Pure Land and the Lotus Sutra

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Carlita
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Re: Pure Land and the Lotus Sutra

Post by Carlita » Sun Jan 17, 2016 5:53 pm

I'm new too.. are you asking if the Pure Land and Nichiren teachings can be mixed?

I practice Nichiren Buddhism, and this is my humble opinion. Nichiren Shonin did not look favorably of practicing any other school but that of his as for practices go. So, in his view, a practitioner cannot devote himself to Amida as he would to the Lotus/Gohonzon/Daimoku.

On the other hand, the morals and beliefs I don't think he had a problem with (didn't mention). It was just the practices.

To the core of the matter, the Lotus Sutra is a summary of all the Suttas and Sutras Pure Land included. So, if you prefer not to directly focus on Nichiren's view, then I don't see a problem with doing both. If you prefer Nichiren's view, in my opinion, there is a confliction.

That is just my opinion.
Oceano wrote:Hi

I wasn't sure whether to post here or over on the Pure Land thread,

Sometimes it's hard to tell. As it developed, East Asian Buddhism seemed like the most logical place for it, since it crosses sectarian lines but the sects all developed in that area. I have moved it to the more appropriate forum and split an off-topic discussion off to Open Dharma. - Kim

but here goes ...

I've often wondered why a form of lay Buddhism hasn't emerged that seeks to blend Pure Land with the Lotus Sutra. There's an old saying - the origin of which I can't recall - that "one recites the Lotus Sutra in the morning and the Nembutsu in the evening" - that, to me, perfectly encapsulates the potential for such a practice. The Lotus Sutra is world-embracing, "extroverted" and powerfully directed towards Buddha-nature in this life. The Pure Land Sutras can provide peace and assurance about Amida Buddha's unlimited compassion, which in many ways is a perfect end to the day. Depending on the situation, both the Lotus Sutra and Amida Buddha's grace provide beautiful paths of either strength or peace as we go about our days. I know I'm stumbling into deeply historical and bitterly contested territory here. I don't know much about Rissho Kosei-Kai but they perhaps come close to what I'm alluding to. Has anyone else had similar thoughts? I'm really not trying tell anyone that either Nichiren or Honen / Shinran are right or wrong - part of my reflection here is that, somewhat heretically, I actually really enjoy both Japanese Pure Land and Nichiren traditions. In a way it's a shame that we're still living these divisions, and I see a lot of potential in this life for a type of "ekayana" Buddhism led by lay people, focused on the problems of daily life and yet open enough to the "ineffable" beyond this life.

First post so go easy!

Cheers
Oceano
[The Buddha says to his monks], when he opens his mouth to expound or when he reads the sutra, he should not delight in speaking of the faults of other people or scriptures. He should not display contempt for other teachers of the Law or speak of the good or bad, the strong or weak points of others. -Saddharma Puṇḍarīka Sūtra
:anjali:

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rory
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Re: Pure Land and the Lotus Sutra

Post by rory » Mon Jan 18, 2016 6:49 am

Carlita; in China a school, Tiantai, devoted to the teachings of the Lotus Sutra was founded by the great Buddhist thinker and Master Zhiyi (Chih-I). This involved studying the Sutra, and Pure land and meditation practices. Saicho came from Japan and established the Japanese Tendai Lotus Sutra school, where Pure Land, meditation and esoteric practices were done. Tendai was a multi-practice school and had many famous breakaway monks who formed single practice schools: Honen of Pure Land, Dogen of Soto Zen, Shinran of Jodo Shinshu and NIchiren.

Pure Land was always a part of the Lotus Sutra schools until Dogen and Nichiren broke away and focused on their single practices. These are facts, matters of historical record. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tiantai
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tendai

Genshin a famous master of the Tendai school, devoted himself to Amida Buddha and Pure Land worship:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genshin
gassho
Rory
Namu Kanzeon Bosatsu
Chih-I:
The Tai-ching states "the women in the realms of Mara, Sakra and Brahma all neither abandoned ( their old) bodies nor received (new) bodies. They all received buddhahood with their current bodies (genshin)" Thus these verses state that the dharma nature is like a great ocean. No right or wrong is preached (within it) Ordinary people and sages are equal, without superiority or inferiority
Paul, Groner "The Lotus Sutra in Japanese Culture"eds. Tanabe p. 58
https://www.tendai-usa.org/

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Carlita
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Re: Pure Land and the Lotus Sutra

Post by Carlita » Mon Jan 18, 2016 7:23 am

rory wrote:Carlita; in China a school, Tiantai, devoted to the teachings of the Lotus Sutra was founded by the great Buddhist thinker and Master Zhiyi (Chih-I). This involved studying the Sutra, and Pure land and meditation practices. Saicho came from Japan and established the Japanese Tendai Lotus Sutra school, where Pure Land, meditation and esoteric practices were done. Tendai was a multi-practice school and had many famous breakaway monks who formed single practice schools: Honen of Pure Land, Dogen of Soto Zen, Shinran of Jodo Shinshu and NIchiren.

Pure Land was always a part of the Lotus Sutra schools until Dogen and Nichiren broke away and focused on their single practices. These are facts, matters of historical record. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tiantai
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tendai

Genshin a famous master of the Tendai school, devoted himself to Amida Buddha and Pure Land worship:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genshin
gassho
Rory
Hmm. Interesting. Nichiren Shonin broke off because he felt that the all the schools Zen, Pure Land, etc where the cause of the Japanese war (can't remember the name). He was imprisoned for putting down the teachings of other schools in favor of his.

In light of that, I'd say there is a confliction. Nichiren hadn't mention anyone other than his master and the Tentai school for all I read so far.

Given Nichiren was extremely against Pure Land teachings, how can one practice both without confliction even though they are both Meyahana teachings with the history you provided?

(Not saying it's wrong; just know from what I study and practice)
[The Buddha says to his monks], when he opens his mouth to expound or when he reads the sutra, he should not delight in speaking of the faults of other people or scriptures. He should not display contempt for other teachers of the Law or speak of the good or bad, the strong or weak points of others. -Saddharma Puṇḍarīka Sūtra
:anjali:

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Astus
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Re: Pure Land and the Lotus Sutra

Post by Astus » Mon Jan 18, 2016 1:14 pm

Carlita wrote:Given Nichiren was extremely against Pure Land teachings, how can one practice both without confliction even though they are both Meyahana teachings with the history you provided?
Go to schools like Tendai, or anything outside Japan, and such exclusivism is non-existent. Also, in real life, everyone is free to practice in whatever way one likes.
1 Myriad dharmas are only mind.
Mind is unobtainable.
What is there to seek?

2 If the Buddha-Nature is seen,
there will be no seeing of a nature in any thing.

3 Neither cultivation nor seated meditation —
this is the pure Chan of Tathagata.

4 With sudden enlightenment to Tathagata Chan,
the six paramitas and myriad means
are complete within that essence.


1 Huangbo, T2012Ap381c1 2 Nirvana Sutra, T374p521b3; tr. Yamamoto 3 Mazu, X1321p3b23; tr. J. Jia 4 Yongjia, T2014p395c14; tr. from "The Sword of Wisdom"

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rory
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Re: Pure Land and the Lotus Sutra

Post by rory » Mon Jan 18, 2016 2:51 pm

Carlita; you can pratice Pure Land as a Tendai follower. Tendai is a philosophical school which embraces many practices. Or you can practice Pure Land as a Pure Land follower and study Tendai philosophy or Avatamsaka philosophy or even do Zen-Pure Land which is common all over East Asia. As Astus said single practice schools are really not the norm in East Asian Mahayana.

I suggest you pick up a proper textbook or even read those links I posted, if you are with SGI their scholarship is pretty non-existant so don't repeat what you're told.
gassho
Rory
Namu Kanzeon Bosatsu
Chih-I:
The Tai-ching states "the women in the realms of Mara, Sakra and Brahma all neither abandoned ( their old) bodies nor received (new) bodies. They all received buddhahood with their current bodies (genshin)" Thus these verses state that the dharma nature is like a great ocean. No right or wrong is preached (within it) Ordinary people and sages are equal, without superiority or inferiority
Paul, Groner "The Lotus Sutra in Japanese Culture"eds. Tanabe p. 58
https://www.tendai-usa.org/

Bakmoon
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Re: Pure Land and the Lotus Sutra

Post by Bakmoon » Thu Jan 21, 2016 8:24 am

Carlita wrote:Hmm. Interesting. Nichiren Shonin broke off because he felt that the all the schools Zen, Pure Land, etc where the cause of the Japanese war (can't remember the name). He was imprisoned for putting down the teachings of other schools in favor of his.

In light of that, I'd say there is a confliction. Nichiren hadn't mention anyone other than his master and the Tentai school for all I read so far.

Given Nichiren was extremely against Pure Land teachings, how can one practice both without confliction even though they are both Meyahana teachings with the history you provided?

(Not saying it's wrong; just know from what I study and practice)
I'm not an expert on Nichiren, but I have read some of his writings, and to me it sounds like he didn't have a problem with Pure Land practices as such, but was opposed to the interpretation of Pure Land by Honen, because he felt that Honen's interpretation had displaced the Lotus Sutra. But Nichiren largely saw himself as the heir to the Tian Tai tradition, and within that, Pure Land practices are quite common, but they fit within a much larger framework that sees the Lotus Sutra as the supreme teaching.

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