Six-Volume Writings, The ［六巻抄］ ( Rokkan-shō): A work by Nichikan, the twenty-sixth chief priest of Taiseki-ji temple and scholar of Nichiren’s teachings, completed in 1725. During the four hundred years after Nichiren’s death, various interpretations of his teachings were adopted by different Nichiren schools, and Nichikan held that the true meaning of Nichiren’s teachings had become obscured. He wrote this work to refute what he felt were serious misconceptions and to clarify the true meaning of Nichiren’s teachings. As the title indicates, it is a collection of six treatises:
(1) “The Threefold Secret Teaching,” which explains the teaching for the Latter Day of the Law by interpreting the meaning of the passage from The Opening of the Eyes, one of Nichiren’s major works, that reads, “The doctrine of three thousand realms in a single moment of life is found in only one place, hidden in the depths of the ‘Life Span’ chapter of the essential teaching of the Lotus Sutra” (224). Nichikan thus established the concept of the threefold secret teaching, or threefold comparison: first, the “doctrine of three thousand realms in a single moment of life,” which Nichiren himself identified as Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, is found in the Lotus Sutra and not in any of the other sutras; second, it is found in the “Life Span” (sixteenth) chapter of the essential teaching (latter half) of the Lotus Sutra and not in its theoretical teaching (first half); and third, it is found in the depths of the “Life Span” chapter. “Secret” in this context indicates that the Law of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo hidden in the depths of the “Life Span” chapter had been kept secret, or remained hidden, until it was revealed by Nichiren.
(2) “The Meanings Hidden in the Depths,” which clarifies that the teaching hidden in the depths of the “Life Span” chapter is Nam-myoho-renge-kyo of the Three Great Secret Laws. It discusses the Three Great Secret Laws in detail.
(3) “Interpreting the Text Based upon Its Essential Meaning,” which interprets important passages of the Lotus Sutra from the standpoint of the teaching of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo of the Three Great Secret Laws.
(4) “The Teaching for the Latter Day,” which sets forth the correct object of devotion to be established in the Latter Day of the Law. This treatise explains why the object of devotion inscribed by Nichiren, rather than an image of Shakyamuni Buddha, is the correct object of faith in the Latter Day of the Law. This treatise also indicates that the correct practice of reading and reciting the Lotus Sutra in the Latter Day of the Law is to read and recite its two key chapters, “Expedient Means” (second) and “Life Span,” and not the entire sutra.
(5) “The Practices of This School,” which explains that correct practice in the Latter Day of the Law consists of two kinds: primary and supporting. The primary practice is the chanting of the daimoku, or the invocation of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, and the supporting practice is the reading and recitation of the “Expedient Means” and “Life Span” chapters. This work explains why these two chapters are recited as a daily practice. It also defines the three treasures in the Latter Day of the Law and describes the great benefits of chanting the daimoku.
(6) “The Three Robes of This School,” which defines the “three robes” as the traditional gray robe, the white surplice, and the prayer beads of the priests of the Fuji school, and explains their significance.