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2022年 05月 21日

102. The Evil Doctrine of the Five Elder Priests

After Nichiren's death, Sanenaga was guilty of slander one after another, as if a hoop had been lifted off his head. Sanenaga took Nichiren's Dharma principles lightly.

“He then made an offering at the pagoda of the Fukushi in Nanbu Township. This was an abominable act. In all these twenty-odd years, he had not even seen a single monk of the evil sect, but his faith had weakened in this way.”

The pagoda of Fukushi refers to the Nembutsu stone pagoda built at Fukushi in Hakiri territory. It does not exist today. From the Nara to Kamakura periods, ascetic practices by ascetics who climbed Mt. Fuji to attain Dharma joy developed, dojos were built in the mountains and at the foot of the mountain, and stone pagodas were constructed to commemorate the ascetic practices. Sanenaga supported this. This was a memorial service for the slanderous.

For the past 20 years, no evil priests have entered Mt. Now that had been broken. Sanenaga had clearly marked his name on the votive offering ledger. Sanenaga would have been proud of this, but in Nikko's eyes, it was only a misunderstanding of his teacher Nichiren's teachings.

Nikko said, "I am not a teacher. The reason for this slander was the corruption of one of the Five Elderly Priests, Minbu Nikou.

“For this reason, I have been watching him closely for the past couple of years, thinking that Minbu Nikou was a greedy, arrogant monk who would never think of establishing the Dharma of the saints and who would be very destructive. I occasionally pointed out to him that he was perverting the doctrine and that there was no basis for his argument, but he would not listen to me. He also prayed at this year's Tendai great teacher gathering, "May the heavens be long life and the earth long time, and may your wishes be fulfilled. May the wishes of the ministers of the left and right, and of all the civil and military officials, be fulfilled. I had repeatedly told him that this prayer should not be offered now, but he broke my advice, saying, ‘Why should I not be grateful for the favor of my country?’ For this reason, Nikko decided not to allow him to lecture this year.”

Nikko often gave admonitions, but Minbu Nikou would not listen to him. The prayers of Minbu Nikou are the same as praying for world peace without exterminating evil. If one wants to do something for the good of the country, the only way is to shakubuku (admonish) people as if one is going to break their heads.

Nikko also hesitated to simply dispose of Minbu Nikou, who had worked hard together with him to propagate Buddhism. He might wake up someday. It was the same as Shakyamuni's words to Devadatta and Nichiren's admonition to Sanmi-bo. Unfortunately, they both retreated and received the rewards.

Finally, Sanenaga, the land steward, committed an error by making a statue of Shakyamuni Buddha.

“I told him strongly, 'You must enshrine the Gohonzon, which was written by the saint in letters. Why are you trying to destroy in front of your eyes the wooden statue of Shakyamuni Buddha that represents the true meaning of the saint's ascension, Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo?’”

Nikko rebuked him. He said that to enshrine the Gohonzon, a mandala with the characters of the Three Great Secret Laws, which is the true purpose of his master, and to chant the title "Nam-myoho-renge-kyo" is to carry on Nichiren's legacy.

The "wooden statue of Sakyamuni" refers to the Gohonzon. Nevertheless, Sanenaga attempted to reproduce the statue of Buddha that had been taken away by Nichirō. Nikko reminded him that there was no other object of religious devotion than the Gohonzon of Nichiren, but Sanenaga would not listen to him.

 Thus began the destruction of orthodox Buddhism after the death of Nichiren.

There is an anecdote similar to this one about a disciple of Shakyamuni Buddha.

It was 40 years after the Buddha's death.

Ananda, one of the Ten Great Disciples, had already reached old age.

He entered a bamboo grove.

There he saw a monk. This monk was reciting a Dharma phrase.

“If a person does not understand water accumulating and evaporates until he is a hundred years old, it is inferior to understanding it within a day of his birth.”

It means that if you do not see water accumulate and evaporate, it is not worth living. This monk had repeatedly recited this boring Dharma phrase.

Ananda blamed him.

“This is not the Buddha's teaching. Thou shalt not practice.”

The monk questioned him.

“Then how did the Buddha teach?”

Ananda replied.

 “’If a person does not understand the Law of birth and death when he is a hundred years old, he is inferior to a person who understands it within a day of his birth.’ This is the Buddha's teaching. It is this that you have misinterpreted in your recitation of the Buddha's teachings.”

The monk told this to his master.

The master replied.

“What I taught you is the true Buddha's teaching. What Ananda taught was not the Buddha's teaching. Anand is old and his words are full of errors. Do not believe him.”

This monk abandoned Ananda's teaching and recited the original false Dharma phrase.

When Ananda returned to the bamboo grove, he was astonished to hear this.

“This is not what I had taught.”

Again and again, Ananda repeatedly told the monk, but the monk did not believe him. Ananda, thinking of the late Shakyamuni Buddha, lamented. This was only 40 years after the Buddha's death.

Nichiren once described how difficult it is to transmit the Law without error. It is as if he were predicting the current devastation of Minobu-san. In addition, as if to console Nikko, who was suffering from this plight.

“If errors such as this had already appeared a mere forty years after the Buddha’s passing, how much worse must things be now that over two thousand years have gone by!

The Buddha’s teaching was transmitted from India to China, and then from China to Japan.

It would be a one-in-a-million state of affairs that the scholars, masters and teachers of the Daizang Sutra, who conveyed this doctrine to the public, did so without error. And how much worse is the situation now when scholars of Buddhism put biased views above all else, are swayed by arrogance, contend with one another like fire against water, and never reach a conclusion. Even when a scholar appears who happens to relay the teachings as the Buddha proclaimed them, no one will believe or heed him. Hence hardly one person in ten thousand can avoid committing slander against the Law.” ‘On Discerning Cause and Effect in the Ten Worlds.’

The one who upholds the true Law is said to be one among ten thousand. He was reminded of his teacher's teachings. Even though he had warned him, Sanenaga would not listen to him. He was no longer a person who could live together within one place.

Nikko remembered his master's last words.

"'If the land steward does not follow the Dharma, I will not live here either.' I have taken this to be the will of the saint." 'Letter to Mimasaka-bo.' 

When Nikko once heard these words from Nichiren, he had no idea that Sanenaga would commit an error. Sanenaga had converted to Nikko. Nikko was confident in his ability to guide him. Sanenaga was also obedient to Nichiren. However, after his saint's death, he rebelled against Nichiren as if he had changed his mind.

However, what angered Nikko more than anything else was the fact that Minbu Nikou, one of the six senior priests, had approved of the slanderous deeds of Hakiri. Nikko and Minbu Nikou had stood in the line of fire at the time of the Atsuhara crisis. He was also a popular figure within the Order. Even Nikko was pleased to have him in an important position when he returned to Minobu after a long absence. Sanenaga used Minbu Nikou as a shield against him.

Minbu Nikou did not understand the Dharma of Nichiren. He believed that if one chanted a title, all would be forgiven. The principal object of worship could be a wooden Buddha. Pilgrimage to shrines was also free. It would be permissible to chant the Buddhist prayer, to enchant the mantra, to sit in zazen meditation, and to adhere to the precept. 

Minbu Nikou taught Hakiri. If one follows the excellent Law, all is forgiven, and there is no right or wrong. This gives us an idea of the level of understanding he has of the Buddha Law.

On the other hand, his teacher Nichiren told Nikko to strictly separate right from wrong.

“In the case of the standing waves, the blowing winds, and all things, the true manifestation of the true nature should be divided and victory or defeat should be determined.” ‘One Hundred and Six Articles’

Minbu Nokou did not pursue Nichiren's teaching of dividing the sutras into the true manifestation of the sutra and the ultimate victory or defeat of the sutra. Among Nichiren's disciples, who numbered perhaps as many as one hundred, even the disciples designated as the six senior priests were in such a state. The five senior priests, with the exception of Nikko, saw Nichiren merely as a practitioner of the Lotus Sutra. They had no idea that Nichiren was the fundamental Buddha of the Latter Day of the Law.

Nikko wrote about this situation with great indignation.

“Overall, this is for three reasons. The first is that the true meaning of the Ankoku theory was broken, in the second, a wooden statue of Shakyamuni Buddha [Gohonzon] of the infinite past was torn down in front our eyes, and the third was the first time that offerings were made to the slanderous sects. This is not the fault of the Lord Hakiri, but solely the fault of the arrogant monks. Therefore, I have told lord Hakiri, and from now on, he must believe as the saint has believed for 20 years in his presence, the Ankoku-ron. I also requested that he wrote a letter of conversion and presented it before the presence of the saint's image. But he did not trust me and probably thought I had slighted him. He said to me that he had Minbu Ajari Nikou as his teacher. In this way, his faith in the Lotus Sutra has been reversed.”

# by johsei1129 | 2022-05-21 11:36 | LIFE OF NICHIREN | Trackback | Comments(0)
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)
2022年 05月 21日

100. Death means indestructible.


Ceremony celebrating the immortality of Nichiren Daishonin at Fuji Taiseki-ji Temple.

On the 13th day of the 13th month of the 5th year of Kouan (1282), Nichiren closed his eyes.

He had lived 61 years.

It was around 8:00 a.m. People had already started working in the world.

Hoki-bo Nikko, who wrote a detailed account of the funeral, recorded that the earth shook at that time in his "Record of the Transition of the Sovereign Grand Master.” The earthquake also hit Kamakura. People learned that Nichiren had passed away.

At around 8:00 p.m. on the following day, the inui (dog time) of the 14th, Nichiren's body was placed in the coffin by his oldest disciple, Nissho, and his nephew, Nichiro.

The funeral service began at around midnight.

The torchlight was the first light of the procession, and the disciples led the way.

Shijo Kingo and Ikegami Munenaka held up flags on both sides.

Toki Jonin was in charge of the incense.

Nanjo Tokimitsu performed the sange, or scattering of flower petals.

The sword was played by Munenaga Ikegami.

Nichiren's coffin was carried on the shoulders of 18 white-robed disciples.

The front group was led by Nichiro, and the back group by Nissho, the eldest monk of the disciples, with Nikko, Nichizi, Nichimoku and other the bearers. At the end of the line were boys, Kameo and Takio, who pulled Nichiren's beloved horse.

Thus, after a solemn funeral service, Nichiren was cremated.

The "Record of the Transition of the Sovereign Grand Master," which contains the signatures of four elderly priests (Nissho, Nichiro, Nikko, and Nichizi) who confirmed its contents, was approved by Nikko. This is now designated as a National Important Cultural Property. The full text is as follows (*Character Nichi was added by me)

“1. Exiled to Izu Province in the first year of the Kouchou era (1261, 40 years old)

Received into the custody of Ito Hachiro-zaemon. The persecution because he made a volume of ‘Rissho Ankoku Ron’ and dedicated it to Saimyoji Nyudo. (*Hojo Tokiyori's legal name)

He was pardoned on February 22, 1263.

2. Exiled to Sado Island on the twelfth day of the ninth month of the eighth year of the Bun'ei Era (1271).

He was entrusted to the former governor of Musashi. This is based on a complaint by Ryoukan, the elder of Gokurakuji Temple. The complaint is in the Appendix.

Pardoned on the 14th day of February of the 11th year (1274).

On May 16 of the same year, he retired to Mount Minobu in Hakiri District, Kai Province. Rokuro Nambu Nyudo, the land of the steward.

3. Entered Ikegami, Musashi Province on September 18, 5th year of Kouan (1282). The land steward is Ikegami Munenaka

On October 18 of the same year, six disciples were appointed and placed in charge. This letter is to be received by each of the six. This document was written by Nikko.

Decision items

I. Six disciples, listed in no particular order

Nichizi, Renge Ajari.

Nicchou, lord Iyo.

-----(signatures of four elderly monks)---------(Nissho, Nichiro, Nikko, and Nichizi)

Nikou, lord Sado.

Nikko, Byakuren Ajari.

Nichiro, Daikoku Ajari.

Nissho, Ben Ajari.

These six are the main disciples. Therefore, the above paragraphs have been decided for the future.

Fifth year of Kouan.

He died on the 13th of the same month at the setting of the dragon (around 8 a.m.). The earth trembled immediately.

On the 14th day of the same month, at the time of the dog (around 8 a.m.), Nichiro was in charge of the coffin of the saint.

Nissho conducted the funeral service in the time of Rat (around 12:00 p.m.).

The funeral procession.

First fire: Jiro Saburo, resident of Kamakura,

Next, a big treasure flower. Shirojiro. Fuji, Suruga Province, Ueno Resident

Flag Left: Lieutenant Shijo Kingo.

Right: Munenaka Ikegami

Next, bell, Ota Jomyo.

Next, Scattering flowerage, Nanjo Tokimitsu.

Next, sutra, Daigaku Ryo.

-----(Signatures of four elderly priests)---------

Next, writing desk, Tomita Shirotaro

Next, Buddha statue, Daigaku Saburo

Next, footwear, Gennai Saburo, servant of this place.

Next, Carried a coffin.

Lord Chamberlain (Nichijo)

Lord Jibe (Nichii)


Lord Shimotsuke

Renge Ajari (Nichizi)

Front line. Daikoku Ajari (Nichiro)

Lord Dewa

Lord Izumi (Nippo)


Lord Tajima (Nichiai)

Lord Kyo (Nichimoku)

Lord Shinano

      Lord Iga


      Lord Settsu (Nissen)

      Byakuren Ajari (Nikko)

Reserve troops Ben Ajari Nissho

Lord Tamba

Lord Tayuu (Nichiyuu)


Lord Chikuzen

Lord Sotsu (Oota Nikkou)

Next, the canopy. Ota Saburo-zaemon Jomyo.

Next, the sword. Munenaga Ikegami.

Next, the stomach band. Shiichi Shiro

Next, horse, Boy Kameo

Boy Takio

-----(Signatures of four elderly priests)---------

I. Buddhist teaching in his possession

The will says

A standing image of Buddha should be placed beside the gravesite.

There is the scroll called the Most Important Commentary the Lotus Sutra. It should be kept in the temple at the gravesite, and six people should look at it when they are in charge of incense and flowers. You should be kept in the temple where he is buried. I will not restrict your viewing of my other writings.

Therefore, the above is as per the saint’s last will and testament. 

Written on October 16, 16th, 5th year of the Koan era, by Nikko, with his signature.”

Nichiren says he is immortal.

 “Our entities or bodies that would die are phantom castles. If we take this death as a death or extinction, our bodies are a phantom castle. But if we have the wisdom to see that this death is not a real death or extinction but only an aspect of eternal life, then it is a place of treasure, a treasure land. If we have the wisdom that we see this death is in indestructibility, a place of treasure is there. This is what the “LifeSpan” chapter means when it says,“Moreover, I still have not gone extinct.” To death the concept of death is the true death.

 Now, when Nichiren and his followers chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, they are revealing that the phantom city is none other than the land of the treasure. All of the mountains and valleys and plains where we live are the land of eternally tranquil light.” ‘Orally transmitted Teachings. Seven important points in the chapter of The Parable of the Phantom Castle.’

Furthermore, he asserts in the Life Span Chapter that "Tathagata truly understands that there is no birth or death in the three realms.”

 “In this article, he says that the Buddha ‘knows in truth" that the three bodies are all the Dharma bodies with flexibility. How can there be ‘life and death’ if the three bodies are all enlightenment?” ‘The important points of each single sentence in 28 chapters.’

Then, a strange thing happened here in Ikegami, Musashi Province.

While the trees were dying, the cherry trees were in full bloom. In honor of this event, it became customary for the disciples of Nichiren to decorate their temples with artificial cherry blossoms on the anniversary of his death.

Thus, those who call themselves Nichiren's disciples have been cherishing the 13th day of the 10th month. The believers congratulate each other on the anniversary of the death of Nichiren and say, "Congratulations! This is a proof of Nichiren's immortality.

The 26th Nichikan of Taiseki-ji Temple, who was born 400 years after Nichiren's death, wrote a letter of unlimited gratitude to Nichiren Daishonin, the founder of the sect, who endured great hardships and passed on his Gohonzon.

“Thus, there were difficulties, such as being slandered and maligned by those with false teachings and false doctrines, or being hit with sticks of wood and having roof tiles and stones thrown at them. In addition, he was exiled on both occasions and suffered wounds, and at Tatsunokuchi even sat on the spot where he was about to be beheaded. However, because he was entrusted by the Buddha, and because of his great compassion and mercy for all of us in the last days and age, he overcame these great hardships and propagated the Mysterious Law of fundamental Life Span. As a result, we are now able to easily recite it and attain  Buddhahood in this life, thanks solely to the grace of the Sovereign.” ‘Lecture the Life Span Chapter. Collection of points of study of the Fuji sect Vol. 10.’

Here I must mention an anecdote by one of the believers, Magojiro Akiyama Yasutada.

Akiyama was a samurai in Nakano, Nakakomak district, Kai Province. While in Kai, he and his father, who was a man of strong faith, were given the Gohonzon which was copied by Hoki-bo Nikko.

Later, he was posted by Sanuki in Shikoku, where he promoted the people of Takase in Sanuki to convert, and became the builder of Sanuki Honmonji Temple in what is now Kagawa Prefecture.

Hoki-bo Nikko was deeply moved by the prosperity of the Lotus Sutra school in Sanuki and praised Akiyama Yasutada, saying that he should be the "leader of 33 the provinces to the west" and or the "master of 31 provinces of the west" and entrusted him with the spread of the Lotus Sutra school in Sanuki. This shows how much he expected of Yasutada.

Yasutada's descendants followed his instructions to the letter, and by the Edo period (1603-1867), there were more than 2,000 supporters in the area.

In his later years, Yasutada left the following will to his descendants. It was during the Ashikaga period, in the 92nd year after Nichiren's death.

In this will, Yasutada wrote about the anniversary of the death of Nichiren, whom he adored infinitely.

“I. The sacred events of October 13 must be respected by sons, daughters, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren of Yasutada, who run the estate. Because of the rule that no one may disobey this hall by building another hall even in the slightest, and because even if there is resentment among brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles, cousins and cousins, on the 13th, we must unite our hearts in one place until the 15th, just as Yasutada revered and believed in the Daishonin, who is the most precious Buddha, and we must all be united in our faith and reverence. Dancers and music must be provided, and guests must be treated with hospitality appropriate to their status. No matter what regrets we may have in our hearts, we must celebrate October 13th with the intention of never abandoning our original intentions.

I. Any child who disobeys this will and commits a wrongdoing will not only incur the punishment of the Buddha Daishonin, the ten daughter demons, and the Great Bodhisattva Hachiman, but will also be extremely unfilial for Yasutada. Even if the territory you give them is small, they must not be allowed to manage it.” ‘Collection of points of study of the Fuji sect Yol. 8.’

Yasutada wills his descendants to protect the temple and not to disturb the Dharma by building other temples even in the slightest. The Dashonin is Nichiren, and he requests that all the members of the community gather in one place for three days from October 13, the anniversary of his death, to perform Buddhist rites and extend their hospitality to others. No matter what kind of grudges may exist among relatives, they are told to unite their hearts for these three days.

Dancers and music are what we now call entertainers. He asked them to celebrate the anniversary of his death by even inviting entertainers.

Yasutada made it clear that if anyone disobeyed this will, he would be punished not only by Nichiren Daishonin but also by the Great Bodhisattva of Hachiman and the Ten Daughters demon, and that Yasutada would not give them a single territory because they were persons of disobedience to their filial duty.

On October 21, after the Buddhist memorial service on the seventh day was completed without delay at the Ikegami Munenaka's residence, a group of Nichiren's surviving disciples departed from the Ikegami Munenaka's residence, led by Nikko, who had Nichiren's remains hanging around his neck. At Minobu, the head of the land steward, Hakiri Sanenaga, was waiting for them.

In the midst of this sadness, however, five members of the group, including Minbu Nikou, began to smile in triumphant looks.

“What are you all grieving about? Let us smile as our teacher has commanded.”

“Yes, that's right. We are free.”

At this point, Hoki-bo Nikko stopped and reprimanded the five men.

“What are you saying? Have you no shame when addressing the remains of a saint?

‘As long as the worldwide propagation does not yet be achieved, you must spread the Buddha's law, according to your ability, without sparing your life and body.’

Have you already forgotten the words of the saint? Those who wish to leave, leave here. I will not stop you.”

Hokibo Nikko's dignity seemed to overlap with that of his teacher Nichiren.

The whole group was intimidated by Hoki-bo's spirit and became silent.

After a moment of silence, the group moved forward again.

Fuji, covered with white snow up to the seventh station, was approaching.

Hokibo looked up at the great Fuji as if remembering the days of Nichiren.

On October 25, the group finally returned to the residence of Minobu.

# by johsei1129 | 2022-05-21 11:33 | LIFE OF NICHIREN | Trackback | Comments(0)
2022年 05月 21日

99. A Guide who Knows Hades.


‘Reply to the nun Kou.’ Autograph: In the collection of Myosen-ji Temple, Sado.

Nichiren always declared that the day of the Buddha's pickup would definitely come to those who had strong faith. He also said that he would definitely appear at the deathbed of those who had faith in him. Nichiren said that he would be present at the time of death. It was as if he was the lord of the underworld.

He repeatedly explained this in his letters to his disciples.

In the next life I will use this sword as my staff. The Lotus Sutra is the cane that helps all the Buddhas of the three existences as they set their minds on enlightenment. Please rely on Nichiren like a cane and pillar. When one uses a staff, one will not fall on treacherous mountain paths or rough roads, and especially when led by the hand, one will never stumble. Nam-myoho-renge-kyo will be your cane to take you safely over the mountains of death. The Buddhas Shakyamuni and Taho, as well as the four Bodhisattvas headed by Jogyo, will lead you by the hand on your journey. If I, Nichiren, go ahead of you, I will come to meet you. If you go earlier than me, I will be sure to report King Enma in detail about you. These are never falsehoods at all. According to the Lotus Sutra, Nichiren is the guide who knows the passes and gorges along the way. You must devote yourself single-mindedly to faith with the aim of reaching Spirit Eagle Mountain.” ‘Reply to Hojo Yagenta’

“If you find that you miss me, always look at the sun rising in the morning and the moon rising at night. At any time, I will be reflected in the sun and the moon. And in our next life, let us come across the Pure Land of Spirit Eagle Mountain. Nam-myoho-renge-kyo.” ‘Reply to nun Kou.

If at that time you should lose your life, you must bear no resentment toward the Lotus Sutra. When you are brought before King Yama in his palace, what should you say? At that time, though you may feel foolish in doing so, you should declare that you are a lay supporter of Nichiren.” ‘Writing to Ichinosawa Nyudo’

“No matter what may happen on the road between this life and the next, he should declare himself to be a disciple of Nichiren. Although Japan is a tiny country, if one announces that one is a vassal of the lord of Sagami, people will unaccountably fear one. I am the most unreasonable priest in Japan, but with regard to believing in the Lotus Sutra, I am the foremost sage in the whole world. My name resounds throughout the pure lands of the ten directions, and heaven and earth no doubt know it. If your husband claims to be a disciple of Nichiren, you can be sure that no evil demon will say that he does not know my name.” ‘Reply to the nun Myoshin.’

“Though we live in impure land, our hearts reside in Spirit Eagle Mountain. Merely seeing each other’s face would in itself be insignificant. It is the heart that is important. Someday let us meet at Spirit Eagle Mountain, where Shakyamuni Buddha dwells. Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, Nam-myoho-renge-kyo.” ‘Reply to the nun Sennichi.’

“I do not know how long I or anyone else may live. But at the time of your last, I will go there and welcome you between this life and the next without fail. All Buddhas, past, present and future, attain enlightenment at a very moment of the tiger's hour and the calf's hour [A.M 3:00 to A.M 5:00]is over.” ‘The Experience of the “Encourage Devotion” Chapter’

“Thus, these large vehicles drawn by white oxen are able to fly at will through the sky of the enlightenment. Those persons who come after me will ride in these vehicles and journey to Spirit Eagle Mountain. And I, Nichiren, riding in the same vehicle, will be going out to pick you up. Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, Nam-myoho-renge-kyo.”The Large Vehicle of White Oxen

“Point Seven, in the passage “Now you must press forward diligently, so that together you may all reach the place where the treasure is.”

The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings says: The word “all” refers to the Ten Worlds. The word “together” refers to the words of the Buddha in chapter two, Expedient Means “hoping to make all persons equal to me, without any distinction between us.” The word “reach” means to arrive at the level of the highest result, the state of Buddhahood. “The place where the treasure is,” the treasure land, is the Spirit Eagle Mountain.

Nichiren and his followers, those who chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, one and all will “together reach the place where the treasure is.” This one word “together” means that, as long as they are together with Nichiren, they will reach the treasure land. But if they are not together with him, they will fall into the great citadel of the Avīchi hell.” ‘Chapter Seven: The Parable of the Phantom Castle. Seven important points.’

The disciples were inspired to read these letters. In life, we follow Nichiren; in death, we see Nichiren. It is only with this certainty of death that the present life is fulfilled.

The twenty-eighth chapter of the Lotus Sutra, "Bodhisattva Fugen," explains as follows.

“If there are persons who accept, uphold, read, and recite the sutra and understand its principles, when the lives of these persons come to an end, they will be received into the hands of a thousand buddhas, who will free them from all fear and keep them from falling into the evil paths of existence. Immediately they will proceed to the Tusita heaven, to the place of Bodhisattva Maitreya. Bodhisattva Maitreya possesses thirty-two features and is surrounded by a multitude of great bodhisattvas. He has hundreds, thousands, ten thousands, millions of heavenly women attendants, and these persons will be reborn in their midst. Such will be the benefits and advantages they will enjoy.”

For those who believe in the Lotus Sutra, a thousand Buddhas will come to greet them at the time of their death and extend their hands. They will not be afraid and will not let them fall into evil ways. They are not the hands of one or two Buddhas, but the hands of a thousand Buddhas who will scoop them up. The strong believers of that time firmly believed that Nichiren would lead these thousand Buddhas to his deathbed.

On the other hand, those who disbelieved and slandered teachings of Buddhism, a prison guard would come for them.

“If this person should slander a sutra such as this, or on seeing those who read, recite, copy, and uphold this sutra, should despise, hate, envy, or bear grudges against them, the penalty this person must pay—listen, I will tell you now: When his life comes to an end he will enter the Avichi hell, be confined there for a whole kalpa, and when the kalpa ends, be born there again. He will keep repeating this cycle for a countless number of kalpas. Though he may emerge from hell, he will fall into the realm of beasts.”Chapter 3. Simile and Parable.”

Those who disbelieve in the Lotus are said to be captured and sent to hell. What harshness!

# by johsei1129 | 2022-05-21 11:31 | LIFE OF NICHIREN | Trackback | Comments(0)
2022年 05月 21日

98. Nichiren grants the propagated Law of his lifetime to Byakuren high priest Nikko.


  From Nichiren Daishonin's Diary of One Generation

 Shortly after entering Munenaka's residence, Nichiren became critically ill.

 Hearing the news, his disciples and followers gathered at the Ikegami residence one after another.

 Kingo Shijo came from Kamakura, Jonin Toki from Shimousa, and Tokimitsu Nanjo from Suruga. Many disciples and believers from Nichiren's hometown of Awa also gathered.

Hearing this, Nichiren roused himself. Although he was in a weakened state, he stood up and delivered a lecture on Rissho Ankoku-ron at the Ikegami family's Buddha hall. This was on September 25.

It is said that Nichiren's propagation began with Rissho Ankoku-ron and ended with Rissho Ankoku-ron. The time has come for him to fulfill this end.

 Nichiren left behind a number of important texts on the Buddhist teachings, including "Object of Worship," which explains the doctrine of Gohonzon, and "Opening of the Eyes”, which explains the fundamental Buddha. The last of preach, "Rissho Ankoku Ron," was Nichiren's last will and testament, which he gave to all his disciples and followers, saying, "While the spread of the Lotus Sutra has yet to be spread, that is, until the sovereign of the country takes refuge in the Lotus Sutra, you should continue to admonish.”

“There can be no doubt that all people, from the ruler on down to the general populace, rejoice in and desire the stability of the nation and the peace of the world.

 If we can quickly put an end to the alms that are given to these apostates and insure that continuing support is instead given to the host of true priests and nuns, if we can still these “white waves” that trouble the ocean of the Buddha and cut down these “green forests” that overgrow the mountain of the Law, then the world may become as peaceful as it was in the golden ages of Fu Hsi and Shen Nung, and the nation may flourish as it did under the sage rulers Yao and Shun.

 After that, there will be time to dip into the waters of the Law and to decide which are shallow doctrines and which are deep, and to pay honor to the pillars and beams that support the house of the Buddha.

The host stated with joy: Before my very eyes, the pigeon has transformed into a hawk, the sparrow into a clam. I am delighted to see that you have corrected your views by conversing with a friend of virtue in the orchid room, just as the winding mugwort grows straight in a hemp field. If you seriously reflect on the recent disasters and wholeheartedly trust my words, then the land will soon prosper, just as the ocean calms when the wind subsides.

 However, human hearts change with the passage of time, and human nature is affected by its surroundings. This is just like the reflection of the moon on the water rippling with the waves, or soldiers in the face of battle quailing at the sight of the swords of their enemy. You believe in my words at this moment; however, later you will surely forget them. If you desire a secure land, and wish to pray for peace in your present and future existence, you should waste no time, ponder on the correct path, and immediately eliminate slanders.

Why is this so?

Because of the seven types of disasters described in the Medicine Master Sutra, five have already occurred. Only two have yet to appear, the calamity of invasion from foreign lands and the calamity of revolt within one’s own domain.

And of the three calamities mentioned in the Great Assembly Sutra, two have already made their appearance. Only one remains, the disaster of warfare.

The various disasters described in the Sutra of the Golden Light have each occurred in succession. The disaster of invasion and marauding by foreign forces, however, has not occurred thus far; it has yet to be seen.

And of the seven disasters listed in the Benevolent Kings Sutra, six are now upon us in full force. Only one has not yet appeared, the calamity that occurs “when enemies rise up on all four sides and invade the nation.”

Moreover, as the Benevolent Kings Sutra says: “When a nation becomes disordered, it is the demon gods that first show signs of rampancy. Because the demon gods become rampant, all the people of the nation become disordered.” If we contemplate the current reality in light of these sutras, we can see that a hundred demon gods have been running wild, and a great many lives have been lost. It is clear that the disasters depicted in these sutras have already taken place. How can we doubt the occurrence of the remaining disasters? What will you do if these disasters occur simultaneously and relentlessly as a result of the people taking faith in erroneous teachings?

Emperors and kings have their foundation in the state and bring peace and order to the age; ministers and commoners hold possession of their fields and gardens and supply the needs of the world. But if marauders come from other regions to invade the nation, or if rebellion breaks out within the domain, people's farms are plundered, will they not be shocked? Will they not panic? If the nation is lost and homes are destroyed, where can you run away to? If you care anything about your personal security, you should first of all pray for order and tranquility throughout the every direction of the land, should you not?

Above all, when people are in this world they all fear what their lot may be in the life to come. In fear of this, people unknowingly take faith in erroneous teachings or venerate slanderous religions. Their inability to differentiate right from wrong is disgraceful. How pitiful is it that they believe they are dedicating themselves to correct Buddhism? With the power of faith that is in their hearts, why must they recklessly give credence to distorted doctrines?

If they do not shake off these delusions that they cling to but continue to harbor erroneous views, then they will quickly leave this world of the living and surely fall into the hell of incessant suffering.

Why do I say that? The Sutra of Great Assembly states: “If a king practiced almsgiving, observing the precepts, and obtaining wisdom for innumerable existences in the past, but in his current existence finds that the Law is in danger of being destroyed yet does nothing to protect it, then the boundless good fortune he had accumulated will vanish completely….. Soon the king will become morally ill and, upon his death, he will be confined to a deep hell. The king’s consorts, the crown prince, high ministers, barons, generals, local administrators, and officials will all receive the same retribution.

The Benevolent Kings Sutra states: “If persons destroy the teachings of the Buddha, they will have no filial sons, no harmony with their six kinds of relatives, and no aid from the heavenly deities and dragons. He will fall victim to epidemics and attacks by demons day by day, be hounded by bizarre disasters after another, and constantly be tormented by misfortune. After death, he will fall into the worlds of hell, hunger, and animality. Even if they should be reborn as human beings, they will be destined to become soldiers or slaves. Retribution will follow as an echo follows a sound, or as shadow follows a form. Someone writing at night may put out the lamp, but the words he has written will still remain. It is the same with the result of the deeds we perform in the threefold world.”

The second volume of the Lotus Sutra says, “If a person fails to have faith but instead slanders this sutra... When his life comes to an end he will enter the Avīchi hell.”

And a passage from the Bodhisattva Fukyo chapter in the seventh volume states, “For one thousand kalpas, he will undergo tremendous sufferings in avichi hell.”

The Nirvana Sutra teaches, “If one become estranged from his good friends, refuses to listen to the true Law, and adheres to evil doctrines, he will inevitably sink into avichi hell, where his body will expand and stretch eighty-four thousand yojanas.”

When we examine this wide variety of sutras, we find that they all stress how grave a matter it is to slander the correct teaching. How pitiful that people should all go out of the gate of the correct teaching and enter so deep into the prison of these distorted doctrines! How stupid that they should fall one after another into the snares of these evil doctrines and remain for so long entangled in this net of slanderous teachings! In this lifetime, the people’s ability to see the correct Law is obscured by a dense fog, and in future existences they will be engulfed by the roaring flames of hell. How can we not grieve? How can we not agonize?

You must quickly reform the tenets that you hold in your heart and embrace the one true vehicle, the single good doctrine of the Lotus Sutra. If you do so, then the threefold world will become the Buddha land. How could a Buddha land ever decline? All the lands in the ten directions will transform into treasure realms. How could a treasure realm ever fall to ruin?  If the nation never declines and the land is indestructible, you will find safety and peace of mind. These are the very words that you must believe and revere.

The guest said: Since it concerns both this life and the lives to come, who could fail to be cautious in a matter such as this? Who could fail to agree with you? Now that you have explained in detail the words of the Buddha based on the passages you have cited from the sutras, I have come to understand that slandering the true Buddhism is extremely serious and the offense of violating it is indeed grave.

I had put all my faith in one Buddha alone, Amida, and had rejected all the other Buddhas. I have honored the three Pure Land sutras and set aside the other sutras. But this was not due to any distorted ideas of my own conception. I was simply obeying the words of the founders of the past. And the same is true of all the people in the ten directions. But now I realize that to do so means to exhaust oneself in futile efforts in this life and to fall into the Avīchi hell in the life to come. The texts you have cited are perfectly clear on this point, and their arguments are detailed—they leave no room for doubt.

From now on, I will faithfully uphold your compassionate admonition so that I may clear my foolish and deluded mind. I will immediately eliminate all slanderous teachings and make every effort toward realizing peace throughout the land. These efforts will also secure my own peace of mind in this lifetime and will enable me to attain supreme happiness in future existences. I do not only believe, but I would admonish others for their errors.”  

Some of the young disciples were crying.

Nichiren looked around at them and compassionately told them.

“What is the matter? If you keep crying, you will not be able to listen to my teachings.”

However, the disciples, who were about to lose their teacher, could not stop their grief.

Silence reigned at the Ikegami residence.

 It was now October 8.

Nichiren was lying in another room.

Six monks, including Hokibo Nikko, sat there in a mysterious manner. 

On his deathbed, Nichiren spoke.

“On the occasion of my death, I have chosen six of my disciples to be my successors.

Nissho Ben-Ajari (62 years old)

Nichiro Daikoku Ajari (38)

Nikko Byakuren Ajari (37)

Nikou, Sado Ajari (39)

Nicchou Iyo AJari (31)

Nichizi Renge Ajari (33)

These are the six. All of you will be called the Six Venerable Monks.”

Nichiren appointed the six disciples in the order of their initiation. He also declared that there was no pecking order in the order in which he read them out, i.e., that they were in no particular order. The oldest of the six was Nissho, who was sixty-two years old, and the other five were all in their thirties.

In addition, Nichiren said.

"A notice has already been made that six individuals were selected as the major disciples. However, the essence of the Lotus Sutra is directly transmitted only to a single person.

What is the reason? When Buddha was alive and after Buddha passed away, though these are different, the ceremony of the commission is the same. For example, though there were the direct disciples like the four major Bodhisattvas and the sixty thousand disciples, Buddha decided Jogyo Bodhisattva as the great leader entrusted with the Law of fundamentals. It is the same again now."

Shakyamuni Buddha entrusted the great Dharma of Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo to a single person, Jogyo Bodhisattva. Nichiren is also trying to give his Dharma to only one person.

His disciples held their breath in excitement. Who will take over Nichiren's cult?

“Though there are six monks and several disciples, I determine Nikko as the general who entrusts the Law of Fundamentals.”

It was expected that Hoki-bo Nikko would be Nichiren's successor, but Nissho, the oldest and a fellow countryman of Nichiren, was by no means satisfied that Nikko, thirty years younger than Nichiren, would be the top head of the six. However, once Nichiren passed away, the circumstances would change. The eldest Nissho convinced himself that all that remained was to do as he wished.

Nichiren had already written his last will and testament, naming Hoki-bo Nikko as his successor.

“I, Nichiren, transfer the entirety of the Law that I have propagated throughout my life to Byakuren Ajari Nikko and I designate him the Great Master of Propagation of the Essential Teaching. When the sovereign embraces this Law, establish the precept platform of Hommongi Temple at Mount Fuji. You must await the time. This is what is called the precepts of reality. Above all else, my disciples must obey this instruction.


September in the fifth year of Ko'an(1282).

The order of the Heritage of the law: from Nichiren to Nikko.” Document for Entrusting the Law that Nichiren Propagated throughout his Life.’

However, he was not relieved. As Nichiren looked toward death, he wrote again, as if foreseeing the future of five people, not including Nikko.

“I transmit Shakyamuni Buddha's teachings of fifty years to Byakuren Ajari Nikko. He should be the manager of Kuonji Temple on Mt. Minobu. Crowds of believers and monks who disobey him are fellows of going against the Law.


The thirteenth day of October in the fifth year of Ko'an (1282). At Ikegami in Musashi Province.” ‘Document to inherit Mt. Minobu.’

These two wills are called the Two Documents of Inherit, and are named " The Document for Entrusting the Buddha's Law, which Nichiren spread throughout his life”" and " Document to inherit Mt. Minobu.

Nichikan, the 26th generation of Nichiren Shoshu explains it.

“I am now convinced that the two documents are indeed commissioned by propagation and continuity of the Law.

‘I, Nichiren, transfer the entirety of the Law that I have propagated throughout my life to Byakuren Ajari Nikko and designate him the Great Master of Propagation of the Essential Teaching.’ This text is a missionary entrustment. That is why it is called "Propagation of the Essential Teaching." etc.

‘I transmit Shakyamuni Buddha's teachings of fifty years to Byakuren Ajari Nikko. He should be the manager of Kuonji Temple on Mt. Minobu.’ This is a commission that should be entrusted to continue. Therefore, it is written, "He should be the manager," etc. It must be kept secret, it must be kept secret.” ‘Annotation of Selection of Times'. In 1715.’ 

There are twists and turns in the course of this Two Documents of Inherit.

After Nichiren's death, this document was kept at Omosu Honmonji Temple, which was built by Nikko, but in March 1581, exactly 300 years later, it was stolen by the followers of Nishiyama Honmonji Temple and Masuyama Gonemon, a vassal of the war lord Takeda Katsuyori, who were disputing about the doctrine.

At the time, the head priest of Omosu Honmonji was a monk named Nichiden. On March 28, he immediately presented Takeda Katsuyori with a petition for the return of the treasure.

However, Katsuyori did not take Nichiden seriously at all. He was more interested in adjudicating the doctrinal dispute between Omosu Honmonji and Nishiyama-Honmonji himself. Katsuyori supported Nishiyama Honmon-ji Temple. To this end, he took away Nichiren's written documents, and tried to bring the ruling in favor of Nishiyama-Honmonji.

The time was the Warring States Period, and Katsuyori seemed to be in a great hurry. The Takeda clan had been in decline since its crushing defeat at the Battle of Nagashino seven years earlier by Oda Nobunaga. Shingen, the god of war, was already gone. Katsuyori had to regain his power in every possible way. One such method was the exploitation of Nichiren's treasures.

The next day, February 6, Tensho 10, Nichiden, unhappy that his appeal was not put in, fasted and passed away. He was fifty-seven years old. He must have been frustrated at not being able to keep Nichiren's will, and his own disappointment must have been great. He closed the doors of the temple and died without letting anyone in. ‘The Collecting the Point of the Doctrine at Fuji sect, Vol. 9’

The following month, in March, Takeda Katsuyori was unable to withstand the all-out attack by the combined forces of Oda and Tokugawa, and perished along with his family at the foot of Mount Tenmoku. Katsuyori killed himself, as well as the women and children of his clan, by slaughtering them to death.

The "Records of Lord Nobunaga" describes the tragic end of his life.

“On March 30, Takigawa Sakon received information that Takeda Shiro, his family, and his retainers were hiding in the mountains of Kogatsuko. In the course of their search, they found a flat house at a place called Tago where they had set up a fence and encamped.

Takigawa Gidayu and Shinooka Heiemon, who had led the advance party, ordered their soldiers to surround them, but they seemed to think that they could not escape, and as if breaking branches of flowers, they drew in forty beautiful ladies and children and stabbed them to death. The rest were scattered to pieces and died in repeated fights with us.” ‘Records of Nobunaga’

Takeda Shiro means Katsuyori. In the Battle of Nagashino, he commanded an army of 15,000 men, but in the end, he died a cruel death with a few people. It was the downfall of the prestigious Takeda family. In this respect, his end was similar to those of Hojo and Taira no Yoritsuna.

The two documents were lost during this war and have never been found. As a side note, on June 2 of the same year, Oda Nobunaga committed suicide at Honnoji Temple.

None of the disciples doubted that Nichiren had appointed Nikko as his successor. Nichiren himself explained the reason for this.

“He was the first to take the lead in the exile of Izu and in the exile of Bun'ei, as well as at other times of great persecution, as if he were following in the shadow of Nichiren. Who would doubt this?

The root of the Minobu land steward's motivation was the power of Nikko's teaching. The reason for my secluded life from the world is because of Nikko's kindness and devotion to Mimaki in Kai Province.” ‘One Hundred and Six Articles.’


Hoki-bo Nikko was always by Nichiren's side during his exile to Izu and Sado Island. Other disciples followed him, but they did not embody Nichiren's great aspiration. The disciples followed Nichiren, but none of them, except for Hoki-bo Nikko, had any desire to know Nichiren's true intentions or to realize his great aspiration.

It was through Hoki-bo's work that Hakiri, the head of the land, was awakened to piety. I have already mentioned that Nichiren moved to Minobu under the arrangement of Hoki-bo. Even the Five Elder Priests cannot dispute this fact.

 However, the five elderly priests did not honestly accept Nichiren's last will and testament that "Nikko should be the manager of Kuonji Temple on Mt. Minobu." These Later facts speak eloquently of this.

# by johsei1129 | 2022-05-21 11:30 | LIFE OF NICHIREN | Trackback | Comments(0)