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.