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the Nichiren Shoshu Shoshin-kai
|Nichiren Daishonin Passes Away
on the 13th Day of the 10th Month
|In his final days and hours, Nichiren is surrounded by his disciples
Having taken up residence on Mt. Minobu, Nichiren Daishonin devoted the rest of his life to giving lectures
on the Lotus Sutra, training his disciples and ensuring the correct transmission of his teachings. He penned
many important letters and treatises during this time, including Senji Sho (The Selection of the Time) and the
Ho-on Sho (Repaying Debts of Gratitude).
Nichiren’s accomplishments during his advent were: 1) being the first person to reveal the direct path to
enlightenment which is the True Law of Namumyōhōrengekyō; 2) teaching that Namumyōhōrengekyō is the
foundation of every life form, and the foundation of life itself; 3) teaching that all life is equal; 4) that all life
has Buddha nature; 5) that all life can become Buddha; 5) establishing the Law of Namumyōhōrengekyō as
the True object of worship in the form of Gohonzon; 6) establishing a simple practice for attaining
Buddhahood; and 7) teaching that all affairs of life are Buddhism.
After inscribing the Dai-Gohonzon in 1279, the Daishonin’s health began to decline. In September of 1282 he
set out from his hermitage on Mt. Minobu for the hot springs in Hitachi. But when he reached Ikegami in
Musashi Province he realized he could go no further. He was taken in by his follower Ikegami Munenaka.
During his brief time there, the Daishonin continued to lecture on the Rissho Ankoku Ron. Then, in the
morning of the 13th day of the 10 month of 1282, while cherry blossoms bloomed throughout Japan, he
peacefully passed away while he and his disciples and believers were chanting:
|Jiga toku burrai
Sho kyo sho kosshu
Muryo hyaku sen man
Oku sai asogi
Jo seppo kyo ke
Mu shu oku shujo
Ryo nyu butsu do
Nirai mu ryo ko
I do shujo ko
Hoben gen nehan
Ni jitsu fu metsu do
Jo ju shi seppo.…*
|(It is many hundreds of thousands
Of billions of trillions
Of asamkhyas of kalpas
Since I became a Buddha
For the past innumerable kalpas
I have always been expounding the Law
To many hundreds of millions of living beings
In order to lead them into the Way to Buddhahood.
In order to save the [perverted] people,
I will expediently show my Nirvana to them.
In reality I shall never pass away.
I always live here and expound the Law. . . .)
A Dictionary of Buddhist Terms and Concepts, Nichiren Shoshu International Center, Tokyo, 1983.
The Sutra of the Lotus Flower of the Wonderful Law, translated by Sencho Murano, Nichiren Shu Headquarters, Tokyo 1974
Nichiren, the Buddhist Prophet, Masaharu Anesaki, Harvard University Press, 1916; Peter Smith, Gloucester, MA 1966
*The jigage (verse section of the 16th chapter of the Lotus Sutra):