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2020年 03月 21日

Reply to the lay nun, the Abutsu-bo's wife 阿仏房尼御前御返事

Reply to the lay nun, the Abutsu-bo's wife 阿仏房尼御前御返事


Time of writing: September 3 in the first year of Kenji era (1275), age 54


Place: In the thatched hut on Mt. Minobu.


Background of writing: The nun Sennichi was asked in a letter about the alight and heavy, shallow and depth of slandering the Buddha's law, or its sins and penalty, Daishonin kindly explained the doctrine in detail. At the end of the letter, Daishonin is praising the nun, Abutsubo's wife, who asked about the teachings of the Lotus Sutra, as an uncommon woman.


Original writing: It is said to have existed in Myosen - ji Temple in Sado, but its location is unknown now.

[阿仏房尼御前御返事 本文]


In your letter you asked how the retribution varies according to the degree of slander against the correct teaching. To begin with, the Lotus Sutra was taught to lead all living beings in the Buddha way. Only those who have faith in it, however, attain Buddhahood. Those who slander it fall into the great castle of the hell of incessant suffering. As the sutra states, “If a person fails to have faith but instead slanders this sutra, immediately he will destroy all the seeds for becoming a Buddha in this world. . . . When his life comes to an end, he will enter the Avi hell.


There are many degrees of slandering the Buddha's law, as shallow and profound, slight and heavy. Even among those who embrace the Lotus Sutra, very few uphold it steadfastly both mind and deed and few is the practitioners who can actively hold this sutra. Those having strong faiths do not suffer serious retribution, even if they have committed very small offenses against the sutra. Because their strong faiths expiate their offenses as surely as a flood extinguish a small fire.


The Nirvana Sutra states: “If when even a good monk sees someone destroying the teaching, and do not make him a problem, failing to reproach him, to oust him, or to punish him, then you should realize that that monk is betraying the Buddha’s teaching. But if he ousts the destroyer of the Buddha’s Law, reproaches him, or punishes him, then he is my disciple and a true voice-hearer”. This precept of "a betrayer in the Buddhism" urged me on, and I have insisted.


Slander the Buddha's law is either minor or serious, however, sometimes we treat it rather than blame it. Because the Shingon and Tendai sects slander the Lotus Sutra, should be severely rebuked. But without excellent wisdom, it is hard to differentiate correctly between their doctrines and the teachings that Nichiren spreads. Therefore, at times we refrain to blaming unilaterally. It is just as the Rissho Ankokuron.


When you say it or not, a felony is decided. Though he is able to escape from his sin by saying, but when he does not admonish the slandering by listening, looking at, not making a problem, the two virtues of his eyes and ears are instantly broken and he becomes a ruthless person.


Teacher Shoan writes, “if one feigns oneself and befriends him, but lacks the mercy to put him right, this person is in fact his enemy”. A grave offense is extremely difficult to erase.The most important thing is having wish to give virtues others. When an offense is light, admonishment is sometimes called for, but at other times it may be unnecessary, since there are those who may correct themselves without being told. Then, you can perhaps forestall for both of your sin. Such time, you should forgive that person. The reason that I write in this way because serious slanders lead a grave sin. It is that, “One who rids him of evil is actually as his parent for him.”


Many such examples of slander are also found among the Nichiren’s disciples and lay believers. I think that you probably have heard about the lay monk Ichinosawa. Privately he is considered one of Nichiren’s followers, but publicly he still remains in the Nembutsu sect. What will be done about his next life? Nevertheless, I have presented him with the ten volumes of the Lotus Sutra.


Strengthen your faith now more than ever. Anyone who teaches the reason of Buddha's law to others is bound to incur the hatred of men and women, priests and nuns. Let them say what they will. Entrust yourself to the golden teachings of the Lotus Sutra, Shakyamuni Buddha, Tendai, Myoraku, Dengyo, and Shoan. This is that “A person who practice according to the Buddha’s teachings”. The Lotus Sutra reads, “In the fearful age, one preaches this sutra for even a moment”. This passage explains that in the evil age of the Latter Day of the Law, when evil persons stained by the three poisons prevail, anyone who believes in and maintains the correct teaching for even temporarily, he will receive services from heavenly and human beings.


Now you should make a great vow and pray for your next life. If you are disbelieving or slander the correct teaching even in the slightest, you will certainly fall into the great castle of the hell of incessant suffering. Suppose there is a ship that sails on the open sea. Though the ship is stoutly built, if it is flooded by a leak, those on the ship are sure to drown together. Though the embankment between rice fields is firm, if there is an ant hole in it, then surely, finally, it will not remain full of water absolutely. You must pull the seawater of slander and disbelief out of the ship and solidify the embankment of your faith. If a believer’s sin is slight, overlook it, and lead that person to obtain virtues. If it is serious, encourage him to strengthen his faith, so that he can expiate the sin.





You are indeed a mysterious woman since you wished me to explain a light and heavy, or shallow and depth of slandering the Buddha's law in the situation of nun. You are not inferior to the dragon's daughter. The daughter said, “I unfold the doctrines of the Mahayana to rescue living beings from suffering”. The Lotus Sutra reads, “One can ask about its meaning, that is surely difficult”. The sutra says that there are very few people who inquire about the meaning of the Lotus Sutra. Please be careful. Please be with cautions. You should blame slander the Buddha's law to the best of your ability. I feel mysterious that you are helping my teachings. I am thinking it is mysterious.



The third day of September

Reply to the lay nun, the Abutsu-bo's wife

Original Text.  Table of Contents.

by johsei1129 | 2020-03-21 12:34 | WRITING OF NICHIREN | Trackback | Comments(0)
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