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日蓮大聖人『御書』解説

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2020年 09月 22日

40. Disciples to Abandon the Faiths.

    Japanese Edition


 The days of peace continued in Kamakura.

Even though there were conflicts within the Hojo clan, they did not lead to war. It's like a storm in a glass.

For Ryoukan of Gokuraku-ji Temple, his days were especially comfortable. After his old enemy, Nichiren, was exiled to Sado, Ryoukan was again able to reign over the religious world in Kamakura.

It is almost a lie that he lost the rainmaking game. The believers were also coming back. In addition, he was respected by temples in Kamakura as a person who rendered distinguished service in banishing Nichiren from Kamakura.

But what's the matter? He often had bad dreams.

Nichiren appears in his dream.

Ryoukan chanted Nenbutsu in his dream. 

He was sweaty and praying frantically in the midsummer sun "Nam-Amidabutsu, Nam-Amidabutsu, Nam- Amidabutsu..."

Ryoukan looked up at the sky. And moaned wryly.

"Rain, please fall here. Rain here."

Ryoukan was exhausted and gasped with his hands on the ground.

Then suddenly Nichiren appeared and stood in front of the nodding Ryoukan.

Nichiren stared at Ryoukan and rebuked him.

The bright morning sunshine fills the sleeping face of Ryoukan.

He woke and splashed with sweat from head to foot. Then he breathed deeply.

What a cursed dream. In Ryoukan's mind, the fear of being defeated by Nichiren in a rainmaking confrontation was revived.

The Gokuraku-ji Temple is lined with magnificent buildings.

The main hall was packed with samurai and city residents, young and old, men and women, and the place was buzzing with activity. Some were clasping their hands with prayer beads.

In the front row, there are Nobutoki Hojo, Mitsutoki Nagoe and others who are central to the bakufu. Nobutoki was the military governor of Sado and Mitsutoki was the lord of Shijo Kingo. They were divided into mainstream and anti-mainstream, but their faith was the same Nembutsu and they were big supporters of Gokuraku-ji Temple.

Ryoukan goes down the long corridor.

His disciples bowed together to him. These disciples are dreaming of the same prosperity as Ryoukan.

Ryoukan was depressed, probably because of a nightmare, but he was revived by the sight of his bowing disciples.

He appeared in the main hall.

"Saint Ryoukan!"

The audience gives a collective shout of joy.

Some old man is moved to tears. The enthusiasm of the audience reached a climax.

Ryoukan took the throne with a smile on his face. It is most pleasant for him to see the public worship him.

"Thank you all for coming today. Actually, I had a dream this morning. Monk Nichiren appeared in my dream."

The audience gave a cry of surprise.

"Priest Nichiren apologized to me for all that he had done. He cried for forgiveness. Through Buddha's mercy, I forgave Nichiren and gave him the eight precepts."

The audience put their hands together.

"Priest Nichiren was exiled to Sado. First of all, he will not come back alive. When I think of it, that priest was persecuted all his life. Some disciples were severely criticized and killed by people. Priest Nichiren turned the faith in paradise into a miserable one. He is truly pitiful. It is said that the believers left in Kamakura are divided. As I said, if I had kept the precepts and chanted Nembutsu, I would not have suffered so much. I feel very sad for them."

The audience nodded deeply to them.

An argument rang out in a house in Kamakura.

The disciples and believers of Nichiren's followers were gathered there. They had a heated argument with each other.

Nissho, who was older and later became a one of the Six Older Monks, and several people, including Niccho, Minbu Mikou, Jonin Toki, Jomyo Ota and the lady Nichimyo were there. On the other hand, there were dozens of believers who broke away from Nichiren. It was only Kingo Shijo that was not in this place among important believers.

After the persecution at Tatsunokuchi, the disciples and followers of Nichiren were scattered to pieces, and Nichiren's party in Kamakura were devastated. The people who abandoned the Lotus Sutra appeared one after another because they were afraid of oppression of the Shogunate. Nichiren writes, "999 of 1000 people abandoned their faith at the time of the persecution" at "A reply to nun Nii-ama." They were robbed of land, a job was lost, and were kicked out from even their houses. In addition, it was more serious that an opinion divided whether to obey or not obey Nichiren among the people who barely kept the Lotus Sutra. The person who revolted against Nichiren appeared. They showed Nichiren as having had a deep respect for him, but they left him when Nichiren fell into hardship as having returned a palm of the hand.

The Lady Nichimyo protested indignantly. She followed Nichiren until she divorced her husband.

"What do you say that you will abandon Shonin? Isn't it because the Shonin was there that gave us the joy of living? Thanks to the Shonin, you could encounter the correct Law. Don't you know anything about gratitude?"

One of the former believers replied with a discontent look.

"The priest Nichiren is a sinner. If I continue to believe in the Lotus Sutra of the priest, the world will have a problem with me. If we follow the priest, we never know when we will be condemned. "

Ex-believers nod.

Niccho persuaded him.

"Shonin said, either by good or evil, and it is the work of hell to throw away the Lotus Sutra. Is that okay with everyone? Aren't you being tempted by someone?"

The ex-believer says smartly.

"We have no intention to abandon this faith. I will chant Nam-Myoho-renge-kyo. It's valuable teaching."

Jonin questions closely.

"Then why do you want to part company with us?"

"We couldn't follow the Shonin anymore. Nichiren Shonin is the master, but he is too stubborn. We want to spread the Lotus Sutra a little softer."

"What a fool! If the Shonin were here, he would yell at him."

"The Shonin never returns. Even Emperor Juntoku was not allowed to return from Sado to Kyoto by the shogunate. Then we, who are left behind, must believe in the Lotus Sutra by our judgment."

Zhomyo Ota stood on his knees.

"Do not be conceited! Are you all Devadatta, an ungrateful person who rebelled against Shakyamuni, or are you 5000 arrogant who ignored the Lotus Sutra?"

Ex-believers stood their knees in opposition. They are overwhelming in number.

At this moment, it heard a voice at the entrance.

"Excuse me."

Kingo Shijo appeared.

"I came late."

Everyone looked at Kingo with expectant eyes.

Kingo sat between them with a bitter smile.

"That's a lively question and answer. I hesitated to go in, so I listened in the background."

Former believers paid attention to the statement of Kingo, who was trusted by Shonin.

"Lord Kingo, we are right, aren't we? The majority of the believers left from the Shonin. Lord Kingo is also being glared at by the shogunate. In order for believers to live in Kamakura, they must become independent of Nichiren Shonin. And yet,"

He pointed to Nissho and Jonin Toki.

"They say that they will never allow such a thing to happen. They say we will go to hell. We do not intend to go to hell."

The rest of the silent former congregation nodded as if they agreed.

"We have worshiped Nichiren Shonin. But we must also consider that the master was persecuted, but he was too stubborn. We want to have more fun and faith. So you don't have to be under a monk anymore. We will take care of funerals and memorial services by ourselves. Lord Kingo, let's walk together with us with faith directly connected to the Lotus Sutra. The Shonin will be convinced. We have a seat with Mr. Kingo as a leader of the congregation. We have prepared a lot of money for offerings. It's an honor. Together with us."

The former believer leaned forward. They were sure that they would win, who were overwhelmed in numbers.

Meanwhile, Nissho, Jonin and lady Nichimyo waited patiently for Kingo to speak with bated breath.

Kingo speaks quietly.

"Does everyone remember the master's tale? The master said, ‘To discard the shallow and seek the profound is the spirit of a person of courage.’ The teachings of Buddhism are profound. It surpasses our thoughts. The master taught us that. He said that we cannot have read the Lotus Sutra unless we chanted the title, blamed evil laws, and met with difficulties. It is easy for us to abandon the master here now. But that would mean abandoning one's beliefs, abandoning the Lotus Sutra, and closing the path to becoming a Buddha."

The faces of lady Nichimyo and others, who had been sunk in the atmosphere of powerlessness, began to glow faintly. And they looked at Kingo as if he were a representative of the Shonin.

Former believers retort in despair.

"We will continue to believe in the Lotus Sutra. We will keep the Lotus Sutra alive. There is common sense in the world. We have to compromise with Ryoukan in some cases, not to be as strict as Shonin."

Toki Jonin and Zhomyo Ota were furious. Ryoukan is the very person who made his master's life a beacon before the wind. Their patience exploded.

But Kingo holds them back and said,

"It's good to choose your own way. I won't stop you. However, to break away from the master is like crossing the ocean in a small boat, or the baby leaving from his parents. It won't last long. Why don't you choose a deeper way rather than the shallow means? I believe that Nichiren Shonin will definitely return to Kamakura. Sure be to regret later"

The former congregation was upset, but he said firmly.

"It seems useless to recommend any more. Mr. Kingo, good-bye now. I can't count on the Shonin, who doesn't know when he'll be back."

They cast scornful glances at Kingo and the others and left all at once.

The slightly remaining Nissho and Jonin and others surrounded Kingo.

Kingo asked Jonin.

"I heard that your son Niccho had gone to Sado, but have you not received any news that tells us how Shonin lived?"

Jonin answered.

"It is true that I sent my adopted son, Nichicho, to Sado and sent him sutra scrolls and food requested by Shonin. However, although the Shonin is fine, it remains to be seen whether he can return to Kamakura."

He asked Jomyo Ota next.

"Lord Ota, is there any movement to pardon the Shonin in the shogunate?"

"Lord Daigaku Saburo, a Confucian officer of the shogunate, was trying to get a pardon, but at this stage, no good news has been heard. Lord Kamakura is full of Mongolian matters. How about you, Mr. Shijo? Your master, though a branch family, belongs to the distinguished family of Hojo, do you have any good news?"

Kingo folded his arms.

"The other day, I attended a meeting of the cabinet officials of the Shogunate, but there was nothing. In addition, they made a mockery of the incident of the Japanese civil war, which Shonin had predicted. My lord is very angry with me. I will now leave Kamakura and go to your husband's villa in Izu. I seem to have completely offended him."

Kingo said this and closed his eyes.

It was found that everyone had no information about Nichiren Shonin's movements, so the audience fell silent.

Here Mrs. Nichimyo spoke to encourage everyone.

"I would like to meet the Shonin, but Sado is not an easy place to go. But I will chant the title. Why? When I chant, I feel like I'm meeting Shonin. It is strange."

Nissho says with his fist clenched as if to gain her will.

"Lady Nichimyo, you said well. 'If greater difficulty arises, great goodness comes.' These are the words of the Shonin. There is nothing worse for us. However, the prediction of Rissho Ankoku Ron came true. There must be quite a few retainers of the shogunate who have a feeling of awe toward Shonin. Though our darkness is endlessly deep, the sunrise is infinitely close to.”


Continued


Life of Nichiren. Vol. 2. Contents



by johsei1129 | 2020-09-22 10:59 | LIFE OF NICHIREN | Trackback | Comments(0)
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