Part 2: Human Revolution
Chapter 15: “Faith for Overcoming Obstacles” [15.4]
15.4 There Is No Hardship We Cannot Surmount
With strong faith, President Ikeda says, we can overcome any hardship, transforming it into an opportunity to open up the life state of Buddhahood within us.
Explaining the principle that strong faith leads to strong protection by the positive forces of the universe, Nichiren Daishonin writes:
“I say this for your sake. I know your faith has always been admirable, but now you must strengthen it more than ever. Only then will the ten demon daughters1 [protective deities in Buddhism] lend you even greater protection.” (WND-1, 614)
However hard we may have exerted ourselves in the past, the important thing is how we challenge ourselves from now on. We need to rouse even stronger faith than we have before. The heavenly deities, or benevolent functions of the universe, will protect us if we do. The appearance of the “three powerful enemies”2 and the “three obstacles and four devils”3—of any kind of hardship—is simply a test of our faith, all necessary for us to bring forth the life state of Buddhahood.
That’s why strengthening our faith even further is the way to overcome hardships and to triumph. As long as we have strong faith, there is no hardship we cannot overcome. As the Daishonin states: “Since [we] believe solely in the Lotus Sutra . . . [we] can enter the treasure tower of the Gohonzon” (cf. WND-1, 832). Embracing the Gohonzon of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo and striving to realize kosen-rufu enables us to enter the realm of Buddhahood that is the palace of happiness within our lives, wherever we are and whatever our circumstances. We have no reason to worry and nothing to fear.
The Daishonin writes: “No matter how many terrible enemies you may encounter, banish all fears and never think of backsliding” (WND-1, 395).
Please engrave deep in your hearts the Daishonin’s words that we should have no fear and never discard our faith.
From a speech at a representative leaders training session, Nagano, August 16, 2005.
The Wisdom for Creating Happiness and Peace brings together selections from President Ikeda’s works on key themes.
- *1Ten demon daughters: The ten female protective deities who appear in the “Dharani” (26th) chapter of the Lotus Sutra as the “daughters of rakshasa demons” or the “ten rakshasa daughters.” They vow to the Buddha to guard and protect the sutra’s practitioners.
- *2Three powerful enemies: Three types of arrogant people who persecute those who propagate the Lotus Sutra in the evil age after Shakyamuni Buddha’s death, described in the concluding verse section of the “Encouraging Devotion” (13th) chapter of the Lotus Sutra. The Great Teacher Miao-lo of China summarizes them as arrogant lay people, arrogant priests, and arrogant false sages.
- *3Three obstacles and four devils: Various obstacles and hindrances to the practice of Buddhism. The three obstacles are (1) the obstacle of earthly desires, (2) the obstacle of karma, and (3) the obstacle of retribution. The four devils are (1) the hindrance of the five components, (2) the hindrance of earthly desires, (3) the hindrance of death, and (4) the hindrance of the devil king.