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日蓮大聖人『御書』解説

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2020年 08月 29日

34. Nichiren sends a testament to disciple

 Japanese Edition

テキスト, 手紙自動的に生成された説明

  ‘Letter to Lord Toki'. Possessed of Honman-ji Temple in Kyoto.


Nichiren sent the letter to disciples and believers in quick succession during a month when he was in Echi of Sagami.

At first, he sent it to Toki Jonin on September 15 after three days of the persecution of Tatsunokuchi.

"Your grief is understandable, but because I have been certain from the beginning that this would occur, I myself do not grieve. Rather, I regret that I have yet to be beheaded. Had I been decapitated on account of the Lotus Sutra in a past existence, I surely should have been born as a noble person in this life. When undergoing repeated persecution, just the sutra says, “again and again we will be banished,” I, in this way, can erase the grave offenses of my past and for the first time attain Buddhahood. I, therefore, engage in these difficult practices daringly.” ‘Letter to Lord Toki’.


He said that he was prepared for the persecution. And he said that he is sorry that his neck was not cut.

Of course, Nichiren does not intend to die willingly by himself.

Nichiren writes, "It is said that the saint does not die an unexpected death," in the "God and country King's Book" which he wrote at 57 years old in the Ko'an first year (in 1278). He was convinced that he would not die an unexpected death if he himself was a saint. If one was a mere practitioner of the Lotus Sutra, he will encounter difficulty and die in the process of ascetic practices and may become Buddhas in the future life by a good act. However, saints (Buddha) who achieved ascetic practices and perceived ones shall not die an unexpected death. Shakyamuni Buddha was the target of assassination many times by Devadatta too. As for him, a rock has fallen off a cliff and he is bleeding from a finger. In addition, he was about to be poisoned. Furthermore, he receives the persecution that believers are trued and murdered by the intoxicated elephant. However, he himself did not die an expected death.

On the other hand, though the Lotus Sutra declared that two main disciples of Buddha would become Buddhas in the future, they died an unexpected death together before the Buddha passed away. Sariputta of the learning disciple died of serious illness, Mokuren of the self-realization is murdered by a Brahman. Nichiren promised to abandon a Lotus Sutra and chant Nembutsu if he was defeated by Gokurakuji Ryoukan. So he challenged to pray for rain.

The prayer for rain, in which Nichiren challenged Ryokan of Gokuraku-ji Temple by promising to renounce the Lotus Sutra and recite the Nembutsu if he were defeated, may seem like an act of gambling, but if Nichiren followed the Lotus Sutra, the ultimate teaching of Buddha Shakyamuni, and was defeated, then Buddha Shakyamuni would be a Buddha of great lies. But he is challenging himself with absolute certainty that this will not happen.

 

テキスト, 手紙自動的に生成された説明

' To Make Light Atonement in This Life for the Heavy Sins of a Previous Life'. Genuine writing; Possession of Nakayama Hokekyoji Temple.

 

Furthermore, Nichiren shows the feature of an object (Gohonzon) of worship that appears in the Latter-Day of the Law in "Chanting the Daimoku of the Lotus Sutra," which he wrote at 39 years old in the 9th year of the Bun'no era (1272).

“Question: For the sake of persons who place their faith in the Lotus Sutra, what is the proper object of devotion, and what rules should be followed in acts of worship and daily religious practice?

Answer: "The chapter of Law master" and "the chapter of God and the power" say, first, the believer writes eight scroll's Lotus Sutras or one scroll or one chapter or a title and must establish it as the object of worship. And those persons who were able to do so further should write the names of the Shakyamuni Nyorai and the Taho Buddha or make the images of them, and they should place these on the left and right of the Lotus Sutra and the others. And if they are further able to do so, they fashion images of the ten directions' Buddha and the Bodhisattva Hugen, and others, or should write their names.”

And the Gohonzon, which was expressed in Sado on June 16 of the 9th year of the Bun'ei era (1272) is written as Nam-myoho-renge-kyo centrally, and there are Nam-Shakyamuni Buddha and Nam-Taho Nyorai on both sides. Nichiren has to show that he himself is the fundamental Buddha for all creatures in the Latter-Days of the Law to express a Gohonzon. To that end, he encounters a difficulty at the risk of his life, the same as a Buddha and must get over it. It was this meaning that he let Shijo Kingo stand in the Tatsunokuchi as a witness. Nichiren threw away the position of the practitioner of the Lotus Sutra at the Tatsunokuchi and showed the entity of himself as the fundamental Buddha of the Latter-Days of the Law. Therefore, he intended to abandon his own life as the practitioner of the Lotus Sutra from the beginning. Nichiren is different from the disciples and supporters and is not upset at all.

 The next is the letter to Ota Jomyo, Soya Kyoshin, and Kinbara Hokyo.

"The 'Simile and Parable' chapter states, 'When they watch the person who read, recite, copy, and hold this sutra, they will balefully despise him, and take hate and envy'. The 'Teacher of the Law' chapter states, 'Even in the presence of the Buddha, people still had much jealousy. To say nothing of after a Buddha passed away'. The 'recommending a devotion' chapter reads, 'We will be attacked with swords and staves... again and again we will be banished'. The chapter of “Peaceful practices” teaches, 'It [the Lotus Sutra] is difficult to believe in, because there is much malice in the world'. Although these quotations from the sutra are the Buddha's prophecies, there is no reference to when these persecutions will occur. In the past, it seems that Bodhisattva Fukyo and the monk Kakutoku read these sentences themselves. But apart from the two thousand years of the Shoho or Zoho days of the Law, now, in the Latter-Days, in this Japan only Nichiren have become so. When many sage priests encountered persecution during the reigns of evil kings in the past, I can well imagine it from the present situation. The priest's followers, relatives, disciples, and lay supporters must have grieved. I can guess it by the current situation. Nichiren has now read all the Lotus Sutra itself. Even a single phrase or verse is assuring my Buddhahood, to say nothing of the whole sutra. It will never fail me. However, though I wished to spread it in the country, in an age when nobody will adopt me, I am out of my depth. I have finished writing to keep it brief." ' To Make Light Atonement in This Life for the Heavy Sins of a Previous Life.’

The “recommending a devotion” chapter says, “We will be attacked with swords and staves... again and again we will be banished." The scriptures preach clearly including this sentence. Nichiren preached he had understood thoroughly the true meaning of these scriptures.



Continued


Life of Nichiren. Vol. 1. Contents



by johsei1129 | 2020-08-29 23:24 | LIFE OF NICHIREN | Trackback | Comments(0)
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