Point One, concerning the word dhāranī [supernatural spells]
The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings says: Dhāranī here means Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. This is because dhāranī represents the secret words of the Buddhas. The five characters of the daimoku are the secret words of the secrets of the Buddhas of the three existences.
Now when Nichiren and his followers chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, they are widely propagating the dhāranī, for dhāranī is that which thwarts or rejects evil and upholds good.
Point Two, concerning the words anye and manye in the dhāranī spells of Bodhisattva Medicine King
The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings says: Anye means shi, “stopping” or “cessation.” Manye means kan, “seeing” or “meditation.” From these two words derive the two elements of concentration and insight (shikan). Accordingly, these spells are the spells of Bodhisattva Medicine King. Bodhisattva Medicine King is the original state or form of the Great Teacher T’ien-t’ai.
Anye represents the element of mind in us, and corresponds to “Wonderful” of the Wonderful Law. Manye represents the element 184of body in us, and corresponds to the word “Law.” When we make these words “our bodies and minds being the Wonderful Law” our spell, we are affirming that one can attain Buddhahood in one’s present body or form.
Point Three, concerning the Goddess Mother of Demon Children
The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings says: The word “Demon” stands for the father, and the word “Children” stands for the ten demon daughters. The word “Mother” is Hārītī.
Taking the words in the name in reverse order,1 we may say that the word “Goddess” represents the ninth consciousness. The word “Mother” represents the eighth consciousness, the level at which ignorance appears. The word “Children” represents the seventh and sixth consciousnesses. The word “Demon” represents the first five consciousnesses, those of sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch. In the case of the teachings that pertain to transmigration, the pre-Lotus Sutra teachings, the Goddess Mother of Demon Children is an evil demon. But in the case of the teachings that pertain to the extinction of transmigration, the Lotus Sutra teachings, she acts as a benevolent demon. Hence we may say that the Goddess Mother of Demon Children and the ten demon daughters represent the mutual possession of the Ten Worlds and the hundred worlds and thousand factors, that is, the principle of three thousand realms in a single moment of life.
The deity known as Sambō Kōjin, or Kōjin of the Three Treasures, is a manifestation of the ten demon daughters. These three types of Kōjin are the God of Hunger and Thirst, the God of Greed and Desire, and the God of Blocks and Hindrances.
Now the practitioners of the Lotus Sutra, because they transform the three poisons of greed, anger, and foolishness into the three virtues of the Dharma body, wisdom, and emancipation, are 185not to be identified with the god Sambō Kōjin. For persons who have no faith in the Lotus Sutra, Kōjin is what his name implies, a rough god who awakens demons. But when he is in the presence of practitioners of the Lotus Sutra, he acts as a guardian deity.
Point Four, on the passage “Excellent, excellent! If you can shield and guard those who accept and uphold the mere name of the Lotus Sutra, your merit will be immeasurable.”
The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings says: The “name of the Lotus Sutra” means the daimoku. “Those” of the passage refers to all the practitioners of the Lotus Sutra among the living beings of the country of Japan.
We may also say that, while the word “those” may refer either to men or women, here it is intended as praise for women in particular, and thus refers to women. The ten demon daughters shield and guard women in particular. It is like the case of the dragon king’s daughter who speaks of the role of saving women when she says, “I unfold the doctrines of the Great Vehicle / to rescue living beings from suffering” (chapter twelve, Devadatta). There is a similar case [in which the “person” refers to a woman in particular] in the “Medicine King” chapter that reads, “A person who can accept and uphold this sutra.”2
Point Five, on the passage “Kuntī, you and your attendants should shield and guard the teachers of the Law such as these!”
The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings says: Kuntī in her original form or state is the bodhisattva Manjushrī. The sutra passage is saying that, wherever the practitioners of the Lotus Sutra 186may be, whether on land or sea, she will shield and guard them.
Nine evil and one good, as the expression has it—the passage makes clear that Kuntī is the one good daughter among the ten demon daughters. In terms of the ten evil acts that arise from earthly desires, Kuntī corresponds to the second of the ten, the act of stealing. This is because the daughters are counted in reverse order, so that Kuntī, the ninth daughter, corresponds to the second of the ten evil acts.
Point Six, concerning the five groups of supernatural spells pronounced in this chapter
The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings says: The five groups of supernatural spells represent our individual bodies [or Myoho-renge-kyo]. Myō is represented by the ten demon daughters, hō by the heavenly king Upholder of the Nation, ren by the heavenly king Increase and Growth, ge by the heavenly king Wide-Eyed, and kyō by the heavenly king Vaishravana. The five characters Myoho-renge-kyo thus correspond to the five groups of supernatural spells, and the five groups of supernatural spells are our individual bodies.
The spells of the ten demon daughters represent the single character myō and are made up of nineteen phrases. The sutra text says of them, “Though they [the enemies of the Law] climb upon our very heads, they will never trouble the teachers of the Law!” (chapter twenty-six).
The spells of Upholder of the Nation represent the single character hō and are made up of nine phrases. The sutra text says of them, “These dhāranīs, these supernatural spells, are pronounced by forty-two million Buddhas” (ibid.). The number four here stands for the four sufferings of birth, aging, sickness, and death; the number ten stands for the Ten Worlds; and the number two stands for the two conditions of delusion and enlightenment.3 Upholder of the Nation is a name indicative of the environment 187in which living beings exist, and the word hō represents the Ten Worlds of living beings.
The spells of Increase and Growth represent the single character ren4 and are made up of thirteen phrases. The sutra text says of them, “These dhāranīs, these supernatural spells, are pronounced by Buddhas equal in number to the sands of the Ganges, and all of them respond with joy” (ibid.). The words “respond with joy” refer to the world or realm of Buddhahood.
The spells of Wide-Eyed represent the single character ge4 and are made up of forty-three phrases. The sutra text says of them, “They [these dhāranīs] will bring great benefit to living beings” (ibid.).
The spells of Vaishravana represent the single character kyō and are made up of six phrases. The sutra text says of them, “And I will also shield and guard those who uphold this sutra” (ibid.).