The moon's reflection will not dwell in muddy water;
no birds are to be found in the limbs of a dead tree.
The Buddha will not inhabit the body of a heartless woman.
But a woman who upholds the Lotus Sutra is like pure water;
the moon of Shakyamuni Buddha will reside there.
It is like the situation when a woman first beocmes pregnant.
She is not immediately aware of what has happened, but as
months gradually go by, as the days pass, she begins to wonder,
and eventually she is certain of the fact.
A pure hearted woman can tell whether her baby will be a boy or a girl.
And the teachings of Lotus Sutra are like this. When in one's heart
one takes faith in Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, the hearts becomes a dwellling
and Shakyamuni Buddha takes up residence there. At first is not aware
of this, but gradually, as the months go by, the Buddha in the heart begins
to appear as in a dream, and one's heart becomes bit by bit ever more joyful.
(This letter written at Minobu in 1280, is Nichiren Daishonin's message of appreciation of the wife of Matsuno Rokuro Saemon-no-jo for the offering of food and other items she had sent him.
Daishonin compares the lives of those who remain attached to the provisional teaching to "muddy water." Their lives, " muddied" by illusion and suffering, cannot manifest Buddhahood. On the other hand, he writes, "A woman who upholds the Lotus Sutra is like pure water; the moon of Shakyamuni Buddha will reside there." The Dashonin likens the process by which one's Buddhahood develops to that of a pregnant woman who, though at first unaware of her condition, gradually becomes more certain of her pregnancy. Similarly, though not initially aware of one's own Buddhahood, as one persists steadfastly with faith and practice, the wisdom of the Buddha becomes manifest unmistakably in one's heart and mind. Because faith in the Lotus Sutra is hard to sustain, however, perseverance is essential, and the Daishonin praises her steadfastness.