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日蓮大聖人『御書』解説

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2019年 09月 18日

9. Erecting the Gohonzon, the object of worship.

Sado Island was a land of adversity, but Nichiren erected the true object of worship, the Gohonzon, in the situation of the root Buddha in the latter day of the Law.

"The teachings" called the Lotus Sutra of Shakyamuni Buddha were left in the latter day of the Law, but "Practice" to become Buddha became unsuitable for the times and it lost power. Therefore, although all people have been practicing Buddhism, they had not been able to acquire the "proof" that they attain Buddhahood. Nichiren conferred the object of worship (Gohonzon) of a scroll on all people of the latter day of the Law, and he founded a “practice" that all creatures attain Buddhahood by chanting Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo to the Gohonzon over the future forever.

What kind of thing is the Gohonzon? What kind of feature is it? Nichiren preaches and clarifies it.

“The appearance of the true object of worship is described as the treasure tower soaring in the air over the saha world, where the master of the radical teachings resides. Shakyamuni Buddha and Tahō Buddha take their place on either side of Myoho-Renge-Kyo within the treasure tower, the four leaders of the Bodhisattvas such as Jogyo attended with Shakyamuni Buddha. Manjushri, Maitreya, and other disciples, who are clans of the four Bodhisattvas, are seated below. There are big and small bodhisattvas of the provisional or other land on the ground where all the people are, and it looks like looking up to a noble and a court noble. All the Buddhas who gathered from the worlds in the ten directions remain on the ground because they are temporary manifestations of the eternal Buddha and their acreages are transient, not eternal. The Gohonzon was not preached during the fifty-odd years of Shakyamuni's lifetime. Shakyamuni preached the Lotus Sutra over a period of eight years, moreover this Gohonzon was taught only through the eight chapters. During the two thousand years of the former or middle days of the Law, Mahakashyapa and Ananda were flanking the Shakyamuni Buddha of Hinayana, and Manjushri and Fugen, Universal Worthy, were flanking the Shakyamuni Buddha who had taught the provisional Mahayana, the Nirvana Sutra, the theory of the Lotus Sutra. Though these images and statues of the Buddha was created and depicted during the periods of the former or middle day of Law, the Buddha of the Life Span chapter was not made yet. This true object of worship shall appear for the first time in the latter day of the Law”. ‘True Object of Worship’.

Nichiren writes it at the end of this writing.

“Showing profound compassion for those unable to comprehend the doctrine of three thousand realms in a single moment of life, the Buddha wrap this jewel into the five characters [Myoho-renge-kyo] , hanging it to the neck of ignorant people who live in the latter days of the Law”.

The Gohonzon shown in this 'True Object of Worship' is a one and only present which Nichiren gave the all creatures, the ignorant people who have lost the concept of existence of the latter days of the Law.

It is clear from the examples such as a letter, paper money, the contract document that the thing which wrote by a letter of an alphabet on paper has power.

But proof to become the grounds for something is necessary. In addition, they must possess the ability understanding the written meaning.

The false letter is useless. The counterfeit bill is punished. We become the offender if we make the false contract documents.

Conversely, the genuine paper money has a national guarantee. Even if the people who still do hunting life in a forest of the heart of a mountain without the custom of the monetary economy, received a bunch of dollars, they will only put it on a bonfire.The letter which a person thinks for a partner and wrote may become the writing changing the lifetime if the other party to receive had ability receiving the thought. The reason why a person believes a thing written on paper is because the thought of the person who created it, or the intentions such as organizations do so-called transfer changing to paper.

The primordial Buddha's soul, a life of the mercy concretely in other words, of the latter days of the Law transfers to the Gohonzon which Nichiren revealed. The person can express the nature of Buddha being hidden in own soul for the first time by chanting a title to this Gohonzon.

Nichiren likens this hidden Buddha's nature to a bird of the basket and likens a chanting title to a bird flying in the sky.

“Therefore, when once we chant Myoho-renge-kyo, with just that single sound we summon and manifest all Buddha’s nature; and all bodhisattvas; and all hearers of voice; all the deities such as Brahmā, Shakra, and King Yama; the sun and moon, and the myriad stars; the gods of heaven and earth, and all living beings in the worlds of hell, hunger, animality, anger, humanity, and rapture. The benefit of calling this nature of Buddha is immeasurable and unfathomable. If we worship Myoho-renge-kyo of our mind as the Gohonzon, the nature of Buddha in our mind summons Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. This condition to call each other is called Buddha. For example, when a caged bird sings, birds who are flying in the sky are thereby summoned and gather around, and when the birds flying in the sky gather around, the bird in the cage tries to get out. When with our mouths we chant the marvelous Law, our inner Buddha's nature, being summoned, will appear by all means. The Buddha's natures of Brahmā and Shakra, being called, will protect us, and Buddha's natures of Buddha and bodhisattvas, being summoned, will rejoice. Therefore, 'If a person kept this Lotus Sutra even during a little, I will delight, all the Buddha is same too'. It is this mind that preached so. All the Buddha of the three existences, past, the present and future, too, had attained Buddhahood by the five words of Myoho-renge-kyo. Five characters are the purpose why all the Buddha of the three existences appeared in the world, it is the marvelous Law where all living beings can attain the Buddhahood. You understand these meanings well really and, on this road for becoming Buddha, should chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo without arrogance or bias”. ‘About Attaining Buddhahood at the Beginning Stage of Religious Life through the Lotus Sutra’.

Nichiren preaches it that it is all of practices to become Buddha chanting a title of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo towards the Gohonzon. Nichiren expressed this Gohonzon for the first time in Sado island.

It is said that the letter conveys the mind of the person and the voice does for Buddha.

If a person chants Nam-myoho-renge-kyoto the Gohonon where Nichiren dyed his soul in the sumi and wrote, the practice of Buddhism in the latter day of the Law will reach the ultimate end.

Nichiren wanted to convey that Law of attaining Buddhahood to all people of the latter days of the Law, by any means.

He talks about the magnificence of this Gohonzon himself.

“How mysterious it is for Nichiren. During two hundred years from the latter day of the Law, Nichiren revealed this marvelous mandala that even those such as Nagarjuna and Vasubandhu, Tientai and Miaolo were unable to express it, as the flag mark of propagation of the Lotus Sutra for the first time. This mandala is in no way my invention. This is the Gohonzon which the great Shakyamuni Buddha and all incarnations of him printed to a wood block in the tower of Taho Tathagata. Therefore, the five letters of the title are placed in the center, while the four kings of Heaven are seated at the four corners of the treasure tower. Shakyamuni, Tathagata Taho, and the four leaders of the bodhisattvas who appeared from the ground are side by side at the summit. Seated below them are the bodhisattvas, including Fugen and Manjushri, and the hearers of voice including Shariputra and Maudgalyayana. The gods of the sun and moon, the devil king of the sixth Heaven, the dragon king, an asura, and also King Fudo and King Aizen are in their territories of the south and north. The evil and treacherous Devadatta and the ignorant dragon king's daughter form a group. Also, there are the goddess of ogre, and her ten daughters who usurp the lives of people of the three thousand worlds. In addition, there are the God of the sun, the great bodhisattva Hachiman, Heaven god of the seven generations, the land deities of five generations, all of the small and big gods of Heaven and land, are the tutelary gods of Japan. The body of gods are ranged in rows. How can remaining gods of appearing from the prime god be left? The chapter of treasure tower states, 'Buddha adjoined all the people, raising them. Therefore, every member was in the sky'. Without exception, all these Buddhas, bodhisattvas, great saints, and all the miscellaneous crowd of the two worlds and the eight groups who appear in the 'Introduction' chapter of the Lotus Sutra reside first and last in this Gohonzon and illuminated by the light of five characters of the marvelous Law, they become the venerable form that they inherently possess. The Gohonzon means this”. 'Reply to Lady Nichinyo' or 'About the Aspect of the Gohonzon'.

Furthermore, Nichiren answers a person doubting the rationale of this Gohonzon.

“Question: Is there the prediction of Buddha? Answer: The Buddha states, ‘In the latter five-hundred-year period this will spread widely throughout the whole world, Jambudvipa'. The Great Teacher Tientai predicts, ‘In the latter five-hundred-year period, the world will flourish by the marvelous Law for long'. Miaolo predicts, ‘The profit received from sowing the seed of Buddhahood is absolutely at the beginning of the latter days of the Law'. The Great Teacher Dengyou says, 'The former days and middle days of the Law are almost over, and the latter days are near at hand'. ‘The latter days are near at hand', this quotation means that his times were not becoming the times of propagation. The Great Teacher Dengyo, in Japan, foresaw the beginning of the latter day of the Law, saying: 'If saying times, the end of the middle days of the Law and the beginning of the latter day. Regarding the land, it will be the east of Tang and the west of Katsu. As for the person, he will be born from the five turbidities in the times of struggle'. The sutra says, ‘Hatred and jealousy toward this sutra abound even when the Tathagata is in the world, why may there be fewer than this after his death? This explanation is to the point really'. ‘The times of struggle' of this commentary. It refers to the two disasters that are occurring at present, the internal strife and the invasion from the western sea. At this time the countless bodhisattvas will appear from the ground, and the Gohonzon, the holiest in the world, will be erected in this country with the essential Shakyamuni Buddha playing a subordinate role”. ‘True Object of Worship’.


Continued


Life of Nichiren. Compact edition.



by johsei1129 | 2019-09-18 21:51 | LIFE OF NICHIREN | Trackback | Comments(0)
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