threefold secret teaching ［三重秘伝］ ( sanjū-hiden): A doctrine Nichikan (1665–1726), the twenty-sixth chief priest of Taiseki-ji temple, established based on the passage in Nichiren’s treatise The Opening of the Eyes that reads: “The doctrine of three thousand realms in a single moment of life is found in only one place, hidden in the depths of the ‘Life Span’ chapter of the essential teaching of the Lotus Sutra. Nāgārjuna and Vasubandhu were aware of it but did not bring it forth into the light. T’ien-t’ai Chih-che alone embraced it and kept it ever in mind” (224). Nichikan interpreted this sentence to mean that the doctrine of three thousand realms in a single moment of life is found (1) only in the Lotus Sutra, not in any other sutra; (2) only in the “Life Span” (sixteenth) chapter of the essential teaching (latter half), not in the theoretical teaching (first half) of the Lotus Sutra; and (3) only in the “depths,” not on the “surface,” of the “Life Span” chapter. The first point corresponds to the comparison of the true teaching (the Lotus Sutra) and the provisional teachings (all the other sutras). The second point corresponds to the comparison of the essential teaching and the theoretical teaching of the Lotus Sutra. The third point corresponds to the comparison of the “depths” and the “surface” of the “Life Span” chapter of the sutra, the former indicating the Buddhism of sowing, and the latter, the Buddhism of the harvest. These three levels of comparison reveal the ultimate teaching of Nichiren, or the Buddhism of sowing, as being Nam-myoho-renge-kyo of the Three Great Secret Laws. Nichikan used the term “threefold secret teaching” because the Buddhism of sowing, hidden threefold in the depths of the “Life Span” chapter, was unknown to the other Nichiren schools.