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日蓮大聖人『御書』解説

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2022年 05月 21日

101. Slander of Minobu's Land steward, Hakiri Sanenaga.


It was through Nikko's guidance that Hakiri Sanenaga, the head of Minobu, was converted to piety. It was through Nikko's power that Nichiren moved his residence to Minobu. This has already been mentioned. No one is able to interfere in this matter.

Hoki-bo Nikko met Nichiren at the age of 12. Since then, he has always looked up to Nichiren as his parent, master, and teacher. After his master's death, Nikko, as the leader of the Order, faithfully followed his master's teachings and tried to pass them on to future generations. He also worked hard to train his disciples.

However, as time went by, some of his disciples began to drift away from him. His teacher Nichiren had said, "The body does not retreat, but the mind retreats, or the mind does not retreat, but the body retreats," and he explained how difficult it was to maintain one's beliefs. This was also true after Nichiren's death.

 In late January of the following year after Nichiren's death, a memorial service was held for his 100th day. At that time, three of the six senior priests, Nikko, Nissho, and Nichizi, attended the ceremony, and at that time, they prepared the " A list of names that will manage the graves.” The original copy written by Nikko is now in the possession of Nishiyama Honmonji Temple.


 “The contents are as follows (Their names were added by me)

 The matter of the cemetery keepers.

 January, Ben Ajari (Nissho)

 February, Daikoku Acharya (Nichiro)

 March, Lord Echizen (Nichizen)

     Lord Awaji (Nikken)

 April Lord Iyo (Nichou)

May, Renge Ajari (Nichizi)

 June, Lord Echigo (Nikken)

    Lord Shimotsuke (Nichinin)

 July, Duke of Iga

   Lord Chikuzen (Nichigou)

 August, lord Izumi (Nippo)

  Duke Jibe (Nichii)

 September, Byakuren Ajari (Nikko)

 October, Lord Tajima (Nichizitsu)

  Lord Kyou (Nichimoku)

 November, Lord Sado (Minbu Nikou)

 December, Lord Tamba (Nisshu)

  Jakunichi-bo (Nikke)

 The above is a written statement of the order of the tomb guard. The above is the content of faithful service.

 New Year's Day, 6th year of Kouan (1283)


However, in spite of the agreement on the "cemetery guardianship," the five except Nikko stopped visiting Minobu within three years.

Nissho went to Sagami Hamado, Nichiro to Kamakura, and Nicchou to Shimousa Province. They left with the young priests.

It was as we had expected. In just three years, Nichiren's tomb was almost in ruins.


“More than anything else, the grave of sage Nichiren in Mountain Stream Minobu has become so desolate that the hoof hooves of the deer are now kicking his tomb, and it is beyond miserable.” ‘Reply to lord Mimasaka-bo.’


Nichiren's tomb had been devastated by deer hooves. It was unbelievable, but no one could do anything about it.

 Nikko's difficulties continued.

After his master's death, Nikko lived at Mount Minobu for nine years to propagate the Dharma, but he was forced to leave the mountain because of the slander of the correct Law of the land steward, Hakiri Sanenaga.

There were four reasons for Hakiri's slanders. Nikko wrote the following about Hakiri's slander for the sake of posterity.


“He built Shakyamuni Buddha and dedicated it as the principal object of worship.

Next, he made pilgrimages to the shrines where he had not visited during the nine years of his life, and in the same year, he made pilgrimages to two shrines, Mishima and Mt. Izu.

Next, the priests made a voluntary offering to the pagoda of the Fukushi in the southern part of the township, as "encouragement" for his clan.

Next, the hall of the Nine-Point Nembutsu was built and solemnly presented in Kai Province under the name of the "Buddhist Monk's Support of Buddhism" of his clan.

I admonished him about the slander of the Four Articles of Faith, to which he replied to me that it was a doctrine permitted by Minbu Nikou. In accordance with this righteousness, I have been with him and his descendants for many years, and we have lost the righteousness of our master and disciples. Therefore, I no longer attend the saint's mausoleum." 'Matters known to the students of the Fuji sect.'


Hakiri's conduct was incompatible with Nichiren's doctrine. Although living in the same land with Nichiren, he could not understand Nichiren's spirit.

The main deity is not Shakyamuni, but the seven characters of excellent Law. Worshiping at shrines brings misfortune. Good deities have already left the shrine, and only evil demons remain. This is what the Rissho Ankoku-ron (Treatise on the Peaceful Land) says. And to erect a Nembutsu building and make offerings is completely out of the question.

What is even more unbelievable is that this wickedness was allowed by one of the Five Elder Monks, Minbu Nikou.

Nikko clearly recorded these numerous slanderous acts in the "Reply to lord Hara." The following is a brief trace of this record.

At first, Nikko was astonished at Hakiri's conduct.


“The origin of this matter is that when Magosaburo Nanbu entered the temple to listen to the sutra last November, he heard Hakiri Sanenaga said, 'I have heard that Nembutsu is a hell without an interval, but I cannot tell you that there is no good God to protect this country. I was surprised to learn that Lord Hakiri had changed his mind.”


It is said to have been in November of the first year of Shogen (1288), six years after Nichiren's death. Nikko was 41 years old.

A member of the Hakiri clan named Magosaburo Nanbu paid a visit to the temple and conveyed Sanenaga's words.

Sanenaga agreed with Nichiren's statement that Nembutsu is an uninterrupted hell, but he was not convinced that there are no good deities to protect this country. This statement sounded as if he approved of the pilgrimage to shrines. Nikko was shocked by the sudden words of the land steward, which he had never heard before.

Nikko tried his best to persuade Magosaburo. Now only evil demons live in the shrine. Isn't this the teaching of my late master Nichiren?

However, Magosaburo, who was in the same mind with Sanenaga, was not convinced.

Here, Magosaburo made an important statement. He said that there was a controversy between Minobu and Kamakura over this pilgrimage to the shrine.


“Lord Magosaburo said. I am deeply convinced that the Nembutsu is a hell, but the fact that the good deities that protect us have abandoned this land has not yet been cleared up. On the other hand, the disciples of Mt. Minobu are adamant that there is no guardian deity in this land. Nichiren Ajari has passed away. If this is the case, I am extremely suspicious as to whom we should ask to determine the truth or falsehood.”


 At that time, disciples in Kamakura were allowed to visit shrines, while those in Minobu, where Nikko was located, were adamant.

Despite Nikko's strong teaching, Magosaburo's hesitation did not stop.

Magosaburo's argument was, "My master Nichiren has already passed away. We cannot decide whether or not to visit shrines. The fundamental teacher has passed away. If that is the case, we should establish a new legal doctrine. In his mind, Magosaburo showed disregard for the successor, Nikko.

Nikko responded to this by saying that all decisions should be made based on the legacy of his master Nichiren. This is the guideline called "Gosho " (Book of Saint), which includes the so-called Rissho Ankoku Ron.


“It is sometimes possible to determine the correctness or incorrectness of two disciples' opinions. Even though the master has passed away, there is his last will and testament. This is the Rissho Ankoku Ron. However, Magosaburo left, still not quite sure of his mind.”


Although Nikko preached passionately, Magosaburo returned to his home with doubts in his mind.

It is astonishing that only six years after Nichiren's death, Nichiren's Law principles were already in jeopardy. Opinions were divided within the sect on the issue of pilgrimages to shrines.

The cause of this disagreement began when Magosaburo attempted to pay a visit to a shrine in Mishima. Hearing this, Nikko sent his disciple, lord Echigo, who was also a member of the Hakiri clan, to rebuke Magosaburo.


“This is because I heard that he was going to pay a visit to Mishima Shrine, so I went out in the middle of the night and sent Lord Echigo to warn him. Do you not understand that your actions will violate the true meaning of this doctrine, the Ankoku Ron, and the Great Wish of Saint Nichiren? For this reason, I made him not visit the shrine for a long period of time.”


Mishima refers to Mishima Shrine in Denma town, Mishima City, Shizuoka Prefecture. In the past, Minamoto no Yoritomo prayed for victory in his campaign to overthrow the Heike clan. Since then, the shrine has been worshiped by the Kamakura Shogunate, and together with Mt. Izu Shrine, the Shogun himself made a pilgrimage to the shrine every New Year. The shrine was therefore worshiped by many warriors.

Magosaburo, as a member of the Shogunate, tried to visit the shrine casually.

However, Nikko scolded him severely. Why do you not know the will of Nichiren Shonin? Why don't you understand that disrespect for shrines is the legal righteousness of Nichiren Shonin?

Magosaburo was a member of the prestigious Nanbu clan, descended from the Kai Genji clan. Nikko's advice is not interesting.

This incident came to Sanenaga's ears. Here, Sanenaga asked one of the five elderly priests, Minbu Nikou, for his opinion on the matter.

Surprisingly, Minbu Nikou rejected Nikko's righteousness. According to him, Nikko did not understand the Dharma of his master Nichiren and was ignorant of the ultimate truth of Buddhism.


"As he was about to ask Minbu Nikou about this, he told him that it is one of the passages of the Ankoku Ron that the benevolent deities who protect the land will leave the land for the sake of the slander the Law, but Nikko Ajari read only one side of the text of the Lotus Sutra and does not understand the ultimate truth."


Nikko went directly to Sanenaga and questioned him about the shrine visit, but Sanenaga countered that this was the teaching of Minbu Nikou. Both Minbu Nikou and Sanenaga looked down on Nikko, the lord of Mt. Minobu.

Minbu Nikou was the only one of the five old priests to have returned to Kai. Nikko was happy to place him in the position of dean. Nikko and Minbu Nikou had shared many hardships and joys during the persecution of Atsuhara. It was impossible for him not to be happy. The dean is a key position in the education of priests. However, Minbu Nikou was about to bend the principles of Nichiren.

For Nikko, non-visitation of shrines was a matter of course. This was something he had been trained in many times under Nichiren. His words still remain in his ears.


“Furthermore, since this country is a land whose people slander the correct teaching, the benevolent gods who should be protecting the nation have lost the flavor of the Law and have ascended to heaven, forsaking their shrines. The empty shrines have been occupied by demons who are misleading the worshipers. The Buddha, having finished preaching, has returned to the Land of Tranquil Light. Halls and pagodas, and temples and shrines have been abandoned to become the dwellings of devils. These imposing structures stand in rows, built at state expense and through compulsory labor imposed on the people. This is not merely my own opinion; it is found in the sutras, so you should study them well.

Neither Buddhas nor gods would ever accept contributions from those who slander the correct teaching. Then how can we human beings accept them? The deity of Kasuga Shrine proclaimed through an oracle that he would accept nothing from those with impure hearts, though I eat the flames of burning copper, he would refuse to set foot in their homes with impure hearts, though he sat on red-hot copper. However, he would come down to a miserable hut with weeds choking the passageway, or to a poor thatched house. He declared that he would never visit persons lacking in faith, even if they hung sacred festoons for a thousand days to welcome him, but that he would go to a house where the people have a mind of faith, even though they might be in mourning for a parent. Lamenting that slanderers have overrun this country, the benevolent gods have abandoned it and ascended to heaven. “Those with impure hearts” means those who refuse to embrace the Lotus Sutra, as is stated in the fifth volume of the sutra. If the gods themselves regard alms from slanderers as more abominable than the flames of burning copper, how could we human beings possibly accept them? If someone were to kill our parents and then try to offer us some gift, could we possibly accept it? Not even wise persons or sages can avoid the hell of incessant suffering if they accept offerings from slanderers. Nor should you associate with slanderers, for if you do, you will share the same guilt as they. This you should fear above all.” ‘Writing to Niike.’





by johsei1129 | 2022-05-21 11:34 | LIFE OF NICHIREN | Trackback | Comments(0)
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