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日蓮大聖人『御書』解説

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2020年 07月 19日

10. Teaching the Disciples

Japanese


Sunset shines in the residential district of Kamakura.

The residential district was dotted with wells. Citizens draw water from this well.

Disciple of Nichiren, Chikugobo Nichiro, joined the people and drew water too.

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

From around this time, the name of Nichiren propagated all over Kamakura in spite of better or worse. And the Buddhist priest who adored Nichiren became his disciple one after another.

The reputation of the world was notorious Nichiren, but his mind was kind, and his story was witty when they actually met him. His words were based on the text of Buddha's sutra and were 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, he was eloquent, knowledge and opinion were excellent together, and he was considered as the first-rate among the disciples.

Nichiren came back home.

Boy Nichiro was stewing a bean when Nichiren opened the entrance.

“Welcome home.”

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

The pickles were served on the dish and beans were on the tray. In those days, the staple food of the common people was 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, therefore it is said that they were a premature death.

Nichiren asked as he scarfed down some beans.

“Where did Chikugobo go to propagate today?”

Boy Nichiro, is fine.

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

“Oh, it was better.”

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

Nichiren is smiling.

“Well done! This is the important ascetic practice for Nichiro too. Please talk about faith 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.

Daishin-bo of the disciple drove them away.

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

Nichiren talks.

“What happened?”

Daishinbo spoke as if spitting out words.

“Probably they are orphans. It is thought they are children of the houses which broke up by the famine. Recently they have been hanging around this neighborhood.”

“Let me see”

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

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

When the children noticed Nichiren, they ran away.

After Nichiren saw children running, he put the wooden bowl of beans on the floor of the entrance. They will eat freely if done this way.

Daishinbo was disgusted.

“Shonin…”

"I think it's a good idea. Let me. It is not their fault that the children have become orphans. Everyone feels hungry now. We must deal with this around ourselves at least. They may not either have a place to sleep. Nichiro, wasn't there not the straw mat?”

“Yes, there is.”

“Bring that, please.”

Nichiren put a straw mat on the dirt floor.

“This is enough.”

Nichiro exercised tact there and brought two pillows and put them on a straw mat.

Nichiren started with a smile without saying.


Night fell, and a lecture by Nichiren began as usual.

How was the relation of Nichiren and disciples? How did Nichiren contact his followers? The concrete historical materials have been hardly left. We only imagine it, but there is a clue.

Hoki-bo Nikko who succeeded Nichiren left the writing of being called "Last Religious Precepts of Nikko" as the item which the sect of Nichiren should rigidly maintain.

There are 26 items in total, and the policy of education and propagation, which became the radical principle of the Nichiren sect, is shown there.

Hoki-bo Nikko was a monk who adhered steadfastly to Nichiren's teachings and did not change them for the rest of his life. He inherited a method of Nichiren to the disciples of the next era and left a will which means that they must spread Law by the same approach as a teacher.

Therefore, these "Last religious precepts of Nikko" are not an original creation of Nikko, it may be said that he wrote down the teachings that Nichiren left for a disciple and a believer during his lifetime. We can have a glimpse of the situation in the then Nichiren sect, and the relationship of the teacher, a disciple, and the believer, here.

The first of the most eye-catching was that the color of clothes were light gray not black.

“Must not make the color of the kasaya robe black with a sumi”.

It is not the black like the modern monk and is not a colorful thing. It was a light gray color. The priests of Nichiren Shoshu sect inheriting the teachings of Nichiren and Nikko are keeping the robe of the gray color without still changing.

In addition, in the beginning of the letter of "Making the Four Bodhisattvas", it is written that Toki Jonin had offered a gray robe to Nichiren.

“I received the white wadded silk garment one, thin gray-dyed robe one, the shoulder robe of the same color, and 1000 pieces of copper coins. I cannot find the appropriate words for expressing your long-standing devotion adequately. I would like to see you some day and tell about the pent-up discontent of my double suicide.”

Nichikan, the twenty-sixth generation of Nichiren Shoshu, also gives the reason for the gray.

“Question; What is the reason to use only gray to the color of the kasaya robe?

Answer; There are meanings. In part this is a reason to show the initial rank. There is the mankind of 'the originally not being yet of virtue' in the times of the Latter Day of the Law, this is the time to plant a seed first, 'the original not being yet of virtue' is the rank to plant a seed. Thus, the initial rank means the planting of a seed. Therefore, Myoraku says, “A seed means hearing the Buddha's Law for the first time”. Why may hearing the Buddha's Law at first not be the initial rank? Why may the expression as a seed not be the rank of planting a seed for the first time? Therefore, we express the initial rank and use only gray.” ‘Three Kinds of Clothes in This Sect’.

The rank of beginning means the person who believes and maintains the Law of Buddha for the first time. In this Buddha's Law, one can attain Buddhahood in the rank which he would believe for the first time, unrelated to order and the grade.

In addition, he forbade the disciples to wear Jikitotsu. Jikitotsu is the robe which binds a jacket and an under robe directly. Though It was a characteristic that there was a fold from a waist below, this is not suitable for active and practice shakubuku. Therefore, Nichiren did not permit a jikitotsu and commanded to wear only coarse silk clothes. The coarse silk is rough silk thread before the refinement, there was Nichiren with this style of life. This has absolutely nothing to do with colorful vestments.

Furthermore, they used the shoulder robe made in five pieces which was used by a priest of the lowest rank. In conjunction with a robe, these were called "coarse silk and five pieces." They put their heart and soul to maintain simplicity and frugality in their habits.

Because the shoulder robe connected rag clothes which were thrown away like feces at first in India and was made, it was called the clothes of dung sweeper. The shoulder robe used in Japan is made with new cloth, but it is cut together cutting as a small piece on purpose, then sew and complete them. A strip of vertically joined small pieces of cloth is called Jo (strip) and the shoulder robe is made by joining multiple Jo horizontally. Nichiren's disciples still wear coarse silk sewn in five pieces.

The Buddhist priest opens the right shoulder, and the priest wears a shoulder robe to wind it around a body. Opening the right shoulder, it is a custom of India to express respect to a partner. In addition, the priest of India lived with one piece of the shoulder robe at first, but he came to gradually wear an undergarment because he was not able to stand cold if he went to the north. This is the beginning of vestment.


I will put back a story.

The disciples, partly under the guidance of Nichiren, devoted themselves fiercely to study. And they began an argument about Buddhism if the study was over.

“The populace who is inexperienced in the study and who wants fame and fortune does not deserve to be my successor”.

“Enjoy the discussion and lectures and not mix up the other things”.

Nichiren says that those who do not study will not make his disciples. Nichiren devoted himself to the study of the sutra, from the age of 12 years old. He assigns severe training to the disciples in the same way.

The understanding of the Law of Buddha deepens if one likes to discuss after having learned it, and the ability to separate virtue and evil follows it. The disciples improved together through friendly rivalry and grew up. Nichiren recommended the pure discussion not mixing the miscellaneous. The purpose is to learn the depth of the Law of Buddha and to scrutinize an error of the other religion. It becomes a chat when it forgets a purpose, and the mind falls into a game. If one forgets the critical spirit, academics themselves will stagnate.

“Without criticizing slander for the Buddha's Law, you must not spend time playing and idle talk and do not like non-Buddhist writing and art.”

Furthermore, Nichiren praises the disciple hard who has the talent among many ones.

"In the case of the practitioner who practices like 'One's body is insignificant, the Law is heavy,' even if he was an abject priest, you must respect him by the reason of 'Showing him the same respect you would do Buddha.'"

“Even if he is a lowly person, in the case of a Buddhist priest propagating the Law, you should think him to be an old priest with virtue.”

“Even if he was the person of ignoble, you should respect him who is superior in wisdom than you and treat him as a teacher.”

Regardless of being a person or youth of humble origin, he said that we should respect the person who spread Law daringly and he is superior in wisdom, think him to be an old priest with virtue, and treat him as a teacher. Nichiren took the lead in carrying out this. There is not the discrimination before the Buddha's Law. It has nothing to do with the social position or the blood relationship. Nichiren had the supreme joy in finding a superior talent. The person who has wisdom the same as he has begun to appear in the world of the marvelous Law which he propagates for the first time. A disciple like he has begun to appear. There's nothing that could make him happier than this. Nichiren said, "Joy means that both self and others have wisdom and mercy together". ‘Part Two of the Orally Conveyed Teachings.’ It was precisely so.

In particular, he praised the disciples who responded skillfully in the discussion.

“You must admire a practitioner who is ‘skillful in the answer to a difficult question’ as Daishonin did.”

These religious precepts were written down yearning for the former teacher Nichiren.

Furthermore, the talented person should be brought up carefully. He stopped the trivial routine duties of them and let them devote themselves to study.

“About the disciple who has the talent, you are not allowed to engage in the trivial routine duties of the teacher and must let him learn various teachings including writings of the Daishonin.”

The propagation is a matter of course, but for Nichiren of that time, he has been desperate for the talented disciples to strengthen the base in the future above all.

By the way, by what kind of method did Nichiren lecture by the Law of Buddha to the disciples?

There are the handwritings called "The Chart of the Five Times Teachings of Shakyamuni" which Nichiren illustrated by himself and these had been left more than ten writings including fragmentary documents to the present. This writing is the chart where propagation of Buddhism from Shakyamuni to the Latter-Day of the Law was written from the right to the left like a bird opening a wing. It seems that Nichiren hangs this from the wall and educates the disciples. It is like a teacher using the blackboard for students in a modern educational front.

Nichiren preaches, " In order to spread this great teaching, it is necessary to prepare the holy teachings of the Buddha's life. " 'The Letter to Soya Lay Priest'. Nichiren showed learning it like this to disciples himself. Probably after Nichiren climbed at Minobu, it seems that the disciples of each lodging used it as like Nichiren and preached to believers.


ホワイトボードに書かれた文字自動的に生成された説明

'The Chart of the Five Periods Teachings of Shakyamuni'. Kobo Temple in Chiba Prefecture keep this


At midnight, Nichiren read a scroll of sutras under a light of wick, and wrote into there the words and interpretation of Tendai, Myoraku, and Dengyo Daishi.

The disciples fall asleep at his side.

A cold wind blew outside.

While shivering, two people of the orphan approached the thatched hut of Nichiren.

Two people look at the hut.

Nichiren turns the back and is writing a text of a sutra earnestly.

The children found a wooden bowl with beans in an entrance.

Nichiren rests his writing and looks to a dirt floor quietly.

There was an empty bowl in the entrance hall.

Two children are wrapped up in a straw mat, and are sleeping.

It was an innocent sleeping face.

Nichiren smiled unconsciously.

 

Continued


Life of Nichiren. Vol. 1. Contents



by johsei1129 | 2020-07-19 21:07 | LIFE OF NICHIREN | Trackback | Comments(0)
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