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You must be firmly resolved. Do not begrudge your fief; do not think of your wife and children. And do not depend on others. You must simply make up your mind. Look at the world this year as a mirror. The reason that you have survived until now when so many have died was so that you would meet with this affair. This is where you will cross the Uji River. This is where you will ford the Seta.6 This will determine whether you win honor or disgrace your name. This is what is meant when it is said that it is difficult to be born as a human being, and that it is difficult to believe in the Lotus Sutra. You should pray intently that Shakyamuni, Many Treasures, and the Buddhas of the ten directions will all gather and take possession of your body to assist you. If you happen to be summoned before the steward, you should first explain all this thoroughly.


This letter was written at Minobu to the believer Yasaburō who had evidently sought the Daishonin’s advice in preparation for an upcoming debate with a priest of the Pure Land school. The Daishonin tells Yasaburo “You must make up your mind”. Once we decie to take up a challenge, we must be determined to win. When faced with an opponent, it is easy to be defeated y our own weakness of spirit. The first step is to overcome the negativity workings within. But at the same time, courage is different from being reckless. True courage is to face reality head-on. That’s the way to see clearly what needs to be done.

Sensei says that our hearts blaze with courage, as we realise that all our efforts up to now had been for the sake of achieving a decisive victory in the present challenge. We are extremely fortunate to take part in a struggle to which we can devote ourselves wholeheartedly, holding nothing back. As individuals, we also face challenges in our daily lives. The effort to carry out our human revolution is by no means separate from our struggle for kosen rufu. As we strive to win in each of the struggles, these struggles help us to develop a life state of unshakable happiness for ourselves and help others to do the same, and to dedicate our lives to creating a peaceful world through the humanistic principles of Nichiren Buddhism.


Source: Living Buddhism, March 2017