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日蓮大聖人『御書』解説

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2022年 05月 21日

79. The showdown of Hoki-bo Nikko at the trial.


As night fell and the moon rose, a basket carrying peasants entered the residence of Taira no Yoritsuna in Kamakura. The house had a grand gate, as was typical of a high-ranking official of the shogunate.

Under a dark sky, the twenty men were finally released from their baskets. They were immediately lined up in the garden. They could not hide their anxious expressions as they wondered what was going to happen to them.

It was no wonder. The peasants had never left the land of Atsuhara. In addition, they were surrounded by a large number of soldiers armed with helmets.

Jinshirou protested against the forceful arrest.

“We are peasants. Why are you being so violent with us? What are you doing to the peasants who support the nation?”

The soldier does not answer like a stone.

At this moment, Taira no Yoritsuna appeared. The soldier gets down on one knee and salutes him.

The peasants involuntarily fell to their knees. To the peasants, Yoritsuna looked like King Yama of Hell, whom they had heard about.

 Yorizuna's eyes had changed from looking at peasants to looking at sinners. When the peasants caught a glimpse of Yoritsuna, they were so afraid of him that they just cringed.

He said, "Put them in jail. Give them nothing but water. They will fall in a few days. Nichiren has lost.”

Yoritsuna told his soldiers to imprison all the peasants and left with an eerie smile on his face.

The twenty peasants in Atsuhara were immediately thrown into a dungeon and clung to the bars. Even though they had been carried in baskets, they were still heartbroken and exhausted from the long journey from Fuji-Atsuhara (near present-day Fuji City) to Kamakura. When Nichiren entered Minobu in Kai Province from Kamakura after completing his third admonition to the ruler, it took five days. This was probably a horseback journey, but it would have taken much longer if a person had traveled in a basket.

However, the farmers of Atsuhara were so anxious about the journey ahead and for their remaining wives and children that they could not fall asleep for any length of time.

 Taira no Yoritsuna was the mastermind behind what would later be known as the "Persecution of Atushara." He was 38 years old at the time. Eight years earlier, he had attempted to behead Nichiren in Tatsunokuchi, Sagami Province, and now he was forcing a repression comparable to this one.

Yoritsuna was a steward in the service of the ruler family, a hereditary lineage of the Hojo clan. He also served as the deputy chief of the samurai office, which was in charge of the Shogunate's military police. The highest authority, the chief of the Samurai Office, was concurrently held by the regent, so Taira no Yoritsuna was an absolute figure who was both the chief of the Defense Agency and the director general of the National Police Agency.

After the regent Tokimune decided to pardon the exile to Sado Island, even Taira Yoritsuna could not directly touch Nichiren and his direct disciples, as well as the followers of the warrior clans. However, Taira no Yoritsuna did not tolerate Nichiren's hostility toward Ryoukan of Gokurakuji Temple. Therefore, he targeted Nichiren's followers, who were out of Tokimune's sight, not the warrior class but the peasantry.

Yoritsuna, who controlled the military and police power, did not allow people to discuss freely. Those who resisted were eliminated, as was the case with the Nagoe clan. He could not tolerate anyone who did not fear the authority or who was not afraid of him.

The ruthlessness of Taira no Yoritsuna is rare in history.

If there is one, it is similar to Hideki Tojo, a soldier of the early Showa period. Tojo absolutely relied on the authority of the emperor and suppressed all forms of principle. The people were forced to wear sacred cards and were frightened by Tojo's military police. Taira no Yoritsuna suppressed critical forces with Hojo's blood as the absolute.

A political force is also referred to as the power of provisional. Yoritsuna exerted this provisional power to the utmost. After Tokimune's death, he reached the peak of his power by destroying his old enemy Adachi Yasumori. This left no one but the regent to speak his opinion. If he spoke out, he would be killed. This was the epitome of the politics of fear. The world was at his mercy, and the number of lawsuits, which had been so vigorous at the time, plummeted. Yoritsuna had no remorse or repentance, and did not realize his mistake until he himself was destroyed.


The trial began.

The peasant side, led by Hoki-bo Nikko, Nisshu, and Niben, and the Ryusen-ji led by Gyochi faced off with the magistrate in between.

On the peasants' side, Shijo Kingo and Toki Jonin present. On the side of Gyochi, on the other hand, a large number of retainers were sent by Taira no Yoritsuna. The majesty of the situation seemed to give Ryusen-ji the advantage.

Hoki-bo Nikko, representing the peasants, spoke out in anger. There was no one better to speak for the peasants than Hoki-bo. The time had come for him to demonstrate his master Nichiren's teachings.

“On behalf of the masses of Ryusen-ji Temple below Fuji in Suruga Province, Echigo-bo Nichiben and Shimono-bo Nisshu, I humbly submit the following statement. First of all, it is wrong for Ryusen-ji Temple deputy Taira Gyochi to hide his many faults and make baseless accusations to obstruct others.

While Gyochi's side was in an uproar, Hoki-bo continued.

“The complaint states, 'The practices of Nissu and Nichiben, who claim to be Nichiren's disciples, such as the practice of shingon based on sutras other than the Lotus Sutra, are not in accord with the times in this or future generations. This is false'. 

 Regarding this matter, the Sage Nichiren, the true teacher of Nisshū and Nichiben, observing the great comet and great earthquake that had occurred since the beginning of the Shōka era, examined all the various sutras and came to this conclusion. Under present circumstances, Japan adheres to Hinayana or provisional sutras and fails to heed the true sutra. Therefore, it will soon face two disasters that are like nothing known in previous times. These are the disaster of rebellion within the nation and the disaster of invasion by a foreign power.

 Thinking of the welfare of the nation and of the need to take measures to deal with these two great disasters, in the Bunnō era he submitted a document in one scroll entitled On Establishing the Correct Teaching for the Peace of the Land to the authorities. All the things that he predicted in that document have come true. Like the predictions regarding the future made by the golden mouth of the Buddha, fulfillment has come as an echo follows a sound.

 A non-Buddhist work states, “A sage is one who fully understands those things that have not yet made their appearance.” And in the Buddhist writings it is said, “Wise men can perceive the cause of things, as snakes know the way of snakes.”

In view of the situation, is it not clear that this monk is a saint? And since this skilled leader is already present within the state, what need is there to seek such a treasure of the state abroad?

 The non-Buddhist writings say, “When there is a sage in a neighboring country, this is a matter of concern to its enemies.” In a Buddhist text we read, “Where there is a sage in the land, the heavenly gods will invariably lend their protection.” And in another non-Buddhist text it is stated, “In the world, where there is a sage and wise ruler, there will invariably be worthy and enlightened ministers as well.

In the light of such passages, the fact that a sage is present in Japan should be a cause for great rejoicing in that country, and for great concern in the country of the Mongols. For the sage will dispatch his dragons to drown the enemy ships in the sea. He will call upon Brahma and Teishaku to capture the Mongol ruler!

Since the ruler of Japan is a worthy man, why does he not make use of this sage, instead of ineffectually worrying about the threat of a foreign power?”

Gyochi's side was more agitated, but Hoki-bo would not back down.

“Shakyamuni Buddha, the World-Honored One of Great Enlightenment, foreseeing the inevitable era of conflict that would occur in the Latter Day of the Law, described and left behind a secret technique for dealing with the great disasters that would be faced then. This is made perfectly clear in the sutra passages.

However, during the more than 2,220 years after the passing of the Tathagata, this secret was not yet propagated in India, China, Japan, or any of the other countries of the continent of the whole world. Thus, the four ranks of bodhisattvas, though they understood it in their minds, did not expound it. Tendai and Dengyō likewise did not discourse on it, for they knew that the time to do so had not yet come.

The Lotus Sutra states, “In the last five-hundred-year period you must spread it abroad widely throughout the whole world.” The Great Teacher Tendai said, “In the last five–hundred-year period the mystic way will spread and benefit humankind far into the future.” Myolaku said, “The fifth five hundred years . . .” And the Great Teacher Dengyō said: “Speaking of the age, the propagation of the true teaching will begin at the age when the Middle Day of the Law ends and the Latter Day opens. Regarding the land, it will begin in a land to the east of T’ang and to the west of Katsu. As for the people, it will spread among people stained by the five impurities who live in a time of conflict.” This passage clearly indicates that the east will be victorious and the west will suffer defeat.

This sage, the lord of the Law, understands the time, understands the country, understands the teaching, and understands the people’s capacity. For the sake of the ruler, for the sake of the people, for the sake of the gods, and for the sake of the Buddhas, he has pondered and set forth the steps to be taken in dealing with these calamities and disasters.

Not only is his advice not heeded, however, but in addition, because of the invidious words of persons who would slander the Law, the sage has suffered an injury to his head, his left hand has been broken, and he has twice been condemned to exile in a distant region. His disciples in many different places have been shot to death with arrows, cut down with swords, killed otherwise, wounded with swords, imprisoned, exiled, beaten, expelled, or subjected to abuse in severe persecutions too numerous to describe.

Because of these actions, the entire nation of Japan has made itself the archenemy of the Lotus Sutra, and its myriad inhabitants have all become persons of incorrigible disbelief. And as a result the heavenly deities have abandoned the nation, the earthly deities have taken their leave, and there is no longer quiet in the world.

 This is the state of affairs as it has been conveyed to us. And though I am lacking in ability, I offer these writings, unworthy as it may be, for consideration. A non-Buddhist text says, “If evil persons are present at court, the worthy cannot advance.” And a Buddhist work states, “If even a good monk sees someone destroying the teaching and fails to reproach him, . . . then that monk is betraying the Buddha’s teaching.”

Rumor has it that the government authorities have summoned eminent priests and directed them to conduct prayers for the defeat of the forces of the Mongol state.

But an examination of the records reveals that in the Genryaku era of Emperor Antoku and the Jōkyū era of the Retired Emperor Gotoba the chief priests of Mount Hiei, the prelate of Tō-ji, the supervisors and chief officials of the seven major temples of Nara and Onjō-ji, along with various Shingon priests. They were summoned to the imperial court and in Shishin-den Palace prayed to defeat the late Minamoto no Yoritomo, General of the Right, and the late Hojo Yasutoki.

 Conducting ceremonies of this kind will, if the participants do so for their own sake, bring about their demise, and if they are intended for more forceful aims, they will assuredly cause the downfall of the ruler as well. Hence it was that Emperor Antoku sank beneath the waters of the western sea; Myōun, the chief priest of Mount Hiei, was struck and killed by a stray arrow; the Retired Emperor Gotoba was exiled and abandoned on a barbarian island; the prelate of Tō-ji died on Mount Kōya; and another chief priest of Mount Hiei suffered the shame of being driven out of office. The penalties resulting from such ceremonies appeared before people’s very eyes, worthy men of later times were filled with fear, and the sage Nichiren of whom we have spoken grieves over these events in his mountain retreat.”

 Here, Gyochi counters.

 “Why don't you make the Amida Sutra your duty? All of Japan is Namu Amidabutsu.”

 Hoki-bo responded.

 “Next we would like to speak regarding assertions that one should carry out devotions to the Amida Sutra at certain fixed times. Considering the matter, we see that blossoms and the moon are admired, water or fire is used at times when such actions are appropriate; their use does not abide by previously fixed rules. And the same applies to the various Buddhist doctrines; they are adopted or laid aside depending upon what is appropriate to the time.

 Moreover, the Amida Sutra, the four-sheet text that you adhere to, is only a minor sutra preached in the period about which the Buddha said, “In these more than forty years, I have not yet revealed the truth.” The Venerable Shariputra (Note), known as the wisest person in the continent of the whole world, read and recited this sutra over a period of many years but in the end was never able to attain Buddhahood. Later, however, he discarded this sutra, and eventually, when the Lotus Sutra was preached, he was told that he would become a Buddha named Flower Glow Tathagata. How, then, could ignorant persons living in this evil age of the Latter Day hope, simply by reciting the invocation Namu-Amida-butsu, to be reborn in the Pure Land in their next existence?

Therefore, the Buddha was warning us when he said in the Lotus Sutra, “Honestly discarding expedient means, I will preach only the unsurpassed way.” Shakyamuni Buddha, the lord of teachings, is in effect saying that he has discarded the Amida Sutra.

Again, the Nirvana Sutra states: “Though the Tathagata does not speak delusions, if I knew that by speaking delusion I could help living beings gain the benefits of the Law, then for their sake I would go along with what is best and speak such words as an expedient means.” This passage is saying in effect that recitation of the name of Amida Buddha is an empty practice.

 The Lotus Sutra states: “desiring only to accept and embrace the sutra of the great vehicle and not accepting a single verse of the other sutras.” The Great Teacher Myolaku says, “Moreover, the Kegon Sutra contains a passage similar to that of the Lotus Sutra on the six difficult and nine easy acts, but it is a series of comparisons of the blessings to be received and is not the same in that it instructs sentient beings by means of this Lotus Sutra Law. Therefore, the Lotus Sutra says, ‘not accepting a single verse of the other sutras.’”

The Kegon Sutra was preached at the place where the Buddha achieved enlightenment and expounds the doctrine that the phenomenal world is the creation of the mind alone. The superior text contains as many chapters as the dust particles of ten major world systems. The middle grade text contains 498,000 verses. The inferior text contains 100,000 verses in 48 chapters. But if we examine the extant editions of the complete collection of sutras, we see that there are only an eighty-volume version, a sixty-volume version, and a forty-volume version of this sutra.

In addition, there are various other exoteric and esoteric Mahayana sutras such as the Correct and Equal sutras, the Wisdom sutras, the Dainichi Sutra, and the Diamond Crown Sutra. But when we compare them with the Lotus Sutra, we see that the Buddha himself has said that they were preached when he had “not yet revealed the truth,” and that they represent a path “beset by numerous hindrances and trials.”

Therefore we should close the door on them, and should abandon them. And how much more should we do so in the case of the Amida Sutra! To compare it to the Lotus Sutra is like putting an ant hill beside a great mountain and asking which is higher, or pitting a fox or a rabbit against a lion and asking which is stronger!”

This time, the peasants raised their spirits.

“We, Nisshu and the others of our group, have now abandoned these lesser sutras and read and recite only the Lotus Sutra, recommending this practice to all the world and chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. Are we not expressing fervent loyalty in doing so?

 If there are any details relating to this matter that remain unclear, we request that the authorities summon various eminent Buddhist priests so that we may debate with them and settle the rights and wrongs of the affair. This was the practice followed earlier in India, China, and Japan in determining what is superior and what inferior in matters relating to the Buddhist teachings. Now, when we live in an obvious time, should this time-honored practice of these three nations be discarded?”

Hoki-bo's eloquence seemed to flow.

Gyochi was agitated.

“On the twenty-first of this month, a large number of people came with bows and arrows and rode into our temple, Shimono-bo Nisshu rode in on horseback, and the peasants of Atsuhara harvested rice with a sign and put it in Nikuhide's dwelling. He claimed to be reading the Lotus Sutra, but this is exactly the behavior of a bandit!”

 Hoki-bo refutes this.

“These allegations are completely false and without substance. Nisshū and the others had been driven out of their living quarters by Gyōchi and had no place to go, so who would give credence to a notice board they had posted? And why would the local peasants, who are weak, agree to follow? If, as the complaint asserts, Nisshū and the others had armed themselves with bows and arrows and were planning some evil action, why did Gyōchi and others in the vicinity not disarm them, bring them before the authorities, and report the details of the matter? These allegations are wholly fallacious, and we ask that they be examined in a just and impartial manner.

 Nisshu and Nichiben have for a number of years been resident priests of Ryusen-ji, the temple in question, and have carried out their Buddhist practice in earnest, offering prayers for the longevity of the sovereign and the safety of the land. But Gyochi, while acting as deputy chief priest of the sacred precincts of the said temple, addressed certain priests of the temple, namely, Mikawa-bo Raien, Sho-bo Nichizen, Nisshu, and Nichiben, insisting that the doctrines of the Lotus Sutra are not trustworthy and ordering them to cease at once reading and reciting the Lotus Sutra and to devote all their attention to reading of the Amida Sutra and recitation of the Nembutsu. He stated that if they would prepare a written pledge to this effect, he would insure them of a place to live.

When these orders were received, Raien, obeying them, wrote out his pledge and was allowed to remain in his quarters. But Nichizen and the others, because they did not present a written pledge, were deprived of their position as monks of the quarters they occupied. Nichizen then left the temple entirely. Nisshu and Nichiben, because they have no other place to go, have continued to reside in the temple as they have in the past.

During the past four years, Nisshu and the others have not only been deprived of their position as priests of their respective quarters, but have been forbidden to carry out important prayer ceremonies. And as though that were not evil action enough, steps have been taken to strip them of their role as practitioners of the Lotus Sutra, they have been schemed against in other ways, and untruths of various kinds have been circulated about them. One would suppose that Devadatta, who lived in the time of the Buddha, was still alive today!

 In general, these are the sort of actions carried out by Gyochi. He had Izumi-bo Renkai, the priest who officiates in the Lotus Meditation Hall, take the copy of the Lotus Sutra, tan the paper in persimmon juice, carve it up into fixed shapes, and use it to repair the halls and smaller buildings.

 King Sen'yo is the most compassionate, compassionate, and compassionate Bodhisattva in the whole world and is also a teacher. However, he has ascended to the rank of enlightened through the merit of cutting off the heads of 500 Brahmins who slandered the Lotus Sutra.

At the end of the Kanki Buddha's reign, various minor and great Mahayana priests attempted to kill Kakutoku, a priest who was a practitioner of the Lotus Sutra. King Yudoku protected him, shooting, cutting, and killing the Dharma masters of the various minor vehicles and provisional teachings, and he became the Kasho Buddha and others. King Kai-il, Emperor Seon-jong, Prince Shotoku, and others followed this precedent and punished the vicious enemies of Buddhism. All of these great kings were benevolent and followed a good government into the future. Now the heavy penalty of Gyochi cannot be escaped. Nevertheless, I will give the details of the slander against all of Japan in accordance with the question.

 Nichiben had been obeying a written order instructing him to set aside eight thousand inches of the twelve thousand inches of upper thatching, but Gyochi used it for his personal needs. Gyochi incited the official in charge of the Shimokata administration office to attack Shiro, a practitioner of the Lotus Sutra, with a knife and wound him at the time of the religious rites in the fourth month. Then, in August, he had Yashiro beheaded and blew the whistle that this would happen to Nichihide and others.

 He also ordered a talentless bandit named Hyobu-bo Jouin to take fines from peasants, announced that Hyobu-bo was a man of great ability, and appointed him as a steward monk. In addition, he employed a number of peasants attached to the temple to catch quail, hunt raccoon dogs, and slay a deer that had been caught in a boar trap, and then had these creatures served up as food in the quarters of the superintendent, the chief priest. He also had poison placed in the pond in front of the Buddhist halls, killing a certain number of fish thereby dispatching them for sale in the nearby village.

Of the people who observed or heard of these actions, there were none whose eyes and ears were not alarmed, so great was their grief at these flagrant violations of the Buddhist teachings.

 As evil and unworthy actions such as these on the part of Gyōchi continued to pile up day after day, Nisshū and the others, distressed in the extreme, sought to inform the authorities of the matter. But Gyōchi, anxious to hide his various offenses, resorted to a variety of secret schemes, enlisting the aid of his associates, circulating false rumors that have no basis in fact and attempting to bring about the ruin of Nisshū and the others. The situation is so grave that it defies description. In the light of both the religious and the secular law, some form of remonstrance seems surely to be required, does it not?

To sum up, if careful investigation is made into the provisional and the true in terms of the Buddhist teachings and into the truth or falsity of the charges that are being brought, the entire inquiry conducted in accordance with the golden words of the Buddha and the provisions clearly set forth in the legal codes, and appropriate measures are taken to prevent further abuse, then the benevolent deities who protect the nation will cease their unusual behavior and the heavenly gods who guard the correct teaching will smile once again. Gyōchi, the deputy chief priest of Ryūsen-ji, who carries out these evil and unworthy actions, must be dismissed. If not, then it is doubtful that the chief priest of the said temple can escape grave censure as a result. One should keep in mind that the example of Ryūsen-ji is different from what happened earlier at Jissō-ji.

 We request, therefore, that the affair be settled in accordance with unquestionable principles of justice and that Nisshū and Nichiben be allowed to occupy their assigned quarters, to repair the halls and other temple buildings and to devote themselves wholeheartedly to their duty as loyal monks, offering prayers for the longevity of the sovereign and the safety of the land. With this aim in mind, we respectfully submit this document for the consideration of the authorities!”

 The peasants were encouraged by Hoki-bo's well-reasoned appeal, believing that they could win.

However, Gyochi remained calm.

"You have made an excellent speech, Hoki-bo. Let us praise him. But the peasants who have been taken away from you do not speak as you do. For all the peasants have turned away. They have renounced the Lotus Sutra and converted to Nembutsu!”

The peasants were upset, but Hoki-bo did not let up in his pursuit.

“Produce proof. The inhabitants of Atsuhara, including Jinshirou, Yagoro, and Yarokuro, are all firm believers. What you say is not perjury, is it? You are in front of the magistrate. You must swear!”

Gyochi glared at Hoki-bo.

“Even without proof, Nichiren's guilt is clear. I have witnesses here.”

Here, for the first time, Sanmi-bo appeared and sat on the witness stand.

The peasants were all surprised. Rigid Kingo Shijo glared at Sanmi-bo.

Sanmi-bo, a former disciple of Nichiren, testified in a matter-of-fact manner.

“I am Sanmi-bo Nichigyo. I have served the priest Nichiren for many years. However, The priest Nichiren is very jealous and suspicious of me, so he did not use my opinion, and that is why he has caused this trouble. I am recognized by both myself and others as the person with the greatest wisdom in the Lotus Sect, and although I was supposed to take over the mission after The priest Nichiren's death, I had no choice but to leave due to the recent disturbance. In light of this, I intend to gather the followers of the Lotus Sutra, with the exception of The priest Nichiren, and establish a sect."

Then, Sanmi-bo looked around at the peasants.

“I intend to lead those wretches who still adore the priest Nichiren. I will tell you the details later.”

There were angry shouts from the peasants' side.

The magistrate nodded, indicating that Gyochi's side had the upper hand.

At this point, Hoki-bo Nikko looked at Sanmi-bo.

“Priest Sanmi-bo, the sage Nichiren has been watching your behavior until now. He did not say a word to you because he was afraid that those around you would think that he insulted a man of wisdom. He will say, 'If I had scolded him thoroughly, I might have saved him.'"

 Sanmi-bo was horrified by Nichiren's words.

“What do you mean, I'll be saved? What nonsense! I have escaped from Nichiren's guilt!”

 Hoki-bo speaks quietly.

“Cowards don't learn things. Those who are greedy and doubtful are like water poured on wet lacquer and cut through the air. These are the words of the saint. Remember carefully.”

The place became quiet. The disciple believers looked at Sanmi-bo with pity.

Bullish Sanmi-bo became uncomfortable in their presence and left the magistrate to say.

“Justice is done to the Acting Lord Gyochi in this case. I beg you to judge wisely.”

Sanmi-bo left the courtroom as if he were fleeing. After this, Sanmi-bo dies a mysterious death.

The room was silent. The situation seemed to be reversing again.

The magistrate looked troubled and crossed his arms.

Hoki-bo spoke up.

“Inquisitor, if you release the peasants of Atsuhara who are now being held captive, we will have no further complaints. The peasants are in a state of confusion because of Gyochi's outrage. Please arrange for their pardon.”

The magistrate made a suggestion to Hoki-bo here.

“What do you think? How about writing a letter of oath? Swear to God and Buddha that there is nothing untrue about what has happened.”

Gyochi was delighted. However, Hoki-bo countered.

“I cannot do that. This outrage started with Gyochi's murder and wounding. I will not write oaths at all. It is the first time in history that a person has been killed and wounded, and then repeatedly written oaths to defend his actions. Furthermore, if I am to write about the deeds of Gyochi, it is clear that I am guilty of a crime that I should not tolerate. If this does not come to pass, then I will have to appeal our regent.”

Regent means to inform the ruler Tokimune.

 Gyochi was dismayed.

“I want to call new witnesses. The peasants who reaped the harvest under their direction will testify!”

“Inquisitor, the truth is the opposite. They have agreed with Gyochi to reap dozens of rice fields for them.”

Gyochi further said.

“There is a written proof. There is a written testimony exposing the wrongdoings of the peasants.”

Haki-bo returned.

“It is a book of conspiracy!”

Gyochi's side finally fell silent.

Hoki-bo strongly told the magistrate.

“I do not intend to use any more oaths. As a follower of Nichiren, I only appeal to the present evidence, namely, the killing and wounding of the victim!”

Gyochi was mortified.


The news of Gyochi's disadvantage reached the ears of Taira no Yoritsuna.

The main players in the trial were the twenty men from Atsuhara. If the twenty men retreated, Gyochi's side would win no matter how hard the Nichiren side tried.

However, Jinshirou and the other peasants persevered.

Yoritsuna raised his eyebrows and screamed.

“Let the peasants fall at any cost. Do not choose any means!”

The peasants were led out into the yard.

Yoritsuna's second son, Tametsuna, shot the Kabura-arrows. Kabura-arrows are bows and arrows that sound on the battlefield. This arrow made a tremendous sound similar to a scream. The peasants were frightened and ran for cover.

“You should recite Amida's name with sincerity. Recite Namu-Amida Butsu and you will be released. Or else.”

One after another, Tametsuna drew his bow.

His eldest son, Munetsuna, who was watching, admonished his father.

“Father, please do not threaten the peasants. If you treat them well, they will be more receptive to you.”

Yoritsuna is angry.

“Fool! Do you think they will fall easily? The verdict depends on them. If the peasants retire, it will be our victory and Nichiren's defeat. Learn from your younger brother. You are sloppy as an eldest son!”

The peasants, however, were undeterred.

The second son, Tametsuna, was furious. His father's temperament had been passed down to him. When he saw that the peasants did not flinch from his bows, he struck them with his whip.

Under such hardship, one of the peasants chanted a title while lying in his front. The peasants around him responded to his voice. They unconsciously put their hands together and chanted the title.

Tametsuna got stuck.

Then, Jinshirou, the head of the organization of the Lotus Sutra, sat down facing forward and began to chant the title in a loud voice. Jinshirou was appealing to his fellow peasants to hold fast to the Buddha Law. Yagoro and Yarokuro followed him. These two also tried hard to encourage the peasants who were trying to abandon their faith.

Tametsuna whipped the three chanting men.

A cutting sound was heard.

The three were wounded and unconsciously chanted the title as they fell down.





Note


 Shariputra

 Shari is the name of the mother. Putra means a son or a male child. One of the ten great disciples of the Buddha. He was born in Nala Village outside Wangsha Castle in the Land of Makada. After the death of his teacher, he heard the Buddha's teaching of the causal law from his disciple Sanjaya and took refuge in the Buddha together with Mokuren. He is known as the disciple with the greatest wisdom among the disciples of Hearing, in contrast to Mokuren's divine wisdom. He heard the “Law of Opening the Three teachings and Revealing the One Buddha’s Nature” in the chapter of the Lotus Sutra's Expedient Means and attained enlightenment. After becoming a disciple of Shakyamuni Buddha, he is said to have broken the outer path and made many monks take refuge in him, but he died before Shakyamuni Buddha.




by johsei1129 | 2022-05-21 10:36 | LIFE OF NICHIREN | Trackback | Comments(0)
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