“Letter to the Brothers, Part 3 The Disciple’s Victory Is the Mentor’s Greatest Wish and Joy ”
A Victorious Life Guided by the Principle of the Heart Being Most Important
A passage in the Six Paramitas Sutra says to become the master of your mind rather than let your mind master you.
Whatever trouble occurs, regard it as no more than a dream, and think only of the Lotus Sutra.
A s Nichiren Daishonin declares, “It is the heart that is important” (“The Strategy of the Lotus Sutra,” WND-1, 1000). The human heart or mind can give supreme dignity and nobility to life. At the same time, it can fall into the depths of depravity if it succumbs to the impulses of fundamental darkness or ignorance. Transforming the human heart is the foundation for all lasting change.
If we base ourselves on our own fickle, ever- changing hearts, we cannot make our way up steep ridges buffeted by the fierce winds of devilish functions. We must set our sights on the solid and unshakable summit of attaining Buddhahood and continually seek to master our minds. This is the meaning of the passage “Become the master of your mind rather than let your mind master you” (WND-1, 502).
Becoming the master of one’s mind
ultimately means basing oneself on the unwavering foundation of the Law. Herein lies the importance of sutras or writings containing the teachings of the Buddha who has awakened to and spreads the Law. For us, as practitioners of Nichiren Buddhism, mastering our minds means basing ourselves on the Gohonzon and Nichiren’s writings. And in Buddhism, it is the teacher or mentor who puts the teachings into practice that helps us connect to the Law.Mastering our minds means having a sincere seeking spirit in faith based on the shared commitment of mentor and disciple, and not being ruled by arrogant egoism or self-centeredness.
Nichiren highlights the importance of living with inner mastery—mastery based on the Law—in the following passage: “Whatever trouble occurs, regard it as no more than a dream, and think only of the Lotus Sutra” (WND- 1, 502). When viewed in terms of the infinite scale of eternity, any event or phenomenon is as fleeting as a passing dream. The Law, in contrast, is eternal. Allowing oneself to be defeated by devilish functions and straying from the Law will be a cause for everlasting regret. In this passage, Nichiren urges his followers to “think only of the Lotus Sutra,” to focus only on kosen- rufu and to remain steadfast in their faith for the sake of eternal victory.
In the present age, we of the Soka Gakkai have been dedicating ourselves to mastering our minds through single-minded commitment to the Lotus Sutra (Nam-myoho-renge-kyo). As a result, we are showing magnificent actual proof of victory. There are now countless heroic members—ordinary people exerting themselves valiantly in their Buddhist practice—in Japan and around the world. They are truly treasures of kosen-rufu and treasures of humanity. Basing themselves on the Law and embodying the spirit of the oneness of mentor and disciple, they have
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