(scripture 52) Even while I am alive, this sutra is hated with jealousy by many people. Needless to say, it will be more after my extinction.
If there is person who copies, keeps, reads, and recites this sutra,
makes offerings to it, and expounds it to others after my extinction, he
will be covered by my robe. He also will be protected by the present
Buddhas in other worlds. This person will have the strong power of
faith, the power of willingness and the power of making good deeds. You
should know that he is living with me, the Buddha. His head will be
surely caressed by my palm.
(significance) You should
understand, it is a matter of course that the opposite against the right
teachings happens where many people are under the control of illusion.
Because Lotus Sutra is the right teachings, the opposite happens. Even
when the Buddha Shakamuni existed in the world, there were nine big
persecutions to him. Needless to say, after the Buddha's death, people
who oppose to the Lotus Sutra also increase more and more because the
world worsens and people's minds are twisted. As the proverb says "Good
medicine tastes bitter, Good advice is seldom welcome", Nichiren shonin
explains in Kaimoku-sho(Open your Eyes) that enemies emerge there
because you expound the righteousness sternly, many people oppose to the
Hokke practitioner because he points out their errors.
However, the Buddha protects the Hokke practitioner. The Buddha
Shakamuni supports those who spread the Lotus Sutra, and protects them.
"He will be covered by my robe" means that, the Hokke practitioner
surely is protected kindly by the Buddha's affection as like the mother
who holds a baby in her arms, covering by her clothes. Because the Hokke
practitioner is guided by this teaching, he can have the strong power
of faith, the power of willingness and the power of making various good
deeds. Although the power of faith is caused for the eternal truth of
universe, the original Buddha and the Buddha-nature of you, anyways, the
strong faith is established there that the teachings of the Buddha are
the supreme doctrine, which is never broken by anyone. In this way, you
will have the strong spirit to make efforts for people and the world,
with the power of willingness which saves all human beings and
establishes the peace country by the true Dharma, and you will also have
the executive ability to do all sorts of good deeds. It is not a
selfish desire such as the prosperity of family, or the narrow spirit
getting the freedom from suffering in the world for your own self which
was criticized by Mahayana.
In this way, the Hokke practitioner
has to make efforts, having the strong power of faith, the power of
willingness and the power of making good deeds. If you have only the
faith without the willingness or the practice of good deeds, it disobeys
to the meaning of the Sutra. The Hokke practitioner who makes efforts
is living with the Buddha. Even if he is exiled or is sat for beheading,
he is always with Buddha. The Buddha caresses the head of practitioner
with a palm. It has been clearly expressed in the faith and activity of
Nichiren shonin. Therefore, we have to learn steadily this meaning of
the Sutra as disciples of Nichiren's sects, and follow his example. You
should not abide by the principle of “peace-at-any-price”as like many
ordinary priests in Nichiren's sect. If you always behave as a good man
uttering flowery words, and also lose the dignity of religion by
admiring the praying for magic or the fortune telling, Buddhism will
become worthless for people more and more. If you consider that Buddhism
is supreme religion, and that Nichiren shonin has demonstrated the
righteousness and orthodox doctrine of Buddhism, you have to accomplish
your duty as a disciple, having more great aspiration.