The Nichiren Buddhism【ミステリーな日蓮 英訳版】20. The vow of Nichiren —- I will be the pillar of Japan

20. The vow of Nichiren — I will be the pillar of Japan


Hiroto Ema


Simply put, what Nichiren requested Hōjō Tokimune, the regent then, was to halt the prayer by other sects, introduce the one by Nichiren, and host public debate with various sects. Nichiren was certain that if only the shogunate held such public debate, he should win over other various sects. And after that he would become a Master of State to help the shogunate and pray for the peace of the country.


So, in letters to important people, Nichiren wrote that to debate with the high priests of other sects was his “longstanding goals”, and implored them to “help me realize my longstanding goals”. On the other hand, he urged the high priests of other sects to “put your faith in the priest Nichiren” and was prepared, thinking “I look forward to meeting with you in public debate”. The aim of Nichiren was to be a Master of State.


Though such public debate wasn’t held then, Nichiren continued to request public debate hosted by the shogunate. And when a disciple of him won in a private debate, he cautioned him not to participate any debate other than those held by the shogunate. Furthermore, Nichiren seemed to decline the request of prayer from an official of the shogunate. He insisted that he would pray as a Master of State and said as follows.


“ The Great Teacher Dengyo founded a temple (Enryaku temple) on Mt. Hiei and became the eyes of all living beings. In the end, the priests of the seven major temples acknowledged their fault and became his disciples, and the people of the various provinces throughout the country became his lay supporters” (The Selection of the Time)


Like the Great Teacher Dengyo (Saityo), Nichiren tried to lift the Lotus Sutra on the top of Buddhism circles, aimed at reorganizing various sects and monks, and regarded it ideal for the whole nation to devote to him.


By the way, when did Nichiren begin to have his goal to be a Master of State?


When transported to Sado Island, Nichiren wondered why Gods and Buddhas, who should have pledged to protect the followers of the Lotus Sutra, didn’t protect him even though he had practiced the doctrine of the Lotus Sutra to the letter. In such anguish, Nichiren declared a famous sentence.


“I will be the pillar of Japan. I will be the eyes of Japan. I will be the great ship of Japan. This is my vow, and I will never forsake it!” (The Opening of the Eyes)


After declaring a determination that he need not be protected by Gods and Buddhas, would endure any persecution no matter how hard it would be, and never discard the belief in the Lotus Sutra, Nichiren repeated his oath that he would never violate the pledge that he become the pillar of Japan, and inspired himself. So it is obvious that Nichiren determined to be a Masrer of State from early on. We will discuss it further in the next section.

February 1st 2020


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(Next section will be released on March 1st)

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20.日蓮の誓い — われ日本の柱とならむ!



























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