“Even if the sun and moon were to fall to the ground or Mount Sumeru were to collapse, a woman who takes faith in and practices true Buddhism in the Latter Day of the Law, would be able to attain enlightenment without fail.”
In Japan, on July 14, 1280, Nichiren Daishonin wrote the above passage in the Gosho “Reply to the Lay Nun Myoho.” In this writing, he clearly states that men and women alike can attain enlightenment in their present form.
Women’s potential to attain enlightenment was denied in pre-Lotus Sutra teachings but was revealed for the first time in the Lotus Sutra. Only the Lotus Sutra teaches the principle of women attaining enlightenment. The Devadatta (12th) chapter of the Lotus Sutra discusses the Dragon King’s daughter, who instantly transformed into a man and attained enlightenment. However, Shakyamuni merely used this event as an expedient to teach his audience, including Shariputra and Prajnakura, so they could eliminate their attachment to the idea that women were incapable of achieving enlightenment.
Myosenji Temple members are reading another passage from this Gosho during the month of March:
Those who uphold the Lotus Sutra can transform their negative karma accumulated since the remotest past into the great merit of positive karma, and all the virtue from the infinite past will surely turn to gold.
To learn more about changing your karma, women’s enlightenment and Buddhism, visit Myosenji Temple this Sunday, March 15th at 2:00 pm for our next Introduction meeting. The topic will be What is Karma?
Please call or email the Temple if you have questions.
Excerpted from: Basic Terminology of Nichiren Shoshu, pages 179-180.