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日蓮大聖人『御書』解説

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2020年 09月 02日

37. Sailing to Sado, a place of exile.

  Japanese Edition


On October 21 of the 8th year of the Ko'an era (1271), they attached a footprint to the fresh snow continuing falling and arrived at the port of Echigo Teradomari. It has become the trip for 12 days after they departed from Honma's house of Echi. One month or more had passed since the persecution of the Tatsunokuchi already. On the way, he was often slandered by Nembutsu believers and others, and it was easy to imagine the hardships of spending time on Sado Island.

It does not stop snowing, and a rough wave of the Sea of Japan laps on the port.

The Sado island was near at hand. The party of Nichiren waits for a favorable wind blowing to the island from this Teradomari and will stay for six days.

Depicting agonized facial expression, Nichiren says to the disciples.

"Sado is an island. The meal would be poor. We will fall together if we go in great numbers.”

Nichiren chose seven disciples who accompany to Sado. There is Hoki-bo in them. And he thanked his disciples who were returning to Kamakura.

“Well done. I am only worried about Nichiro and the others in the prison. Contact me if there is anything.”

Nichiren had to part ways with Shijo Kingo and his followers at Sagami Echi, and then with his disciples at Teradomari.

Trials and tribulations were waiting for both disciples who would be back to Kamakura and who would go to Sado. A difficult life was waiting for the disciples who would go to Sado, oppression from the Shogunate was waiting for the disciples who would come back to Kamakura.

A wave of emotion swept over them. However, the Sado group, including Hoki-bo, and the young priests who saw them off did not speak to each other, but simply looked at each other. They are disciples who have accepted the teachings of Buddhism. They cannot show their miserable self in front of the teacher.

They think of a time long ago. "We won by praying for rain against Ryoukan, and the number of people converted to the master increased remarkably. Was that a momentary illusion?"

Nichiren, too, understood that living in Sado was severe enough.

"It is now over two hundred years since the Latter-Day of the Law began. The Buddha predicted that future conditions would be much worse after his passing, and we see the portents of this in the combats and contests that go on today because unreasonable doctrines are prevalent. And as proof of the fact that we are living in a foul era, I was not summoned for a debate with opponents, instead I am to be banished or murdered". 'Opening the Eyes. Part One'.

 

‘Letter from Teradomari’. “For example, Benka had cut his legs, and Kiyomaro was dubbed a filthy man, moreover, it had been decided that he would be executed. All the people…” Nakayama Hokekyoji temple possesses this in complete condition.

However, it was an obvious fact that he was full of mettle by his having read the Lotus Sutra with the body.

The feeling he obtained at the Tatsunokuchi does not still disappear. He was just filled with joy. In the end, Nichiren shouts out to all those who do not believe in the Lotus Sutra and slander it.

“For example, Benka (note) had cut his legs, and Kiyomaro (note) was dubbed a filthy man, moreover, it had been decided that he would be executed. All the people of the time laughed at them with scorn, but unlike these two men, those who laughed left no fame behind them. The people who level wicked criticisms at me are the same too. The “Recommending a devotion” chapter says, “There will be many ignorant people who will curse and speak ill of us”. This sentence corresponds to Nichiren. Why do all of you not apply to this sentence of the sutra as well? “They will attack us with swords and sticks,” the sentence continues. I have experienced this sentence of the sutra with my own body. Why do all of you not read this sentence itself? Furthermore, the passage says, “They constantly try to defame us in the midst of the populace” and “they will preach to the rulers, high ministers, Brahmans, and men of property". And they “will confront us with foul language and angry frowns; and again and again we will be banished”. “Again and again”, it means “frequent." And I, Nichiren, have been repeatedly driven away, and have twice been condemned to banishment.” ‘Letter from Teradomari’.

“In the first place, Shakyamuni Buddha appeared in the Shaba world, Kumarajiva (note) entered the Ch'in dynasty of China, and Dengyo went to China. Daiba and Shishi Bodhisattvas abandoned themselves for the Law. Bodhisattva Medicine King offered his elbow and burnt it for lighting the world, and Prince Syotoku stripped off the skin of his hand for copying the sutra. Shakyamuni, when he was a Bodhisattva, offered his flesh to save the hawk which starved, and another time, when he was Gyobo Bodhisattva, he used his own bone as a brush to write down the Buddha's teachings. Tendai has said that “Missionary chosen is only according to the conditions of that time.” The Buddha's Law depends on the conditions of each time. Nichiren's exile is a minor affliction in this life and is not to be lamented. I am very happy because I will receive a great deal of enjoyment in my next life!” ‘Opening the eyes. Part Two’.

Because the master Shakyamuni Buddha felt pity for all creatures, he appeared to the Shaba world full of all sufferings. Passing through quicksand, Kumarajiva conveyed the Lotus Sutra to the land of Han from India, and he translated the Lotus Sutra of the ultimate teachings of Buddha in Chinese by devoting his whole wisdom. Furthermore, Dengyo crossed high waves and sought the Lotus sutra in Tang.

Nichiren who abandoned his soul in Tatsunokuchi, eliminated traces, and manifested the true form would go to the Sado Island with every difficulty as the fundamental Buddha of the Latter-Day of the Law.

Nichiren thinks. This great persecution is a small suffering in this life. If I even get over this, a future great enjoyment is waiting.

The ship leaves the beach of Teradomari.

The Sea of Japan colored dim gray in a snowstorm.

The boatman rows an oar actively towards the island of Sado.

Nichiren lifted his hat, which had turned white from the snow, and stared at Sado Island ahead.

note

Benka

 A native of Ben village in the Chuxi Dynasty of China during the Zhou dynasty, Benka was also known as Ka. According to the chapter on Benka in Han Feizi, he obtained a rough stone that could be turned into jade at Jingshan and presented it to King Ye. When the king had a connoisseur appraise it, he found that it was just a stone, so he had his left leg cut off, claiming that he was a deceiver against the king. After King Ye's death, he presented the original stone to King Wu, who ascended to the throne, but again it was found to be a stone, and his right leg was cut off. Later, when King Wen ascended to the throne, he spent three days and three nights under Chusan holding the original stone and weeping. When King Wen learned of this, he inquired why, obtained the original stone, had it polished, and found that it was indeed a jewel.

Kiyomaro.

Kiyomaro of Wake. Tempyo 5 (733) - Enryaku 18 (799). Nobleman and politician of the late Nara and early Heian periods. In the third year of Jingo Keiun (769), he went as an imperial envoy to confirm Emperor Shoutoku's oracle that his favorite monk, Dokyo, should be installed as emperor, but Kiyomaro repelled Dokyo's ambition by reporting his oracle that he should exclude those who were profane. Kiyomaro's name was changed to 'Impure man', and he was exiled to Osumi (Kagoshima Prefecture), where his family was also exiled. In the first year of the Hoki Era (770), he was pardoned and returned to the capital, where he played an active role in the construction of the Heian-kyo capital.

Kumarajiva.

344-409 years. Translating monk of the Yaoqin (Later Qin) dynasty of China. Also known as Rāshi Sanzang. At the age of seven, he was ordained by his mother and traveled around the country to study Buddhism, returning to his country to propagate Mahayana Buddhism. Later, she was received by King Yao Xing of the Later Qin Dynasty and entered Chang'an in the 3rd year of the reign of Hongzhi (401). According to Sanzang's records, he translated 35 parts of 294 sutras (74 parts of 384 sutras according to Kaiyuan's Buddhist records), including eight volumes of the Lotus Sutra. Kumarajiva had stated at the time of his death, in order to prove the authenticity of his translations, that when he was cremated, if his tongue burned out, he would have to throw away the sutras which he translated. When he was cremated, it is said that only his tongue was not burned, as he had predicted.

Kumarajiva said, "When I look at all the sutras of the Han Dynasty, they are not like Sanskrit. How should I reveal this fact? But I have one great desire. I once had a wife, so my body became impure. But only my tongue is clean, and I have never lied to the Buddha Law. If I die, be sure to cremate me. When I am cremated, if my tongue burns out, you must throw away all the sutras I have translated," he would always preach on the platform. From the upper classes to the lower classes, they wished, as they say, to die after Kumarajiva. When he finally died, he was cremated and all his impure body was reduced to ashes. However, his precious tongue was not burned, but remained on the blue lotus flower that bloomed in the fire. This tongue shone with the light of five colors, and the night was as bright as the day, and the daytime surpassed the light of the sun. Thus all translators of the sutras were neglected, and Kumarajiva's translation of the sutras, especially the Lotus Sutra, spread easily throughout the land of China. 'Choosing the Time.'



Continued



Life of Nichiren. Vol. 2. Contents



by johsei1129 | 2020-09-02 21:32 | LIFE OF NICHIREN | Trackback | Comments(0)
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