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日蓮大聖人『御書』解説

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2023年 06月 30日

The Opening of the Eyes. Part 2 (4) 開目抄下 四

Original text

The Words and Phrases of the Lotus Sutra reads: “Question: The Nirvana Sutra clearly states that one should associate closely with the ruler, bearing bows and arrows and helping overthrow evil persons. And yet the Lotus Sutra says that one should stay away from persons in power and should behave with humility and loving kindness. There seems to be a major contradiction between the sternness of one approach and the gentleness of the other. Why should they differ so much?

“Answer: The Nirvana Sutra speaks mostly about the shakubuku approach. But it also mentions dwelling in the state where one looks on all living beings as one’s own children. Could it say so if it did not have the shōju approach? The Lotus Sutra is mainly concerned with the shōju approach. But in the ‘Dhāranī’ chapter there is also the curse on those who trouble the preachers of the Law that says they will have their heads split into seven pieces. Could it say so if it did not have the shakubuku approach? Both sutras employ one or the other of the two methods depending on the context. The method chosen should be that which accords with the time.”

The Annotations on the Nirvana Sutra states: “When monks or laymen are defending the Law, the most important thing is for them to adopt the proper basic mental attitude. They should disregard external details, stick to the principles, and in this way spread the teachings of the Nirvana Sutra. Therefore, it says that defenders of the correct teaching need not abide by petty regulations. And that is why it says they need not practice the rules of proper behavior. In past times the age was peaceful, and the Law spread throughout the country. At that time it was proper to observe the precepts and not to carry staves. But now the age is perilous, and the Law is overshadowed. Therefore, it is proper to have staves and to disregard the precepts. If both past and present were perilous times, then it would be proper to carry staves in both periods. And if both past and present were peaceful times, then it is proper to observe the precepts in both of them. Appropriately adopt or reject one or the other, do not adhere solely to one or the other!”

I suppose the learned priests of the time think it is only natural that one should have doubts about this. Therefore, no matter how I explain and try to persuade my own disciples, they still cannot seem to overcome their doubts, but behave like unbelievers. Therefore, I have quoted these passages of explanation from Tendai, Myoraku, and others in order to silence their ungrounded criticisms.

These two methods of shōju and shakubuku are like water and fire. Fire hates water, water detests fire. The practitioner of shōju laughs with scorn at shakubuku. The practitioner of shakubuku laments at the thought of shōju. When the country is full of evil people without wisdom, then shōju is the primary method to be applied, as described in the “Peaceful Practices” chapter. But at a time when there are many people of perverse views who slander the Law, then shakubuku must come first, as described in the “Fukyo” chapter. It is like using cold water to cool yourself in the hot weather, or longing for a fire when the weather turns cold. Grass and trees are kindred to the sun—they suffer in the cold moonlight. Water is a follower of the moon—it loses its nature when the hot weather comes.

In the Latter Day of the Law, both shōju and shakubuku are to be used. This is because there are two kinds of countries, the country that is evil, and the kind that seeks to destroy the Law. We must consider carefully to which category Japan at the present time belongs.

Question: If one applies the shakubuku method at a time when the shōju method would be appropriate, or shōju at a time when shakubuku would be appropriate, is there any merit to be gained?

Answer: The Nirvana Sutra says: “Bodhisattva Kāshyapa addressed the Buddha, saying, ‘The Dharma body of the Tathagata is as indestructible as a diamond. But I do not yet understand the means by which you acquired it. Would you tell me?’

“The Buddha replied: ‘Kāshyapa, it is because I was a defender of the correct teaching that I have been able to attain this diamond-like body. Kāshyapa, because in the past I devoted myself to the correct teaching, I have been able to achieve this diamond-like body that abides forever and is never destroyed. Good man, defenders of the correct teaching need not observe the five precepts or practice the rules of proper behavior. Rather they should carry knives and swords, bows and arrows . . .

“‘The monks whom you are speaking of preach various teachings, but still they are not able to utter “the lion’s roar.” . . . Nor are they able to refute and convert evil persons who go against the correct teaching. Monks of this kind can bring no benefit either to themselves or to the populace. You should realize that they are in fact shirkers and idlers. Though they are careful in observing the precepts and maintain spotless conduct, you should realize that they cannot achieve anything. Then a monk raises “the lion’s roar.” . . . Those who break the precepts, upon listening to his preaching, are all enraged to the point where they attack him. This preacher of the Law, though he may in the end lose his life, is still worthy of being called a person who observes the precepts and brings benefits to both himself and others.’”

In the passage from On the Nirvana Sutra quoted earlier, Chang-an says, “You should let your choices be fitting and never adhere solely to one or the other.” And Tendai, as we have seen, declared that “the method chosen should be that which accords with the time.” If it is not, you will be like someone who plants seeds at the end of autumn. Though you may carefully tend the field, you are not likely to harvest any rice or grain.

During the Kennin era (1201–1204), two men came to prominence, Hōnen and Dainichi, who spread the teachings of the Nembutsu and Zen schools, respectively. Hōnen denied the worth of the Lotus Sutra now that the world has entered the Latter Day of the Law, saying that “not a single person has ever attained Buddhahood” through that sutra, and that “not even one person in a thousand” can be saved by its teachings. Dainichi for his part claimed that the true teachings of Buddhism had been transmitted apart from the sutras. These two doctrines have now spread throughout the entire country. The learned priests of the Tendai and True Word schools fawn on the lay supporters of the Nembutsu and Zen schools the way a dog wags its tail before its master or fear them the way a mouse fears a cat. These men enter the service of the ruler and the military leader, where they preach in such a way as to bring about the destruction of the Buddhist Law and the ruin of the country. These Tendai and True Word leaders in their present existence will fall into the realm of hungry spirits and, after death, will find themselves in the Avīchi hell. Even if they retire to the mountain forests and engage intensely in the meditation on the three thousand realms in a single moment of mind, or retire to a quiet spot and concentrate on the three mysteries of body, mouth, and mind, if they do not understand the time or the people’s capacity and perceive which of the two methods, shōju or shakubuku, is appropriate, then they can never free themselves from the sufferings of birth and death.

Question: When you berate the followers of the Nembutsu and Zen schools and arouse their enmity, what benefit does that bring?

Answer; The Nirvana Sutra says: “If even a good monk sees someone destroying the teaching and disregards him, failing to reproach him, to oust him, or to punish him for his offense, then you should realize that that monk is betraying the Buddha’s teaching. But if he ousts the destroyer of the Law, reproaches him, or punishes him, then he is my disciple and a true voice-hearer.”

Chang-an comments on this as follows: “One who destroys or brings confusion to the Buddha’s teachings is betraying them. If one feigns and befriends but lacks the mercy to correct him, one is in fact his enemy. But one who blames and corrects him is a voice-hearer who defends the Buddha’s teachings, a true disciple of the Buddha. One who rids him of evil is acting as his parent. Those who reproach them are disciples of the Buddha. But those who do not oust him are betraying the Buddha’s teachings.”

When we see the ‘Treasure Tower’ chapter of the Lotus Sutra, we find there are Shakyamuni Buddha, Taho Buddha, and the ten directions' Buddhas. Why had they gathered? ‘Came here to let the Law continue for a long time’. When we guess three Buddha minds trying to propagate the Lotus Sutra and give to all the children of the Buddha of the future, we understand that their concern and compassion are even greater than those of a father and mother who see their one child inflicted with great suffering. Honen, however, shows not the least concern about their compassion, and he had tightly shut the gates of the Lotus Sutra so that no one the Latter-Days of the Law would have access to it. Like a person who tricks a crazy child into throwing away a treasure, he tries to let them discard the Lotus Sutra. How cruel this mind is! If someone is about to kill your father and mother, don't you try to inform your father and mother? If an unfilial son who got drunk is about to kill his father and mother, shouldn't you try to stop him? If a villain is about to set fire to the temples and pagodas, shouldn't you try to stop him? If your only child is gravely ill, shouldn't you try to cure a child with moxibustion? The people who leave Japanese Zen and Nembutsu followers as it is will be said as follows. "If one feigns and befriends but lacks the mercy to correct him, one is in fact his enemy.”

I, Nichiren, am ruler, teacher, and father and mother for the people of country Japan. But the men of the Tendai school who do not refute the wicked teachings are all great enemies of the people. As Chang-an has noted, “One who rids him of evil is acting as his parent.” One who has not conceived a desire for the way can never free oneself from the sufferings of birth and death.

Shakyamuni Buddha, the lord of teachings, was cursed by all the followers of non-Buddhist and labeled as a man of great evil. The Great Teacher Tendai was regarded with intense enmity by the three schools of the south and seven schools of the north, and Tokuitsu of Japan criticized him for using his three-inch tongue to try to destroy the five-foot body of the Buddha. The Great Teacher Dengyō was disparaged by the priests of Nara, who said, “Saichō has never been to the capital of T’ang China.” But all of these abuses were incurred because of the Lotus Sutra, and they are therefore no shame to the men who suffered them. To be praised by foolish—that is the greatest shame! Now that I, Nichiren, have incurred the wrath of the authorities, the priests of the Tendai and True Word schools are no doubt delighted. They are strange and shameless monks.

In the first place, Shakyamuni Buddha appeared in the Shaba world, Kumarajiva entered the Ch'in dynasty of China, and Dengyo went to China. Daiba and Shishi Bodhisattvas abandoned themselves for the Law. Bodhisattva Medicine King offered his elbow and burnt it for lighting the world, and Prince Syotoku stripped off the skin of his hand for copying the sutra. Shakyamuni, when he was a Bodhisattva, offered his flesh to save the hawk which starved, and another time, when he was Gyobo Bodhisattva, he used his own bone as a brush to write down the Buddha's teachings. Tendai has said that “Missionary chosen is only according to the conditions of that time.” The Buddha's Law depends on the conditions of each time. Nichiren's exile is a minor affliction in this life and is not to be lamented. I am very pleased because I will receive a great deal of enjoyment in my next life!



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by johsei1129 | 2023-06-30 11:32 | WRITING OF NICHIREN | Trackback | Comments(0)


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