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日蓮大聖人『御書』解説

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2019年 09月 12日

52. Persecution again.


The repression began again.

The target was not Nichiren, but the people of Sado.

A family of fishermen were all together putting their hands in prayer.

Suddenly, the door was broken open and a samurai stepped in and surrounded the family.

The warrior threatened the father and son, saying,

"You have sent a memorial gift to the exiled Nichiren, haven't you? It is against the law to send goods to sinners!”

The miscellaneous warrior took the crying women and children out of the room.

The husband tried to stop him, but he was forcibly separated and tied up.

“You will be banished from this island.”

The parents and children were pulled back to the shoreline and taken away.

Samurai guards monitored Nichiren's pavilion.

They stood on all sides and watched the area with sharp eyes.

A farmer carrying a basket walked past the house.

The warrior called out in alarm,

 "Hey, you there! Why are you passing by here?”

The farmer panicked.

“What? What does that mean..."

“This mansion is the home of the sinner Nichiren. You must be a servant of Nichiren. I think I've seen your face before.”

The peasant was dismayed.

“Not at all. I was only passing this way because it is close to the fields.”

“Shut up, you suspicious fellow. Put him in jail!”

The farmer clung to the ground and resisted, but he was roughly dragged away.

 All of this was a conspiracy by Hojo Nobutoki, the governor of Sado. Tokimune, the lord of Japan, knew nothing of this.

“First of all, if the people of the island were to join Nichiren, Nobutoki had sent down personal instructions that they would be forced to leave the land or imprisoned in a dungeon. He also wrote this order. In this way, the order was given three times. You can imagine in your mind what happened during those times without me telling you.” ‘Various Behaviors of the Saint.’

Powdery snow falls at Kamakura Hachimangu Shrine.

At the residence of Hojo Nobutoki, Nobutoki and Ryoukan were chatting.

A messenger's voice came from beyond the door.

Ryoukan quickly covered up the box of copper coins with his embers.

The messenger entered the room and fell flat.

“I have received a letter from Sado. As you instructed, they have separated Nichiren from the inhabitants of Sado. And they severely punish anyone who approaches Nichiren."

Nobutoki replied.

 "Thank you for your efforts. But we must be on our guard. Send more orders of instruction, and tell them to take strict measures. We must dry Nichiren in the sun."

 The messenger said in a tone of voice that was difficult to understand,

 "I'm referring to your letter."

 "What is it?"

 "I think we need the approval of His Highness Tokimune, the Lord Kamakura. I'm afraid there is some concern that you may not be able to give your consent without the ruler..."

 Nobutoki looked at the messenger.

 "It is not necessary for the Lord to hear about a monk. The matter of Nichiren can be settled by my judgment. There is nothing for you to worry about."

 The messenger fell silent again and left the room.

 Nobutoki smiled at Ryokan. Ryoukan gratefully folded his hands.

 The second winter has come to Sado.

 The island was covered with a blanket of snow. Nichiren's house was also covered with snow. There was no one to visit.

The room was dark. Nichiren and his disciples stared at the small fire in the hearth. They were still wearing their overcoats because of the cold. His beard was long and his eyes were hollow with disappointment. The only meal they ate was a bowl of congee and rice porridge, which they ate by hand. Nichiren was the last to receive the food, but it was very little.

The disciples thought. When he came to Sado, he was in the midst of a difficult time. Every day there was no tomorrow. This was a dramatic turnaround with the arguing face to face, and now he was in trouble again.

But Nichiren was unperturbed.

At the age of thirty-two, he had been prepared for this adversity. It would be strange for him to be sad now. Before he knew it, he had acquired the habit of being hard on himself when the wind was favorable and being happy when it was unfavorable.

“Once upon a time, there was a general in China named Su Wu. Once upon a time, he was defeated in a battle and became a prisoner of barbarism, but he did not give in and did not give up his will. Because of the barbarian, he remained a prisoner, unable to eat, and lived on snow for nineteen years. We, too, are not like Su Wu and have not lost our will.”

The disciple murmured.

"Tomorrow we will go around to the peasant shops again. After all this time, though, there is no one left to give us food..."

A voice called out from outside.

"The saint, the saint..."

When they opened the door, they found Abutsu-bo standing there, covered in snow.

Abutsu-bo carried a bag on his back and smilingly held his hands together.

Nichiren was startled and whispered to him, looking around.

"Abutsu-bo, you must not come. If the lord Honma finds you here, you will be banished."

Abutsu-bo did not respond, but took some food from the bag. It was sweet seaweed, wakame seaweed, komo seaweed, and the head of an octopus.

The disciples' eyes lit up.

Old man Abutsu-bo played the clown like a boy.

"This is all I could bring."

Finally, he gave them a rice ball.

"This is from my wife and the wife of Kou Nyudo, that is. Please don't worry, my saint. I won't let you starve to death."

Nichiren did not listen.

"No, you must not come here. You will all be caught. You will all be caught and put in jail. It's dangerous."

Abutsu-bo shook his head.

"This Abutsu-bo found the true light when he met you. Now that light is going out. Please use this to light the fire."

Abutsu-bo left.

The marks he had left behind were immediately erased by the falling snow.

Nichiren opened the door and gazed at the scene, relieved.

At the Gokurakuji Temple in Kamakura, dozens of believers were prostrating themselves before the smiling Ryoukan.

They were former followers of Nichiren. They were former followers of Nichiren, and in front of Ryoukan, they graciously said.

"Priest Ryoukan, please let bygones be bygones. We only want to chant the Lotus Sutra in silence. Like the priest Nichiren, we will not slander others by saying that only we are precious and that others are wrong."

 Ryokan nodded.

"That's fine. If we are like Nichiren and selfishly follow our own principles, we will be punished by the Lord of the Land and suffer the wrath of the world. You have all awakened well. From now on, you must deal with the world with an open mind, keeping both good and evil in mind. From now on, you can rest easy. I have made arrangements so that the Shogunate's censure will not affect you."

The congregation chuckled.

"Thank you for your kindness. We will all be able to have faith in peace. In return, we would like to adopt the teachings of Ryokan Shonin from now on. Please teach us."

"That's good. I hope that all of us can work hard to perfect the path of Buddhism that we can."

 Nichiren's party began to disintegrate. Everything was going as Ryokan thought it would. The suppression of Sado was also proceeding.

It was a bizarre persistence.

All of this was due to his bitterness over being defeated and humiliated by a mere priest, Nichiren, in a game of prayer rain.

It is said that Ryoukan once summarized his beliefs into ten categories. The eighth of these ten beliefs was as follows:

"Even to those who bear grudges against me and slander me, I should think of them as good friends and help them as a means of salvation."

The word "salvation" means deliverance to relief. It means to save them from the suffering of this shore to the shore of Buddhahood. No matter what kind of person he was, he tried to save them with the desire of a good friend.

However, Ryokan could not make Nichiren his good friend. Even though he was defeated in the prayer rain, he could not abandon the world and become a disciple of Nichiren as he had promised.

Ryokan could not understand Nichiren's commitment to the right and wrong of Buddhism. To him, Buddhism is a means to an end, not an object to which he should devote his precious life. He had other things to do. He had other things to do: status, honor, fame, fortune, power, and so on. Buddhism was just one of them.

Nichiren fundamentally rejected such Ryoukan. Therefore, Ryoukan hated Nichiren with an unfathomable fear. There was no way he could make Nichiren a good friend. On the other hand, although Nichiren criticized Ryokan, he called him a precious paradoxical friend.

Nichiren denounces Ryoukan.

"If he were a true man, he would have turned his evil thoughts around in a moment and hidden his tracks in the mountains and forests. On the contrary, he is a great evildoer who wants to cut off the seeds by sending down letters of slander to the country I was exiled. And yet, because the ignorant supporters rely on him, they will destroy the country in this life, and they will fall into hell in their later lives. This is pitiful." 'Letter to Shimoyama.'

 Ryokan's believers did not know anything, they only relied on him and obeyed his precepts as their guide.

 The blizzard on Sado Island is rumbling.

 At the house of Kou, his wife was cooking rice.

 He also brought vegetables and rice cakes. All of this food was to be delivered to Nichiren.

 Abutsu-bo put them into a tub and wore a cloak and a braided hat.

 Nyudo told Abutsu-bo,

 "Be careful. It seems that the lord Honma already knows about this."

 Abutsu-bo looked him in the eye.

 “If anything should happen to me, I beg you."

 The couple watched him disappear into the snowstorm.

 The couple closed the door and huddled around the hearth.

 The wife said to herself,

  "I wonder how long this will last.”

 Nyudo replied,

 “We will protect the saint for as long as we have reserves. But we are beginning to run out of rice, as is the case with the house of Abutsu-bo. They have a lot of people there. I don't know what to do."

 Nyudo took a letter from his chest.

 "It was given to me by the saint."

 His wife peered at it.

 "It is a letter of complaint to Kamakura. It tells of the lord Honma's arrogance and the difficulty of the people of the island. If it is not delivered as soon as possible, the island will be in danger."

"Will they listen to it?"

Nyudo slumped.

It was at this point that there was a knock at the door from outside.

He stood up.

“It's Abutsu-bo. He has returned. Was there something wrong?"

When his wife opened the door, she found not Abutsu-bo, but a group of strong-faced warriors covered in snow standing there.

They barged in violently.

"Kou Nyudo, you are hereby summoned for the crime of aiding and abetting Nichiren."

Nyudo immediately put the document into the fire. The warriors tightened their grip on his arms.

His wife screamed and grabbed at them, but she was flung away.

A blizzard blocked his view.

Abutsu-bo walked step by step through it toward the house of Nichiren. The only way to avoid being seen was at night.

In the distance, a lighted building came into view. Abutsu-bo's expression relaxed.

But then a group of warriors led by Honma Shigetsura stood in his way.

"Abutsu-bo, where are you going?"

Abutsu-bo said sadly.

"Lord Honma, make way for me."

  "No. If you must pass, I will force you into a noose."

 Abutsu-bo put his hand on his sword.

 “You must be a warrior. If you are a warrior, you should have some compassion for those who are starving and weak. What is the purpose of having a sword in your hand?"

 Honma ordered his men, pretending not to hear.

 "Arrest him up!"

 The samurai under his command hesitated. There was no one on the island who didn't know Abutsu-bo. Despite his advanced age, Abutsu-bo was well respected for his open-mindedness. But they were urged on by Honma, and they surrounded him.

 Abutsu-bo was holding the hilt of his sword, but without drawing it, he was tied up.

 He looked at the lights of the mansion forever when he was pulled back.

 The tub was left alone in the snowfield.

The year passed and spring came to Sado.

The snow melted from the mountains and flowers bloomed on the roads.

The port was bustling with activity.

Hoki-bo Nikko was looking at the landing place from the bank of the mountain. From time to time he climbed the mountain and looked across to Shinano on the other side.

As he looked down on the harbor, Hoki-bo thought.

Two years had passed since the saint had been exiled. Hoki-bo had also worked hard to follow Nichiren to this day. He wondered when he would be able to return to Kamakura. If Nichiren was pardoned, would he be able to return on that ship?

Hoki-bo gazed at the harbor in a daze.

A large number of people were coming off the ship. Among them was an old man who looked familiar.

To his surprise, there was Dozen-bo of Awa Seichoji Temple. Dozen-bo had been Nichiren's teacher in his childhood.

Dozen-bo got off the boat. There was a crowd of people at the port.

Guilty people were being tied up with ropes. What was going on?

Dozen-bo asked the fisherman as he watched the criminals being dragged away.

"Is that...?"

"He was expelled from the island for giving food to the priest Nichiren."

Dozen-b's timidity began to show.

 Just then, Hoki-bo appeared. Hoki-bo asked timidly.

"I beg your pardon, Master Dozenbo, but aren't you the monk Dozen of Awa Seicho-ji?"

The timid Dozen-bo was astonished.

"Who are you? I wonder who you are."

Hoki-bo's eyes lit up.

“I'm Hoki-bo, a disciple of the saint Nichiren. I have known you since we met in Awa. We met in Awa. I am very glad you came to Sado."

"Indeed. I came to see my beloved disciple, Rencho, or rather Nichiren. I was wondering if he was still in good health after his long banishment."

Hoki-bo said cheerfully.

"Yes, he is in good health. I'm sure he'll be very happy to see you. I will show you around.”

But Dozenbo shook his head.

"No, Hoki-bo, I regret to inform you that we will not meet. Nichiren is still under condemnation from the Shogunate. If I go to see him, it will cause some trouble."

"What are you talking about, sir? You have come all the way from Awa, haven't you? I will talk to the saint and make it possible for you to see him. Come with me."

 Dozen-bo was stubborn.

"No, the boat will be leaving soon. I'll leave you now."

Dozenbo left on a run.

Hoki-bo felt sad. He shouted at Dozen-bo's back.

"Master Dozen-bo, do you have anything to tell the saint? Master Dozen-bo..."

Dozenbo did not turn his head.

Hoki-bo clutched his knees in front of his teacher Nichiren.

Nichiren stared into space.

"Is that so? My teacher has come to the island..."

"There was no message. I know it must be a terrible thing for him to have come to Sado, but at least..."

Nichiren said with a sigh.

"If he doesn't see me, his disciple, it doesn't mean he has come. He is a timid person. Nothing has changed."

Although Dozenbo took refuge in Nichiren, he was not a strong believer.

“The fact that he later came to believe a little in the Lotus Sutra is like a stick after a fight. What use is the lamp of the noon? In addition, no matter what happens, those who are called children or disciples are pitiful. He was not a man without ability, but the fact that I went to Sado Island and did not come to visit me once does not mean that I believe in the Lotus Sutra.” ‘Repayment of Kindness’

 Originally, a stick was used to carry things, but it was also used as a tool for fighting.

 Dozenbo's faith was a stick after a fight and a lamp in daylight. It was too late for him to awaken to the true Buddhism. He could not erase his natural cowardice. He wrote about the feelings of a disciple who had an unworthy master.

In the middle of the night, the hall was quiet.

Nichiren came out of the hall alone. The warrior was asleep with his back against the wall.

A pensive Nichiren walked in front of him.

He came to the wilderness.

Nichiren walked in the darkness. Then he sat upright on a cliff looking directly down to the sea.

The waves of the Sea of Japan were crashing far below.

Nichiren chanted the title into the darkness.

"Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, Nam-myoho-renge-kyo..."

Soon, the morning sun began to rise in the sky.

Nichiren continued his chanting while facing the sunlight. His hair and beard grew long, and his light black robes turned black. Nichiren clasped his hands together against the rays of the sun and continued to chant in spite of the sound of the waves.

Then he cried out to the heavens.

The Brahma King and the other heavenly beings have sworn to protect those who practice the Myoho at the Lotus Sutra's meeting place. But why do they not appear now?

Just as Nichiren had scolded the Great Bodhisattva Hachiman in Tatsunokuchi, he now blamed the heavens again.

“I wonder how the four heavens, Brahma, Teishaku, Sun, Moon, and the Four Devas are faring. Do not the deities Amaterasu and Sho-Hachiman Shrine exist in this land? Will the invocations before the Buddha be in vain, and will the ascetics of the Lotus Sutra be abandoned? If my wish is not fulfilled, I will not regret what happens to me. However, if each of you has taken a vow in front of the treasures of the Buddha, the Taho Tathagata, and the Buddhas of the ten directions, but you do not protect Nichiren now and throw it away, will you not be adding a great falsehood to the Lotus Sutra, which is honestly discarded the provisional teaching? If that is the case, your sin of deceiving the Buddhas of the ten directions and the three realms exceeds Devadatta's great lie and the perjury of Venerable Kugyari. Even if you are at the summit of the colored world as Great Brahma and at the summit of Mount Sumeru as the Thousand-Eyed Heaven, if you abandon Nichiren, the unceasing flames of hell will burn as firewood, and there will be no date for you to escape the great castle of interminable hell. If you think this sin is horrible, and there is indeed a reason for it, then hurry up and show this country the effects, and send me back to my country!” ‘Writing to Kounichi-bo’

Continued




by johsei1129 | 2019-09-12 21:15 | LIFE OF NICHIREN | Trackback | Comments(0)
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