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カテゴリ:LIFE OF NICHIREN( 45 )


2017年 11月 12日

10. Discipline to the Disciples 1

Japanese edition


Sunset shines in the downtown area of Kamakura.

The downtown area was dotted with wells.

Citizens draw water from this well.

Disciple of Nichiren, Chikugobo Nichiro joined the line of people too, drawing water.

He is still in his teens. He was born in the Shimousa country Kaijo district Note volost, and a childhood name was called Kizhijomaru. He was converted to Nichiren with Hiraga Jiro Arikuni of father in 1254 and he entered to the Buddhist priesthood under Nissho of the uncle.

From around this time, the name of Nichiren propagate all over Kamakura for better or worse. And the Buddhist priest who was attached to Nichiren became his disciple one after another.

The reputation of the world was notorious Nichiren, but the mind was kindly, and his story was witty when they met him actually. His every word based from the text of Buddha's sutra and was logical. The person to listen was captivated by not only the sermon of strong conviction by Nichiren but also personality itself.

Kyoninbo, Daisinbo, a disciple with talent including Shoibo became disciples following Nissho and Nichiro. Above all, Kyoninbo was twenty years older than Nichiren, and he is eloquent, a knowledge and opinion were excellent together, and he was considered as the first-rate among then disciple.

Nichiren came back home.

Nichiro was stewing a bean when he opened the entrance.

“Welcome home.”

Disciples set up the dining table. As everybody is young, they have a good appetite.

The pickles were served on dish and beans were on the tray. In those days, staple food of the common people are the beans, or the cereals which mixed unpolished rice with a fox tail millet and Japanese barnyard millet. Court nobles ate the polished rice, but they suffered from beriberi for hypovitaminosis, and it is said that they were a premature death.

Nichiren heard while eating.

“Where did Chikugobo go to for propagation today?”

Nichiro boy is fine.

“Yes. I went to propagate the neighborhood of the shore of Wakae.”

“Oh, it was good.”

“There were many houses of the Nembutsu in that whole area. In addition, they are believing in priest Ryokan of the religious precepts sect ardently.”

Nichiren is smiling.

“Well done! This is the important ascetic practices for Nichiro too. Talk about faiths to many people.”

When they notice, two children are peeping from a window in a house. They are poorly dressed. The children were looking at the tray of the bean.

Daishinbo of the disciple sent them away.

“This is no place for child. It is a place of training itself of the Law of Buddha. Return home early.”

Nichiren talks.

“What happened?”

Daishinbo spoke as if spitting out words.

“Probably will be orphans. It is thought they are children of the houses which broke up by famine. Recently they hang around this neighborhood.”

“Well.”

When Nichiren looked from a window, young two boys snuggled each body and concreted. They do not seem brothers.

Nichiren took out the wooden bowl of the beans, and went outside.

When children noticed Nichiren, they have run away.

After Nichiren made sure of children running, he put the wooden bowl of the beans in the floor of the entrance. They will eat freely if do it this way.

Daishinbo was disgusted.

“Priest, …”

"Let me. It is not fault of the children to have become an orphan. Anyone feels hungry now. We must deal out this around ourselves at least. They will not have a place to sleep. Nichiro, were there not the straw mat?”

“Yes, there is.”

“Bring that.”

Nichiren put a straw mat on the dirt floor.

“This is good.”

Nichiro put it in the corner where Nichiro exercised tact there and brought two pillows and spread a straw mat.

Nichiren stared with a smile without saying.


Continued to Discipline to the Disciples 2


Life of Nichiren Part 1 contents




by johsei1129 | 2017-11-12 21:44 | LIFE OF NICHIREN | Comments(0)
2017年 11月 11日

9. Appearance of Women Believers 2

Japanese ver.


Nichiren preaches woman believers still more.

“All women of nowadays are living in the first 500 years after 2000 years of the death of Buddha. Shakyamuni Buddha had written down that time. This is genuine time of the woman who would attain Buddhahood. For example, there is much ice in winter, the flower is not rare in spring, and there is much grass in the summer, and the much fruit in autumn. The season rotates in this way. The attaining Buddhahood of the woman in nowadays is the same too. It is not a problem whether if it is much arrogant whether it is much folly even if there is much anger even if it has much greed and even if much jealousy. To say nothing of the woman not having these faults.” Writings about the Woman Attaining Buddhahood.’

Women received the marvelous Law by the faiths of the husband and kept it. They entered faiths as the man said, but they felt interest in the teachings at which woman became the Buddha in the Lotus Sutra. Furthermore, they knew that the Lotus Sutra preached a gender equality surprisingly. This was a shock to them.

The sutras before the Lotus Sutra preached that the woman could not become the Buddha if was reincarnated many times and not became a man. It preaches they cannot become the Buddha as a woman. The sutras are bitter to a woman as if Buddha would have a grudge against a woman.

“She is a messenger of the hell, and women cut off seeds of Buddha well. The outside resembles a Bodhisattva, but the inside is like the demon.” ‘Avatamska Sutra’

“The Bodhisattvas of mercy existing in every world cannot let the extreme accumulated evilness of woman surrender.” ‘The Sutra of the Buddha who Has the Twelve Names.

“The worldly desires of the man of the three thousand worlds gather and become the obstacles of karma of one woman.” ‘Same as above

“The man is caught by the karma of the transmigration of souls for a long time watching a woman once only. Besides he falls into the hell of incessant suffering definitely if he violated her even once.” ‘Commentary on the Great Wisdom Sutra’

The man reading this might think happy not being born as a woman. In addition, there may be a point to recall of in woman criticism of Buddha to woman.

“In the different viewpoint, a woman is called the people of suffering.” ‘Chapter of Devadatta in the Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings.’ The women were the vulnerable groups in society in those days overwhelmingly so that Nichiren pointed out.

But it was Shakyamuni Buddha either to have broken the pains of this woman.

Buddha did not accept the priest of the woman at first because he thought the woman would disturb the ascetic practices of the Buddhist priest of the man. The priest of the first woman was Mahaaprajaapatii of the foster mother of the royal palace era of Buddha, but she applied for becoming a priest over and over again, but continued being refused from Buddha. Unable to stand by any longer, Anan of the disciple entreated Buddha, and said "Mahaaprajaapatii is the lady who had taken care of you." He begged to accept her as a priest and was finally permitted. Still, in religious precepts (commandments for completeness) which a person of priest should follow, the nun was 348 religious precepts, though a man was 250.

Furthermore, in the Lotus Sutra, Buddha gave disciples a prediction of future becoming the Buddha one after another, but promises to become the Buddha for not only the monk but also the nun.

He gave Mahaaprajaapatii of the aunt a prediction of becoming the Buddha who is watched with joy by all creatures, and gave Yasodhara of the wife of the royal palace era a prediction of becoming the Buddha with the countless light. In addition, the lady of dragon with a body of snake attained Buddhahood in present form without changing the body, this fact surprised arhats of Shariputra and others.

Nichiren preaches about the essential qualities of the woman as follows.

“To become a woman is the existence that obeys a thing and lets a thing obey.” ‘Letter to Brothers’

While woman is bound by every social limitation, the complete freedom is got by faiths. It seems to be restricted and is the position to let a thing obey. If one had this awareness and chant the marvelous Law, one can get circumstances of the freedom. For a woman, this was the same as the blindness was opened by the Lotus Sutra.

It was the course of nature that women of the strong faiths appeared one after another in the sect of Nichiren. Women of the strong faiths were born as nun Myoho, nun Sazhiki, nun Sennich, and Nichigannnyo including Nichimyo so that Nichiren oneself was surprised.


    Continued to Discipline to the Disciples


Life of Nichiren Part 1 contents



by johsei1129 | 2017-11-11 12:09 | LIFE OF NICHIREN | Comments(0)
2017年 11月 03日

9. Appearance of Women Believers 1

Japanese ver.


Spring calm sunlight comes in in a samurai residence.

Wives and widow nuns had gathered here. There were wife Nichigannyo of Kingo, and Nichimyo who became a great believer later.

Nichiren was active in the enlightenment of the woman believer too.

Originally the Lotus Sutra is the sacred book of the woman to attain Buddhahood. Nichiren emphasized that woman should believe in the only Lotus Sutra that preached the woman to become the Buddha.

“The woman was said to be a person with many crimes from ancient times. Woman is said to be the source tearing a country, too.

The Buddhist sutra reveals five obstacles of women and the teachings of non-Buddhism teach the three subordinations. Three subordinations mean that they follow parents when they are child, follow a husband when they come of age, and follow child when they grow old. This is the three subordinations without hearing what want to listen to without watching what want to watch without saying what to think without going as expected following of the three people up to old age from childhood. Because there are three obstacles in this way, women are not free in the world. It was said that they could not attain Buddhahood in the Law of the Buddha either. However, Shakyamuni Buddha preached the becoming the Buddha of women for the first time, in the Lotus Sutra.”

Women had been hearing only Nembutsu sect. That is the teachings which are helped only after dying. They are not interested in such a sermon. But Nichiren was different. Lotus Sutra preaches that the woman becomes the Buddha directly. It was fresh surprise.

“However, all women of Japan do not chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, and advocate the Amida Buddha's name per one day 60000 times, 100000 times, by the Meditation and Amitayurdhyana sutra which do not reveal becoming the Buddha of woman. Because this is an Amida Buddha's name, it is similar skillfully, but she is a woman counting a fortune of the other person in vain. The reason is because she relies to the sutra of not becoming the Buddha and not being beatified. This cause is because she was tempted by the evil friends. Therefore, it is the enemy of all women of Japan that the person teaches Nembutsu without teaching the Lotus Sutra than an enemy of parents than the harlot than a bandit pirate than a wolfish villain. Though the standpoint of the woman should chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo and be a woman believing a Lotus Sutra, the women of nowadays chant Amida's name frequently during their life, and perform Buddhist service of Nembutsu consistently without chanting the Lotus Sutra and without holding a service, and they let the upholder slightly read the Lotus Sutra, but they treat bonze of Nembutsu like parents brothers, and look down upon the upholder of the sutra than vassal and kindred. All the same, they say that they believe the Lotus Sutra. Reform yourself early and come back to the correct Law.”

Precious writing which reveals women believers opened their mind to Nichiren in those days is left.

It is the About the Menstruation.’ That is the answer of Nichiren to the wife of Hiki Daigaku Saburo having asked how she should do ascetic practice at the time of woman special menstruation coming monthly.

Nichiren preaches it clearly as follows.

“In my own study of the sacred teachings, though I find clear prohibitions on certain days of the month against the impurity of things like meat or wine, the five spicy foods, or sexual acts, for instance, I, Nichiren, have never come across any passage in the sutras or treatises that speaks of avoidances connected with menstruation.

While the Buddha was in the world, many women actively became nuns and devoted themselves to the Buddha's teachings, but they were never shunned on account of their menstrual period. Judging from this, the menstruation is not any kind of impurity coming from an external. It is simply a handicap or a characteristic of the female sex which has a law of nature in the succession of the seed of birth and death. Or in another viewpoint, it might be regarded as a kind of chronically recurring illness. In the case of feces and urine, though these are substances produced by the body, so long as one keeps cleanly habits, these are not disliked. It is surely the same in this case.”


Continued 2nd


Life of Nichiren Part 1 contents



by johsei1129 | 2017-11-03 14:58 | LIFE OF NICHIREN | Comments(0)
2017年 10月 29日

8. Birth of Disciples and Believers who Supported the Life of Nichiren 2

                   Japanese ver.


The mind of Kingo was moved by Nichiren's every word.

“Yes, fame and fortune. You're absolutely right.”

Nichiren grasped that facial expression of Kingo included some shade.

“I suppose that you, Kingo, has some cares.”

Kingo was surprised. Can this person read my mind?

“No, I feel my mind is refreshed hearing the teaching. But…”

Nichiren leaned forward to hear what he said.

Kingo faces down.

“In fact, I have a daughter, but she is weak since birth, and is lying down to the bed with an illness for a long time. I have the knowledge of the medicinal herb a little, and I mix and use it too, but she has not been making any noticeable recovery. I prayed to the various gods and Buddha, but do not improve at all.”

“I understand. I will pray for an important child of Kingo to the best of my ability. Nam-myoho-renge-kyo is like the roar of a lion. What sickness therefore can become an obstacle? The person who embrace the title, daimoku, of the Lotus Sutra will be protected by the good deities. But your faiths alone will determine all these things. A sword is useless for the hands of a coward. The sword of the Lotus Sutra must be wielded by person courageous in faiths. Your child's misfortune will change into good fortune. Decide your mind, summon faiths, pray.”

Kingo put his hands on the floor on an impulse.

“I understand clearly what you mean. Shijo KingoYorimoto becomes the believer of the priest Nichiren from now and chants Nam-myoho-renge-kyo!”

A voice broke out with Kingo answering all at once from behind.

“Congratulations entering faiths!”

There are large number of people when he turned around in wonder. In that people, there were Toki Jonin, and feudal lord Yoshitaka Kudo of the Awa country Amatsu prefecture. Furthermore, Ikegami brothers of Munenaka and Munenaga whose father is the commissioner of buildings of the Shogunate. Also, Hiki Daigaku Saburo is the Confucianist of Shogunate officer.

They have been hearing a talk of Nichiren behind Kingo.

Kingo blushed and lowered the head to everyone.

Nichiren was 35 years old, Shijo Kingo was 26, was 9 years younger than Nichiren at this time. Yoshitaka Kudo was 23 years old, Hiki Daigaku Saburo was 55.

Shijo Kingo and Ikegami Munenaka and Hiki Daigaku Saburo were in Kamakura, and Toki Jonin and Yoshitaka Kudo were Shimousa. They had become the followers of influential Nichiren afterward.

They will give their life to spread the marvelous Law of Buddha while encountering many persecutions as the core of the believer.

The propagation of Nichiren continues moreover.

The person who wake up to the Lotus Sutra in the vassal of the Shogunate appeared.

Shijo Kingo and Toki Jonin served the vassal of Shogunate, but the understanding person of the Lotus Sutra appeared in the nerve center of the Shogunate.

Yadoya Mitsunori is the one of them. He became a priest as a layman, and he introduced himself as the lay priest Yadoya, but Yadoya is known as the closest aide to regent Tokiyori Hojo. The name of Yadoya Mitsunori appears in the Mirror of the East as one of seven people whom admission was permitted for nursing on occasion of the end of Tokiyori in after years.

Nichiren encounters Yadoya, and exchanges of opinions. Yadoya meant well to Nichiren who had the excellent discernment to the Law of Buddha though he was unknown and was not high-ranking priest.


    Continued to Appearance of Women Believers


Life of Nichiren Part 1 contents



by johsei1129 | 2017-10-29 22:04 | LIFE OF NICHIREN | Comments(0)
2017年 10月 28日

8. Birth of Disciples and Believers who Supported the Life of Nichiren 1

                    Japanese ver.


The young Buddhist priests who became disciples of Nichiren gradually increased.

Nissho was one of them too.

He became the disciple in November about six months later from when Nichiren declared the establishment of denomination in April 28, 1253. The birth is Shimusa country Kaijo prefecture Note volost. He is older a year than Nichiren. When he was about 15 years old, he become a priest in a temple of Tientai denomination and learned Buddhism of Tientai in Mt. Hiei-zan. Hearing the establishment of Nichiren denomination, he went to Kamakura and he became the disciple and trained himself in the thatched hut of the Matsuba Valley.

Nissho felt signs of life at the entrance of the thatched hut on that day and said to Nichiren.

“Priest, we may have a guest.”

Nissho opened the door.

Shijo Kingo stands.

Nichiren stood up with a smile.

“Oh, well! well! The hardy samurai of the other day!”

Kingo stood at the entrance, hat in hand and lowered the head awkwardly.

Nichiren invites him willingly.

Usually arrogant Shijo Kingo dare not show his face unusually.

“I am ashamed of my behavior the other day.”

Nichiren waved a neck.

“It is nothing to me. Than it, I am glad you came to this poor thatched hut.”

Kingo sat up straight.

“I have a question about the sermon of the other day. That was the first talk that I listened. I have not heard it at other temples. Can even a human like me attain Buddhahood like the speech of the priest?”

Nichiren has begun to talk calmly.

“A convulsion of nature, famine, and a pestilence are spreading in this country at present. In the Law of Buddha, the world of these pains is called impure land. It is the dirty world. However, if the minds of all life are impure, their land is also impure, but if their minds are clean, so is their land. The pure land and impure land are not separate. This difference lies solely in the virtue or evil of our minds.

It is the same with the Buddha and a common mortal. While strayed, one is called a common mortal, but once attained Buddhahood, one is called the Buddha. For example, even a impure mirror will shine like a jewel when we clean it. Likewise, a mind that is presently clouded by illusions originating from the fundamental darkness of life is like a un-cleaned mirror. Yet, once it is cleaned, it will become a clear mirror of absolute truth. Arouse deep faiths, and diligently polish your mirror day and night. How should you polish it? You should chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo single-mindedly, says that polish this in the latter day of the Law.

You were born in the house of the samurai. Now although there is not a war, you are having the fate to murder other people or not knowing whether you lose your life either. In addition, because you serve a lord you should make an outstanding job, and be diligent to keep your territorial possession. However, it is the prosperity in the dream or the pleasure which is not rare, even if you got many fame and fortune. Single-mindedly chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo and encourage others to do the same. This will remain as the only memory in this present life of yours in this human world."


Continued to 2


Life of Nichiren Part 1 contents



by johsei1129 | 2017-10-28 17:35 | LIFE OF NICHIREN | Comments(0)
2017年 10月 25日

7. Three Disasters and Seven Calamities (Great disaster attacks Japan) 4

                    Japanese ver.


On the other hand, Toki Jonin who became a believer of Nichiren was working for the Chiba's mansion of Kamakura. Toki is senior to Nichiren by 6 years. He was a sensible person all the more.

Chiba who was a lord of Toki had domains in the whole country. There were territories in Kinki and Kyushu including Shimousa. Jonin was busy with the handling of the trial, the collection of the land tax, the transportation of supplies, financial management as a bureaucrat of lord Chiba.

Father of Toki is from Inaba (Tottori) originally. There was the original territory in the Toki prefecture of the Inaba country. Because father served the Chiba, Jonin of the child entered Kanto and he worked either.

Parent and child of Toki were able bureaucrats. The war of Zhokyu is already over, stability of the reign is the urgent business. The influential person like Chiba had been seeking a talented government official.

An administrative official displayed desk in the Chiba's house and did a writing. Busyness of the work is the same as a modern company. A horse and a cart went in and out to the plaza busily.

Jonin Toki makes a document on a desk in the office. A co-worker took a look at documents at the side. He read the imperative sentence that just arrived. It is a bitter face

“Again, from lord Kamakura the command of the construction.”

Everybody looks at each other as like saying "Again!"

“Wait a minute! The family of Chiba is the military governor, but the finance is tight. Is there not the way to refuse somehow? Where is it to make?”

“Kyoto, Lotus Flower King Temple.”

“It is a so money-consuming matter.”

Jonin considers.

“At first we must raise money for the visit to the Kyoto of our lord. It is roughly estimated at 200 kan.”

A co-worker lamented.

“Neither Shimousa nor Kamakura has such a money!”

Everybody crossed an arm.

Jonin said.

“Why don't you procure from a land tax of Kyushu?”

A co-worker clapped his hands.

“You're right. The money borrows from a merchant and will let him collect it for the liquidation in Kyushu.”

The rural financial difficulty is not the thing which began from now. The people of the Middle Ages has been in trouble, too. They freely have used the forwarding agent, and merchant who was called Bashaku, and digested instructions of the Shogunate. If the crop of the land tax is a distant place, Bashaku collects it. It was a kind of the money order.

The co-worker complained.

“However, it is costly, isn't it? Our lord just acted as a military guard of Kyoto. We are used one after another. Lord of Kamakura works his men too hard.”

Jonin chided him.

“What? You shouldn't speak like that. Lord of Kamakura is contributing to the peace and security of our lord. We must take measures by every means for our master.”

Co-workers all laughed.

"What you say is all very well. We will certainly comply with your request. We are no match for Mr. Toki who is a strong believer of the Nichiren sect.”

The faith to the Lotus sutra of Toki is famous. They resumed their job with a bitter smile.

When they sort out a document, they have been throwing away papers which they had finished using. Jonin picked up that paper and gathered it.

The co-worker looked at him with a dubious look. What does he use the used document for?


The sunset shined in the thatched hut of the Matsuba Valley.

Nichiren takes the writing brush. He writes to used documents which was given from Jonin. The surface has been written in, but the back side is still usable. These papers had been used by the government official of the Chiba including Jonin.

Paper was precious in those days. It was valuable so as to recycle and reuse paper.

Jonin sent used papers, and Nichiren and disciples copied Buddhist sutras and writings of Tientai into the back side of this poor-quality paper and studied.

By the way, thanks to this, the document of the Chiba clan written to the surface has come until the present day, it becomes precious documents written on the reverse sides which are able to know the Kamakura era.


Continued to Birth of Disciples and Believers who Supported the Life of Nichiren


Life of Nichiren Part 1 contents



by johsei1129 | 2017-10-25 22:19 | LIFE OF NICHIREN | Comments(0)
2017年 10月 22日

7. Three Disasters and Seven Calamities (Great disaster attacks Japan) 3

                      Japanese ver.


The sun is setting in the west.

Shijo Kingo, the samurai who rode a horse went ahead through the town of Kamakura leisurely.

A vassal takes the mouth of the horse.

Kingo passed through the gate of the his residence and called it aloud.

“I just returned.”

Nichigannyo of the wife appeared.

“Welcome home.”

“How is the child?”

Two people go to the back room.

The baby is sleeping at the futon when they open the door of the room.

Kingo looked at the sleeping face of the child. Always stern Kingo showed the expression that was full of affection.

Nichigannyo of the wife told him to mutter.

“Condition has gotten a little bit better...”

“We should observe the situation a little more maybe. This baby is better one minute and worse the next, isn't she?”

 “Sorry. I have lots of flaws.”

“It is not your fault. A bad illness is going about now. Only this is helpless even if we prevent it no matter how much.”

Small soil bottles stood in a line in the room of Kingo.

Kingo was good at a medicinal herb. He was what would now be called the pharmacist and the doctor. He has the achievement that cured the illness of his master.

He mixed medicine by a spoon and placed it in a dish. And he handed drug to Nichigannnyo.

“On the morning of tomorrow, to daughter.”

Nichigannyo nodded.

 

Shijo Kingo is the Shogunate vassal serving Mitsutoki Hojo (also Mitsutoki Nago'e). Father of Mitsutoki was younger brother Tomotoki of a wise ruler Hojo Yasutoki. Not a direct descendant of Hojo. Yet people respected them only introducing themselves as Hojo.

The name was known as a vassal of Mitsutoki whose Shijo Kingo continued two generations in Kamakura. But in particular he was famous that his character was extremely obstinate and was short-tempered. 

There is a big hearth in the center of the living room.

A maid began preparations for dinner.

Kingo had a meal.

Nichgannyo flatters him beside.

“How was today for you?”

“Nothing. It's a monotonous job. Though lord Mitsutoki is despite a branch family of Hojo, he is still in good health too. Will be peace for the moment.”

“For the moment?”

“I do not know what occurs after regent Tokiyori was retired. Power is concentrated in the head family now. I can't imagine how we, the vassal of branch families, will be from now on.”

“It cannot possibly be war?”

“I regard myself as a samurai, if not much of one. Must prepare when that time comes.”

Nichigannnyo felt downcast, but she pulled herself together and poured liquor into the cup of Kingo.

“There now, don't worry.”

Nichigannnyo stared at Kingo smilingly.

“Please talk the tale of that Buddhist priest again.”

Kingo gave a dirty look frankly.

“I do not want to say it.”

Nichigannnyo continue talking anyhow.

“You were so angry about the priest that day.”

“The priest called Nichiren did not shrink at my violent language either. He may be the Buddhist priest having backbone.”

“He is the person who made you as a priest totally when I hear your story, isn't he?”

Kingo remembered.

Nichiren's words oddly stuck with him.

‘A man abandons life for shame, the woman abandons life for a man.'



Continued to 4


Life of Nichiren Part 1 contents




by johsei1129 | 2017-10-22 19:57 | LIFE OF NICHIREN | Comments(0)
2017年 10月 14日

7. Three Disasters and Seven Calamities (Great disaster attacks Japan) 2

                        Japanese ver.


The Hachiman shrine is seen in the other side of the Wakamiya thoroughfare.

A meeting began in government office which controlled state affairs and financial affairs of the Kamakura Shogunate.

There are Tokiyori Hojo, brothers of Tokisuke and Tokimune, Shigetoki Hojo of the uncle of Tokiyori, and Yasumori Adachi were present. There was a Yin Yang fortune-teller in a farther seat.

Tokiyori was irritated and loitered around.

"This country is fascinated. The ominous occurrences in heavens, an earthquake, famine, a contagious disease. What does this mean? Was abandoned by God and Buddha?

While Shigetoki Hojo watched the document which arrived from the shogunal vassals of each place, he muttered.

“10,000 starvers in Kanto. Person 20,000 who fell by a pestilence. Furthermore, two sun appeared, and it seems that a black-and-white rainbow came out.”

The anger of Tokiyori does not have an outlet.

"Nothing could be worse than this. This is the greatest crisis since we, Hojo, ruled the world. Even if the revolt of the rebel happens in the district, it is not to be wondered at.”

Sigetoki answered indignantly.

“Would be the present conditions that is only to pray.”

“Then, how are the prayer of the Buddhist temple and Shinto shrine in Kyoto and Kamakura?”

“Already gave the order to forbid killing a creature on the equinoctial week of six purification days and two seasons in this January (note) and gave the Buddhist temple and Shinto shrine of the countries an order for a prayer of the epidemic extermination in June.”

“So why be of no effect? Does it not rather amplify a misfortune? The Yin Yang fortune-teller, what happens?”

The Yin Yang fortune-teller looks in divination panel (note), and answers.

“I beg a thousand pardons. I can only say a devilenters this country now and ogres grow powerful.”

Tokiyori who heard this swore.

“If a Yin Yang fortune-teller does not have the measures either, I only decide it. Open the storehouse of rice, give beggars it. Gather a medicinal herb of each place. Use merchants. Let all Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines of the whole country continue a prayer.”


Audience flocked to Rengeji of Kamakura. It is a large temple of the Nenbutsu sect of Buddhism.

The people said they could not but cling to Nembutsu for getting over the world of sufferings, and visited to there.

In audience, there is Nichiren who wear a canonical robe and a shoulder robe of the thin Indian ink.

Priest of the black robe, Nen'a began sermon before long.

Nen'a calls the official name Ryochu Nen'a. He was born in Iwami Province (present Shimane Prefecture). He become a priest at 16 years old. He learned an Abhidharma-kosa and Tientai following Enshin and Shinren and trained himself in esoteric Buddhism following Mitsuzo and Gencho. He went to Chikugo to hear Buddhism of Ben'a Shoko and become the disciple afterwards. He open Rengeji (Komyo-ji Temple after) in Kamakura and grant religious precept by a request of Tsunetoki Hojou in 1240. He is a Nembutsu priest to represent Kamakura.

Nen'a begins to talk calmly.

“The world is filled with sufferings. We cannot but chant it with Nam-Amidabutsu to escape from these sufferings. Abandon other teachings. Teachings which match us, mediocre people, are only Nam-Amidabutsu. An ideal in other teachings is too high. We understand neither the Lotus Sutra nor the Avatamska Sutra. If we threw away these and chanted only Nam-Amidabutsu, we could be beatified.”

Nichiren spoke here.

Splendid. Really splendid."

Nen'a smiled and nodded. Nichiren caught the smile.

“It is bold that attaining Buddhahood are no other than Nam-Amidabutsu, and abandon the sutra such as the Lotus Sutra, is not it? Where who preached the teachings?”

“Young gentleman, it was good asking. It is Amitabha sutra.”

Nichiren crossed an arm and was impressed.

“It’s a strange story. Amitabha sutra is called temporary Mahayana sutra among the sermon of Buddha and is around one step of low teachings than true Mahayana sutra such as the Lotus Sutra or the Nirvana Sutra. Do you not despise initiator Buddha of the Buddhism by throwing all other sutra away and saying that attaining Buddhahood cannot but chant with Nam-Amidabutsu, from that reason? In the first place, does the Amitabha sutra preach us to throw all other sutras away?”

Nen'a got angry for an instant.

“No, it is wrong. Holy priest Honen is said. We only obey it.”

“It is a pity. Though priest Honen studied it with much effort in the Enryakuji Temple, he deeply attached to low teachings and has distorted Law of Buddha of Shakyamuni. It is the crime to equal to the hell of the incessant sufferings. A person who says it, he is the bad person who ropes people in Hell.”

Nen'a has begun to be excited.

“Who is thou? Speak!"

Nichiren said towards audience.

“Everybody, I am the Buddhist priest called Nichiren living in the Matsuba Valley. Come to me anytime if you want to hear the present tale in detail.”

Disciples of Nen'a expel Nichiren from the temple in a angry voice resounded through the hall.

Nichiren left magnificently.


While Nichiren spread the Lotus Sutra, he went to the temple of other denominations and fought in the doctrine of Buddhism hard.

It was worth, a large number of audience came to gradually flock to the thatched hut of Nichiren of the Matsuba valley.

Nichiren talks to the people who visited the thatched hut powerfully.

“Lord of teachings, Shakyamuni Buddha, said that he did not yet express the truth, preached the Lotus Sutra after 40 years of starting sermon. Therefore, Amitabha Sutra which was preached before the Lotus Sutra is the teachings of the means not to include the best enlightenment preached in the Lotus Sutra. Lotus Sutra is the King of all the Buddhist sutras said to be 80,000 sutras, isultimate teachings of Buddha. That is why it cannot come true that all people of the latter day of the Law attain Buddhahood if they do not chant Myoho-renge-kyo which is title of the Lotus Sutra.

The priest Honen says, ‘abandon, close, leave and cast aside the Lotus Sutra and chant Nembutsu.’ That is why it is decided to fall into the hell of the incessant sufferings if people chant Nam-Amidabutsu of priest Honen slandering the Buddha's best teachings.”

Priests of Nembutsu cannot beat Nichiren.

Because Nichiren attacked the wicked doctrine of Nembutsu in a text of a sutra first of all, the person of Nembutsu was not able to resist him.

There were many people who criticized Nembutsu of Honen from old days. The imperial order was promulgated, too. Mt. Hiei ever oppressed Nembutsu, too, but the teachings of Honen spread out without stopping naturally. Nichiren has begun to stop it.

Nichiren talks about the reason as follows.

“Thus, when I was thirty-two, from around the spring of the fifth year of the Kenchō era[1253], I began criticizing the Nembutsu and Zen sects, and later I attacked the Shingon sect as well."

“At first the Nembutsu followers despise me, saying, ‘However clever Nichiren may be, he can hardly surpass the priest Myo'en, the priest Ko'in of the administrator, or the chief priest Kenshin. These people at first attacked the priest Honen, but later they all capitulated and became his disciples or followers of his teachings, and Nichiren no doubt will do likewise.’ They sought to disprove my words one after another."

 "When persons in past times criticized Honen's teachings, they did not at the same time criticize those of his predecessors Shantao and Taocho, nor did they try to distinguish between provisional sutras and those that are true, as a result the Nembutsu believers only became more self-confident than ever. But now I, Nichiren, have Shantao and Honen fallen into the hell of incessant suffering, and have driven home my criticisms by comparing the three Pure Land sutras with the Lotus Sutra, which is like comparing the light of a firefly with the sun and moon or the water of a small stream with those of the great ocean. Moreover, I have demonstrated that the Nembutsu is a mere childish doctrine that the Buddha expounded as an expedient for a time only. To desire such a doctrine to leave from the sufferings of birth and death is like building a ship of stone and hoping to cross the vast sea with it, or loading a mountain on one's back and attempting to go over a steep slope. When I criticize them in this way, none of the Nembutsu believers has been able to refute me.”

              ‘On refuting Ryōkan and Others’

 Myo'en, Ko'in, Kenshin are each the Buddhist priests who submitted to Nembutsu. Above all, Kenshin was attracted by Nembutsu while being the head priest of the Tendai Sect and changed a religion.

 People of Nembutsu thought that Nichiren was the same. Cannot win even if he blames Honen of the teacher.

But the technique of Nichiren is different.

He assumed the Lotus Sutra highest sutra and concluded three sutras of Pure Land that people of Nembutsu clung to to be a fictitious theory. In addition, he declared that they were in the hell of incessant sufferings including Chinese Shantao who was a teacher of Honen.

He attacked the Buddhist priest of denominations after having grasped all sutra of Buddha and main theories and explanations of India and China. Nichiren continued studying internal and external writings even after it again until he became a priest at the age of 16 and established the sect with 32. As a matter of course, he read the writings of Shantao. The result of the study of this Nichiren will be gradually clarified in writing (Gosho in Japanese) more than 500 that he left throughout the life including 'On Establishing the Correct Teachings for the Peace of the Land'


Continued to 3



Life of Nichiren Part 1 contents

note

Six purification days in a month  The two seasons equinoctial week

Words relating to Buddhism. Six purification days mean 8, 14, 15, 23, 29, 30th every month. It had been considered to be a day to spend with the observance of the commandments cleanliness both on six purification days of a month and on the equinoctial week two seasons.

divination panel

Rikujin-choku-ban in Japanese. A tool of the fortune-teller that a Yin Yan fortune-teller used. The disk which the Big Dipper or traditional Japanese music were written down is put on the square board which words and figures were written down. It is thought that this disk meant the heavens, that the square meant the ground. The Yin Yang fortune-teller of the Kamakura era foretold future by turning of this Rikujin-choku disk constantly.

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by johsei1129 | 2017-10-14 22:56 | LIFE OF NICHIREN | Comments(0)
2017年 10月 08日

7. Three Disasters and Seven Calamities (Great disaster attacks Japan) 1

                  Japanese ver.


Nichiren walks the sunken road.

He took the road which went around Tokyo Bay, passed through Musashi from Kamakura and went to Shimousa.

However contrary to enthusiasm of Nichiren, the wild landscape spread out before him.

Fields are wasted.

When looking around, the horse which lost weight is toppling down at the roadside. It was going to starve to death at any moment.

Nichiren bends his brow.

He heard the voice of crying woman carried on wind from somewhere. The plaintive tone seemed to grieve and seemed to bear a grudge. The sound is no trivial matter.

When turning around to hear of the voice, there is moldering house of the farmer alone from very close him.

Nichiren visited this house as invited.

Opened the door of the entrance a woman who seem mother burst into tears when he looked into the inside.

Nichiren ran up to her.

“What is the matter with you?”

The woman put hands together seeing a canonical robe of Nichiren. She wasted away as if have not eat for days.

"A Buddhist priest, a child just died!"

“I pity you! What name is this child?”

“This child has not yet name.”

Nichiren kneeled near a child and joined his hands and chanted it several times with "Nam-myoho- renge-kyo" and mourned for the death of the child.

He asked a woman.

“Where is father?”

“He abandoned me and left. A thing to eat by this famine ran out and he said he could not live here anymore. I stayed without leaving a child.”

“That's terrible.”

“Besides, a pestilence spread, and the person of the village left, and anyone disappeared.”

Nichiren holds out a rice ball from a basket.

“OK, you eat this and cheer up and should chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo so that this child is born in the country of Buddha in the future life.”

Mother put a rice ball on the mouth of the child while sobbing and continued chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo until a figure of Nichiren was out of sight.


Nichiren goes the darker brutal empty bottom.

Smelled strange before long when continued walking. It was the bad smell he had not yet experienced.

People sat down in the suburbs of the village and seemed to roast a creature. Women and children and an old person cried around there.

When he approached and looked at the incineration ground, there was the many human bodies.

“What happened?”

The answer of the old man who crouched down is feeble.

“Is pestilence. A pestilence is raging around here. This is an order of military governor that bakes the dead person immediately. we cannot finish counting them...”

An old man pointed him to the hut of outskirts.

Nichiren was amazed to see human skeletons being full in a hut.

He edged back and went down on knees.

“What a boot!”

A farmer muttered.

“We do not get the crops, and a pestilence spreads. This village is exterminated.”

The earth shook lengthwise then. And strong shaking in the transverse direction happened. Is a quite big earthquake. The mountains of incineration ground collapsed, and sparks scattered.

Women and children clung to Nichiren.

Villagers exclaim and escape, and were at a loss.

Nichiren stood firm so that he would not lose against shaking.


The situation did not change even when he returned to Kamakura. Innumerable beggars held a knee on both sides of the sunken road and lined up endlessly. Everybody is dead tired and does not move.

A voice to ask for a alms sounds.

“Show mercy upon me. Give grace to us.”

Nichiren looked around with a hard eye. He was trying to help them, but he could do nothing.

It is said that two sun appeared in the countryside.

The farmer points to the sun in the fields which dried out and grieves.

The shaman put hands together towards the sun.


The spirit of overthrowing the upper class that a samurai gained power was characterized in the Kamakura era, but was the times when great disaster was frequent at the same time.

For example, from 1253 when Nichiren presented 'On Establishing the Correct Teachings for the Peace of the Land', to next year 1254, disasters occur in succession.

A major earthquake in Kamakura on June 10, 1253; a big fire in Kamakura on January 10, 1254; a document of government office of the Shogunate was lost by a gale on May 9, same year; a major earthquake in Kyoto on May 11 same year; a gale and rain in Kamakura on July 1 same year.

Nichiren writes down these disasters in the plural writings repeatedly.

“A traveler arrived and lamented to the host: In recent years there have been ominous occurrences in the heavens, and natural disasters on earth. Famine and pestilence rage in all lands beneath the skies and in every corner of the realm. Dead cattle and horses are everywhere, and human skeletons clutter the streets. Over half the population has already been carried off by death, and there is hardly a single person who does not grieve…They merely exhaust themselves in vain. Famine and pestilence rage more fiercely than ever, beggars are everywhere in sight, and dead people fill our eyes.” On Establishing the Correct Teachings for the Peace of the Land’

“Now we receive reports that this land is beset by various kinds ofdisasters and see it in fact. From the eighth month of the eighth year of Kencho [1256] until the second month of the second year of Shogen [1260], various disasters such as major earthquakes, strong winds that blow out of season, widespread famines,and great outbreaks of pestilence occurred one after another and continue even today, until it almost seems as though the entire population of the nation will be vanished. Many people have offered prayers in an attempt to alleviate these various calamities, but they appear to have had no result.” On Dealing with Disaster

“At the present time, numerous prayers are offered for the peace and safety of the nation. And yet in the first year of the Shoka era [1257] there was a severe earthquake, and in the second year of the same era, torrential rains and violent winds occurred and the rice plants failed to ripen. I would consider that there are evil teachings that is bringing about the destruction of the nation in this country.”On the Protection of the Nation’

It says the corpse becomes the watchtower, and that it becomes the bridge. This miserable state is not an exaggeration.

Chomei Kamono records a state of the famine of Kyoto in "The Ten-Foot-Square Hut" before 40 years Nichiren is born.

“Time become a long time and do not remember whether it was the time of the Yowa era [1181], but the world had become the famine and, during two years, became terrible surprisingly.

There was a drought in spring and summer, and a gale and flood in autumn. Such misfortunes were continued, the cereals do not all grow. Therefore, there is work only to plow in spring, and to implant in summer, and there is not gaiety to mow rice in autumn, and to harvest in winter. Therefore, a person throws away land, and the people of the countries leave the border and roam, and a person lives in the mountain regardless of his house. Various prayers begin, and mystic rites are performed, but totally have no effect. The people cannot save appearances to rely on everything in the custom of the capital in the country because nothing has been carried. They change various property for food without being able to endure it, but nobody tries to see it. The person changing it by chance underestimates value of the money and respects the value of cereals. The beggars increased on the street, and it was full of the voice of the person who grieved.” from ‘the Famine ofYowa era 1 in the Ten-Foot-Square Hut’

 Chomei describes the state of the major earthquake endlessly after this. A natural disaster let people despair.

The opportunity of the reason why Nichiren gave to Tokiyori Hojo (Saimyoji Nyudo) 'On Establishing the Correct Teachings for the Peace of the Land' it was a major earthquake generated in Shoka era.

 The Imperial Court and the Shogunate did not have no measures for this disaster. A prayer and mystic rites were performed actively, but there is not the results.

They modified the name of an era, but it was without effect.

When the Emperor passes away, modern Japan changes the name of an era. But, as for this time, it was different.

For a natural disaster, a pestilence, a bad crop, it was changed many times. The statesman too was trying to steal out of a misfortune desperately.

By the way, Nichiren is born in the Jo'o era [1222] first year and passed away at 61 years old, but the name of an era is changed 22 times during this period.

It is Gen'nin, Karoku, Antei, Kangi, Jo'ei,Tenpuku, Bunryaku,Katei, Ryakunin, En'no,Ninji, Kangen,Hoji, Kencho, Kogen, Shoka, Shogen, Bun'no, Kocho, Bu'nei, Kenji, Ko'an. Can't remember.

All these name of an era is changed in only 61 years.

The Bun'ei era continued for the longest time in these 22 eras, but was changed only in 11 years.

In addition, the name of an era that continued for the longest time in Japanese history is Showa which continued for 63 years.

For a name of an era, the desire of the statesman to want the world calm is indicated somehow or other.

The people were feeling the dignity of the word of 'the latter day of the Law' strongly in this way.


Continued to Three Disasters and Seven Calamities (Great disaster attacks Japan 2


Life of Nichiren Part 1 contents



by johsei1129 | 2017-10-08 19:29 | LIFE OF NICHIREN | Comments(0)
2017年 10月 01日

6. Feud with Tojo Kagenobu (4)

                    Japanese ver.


A voice of the joy sounded outside the court.

Women of Seichoji temple side burst into tears under the sun, and they shouted, "Thanks to holy priest Nichiren!"

Nichiren carried baggage on his back and he wore a hat and got ready for the trip in this lively scene.

Jokenbo worried.

"Are you going to go already?"

Nichiren nods. He intends to ask Jonin Toki of Shimousa from now on. There are many samurais of the relationship of Toki in Shimousa. Nichiren was going to make a line of the propagation depending on Toki. Since he won a trial, he must come back to his mission.

Gijobo grasped a hand of Nichiren tightly.

"You rescued the Seichoji temple. O'ama is pleased very much, too. Have a nice trip.”

The farmer of the Seichoji believer held out the contained basket of the rice ball.

"Please have this. We did not get the crops by famine this year. It will become difficult to eat rice.”

“Thank you very much for your advice.”

Nichiren lowered the head to the farmer deeply.

Kagenobu of the land steward passed by mounting a horse slowly there and stopped in front of Nichiren.

Kagenobu become a face for anger red-hot, and a musculus appeared to his brow.

Everybody fell silent.

Kagenobu looks down from a horse.

"Nichiren, I will overlook you for now. But you were an enemy of Nembutsu and were selected as the enemy of the land steward. I do not keep you alive when you come back to Awa. Prepare.”

Kagenobu has a face twitching and leaves. His retainers glared at Nichiren too in looking askance and they left.

The trial was settled once in this way, but Seichoji temple and the fight of the land steward continued after this. However, all terminate in the victory of Seichoji temple.

It was Nichiren to have supported Seichoji.

He supports the people of the Seichoji as a defense lawyer or an accuser, besides propagation. Nichiren was a master of the law either while learning Law of Buddha.

He vowed that he would abandon the Lotus Sutra if defeated in a trial really, and was continually on the move

“I will explain why. The villainous Tojo Saemon Kagenobu once hunted the deer and other animals kept by Seichoji, and tried to force the priests in the various lodging temples to become Nembutsu believers.

At that time,I pitted myself against Tojo and supported the lord of the manor. I made a written oath. That said, 'If the two temples Seicho and Futama should come into Tojo's possession, I will discard the Lotus Sutra!' Then I tied it to the hand of the object of devotion, and prayed continuously. Within a year, both temples had been freed from Tojo's grasp.”Letter to the Populace of Seichoji’

When Nichiren became a priest in the seichoji temple, it is said he prayed to Akasa-garbha-bodhisattva, "please make me to the wisest person in Japan".

I received great wisdom from a live Akasa-garbha-bodhisattva. The Bodhisattva felt pity for me perhaps. He gave the great jewel as brilliant as the morning star to my right-hand sleeve. Thereafter, while I learn the all Buddhist scriptures, I could grasp superiority and inferiority of eight denominations and the all Buddhist scriptures.”'Letter to the Populace of Seichoji’

Also, he wrote "Nichiren tied it to the hand of the object of devotion and prayed continuously". Nichiren showed horrible passion for repaying a gratitude to hometown Seichoji temple and people who had a chance to become a priest.

On the other hand, Kagenobu of the land steward was going to win a trial moving even an influential person of Hojo, but cannot achieve. Therefore, Kagenobu hated for Nichiren from the bottom of his heart and will cause the persecution of Komatsubara of the Bun'ei first year (1264) at last. Nichiren was not able to go back to his hometown without resolution in this way.


Continued to Three Disasters and Seven Calamities (Great disaster attacks Japan) 1


Life of Nichiren Part 1 contents




by johsei1129 | 2017-10-01 13:18 | LIFE OF NICHIREN | Comments(0)