“I think that it is silly to view the Eternal Shayamuni Buddha as a personage that exists somewhere in the universe. Watson writes of the Eternal Shakyamuni Buddha in his Introduction chapter in his translation of the LS: “as an ever-abiding principle of truth and compassion that exists everywhere and within all beings.” – SGI “Nichiren Buddhist"
"But once the principle of three thousand realms in a single moment of life had been expounded, then the way was opened for all to attainBuddhahood, so what more could be lacking? Among those who have attained Buddhahood, there are none whose mouths are mute or whose limbs are p.280paralyzed [and their words and gestures already manifestBuddhahood], so why would they need mudras or mantras?
Furthermore, most of the sutras speak of the Buddha as having gained correct enlightenment for the first time in India, and do not make clear that there is the eternal Buddha since time without beginning who is endowed with the three bodies. If this erroneous view, that originally there was no Buddha but that now he exists, is accepted, then the Thus Come One Mahāvairochana becomes a mere name that has no reality.
But in the “Life Span” chapter of the Lotus Sutra, the truth of the matter is clearly explained. Thus we see that Shakyamuni Buddha is like the single moon in the sky, while the other Buddhas and bodhisattvas are like the reflection of the moon floating in ten thousand different bodies of water. But I will not go into the details of the matter here." -- On the Relative Superiority of the Lotus Sutra and the True Word Teachings
Then, Nichiren teaches that, beyond a shadow of a doubt, the eternal Buddha possesses a body:
"Finally, we come to the Nembutsu, which represents the doctrine in use by the Pure Land school. This doctrine is among the most provisional of all the provisional teachings, comparable to a dream seen within a dream. It is a name without a reality. And because there is no reality to it, it could not possibly fulfill the wishes of all living beings for rebirth in the Pure Land. The Buddha of which it speaks is AmidaBuddha, who is conditioned in nature and impermanent. How, then, could he surpass a principle that is eternal and imperishable?
Therefore the Great Teacher Kompon [Dengyō] of our country states in his commentary, “The Buddha of the reward body, which exists depending on causes and conditions, represents a provisional result obtained in a dream, while the Buddha eternally endowed with the three bodies represents the true Buddha from the time before enlightenment.”26 Thus with these words he warns against belief inAmida Buddha, a Buddha who is conditioned and impermanent, and rejects him.
And since this Amida Buddha upon whom the Pure Landproponents rely is a name without a reality, something existing in name only, without any body, then though they may expound in great detail the doctrines that promise rebirth in the Pure Land, preaching them so that they sound as lofty as Mount Sumeru or as deep as the great ocean, such doctrines are all utterly useless." -- Questions and Answers on the Various Schools
and lastly and most importantly:
The Great Teacher T’ien-t’ai Chih-che gave three reasons forShakyamuni’s stopping the bodhisattvas, and three more for his summoning the Bodhisattvas of the Earth. Essentially, the great bodhisattvas taught by the Buddha in his transient status and the great bodhisattvas who gathered from the other worlds were not qualified toinherit the “Life Span” chapter that reveals the eternal Buddha’s inner truth. At the dawn of the Latter Day evil people who slander the correct teaching would fill the land, so Shakyamuni Buddha p.371rejected the pledge of these bodhisattvas and instead summoned the multitude of great bodhisattvas from beneath the earth. He entrusted them with the five characters of Myoho-renge-kyo, the heart of the “Life Span” chapter, for the enlightenment of all beings in the land of Jambudvīpa. The bodhisattvas taught by the Buddha in his transient status were also unqualified because they had not been the disciples of ShakyamuniBuddha since the time he had first set his mind on and attained enlightenment in the remote past. The Great Teacher T’ien-t’ai states, “[The Buddha said of the Bodhisattvas of the Earth,] ‘These are my disciples, destined to propagate my Law.’” Miao-lo says, “The children propagate the Law of the father, and this benefits the world.” The Supplement to “The Words and Phrases of the Lotus Sutra” states, “TheLaw embodied therein [in the Lotus Sutra] is the Law that was realized countless kalpas in the past, and therefore it was entrusted to persons who had been the Buddha’s disciples from countless kalpas in the past.” -- True Object of Worship