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Sunday, April 17, 2016

Another passage for Noel

"We can not observe the precepts, We can not practice meditation. We can not obtain the wisdom of the Buddha. The only way to enlightenment is to believe in the Buddha. Our belief in the Buddha is expressed by the chanting of the Sacred Title Namu Myoho renge kyo." (Shishin-gohon-sho) -- Nichiren

"The only way to enlightenment is to believe in the Buddha." -- Nichiren

18 comments:

  1. Faith is substituted for the capacity we do NOT have - to comprehend the Lotus Sutra and fathom the blessings of believing , practicing and propagating the daimoku .
    -Katie

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    1. Yeah sure but what we have our faith in makes the difference. If we are having trouble in comprehending the lotus sutra try some of Nichirens tutorials by reading Nichirens teachings Katie. This gives us the edge
      Noël

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    2. However, Noel, one's comprehension of the Lotus Sutra is not required to achieve enlightenment. Believing in Shakyamuni Buddha, expressed by chanting the daimoku of the Lotus Sutra is the "only way to enlightenment". I think this is Nichiren's basic tutorial.

      Experiencing joy from hearing and chanting the Mystic Law is a solid foundation for believing. Thus, belief leads to embracing the teachings of Nichiren with faith, which is a more profound experience than reading his writings as *tutorials*.

      If one needed first to comprehend the Lotus Sutra, or employ one's intellect to discern for oneself what one should believe, then faith would not be required.

      ~Katie

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    3. Remember one of the key phrases of Nichiren Buddhism FAITH STUDY PRACTICE it's about balance otherwise its easy to go of the rails if we ate leaning too much to one side

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  2. Greedy people are reborn as moles who have to find food and eat every 15 minutes night and day or they die. Those who believe in the Lotus Sutra never fall into the Lower Worlds.

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  3. Eternity is a long time Mark. To say that never again falling into lower worlds is wishful thinking and certainly improbable if it is true that we live forever as eternal ever changing karmic stream of the individual aspect of the alaya consciousness

    Noël

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  4. "Suppose that a man or a woman who has recited even a single word of the Lotus Sutra were to be dragged down by the unfathomably heavy karma of the ten evil acts, the five cardinal sins, or the four major offenses, and fall into the evil paths. Even if the sun and moon should never again emerge from the east, even if the great earth itself should turn over, even if the tides of the great ocean should cease to ebb and flow, even if broken stones are made whole, and even if the waters of the streams and rivers cease to flow into the ocean, no woman who believes in the Lotus Sutra could ever be dragged down by worldly faults and fall into the evil paths.

    If a woman who believes in the Lotus Sutra should ever fall into the evil paths as a result of jealousy or ill temper or because of excessive greed, then the Thus Come One Shakyamuni, the Buddha Many Treasures, and the Buddhas of the ten directions would immediately be guilty of breaking the vow they have upheld over the span of countless kalpas never to tell a lie. Their offense would be even greater than the wild falsehoods and deceptions of Devadatta or the outrageous lies told by Kokālika. But how could such a thing ever happen? Thus a person who embraces the Lotus Sutra is absolutely assured of its blessings."

    "Hence the sutra states: “If there are good men or good women who... believe and revere it with pure hearts and harbor no doubts or perplexities, they will never fall into hell or the realm of hungry spirits or of beasts, but will be born in the presence of the Buddhas of the ten directions.” One should have complete faith in the Lotus Sutra and look forward to being born in the presence of the Buddhas in one’s next life." [Nichiren's commentary on a passage from Chapter 12 of the Lotus Sutra]

    "Hearing the ‘Devadatta’ chapter of the Lotus Sutra of the Wonderful Law, believe and revere it with pure hearts and harbor no doubts or perplexities, they will never fall into hell or the realm of hungry spirits or of beasts, but will be born in the presence of the Buddhas of the ten directions, and in the place where they are born they will constantly hear this sutra. If they are born among human or heavenly beings, they will enjoy exceedingly wonderful delights, and if they are born in the presence of a Buddha, they will be born by transformation8 from lotus flowers.”9 The phrase “good women” is found in this passage of the sutra. If it does not refer to the deceased, Myōhō, then to whom does it refer? The sutra also states, “This sutra is hard to uphold; if one can uphold it even for a short while I will surely rejoice and so will the other Buddhas. A person who can do this wins the admiration of the Buddhas.”10 My p.192praise of your mother counts for little, but the sutra says that she “wins the admiration of the Buddhas.” Thinking, “How encouraging, how encouraging!” you should apply yourself earnestly to faith. Namu-myoho-renge-kyo, Namu-myoho-renge-kyo."

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  5. Here's one more...

    "How could a person who has undergone this ordination fail to become a Buddha of perfect enlightenment in his present existence? And if in this life you have attained the level of perfect enlightenment, then in your next life, how could you have any reason to regress to the stage of near-perfect enlightenment and other lower stages of practice? In view of our promise from the beginningless past and the principle that one will be constantly reborn with one’s teacher, if I, Nichiren, attain Buddhahood in my present lifetime, then how could it be possible for you to become separated from me and fall into the evil paths?"

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  6. Shakyamunys teaher in a past life was devadatta who was a great sage at the time. We are the oneness of good and evil and can fall in the drop of a hat, take that

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    1. But devadatta did hear Shakyamuni preach the Lotus Sutra, and attained perfect enlightenment, proving that *evil doers* could, in fact attain Buddhahood. I don't remember an epilogue on this-- no reason to believe devadatta "fell at the drop of a hat"-- or resumed his pre-Lotus Sutra behavior.

      ~Katie

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    2. What goes up must come down or lost in space. Budahood is attained by individuals therefore temporary. The Buddha nature is eternally unchanging unlike individuals

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    3. "What goes up must come down or lost in space. Budahood is attained by individuals therefore temporary. The Buddha nature is eternally unchanging unlike individuals"

      I just can't picture boy Snow Mountain offering his life to hear that teaching again, Noel--

      just saying ;-)

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    4. Think "non-regression" and "eternity" Non-regression

      "He also said: “When I was in the vicinity of the city of Gayā, seated beneath the bodhi tree, I attained the highest, the correct enlightenment and turned the wheel of the unsurpassed Law. Thereafter I taught and converted them, and caused them for the first time to set their minds on the way. Now all of them dwell in the stage of non-regression . . . Ever since the long distant past I have been teaching and converting this multitude.”

      'Though at present I must face trials that I can scarcely endure, I rejoice when I think that in the future I will escape being born into the evil paths."

      "With the Lotus Sutra one can free oneself for all eternity from slander and incorrigible disbelief."

      "If Shakyamuni had attained enlightenment for the first time only some forty years earlier, there could hardly have been so many beings in the ten directions who had received his instruction. And even if he was privileged to possess emanations, there would have been no benefit in his showing them to his listeners. T’ien-t’ai, describing what went on in the astonished minds of the assembly, says, “It was evident to them that Shakyamuni Buddha possessed numerous emanations. Therefore, they understood that he must have attained enlightenment in the far distant past.”

      "Answer: Shakyamuni Buddha became enlightened to this lotus that is the entity of the Mystic Law numberless major world system dust particle kalpas in the past, and in age after age and lifetime after lifetime, declared that he had attained the way and revealed the fundamental principle he had realized with his enlightened wisdom."

      "The Venerable Maudgalyāyana put his faith in the Lotus Sutra, which is the greatest good there is, and thus not only did he himself attain Buddhahood, but his father and mother did so as well. And, amazing as it may seem, all the fathers and mothers of the preceding seven generations and the seven generations that followed, indeed, of countless lifetimes before and after, were able to become Buddhas. In addition, all their sons, their wives or husbands, their retainers, supporters, and countless other persons not only were enabled to escape from the three evil paths, but all attained the first stage of security and then Buddhahood, the stage of perfect enlightenment."

      "Suppose that a man or a woman who has recited even a single word of the Lotus Sutra were to be dragged down by the unfathomably heavy karma of the ten evil acts, the five cardinal sins, or the four major offenses, and fall into the evil paths. Even if the sun and moon should never again emerge from the east, even if the great earth itself should turn over, even if the tides of the great ocean should cease to ebb and flow, even if broken stones are made whole, and even if the waters of the streams and rivers cease to flow into the ocean, no woman who believes in the Lotus Sutra could ever be dragged down by worldly faults and fall into the evil paths."

      continued.....

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    5. "What fortune is mine to expiate in one lifetime the offenses of slandering the Law I have accumulated from the infinite past!"

      "How could I gather together all the grave offenses that I have accumulated in age after age since the far distant past and eradicate them all in my present lifetime, so that I may be spared great pain in the future? When I pondered this question, it occurred to me that now, in the present age, slanderers of the Law fill every province of the nation. What is more, the ruler of the nation is himself the foremost perpetrator of such slander. If in such a time I do not expunge these heavy sins, then at what time can I expect to do so?

      Now if I, Nichiren, insignificant person that I am, were to go here and there throughout the country of Japan denouncing these slanders, then innumerable persons among the four categories of Buddhists who follow erroneous doctrines would in one instant join their innumerable voices in reviling me. At that time the ruler of the nation, allying himself with those priests who slander the Law, would come to hate me and try to have me beheaded or order me into exile. And if this sort of thing were to occur again and again, then the grave offenses that I have accumulated over countless kalpas would be wiped out within the space of a single lifetime. Such, then, was the great plan that I conceived, and it is now proceeding without the slightest deviation. So, when I find myself thus sentenced to exile, I can only feel that my wishes are being fulfilled."

      The entire Daimoku of the Lotus Sutra: http://www.nichirenlibrary.org/en/wnd-1/Content/14#para-1

      "As I have been saying for some time, in your situation as a lay believer, you should just single-mindedly chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo morning and evening, day and night, and observe what happens at the last moments of your life. At that time, hasten to the summit of perfect enlightenment, and look around you in all directions. The entire realm of phenomena will have changed into the Land of Tranquil Light, with the ground made of lapis lazuli, the eight paths1 marked off by golden ropes, the four kinds of flowers2 raining down from the heavens, music resounding in the air, and Buddhas and bodhisattvas all being caressed by breezes of eternity, happiness, true self, and purity. We, too, will surely be among their number. The Lotus Sutra is indeed such a splendid sutra!"

      "Since the remotest past up until now, you have merely suffered in vain the pains of countless existences. Why do you not, if only this once, try planting the wonderful seeds that lead to eternal and unchanging Buddhahood? Though at present you may taste only a tiny fraction of the everlasting joys that await you in the future, surely you should not spend your time thoughtlessly coveting worldly fame and profit, which are as fleeting as a bolt of lightning or the morning dew. As the Thus Come One teaches, “There is no safety in the threefold world; it is like a burning house.”45 And in the words of a bodhisattva, “All things are like a phantom, like a magically conjured image.”

      cont...

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    6. "Everywhere other than the Capital of Tranquil Light is a realm of suffering. Once you leave the haven of inherent enlightenment, what is there to bring you joy? I pray that you will embrace the Mystic Law, which guarantees that people “will enjoy peace and security in their present existence and good circumstances in future existences.”47 This is the only glory that you need seek in your present lifetime, and is the action that will draw you toward Buddhahood in your next existence. Single-mindedly chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo and urge others to do the same; that will remain as the only memory of your present life in this human world. Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, Nam-myoho-renge-kyo."

      "Realize that the time will come when the truth will be revealed that both the person and the Law are unaging and eternal. There cannot be the slightest doubt about the sutra’s promise of “peace and security in their present existence.”

      "The sahā world Shakyamuni Buddha revealed in the “Life Span” chapter is the eternal pure land, impervious to the three calamities and to the cycle of the four kalpas. The Buddha neither has entered into extinction in the past nor will be born in the future. And the same is true of his disciples. This means that their lives are perfectly endowed with the three thousand worlds, that is, with the three realms of existence. The Buddha did not reveal this truth in the theoretical teaching, or the first fourteen chapters, of the Lotus Sutra because the time was not right and the people’s capacity was not yet developed."

      “At that time the World-Honored One looked at the eight hundred thousand million nayutas of bodhisattvas and mahāsattvas. These bodhisattvas had all reached the level of avivartika [non-regression]."

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  7. the foot that stomped on the scroll of the lotus sutra did not fall into hell. the rest of the body did.

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