日蓮大聖人『御書』解説

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2017年 08月 13日

49. Preaching and Clarifying the Meaning of Erecting the Gohonzon (1)

                  Japanese ver.

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The handwriting of 'True Object of Worship' kept in Nakayama Hokekyoji temple. national treasure


What kind of thing is the Gohonzon? What kind of feature is it? Nichiren preaches and clarifies it.

“The appearance of the true object of worship is described as the treasure tower soaring in the air over the saha world, where the master of the essential teaching resides. Shakyamuni Buddha and Tahō Buddha take their place on either side of Myoho-Renge-Kyo within the treasure tower, accompanied by the four leaders of the Bodhisattvas of the Earth, led by Bodhisattva Jōgyō. Manjushri, Maitreya, and other disciples, who are followers of the four leaders of the Bodhisattvas of the Earth, are seated below. There are big and small Bodhisattvas of the provisional or the other land on the earth where all the people are, and it looks like looking up to a noble and a court noble. All the Buddhas who gathered from the worlds in the ten directions remain on the ground, showing that they are temporary manifestations of the eternal Buddha and that their acreages are transient, not eternal. The Gohonzon was not preached during the fifty-odd years of Shakyamuni's lifetime. Shakyamuni preached the Lotus Sutra over a period of eight years, moreover this Gohonzon was taught only through the eight chapters. During the two thousand years of the Former or Middle Days of the Law, Mahakashyapa and Ananda wereflanking the Shakyamuni Buddha of Hinayana, and Manjushri and Fugen [Universal Worthy] were flanking the Shakyamuni Buddha who had taught the provisional Mahayana, the Nirvana Sutra, the theory of the Lotus Sutra. Though these images and statues of the Buddhas were created and depicted during the periods of the Former and Middle Day of the Law, the Buddha of the Life Span chapter was not made yet. This true object of worship shall appear for the first time in the Latter Day of the Law.” ‘True Object of the Worship’

Nichiren writes it at the end of "True Objectof Worship".

“Showing profound compassion for those unable to comprehend the doctrine of three thousand realms in a single moment of life, the Buddha wrapped this jewel into the five characters [Myoho-renge-kyo] , hanging it to the neck of ignorant people who live in the latter days of the Law.”

The Gohonzon shown in this 'True Object of Worship' is a one and only present which Nichiren gave the all creatures, the ignorant people who have lost the concept of existence of the latter days of the Law.

It is written in Nichiren's writing that a person hung the ashes of the parents to his neck and carried it when buried the ashes whom a person cremated in the graveyard as a then custom. It is thought that the then believer who read this sentence "hanging it to a neck" understood instantly how important the Gohonzon was.

“His son,Tōkurō Moritsuna, succeeded his father as a wholehearted votary of the Lotus Sutra. Last year, on the second day of the seventh month, he climbed Mount Minobu of Hakiri Province of Kai, having journeyed a thousand ri at mountains and seas with his father's ashes hung tohis neck, and deposited it at the hall of the Lotus Sutra. And this year, on the first day of the seventh month, he climbed again Mount Minobu to pay respects at his father's grave. There is no treasure more precious than a child. There is no treasure more precious than a child. Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, Nam-myoho-renge-kyo.”‘Reply to Nun Sen’nichi’

“You have no other mother in this land. From now on, whom will you wait on? Because of the grief you felt at this separation, you entered the ashes of the deceased in a container hung from your neck, and trusting to your feet, you went to the wide road, journeying all the way from Shimousa Province to this Province of Kai. The distance is 1000ri round trip. All the lands you passed through were beset by famine, and the mountains and plains were full of bandits. Where you put up each night, there was little food. You were frail, almost without servants, and never knew where you could obtain fresh horses or oxen. Steep mountains towered before you and the wide and overflowed rivers you confronted were many. Climbing a high mountain, your head touch the heavens; descending into a deep valley, your feet tread upon clouds. It is difficult to get across if it is not a bird, is difficult to get over if it is not a deer, you are giddy, feet will freeze. There seems to be the vast mountain of the disciplinant of En and the Pamir of priest Kumarajiva, now in front of the eyes. Then in time you visited at deep cave and saw a hermitage room where the sound of recited Lotus Sutra echoed to the blue sky and the voice discussing the only Law was heard among the mountains.

Following the guide, you entered the chamber and then, when you had safely placed the bones of your mother before Shakyamuni Buddha, the lord of teachings, you bowed your limbs and body to the ground in obeisance, put your palms together, and opened your eyes to pay homage to her noble visage, your body was filled with joys and sufferings at once vanished from your mind.

My head is head of our parents, my feet are their feet, my ten fingers are their ten fingers, my mouth is their mouth. It is like a seed and fruit and the body anda shadow for example. When Shakyamuni Buddha, the lord of teachings, attained enlightenment, he made it possible for his father, Shuddhodana, and his mother, Maya, to do likewise. Kissen Shishi and Shodai-nyo and priest Mokuren, parent and child, attained Buddhahood at the same time.

When we consider these examples, the past impediments that have been accumulated without time of beginning will quickly be extinguished and the wonderful lotus that is the nature of mind will quickly open its petals. Thereafter you engaged very much in Buddhist services and then safely returned home.” On Forgetting the Copy of the Sutra’


              to be continued (2)


Second volume table of Contents.



by johsei1129 | 2017-08-13 09:38 | LIFE OF NICHIREN | Comments(0)


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