Even if we should gather all the water of the four great oceans to wet inkstones, burn all the trees and plants to cinders to make ink, collect the hairs of all beasts for writing brushes, employ all the surfaces of the worlds in the ten directions for paper, and, with these, set down expressions of gratitude, how could we possibly repay our debt to the Buddha?
The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, page 44
The Four Debts of Gratitude
Written to Kudo Sakon-no-jo Yoshitaka on January 16, 1262
Buddhism teaches that being led astray by evil friends, (negative influences) is to be feared more than being killed by a mad elephant. A mad elephant can only destroy our physical body, but evil friends, if we allow ourselves to be influenced by them, will drag us down into a state of hell.
Life is long. The important thing is to remain true to a lofty goal to the very end. Buddhism enables you to adorn the final chapter of your life with brilliant success, just as the golden sun colors the sky in glorious crimson hues and beams of sublime light. To do so, you need to keep making efforts year after year and winning year after year.