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Gosho Study

Having Unshakable Belief

San Francisco. Photo by Sanya Lu.

“And you demons, by making this man suffer, are you trying to swallow a sword point first, or embrace a raging fire, or become the archenemy of the Buddhas of the ten directions in the three existences? How terrible this will be for you! Should you not cure this man’s illness immediately, act rather as his protectors, and escape from the grievous sufferings that are the lot of demons?” (“The Proof of the Lotus Sutra,”  The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, p. 1109)


Everyone has to face the sufferings of birth, aging, sickness and death. But we can choose to see these sufferings as opportunities to transform our karma. For the sake of his beloved disciple, Nichiren Daishonin scolds the so-called demons of illness as if to drive them out of Tokimitsu’s body. Through these resolute words, he teaches us how important it is to have a fierce inner resolve to win and the courage to face any hardship. 

This passage shows Nichiren’s deep wish to protect with his entire being a young person to whom he hopes to entrust the future. We also can see his hope that his disciple will defeat the obstacle of illness for the sake of kosen-rufu. Inspired by Nichiren’s fearless conviction, Nanjo Tokimitsu did indeed overcome his illness and extend his life by 50 years. When we stand up with a vow to fight as the mentor does, we, too, can bring forth unlimited power from within. 

Ikeda Sensei’s Guidance

What is crucial is the absolute confidence that you can change poison into medicine, no matter what daunting obstacles you may face. This unshakable belief is the key to overcoming illness and other difficulties in life and to opening wide the path for attaining Buddhahood without fail. (A Foundation for Your Life, pp. 260–61)

The District Is the Arc de Triomphe of Life

On the Cover—Southwest