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The Nature Of Myo
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The Nature of the Buddha's power



If one doubts the strength of the Buddha when he says, "I alone can save them"; if one is suspicious of the rope held out by the Lotus Sutra when its teachings declare that one can "gain entrance through faith"; if one fails to chant the Mystic Law which guarantees that "[concerning this man's attainment of Buddhahood, ] there can assuredly be no doubt, " then the Buddha's power cannot reach him and it will be impossible for him to scale the embankment of enlightenment.

Thus it was that the eight-year-old daughter of the dragon king was able to come out of the vast sea and in an instant give proof of the power of this sutra, and Bodhisattva Jogyo of the essential teaching emerged from beneath the great earth and demonstrated the unfathomably long life span of the Buddha. This, the Lotus, is the king of sutras, defying description in words, the wonderful Law that is beyond the mind's power to comprehend.


Questions and Answers on Embracing the Lotus Sutra

Nichiren Daishonin wrote this Gosho in the third month of 1263, shortly after he had been pardoned and had returned to Kamakura following two years of exile on the Izu peninsula


There are three meanings of myo given in On the Daimoku of the Lotus Sutra by Nichiren Daishonin He says This sutra opens the door of expedient teachings and reveals the true aspect of reality."


"To open" indicates the quality or power which activates a life, like opening a secret repository, and causes it to pervade the entire universe. Miao-lo stated that "to reveal is to open."


To be endowed and perfect" means, for instance, that each drop in the ocean contains the same elements and properties as the ocean itself. It means enlightenment Myo means "fully endowed, " which in turn has the meaning of "perfection."


 "To revive" is, , to create value and also means to revitalise, to create , to open the gateway to unlimited Human Potential. It also means to cure and to return to life. and to cure the uncurable. The Lotus Sutra, however, can cure the dead as well as the living, and therefore it has the character myo in its title.



The fundamental power is invisible and is "the ultimate spiritual reality behind the universe." Since the fundamental power is beyond the imagination, it is myo (mystic), and since we cannot see it, it is "death." But the force does exist, unseen but definitely underlying all phenomena (ho).



The Entity of the Mystic Law
- Totaigi Sho


The Great Teacher Dengyo, explaining the lotus of the "one great reason" [why the Buddha appears in the world], writes: "The 'one great matter,' the true heart and core of the Lotus Sutra, is the revelation of the lotus. The word 'one' signifies that it is the one reality. The word 'great' signifies that it is broad and all-encompassing in nature. And the word 'matter' refers to the essential nature of phenomena. This one great reason or 'ultimate matter' is the truth, the teaching, the wisdom and the practice of the perfect teaching, or the Dharma body, the



On the Daimoku of the Lotus Sutra by Nichiren Daishonin



Coming now to the character myo, [meaning "mystic" or wonderful, "] the Lotus Sutra says, "This sutra opens the door of expedient teachings and reveals the true aspect of reality." The Great Teacher Chang-an comments on this as follows: "Myo means to reveal the depths of the secret storehouse." And the Great Teacher Miao-lo says of this, "To reveal means to open." Hence the character myo means to open-.....

One fundamental myo or mystic principle underlies every one of the 69, 384 characters that make up the Lotus Sutra. Hence the Lotus Sutra comprises a total of 69, 384 mystic principles.

The character myo is rendered in Sanskrit by the word sad, and in Chinese is pronounced miao. Myo means "fully endowed, " which in turn has the meaning of "perfection." Each word and each character of the Lotus Sutra contains within it all the 69, 384 characters that compose the sutra. To illustrate, one drop of the great ocean contains within it the waters of all the various rivers that flow into the ocean, and the wish-granting jewel, though no bigger than a mustard seed, is capable of showering down all the treasures that one could wish for.

To give another analogy, plants and trees are withered and bare in autumn and winter, but when the sun of spring and summer shines on them, they put forth branches and leaves, and then flowers and fruit. Before the preaching of the Lotus Sutra, the people in the nine worlds were like plants and trees in autumn and winter. But when the single character myo of the Lotus Sutra shone on them like the spring and summer sun, then the flower of the aspiration for enlightenment blossomed and the fruit of Buddhahood emerged.


Myo means to revive, that is, to return to life. This is like the yellow crane's chick. It is said that though the chick may die, if the mother crane calls the name of Tzu-an, then the dead chick will come back to life again. Or it is like the case of the fish and shellfish that have been killed because a poisonous secretary bird has entered the water. If they are touched with a rhinoceros horn, we are told, they will all be brought back to life.


 The reason that the other sutras are called dai or 'great' but not myo is simply that it is easy to cure those who have a mind, but difficult to cure those who are without a mind. Because it [the Lotus Sutra] can cure that which is thought to be incurable, it is called myo or mystic .


These passages refer to the fact that sutras such as the Daihokobutsu Kegon Sutra, Daijuku Sutra, Daibon Hannya Sutra and Dainehan Sutra all have the character dai in their titles but not the character myo. This is because they can cure only the living but cannot cure the dead. The Lotus Sutra, however, can cure the dead as well as the living, and therefore it has the character myo in its title.