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If those of high rank reproach you, view them as formidable enemies of the Lotus Sutra. Consider the opportunity as rare as seeing an uḍumbara that blooms only once in 1000 years, or a blind turtle by chance encountering a log floating in the ocean, and respond with confidence. Even a person who possesses a fief as large as 1000 or 10,000 chō may have his land confiscated or lose his life over a small matter. If you must lay down your life for the sake of the Lotus Sutra, have no regrets.

Nichiren wrote this passage in a Reply to Lord Ueno (Ueno-dono Gohenji). Lord Ueno enjoyed a privileged position in society and was concerned about losing his status and belongings as a result of his faith in the Lotus Sūtra. In this letter, Nichiren reminded Lord Ueno of his true purpose in life, that he had come as a Bodhisattva to benefit all beings by leading them to enlightenment with the Buddha Dharma.


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