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Fundamentals

Sharing the Same Commitment as the Mentor

It is the heart that is important. No matter how earnestly Nichiren prays for you, if you lack faith, it will be like trying to set fire to wet tinder. Spur yourself to muster the power of faith. Regard your survival as wondrous. Employ the strategy of the Lotus Sutra before any other. “All others who bear you enmity or malice will likewise be wiped out.” These golden words will never prove false. The heart of strategy and swordsmanship derives from the Mystic Law. Have profound faith. A coward cannot have any of his prayers answered. (“The Strategy of the Lotus Sutra,” The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, pp. 1000–01)

Ikeda Sensei’s Guidance

In “The Strategy of the Lotus Sutra,” as in other writings, Nichiren Daishonin emphasizes one important point regarding our attitude in faith—that we approach our Buddhist prayer and all our efforts with the same spirit as the mentor. We can discern this message in the following passage: “No matter how earnestly Nichiren prays for you, if you lack faith, it will be like trying to set fire to wet tinder” (WND-1, 1000–01). …

In the passage, “It is the heart that is important,” heart can also be interpreted as “the spirit of sharing the same heart as the mentor.” The Daishonin writes: “Those with the heart of a lion king are sure to attain Buddhahood. Like Nichiren, for example” (“Letter from Sado,” WND-1, 302).

The heart of faith to actively propagate the Mystic Law, the heart of a disciple to actively support the mentor, and the heart of a lion to actively speak out for truth and justice—these are the most powerful weapons and strategies we have for achieving peace and securing happiness throughout the three existences of past, present and future. This, Nichiren says, is the “strategy of the Lotus Sutra” (WND-1, 1001).

In its original sense, the term strategy refers to battle tactics, the science of warfare or martial arts. Considered more broadly, it can be taken to mean a method for achieving better results in all areas, for leading a victorious life of value creation.

The “strategy of the Lotus Sutra” refers to faith in the Gohonzon. It is faith that battles ignorance and delusion, breaks through negative karma, and wins without fail through confident prayer, and the boundless wisdom and courage that flow forth as a result.

No matter what the situation, when we base ourselves on the Mystic Law, the ultimate Law of the universe, we will never be deadlocked. …

The foundation of all of our efforts, endeavors and challenges—whether in the realm of staying healthy, leading a fulfilling life or showing actual proof of winning trust in the community and in society—is the strategy of the Lotus Sutra, or, in other words, strong faith. (The Hope-filled Teachings of Nichiren Daishonin, pp. 142–43)

Peace, Culture and Education: The Purpose of Buddhist Study–Part 5
(Chapter 28)

Ikeda Wisdom Academy: July 2020