その一連の経緯の中で、叔父に当たるこの方も心から随喜し、上行所伝の御題目の御力を感得されたことが分かる。スリランカならではの宗教的事情、感性、そしてそこでの本門佛立宗のご信心と御利益について知ることが出来る。「Gohonson’s Gift to Me」と題された文章を、少しだけ割愛して掲載させていただこう。
During the long 14/15 January, 06 weekend, I joined my family members to visit some of the ancient sacred sites in and around Anuradhapura. We stayed at a hotel in the outskirts of this sacred city. One evening we were heading back to the hotel, having visited the ruins of an ancient temple. We were about to pass the Sacred Bo Tree, the oldest tree recorded in history, when my daughter received a call on her mobile phone from her cousin, my nephew, who resides in London with his family.
He was almost in tears. He said that he was on his way to the hospital to see his elder son (my grand nephew) a second year medical student, who might have to undergo a major operation .The boy was suffering from an infection of the large bowel with ulcer formation leading to pain, diarrhea and bleeding.
The Consultant who was treating him was doing his utmost to cure the ailment with medicines, without resorting to surgery. Surgery was a more lasting solution, though it could have its own complications, the worst being that the boy would have to have a bag attached to his body in which his body wastes would have been collected and emptied daily in the manner a normal person goes to the toilet for his ablutions. He was young, and in the prime of youth and he would have to live with this condition for the rest of his life. This was unthinkable to us, his elders.
This young boy has been suffering for a few years and his parents, both Senior Doctors, had done everything they could to help the boy. The Consultant had finally said that he has done whatever he could do and that the last resort now was surgery and my grand nephew was referred to the Surgeon, who had arranged for the surgery for the 21st of January,06.
That this boy was admitted to the hospital to undergo the operation took us by complete surprise. At this point in time I did not even know of the Lotus Sutra. Yet, we had to do something. Since we were so close to the Sacred Bo Tree we could worship there - that was the only thing that came to my mind. While searching for a solution in desperation, quite by chance, I met a young Bikkhu (a priest), a student studying for his Masters degree at the Anuradhapura University for Buddhist Studies. The time was about 6.30 pm in the evening. I requested help from him. Having listened to me, he said that he would help me but that he had to be at the temple where he was residing whilst attending the University, to give a Dhamma discourse at 7.30 pm which he had already undertaken.
So we hurriedly got together items that were required to perform a puja (chanting) at the Sacred Bo tree to bless my grand nephew and to request Lord Buddha’s compassion to avert the operation. I was solely dependant on the Bikkhu because he knew, by heart, all the Sutras (Buddhist verses) that had to be chanted. For my part, I knew what Sutras had to be chanted, but had to read them off books, and not chant by memory.
I had to seek the Bikkhu’s help also because it is very important that we conduct ourselves with decorum, piousness and utmost respect when we are in the precincts of the Sacred Bo Tree. We were on a very important mission and everything had to be done very correctly, and the Bikkhu knew what and how things had to be done.
This Sacred Bo Tree was brought to Sri Lanka, from India, when it was yet a sapling by Sanghamitta Therini, daughter of Emperor Asoka the Great of India at the request of the Emperor himself, and is one of the most venerated ,sacred places for Buddhist from all over the World.
On a normal day, there are about 500 to 600 devotees who come to the Sacred Bo Tree to pay obeisance and homage. This day too, there were a similar number of people. When we reached the precincts of the Sacred Bo Tree, those people had already begun to worship. We settled down at a convenient spot and the Bikkhu spear headed our worship. He was so effective that almost all the devotees gathered behind us with their palms held together in veneration (in gassho) and joined us in chanting the various Sutras, led by the Bikkhu. My grand nephew therefore, had and unprecedented crowd, who did not even know who he was, yet who all prayed for him in one voice. To me, this was a miracle.
The Sutras we chanted include the Metta Sutra, Ratana Sutra, Girimananda Suthra, and Bojjhanga Piritha.
Metta Sutra:- The Pali word Metta is a multi-significant term meaning loving kindness, friendliness, goodwill, fellowship, amity, concord, non-violence. It is defined as the strong wish for the welfare and happiness of others. Metta makes one a pure font of well-being and safety for others, just as a mother gives her own life to protect her child. Metta only gives and never wants anything in return.
Ratana Sutra:- This Sutra was delivered in the ancient Indian city of Vishala (presently known as Vaishali and situated in North Bihar) where the Vajjis lived. This city is important because the first People’s Government in the world was established here. Due to a very severe drought, many types of infectious deceases including plague spread across the city, and other calamities resulted. It was to overcome these ill effects that the Samma Sambuddha arranged for the Ratana Sutra to be chanted in the city of Vishala.
Girimananda Suthra:- Ven. Ananda requested help from the Lord Buddha because Ven. Girimananda had become very ill. The Lord Buddha taught the ten contemplations to Ven. Ananda and told him to go and pass them to Ven. Girimananda so that he might be cured - and this was what happened.
Bojjhanga Piritha:- The Lord Buddha visited Ven. Maha Kassapa who was suffering from a painful illness. Finding that the illness was improving, Lord Buddha taught him the seven factors of enlightenment (Bojjhanga). The Ven. Maha Kassapa was delighted in this teaching and was cured. This also occurred when Ven. Maha Moggallana and Ven. Maha Cunda were ill.
When chanting these Sutras, we were essentially recounting the boundless compassion, equanimity and muditha (pleasure in other’s happiness) of Samma Sambuddha. Through the piousness of these Buddha qualities, we sought relief for my grand nephew’s suffering without having to go through the operation.
Having completed our worship I was able to take the Bikkhu back to his resident temple in time for him to conduct the sermon that had been arranged for him.
We returned to Colombo from our trip and continued to worship and pray for my grand nephew daily at the temple situated close to our home, where the procedures are not that stringent as at the Sacred Bo Tree.
By the end of that week my nephew called us again to tell us that the Surgeon had discharged my grand nephew from the hospital on the 20th (the day before the planned surgery) saying that something, which he himself could not understand / explain has happened, and that the urgency of the need for an operation is not there any more. So, my grand nephew was able to go home and he improved in himself slowly and continued his day to day work whilst taking oral medication recommended by the Consultant. Even though the ailment was not as severe, it continued in a somewhat lesser degree on and off. At times, my grand nephew had to go to the toilet several times a day, which was very cumbersome, particularly with his studies in hand. We in Sri Lanka, continued praying for his recovery at the local temple.
As mentioned earlier, the ailment has been going on for quite sometime and during this period my grand nephew had sought refuge in different Dhamma practices like chanting etc. As he had not received relief, it was impossible for his parents to persuade him to continue or to take up any other form of Dhamma practice to alleviate his suffering.
During the period of his illness, his father had come to know of the “Namu myo ho renge kyo” chanting, and even though he did not have a Gohonson, both he and his wife chanted regularly for their son. They, however, did not succeed in their attempts to get my grand nephew to join in the chanting.
My nephew’s mother, residing in Sri Lanka, too fell ill around this time. This necessitated my nephew to visit Sri Lanka frequently. On one of these visits, he asked me if I had heard about the Lotus Sutra and I replied in the negative. That same evening he brought me a book on the subject, written by Dr. Kalyani Miranda, a friend of his. I did not know about its contents nor the author. The book is “Stay in the Light”, ‘Guide to the practice of LOTUS SUTRA, the Dharma for the present era.’ I completed reading the book that afternoon itself. Later, I spoke to Dr.Kalyani Miranda over the phone and obtained her advice regarding chanting the Odaimoku .
From that evening onwards I chanted the Odaimoku instead of the afore mentioned Sutras, every morning and evening without exception. In these chanting sessions, I have always chanted for my grand nephew as well as for others. My grand nephew always received mixed benefits from our chanting. There were the good and the bad days for him; but of course not as serious as wanting to undergo the operation.
The reason for my changing chanting to the Gohonzon was because my nephew told me of a few benefits he had received by chanting. When I chant to the Gohonzon, I plead directly to the Samma Sambuddha for help, whereas in chanting the Sutras, I was making an appeal to the Samma Sambuddha’s boundless Buddha Shakthi and the boundless Compassion seeking relief for my grand nephew on the strength of these boundless Buddha qualities.
Of the others for whom I chanted, one had been suddenly been retrenched as result of his employer loosing business due to problems in the world market. However, after about three months of my chanting he found a job in a company where the business is of a very stable nature. The other person for whom I chanted for, was 54 years old and was to have left his job on reaching 55 years. He was very active and young at heart to retire. In his case too, about three months before he reached 55 years, the management of the company he worked for changed the rules for retirement and now he can continue to work until he is 60 years of age. Although I chanted for his getting an alternative job keeping with his experience and expertise either here in Sri Lanka or Overseas, as the type of job that suits him are very limited in Sri Lanka, he now continues in his old job.
In all these three cases, none of the people affected chanted for themselves.
My nephew came to Sri Lanka in November, 06 due to his mother’s illness. During the last week of that month, Rev. Nagamatsu too visited Sri Lanka on a missionary visit and my nephew was lucky to meet with him. Rev. Nagamatsu himself enshrined the Gohonzon for my nephew and also undertook to include my grand nephew too in his chanting schedule at his Temple in Kyoto. There is an interesting story here too. During the latter half of June, 2007 Rev. Kaneko arrived in Sri Lanka accompanying Rev. Fukuoka on missionary work. Rev. Kaneko is a junior priest practicing under Rev. Nagamatsu. During an informal chat with Rev.Kaneko, I spoke about my grand nephew and his illness. As I spoke, Rev.Kaneko suddenly stopped me and asked me to repeat his name. I kept repeating the name several times and the he exclaimed ‘Ah, that is the name Rev. Nagamatsu repeats during chantings. Now I know’ he exclaimed. This is what H.B.S. is all about. Rev.Nagamatsu has never met my grand nephew. Rev.Nagamatsu lives in Japan and my grand nephew in London. Yet, having learned from my nephew about the latter’s condition, the good Reverand’s compassion for my ailing grand nephew prompted him to chant for his relief.
My nephew and his wife, my wife and I continued to chant for my grand nephew, come what may. However, some time about April 07, my grand nephew decided that he would rather go through the operation, get over with the ailment and adjust his life to the new condition necessitated by the operation, because in his final year of studies and the internship following immediately thereafter, it would be un thinkable for him to ask for leave of absence frequently, as the ailment might demand. This decision of his was also very painful to his parents. My nephew kept us informed of the situation almost on a daily basis. In situations like this we would chant for either longer periods or more than twice a day.
The Consultant saw my grand nephew again on 25th May,07 and said that as he feels alright and there are no adverse symptoms, that he would not want to recommend surgery at that time. The Consultant had reminded the family of the painful experience they had in January, 06 when surgery was decided, but due to some power that it was evaded as my grand nephew dramatically became well.
The Consultant subsequently examined my grand nephew again on 25th July,07 and he said that the bowel was absolutely normal. He, however, said that the problem now is to maintain the bowel like as at present, while decreasing the medication.
My grand nephew’s younger brother joins the parents in chanting the Odaimoku on and off. It is our fervent wish that my grand nephew will cast away his earlier experiences when his prayers were not answered, particularly now when he has manifest evidence of the benefits of Odaimoku chanting, and that he will join the rest of the family in chanting the Odaimoku in the morning and evening for his own protection and making it a way of expressing gratitude to the Samma Sambuddha for his boundless Buddha Shakthi and his boundless Compassion. In fact, at my regular chanting sessions I request the Gohonzon to persuade my grand nephew to do so.
On several occasions, I have chanted for myself and received the benefits I chanted for. One of the requests I have been making everyday, morning and evening, from the Gohonzon is to lead me to a source from which I can learn Rev.Nichiren Diasoning’s explanation of the Lotus Sutra without the distortions that are said to being introduced by different Sects to suit their own ends. I have been also looking at the Internet and quite by chance I came across a bookseller who had some used books for sale at discounted prices. These books could be ordered on-line . But when I placed the order, the response I received was that they could not ship the books to Sri Lanka. I passed all the relevant information to my nephew who very kindly got me the books, all brand new, and they were a gift from him, again a miracle. The books are:-
1.Writings of Nichiren Shonin Doctorine 1. Compiled by Kyotsu Hori and edited by Jay Sakashita
2. - do - 2. - do - George Tanabe Jr.
3. - do - 3. - do - Jay Sakashita
4. - do - 4. - do - - do -
5. Nichiren – Leader of Buddhist Reformation in Japan by J.A. Christensen, Nichiren Buddhist
In the covers of the complete Writings of Nichiren Shonin Volumes 1 thru 4, the authors say that in preparing these volumes, they have been highly selective in that they take into account only writings considered bibliographically authentic i.e. attested to by original manuscripts.
All the Miracles I have described above are The Gohonzon’s Gifts to Me.