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日蓮大聖人『御書』解説

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2022年 05月 18日

55. The Last Remonstrance

 Nichiren's mansion was a brand-new one, hastily prepared by his believers as a temporary residence when they learned of his pardon.

 The townspeople crowded into the house.

When Nichiren appeared, the crowd erupted in shouts of joy.

Nichiren looked up at the building and entered. Hoki-bo followed him, holding up a scroll of the principal image in both hands. The room was filled with disciples and believers.

The five disciples, including Nichiro, had been released after the February riot, an internal conflict in the Hojo family, and the disciples and followers of Nichiren had been hoping for their master's pardon. His pardon was hopeless. But now the impossible has become possible. They felt the power of the Lotus Sutra in their hearts.

Among the disciples were Sanmi-bo and Daishin-bo. These two came out when they heard of Nichiren's return. When Nichiren was in trouble, they hid, but when he came into the light, they appeared. They were unprincipled disciples, like weathercocks, but Nichiren turned a blind eye to them, expecting great things from them.

Nichiren sat with his back to the brand-new Gohonzon, which had been placed in the hall by Hoki-bo Nikko.

"You all have endured well in my absence. I know you have had a difficult time. Your hearts are blessed by Lord Shakyamuni. Nichiren also thanks you all."

At this point, the tone of voice became stronger.

"Now, I have been pardoned and have come to Kamakura, and I am sure that the lord Kamakura has something in mind. I am sure he will be summoned. It is at this time that the right and wrong of Buddhism will be decided."

Everyone leaned forward.

"As I've stated before, we must not abandon our faith under any circumstances. This is the time for all of you to uphold the Lotus Sutra. I have nothing to say about your past faith. In addition, you need to have a stronger faith than we do now."

That night, Nichiren shared sake with his main disciples and followers.

The table was filled to the brim with delicacies. Women Nichigan-nyo, Nichimyo, and the Ikegami brothers' wives were also serving sake to the others.

The disciples were overflowing with joy, something they had not experienced in more than ten years.

Lady Nichimyo served sake to Nichiren. She felt as if it were a dream that she had met again. When she broke up with him in Sado island, she thought this might be the last time. For that reason, her joy was extraordinary. Although she had heard that ”Myo” refers to a resurrection, she felt as if her own soul had come back to her. He and her daughter Oto talked about the events on the island.

Night had fallen. The women had left, leaving only the disciples and the old believers at the banquet.

Nichiren closed his eyes and pondered in silence for a while. For some reason, he has a look of depression.

On the contrary, his disciple, Sanmi-bo, is in a jovial mood.

"On April 8, Our Priest will be appointed high monk at the behest of the shogunate. On April 8, he will meet the Lord Saemon of the Taira. He's also going to build us a large temple. We must be even more diligent."

Daishin-bo spoke eloquently.

"The hard work we've done so far is really paying off. It's a great relief to be able to go from a barren house to a great temple. We no longer have to worry about food. The shogunate will take care of everything, and all the people up and down the country will respect us. Tears well up in my eyes at the thought of no more hardships. Our teacher is on the side of the Shogunate. Then we will be at ease."

The two men smiled broadly. The others smiled in agreement, but Nichiren's expression was stern.

Kingo Shijo was also drunk. He was drunk and glared at the two men, Sami-bo and Daishin-bo. The temperamental Kingo's eyes were fixed.

“Who said that our saint would side with the Shogunate? What has the Shogunate done to the saint so far? They have exiled him to an island, driven him away, and even tried to have his head taken off. It is absurd to think that they will forgive him now."

The mild-mannered Jonin Toki chided him.

"Kingo, you're speaking too loudly."

 But tonight Kingo was not keeping quiet. He was also a party to a great difficulty.

"No, I want to say. I believe that the Shogunate has some kind of plan for this pardon. We must be on our guard. The shogunate, which had hated the saint like a scorpion, suddenly changed its attitude and forgave him. Isn't that creepy? If we continue to be happy about this, we will be turned upside down.”

 The room became quiet.

 Sanmi-bo shrank under Kingo's glare and asked Nichiren.

"What is going to happen to you, teacher?"

 Nichiren had already switched from sake to tea and began to speak after a pause.

"From the looks of it, the Shogunate must have understood my point of view. However, I have accused the Nembutsu sect of being a hell, the Zen sect of being the work of demons, the Shingon sect of being the evil law of destroying a nation, and the precept sect of being the delusion of national criminals, but the shogunate still supports them. Perhaps they will treat us like any other sect and make us pray for protection against the Mongols. In any case, we must not let them pray, especially if they pray with the Shingon, the nation will die."

Kingo Shijo set down his cup with a clink.

 When Nichiren returned from Sado, he denounced Shingon Buddhism in earnest. Nichiren had previously criticized Nembutsu and Zen Buddhism, but after this he began to criticize Shingon in earnest. The two sects, Nembutsu and Zen, had been spreading like a plague in Japan, but their momentum was halted by Nichiren's breakthrough.

The nature of Shingon is different from that of Nembutsu and Zen.

While the Nembutsu and Zen sects had expanded rapidly in the past fifty years, the Shingon sect had already permeated Japan for the past 400 years, since the Heian period. According to Nichiren, the Shingon sect is an evil law of destroying a nation.

The Shingon sect of Buddhism was founded in China by three monks from India: Zenmui Sanzo, Kongochi Sanzo, and Fuku Sanzo. It is not a sect that originated in India. During the reign of King Xuanzong of the Tang Dynasty, three monks from India brought and propagated the Dainichi Sutra, the Vajradhara Sutra, and the Soshicchi Sutra, which are the sutras of the Shingon Sect.

At that time, the Tendai sect was in full bloom in China. The Tendai sect had developed an elaborate theory based on the Lotus Sutra, and its doctrines were well known in India. For this reason, Zenmui and three others who had come all the way from India to China found themselves without a place to stay.

It was no wonder that the teachings of the three sutras, including the Dainichi Sutra, were inferior and could not compare to the profundity of the Lotus Sutra. However, the three sutras did contain mudras and mantras. Mudras are a moving finger, and mantras are an incantation. With such superficial actions, one cannot grasp the profound truth of Buddhism. On the contrary, the Lotus Sutra explains the depths of life in the form of the attaining Buddhahood of the Two Vehicles, and the Primordial Buddha with an unmeasurable remote past. The three sutras of the Shingon sect were no match for it.

 Therefore, Zenmui forcibly applied the theory of the Lotus Sutra to the three sutras, claiming that the three sutras and the Lotus Sutra were equally supreme. He then argued that the Shingon was superior to the Lotus Sutra because it had mudras and mantras that the Lotus Sutra did not have, and because it had visible practice.

 This may sound like a strong argument, but the people of the time approved of Zenmui. The three men were high priests from the home of Buddhism. They were also said to be noble. By comparison, the Tendai monks were light-hearted, and there were no wise men like the Tendai masters to confront in public, so Shingon Buddhism spread throughout China.

Xuanzong, the sixth emperor of the Tang Dynasty, took Zenmui as his teacher. Zenmui must have been satisfied. He wanted to rise in the world even if he had to bend the doctrines of Buddhism. When he saw the prosperity of the Tendai sect, he was filled with jealousy. He tried to undermine the Lotus Sutra by appearing to praise it.

Even the Nembutsu and Zen sects do not criticize the Lotus Sutra by name. But the Shingon sect was deeply involved in the Lotus Sutra, and at the same time, it was destroying the righteousness of the Lotus Sutra. It is said that although a lion is invincible, they are destroyed by the insects that nestle in their wombs. For the Lotus Sutra, the Shingon sect was the worm inside the lion.

What would happen if one prayed with this Shingon? If one prays for oneself, will ruin oneself. If he prayed for the nation, he would lose his country. Because the Lotus Sutra which protects the nation would be destroyed. For this reason, Nichiren called Shingon the evil law of the exiled nation.

The manifestation of the slander of the Lotus will surely appear. The terrible death of Zenmoku Sanzang and his near-death experience are well known. Because he asked for a Shingon master, Xuanzong of the T'ang dynasty was said to be a great sovereign, but he suffered the An Lok San Rebellion.

Shingon Buddhism was introduced to Japan during the reign of Emperor Kammu and Emperor Heijo. Kukai (Kobo) was the one who introduced it to Japan.

The great teacher Dengkyo built the Mahayana precepts at Enryaku-ji Temple, while Kobo was given To-ji Temple and spread the Shingon sect. At this point, the superiority of the Lotus Sutra and the Shingon was not clear.

There was one person who determined this.

Dengyo Daishi had a disciple named Ennin. He was later called the teacher Jikaku, and although few people know him today, he was revered more than Dengyo at that time. In the early Heian period (794-1185), he spent nine years in Tang Dynasty China on a mission to learn all about the Tendai sect and Shingon Buddhism. Jikaku's wisdom was said to be higher than that of a mountain, and after returning to Japan, he became the third head of Mount Hiei. However, Jikaku was not well versed in Buddhist doctrine and had a short memory.

Jikaku disobeyed the teachings of his master and put the Shingon religion first, forcing the Imperial Court to issue a decree. It is said that he had a dream in which he shot an arrow into the sun and dropped it, which convinced him that the Shingon was the best. Chishō, who followed in the footsteps of Jikaku, also believed that the Shingon was superior and the Lotus Sutra inferior.

This trend continued for four hundred years.

Incidentally, Nichiren wrote in his book, Honinmyo-sho,

 "The Tendai Daishi had 3,000 disciples, but Shoan was the only one who was able to spread righteousness without doubt. The same is true today. Even though there are many disciples, those who convey righteousness without doubt are rare and are like one or two small stones.”

Successive emperors worshiped Enryaku-ji Temple. As a result, the rice fields of Japan became the domain of Shingon. In addition, Kobo said that the Lotus Sutra was inferior to the Shingon Sutra and even inferior to the Kegon Sutra. This is called the "thirdly inferior.”

Thus, the power of the Lotus Sutra fell to the ground. This iniquity took root in Japan and became immovable. It was Nichiren who clarified this process.

Nichiren said that the depth of the roots of Shingon Buddhism in Japan is incomparable to Nembutsu or Zen.

“First, the Nembutsu sect of Buddhism is so widespread in Japan that it is a favorite pastime of the four sentient beings. Secondly, the Zen sect, with its three robes and one bowl of pride, fills the four seas, and is thought of as the bright guidance of the heavens. Thirdly, the Shingon sect is very different from these two sects. Eizan, Toji, Seven Temples, Onjo-ji, some are the head chief, some are Omuro, some are chief officials, and some are inspectors. They are all Shingonists as well.” 'Selection the Times'

Every famous temple in Japan was a Shingon temple. Nichiren Shoshu's 26th head priest, Nikkan, explains.

"The ‘head chief’ is Eizan. The ‘Omuro’ is Ninna-ji Temple. The chief officials are the Onjo-ji Temple. The inspectors are Koya. In the same way, these are the Shingon." ‘The Interpretation of the 'Selection the Times.’

Nichiren put the Lotus Sutra first and broke with the Shingon. He tried to wipe out four hundred years of delusion by putting the sutras first. However, people laughed at Nichiren. What kind of monk was Nichiren, who said that people as great as Jikaku Daishi and Kobo Daishi were in hell?

But it is they who weep.

Through the prayers of the Shingon sect, the Heike clan was destroyed and the Emperor Go-Toba died on a remote island. Now the Mongolian invasion is approaching again. If we pray with Shingon, the destruction of Japan is inevitable.

Nichiren wrote about how the Shingon seeped into the Lotus Sutra.

 "As if the Shingon sect were a shadow of the Lotus Sutra, the Shingon sect has been subordinated to the Lotus Sutra in every mountain and temple, the eighteen paths have been added to the Lotus Sutra, the Amida Sutra has been added to the Penitential Act, and the Tendai scholars hold the ceremony of the initiation for the Tendai sect to make the Shingon sect the righteous one. However, the Shingon sutra is inferior to the Kegon and Hannya sutras among the Buddhist sutras, but the Jikaku and Kobo were troubled by it, and said it is the same as or superior to the Lotus sutra. Therefore, when they opened the eyes of a Buddha statue, they had made an offering to open the eyes with the mantra of Dainichi Sutra. In the end, all of the statues in Japan, both statues and pictures, have become soulless and eyeless. In the end, they became Buddha images that would destroy the supporters by replacing the demons of heaven. This is the end of the Law of Kings. This evil Shingon has come to Kamakura and is once again trying to destroy the nation of Japan.” ‘To the masses of Seichoji Temple’

 The pure Lotus Sutra refers to the practice of copying the Lotus Sutra. The Shingon people added the eighteen kinds of finger moving, esoteric practices, to this event.

 The Penitential Act is the practice of repenting for sins committed in the past. In those days, people who lived at home confessed their sins to the monks. The most popular form of penance was the Lotus Sutra Penance, which was an important ritual at the court called the Law of Penance or the Meeting of Penance. They incorporated the provisional teaching of the Amitabha Sutra into this ceremony.

 The ceremony of the initiation is a one to advance to a certain status. The great teacher Denkyo conferred the rank based on the Lotus Sutra, but Jikaku and his disciples used the Shingon as the first step.

 An opening the eyes of a Buddha statue is a puja with the purpose of opening the eyes of Buddha images. It was a ritual to put the soul into a newly cast or copied Buddhist statue or picture image. They did this not with the Lotus Sutra but with Shingon. This is the same as the counterfeiting of banknotes, although the dimensions are different.

 Thus, Japan had been a land of slander for 400 years.

On April 8, Nichiren responded to the invitation of the shogunate and went out.

This day was designated by Nichiren. The number eight has the meaning of opening. Shakyamuni Buddha's birth was on April 8, and his attainment of Buddhahood was on December 8. It was on the eighth day that he was ordained as a priest, and it was also on the eighth day that he preached the Lotus Sutra for the first time.

Nichiren was accompanied by Hoki-bo Nikko, Nissho and others. Kingo Shijo and Jonin Toki went with them too.

They walked through the streets of Kamakura.

Now, Nichiren was the first or second favorite in Kamakura. He had been replaced by Ryokan of Gokurakuji.

The people on the road clasped their hands in prayer to Nichiren.

The group arrived at the gate of the samurai residence.

Nichiren stood in front. A large number of warriors were waiting for him.

The samurai fell to one knee and bowed to Nichiren. They were so polite that it was almost creepy.

Nichiren slowly walked forward with a scroll of the Lotus Sutra in his hand. He was reminiscing.

On the night of the hardship at Tatsunokuchi, the soldiers chased Nichiren away, shouted abuse at him, and led him to the place of execution. This was only three years ago. Now, it seems as if everyone is fascinated by Nichiren. How can human beings change like this?

Nichiren left Hoki-bo and the others in the anteroom and walked down the corridor alone.

His family members were lying flat on either side of him. They all looked at Nichiren as if they had ulterior motives.

In a room halfway down the corridor, priests from other sects were chatting and laughing.

In the center of the room was a monk named Amidado Hoin. He was a Shingon priest. Although he was very old, he looked youthful and full of life. Ryokan Gokurakuji was also in the circle, looking a little worn out.

The monks wore glittering robes and smiled at Nichiren. It was a meaningful smile. Nichiren walked on by.

In the next room, a golden robe was hung. It was a beautiful vestment for Nichiren. In addition, there were dozens of coin boxes piled up.

In the hall, with Taira no Yoritsuna in the center, the court nobles were dressed in formal attire and waiting with dignity. Hojo Mitsutoki, Hojo Nobutoki, and Yadoya Nyudo were also present. But there was no sign of Tokimune. Nor was there any sign of his confidant, Adachi Yasumori.

Nichiren entered the room.

He walked through the polished wooden floor of the hall and sat down on the tatami mat in the lower seat. In those days, tatami mats were a precious commodity and only noble people could sit on them. It was obvious that they were paying him respect.

Right across from him was Taira no Saemon no Lieutenant.

The two men's eyes met.

Nichiren looked straight at Yoritsuna.

The one who had led Nichiren to the seat of the Tatsunokuchi was now in front of him.





by johsei1129 | 2022-05-18 19:39 | LIFE OF NICHIREN | Trackback | Comments(0)
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