Nichiren Daishonin states in “On the Buddha’s Behavior (Shuju onfurumai-gosho)”:
In the more than two thousand two hundred and twenty years since the Buddha’s passing, not even the likes of Mahakashyapa, Ananda, Ashvaghosha, Nagarjuna, Nanyue, Tiantai, Miaole, and Dengyo have propagated Myoho-Renge-Kyo. The five characters of Myoho-Renge-Kyo are the core of the Lotus Sutra and the origin of all Buddhas throughout the entire world. Upon seeing the signs that these five characters now must be propagated, I, Nichiren have set the precedent, today, at the beginning of the Latter Day of the Law. My disciples, you must follow one after another and become greater than Mahakashyapa or Ananda and, moreover, surpass even the Great Teacher Tiantai or Dengyo.