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Sunday, April 24, 2016

Nichiren turned to texts rather than a mentor

“Though Nichiren would eventually trace his Dharma lineage from Šakyamuni through Zhiyi (538–597) and Saicho (767-822), he never did form a close personal relationship with any living person whom he revered throughout life as his teacher, as Dõgen did Ruzhing or Shinran did Hõnen. It was during his early years on Hiei, Takagi suggests, that Nichiren developed his lifelong habit of turning to texts, rather than human teachers, for instruction and the resolution of doubts, an approach that he later equated with the Nirvana Sutra’s admonition to “rely on the Dharma and not upon persons.” -- unknown [to me] author


  1. As the Law was Shakyamuni's teacher, Nichiren's teacher was the Sutra texts. If he didn't understand what the sutras were saying he would of been hopeless in fighting the enemies of the Lotus Sutra

    "I, Nichiren, am sovereign, teacher, and father and mother to all the people of Japan. But the men of the Tendai school [who do not refute misleading teachings] are all great enemies of the people. [As Chang-an has noted,] “One who rids the offender of evil is acting as his parent.”

    One who has not conceived a desire for the way can never free oneself from the sufferings of birth and death. Shakyamuni Buddha, the lord of teachings, was cursed by all the followers of non-Buddhist teachings and labeled as a man of great evil. The Great Teacher T’ien-t’ai was regarded with intense enmity by the three schools of the south and seven schools of the north, and Tokuitsu of Japan criticized him for using his three-inch tongue to try to destroy the five-foot body of the Buddha.

    The Great Teacher Dengyō was disparaged by the priests of Nara, who said, “Saichō has never been to the capital of T’ang China!” But all of these abuses were incurred because of the Lotus Sutra, and they are therefore no shame to the men who suffered them. To be praised by fools—that is the greatest shame.

    Now that I, Nichiren, have incurred the wrath of the authorities, the priests of the Tendai and True Word schools are no doubt delighted. They are strange and shameless men. - The Opening of the Eyes (I)

  2. How terrible that many of the so-called disciples and believers of Nichiren, those in the SGI and Nichiren Shu are even more disparaging of Nichiren than the Nembutsu, True Word, and Tendai followers.