Moreover, he realizes that speaking out will not only brings reproach upon himself and his “parents, brothers, and teachers,” but may also cause those very loved ones to censure him. He further understands that this action is sure to bring persecution from the ruler of the nation. But if he does not speak out, he will be lacking in compassion. As taught in the Lotus and Nirvana sutras, if he doesn’t use his voice, he may still enjoy a peaceful and secure existence in this life, but would surely fall into hell in the next. On the other hand, the sutras also clearly state that speaking out would mean definitely facing persecution. That’s because he would be opening the path to the attainment of Buddhahood for all living beings. The Daishonin thus concludes that, in light of the sutras, he has no choice but to speak out.
This guidance is an abstract from 'The World of Nichiren Daishonin Writings' with universal value and application
To speak out would be to confront the devilish functions. To not speak out would be to run from this battle. Words were the driving force behind the Daishonin’s struggles. In light of the sutras, he naturally concludes that his only recourse is to speak out.
The sutras clearly state that one must speak out in order to lead people to enlightenment. This is what the Daishonin based his vow on, determining that once he had spoken out, he would never retreat, no matter what great persecutions may befall him. It was as if he had set sail alone into a raging storm. But he had to go. He had to rescue the people whose ship had been wrecked by the tumultuous seas of society. A “great ship” is therefore crucial to our endeavor; in other words, we must base ourselves on a great vow. This vow is found in the determination to win in the struggle against the devilish functions. And this determination must be the departure point.
He [The Daishonin] is talking about a grand struggle against the devilish functions that pervade the universe. This can also be taken as the most fundamental spiritual struggle of Buddhism. The Daishonin knew that only by resolutely winning this struggle would Buddhism begin to spread. The same was true of Shakyamuni—if he spoke out, he would face great persecution. If he didn’t, he would be lacking compassion.
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