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As chapter 16 of the Lotus Sutra, “The Life Span of the Eternal Tathagata,” teaches us, when our own hearts become pure, this world, just as it is, becomes the world always filled with heavenly beings and humans.” But since the world isn’t easily visible to us in this way, we instead only see society’s various blemishes.

However, before focusing on the imperfections of the world around us, isn’t it more important to work hard at preventing the defilement of our minds?

Nichiren taught that “because you invoke the Wondrous Dharma, your buddha-nature is called forth and will surely reveal itself.” The Lotus Sutra is imbued with the wishes of the Buddha, all of the bodhisattvas, and people too numerous to count. When our minds become increasingly pure through the daily practice of reciting the Kyoten Sutra Readings in the mornings and evenings, we realize that a person we thought of as a pain in the neck has an unblemished mind deep within them. Our hearts begin to ache at the poignancy of this person’s failure to recognize this.

A member from the Kuwana Dharma Center in Mie Prefecture gave a talk similar to this about her spiritual journey. When a group pilgrimage to perform voluntary service at the Great Sacred Hall in the organization’s Tokyo headquarters made her feel like she had been cleansed down to the bottom of her heart, she saw the statue of the Original Buddha smiling at her. She says she realized for the first time that “I couldn’t see the true image of the Buddha because until now my eyes were clouded. I couldn’t see everyone’s beautiful appearance.”

Nikkyo Niwano

(Kaisozuikan 9, P. 156-157)

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