Winter Always Turns to Spring - Advancing Fearlessly towards the Spring of Victory

Those who believe in the Lotus Sutra are a if in winter, but winter always turn to spring. Never, from ancient times on, has anyone heard or seen of winter turning back to autumn. Nor have we ever heard of a believer in the Lotus Sutra who turned into an ordinary person. The sutra reads, “If there are those who hear the Law, then not one will fail to attain Buddhahood.”

(The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin Vol 1, p997)

This letter, written in the fifth month of 1275 when Nichiren Daishonin was 54, was addressed to lay nun Myoichi, who lived in Kamakura.

Lay nun Myoichi and her husband were strong believers who maintained pure faith throughout the most difficult times of the Daishonin’s life from the Tatsunokuchi Persecution to the Sado exile.

But because of their faith in the Lotus Sutra, their estate was confiscated and on top of this, Myoichi’s husband passed away before the Daishonin was pardoned from his sentence of exile on Sado. Besides losing her husband, Myoichi was struggling to raise her children alone. Despite her many difficulties, Myoichi sent her attendant to where the Daishonin was in Sado to serve and protect him.

Nichiren Daishonin wrote this letter to encourage her, explaining that believers of the Lotus Sutra are as if in the midst of winter, but that winter unfailingly turns to spring. The Daishonin assured her that there is no doubt about her husband’s attainment of enlightenment since he displayed strong faith by continuing to follow the Daishonin even when his estate was confiscated because of his faith.


Nichiren Daishonin’s Buddhism is a teaching of hope that expounds the possibility of changing any kind of karma. The purpose of our practice of faith is to accumulate good fortune each time we overcome hardships in life to attain a life state of absolute happiness that remain indestructible for eternity.

Even though we may be in the midst of a harsh winter in life, there is no doubt that we will usher in the spring of life underscored by victory. The winter of life is filled with harsh adversities is in fact, a turning point that serves as an opportunity for us to establish a life state of Buddhahood, that is, absolute happiness.

This was precisely what Nichiren Daishonin perceived in the life of Myoichi. The Daishonin perceived that this was the crucial moment for Myoichi. She must have been experiencing extreme hardship having lost her husband and left alone to raise her children, one of whom was sickly.

However, from the perspective of the eternity of life, there is absolutely no doubt that both Myoichi and her husband who strove together with the Daishonin through the most difficult times, had already entered the orbit of attaining Buddhahood, that is, realising a life state of absolute happiness that remains indestructible for eternity.

The Daishonin experienced successive persecutions, some of which were life-threatening, for the sake of propagating the teaching of the Mystic Law that leads all people in the Latter Day to happiness. However, no matter how great the persecution, the Daishonin’s heart remained undefeated. Even in the midst of adversities, the Daishonin wrote, “Not once have I thought of retreat” (WND-2, p465); “I feel immeasurable delight” (WND-1, p386).

The Daishonin established a magnificent life state that remained unaffected by the trials and tribulations in life. Not only did he remain undefeated, the Daishonin waged a tremendous struggle and turned the tables around by actually returning to mainland Japan alive from his exile on Sado, scoring an unprecedented victory.

On top of this, the righteousness of the Daishonin’s teachings was proven when his prediction of foreign invasion was realised with the Mongols’ invasion of Japan.

Based on these actual proofs of victories that the Daishonin demonstrated with his life, the Daishonin called forth to Myoichi with absolute conviction: “Those who believe in the Lotus Sutra are as if in winter, but winter always turns to spring.” The Daishonin powerfully convinced Myoichi that it is simply not possible that one who believes in the Lotus Sutra would continue suffering forever.

Through these words, the Daishonin urged Myoichi that she must never harbour any doubts in her practice of faith and that she must continue forging ahead, no matter how difficult it is.

SGI President said in his novel, The New Human Revolution, “When the spring of victory comes after a winter of harsh trials, everything is transformed into happiness and joy. Without having cried, you cannot genuinely laugh; without having suffered, you cannot savour real joy. I’m sure there are times when, in the midst of some difficulties, you think, ‘Why me?’ But that in fact is your change to fulfil the mission you have chosen. The deeper your suffering, the greater your mission.”

Let’s us be convinced of the spring of victory in our lives and continue in our courageous endeavour to construct a youthful SGI.

(Translated and adapted from the February 2012 issue of The Daibyakurenge, the Soka Gakkai's monthly study journal.)