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If you continue living as you are now, there can be no doubt that you will be practicing the Lotus Sutra twenty-four hours1 a day. Regard your service to your lord as the practice of the Lotus Sutra. This is what is meant by “No worldly affairs of life or work are ever contrary to the true reality.”2


 

This letter is thought to have been written at Minobu in 1278. The year and recipient of the letter are not certain. Judging from its content, it is probable that it was addressed to Shijō Kingo, one of the Daishonin’s staunch followers in Kamakura. Shijō Kingo, who was then in a precarious situation, must have wished to abandon the secular world to escape from his trouble with his lord and fellow warriors. However, the Daishonin teaches him to regard his service to his lord as the practice of the Lotus Sutra. As a ranking samurai, Shijō Kingo’s service to his lord was his vocation and occupation. In modern terms, therefore, “service to one’s lord” would equate to one’s job.

In this passage, Nichiren Daishonin cites the words of the Great Teacher T’ien-t’ai explaining the meaning of a Lotus Sutra passage that elucidates the benefits enjoyed by those who embrace that sutra: “No worldly affairs of life or work are ever contrary to the true reality” (WND-1, 905). In other writings, Nichiren states: “All phenomena are manifestations of the Buddhist Law” (The Unanimous Declaration by the Buddhas,”WND-2, 841); and “A person of wisdom is not one who practices Buddhism apart from worldly affairs but, rather, one who thoroughly understands the principles by which the world is governed” (The Kalpa of Decrease,” WND-1, 1121). He is saying that the ideals of Buddhism are the same as the proper aims of government and commerce

The welfare of human beings should be the purpose of both government and business. Human happiness must be the highest and ultimate aim of all social activities.In other writings, Nichiren states: “All phenomena are manifestations of the Buddhist Law” (The Unanimous Declaration by the Buddhas,”WND-2, 841); and “A person of wisdom is not one who practices Buddhism apart from worldly affairs but, rather, one who thoroughly understands the principles by which the world is governed” (The Kalpa of Decrease,” WND-1, 1121). He is saying that the ideals of Buddhism are the same as the proper aims of government and commerce.

The Mystic Law unlocks and draws forth the inner fortitude and strength each person needs to build that happiness. Everyone possesses within them the infinite power of the Buddha. The Mystic Law enables us to manifest that power.

Faith in the Mystic Law is the fundamental source of courage, wisdom and perseverance needed for facing life’s obstacles.

That is why our actions based on faith, all of which are illuminated by the Mystic Law, enable us to create value leading to hope and happiness.

Whatever your job or your workplace, I hope you will strive for the welfare of others and the betterment of society in your own unique way, and earn the praise of those around you for being positive, trustworthy and dependable. This is the epitome of putting faith into practice in daily life and Buddhism into action in society.

 

Source: Living Buddhism, Septemer, 2016

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