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2022年 05月 18日

60. Fame of 3 degrees.


  Ruins of the hermitage in Minobu

 Lady Nichimyo's house in Kamakura was modestly built.

 Nichimyo was helping the boy pack his things. The boy's head is shaved clean.

 Her daughter, Oto, was playing with colorful seashells nearby.

 The boy was going to train with Nichiren in Minobu, Kai as an ascetic. He will be traveling alone.

 With the eyes of a mother, Nichimyo appealed to the innocent boy.

 “It's ready. You must be careful. There is a disease going around. Be careful. Don't drink raw water. It will kill you. Do you understand?”

 "Yes, I'll be going now.

 The boy bowed his head.

 “Thank you very much for your kindness as if you were my parents. I will tell the saint about this. I will be out of town for a while. Take care, Lady Nichimyo.”

 The boy departed.

 The boy's departure reminded Nichimyo of her own journey to Sado. She put her hands together on the boy's back and tweeted,

 "Please pray that he will arrive safely at the Saint's place. Please pray that I will become a splendid disciple of the saint Nichiren. Please pray that I can become a high priest who will lead the nation..."

 The boy became smaller and smaller. His appearance seemed to resemble that of Nichiren, who had departed at the age of twelve.

 Oto, who was playing, became worried.

 "Mother. What's wrong?”

 Nichimyo smiled.

 “It's nothing. Let's do the service.”

 Oto was puffed up.

 “Mother, I'm playing now.”

 The mother looked at her daughter.

 “You can play as much as you want after you do religious service. Now let's chant to the Gohonzon, and you will not fail. There is nothing we cannot accomplish by praying to the Gohonzon, both for our future and for the future of our nation.”

 Nichiren sent her a letter during his exile on Sado Island. The lady Nichimyo came to ask for him, a sinner, over a thousand miles of mountains and oceans. Nichiren's compassion for Nichimyo was also extended to his daughter, Oto. How happy she must have been.

 “What kind of good adult will your daughter Oto become? I am sure that her devoted service to the Lotus Sutra will bring her long life and good fortune.

Here is a woman who, yearning for the Lotus Sutra, will surely become a Buddha. Although my writing is very messy, from now on I will write to you from time to time. Also, I heard that you have been very kind to my disciples. I don't know how to thank you." ‘Writing to the Daughter Oto’

 He is grateful to Nichimyo for nurturing his young disciples. The words, " I don't know how to thank you," are one of the greatest compliments.

 Nichimyo and her daughter put their hands together and began to chant. They gazed at the Gohonzon, which they had received on their life-threatening journey.

 Nichimyo stayed in Kamakura for a long time after this and supported the young disciples both materially and spiritually.

 The evening moon shone on the house of Mitsunori Yadoya, an official of the Shogunate.

Yadoya stood on the porch and watched the moon.

 He was lost in thought. Eventually, he sat upright, clasped his hands to the moon, and began to chant in a feeble voice.


 Yadoya was the one who conveyed the theory of Rissho Ankoku to Hojo Tokiyori. He was overwhelmed by Nichiren's strong personality. Later, Yadoya joined the faith and his residence still remains in Kamakura as Kousoku-ji Temple.

 In Kamakura, Kingo Shijo was chanting the title toward the Gohonzon. His wife Nichigan-nyo and his daughter Tsukimaro were chanting together.

 Kingo's stout voice rang out. As he chanted, he reflected on the words of Nichiren.

 “Understand sufferings with sufferings, enjoy what you enjoy greatly, cogitate putting suffering and joy together, and please continue chanting as Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. Isn't this very 'the boundless joy of the Law'? Bring forth the power of your faith more strongly than ever before!” ‘Happiness in this world’

 The sound of brave drums echoed through the residence of Jonin Toki in Shimofusa Province.

 Jonin Toki, Ota Zyomyo, and the believers who filled the room raised the single scroll Gohonzon.

 The son of Jonin was ordained and became a disciple of Nichiren, and took the name Nicchou. The young Nicchou served as the chanting leader.

 One by one, they looked at the principal image and chanted the title. Their voices echoed in the sky.

 On Sado Island, the sound of waves mixed with snow was heard. The chanting of  Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo seemed to drown out the cold sound of the snowstorm.

 In the mansion, Abtsu-bo, his wife nun Sennichi, the Kou Nyodo, his wife, and other believers from the island were all seated in an orderly fashion, chanting prayers to the principal image that Nichiren had depicted. This was the Gohonzon that Nichiren had sent to  Abutsu-bo from far Kai Province.

 In his letter to Abutsu-bo, he wrote.

 “You should chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo with this faith. Then the place will become the dwelling place of the Treasure Tower. The sutra reads, "If there is any place where the Lotus Sutra is preached, then my Treasure Tower will appear in that place." Faith like yours is so rare that I wrote and expressed the Treasure Tower especially for you. You must not transfer it to anyone except your son. You must not show it to others unless they have firm faith. This is the reason why I have appeared in this world. Abutsu-bo, thou should be called the leader of this northern province. Could it be that Bodhisattva Jogyo was reborn in this world as Abutsu-bo and visited me?” ‘The Writings to Abutsu-bo’

 The " Treasure Tower" refers to the Gohonzon. Even after Nichiren had left Sado, the Lotus Sutra continued to gain momentum. The faith that had survived the suppression had become stronger than ever. However, the conflict with the Nembutsu monks still continues. Everyone prayed in desperation. Everyone's chanting echoed in the sky.

 On the other hand, in the middle of Kai forest, the sound of a stream echoed through the thick forest.

 At the residence, Nichiren was chanting powerful chants to the Gohonzon. As Nichiren prayed, he reflected on his fifty-three years of life.

 He had accomplished what he had to do. In particular, he was proud of the three times he had admonished the Lord of the Land. The satisfaction he felt was incomparable. And the power of the Lotus Sutra that made this possible. Nichiren could not contain his joy.

 “The outer scripture says, ‘A saint is one who knows the omen.’ The inner scripture says, ‘A sage is one who knows the three existences of life—past, present, and future.’ Three times now I have gained honor.

 The first time was the first year of the Bunnō era (1260), on the sixteenth day of the seventh month, when I presented the Rissho Ankokuron to Saimyō-ji Nyudo [Hojo Tokiyori] by way of Yadoya Nyudo. At that time, I said to Yadoya Nyudo, ‘Please advise His Lordship that devotion to the Zen school and the Nembutsu school should be abandoned. If this advice is not heeded, trouble will break out within the Hojo family, and the nation will be attacked by another country’.

The second time was that the twelfth day of September of the eighth year of the Bun'ei era (1271), in the hour of the monkey (3:00 p.m - 5 :00 p.m.), I said to Heino Saemon-no-jo: ‘Nichiren is the pillar of Japan. Being bereaved of me, Nichiren, is that the pillar of Japan topples down! Immediately you will all face ‘the calamity of revolt within one’s own domain,’ or strife among yourselves, and also ‘the calamity of invasion from foreign lands.’ Not only will the people of our nation be put to death by foreign invaders, but many of them will be taken prisoner. All the Nembutsu and Zen temples, such as Kenchō-ji, Jufuku-ji, Gokuraku-ji, Daibutsu-den, and Chōraku-ji, should be burned to the ground, and their priests taken to Yui Beach to have their heads cut off. If this is not done, then Japan is certain to be destroyed!”

 The third time was the eighth day of April of last year (the eleventh year of the Bun'ei era). I said to Saemonno-jo: ’Since I was born in the land ruled by the king, I may appear to obey him, but he cannot force my mind to obey him. There is no doubt that Nembutsu leads to the hell of incessant suffering and Zen is the acts of heavens' devils. And the True Word school in particular is a great plague to this nation of ours. The Kamakura Shogunate should not order the Shingon priests to pray for victory over the Mongols. “If the Shingon priests pray for a grave matter, this country will face ruin more quickly.’

 Then Yoritsuna asked, ‘When will they attack?’

 I replied, ‘I am unable to read the timing from the sutras, but judging by the signs from the heavens, which show the guardian deities becoming increasingly furious, it will not be long before the Mongols arrive and invade the land. It will certainly occur before this year has ended.’

 It was not I, Nichiren, who made these three important pronouncements. Rather it was in all cases the soul of the Tathagata Shakyamuni that had taken possession of my body. And having personally experienced this, I am beside myself with joy.

This is the all-important doctrine in the Lotus Sutra teaching that there are three thousand realms at a single moment of life. What does the Lotus Sutra mean when it says, ‘This reality [the true aspect of all phenomena] consists of the appearance . . .’?Appearance,’ the first of the ten factors of life, is the most important of them all; this is why the Buddha appeared in the world. Saying “Wise men can learn of the omen, as snakes know the road of snakes” is this.

 Streams get together and form the vast ocean, and the dusts are piled up and form Mount Sumeru. When I first had believed in the Lotus Sutra, I, Nichiren, was like a drop of water or a single dust in the country of Japan. But later, when two people, three people, ten people, and eventually a hundred, a thousand, ten thousand, and a million people come to recite the Lotus Sutra and transmit it to others, then they will form a Mount Sumeru of perfect enlightenment, an ocean of great nirvana. Believe and Chant. Seek no other path by which to attain Buddhahood!” ‘Selection of the Time.’


 Nichiren chanted the title. The disciples followed him in chanting.

 "Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo, Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo, Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo..."

 All the chants echoed in the clear, full moonlit sky.

To be continued.

by johsei1129 | 2022-05-18 19:57 | LIFE OF NICHIREN | Trackback | Comments(0)
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