Point One, concerning the “Peaceful Practices” chapter
The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings says: Concerning the “peaceful” practices of the Lotus Sutra of the Wonderful Law and the practices carried out by Nichiren and his followers now in the Latter Day of the Law, you should understand that, when one practices the Lotus Sutra under such circumstances, difficulties will arise, and these are to be looked on as “peaceful” practices.
Point Two, on the passage “Next, the bodhisattva or mahāsattva should view all phenomena as empty, that being their true entity. They do not turn upside down, do not move, do not regress, do not revolve. They are like empty space, without innate nature, beyond the reach of all words. They are not born, do not emerge, do not arise. They are without name, without form, without true being. They are without volume, without limits, without hindrance, without barriers.”
The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings says: This passage lists the eighteen aspects of emptiness. The substance represented by the eighteen aspects of emptiness is Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. Every one of these eighteen aspects is a description of the Wonderful Law.
Point Three, on the passage “If he is asked difficult questions, he should not reply in terms of the Law of the Lesser Vehicle. He should explain things solely in terms of the Great Vehicle so that people will be able to acquire wisdom embracing all species.”
116The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings says: When one is refuting [slanderers of the Law], one should not use the provisional teachings in an attempt to enlighten them. The “wisdom embracing all species” is Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. “All” refers to the ten thousand things, and the “wisdom embracing all species” refers to the wisdom underlying all the different species of the ten thousand things, which is Myoho-renge-kyo.
Or again we may say that the wisdom embracing all species is the single mind within all of us. The single mind is the one great entity embracing all the ten thousand phenomena. You should think about this.
Point Four, on the passage “After I have passed into extinction / if there are monks / who are able to expound / this Lotus Sutra of the Wonderful Law, / their minds will be free of jealousy and anger, / of all worry and hindrance. / No one will trouble them, / curse or revile them. / They will know no fear, / no attacks by sword or staff, / nor will they ever be banished.”
The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings says: This passage of the sutra states that the bodhisattvas of the theoretical teaching will not suffer any attacks “by sword or staff.”
In the “Encouraging Devotion” chapter, speaking of the votaries of the Lotus Sutra in the Latter Day of the Law, it says, “There will be many ignorant people / who will curse and speak ill of us / and will attack us with swords and staves.” It also says, “Again and again we will be banished.” But in the present chapter it says that these troubles will not occur. This is because the “Encouraging Devotion” chapter is speaking of those who carry out the practice of the shakubuku method in the Latter Day of the Law, while the present chapter is speaking of those who carry out the practice of the shōju method in the Middle Day of the Law.
Point Five, on the passage “If they are in a settlement or town or in a quiet and deserted place or a forest and people 117come and want to ask them difficult questions, the heavenly beings day and night will for the sake of the Law constantly guard and protect them and will cause all the listeners to rejoice.”
The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings says: As for the votaries of the Lotus Sutra in the Latter Day of the Law, the heavenly beings will surely guard and protect them. The Law referred to in the words “will for the sake of the Law constantly guard and protect them” is Nam-myoho-renge-kyo.