Point One, concerning the passage “Ajita, if there are living beings who, on hearing that the life span of the Buddha is of such long duration, are able to believe and understand it even for a moment, the benefits they gain thereby will be without limit or measure.”
The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings says: This one word “believe” in the phrase “able to believe and understand it even for a moment” is the cause and the seed that make possible the acquisition of all types of wisdom. This one word “believe” or “faith” represents the stage of hearing the name and words of the truth. Hence this one word “faith” is a sharp sword that cuts away the final stage of ignorance.
This one word “believe” means to believe in the principle of ordinary people being able to manifest their original states as revealed in the “Life Span” chapter. And the word “understand” means to understand the actual fact of the Buddha manifesting his original state [as revealed in the “Life Span” chapter].
One can believe and understand in a moment the actual fact and principle of manifesting the original state [as revealed in the “Life Span” chapter]. “A moment” means a moment of faith eternally inherent in life. A person who has this kind of faith and understanding will gain benefits that are “without limit or measure.”
Where there is belief or faith, there is understanding, and where there is understanding, there will be faith. However, it is faith that makes it absolutely certain that one will attain Buddhahood.
Now Nichiren and his followers, who chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, are certain of such attainment.
145Point Two, concerning the passage “These bodhisattvas / who have practiced the way for immeasurable kalpas / when they hear me describe my life span / are able to believe and accept what I say. / These persons will / gratefully accept this sutra.”
The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings says: This is a clear statement of how one should gratefully accept the Lotus Sutra. The words “these persons” in their broader meaning refer to all living beings. Thus all the Buddhas of the three existences and of the ten directions gratefully accept Myoho-renge-kyo and thereby attain Buddhahood. Therefore the title of the preceding chapter, “Life Span,” was given as Myoho-renge-kyo, with the words Thus Come One added as a further title. This is to be kept secret.
Now when Nichiren and his followers chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, they do so for this reason.
Point Three, concerning the passage “When a son of the Buddha dwells in such places / the Buddha will accept and utilize them.”
The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings says: This passage is a clear statement concerning the Buddha body that is freely accepted [or received] and utilized, or the Buddha body of limitless joy. The words “in such places” refer to the ground upon which the Buddha eternally endowed with the three bodies stands.
The son or sons of the Buddha are the votaries of the Lotus Sutra. The Buddha’s sons are bodhisattvas, and the votaries of the Lotus Sutra are bodhisattvas. The word “dwells” means to believe and understand.
Now Nichiren and his followers, who chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, dwell on the ground of the Wonderful Law. They are the Buddha bodies that are accepted and utilized. You should ponder deeply on this.