On Prayer- Kito Sho -
we know that the prayers offered by a practitioner of the Lotus Sutra will be
answered just as an echo answers a sound, as a shadow follows a form, as the
reflection of the moon appears in clear water, as a mirror collects dewdrops, as
a lodestone attracts iron, as amber attracts particles of dust, or as a bright
mirror reflects the color of an object.---
And yet, though one might point at the earth and miss it, though
one might bind up the sky, though the tides might cease to ebb and flow and the
sun rise up from the west, it could never come about that the prayers of the
practitioner of the Lotus Sutra would go unanswered. If the bodhisattvas, the
human and heavenly beings, the eight kinds of nonhuman beings, the two sages, 40 the two
and the ten demon daughters would by some unlikely chance fail to appear and
protect the practitioner of the Lotus Sutra, then they would be showing disdain
for Shakyamuni and the other Buddhas above, and below they would be guilty of
deceiving the beings of the nine realms.
Letter to Domyo
I have received your request for prayers
for your father, and I will offer them in the presence of the Buddha.
Concerning prayer, there are conspicuous prayer and conspicuous response, conspicuous
prayer and inconspicuous response, inconspicuous prayer and inconspicuous
response, and inconspicuous prayer and conspicuous response.
However, the essential point is that, so
long as you carry out faith in this sutra, all your wishes will be fulfilled in
both present and future existences.
The third volume of the Lotus Sutra states,
"Even though the devil and his subjects are there, they will protect the
And the seventh volume states, "...his
illness will vanish immediately, and he will find perpetual youth and eternal
life." You must not doubt these golden words. I deeply appreciate
Myoichi-ama's visit to this mountain. I have given her a written scroll,
which I would like you to read. Nam-myoho-renge-kyo.
The Difficulty of Sustaining Faith
The Great Teacher
T'ien-t'ai stated, "One accepts out of the power of faith and continues
because of the power of prayer."5 Another
part of the sutra reads, "It is difficult to sustain faith in this sutra.
One who embraces it even for a short time will delight me and all other
to the Lay Nun Nichigon
I placed the written
petition, dated the eighth day of the eleventh month in the third year of Koan
(1280), in which you expressed your prayer, along with your offerings of one
thousand coins and an unlined robe made of thread spun from bark fiber, before
the Lotus Sutra, and I spoke to the gods of the sun and moon about it. Now
there is no need to attempt to surmise yourself how things will go.
Whether or not your
prayer is answered will depend on your faith; [if it is not] I will in no way
be to blame. When water is clear, the moon is reflected. When the wind blows, the
trees shake. Our minds are like the water. Faith that is weak is like muddy
water, while faith that is brave is like clear water. Understand that the trees
are like principles, and the wind that shakes them is like the recitation of