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日蓮大聖人『御書』解説

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2022年 05月 19日

56. Pushing away the Kamakura Shogunate.


ダイアグラム中程度の精度で自動的に生成された説明

 From The Life and Times of Nichiren Daishonin. 

All the members of the Shogunate bowed their heads in a dignified manner.

Taira no Yoritsuna opened his mouth as the leader of the group.

"The Priest Nichiren. Thank you very much for coming. It must have been very difficult for you on Sado Island. Our shogunate, too, has gone a little too far in some respects, which is why we have pardoned you. Today, I have gathered the members of the Shogunate and invited them here as a way of consoling you. Please, any misbehavior will be forgiven.”

This was unexpected.

Yoritsuna, unlike his usual arrogance and rudeness, was polite to him. Nichiren later wrote, "Lieutenant Taira Saemon is like a messenger of the Lord. It was no wonder that Yoritsuna represented the wishes of his lord Tokimune.

Nichiren replied.

“I have been greatly indebted to Honma Shigetsura, the steward of Sado. Now I have no grudge against the shogunate's action.”

“I was relieved to hear that. In fact, the Mongolian invasion is imminent. It is said to be this year or next year. In any case, there is nothing more difficult for Japan than this. We are also worried about this every day. I would like to ask the holy priest, who has successfully predicted the arrival of the Mongols, to teach us something.

 Nichiren replied.

“I am also pained by the recent national crisis. However, the reason why calamities occur is because of the disorder of Buddhism, as stated in the theory of Risshō Ankoku, which I once presented to the late lord Saimyo-ji. If we rebuke those who slander and defame the true teaching and respect the monks of the true teaching, the nation will be at peace and the world will be at peace. Those who slander the true Law are none other than the priests of Nembutsu, Zen, Precept, and Shingon.”

 The warriors listening were astonished to learn that Nichiren had also criticized the Shingon sect.

Hojo Mitsutoki opened his mouth. He had heard a great deal about Nichiren from his subordinate, Kingo Shijo. But this was the first time he had met him in person.

"Is it true, the Priest, that Nembutsu is an interminable hell?

"Indeed. The founder of the Nembutsu sect, Zendo, died by hanging himself, crying out for the suffering of this world. If you recite the Nembutsu well and often, you will have the mind to commit suicide. You are warriors who are not afraid to kill. You should not give up on attaining Buddhahood and recite the Nembutsu, which will cause you to commit suicide.”

Then, Hojo Nobutoki asked. The man who had issued a false imperial decree to Shigetsura Honma, the governor of Sado Island.

“Priest Nichiren, I would like to know in which scripture of the Buddha it is said that Zen Buddhism is the work of the devil.”

Nichiren's tone was smooth.

“In the Nirvana Sutra, it is said, 'Depend on the Law and not on others. The Zen sect of Buddhism, which calls the sutras useless, is the acts of a demon. No matter how much you try to do zazen, if you follow your own changeable mind, you will only go astray. Where can I find the way to attain Buddhahood apart from the sutras of the Buddha?”

Yoritsuna, who had been listening attentively, nodded his head two or three times, as if in admiration.

“That is excellent. Then I would like to ask you a question as well. The sage said that the Lotus Sutra was the only way to attain Buddhahood. He also says that the sutras before the Lotus Sutra are incapable of attaining Buddhahood. Is this true?”

Nichiren responded gently. Even if the person he was addressing was an evil person, he treated the person who asked with kindness.

"In the third chapter of the Lotus Sutra, the chapter on parables, it says, ’I do not accept a single verse from any other scripture, and If a person does not believe in this sutra and slanders it, he or she will be cut off the seed of all the Buddhas of the world'. The sutras that preceded the Lotus Sutra, pre-Lotus Sutra, were a means to preach the Lotus Sutra. Therefore, if we pray with this Lotus Sutra, we will be able to ward off all calamities. You will also be able to ward off the Mongol invasion."

Yoritsuna asked Nichiren at this moment.

“Then, when will the Mongols attack us?”

 At this moment, all the shogunal retainers present at the meeting leaned forward and waited with bated breath for Nichiren to speak.

Nichiren said without hesitation.

“The scripture does not tell us when it will come, but there is no small amount of anger in heaven. That seems to happen fast. That will definitely happen by the end of the year."

The place was buzzing.

One of them nodded loudly. One of the shogunate's retainers left in a hurry. It was to inform Tokimune.

Yoritsuna was satisfied. His main objective for the day had been accomplished. He had carefully planned his questions and answers and was able to get the prophecy.

Of course, Nichiren was aware of Tokimune's intentions. However, he did not show even the slightest pretense of concealment. This was the natural behavior of the fundamental Buddha of the Latter Day of the Law himself.

"I was surprised. Your words are very powerful. The priest is a reliable person for the Shogunate and for Japan, that he is. He is the commander-in-chief of the fight against the Mongols. Therefore, I would like to ask you, priest Nichiren, to pray for the sake of the nation. We will do our best to support you. We have already secured the land for the temple for the priest. The Shogunate will praise you with all its might. If there is anyone who criticizes you, he will be punished severely. We ask you to do the bidding of the Shogunate. What do you think?"

A servant girl offered a golden kesa embroidered with gold thread and placed it in front of Nichiren. Another strong young man placed a box full of copper coins in front of him.

Silence reigned.

Nichiren kept his eyes closed for a while. Then, after taking a deep breath, he said, as if making up his mind.

“If the shogunate is to rely on Nichiren, it must believe in him. Do you really believe in the Law that Nichiren teaches?”

Everyone was taken aback.

At this point, yadoya Nyudo Mitsunori came forward. He was the one who had taken over the theory of Rissho Ankoku from the late Tokiyori.

Of course, we believe in the Lotus Sutra of the sage or we would not have invited you here."

“Then why are the Nembutsu, Zen and Shingon monks there?”

The vassals on the Shogunate side remained silent.

“You do not understand the rightness and wickedness of Buddhism, and you do not possess what Nichiren has long held to be true. For example, if a person who does not know the cause of a disease cures it, the disease will become more serious. If a priest of the Shingon sect, in particular, is used to praying for this national crisis, the nation will be defeated. You must not let the Shingon and that monk pray for you. But what a wonder! Aside from other things, each of you will not use what Nichiren says.

I say this so that you will not be reminded of it later. Emperor Go-Toba is a son of heaven, and Hojo Yoshitoki is a citizen. Would the god Amaterasu be pleased to see a child belittle his parents? Would the Bodhisattva Hachiman have any adoption for a servant who treats his lord as an enemy? Under what circumstances did the noble family lose? This is not just an ordinary thing. The people of Eizan, Toji, and Onjoji took the evil of the Priest Kobo and the evil views of the priest Jikaku and Chishou as true and took a grudge on Kamakura. The warrior class did not know this and did not pray with the mantra, so they were victorious. As the scripture says, "the fault will return to the person himself," the misfortune returned and the nobles lost. This is how it should be again now. If those monks pray, Lord Tokimune will be in distress."

Yoritsuna interrupted him.

"The priest Nichiren, why don't you ease up a bit here? The current shogunate cannot adopt the priest Nichiren alone and abandon the other sects. I hope you will understand our situation. I have prepared a sufficient reward for you. I have already lobbied the Imperial Court to make him High Priest in the future. You don't mean to throw away your peaceful future, do you?"

Yoritsuna looked at Nichiren with eyes to seduce.

Nichiren's eyes were filled with desolation. Then, he let out all of his long-cherished thoughts at once.

“You must cut off the necks of all the Nembutsu monks, Zen monks, and commandment priests in Japan and lay them on the beach at Yui.” 'Letter to Takahashi Nyudo'

 A long silence reigned in the hall.

 Everyone was stunned. There was no one to answer.

 After a while, Nichiren interrupted him.

 “This is my farewell to all of you.”

 Yoritsuna was astonished. The other members of the household looked at each other.

 "I have said all I have to say, and there is nothing more I can say."

Yoritsuna panicked.

"The priest, a moment!"

Nichiren stood up and looked around the room.

“I will tell you the last thing. I hope you will remember what I have said. Please do not make the mistake of saying that Nichiren did not say so at that time!"

Nichiren left.

Yadoya Nyudo chased after him, but Nichiren shook him off and left.

Everyone was stunned to see him go.

Yoritsuna bit down on his bitterness.

 Yoritsuna reported to Tokimune.

 "My lord, Nichiren says that the Mongols will attack within the year."

Tokimune was calm.

"I see. That's a very nice thing to say. So, what about the prayer?"

Yoritsuna shook his head.

"We failed. He refuses to bow to us. I don't think it will be possible to persuade him any further."

Tokimune was astonished, for he had been so confident.

"Did he say he would not be on our side?"

"He is stubborn, that he is, and no matter how hard we try, he will not fall."

"Will he not even accept the Shogunate's offer of a temple?"

Yoritsuna nodded.

"There is nothing we can do. He said that If Nichiren disobeys the Lotus Sutra and receives slanderous offerings, he will be condemned to hell himself."

Tokimune's anguish became apparent.

"Doesn't he accept the Shogunate's donation? I am stubborn enough but I am no match for Nichiren Shonin's belief."

Adachi Yasumori was furious.

"Foolishly, has Nichiren lost his mind to ruin the kindness of Lord Tokimune? This is insane."

Yoritsuna growled in a low voice as if he were squeezing it out of his stomach.

”I'm not sure what to do, but I'm going to have to ask all the other sects to pray for the extermination of the Mongols. We just need to get the numbers together."

The disciples and believers gathered one by one in Nichiren's mansion.

In the crowded room, there was a smiling Sanmi-bo priest and a Daishin-bo.

Most of the believers, just like the Sanmi-bo and Daishin-bo, thought that Nichiren would be recognized by the shogunate and would receive glamorous donations.

Furthermore, they expected that they, too, would be blessed by Nichiren in some way. With the help of Nichiren, each of them would be able to achieve prosperity. This was the reward for all the hardships they had endured. This was the reason for all the trouble they had gone through. One of them, however, Hoki-bo, had a sorrowful look on his face.

Nichiren had returned from the Shogunate's office.

Everyone looked at him with eyes of joy and anticipation.

"I have met with Hei no Saemon Lieutenant. I recommended that they reject other religions and pray to the Lotus Sutra for the extermination of the Mongolian army, but this appeal was unsuccessful."

The tone of Nichiren's voice was full of regret, but many of his followers were unable to sense his feelings.

“The first time, I advised lord Tokiyori on the Rissho Ankoku theory. The second time was during the Great Tribulation at the mouth of the Dragon, when I advised Taira no Saemon. This was the third time I had said this, but none of the three times had been heeded. The ancient sage said, 'If they are not adopted after remonstrating with the government three times, they must enter the forest.’ There is no point in Nichiren admonishing the shogunate for any more advice. The Lord of the Land did not listen to me, even if I tried to rebuke him. Then it would be futile for me to admonish anyone less than the sovereign.

Everyone's face became increasingly suspicious. There was something wrong with the clouds. The air, which had been full of cheerfulness, began to turn sour.

“My duty is done. I will leave Kamakura and leave the world behind. I will also vacate this house. I will not accept any treatment from the shogunate. I want you all to be prepared for this."

The disciples' faces showed their agitation.

Sanmi-bo stood up involuntarily.

"Please wait. Isn't that too hasty, master? The shogunate is expecting so much of us. Wouldn't it be better for you to find a way to help us, even if it is only a little?"

Daishin-bo also stood up.

"He is right. It is too urgent. The title of the Lotus Sutra is echoing in Kamakura. This Daishin-bo also could have believers. Just when we thought we were at ease, the number of believers will decrease if you leave. Please reconsider. For more than twenty years, we have endured all kinds of persecution and lived in secrecy under the guidance of the master. Isn't it too hasty to give up everything at a time like this?"

A heavy silence fell.

Eventually, Nichiren opened his mouth.

"I will not condemn anyone who thinks I am saying the wrong thing. You may go wherever you wish."

Nichiren stood up.

At this point, Kingo Shijo raised his voice loudly.

"I agree with the saint that I do. I will follow you wherever you go!"

Jonin and Zyomyo Ohta followed.

"We agree with you, that we do!"

In the midst of the commotion, Nichiren disappeared into a back room.





by johsei1129 | 2022-05-19 10:40 | LIFE OF NICHIREN | Trackback | Comments(0)
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