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” When one comes to the end of one’s good fortune, no strategy whatsoever avails. When one’s karmic rewards are exhausted, even one’s retainers no longer follow one. You survived because you still have both good fortune and rewards. Moreover, in the “Entrustment” chapter,1 the heavenly gods and benevolent deities pledged to protect the votaries of the Lotus Sutra. Of all the guardian deities in heaven, it is the gods ofthe sun and moon who visibly protect us. How can we doubt their protection? The heavenly deity Marīchi in particular stands in service before the god of the sun. When the god of the sun protects the votariesof the Lotus Sutra, how could the honorable one of heaven Marīchi, who is his vassal, possibly abandon them? The “Introduction” chapter of thesutra reads, “[At that time Shakra with his followers, twenty thousand sons of gods, also attended.] There were also the sons of gods Rare Moon, Pervading Fragrance, Jeweled Glow, and the four heavenly kings, along with their followers, ten thousand sons of gods.” Marīchi must be among the thirty thousand sons of gods who were present at theceremony. Otherwise, this deity could only abide in hell.

You must have escaped death because of this deity’s protection.Marīchi gave you skill in swordsmanship, while I, Nichiren, have bestowed on you the five characters of the title of the Lotus Sutra. There can be no doubt that Marīchi protects those who embrace the LotusSutra. Marīchi also upholds the Lotus Sutra and helps all living beings. Even the words “Those who join the battle are all in the front lines”2 derive from the Lotus Sutra. This is what is meant by the passage “If they should expound some text of the secular world or speak on matters of government or occupations that sustain life, they will in all cases conform to the correct Law.”3 Therefore, you must summon up the great power of faith more than ever. Do not blame the heavenly gods if you exhaust your good fortune and lose their protection.”

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Luck is not a matter of coincidence, nor is it a random factor, but rather, it is the result of benefits accumulated by yourself for your own life. We, alone, are responsible for improving our luck or good fortune, and for increasing our rewards or karmic
benefits.

The protection of the universal functions works in accordance with the principle that “when the Buddha nature is activated from within, it manifests as protection from
without.” In other words, when we believe in the Lotus Sutra and chant Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo, we reveal our innate Buddha nature, which activates the Buddha nature in
all living things, which, in turn, affords us the protection of the surrounding world. This is what is meant by the protection of the universal functions or celestial deities. That´s why the Daishonin declares that those who believe in Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, the essence of the Lotus Sutra, will, without fail, be protected by these functions.

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