Point One, regarding the Benefits of Responding with Joy to Myoho-renge-kyo
The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings says: “Respond” means to respond to and comply with actuality and principle. “Joy” means that oneself and others together experience joy. By actuality is meant responding to and complying with the actual fact of Shakyamuni manifesting [in this life] his original state [of enlightenment] numberless major world system dust particle kalpas ago. By principle is meant responding to the principle of ordinary people being able to manifest their original states. In the end, then, responding means responding to and complying with the inner truth of the “Life Span” chapter. When that is done, then both oneself and others together will take joy in their possession of wisdom and compassion.
Now, when Nichiren and his followers chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, they are expressing joy in the fact that they will inevitably become Buddhas eternally endowed with the three bodies. For that reason, we may say that the word “respond” applies to the Law one responds to, while “joy” applies to the person one takes joy in. The person is the ancient Buddha of numberless major world system dust particle kalpas ago, Shakyamuni. The Law is Nam-myoho-renge-kyo of the “Life Span” chapter. To respond to them and take joy in them is what is meant by the words “responding with joy.”
Broadly speaking, “to respond” may be regarded as another name for faith. To respond means simply to have the mind of faith. That is why it is stated in the second volume of the Lotus Sutra, “It is because they have faith in the Buddha’s words / that 147they can comply with this sutra, / not because of any wisdom of their own” (chapter three, Simile and Parable).
Point Two, on the passage [describing the benefits of urging a person to listen to the Lotus Sutra] “breath free of foul odor, / a fragrance of utpala flowers / constantly emitted by the mouth”
The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings says: The word “breath” refers to the daimoku. “Free of foul odor” means that the breath is not tainted by any of the provisional teachings such as those regarding Amida Buddha, expedient means that can never lead to attainment of the way. “A fragrance of utpala flowers” refers to the Lotus Sutra. But now, in the Latter Day of the Law, it means the daimoku. The passage in the “Expedient Means” chapter that reads, “[A wonderful Law such as this is . . .] like the blooming of the udumbara [flower]” refers to the principle of three thousand realms in a single moment of life. One should reflect carefully on this.
The word “constantly” refers to that which constantly abides throughout the three existences. The word “mouth” refers to the mouth of the votary of the Lotus Sutra. “Emitted” indicates the chanting of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. It may be said of Nichiren and his followers, who now chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, that these words are “constantly emitted by the mouth.”