True Intention of Nichiren – PART 1

Having studied all the Buddhist scriptures, Nichiren(日蓮), the founder of the Nichiren sect of Buddhism in Kamakura period, concluded that the Lotus Sutra is the sutra in which Buddha’s true intention is expressed most and the most powerful of all the other Buddhist scriptures. Then he began to argue with the other sects to denounce them. I think that he also visited groups of shamans or famous psychics to make them believe in the Lotus Sutra. He, with his eyes shining, challenged them with ardent passion because he was convinced that the Lotus Sutra is the strongest Buddhist scripture.

  • scripture 経典
  • sect 宗派
  • conclude 結論づける
  • the Lotus Sutra 法華経
  • intention 意図
  • denounce 非難する
  • ardent 強烈な

He, however, didn’t visit any shinto shrines to argue with shinto priests. This was not because Buddhism and Shintoism were different nor because he gave up converting them. Why did’t he denounce Shintoism? Here lies his hidden, true purpose and intention.

  • priest 僧侶
  • nor また〜でもない
  • convert 改宗させる
  • lie ある
  • hidden 隠れた
  • purpose 目的

He was born to a family of a fisherman living by the seaside. I feel that his father had faith in the sun, which had a strong influence on Nichiren’s mind. In those days, various kinds of Buddhist scriptures introduced from abroad were popular among people, about which Nichiren had a large doubt in his mind. He had part of the soul of Susanoo(スサノオ). He came to have the great ambition that, after becoming the top of the Buddhist society and unifying all the Buddhist sects, he would lead all the followers to the faith of Amaterasu-o-ho-mi-kami(天照太御神). He had a plan to restore Shintoism.

  • fisherman 漁師
  • faith 信仰
  • influence 影響
  • introduce   紹介する
  • doubt 疑い
  • ambition 野望
  • restore 復権する

In the first place, he headed for Mt. Hien(比叡山) in Kyoto to search for the greatest Buddhist scripture to excel all the other ones.  Looking through a huge number of Buddhist scriptures there, he discovered that Amaterasu-o-ho-mi-kami was described as the Eleven-faced Kannon Bosatsu (十一面観世音菩薩)in the Lotus Sutra.

  • head   向かう
  • excel 勝る
  • look through A Aに目を通す
  • describe 描く

The fundamental spirituality of Japan, or the faith of the sun, caused Shakuson to be born in India. Nichiren was born when his mother was inspired by the Sun God. He was capable of feeling the voice of Kunitokotachi-oh-kami(国常立太御神), the soul of Japan, since he was a young child. This is why he could recognize and felt the truth as soon as he read the Lotus Sutra. An ordinary Buddhist monk would have never did it even if he read the Lotus Sutra literally.

  • cause A to~ Aが〜する原因となる
  • inspire 感応させる
  • capable 可能な
  • recognize 認識する
  • literally 文字通りに

No sooner had he found the truth than his heart pulsed with pleasure, convinced of a great divine will. He visited Geku(外宮) of Ise Grand Shrine(伊勢神宮) first before he began to propagate the Lotus Sutra and founded his own sect. Staying at Joumyou temple(常明寺) in Ise, he visited Geku every day after cleansing himself in the morning at a well called the Well of Oath now. He kept doing this for as many as 100 days.

  • pulse 打ち震える
  • pleasure 喜び
  • divine will 神意
  • propagate 広める
  • well 井戸

At Geku, he prayed to God with the hope of unifying all the Buddhist sects by propagating the Lotus Sutra in order that the mercy of Amaterasu-o-ho-mi-kami may prevail all over Japan. He knew that Kunitokotachi-oh-kami resides at Geku, and was aware that Geku is a holy, special place. The historical fact that the man who tried to found his own new Buddhist sect visited Ise Grand Shrine as many as 100 times to pray to God was to bring about a very unexpected turn of affairs.

To be continued.

  • pray 祈る
  • unify 統一する
  • in order that S+V  SがVするために
  • prevail 広まる
  • reside 常住する
  • aware 気が付いて
  • bring about A Aを引き起こす
  • unexpected 予期せぬ

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I Ka Shi Te I Ta Da I Te  A Ri Ga To U Go Za I Ma Su

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