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日蓮大聖人『御書』解説

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2022年 05月 21日

104. Nikko who Descended the Mountain of Minobu.


 In the winter of the first year of Shoo (1288), eight years after Nichiren's death, Nikko, now forty-three years old, left Mount Minobu, following the road along the river. He had to leave the grave of his master. It was a desperate decision.

 Nikko expressed his anguish in a letter to lord Hara, a member of the Hakiri clan. Although lord Hara was a member of the family, he understood Nikko.


“When I left down the road of Mt. Minobu, I was filled with shamefulness and disappointment, but when I think in an opposite meaning, it is a top priority to inherit the saint's doctrine and establish it to this world wherever I am.

I thought so, but all the disciples had turned enemies against their teacher. However, I, Nikko, will never forget my original determination because I think Nikko is the only person who is suitable for the person who maintains the rightness of his teacher and attains the teacher's cherished object. Besides, I am glad that all of you know justice. If all of you visit me often, I believe that the Lord Nyudo, Hakiri Sanenaga, will not become immoral.” ‘Reply to lord Hara’


This message gives us a glimpse into Nikko's mind. His initial aspirations for the development of the correct Law at Mt. Minobu were shattered. However, out of the depths of his anguish, Nikko remembered. Whatever happens, it is his mission to carry on the saint's righteousness and to make a difference in the world.

Nikko was pleased with Lord Hara's unchanging faith. He said that if lord Hara continued to follow Nikko's teachings, Sanenaga would not be wronged. Again, Nikko defended Sanenaga.

Nikko concludes his letter with the following words.


“You should be aware of the doctrine that it is a sin not to abandon the Dharma teachers who originally disobeyed Nichiren Shonin. Above all, I wonder what the portrait thinks of this incident. Without seeing you in person, it would be difficult for me to fully express my feelings. I am afraid I am speaking respectfully.” 


Nikko said to himself. Nikko said to himself, "It would be slanderous not to abandon the disciples who disobey Nichiren. The portrait means Nichiren.

It was midwinter when Nikko left Mt. It is said to have been in November or December. The mountains were covered with snow. It was also midwinter when his teacher Nichiren was exiled to Sado Island.

As Nikko descended through the snow into the mountains of Minobu, he could not help but think.

What would the master think of this? Would the master understand my situation? The only person I can rely on is myself. I wonder if my late master would watch over me like this.

The descent down the mountain was indeed a large one. The treasures carried on the 27 horses, including the Dai-Gohonzon (the principal image) in Nichiren's own handwriting, are said to have amounted. Since two of them were carried on one horse, the total number of the treasures carried was 54.

According to an Edo period historical record.


"In November of the first year of the Sho'o Era, the Daishonin's spiritual treasures, the Dai-Gohonzon of fundamental precept platform, the Gohonzon at the Shikin-den Hall (note), the Daishonin's teeth with flesh (note), his burnt bones, and all other spiritual treasures, were all placed in a twenty-seven horses and sent on their way from Mount Minobu in the eleventh month of the Shojo Era (1288). In the spring of the following year, at the invitation of lord Nanjo Tokimitsu, Nanjo no Shichiro Tayu, he moved to Fuji-Ueno, Suruga Province, at the invitation of lord Nanjo Tokimitsu, to select a most favorable site and build a hall where the Dai-Gohonzon is placed in the Taiseki Field." 'Question and Answer about Taiseki-ji Temple in the Fuji Sect's Collection of Academic Essentials.' 


テーブル, 太陽, 立つ, カーテン が含まれている画像自動的に生成された説明


Painting by Reisho Ogata, "Construction of Taiseki-ji Temple" (center: Priest Nikko, far right: Tokimitsu Nanjo)


Nikko moved to Fuji-Ueno Township, which was under the domain of a young landowner, Nanjo Tokimitsu, and finally found a safe place to live. Tokimitsu has already been mentioned. There was no other place for Nikko to live but in Tokimitsu's Ueno Township.

As early as that year, Nikko began construction of the present-day Taiseki-ji Temple.

He must have picked up the plow himself. He must have cut the wood himself. He must have picked up a tool himself. Nikko was filled with enthusiasm, determined to do justice to his master.

The disciples who followed Nikko immediately began to build their own monasteries. Nichimoku built Renzo-bo, Nikke was Jakunichi-bo, Nisshu was Rikyo-bo, Nichizen was South-bo, and Nissen was Hyakkan-bo.

It was a magnificent sight. They felt a sense of purpose in their lives to follow Nikko in upholding and propagating the justice of their master.

Thus it was on October 12, the day before the anniversary of Nichiren's death.

Nikko enshrined the Dai-Gohonzon, a large sacred image being built from a giant camphor tree, in the brand-new main hall of the temple. This was very much the "Great Gohonzon of the second year of the Koan era (1279), to which Nikko had directly received." His teacher, Nichiren, wrote of the significance of this principal image in the propagation of this image throughout the whole world.


“In addition, you should recognize the mandala of the direct line which Nikko inherited as the formal Gohonzon of the main hall even if the Buddhist priests who are the five elder monks and supporters widen this Law in all countries including Japan and the whole world.” ‘A hundred and Six Articles.’


 Even if the disciples and supporters under the Five Elder Priests were to spread the excellent Law throughout Japan and the whole world, they must place the Dai-Gohonzon, which Nikko had received, at the center. This great mandala was enshrined in this Taiseki-ji temple, where it remains to this day.

Furthermore, Master Nichiren sent his last will and testament, " Receiving of the Three Great Secret Laws " to Jomyo Ota, who had the best understanding of his own Dharma principles.


“The precept platform is that when the government is well informed the Buddha's Law, and the Buddha's Law and the governance are in mutual accord, and when both the ruler and his ministers uphold the Three Great Secret Laws of the essential teaching and when the practice of King Utoku and the monk Kakutoku is actualized in the future of the muddied and wicked age of the Latter Day of the Law, then imperial edicts and official proclamations will be issued, and the most fitting site will be sought out like the pure land of Spirit Eagle Mountain. And the precept platform will be built there. We must wait for that moment. This is the very meaning of the practice of the precept.

This will be a sanctuary not only were the people of the three countries of India, China, and Japan, and the whole world, will come to receive the Law of the precept that enables them to repent and wipe out offenses, but also where the heavenly kings Bonten and Teishaku will descend to take part in the ceremony.

Once this precept of the Law is established, the ordination platform of Enryaku-ji, since it administers the meditative practice of the theoretical teaching, will cease to be of any benefit. Moreover, the third and fourth chief priests of Mount Hiei, Jikaku and Chisho, contrary to expectation, turned their backs on their teachers, the founder Dengyo and his successor Gishin, and made a mad pronouncement, declaring that the Lotus Sutra and Dainichi sutras were equal in principle but that the latter was superior in practice. With this as their basis, they derided the precepts of their own temple, describing them as mere “play theory.”

The precepts of Enryaku-ji were pure and spotless, the wonderful precepts of the moderation. But now, contrary to expectation, they have been changed into so much dirt and mire. One can hardly bear to speak of it, and no amount of lamentation can repair it. This situation is worse than Mount Malaya being reduced to shards and rubble, and sandalwood groves changed to thorns and brambles. Could any person who is capable of distinguishing between the erroneous and the correct, the partial and the perfect, among the sacred teachings of the Buddha’s lifetime bring himself to set foot upon the precept platform of Enryaku-ji as it exists today? About this doctrine, you must examine the idea and principles that I am here expounding, and from now on, clarify its meaning.

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 Shakyamun, the lord of teachings. And the actions that I now take embody what I received on Spirit Eagle Mountain, without the slightest deviation or alteration in form, the three great matters of the Law of the “Life Span” chapter.

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 “Life Span” 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, 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 I 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 Ota Kingo”

 The construction of a large temple does not mean the construction of the precept platform. The last 500 years of the Shobo Zoho, as taught in the Daishitsu Sutra, were marked by the "firm establishment of many pagodas and temples," and as predicted by the Buddha, many Buddhist temples and complexes were built in China and Japan. However, throughout his life, Nichiren devoted himself to missionary work and the training of his disciples from the base of a simple hermitage. He was convinced that the method of attracting people's attention and leading them to faith with luxurious and gorgeous hermitages was the missionary method of the "age of formal Buddhism" after the Buddha's demise.

The following sentence is found in the sixteenth chapter of the Lotus Sutra, the chapter of divided merits and virtues.


“O Maitreya Bodhisattva, these good men and women should not build for me a pagoda and temple and a monastery, and to make offerings to sentient monks in four ways. This is because, if such good men and women have received and recited the Lotus Sutra, they have already built pagodas and monasteries, and made offerings to the monks.”


 In other words, it indicates that in the Latter Day of the Law, the ultimate practice is to chant Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo (Nam-Myoho-Renge) while upholding the Gohonzon, which is the embodiment of the essence of the Myoho-Renge-Kyo. Nichiren continued to present paper copies of the Gohonzon to his ordained disciples and lay believers. At present, there are about 130 Gohonzon handwritten in Nichiren's handwriting. The disciples who received the Gohonzon from Nichiren placed it in their simple temples or in their own houses, and used them as a starting point for their missionary activities.

 After Nichiren's death, his disciples and followers, who inherited the lineage of Nichiren Nikko, continued their missionary efforts to establish the essential precept platform.

Nichikan, the 26th head of Taiseki-ji Temple, explains about the essential precept platform.


There are facts and theories in the fundamental precept platform. The theory, as it is called, is the truth of the way. It is also called the "Precept platform of righteousness”. Every mountain, temple, and house where the principal image is copied and hung is a precept platform of theory. Therefore, you should know 'that this place is a Buddhist place.' Next, the precept platform of the fact means that in the future, a precept platform will be built in the Amougahara wilderness on Mt Fuji.”Annotation of the Repay to Gratitude.’


Nichiren clearly stated in "Receiving of the Three Great Secret Laws" that if "When the time comes to transfer the past of King Utoku and monk Kakutoku to the future of the Latter Day of the Law clouded by evil." Therefore, until "the time comes when the past of King Utoku and monk Kakutoku is transferred to the future of the Latter Day of the Law," the fundamental precept platform of the fact cannot be erected.



To be continued.


Note.


Gohonzon of Shishinden Hall.

The Gohonzon which is hanged in Shishinden, the political center of the building.

“The scroll of the mandala by the genuine hand of Nichiren Daishonin.

According to the legend, it was the principal object of worship at the time of worldwide propagation, and should be placed in the Shishinden, political center, for the sake of the protection of the state.” ‘Fuji Taiseki-ji Temple Detailed History in the Fuji Sect's Collection of Academic Essentials Vol. 5.' 

 

The tooth with the flesh.

A tooth given by Nichiren Daishonin to Nikko before his death. The tooth has a piece of Daishonin's flesh on it. According to Nichiryo's "Detailed account of Fuji Taiseki-ji Temple," Nichiren Daishonin predicted that this tooth would shine brightly at the time of worldwide propagation. Although it is not open to the public, it is shown to the public once every 50 years and at the time of the change of headmasters.

“When Nichiren Daishonin was alive, he pulled out his own tooth and gave it to Nikko as proof of his lineage, saying that it would shine forth when the time came for its worldwide propagation. This was handed down from Nikko to Nichimoku, who passed it onto the successive chiefs. We can open and see it only at the time of the change of chief administrator and once a year, the cleaning of the principal image. Normally, it is not open to the public.” Fuji Sect's Collection of Academic Essentials Vol. 5.' 


King Utoku and monk Kakutoku.

The causal form of the Buddha during his bodhisattva practice in past lives. Text from the Nirvana Sutra scroll 3, Vajrayana. In the last days of the Delight Buddha's reign, when the Dharma of the Buddha, which had appeared in the castle Kushina, was about to be destroyed in 40 years, King Utoku fought against many evil monks who were breaking the Dharma, and protected monk Kakutoku, who was upholding the Dharma. The king died at this time with wounds all over his body, but through the merits of his protection, he was born in the land of Akshobhya Buddha and became the first disciple of that Buddha, and monk Kakutoku became his second disciple. This is an example of the mindset of a believer at a time when the righteous Dharma is about to be destroyed, and the magnitude of the merits of those who protect the righteous Dharma. This text is quoted in the Rissho Ankoku Ron.


“My disciple, there was a time in a previous existence when the Buddha appeared in this fortress city of Kusinagara. His name was Tathagata of Increasing Joy. After this Buddha passed away, the correct teaching that he had taught remained in the world for countless millions of years. Finally, only forty more years were left before Buddhist teaching was due to come to an end. “At that time there was a monk named Kakutoku who observed the precepts. At the same time, however, there were a great many monks who violated the precepts. As Kakutoku preached the correct Law, nefarious thoughts emerged in the minds of those slanderous monks, and they attacked him with swords and staves. The king at the time was named Utoku. Upon hearing of this crucial situation, he rushed to the aid of Monk Kakutoku in order to protect the Law and fought with all his might against the evil monks who were violating the precepts.

As a result, monk Kakutoku who had been preaching was able to escape grievous injury.

King Utoku, however, was severely wounded with swords, arrows, and spears. Not a single spot on his body, even as small as a poppy seed, was left unwounded.

When the king heard these profound words, his heart was filled with great joy, and that moment he took his final breath. He was then born into the land of Akshobhya Buddha, where he became this Buddha’s principal disciple. Moreover, all the military leaders, citizens, and associates of the king who had fought beside him or had rejoiced in his effort were filled with an unflagging determination to achieve enlightenment, and after they died, all of them were reborn in the land of the Buddha Akshobhya.

Later, the monk Kakutoku also died, and he too was reborn in the land of the Buddha Akshobhya, where he became second among the Buddha’s voice-hearer disciples.

This is precisely the way you should uphold and defend the correct Law when it is about to perish.

Kashyapa, it was I, in fact, who was king at the time, and the monk who preached the sermon was Kashyapa Buddha. Kashyapa, those who protect the true Law will gain this kind of immeasurable merit. The cause I created enabled me to acquire the many sacred features that adorn my present self and ultimately gain this indestructible body, the Dharma body. Then the Buddha declared to Bodhisattva Kāshyapa: “For this reason, laymen believers and others who wish to defend the Law should arm themselves with swords and staves and protect it in this manner.” ‘Rissho Ankokuron’




by johsei1129 | 2022-05-21 11:41 | LIFE OF NICHIREN | Trackback | Comments(0)
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