhahood, 7 and we ordinary human beings are in no way different or separate from each other. Therefore, to chant Myoho-renge-kyo with this realization is to inherit the ultimate law of life and death. To carry on this heritage is the most important task for Nichiren's disciples, and that is precisely what it means to embrace the Lotus Sutra. For one who summons up his faith and chants Nam-myoho-renge-kyo with the profound insight that now is the last moment of his life, the sutra proclaims: "After his death, a thousand Buddhas will extend their hands to free him from all fear and keep him from falling into evil paths."8 How can we possibly hold back our tears at the inexpressible joy of knowing that not just one or two, nor only one hundred or two hundred, but as many as a thousand Buddhas will come to greet us with open arms!

One who does not have faith in the Lotus Sutra will instead find his hands firmly gripped by the guards of hell, just as the sutra warns, "...After he dies, he will fall into the hell of incessant suffering."9 How pitiful! The ten kings of hell10 will then pass judgment on him, and the heavenly messengers11 who have been with him since his birth will berate him for his evil deeds.

Just imagine that those thousand Buddhas extending their hands to all Nichiren's disciples who chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo are like so many melons or moonflowers extending their slender vines. My disciples have been able to receive and embrace the Lotus Sutra by virtue of the strong ties they formed with this teaching in their past existences. They are certain to attain Buddhahood in the future. The heritage of the Lotus Sutra flows within the lives of those who never forsake it in any lifetime whatsoever -- whether in the past, the present or the future. But those who disbelieve and slander the Lotus Sutra will "destroy the seeds for becoming a Buddha in this world."12 Because they cut themselves off from the potential to attain enlightenment, they do not share the ultimate heritage of faith.

All disciples and believers of Nichiren should chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo with one mind (itai doshin), transcending all differences among themselves13 to become as inseparable as fish and the water in which they swim. This spiritual bond is the basis for the universal transmission of the ultimate law of life and death. Herein lies the true goal of Nichiren's propagation. When you are so united, even the great hope for kosen-rufu can be fulfilled without fail. But if any of Nichiren's disciples should disrupt the unity of itai doshin, he will destroy his own castle from within.

Nichiren has been trying to awaken all the people of Japan to faith in the Lotus Sutra so that they too can share the heritage and attain Buddhahood. But instead they attacked me time and again, and finally had me banished to this island. You have followed Nichiren, however, and met with sufferings as a result. It pains me deeply to think of your anguish. Gold can neither be burned by fire nor corroded or swept away by water, but iron is vulnerable to both. A wise person is like gold and a fool like iron. You are like pure gold because you embrace the "gold" of the Lotus Sutra. The Lotus Sutra reads in part, "Sumeru is the loftiest of all mountains. The Lotus Sutra is likewise the loftiest of all the sutras."14 It also states, "The good fortune of the believer cannot be burned by fire or washed away by water."15

It must be ties of karma from the distant past that have destined you to become my disciple at a time like this. Shakyamuni and Taho Buddhas certainly realize this truth. The sutra's statement, "In lifetime after lifetime they were always born together with their masters in the Buddha's lands throughout the universe, "16 cannot be false in any way.

How admirable that you have asked about the transmission of the ultimate law of life and death! No one has ever asked me such a question before. I have answered in complete detail in this letter, so I want you to take it deeply to heart. The important point is to carry out your practice confident that Nam-myoho-renge-kyo is the very lifeblood which was transferred from Shakyamuni and Taho to Bodhisattva Jogyo.

The function of fire is to burn and give light. The function of water is to wash away filth. The winds blow away dust and breathe life into plants, animals and human beings. The earth nourishes the grasses and trees, and heaven provides nourishing moisture. Myoho-renge-kyo too works in all these ways. It is the cluster of blessings brought by the Bodhisattvas of the Earth. The Lotus Sutra says that Bodhisattva Jogyo should now appear to propagate this teaching in the Latter Day of the Law, but has this actually happened? Whether or not Bodhisattva Jogyo has already appeared in this world, Nichiren has at least made a start in propagating this teaching.

Be resolved to summon forth the great power of your faith, and chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo with the prayer that your faith will be steadfast and correct at the moment of your death. Never seek any other way to inherit the ultimate law and manifest it in your life. Only then will you realize that earthly desires are enlightenment and the sufferings of life and death are nirvana. Without the lifeblood of faith, it would be useless to embrace the Lotus Sutra.

I am always ready to clear up any further questions you may have.

With my deep respect,

Nichiren, the Shramana of Japan

The eleventh day of the second month in the ninth year of Bun'ei (1272)


Five characters of Myoho-renge-kyo: the five characters are myo, ho, ren, ge, kyo. In the Daishonin's writings, Myoho-renge-kyo is often substituted for Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. 2 Hokke Gengi, vol. 7. 3 Tendai Hokkeshu 4Gozu Homon Yosan, vol. 5. 5Yin and Yang: Two universal principles of ancient Chinese philosophy. Yin is the negative, dark and feminine principle: Yang is the positive, bright and masculine principle. Their interaction was thought to affect the destiny of all things. 6Five planets: Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. The more distant planets were undetected in 13th century Japan. 7Maka Shikan, vol. 5. 8 Nichiren Daishonin employs the name of Shakyamuni to denote the Buddha, and the Lotus Sutra to denote the Gohonzon. Therefore, from the viewpoint of the Daishonin's Buddhism, this passage means that the True Buddha of kuon ganjo, the Gohonzon which leads all people to Buddhahood, and we ordinary people are in no way different or separate from each other. 9 Lotus Sutra, chap. 28. 10 Lotus Sutra, chap. 3. 11 Ten kings of hell: Symbolic figures from popular religious tradition. One Chinese concept viewed hell as a demonic court of law where the dead were tried for their evil deeds. 12 Heavenly messengers: See p. 199, footnote 52. 13 Lotus Sutra, chap. 3. 14 Transcending all differences among themselves: This phrase could be rendered literally as "without any thought of self or other, this or that." This is not a denial of individuality but rather urges the bridging of gaps between people which arise from selfishness and mistrust. 15 Lotus Sutra, chap. 23. 16 Ibid. 17 Ibid. chap. 7.

History -- The Heritage of the Ultimate Law of Life

Records are sketchy, but it is believed that Sairen-bo Nichijo was a noted priest of the Tendai sect who, for some unknown reason, had been living in exile on Sado for a number of years. He met the Daishonin there and became his follower. "Heritage of the Ultimate Law of Life, " dated February 11, 1272, was addressed to a question posed by Sairen-bo. The Daishonin also sent him several of his most profound writings, including "The True Entity of Life, " "On Prayer, " and "Enlightenment of Plants."



Shoji Ichidaiji Kechimyaku Sho

 (Heritage of the Ultimate Law of Life) is

Shoji is life repeating the endless cycle of birth and death.

Ichidaiji is "the most fundamental essence." Ichi, is literally "one, " "the one and only." Ichi is also chutai essence (entity or source).the essence of the Universe The Middle Way Ichidaiji, then, is "the one and only fundamental essence."

Dai, literally "great, " here is used to mean that the ultimate law of life is the fundamental force which penetrates and pervades not only humanity but all things in the universe. It denotes the universality of life.

Dai also means kutai, fgorce enegy space (potential

Ji literally means "fact." That the ultimate law of life is constantly present.

ji also means ketai. Facts phenomena (form) The changing world-the changes in all phenomena

Shoji ichidaiji-- the ultimate law of life

Kechimyaku is the "pulse" unchanged, beneath the passages of life and death. It also represents the The master-disciple relationship with Buddha, as the teacher who transmits the law of life ---.

Shoji Ichidaiji Kechimyaku Sho ISThe one and most fundamental essence the pulse of the force of life, and also indicates that the universe is a living biological process . It is the way the Buddha endows people undergoing the endless cycle of birth and death with the ultimate law

En'yu-santai or the perfect union of the three truths is also Ichidaiji

The 'perfect union of the three truths' is called Nam-myoho-renge-kyo."



Shoji can also be an abbreviation of sho-ro-byo-shi (ji of shoji is a phonetic change of shi) --- birth, old age, sickness and death --- including all human suffering. The significant meaning here is the entity that repeats the endless cycle of birth and death.


In the Ongi Kuden (his oral teachings of the Lotus Sutra), Nichiren Daishonin says that the denial of birth and death originates in delusion.. Life is the state in which the ultimate entity is manifest, and death the state in which it lies dormant. The ultimate entity remains unchanged, repeating the endless cycle of birth and death.



Life is like the explosion and combustion of a force stored up during its rest period. Birth and death are intrinsic to the ultimate entity of life.


The pulse , rhythm, force, essence and manifestation of the living universe is Nam Myoho Renge Kyo


Every thing around us and in us is undergoing ceaseless change. Our environment and ourselves change subtly from moment to moment. The nano changes in electronic shells of atoms, the flux and flow of our neuronal connections gently weaving themselves in our brains, our moods and thoughts and the very stars and galaxies are constantly changing and yet held in patterns by a greater subtly or primal force -namely the overriding integrating power of Nam Myoho Renge Kyo


Hence our state of life from moment to moment determines the overall course of our life. Our lifetime is an accumulation of momentary lives and deaths This, more broadly, is the key to changing one's karma. When we value each moment and live actively, enthusiastically, ready to greet the next moment, we go through a state of life and death free from suffering and directed toward enlightenment. This is a process which occurs naturally when we maintain the Gohonzon as the primary focus in our lives


The changing nature of all phenomena , the interdependence of all things, the elegance and perfection inherent in the Universe is described in The Gosho

On the Daimoku of the Lotus Sutra by Nichiren Daishonin


Within this single character kyo are contained all the sutras in the entire universe. It is like the wish-granting jewel that contains within it all manner of treasures, or the vastness of space that encompasses all phenomena. And because this single character kyo of Myoho-renge-kyo is the supreme achievement of the Buddha's lifetime of teaching, the other four characters, Myo-ho-ren-ge, likewise surpass all the other eighty thousand doctrines that the Buddha taught.


What we have here is a short cut to the unrivalled jewel of expression of the universe as a self referential system in which the Human being participates in a journey of exploration --the last frontier- into the depths of his or her heart conjoined to the heart of the Universe. The fusion with the Ikons of Nam Myoho Renge Kyo on the Gohonzon like the Ikons on a Computer Screen entrains the brain and Being to a new mode of thinking and widom and compassion.


The individual breaks through the egg shell of ignorance into the ocean of enlightenmnet of the living universe. The Gohonzon the mirror and entity of the Universe contains within it the streams of births and deaths of all sentient and insentient things which flow into broader rivers of births and deaths, which in turn pour into the vast ocean of cosmic life.


Nam-myoho-renge-kyo is the ultimate law of life and the universe. At the same time it contains all things in the entire cosmos. It is not just an idea or something abstract and vague; it manifests itself in actual phenomena. It is The true entity of life completely free and unobstructed . So when we chant to the Gohonzon( the manifestation of Ichidaiji and ichinen sanzen) with faith and conviction with our whole lives breaking through karma like unpeeling an onion skin we attain absolute freedom and obtain conspicuous and inconspicuous changes in our lives. We are accessing Reality" which is the fundamental power that makes each life-moment actually work within all phenomena in the universe and within our own lives !.


The two phases of life and death, which are manifested in the ultimate entity of life, are together the Mystic Law. The law does not exist outside the realities of living and dying; Our life itself is the Mystic Law or shoji ichidaiji kechimyaku, .


The Chinese character for Ho ( Law)consists of the ideographs for "water" and "passing away" combined. Together they mean "flow of water." Water represents the even, eternal and impartial, that which pervades the universe. "Passing away" symbolizes the flow of time from the infinite past to the infinite future This concept of law ( Ho ) places human consciousness firmly within the context of all Biological and physical laws. The rise and fall of all phenomena no matter what physical science we use eg classical physics , complexity or relativity or within the context of physiological and neuro endocrein science all incorporate livingness and consciousness in this context" Ho represents this incorporation in terms of living relationships with all phenomena Thus it becomes clear why Nichiren Daishonin states, "Ho represents life." Hence shoho (literally, all laws) of shoho jisso is translated as "all phenomena."


If Buddhism were limited only to the observation of phenomena, it would be no different from scientific research. To understand the fundamental force that creates the flow-this is the true object of religion. That fundamental force is never divorced from real phenomena, but neither can it be grasped as a form or a shape. Hence it is described as myo or mystic. To understand this fundamental force requires and effort of faith , asense of awe and wonder and a direct perception of this process which has a n immediacy and relevance which transcends mundane or ordunary experience.Although it cannot be seen or identified it is in the vibrancy and truth of every moment of experience .