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Wednesday, March 30, 2016

When expected benefits don't materialize and when enthusiasm and excitement is not enough

It is the time to test the Nichiren faith and practice and take the ninety day challenge. In our Sangha, there is no concept of "pre contractual solidarity"* that will keep you bound to the organization regardless of actual proof. You can just walk away.

If you have been chanting for something for months or years and haven't realized your goal, you owe it to yourself to take the Nichiren Lotus Sutra Buddhist ninety day challenge. You will have to un-enshrine your SGI Gohonzon and embrace the same faith as Nichiren.

When you are ready to practice the Lotus Sutra as Nichiren Daisonin details you have no choice but to lower the banner of your pride and change your allegiance. I can not promise that you will not be exiled and persecuted and you will not find yourself living in a hut without heat and hot water but I can promise you Supreme and Perfect Enlightenment.

*From A Neo-Durkheimian analysis of a new religious movement: The case of Soka Gakkai in Italy by Carlo Barone

120 comments:

  1. I have not been able to find the doctrinal basis for chanting "Namu- Myoho-Renge-Kyo" - Were Nichiren's writings altered ?
    Struggling with chanting "Namu" for the first time today .
    I have un-enshrinedy Nichikan Gohonzon , removed all traces of SGI from my altar. I was thrown out of SGI Boston 3 times in 20 years for expressing my concerns about practices that diverge greatly from Nichiren's teachings. I am seeking pure, correct practice ...
    Thank you-
    ~Katie

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    1. excellent katie. surely, the buddhas and bodisattvas are smiling. best wishes.

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  2. Hi Katie,

    "I have not been able to find the doctrinal basis for chanting "Namu- Myoho-Renge-Kyo" - Were Nichiren's writings altered ?"

    In s nutshell yes they have been. Namu is the actual spelling that is on the Gohonzon, it is composed of two characters Nam and U. All Nichiren sects apart from Nichiren Shoshu and ots off shoot chant Namu myoho renge kyo. For reasons best known to themselves, in regular Daimoku sessions and smash, Nichiren Shoshu dropped the U (or made it silent).

    Although when I started practicing and SGI was still a lay organisation of NS, in some parts of Gongyo, the "long Daimoku" was retained for sancho and believers would chant the full Namu myoho renge kyo.

    Somehow, all NS and SGI English Language publications used Nam instead of Namu, which is not correct. The originals always write Namu.

    Translations of the same Gosho used by all other Nichiren Sects band many Independents) always write Namu, which is correct.

    Example: University of Hawaii Press translation of Q&A on the Honzon (Object of Worship/Devotion) (Vol 2 -Doctrine, Page 259)

    Q:As ordinary people who live in the evil latter days, what should we define as the Honzon?

    A:We should regard the Daimoku of the Lotus Sutra as the Honzon.

    The intro to this Gosho tells about the inaugurate the practice of chanting Namu myoho renge kyo (for his followers, he didn't invent this phrase but he did give it significance and explain why it was worthy of being the Honzon).

    The terms Daimoku and Honzon are also starred as glossary items in this work:

    (Ibid Page 300)
    "Daimoku - see Namu myoho renge kyo."

    (Ibid page 324)

    "Namu myoho renge kyo:

    "Namu myoho renge kyo refers to the 'daimoku of the essential section', one of the three great Dharmas of Nichiren Shonin. Namu means putting absolute faith in or seeking refuge in, so this phrase means having faith in the teachings of the Lotus Sutra. According to Nichiren the daimoku is not the mere title of the sutra but is charged with all the merits of the sutra preached by Shakyamuni Buddha. Therefore by putting faith in and chanting it we will be given all the merits of the Sutra. Thus he considered chanting the daimoku as the basis for practicing the Lotus Sutra and it is the only way leading to buddhahood for us in the latter age of degeneration" (latter day of the Law - mappo)

    Now consider the SGI translation of this Gosho.

    Writings of Nichiren Daishonin Volume 2 page 787.

    Questions and Answers on the Object of Devotion

    "QUESTION: In the evil world of the latter age, what should ordinary men and women take as their object of devotion?

    Answer: They should make the daimoku of the Lotus Sutra their object of devotion."

    Daimoku is note starred as a glossary item, however it does appear there as follows:

    (Ibid)


    "daimoku (Jpn) (1) The title of a sutra, in particular the title of the Lotus Sutra, Myoho-renge-kyo. (2) The invocation of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo in Nichiren Daishonin’s Buddhism."

    And the entry for Nam myoho renge kyo is:

    "Nam-myoho-renge-kyo The ultimate Law or reality that permeates all phenomena in the universe. It is the invocation or daimoku in the Buddhism of Nichiren Daishonin, who identified it as the teaching underlying, or the essence of, the Lotus Sutra."

    It is perhaps notable that the entry below is for the Nembutsu invocation that Nichiren spoke out about and argued against (and regretted having chanted as a young Tendai monk). There Namu is in its correct form:
    (Ibid)

    "Namu Amida Butsu “Homage to Amida Buddha.” Also known as the Nembutsu. The phrase invoked by followers of the Pure Land school with the aim of attaining rebirth in Amida’s pure land"

    Does this help you?

    Mark, Greg Noel and others can probably explain more (and probably better than me!) :)

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    1. Soz for typos, smash should be sansho and band should be and!

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    2. Also on rhythm, you may want to slow Daimoku down and get the right beats, otherwise it becomes halting. Where folk chant to a drum beat, there are 2 quick drum beats for the Namu followed by regular drum beats for each other syllable. So Namu myo become like a triplet. Lool, took me a while to get that and then check it with good You Tube videos.

      Can anyone recommend and post a link to a good example for Katie?

      I can't go back though, leaving out the U just seems wrong now! :)

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  3. Tremendously helpful, thanks, Mudpie!

    Never heard anyone describing Gohonzon say that "Namu" is what is written; on ALL Gonhonzons??

    I did not adopt the abbreviated version of Gongyo introduced in SGI USA - continuing to chant the full Life Span Chapter and including the Shoten Zengin prayer in the morning. I was only familiar with Namu--as long daimoku, which I chanted after this prayer (facing East)

    Thanks especially for the tips on rhythm-- slowing down was natural. Triplet concept is very helpful.

    I really appreciate all of the background you provided. My first impression is that this is very important-- feels more *solid*, and I actually like having to focus and being mindful of how and what I am chanting.
    ~Katie

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    1. You're welcome Katie, glad it has helped. As far as I'm aware all Gohonzon's have Namu written on them in full.

      I found this Nichiren Shu You Tube lecture on Nichiren mandala Gohonzon's by Ben Capon really interesting.

      https://youtu.be/fdCX1Llvp0E (or go to Choeizan Temple Channel and look for Nichiren Shonin's Mandala Gohonzon of the Lotus Sutra.)

      The different types are shown towards the end but I enjoyed the whole lecture.

      Mark, Noel and Greg are probably better placed to explain the Ten Worlds Gohonzon and the differences between that and the Nichikan Gohonzon.

      I agree that Namu feels more solid. So you're another one who continued to chant all of the Juryohon! How wonderful :)

      Actually, I wouldn't mind chanting some of the other chapters too. I know there is a longer Hobenpon that some folk chant because Nichiren did.

      I think Medicinal Herbs and Never Disparaging would also be on my list, I think there are recitation CD's bath they all seem to be on the US side of the pond (I'm UK). I'm very fond of both chapter's but then I'm very fond of the whole Sutra, embracing it has done a lot for me and I seen the same in others.

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    2. After my first day of chanting the Odaimoku and watching the You Tube lecture Mudpie referenced, Ben Capon's lecture on Nichiren's mandala Gohonzons, I experienced a realization I'd like to share here, with deep appreciation for this forum.

      .The decision I made, then the process of un-enshrining my Nichikan *scroll* -and removing it first from (storage) my altar, then placing it in a protective container on my balcony outside of my home, reflects the respect I have always felt for what I believed to be an object of worship. However, I had never experienced true reverence for it, and now having a context based on what I have learned from reading here for several hours at a time over the past week, I am relieved to know that it was not for lack of effort and seeking spirit on my part.

      For the past 28 years , I have displayed reverence for the characters, words and meaning of the Juryo Chapter in the sutra book as I am doing Gonyo, and Nichiren's writings, as I read the Gosho while chanting. The difficulty I experienced chanting directly to both the Nikken and Nichikan scrolls that were issued by SGI USA was a challenge I attributed to my own karma. It would have never occurred to me to question any aspect of the Gohonzon, and I once firmly believed that it was only my own faith and assiduous practice that needed some realignment, as the Gohonzon must surely be perfect--perfectly endowed.

      I was taught to chant an abbreviated daimoku, and heard it explained as "Devotion to the Mystic Law; simultaneous cause and effect; according to the teaching of the Buddha". And that IT was a mandala, so called because it referred back to itself. The teaching of the Buddha IS devotion to this Law. The teaching IS the practice of chanting the Mystic Law. These distorted or manufactured teachings always ran through my mind when I stared at Gohonzon while chanting. I contemplated much more profound teachings when I was NOT looking at Gohonzon.

      Yesterday, I chanted Odaimoku correctly for the first time- meditating on the True meaning of the one essential phrase, the heart of the Lotus Sutra.

      "Namu"! I am placing absolute faith in and am seeking refuge in the teaching of the Lotus Sutra--. I am not sure I can express this experience directly in words, but I can share that facing the gold paper lining of my empty butsadan , I chanted Namu Myoho Renge Kyo for an hour, never once feeling the urge to look away or leaf through my collected writings of Nichiren.

      I have always been able to chant for several hours seated in front of my altar. I believe my thirst for understanding fueled *daimoku* and the combination enhanced my study, definitely making it one of the most enjoyable experiences in my practice. But, I was admonished for doing this several times; told I was disrespecting Gohonzon, and motivated to change my behavior.

      I was never quite able to break the habit of reciting *Part B*, as it was my favorite part of Gongyo. Though I can recite from memory, I always held my sutra book in front and a little above eye level, wanting to imagine each character was a golden Shakyamuni Buddha. (Just to mention a few of my personal touches that annoyed local SGI leaders).

      I once remarked that I continued to chant the Juryo Chapter- part B, because within it Nichiren had gleaned the *True Object of Worship* . I was always looking for it, the True Object of Worship, and now I know why.

      ~Katie

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  4. mark will have plenty. howdy folks. in many, many, many discussions with former nst and especially sgi friends, and many strangers within these groups, and among those who are even aware that the real daimoku is namu myoho renge kyo. their claim is that when chanted the U is dropped and that it does not matter. in other words it is all the same. my reply to them is that in any legitimate gosho in nichirens hand, nichiren always, without exception wrote the five or seven characters of the daimoku. never, not once did he ever say the six characters. not only do the sgi/nst speak it incorrectly but they also spell it incorrectly in their translations. as mudpie boi said all other sects chant namu, and spell it namu. bottom line, if one would change the one essential phrase(namu myoho renge kyo), what else would they change? answer - everything. and they have.
    i'm sure mark will post something that nichiren wrote about this subject. cheers.

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    2. yes mudpie, i also received much while chanting the daimoku incorrectly. ultimately buddhism exists in the heart. that being said , nichiren teaches: there are two main reasons why people make mistakes in their practice of buddhism, 1. they are ignorant of the real teachings and 2. they follow a bad teacher/leader. once ones eyes begin to open, in most cases, there is no going back. the illness that exists in buddhism today is due to people/priests not following nichiren and arbitrary opinion is rampant. this goes all the way back to nichiju's time(founder of the kempon hokke). i left the sgi/nst back in 1987 because i was very aware they did not teach buddhism. needless to say, they don't like me very much. best wishes.

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  5. Thanks Greg and howdy too! I agree. That said, chanting "incorrectly" didn't stop me from getting benefit but the that's probably to do with sincerity and faith. I do remember asking about the long Daimoku early in my practice but it was explained as a legitimate abbreviation that was normal. Since there are other word contractions (esho for example) I accepted this. Once I knew better I had to switch to the writing and chanting the correct form.

    I can see now, from chanting the correct form, how the U might have been dropped. It's easy for it to become silent I the chant is too fast or I'm is not concentrating at that moment. I agree with Katie about the more mindful practice Namu myoho renge entails, which is a really good thing considering the "one essential phrase". It's only in NS, to my knowledge, that has been a very small and quite isolated sect from the start, that the silent U seems to have become the norm then been legitimised.

    Chanting it wrong is one thing but writing it the wrong way in NS/SGI translations is quite another. Especially when it's not a legitimate abbreviation.

    Like you say, Greg, what else did they change? I've come to realise quite a bit!!!

    I really appreciate you all being here to help highlight those issues and point towards to richer and more accurate sources of information :) It's helped me loads. I've got my faith and practice back on a firm and sound footing and it's taking off again (and my life with it). I can't believe I put up with all the organisational tricks and "noise" for so long but maybe that was just the right thing to happen. As the saying goes "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger (and wiser)" and knowing that stuff maybe can help others in the same situation or heading towards it. Hydra's you've helped me.

    Thanks. :)

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    1. "*just as you've helped me." Lool sometimes predictive text has a real sense of humour!

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    2. mudpie boi, my reply is above.

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  6. 90 day challenge -skip the daimoku for oneself for 90 days and discover it is largely superstition. By all means chant for others. I gave my alter and gohonzon to a friend.

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    1. Hmm...ohgee - you're making a very big assumption that one's goal or the benefits one seeks is "daimoku for oneself". That's not what the post says. Also the "self and other" dichotomy is a false assertion. It doesn't conform to the Sutra.

      It seems a strange position to state in the one hand that it's largely superstition but then on the other encourage one to chant for others, since by definition this would be pointless, unless of course your suggesting that the shift of focus from self to others is in some way valuable in and of itself. Actually, there is good evidence that focussing on others rather than oneself is a good thing and hasn't range of benefits but really, there are much better ways to do that than but shifting focus in a spiritual practice, if indeed it is simply superstition.

      But that's not really the point of the Sutra and to embrace that self/other, this/that view is to miss the point. The entry might be through faith alone but that doesn't mean it's superstition, that can only be judged by whether entry is achieved or not, whether it's effective. And that's a judgement each of us has to make for ourselves, it cannot be generalised.

      Further, although entry is through faith alone, that does not tell one anything about what happens after one has entered. Again, the Sutra does. It sets out clear markers in terms of what one should expect after one has entered.

      I would suggest that faith is replaced by knowing, by wisdom, I would expect a distinct shirt of consciousness to accompany successful entry and a shift that dissolves 'this or that' categorisations. The Sutra points that out (Medicinal Herbs in the verse section is a good place to look for a good example but there are many others).

      So them the question might be, is this just theory or have I experienced that? Yes. can I sustain it? No. That's why I continue to practice. Faith is the tool I use to enter but that's not the goal, that is to embrace and uphold.

      But the Sutra is tricky isn't it, it likes to play games, it tells us that too. And it tells us why. I can think of no other teaching that is as practical, effective and in some senses easy to carry out, yet so profound. For me at least it works and does so in situations and circumstances where the many other tools in my box don't or won't. Others may find different tools more effective, alternatively they may just not understand how to use the tool they've chanced across. Which admittedly amounts to the sane thing.

      But hey ho, I taught myself to ride a cycle at a late age after being forbidden from having one for all of my childhood and most of my teens, with the result that I became an accomplished rider and sustained a life long passion and gained the health benefits that went with it. My entry into cycling was by faith alone but once I was there...boy am I glad I acted on that faith and stuck with it until I got the hang of it :)

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  7. ohgee's practice of shakubuku for the latter age - lets all go taitan. hee, hee. its your black heart that is the problem. poison-drum.

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  8. Could you cite the sutra for your assertion that its superstition?

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    1. Hmm...isn't ohgee just repeating his veiw that it is? If so, why would he cite the Sutra? I don't agree that it is bug I can't see why he would cite the Sutra if he thinks it is? That does seem to make no sense - lool but it could just be me being dumb!

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    2. One's personal opinion is irrelevant.

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    3. Thanks Shinkei "One's personal opinion is irrelevant." Please cite the relevant parts of the Sutra to back up your assertion.

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    4. I doubt I could find such a reference in the entire Tripitaka but maybe you can cite a Sutra where the Buddha exhorts a practioner to pray for his own protection or a raise at work.

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    5. You realy are so ignorant of the Lotus Sutra ohgee. I suggest you reread Chapters 18 ad 25... for example:

      “Moreover, Ajita, suppose a person for the sake of this sutra visits a monks’ quarters and, sitting or standing, even for a moment listens to it and accepts it. As a result of the benefits so obtained, when he is reborn in his next existence he will enjoy the finest, most superior and wonderful elephants, horses, and carriages, and palanquins decked with rare treasures, and will mount up to the heavenly palaces. Or suppose there is a person who is sitting in the place where the Law is expounded, and when another person appears, the first person urges him to sit down and listen, or offers to share his seat and so persuades him to sit down. The benefits gained by this person will be such that when he is reborn he will be in a place where the lord Shakra is seated, where the heavenly king Brahma is seated, or where a wheel-turning sage king is seated."

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  9. Re nam/namu
    Its a CHINESE transliteration of the sanskrit word namo/namah. The japanese is kimyo (帰命)。another old japanese word is namaku (this phone doesnt have the na kanji, maku is 謀).

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  10. Re the assertion that a honzon must have ALL of the 10 worlds written on it-you will need to cite the gosho where this is found or Lotus Sutra.

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    1. Thanks Shinkei, am I missing something, I can't seem to see the "assertion" to which you refer.

      If you are referencing my post, then you have read into it something that is not there.

      Perhaps you will read the rest of the post and maybe have a look at the lecture to which I refer? If you have mistaken my post, You'll get a better idea of the context of my statement if it is indeed what you are confused about.

      Since you raised the subject, could you provide references to the relevant Sutra and Gosho passages that would help the discussion?

      It seems to me that you are representing a view and it would be helpful to be explicit about your view and why you have come to that view based on Gosho and Sutra. Thanks :)

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    2. See the kanjon honzon sho,sho hokke daimoku sho,honzon mondo sho.

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    3. Thanks for the reference Shinkei. And the "assertion" to which you refer? Where dies that appear in this thread, or did you read my post too quickly and assume I was asserting something? Could you clarify please. Thanks :)

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    4. Shinkei is talking to Noel about his assertions regarding the "Ten World" Gohonzon.

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    5. Thanks Mark, no wonder I was confused, Shinkei is responding to a post in another thread!

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    6. I'm back, and the mystery 10 world gohonzon Gosho is "The Real Aspect of the Gohonzon"

      http://www.nichirenlibrary.org/en/wnd-1/Content/101


      and while we are on the subject I consider Daimoku is what activates the portal Gohonzon so that Musa Sanjin Thus come one 3body Tathagatta that exists within us as a potential become one. The individual reward body that is imperfect becomes temporarily perfect. The Dharma body is already perfect and our manifestation improves through our actions , words and deeds.

      Nichiren and Shakyamuni have been through the process. They are no exceptions to the same potential that we all have. They have been there done that and will no doubt will do it all over again as we would also have done. The probability would be certain if it is true that the individual Alaya consciousness has no beginning or end..if you get my drift...just saying

      Just doing Daimoku without a Gohonzon is like having a house key without having a house for people that aren't already fully enlightened which is most of us. It's like admiring the mansion from out side without experiencing it from within

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  11. Re the changed gosho
    In the rebuking slander of the law(kashaku hobo metsuzai sho) the gak translates ...'who knows but what these are great signs fortelling that though the Lotus Sutra *has* perished'... the japanese is metsu fu metsu, which means ☆seems to have☆ not *has*. There are many more huge sectarian based mistakes.

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  12. Re the practice of gongyo
    In the gessui gosho, (recitation of the hoben and juryo chapters) ths shonin suggests the recitation of the prose sections of the hoben and juryo chapters. This is oarts 'a' and 'c' of the old gak and shoshu sutra books. Of course it is fine to do part 'b', (chogyo).

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    1. Thanks Shinkei, that's helpful, what about the other other parts the Sutra? Nichiren recommends some explicitly but doesn't he say that other parts are fine too?

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    2. Gessui gosho. Yes they are fine to recite, but they are 'branches and leaves' of the 2nd and 16th chapters. Daimoku includes these other chapters.

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  13. the essence of what the eternal buddha and his emissary for the latter age(nichiren) taught, is that , in the latter age, the way to change ones negative karma, thereby attaining the life condition of buddhahood, is to put ones faith in the lotus sutra. end of story. that faith is expressed by the chanting of namu myoho renge kyo and upholding the lotus sutra. the teachings are clear, without faith, there is no benefit. any knowledge of the teachings is useless without faith. hence, nichiren encouraged the development of strong, correct faith. this is my challenge everyday.

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    1. I completely agree faith is the foundation and it can be difficult! I know that one too!!

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  14. "Shinkei is talking to Noel about his assertions regarding the "Ten World" Gohonzon"

    not really. im talking to anyone that makes this unsupported erroneous assertion.

    "I'm back, and the mystery 10 world gohonzon Gosho is "The Real Aspect of the Gohonzon"

    i would suggest you read lthe honzon mondo sho, sho hokke daimoku sho, kanjin honzon sho, the one essential phrase for starters.


    'and while we are on the subject I consider Daimoku is what activates the portal Gohonzon so that Musa Sanjin Thus come one 3body Tathagatta that exists within us as a potential become one.'
    citation please. musa sanjin is a nst corruption of tientai doctrine.

    'The individual reward body that is imperfect becomes temporarily perfect. The Dharma body is already perfect and our manifestation improves through our actions , words and deeds.'
    ????? read the importance of the moment of death

    'Nichiren and Shakyamuni have been through the process. They are no exceptions to the same potential that we all have.'
    what do you mean?
    'They have been there done that and will no doubt will do it all over again as we would also have done.'
    again, what does this mean?
    'The probability would be certain if it is true that the individual Alaya consciousness has no beginning or end..if you get my drift...just saying'
    again, what?

    'Just doing Daimoku without a Gohonzon is like having a house key without having a house for people that aren't already fully enlightened which is most of us. It's like admiring the mansion from out side without experiencing it from within'
    what? many people never received a honzon. there is no record that Nichinyo did. the Lotus Sutra states that the sutra itself can be used as the honzon. Nichiren used a statue of Shakyamuni. study the meaning of jikkai gogu (mutual possession of the ten worlds).
    where do you get this stuff?
    you should forget what you learned in the gakkai. it is bunk. and to add personal opinion without support from the gosho or sutra is no different than the sgi or nst.
    there are numerous gohonzon that dont have the 10 worlds inscribed on them.
    to assert that one knows what Nichiren intended when writing the honzon is hobo.
    gassho
    shinkei

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    2. I find myself agreeing with Shinkei on this one Noel.

      I find The Real Aspect of Gohonzon to be a problematic writing, so I don't rely on it. That said it would be surprising if Nichiren didn't consider all ten worlds significant and didn't depict them in his later mandalas. So its odd that some of the mandalas that derive from his most full depictions are missing some of the ten worlds.

      Personally, I find myself focussing on the Willow Gohonzon as the minimum that Nichiren would likely have considered necessary to depict in a mandala he considered valid.

      My reasoning is that at that time, Nichiren was under a real threat of death. So what did he either want to leave behind for his followers or what did he want to create as a mandala for himself to deal with that situation?

      I do not know which of these reasons for its creation holds or if there was another reason. Perhaps someone with greater knowledge can help me if they do know?

      But whatever the reason, it seems to me that if I were in that same situation, with limited time (Nichiren was in a rush when he "wrote it"), with limited resources and facing what seemed to be almost certain death and I needed to create a valid mandala, I'd focus on depicting what was absolutely necessary for it to "function" as a Honzon.

      So, if this was the case (and I take the pint that we cannot know the mind of Nichiren and what was going through his head at that time), what elements does the Willow Gohonzon depict?

      It shows Namu myoho renge kyo down the centre and Fudo and Aizen, with little else (his signature, where and when he wrote it etc.). These elements are found in all later depictions.

      Honzon Modo Sho would seem to support that arrangement, in the first Q&A he says the daimoku of the Lotus Sutra is the Honzon that should be taken for people in the latter day and that's what he depicted in the Willow mandala, with the addition of the symbolic protectors of Buddhism that also carry the significance of earthly desires are enlightenment and hell is the land of eternally tranquil light.

      I tend to separate the terms "Gohonzon" and "mandala" these days, to remind myself that the "Gohonzon is found in the two characters of faith". I think it's unhelpful to use the term Gohonzon to refer to any depictions, since it can easily lead to imbuing the thing itself with a mystical power independent of correct faith.

      Hence SGI members being taught to chant to the "Gohonzon" but with focus on the "heart of the mentor" or to establish a mystical transmission through their relationship with him, which I consider to be incorrect faith.

      If you think I've got any of this wrong, please let me know - lool I know you will! Thanks :)

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    3. If I contemplate Nichiren's prolific writings; that is, his personalized letters to a fairly diverse group of followers, -studying them within the cultural and historic context they were written, (thinking of Ben Capon's lecture), I find that I am reluctant to believe that the Honzon Nichiren inscribed was crucial to attaining enlightenment.

      Hence, when Nichiren says "never seek this Gohonzon outside of yourself", it seems to me he is reaffirming that awakening to and believing in the truth of our lives as entities of the Mystic Law, is determined by our behavior, based on faith alone.

      Shijo Kingo who became a follower of Nichiren's in 1256, did not receive a Gohonzon until 1273-- 2 years after his profound display of faith and resolve, accompanying Nichiren to Tatsunokuchi Beach. Nichiren bestowed Gohonzon for the protection of Shijo's infant daughter who was gravely ill.

      Each Gohonzon Nichiren inscribed was uniquely personalized for the intended recipient. Nichiren refused to bestow Gohonzon at the request of a follower named, Oama, ("Reply to Nhama") because she was "insincere" and had discarded the Lotus Sutra when Nichiren incurred the wrath of government officials. He bestowed Gohonzon on another disciple with instructions not to show it to anyone who lacked faith.

      In addition to not yet finding any substantiation in Nichiren's own writings for inscribing a Gohonzon "for all mankind", I have not found reasonable support for believing correct practice of the Lotus Sutra is only possible when one has this object of worship.

      On the other hand, it could be argued that grave distortions of Nichiren's teachings have arisen from arbitrary views concerning the "Real" significance of the Gohonzon.
      ~Katie

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    4. Hi Katie. I'm inclined to agree regards the necessity of a mandala but I do think "a correct Honzon" is required. I take object of devotion to mean what one is embracing or directing one's focus towards. I think it's pretty natural for people to hold an image or some kind of representation of what they worship or are devoted to in their heads/hearts and also to place representations in their outer world. Think about all those picture of the Ines we love scattered around our homes or that take pride of place. So maybe the type of object isn't as important as what it represents. Nichiren's attitude seems to have been that the representations weren't as important as long as they were the Lotus Sutra/Daimoku/Eternal Buddha and didn't mix in other teachings (Nembutsu etc.)

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    5. Hi Mudpie,
      I am very grateful for the experience of purifying my altar and chanting daimoku correctly. Open to contemplating "a correct Honzon" - want it to emerge from my faith , celebrating deepening faith in correct practice. I don't take lightly the way counterfeit Gohonzons are thrust upon people by SGI- and I finally feel solid that Dai- Gohonzon is a hoax . Nichiren was so selective and his practice inscribing Gohonzon is such a personal matter- I don't want to make assumptions -- so many have been proven wrong:-/

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  15. noel, no offence, but maybe a little too much arbitrary opinion regarding this subject.

    for your consideration.

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    1. I consider that what I'm saying is not arbitrary but rather the way it is from what I have so far been able to work out. IT's only arbitrary depending from which perspective it is being viewed from. And your opinions from my perspective can also be seen as arbitrary because of your mind set that is judging my opinions and I accept this because this is where your at and where you need to be for now and the same goes for Mark Sinkay Mudpie Kate and Ohgee and whoever else feels that way and that's OK too my friends.

      No ones perfect at least yet (my apologies if you are a full blown Buddha) so we wont hold our breaths for it, as it could be long time coming but if there is one consolation it is through the mutual possession of the ten worlds that makes us temporal Buddha's or is this another arbitrary opinion because IT's not clearly written word for word in the Lotus Sutra, Nichiren's teachings etc and what I am saying can be branded as another form of slander/arbitrary opinions

      I am not in a 24 seven state of enlightenment as Shakyamuni and Nichiren who were in alignment with the 3 bodied Tathagtta Thus come one YET. How about you, Mark, Shinkei Mudpie Kate and Ohgee ? I think it could be agreed that we are all still working on it

      "arbitrary opinions are based on random choice or personal whim, rather than any reason or system.
      "an arbitrary decision"

      synonyms: capricious, whimsical, random, chance, erratic, unpredictable, inconsistent, wild, hit-or-miss, haphazard, casual; unmotivated, motiveless, unreasoned, unreasonable, unsupported, irrational, illogical, groundless, unjustifiable, unjustified, wanton; discretionary, personal, subjective; rarediscretional


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    2. Thanks Noel, I'm definitely not in 24/7 state of enlightenment!!! I think I stated that somewhere? I think the clue is in my screen name, I do the best I can :) Iam sorry if my post came across as critical, that was not my intention, I was agreeing with Shinkei's reasoning and put my own out there to get shot down or stimulate inquiry. Please don't take that as a disparagement of your sincere faith or practice, I didn't intend that at all.

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    3. MPB I think that some of us who left the SGI loved some of the Buddhist concepts that came from nst and we still do. We don't need to throw the baby out with the bath water, there are jewels amongst the rubble. Some unfortunately don't have the capacity to see them for what they are worth and trample them underfoot Noël

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    4. Thanks Anon.

      It rather depends in which concepts. NSSGI taught me importance of reading Gosho for myself, to stay close to Nichiren and faith based practice centered on Gohonzon.

      That worked for me. But the split exposed the problems with transmission through lineage and indeed made me aware of that in a way I'd not been before. I couldn't accept NST position of enlightenment in theory only for lay people, which NST was putting around, so I chose SGI because it seemed to be the more faith based option at the time.

      I guess history has proved me wrong the way cause and effect played out - lineage is being reasserted by SGI.

      Of the two, I'm less tolerant of SGI (org.) because I think it's further from Nichiren, Gosho and Gohonzon, can do more to damage the teachings and hold back kosen rufu.

      However misguided, I think some priests actually believe in the Daimoku as the fundamental cause for enlightenment and minister on that basis. If I had only two choices of org. and had to choose one, I'd choose NST. Fortunately I don't have such a forced choice.

      I don't think that's the same for SGI, who have manipulated and changed teachings and practice, away from any kind of faith in the Law alone, by mixing it with mentor worship.

      For example, when I started, although the High Priest was respected as the leader of the faith, I was never taught to "chant to understand his heart" or to "make a relationship with him", nor that I could only attain buddhahood by following him. Gohonzon and faith was all, even if it was centred on Dai Gohonzon.

      That's not true of today's SGI and it's teaching of mentor-disciple.

      Although I wouldn't go back to NST, I can fully understand why SGI members return to the temple and why SGI sees them as such a threat. NST at least has a bit of something, the SGI of today has nothing. It's become little different from the worst of the other New Age money making scams that see mystical teachings as a way to milk people. It's quite happy to strategically repackage itself and tailor it's teachings to suit whatever market place it is operating in.

      At heart I think it's a cynical organisation, whether that was always the case I don't know. My early experience with it would suggest otherwise but then again, the history with the priesthood was hidden from our view until it erupted and SGI changes have clearly been planned and enacted carefully and at a deliberately slow pace, that takes forethought and careful consideration of what it's audience, the Belibers, will tolerate.

      Ironically, I think that will be its undoing. It's a 50's conservative org. struggling to cope with the fast paced 21st century information age and it's as it moves away from faith it doesn't have the flexibly of the Law to deal with that. It'll continue playing with its toys in the burning house...

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    5. Have you read this? Check out the last paragraph. Hanano is a paisano. However, he still retains remnants of his association with NST. He will wake up, I predict.
      http://markrogow.blogspot.com/2016/04/a-wonderful-piece-by-dr-jacqueline-stone.html

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    6. Thanks MP,



      "I couldn't accept NST position of enlightenment in theory only for lay people, which NST was putting around",

      My wife who understands Nichiren Buddhism inside out says this statement is absolute nonsense and it probably came from SGI because they want to turn away people from NST in any way they can and guess what it worked in your case in this instance


      I believe the same could be said for the other Nichiren sects as NST is their biggest threat so they misrepresent them by making up whatever stories they can to discredit them

      We should really investigate NST beliefs from their official site rather than listen too much of what could be valid or arbitrary opinions, their will be agreement and disagreement in what we find

      I am attracted to their spiritual teachings but not their rituals which is the main reason that I could not join them. Its just that how they explain ichinen sanzen, eternity of life,3 bodied Tathagatta ,Shakyamuni, Nichiren etc makes so much darn good sense to me, because it joins all the dots, and it doesn't change my mind no matter how much is said about them being full of bullshit. If they are bullshit artists they would have to be one of the best that I have ever come across so far

      Check out the Hawaii report, Mark may have it in his archives. The Soka Gakkai take over was planed many decades ago, that's how long they have been fu***ng with peoples minds

      Can you inform me about what the Bilbers are about because I have heard them mentioned few times now Thanks

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    7. Not really [a threat]. They will return into the backwater temple they were before the advent of the Gakkai:

      http://markrogow.blogspot.com/2016/03/nichiren-shoshu-kents-excellent-article.html

      http://markrogow.blogspot.com/2015/12/everything-you-need-to-know-about.html

      If they are so correct, let one of their priests or your wife come here and let us discuss the matter.

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    8. I have discussed and read what you have said on many occasions with her and she says that your reasoning is flawed because you have not yet grasped Thus come one 3 bodied Tathagatta that makes your understanding of Shakyamuni and Nichiren warped.

      Further more you are not a Nichiren Buddhist but rather Shakyamuni Buddhist because that is what you are fixated upon she says

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    9. Hi Noel, thanks. This came directly from NST, not from SGI but I'll give the background below the quotes.

      "I couldn't accept NST position of enlightenment in theory only for lay people, which NST was putting around",

      "My wife who understands Nichiren Buddhism inside out says this statement is absolute nonsense and it probably came from SGI because they want to turn away people from NST in any way they can and guess what it worked in your case in this instance."

      So, when all this erupted, NST sent a priest from Japan, with material explaining the NST position and why the SGI was at fault in terms of faith and doctrine. He met with several people, including my then Chapter Chief, who was part of the couple who taught me Gongyo. They are no longer practicing (one of the first casualties of SGI shenanigans), let alone SGI. I have no reason to think they were involved in skullduggery nor that they would incline themselves to such. He was reluctant to give me the materials in case it caused a rift between me and SGI but I insisted. There was quite a lot of weird stuff in there, which is consistent with NST statements subsequently.

      I suppose it is not beyond possibility that there was an elaborate ruse going on with SGI posing as a priest or somehow enlisting my Chapter Chief's into a scam but given that they left SGI because of the later shift towards mentor-disciple etc. and didn't like the way the org. was being taken. Also because I knew them very well and know them to be down to earth and principled with integrity, I don't find that credible. We had a very different SGI org. in the UK, more distant from Japan.

      But even if that was the case and there was a ruse going on, I wrote directly to Head Temple, asking about the points in their material and also bring quite open about what SGI was saying about them. I took a neutral position at that time and asked that they correct any misinformation and to pit their side to me directly.

      So my subsequent choices were informed by Head temples materials and their response to my inquiry.

      The next thing that happened was excommunication. So you can see that SGI continued to (in the UK) pretty much teach as it had as NSUK
      and NST had provided teaching I could not accept (and had never been aware of before then) had not given satisfactory responses and had the apparently excommunicated me and my fellow believers.

      I say "apparently" because I have only very recently become aware that actually, believers had been given 7 years before being kicked out of NST and it was only Ikeda who was excommunicated in 91. SGI didn't tell me that!

      I can now see that this maybe the reason why SGI didn't start to make big alterations to the teachings and the faith doctrine it had inherited until after 2000. Even as late as the end of the 90's it was still teaching faith in Dai Gohonzon. It may be that it wanted members firmly retained and to ensure it was more difficult for them to return to NST (once they had actually been excommunicated rather than to just believe they had).

      So, with me SGI misled but NST did little it nothing to correct the situation or more generally, communicate well.

      That's why I have little time for both but I have more time for NST than I do SGI (as an org. - many of the members are sincere and want to do right but are misled and have been bombarded with sophisticated guile and bamboozlement).

      Does that explain the context of my statement better?

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    10. "Belibers" sometimes my tablet auto corrects believers to "Beliber", which is a term for the devoted fan base for Justin Bieber (a teen idol Canadian Singer).

      I don't always spot that substitution when I proof but it also seems quite an apt description for unthinking followers caught up in excessive emotional adoration of an idolised figure.


      I can only think reality has a sense of humour in making that auto correct substitution, since it does describe well the cult of celebrity and personality that surrounds Ikeda "The Mentor". Although, I think Justin Bieber, whilst not to my musical tastes, is probably more talented. Certainly he's better marketed but then his management make no secret about the fact he is marketed and how.

      In that respect it's more open, honest and transparent, which cannot be said of the SGI publicity/marketing machine.

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    11. Thanks Noel. I suppose this is a possibility:

      "I believe the same could be said for the other Nichiren sects as NST is their biggest threat so they misrepresent them by making up whatever stories they can to discredit them"

      But that's not my experience. Admittedly I haven't had that much contact with Nichiren Shu but I haven't come across anything that would suggest they are out to "discredit" NST as an org. beyond stating their clear doctrinal differences.

      If anything, they don't seem to bothered by NST though they are clear they do not agree with Nichiren as the True Buddha stance nor the Dai Gohonzon as the source of all.

      Shu is the larger more mainstream sect in Japan but it's not a unitary entity, so there are a range of doctrinal positions represented within its ranks (including parts of the Fuji school, which visit not synonymous with NShoshu.) Nikken's Alma Mater was Rissho University, where Shu priests train in doctrine etc.

      So not beyond the bounds but less likely and in my experience at least, I've seen no evidence of such.

      Maybe others know different?

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    12. Thanks Mark,"Have you read this? Check out the last paragraph. Hanano is a paisano. However, he still retains remnants of his association with NST. He will wake up, I predict.
      http://markrogow.blogspot.com/2016/04/a-wonderful-piece-by-dr-jacqueline-stone.html"

      Always got time for JS, I haven't seen this. I'll have a look. Thanks for sharing.

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    13. Thanks Noel. I agree with some of this. I think NST are more based on faith and Gohonzon centric and more sincere but I'm not sure I follow some of the below. NS explain Shakyamuni as a husk Buddha, the Buddha of the harvest. They describe Nichiren as the True Buddha of Kuon Ganjo (time without beginning) who inscribed his life in sumi and embodied it in the Dai Gohonzon. Certainly when I joined (and I practiced as an NS Belibers for about 4 years in all before the split, not once did any of the guidance materials or priest informed lectures talk about the three bodied Tathagatha.

      I think Marks position is that Nichiren regarded Shakyamuni as the eternal Buddha of the 16th Chapter and Nichiren identified himself (latterly) with Jogyo. That's the Shu position. NShoshu regard Nichiren as the Buddha of the 16th chapter post Tatunakuchi and Jogyo before. This is casting off the transient and revealing the True in their teaching.


      This position is not well supported by Nichiren's writings. There seems to be a lot of interpretation needed to get that Nichiren was saying this (or even hinting it).

      "I am attracted to their spiritual teachings but not their rituals which is the main reason that I could not join them. Its just that how they explain ichinen sanzen, eternity of life,3 bodied Tathagatta ,Shakyamuni, Nichiren etc makes so much darn good sense to me, because it joins all the dots, and it doesn't change my mind no matter how much is said about them being full of bullshit. If they are bullshit artists they would have to be one of the best that I have ever come across so far"

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    14. "I think Marks position is that Nichiren regarded Shakyamuni as the eternal Buddha of the 16th Chapter and Nichiren identified himself (latterly) with Jogyo. That's the Shu position. NShoshu regard Nichiren as the Buddha of the 16th chapter post Tatunakuchi and Jogyo before. This is casting off the transient and revealing the True in their teaching. "

      I have found this discrepancy most troubling in the sense that NShoshu would dare to create a teaching that so dramatically disregards Nichiren's own very well established habit of being sincere and forthright. Doesn't it bother you that these 'secret',' mystical" teachings are the polar opposite of Nichiren's life work?

      It's one thing that NShoshu went to this very dangerous extreme, but believing it in the 21st century seems like willful disregard for reality.
      ~Katie

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  16. At the end of the day we all take on board whatever floats the boat even though we may become shipwrecks We have freedom of choice that needs no approval by any self appointed experts so that we can fit onto the groove. Nichiren is not here and we cant rely on so called independent scholars so good luck making sense of it all.

    Noel

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    1. Agreed but there is something deeper isn't there? Something that "teaches the Law" within us. It's accessing and listening to that. I think the reliances are right, Law, Wisdom etc.

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  17. Freedom to become shipwrecks. LOL. Nichiren spent his whole life struggling to right the ship so no one drowned. He also taught that besides strong faith it is what we have faith in [the doctrines of Buddhism] that is of utmost importance.

    Sure, it is difficult to make sense of it all, but it is not impossible. There is a recipe: The Lotus Sutra and the Five Major writings and those writings definitely in Nichiren's hand.

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    1. What I'm saying is that it is our choice how we interpret Nichirens teachings and if we get it wrong we suffer the consequences like a ship thats been lost at sea. No laughing matter

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  18. Of course, and chanting the Daimoku and teaching others to do the same [to the best of our ability].

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  19. free to chose, but not free from the consequences of our choices.

    the history of nichirens buddhism is a perfect example.

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  20. If you mean what happened in Nichirens life time and also all the examples he gave of karmic consequences in the Gosho,plus what has happened in the last seven hundred years SO TRUE
    Noel

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  21. Met a young fellow today. Crushed pelvis [left side only], derangement of the knee, and crushed left ankle from another accident. He mentioned, all his problems were on the left side. l told him that I was a Buddhist and from the Buddhist perspective, he kicked and kneed people with his left leg and foot in a previous existence. He said in all seriousness, "I know what you mean".

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  22. Perhaps your wife would like to comment on these more than 200 passages of proof...

    http://markrogow.blogspot.com/2015/11/if-you-would-be-so-kind-could-you.html

    Apparently, no one was more "fixated" on Shakyamuni Buddha than was Nichiren.

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  23. She is too busy at the moment to answer your questions but the good news is that she has reserved a place for you in the queue. So in the mean time you'll just have to be patient for your answer like everybody else that needs her help. This could be "an opportunity for growth" as the SGI would say but I cant say that you will like it as truth often hurts if we are holding onto a fallacy but I know you have grown a lot over the years and if you see reason you can let things go and move on

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    1. Hi Noel, I've answered you and your wife's view in the thread above. It did come directly from NST as you'll see. Hope this clarifies. :)

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  24. There is more to it than you mentioned that will be forthcoming for yours and others perusal. But in the meantime i will say to you or anyone else..

    If Nichiren was fixated on Shakyamuni what do you think Shakyamuni was fixated upon.
    I don't expect the same answer from every one but then again i wouldn't be surprised if i did as something that can be so obvious often alludes us

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  25. Could it be that they have both fixated on the same thing that all other enlighttened beings throughout the 3 existences in the multidimensional universe have done,are doing and will do but are presenting it in a different way because of circumstances

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  30. If you mean the ultimate reality then yes I'd go with that. Actually the probably apocryphal story about the 4 gates sets it out. Historical Shakyamuni was moved to find the way to transcend the sufferings of the world. He wasn't the first to be enlightened but he was the first to do so without the aid of a fully awakened teacher. As the Sutra puts it "is the wisdom of all Buddhas. :)

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  31. "He wasn't the first to be enlightened but he was the first to do so without the aid of a fully awakened teacher. As the Sutra puts it "is the wisdom of all Buddhas."

    Are you referring to this planet or the multidimensional universe ?

    If this planet earth maybe

    If the multi dimensional universe 'no way Jose'

    The wisdom of all Buddha's is the 3 bodied Tathagatta Thus come one

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    1. And Nichiren gives a name and identity to the 3 Bodied Tathagata Thus Come One: The Master of Teachings Lord Shakya of the Juryo Chapter of the Lotus Sutra.

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    2. Nichiren Daishonin and Lord Shakya both being at one with 3 Bodied Tathagata Thus Come One in brief moment in vastness of eternity

      "Numberless major world system dust particle kalpas in the past the Thus Come One Shakyamuni, who was then an ordinary mortal, came to realize that his body was made up of the elements of earth, water, fire, wind, and space, and having done so, he immediately attained enlightenment. After that, in order to instruct and convert others he appeared in the world again and again, in age after age going through the process of acquiring the way and in place after place manifesting the eight phases of a Buddha’s existence. Later he was born in the palace of a king, gained enlightenment under the bodhi tree, and made it appear to p.851living beings that he had attained Buddhahood for the first time. In the forty and more years following, he set forth various expedient teachings in order to lead and guide living beings."

      The Unanimous Declaration by
      the Buddha's of the Three Existences regarding
      the Classification of the Teachings and
      Which Are to Be Abandoned and Which Upheld

      Written by Nichiren

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  32. "Tathāgata means "the one thus gone", referring to the Buddha. It is composed of "tathā" and "āgata, "thus come", or "tathā" and gata", "thus gone". The term refers to a Buddha, who has "thus gone" from samsara into nirvana, and "thus come" from nirvana into samsara to work for the salvation of all sentient beings"


    •Around 300 CE, the Yogacara school systematized the prevalent ideas on the nature of the Buddha in the Trikaya or three-body doctrine. According to this doctrine, Buddhahood has three aspects

    1.The Nirmana-kaya, or Transformation-body, the earthly manifestation of the Buddha

    2.The Sambhogakāya, or Enjoyment-body, a subtle body, by which the Buddha appears to bodhisattvas to teach them

    3.The Dharmakāya, or Dharma-body, the ultimate nature of the Buddha, and to the ultimate nature of reality

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buddha-nature

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  33. Hi Noel, I hope you're fine and dandy! :) Did you skim read my post. The sentence before the one you quoted placed the context.

    "Historical Shakyamuni was moved to find the way to transcend the sufferings of the world."

    For avoidance of doubt, I was taking about this planet. :)

    I'm not sure speculation on multidimensional universes is all that helpful unless one absolutely knows these exist, they have a material impact on functioning within this one or the need to routinely navigate and function within them. I don't, so beyond experiencing how the ultimate reality functions in the here and now

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    1. ...and how to utilise the mind and causality well, otherwise I don't have much use for them.

      I only need to experience myriad of lives unfolding, each in exquisite detail yet simultaneously once to understand this is a fact of life, part of reality and beyond the small mind to comprehend or words to adequately express. I don't need to dwell on it nor repeat that experience. The difficult work is application to what is near at hand. And what's near at hand is the phenomenal world is the Saha world.

      It's keeping the mystery in midst of the ordinary and using it to live well, right here, right now. I'm a practical sort of person, some would say dull even. For my sins, that's where the fun is for me, trying (and often failing) to live it here.

      Sorry if this disappoints...

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    4. Thanks Noel. I think there's a lot of speculation on the nature of the ultimate reality in here (which is great by the way) but I think we've gone a little off track from the topic.

      For what it's worth, whilst many thought streams, religious or otherwise, postulate an ultimate reality that is the ground of being or transcendent and there are superficial similarities, once one starts to dig down into each, striking and incompatible differences start to emerge. The devils, if you will, are in the detail.

      I think it's a mistake to lump different understandings of the ultimate reality, how it relates or does not relate to the phenomenal world together and label them as essentially the same.

      For example, some Taoists conceive of the eternal Tao in a way that is completely incompatible with most Buddhist conceptions of it (others do not), such variation is also found within Buddhist thought streams and even within the Nichiren tradition. That's how NS ended up with the True Buddha of Kuon Ganjo, whilst others did not.

      From what I've understood, that hinges on the existence or not of an a priori, pure reality that then interacts with defilement to "give rise" to the phenomenal world. Zhiyi (Tien Tai) does not seem to support that view. For him there is no before or after, just mutal possession and interpenetration. It seems one camp of Nichiren scholars argue that this was also Nichiren's view, whilst others disagree.

      I tend to the former (mural possession and interpenetration) but perhaps for me, it's more about, "so what?", how does this insight enable me to live well and help others live well? And I don't mean materially well.

      I was reading Three Types of Treasure today, which I hadn't read for a while, that really helped put my feet back on the ground.

      "The heart of the practice of the Lotus Sutra is found in the Never Disparaging Chapter..." I think that's worth pondering, as is the Chapter itself, not least in relation to the revelations in the Lifespan Chapter...

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    6. I would like to share with you this email from a friend of many years who walks the talk of the Vedanta school of thought that you may appreciate as it is relative to us all here on Eagle Peak blog and beyond

      An enlightened and self-realized soul who lives in his divine self can see the totality or entire truth of a person. He can see very clearly the positive and negative elements in the surface nature of the person. He can see the dubious motives of ego, ambition, self-seeking, lurking behind a pleasant appearance. He can also see the unmanifest potentialities of his subliminal being and the unalloyed divinity of his soul.

      But when such an enlightened soul sees the negativities in a person, he doesn’t react in the same way as the average man. When he sometimes talks about it, it is not like the criticism of the ordinary mind; it is something scientific, objective and impersonal. For example, when a botanist says that a plant, leaf or fruit, is poisonous it is not a condemnation but an objective statement based on a scientific understanding of the nature of the plant.

      He has no personal negative feelings for the plant because it is poisonous. In an illumined soul, along with this scientific objectivity there is a compassion which comes from deep understanding of the root cause of the negativity of the person. When we know the entire complex of forces acting on a person and driving him, — material, psychological, evolutionary, karmic, spiritual — we will never or condemn or judge a person. We can only say with a deep understanding and compassion “He is what he is”. (at this stage of growth).

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    7. Your doing fine MP I appreciate the depths of truths in what you say. Its the differences that make the difference and it is enlightening to be able to see them for what they are and see the unity in the similarities. Hopefully what unifies us is stronger than what tears us apart

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    8. "I'm not sure speculation on multidimensional universes is all that helpful unless one absolutely knows these exist," perhaps this link maybe helpful

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multiverse

      "From what I've understood, that hinges on the existence or not of an a priori, pure reality that then interacts with defilement to "give rise" to the phenomenal world" (very Vedanta)

      "I tend to the former (mural possession and interpenetration)"

      Speculation on mural(mutual) possession and interpenetrations isn't all that helpful unless one absolutely knows that it exists. That would have to be the same for
      the case for the MD universe. Unless one knows how to incorporate it into life's function so that it is helpful to daily life it would be of no use

      Something can be helpful even if we don't absolutely know for sure if that something is all that it is cracked up to be really exists, that's what trust is about, We can never be 100% sure that's why it is healthy that there should always be some room for doubt so the mind can change otherwise we become prisoners of these thought patterns

      "Zhiyi (Tien Tai) does not seem to support that view. For him there is no before or after, just mutual possession and interpenetration."

      I tend to prefer this view of no initial beginning or end. It all exists simultaneously in a latent or manifest continues state, nothing preceded anything. It is and always will be as it is, eternally changing and eternally unchanging paradox but holistically complete in itself but one cannot be absolutely certain. We never really know for sure which adds to the beauty of it all

      "The mystic principle of the true aspect of reality is like this. The mystic principle of the true aspect of reality is one, but if it encounters evil influences, it will manifest delusion, while if it encounters good influences, it will manifest enlightenment. Enlightenment means enlightenment to the essential nature of phenomena, and delusion, ignorance of it."

      "It is like the case of a person who in a dream sees himself performing various good and evil actions. After he wakes up and considers the matter, he realizes that it was all a dream produced by his own mind. This mind of his corresponds to the single principle of the essential nature of phenomena, the true aspect of reality, while the good and evil that appeared in the dream correspond to enlightenment and delusion. When one becomes aware of this, it is clear that one should discard the ignorance associated with evil and delusion, and take as one’s basis the awakening that is characterized by goodness and enlightenment."

      The Entity of the Mystic Law

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  34. I agree. This Saha World, the Budha's Land, is infinite in time and space, if I read Nichiren correctly.

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    1. And also the other dimensions that can be considered to exist in another form within different time space paradigms that are all subject to ichinen sanzen the ultimate principle of the Lotus Sutra, thus the law of Myoho Renge Kyo

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  35. For further clarification,I hope

    "The Mysterious is the most beautiful" Albert Einstein

    The Historical Shakyamuni has had countless life times as being a Buddha and is said to maintain that state of Buddha much longer than that individual being (he, she ,hermaphrodite) has already been Buddha. That's why I think the historical Shakyamuni has been given a God like status and rightly so according to the mythology of the Gods from many ancient cultures .

    "Thus since I realized Buddhahood in the very remote past, my life span has been limitless asamkhyeyas of eons, eternal and never extinguished. Good men, the life span I realized when formerly practicing the Bodhisattva path has not yet been exhausted and is twice that of the above number." Juryobon


    This historical Shakyamuni Buddha is still bound in a space time momentary twinkle in eternity as all the other Gods. Except for The one and only God of the Abrahamic religions and its forbears and the Egyptian religions chief God '''Ra''' who was so powerful and popular and his worship was so enduring that some modern commentators have argued that the Egyptian religion was in fact a form of veiled monotheism with '''Ra''' as the one god. He was also described as the creator of everything.

    The Buddha said, "I, too, am like that. I realized Buddhahood limitless, boundless, hundreds of thousands of myriads of kotis of nayutas of asamkhyeyas of eons ago. For the sake of living beings, I employ the power of expedients and say that I am about to enter quiescence. There is no one who can rightly say that I have committed the offense of false speech." Juryobon

    When we say the Eternal Shakyamuni Buddha I think it means the Thus come one 3 Bodied Tathagatta that is eternally omnipresent and is 100% active in Shakyamuni Buddha. However unlike Shakyamuni it is unbounded by space and time and is forever in a state luminous quiescence. This sacred presence can remain activated with some individuals for Kalpas or shorter periods while in others the same quality of luminous quiescence can be experienced temporarily in the 3 thousands realms of a single moment/ ichinen sanzen Buddha that is activated through correct faith, practice and teachings.

    "Good men, the Sutras proclaimed by the Thus Come One are all for the purpose of saving and liberating living beings. He may speak of his own body, or he may speak of someone else�s body. He may manifest in his own body, or he may manifest in someone else�s body. He may manifest his own affairs, or he may manifest the affairs of others, but all that he says is true and not false.

    "What is the reason for this? The Thus Come One knows and sees the triple realm as it really is. There is no birth or death, no retreating or advancing, no existence in the world or passage into quiescence. There is no reality or unreality, no likenesses or differences. He views the triple realm as not being the triple realm. Matters such as these, the Thus Come One clearly sees, without mistake or error. Juryobon

    I really desire to understand the functions of the Law. I say things that I have read somewhere in the Lotus Sutra, Nichiren's teachings that may have been doctored by who knows who but somewhere in the gosho it says that through the mind we can gain enlightenment

    "Since the Lotus Sutra defines our body as the Dharma body of a Thus Come One, our mind as the reward body of a Thus Come One, and our actions as the manifested body of a Thus Come One, all who uphold and believe in even a single phrase or verse of this sutra will be endowed with the benefits of these three bodies."

    The one essential phrase

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  36. Here is another recent reply from an article on Eagle Peak Blog (BEHAVIOR CONTROL: that is common with Cults) that I emailed to a friend who is familiar with Nichiren Buddhism but prefers Vedanta



    "Hi, the true masters or guides never demand surrender to themselves and blind following. There maybe some rules if one lives in an ashram or monastery and is a monk or nun and needs to follow things ordained by such practices and the rules of commune but for lay person living in society one should integrate the teachings in ones life while performing ones duties without being controlled by others.
    One no need to worry to much about the "authorities" one can cut off ones relations with them and have a small group gatherings in home or homes. But if one feels that the teachings them selves apart from the controlling behaviour of others are disagreeable with ones conscience and reason than ones sincerity and openness will guide and lead one to more true teachings where ones heart and mind may be fulfilled .

    ( even when I was associated with the Hare Krishna movement I didn't allow my self in being controlled like that , I was always in the periphery attracted by the chanting and the devotional singing; while I was interested in reading and studying the teachings it was when I founded the teachings bit limited and expected to accept every story literally then I slowly moved away and was open aspiring for more universal truth in which my heart and reason could be in harmony; I didn't leave simply because of others misbehaviour , no , if that was the case I would still be chanting and reading the teachings and being in association with like minded people of that same faith; but it was the teachings which I found disagreeable and moved on)




    It is so important for ones spiritual growth to find teachings that one can trust and just focus on them and follow their instruction confidently without being pulled here and there and being discouraged and weaken by others words and behaviour.

    The spiritual path can be bright when one has faith and is convinced of the teachings as being true and surrenders by following the truth they teach applying it to ones life and purifying ones self by removing all the opposing and contrary elements in ones being which obstruct and distort the truth which one is being taught and tries to follow. Then one will gradually start feeling the purity and lightness and clarity in ones body and mind feeling gradually also increased inner joy which does strengthen ones faith that one is on the right path.

    Our finding inner joy and true perception and living a truer life is the one best thing we can do for our selves and inspire others to do through our own wellbeing; sharing as well inspirational words and writings.

    This is the more straight path and safe guarded path from unnecessary delays and entanglements.

    We have to find the Truth taught to us in our own selves and so we have to do work with our selves, on our selves more than anything else, that is the priority and also the condition for changing our lives and for changing the world."

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  37. "The Nirvana Sutra states, 'By suffering an untimely death, rebuke, curses or humiliation, beatings with a whip or rod, imprisonment, starvation, adversity, or other minor hardships in this lifetime, one can avoid falling into hell.' The Parinirvāna Sutra says: 'They may be poorly clad and poorly fed, seek wealth in vain, be born to an impoverished and lowly family or one with erroneous views, or be persecuted by their sovereign. They may be subjected to various other sufferings and retributions. It is due to the blessings obtained by protecting the Law that they can diminish in this lifetime their suffering and retribution.'”

    'In the Latter Day of the Law, the votary of the Lotus Sutra will appear without fail. The greater the hardships befalling him, the greater the delight he feels, because of his strong faith. Doesn’t a fire burn more briskly when logs are added? All rivers flow into the sea, but does the sea turn back their waters? The currents of hardship pour into the sea of the Lotus Sutra and rush against its votary. The river is not rejected by the ocean; nor does the votary reject suffering. Were it not for the flowing rivers, there would be no sea. Likewise, without tribulation there would be no votary of the Lotus Sutra. As T’ien-t’ai stated, 'The various rivers flow into the sea, and logs make a fire burn more briskly.'
    You should realize that it is because of a profound karmic relationship from the past that you can teach others even a sentence or phrase of the Lotus Sutra. The sutra reads, 'Nor will they hear the correct Law—such people are difficult to save.' The 'correct Law' means the Lotus Sutra; it is difficult to save those who are deaf to the teachings of this sutra.

    A passage from the Teacher of the Law chapter reads: 'If one of these good men or good women [in the time after I have passed into extinction is able to secretly expound the Lotus Sutra to one person, even one phrase of it, then you should know that] he or she is the envoy of the Thus Come One.' This means that anyone who teaches others even a single phrase of the Lotus Sutra is the envoy of the Thus Come One, whether that person be priest or layman, nun or laywoman. You are already a lay practitioner and therefore one of the “good men” described in the sutra. One who listens to even a sentence or phrase of the sutra and cherishes it deep in one’s heart may be likened to a ship that crosses the sea of the sufferings of birth and death. The Great Teacher Miao-lo stated, 'Even a single phrase cherished deep in one’s heart will without fail help one reach the opposite shore. To ponder one phrase and practice it is to exercise navigation.' Only the ship of Myoho-renge-kyo enables one to cross the sea of the sufferings of birth and death."

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    Replies
    1. When I don't read the Lotus Sutra, I don't interpret passages depicting the treasures of the Buddha to be taken literally. The white ox cart filled with treasures doesn't mean, by choosing the Great White Ox Cart to mean we become materially wealthy like hedge fund managers. Where in your example does the Buddha exhort a practitioner to pray for benefits or special protections? When the Buddha spoke of heavenly beings, you missed the part when one depletes their heavenly benefit, they start over.

      The Buddhist sutras depict a man who constantly prayed to the god of wealth. He prayed with great reverence. After praying so reverently, a very beautiful woman approached him. "Who are you? I am the one you invited. I am delivering wealth and treasures to you. I am the goddess of wealth." After her came another woman, but she was very unattractive, filthy and untidy.

      The man then said, "I invited the first woman, I do not want this one who came after. Who is she? The second woman is 'ruin'. Why is she here? I only invited wealth and treasure into my life. I do not want 'ruin'." But the [first] woman said, "We two are sisters. We go everywhere together. Things may exist now, but this state will not last forever. So, my little sister is responsible for the ruin that follows."

      This is the principle that the Buddha spoke of, the workings of formation, existence, decay and disappearance. While they exist, all things are gradually formed over time. Then there is abundance in the world, with all kinds of different things. Then as time passes, the karmic forces created by sentient beings will gradually harm and destroy things. In the [macrocosm of the world], these are the principles at work. What about the microcosm of individuals?

      The practice of Buddhism encourages a simple life where one's desire for wealth, etc. are not too great. Of course the Buddha used many images of exotic treasures, but as an analogy for wondrous existence and enlightenment. Do you really believe the opposite shore consists of beautiful maidens and exotic treasures?

      Heads up - "storehouses overflowing" refers to Wisdom.; utensils, rice and grains, salt, vinegar and all the things you need." are metaphors for practices to enlightenment.




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    2. [Lotus Sutra, Chapter 4 - Faith And Understanding]

      "At that time, the poor son
      first asked for the value of his wages.
      Then he followed them to clear excrement.
      When the father saw his son,
      he pitied him and saw fault."

      "Later, on another day,
      looking through the window,
      he saw the figure of his son in the distance, scrawny, haggard and
      downcast, filthy with the impurities
      of muck, dust and dirt."

      "Right away he took off his necklaces,
      his fine and soft outer garments
      and his magnificent adornments,
      changed into coarse and dirty clothing,
      and smeared himself with dust and dirt.
      With his right hand
      grabbing tools for clearing excrement,
      he assumed a frightened look."

      " He then picked up these filthy [tools]
      and went to clear excrement.
      Thus, "He assumed a frightened look."
      They were so dirty that anyone would be afraid.
      Holding them, he went to approach [the son]. “

      "[The elder] said to all the laborers,
      'Work diligently; do not be lazy!'.
      He used this as skillful means
      with which to approach his son."

      "Later he said.
      " After the elder approached his son,
      he said, "You! Young man!
      Stay and work here permanently;
      do not go elsewhere!"
      I will increase your wages,
      and you will no longer need to worry about
      utensils, rice and grains, salt, vinegar
      and all the things you need."



      "There are also the old messengers
      who will help you when you need it.
      You may put your mind at ease."

      "I am like your father,
      so you need not worry anymore.
      Why do I say this? I am well along in years,
      while you are young and strong."

      "When you work,
      you are not deceitful, idle, angry, hateful
      nor resentful in speech.
      I do not see these faults in you
      like I see in other workers.
      From today forward, you will be like my own son.
      The elder then promptly gave him a name,
      calling this man his son."



      "From today forward,
      you will be like my own son.
      The elder then promptly gave him a name,
      calling this man, 'Son'."

      "At that time,
      though the poor son
      was pleased at the situation,
      he still thought of himself
      as an outsider and lowly worker."

      Therefore,for the next 20 years,
      [the elder] kept him clearing manure:
      Unable to relinquish limited aspirations,
      they have yet to develop great capabilities.
      So, from the Agama through the Vaipulya period,
      they spent 20 years engaging in the practice of
      the Small Vehicle teachings,
      realizing the fruit of Arhatship.
      Thus it says, "He kept him clearing manure."

      "By the time that period was over,
      the appearance of his mind came to embody faith,
      and he came and went without difficulty.
      But he still remained in the same place as before."

      "World-Honored One,
      at that time the elder became ill
      and knew that he would die before long."



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    3. "He said to the poor son,
      'I now have gold, silver and treasures'
      'filling my storehouses to overflowing' '
      You already know precisely'
      'how much or how little of this'
      'is to be taken in or given out'."

      By now, they could speak openly to each other.
      So, "He said [this] to the poor son."
      This is what He told the poor son,
      "I now have gold, silver and treasures
      filling my storehouses to overflowing.
      You already know precisely how much
      or how little of this is to be taken in or given out."

      "This is what is in my heart,
      and you must understand my intent.
      Why is this so?
      Now you and I are no different,
      so be even more mindful to let nothing be lost."

      "At that time,
      having been given this instruction,
      the poor son received and understood all those things,
      the gold, silver and treasures
      and everything in the storehouses.
      Still, he had no wish to take even a meal for himself.
      Thus he remained living where he had before and
      was unable to relinquish his feelings of inferiority."

      "Then after a short time had passed,
      the father knew his son's intentions
      had gradually become clear;
      he had formed a great resolve and
      scorned his former mindset.”

      "As the end drew near,
      he ordered his son
      to gather relatives,
      kings and ministers,
      Ksatriyas and householders.
      They were now all assembled."

      "He then made this declaration:
      All of you nobles should know that
      this is my son
      He was born to me in a certain city
      He then left me and ran away
      and suffered many hardships
      for more than 50 years."

      "He had a certain name and I had a certain name.
      Long ago in that city, worried,
      I set out in search of him."

      "Suddenly, in this place,
      by chance I encountered him again.
      He is in truth my son,
      and I am in truth his father.
      Today, all the wealth that I possess belongs to my son.
      Everything that has already gone in or come out is known by him."

      “World-Honored One,
      when the poor son heard this from his father,
      he gave rise to great joy,
      for he had attained what he had not had before.
      He then had the thought,
      'I never had the resolve to seek these,
      yet today these treasures
      have spontaneously come to me'."

      "World-Honored One,
      the elder of great wealth is the Tathagata,
      and we are all seemingly Buddha-children.
      The Tathagata constantly told us that
      we are His children."

      "World-Honored One,
      because of the Three Sufferings, in the cycle of birth and death
      we have suffered all kinds of fiery afflictions.
      Confused, deluded and ignorant,
      we delighted in and clung to limited teachings."


      [Lotus Sutra, Chapter 4 - Faith And Understanding]


      In the Agama Sutra, it states:
      "They relinquish grace and affection,
      renounce the lay life and practice the Path,
      nurture and control all Roots
      and remain undefiled by external desires.
      With loving-kindness for all,
      they cause harm to no one.
      Encountering happiness, they are not joyous.
      Encountering suffering, they are not sad.
      They are firm in patience like the earth.
      Thus, they are called sramanas."

      Delete
  38. What are some of the benefits of faith in the Lotus Sutra? Parking Spaces? No. When we receive merits from Lord Shakyamuni Buddha we receive the merits needed to become a Buddha. In the Lotus Sutra Chapter Twenty-five, The Universal Gate of Kanzeon Bosatsu Fumonbon, we learn through fantastic imagery the promises of benefits that we inherit from Kannon or Kanzeon Bosatsu, literally, He Who Observes the Sounds of the World Bodhisattva. The Buddha describes the perils from which Avalokitesvara will save the people who have faith in the Lotus Sutra and these perils are repeated in the verse section [although they do not exactly match those in the prose section]. Please note how Nichiren Daishonin validates the Lotus Sutra by living the promises of the Sutra

    Those who have faith in the Lotus Sutra and Lord Shakyamuni Buddha, in the following situations will be free from harm like Nichiren who lived nearly every line of the Lotus Sutra literally:

    PROSE SECTION

    1. If a man falls into a great fire, he will not burn. [unlike High Priest Nikkyo of the Nichiren Shoshu]

    2. If he is carried away by a great wave, he will find a shallow place. [exactly as Nichiren Daishonin during the Izu exile]

    3. If he enters the sea in search of riches and a black wind carries the ship to the realm of the Rakushasa, he will be saved. [Nichiren Daishonin on his voyage to Sado]

    4. If he is about to be murdered, swords and weapons will break. [Nichiren Daishonin at Tatsunokuchi]

    5. If hordes of yakshas and Rakushasa try to do him harm, they will not even be able to see him. [Nichiren Daishonin as he escaped from Seichoji and Matsubagayatsu]

    6. Regardless of guilt, if he is in fetters or stocks, they will be broken. [Nichiro in prison]

    7. If he is full of lust, he will be cured of it. [Nichiren remained a true celibate priest throughout his life]

    8. If bandits find travelers with precious gems on a dangerous road, the travelers will be saved. [Nichiren Daishonin at Komatsubara]

    9. If full of anger, he will lose it. [Nichiren towards his faithful disciples]

    10. If full of folly, he will be cured of it. [Nichiren Daishonin having chanted the Nembutsu]

    11. If a woman wants a son, she will bear one.

    12. If a woman wants a daughter, she will bear one.

    cont...

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  39. VERSE SECTION

    1. If a man is pushed into a Pit of fire, the pit will turn into a pool. [Nichiren Daishonin's escape from his burning hut during the persecution at Matsubagayatsu,]

    2. If he is afloat on a great sea in which there are fish, dragons, and ghosts, waves will not drown him. [Izu exile]

    3. If he is pushed off the peak of Mount Sumeru, he will dwell in space like the sun. [Nichiren's (Sun Lotus') repeated exiles and banishments]

    4. If he is chased down a diamond mountain by an evil man, he will not be harmed. [Nichiren Daishonin's escape from Tojo Kagenobu on mount Kiyasumi]

    5. If he is surrounded by bandits waving swords, their thoughts will be transformed to kindly ones. [Tatsunokuchi persecution]

    6. If he faces execution, the executioner's sword will break. [Tatsunokuchi]

    7. If he is in a pillory with his hands and feet in stocks, he will gain release. [Nichiro]

    8. If someone harms him through spells, curses, or poisons, the victim can send them back to plague their authors. [A). Nichiren was given food laced with poison. Before he ate it, he laid it down on a tree stump. A dog came by, took a few bites, and became violently ill. B). Those who suffered untoward deaths for persecuting Nichiren Daishonin]

    9. If he encounters Rakushasa, dragons, or ghosts, they will not harm him. [Nichiren encountering evil men on a daily basis, many of whom became his disciples]

    10. If he is surrounded by beasts with sharp claws and teeth, they will flee.

    11. If confronted with snakes or insects breathing fire, the sound of one's voice will dispel them.

    12. If threatened with thunder, hail, or lightning, he will remain dry. [Nichiren in his many dilapidated huts].

    13. If one has misfortunes and troubles, one can be rescued. [Nichiren on a daily basis]

    14. If one’s destiny is the world of hells, ghosts, or beasts, it can be changed. [Nichiren, according to Nichiren himself, in the Opening of the Eyes, The Selection of the Time, and Letter from Sado, for example]

    15. The pains of birth, old age, sickness, and death can be alleviated. [Nichiren Daishonin as our example].

    16. Darkness will be dispelled by the light of wisdom, which also subdues winds and flames. [Nichiren Daishonin subduing the Mongols with the Great Wind]

    17. The agony of civil disputes on the battlefield will be avoided. [Komatubara persecution]

    In the verse section, perils thirteen through sixteen are written in a different form from the earlier ones and are more comprehensive and general.

    The seventeenth peril is written in the same manner as the earlier ones but contains two distinct perils, as does the sixteenth.

    Between the prose and the verse section's lists of dangers, is a question by Aksayamati Bodhisattva about how Kannon moves within the world. The Buddha replies that the bodhisattva takes many different forms, as does Fine Sound Bodhisattva, described in chapter twenty-four. Kannon (Avalokitesvara) can appear as a Buddha, pratyekabuddha, or Sravaka; as Brahma, Indra, Lsvara, Mahesvara, Mahesana, or Vairsavana; as a minor king, rich man, householder, official, Brahman, bhikshu, Bhikshsuni, upasaka, Upasaka, wife of a householder, wife of a rich man, wife of an official, wife of a Brahman, boy, or girl; or as a god, dragon, yaksha, gandharva, Asura, garuda, kinnara, mahoraga; as a human, nonhuman, or Vajrapani. Aksayamati then presents a necklace to Kannon, who accepts and divides it, giving one part to Prabhutaratna and the other to Sakyamuni. The chapter ends with a statement that eighty-four thousand of the assembly embarked on the path to enlightenment.

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    1. Congratulations, you have out-worded me. Pity you can't address my point. But to your point, nothing gives Nichiren the right to put his own spin on the Buddha's intent.

      He physically manifested among sentient beings to teach according to their capacities. He did this for more than 40 years until He could freely carry out His original intent and finally express what He wished to say. This was the moment He had to teach it. This was because He was getting old and His conditions for transformation were at an end.
      it was necessary to teach the Wondrous Lotus Sutra, about the Bodhisattva-mind that can emerge from the mud without being sullied. We must continuously go among people, which is like being in the mud. Like the lotus that grows from the mud, we must be in the mud but remain unsullied by it.

      The next sutra passage from chapter 4,
      "Today the World-Honored One has led us
      to contemplate and to cast away
      the excrement of frivolously debating all Dharma.
      Through this, we earnestly increased our diligence
      and attained the single day's wages of Nirvana."

      Prior to his awakening, Sakyamuni spent 5 years learning other Religions and 6 years of ascetic practices. After awakening, the Buddha didn't spend precious time debating the deficiencies of other faiths.

      Since the beginning, the Buddha has taught us to engage in earnest contemplation, not just "frivolously debate all Dharma." When we learn the Dharma, we must be earnest. If we never apply it to our minds or to our actions, if we only speak of it eloquently but accomplish nothing and remain immersed in afflictions, this is the "excrement of frivolous debate." If all we do is talk about it but never apply it, this results in afflictions.
      I doubt "A single days wages of Nirvana " has anything to do with earning an advantage aside from ending afflictions or clearing weeds before planting seeds.


      Delete
  40. FYI Anonymous-- all due respects...

    Saying the same thing over and over does not make it true...

    Since you aren't revealing your identity no sweat over the loss of credibility ;-)
    ~Katie




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  41. Someone may raise this question: It would surely appear that the three types of enemies are present today, but there is no votary of the Lotus Sutra. If one were to say that you [Nichiren] are the votary of the Lotus Sutra, then the following serious discrepancies would become apparent. The Lotus Sutra states, “The young sons of heavenly beings will wait on him and serve him. Swords and staves will not touch him and poison will have no power to harm him.”204 It also reads, “If people speak ill of and revile him, their mouths will be closed and stopped up.” And it states, “They [who have heard the Law] will enjoy peace and security in their present existence and good circumstances in future existences.” It also states, “[If there are those who... trouble and disrupt the preachers of the Law], their heads will split into seven pieces like the branches of the arjaka tree.” Furthermore, it reads, “In this present existence they [the practitioners of the Lotus Sutra] will gain the reward of good fortune.”208 And it adds: “If anyone sees a person who accepts and upholds this sutra and tries to expose the faults or evils of that person, whether what he speaks is true or not, he will in his present existence be afflicted with white leprosy.”

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  42. The Mutual Possession of the Ten Worlds obviates "the ending of afflictions.

    "Answer: Your objection is quite reasonable. And rather than try to address it, I would like simply to quote the words of Bodhisattva Nāgārjuna, the thirteenth of the Buddha’s successors and founder of the Great Teacher T’ien-t’ai’s line, who in explaining the word myō, or “wonderful,” in the term myōhō says it is “like a great physician who can change poison into medicine.”

    What is the poison? It is the three paths of earthly desires, karma, and suffering that are our lot. What is the medicine? It is the Dharma body, wisdom, and emancipation. And what does it mean to change poison into medicine? It means to transform the three paths into the three virtues: the Dharma body, wisdom, and emancipation. T’ien-t’ai says, “The character myō is defined as being beyond ordinary comprehension.” And he also says, “Life at each moment . . . This is what we mean when we speak of the ‘region of the unfathomable.’”

    This is what the attainment of Buddhahood in one’s present form means. In recent times the Flower Garland and True Word schools, having stolen this doctrine, treat it as their own. They are outrageous thieves, the most outrageous in the world!

    Question: Can ordinary people really understand the meaning of this secret doctrine?
    Answer: My own answer would be of no use in this case. But Bodhisattva Nāgārjuna in the ninety-third volume of his Treatise on the Great Perfection of Wisdom states: “The fact that arhats who have eradicated illusions and earthly desires are now able to attain Buddhahood—this is something that only Buddhas can understand. If one is discoursing on doctrine, one ought to give a reasonable explanation, but in truth the matter goes beyond comprehension, and one should therefore not engage in idle theorizing. Once one has succeeded in attaining Buddhahood one will then be able to understand well enough. As for other people, they should have faith, knowing that they can not yet understand.”

    This passage of commentary means that bodhisattvas who have cut off the first eleven of the twelve levels of ignorance in accordance with the specific teaching of the sutras preached prior to the Lotus Sutra, and great bodhisattvas who have cut off the first forty-one of the forty-two levels of ignorance in accordance with the perfect teaching—even such great bodhisattvas as Universal Worthy and Manjushrī cannot yet understand the meaning of the Lotus Sutra. How much more so is this the case, then, of people of the three vehicles of voice-hearer, cause-awakened one, and bodhisattva who follow the first two of the four teachings, the Tripitaka and the connecting teachings? And how much more is it the case of ordinary people in this latter age?

    From this we can surmise that when the Lotus Sutra says that it “can only be understood and shared between Buddhas,”11 it is referring to the fact that it teaches that even for people of the two vehicles, who are depicted in the sutras preached prior to the Lotus as having “reduced the body to ashes and annihilated consciousness,”12 the three paths of earthly desires, karma, and suffering are in themselves the Dharma body, wisdom, and emancipation. We may also say that, since even people of the two vehicles can attain Buddhahood, this must also be true for bodhisattvas and for ordinary people.
    That is why T’ien-t’ai states: “The sense organs of people of the two vehicles have become defective [and can never be restored to their proper function]. Therefore it is said that such people have been poisoned. But when the Lotus Sutra predicts that these people will eventually attain Buddhahood, the poison is changed into medicine. Therefore the treatise says that the various other sutras are not secret teachings, but the Lotus Sutra is secret.”13 Miao-lo notes that in this passage the word “treatise” refers to Great Perfection of Wisdom.

    continued....

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  43. Question: What benefit do we gain by hearing this doctrine?
    Answer: This is what it means to hear the Lotus Sutra for the first time. Miao-lo says: “If one has faith in the teaching that the three paths of earthly desires, karma, and suffering are none other than the three virtues of the Dharma body, wisdom, and emancipation, then one can cross the two rivers of transmigration, to say nothing of making one’s way in the threefold world.”

    And when ordinary people in the latter age hear this doctrine, not only will they themselves attain Buddhahood, but also their fathers and mothers will attain Buddhahood in their present forms. This is the highest expression of filial devotion.

    As I am not well, I will not go into greater detail, but will write again another time."

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  44. 'Once one has heard the sutra teaching that good and evil are not two, that correct and erroneous are as one, then one gains inner enlightenment and attains Buddhahood. Therefore this is called the attainment of Buddhahood in one’s present form. And because one gains enlightenment in a single lifetime, it is called perfect enlightenment in one lifetime.
    p.89Though there may be persons who are unaware of the principle involved, if they chant the daimoku, they will experience the joy that can only be shared between Buddhas. This is what the sutra means when it says, “I will surely rejoice and so will the other Buddhas.”

    Though one may possess medicine blended from hundreds and thousands of ingredients, if one does not drink it, one’s illness will never be cured. Though one may have riches in one’s storehouse, if one does not know enough to open the storehouse, one may go hungry; and though one may have medicine in the breast of one’s robe, if one does not know enough to drink it, one may die. And this is also true of the benefits of this Lotus Sutra, which are like those of the wish-granting jewel described in the “Five Hundred Disciples” chapter.

    If, along with contemplation of the mind, one recites the sutra, then of course one will gain these benefits. And even without practicing meditation, as I explained earlier, when one recites the words “This reality consists of zesōnyo (this appearance is thus) . . . ,” the word “thus” represents the principle of non-substantiality. Therefore the non-substantiality of the appearance, nature, entity, power, and so forth acquired by one’s life through the karma of past existences, and of the eighty-eight types of illusions of thought and eighty-one kinds of illusions of desire inherent in them—the non-substantiality of all these is the Thus Come One of the reward body.

    When one recites the words “This reality consists of nyozesō (“thus appearance,” or appearance like this) . . . ,” this is the principle of temporary existence. Therefore the appearance, nature, entity, power, and so forth acquired by one’s life through the karma of past existences, along with the illusions innumerable as particles of dust and sand inherent in them—all these are the Thus Come One of the manifested body.

    And when one recites the words “This reality consists of sōnyoze (appearance is thus) . . . ,” this is the principle of the Middle Way. Accordingly, the appearance, nature, and so forth acquired by one’s life through karma, as all the illusions about the true nature of life inherent in them are swept away, are opened up as none other than the Thus Come One of the Dharma body.

    When the passage on the ten factors is given these three different readings, this represents the principle of the three bodies in a single body, the single body that comprises the three bodies. Though divided into three, they are truly one; though posited as one, they are at the same time three."


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  45. "Now we come to the wonderful Law [of the Lotus Sutra]. When the doctrine of the mutual possession of the Ten Worlds is expounded, this is called the “wonderful Law.” The doctrine of the mutual possession of the Ten Worlds means that each of the worlds that make up the Ten Worlds possesses within itself all the other nine worlds. This mutual possession of the Ten Worlds hence leads to one hundred worlds. Thus the second volume of Profound Meaning states, “Each of the Ten Worlds contains the other nine, thus making one hundred worlds.” This is nothing other than what is taught in the Lotus Sutra. The cause and effect of the Ten Worlds42 were clarified in the sutras preached prior to the Lotus. But now [with the Lotus Sutra] the fact that the cause and effect of the Ten Worlds are mutually possessed is set forth.
    The purport of the sutras preached p.59before the Lotus is that, though bodhisattvas can attain Buddhahood, voice-hearers can never hope to become Buddhas. Some sutras describe how this teaching caused bodhisattvas to rejoice, voice-hearers to lament, and those in the human and heavenly realms to give up all hope. Other sutras say that persons of the two vehicles tried to cut off all illusions of thought and desire and thereby escape from the six paths of existence, while bodhisattvas deliberately refrained from trying to cut off their earthly desires so that they might be reborn in the six paths and thereby benefit living beings. Some sutras set forth the view that bodhisattvas could attain Buddhahood through sudden enlightenment; others maintain that bodhisattvas must carry out religious practices for myriad kotis of kalpas. Some sutras, because they declare that ordinary people can attain rebirth in the pure land, were not taken as teachings directed at bodhisattvas or voice-hearers. Practitioners of these pre-Lotus Sutra teachings failed to understand that if others could not attain Buddhahood, then they themselves could not do so, that if others could attain Buddhahood, then they themselves could do so, that the salvation of ordinary people meant the salvation of oneself, and that if sages could cut off all illusions of thought and desire, this meant that ordinary people too could cut off the illusions of thought and desire. And so the first forty-two years of the Buddha’s preaching life went by.

    But when the Lotus Sutra expounded the doctrine of the mutual possession of the Ten Worlds, the voice-hearers realized that, while devoting themselves to self-regulation and self-salvation, they were also possessed of the bodhisattva world. They realized that without carrying out the six pāramitās and the ten thousand practices, without passing myriad kotis of kalpas doing so, voice-hearers are possessed of all the immeasurable and boundless difficult religious practices carried out at great effort by the various bodhisattvas, and that therefore, unexpected as it may seem, voice-hearers are worthy to be called bodhisattvas. Even the wardens of hell who torment others or ordinary people with their stinginess and greed may be called bodhisattvas."

    cont...

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  46. Buddhas too are encompassed in the bodhisattva world because they dwell in the stage of religious practice [even after having attained enlightenment]. Therefore, though they are in the stage of perfect enlightenment, they appear to be in the preceding stage, that of near-perfect enlightenment. Thus, in the “Parable of the Medicinal Herbs” chapter of the Lotus Sutra, the Buddha addresses the voice-hearers, saying, “What you are practicing is the bodhisattva way.”

    Moreover, though we do not carry out the six pāramitās, we are the same as bodhisattvas who have carried out all six pāramitās to perfection. Hence the Immeasurable Meanings Sutra says, “Although they have not yet been able to practice the six pāramitās, the six pāramitās will of themselves appear before them.” We, who do not observe a single one of the precepts, are to be regarded as upholders of the precepts, as we see in the following passage in the Lotus Sutra, which says: “This is what is meant by valor, this is what is meant by diligence. This is what is called observing the precepts and practicing dhūta.”

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  47. You ohgee propound a provisional teaching:

    "In the sutras preached prior to the Lotus Sutra, this principle of the mutual possession of the Ten Worlds is not stated. Therefore, if one wishes to attain Buddhahood, one must necessarily develop a loathing for the other nine realms of existence, since these other nine realms are not seen as a part of the realm of Buddhahood. And hence these sutras declare that one must invariably wipe out evil and put an end to earthly desires in order to become a Buddha, since they do not recognize that the ordinary person is part of the makeup of the Buddha. In other words, human and heavenly beings and evil persons must wipe out their own identity before they can become Buddhas.

    This is what the Great Teacher Miao-lo has termed the Buddhahood that represents the loathing for, rejection, and cutting off of the other nine realms. Therefore persons who follow the teachings set forth in the sutras preached prior to the Lotus hold the view that when the Buddha takes on a form in the nine lower realms of existence, this simply represents a manifestation of his incomparably wonderful supernatural powers of transformation, for they do not realize that these nine realms of existence have from the beginning been present in and displayed in the Buddha’s life. Thus if we inquire into the truth of the matter, we will find that the sutras prior to the Lotus show us only a provisional type of Buddha and do not reveal any way in which ordinary people can attain Buddhahood. They declare that one should strive to attain Buddhahood by cutting off earthly desires and rejecting the nine lower realms. But in fact there is no Buddha who exists separate from the nine realms, and therefore there cannot in fact be any ordinary person who attains salvation in this manner. Nor is there any realm of the bodhisattva that exists separate from the realm of human beings.

    The fact is simply this: in the sutras preached prior to the Lotus, the Buddha of the Lotus Sutra manifested himself in the Ten Worlds at times as a recipient of the teachings, at times as a propounder of them, as an evil person, a good person, or a non-Buddhist p.63thinker. And the true evil persons, good persons, non-Buddhist thinkers, and other ordinary people practiced these provisional teachings taught to them as an expedient means, supposing them to be the true teaching. It was only when the Lotus Sutra was preached that they came to realize that these were merely an expedient means. Then they became aware that they had not in fact cut off the illusions of thought and desire or illusions about the true nature of existence, and that they had not achieved real salvation."

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  48. 'When we come to the “Life Span” chapter of the essential teaching, the belief that Shakyamuni attained Buddhahood for the first time [in India] is demolished, and the effects [enlightenment] of the four teachings are likewise demolished. When the effects of the four teachings are demolished, their causes are likewise demolished. “Causes” here refers to Buddhist practice [to attain enlightenment] or to the stage of disciples engaged in practice. Thus the causes and effects expounded in both the pre-Lotus Sutra teachings and the theoretical teaching of the Lotus Sutra are wiped out, and the cause and effect of the Ten Worlds6 in the essential teaching are revealed. This is the doctrine of original cause and original effect. It teaches that the nine worlds are all present in beginningless Buddhahood and that Buddhahood exists in the beginningless nine worlds. This is the true mutual possession of the Ten Worlds, the true hundred worlds and thousand factors, the true three thousand realms in a single moment of life.
    Considered in this light, it is evident that Vairochana Buddha depicted in the Flower Garland Sutra as sitting on a lotus pedestal, the sixteen-foot Shakyamuni described in the Āgama sutras, and the provisional Buddhas of the Correct and Equal, Wisdom, Golden Light, Amida, and Mahāvairochana sutras are no more than reflections of the Buddha of the “Life Span” chapter. They are like fleeting images of the moon in the sky mirrored on the surface of the water held in vessels of varying sizes. The wise men and scholars of the various schools are first of all confused as to [the nature of the Buddhas of] their own school, and more fundamentally, they are ignorant of [the Buddha of] the “Life Span” chapter of the Lotus Sutra. As a result, they mistake the reflection of the moon on the water for the real moon shining in the sky. Some of them enter the water and try to grasp it with their hands, while others try to snare it with a rope. As the Great Teacher T’ien-t’ai says, “They know nothing of the moon in the sky, but gaze only at the moon in the pond.”7 He means that those attached to the pre-Lotus Sutra teachings or the theoretical teaching of the Lotus Sutra are not aware of the moon shining in the sky, but see only its reflection in the pond."

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  49. "The mutual possession of the Ten Worlds is as difficult to believe as fire existing in a stone or flowers within a tree. Yet under the right conditions such phenomena actually occur and are believable. To believe that Buddhahood exists within the human world is the most difficult thing of all—as difficult as believing that fire exists in water or water in fire. Nevertheless, the dragon is said to produce fire from water and water from fire, and although people do not understand why, they believe it when they see it occur. Since you now believe that the human world contains the other eight worlds, why are you still unable to include the world of Buddhahood? The Chinese sage kings Yao and Shun were impartial toward all people. They manifested one aspect of Buddhahood within the human world. Bodhisattva Never Disparaging saw the Buddha in everyone he met, and Prince Siddhārtha was a human who became a Buddha. These examples should help you believe."

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  50. "Concerning the passage in the Lotus Sutra that you quoted, “He [the Buddha] has rooted out evil from among the phenomena,” here the Buddha is referring to a teaching from one of the earlier sutras. But when you take a closer look at the sutra, it is clear that the mutual possession of the Ten Worlds is being explained. For, in the same sutra, this passage is found: “The Buddhas wish to open the door of Buddha wisdom to all living beings.” p.363T’ien-t’ai comments on this passage as follows: “If people do not possess innate Buddha wisdom, how could the Buddha say he wanted to open it? One must understand that Buddha wisdom is inherent in all human beings.”41 The Great Teacher Chang-an concludes, “How could people open the door to and realize their Buddha wisdom if it did not exist within them? How could a person show the poor woman her treasure repository if the treasure repository did not exist?”42
    It is, however, extremely difficult to convince you that Shakyamuni Buddha, the lord of teachings, exists within us [just as the other nine worlds do]. Therefore, he gives us this admonishment beforehand: “Among the sutras I have preached, now preach, and will preach, this Lotus Sutra is the most difficult to believe and the most difficult to understand.”43 The “six difficult and nine easy acts” he expounds in the next chapter explains how difficult it is. Hence the Great Teacher T’ien-t’ai states, “Because the theoretical and the essential teachings [of the Lotus Sutra] contradict all the earlier sutras, they are extremely difficult to believe and difficult to understand—no less difficult than facing an enemy who is armed with a spear.”44 The Great Teacher Chang-an comments, “The Buddha intended these as his ultimate teachings. How could they ever be easy to understand?” The Great Teacher Dengyō remarks, “The Lotus Sutra is the most difficult to believe and to understand because in it the Buddha directly revealed what he had attained.”

    In the more than eighteen hundred years after the Buddha’s passing, only three persons throughout the three countries perceived this correct doctrine. They are Shakyamuni Buddha of India, the Great Teacher T’ien-t’ai Chih-che of China, and the Great Teacher Dengyō of Japan. These three men are all Buddhist sages."

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  51. “Now the Lotus Sutra expounds the doctrines of the mutual possession of the Ten Worlds, a single moment of life comprising the three thousand realms, the unification of the three truths, and the inseparability of the four kinds of lands. Moreover, the very essence of all the sacred teachings expounded by Shakyamuni Buddha in his lifetime—the doctrines that persons of the two vehicles can achieve Buddhahood, and that the Buddha attained p.116enlightenment in the inconceivably remote past—is found only in this one sutra, the Lotus. Is there any mention of these most important matters in the three esoteric sutras you have been talking about, the Mahāvairochana Sutra, the Diamond Crown Sutra, and so forth? Shan-wu-wei and Pu-k’ung stole these most important doctrines from the Lotus Sutra and contrived to make them the essential points of their own sutras. But in fact this is a fraud; their own sutras and treatises contain no trace of these doctrines. You must make haste and remedy your thinking on this point."

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  52. "When we come to the essential teaching of the Lotus Sutra, then the belief that Shakyamuni first obtained Buddhahood during his present lifetime is demolished, and the effects of the four teachings are likewise demolished. When the effects of the four teachings are demolished, the causes51 of the four teachings are likewise demolished. Thus the cause and effect of the Ten Worlds as expounded in the earlier sutras and the theoretical teaching of the Lotus Sutra are wiped out, and the cause and effect of the Ten Worlds52 in the essential teaching are revealed. This is the doctrine of original cause and original effect. It reveals that the nine worlds are all present in beginningless Buddhahood and that Buddhahood is inherent in the beginningless nine worlds. This is the true mutual possession of the Ten Worlds, the true hundred worlds and thousand factors, the true three thousand realms in a single moment of life.

    When we consider the matter in this light, we can see that Vairochana Buddha seated on the lotus pedestal of the ten directions as described in the Flower Garland Sutra, the little Shakyamuni described in the Āgama sutras,53 and the provisional Buddhas described in the sutras of the Correct and Equal and the Wisdom periods such as the Golden Light, Amida, and Mahāvairochana sutras are no more than reflections of p.236the Buddha of the “Life Span” chapter. They are like fleeting reflections of the moon that float on the surfaces of various large and small bodies of water. The scholars of the various schools of Buddhism, confused as to [the nature of the Buddhas of] their own school and, more fundamentally, ignorant of [the Buddha of] the “Life Span” chapter of the Lotus Sutra, mistake the reflection in the water for the actual moon, some of them entering the water and trying to grasp it in their hands, others attempting to snare it with a rope. As T’ien-t’ai says, “They know nothing of the moon in the sky, but gaze only at the moon in the pond.”54
    Having pondered this, I am of the opinion that, though the Lotus Sutra teaches that persons of the two vehicles can attain Buddhahood, this view tends to be overshadowed by the opposite view propounded in the sutras that precede the Lotus. How much more so is this the case with the doctrine that the Buddha attained enlightenment in the remote past! For in this case, it is not the Lotus Sutra as a whole that stands in contradiction to the earlier sutras, but the essential teaching of the Lotus Sutra that stands in contradiction both to the earlier sutras and to the first fourteen chapters of the theoretical teaching of the Lotus. Moreover, of the latter fourteen chapters of the essential teaching, all of them with the exception of the “Emerging from the Earth” and “Life Span” chapters retain the view that the Buddha first attained enlightenment in his present lifetime.
    The forty volumes of the Mahāparinirvāna Sutra, preached by the Buddha in the grove of sal trees just before his passing, as well as the other Mahayana sutras except the Lotus Sutra, have not one single word [to say about the fact that the Buddha attained enlightenment in the remote past]. They speak of the Dharma body of the Buddha as being without beginning and without end, but they do not reveal the true nature of the other two bodies, the reward body and the manifested body.55 How, then, can we expect people to cast aside the vast body of writings represented by the earlier Mahayana sutras, the Nirvana Sutra, and the major portion of the theoretical and essential teachings of the Lotus Sutra, and put all their faith simply in the two chapters “Emerging from the Earth” and “Life Span”?

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  53. Do the other sutras reveal that the Buddha originally attained enlightenment numberless major world system dust particle kalpas ago? Do they tell how the people formed a bond with the Lotus Sutra when it was expounded major world system dust particle kalpas ago? What other sutra teaches that one can gain immeasurable benefit by arousing even a single moment of faith in and understanding of it, or that incalculable benefits will accrue even to the fiftieth person who rejoices upon hearing of it? The other sutras do not claim that even the first, second, third, or tenth listener can obtain such great benefit, let alone the fiftieth. Moreover, they do not speak of even one or two dust particle kalpas, let alone such vast reaches of time as numberless major world system dust particle p.479kalpas or major world system dust particle kalpas. Only through the Lotus Sutra was Buddhahood opened to the people of the two vehicles, and the lowly dragon king’s daughter enabled to attain enlightenment in her present form. All the other Mahayana sutras such as the Flower Garland and Wisdom sutras fail to expound these wonders. [T’ien-t’ai made this quite clear when he declared that] the attainment of Buddhahood by persons of the two vehicles was put forth for the first time in the Lotus Sutra. We may be certain that, unlike Kōbō or Jikaku, a learned man as enlightened as the Great Teacher T’ien-t’ai could not have fabricated any theories that were not based on the words or meaning of the sutras. The Lotus Sutra predicts that the evil Devadatta will attain enlightenment in a land called Heavenly Way, but what other sutra makes such an assertion? Even leaving all such questions aside, what other sutra reveals the mutual possession of the Ten Worlds, or teaches that even plants and trees can attain Buddhahood? T’ien-t’ai explains that [all things having color or fragrance are] manifestations of the Middle Way, and Miao-lo adds that people are shocked and harbor doubts [when they hear for the first time the doctrine that insentient beings possess the Buddha nature].24 Can their interpretations be classed with the distorted views of Jikaku and Chishō, who claim that the Mahāvairochana Sutra is equal to the Lotus Sutra in terms of principle, but superior in terms of practice? T’ien-t’ai is one of the teachers who kept the torch of Buddhism burning as it passed through India and China to Japan. He is the sage who gained an awakening at P’u-hsien Monastery;25 he is also the reincarnation of a bodhisattva and attained enlightenment by means of his inherent wisdom. How could he possibly have formulated any interpretations not based on the sutras or treatises?

    Is any single great matter to be found in the other sutras? The Lotus Sutra contains twenty outstanding principles. Among those twenty, the most vital is the “Life Span” chapter’s revelation that the Buddha first attained enlightenment numberless major world system dust particle kalpas ago. People may well wonder what this revelation means. Explain that it teaches that common people like ourselves, who have been submerged in the sufferings of birth and death since time without beginning and who never so much as dreamed of reaching the shore of enlightenment, become the Thus Come Ones who are originally enlightened and endowed with the three bodies. That is, it reveals the ultimate principle of three thousand realms in a single moment of life. From this perspective, you should firmly establish that the Lotus Sutra is the most profound among all the Buddha’s teachings.

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  54. "At this time when we gaze at the phenomenal world, we see that all things conform to the single principle of the Middle Way, and that the Buddha and living beings are one. This is what T’ien-t’ai means when he writes in his commentary, “There is not one color or one fragrance that is not the Middle Way.”

    At this time we see that all the worlds of the ten directions are the Pure Land of Tranquil Light. Where, then, can one find the pure lands of Amida Buddha or the Buddha Medicine Master? This is what the Lotus Sutra means when it says, “These phenomena are part of an abiding Law, [and] the characteristics of the world are constantly abiding.”8
    We may wonder whether, without reciting the sutra, it is possible simply through the meditation of the mind-ground9 alone to attain Buddhahood. The fact is that the meditation on three thousand realms in a single moment of life and the method of meditation known as threefold contemplation in a single mind are contained within the five characters Myoho-renge-kyo. And these five characters, Myoho-renge-kyo, are also contained within the single life of each of us. Thus T’ien-t’ai’s commentary states: “This Myoho-renge-kyo represents the depths of the secret storehouse of the original state, the enlightenment attained by the Thus Come Ones of the three existences.”10
    When we chant this Myoho-renge-kyo, the Buddha of original enlightenment present in our lives becomes manifest. Our bodies and minds are comparable to the storehouse of the teachings, and the word myō is comparable to the seal [that permits the opening of the storehouse]. Thus the commentary of T’ien-t’ai states: “To reveal the depths of the secret storehouse—this is called myō, or wonderful. To define the proper relationship between the provisional and the true—this is termed hō, or the Law. To point to the original enlightenment attained by the Buddha in the far distant past—this is compared to ren, or lotus. To clarify the perfect way of the p.86non-duality of provisional and true—this is compared to ge, or blossom. The voice carries out the work of the Buddha, and this is called kyō, or sutra.”11
    And the commentary also states: “Myō is a term used to praise the Law that is beyond ordinary comprehension. Myō is also the Law of the Ten Worlds and the ten factors, the Law that is both provisional and true.”1

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  55. Well what can you say to all of that, I'm speechless

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