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日蓮大聖人『御書』解説

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2020年 03月 30日

The Writing to the Lord Funamori Yasaburo. 船守弥三郎殿許御書

1. The Writings to the Lord Funamori Yasaburo. 

Original Text.

■Time of writing: June 27 (1261), the first year in the Kocho era, at the age of 40.

■Place: Ito Hachiro-zaemon-no-jo's residence in Ito、 Izu Province.

■Background of the writing: This is a letter sent to a fisherman Yasaburo Funamori in Kawana Ito in Izu. When Daishonin had been exiled in Izu on May 12 in the first year of the Kocho era, Yasaburo found Daishonin who went down from a ship and was suffering from fatigue and rescued him. Mr. and Mrs. Yasaburo Funamori had sheltered Daishonin for more than 30 days until he moved to the residence of Mr. Hachiro-zaemon, the manager and lord of the manor of Ito. Furthermore, as it is stated at the beginning of the letter, "I received the rice dumplings wrapped in bamboo leaves, sake, dried rice, Japanese pepper, paper, and others." Even after he moved, he continued to hold numerous offerings by a person to a person, in secret from the local people who criticized Daishonin. Daishonin praised their sincerity. "Shakyamuni Buddha, the lord of teachings, said, 'I attained Buddhahood at the beginning when space had begun. I am the only person who can rescue and protect others.' This 'person 'refers to living beings like ourselves.<omitted.>, In this case, perhaps the Buddha, the lord of teachings, has been reborn as you and your wife and has helped me" by quoting the Lifespan chapter of the Lotus Sutra.

■ Autograph: Not extant.


[The text]


 I have received the rice dumplings wrapped in bamboo leaves, sake, dried rice, Japanese peppers, paper, and other items from the errand whom you took the trouble to send. The person who carried them delivered your message that these offerings should be kept secret. I understand it.

 When, on the twelfth day of the fifth month, having been exiled to here, and arrived at that harbor I had never even heard, and I was suffering after leaving the boat. You took me into care kindly. What kind of fate has brought us together? Can it be that, because in the past you were a practitioner of the Lotus Sutra, now, in the latter day of the Law, you have been reborn as Funamori-no-Yasaburo and have taken pity on me?

Though I don't know if this is the case for men, your wife has given me food, brought me water to wash my hands and feet, and treated me with great concern, I can only call it wondrous. Especially, you inwardly believed in the Lotus Sutra and made offerings to me during my more than a thirty-day stay there.

I was hated and resented by a land steward and the people of the district even more than I was in Kamakura. Those who saw me scowled, while those who merely heard my name were filled with spite. And yet, though in May rice was scarce, you secretly fed me. Were my parents reincarnated in a place called Kawana, in Ito of Izu Province?

In the fourth volume of the Lotus Sutra, states, “Men and women of pure faith offer alms to the teachers of the Law.” The meaning of this sutra passage is that the heavenly gods and benevolent deities will assume various forms, become men, or become women, and present offerings to help the persons who do practice the Lotus Sutra. There can be no doubt that this refers to you and your wife being born as a man and a woman, and making offerings to Nichiren, the teacher of the Law. Since I wrote to you in detail before, I will make this letter brief.

 Especially, though the land steward of this district told me a request to pray for his recovery from illness, I wondered if I should accept it. But since he showed some degree of faith in me, I decided I would appeal to the Lotus Sutra. This case, I thought that the ten demon daughters would join forces and never abandon me. I therefore addressed the Lotus Sutra, Shakyamuni, Taho, and all Buddhas of the ten directions, and also the Sun Goddess, Hachiman, and other deities, both major and minor. I was sure that they would consider my request and show some sign. Indeed, they never gave up on me and treated me with the same care they would rub a sore spot or scratch an itch. Thus, at long last, the land steward recovered. In gratitude he presented me with a statue of the Buddha that had appeared from the fish in the sea. He did so because of his illness, and I am certain that the ten demon daughters blamed his sickness. This merit too will surely become a merit for you and your wife.

Living beings like ourselves have dwelt in the sea of the sufferings of birth and death since remote beginnings. But if they become practitioners of the Lotus Sutra, realize that their bodies and minds, which have existed since the remotest beginnings, past, are inherently endowed with the eternal unchanging nature, awaken to their immeasurable reality with their incalculable wisdom and attain the Buddha’s body, which is as indestructible as a diamond. How can it not be the same as the Buddha? Shakyamuni Buddha, the lord of teachings said, “I attained Buddhahood at the beginning when space had begun. I am the only person who can rescue and protect others.” "The person "refers to living beings like ourselves. This is the Lotus Sutra’s teaching of the three thousand realms in a single moment of mind, and the conduct of “I am always here, preaching the Law. (Note)”

Even though such a respectable Lotus Sutra and Shakyamuni Buddha exist, the common mortal is unaware of it. The 'Lifespan Chapter' states, “I make it so that living beings in their befuddlement do not show my figure even when close by,” it refers to this. The disparity between delusion and enlightenment is like between the four views for the grove of sal trees. What is called the Buddha of the three thousand realms in a moment of mind means that the entire realm of phenomena attains Buddhahood.

The demon who appeared before the Boy of Snow Mountain was Teishaku in disguise. The dove that sought the protection of King Shibi was the god Vishvakarman. Though King Fumyo returned to King Hansoku's palace to perform a promise, he was in fact Shakyamuni Buddha. While the eyes of ordinary people are blind to this, the eyes of the Buddha see it. A sutra passage states that there are paths by which birds and fish come and go in both the sky and the sea. This wooden statue Buddha is itself a golden color, and a golden color is a wooden statue. Aniruddha’s gold had turned into a hare and then a corpse. In the palm of Mahanama’s hand, even sand turned into gold. These things are beyond ordinary understanding. An ordinary person is a Buddha, and a Buddha, an ordinary person. This is what is meant by the three thousand realms in a single moment of mind and by the phrase “I in fact attained Buddhahood.”

In this case, perhaps the Buddha, the lord of teachings, has been reborn as you and your wife and has helped me. Though the distance between the place Ito and Kawana is short, our hearts are kept far apart. I sent this letter for the sake of the future. Please do not tell it to others, but understand it yourself. If people know anything about it, it will happen bad to you. Please keep this deep in your heart and not speak of it. With my deepest regards. We ask for your kind cooperation. Nam-myoho-renge-kyo.

Nichiren

The twenty-seventh day of June in the first year of Kocho (1261)

Sent to the place of the Lord Funamori Yasaburo.


(Note)

The Life Span of Tathagata, the sixteenth chapter in the Lotus Sutra.

“In order to save living beings,

as an expedient means I appear to enter nirvana

but in truth I do not pass into extinction.

I am always here, preaching the Law.

I am always here,

but through my transcendental powers

I make it so that living beings in their befuddlement

do not see me even when close by.

When the multitude sees that I have passed away,

far and wide they offer alms to my relics.

All harbor thoughts of yearning

and in their minds thirst to gaze at me.”



Original Text.  Table of Contents.



by johsei1129 | 2020-03-30 10:33 | WRITING OF NICHIREN | Trackback | Comments(0)


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