On a Deaf Man Whose Hearing was Restored Immediately Owing to his Faith in
a Mahayana Scripture

A tale from the Nihon Ryoiki
of the Monk Kyokai

In the reign of the empress residing at the Palace of Owarida there was a man whose name was Kinunui no tomonomiyatsuko Gitsu who suddenly became seriously ill. He was deaf in both ears and suffered a chronic skin disease which never healed. He said to himself, "My past deeds influence my life not only in the present but also in the future. It is better to do good and die soon than to live long and be hated by others." Therefore he swept the ground, cleaned the hall, summoned the dhyana master with all due reverence, and, after purifying himself with holy water, devoted himself to reading a Mahayana scripture.

Copy of Lotus Sutra on which Nichiren Shonin wrote a commentary

Meanwhile, he experienced an extraordinary sensation and said to the master, "I am hearing the name of a bodhisattva in my ear, so I beg you, Most Venerable Master, to continue the service." During the master's performance, one ear was completely healed. With great joy, Gitsu repeated his request to go on, and, as the master went on with the service, both ears were healed. People far and near marveled at the news. We learn that there really exists a mysterious correspondence.

Miraculous Stories from the Japanese Buddhist Tradition: The Nihon Ryoiki of the Monk Kyokai. Translated and edited by Kyoko Motomochi Nakamura. First published in 1973 by Harvard University Press: MA. This edition published by Curzon Press: Surrey, Great Britain. Copyright 1997. For non-profit educational use only. ISBN:0-7007-0449-3
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