MOREOVER, I myself, as well as my disciples, have in past existences incurred heavy blame for slandering the Law, blame that has not yet come to an end. And in our present existence, over a period of many years we have engaged in slander of the Law and have been born in a country that slanders the Law. Are we at present sufficiently sincere in our faith? How can we escape from this blame?
When someone reported to me, however, that you had been taken with this illness, day and night, morning and evening I addressed the Lotus Sutra on the matter, morning and evening I implored the gods of the blue heavens. And now today I have received word that you have recovered from illness. Could any tidings be more joyful than these?
Other matters must wait until we meet in person.
This is a fragment of a letter, and though it bears neither date nor name of its addressee, it is thought that the letter was written to Ōta Jōmyō of Shimōsa Province in 1275. The Daishonin states that he and his disciples have been born in Japan, a country that slanders the Lotus Sutra, and had initially slandered it themselves. He attributes this to the offense of slander they have committed in past existences, and asks how they can escape that blame. The Daishonin then states that he has been praying that the recipient’s illness be cured and now feels great joy at news of his recovery, thus suggesting a way to escape the “blame,” or karmic retribution, resulting from past slander.