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Gosho Study

Great Rewards Are Sure to Come

Photo by Ren Kwon

Where there is unseen virtue, there will be visible reward.

—“Unseen Virtue and Visible Reward,” The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, p. 907

In recent years, sports popularized the mantra “trust the process” to champion patience and daily effort as keys to success. 

As Buddhist practitioners, when we “trust the process” of making daily and diligent efforts in faith (unseen virtue), we can enjoy rich inner development and tangible proof of victory (visible reward). 

Not much is known about this letter, but it seems that Nichiren Daishonin wrote it to his loyal disciple Shijo Kingo in April 1279. 

A few years prior, Kingo had fallen out of favor with feudal lord, Ema Mitsutoki, who, in today’s terms, would be like his boss. False accusations made by jealous colleagues compounded the situation. Things got so bad that Kingo had to relinquish some of his lands.

Nichiren urged Kingo to overcome this challenge by diligently striving in Buddhist practice and sincerely supporting Ema while maintaining good relationships with those around him. 

This letter suggests that Kingo followed Nichiren’s guidance and, as a result, began to regain the trust and favor of his lord. Nichiren writes:

Your fellow samurai all slandered you to your lord, and he also has wondered if it was true, but because you have for some years now honestly maintained a strong desire for your lord’s welfare in his next life, you received a blessing like this. This is just the beginning; be confident that the great reward also is sure to come. (WND-1, 907)

Roughly six months after this letter, Ema awarded Kingo a threefold increase in land holdings.

Like Kingo, we must “trust the process” of our daily efforts in faith. This means consistently chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, sharing Buddhism with others and supporting fellow members while also diligently applying Buddhism in our interactions within our families, at work and in our communities.

By making such unseen efforts, we can enjoy visible rewards beyond our imagination!

—Prepared by the SGI-USA Study Department

Ikeda Sensei’s Encouragement

Your Sincere Efforts Return as Benefit and Good Fortune

There are days when the cold winter winds blow, when the hot summer sun is beating down, when it’s pouring rain or when heavy snow is falling. But no matter what challenges our young men and women of the Soka Group, Gajokai and Byakuren face, they always greet those arriving at our facilities with the respect befitting Buddhas. …

They are carrying out their duties with a spirit of venerating and serving everyone as Buddhas. There is nothing more praiseworthy.

The Buddhas and bodhisattvas throughout the universe are aware of all the noble unseen efforts you are making to chant for others and support your fellow members, and of how much thought and care you are putting into fulfilling your responsibilities. By the same token, they also know when you are neglecting your duties, thinking that no one will notice. This is merely another way of expressing the law of cause and effect, the workings of which are inescapable.

How seriously we pray and exert ourselves are all engraved in our lives. Those who practice sincerely and earnestly will definitely win in the end. They will accrue immense benefit and good fortune without fail. This is the conclusion I have reached from upholding faith in the Mystic Law for more than [70] years.

The Daishonin writes: “Where there is unseen virtue, there will be visible reward” (WND-1, 907); and “Though one’s trustworthiness may at first go unnoticed, in time it will be openly rewarded” (“The Four Virtues and the Four Debts of Gratitude,” WND-2, 636). …

All the actions we take for kosen-rufu will become a cause toward attaining Buddhahood and enable us to reveal our Buddha nature. And by revealing our Buddha nature, the “heavenly deities”—the positive functions of the universe—will assist and protect us. As Nichiren writes, we will surely gain “visible reward” and be “openly rewarded.”

Buddhism does not exist somewhere apart from reality. Therefore, the efforts you make for the sake of kosen-rufu will all become your own benefit. And they will also become a cause that will lead your family and loved ones to enjoy great benefit in lifetime after lifetime. Whether or not your efforts may be recognized by others, please be assured that you will most certainly be rewarded by the workings of the Mystic Law. (Youth and the Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, pp. 191–93) 

March 10, 2023, World Tribune, p. 9

30 Years of the SGI-USA Future Division

Take Responsibility to See Benefit!