The Mongol Envoys
- Moko Tsukai Gosho -
I can hardly express my joy on learning of your safe return
from Kamakura. I have also received your news about the
beheading of the Mongol envoys. How pitiful that they have
beheaded the innocent Mongol envoys and yet failed to cut
off the heads of the priests of the Nembutsu, Shingon, Zen
and Ritsu sects, who are the real enemies of our country!
Those who do not understand the details of the matter will
no doubt think that I say this out of conceit because my
prophecy has been fulfilled. Yet for more than twenty years
now I have been privately lamenting to my disciples day
and night that this would happen, and I have publicly remonstrated
with the authorities on several occasions [to prevent it].
Among all grave matters, the ruin of the nation is the
most serious. The Saishoo Sutra states, "Among
all forms of harm, none is heavier than the loss of the
ruler's authority." This passage means that among all
evils, the worst is to become the ruler, misgovern the country
and meet defeat at the hands of another kingdom. The Konkomyo
Sutra also states, "Because evil men are respected
and favored and good men are subjected to punishment, ...marauders
will appear from other regions and the people of the country
will meet with death and disorder." This passage means
that when a man becomes the ruler of a state and values
evil men while condemning good ones, then his country will
surely be defeated by another country. The fifth volume
of the Lotus Sutra states, "They will be respected
and revered by the world as though they were arhats who
possess the six supernatural powers." This passage
describes the enemies of the Lotus Sutra. It is saying that
the ruler of the country will revere men who firmly uphold
the two hundred and fifty precepts and appear to be like
Mahakashyapa and Shariputra, and will attempt to destroy
the votary of the Lotus Sutra.
A teaching of great importance is something close at hand.
One who can, according to the time, discern without the
slightest error what is vital both for oneself and for the
country is a person of wisdom. The Buddha is called worthy
of respect because he discerns the past and knows the future.
In his perception of the three existences, no wisdom surpasses
his. Although they were not Buddhas, sages and worthies
such as Nagarjuna, Vasubandhu, T'ien-t'ai and Dengyo, though
unequal to the Buddha in wisdom, nevertheless generally
understood matters of the three existences, and their names
have therefore been handed down to posterity.
Ultimately, all phenomena are contained within one's life,
down to the last particle of dust. The nine mountains and
the eight seas are encompassed by one's body; the sun, moon
and myriad stars are contained within one's mind. However,
[common mortals do not perceive this,] just as the blind
do not see images reflected in a mirror or as an infant
fears neither flood nor fire. The non-Buddhist teachings
set forth in the outer writings and the Hinayana and provisional
Mahayana teachings of the inner scriptures all teach no
more than fragments of the Law inherent in one's life. They
do not expound it in its entirety as the Lotus Sutra does.
Thus there are both superiority and inferiority among the
sutras, and the people who embrace them may also be divided
into sages and worthy men. There is no end to matters of
doctrine, so I will stop here.
I deeply appreciate your sending a messenger so quickly
after your return from Kamakura. And, in addition, you sent
me various offerings, which I am very glad to have received.
While all the people of Japan lament, I, Nichiren, and my
followers alone rejoice amid our grieving. Living in this
country, we cannot possibly escape the Mongol attack, but
since Heaven knows that we have suffered persecution for
our country's sake, we can rejoice that we will surely be
saved in our next life. You, moreover, have already incurred
a debt of gratitude to the Mongol nation in your present
life. Had the threat of invasion not arisen, since this
year marks the thirteenth anniversary of the death of the
lay priest Saimyo-ji, the hunt commemorating that occasion
would surely have been held on your estate. Furthermore,
you have not been sent to Tsukushi like lord Hojo Rokuro.
This turn of events may run contrary to the desires of you
and your clan, but it is not a punishment being inflicted
upon you. From one point of view, are you not rather being
protected by the Lotus Sutra? I know you feel you have been
gravely wronged [but it is in fact a cause for rejoicing].
Since so joyful a thing has befallen you, I would have liked
to go and congratulate you in person, but since others might
think it strange, I have refrained. I have responded to
your letter without delay.
Major Writings of Nichiren Daishonin,
Vol. 5, page 179.