Wu-lung and I-lung - A True Victor is One Who Never Gives Up

With regards to the Lotus Sutra, when one’s hand takes it up, that hand immediately attains Buddhahood, and when one’s mouth chants it, that mouth is itself a Buddha, as, for example, the moon is reflected in the water the moment it appears from behind the eastern mountains, or as a sound and its echo arise simultaneously. It is for this reason that the sutra states, “If there are those who hear the Law, then not one will fail to attain Buddhahood.” This passage means that, if there are a hundred or a thousand people who uphold this sutra, without a single exception all one hundred or one thousand of them will become Buddhas.

(The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin Vol 1, p1,099)

This letter was written at Minobu in the 11th month of the 4th year of Koan (1281) to the lay nun Ueno, the mother of Nanjo Tokimitsu. The Daishonin was 59 years old then when he sent this letter acknowledging the offerings she had made to commemorate the anniversary of the death of her father, the lay priest Matsuno Rokuro Saemon.

In this letter, the Daishonin first taught that, just as the lotus bears flowers and fruit simultaneously, all who believe in the Lotus Sutra are certain to attain Buddhahood.

Then citing the story of the renowned father and son calligraphers in ancient China, Wu-lung and I-lung, the Daishonin assured the lay nun that, when a son and daughter embraces faith in the Lotus Sutra, his or her parents will be able to attain Buddhahood.


Strong faith in the Mystic Law is the key to opening the path to indestructible happiness.

By embracing profound faith in the Gohonzon of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, the essence of the Lotus Sutra, the direct path towards happiness will never fail to unfold before us.

The phrase that begins with the words, “when one’s hand takes it up, that hand immediately attains Buddhahood…” in this passage refers to the fact that when one embraces faith in the Gohonzon, voluntarily chants daimoku seriously on one’s accord and teach others about Buddhism, one has awakened and manifested the life state of Buddhahood from within one’s life.

This is what the Daishonin was teaching us here.

A “Buddha” is not an imaginary being who lives in a faraway land and comes to this world to save the people who are suffering. A Buddha is actually a “human being” who confronts and challenges the harsh adversities in life with sheer perseverance while striving earnestly for the happiness of oneself and others.

Our single-minded determination in faith and action will never fail to be transformed into the workings of a Buddha and be manifested in our lives and daily life.

To illustrate this point, the Daishonin used the example of “the moon and its reflection” and “the sound and its echo”, both of which occurs at the same time. In other words, just as the moon is reflected in the water the moment it appears from behind the eastern mountains, or as a sound and its echo arise simultaneously, one who possesses strong faith in the Mystic Law will simultaneously and surely attain Buddhahood.

Just as the Daishonin taught in another Gosho that a lantern can light up a place that has been in the dark for a hundred, a thousand, or ten thousand years (WND-1, p923), the transformation of one’s heart takes place in an instant.

No matter how long or deep the darkness may have existed within our lives, the moment we offer prayers based on daimoku, the Buddha nature in our life is activated and the darkness in our lives vanishes.

It is at that instant that the light of hope is ignited in our lives.

On top of this, the “Expedient Means” (2nd) chapter of the Lotus Sutra expounds that “if there are those who hear the Law, then not one will fail to attain Buddhahood”.

In the next sentence, we find the phrase, “people who uphold this sutra”. The term “uphold” in this phrase means to chant daimoku through and through no matter what happens in life and to never give up in doing so.

The struggle to overcome one’s weaknesses and construct a life state of absolute happiness is itself the key to achieving one’s own human revolution.

SGI President Ikeda said, “When experiencing failures and disappointments, frustrations, or illness, people tend to lose confidence and let fear overtakes them. It is at such times, however, that we need to make a conscious effort to move forward with strength and courage. When you say to yourself, ‘Next time I’ll succeed!’ or ‘I’m going to get better and make it through this!’ you have already won.”

No matter what adversities we may encounter in life, let us always offer prayers based on firm faith and manifest the beneficial power of the Mystic Law in our very lives, thereby establishing a life of complete victory.

Translated and adapted from the January 2010 issue of The Daibyakurenge, the Soka Gakkai’s monthly study journal.