"All the while some put their whole faith in the “sharp sword” of the Buddha Amida and intone the name of this lord of the Western Land; others believe that hearing the name of the Buddha Medicine Master will “heal all ills” and recite the sutra that describes this Thus Come One of the Eastern Region. Some, putting their trust in the passage in the Lotus Sutra that says, “His illness will be wiped out and he will know neither old age nor death,” pay homage to the wonderful words of that sutra; others, relying upon the sutra passage that reads, “The seven disasterswill instantly vanish, and the seven blessings will instantlyappear,” conduct ceremonies at which a hundred priests expound the sutra at a hundred preaching platforms. There are those who follow the esoteric teachings of the True Word school and conduct rituals in which they fill five jars with water, and others who devote themselves entirely to seated meditation and try to perceive the emptiness of all phenomena as clearly as the moon. Some write out the names of the seven guardian spirits and paste them on a thousand gates, others paint pictures of the five mighty bodhisattvas and hang them over ten thousand thresholds, and still others pray to the heavenly gods and earthly deities in ceremonies conducted at the four corners of the capital and on the four boundaries of the nation. Taking pity on the plight of the common people, the rulers carry out government on the national and local levels in a benevolent manner.
But despite all these efforts, they merely exhaust themselves in vain. Famine and epidemics rage more fiercely than ever, beggars are everywhere in sight, and scenes of death fill our eyes. Corpses pile up in mounds like observation platforms, and dead bodies lie side by side like planks on a bridge.
If we look about, we find that the sun and moon continue to move in their accustomed orbits, and the five planets follow the proper course. The three treasures of Buddhism continue to exist, and the period of a p.7hundred reigns has not yet expired. Then why is it that the world has already fallen into decline and that the laws of the state have come to an end? What is wrong? What error has been committed?" -- Nichiren