What will happen when Daisaku Ikeda dies?

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Queequeg
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Re: What will happen when Daisaku Ikeda dies?

Post by Queequeg » Wed May 01, 2019 5:55 pm

Minobu wrote:
Wed May 01, 2019 5:15 pm
The thing is this...i think ..and this is just me...that just because Shoshu decided Nichiren was the Primordial Buddha which is also Original Enlightenment , the practitioner does not fail to enter the Stream ...it's a human frailty thing and not a hindrance to The Medicine reaching the person trapped in a false view.
I don't buy Nichiren Shoshu's interpretation. Nichiren had a lot to say about incorrectly identifying the Buddha. And I'll leave it at that.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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Caoimhghín
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Re: What will happen when Daisaku Ikeda dies?

Post by Caoimhghín » Wed May 01, 2019 6:03 pm

Certainly, if you believe in mappō, then it is absolutely impossible to enter into awakening unless exactly following the instructions for practise that Nichiren sets forth.

Of course, Pure Land Buddhism teaches the same thing about what they chant and mappō. It's a common evangelization technique in Buddhism, Japanese or not.
歸命本覺心法身常住妙法心蓮臺本來莊嚴三身徳三十七尊住心
城遠離因果法然具普門塵數諸三昧無邊徳海本圓滿還我頂禮心諸佛

In reverence for the root gnosis of the heart, the dharmakāya,
for the ever present good law of the heart, the lotus terrace,
for the inborn adornment of the trikāya, the thirty-seven sages dwelling in the heart,
for that which is removed from seed and fruit, the upright key to the universal gate,
for all boundless concentrations, the sea of virtue, the root perfection,
I prostrate, bowing to the hearts of all Buddhas.

胎藏金剛菩提心義略問答鈔, Treatise on the teaching of the gnostic heart of the womb and the diamond, T2397.1.470c5-8

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Queequeg
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Re: What will happen when Daisaku Ikeda dies?

Post by Queequeg » Wed May 01, 2019 7:06 pm

Caoimhghín wrote:
Wed May 01, 2019 6:03 pm
Certainly, if you believe in mappō, then it is absolutely impossible to enter into awakening unless exactly following the instructions for practise that Nichiren sets forth.

Of course, Pure Land Buddhism teaches the same thing about what they chant and mappō. It's a common evangelization technique in Buddhism, Japanese or not.
I don't agree with either of those assertions.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

narhwal90
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Re: What will happen when Daisaku Ikeda dies?

Post by narhwal90 » Wed May 01, 2019 7:17 pm

Nichiren didn't coin mappo, the concept was well entrenched in Tendai before him. Dogen has his own assertions on the question- being another Kamakura era Tendai derived school. Accordingly I think impossibilities are not so easily specified, the exclusivity that some schools propose notwithstanding.

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Caoimhghín
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Re: What will happen when Daisaku Ikeda dies?

Post by Caoimhghín » Wed May 01, 2019 7:32 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Wed May 01, 2019 7:06 pm
Caoimhghín wrote:
Wed May 01, 2019 6:03 pm
Certainly, if you believe in mappō, then it is absolutely impossible to enter into awakening unless exactly following the instructions for practise that Nichiren sets forth.

Of course, Pure Land Buddhism teaches the same thing about what they chant and mappō. It's a common evangelization technique in Buddhism, Japanese or not.
I don't agree with either of those assertions.
I see four assertions.

1. That the understanding of mappō in Venerable Nichiren's time was such that progress on the path of gradual training was no longer possible,
2. that in order to practice Venerable Nichiren's Buddhism you need to exactly follow his instructions for practice,
3. that (Japanese) Pure Land Buddhism teaches the same about the path of gradual training,
4. that this also functioned as a technique of evangelization in Buddhist history, this mappō/dharmavipralopa discourse.

But you are welcome to disagree with them. I am an outsider to this community who is allowed to participate on the basis of my good behaviour and willingness to learn and engage in open discourse. As a practicing Nichiren Buddhist who is likely more informed than me, what is your take on or objection to either the 4 assertions I outlined or the 2 you alluded to?
歸命本覺心法身常住妙法心蓮臺本來莊嚴三身徳三十七尊住心
城遠離因果法然具普門塵數諸三昧無邊徳海本圓滿還我頂禮心諸佛

In reverence for the root gnosis of the heart, the dharmakāya,
for the ever present good law of the heart, the lotus terrace,
for the inborn adornment of the trikāya, the thirty-seven sages dwelling in the heart,
for that which is removed from seed and fruit, the upright key to the universal gate,
for all boundless concentrations, the sea of virtue, the root perfection,
I prostrate, bowing to the hearts of all Buddhas.

胎藏金剛菩提心義略問答鈔, Treatise on the teaching of the gnostic heart of the womb and the diamond, T2397.1.470c5-8

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Minobu
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Re: What will happen when Daisaku Ikeda dies?

Post by Minobu » Wed May 01, 2019 7:36 pm

Caoimhghín wrote:
Wed May 01, 2019 6:03 pm
it is absolutely impossible to enter into awakening unless exactly following the instructions for practise that Nichiren sets forth.
I disagree... the poison arrow doctrine proves it, the poison arrow, will eventually be the cause for awakening....

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Re: What will happen when Daisaku Ikeda dies?

Post by Queequeg » Wed May 01, 2019 8:43 pm

Caoimhghín wrote:
Wed May 01, 2019 7:32 pm
Queequeg wrote:
Wed May 01, 2019 7:06 pm
Caoimhghín wrote:
Wed May 01, 2019 6:03 pm
Certainly, if you believe in mappō, then it is absolutely impossible to enter into awakening unless exactly following the instructions for practise that Nichiren sets forth.

Of course, Pure Land Buddhism teaches the same thing about what they chant and mappō. It's a common evangelization technique in Buddhism, Japanese or not.
I don't agree with either of those assertions.
I see four assertions.

1. That the understanding of mappō in Venerable Nichiren's time was such that progress on the path of gradual training was no longer possible,
2. that in order to practice Venerable Nichiren's Buddhism you need to exactly follow his instructions for practice,
3. that (Japanese) Pure Land Buddhism teaches the same about the path of gradual training,
4. that this also functioned as a technique of evangelization in Buddhist history, this mappō/dharmavipralopa discourse.

But you are welcome to disagree with them. I am an outsider to this community who is allowed to participate on the basis of my good behaviour and willingness to learn and engage in open discourse. As a practicing Nichiren Buddhist who is likely more informed than me, what is your take on or objection to either the 4 assertions I outlined or the 2 you alluded to?
1. Maybe that was some interpretation. According to the mappo thinking Nichiren was responding to, the Buddha's teaching had lost efficacy. Full stop. No sudden no gradual path. Just 10,000 years of futility until Maitreya sets his Dharma in motion. Hence, the only efficacious practice was aspiration for a birth where a Buddha's Dharma remained vital. Nichiren, following in the view of Tendai Daishi and Dengyo Daishi, saw mappo as the time when the provisional teachings would fall away revealing the Essential Teaching, like the petals of a Lotus revealing the fruit.

2. What are Nichiren's exact instructions? Faith in the Essential Teaching? According to Zhiyi, faith in the Essential Teaching is always the only path to awakening - hence its called the Original Gate 本門. Paraphrasing Zhiyi, only the poison of Buddhanature can kill the Self - and it can be taken at any stage of development with the same effect.

3. No comment.

4. I wouldn't put it in those terms. All vehicles based on the Single Vehicle of Buddhanature look the same because, IMHO, they're basically the same teaching.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

narhwal90
Posts: 820
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Re: What will happen when Daisaku Ikeda dies?

Post by narhwal90 » Wed May 01, 2019 9:00 pm

As stated in the list;

I think #1 is accepted to various degrees among the Nichiren schools. I will not propose to speak for others than SGI, from their perspective I think the response would be to try and shift the argument to human revolution ie the practical application of the practice to transform oneself as-is, where-is. OTOH if you approached the question from a SGI vs Nichiren Shoshu standpoint, both groups would likely entrench into opposing views.

For #2, I think the proposition is overspecified. Follow instructions yes, but the specific instructions do not specify "do these chants in this way, with the altar looking like that" and so on. Generally, we are to recite daimoku, if possible recite the sutra, and if possible study more deeply eg Zhiyi's 3 Truths, Ichinen-sanzen, etc- but the only essential practice is the daimoku. Nichiren adopts Zhiyi's sutra classification, so suggesting an attitude towards other sutras, particularly the older ones.

#3, I cannot speak to Pure Land having only the barest exposure to those practices.

#4, its true evangelism appears in the Nichiren tradition, its a highly valued element and fundamentally part of Nichiren's legitimacy; to the point of some schools interpreting themselves as among the Lotus Sutra BoE.

Mysticlaw
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Re: What will happen when Daisaku Ikeda dies?

Post by Mysticlaw » Fri May 03, 2019 1:58 am

illarraza wrote:
Thu Apr 25, 2019 1:54 am
Nichiren refutes Dr. Mikio Matsuoka, head of the Soka Gakkai Study Department

Shakyamuni Buddha of the Original Doctrine, the Three Bodied Tathagata, is NOT merely an impersonal truth principle, according to Nichiren Daishonin and the Lotus Sutra. He is an actual individual who is parent, teacher, and sovereign of all mankind and the one who saves us from the various sufferings and travails [again, according to the Lotus Sutra and Nichiren Daishonin]. He should not be confused with Buddha-nature nor should he be confused with his teaching or Law which is Namu Myoho renge kyo. We have profound gratitude for Shakyamuni Buddha because he has bestowed upon us the Five or Seven Characters and the Gohonzon which contain all his merits and virtues. The head of the SGI study department has this to say:

"I would like to focus on the fact that Shakyamuni instructed his disciples just before his demise to make the Law their teacher. Generally, faith in an impersonal Law, due to its very impersonality, makes it difficult for people feel a sense of reverence toward the Law and often results in diminished religious zeal. To overcome this difficultly to revere the Law as the teacher, the need arises for a human teacher who can show people the Law through their teaching and behavior [a not so veiled reference to Daisaku Ikeda]. This allows individuals to sense the compassionate workings of the Law as an indivisible part of the teacher's life. In this way, respect for the Law as the fundamental teacher begins to blossom in people's hearts. Bergson asserted that Buddhism lacks zeal, but I believe that Buddhists who persevere on the path of mentor and disciple, living a life of compassion based on the Law, can also obtain a level of apostolic passion evidenced by believers of monotheistic religions. In addition, because their lives are actively engaged with the ultimate Law of the cosmos, they do not lose sight of their fundamental subjectivity. By maintaining steadfast faith in the Law, Buddhist mentors and disciples keep their passion as practitioners fresh and strive to pursue a human-centered practice."

Dr. Mikio Matsuoka
Researcher, Institute of Oriental Philosophy
Head of Doctrinal Studies, Association of Reformist Priests
Head of Soka Gakkai Study Department

Nichiren and his disciples however choose Shakyamuni Buddha as their mentor [Master]:

“Now , when the Eternal Buddha was revealed in the essential section of the Lotus Sutra, this world of endurance (Saha-world) became the Eternal Pure Land, indestructible even by the three calamities of conflagration, flooding, and strong winds, which are said to destroy the world. It transcends the four periods of cosmic change: the kalpa of construction, continuance, destruction and emptiness. Sakyamuni Buddha, the Lord-preacher of this pure land, has never died in the past, nor will He be born in the future. He exists forever throughout the past present and future. All those who receive His GUIDANCE are one with this Eternal Buddha.” -- The True Object of Worship

“Since Sakyamuni Buddha is eternal and all other Buddhas in the universe are his manifestations, then those great bodhisattvas converted by manifested Buddhas are also disciples of Lord Sakyamuni Buddha. If the “Life Span of the Buddha” chapter had not been expounded, it would be like the sky without the sun and moon, a country without a king, mountains and rivers without gems, or a man without a soul. nevertheless, seemingly knowledgeable men of such provisional schools of Buddhism as Ch’eng-kuan of the Hua-yen, Chia-hsiang of the San-lun, Tz’u-en of the Fa-hsiang, and Kobo of the shingon tried to extol their own canons by stating: “The Lord of the Flower Garland Sutra represents the reward-body (hojin) of the Buddha wheras that of the Lotus Sutra the accomodative body (ojin);” or “the Buddha in the sixteenth chapter of the Lotus is an Illusion; it is the great Sun Buddha who is enlightened.” clouds cover the moon and slanderers hide wise men. When people slander, ordinary yellow rocks appear to be of gold and slanderers seem to be wise. Scholars in this age of decay, blinded by slanderous words, do not see the value of a gold in the “Lifespan of the Buddha” chapter. Even among men of the Tendai school some are fooled into taking a yellow rock for gold. They should know that if Sakyamuni had not been the Eternal Buddha, there could not have been so many who received GUIDANCE from Him.” -- The Opening of the Eyes

There is no confusion about Shakyamuni as being an actual person. Shakyamuni and Nichiren are physical teachers that taught in order to guide their disciples to be awaken to the law as they did. They are pointing us to the North Star, which is the mystic law. The key point here is to not to revere any person to point of losing sight of the law.

From the Lotus Sutra (Chapter 2)
“Shariputra, the wisdom of the thus come ones is expansive and profound. They have immeasurable [compassion], unlimited [eloquence], power, fearlessness, concentration, emancipation, and samadhis, and have deeply entered the boundless and awakened to the Law never before attained.
“Shariputra, the thus come ones know how to make various distinctions and to expound the teachings skillfully. Their words are soft and gentle and can delight the hearts of the assembly.
“Shariputra, to sum it up: the buddhas have fully realized the Law that is limitless, boundless, never attained before.

The Entity of the Mystic Law gosho states the following:

In essence, the entity of Myoho-renge-kyo is the physical body that the disciples and followers of Nichiren who believe in the Lotus Sutra received from their fathers and mothers at birth. Such persons, who honestly discard expedient means, put faith in the Lotus Sutra alone, and chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, will transform the three paths of earthly desires, karma, and suffering into the three virtues of the Dharma body, wisdom, and emancipation. The threefold contemplation and the three truths will immediately become manifest in their minds, and the place where they live will become the Land of Eternally Tranquil Light. The Buddha who is the entity of Myoho-renge-kyo, of the “Life Span” chapter of the essential teaching, who is both inhabiting subject and inhabited realm, life and environment, body and mind, entity and function, the Buddha eternally endowed with the three bodies—he is to be found in the disciples and lay believers of Nichiren. Such persons embody the true entity of Myoho-renge-kyo; this is all due to the meritorious workings that the spontaneous transcendental powers inherent in it display. Could anyone venture to doubt it? Indeed it cannot be doubted!

In the Gosho, The Real Aspect of the Gohonzon:

Never seek this Gohonzon outside yourself. The Gohonzon exists only within the mortal flesh of us ordinary people who embrace the Lotus Sutra and chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo.

In the Gosho, On Offering Prayers to the Mandala of the Mystic Law:

I have offered prayers to the Gohonzon of Myoho-renge-kyo. Though this mandala has but five or seven characters, it is the teacher of all Buddhas throughout the three existences and the seal that guarantees the enlightenment of all women. It will be a lamp in the darkness of the road to the next world and a fine horse to carry you over the mountains of death. It is like the sun and moon in the heavens or Mount Sumeru on earth. It is a ship to ferry people over the sea of the sufferings of birth and death. It is the teacher who leads all people to Buddhahood and enlightenment. This great mandala has never yet been propagated anywhere in Jambudvīpa in the more than 2,220 years since the Buddha’s passing.’

illarraza
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Re: What will happen when Daisaku Ikeda dies?

Post by illarraza » Mon May 06, 2019 3:16 am

Mysticlaw wrote:
Fri May 03, 2019 1:58 am
illarraza wrote:
Thu Apr 25, 2019 1:54 am
Nichiren refutes Dr. Mikio Matsuoka, head of the Soka Gakkai Study Department

Shakyamuni Buddha of the Original Doctrine, the Three Bodied Tathagata, is NOT merely an impersonal truth principle, according to Nichiren Daishonin and the Lotus Sutra. He is an actual individual who is parent, teacher, and sovereign of all mankind and the one who saves us from the various sufferings and travails [again, according to the Lotus Sutra and Nichiren Daishonin]. He should not be confused with Buddha-nature nor should he be confused with his teaching or Law which is Namu Myoho renge kyo. We have profound gratitude for Shakyamuni Buddha because he has bestowed upon us the Five or Seven Characters and the Gohonzon which contain all his merits and virtues. The head of the SGI study department has this to say:

"I would like to focus on the fact that Shakyamuni instructed his disciples just before his demise to make the Law their teacher. Generally, faith in an impersonal Law, due to its very impersonality, makes it difficult for people feel a sense of reverence toward the Law and often results in diminished religious zeal. To overcome this difficultly to revere the Law as the teacher, the need arises for a human teacher who can show people the Law through their teaching and behavior [a not so veiled reference to Daisaku Ikeda]. This allows individuals to sense the compassionate workings of the Law as an indivisible part of the teacher's life. In this way, respect for the Law as the fundamental teacher begins to blossom in people's hearts. Bergson asserted that Buddhism lacks zeal, but I believe that Buddhists who persevere on the path of mentor and disciple, living a life of compassion based on the Law, can also obtain a level of apostolic passion evidenced by believers of monotheistic religions. In addition, because their lives are actively engaged with the ultimate Law of the cosmos, they do not lose sight of their fundamental subjectivity. By maintaining steadfast faith in the Law, Buddhist mentors and disciples keep their passion as practitioners fresh and strive to pursue a human-centered practice."

Dr. Mikio Matsuoka
Researcher, Institute of Oriental Philosophy
Head of Doctrinal Studies, Association of Reformist Priests
Head of Soka Gakkai Study Department

Nichiren and his disciples however choose Shakyamuni Buddha as their mentor [Master]:

“Now , when the Eternal Buddha was revealed in the essential section of the Lotus Sutra, this world of endurance (Saha-world) became the Eternal Pure Land, indestructible even by the three calamities of conflagration, flooding, and strong winds, which are said to destroy the world. It transcends the four periods of cosmic change: the kalpa of construction, continuance, destruction and emptiness. Sakyamuni Buddha, the Lord-preacher of this pure land, has never died in the past, nor will He be born in the future. He exists forever throughout the past present and future. All those who receive His GUIDANCE are one with this Eternal Buddha.” -- The True Object of Worship

“Since Sakyamuni Buddha is eternal and all other Buddhas in the universe are his manifestations, then those great bodhisattvas converted by manifested Buddhas are also disciples of Lord Sakyamuni Buddha. If the “Life Span of the Buddha” chapter had not been expounded, it would be like the sky without the sun and moon, a country without a king, mountains and rivers without gems, or a man without a soul. nevertheless, seemingly knowledgeable men of such provisional schools of Buddhism as Ch’eng-kuan of the Hua-yen, Chia-hsiang of the San-lun, Tz’u-en of the Fa-hsiang, and Kobo of the shingon tried to extol their own canons by stating: “The Lord of the Flower Garland Sutra represents the reward-body (hojin) of the Buddha wheras that of the Lotus Sutra the accomodative body (ojin);” or “the Buddha in the sixteenth chapter of the Lotus is an Illusion; it is the great Sun Buddha who is enlightened.” clouds cover the moon and slanderers hide wise men. When people slander, ordinary yellow rocks appear to be of gold and slanderers seem to be wise. Scholars in this age of decay, blinded by slanderous words, do not see the value of a gold in the “Lifespan of the Buddha” chapter. Even among men of the Tendai school some are fooled into taking a yellow rock for gold. They should know that if Sakyamuni had not been the Eternal Buddha, there could not have been so many who received GUIDANCE from Him.” -- The Opening of the Eyes

There is no confusion about Shakyamuni as being an actual person. Shakyamuni and Nichiren are physical teachers that taught in order to guide their disciples to be awaken to the law as they did. They are pointing us to the North Star, which is the mystic law. The key point here is to not to revere any person to point of losing sight of the law.

From the Lotus Sutra (Chapter 2)
“Shariputra, the wisdom of the thus come ones is expansive and profound. They have immeasurable [compassion], unlimited [eloquence], power, fearlessness, concentration, emancipation, and samadhis, and have deeply entered the boundless and awakened to the Law never before attained.
“Shariputra, the thus come ones know how to make various distinctions and to expound the teachings skillfully. Their words are soft and gentle and can delight the hearts of the assembly.
“Shariputra, to sum it up: the buddhas have fully realized the Law that is limitless, boundless, never attained before.

The Entity of the Mystic Law gosho states the following:

In essence, the entity of Myoho-renge-kyo is the physical body that the disciples and followers of Nichiren who believe in the Lotus Sutra received from their fathers and mothers at birth. Such persons, who honestly discard expedient means, put faith in the Lotus Sutra alone, and chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, will transform the three paths of earthly desires, karma, and suffering into the three virtues of the Dharma body, wisdom, and emancipation. The threefold contemplation and the three truths will immediately become manifest in their minds, and the place where they live will become the Land of Eternally Tranquil Light. The Buddha who is the entity of Myoho-renge-kyo, of the “Life Span” chapter of the essential teaching, who is both inhabiting subject and inhabited realm, life and environment, body and mind, entity and function, the Buddha eternally endowed with the three bodies—he is to be found in the disciples and lay believers of Nichiren. Such persons embody the true entity of Myoho-renge-kyo; this is all due to the meritorious workings that the spontaneous transcendental powers inherent in it display. Could anyone venture to doubt it? Indeed it cannot be doubted!

In the Gosho, The Real Aspect of the Gohonzon:

Never seek this Gohonzon outside yourself. The Gohonzon exists only within the mortal flesh of us ordinary people who embrace the Lotus Sutra and chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo.

In the Gosho, On Offering Prayers to the Mandala of the Mystic Law:

I have offered prayers to the Gohonzon of Myoho-renge-kyo. Though this mandala has but five or seven characters, it is the teacher of all Buddhas throughout the three existences and the seal that guarantees the enlightenment of all women. It will be a lamp in the darkness of the road to the next world and a fine horse to carry you over the mountains of death. It is like the sun and moon in the heavens or Mount Sumeru on earth. It is a ship to ferry people over the sea of the sufferings of birth and death. It is the teacher who leads all people to Buddhahood and enlightenment. This great mandala has never yet been propagated anywhere in Jambudvīpa in the more than 2,220 years since the Buddha’s passing.’
Gohonzon as "teacher", not teaching, and as Shakyamuni Buddha of the Juryo Chapter of the Lotus Sutra, not Daisaku Ikeda.

Even though statues and paintings were made of these Shakyamuni Buddhas during the two millennia, no image or statue was made of the Buddha of the “Life Span” chapter.63 Only in the Latter Day of the Law will the representation of that Buddha appear.

"Question: During the two thousand years of the Former and Middle Days of the Law, the four ranks of bodhisattvas and the teachers constructed images of and built temples and pagodas for Buddhas of other worlds or for the Shakyamuni Buddha of Hinayana, of provisional Mahayana, of the pre-Lotus Sutra teachings, or of the theoretical teaching of the sutra. No one in India, China, or Japan, however, neither rulers nor subjects, revered the object of devotion of the “Life Span” chapter of the essential teaching and the four great bodhisattvas. Though I think I generally understand what you are saying, I have never heard such a thing before, and therefore it startles my ears and perplexes my mind. Will you explain it to me again in greater detail?"

"In the entire land of Jambudvīpa, there has never before been a hall or pagoda that produced the image of Shakyamuni Buddha of the “Life Span” chapter of the Lotus Sutra. How could such an image fail to appear now?"

"Since the Buddha [of the “Life Span” chapter] is revealed as the Buddha who attained enlightenment in the remote past [and all the other Buddhas as his emanations], it follows that not only the great bodhisattvas whom Shakyamuni himself taught in his transient status, but the great bodhisattvas from other realms [who were taught by the Buddhas of their own realms] are also in fact disciples of Shakyamuni Buddha, the lord of teachings. If, among all the numerous sutras, this “Life Span” chapter should be lacking, it would be as though there were no sun or moon in the sky, no supreme ruler in the nation, no gems in the mountains and rivers, and no spirit in human beings."

And here Nichiren equates the Gohonzon as Shakyamuni Buddha of the Life Span Chapter with the Lotus Sutra itself.

"During this period of twenty-two hundred and more years, worthy rulers and sage rulers have honored painted images or wooden images of Shakyamuni, the lord of teachings, as their principal object of devotion. But although they have made depictions of the Buddhas of the Hinayana and the Mahayana teachings; of the Flower Garland, Nirvana, and Meditation sutras; of the theoretical teaching of the Lotus Sutra and of the Universal Worthy Sutra; of the Mahāvairochana and the other True Word sutras; and of the Buddhas Shakyamuni and Many Treasures of the “Treasure Tower” chapter, the Shakyamuni Buddha of the “Life Span” chapter has never been depicted in any mountain temple or monastery anywhere. It is very difficult to fathom why this should be.

"The Thus Come One Shakyamuni made specific reference to the last five-hundred-year period and never designated the two thousand years of the Former and Middle Days of the Law as the time for propagating the Lotus Sutra. The Great Teacher T’ien-t’ai said, “In the last five-hundred-year period, the mystic way will spread and benefit humankind far into the future,” indicating that its propagation should be left to the future. The Great Teacher Dengyō wrote, “The Former and Middle Days are almost over, and the Latter Day is near at hand.” In this way, he rejected the end of the Middle Day of the Law as not being the time to propagate the Lotus Sutra."

"When we consider the matter in this light, we can see that Vairochana Buddha seated on the lotus pedestal of the ten directions as described in the Flower Garland Sutra, the little Shakyamuni described in the Āgama sutras,53 and the provisional Buddhas described in the sutras of the Correct and Equal and the Wisdom periods such as the Golden Light, Amida, and Mahāvairochana sutras are no more than reflections of the Buddha of the “Life Span” chapter. They are like fleeting reflections of the moon that float on the surfaces of various large and small bodies of water. The scholars of the various schools of Buddhism, confused as to [the nature of the Buddhas of] their own school and, more fundamentally, ignorant of [the Buddha of] the “Life Span” chapter of the Lotus Sutra, mistake the reflection in the water for the actual moon, some of them entering the water and trying to grasp it in their hands, others attempting to snare it with a rope. As T’ien-t’ai says, “They know nothing of the moon in the sky, but gaze only at the moon in the pond.”

"Considered in this light, it is evident that Vairochana Buddha depicted in the Flower Garland Sutra as sitting on a lotus pedestal, the sixteen-foot Shakyamuni described in the Āgama sutras, and the provisional Buddhas of the Correct and Equal, Wisdom, Golden Light, Amida, and Mahāvairochana sutras are no more than reflections of the Buddha of the “Life Span” chapter. They are like fleeting images of the moon in the sky mirrored on the surface of the water held in vessels of varying sizes. The wise men and scholars of the various schools are first of all confused as to [the nature of the Buddhas of] their own school, and more fundamentally, they are ignorant of [the Buddha of] the “Life Span” chapter of the Lotus Sutra. As a result, they mistake the reflection of the moon on the water for the real moon shining in the sky. Some of them enter the water and try to grasp it with their hands, while others try to snare it with a rope. As the Great Teacher T’ien-t’ai says, “They know nothing of the moon in the sky, but gaze only at the moon in the pond.” He means that those attached to the pre-Lotus Sutra teachings or the theoretical teaching of the Lotus Sutra are not aware of the moon shining in the sky, but see only its reflection in the pond."

"The Vairochana Buddha seated on the lotus pedestal with other Buddhas surrounding him in the ten directions, who is described in the Flower Garland Sutra, and the Thus Come One Mahāvairochana of the Diamond Realm and the Womb Realm, who is described in the Mahāvairochana and Diamond Crown sutras, are attendants who stand on the left and right of the Thus Come One Many Treasures, the Buddha described in the “Treasure Tower” chapter of the Lotus Sutra. They are like two high ministers in attendance on a worldly ruler. And this Many Treasures Buddha is a follower of Shakyamuni Buddha, the lord of teachings of the “Life Span” chapter."

"Shakyamuni Buddha is like the one moon in the sky, and the various other Buddhas, bodhisattvas, and beings are like the reflections floating on ten thousand different bodies of water. Thus a person who fashions a single image of Shakyamuni Buddha is in effect making images of all the Buddhas of the worlds in the ten directions."

Likewise, Nichiren who inscribed Gohonzon and his faithful disciples who transcribed Gohonzon.

"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."

"Although not worthy of the honor, I, Nichiren, was nevertheless the first to spread the Mystic Law entrusted to Bodhisattva Superior Practices for propagation in the Latter Day of the Law. I was also the first, though only Bodhisattva Superior Practices is so empowered, to inscribe [the object of devotion as] the embodiment of Shakyamuni Buddha from the remote past as revealed in the “Life Span” chapter of the essential teaching,..."

"The object of devotion as set forth in the “Life Span” chapter is Shakyamuni Buddha, the lord of teachings, eternally endowed with the three bodies, who since the beginning of numberless major world system dust particle kalpas in the past has had deep and abiding affinities with this land of ours."

"And yet there are some teachers who deprecate Shakyamuni and pay reverence to the Thus Come One Mahāvairochana, or some teachers who declare that one cannot establish a connection leading to Buddhahood with Shakyamuni, but can establish such a connection with Amida. Other teachers support the Shakyamuni of the Hinayana teachings, the Shakyamuni of the Flower Garland Sutra, or the Shakyamuni of the theoretical teaching of the Lotus Sutra. All these teachers and their supporters who forget [the] Shakyamuni [of the “Life Span” chapter] and choose some other Buddha instead are like Prince Ajātashatru, who killed his father, King Bimbisāra, and, turning against Shakyamuni, became a patron of Devadatta."

"The oral tradition says that the Buddha can become grass and trees. This means that the Shakyamuni Buddha of the “Life Span” chapter can manifest himself in grass and trees. The Lotus Sutra speaks of “the Thus Come One’s secret and his transcendental powers.” There is nothing in the entire realm of phenomena that is not the manifestation of the Thus Come One Shakyamuni."

If you are interested in Nichiren's Comprehensive teachings on Shakyamuni Buddha of the Life Span Chapter of the Lotus Sutra, please see:

Nichiren's One Original Eternal Buddha Doctrine

https://markrogow.blogspot.com/2018/06/ ... uddha.html

Nichiren's Comprehensive Teachings on Shakyamuni Buddha of the Lifespan Chapter of the Lotus Sutra in Three Parts:

https://markrogow.blogspot.com/2018/07/ ... gs-on.html
https://markrogow.blogspot.com/2018/07/ ... on_22.html
https://markrogow.blogspot.com/2018/07/ ... on_65.html

“I am the only person who can rescue and protect others." -- Shakyamuni Buddha, LS Chapter 3

and

"I am the Father of the world. The one who saves from the various sufferings and travails." -- Shakyamuni Buddha, LS Chapter 16.

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