Sermon by Chief Priest Reverend Taishin Takano
About the difficulty of sustaining faith in this
sutra:According to Nissho, you said
to him, "I have been practicing this sutra correctly since last year, when
you told me that those who embrace this sutra will enjoy peace and security in
this life and good circumstances in the next.But instead I have been deluged by hardships."Is this true, or did he give me a false
report?In either case, I will take
advantage of this opportunity to resolve any doubts you may have.
A passage from the Lotus Sutra reads, "...difficult
to believe and difficult to understand."Many hear about and accept this sutra, but
few continue their faith in the face of great obstacles.To accept is easy; to continue is difficult.But Buddhahood lies in continuing faith.Those who embrace this sutra should be
prepared to meet difficulties.It is
certain, however, that they will "quickly obtain the supreme
enlightenment."To "sustain faith" means to cherish
Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, the teaching by which all Buddhas throughout past, present
and future attain enlightenment.The
sutra reads, "We will uphold what the Buddha has entrusted to us."The Great Teacher T'ien-t'ai stated,
"One accepts out of the power of faith and continues because of the power
of prayer."Another part of the sutra reads, "It is
difficult to sustain faith in this sutra.One who embraces it even for a short time will delight me
and all other Buddhas."
fire burns higher when logs are added, and a strong wind makes the gura
swell.The boughs of the long-lived pine
tree become bent and twisted as it grows older.The votary of the Lotus Sutra is like the fire and the gura
, while his persecutions are like
the logs and wind.The votary of the Lotus
Sutra is the Buddha of eternal life; no wonder his practice is hindered, just
as the pine tree's branches are bent or broken.From now on, you should always remember the words, "It is difficult
to sustain faith in this sutra."
my deep respect,
sixth day of the third month in the twelfth year of Bun'ei (1275)
 Nissho (1221-1323):One of the
six close disciples of Nichiren Daishonin known collectively as the six elder
 Lotus Sutra, chap. 10.
 Ibid., chap. 11.
 Ibid., chap. 13.
 Hokke Mongu, vol. 8.
 Lotus Sutra, chap. 11.
 Gura:(Skt., kalakula) Imaginary insects which
swell rapidly in strong winds.