There are thousands of fish eggs, but few become fish. Hundreds of mango blossoms bloom, but few become fruit. It is the same with human beings, because most people are turned aside by evil distractions. There is an army of warriors wearing armor, but few are able to fight bravely. Many people search for truth, but few attain Buddhahood.
Nichiren wrote this passage in his Letter to Lord Matsuno. In Nichiren’s lifetime he saw many of his followers charmed by his teaching, but lacking the resolve to practice. This letter was one of many Nichiren used to encourage us not to waste our precious human life with frivolous pursuits, destructive actions, and selfish desires. It reminds us that we all carry the seed of Buddha nature, and to look for ways to nourish that seed.
The Daily Dharma is produced by the Lexington Nichiren Buddhist Community. To subscribe to the daily emails, visit zenzaizenzai.com