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2020年 08月 27日

32. Escape from the Crisis (1)

  Japanese Edition

The Buddhist priests of the black robe sat in a circle at the Gokurakuji.

They cross their arms, everybody looks up with hard eyes and they observe the circumstances of the neighboring Buddhist priest and are restless.

The door opened violently, and Ryoukan appeared. He was eccentric for anger and despair.

“Nichiren is alive. Why?”

"Just before he would be beheaded, it is said a light ball shiner appeared, and it is said that a sword had been broken."

A Nembutsu monk fearfully says.

"Isn't that a falling star of ghost perhaps?"

Another priest participates in a talk.

"No way! The sword should not be broken by a falling star."

The monks have begun to get absorbed in the topic of the light matter.

Ryoukan stopped them.

“This is no time for jokes. If Nichiren is alive, we will be doomed. If the trick that framed Nichiren is exposed, it will be us who will be blamed!”

Ryoukan bites his lips.

“Do not choose your means. Nichiren must not be left alive at all costs.”

That Nichiren exists is dangerous itself for Ryoukan.

Initially, Ryokan attempted to kill Nichiren through a conspiracy. It was led by Taira no Yoritsuna. There was no doubt that it would succeed. However, an unexpected circumstance had set it back.

Nichiren is living. It is certain that Ryoukan is aimed next time. He must let Nichiren fail down somehow or other.

Ryoukan died at 87 years old, 32 years after this occurrence.

He gained success to some extent, and he left the name for history, but it seemed that the defeat in the prayers for rain against Nichiren had been seeming to be tormented by a humiliation for life.

He is ordered to pray for rain from the Shogunate after this too and makes a prayer. Because he is receiving the protection of the state power, he cannot decline it. Though wearing the clothes of the clergyman, for him, it seemed that was harder than anything. It is natural for him to make it rain, and if he doesn't, his authority will be destroyed. He flattered state power and got fame, but it was adjoining to be booed and abused. He perhaps suffered more than the dying.

He was tormented to pray for rain in his last years and passed away. Professor Matsuo explains this.

“In the first year of Kagen (1303) when he was 87 years old, a drought continued day after day, and the trees and plants continued dying. Therefore, Ryoukan granted the purification ceremony for more than thirty thousand people and copied the Great Hannya Sutra, but even one drop of rain did not fall. He prayed to the dragon god five days later and he wanted to bring rain even if it cost his own life. Then a small snake appeared, and it is said that it brought about a blessing of rain’. It is not obvious where the dragon god was, but, in ‘the picture of Gokurakuji,’ a pond, praying for rain is portrayed on the south side, and a dragon that flies is portrayed in the west. It is guessed that this was a dragon enshrined in such a place. As a result, he got sick on June 23 of the first year in the Kagen era (1303), and he prostrated himself on the floor and died on July 12 in spite of eager treatment.”

By the way, Nichiren escaped from a crisis, but was at the beach for a while after this.

Since he was arrested by the Shogunate, he had to remain docile. He could avoid the execution, but an additional command might be issued. Five people, including Nichiro, are still imprisoned in the cave prison. The tense critical situation did not change.

Eventually, a messenger arrived from the shogunate, but the order was a dumb one.

“I waited for a long time, and then I was told to proceed to the place called Echi of Sagami. Though someone would have to guide us there, none of us knew that road. However, after we had waited for some time, one soldier said, “Here's the road you should go." Setting off, we followed the road and around noon reached Echi. We then entered the residence of Homma Rokuro Saemon." ‘The Acts of the Saint’.

The messenger said that Nichiren must go to Echi of Sagami. It is the present Atsugi City, Kanagawa Prefecture.

But there is not a person to guide. There was the person who said that it would probably be this road when they took a rest for a while.

Is leisurely very much. However, Nichiren supposed that he would become the banishment to Sado island when he heard this notice. Honma Rokuro-Zaemon Shigetsura of the feudal lord of Echi is because he was an agent of the military governor in Sado.

Nichiren arrived at the mansion of Honma Rokurozaemon Shigetsura, and surprisingly, he asked Kingo to arrange for him to serve sake to the soldiers who had come from Kamakura.

“There I ordered a liquor and gave it to the soldiers. When the time came for them to leave, some bowed their heads, joined their palms, and said politely: “We did not realize what kind of a man you are. We detested you because we had been told that you slandered the Amida Buddha we worship. But now that we have seen with our own eyes what has happened with you, we understand how worthy a person you are, and we will discard the Nembutsu that we have done for so long." Some of them took their prayer beads out of their tinder bags and abandoned them. Others pledged that they would never again chant the Nembutsu from now on. After they left, Rokuro Saemon's vassals took over the guard. Shijo Kingo left, too."

The soldiers were rewarded by liquor and seemed relieved. This one day of them was a series of horrifying turbulence.

They were surprised that Nichiren, who was more hateful than the enemy of the parents, was a person totally different from the rumor. After all this time there was the sense to them that Nichiren was not a criminal and they themselves were offenders.

No wonder.

They thought that Nichiren cries and screams out when he is arrested, but he is stately. It was usual that the criminal sent to Tatsunokuchi, when it came to the push, begged for his own life until now. It was unexpected. Is he really an offender? Moreover, what a surprising monk to criticize the great Hachiman! There might be some kind of horrible thing happening from now. That typical example was a light matter which appeared from darkness suddenly.

At first, they are with mass hysteria for hatred to Nichiren, and when Nichiren scolds the great Bodhisattva Hachiman, they are seized with extreme uneasiness, finally they experience the depths of despair by the outbreak of a shining matter. And now fatigue, such as the mud was left. We can see them trudging home.

Kingo Shijo must have been relieved. Once there, he returned to Kamakura. Hoki-bo and others took care of Nichiren.


The Venus from Wikipedia

September 13 of the next day of the persecution was going to end in this way, but an unimaginable phenomenon happened again.

It is said that a star came down in front of Nichiren.

“It was the night of the 13th. There were scores of warriors stationed around my lodging and in the large garden. Because it was the middle of September, the moon was very bright. I went out into the large garden and chanted the verse of the “Life Span” chapter toward the moon. Then, I spoke about the faults of the various sects and easy chanted the sentence of the Lotus Sutra. I said, ‘To begin with, you, the moon of the heavens, are the emperor of the beautiful moon, and you participated in the ceremony of the Lotus Sutra. When the Buddha expounded the ‘Treasure Tower' chapter, you of heavens received his order, and in the ‘Entrustment' chapter, when the Buddha fondled your head with his hand, you vowed, ‘We will in detail respectfully practice these things Buddha has commanded'. Therefore, you did not have an opportunity to fulfill the vow you made to Buddha if it were not for me. Now that you see me in this situation, you should hurry joyfully to receive the sufferings in place of the practitioner of the Lotus Sutra and carry out the Buddha's command and fulfill the result of your vow. It is strange that you still do not show any sign now. If nothing happens to this country, I will never return to Kamakura. Even if you do not intend to show signs for me, why are you going on shining with such a complacent face? The Great Assembling Sutra says, ‘The sun and moon no longer shed their light'. The Benevolent Kings Sutra says, ‘The sun and moon leave their regular courses'. The Most Victorious King Sutra says, ‘The thirty-three heavens become furious'. The moon of the heavens, what do you do? The moon of the heavens, what is your answer?’ I blamed him in this way. At that time, as though in a sign, a large star bright like Venus fell from the sky and hung to a branch of the plum tree in front of me. The soldiers were astounded and jumped down from the veranda, prostrated themselves in the large garden, or escaped behind the house. Before long the sky clouded over, and a fierce wind started up, raging so violently that the whole island of Enoshima seemed to roar. The sky shook, echoing with a sound like beating a drum.”

How should we interpret this unbelievable phenomenon?

It is said that Hideo Hirose of the above-mentioned astronomers thought that it is connected with the maximum luminance of Venus instantly when he read this sentence. When a planet approaches the earth most, the maximum luminance is a phenomenon in which the planet reflects solar light and shines strongly. In fact, when Hirose professor calculated in heavenly bodies use list, Venus in September 13 had been reaching the maximum luminance, and it became clear to have been giving off light of one hundredfold of the star of the first magnitude.

When we look at it from the earth, we can observe Venus only in the early morning and the evening. These are the morning star and the evening star. It is Venus in most cases that is said to be the first star.

Because it was seen to the west of the evening on that day, it was the evening star. For the purpose of calculation, after sunset, Venus was seen for more than two hours. Because sunset of the day is about 5:00 p.m., this star's descent is estimated to be from sunset to about 7:00.

And Hirose interprets the happenings of that night in this way.

“Having managed to escape the difficulties of the early morning of the 13th, Nichiren arrived in Echi, and the sky darkened as he was encouraging his disciples in a room at the residence of the head of the land on Sado Island. They were worried that what kind of next decision would be given to them? Therefore, Nichiren appeared in the garden to talk with the heavens when approximately one hour passed after dinner. There was a cloud in the western sky, so the stars weren't seen, but the eastern sky was clear and the moon on the thirteenth night of September was appearing. When the discussion reached climax, a cloud of the direction of the western plum tree drifted away and the Venus of the maximum luminance shined and manifested itself suddenly, all warriors feared the fireball of the predawn of the same day were besieged by fear again. This is probably the truth of the second uproar in heaven. The sound he heard from Enoshima would be that the waves or something before the storm were particularly strong. I think that it is unrelated to an astronomical phenomenon.”

We should include the vast comet of the Bunei era first year (1264) if we point out the relations of Nichiren and the heavenly bodies. Nichiren often preached the appearance of this comet and appealed for a national crisis.

Hirose professor says.

“I think that Nichiren who was stimulated by a natural disaster and activated activity came to believe the congruence of himself and the heavenly bodies. No other person has ever raised his astronomical faith to such a high level.”

Gentle sunlight shines on the mansion of Honma Shigetsura. Nichiren and disciples will stay here for one full month.

Kamakura, on the other hand, was in the midst of an uproar.


Life of Nichiren. Vol. 1. Contents

by johsei1129 | 2020-08-27 20:39 | LIFE OF NICHIREN | Trackback | Comments(0)
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