Gongyo as Practiced by Nichiren Buddhism Sects.

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JazzIsTvRicky
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Gongyo as Practiced by Nichiren Buddhism Sects.

Post by JazzIsTvRicky » Fri Jun 24, 2016 11:51 am

I would like to discuss my findings within the body of Nichiren's Teachings which are available and widely read in this 'The Latter Day of The Law', and the meaning of 'Faith' as taught by Nichiren. I believe that the recitation of Shayamuni's Lotus Sutra is 'Simply Chanting Nam Myoho Renge Kyo' exclusively without any other recitation or chant. Including, the recitation of any part or whole of the Lotus Sutra as taught by Shakyamuni Buddha. Gongyo is not mentioned by Nichiren but was introduced by later Priest of Nichiren Buddhist Sects.

Sincerely, JazzIs, A Votary of The Lotus Sutra
A فوتاري أوف ذي غوهونزون أوف نام ميوهو رينج كيو

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Re: Gongyo as Practiced by Nichiren Buddhism Sects.

Post by Queequeg » Fri Jun 24, 2016 4:13 pm

Hi JazzIs,

First, welcome to the forum! Happy to have you join us.

Are you declaring that Nichiren taught to exclusively chant the daimoku? Where do you get this? Nichiren stated otherwise in numerous writings.
As a daily religious practice, one should recite the daimoku, Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. Those persons who are able to do so should further recite a verse or a phrase of the Lotus Sutra. As a supplementary practice, if one wishes, one may offer praise for Shakyamuni Buddha, Many Treasures Buddha, or the Buddhas of the ten directions, for all the various bodhisattvas or the persons of the two vehicles, the heavenly beings, the dragon deities, or the eight kinds of nonhuman beings [who protect Buddhism]. Since we live in an age when there are many uninformed people, there is no need for believers to attempt at once to practice the meditation on the three thousand realms in a single moment of life, though if there are persons who wish to do so, they should learn how to practice this type of meditation and carry it out.
-On Reciting the Daimoku of the Lotus Sutra
To accept, uphold, read, recite, take delight in, and protect all the eight volumes and twenty-eight chapters of the Lotus Sutra is called the comprehensive practice. To accept, uphold, and protect the “Expedient Means” chapter and the “Life Span” chapter is called the abbreviated practice. And simply to chant one four-phrase verse or the daimoku, and to protect those who do so, is called the essential practice. Hence, among these three kinds of practice, comprehensive, abbreviated, and essential, the daimoku is defined as the essential practice.
-The Daimoku of the Lotus Sutra
I have written out the prose section of the “Expedient Means” chapter for you. You should recite it together with the verse portion of the “Life Span” chapter, which I sent you earlier.
Reply to the Lay Priest Soya
As for the Lotus Sutra, one may recite the entire sutra of twenty-eight chapters in eight volumes every day; or one may recite only one volume, or one chapter, or one verse, or one phrase, or one word; or one may simply chant the daimoku, Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, only once a day, or chant it only once in the course of a lifetime; or hear someone else chant it only once in a lifetime and rejoice in the hearing, or rejoice in hearing the voice of someone else rejoice in the hearing, and so on in this manner to the fiftieth hearer. And if one were to be at the end, even if one’s faith were weak and one’s sense of rejoicing diluted like the frailty of a child of two or three, or the inability of a cow or horse to distinguish before from after, the blessings one would gain would be a hundred, thousand, ten thousand, million times greater than those gained by persons of keen faculties and superior wisdom who study other sutras, persons such as Shāriputra, Maudgalyāyana, Manjushrī, and Maitreya, who had committed to memory the entire texts of the various sutras…

First of all, when it comes to the Lotus Sutra, you should understand that, whether one recites all eight volumes, or only one volume, one chapter, one verse, one phrase, or simply the daimoku, or title, the blessings are the same. It is like the water of the great ocean, a single drop of which contains water from all the countless streams and rivers, or like the wish-granting jewel, which, though only a single jewel, can shower all kinds of treasures upon the wisher. And the same is true of a hundred, a thousand, ten thousand, or a million such drops of water or such jewels. A single character of the Lotus Sutra is like such a drop of water or such a jewel, and the hundred million characters are like a hundred million such drops or jewels…

Therefore, when it comes to the Lotus Sutra, it is praiseworthy to recite any chapter you have placed your trust in, whichever chapter that may be...

But to return to your question. As I said before, though no chapter of the Lotus Sutra is negligible, among the entire twenty-eight chapters, the “Expedient Means” chapter and the “Life Span” chapter are particularly outstanding. The remaining chapters are all in a sense the branches and leaves of these two chapters. Therefore, for your regular recitation, I recommend that you practice reading the prose sections of the “Expedient Means” and “Life Span” chapters. In addition, it might be well if you wrote out separate copies of these sections. The remaining twenty-six chapters are like the shadow that follows one’s body or the value inherent in a jewel. If you recite the “Life Span” and “Expedient Means” chapters, then the remaining chapters will naturally be included even though you do not recite them. It is true that the “Medicine King” and “Devadatta” chapters deal specifically with women’s attainment of Buddhahood or rebirth in the pure land. But the “Devadatta” chapter is a branch and leaf of the “Expedient Means” chapter, and the “Medicine King” chapter is a branch and leaf of the “Expedient Means” and the “LifeSpan” chapters. Therefore, you should regularly recite these two chapters, the “Expedient Means” and “Life Span” chapters. As for the remaining chapters, you may turn to them from time to time when you have a moment of leisure.
-Expedient Means and Life Span Chapters
We speak of upholding the Lotus Sutra. But although there is only one sutra, the manner in which we uphold it may vary from one period to the next. There may be times when a person literally rends his flesh and offers it to his teacher, and in this way attains Buddhahood. Or at other times a person may offer his body as a couch to his teacher, or as so much firewood. At yet other times a person may bear the blows of sticks and staves for the sake of the sutra, or may practice religious austerities or observe various precepts. And there may be times when, even though a person does the things described above, he still does not attain Buddhahood. It depends upon the time and is not something fixed.

Therefore, the Great Teacher T’ien-t’ai declared, “The method chosen should be that which accords with the time.” And the Great Teacher Chang-an said, “You should let your choices be fitting and never adhere solely to one or the other.”
-Letter to Horen
I have received your gift of a sack of rice, sent in donation for a memorial service on the anniversary of Ueno’s passing. I will offer it in the presence of the Buddha and recite the verse section of the “Life Span” chapter of the Lotus Sutra.
-On Filial and Non-Filial Conduct

Etc. etc.

Also, it seems you may be putting too much emphasis on the word "gongyo" (勤行). This is a generic Buddhist term that means "energetic practice". Its used widely in Japanese Buddhism to refer to ritual practice, particularly sutra recitation.
“Once you have given up the ghost, everything follows with dead certainty, even in the midst of chaos.”
-Henry Miller

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Great for solving problems, after it creates the problems."
-Modest Mouse

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JazzIsTvRicky
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Re: Gongyo as Practiced by Nichiren Buddhism Sects.

Post by JazzIsTvRicky » Fri Jun 24, 2016 5:26 pm

Queequeg wrote:Hi JazzIs,

First, welcome to the forum! Happy to have you join us.

Are you declaring that Nichiren taught to exclusively chant the daimoku? c Nichiren stated otherwise in numerous writings.
Answer: Yes I am! And thank you for your wonderful welcome! I will address each point you so beautifully and sincerely make with, as you have done, "Sutra in Hand"...
As a daily religious practice, one should recite the daimoku, Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. Those persons who are able to do so should further recite a verse or a phrase of the Lotus Sutra. As a supplementary practice, if one wishes, one may offer praise for Shakyamuni Buddha, Many Treasures Buddha, or the Buddhas of the ten directions, for all the various bodhisattvas or the persons of the two vehicles, the heavenly beings, the dragon deities, or the eight kinds of nonhuman beings [who protect Buddhism]. Since we live in an age when there are many uninformed people, there is no need for believers to attempt at once to practice the meditation on the three thousand realms in a single moment of life, though if there are persons who wish to do so, they should learn how to practice this type of meditation and carry it out.
-On Reciting the Daimoku of the Lotus Sutra
My reply: From the same Gosho -On Reciting the Daimoku of the Lotus Sutra- "Volume ten of On “The Words and Phrases,” speaking of those who carry out the five practices listed in the “Teacher of the Law” chapter, says: “They have not yet completely entered the five stages of practice [that belong to the stage of perception and action].” And it also says: “They are not to be regarded as completely at the stage of ordinary practitioners.” According to these passages, though persons carrying out the five practices listed in the “Teacher of the Law” chapter could be interpreted as carrying out the five stages of practice that belong to the stage of perception and action, they could also be interpreted as being at the preceding stage, the stage of hearing the name and words of the truth. If we go by these passages of interpretation, when ordinary mortals who are at the stage of hearing the name and words of the truth and have no real understanding of the teachings rejoice on hearing the Lotus Sutra, they will enjoy the same benefits as those who rejoice for even a moment on hearing only one verse or one phrase of the sutra, and those who rejoice on hearing word of the Lotus Sutra passed along by fifty persons in succession."

This is referred to as The stage of 'Myoji-soku'.....stage of hearing the name and words of the truth [名字即] ( myōji-soku): The second of the six stages of practice, stages in the practice of the Lotus Sutra formulated by T’ien-t’ai (538–597). The stage at which one hears the name of the truth (i.e., one hears a Buddhist term for the ultimate reality such as “the true aspect of all phenomena”) and/or reads the words of the sutras and thereby understands intellectually that all beings are potential Buddhas and that all phenomena are manifestations of the universal Law. See also six stages of practice.

This Buddhist doctrine is consistent in Nichiren's Teachings and is thoroughly expounded and taught in one of the 'Ten Major Writings of Nichiren Daishonin' as designated b Nikko Shonin the Second High Priest.

"Within these chapters of transmission, the four stages of faith and five stages of practice expounded in the in Fumbetsu Kudoku chapter represent the most important essential in the practice of the Lotus Sutra, a mirror to persons living in the time of the Buddha and after his passing."

"My own opinion is that, of these three interpretations, that which equates these two stages with the stage of myoji-soku accords best with the text of the Lotus Sutra itself."

"In particular, the passages in the Juryo chapter that speak of those who have "lost their minds" and those who have "not lost their minds" refer in both cases to the stage of myoji-soku. One should also consider the passages in the Nirvana Sutra that read "Whether one believes or does not believe, he shall directly be born in the Buddha land,"

"Again, in the phrase "a single moment's faith and understanding," the word "faith" applies to the first of the four stages, and the word "understanding," to those that follow. And if this is so, then "faith without understanding" would apply to the first of the four stages of faith. The second stage of faith is described in the sutra as that at which one "generally understands the purport of the words" of the sutra. And in volume nine of the Hokke Mongu Ki we read: "The initial stage is different from the others, because in the initial stage there is as yet no understanding."

"With regard to the stage achieved by the fiftieth person, there are two interpretations. The first interpretation holds that the fiftieth person falls within the stage of "rejoicing on first hearing the Lotus Sutra," [and is thus at the level of kangyo-soku.] The other interpretation holds that the fiftieth person cannot yet be said to have entered the stage of "rejoicing on first hearing the Lotus Sutra" but is still at the level of myoji-soku. This latter interpretation reflects the view that "the truer the teaching, the lower the stage [of the persons it can bring to enlightenment.]"

Your opening question is "Are you declaring that Nichiren taught to exclusively chant the daimoku?"

Shakyamuni Buddha said in the Nirvana Sutra: "Rely on the Law" now i will take you to the answer of your most sincere query!

-On the Four Stages of Faith and the Five Stages of Practice-
Major Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, Vol. 6, page 211. continues....

"Question: For practitioners in the Latter Day of the Law, who have just aroused the aspiration for enlightenment, what types of practice are restricted?

"Answer: Such persons are restricted from practicing almsgiving, the keeping of the precepts, and the others of the five paramitas, and are directed to chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo exclusively. This practice corresponds to the capacity of persons at the stages of "producing even a single moment's faith and understanding" and "rejoicing on first hearing the Lotus Sutra." It represents the true intention of the Lotus Sutra."

Next Nichiren becomes very strict with the Questioner...

"Question: The sutra passage you have just quoted seems to support your argument. But can you offer any passages from the treatises or commentaries?"

"Answer: What commentaries would you like me to cite? Are you referring to the treatises by the four ranks of saints of India? Or are you referring to works written by Buddhist teachers of China and Japan? In either case, it amounts to rejecting the root and searching among the branches, seeking the shadow apart from the form, or forgetting the source and prizing only the stream. You would ignore a sutra passage that is perfectly clear and instead seek an answer in the treatises and commentaries. If there should be some later commentary that contradicts the original sutra passage, would you then cast aside the sutra and follow the commentary?"

"Nevertheless, I will comply with your wishes and cite some passages. In the ninth volume of the Hokke Mongu we read: "There is a danger that a beginner will be led astray by subordinate concerns, and that this will interfere with the primary practice. The beginner should directly give all his attention to embracing the sutra; that is the highest type of offering. Though one may set aside formal practices, if one maintains [meditation on] the principle, then the benefits will be many and far-reaching."

"And the words "should directly give all his attention to embracing the sutra" do not refer to the sutra as a whole. They mean that one should embrace the daimoku, or title, of the sutra exclusively and not mix it with other passages. Even recitation of the entire sutra is not permitted. How much less the five paramitas!"

My friend dose this answer your initial question? But let us continue learning from Nichiren himself...

-On the Four Stages of Faith and the Five Stages of Practice-
Major Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, Vol. 6, page 211. continues....

"Question: Why do you not advocate the meditation on the three thousand realms in a single life-moment (ichinen sanzen), but instead simply encourage the chanting of the daimoku?"

Answer in part:"Miao-lo says: "When, in order to be brief, only the title of the sutra is mentioned, the entire sutra is thereby included."

"Question: If a person simply chants Nam-myoho-renge-kyo with no understanding of its meaning, are the benefits of understanding thereby included?"

"Answer: When a baby drinks milk, he has no understanding of its taste, and yet his body is naturally nourished in the process...."

"Question: Why do you say that all teachings are contained within the daimoku?"

"Answer, The five characters of Myoho-renge-kyo do not represent the sutra text, nor are they its meaning. They are nothing other than the intent of the entire sutra. So, even though the beginner in religious practice may not understand their significance, by practicing these five characters, he will naturally conform to the sutra's intent."

"Question: When your disciples, without any understanding, simply recite with their mouths the words Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, what level of attainment do they reach?"

"Answer:Therefore I entreat the people of this country: Do not look down upon my disciples! If one inquires into their past, they are great bodhisattvas who have given alms to Buddhas over a period of eighty myriads of millions of kalpas, and who have carried out religious practices under Buddhas as numerous as the sand of the Hiranyavati and Ganges rivers. And if one speaks of the future, they are endowed with the benefit of the fiftieth person, surpassing that of one who gives alms to all living beings for a period of eighty years. They are like an infant emperor wrapped in swaddling clothes, or a great dragon who has just been born. Do not despise them! Do not look on them with contempt!"

Hopefully you will earnestly study this Gosho which will lead you to others.And with a more profound understanding and insight your eyes will be opened widely! The Daishonin teaches with a method not unlike that of Shakyamuni Buddha.
To accept, uphold, read, recite, take delight in, and protect all the eight volumes and twenty-eight chapters of the Lotus Sutra is called the comprehensive practice. To accept, uphold, and protect the “Expedient Means” chapter and the “Life Span” chapter is called the abbreviated practice. And simply to chant one four-phrase verse or the daimoku, and to protect those who do so, is called the essential practice. Hence, among these three kinds of practice, comprehensive, abbreviated, and essential, the daimoku is defined as the essential practice.
-The Daimoku of the Lotus Sutra
My Reply: This Gosho answers your question also!
I have written out the prose section of the “Expedient Means” chapter for you. You should recite it together with the verse portion of the “Life Span” chapter, which I sent you earlier.
Reply to the Lay Priest Soya
My Reply: nowhere in Nichiren's writings are the terms, exclusively, only, solely. single-mindedly, etc used to in conjunction with the recitation of Shakyamuni's Lotus Sutra. Only when he refers to Nam Myoho Renge Kyo. This Gosho is not among the "Ten Major Writings' which among those writings this admonition of Daimoku is the only thing you need do to correctly read and recite the Lotus Sutra. Search among them and you will become enlightened to the truth of what 'faith' in Nichiren's Teachings mean.
As for the Lotus Sutra, one may recite the entire sutra of twenty-eight chapters in eight volumes every day; or one may recite only one volume, or one chapter, or one verse, or one phrase, or one word; or one may simply chant the daimoku, Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, only once a day, or chant it only once in the course of a lifetime; or hear someone else chant it only once in a lifetime and rejoice in the hearing, or rejoice in hearing the voice of someone else rejoice in the hearing, and so on in this manner to the fiftieth hearer. And if one were to be at the end, even if one’s faith were weak and one’s sense of rejoicing diluted like the frailty of a child of two or three, or the inability of a cow or horse to distinguish before from after, the blessings one would gain would be a hundred, thousand, ten thousand, million times greater than those gained by persons of keen faculties and superior wisdom who study other sutras, persons such as Shāriputra, Maudgalyāyana, Manjushrī, and Maitreya, who had committed to memory the entire texts of the various sutras…

First of all, when it comes to the Lotus Sutra, you should understand that, whether one recites all eight volumes, or only one volume, one chapter, one verse, one phrase, or simply the daimoku, or title, the blessings are the same. It is like the water of the great ocean, a single drop of which contains water from all the countless streams and rivers, or like the wish-granting jewel, which, though only a single jewel, can shower all kinds of treasures upon the wisher. And the same is true of a hundred, a thousand, ten thousand, or a million such drops of water or such jewels. A single character of the Lotus Sutra is like such a drop of water or such a jewel, and the hundred million characters are like a hundred million such drops or jewels…

Therefore, when it comes to the Lotus Sutra, it is praiseworthy to recite any chapter you have placed your trust in, whichever chapter that may be...

But to return to your question. As I said before, though no chapter of the Lotus Sutra is negligible, among the entire twenty-eight chapters, the “Expedient Means” chapter and the “Life Span” chapter are particularly outstanding. The remaining chapters are all in a sense the branches and leaves of these two chapters. Therefore, for your regular recitation, I recommend that you practice reading the prose sections of the “Expedient Means” and “Life Span” chapters. In addition, it might be well if you wrote out separate copies of these sections. The remaining twenty-six chapters are like the shadow that follows one’s body or the value inherent in a jewel. If you recite the “Life Span” and “Expedient Means” chapters, then the remaining chapters will naturally be included even though you do not recite them. It is true that the “Medicine King” and “Devadatta” chapters deal specifically with women’s attainment of Buddhahood or rebirth in the pure land. But the “Devadatta” chapter is a branch and leaf of the “Expedient Means” chapter, and the “Medicine King” chapter is a branch and leaf of the “Expedient Means” and the “LifeSpan” chapters. Therefore, you should regularly recite these two chapters, the “Expedient Means” and “Life Span” chapters. As for the remaining chapters, you may turn to them from time to time when you have a moment of leisure.
-Expedient Means and Life Span Chapters
In this Gosho -Recitation of the Hoben and Juryo Chapters- Major Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, Vol. 6, page 3. which is classified as Nichiren's before Sado Teachings.
You left out this part, Nichiren writes:
"If unexpectedly you should feel yourself approaching death, then even if you are eating fish or fowl, if you are able to read the sutra, you should do so, and likewise chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. Needless to say, the same principle applies during your period of menstruation.
Reciting the words Namu-ichijo-myoden amounts to the same thing. But it is better if you just chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, as Bodhisattva Vasubandhu and the Great Teacher T'ien-t'ai did. There are specific reasons why I say this."

Nichiren says: "As for my teachings, regard those before my exile to Sado as equivalent to the Buddha’s pre-Lotus Sutra teachings. I had thought that if the ruler of this country desired to govern well, he would summon the priests of the Shingon sect for an open debate with me, and that, on that occasion, I would reveal for the first time the true teaching of supreme importance. Before my exile, I withheld this teaching even from my disciples for fear that if I should tell them, even in confidence, they might inadvertently disclose it to the Shingon priests, who would then avoid the debate. This is why I refrained from revealing the true teaching to all of you as well"
-Letter to Misawa-
Major Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, Vol. 3, page 251.
We speak of upholding the Lotus Sutra. But although there is only one sutra, the manner in which we uphold it may vary from one period to the next. There may be times when a person literally rends his flesh and offers it to his teacher, and in this way attains Buddhahood. Or at other times a person may offer his body as a couch to his teacher, or as so much firewood. At yet other times a person may bear the blows of sticks and staves for the sake of the sutra, or may practice religious austerities or observe various precepts. And there may be times when, even though a person does the things described above, he still does not attain Buddhahood. It depends upon the time and is not something fixed.

Therefore, the Great Teacher T’ien-t’ai declared, “The method chosen should be that which accords with the time.” And the Great Teacher Chang-an said, “You should let your choices be fitting and never adhere solely to one or the other.”
-Letter to Horen
I have received your gift of a sack of rice, sent in donation for a memorial service on the anniversary of Ueno’s passing. I will offer it in the presence of the Buddha and recite the verse section of the “Life Span” chapter of the Lotus Sutra.
-On Filial and Non-Filial Conduct
The point here is most recommendations Nichiren gives for reciting the Sutra is connected with funerals or memorial services. Yet his instruction for faith is perfectly centered on the chanting of Nam Myoho Renge Kyo. for instance to show how powerful the Daimoku is and how it relates directly to embracing the Lotus Sutra the Daishonin writes:

"This Myoho-renge-kyo is a term designating the essential nature of our minds, or, more generally speaking, the essential nature of the minds of all living beings, the eight-petaled white lotus blossom. The words of the Buddha himself teach us this. From time without beginning until the present, these bodies of ours have transmigrated through the realm of birth and death, in a state of delusion as to the essential nature of the mind that is within these bodies. But now that we have encountered the Lotus Sutra and chant the daimoku that represents the Thus Come One of original enlightenment, who possesses the three bodies in a single body, the Thus Come One becomes manifest. In our present existence we achieve the inner realization and attainment of Buddhahood that is known as the attainment of Buddhahood in our present form."

-The Doctrine of Three Thousand Realms in a Single Moment of Life- WND Vol II Pg.87

And

"Chanting the daimoku, or title, of the Lotus Sutra is the same as carrying out meditation. Ignorant persons may find this difficult to believe. But the second volume of Great Concentration and Insight by T’ien-t’ai has a passage “regarding recitation and silence” in which the word “recitation” refers to recitation of the Lotus Sutra and “silence” to the practice of meditation or contemplation. And again, in the first volume of his Meaning of the Four Teachings, T’ien-t’ai states: “Not only [are such practices as recitation] not a needless waste of effort, they are essential in enabling one to grasp the principle involved.”

-The Doctrine of Three Thousand Realms in a Single Moment of Life- WND Vol II Pg.85.

Etc. etc.

Finally I will end with another of Nichiren's 'Ten Major Writings' Nichiren writes:"In the same way, one who chants the daimoku as the Lotus Sutra teaches will never have a twisted mind. For one should know that, unless the mind of the Buddha enters into our bodies, we cannot in fact chant the daimoku." and "But for some reason there were none who chanted the daimoku of the Lotus Sutra, the heart and core of the Buddha’s entire lifetime of teachings.
You should inquire very carefully into the reason why this was so.

The Blessings of the Lotus Sutra WND Vol.I

This my friend is not my arbitrary interpretations and comes from seriously studying the entire body of Nichiren's Teachings not some of his teachings, over my 35 years of faith, practice, and study.

Thank you for your time and input. I suggest you trust Nam Myoho Renge Kyo it needs no other flavoring, the Cook is the Buddha!
Also, it seems you may be putting too much emphasis on the word "gongyo" (勤行). This is a generic Buddhist term that means "energetic practice". Its used widely in Japanese Buddhism to refer to ritual practice, particularly sutra recitation.
I don't know where you have practiced or what sect you have practiced in, but your statement makes little sense to me, for Gongyo is emphasized throughout the world and by Millions of Nichiren Buddhism Practitioners.

Sincerely, JazzIs
A فوتاري أوف ذي غوهونزون أوف نام ميوهو رينج كيو

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Re: Gongyo as Practiced by Nichiren Buddhism Sects.

Post by Myoho-Nameless » Fri Jun 24, 2016 6:42 pm

JazzIsTvRicky wrote: I believe that the recitation of Shayamuni's Lotus Sutra is 'Simply Chanting Nam Myoho Renge Kyo' exclusively without any other recitation or chant
These days I tend to do that anyway. But thats because I am lazy. Actually I wan't to get back to the whole enchilada. With mole sauce. Mole sauce contains everything but the kitchen sink, and my bell and candles accumulate dust.
I just don't belong.

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Re: Gongyo as Practiced by Nichiren Buddhism Sects.

Post by Queequeg » Fri Jun 24, 2016 10:05 pm

Ricky,

Following your reading of the of the Four Depths of Faith and Five Stages of Practice would mean that you should have stopped reading that text when you got to, "They mean that one should embrace the daimoku, or title, of the sutra exclusively and not mix it with other passages."

As I understand, the logic of the Lotus Sutra is not linear. I think its well illustrated by Zhiyi's discussion of the Relative and Absolute Sublime - the Relative Sublime is exemplified by the progressive refinement of teachings -

Buddhist teachings are greater than non-Buddhist teachings; Provisional Mahayana is greater than Hinayana; Mahayana is greater than Provisional Mahayana; Lotus Sutra is greater than All Teachings Before and After; Essential is greater than Provisional; Five or Seven Characters is greater than the Essential...

Then you have the Absolute Sublime - which in this case would be the principle of Myohorengekyo. This Absolute Sublime, however, is a funny thing. It embraces everything, and it follows, the provisional is opened by to reveal the real.
I have written out the prose section of the “Expedient Means” chapter for you. You should recite it together with the verse portion of the “Life Span” chapter, which I sent you earlier.
Reply to the Lay Priest Soya
My Reply: nowhere in Nichiren's writings are the terms, exclusively, only, solely. single-mindedly, etc used to in conjunction with the recitation of Shakyamuni's Lotus Sutra. Only when he refers to Nam Myoho Renge Kyo. This Gosho is not among the "Ten Major Writings' which among those writings this admonition of Daimoku is the only thing you need do to correctly read and recite the Lotus Sutra. Search among them and you will become enlightened to the truth of what 'faith' in Nichiren's Teachings mean.
First, 10 writings or not, this letter to Soya was written after Tatsunokuchi, and so demonstrates that Nichiren was teaching his followers to recite more than just the daimoku in their daily practice.

If you say, the only essential practice is the Daimoku, I have no argument. If you say, Daimoku is the only practice, and everything else is precluded, I don't agree.
“Once you have given up the ghost, everything follows with dead certainty, even in the midst of chaos.”
-Henry Miller

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Great for solving problems, after it creates the problems."
-Modest Mouse

"Wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world!"
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Re: Gongyo as Practiced by Nichiren Buddhism Sects.

Post by Queequeg » Fri Jun 24, 2016 10:24 pm

Myoho-Nameless wrote:
JazzIsTvRicky wrote: I believe that the recitation of Shayamuni's Lotus Sutra is 'Simply Chanting Nam Myoho Renge Kyo' exclusively without any other recitation or chant
These days I tend to do that anyway. But thats because I am lazy. Actually I wan't to get back to the whole enchilada. With mole sauce. Mole sauce contains everything but the kitchen sink, and my bell and candles accumulate dust.
Hey, kid, graduation isn't the end, its just the beginning. Get off the couch and do something. That enchilada aint making itself.
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Re: Gongyo as Practiced by Nichiren Buddhism Sects.

Post by Myoho-Nameless » Fri Jun 24, 2016 10:50 pm

Cut me some slack. I actually used my gohonzon this morning. Though rather than a couch, I have been in bed >.<

going around my juzu twice. And I am going to have to settle for general tso's tempeh tonight. yum.
I just don't belong.

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Re: Gongyo as Practiced by Nichiren Buddhism Sects.

Post by Queequeg » Fri Jun 24, 2016 10:58 pm

Slack? You millennials...

Now that I'm closer to the age where I can tell stories about walking to and from school uphill, both ways through the driving snow 13 months out of the year than having to listen to them, I'm taking advantage to hassle the next generation.
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Great for solving problems, after it creates the problems."
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Re: Gongyo as Practiced by Nichiren Buddhism Sects.

Post by narhwal90 » Fri Jun 24, 2016 11:09 pm

While I'm dubious about the proposition also, it might be posed in a stronger form; that recitation of the sutra is not needed, but study of it is. I've always been told essentially that daimoku & gongyo are the two legs of one's practice (with study being the ...err.. third lol)- but it does make me wonder if recitation has an esoteric aspect.

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Re: Gongyo as Practiced by Nichiren Buddhism Sects.

Post by JazzIsTvRicky » Sat Jun 25, 2016 2:02 am

narhwal90 wrote:While I'm dubious about the proposition also, it might be posed in a stronger form; that recitation of the sutra is not needed, but study of it is. I've always been told essentially that daimoku & gongyo are the two legs of one's practice (with study being the ...err.. third lol)- but it does make me wonder if recitation has an esoteric aspect.
I think my friend you are on to something. Wisdom is emerging beautifully and esoteric is a unique outlook. Think about the Buddhist concept of Zuiho Bini.

The hope is in the Gohonzon's absolute mercy and the truth of Buddhism's potential to actually spread widely as foretold by Shakyamuni and craved out relentlessly by Nichiren and his followers of yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

The real difference in other organized religions and Nichiren's Buddhism is the fact that we have the Gohonzon of Nam Myoho Renge Kyo. Cause and effect is strict.

Thank you for taking the time and sharing your thoughts, on this very important Doctrinal Discovery.

Sincerely, JazzIs
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Re: Gongyo as Practiced by Nichiren Buddhism Sects.

Post by JazzIsTvRicky » Sat Jun 25, 2016 4:10 pm

Queequeg wrote:Ricky,

Following your reading of the of the Four Depths of Faith and Five Stages of Practice would mean that you should have stopped reading that text when you got to, "They mean that one should embrace the daimoku, or title, of the sutra exclusively and not mix it with other passages."

As I understand, the logic of the Lotus Sutra is not linear. I think its well illustrated by Zhiyi's discussion of the Relative and Absolute Sublime - the Relative Sublime is exemplified by the progressive refinement of teachings -

Buddhist teachings are greater than non-Buddhist teachings; Provisional Mahayana is greater than Hinayana; Mahayana is greater than Provisional Mahayana; Lotus Sutra is greater than All Teachings Before and After; Essential is greater than Provisional; Five or Seven Characters is greater than the Essential...

Then you have the Absolute Sublime - which in this case would be the principle of Myohorengekyo. This Absolute Sublime, however, is a funny thing. It embraces everything, and it follows, the provisional is opened by to reveal the real.
I have written out the prose section of the “Expedient Means” chapter for you. You should recite it together with the verse portion of the “Life Span” chapter, which I sent you earlier.
Reply to the Lay Priest Soya
My Reply: nowhere in Nichiren's writings are the terms, exclusively, only, solely. single-mindedly, etc used to in conjunction with the recitation of Shakyamuni's Lotus Sutra. Only when he refers to Nam Myoho Renge Kyo. This Gosho is not among the "Ten Major Writings' which among those writings this admonition of Daimoku is the only thing you need do to correctly read and recite the Lotus Sutra. Search among them and you will become enlightened to the truth of what 'faith' in Nichiren's Teachings mean.
First, 10 writings or not, this letter to Soya was written after Tatsunokuchi, and so demonstrates that Nichiren was teaching his followers to recite more than just the daimoku in their daily practice.

If you say, the only essential practice is the Daimoku, I have no argument. If you say, Daimoku is the only practice, and everything else is precluded, I don't agree.
Firstly this Gosho -Letter to Soya- was written to a 'Lay Priest' one who conducts funerals and memorials which is referred to in most of Nichiren's references on reciting Shakyamuni's Lotus Sutra. This Gosho dose not say recite it as a practice or prayer. There is no explanation of why Nichiren sent this letter. However, further into this writing, Nichiren says: "The Rokuharamitsu Sutra states that one should become the master of his mind rather than let his mind master him. I will explain in more detail when I see you.

Seek what "more detail" means and 'Rely on the Law"

However, let me introduce you to a wonderful realization! Nichiren writes in the Gosho, -Sovereign, Teacher, and Parent-

"Since the beginningless past, we living beings have never for an instant been separated from this wish-granting jewel of Myoho-renge-kyo. But, befuddled by the wine of ignorance, we fail to realize that it is hidden in the lining of our robes, and we are content with merely a little gain.Though we are living beings who, simply by chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, could quickly attain Buddhahood, we observe petty precepts such as the five precepts or the ten good precepts, being reborn as a result in the realm of heavenly beings, as deities such as Brahmā or Shakra, and thinking that a wonderful accomplishment. Or at times we are born as human beings, becoming rulers of various countries, high ministers, court nobles, or other court officials, and we think ourselves incomparably happy. Thus we content ourselves with such little gains and are delighted with them."

You end your argument without "Sutra in Hand" and make the statement: "If you say, the only essential practice is the Daimoku, I have no argument. If you say, Daimoku is the only practice, and everything else is precluded, I don't agree. And that's fine.

However it is not I who said it. It is in the Scripture of Nichiren, again let me refresh your memory!. Nichiren writes in the Gosho -The Teaching for the Latter Day-

"This teaching was not propagated in the Former or Middle Day of the Law because the other sutras had not yet lost their power of benefit. Now, in the Latter Day of the Law, neither the Lotus Sutra nor the other sutras lead to enlightenment. Only Nam-myoho-renge-kyo can do so. This is not my own judgment. Shakyamuni, Many Treasures, the Buddhas of the ten directions, and the bodhisattvas who emerged from the earth as numerous as the dust particles of a thousand worlds have so determined it. To mix other practices with this Nam-myoho-renge-kyo is a grave error. A lantern is useless when the sun rises. How can dewdrops be beneficial when the rain falls? Should one feed a newborn baby anything other than its mother’s milk? No addition of other medicines is needed with a good medicine."

Please when you are debating Doctrine, back up your argument with Scripture rather than your own personal opinions. But this is to be expected my friend. Shakyamuni Buddha says so in his teachings. I will end with his admonition one that is to be relied on and taken seriously. Nichiren writes in the Gosho:

-Conversation between a Sage and an Unenlightened Man-

"The sage replied: “What you say is quite true, and I would be inclined to hold the same opinion. But when we examine the sutras, we find that they tell us not to begrudge our lives [for the sake of the Law], and also say that [one should spread the Buddha’s teachings] even at the cost of one’s life."

I would then ask this question! How did Nichiren Attain Buddhahood? Do you know? Have you even asked the question? I have! And this is what I found which relates perfectly to the Gosho I quoted from above, which is my friend, another of the 'Ten Major Writings'.

In the Gosho: -Letter to Gijo-bo- Nichiren reveals his cause for attaining Buddhahood. Nichiren writes:

"So what is really important is that the teachings of the mutual possession of the Ten Worlds, of the hundred worlds and thousand factors, and of three thousand realms in a single moment of life are the essence of this sutra. These teachings are described in the work entitled Great Concentration and Insight."

"Next, the teaching of the “Life Span” chapter is what I, Nichiren, personally depend on. The verse section of the chapter states, “. . . single-mindedly desiring to see the Buddha, not hesitating even if it costs them their lives.” As a result of this passage, I have revealed the Buddhahood in my own life. The reason is that it is this sutra passage that has enabled me to embody the Three Great Secret Laws, or the reality of three thousand realms in a single moment of life, that is found in the “Life Span” chapter. But keep this secret, keep it secret."

"I, Nichiren, say that “single” stands for myō, or mystic, “mind” for hō, or law, “desiring” for ren, or lotus, “see” for ge, or flower, and “Buddha” for kyō, or sutra. In propagating these five characters, practitioners should “not hesitate even if it costs them their lives.”

Nowhere in this proclamation dose he mention 'recitation of Shayamuni's Lotus Sutra'...Case closed!

Sincerely, Richard H Brown, 'A Votary of the Lotus Sutra' (Gohonzon of Nam Myoho Renge Kyo)
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Re: Gongyo as Practiced by Nichiren Buddhism Sects.

Post by illarraza » Sun Jun 26, 2016 9:34 pm

Not quite Richard...

"In light of all this, we can say that each morning [when he recites the verse section of the “Life Span” chapter] the priest Hōren is sending forth golden-hued characters from his mouth. These characters are in number, and each character changes into a sun, and each sun changes into a Thus Come One Shakyamuni. They emit great beams of light that penetrate the earth and shine upon the three evil paths and the great citadel of the hell of incessant suffering. They also shine toward the east, west, north, and south, and upward, ascending to the realm where there is neither thought nor no thought.29 They visit the realm where your departed father is dwelling, wherever it may be, and there hold discourse with him."

Good enough for Horen but not good enough for Richard?

Mark

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Re: Gongyo as Practiced by Nichiren Buddhism Sects.

Post by illarraza » Sun Jun 26, 2016 10:05 pm

"I HAVE written out the prose section of the “Expedient Means” chapter for you. You should recite it together with the verse portion of the “Life Span” chapter, which I sent you earlier."

I can supply more than fifty other similar passages post Tatsunokuchi. Also, calling all teachings of Nichiren prior to Sado provisional is not the meaning of the sentence which reads: "As for my teachings, regard those before my exile to the province of Sado as equivalent to the Buddha’s pre-Lotus Sutra teachings."

In context, he is talking about his failure to condemn the True Word teachings and the revelation of the Secret Law of Gohonzon ...

"...The True Word and Tendai schools slander the Lotus Sutra and should be severely rebuked. But without great wisdom it is hard to differentiate correctly between their doctrines and the teachings that Nichiren spreads. Therefore, at times we refrain from attacking them, just as I did in On Establishing the Correct Teaching for the Peace of the Land." -- Letter to Misawa

"With the appearance of this teaching, all the teachings advocated by the scholars and teachers of Buddhism during the Former and Middle Days of the Law will be like stars after sunrise, or an awkward apprentice beside a skilled craftsman. It is stated that once this teaching is revealed in this era, the Buddha images as well as the priests of the temples built in the Former and Middle Days will all lose their power to benefit people, and only this great teaching will spread throughout the entire land of Jambudvīpa. Since all of you have a bond with this teaching, you should feel reassured." -- Ibid.

When Nichiren talks about the great power of Daimoku before his exile to Sado, how could you possibly describe this teaching as provisional.

Mark

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Re: Gongyo as Practiced by Nichiren Buddhism Sects.

Post by JazzIsTvRicky » Mon Jun 27, 2016 1:48 am

Mark Ihave thoroughly dealt with you and your proclivity towards making up Buddhism.

Where are the Gosho's which explain that Nichiren was not talking about his teachings before and after Sado? In -Letter to Misawa-. Where did your explanation emanate from?

Mark your lack of "Sutra in Hand" arguments are only convincing to those who are unaware of Buddhism and the fact that there is Scripture which is available to all.

Go back and tell Katie I see her chanting Nam Myoho Renge Kyo soon.

Thank you Mark for revealing teachings which reveal the absurdity of reciting.Shakyamuni's Lotus Sutra.

The Medicine of this 'one vehicle' of the 'Gohonzon of Nam Myoho Renge Kyo' is perfect and pure! Try it some day!



Sincerely, Richard H Brown (JazzIsTvRicky)
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Re: Gongyo as Practiced by Nichiren Buddhism Sects.

Post by Queequeg » Mon Jun 27, 2016 5:18 am

JazzIsTvRicky wrote:
Firstly this Gosho -Letter to Soya- was written to a 'Lay Priest' one who conducts funerals and memorials which is referred to in most of Nichiren's references on reciting Shakyamuni's Lotus Sutra. This Gosho dose not say recite it as a practice or prayer. There is no explanation of why Nichiren sent this letter. However, further into this writing, Nichiren says: "The Rokuharamitsu Sutra states that one should become the master of his mind rather than let his mind master him. I will explain in more detail when I see you.
The letter goes on to explain that every character is a Buddha.

My man, before you accuse people of making stuff up, check yourself. Where do you get this memorial service angle? It's not a giant corruption that pretty much all Nichiren traditions recite the expedient means and life span chapters. There actually is a direct continuity through the centuries.
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Great for solving problems, after it creates the problems."
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Re: Gongyo as Practiced by Nichiren Buddhism Sects.

Post by JazzIsTvRicky » Mon Jun 27, 2016 1:48 pm

Queequeg wrote:
JazzIsTvRicky wrote:
Firstly this Gosho -Letter to Soya- was written to a 'Lay Priest' one who conducts funerals and memorials which is referred to in most of Nichiren's references on reciting Shakyamuni's Lotus Sutra. This Gosho dose not say recite it as a practice or prayer. There is no explanation of why Nichiren sent this letter. However, further into this writing, Nichiren says: "The Rokuharamitsu Sutra states that one should become the master of his mind rather than let his mind master him. I will explain in more detail when I see you.
The letter goes on to explain that every character is a Buddha.

My man, before you accuse people of making stuff up, check yourself. Where do you get this memorial service angle? It's not a giant corruption that pretty much all Nichiren traditions recite thouroughlythe expedient means and life span chapters. There actually is a direct continuity through the centuries.
Thank you, for taking your valuable time to ask me your question, rather than seeking the answer for yourself as Nichiren did!

This important doctrinal subject is not to be treated with such lackadaisical ichinen or determination. I would expect you of all persons on this particular site to have thoroughly researched your own question, then with 'Sutra in Hand' respond with faith as your guide. You rather disappoint me my friend!

However I will deal with your surprised shock with faith.

As for your assertion that: "It's not a giant corruption that pretty much all Nichiren traditions recite thouroughly the expedient means and life span chapters. There actually is a direct continuity through the centuries.

I will address that with this. As late as the 1950's lay believers of Nichiren Buddhist sects did not recite Shayamuni's Lotus Sutra as a daily practice they simply chanted the Daimoku of Nam Myoho Renge Kyo to the Object of worship (Gohonzon) of Nam Myoho Renge Kyo. You are referring to the Priest. Where is your proof of the statement you made within Nichiren's Teachings as to the direction he gave on Gongyo! And I must add, if in fact you have not studied and read the entirety of Nichiren's Teachings your road map is limited at best. There is a method to his Scriptural Writings.

Question: What vow did Nichiren make, concerning his pursuit of Buddhism? Did Nichiren fulfill his vow?

I will now return to Scripture! In The Ongi Kuden 'Record of the Orally Transferred Teachings, compiled by Nikko and approved by Nichiren himself. I chose to refer to Nichiren's Lectures on Shakyamuni's Lotus Sutra. The chapter titled:

Chapter Ten: The Teacher of the Law
Sixteen important points reads as follows:

-Point One- 'concerning “the teacher of the Law”'

"Now Nichiren and his followers, who chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, are the greatest among the teachers of the Law. For when one reaches a realization of the true aspect of all phenomena (shohō), then one will find that everything, from the burning of the fierce fires of hell to the effect of attaining Buddhahood, exists in one’s life, and that one is a teacher of the Law concerning the principle of three thousand realms in a single moment of life.
Again we may say that the word “Law” in the title “The Teacher of the Law” represents the daimoku, and the word “teacher” represents Nichiren and his followers"

-Point Two- "on the persons who “have fulfilled their great vow, . . . because they pity living beings, they are born in this evil world so they may broadly expound this sutra.”-

"The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings says: The “great vow” refers to the propagation of the Lotus Sutra. “Because they pity living beings” refers to all the living beings in the country of Japan. The persons who “are born in this evil world” are Nichiren and his followers. “Broadly” means to expound the sutra throughout the southern continent of Jambudvīpa. “This sutra” refers to the daimoku. Now the above passage refers to Nichiren and his followers, who chant the daimoku, Nam-myoho-renge-kyo."

Am I not understanding this straightforward teaching?

-Point Six-
" regarding the passage “Shāriputra, you should know / that at the start I took a vow, / hoping to make all persons / equal to me, without any distinction between us, / and what I long ago hoped for / has now been fulfilled. / I have converted all living beings / and caused them all to enter the Buddha way.”

"The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings says: The “I” here refers to Shakyamuni Buddha, who in fact attained Buddhahood in the remote past. This Shakyamuni Buddha of the essential teaching is none other than we, living beings.
The “me” in the phrase “equal to me” [that is, the Buddha] represents the last seven of the ten factors of life. The living beings of the nine worlds represent the first three of the ten factors. We living beings are the parent, and the Buddha is the child. Father and son constitute a single entity, a beginning and end that are ultimately equal. We living beings are described in the “Life Span” chapter of the Lotus Sutra as the Buddha eternally endowed with the three bodies.
Nichiren and his followers, who today chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, are the ones meant here."

Dose this not include all of us who consistently seek Nichiren as our Teacher? He says: we are "the Buddha eternally endowed with the three bodies.' Mark totally disagrees with Nichiren Daishonin's declaration above!

Do you also call Nichiren a great liar?

"you should understand that this is what is referred to by the words “what I long ago hoped for / has now been fulfilled.”
In the phrase “has now been fulfilled” (kon ja i manzoku), the character i means “already.” What is the passage referring to when it says that “now it has already been fulfilled”? On the whole, the commentaries of T’ien-t’ai indicate that the “already” refers to the pronouncement on the “true aspect of all phenomena” made earlier by the Buddha. But from the point of view of the teachings of our school, you should understand that it refers to Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, and that this is what is being described in the words “now it has already been fulfilled.”

-Point Seven- regarding the passage “Now I, joyful and fearless, / in the midst of the bodhisattvas, / honestly discarding expedient means, / will preach only the unsurpassed way.”

"The connecting teaching and the specific teaching are one-sided and secondary, not the correct and primary teaching. But now the Buddha discards all these biased and distorted teachings and honestly preaches only the one way.”

"Honestly” refers to the principle that earthly desires are enlightenment and the sufferings of birth and death are nirvana. The “one way” that the commentary speaks of is Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. Now, in the Latter Day of the Law, it is Nichiren and his followers, is it not, who honestly work to propagate the one way?"

So the 'One Way' seems to me to be what we 'The Bodhisattva of the Earth' are called forth to spread world wide while casting aside all others.

Sincerely, Richard H Brown
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Re: Gongyo as Practiced by Nichiren Buddhism Sects.

Post by Queequeg » Mon Jun 27, 2016 6:01 pm

JazzIsTvRicky wrote:
Thank you, for taking your valuable time to ask me your question, rather than seeking the answer for yourself as Nichiren did!

This important doctrinal subject is not to be treated with such lackadaisical ichinen or determination. I would expect you of all persons on this particular site to have thoroughly researched your own question, then with 'Sutra in Hand' respond with faith as your guide. You rather disappoint me my friend!

However I will deal with your surprised shock with faith.

As for your assertion that: "It's not a giant corruption that pretty much all Nichiren traditions recite thouroughly the expedient means and life span chapters. There actually is a direct continuity through the centuries.

I will address that with this. As late as the 1950's lay believers of Nichiren Buddhist sects did not recite Shayamuni's Lotus Sutra as a daily practice they simply chanted the Daimoku of Nam Myoho Renge Kyo to the Object of worship (Gohonzon) of Nam Myoho Renge Kyo. You are referring to the Priest. Where is your proof of the statement you made within Nichiren's Teachings as to the direction he gave on Gongyo! And I must add, if in fact you have not studied and read the entirety of Nichiren's Teachings your road map is limited at best. There is a method to his Scriptural Writings.
You did not answer my question. As for support for of my disagreement with your view? See above.
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Great for solving problems, after it creates the problems."
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Re: Gongyo as Practiced by Nichiren Buddhism Sects.

Post by JazzIsTvRicky » Mon Jun 27, 2016 7:16 pm

I must not understand your Question. What is it again? I will do my best to answer you as completely as possible.

Sincerely, Richard H Brown
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Re: Gongyo as Practiced by Nichiren Buddhism Sects.

Post by narhwal90 » Mon Jun 27, 2016 8:31 pm

I'm with Q on this, some of his citations are for priests and some for lay, and recitation is recommended if not prescribed (among other things) for both. Which isn't to say the modern forms of gongyo are defined but thats enough reason for me to do them.

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Re: Gongyo as Practiced by Nichiren Buddhism Sects.

Post by JazzIsTvRicky » Tue Jun 28, 2016 4:49 pm

narhwal90 wrote:I'm with Q on this, some of his citations are for priests and some for lay, and recitation is recommended if not prescribed (among other things) for both. Which isn't to say the modern forms of gongyo are defined but thats enough reason for me to do them.
I would suggest you consider being on the side of actual scripture rather than what seems correct. In the Gosho: -On the Four Stages of Faith and The Five Stages of Practice- one of Nichiren's 'Ten Major Writings' Nichiren writes:

"Question: For practitioners in the Latter Day of the Law, who have just aroused the aspiration for enlightenment, what types of practice are restricted?

"Answer: Such persons are restricted from practicing almsgiving, the keeping of the precepts, and the others of the five paramitas, and are directed to chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo exclusively. This practice corresponds to the capacity of persons at the stages of "producing even a single moment's faith and understanding" and "rejoicing on first hearing the Lotus Sutra." It represents the true intention of the Lotus Sutra."

"In this passage of commentary, "subordinate concerns" refers to the five paramitas. If the beginner tries to practice the five paramitas at the same time [that he embraces the Lotus Sutra], that may work to obstruct his primary practice, which is faith. Such a person will be like a small ship that is loaded with wealth and treasure and sets out to cross the sea. Both the ship and the treasure will sink.

"And the words "should directly give all his attention to embracing the sutra" do not refer to the sutra as a whole. They mean that one should embrace the daimoku, or title, of the sutra exclusively and not mix it with other passages. Even recitation of the entire sutra is not permitted."

As you see it is clear here what we as those in the stage of myoji-soku should practice and what we should not practice. Search the other 'Ten Major Writings' and those text will clarify this doctrine.

The Buddha says: "Rely on the Law" I think this is what will lead you to a conclusion based on faith.

Thank you for participating. if i can offer anything more please let me know.

Sincerely, JazzIs
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