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日蓮大聖人『御書』解説

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2022年 05月 18日

62. Nichiren in the Mountains


山の景色自動的に生成された説明


 View of Mt. Fuji and the Fuji River from the top of Mt. Minobu. You can see how steep the mountain is.


 Nichiren settled down deep in the mountains of Kai, but he still lived in squalor.

The table was filled with brown rice, soup with wild vegetables harvested from the nearby mountains, and pickled daikon.

 Nichiren and his disciples shared the meal.

 The disciple Minbu Nikoh said.

 "The saint, did lord Hakiri say anything to you?"

 Nichiren replied, sipping his beans.

 “What?”

 “The saint, we can't survive on this kind of food. When we came here, he told us not to worry about food, didn't he?”

 Nichiren's eyes smiled.

 “Even lord Hakiri is suffering. If he cannot pay his annual tribute, the shogunate will censure him. In addition, he must be thinking of us as a nuisance. After all, we are living in a rented house. We should be grateful to him.”

 That same night, Sanenaga Hakiri was surrounded by a sumptuous meal. It was a stark contrast to the simple meal served by Nichiren and his disciples.

 In Hakiri's heart, he feels that he goes out of his way to shelter Nichiren. He was a follower of Nichiren, but at the same time, he was also Nichiren's landlord.

 Hakiri thinks.

 The position of himself and Nichiren is equal. Naturally, his treatment of Nichiren's followers was inevitably blunt. This sentiment was expressed in his behavior. During the eight years that Nichiren had lived here, Sanenaga's feelings had not changed. For this reason, although he did not express it out loud, Nichiren sometimes spent his days in need of food and clothing.

 There is a letter of reply from a follower of Nichiren who sent him a single robe. The sender of the robe was said to be a member of the Nanjo clan from Suruga. This letter was written the year after Nichiren entered Mt. In this letter, we can see the plight of Nichiren.


 “In such a state, I pass my life eating snow as if I were Su Wu, and I pass my life wearing a straw raincoat as if I were Li Ling. When I went into the forest and there was no fruit, I spent three days on an empty stomach. If the skin of a deer is torn, it will remain naked for three or four months. Why did you feel pity for me? It is an unexpected feeling that someone I have not yet met has sent me a robe to cover my skin.” ‘Writings of the Single Garment’


 He has not eaten for three days and has nothing to wear for three months. What's more, what he wore was not a robe but a deerskin. In addition, winter in the mountains is harsh. Hunger and cold. In order to understand the last years of Nichiren's life in the mountains of Minobu, we, the believers of today, must never forget these two hardships.

 Despite his passionate desire to nurture his disciples, his personal life was filled with hardship.


 Although Nichiren was confined to the mountain of Minobu, he did not remain idle. He was engaged in training his disciples, composing writings, and writing letters to his disciples one after another. The number of his writings at Kai Minobu alone that are still extant is enormous. In the eight years from Nichiren's arrival at Hakii, Suruga Province, on May 17, Bun'ei 11 to his death on October 13, Kouan 5, there are as many as 325 calligraphy works that have been confirmed in authenticated manuscripts and manuscripts. Of the ten major works selected by Nikko Shonin, the sole successor, six works were written during this period: Selection the Times, Duty to Pay Gratitude, Main Point of the Lotus Sutra, Four faith and Five Stage, Letter to Shimoyama, and Gohonzon-Question-and-Answer.

 There were no newspapers, no TV or radio, no cell phones, no Internet. In addition, paper, the only means of communication, was precious. Nichiren even gathered up used paper and wrote on it. The only means of communication were the written word and the human mouth. Nichiren sent his disciples, including Hoki-bo, on a missionary journey to various places after giving them a series of lessons.

 Before taking up the pen, he deliberated on how he could convey his writings to the hearts of people. Once he had an idea, he wrote boldly. Except for when he was writing long and important Doctrine texts, he rarely drafted anything. He put everything together in his mind. It is impossible for us to imitate him nowadays.

 In addition to the writings, he devoted his body and soul to write the principal image, Gohonzon.

 In the center of the image was written, "Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo, Nichiren," and around it was written the ten realms of his own mind: the Buddha, bodhisattvas, heavenly beings, and kings.

 He had expressed this strong desire in his letter.


Nichiren wrote it down with my soul dyed in black ink. Please believe in this. The precious heart of the Buddha is the Lotus Sutra, but the soul of Nichiren is nothing other than Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo. The sutra says, "The life of the Buddha is based on the manifestation of the fundamental and the eternal life." ‘Reply to Lord Kyo’o.’


 In order to convey the essence of the Buddha Dharma to each and every believer, Nichiren wrote down the principal image of the Buddha. The words " with my soul dyed in black ink" are written in the text. It can be said that he put his whole heart and soul into it. When Nichiren became exhausted and stopped writing, he ordered Hoki-bo to write the image. This process of writing is called Go-Zuken. It has the same meaning as the creation of a Buddhist statue. Nichiren was convinced that in the 2,000 years since the death of Shakyamuni, the Honzon was the only living Law.

 However, he did not give the principal image to everyone. Hoki-bo Nikko, who followed in the footsteps of Nichiren, described the qualifications of those who received the principal image.


 “This Gohonzon is to be graciously given to believers and priests who have given up their lives, suffered injuries, or have been banished from their places of residence, and who have a clear religious faith.” ‘The matters known to the followers of the Fuji sect.’


 The principal image is not something that can be given to everyone. Nichiren experienced firsthand the number of people who, unable to bear the hardships of great hardships, abandon their faith. How many disciples and believers, who at first seemed to follow Nichiren with zeal and enthusiasm, immediately abandoned their faith and turned to the side of condemning Nichiren when difficulties arose. To such people, the Gohonzon is nothing more than just a piece of paper. They only lower the Law and make people fall into evil ways.

Among the Gohonzon written by Nichiren, there exists a Gohonzon that is a joint work of master and disciple, written by Nikko and with a signature by Nichiren. This Gohonzon was handed down from generation to generation and was enshrined in the Butsugen-ji Temple in what is now Somei town in Sendai during the Edo period.

 In 1636, a fire broke out in the temple, and it is said that the principal image was about to set on fire, but it escaped the flames by flying away on its own. It is said that the statue was hanging on a nearby tree. At the time, the faithful praised the Buddha's power as a "flying mandala. The Date family, a feudal lord, is said to have revered it as the treasure of their clan.

Nichiren made his disciples carry the Gohonzon and delivered it to the strong believers. The momentum of the spread of the Lotus Sutra continued to grow. Already, one out of every ten people in Japan was chanting Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo. The momentum was even greater than that of Nichiren's victory over Ryoukan in the battle of prayers for rainfall.

 Nichiren continued to offer the principal image of the sutra to those who overcame great hardships and maintained their faith. However, the Gohonzon that he presented at this time was the Gohonzon of each disciple and believer. As evidence of this, the letter sent to Abutsu-bo when the Gohonzon was presented to him said, "Because your faith is so grateful, I write the treasure tower (Gohonzon) to reveal to you. If one is not your child, do not give it away. If one is not a man of strong faith, do not show it." In other words, these Gohonzon are only the Gohonzon for one opportunity and one relationship, not the Gohonzon for all the people of the world to worship together.

 The Lord Buddha testified in the Lotus Sutra two thousand two hundred years ago.


 “After I leave, you must spread this Law throughout the world during the last 500 years. And you must not allow the demons, the demon people, the heavenly beings, the dragons, the nightshades, or the kumbhandas to have any chance of severing this Law.” ‘The 23rd chapter of the Lotus Sutra on the Bodhisattva Medicine King.’


 Nichiren was aware of this. He was aware of the fact that he was nearing the realization of the Gohonzon which is presented to all sentient beings throughout the world. He was also aware that this was his lifelong goal, that is, to achieve the true purpose of his life as the true Buddha of the Latter Day of the Law.




Note


 The Ten Realms

 The boundaries of the ten kinds of sentient beings. It is also called the Ten Law Realms. In Buddhism, a single living organism or life phenomenon is elucidated from the perspective of the flow of time, and the boundaries of life that appear in the flow of time at each moment are divided into ten kinds. The names of the Ten Law Realms, starting from the lowest realm of the world, are: the hell realm, the hungry ghost realm, the livestock realm, the Shura realm, the human realm, the heavenly realm, the hearing and speaking realm, the enlightenment and learning realm, the bodhisattva realm, and the Buddha realm. In addition, the Buddha world is enlightenment and the other nine worlds are lost, so it is called the nine lost and one enlightenment, and each of the ten worlds has the other nine worlds. In the “Object of Worship", Nichiren Daishonin explains these ten realms in simple terms.


 “When we look at a person’s face, at times he appears joyful, enraged, or calm. At other times, we may see the appearance of greed, foolishness, or arrogance. Rage is a manifestation of the world of hell, greed is a one of the world of hunger, stupidity is a one of the world of animal, arrogant is a one of the world of Ashura, calmness is a one of the world of humanity, and joy is a one of the world of heaven. These worlds, the six paths, are all present in the physical appearance of the person’s face. The remaining four noble worlds are hidden and dormant and do not appear in the face, but if we search carefully, we can tell that they are there. <Abbreviation> The fact that all things in this world are transient is perfectly clear to us. Is this not because the worlds of the two vehicles are present in the human world? Even an evil man who never reflects upon himself shows tenderness and affection to his wife and children. This is a glimpse of the world of bodhisattva. However, only the world of Buddhahood is very difficult to manifest. Since we possess the nine worlds, you should believe that you possess the world of Buddhahood and have no doubts about it.”


 Four Saints 

 The four realms of hearing, enlightenment, bodhisattvas, and buddhas who have escaped the six realms of samsara (hell, hungry ghosts, animals, shura, humans, and heaven). The Buddha first revealed to sentient beings the existence of the Buddha world in the Second Chapter of the Lotus Sutra, and explained that the Buddha appeared in the world of salvation with "the most important causation," which is to open, show, and enlighten the Buddha world and make people enter the Buddha path.



To be continued.




by johsei1129 | 2022-05-18 20:24 | LIFE OF NICHIREN | Trackback | Comments(0)
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