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Friday, May 26, 2017

Nichiren and Dengyo

Nichiren Daishonin deviated sharply from the teachings of his immediate predecessor Dengyo the Great. Dengyo taught the primacy of Buddha-nature [Buddha Wisdom] and the doctrine of Original Enlightenment [Hongaku Shiso] while Nichiren taught the primacy of the seed of Buddhahood or Namu Myoho renge kyo. Without the seed of Buddhahood, the field of Buddha-nature lies forever fallow. This is the meaning of the Ceremony in the Air and the rationale for the oneness of Shakyamuni Buddha and we common mortals both of whom plant the seed of Namu Myoho renge kyo "into the wasteland of the people’s lives in the evil world of the latter age." *

*from Essentials for Attaining Buddhahood


  1. Interesting info from J.Stone's book : Dengyo [Saicho] focused on the Lotus Sutra as the " one Buddha vehicle" , but he did not identify or unify ALL teachings by tracing them back to a single Buddha, Shakyamuni - this task was taken up by Nichiren . I find it noteworthy that Nichiren emphasized then"abandonment " of Shakyamuni Buddha as the grave error/ slander that resulted in the widespread misery of the Japanese people -- .

    Regarding practice of the Lotus Sutra , Nichiren taught "seeking to see the Buddha" and recounted experiences of Shakyamuni "entering my body"--referencing ichinen sanzen in this context.

    Dengyo established the primacy and supremacy of the Lotus Sutra/-Nichiren united the Buddha with the Lotus Sutra " in practice " --