Religious Exaltation


Tears roll down when I think of the great hardship which I have to endure today, but I cannot stop tears of joy when I think of obtaining Buddhahood in the future. Birds and insects cry without shedding tears. Nichiren does not cry but tears keep falling. These tears are shed not for worldly matters. They are solely for the sake of the Lotus Sutra. Therefore, they could be said to be tears of nectar.

(Background : May 17, 1273, 51 years old, at Sado, Showa Teihon, p.728)

Explanatory note

Nichiren Daishonin is admired as a man who has a very stong mind and who can bear all hardships. The people are moved to more admiration when they know that Nichiren has a warm heart and compassionate tears and that he is always thinking, “l must stretch my hands to those who suffer,” and “I must lead them into the salvation in the Lotus Sutra.”

Why did Nichiren face so many persecutions? He said that it was because he had slandered the teachings of the Lotus Sutra in his previous lives, and that these persecutions were meant to erase these sinful karmas which he had created before, so that he could attain Buddhahood in the future. When he realized the persecutions were to attain Buddhahood, he easily accepted them with gratitude.

Thus, Nichiren faced all persecutions positively. He had pity on the people who wished to attain Buddhahood in vain because of unfaithfulness to the teaching of the Lotus Sutra.

Nichiren did not cry nor shed tears because of worldly matters. But his eyes were full of tears because the people did not believe in the Lotus Sutra. Nichiren, therefore, pushed himself and overcame the numerous persecutions for leading the people into Buddhahood.

Rev. Kanai

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