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日蓮大聖人『御書』解説

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2022年 05月 19日

73. A Person who Assists in the Embodiment

文字の書かれた紙中程度の精度で自動的に生成された説明

Reply to the lord Munenaga Ikegami. Autograph: In the collection of Myokakuji Temple, Kyoto.

After this, Nichiren sent a letter to his younger brother Munenaga, saying, "I am very happy to hear this. Nichiren was ill, but he could not resist writing.

“If you are greedy, crooked-minded, and ignorant of reason, the disownment that Lord Munenaka received from his parents would never have been lifted no matter what. Even though lord Munenaka believed in the Lotus Sutra and became a Buddha, his parents would have disowned him and fallen to hell. You were supposed to be the one to hurt your elder brother and parents and become like Devadatta, but you, though in your last generation, were born wise and without desire, and all three of you became Buddhas, saving your father's relatives and your mother's relatives. You should also be aware that your sons and daughters will also be blessed in their later generations. I do not think that I could write down a hundred or a thousand pages on this subject, quoting even the sermons of a generation of the Buddha, but I have an illness that is making me thin, and I am in poor health, so I will not go into detail. Wonderful and precious. Let's meet sometime and talk about this. I also gave you this summary because I am afraid that I would be too happy to tell you if I ever met in person. I ask you that all things be known with your heart. Please let your wife know that I am happy for her as well. Respectfully yours.”

He said that if he met him, he might be too happy to speak. His emotion is well conveyed.

Although Nichiren seemed to have pushed Munenaga away, his inner feelings were of course different. He intentionally shunned Munenaga in order to seek a dramatic change of heart.

In his later years, Nichiren lectured on the Lotus Sutra to his disciples, which Hoki-bo Nikko wrote down in his Oral Tradition of the Lotus Sutra.

“Point Four, in the words ‘his heart filled with regret and longing’ in the passage ‘The father thought constantly of his son, but though he had been parted from him for over fifty years, he had never told anyone else about the matter. He merely pondered to himself, his heart filled with regret and longing.’

Words and Phrases, volume six, says, ‘Regret refers to the father. Longing refers to the son.’ On ‘Annotation of the Words and Phrases,’ volume six, says, ‘The father felt regret for his failure to instruct his son properly and also reproached his son for abandoning him.’

The Orally Transmitted Teachings says: All living creatures in the country of Japan are comparable to the son, and Nichiren is comparable to the father. Because they fail to have faith in the Lotus Sutra, the living beings fall into the great citadel of the hell of incessant suffering, but instead of blaming themselves, on the contrary they will look upon Nichiren with reproach. Nichiren may also regret in the Pure Land of Mt. Eagle that they should have said aloud, ‘Must not abandoned the Lotus Sutra.’”

Volume six of Words and Phrases says, ‘The words ‘his heart filled with regret and longing’ mean that the father regrets that in the past he failed to teach and admonish his son with sufficient diligence or to instruct him properly, so that as a result the son ran away. And he reproaches his son for forgetting the obligations he owes his parents and spurning his father and becoming intimate with others.” ‘The six important points in the chapter of Belief and Understanding.’

Nichiren taughMunenaga aloud that he should not abandon the Lotus Sutra, because if Munenaga, once a devotee of the Lotus Sutra, was to abandon the Lotus Sutra and fall into an uninterrupted hell, Nichiren himself would regret it.

Then, what about his feelings toward his elder brother Munenaka?

Nichiren wrote to his brother, who remained a strong believer to the end, in a letter of respect.

“Just when I had not heard from you for a long time, your letter arrived. In addition, I have certainly received a quilted tunic with blue lining, a hat, a belt, 1,000 coins and a basket of chestnuts.

The present time corresponds to the first five hundred years of the Latter day of the Law. The sutra texts definitely state that at this time Jogyo Bodhisattva will appear and bestow the seven words of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo on all the people of Japan. They also reveal that he will meet with banishment and execution.

Nichiren looks like the envoy of Jogyo Bodhisattva. Because I am spreading these teachings. The Tathagata Divine Power Chapter of the Lotus Sutra states, ‘Just as the light of the sun or moon dispels darkness, this person will practice in the world and remove the fundamental darkness from all living beings.’ In this sutra passage, in the phrase ‘this person will practice in the world,’ who do you think "this person" refers to? I am pretty sure that ‘this person’ is the reincarnation of Jogyo Bodhisattva. The sutra says, ‘After I have passed away, that person will accept this sutra and uphold it. That person will be determined to attain Buddhahood and will never have any doubts about it.’

Surely you are one of the people who will help materialize Jogyo Bodhisattva's missionary work!

Nichiren

December 3rd,

To Lord Munenaka Ikegami”

He refers to his elder brother Munenaka as " one of the people who will help materialize Jogyo Bodhisattva's missionary work.”

Nichiren spoke freely about his feelings to his strong followers.

In a later letter to his younger brother Munenaga, Nichiren himself complains in a rare occurrence.

The letter states that although he was supposed to be living in seclusion at Mount Minobu, he was constantly receiving visitors and could not relax at all. He also said that there were sometimes as many as sixty disciples and that they were noisy. He humorously describes his inner frustration, which is half happiness and half frustration.

“Moreover, whether from you two brothers, or from Ukon-no-jō, food also keeps arriving. Even when there is hardly anyone here, there are forty people, and when it is a crowd, there are as many as sixty. No matter how much I refuse, they still come to visit. Saying they are the older brother or the younger brother of someone here, they settle down, but out of regard for their feelings in the end I say nothing. Speaking strictly of my own wishes, I had prayed to be tranquil, alone with my apprentice reciting the sutra in my hut. Thus nothing could be as irksome as this state of affairs. And so I have been planning that, once the New Year has arrived, I will escape somewhere. Nothing could be as irksome as this. I will write to you again.

But above all, as for you and your elder brother Munenaka, whether it be about your better relations with your father or your winning the trust of your lord, without actually meeting you it is hard to say all that my delight.” ‘Reply to lord Munenaka’

It is rare to find a letter of such an intimate nature. It is likely that he felt at ease in writing this letter because it was addressed to his brother. It also seems a bit of a joke. It shows how much he relishes the brothers' strong faith.

 Nichiren rarely revealed his inner thoughts to the general congregation. Although he was extremely strict about the fundamentals of the Lotus Sutra, he was always modest about his own position.

In a letter to his followers, Nichiren wrote that his father was a fisherman who killed for a living, and that unlike Shakyamuni, who was born a prince in his family, Nichiren was a sudra, the lowest of the low.

He taught his disciples in the aforementioned oral tradition of his teachings.

 

"The Orally Transmitted Teachings says: The word 'father' can be taken in three ways. They are the Lotus Sutra, Shakyamuni Buddha, and Nichiren. The Lotus Sutra is the father of all living beings. By turning one’s back on the Lotus Sutra, one becomes an ordinary mortal who is subject to the round of transmigration. Shakyamuni Buddha is the father of all living beings. By turning one's back on this Shakyamuni Buddha, one must repeat reincarnation at the insignificant level. Now Nichiren is the father of all living beings in the country of Japan. The Great Teacher Chang-an says, 'Whoever excludes evil for his sake is his parent.'" "Six important points in the chapter of believing and understanding. Point Two, regarding the passage 'Suppose there was a man, still young in years, who abandoned his father, ran away, and lived for a long time in another land.'"

In this way, he orally transmitted his internal testimony that he is the principal Buddha along with Shakyamuni Buddha.

Nichiren feared that by carelessly sharing his testimony with his followers, he would be deified as a living Buddha like Ryoukan, and that this would undermine their faith in the Lotus Sutra, the most supreme of all the Buddha's doctrines.

For example, there were strong believers such as Soya Kyoshin. Like Toki Jonin, he was a vassal of the Chiba clan, a powerful family in the province of Shimousa, and is thought to have been highly educated. Nichiren wrote a letter to Soya Kyoshin in Chinese in standard script. The essence of the Lotus Sutra is the chapter on Expedient Means and the chapter on "Life Span." If we divide the Lotus Sutra into essence and provisional, the chapter on Means is provisional and the chapter on Life Span is the essence. However, Soya Kyoshin interpreted this in his own way and decided not to recite the chapter on Expedient Means, which is provisional, but to recite only the chapter on Life Span.

Nichiren learned of this, and he personally copied and sent a copy of the Expedient Means Chapter to Kyoshin, admonishing him to chant it as well.

Nichiren expressed his position to his followers by saying that he was a lifelong practitioner of the Lotus Sutra or that he would spread the Law ahead of the Jogyo Bodhisattva. The only exception to this rule can be found in the "Receiving of the Three Great Secret Laws", which Nichiren wrote to Kingo Ota on April 8, Koan 5 (1282), the year he was to be annihilated. In this document, Nichiren taught as follows.

“These Three Great Secret Laws were unquestionably received to Nichiren, some two thousand and more years ago, when I was the leader of the Bodhisattvas Emerging to the Earth; they were passed on to me by oral transmission from Shakyamuni, the lord of teachings. And the actions that I now take embody what I received on Mt. Holy Eagle, without the slightest deviation or alteration in form, the three great matters of the Law of the ‘LifeSpan’ chapter. <Preface>

Question: What words of the Lotus Sutra are the accurate doctrine of the ichinen sanzen?

Answer: I will tell you the following passages. They are of two kinds. The first is in the ‘Expedient Means’ chapter and reads: ‘The true aspect of all phenomena . . . This reality consists of appearance . . . The Buddha wishes to open the door of Buddha wisdom to all living beings.’ This probably refers to the three thousand realms in a single moment of life that in principle exists in the life of even the most inferior ordinary mortals.

 The other is the passage in the ‘LifeSpan’ chapter that reads: ‘It has been an immeasurable time since I in fact attained Buddhahood.’ These words refer to the three thousand realms in a single moment of life that the Buddha realized when he attained enlightenment in the far distant past.

 Now I, Nichiren, conscious of the time, will spread this doctrine of the Three Great Secret Laws throughout the whole world. Up until now I have kept this doctrine secret within my heart. But if I do not leave behind me a written record of it, the future disciples of my teachings will perhaps criticize me by saying that he was without pity or compassion. And at that time, no matter how much I might regret it, I will have no way to refute their charges. For that reason, I write this and send it to you.

 When you have finished reading it, you must keep it secret and not show it to others. It would also become useless to talk about this matter.

 The Lotus Sutra preaches as representing the one great reason for which the Buddhas make their appearance in the world because it is a scripture that contains these Three Great Secret Laws. Should keep it secret. Must keep it under wraps!

Nichiren

 The eighth day of the fourth month, in the fifth year of Kōan [1282]

 Reply to the lord Ota Kingo”


At the end of the sentence, the author strictly orders, " When you have finished reading it, you must keep it secret and not show it to others.” Nichiren was convinced that his inner testimony should be revealed for the sake of his disciples and followers who would be responsible for the spread of Buddhism in Japan after his own death.

Four years after the Ikegami Disturbance, Nichiren passed away at the residence of his eldest son, Munenaka, on October 13, 1282. The house was located in Musashi Province, in what is now Ikegami, Ota Ward, Tokyo.

Initially, Nichiren left Minobu for the purpose of going to the hot spring in Hitachi to recuperate from an illness. On the way there, he stayed at Munenaka's mansion and gave the last lecture of his life on Rissho Ankoku-ron, and it is more than a coincidence that he chose Munenaka's mansion as the place of his death.

When Nichiren passed away, Ikegami Munenaka donated an area of 69,384 tsubo (about 1.5 square meters) to the Lotus Sect, which corresponded to the total number of letters in the 28th part of the Myōhō Renge-kyo Sutra. Nichiro, one of the six senior priests designated by Nichiren and said to be a cousin of Munenaka, succeeded to this temple, which has been called "Ikegami Honmonji Temple '' ever.

The temple is still home to Nichiren's original writings, such as the "Book of Brothers," which he addressed to the Ikegami brothers.




by johsei1129 | 2022-05-19 19:38 | LIFE OF NICHIREN | Trackback | Comments(0)
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