The character ryō, “to measure” or “to estimate,” pertains to the essential teaching, because ryō has the meaning of “to weigh” and “to include.” The heart of the essential teaching is the exposition of the eternally endowed three bodies of the Buddha. This concept of the eternally endowed three bodies does not refer to the Buddha alone. It explains that all the ten thousand things of the universe are themselves revealed to have Buddha bodies of limitless joy. Therefore, while the theoretical teaching makes clear the theoretical perfection of the unchanging truth, the essential teaching takes over this explanation without change and deals with the eternally endowed three bodies present in each individual thing itself, setting forth the actual perfection of three thousand realms in a single moment of life as it is revealed in the essential teaching. When one comes to realize and see that each thing—the cherry, the plum, the peach, the damson—in its own entity, without undergoing any change, possesses the eternally endowed three bodies, then this is what is meant by the word ryō, “to include” or all-inclusive.Recordings of Orally Transmitted Teachings p.200
Nichiren in his orally transmitted teachings while explaining The Immeasurable Meanings Sutra (or Muryōgi-kyō) highlights six vital points, one of which is the significance of the character ryō. The character ryō symbolizes great respects the dignity of all life. He says that realizing that we possess the eternally endowed three bodies is what is meant by the word ryō (“to measure and include all things”) in the three characters mu-ryo-gi (“immeasurable meanings”) in the title of Immeasurable Meanings Sutra. Through the workings of the eternally endowed three bodies of the Buddha in our lives, the individual differences we possess as human beings are turned into our unique positive characteristics.
Nichiren Daishonin explains human uniqueness in the principle of “cherry, plum, peach and damson.” Flowering fruit trees endure the harsh cold of winter and, as spring approaches, each blossoms in their own time, with their own unique and beautiful flowers. This is a metaphor for the diversity of human beings, expressing the unique mission and personal qualities of each individual. The universe does nothing in vain; everything has meaning. Even plants we spurn as “weeds” serve a function. Each living thing has its own unique identity, role and purpose—the cherry as a cherry, the plum as a plum, the peach as a peach, the damson as a damson. There are some who, when things don’t go the way they’d planned, blame and criticize themselves as being hopeless. But everyone has different strengths and weaknesses. President Ikeda assures us that we each have a unique mission to fulfill. These confident words spring from his continued efforts to chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo for others’ happiness and support them in bringing their life’s mission into flower.
Source: Living Buddhism, Jan 2018