Questions and Answers about Embracing the Lotus Sutra - Now is the Time to Create Life's Greatest Memory

Everywhere other than the Capital of Tranquil Light is a realm of suffering. Once you leave the haven of inherent enlightenment, what is there to bring you joy? I pray that you will embrace the Mystic Law, which guarantees that people “will enjoy peace and security in their present existence and good circumstances in future existences”. This is the only glory that you need seek in your present lifetime, and this is the action that will draw you towards Buddhahood in your next existence. Single-mindedly chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo and urge others to do the same; that will remain as the only memory of your present life in this human world. 

(The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin Vol 1, p64)

Although there are different opinions concerning the date of this letter, it is generally accepted that Nichiren Daishonin wrote it in the third month of the 1263, shortly after he had been pardoned and had returned to Kamakura the following two years of exile on the Izu Peninsula.

The Daishonin was then 42 years old. As the title indicates, this work discusses the significance of embracing the Lotus Sutra and was written in the form of five questions and answers.


To be born a human being and, moreover, to encounter the supreme teaching of Buddhism are rare opportunities. How should one live in order to live a life of value creation?

This is a passage whereby Nichiren Daishonin taught us the fundamental way of life as a human being.

One paragraph before this passage, the Daishonin quoted a passage from the Lotus Sutra, which stated: “There is no safety in the threefold world (the world where we live in); it is like a burning house.” 

Based on this teaching from the Lotus Sutra, the Daishonin stated here: “Everywhere other than the Capital of Tranquil Light is a realm of suffering. Once you leave the haven of inherent enlightenment, what is there to bring you joy?”

The terms, “Capital of Tranquil Light” and “haven of inherent enlightenment”, refers to the enlightened life state, as well as the land where the Buddha of time without beginning dwells in.

However, it is important to note that this does not refer to a distant land or another world. It refers to the Buddhahood that is inherently endowed in our lives.

Put another way, it refers to Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, a magnificent state of life imbued in utmost purity and richness. It refers to the prime point of life from which one departs and returns to in the journey of life. 

By chanting the daimoku of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, one opens up and reveals the Buddhahood inherent in one’s life. By doing so, one can illuminate not only one’s life but also one’s relations with others, one’s surroundings including the community and country with the light of hope and joy.

We can thus enjoy a life state of indestructible happiness that remains unaffected by any obstacles not only in this existence but also in future existences throughout eternity.

This is why the Daishonin says here that embracing the teachings of the Mystic Law is the only glory that one should seek in one’s present lifetime, and is the action that will draw one towards Buddhahood in the next existence.

What does “embracing the Mystic Law” means? The Daishonin explained here that it is to “single-mindedly chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo and urge others to do the same”. That is to practice this great Law of happiness ourselves and teach others to do the same.

This is in fact, what we are striving to do on a daily basis through the promotion of our kosen-rufu movement. It is none other than our SGI activities.

By striving together with our mentor and comrades, dedicating our lives for kosen-rufu, we are actually engraving a memory of unsurpassed joy and one that shines eternally within our lives.

SGI President Ikeda said: “Our devoted actions taken for the sake of kosen-rufu will become the utmost memory and history in our lives. Life is fleeting and passes by in an instant. Only by dedicating our lives to Buddhism can we live a life whereby all our wishes are fulfilled. It will be one’s loss if one does not adorn one’s life with true fulfillment and joy.”

Let's continue to boldly share the teachings of the Mystic Law with our friends and people around us and together, live a life of genuine happiness.

Translated and adapted from the August 2011 issue of The Daibyakurenge, the Soka Gakkai’s monthly study journal.