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Rivers come together to form an ocean. Particles of dust accumulate to become Mt. Sumeru. When I, Nichiren, began having faith in the Lotus Sutra, it was like a drop of water or a particle of dust in Japan. However, when the sutra is chanted and transmitted to two, three, ten, a million and a billion people, it will grow to be a Mt. Sumeru of perfect enlightenment or the great ocean of Nirvāṇa. There is no way other than this to reach Buddhahood.

Nichiren wrote this passage in his essay on Selecting the Right Time (Senji-shō). In our quest for enlightenment, we may become discouraged by the enormity of our task. When we sweep away one delusion, another appears. When we benefit one being, the needs of millions more become clear. Nichiren reminds us persevering though these difficulties and strengthening our faith in the Buddha’s wisdom are more important than any outcome we seek.

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