My Daimoku QuandaryPART II need to vent. Upon leaving the SGI 14 years ago, I attended services of other Nichiren sects: Nichiren Shu, Honmonbutsuryushu, Kempon Hokke of America and Rishho Kosei-Kai. Although I am perplexed as tyo why Rishho Kosei-Kai refers to themselves as a Nichiren sect since they do not chant Daimoku and they do not pray to a Gohonzon; they use a standing Shakyamuni Buddha statue instead.Irrespective of all of my issues with the SGI, particularly the fact that they don’t actually practice Nichiren’s Buddhism, the one aspect I found them to excel in and superior to the other Nichiren sects is the actual practice itself: that of recitation of Gongyo and Daimoku.Even though I am 74 years old., I am particularly fond of chanting Daimoku fast as I find it energizes me. In a large group the most important person in the room is the Fukudoshi, the person with the microphone who leads Gongyo. A good or poor recitation experience is mainly in the hands of the Fukudoshi. I’ve found the best Fukudoshi’s to be from the Young Men’s Division, especially Japanese. And when finished, you truly know and can feel when you’ve recited a great Gongyo. With a harmonious and rhythmical recitation, 3,000 voice sound as one. I very much enjoyed chanting in large groups.So, when I left the SGI 14 years ago, I found that just chanting by myself could oft-times make me feel lonely. So, it was uplifting when I discovered Gongyo and Daimoku videos on You Tube. I could chant along with them and feel as though I was chanting in a large group. The video I finally settled upon is one from Greg Spero, entitled, “Morning Gongyo - Very Fast with 30 minutes Daimoku”. It is located here:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rVr9BzGijPU&t=492s I prefer it because it has the fastest Daimoku and Gongyo recitation I could find. It has only 27 minutes Daimoku so I just rewind it once to get in my minimum of one-hour morning Daimoku.Since I’m no longer with the SGI organization, personally I never recite evening Gongyo as I don‘t feel it necessary. However, morning Daimoku is imperative in order to prepare and protect oneself from all of the crap the universe may toss at you once you leave home.Then, on 3/18/19 I read Mark’s posting of “It is Namu NOT Nam Myoho Renge Kyo”, after which I was in complete agreement and I made a personal vow to only chant “Namu” from now on.
PART 2PROBLEM: At first I could find no You Tube videos in which Namu is recited in Daimoku. Then I discovered the You Tube video, “125 Mandala Gohonzons by Nichiren Shonin”. However, the Daimoku recitation is only 6 minutes long and I had to rewind it 11 times to get in my one-hour of Daimoku. Also, I found it rather boring due to the slow pace and the recitation conducted only by a few old Japanese men.Then, on April 14, 2019 Mark posted the Odaimoku video from Enkyoji Buddhist Network, a Nichiren Shu sect in Seattle, Washington. The Daimoku chanted therein is 16 minutes in length, and so I only have to rewind it four times to get in my one-hour of Daimoku. Sadly, this video also is chanted slowly by only a few old Japanese men, with no women at all. That video is found here:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3QFbMhEi_qg It becomes quite apparent that one is able to chant Daimoku much faster when reciting NAM vs NAMU, which is why, in the past, I always came back to reciting Nam after trying Namu for a while.The worst problem I’m having with both of these “Namu” recitation videos is the fact that both use sticks to keep the beat. And, in the Nichiren Shu video the sticks are louder than the men chanting! So loud, in fact, that it’s driving me bonkers! To all of those reading this, please don‘t take my word for it. Try it yourself for a few days and then return here and give me your comments and tell me what you think of this Daimoku quandary I’m having.Now, I must say that I am very, very displeased with the Nichiren Shu sect because they blew a great opportunity. With tens of thousands of former SGI members and independent practitioners, they missed a great opportunity to welcome those people into their Sangha and they have done absolutely no shakabuku in the USA.I live in one of the largest metropolitan areas of the U.S., Los Angeles, headquarters for the SGI-USA national organization. However, when attending services at the Nichiren Shu Temple on a normal Sunday, I found only four to twelve people in attendance. For a commemorative event such as February 12th (Nichiren’s birthday) or April 28 (The first day Nichiren chanted Daimoku) there would only be about 20 people showing up. I shall find out for sure this coming Sunday when I attend their Risshu-e Commemorative ceremony on April 28th.So, while there are only those two video’s of Namu Daimoku I mentioned, each being recited by old Japanese men devoid of females and each with the clanging of the sticks being so distracting, I have found no Nichiren Shu videos with their recitation of Gongyo.I very much enjoy the shakabuku of and the integration with, and chanting along side with females within the Nichiren Buddhist community, a policy which, sadly, only the SGI has availed themselves. I miss chanting in large groups alongside others. One can feel lonely practicing independently.
PART 3In Defense of chanting NAM:First, as a strict votary of the Lotus Sutra, I whole-heartedly agree that “The characters of this sutra are all without exception living Buddhas of perfect enlightenment.” and, therefore, in that regard, no one has the authority to change any of the words or teachings of the Lotus Sutra.However, it must strongly be pointed out that the title of the Lotus Sutra is “Myoho Renge Kyo” and furthermore, I am unable to find anywhere in the Lotus Sutra where the words Nam or Namu appear. I challenge anyone reading this posting to prove me wrong. Show me where Namu appears in the Lotus Sutra.Namu, meaning “devotion to” was added by Nichiren to create the Daimoku phrase we chant in order for us to be able to accelerate our attainment of enlightenment. In the course of chanting, I came to realize that the reasons I am energized by chanting fast and abundant daimoku is because it causes endorphins to be released in our brains, making us feel happy. It is similar to a runner’s high. This benefit does not occur to someone who just walks slowly. And I also believe that were Nichiren alive today and aware of this fact he would concur. Another thing that happens when we chant fast is that our Karma appears more readily, therein availing us the opportunity to change it more quickly. Again, this effect does not occur when chanting slowly.The only Gosho I have found in which Nichiren mentions the word “NAMU” is in “The Gift of Rice”, (Vol. 1, p. 1125) in which he explains,“In worshipping all of the deities and Buddhas, the word “Namu” is put ahead of their names. To explain what Namu means, namu is a word from India. In China and Japan it is translated as “dedicating one‘s life” dedicating one‘s life means to offer one’s life to the Buddha.”Again, I concur that we should not remove or change any of the words or characters contained in the Lotus sutra and, in conclusion, since neither the words Nam or Namu appear in the Lotus Sutra, one can still remain a votary of the Lotus Sutra without being accused of having discarded or changing a character or word of the Lotus Sutra.And, I also agree that we can never have harmonious unity within the entire Nichiren Buddhist community unless we are all chanting the same way.Kasho
KATSHIT....BECAUSE YOUR FAITH IS DELUDED AND HIGH INCORRECT...IT DOES NOT MATTER WHAT U CHANT.
NOT TOO MENTION A VERY INCORRECT OBJECT OF WORSHIP.
You keep slandering me and making false allegations against me but you have NEVER provided any proof. You are just making up these lies against me without any documented evidence soley as a result of my prior criticisms of you which you have yet to disprove. I am a Votary of the Lotus Sutra while you are not. No one has yet to disprove my contention that neither the words Nam nor Namu are found within the Lotus Sutra. Therefore, one may chant either Nam or Namu and still be a Votary of the Lotus Sutra.MY Object of Worship is a Nichiren Inscribed Gohonzon. If you have a problem with a Nichiren inscribed Gohonzon then that is clear evidence that you a disciple and follower of Greg Martin. No one commenting on this Blog has ever proved any of my statements to be incorrect. They are unable because I only use the words of Nichiren, Shakyamuni & the Lotus & Nirvana Sutras. You might try reading them sometime. Especially Chapter 14 (Peaceful Practices) of the Lotus Sutra. THANK YOU GREG....The more you attack me the more you prove me to be a Votary of the Lotus Sutra.:"Understand that the votary who practices the Lotus Sutra exactly as the Buddha teaches will without fail be attacked by the three powerful enemies.""On Practicing the Buddha's Teachings" - Vol I, p.99KASHO
Kasho... There are Three Great Secret Laws hidden in the depths of the Lotus Sutra. Gohonzon too is not mentioned in the Lotus Sutra. Thanks to the True Votary of the Lotus Sutra, Nichiren Daishonin, we know the Three Great Secret Laws. Nichioren never once on thirty or more years wrote Nam Myoho renge kyo, why would he advocate we chant Nam Myoho renge kyo? Why would he advocate some of his disciples chant Nam Myoho renge kyo and others Namu Myoho renge kyo. Namu flows directly from "this Sutra" and "Myoho renge kyo".