Reply to Yasaburo - Spurring the Protective Forces of the Universe into Action through Powerful Prayers

You should pray intently that Shakyamuni, Many Treasures, and the Buddhas of the ten directions will all gather and enter into your body to assist you.

(Passage from “Reply to Yasaburo”, The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, p827-830)

Nichiren Daishonin Daishonin wrote this letter at Minobu to believer Yasaburo in the eight month of 1277.

Yasaburo had evidently sought the Daishonin’s advice in preparation for an upcoming debate with a priest from the Pure Land School. This letter is the Daishonin’s reply.

This passage is an important teaching to be engraved in our lives when we take up challenge to wage a struggle for kosen-rufu and the challenges in life. In this letter, the Daishonin told Yasaburo that this crucial debate would determine whether he win honour or disgrace. Subsequently, the Daishonin taught the determination with which Yasaburo should pray in order to achieve victory in a crucial battle in this passage.

The Daishonin teaches here that if we fill our lives with the energy of Buddhahood and manifest the great life force of the Buddha, we will never fail to summon forth the protective forces of the Buddhist gods (protective forces of the universe). With this, we can multiply our strength and power by thousand and million folds. It is our prayers that will enable us to transform our lives positively.

SGI President Ikeda taught us how we should offer our prayers in this manner, “The purpose of faith is to achieve victory. Indeed, faith guarantees that we will do so. When we strive with all our might for kosen-rufu and chant powerful daimoku, we spur the protective functions of the universe – the Buddhas and bodhisattvas of the ten directions and all the heavenly deities into action, causing them to open the way to victory.”


In April 1977, I had the opportunity of meeting Prsident Ikeda during his visit to Chubu and I reported to him that I was getting married. After giving me his well wishes, he encouraged me, “Remember to base your life on faith no matter what may happen in your life.” With this encouragement engraved in my life, I began attending activities as a Women Division member.

After my marriage, I was finally able to give birth to my son after overcoming numerous near-miscarriages. On top of this, I suffered from anaemia and have a difficult labour which lasted two full days before my baby was delivered.

Immediately after my delivery, I sensed that something was very wrong. Besides not hearing my baby’s first cry, doctors and nurses were reacting strangely as if there was an emergency situation in the labour ward. I soon discovered that my newborn son had neonatal asphyxia (born in a state of an apparent death resulting from deprivation of oxygen) but the doctors managed to revive him. He was immediately transferred to a national hospital for treatment.

Since then, everyday was a struggle against despair. Each time I was overwhelmed by a sense of sheer desperation, I recalled President Ikeda’s encouragement to me. I told myself, “You’ve got no other way but to chant” and “You must rise up to this challenge based on faith” and made a profound resolve to emerge victorious through faith in the Gohonzon.

I took up the challenge to offer sincere, earnest daimoku and prayed intently that “Shakyamuni, Many Treasures, and the Buddhas of the ten directions will all gather and enter into” my baby’s body to assist him. “Please enable my son to manifest strong life force to overcome this ordeal”, “I will definitely foster him into a great leader of kosen-rufu” – I prayed fervently with my entire being.

Fortunately, the doctors had the wisdom to administer the most appropriate treatment to my son at each critical moment and his condition was stabilized. Although we told by the doctors that if my son had another attack within the next three months, he will suffer from permanent brain damage, we managed to overcome this challenge again based on faith. Our profound, powerful prayers activated the Buddhahood within and this in turn had spurred the Buddhist gods (protective forces of the universe) into action. We were filled with a sense of profound gratitude.

Through this experience, I noticed that the underlying power beneath my prayers began to change – from weak, desperate prayers into specific prayers and then into prayers that are based on a vow.

Another challenge that arose was concerning our business. We unexpectedly lost a major client due to the economic recession and intense competition and we were in deep trouble. However, we told ourselves “there must be a profound significance behind such a development” and continued to chant daimoku wholeheartedly. As a result, there was an unexpected turn of events when we were introduced to another client and this led to the further expansion of our business. In this way, we were able to transform poison into medicine.

The greatest source of happiness and pride is my children – my son is a Soka school graduate and is currently doing research studies as a post-graduate student while my daughter graduated from Soka University and is currently manifesting her full potential on the stage of kosen-rufu.

I will continue to pray that both my children will fulfil their mission as noble successors of kosen-ufu. My family and I are deeply grateful to be able to advance along the lofty path of mentor and disciple together with President and Mrs Ikeda and we shall make it our lifelong pledge to repay our debt of gratitude to our mentor in life through our actions.

Translated and adapted from an article written by Makoto Chikamatsu, Women Division Study Chief for Gifu Prefecture, published on August 2006 issue of The Daibyakurenge, the Soka Gakkai’s monthly study journal.