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Thursday, June 22, 2017

The Transmission in the Latter Day is a textual transmission.

>>>>>Historically there have been times during the history, when people pervert the teachings by stressing that the texts themselves are enough to transmit Buddhism.>>>>> 

No one stresses the texts more than Nichiren. Both texts and people coexist. Only in Zen and the Nichiren Shoshu is there asserted a mythical world existing without texts. The root is the text. The text has existed since the infinite past. The text is both the teacher and the relic of the Buddha. The text is the Dharma itself. Both an excellent doctrine and an excellent believer is necessary for the transmission of the Buddha's teachings. The Eternal Buddha lives today. The Gohonzon is the Eternal Buddha. The Gohonzon is a text. 

>>>>>There have also been sects, such as Zen, which have propagated ideas whichhave lead to the thinking that the Sutras and texts are not important, but only self-attained Buddhahood or a "Mind to Mind transmission," which occurs "apart from the Texts," is, according to Zen, the most important.>>>>> 

No one stresses secret transmissions or personal epiphanies more than the Nichiren Shoshu and the SGI. Even Zen, as Nichiren teaches in The Conversation Between a Sage and an Unenlightened Man,, bases itself on texts. The Fuji schools are more Zen than Zen itself.

>>>>>From the viewpoint of the Daishonin and the Patriarchs of the Tien-t’ai Sects, people confuse Specific with General and General with Specific, confuse Specific, "Face to Face transmission" from Patriarch to Patriarch, or High Priest to High Priest, with General "Mind to Mind" Transmission based on texts, or "Mind to Mind transmission," "apart from texts" and based on particular peoples capacity in the realm of Self-Realization. Chih-i repeats over and over, and so do Chang-an and Miao-lo, that the Middle Way is correct, but people fail to grasp what this means and continue to be hung up on certain points.>>>>> 

Nichiren Shoshu is not even Buddhism. How much less so is it the Middle Way? 

“Good men, the Thus Come Oneobserves how among living beings there are those who delight in inferior teachings, meager in virtue and heavy with defilement. . . . Because living beings have [different natures, . . . I preach different doctrines. . . . This, the Buddha’s work], I have never for a moment neglected.” -- The Lifespan Chapter

Nichiren writes, referring to this passage of the Lotus Sutra: 

"With respect to this doctrine: After the passing of the Thus Come One, in India for more than fifteen hundred years, the Buddha’s twenty-four successors, such as Nagarjuna and Vasubandhu, knew of it but did not reveal it. In China for more than a thousand years, others did not know of it; only T’ien-t’ai and Miao-lo gave a rough account of it. However, it seems that they did not explain its true significance. And the same was true of the Great Teacher Dengyo. Now when I, Nichiren, consider the matter, I find that in addition to the above passage of the Lotus Sutra, the Nirvana Sutra states, "If there are those who conceive differing ideas concerning the three treasures, then truly you should know that these people can no longer hope to take refuge in or rely upon these three pure treasures."(The Third Doctrine). 

>>>A Priest named Ganjin, who was the founder of the Japanese Ritsu sect, had brought Chih-i’s writings to Japan and Saicho (Dengyo) first studied these texts of Tien-t’ai Buddhism, and began to teach them in Japan, founding a small temple  called, Hiei-sanji, at Mt. Hiei. In 804, he went to China and studied under the disciples of the High Priest Miao-lo, Tao-sui and Hsing-man, and received the transmission of Tien-t’ai Buddhism. He returned in 805, to Japan, to officially found the Tendai Sect. Dengyo’s original temple at Mt. Hiei was renamed  Enryakuji Temple by the Emperor in 723. With the principles of the Tien-t’ai sect as the true Buddhist teaching for the Middle Day of the Law, Dengyo had begun petitioning the Government for the establishment of the National Sanctuary of Mahayana Buddhism at Mt. Hiei. For his remaining, 17 years, against much criticism and antagonism from other sects, Dengyo continued his resolve. The government did finally approve this project one week after Dengyo passed away, and finally, five year later, Dengyo’s successor, Gishin, had officially founded the National Sanctuary of the Mahayana Ordination center at Enryakuji temple. This temple was the place where the Daishonin did his most intensive study of Buddhism. The meditation which Chih-i taught was very widespread. The Ch’an Sect, which was the ancestor of Japanese Zen, used Tien-t’ai meditation, even calling him a founder of Ch’an. Ch’an (Zen) taught a number of contradictory teachings. They first teach of a "mind to mind" transmission directly from Shakyamuni to the "28 Successors" of Ch’an (Zen), which is said to be passed down apart from the Sutras. Jumping from a slightly different variation of the "24 Successors of Shakyamuni," including Nagarjuna, on to Arya-Simha, the Succession then jumps to three additional Priests, and then to Bodhidharma, called the fourth patriarch of Ch’an (Zen), but is usually considered the founder. 

Scholars of Buddhism generally believe that the first "4 Patriarchs of Zen," even including Bodhidharma were quite possibly fictitious. There is no firm evidence for their actual existence. Bodhidharma’s life was veiled in myth and any knowledge of his actual history is questionable. In the few works attributed to Bodhidharma, the practice of meditation was set forth, but there were no in- depth teachings about actual meditation technique. Instead, the Shikan meditation which had become very widespread through the Buddhist sects in China, was stolen by most of the other sects and appropriated for their own purposes. This was because the Maka Shikan was so complete a teaching, that other explanations of meditation practice, paled by comparison. The Ch’an (Zen) sect, also used mystical riddles, called Koans as a central part of their meditation, thus causing Beings to forget the importance of the Meditation on the Sutras of Buddhism, and instead having them focus on short poems and riddles, equating emptiness as the sum total of the Buddhist teaching. From the standpoint of Tien-t’ai Buddhism Ch’an (Zen) was like going backwards, away from the most profound Sutra of Buddhism, the Lotus Sutra, which refutes the previous views of emptiness only. Prior to and after the death of Miao-lo, the Ch’an Sect was rising in prominence, denying the texts of Buddhism in favor of the "Transmission apart from the Sutras." At the same time within the body of followers of the Tien-t’ai sect in later times, there was discord as to the principles of Specific and General and the issues of  "Texts" versus, "Face to Face Transmission." Miao-lo had taught that the "Face to Face transmission" and the Texts of Chih-I were identical,...but in no way did he support the idea that either the "Face to Face Transmission" or the "Texts" were to be discarded.>>>>> 

Actually, you are mistaken. I think one reason is that the Nichiren Shoshu adopted the Zen teachings on Patriarchal transmission. Why else would Nikken erected a tombstone in a Zen cemetary? As far a Miao-le is concerned, the Zen sect was already thoroughly censured by Tientai. Regardless of what he taught, be it a face to face transmission [which you haven't supported with the actual words of Miao-le] or a textual transmission: 1). What he taught was ostensibly for the people of his day, the Middle Day of the Law, and not for the Bodhisattvas of the Earth; 2). In the Latter Day, Nichiren taught only a textual transmission:

"In actuality, however, the essential teaching bears no resemblance whatsoever to the theoretical teaching. The preparation, revelation, andtransmission of the essential teaching are intended entirely for the beginning of the Latter Day of the Law. The essential teaching of Shakyamuni’s lifetime and that revealed at the beginning of the Latter Day are both pure and perfect [in that both lead directly to Buddhahood]. Shakyamuni’s, however, is the Buddhism of the harvest, and this is the Buddhism of sowing. The core of his teaching is one chapter and two halves, and the core of mine is the five characters of thedaimoku alone.

Question: On what authority do you say [that the essential teachingis meant for the generations of the Latter Day of the Law]?
Answer: The “Emerging from the Earth” chapter states: “At that time the bodhisattvas mahāsattva who had gathered from the lands of the other directions, greater in number than the sands of eight Ganges Rivers, stood up in the midst of the great assembly, pressed their palms together, bowed in obeisance, and said to the Buddha: ‘World-Honored One, if you will permit us in the age after the Buddha has entered extinction to diligently and earnestly protect, embrace, read, recite, copy, and offer alms to this sutra in the sahā world, we will preach it widely throughout this land!’ At that time the Buddha said to the bodhisattvasmahāsattva: ‘Leave off, good men! There is no need for you to protect and embrace this sutra.’” This statement totally contradicts the Buddha’s exhortations in the preceding five chapters from the “Teacher of theLaw” [to the “Peaceful Practices”]. In the latter part of the “Treasure Tower” chapter is the passage: “In a loud voice he [Shakyamuni Buddha] addressed all the four kinds of believers, saying, ‘Who is capable of broadly preaching the Lotus Sutra of the Wonderful Law in this sahā world?’” Medicine King and the other great bodhisattvas, Brahmā,Shakra, the gods of the sun and moon, and the four heavenly kingswould have followed Shakyamuni’s command before anything else even if no other Buddha had supported his exhortations, but Many TreasuresBuddha and the Buddhas from throughout the ten directions came tothis world to exhort them to propagate the sutra after Shakyamuni’s passing. Thus, hearing the Buddha’s solemn appeal, the bodhisattvas all pledged, saying, “We care nothing for our bodies or lives,” for they desired solely to fulfill the Buddha’s will.

[In the “Emerging from the Earth” chapter,] however, the Buddha suddenly reversed himself and forbade all the bodhisattvas, more numerous than the sands of eight Ganges Rivers, from propagating the sutra in this world. We therefore face what appears to be an insoluble contradiction, one that is beyond ordinary understanding.

The Great Teacher T’ien-t’ai Chih-che gave three reasons for Shakyamuni’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.”

[In the “Emerging from the Earth” chapter] Bodhisattva Maitreyaquestioned Shakyamuni Buddha as follows: “We ourselves have faith in the Buddha, believing that he preaches in accordance with what is appropriate, that the words spoken by the Buddha are never false, and that the Buddha’s knowledge is in all cases penetrating and comprehensive. Nevertheless, in the period after the Buddha has entered extinction, if bodhisattvas who have just begun to aspire toenlightenment should hear these words, they will perhaps not believe or accept them but will be led to commit the crime of rejecting the Law. Therefore, World-Honored One, we beg you to explain so we may put aside our doubts, and so that, in future ages when good men hear of this matter, they will not entertain doubts!” Here Bodhisattva Maitreya was imploring the Buddha to preach the “Life Span” chapter for those tocome after his passing.

The “Life Span” chapter states: “Some are completely out of their minds, while others are not. . . . Those children who have not lost their senses can see that this is good medicine, outstanding in both color and fragrance, so they take it immediately and are completely cured of their sickness.” The sutra explains that all bodhisattvas, persons of the two vehicles, and human and heavenly beings received the seeds ofBuddhahood numberless major world system dust particle kalpas ago. The seeds were nurtured by the preaching of the sixteenth son of the Buddha Great Universal Wisdom Excellence as well as by ShakyamuniBuddha’s four flavors of teachings and the theoretical teaching of theLotus Sutra. Then they finally gained the way when they heard theessential teaching of the Lotus Sutra.

The “Life Span” chapter continues: “Those who are out of their minds are equally delighted to see their father return and beg him tocure their sickness, but when they are given the medicine, they refuse totake it. Why? Because the poison has penetrated deeply and their minds no longer function as before. So although the medicine is of excellent color and fragrance, they do not perceive it as good. The father thinks tohimself, ‘I must now resort to some expedient means to induce them totake the medicine.’ So he says to them: ‘I will leave this good medicine here. You should take it and not worry that it will not cure you.’ Having given these instructions, he then goes off to another land, where he sends a messenger home to announce . . .” According to the “Distinctions in Benefits” chapter, [the good medicine of the “Life Span” chapter is left for those] “in the evil age of the Latter Day of the Law.”

Question: Who is the messenger mentioned in the passage, “he sends a messenger home to announce”?
Answer: It means the four ranks of sages. They fall into four categories. [First,] most of the four ranks of sages of Hinayana appeared in the first five hundred years of the Former Day of the Law, and [second,] most of those of [provisional] Mahayana came in the second five hundred years. Third, those of the theoretical teaching appeared mainly in the next thousand years, the Middle Day of the Law, and the rest, in the beginning of the Latter Day. Fourth, the four ranks of sages of the essential teaching are the bodhisattvas emerging from the earth, numerous as the dust particles of a thousand worlds, who are certain toappear in the beginning of the Latter Day. When the sutra says, “he sends a messenger home to announce,” it refers to the Bodhisattvas of the Earth. “This good medicine” is the heart of the “Life Span” chapter, orNam-myoho-renge-kyo, which is endowed with name, entity, quality, function, and teaching. Since the Buddha would not entrust this good medicine even to the bodhisattvas of the theoretical teaching, how much less could he have done so to the bodhisattvas of other worlds?

The “Supernatural Powers” chapter states: “At that time the bodhisattvas mahāsattva who had emerged from the earth, numerous as the dust particles of a thousand worlds, all in the presence of the Buddha single-mindedly pressed their palms together, gazed up in reverence at the face of the Honored One, and said to the Buddha: ‘World-Honored One, after the Buddha has entered extinction, in the lands where the emanations of the World-Honored One are present, and in the place where the Buddha has passed into extinction, we will preach this sutra far and wide.’” T’ien-t’ai says, “The great assembly witnessed theBodhisattvas of the Earth alone making this pledge.” Tao-hsienremarks: “As far as transmission goes, this sutra was entrusted solely tothe bodhisattvas who had welled up out of the earth. The reason for this is that the Law embodied therein 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

You should also read The Entity of the Mystic Law. It too is very clear that the Transmission in the Latter Day is a textual transmission. 

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