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Fundamentals

Endurance Brings Forth Flowers of Victory

Queens, New York. Photo by Anjelica Jardiel.

“Those who believe in the Lotus Sutra are as if in winter, but winter always turns to spring. Never, from ancient times on, has anyone heard or seen of winter turning back to autumn. Nor have we ever heard of a believer in the Lotus Sutra who turned into an ordinary person. The sutra reads, ‘If there are those who hear the Law, then not a one will fail to attain Buddhahood.’” (“Winter Always Turns to Spring,” The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, p. 536)

Background

Cherry blossoms are renowned for their beauty. But without experiencing harsh winters, cherry trees cannot produce their beautiful blooms. In the process of our Buddhist practice, we will inevitably face harsh winters of adversity and karma. But once we stand up with faith and practice, even the harshest of struggles is just what we need to develop ourselves and bring forth wonderful flowers of victory.

Referring to the sutra passage “not a one will fail to attain Buddhahood,” Nichiren Daishonin urges us to persevere in faith, always strengthening our conviction. A frigid winter never fails to turn into a warm spring. In the same way, we can transform worries into hope. In fact, it is because we overcome winterlike sufferings through faith that we can savor spring-like joy and walk a richly fulfilling path of life.

Ikeda Sensei’s Guidance

Those who experience the greatest suffering will come to attain the greatest happiness. Never forget that happiness is a flower that blossoms from the earth of patient endurance.

One of the youthful mottoes of my wife, a member of the first class of the young women’s division, was:

Today again don’t be defeated,
today again bring forth courage,
as you make your way
on the path of your vow,
on the path of victory.

Those who don’t let anything defeat them are victors. In particular, those who lead undefeated lives, following through on the beliefs that they vowed to uphold in their youth, are the strongest and most admirable of all.
(A Foundation for Your Life, pp. 192–93)

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