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2020年 07月 04日

3 Nichiren Declares the Establishment of True Buddhism in the Hometown in Readiness.

               Japanese version

カレンダー が含まれている画像自動的に生成された説明

  From Biography of Nichiren Daishōnin

Rencho arrived at Kominato of Awa in his hometown.

He feels nostalgic about the smell of the tide of the sea.

Rencho walks the slope of the mountain.

He saw the Seichoji Temple uphill.

There were children, who were Buddhist priests. They forced the leaf which they collected from each other. Probably they got tired of cleaning the front door.

Rencho called to them smilingly.

“Hey, you must not quarrel”.

Boys doubted a monk talking intimately, but noticed it before long.

“Possibly, are you Mr. Rencho?”

At the same time Rencho nodded, boys ran in a hurry into the main hall of the temple.

He entered the precincts of the temple.

His parents, Dozen-bo, Joken-bo, Gijo-bo, O’ama greet him.

Rencho greeted them with a broad smile.

"I , Rencho, have returned from the Enryakuji Temple".

Mother Umegiku is already filled with tears and was going to say him, but words fail her. Dozen-bo put hands together, seeing the figure of the smart and manly Rencho unintentionally. The nun O'ama smiled like seeing the growth of her own child. Jokenbo and Gijo-bo, the senior disciple, looked at Rencho who had grown up and become really big, with dazzling eyes. And boys are looking at him from the back of adults with interest.

Night has advanced, and a banquet began.

A boy hits the hand drum.

Rencho sat down at the middle of the table, and Dozen-bo and O'ama sat down on both sides. Enchi-bo, Joken-bo, Gijo-bo and other priests of Seicho-ji temple lined up on the left side and Mikuni Tayu of father, Umegiku of the mother and believers of the Seicho-ji lined up on the right side. Everybody talks with a smile in admiration that Rencho grew up magnificently.

Mikuni Tayu was proud that Rencho was praised, and there was the feeling of embarrassment, too. Umegiku was just glad that Rencho came back to Seicho-ji safely.

On the other hand, Rencho was thinking about tomorrow's first sermon with the eyes which occasionally gazed into afar.

The next morning, the precincts of the temple were still dark.

Dozen-bo looked in Rencho’s room to practice together at a religious service in the morning, but Rencho was not there.

He asked a young monk.

“Where did Rencho go?”

 "He said that he would go to the Kasaga forest and had gone out".

There was a hillside which could look around the Pacific.

Kasaga forest was going to greet the morning, but it was still dark.

There has been a sea of the vast Pacific just in front of Rencho.

Gradually the eastern sky brightened. Light sparkles beyond the horizon subtly.

It was the morning of April 28, 1253. The sun, which did not change during several billions of years, shined now and rose.

Rencho chants it with a vibrant voice in the vast universe.

“Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, Nam-myoho-renge-kyo”.


マップ が含まれている画像自動的に生成された説明

From Biography of Nichiren Daishōnin

Men and women of all ages go up the approach to the Seichoji temple this morning.

A passing old woman wondered and asked them.

"Are there some kinds of gatherings?"

"There is a sermon from now."


"The Buddhist priest called Rencho came home from Mt. Hiei. We intend to listen to his story today.”

The old woman remembered him.

"Rencho? Yes! That he was here is certain. He was an innocent child, but did he become so excellent yet?"

“So, I want to hear that the priest Rencho preach about Nembutsu. Anyway, because Nembutsu is spreading all over Japan.”

The woman who is aside butts their conversation.

"No, priest Rencho is Zen sect. The Zen sect is popular among samurai. The present is the world of the samurai. Mr. Rencho should be shrewd in this fashion.”

The old woman got enthusiastic suddenly.

"I go, eoo. I want to hear the teachings of the Shingon. The holiest teachings are certainly the Shingon in Japan. Shingon is because a noble priest gathers. Oh, it is a pleasure”.

The samurai who heard this conversation approached and said,

“All of you are thoughtless. Priest Rencho intends to get on in life with the precept sect. They hold religious precepts, make a bridge and give a sick person alms-giving. There is not a person who is noble other than the priest of religious precept denomination”.

People pass their side with hurried steps.

The samurai was upset.

“This is no time for introducing such a talk. Priest Rencho came home from Enryakuji Temple where excellent Buddhist priests gathered from all over the country. We can't miss his sermon!”

They all went up the slope.

The Buddha statue hall of the Seichoji temple was a small building.

The audience gathered in groups.

There is a small Buddha statue in the central back, and parents, the nun O'ama, the priest of Dozen-bo and others are waiting in front of it.

Everybody was cheerful, but only the Dozen-bo was uneasy for some reason. He can not rid his born timidity.

On the other hand, Enchi-bo and Dogi-bo sat with an arrogant face. If Rencho’s sermon included an error even a little, they asked immediately and intended to shame him.

Rencho appeared, and the hall fell silent instantly.

He began to talk slowly after he sat in the center and put hands together towards people and bowed.

“I, Rencho, returned from Mt. Hiei. Ladies and gentlemen have been supporting my ascetic practices of several countries for many years and I feel it's much appreciated. I give thanks to this home town. By the way, this time I will change my Buddhist name and introduce myself as Nichiren”.


All members murmur lightly.

"I learned in the temples such as Mt. Hiei, Mt. Koya, Onjoji temple, and I definitely realized that the ultimate doctrine of Buddha was only one”.

All men and women took their breath.

Nichiren faced the people who gathered and he put hands together and chanted "Nam-myoho-renge-kyo" aloud powerfully.

The audience was dumbfounded, but Nichiren continued it.

"After 42 years when Shakyamuni had attained Buddhahood, he preached the Muryogi Sutra at the place of the Spirit Eagle Mountain, and he showed to all creatures, 'I had not expressed the truth for about forty years yet'. In addition to all this, Buddha preached and clarified 'the Lotus Sutra' that is the true teachings that all creatures can attain Buddhahood. By the way, all of you who gather here will know that the word 'Japan' includes our country, two islands, all creatures, beast, all the trees and plants. All merits of both Shakyamuni and various Buddhas of the past, present, and future, who were preached with the 28 chapters in the Lotus Sutra, are included in five and seven characters called 'Nam-myoho-renge-kyo'. All creatures of the Latter-Day of the Law can attain Buddhahood in the present living body by believing in Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. That is why it is the only way in the Latter-Day of the Law to chant 'Nam-myoho-renge-kyo' before everything else if a person wishes for attaining Buddhahood. I chanted Nam-myoho-renge-kyo to all of you at first. That is because there is life called the world of Buddha inside the mind of you. In the chapter of expedient means in the Lotus Sutra, Shakyamuni Buddha has preached 'opening, showing, realizing, entering' that is a reason of 'the purpose of only one most important' that a Buddha appears in this Saha world. This means that Buddha lets all creatures open the knowledge of Buddha and shows it and lets them realize and lets them enter the Buddhistic road. In other words, attaining Buddhahood is the opening of the life of the Buddha world which all creatures possess.

Nichiren preached his own secret which he had studied in the Enryakuji Temple at a stretch.

The people noticed there was a powerful sermon person who had not looked so far.

Enchi-bo and Dogi-bo do a contemptuous smile suspiciously.

Dozen-bo of the teacher wiped the sweat off his brow by bare hand unintentionally. The nun O'ama nun could not hide her confusion at the words "Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo," which she had never heard from any priest before. The parents of Nichiren keep opening their mouths as if they hear a mysterious story.

Nichiren continues preaching without pause.

"I, Nichiren, will spread a title of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo to the every corner in Japan after today. I will grant this title to the mouth of all people of Japan. However, it is a fact that there is an evil Law against the teachings of Buddha in this world. The peace and security of the land are not possible if we exterminate evil Law first and do not spread right Law".

Dozen-bo, he was upset and spoke unintentionally.

"An evil Law? Is there such a thing in the teaching that Buddha preached in this world? I cannot but excommunicate you if you continue such a sermon!”

Nichiren continues preaching without being daunted to the word of the 'excommunication' from his teacher.

"There are four evil Laws in the present world of the Latter Day of the Law. The beginning is the Nembutsu sect. The Nembutsu sect of the priest Honen is the real undesirable Law. They abandon the Lotus Sutra that Buddha had determined the best sutra and they worship Amidha Buddha who was preached in Amitabha sutra that does not yet express the truth. And they preach that people should chant Nam-Aamida-butsu. The Amidha Buddha is an unrelated Buddha in this Saha world. Shakyamuni Buddha who was born in the moon country (India) in this Saha world and rescued many creatures is the father of all creatures. It is ingratitude that a Buddhist monk preaches to throw away the best sacred sutra preached by this father, and it is certain that all creatures, believing this fall into the hell of incessant suffering with monk".

"What! We fall into the hell if we chant Nam-Amidhabutsu!"

A scream breaks out from the audience.

There was a person who covered his ears. Man and woman edges back. Enchi-bo poured eyes of the anger to Nichiren.

"The next Zen Buddhism resembles the Law of Buddha, but is not a Law of Buddha. The doctrine of this denomination advocates 'the truth was conveyed separately from the sutras', and is the teaching of a non-Buddhist that ignores all the sutras of Buddha. The Nirvana sutra says, 'If there is a person who does not obey the preach of Buddha, this is the devil's followers'. Therefore, a person believing Zen Buddhism is the same as the acts of the evil spirit."

The samurai gets angry.

"What nonsense! The Zen Buddhism is believed by Lord Kamakura, too".

But Nichiren is unflappable at all.

"Next, the Shingon sect worships the non-Buddhism called the secret teachings. This denomination says Buddha's rank is lower than both a cowherd and a person of the sandal-carrier; they look down upon the Lotus Sutra and Buddha. This is the teaching that destroys a country. This is false teachings to respect the Dainichi Buddha who is unrelated to this Saha world. A country ruins by all means if a person prays in Shingon".

The people left, one after another, from the hall of the Buddha statue.

"The Ritsu (precept) sect in last. There are priests brandishing the religious precepts that are the teachings that are the lowest with all sutras which Buddha preached for 50 years. They are the traitors of the country who are unrelated to the Latter Day of the Law. I have talked about an outline. That is all”.

Most of the audience left the hall, but there was a person who wanted to hear a sermon by Nichiren in detail.

Dozen-bo edged up to Nichiren.

"Rencho, no, Nichiren, what a terrible thing you say! Do you want to make all Buddhists in Japan an enemy?".

Umegiku of mother puts hands together and rubs it.

"My son, please stop only criticizing the other denominations. It is terrible that the Nembutsu is called Hell”.

Father Mikuni Tayu furrowed his brow, too.

"What is that! Though I sent you on ascetic practices with much effort, what is it to say such a thing? Where had you had such a thought? ".

Nichiren was calm.

"Dear father, mother, and teacher. I decided to do it since I left the Enryakuji Temple. I will live together with the Lotus Sutra. Nobody can break this oath".

The mother burst into tears.

Then, Jokenbo, the senior disciple, entered among them.

“Our master Dozen-bo, well, isn't that good for today? It looks like Nichiren would have serious determination. I was not able to understand everything of today's sermon, but what I thought to want to hear it from Nichiren in detail is certain”.

Gijo-bo, the same senior disciple, supports him.

"I want to hear today's sermon in detail, too. I could not judge it from only today's sermon, but the only conviction of the priest Nichiren affected my mind certainly".

The nun O'ama helped them by taking the opportunity, too.

"I was really surprised, too, but I am the same as a foster parent of Nichiren from the old days. I will believe the Nichiren Shonin from today and chant not Namu-Amidabutsu but Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. My mind seems to be lively when I hear Namu-myoho-renge-kyo that the priest Nichiren chants. It is somehow different from Nam-Amidabutsu that is the feeling to submerged in the ground. Umegiku and Tayu will become able to surely understand a thought of priest Nichiren. Please don't worry".

Nichiren put hands together.

"Those words, I will not forget them throughout my life".

Teacher Dōzenbō lost heart and went out.

Enchi-bo of the old priest stood in the way there.

"Well, really, Dōzenbō, you had a troublesome disciple, didn’t you? I look forward to how you take this responsibility".

Dozen-bo was upset and left there to escape.

Nichiren preached to parents again after this, and he granted to his parents the religious precepts by himself, he gave a Buddhist name to his mother, as Myoren, to father, as Myonichi, from a character of Nichiren each.

Nichiren later wrote the following about his parents and his teacher, Dozen-bo, at the time of the Risshu declaration.

"In all worldly affairs, those who oppose their parents or disobey their ruler incur the wrath of Heaven for unfilial or disloyal behavior. But if one's parent or ruler becomes an enemy of the Lotus Sutra, then disobedience becomes an act of filial devotion and repays the gratitude to the nation. Therefore, since I first read the Lotus Sutra, I have not been afraid, even though my parents stopped me, with their palms rubbed, to desist, even though my teacher disowned me, even though the lord of Kamakura [the regent] twice exiled me, and even though my neck was nearly going to be cut off. Therefore, in Japan, there may be now people who think my doctrine is true. In Japan, it might be difficult to choose the person who receives the protection of Heaven at last disobeying the sovereign, parents, and teacher except Nichiren". 'About the Royal Palace'

屋内, 建物, 人, テーブル が含まれている画像自動的に生成された説明

Samurai armor, Kamakura period. Tokyo National Museum. From Wikipedia.

However, this case was reported quickly to Kagenobu of the land steward who governed Tojo District.

Kagenobu was tempted by warm weather and was taking a nap leisurely, but he was woken up by the vassal.

"What? Nembutsu is the hell of incessant suffering?".

Kagenobu was an enthusiastic, strong believer of Nembutsu.

He showed an expression of anger in the beginning, but burst into laughter before long.

“I will win this showdown. We will arrest the Buddhist priest called Nichiren. The land steward cannot consent that such a bad person is inside the Seichoji. We will arrest him and appeal to the Shogunate for the misbehavior of the temple. Then that temple will fall under the control of me, Tojo. Good, here we go!”.

Kagenobu has the sword and goes out. Vassals followed him in a hurry.

Kagenobu and his subordinates run fast on horseback. They ran from the mountain path and climbed the approach to the temple.

Nichiren and Joken-bo, Gijo-bo were in the middle of the conversation in the temple. It is a time when the two senior disciples asked for Nichiren's room and heard the teaching of the Lotus Sutra.

A young monk burst into the room.

“It's bad! The land steward has come over. They are yelling, 'Why the Nembutsu is the hell of incessant suffering? '”

Joken-bo raised his knee.

"Damn it! Did it leak? Monk Nichiren, you are dangerous. Please go out right now!”.

Nichiren sat up straight.

"The cause of that problem is me. I should explain it."

Gijo-bo stopped it.

“Don't do that. Tojo and this temple are irreconcilable enemies in a land dispute. We can't involve you in this.”

The inside of the temple filled with the undesired noise at the same time he has said.

Samurais of Kagenobu invaded. A ferocious voice shout, and blustering voice were sounded.

"Where is the person who is called Nichiren? Where is Nichiren?”.

Kagenobu Tojo, who flew into a rage, opened the door of the room violently.

There were only two people from Joken-bo and Gijo-bo there.

Kagenobu pointed a whip to the tip of the nose of Jōken-bō.

"Where is the man who is called Nichiren?"

“He is not here. He has already left."

Gijo-bo answers resolutely.

"Lord Kagenobu, it is imprudent to enter the building with your shoes despite being a land steward. The nun O'ama is the blood relationship of lord Kamakura. This matter is not good for Lord Kagenobu either."

Kagenobu loses a voice for an instant.

"No, there was an informant. There seems to be a man saying that the prayer of Nembutsu is hell. It is the duty of the land steward to supervise such a person. I intend to arrest his followers too.”

The voice from the outside sounded.
"The man was there!"

Nichiren went down the mountain behind at a trot.

The samurai who pulled a sword caught up with Nichiren.

Nichiren turns around.

Samurais surrounded Nichiren.

It was unexpected. A persecution befell him with the first sermon. Nichiren was seized with thoughts like having a glimpse of the coming future.

However, the group of the farmer dashed out from the forest and protected Nichiren and confronted samurai. They were people who were supporters of Seichoji Temple. Most are local farmers. They had heard the urgent call and had gathered.

Farmers glare at samurais with sticks.

A samurai was enraged.

" You are outrageous farmers! Do you take sides with a wicked Buddhist priest?”

Farmers call out to each other and begin to push out their sticks and push away samurais.

The samurai does not lose, too.

Though the hostility of both continued, Kagenobu appeared. He seemed to consider that a situation was disadvantageous. He was forced to withdraw samurais. And he threatened farmers when leaving.

"Today is good only. But I shall remember it. There are people against an administrator. I'll get even with all of you sometime".

Kagenobu has left, farmers gave a sigh of relief.

The three people of Nichiren, Jokenbo and Gijo-bo go down the thin mountain path. They held their breaths. A pursuer may come.

Miura Peninsula was seen on the opposite bank. Furthermore, they see Mount Fuji covered with snow far far away.

Gijo-bo handed baggage to Nichiren.

"What would you do from now on? Will you return to Kyoto?”

Nichiren waved his neck.

"I will go to Kamakura."

"Why? If you want to be successful in Buddhism, you should go to Kyoto."

Nichiren said flatly.

"The center of Japan is Kamakura now. I, Nichiren, have the determination that I am based in Kamakura, and perform propagating Buddhism of a Lotus Sutra myself to death".

Nichiren said goodbye and went down the mountain. His back becomes small.

Jokenbo said it like a soliloquy.

"Is he all right?".

Gijo-bo brightened his eyes.

"He was the man who surpassed everybody in this Seichoji temple. We do not worry".

These two people were senior disciples, but assumed Nichiren a teacher, after this. And they support the activity of Nichiren throughout their life.

Nichiren writes the judicious acts of both Joken-bo and Gijo-bo of this day as follows in "Questions and Answers on the Gohonzon, object of worship" later.

"When the land steward displayed his anger to me, you, Jokenbo, along with Gijo-bo, helped me to escape from Seichoji temple. Therefore, both of you will be freed from the sufferings of birth and death naturally when I thought of this service to the Lotus Sutra!"


Life of Nichiren. Vol. 1. Contents

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