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Monday, August 15, 2016

Nichiren on reality and wisdom

"Is not the meaning of the sutra and the commentary that the way to Buddhahood lies within the two elements of reality and wisdom? Reality means the true nature of all phenomena, and wisdom means the illuminating and manifesting of this true nature. Thus when the riverbed of reality is infinitely broad and deep, the water of wisdom will flow ceaselessly When this reality and wisdom are fused, one attains Buddhahood in one’s present form.

The sutras expounded prior to the Lotus Sutra cannot lead to Buddhahood because they are provisional and expedient teachings that separate reality and wisdom. The Lotus Sutra, however, unites the two as a single entity. The sutra says that the Buddhas open the door of Buddha wisdom to all living beings, show it, cause them to awaken to it, and induce them to enter its path. By realizing this Buddha wisdom, one attains Buddhahood.

This inner enlightenment of the Buddha is far beyond the understanding of voice-hearers and pratyekabuddhas. This is why the “Expedient Means” chapter goes on to say, “Not one of the voice-hearers or pratyekabuddhas is able to comprehend it.” What then are these two elements of reality and wisdom? They are simply the five characters of Namu-myoho-renge-kyo. Shakyamuni Buddha called forth the Bodhisattvas of the Earth and entrusted to them these five characters that constitute the essence of the sutra. This is the teaching that was transferred to the bodhisattvas who had been the disciples of the Buddha since the remote past."

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