Gosho: The individual and collective writings of Nichiren Daishonin, True Buddha and founder of Nichiren Shoshu. Goshos are generally divided into letters of personal encouragement, treatises on Buddhism and recorded oral teachings. Go is an honorific prefix and sho means writing(s).
“Reply to Sairen-bō”
January 28, 1273 (Age 52)
The votaries of the Lotus Sutra must neither discard their faith nor dishonestly live their lives. If they devote their lives completely to the Lotus Sutra and practice precisely as stated in the golden words of the Buddha, they will, without fail, enjoy a long and healthy life, unaffected by misfortunes and illnesses. They will achieve the ultimate supreme effect not only in their future lifetimes but also in their current lives. Moreover, they will be able to attain the great aspiration of kosen-rufu.
(Gosho p. 642 / Selected Gosho Passages p.175)
Print or download May’s Gosho.
“Reply to Shijō Kingo”
“Shijō Kingo dono-gohenji”
1272 (Age 51)
The Lotus Sutra states:
“If, after my passing, there are good men and good women, and one among them secretly preaches the entire Lotus Sutra or a phrase of it to even one other person, then you should know that this individual, indeed, is an envoy of the Tathagata. As the Tathagata’s envoy, he carries out compassionate action in his stead.”
A person who recites even a character or a phrase of the Lotus Sutra and also preaches it to others is an envoy of Lord Shakyamuni.
(Gosho p. 620 / Selected Gosho Passages p.186)
Print or download April’s Gosho.
“Reply to Hyo’e-sakan”
“Hyo’e sakan dono-gohenji”
November 20, 1277 (Age 56)
Even if one has upheld faith in the Lotus Sutra for immeasurable kalpas, one cannot attain enlightenment [if one abandons his faith in the face of the three obstacles and four devils]. Changes certainly occur when the high tide yields to low tide, when the moon rises and sets, when summer gives way to autumn, or winter turns to spring. The same is true when a common mortal attains Buddhahood. At a critical moment, he definitely will encounter the three obstacles and four devils. The wise will rejoice, while the foolish will retreat.
(Gosho p. 1184 / Selected Gosho Passages p.236)
Print or download March’s Gosho.
“On the Buddha’s Behavior”
1276 (Age 55)
The five characters of Myoho-Renge-Kyo are the core of the Lotus Sutra and the origin of all Buddhas throughout the entire world. Upon seeing the signs that these five characters now must be propagated, I, Nichiren, have set the precedent, today, at the beginning of the Latter Day of the Law.
My disciples, you must follow one after another and become greater than Mahakashyapa or Ananda and, moreover, surpass even the Great Teacher Tiantai or Dengyo.
(Gosho p. 1057 / Selected Gosho Passages p.174)
Print or download February’s Gosho.
“On the Heritage of the Ultimate Law of Life and Death
“Shoji ichidaiji kechimyaku-shō”
February 11, 1272 (Age 51)
All disciples and believers of Nichiren should chant Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo with the spirit of many in body, one in mind, overcoming all differences among themselves, just like fish being inseparable from the water in which they swim. This is called the heritage of the ultimate Law of life and death. This is also what Nichiren is trying to propagate now in the Latter Day of the Law. When you are so united, even the great aspiration for kōsen-rufu can be fulfilled without fail. (Gosho p.514 / Selected Gosho Passages p.205)
Print or download January’s Gosho.