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日蓮大聖人『御書』解説

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2019年 09月 16日

8. Difficult situation in solitaryisland Sado.

The hardship of both Nichiren and disciples continues.

“In a northern country the wind was strong particularly and the snow was deep. The clothing was thin, the food was scarce. So, I well understood how the mandarin orange which is uprooted and transplanted to a different locale turns into a trifoliate orange naturally. My dwelling was a dilapidated house for a funeral service in a field thick with pampas grass where corpses were buried. Rain had leaked in, and the walls did not keep out the wind. Day and night the only sound reaching my ears was the wind being heard on my pillow; at dawn and sunset the sight that met my eyes was the snow that buried even the roads of various place. I felt as though I had passed through the hungry road and fallen into the cold hells. I experienced the same thing as Su Wu who was detained for nineteen years in the land of the northern barbarians and ate snow to keep himself alive, or Li Ling who had dwelled six years in a cave and clothed a coat of straws”.

The disciples and believers scattered after the persecution of Tatsunokuchi, the Nichiren's sect of Kamakura was destructed almost. 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 had fallen down at the time of persecution" at "A reply to Lady Ni'iama". They were robbed of land, a job was solved, and were kicked out from even their houses. In addition, it was more serious that an opinion divided as obey or not obey Nichiren among the people who barely kept the Lotus Sutra. The person who revolted against Nichiren appeared. They showed it to 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.

However, Nichiren concentrated all nerve on writing.

He was banished and confined, but this is an opportunity of the perfect writings in a reverse meaning. When he was in Kamakura, he spent his time to advise the government by 'the treatise of establishing the correct Law for the peace and safety of the nation' and devoted an effort for teaching the disciples and believers. He left the writing that he wrote down the superiority and inferiority of the Lotus Sutra and Nembutsu, Shingon, the Zen and the other religions, but he has been keeping secret the teachings that he himself acquired. Therefore, he must make use of these adverse circumstances greatly.

The persecution of Tatsunokuchi brought about an extremely serious turning point for a life of Nichiren. Nichiren understood a certain mission that he must write down the orthodox of the Law of Buddha clearly. He must leave this for disciples and believers who follow him in the future. The design sprang out one after another, and his writing brush had no time to feel relaxed at all. Time to reveal the secret that he has been holding for many years from the moment of Tatsunokuchi came.

“Besides, you should regard it that my doctrines before the banishment to the country of Sado are only equal to the teachings of Buddha having preached before the Lotus Sutra. I had been thinking that, if the ruler of this country desired to govern well, he would summon the priests of the Shingon or others for an open debate with me, and that on that occasion I would reveal a doctrine of truly supreme importance. If I tell it to my disciples beforehand, they might inadvertently disclose it to the priests of the Shingon or others. The Shingon or other blame me about this difference of doctrine and might avoid the debate. This is why I did not teach all of you it as well. However, on the night of the twelfth day of September in the eighth year of Bun'ei (1271), I was about to be beheaded at Tatsunokuchi. From this time, I felt pity for my followers because I had not yet revealed these true teachings to anybody. I did not say the truth to all of you conforming, then I secretly conveyed this doctrine to my disciples from the country of Sado. After Buddha had passed away, great scholars and teachers such as Mahakashyapa, Ananda, Nagarjuna, Vasubandhu, Tien-tai, Miaolo, Dengyou, and Gishin knew this doctrine, but kept it in their minds covertly and did not express it in words. The reason was that the Buddha had forbidden them to spread it, stating, ‘After my passing, this supreme Law should not be revealed until the latter day of the Law arrives’. Though I do not be an envoy sent by the Buddha, my birth in this world coincides with the era of the latter day. Moreover, quite unexpectedly, I realized this doctrine and I am preaching by and large this beginning until a saint will appear. If this doctrine will appear, all the teachings advocated by the scholars and teachers during the former and the middle day of the Law would become like stars after sunrise, or a coarse workmanship after a skilled craftsman. In this time, the efficacy of the Buddha statues, the priests and temples built in the Former or the middle days will all extinguish and only this grand Law will spread throughout the entire world. Because you have an association with this doctrine, you have to be assured”.

Nichiren arrived at Sado and started writing of own longest book "the opening the eyes" of 35638 characters immediately and finished writing it in only two months. That was no mean spirit as if he left the will of deceased person for disciples.

“A person by the name of Nichiren was beheaded [as a common mortal] between the hours of the rat and ox (11:00 p.m. to 3:00 a.m.) on the twelfth day of September of last year. It is his soul that has come to this island of Sado and, in February of the following year, snowbound, is writing this to send to his close disciples. They might be terrified, though this is nothing to fear. Those who have no faiths will be horrified after reading this writing. This is a mirror reflecting the future and the present of Japan, which is held by Shakyamuni Buddha, Taho Buddha, and the ten directions' Buddha. Thus, this should be seen as the keepsake of deceased too”.


Continued


Life of Nichiren. Compact edition.



by johsei1129 | 2019-09-16 18:06 | LIFE OF NICHIREN | Trackback | Comments(0)
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