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Gosho Study

Chant. Study. Take Action. Repeat.

New Orleans. Photo by Geneva Lewis.

Strengthen your resolve more than ever. Ice is made of water, but it is colder than water. Blue dye comes from indigo, but when something is repeatedly dyed in it, the color is better than that of the indigo plant. The Lotus Sutra remains the same, but if you repeatedly strengthen your resolve, your color will be better than that of others, and you will receive more blessings than they do.

—“The Supremacy of the Law,” The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, p. 615

Nichimyo exemplified strong faith in Nichiren Daishonin’s teaching. A single mother, she traveled alone with her infant daughter, Oto, on the long, treacherous route from Kamakura to Sado Island to visit Nichiren Daishonin in his place of exile. In a letter dated 1272, he praised her courage and sincere seeking spirit, calling her “Sage Nichimyo.”

Later, in 1275, he addressed this letter, “The Supremacy of the Law,” to Oto, though it was clearly intended for her mother, Nichimyo. In it, he urges her to strengthen her faith “more than ever” (WND-1, 614). Though her faith had not weakened in the least, he still urges her to bolster it.

When we consistently fortify our faith through prayer, our efforts imbue us with the Buddha’s rich life state and fortune. To illustrate this point, Nichiren says ice is made from water but is colder than water. 

He also references the phrase “From the indigo, an even deeper blue.”[1] Blue dye is traditionally produced from indigo leaves. When repeatedly soaked in this dye, materials become bluer than the original indigo dye. 

Using these examples, Nichiren teaches that by continually deepening our faith, we can improve our “color,” meaning we increase our vitality and life force and enjoy many benefits.

Repeatedly engaging in Buddhist practice—chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, studying Buddhism and sharing it with others—saturates our lives with the indigo of the Mystic Law, improves the hue of our faith and enriches our ability to overcome hardships and genuinely savor our lives.

—Prepared by the SGI-USA Study Department

Ikeda Sensei’s Encouragement

Persevering in Faith Guarantees Victory

By continually reaffirming our commitment to faith, our lives in this transient existence become adorned with the everlasting and indestructible treasures of eternity, happiness, true self and purity.[2] Constantly fortifying our faith becomes the key to establishing such a state of life.

Repeatedly strengthening one’s resolve, or faith, therefore, means persevering in one’s Buddhist practice. It means being undaunted by obstacles or, rather, using obstacles as an impetus to summon forth even stronger faith and to polish one’s life even more.

While all of us who practice Nichiren Buddhism embrace faith in the same Lotus Sutra (the Mystic Law) and the Gohonzon, it is the strength of our faith that determines the outcome. The stronger the faith we summon, the greater the benefits we will experience, and the more expansive and fulfilled the life state we will achieve. Aware of this truth, our members around the world are showing wonderful actual proof of the power of faith. …

All of us at times feel stuck or at an impasse in our lives or undertakings. But it is precisely when we are deadlocked that our faith is put to the test; such a time represents a decisive moment to seize victory. The important thing is to always keep our minds focused on moving forward. The challenge of triumphing over obstacles will itself become the cause for substantially expanding our state of life. If we actively grapple with our problems, we can definitely change inside and transform our karma.

Any time we become stuck, then, is actually an opportunity to realize victory. And ever-stronger faith is what gives us the power to break through such deadlocks. This is true both in terms of our individual struggles and the larger struggles of society. …

Everything lies before us. Everything comes down to an inner struggle. It is one’s mind, one’s heart, that is important. (The Teachings for Victory, vol. 1, pp. 147–48)

June 16, 2023, World Tribune, p. 9


  1. “From the indigo, an even deeper blue” derives from Chinese philosopher Hsün Tzu’s writings and is cited in T’ien-t’ai’s Great Concentration and Insight, indicating that when cloth is repeatedly dipped in blue dye produced from the indigo plant, the color is bluer than the original source. ↩︎
  2. Eternity, happiness, true self and purity are known as the four virtues that describe the noble qualities of the Buddha’s life. The four 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. ↩︎

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