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Sunday, December 27, 2015

Indisputable, the Object of Worship in terms of the Law AND in terms of the Person

Nichiren speaks of the object of worship in terms of the Law and in terms of the person.  For example, in terms of the person, he states: "The object of devotion as set forth in the 'Life Span' chapter is Shakyamuni Buddha, the lord of teachings, eternally endowed with the three bodies, who since the beginning of numberless major world system dust particle kalpas in the past has had deep and abiding affinities with this land of ours." And in terms of the Law he states: "They should make the daimoku of the Lotus Sutra their object of devotion."


  1. Then he would seemingly be at odds with his own very clear statement in Questions and Answers on the Honzon (Writings of Nichiren Shonin Doctrine 2, begins page 258) and discussion of whether Shakyamuni or the Daimoku of Lotus Sutra is the correct object of devotion. He concludes it us the latter. Are you sure your quotation is in the correct context Mark?

  2. Most importantly, in On Repaying Debts of Gratitude, we read,

    “Answer: One: Japan and so on to the whole of Jambudvipa should uniformly take the Master of Teachings Lord Shakya of the Original Doctrine as the Object of Worship.” — Repaying Debts of Gratitude [KHK Translation]

  3. You may also look in the Rooster diagram...


    Object of devotion of the T’ien-t’ai school

    the Thus Come One Shakyamuni as the Buddha who actually carried out practice and achieved enlightenment in the inconceivably remote past."

    even SGI background admits same:

    "In the present writing, the Daishonin reveals the object of devotion in terms of the Person. It identifies Shakyamuni, the Buddha who carried out bodhisattva practice and attained enlightenment in the inconceivably distant past, as the original Buddha whom all other Buddhas should follow.: -- SGI backgrund

  4. Of course, in terms of the Law it is Namu Myoho renge kyo.

  5. Answer: First, with regard to the object of devotion, one should inscribe the eight volumes of the Lotus Sutra, or one volume, or one chapter, or simply the daimoku, or title, of the sutra, and make that the object of devotion, as is indicated in the “Teacher of the Law” and “Supernatural Powers” chapters of the sutra. And those persons who are able to do so further should write out the names of the Thus Come One Shakyamuni and the Buddha Many Treasures, or fashion images of them, and place these on the left and right of the Lotus Sutra. And if they are further able to do so, they should fashion images or write out the names of the Buddhas of the ten directions and the bodhisattva Universal Worthy and the others."

    and an even later letter, Receiving the Three Great Secret Laws [1282] states,

    "The object of devotion as set forth in the “Life Span” chapter is Shakyamuni Buddha, the lord of teachings, eternally endowed with the three bodies, who since the beginning of numberless major world system dust particle kalpas in the past has had deep and abiding affinities with this land of ours."

    In my mind, the concept of Ninpo Iko, The Oneness of Person and Law, applies to the Object of Worship.

    More, on the Object of Devotion in terms of the person and the Law:

    "...On the other hand, ignorant people of the present age, so long as they acknowledge Shakyamuni Buddha as their proper object of devotion, will automatically escape any accusation of unfilial conduct; so long as they put their faith in the Lotus Sutra, though that may not have been what they had in mind, they will be cleared of any fault of slandering the Law."

  6. "And on another occasion the little retreat where I was living, where I had enshrined a statue of Shakyamuni Buddha as the object of devotion, and where I stored the texts of the various sutras, was attacked and destroyed, and the statue of the Buddha and sutra texts were not only trampled upon, but thrown into the mud and filth. And a scroll of the Lotus Sutra, which I had placed in the breast of my robe, was snatched forth and I was mercilessly beaten over the head with it. These heinous crimes were carried out not because of any ancient enmity harbored against me or because of any offense I had recently committed, but solely because I worked to propagate the teachings of the Lotus Sutra."

  7. "This man named Nakatomi no Kamako was later granted a new surname and became known as Fujiwara no Kamatari. He was appointed inner minister, bore the title of the rank Great Woven Cap,6 and was the founder of the present-day Fujiwara family. That image of Shakyamuni Buddha is the present-day object of devotion at Kōfuku-ji temple. Thus Shakyamuni Buddha is the reason the emperor was emperor, the reason the minister was minister, and the reason this land of the gods became the land of the Buddha. Please understand this by comparing it with what I have written in my letter to Uemon no Tayū.7 The reason our country now faces the threat of subjugation to another nation is that people fail to pay the least attention to Shakyamuni Buddha. The power of the gods is also ineffective for this reason."