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Ikeda Sensei’s Lectures

Achieving Vibrant, Healthy Lives Brimming With Good Fortune

Ikeda Sensei’s Lecture Series [65]

I recall an episode that took place 70 years ago, on the evening of September 12, 1950, at a time when my mentor, second Soka Gakkai President Josei Toda, and I were working hard to resolve his business difficulties.

Mr. Toda was himself utterly exhausted. But out of concern for my poor health, he told me sternly, “Your life force is weak,” and he sat down with me to do gongyo and chant daimoku [Nam-myoho-renge-kyo], praying earnestly for my health and well-being.

With profound gratitude and resolve, I wrote in my diary that night: “Every day, an opportunity for human revolution. Every day must be a time to advance.”[1]

Nichiren Daishonin’s Buddhism of human revolution is a teaching of unsurpassed hope. It enables us to live with fresh life force and an invincible spirit day after day, and to transform all hardships into happiness and victory.

The Wonderful Means for Putting an End to Physical and Spiritual Obstacles

Nichiren Daishonin writes, “The wonderful means of truly putting an end to the physical and spiritual obstacles of all living beings is none other than Nam-myoho-renge-kyo” (“The Wonderful Means of Surmounting Obstacles,” The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, p. 842).

The Mystic Law is the essential principle for overcoming all adversity and suffering, he says. Those who chant the lion’s roar of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo and take action with powerful life force will never face a deadlock. Nichiren promises, “One who abides by the Lotus Sutra will inevitably attain Buddhahood” (“The Actions of the Votary of the Lotus Sutra,” WND-1, 779).

Faith for Health and Long Life

Everyone wants to live a fulfilling and healthy life. Indeed, “Faith for health and long life” is one of the five eternal guidelines of the Soka Gakkai.

On September 15, 1975, I attended a doctors division general meeting. Expressing my hopes that the participants would all serve as excellent physicians of the Mystic Law protecting the people, I cited passages from Nichiren Daishonin’s writings and discussed his teachings on illnesses of the body and mind.[2] Later, September 15 was designated as Doctors Division Day.

The Mystic Law Cures Illnesses Caused by the Three Poisons

The illnesses of the body Nichiren describes refer not only to physical illnesses but also to what we today identify as mental disorders.

In contrast, the illnesses of the mind he speaks of refer specifically to illnesses caused by the so-called three poisons of greed, anger and foolishness.[3] Such illnesses stem from the fundamental ignorance inherent in life itself.[4] Only Buddhism can cure these illnesses of the mind, or life, and the best medicine for treating them is Nam-myoho-renge-kyo.

In that sense, how great is the mission of our doctors division members! Chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, not only do they possess compassionate medical expertise, but also the powerful life-transforming weapon of the Mystic Law.

I am deeply appreciative of them and all of our members in the health professions who are striving tirelessly day and night amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. My wife, Kaneko, and I are praying earnestly for the health and safety of every one of these precious Bodhisattvas Medicine King of Soka.

Faith for Leading Lives of Genuine Health

At that doctors division general meeting, I spoke about the importance of going beyond a merely reactive approach to medicine—treating illnesses after they have arisen—toward a more proactive approach that aims to prevent illnesses of both body and mind and to promote and enhance health. This represents a vision of building a healthy society based on the principles of respect for life and human dignity, a society that makes health a top priority.

In this installment, let us explore the role of our Buddhist faith and practice in leading lives of genuine health.

Reassuring Companions on the Journey of Life

The sutra known as the Lotus Sutra is good medicine for the various ills of body and mind. Thus it states: “This sutra provides good medicine for the ills of the people of Jambudvipa [the entire world]. If a person who has an illness is able to hear this sutra, then his illness will be wiped out and he will know neither old age nor death” [The Lotus Sutra and Its Opening and Closing Sutras, p. 330].

Again it states: “[Once these living beings have heard the Law,] they will enjoy peace and security in their present existence and good circumstances in future existences” [LSOC, 136].

And again: “All others who bear you enmity or malice will likewise be wiped out” [see LSOC, 329].

I am copying out and sending you two chapters in particular, the “Expedient Means” chapter and the “Life Span” chapter, to act as protection for you. I could in fact copy out the whole sutra, but at the moment I am tied up with other affairs, so I am limiting myself to these two chapters. Treat them with the utmost care, the utmost care—never let them be apart from your person. Wrap them up carefully and make them your constant possession. (“On the Importance of the ‘Expedient Means’ and ‘Life Span’ Chapters,” WND-2, 747)[5]

Nichiren Daishonin composed “On the Importance of the ‘Expedient Means’ and ‘Life Span’ Chapters” in reply to a letter from his disciple Ota Jomyo, who had written expressing anxiety about his health.

Ota Jomyo was 57, an age traditionally considered in Japan to be dangerous or unlucky. From the New Year through April, he had not been feeling well and was worried.

Nichiren begins by acknowledging Ota Jomyo’s concern: “You have experienced many sufferings in both body and mind. …. This [experiencing such sufferings], indeed, is the prime source of our sorrows” (WND-2, 746). The warm empathy shown by his mentor must have greatly lifted Ota Jomyo’s spirits.

None of us can escape the sufferings of aging, sickness and death. Those battling illness, or grappling with hardships, often feel isolated and alone. That is why we follow Nichiren’s example and chant sincerely for and encourage those who are struggling.

Our fellow Soka Gakkai members who chant with us for our happiness when we have problems are truly reassuring companions on the journey of life.

Relieving Suffering and Imparting Joy

In the letter we are studying, Nichiren also writes: “What secret teaching could surpass the Lotus Sutra in dispelling all the perils and disasters that may face one in a dangerous year? You can count on it, count on it! … As for this year of danger that you face, trust in me” (WND-2, 750).

In this way, he allays Ota Jomyo’s anxiety and fear concerning his “year of danger” and his ailments, instilling in him the conviction that he can enjoy health and longevity.

The idea of “dangerous years” or an “unlucky age” does not derive from Buddhist teachings but is a belief unique to Japan. Rather than rejecting it, however, Nichiren, based on the four ways of preaching[6] and the precept of adapting to local customs,[7] uses it to encourage Ota Jomyo to strive harder in his Buddhist practice.

In another letter, the Daishonin encourages Nichigen-nyo, a disciple who had voiced her concern on turning 33, an age thought to be unlucky for women, writing: “The bad luck of your thirty-third year will turn into the happiness of your thirty-third year. … You will grow younger, and your good fortune will accumulate” (“The Unity of Husband and Wife,” WND-1, 464).

As practitioners of Nichiren Buddhism, we engage in courageous and inspiring dialogue that seeks to relieve suffering and impart joy, awakening suffering people to their inherent Buddha nature. We strive earnestly to help them revitalize their lives, change poison into medicine[8] and take the first step in their human revolution.

The greater the challenges we go through as a result of illness and hardship, the more we are able to expand our life state and achieve a vibrant, healthy life brimming with good fortune.

“The Lotus Sutra Is Good Medicine for the Various Ills of Body and Mind”

In the letter to Ota Jomyo, Nichiren Daishonin writes, “The sutra known as the Lotus Sutra is good medicine for the various ills of body and mind” (WND-2, 747). He teaches that the Mystic Law is the supreme “good medicine” for overcoming the sufferings caused by illness and other disturbances of body and mind.

This is because the Mystic Law is the fundamental principle that enables us to reveal the life force of Buddhahood.

The Daishonin then quotes several passages from the Lotus Sutra to underscore the Mystic Law’s benefit and power.

The first assures that the Lotus Sutra can swiftly eliminate illness: “If a person who has an illness is able to hear this sutra, then his illness will be wiped out and he will know neither old age nor death” (LSOC, 330).

From the perspective of Buddhism, to “wipe out illness” here means to eliminate the “devil of illness” that saps a person’s life force. The phrase “will know neither old age nor death” does not, of course, mean that we will not age and die, but that the sufferings of aging and death will not undermine or destroy our inherent Buddhahood. As we advance in years, we will grow ever more vibrant in spirit, and the flame of our faith will burn stronger, enabling us to bring our lives to a magnificent close.

Next, the Daishonin cites the passage “They will enjoy peace and security in their present existence and good circumstances in future existences” (LSOC, 136). This means that the lives of those who dedicate themselves to kosen-rufu will move along a path overflowing with good fortune and benefit, not only in the present but throughout eternity.

We also find the passage “All others who bear you enmity or malice will likewise be wiped out” (see LSOC, 329). This essentially means that we will be able to vanquish all obstacles and devilish functions that try to obstruct our happiness. When we bring forth powerful life force through chanting the lion’s roar of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, all evil influences will scatter.

Of particular significance here are the words “If a person … is able to hear this sutra” (LSOC, 330). But it is not simply a matter of passive listening.

The key lies in chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo with single-minded faith in the Gohonzon and teaching others to do the same. When we listen to and enable others to hear this powerful sound of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo—which the sutra describes as “this good medicine” (LSOC, 269)—the incredible beneficial power of the Mystic Law flows forth in our own and everyone’s life.

Embracing the Gohonzon Throughout Our Lives

Nichiren Daishonin tells Ota Jomyo that he has copied and sent him the “Expedient Means” and “Life Span” chapters of the Lotus Sutra, instructing that he keep them with him at all times. He explains that Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, the teaching that can lead all people of the Latter Day of the Law to enlightenment, is implicit in the text of the “Life Span” chapter, saying:

This priceless gem, the doctrine of three thousand realms in a single moment of life, was then placed in a bag diamond-like in its indestructibility, the five characters of Myoho-renge-kyo,[9] and left behind for the sake of us, the troubled and impoverished living beings of this latter age. (WND-2, 749)

Through our daily practice of chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo and doing gongyo, in which we recite portions of the “Expedient Means” and “Life Span” chapters, we, too, keep these chapters with us at all times.

The lives of those who continue chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo are always at one with the Buddhas and bodhisattvas throughout the ten directions and three existences and with the countless protective functions of the universe. We will be resolutely protected, as Nichiren assures us when he says:

Since those who uphold the Lotus Sutra are children of Shakyamuni Buddha, the lord of teachings, how could [protective functions such as] Brahma, Shakra, the gods of the sun and moon, and the host of stars fail to watch over you day and night, morning and evening? (WND-2, 750)

In times of both suffering and joy, in good times and bad, whatever happens, let us continue chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo with steadfast faith in the Gohonzon and live our lives together with the Mystic Law.

Making “Faith” the Foundation

The essence of prayer in Nichiren Buddhism is “making faith the foundation” (see WND-1, 785).

Josei Toda said:

Never waver for a moment in your conviction of the benefit of faith in Nichiren Buddhism. But no matter how strong your power of faith, without the power of practice, the power of the Buddha and the power of the Law will not manifest. If you summon the great power of faith and apply great power in your practice of chanting and making efforts to share Buddhism with others, the power of the Buddha and the power of the Law cannot fail to appear.[10] Prayer in Nichiren Buddhism is an inner struggle. If you have doubts or fail to take action, you are preventing yourself from experiencing the enormous power of the Buddha.

Prayer creates momentum. Our chanting should be vigorous. Together, let us chant refreshing and vibrant daimoku—our voices resounding in a rhythm like a noble steed galloping through the heavens—and forge ahead in our efforts for kosen-rufu brimming with life force and energy.

“Benefits” Indicates a State of Indestructible Happiness

Point One, regarding the Benefits of the Teacher of the Law

The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings says: The words “teacher of the Law” mean the teacher of the Law who carries out the five practices. The word “benefits” (kudoku) means the reward that is represented by the purification of the six sense organs.[11] In general we may say that now Nichiren and his followers, who chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, are carrying out the purification of the six sense organs. Hence they are acting as teachers of the Law of Myoho-renge-kyo and possess great virtue (toku).

The element ku [meaning “merit”] in the word kudoku [benefits] means good fortune or happiness. It also refers to the merit achieved by wiping out evil, while the element toku or doku [meaning “virtue”] refers to the virtue one acquires by bringing about good. Thus the word kudoku means to attain Buddhahood in one’s present form. It also means the purification of the six sense organs. You should understand that to practice the Lotus Sutra as the sutra itself directs is to carry out purification of the six sense organs. (From The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings, pp. 147–48)[12]

This passage from The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings elucidates the “benefits of the teacher of the Law.”

According to “The Teacher of the Law,” the 10th chapter of the Lotus Sutra, a teacher of the Law is someone who carries out the five practices: to embrace, read, recite, expound and transcribe the Lotus Sutra.

Nichiren Daishonin writes: “Embracing the Lotus Sutra and chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo in itself encompasses the five practices” (“The Real Aspect of the Gohonzon,” WND-1, 833). As these words indicate, those who chant and spread the Mystic Law—that is, those who dedicate their lives to kosen-rufu—are teachers of the Law.

What are the benefits that a teacher of the Law receives?

Nichiren states: “The word kudoku [benefits] means to attain Buddhahood in one’s present form. It also means the purification of the six sense organs” (OTT, 148).

Based on the principle of the “mutual possession of the Ten Worlds,”[13] attaining Buddhahood in one’s present form means revealing the life state of Buddhahood just as we are. The emphasis here is “in one’s present form.” We ordinary people who experience hardship and suffering can attain Buddhahood as we are.

Though we may be struggling with illness or grappling with other problems or worries, we can still savor absolute happiness.

The “six sense organs” refers to our eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body and mind. The benefit of “purification of the six sense organs” enables us to perceive, judge and act correctly, free from the influence of deluded impulses. It allows us to fully exercise the power of the Buddha inherent within our lives. “Benefits” here indicates a state of indestructible happiness.

To reach out compassionately to people who are suffering and strive together with them to open the way to happiness for all is the spirit of those who purify their six sense organs.

Lives Brimming With Wisdom and Courage

If our life is impure—that is, if we are trapped in a low state of life—everything we see, hear and feel is just a reflection of that life state, causing us to suffer both physically and mentally. As long as that condition prevails, we cannot put an end to the cycle of misery and suffering, and we will remain shrouded in fundamental ignorance.

But when we polish and purify our life through faith in the Mystic Law, we will see everything with perfect clarity. Nichiren Daishonin affirms this, saying: “Now when Nichiren and his followers chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, they see and understand the ten thousand phenomena [all phenomena in the universe] as though these were reflected in a bright mirror” (OTT, 149).

When we vanquish the fundamental ignorance inherent in our lives and bring forth our Buddha wisdom by chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, we no longer detest sickness or death, but rather see them as innate aspects of life itself. The four sufferings of birth, aging, sickness and death become challenges that enable us to attain happiness and fulfill our life’s mission. They will transform into inspiring dramas of victory and joy.

The benefit of the “purification of the six senses” allows us to change the four sufferings of birth, aging, sickness and death into the four noble virtues of eternity, happiness, true self and purity.[14] This means that we can turn anything into an opportunity for creating value.

The Lotus Sutra teaches that Bodhisattva Never Disparaging,[15] who remained undeterred by persecution as he continued to show respect for the Buddha nature in everyone he met, attained the benefits of the “purification of the six senses” and “increasing one’s life span.”[16] Soka Gakkai members, undaunted by criticism or opposition, are carrying out dialogue based on respect for life and the dignity of all people. They are unparalleled teachers of the Law who are certain to enjoy the same benefits as Bodhisattva Never Disparaging.

Imperishable “Treasures of the Heart”

The Swiss thinker Carl Hilty (1833–1909), in an insightful discourse on the nature of illness, observed that if we permit pessimism and bitterness toward an unrelenting fate to rage out of control, they can inflict greater harm on us than the illness itself.[17]

It is certainly true that falling ill can make us susceptible to self-pity and pessimism, which can amplify our suffering.

Hilty also noted that just by showing an example of patience and joy in suffering, of the possibility of being happy even in such circumstances, those battling illness achieve more than most perfectly healthy people.[18]

There are many examples of noble individuals who remain strong while battling illness and use their experience to impart great hope and courage to many others. That is proof of their victory, achieved by proudly walking the path of kosen-rufu, the most wonderful mission there is in life.

It is only natural, as we age, to experience physical decline and chronic conditions in some cases, but we should never let that dampen our spirits.

Nichiren Daishonin writes, “You must hasten to accumulate the treasure of faith and quickly conquer your illness” (“On Prolonging One’s Life Span,” WND-1, 955). In another letter, he writes, “Could not this illness be the Buddha’s design, because the Vimalakirti and Nirvana sutras both teach that sick people will surely attain Buddhahood?” (“The Good Medicine for All Ills,” WND-1, 937). The key is to chant earnestly and advance with ever stronger faith. Everything that happens has profound meaning.

Viewed from the perspective of faith and a life dedicated to the bodhisattva way, the greater the hardships one has experienced, the greater one’s mission. It is a way of life that cherishes the “treasures of the heart as the most valuable of all” (see “The Three Kinds of Treasure,” WND-1, 851). Instead of focusing on the “treasures of the storehouse” or the “treasures of the body,” let us strive to fulfill our mission with pride and optimism, accumulating imperishable treasures of the heart. If we advance with the lofty aspiration of our vow for kosen-rufu, we can amass good fortune and benefit beyond measure.

To return to Nichiren’s discussion of the “benefits of the teacher of the Law,” he says, “You should understand that to practice the Lotus Sutra as the sutra itself directs is to carry out purification of the six sense organs” (OTT, 148). When we lead positive, forward-looking lives with the determination never to give in to any obstacle, we shine brilliantly with a life state forged through purifying the six senses.

The Opportunity to Build a New Age

In response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Dr. Kevin Clements, peace scholar and director of the Toda Peace Institute, issued a statement. It reads in part:

While this pandemic is creating fear, chaos and anxiety, … it is a unique opportunity for new visions, and new opportunities to build a world that is more empathetic, more equal, less fearful, less polluted and more in tune with, rather than opposed to, nature. This is a moment of creative possibility. Let’s work to ensure that what emerges from this crisis is a world fit for the rest of this challenging century.[19]

I am in full agreement with this proposal to turn the unprecedented crisis we are facing today into an opportunity to build a new age.

A Philosophy of the Dignity of Life and Respect for All People

The challenges of the coronavirus pandemic, together with issues such as climate change, threaten people’s lives, livelihoods and dignity everywhere. It is more important than ever that we forge solidarity in action across borders and other divisions to overcome these problems.

A philosophy of respect for the dignity of life, along with practical wisdom and action based on respect for all people, is essential to building a healthy society and a harmonious world.

Today, Soka Gakkai members worldwide, while grappling with unprecedented hardships and turmoil, are working together to impart the light of hope and renewal to all. They are acting based on their shared vow for peace, inspired by Nichiren Daishonin’s words, “If you care anything about your personal security, you should first of all pray for order and tranquillity throughout the four quarters of the land, should you not?” (“On Establishing the Correct Teaching for the Peace of the Land,” WND-1, 24).

At the forefront of this effort are our young Bodhisattvas of the Earth, members of the youth division who are engaging in dialogue to encourage and support others. As a result, the Soka Gakkai tradition of cherishing each person, which has been passed down from one generation to the next, today shines ever brighter.

Healthy, Supportive Societies

We embrace the Mystic Law, the wonderful means for awakening the innate goodness in the depths of people’s lives. Let’s resolve anew to keep progressing wisely and cheerfully, calling forth the Buddha nature in each person as we strive to create healthy, supportive societies.

Translated from the September 2020 Daibyakurenge, the Soka Gakkai’s monthly study journal.


  1. A Youthful Diary, p. 47. ↩︎
  2. At the meeting, Ikeda Sensei shared a passage from “Two Kinds of Illness,” a letter Nichiren Daishonin sent to Shijo Kingo in Kamakura, who was also a physician. ↩︎
  3. Greed, anger and foolishness are regarded in Buddhism as the fundamental evils inherent in life that give rise to human suffering. They are known as the three poisons. ↩︎
  4. Fundamental ignorance: Also, fundamental darkness. The most deeply rooted illusion inherent in life, said to give rise to all other illusions. The inability to see or recognize the ultimate truth of the Mystic Law, as well as the negative impulses that arise from such ignorance. ↩︎
  5. This is Nichiren’s reply to a letter from Ota Jomyo, who lived in Shimosa Province (part of present-day Ibaraki and Chiba prefectures). In the letter, Ota had reported his recent sufferings, physical and spiritual, and his concern that his present age, 57, was considered a “dangerous year,” or an “unlucky age.” The Daishonin responds that various sufferings are unavoidable, but that “the Lotus Sutra is good medicine for the various ills of body and mind” (“On the Importance of the ‘Expedient Means’ and ‘Life Span’ Chapters,” WND-2, 747). ↩︎
  6. Four ways of preaching: Also, four ways of teaching. Four ways in which the Buddha expounds his teaching, explained in the Treatise on the Great Perfection of Wisdom. They are: 1) to teach Buddhism in secular terms, explaining to people that it will fulfill their desires, thus arousing their willingness to take faith; 2) to teach according to people’s respective capacities, thus enabling them to increase their store of good karma; 3) to help people abandon their illusions and free themselves from the three poisons of greed, anger and foolishness, by teaching those caught up in greed to recognize the impurity of their attachments, those dominated by anger to practice compassionate acts and those blinded by stupidity to perceive the causal law; and 4) to reveal the ultimate truth directly, causing the people to awaken to it. Compared to this last way of teaching, the first three are regarded as temporary means. ↩︎
  7. Precept of adapting to local customs (Jpn zuiho bini): A Buddhist precept indicating that, in matters the Buddha did not expressly either permit or forbid, one may act in accordance with local custom so long as the fundamental principles of Buddhism are not violated. ↩︎
  8. Changing poison into medicine: Employing the power of the Mystic Law to transform a life dominated by the three paths of earthly desires, karma and suffering into a life manifesting the three virtues of the Dharma body, wisdom and emancipation. This phrase is found in a passage from the Treatise on the Great Perfection of Wisdom, which mentions “a great physician who can change poison into medicine.” ↩︎
  9. Myoho-renge-kyo is written with five Chinese characters, while Nam-myoho-renge-kyo is written with seven (nam, or namu, being comprised of two characters). The Daishonin often uses Myoho-renge-kyo synonymously with Nam-myoho-renge-kyo in his writings. ↩︎
  10. See Translated from Japanese. Josei Toda, Toda Josei zenshu (Collected Writings of Josei Toda), vol. 1 (Tokyo: Seikyo Shimbunsha, 1992), p. 151. ↩︎
  11. Purification of the six sense organs: Also, purification of the six senses or faculties. This refers to the six sense organs of eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body and mind becoming pure, making it possible to apprehend all things correctly. “Benefits of the Teacher of the Law,” the 19th chapter of the Lotus Sutra, explains that those who uphold and practice the sutra acquire various benefits, and that through these benefits the six sense organs become refined and pure. ↩︎
  12. The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings: A collection of Nichiren Daishonin’s oral teachings on the Lotus Sutra delivered while he lived on Mount Minobu. They were recorded and compiled in two volumes by his disciple and successor, Nikko Shonin. ↩︎
  13. Mutual possession of the Ten Worlds: The principle that each of the Ten Worlds possesses the potential for all ten within itself. “Mutual possession” means that life is not fixed in one or another of the Ten Worlds, but can manifest any of the ten—from hell to Buddhahood—at any given moment. The important point of this principle is that all beings in any of the nine worlds possess the Buddha nature. This means that every person has the potential to manifest Buddhahood, while a Buddha also possesses the nine worlds and, in this sense, is not separate or different from ordinary people. ↩︎
  14. Eternity, happiness, true self and purity are known as the four virtues. Describing the noble qualities of the Buddha’s life, they are explained as follows: “eternity” means unchanging and eternal; “happiness” means tranquility that transcends all suffering; “true self” means true and intrinsic nature; and “purity” means free of illusion or mistaken conduct. ↩︎
  15. Bodhisattva Never Disparaging: Described in “Bodhisattva Never Disparaging,” the 20th chapter of the Lotus Sutra. This bodhisattva—Shakyamuni in a previous lifetime—lived at the end of the Middle Day of the Law, after the death of the Buddha Awesome Sound King. He would bow to everyone he met and say: “I have profound reverence for you, I would never dare treat you with disparagement or arrogance. Why? Because you will all practice the bodhisattva way and will then be able to attain Buddhahood” (The Lous Sutra and Its Opening and Closing Sutras, p. 308). However, he was attacked by arrogant people, who beat him with sticks and staves and threw stones at him. The sutra explains that this practice became the cause for Bodhisattva Never Disparaging to attain Buddhahood. ↩︎
  16. Increasing one’s life span: This concept appears in “Bodhisattva Never Disparaging,” the 20th chapter of the Lotus Sutra: “Having gained this purity of the six faculties, his life span was increased by two hundred ten thousand million nayutas of years, and he went about widely preaching the Lotus Sutra for people” (LSOC, 309). ↩︎
  17. Translated from German. See Carl Hilty, Glück (Happiness), vol. 3 (Leipzig: J. C. Hinrichs’sche Buchhandlung, 1903), p. 152. ↩︎
  18. See Ibid., p. 154. ↩︎
  19. Kevin P. Clements, “Confronting the COVID-19 Crisis: Danger and Opportunity,” <accessed April 19, 2021>. ↩︎

You Are the Treasure Tower