N2o1p0q9r8 2012-04-28 19:10:36
Sunrise at the Phantom City )
At the last stanza of chapter seven of the Lotus Sutra, the Buddha
talks about the Phantom City:
Suppose there was a stretch of steep bad road,
in a remote wasteland with many harmful beasts,
a place moreover without water or grass,
one dreaded by people.
A group of countless thousands and ten thousands
wanted to pass over this steep road,
but the road was very long and far-stretching,
extended five hundred yojanas.
At this time there was a leader,
well informed, possessing wisdom,
of clear understanding and determined mind,
capable of saving endangered persons from manifold difficulties.
The members of the group were all weary and disheartened
and said to their leader,
“We are now exhausted with fatigue
and wish at this point to turn around and go back.”
The leader thought to himself,
These people are truly pitiful!
Why do the wish to turn back
and miss the many rare treasures ahead?
At that time he thought of an expedient means,
deciding to exercise his transcendental powers.
He conjured up a great walled city
and adorned its mansions,
surrounding them with gardens and groves,
channels of flowing water, ponds and lakes,
with double gates and tall towers and pavilions,
all filled with men and women.
As soon as he had created this illusion,
he comforted the group, saying, “Have no fear-
you can enter this city
and each amuse himself as he pleases.”
When the people had entered the city,
they were all overjoyed in heart.
All had a feeling of ease and tranquility,
telling themselves that they had been saved.
When the leader knew they were rested,
he called them together and announced,
“Now you must push forward–
this is nothing more than a phantom city.
I saw that you were weary and exhausted
and wanted to turn back in mid-journey.
Therefore I used the power of expedient means
to conjure up this city for the moment.
Now you must press forward diligently
so that together you may reach the place where the treasure is.”
(LS2, last stanza)
So, as the sun comes up on the Phantom City, we ask ourselves, which
Are we the people who appeared along with the Phantom City, and who
will vanish with it?
Or are we among those who were in the company of the Buddha, and who
will carry on to the Treasure Land?
Only we can choose: either by remaining attached to the Phantom City,
the Phantom Temple, the Phantom Priests and the Gohonzon they
enscribed for Phantom Danto members, or also by unconsciously
retaining any attachment to even the tiniest symbol of their Phantom
School of Nichiren Buddhism, which was never Nikko’s School, according
to Nikko’s 26 Admonitions, which is the strict and sole determiner of
The eyes of the Law (our eyes), will perceive even the tiniest hidden
attachment to the Phantom City in the light of the sun of Kosen Rufu
which is coming up, even now. Those attachments will cause an
increasing amount of suffering as the daylight gets brighter.
Each person will pick their side, at the critical moment, one last
time. Many people will switch back and forth in the last moments, as
evil friends move in the direction of evil to draw the foolish along
with them. And it will be revealed in the end, that there are no
“independents”, just different kinds of Phantoms.
The True Friends of the Jiyu-no-bosatsu will stand absolutely firm in
spite of all of this and not be swayed by these confusing events.
And, room by room, house by house in the Phantom City, the rays of
golden morning sunshine will touch and burn away the impurities.
Slowly or quickly, and my intention is to make it quicker.
From “The Entity of the Mystic Law”, Writings of Nichiren Daishonin,
The Great Teacher Nan-y eh says, “The entity of the mind is endowed
with two aspects, the defiled and the pure. However, it does not have
two different forms but is single in nature and without distinction.”
[The Mahayana Method of Concentration and Insight.] And the example of
the mirror [See Note] that he gives truly presents a thorough
explanation of the subject. For a more detailed understanding, one may
also refer to his interpretations in The Mahayana Method of
Concentration and Insight.
Note: The example of the mirror is expounded in Mahayana Method of
Concentration and Insight. Through the example of the inseparable
relationship between an object and its image reflected in the mirror,
Nan-y eh reveals that a living being and a Buddha are “two but not
two” in essence; in other words, common mortals of the nine worlds are
inherently endowed with Buddhahood.