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Before and after Sado

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before and after Sado
佐前佐後 ( Jpn sazen-sago )

    A reference to the teachings and writings of Nichiren before, and those after, the Tatsunokuchi Persecution and his subsequent exile to Sado, an island in the Sea of Japan. The Tatsunokuchi Persecution took place on the twelfth day of the ninth month, 1271, and his exile lasted two and a half years from the tenth month of 1271 through the third month of 1274. Before Tatsunokuchi, Nichiren spread the invocation, or Daimoku, of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, but did not mention anything about the object of devotion known as the Gohonzon or the Three Great Secret Laws. After Tatsunokuchi, however, he revealed the object of devotion in terms of both the Person and the Law. He implicitly revealed the former, i.e., his identity as The Buddha of the Latter Day of the Law, in The Opening of the Eyes, and the latter, i.e., the object of devotion in his teachings, in The Object of Devotion for Observing the Mind, works he completed during his exile. He referred to the Three Great Secret Laws as "the three important matters of the 'Life Span' chapter of the essential teaching" of the Lotus Sutra in his letter of 1272 titled Earthly desires are enlightenment. That is his earliest reference to the Three Great Secret Laws in his extant writings. He inscribed the Dai-Gohonzon, the object of devotion he identified as his Life's purpose, at Minobu, Kai Province, on the twelfth day of the tenth month, 1279. In his Letter to Misawa, Nichiren compares his earlier teachings to the pre-Lotus Sutra teachings, which Shakyamuni preached as an expedient means to lead his disciples to the Lotus Sutra. Concerning his later, true teaching, Nichiren says in the same letter, "I secretly conveyed my teaching to my disciples from the province of Sado.... only this great teaching will spread throughout the entire land of Jambudvipa" (896). Nichiren identified "this great teaching" with the Three Great Secret Laws that he revealed only after Tatsunokuchi.

Source

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