This is NOT an official site of
the Nichiren Shoshu Shoshin-kai
THE BUDDHA
SADO EXILE (2)

In On the Buddha’s Behavior Nichiren describes his Sado dwelling (The Major Writings of
Nichiren Daishonin
, Vol. 1):

"I was taken to a small hut that stood in a field called Tsukahara behind Honma
Rokurozaemon's residence in Sado.  Only two meters square, it stood on some land
where corpses were abandoned, a place like Rendaino in Kyoto.  Not a single statue of
the Buddha was enshrined there and the roof and walls were full of holes.  The snow
fell and piled up, never melting away.  I spent my days there, sitting in a straw cape
orlying on a fur skin.  At night it hailed and snowed and there were occasional flashes
of lightening.  Even in the daytime, the sun hardly shone.  It was a wretched place to
live."

Nevertheless, Nichiren manged to write the
Kaimoku Sho (The Opening of the Eyes)
and
Letter from Sado in this dwelling.
This is a replica of Nichiren Daishonin's hut on Sado Island, where he stayed for
the first six months of his exile
….
It is the nature of beasts to threaten the weak and fear the strong. Our contemporary scholars are just
like them. They despise a wise man without power but fear the evil rulers. They are merely servile
courtiers. Only by defeating a powerful enemy can one prove his real strength. When an evil ruler
in consort with heretical priests tries to destroy true Buddhism and banish a man of wisdom, those
with the heart of a lion will surely attain Buddhahood as Nichiren did. I say this not out of
arrogance but because I am committed to true Buddhism. An arrogant man will be overcome with
fear when he meets a strong enemy, just like the haughty ashura who shrank and hid himself in a
lotus flower blossoming in Munetchi Lake when reproached by Taishaku. Even a word or phrase
of true Buddhism will lead one to the path of enlightenment, if it suits the times and the capacity of
the people. Even though one may study a thousand sutras and ten thousand doctrines, he cannot
attain Buddhahood, should those teachings not fit the times and the people's capacity.
….
Nichiren is the pillar, sun, moon, mirror and eyes of the ruling clan of Kanto. On the twelfth day of
the ninth month of last year when I was arrested, I boldly declared that if the country should lose
Nichiren, the seven disasters would occur without fail. Didn't this prophecy come true just sixty and
then one hundred fifty days later? And those battles were only the first signs. What lamenting there
will be when the full effect appears People foolishly wonder why Nichiren is persecuted by the
government if he is truly a wise man. Yet it is all just as I expected. King Ajatashatru killed his
father and nearly murdered his mother, for which he was hailed by the six royal ministers. When
Devadatta killed an arhat and shed the Buddha's blood, Kokalika and others were delighted.
Nichiren is father and mother to the ruling clan and is like a Buddha or an arhat to this age. The
sovereign and his subjects who rejoice at his exile are truly the most shameless of all. Those
heretical priests who have been bewailing the exposure of their errors may be overjoyed for the
moment, but eventually they will suffer no less than Nichiren and his disciples. Their joy is like
Fujiwara Yasuhira's when he killed his brother and Minamoto Yoshitsune. The devil who shall
destroy the ruling clan has already entered the country. This is the meaning of the passage from the
Lotus Sutra which reads, " The devil enters one's body."

The persecutions Nichiren has faced are the result of karma formed in previous lifetimes. The
Fukyo chapter states, "... after expiating his sins," indicating that Bodhisattva Fukyo was vilified
and beaten by countless slanderers because of his past karma. So, too, it is with Nichiren, who in
this life was born poor and lowly to a chandala family. In my heart I cherish some faith in the Lotus
Sutra, but my body, while outwardly human, is fundamentally that of an animal, which once
subsisted on fish and fowl and was conceived of the male and female fluids. My spirit dwells in
this body like the moon reflected in a muddy pond or gold wrapped in a filthy bag. Since my heart
believes in the Lotus Sutra, I do not fear even Bonten or Taishaku, but my body is still that of an
animal. With such disparity between my body and my mind, no wonder the foolish despise me.
Without doubt, when compared to my body, my mind shines like the moon or gold. Who knows
what slander I may have committed in the past? I may possess the soul of Priest Shoi or the spirit of
Mahadeva. Maybe I am descended from those who contemptuously persecuted Bodhisattva Fukyo
or am among those who forgot their original faith in the Lotus Sutra. I may even be related to the
five thousand arrogant people who would not remain to hear the sutra, or belong to the third and
lowest group of Daitsu Buddha's disciples. It is impossible to fathom one's karma. Iron, when
heated in the flames and pounded, becomes a fine sword. Wise men and saints are tested by abuse.
My present exile is not because of any crime. It is solely so that I may expiate in this lifetime my
past heavy slanders and be freed from the three evil paths in the next.
…..



                                                                                                         Major Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, Vol. 1
Excerpt:
Letter From Sado
March 20, 1272
HOME   |   BACKGROUND   |   BUDDHA   |   LAW   |  PRIEST   |   CONTACT