Hosshaku Kempon

14 days ago

Doctrines an Practice of Nichiren Shoshu - Chapter 4 - Hossaku Kempon - Discarding the Provisional and Revealing the True Identity
Tatsunakuchi Persecution


(1) The literal translation of Hosshaku Kempon is “to unveil the theoretical and reveal the essential.”

(2) “The effective basic law" was called "Goseibai Shikimoku." This literally translates as "Judgment by the Articles." The Kamakura shogun government discarded this basic law in favor of the politics of warriors. It was composed of 51 articles and instituted in the first year of Joei (1232). Therefore, it is also called Joei Shikimoku. "Shiki" means legal formalities, and "moku" means articles. Nichiren Daishonin referred to the basic law in His "Reply to Lord Shimoyama" which stated; "...the practitioner of the Lotus Sutra without encountering the plaintiff was forced to be seated on the execution ground." (Gosho, p.1152) One of the basic principles of modern democracy, the rule of law, did not function here.

(3) The Great Bodhisattva Hachiman is one of the sworn guardians of the Lotus Sutra or Shoten Zenjin. It is inscribed on the Gohonzon.

(4) Enoshima Island is a small island located southeast from Tatsunokuchi. It is about 60 meters above sea level, and covers an area of about 0.18 square

(5) The Hours of the Ox and the Tiger is based on the traditional Japanese system for reckoning the time. The central moment of the Hour of the Ox is 2 a.m. "Hour" indicates the span of time, that is, from 1 a.m. to 3 a.m. The central moment of the Hour of the Tiger is 4 a.m. and spans the hours of 3 a.m. to 5 a.m.

(6) “Cho" is the traditional unit of length in Japan. One cho is approximately 109 meters.
“Lord Honma" is the abbreviation of "Honma Rokuro zaemon nojo Shigetsura." His home was located in Echi in Sagami Province; however, he was also the steward of Niho District in Sado Island where Nichiren Daishonin would soon be exiled.

(7) “Lord Honma” is the abbreviation of “Honma Rokuro zaemon Shigatsura” His home was located in Eichi in Sagami Province however, he was also the steward of Niiho District in Sado Island where Nichiren Daishonin would soon be exiled.

(9) “Twofold provisional identity" has two aspects. First, Bodhisattva Jogyo is the provisional identity for the Original Buddha Nichiren. Second, the common mortal Nichiren is the provisional identity for Bodhisattva Jogyo. See Rokkan-sho p.49 and Nichiren Shoshu yogi (revised ed.) p.181.
(10) myoji is an abbreviation of the term, Myoji-soku. This is the stage of hearing the teaching of Buddhism for the first time and understanding theoretically that one possesses the Buddha nature, and that all phenomena are manifestations of the Buddhist Law.
In T'ien-t ai's teachings, it is the second of the six stages of the Bodhisattva's practice of the Lotus Sutra. Myoji literally translates as "name and character" or "words," and soku means "equality" In Mappo, Myoji-soku signifies a common mortal (just like us) believing in True Buddhism and the Gohonzon for the first time.

(11) “Two as well as one" is the translation of the Japanese "funi." This means one but at the same time two, or inherent oneness with two aspects apparently discernible.

(12) The Land of Tranquil Light is said to be a land where only a Buddha dwells.

(13) The three powerful enemies were defined by the Great Teacher Miao-10. They are three types of people who persecute the votary of the Lotus Sutra after the death of Shakyamuni Buddha. They are, (1) ignorant lay people, (2) evil monks, and (3) eminent priests revered and respected by the general public.

(14) The true identity of the common mortal, Nichiren, is Bodhisattva Jogyo. However, Bodhisattva Jogyo's true identity is the True Buddha, Nichiren.

(15) "outward appearance" literally means the appearance of form or function.

(16) “the inner self-awakened" means the inner realization of the enlightened Buddha."

(17) The eight phases of a Buddha's existence are eight events that take place in the life of every Buddha who appears in the world to lead the people. "The phase of conquering devils" is the fifth phase.

(18) The Devil of the Sixth Heaven is the manifestation of the deepest delusion of life itself or fundamental darkness.

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