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日蓮大聖人『御書』解説

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2022年 05月 21日

Final Chapter, Japanese Buddha Law Flows to the Land of the Moon.


テーブル, カップ, プレート が含まれている画像自動的に生成された説明


740 years are going to elapse by this 2022 since Nichiren had passed into Nirvana on October 13, 1282, namely the 5th year of the Ko’an era.

The Kamakura Buddhism that Nichiren criticized thoroughly by four proverbs (Nembutsu is hell, Zen is a work of evil spirit, Shingon destroys a country, the sect of precepts is a traitor of the nation), already becomes merely a decoration, and fell in funeral Buddhism, and they have lost the mental influence on the people and state power when we mind the present conditions of the current Japanese Buddhism world.

The Buddhist temple and monastery, which were made mainly in the times of "Building many temples and towers greatly" after Buddha's passing which foretold in the Sutra of the Great Gathering by Buddha. These places have been transformed into zoos or amusement facilities that charge a flat fee for admission, rather than places for people to seek and worship the Buddha Way.

The style of the present priest is far from the original monk who leave the vulgar world, and the religious precepts such as to shaving head, unmarried, not eating meat that were the common sense of the priest in the times of the Kamakura Buddhism almost became little more than a mere name even if there were some differences by a denomination. In other words, the priest is only the name, and in the first place, as for the Buddhist temple that there are these priests, there will not be the qualification to receive offers from the believers.

The offering expresses the thought respecting the three treasures (Buddha, the Law, Buddhist priest) of the believer to the last, and it becomes the virtue because a believer offers depending on each ability from oneself regardless of the amount of money.

In this situation, "Nam-myoho-renge-kyo" that Nichiren advocated spread certainly among the Japanese people in the freedom of religion that was established after the war. Most of the new religions sprang up like mushrooms after a rain after the war, they chanted Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, not Nam-Amida-Butsu, and depended on the Lotus Sutra. Even the Zen Buddhism (Soto sect) that advocated 'the truth other than the teachings', and denied Buddhist sutras, came to read "the LifeSpan chapter in the Lotus Sutra" aloud.

The new religion like Bussho Gonen Kai appeared, and they received the Gohonzon of the handwriting that Nichiren expressed, by one relationship or opportunity, from the Nichiren-sect temple which possessed it from the Kamakura era, and assume it's the object of worship of the own sect.

However, the point which is conclusively different from Nichiren Shoshu Taisekiji temple succeeding Nichiren Daishonin, Nikko Shonin, Nichimoku Shonin is that they do not regard as a basic object of worship the grand Gohonzon for all living beings of the whole world. They do not have the bloodline of succession from Nichiren like 2th Nikko Shonin, and the 3th Nichimoku Shonin. That is why they will slander the Law like visiting at the same time to a Shinto shrine while worshiping Gohonzon of Nichiren identical to ‘Sanenaga Hakiri’, of the time when there was Nikko Shonin.

On the other hand, what happened to the five priests except Nikko Shonin, and the Buddhist temple which a strong believer of Nichiren founded thereafter?

Most of those respect Nichiren as Nichiren of a great Bodhisattva as reincarnation of the Jogyo Bodhisattva and do not assume the grand Gohonzon for all living beings of the whole world the fundamental object of the worship.

The Bodhisattva is a stage of the training before becoming a Buddha. If Nichiren were a Bodhisattva, then he would be a Bodhisattva who represents the principal image of the Buddha and tells sentient beings of the Latter Day of the Law, "Since this is the true form of the Buddha, you can attain Buddhahood by chanting the title to it. This will become a great arrogance. If a Bodhisattva who did not become Buddha dyed his soul to a Sumi and expressed the Gohonzon, this would show the condition of mere Bodhisattva to the last.

Shakyamuni Buddha preaches in the Life Span chapter of the Lotus Sutra in this way.

“This interval is a very long time since I entered Nirvana, and life is infinite kalpa, and there is not the thing that I always live here and become extinct. You, various men! I am training the ascetic practice of the Bodhisattva from the origin, and the life that I became Buddha is getting life of those doubles without still yet running out.”

Nichiren firmly asserts that "Nam-myoho-renge-kyo" is sinking secretly at the bottom of this sentence "I am training the ascetic practice of the Bodhisattva from the origin". In other words, Sakyamuni chanted Nam-myoho-renge-kyo in the unmeasurable remote past and became Buddha and Nichiren himself caught Nam-myoho-renge-kyo intuitively, too, and showed a diagram as the Gohonzon.

Teachings (the enlightenment that Buddha attained), a practice (the ascetic practices method to seize the Buddha nature), proof (the evidence that became a Buddha by the ascetic practices). These are necessary to accomplish Buddhist doctrine. Even if teachings called the Lotus Sutra exist when the time entered in the Latter-Days of the Law after one thousand years of proper Law and one thousand years of the Law of the formal, there is not the method of ascetic practices in the Latter-Days of the Law, and naturally the proof that become the Buddha will not exist.

Nichiren has been feeling and visualizing the Gohonzon inside himself since declaration of the establishment of denomination in 1253 (fifth year in Kencho era) and, overcoming the great persecution of the decapitation seat in Tatsunokuchi, he swept out being as the Jogyo Bodhisattva of the provisional, gave his life to the Gohonzon and expressed entity as real Buddha of the Latter-Days of the Law.

And October 9 of 1271, approximately one month after Tatsunokuchi of September 12, he erected the Gohonzon for the first time at the residence of Shigetsura Honma of Echi of Sagami country when he was made to stay until he departed to Sado. Because the slender-writing brush that he always possessed to write a letter was small, it is said that he untied the tip of a twig of Yang and wrote it down. He writes on the side of the Gohonzon, "I write this in Honma District, Echi prefecture, Sagami country". This is possessed now in the Kyoto Rippon-ji temple. Nichiren showed the aerial ceremony in the Lotus Sutra in a form and established the ascetic practices method that chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo to that Gohonzon and embodied teachings, practice, and proof on the Latter-Days of the Law by this way that he became Buddha himself.

In the "Grand Gohonzon" which Nichiren Daishonin erected in 1279 (October12, 2th of the Ko'an era), the emotions of the Buddhists bear fruit. They wanted to hold the supreme doctrine which was preached by the Buddha, to spread it, and to transmit to posterity.

Arhats of the disciple of Buddha of 500 who gathered around Ananda and Mahakasyapa for the Buddhist sutras concentration after the passing away of Buddha. The phenomenal genius Kumarajiva who translated the Lotus Sutra in Chinese, and established the foundation handed down in Japan that has a deep connection with the Lotus Sutra. Chinese Great Teacher Tendai who outbrained intense arguments about Buddha's doctrine and systematized the Lotus Sutra, and established it as king of various teachings. Japanese Great Teacher Dengyo who was granted the Imperial proclamation of the religious precepts of Mahayana, which assumed the Lotus Sutra the origin, the first time in the Japanese Buddhism history, seven days after death.

Nichiren erected "the grand mandala which is unprecedented in the whole world during this approximately 2230 years after Buddha passed away" while having stood in the mainstream of Law of this Shakyamuni. It is clearer than seeing fire that to worship "Nichiren Bodhisattva" without returning to this great Gohonzon is to "praise the Lotus Sutra, but on the contrary, to kill the mind of the Lotus," just as it is to "praise Nichiren, but on the contrary, to kill the mind of Nichiren," and people will be lost on the right path to Buddhahood.

テキスト自動的に生成された説明

     "Duty of Repaying Favor"


 It is terribly rude, but I consider here the fate that the Buddha and Nichiren Daishonin appeared in this world in Buddhism history.

 "All the sermons of the Tathagata is one aspect and flavor" this is preached in the chapter of the parable of the medicinal herbs of the 5th of the Lotus Sutra. In other words, the Buddha preaches it that the Buddhahood of Buddha who mastered "the real facts of all things" is the same as Buddhahood of various Buddhas. The difference is the times when the Buddha preaches (Kalpa), the country which has the relation that the Buddha is born, and the period that the Law is continued effectively after Buddha passed away.

 Shakyamuni Buddha gives wisest Shariputra "the prediction", at the place of the metaphor chapter of the third of the Lotus Sutra, that he becomes the Tathagata of Flower Shine in the future world. Shakyamuni Buddha name that Buddha's land "the leaving from impurities" where the Tathagata of Flower Shine appears, and name the kalpa "the great treasures decorated", and he shows that the Tathagata of Flower Shine has the lifetime of "12 short kalpas" and shows the populace has a lifetime of "eight short kalpas" each then. Furthermore, he gives Kenman Bodhisattva the prediction that he becomes "Buddha living among flowers" in future life after the Tathagata of Flower Shine appears and passed through 12 short kalpas, and he reveals, after the death of Tathagata of Flower Shine, the era of proper Law will continue for 32 short kalpas and the era of Law of image will continue for 32 short kalpas.

 By the way, the name of the Buddha's land of the current earth is called "the Shaba", and the name of the kalpa is "Ken-kalpa".

 Shakyamuni was born in India and preached Myoho-renge -kyo in the Spirit Eagle Mountain for the last eight years and he entrusted Jogyo Bodhisattva with the propagation of post mortem Myoho-renge-kyo and passed away at 80 years old. The Law of Buddha, after Shakyamuni passed away, loses power in 1000 years of the proper Law and 1000 years of the Law of image and enters times of the Latter-Day of the Law. And, in Japan, where Nichiren Daishonin is a place of the spiritual connection of Myoho- renge-kyo, he is born as reincarnation of the Jogyo Bodhisattva, he does 'sweeping out the provisional figure and revealing the fundamental' by a persecution of Tatsunokuchi, and expresses the origin as the real Buddha of the Latter-Day of the Law.

 Then, after Nichiren passed away, how will the Law continue? Nichiren declares it definitively as follows in the 'Duty of Repaying Favor.'

 “If Nichiren's pity is vast, Nam-myoho-renge-kyo will flow for ten thousand years and until eternity. There is the beneficial power to open the blind eyes of all the people of the country in Japan. It blocks the path to the hell of incessant suffering. Its benefits surpass that of Dengyo and Tientai, and are superior to that of Nagarjuna and Mahakashyapa. An ascetic practice of a hundred years in paradise never surpasses the one day merit of the dirty world. The propagation of two thousand years during the times of a proper and image Law may be inferior to a temporary propagation of the Latter-Day. This is not a thing by the wisdom of Nichiren totally, the time only makes so. In spring, the blossoms open, in autumn, the fruit ripens. Summer is warm, and winter is cold. Isn’t the time to do so?”

 Nichiren Daishonin declares that the propagation of the 2000 years of the proper and the image times of the Law after Shakyamuni is inferior to a propagation that the disciples and followers do after Nichiren in the Latter Day of the Law. It is a reason time makes it so.

Furthermore, that reason is shown as follows in "On the Buddha's Prophecy" written down in Sado island.

 “The seventh (23rd chapter of Drug King) of the Lotus Sutra says; After I have passed away, in the last five-hundred-year period you spread it abroad widely throughout the whole world and must never allow it to be cut off. (Omission)"

 "Question: In comparing the proper day and image day of the Law with the Latter-Day of the Law, the first is far superior in terms of both times and the people's capacity. Why do you disregard these times and favor only the Latter-Day of the Law?

 Answer; The Buddha's intent is difficult to fathom. Although I am unable to understand it, we may understand by thinking of the Hinayana sutras as a point of reference. During the thousand years of the proper times, Hinayana was fully possessed with the three elements of the teachings, practice, and proof. During the next one thousand years of the image times, its teachings and practice were still maintained, but proof no longer existed. In the Latter-Day of the Law, teachings alone remain, but neither practice, nor proof exists.”

 As for the Buddhism of Shakyamuni Buddha, the teachings exist in the Latter-Days of the Law, but "practice" to become Buddha does not match with the times, therefore, Nichiren declares that all creatures become a Buddha is impossible. Shakyamuni Buddha preaches the ascetic practices method in the Lotus Sutra. He said that people should hear teachings, tell a person it and believe it and make believe it, and write it and let a person write it and hold a service for a scroll of sutras with incense and flowers. In addition, he shows "an offering, observance of the commandments, fortitude, diligence, meditation, the wisdom" of "six paramita" as a method of ascetic practices in the Mahayana sutras.

 Besides, Shakyamuni Buddha answers the disciples asking how they should train themselves after Buddha passed away, in the Sutra of Buddha's teachings of the Fugen sutra of the end of the Lotus Sutra. It is as follows when summarizing it.

Imagine and think of the Fugen Bodhisattva.

Read Mahayana sutra aloud.

Consider the teachings of Mahayana deeply.

Worship various Buddhas.

Repent the karma that you made in the past life.

And repeat these practices.

It goes without saying that these practices are not ascetic practices suitable economically nor temporally if they are not the noble family and a person of the rich priest. In fact, the words of good men and good women often come out in the Lotus Sutra. The Sanskrit meaning of this good man and woman hints at a good man and woman who were born in a noble family. In other words, this means people born in the families of the noble family or rich as a virtue that acquired a good deed in the past life.

This is the thought that shares an act of virtue by doing various kinds of service to the priests that social position following people go about asking for alms. The alms to the priest monks, is performed incredibly eagerly in the countries such as Thailand or Myanmar where Hinayana sutras are spread in southeastern Asian Buddhism countries now. However, they do not read the sutra aloud by themselves nor do a conception of teachings nor do missionary work to others even if they respect a Buddhist priest. It is believed that a big benefit is obtained for producing a Buddhist priest from a family, but they are hardly able to become a monk because the Buddhist priest follows religious precepts only and cannot work.

In contrast, Nichiren preached it that the practices of the Latter-Days of the Law were that all people read the Lotus Sutra aloud and chant Nam-myoho-renge-Kyo and talk with a person, namely propagation, regardless of the monks and the laity.

He preaches it as follows in "The True Entity of All Phenomena" written down in Sado Island and persuades disciples and believers.

“Whatever will happen, strive in faith and keep a practitioner of the Lotus Sutra, and be a follower of Nichiren throughout your life. If you are of the same mind as Nichiren, you might be a Bodhisattva who emerged from the underground. And if you are a Bodhisattva who emerges from the ground, there is not even the slightest doubt that you have been a disciple of Shakyamuni Buddha from the remote past.

The scripture states, ‘Ever since the long distant past, I have been teaching this large number of people'. There should be no discrimination among those who propagate the five characters of Myoho-renge-kyo in the Latter-Days of the Law regardless of men or women. Because other than the Bodhisattvas who emerge from the ground, they are difficult to chant the title, daimoku.
 Although I, Nichiren alone, at first chanted Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, two, three, then a hundred people gradually began to chant and propagate it. Propagation will unfold this way in the future as well. Does this not signify “emerging from the ground” indeed? Moreover, at the time of Kosen-Rufu [spread far and wide], the entire Japanese nation will chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo as surely as an arrow aimed at the earth cannot miss the target." (Omission) "In this letter, I have written my most important teachings. Understand these meanings firmly, and know what these are. Please believe in Gohonzon which is the first place in the whole world. Assume a discreet attitude, assume a cautious attitude, strengthen your faiths, and receive the protection of three Buddhas. Exert yourself in the two ways of practice and study. If practice and study are neglected, then the Buddha's Law will not exist there. Practice ascetics for yourself and please teach others too. Both practice and study arise from faith. If you have an ability, please talk about it, even if it is only a single sentence or phrase. Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, Nam-myoho-renge-kyo.

Sincerely yours,

Nichiren."

Finally, I show one experience and finish this novel.

The writer, I, visited the Taiseki-ji Temple of the head temple the other day.

The green mountains of the Taiseki-ji temple were wrapped up by a drizzle and were closing in on me, and the world of quietness was ruling this area.

The pilgrim's lodging which I visited by chance was the building for the exclusive use of the overseas believer called Tokohi-Bo. The buildings are three-storied ferro-concrete, and there is a shower room underground. The rooms had been divided so that around ten people could sleep. Because various countries and racial believers gather, small rooms may have been made. There are, for example, Internet facilities in the hall. For the convenience of the overseas believer, various devices were prepared here.

There was the sermon of the Buddhist priest at the lodging in the evening. This monk belongs to the Overseas Department, and it is said that half or more of one year is spent on the propagation in the foreign country. The content of the sermons was a hard luck story in foreign countries, too. The Monk's tone was serene, but rather deeply came into our mind.

The monk talked about an experience in India. There are a lot of believers of the Lotus sutra in India. The priest went around each place and encouraged them. He said, "Let's make efforts to go to Japan someday and work to be able to meet the grand Gohonzon of the Hall of Precepts".

However, there was a saying, "I cannot go to Japan" among believers.

Therefore, "No, you who are good can go to Japan by all means," the monk encouraged him, but he said that he can never go. There does not seem to be a financial reason.

The monk hears a reason, the believer said he had been born in the slums of a certain city. The place he was born and the name of parents is not clear. He does not have a family register like in Japan. Therefore, he cannot get a passport. Far from going to Japan, he cannot go outside of India either. This believer told it last.

“Therefore, I am going to meet the grand Gohonzon in my next life.”

Nichiren Daishonin foretells the world’s propagation at Sado Island of the exile place.

“The moon appears in the west and sheds its light eastward, and the sun rises in the east and casts its rays to the west. The same is true of Buddhism. It spread from west to east in the Proper and the Image days of the Law, but will go from east to west in the Latter Days of the Law.” On the Buddha’s Prophecy’.

The Buddhism that originated in India reached Japan. He asserts that the Daishonin’s Buddha Law originates in Japan and returns to India. Furthermore, Daishonin called oneself birth from the untouchable. This Indian believer is a person low in rank too.

Is it impossible for this believer to go to Japan? Is there no hope? No, it is not so. If mercy existed in the grand Gohonzon, he would surely be able to go to Japan. The possibility comes by all means sometime.

In the birthplace, India of the Buddha's Law, the Law of Shakyamuni Buddha has completely become outdated, but a sign of the spreading of Nichiren Daishonin's Law from Japan is seen again there. A line of the propagation that Daishonin began alone is certainly reaching the country of the moon, India. As well as disciples and the believers who entered to the stage in this novel, In India, there are believers who have a limitless affection to Nichiren Daishonin, and dream of encountering the grand Gohonzon. And they chant aloud Nam-myoho-renge-kyo like us and are vowing the strong faiths through their life. Not only this life but also even to the next. 


           End




Supplemental Biographies of Nichiren’s Disciples




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