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日蓮大聖人『御書』解説

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2020年 08月 10日

21. Letter to Gokurakuji Ryoukan, the Counterfeit Saint with Arrogance.

                 Japanese edition


The letter was read aloud in Military Headquarters, the room of Yoritsuna Tairano. Yoritsuna indignantly heard his servant read aloud timidly.

“With regard to the missive that arrived from Mongolia, I have the honor to inform your excellency. In the first place, I, Nichiren, had described 'the Rissho Ankoku-Ron' some years ago, and it has come true without the slightest discrepancy. Therefore, I have once again submitted petitions in hopes of dispelling my pent-up resentment. I wave the flag to the public authorities and dispute the various sects privately. You are a roof pillar of the nation and the hands and feet of people. How can we fail to be grieved if our country was destroyed? We should be modest. You must therefore act with haste to punish those who are guilty of slandering the correct teachings…"

Yoritsuna grasped the letter and tore up and discarded it.

The letter reached Rankei Doryu of Kenchoji Temple, too.

Doryu is the initiator of the Daikaku group in Zen Buddhism coming from south Soong in 1246. He was invited to Kenchoji Temple founded as a temple of the Zen sect in Kamakura by Tokiyori Hojo and became the founder, in 1253. He is the foremost authority on the Buddhist world in Kamakura. Nichiren challenged him to a showdown by the letter which gave to a disciple on October 11. Hence, the entire letter is full of fighting spirit.

If you think about it first, there are many Buddhist buildings and the doctrine of Buddhism is spread to every house in Japan. Buddhism flourishes in a fashion surpassing anything known in India or China, and the ceremonies of the priests resemble arakans who possess the mysterious six powers. However, they do not understand whether it is high or low, and not understand either whether it is shallow or deep, among the various sutras preached in the Buddha's lifetime. They are hardly different from the birds or beasts. People throw away the Tathagata Shakyamuni of three virtues and instead believe in Buddha or Bodhisattva of other lands. Are they not like the people of Anti-Teaching in ancient India (note)? Faiths in the Nembutsu fall to the hell of incessant suffering, the Zen school is the work of the devil, Shingon is a wicked doctrine that will ruin the nation, and the religious precepts sect is a traitor of the nation.

Therefore, around the first year of the Bunno era [1260], I wrote the Rissho Ankokuron, I handed it to the Yadoya Nyudo for presentation to the Lord Saimyoji [Tokiyori] who had passed away. As a conclusion, I advised that because people were put faith in wicked teachings such as the Nembutsu, Shingon, Zen, and religious precepts sect, calamities and disasters frequently occurred in this world today, moreover, I predicted that this country would be attacked from a foreign nation. Then, on the eighteenth day of January of this year, the missive arrived from the Mongol nation. It has come true, like I predicted without the slightest discrepancy.

Is it because the prayers being offered up from the various temples and mountain monasteries have lost power, or is it because they are the evil Law? Both the rulers and the multitude of people in Kamakura pay reverence to the saint Doryu as though you are Buddha, and they look up to the saint Ryoukan as though he is an arhat. In addition, the old priests of Jufukuji, Tahoji, Jokomyoji, Chorakuji, and the Hall of the Great Buddha are “arrogant and suppose that they have attained what they have not attained” and they are great bad persons of arrogance. How can they pray to overpower the vast military might of Mongolia? On the contrary, both rulers and people of this country of Japan will all be taken prisoner. In this world, they will see their nation overthrown, and in the next life, they will surely fall into the hell of constant suffering.

If you do not adopt Nichiren's warnings, you will repent later. I have written letters of this content and have respectfully sent them to the Lord Kamakura of the regent, to the Yadoya Nyudo and to Heino Saemonnojo and others. I would hope that these persons all gather in one place to discuss. I, Nichiren, do not venture to express mere private and prejudiced opinion; I am only basing upon the texts of the sutras and papers. It is difficult to write about this matter in detail. Therefore, I hope for a confrontation head to head with you in a debate! Writings do not fully express a word, and a word does not fully stand for the mind.

    Sincerely yours,

    Nichiren

The eleventh day of October in the fifth year of Bun'ei [1268].

Respectfully sent to the attendant of the saint Doryu of Kenchoji Temple.Missive to Doryu of Kenchoji Temple’.

 

The missive was sent to Ryoukan of Gokurakuji too.

Along with the precept, he also promoted Nembutsu. Therefore, he was in direct conflict with Nichiren, who preached "Nembutsu is the hell of incessant suffering" in the Rissho-Ankoku theory, and was engaged in a struggle for followers.

The letter of the provocation came there. The contents looked down on Ryoukan beyond recognition. Ryoukan must have gnashed teeth.

I have the honor to inform you. As for the missive that has arrived from the western barbarians, the great Mongol Empire, I respectfully submitted letters to Lord Kamakura and the others. I, Nichiren, had thought of the Rissho Ankokuron around the first year of the Bunno era [1260], and it came true without the slightest discrepancy. What do you think of this? Venerable Ryoukan, you have to give up your attitude of submitting me to derision and put your faith in Nichiren immediately. If you do not, you will be guilty of “he despises and looks down on all human beings and preaches the Law to white-robed laymen”. “Rely on the Law, not upon persons (note).” These are golden words given to us by the Tathagata Shakyamuni.

The place of saint Ryoukan is described by the Lotus Sutra in the words “Or there will be monks wearing clothing of patched rags and living in a quiet place to practice Buddhism.” The word a quiet place, means a place of peace. This location differs from your place making a false statement and a false charge of slandering Nichiren. Though you resemble the three studies of the Buddha, you are nothing more than a saint of crooked and bandit person. You are an arrogant presumptuous saint (note), in present existence you are a bandit of the nation, and next life you will fall into hell unquestionably! If you feel even a little remorse for your past sin, must come and put your faith in Nichiren.

I have written letters to Kenchoji and the other temples including the Lord Kamakura for inform them of my views on this matter. In effect, if we hope to achieve our original intentions, there is no better way than having a showdown in debate. In other words, the comparison between the Lotus Sutra of the king among the various sutras and the low-grade Hinayana Buddhism sutra reveals the superiority and the inferiority. For example, these are the vast ocean and small river, or Mt. Chomolungma and Mt. Hua Shan. Do you know exactly what the secret of prayer is for defeating the Mongols? I, Nichiren, am the foremost practitioner of the Lotus Sutra in Japan and am a general who can defeat the Mongol nation. Because, the Lotus Sutra says, “the person likewise the foremost among all living beings.Missive to the Gokurakuji Ryoukan’.

After the day of the delivery of the eleven letters, many believers visited Nichiren's mansion.

Shijo Kingo, Toki Jonin, Ota Jomyo, Nichimyo, Ikegami brothers and others stared straight at the eyes of master Nichiren without moving an inch. However, most believers are seized with the uneasiness that a calamity may come up to themselves and they lower their heads.

Nichiren talks sternly. This is unlike anything they have ever heard before.

“Concerning the arrival of the letter from the great country of Mongolia, I wrote eleven letters and sent them to various persons. Undoubtedly Nichiren's disciples and believers will not escape punishment or the death penalty. All of you must not be surprised in the least by this. Needless to say, this will be the result of the strong remonstrations I wrote to many people. It is the meaning of “then he enraged them on purpose.” This is what I, Nichiren, have wished for. Each of you should be careful. Must not worry the least bit about your wife, children, or relatives. Must not fear the threat of the authorities. Now is the time for us to break off our evil relationship from the eternal past and plant the seeds of Buddhahood!”

There was the person who left from the place of the sermon in ones and twos hearing severe words "we would not escape a banishment or a capital punishment." People who left with close friends appeared too.

 


note


The people of Anti-Teaching in ancient India

 A sect of the ancient Indian Gaido that is opposite to the world, as described in the 14th chapter of the Lotus Sutra in the chapter of An Era of Ease and Pleasure. It is a sect of the external way that preached the Dharma in defiance of public opinion, in opposition to the sects that followed the world, which taught according to the taste of the world. It was used in later times as a metaphor for those who disobeyed their masters and committed treason because they did not follow the doctrines of Charuvaka, the master of the sect that followed the world's ways, but preached the opposite.


Rely on the Law, not upon persons

 One of the four reliabilities of the Dharma as taught in the Nirvana Sutra. It means that one should use the sutras of the Buddha to determine the merits, demerits, depths, and interpretations of the Buddha's teachings, and not the words of human masters or orators. Nichiren Daishonin, in his Repaying the Favor, describes.


 "Rely on the Dharma," he is referring to all sutras. When he says, "Do not rely on others," he is referring to Fugen Bodhisattva, Monju Shiryoshi Bodhisattva, and all the other teachers mentioned above, excluding the Buddha."


 In other words, the Buddha has mastered the realities of the Dharma, so "there is no mistake and no fault." However, even Fugen Bosatsu and Wenshu Shiryi Bosatsu have not yet mastered Dharma, so we should not rely on their words. Not to mention other teachers and human masters.


an arrogant presumptuous saint

 A person who acts as a saint in the guise of a saint and persecutes those who approach power and propagate the true Dharma. This is the third of the three powerful enemies. A pseudo presumptuous saint. The thirteenth chapter of the Lotus Sutra, the chapter on the Encouragement, describes three types of personalities who, after the death of the Buddha, persecute practitioners of the Lotus Sutra when they propagate the Lotus Sutra. Presumptuousness refers to a person of lower rank who overflows his portion and is arrogant in imitation of those above him. Therefore, this third category refers to those who usually act like saints, but inwardly have strong evil views and are always obsessed with greed.


”Records of Orally Transmitted Teachings says, the third category is the priests who are called "Ryokan, etc. People think of them as arhats with six kinds of divine powers."


“Then he enraged them on purpose.”

 Forcing sentient beings who do not believe in the true Dharma to be brought into a Buddhist relationship. Synonymous with "shakubuku. In the tenth volume of the annotation of Lotus Sutra, it is written, "The Buddha protected those who had good qualities by using Hinayana, while Bodhisattva Fukyo offended those who did not yet have good qualities by forcibly preaching the Mahayana to them." Sentient beings with too many worldly desires do not seek the excellent Law on their own because they are not blessed with enough virtues. Therefore, the Bodhisattva dares to cause the minds of the three poisons to become enraged, so that they may receive the excellent Law and attain Buddhahood.


 “The Orally Transmitted Teachings says: The word 'heard' refers to the initial stage of hearing that name. In effect, this passage concerns the daimoku that is ‘preached in a forceful manner, though it angers them.’ The word ‘all’ refers to the four kinds of believers who were overbearingly arrogant. The word ‘faith,’ shin, refers to the faith or belief that is without doubt. To ‘prostrate oneself'’ means the allegiance of the Lotus Sutra. To ‘obey' means that one's mind obeys for the Lotus Sutra. To 'follow' means that one's body follows the Lotus Sutra. After all, now Nichiren and his followers, practitioners of the Lotus Sutra who chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, are the Bodhisattva Fukyo of the Latter Day of the Law.”



Continued


Life of Nichiren. Vol. 1. Contents



by johsei1129 | 2020-08-10 12:20 | LIFE OF NICHIREN | Trackback | Comments(0)
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