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 Shijo Kingo
(Shijo kingo dono-gohenji)
Oct. 23, 1279 (Age 58)
Even if Nichiren sincerely prays for you, if you do not have faith, it will be like trying to light a fire with wet tinder. Earnestly strive to muster your power of faith. Consider your life until now as having been phenomenal. Make certain to employ the strategy of the Lotus Sutra before any other tactics. The golden words, “You have been able to destroy all…who bore you enmity or malice,” should never be empty or false. The great essence of tactics and swordsmanship lies in Myoho-Renge-Kyo. Profoundly embrace this faith and practice. The prayers of a coward certainly will never come true.
(Gosho p. 1407 / Nichiren Shoshu Monthly October 2021)
Print or download October Gosho.
Reply to Myoshin ama
(Myoshin ama gozen-gohenji)
Aug. 16, 1275 (Age 54)
[Your illness must be the work of the Buddha, just as described in the Vimalakirti Sutra (Jomyo-kyo) and the Nirvana Sutra.] These sutras describe the reason why those who are ill should be able to attain Buddhahood. Illness can motivate one to pursue the path to supreme enlightenment. Furthermore, among all ailments, the five cardinal sins, the disbelief of the icchantika, and the slander of the Law are the serious illnesses that truly pained the Buddha. Without a single exception, the people of Japan today are affected by the most critical disease of all—the serious affliction of grave slander.
(Gosho p. 900 / Nichiren Shoshu Monthly September 2021)
Print or download September Gosho.
The Opening of the Eyes
Feb. 1272 (Age 51)
I hereby make a great pledge. Even if I am told that I will assume the position of the sovereign of Japan if I cast aside the Lotus Sutra and follow the Sutra of Meditation on the Buddha of Infinite Life (Kammuryoju-kyo) and look forward to an afterlife; even if I am told that my father and mother will be beheaded if I do not utter the Nembutsu; and regardless of the various such great obstacles I may encounter, I will never succumb to them so long as the wise men do not overturn my teachings. All other great obstacles are like dust before the wind. I shall be the pillar of Japan. I shall be the eyes of Japan, and I shall be the great vessel of Japan. This is what I pledge, and I shall never abandon it.
(Gosho p. 572 / Nichiren Shoshu Monthly August 2021)
Print or download August Gosho
Letter to Oto gozen
Aug 4, 1275 (Age 54)
The Great Teacher Miaole stated: “The more resolute one’s faith, the stronger the deities’ protection.” When people uphold solid faith, they definitely will receive the powerful protection of the deities. I am saying this for your sake. I cannot praise you enough for the faith that you have maintained. Now you must strengthen it ever more. Be convinced that the Ten Demon Goddess Daughters will then provide you increasingly powerful protection. You will not need to look for any other examples.
(Gosho p. 897 / Nichiren Shoshu Monthly July 2021)
Print or download July Gosho
On Remonstrating with Hachiman
Dec, 1280 (Age 59)
India was called the land of the moon. It is a name, indicating the advent of Shakyamuni Buddha. Fuso is the name for ancient Japan, the land of the rising sun. Indeed, how could a sage not appear in this land? The moon travels from west to east, which is a sign of the Buddhism that originated in India spreading to the East. The sun rises in the east, which is an auspicious sign of the Buddhism that emerged in Japan gradually returning to India. Moonlight, when compared to the sun, is not as brilliant. Shakyamuni Buddha expounded the true teaching for only eight years. Sunlight is brighter than the light of the moon, and this signifies that the Buddhist teaching [of Nichiren Daishonin] in Japan shall illuminate the infinite darkness of the fifth Five-hundred-year Period.
(Gosho p. 1543 / Nichiren Shoshu Monthly June 2021)
An Offering of Steamed Cakes
Jan. 5, 1281 (Age 60)
I have received your offerings of 100 steamed cakes and a basket of fruit. New Year’s Day is the first day, the first month of the new year, and the beginning of the year and of spring. Therefore, those who cherish this day will amass virtues and will be loved by others, just as the moon becomes gradually full while traveling from west to east and the sun shines increasingly brighter as it moves from east to west.
(Gosho p. 1551 / Nichiren Shoshu Monthly May 2021)
Letter to Niike
Dec. 1280 (Age 59)
When people first begin to believe in this sutra, they appear to be sincere in their faith. However, midway through their practice, many weaken in their faith and no longer serve or respect the priest or present offerings. They arrogantly form their own distorted views. We must fear this. It is most frightening. From beginning to end, be persistent in cultivating faith throughout your life. If not, you will have regrets. For instance, it takes twelve days to travel from Kamakura to Kyoto. If you journey for approximately eleven days and stop a day away from your destination, how can you possibly admire the moon over the capital?
(Gosho p. 1457 / Nichiren Shoshu Monthly Apr. 2021)
The Bodies and Minds of Ordinary Beings
1278 (Age 57)
One who presented a simple meal of millet to the Pratyekabuddha became the Universal Brightness Buddha. One who offered a mud pie to the Buddha became the sovereign of Jambudvipa. Even if a person performs good deeds, if these deeds are offered to that which is not true, they may bring forth great evil, but they will never produce any good effect. However, even if a person is unintelligent in mind and presents only paltry offerings, if he extends them to an individual who embraces the truth, he will receive tremendous merits. How much more so would be the merit of those who make sincere offerings to the true Law?!
(Gosho p. 1217 / Nichiren Shoshu Monthly Mar. 2021)
Rissho ankoku-ron (On Securing the Peace of the Land Through the Propagation of True Buddhism)
July 16, 1260 (Age 39)