The Daimoku of the Lotus Sutra - There's No Deadlock for One Who Chants the Daimoku of the Mystic Law with Absolute Conviction

The character myo means to open. If there is a storehouse full of treasures but no key, then it cannot be opened, and if it cannot be opened, then the treasures inside cannot be seen.

(The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin Vol 1, p145)

This letter is thought to have been written by Nichiren Daishonin in the first month of the year 1266 to a female disciple. Nothing is known about her.

From the content of the letter written to her, she appeared to be a new believer in Nichiren Daishonin’s Buddhism who was deeply attached to the teachings of Nembutsu.

This letter explained in plain terms the immeasurable rewards of the simple practice of chanting daimoku of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo.

This letter consists of two sections. In the first section, the Daishonin addressed the question of whether or not one can attain benefit from chanting the Daimoku (Nam-myoho-renge-kyo) without understanding the meaning of the Lotus Sutra, and stressed the necessity of faith in attaining Buddhahood.

In the second section, the Daishonin clarified the great blessings contained on the five characters of Myoho-renge-kyo, the title of the Lotus Sutra.

Finally, he stated that only the Lotus Sutra enables women to attain Buddhahood, and urged the recipient of this letter to chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo wholeheartedly and not be influenced by evil friends (negative influences that hinder one’s Buddhist practice).


The character, myo of Myoho-renge-kyo has three meanings: to open, to be fully endowed and to revive.

This passage is the portion where Nichiren Daishonin elaborated the phrase, “the character myo means to open”.

Here, the Daishonin used the analogy of the key to a storehouse. He said, “If there is a storehouse full of treasures buy no key, then it cannot be opened, and if it cannot be opened, then the treasures inside cannot be seen.”

Prior to the revelation of the teachings of the Lotus Sutra by Shakyamuni Buddha, the doors to the storehouse filled with the treasure of the Mystic Law, the ultimate truth to which the Buddha was enlightened, was closed and no one had access to the treasure inside.

Although the storehouse was somewhat visible to the people, the treasure inside it was inaccessible to anyone. Nichiren Daishonin taught here that by revealing the Lotus Sutra, which expounds the universal enlightenment of all living beings, Shakyamuni Buddha provided the key to open the storehouse.

By doing so, the treasure of the Mystic Law, which is the ultimate truth that Shakyamuni had wanted to preach all along, was made accessible to all.

In the context of our practice, “to open” means to open our eyes of faith to perceive and be absolutely convinced of the Mystic Law that is inherently endowed in our very own lives.

By chanting the daimoku of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, we can open and manifest this “treasure” that resides within our lives.

The phrase, “The character myo means to open”, means to activate the power of the Mystic Law that is as vast as the entire universe that lays dormant in our lives and thereby open the magnificent state of Buddhahood from within us.

And by manifesting this fundamental power endowed within one’s life, one is able to revive, no matter how harsh or adverse one’s circumstances may be in.

In the same Gosho, the Daishonin said, “Myo means to revive, that is, to return to life.” (WND-1, p149)

SGI President Ikeda explained in his guidance, “By chanting the eternal Mystic Law, we are able to attune our lives with the eternal rhythm of limitless joy. By dedicating our lives to spreading the Mystic Law, the fundamental Law of the universe, we are able to develop an immense state of being that is one with the universe. We of the SGI are striving wholeheartedly to realize the great desire of kosen-rufu. Nothing can defeat us. Nothing can hinder our progress. Nothing can hold us back or tie us down. Nothing can sully us.”

In this way, no matter how formidable the obstacle may appear to be, as long as one continues to chant the daimoku of the Mystic Law and dedicate one’s life to the cause of kosen-rufu, one will absolutely never become deadlocked.

Now is the time to chant daimoku infused with courage and profound conviction and show splendid actual proof of the great power of the Mystic Law.