Buddhahood in one lifetime

User avatar
Queequeg
Global Moderator
Posts: 5956
Joined: Tue Jul 03, 2012 3:24 pm

Re: Buddhahood in one lifetime

Post by Queequeg » Wed Jun 07, 2017 8:50 am

The sutra instructs people to recite the sutra. The title of the sutra is the sutra.

Re: 6 Paramitas in the Sudden & Perfect, take it up with Zhiyi et al.
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

I think each human being has things to find out in his own life that are inescapable. They’ll find them out the easy way or the hard way, or whatever.
-Jerry Garcia

User avatar
Minobu
Posts: 2124
Joined: Mon Aug 15, 2016 6:57 pm

Re: Buddhahood in one lifetime

Post by Minobu » Wed Jun 07, 2017 5:51 pm

Dharma Flower wrote:Rather than chanting the Daimoku, the Lotus Sutra itself recommends that we recite the name of Avalokitesvara to subdue the Three Poisons which are an impediment to enlightenment:
If there should be living beings beset by numerous lusts and cravings, let them think with constant
reverence of Bodhisattva Perceiver of the World’s Sounds and then they can shed their desires. If they
have great wrath and ire, let them think with constant reverence of Bodhisattva Perceiver of the World’s
Sounds and then they can shed their ire. If they have great ignorance and stupidity, let them think with
constant reverence of Bodhisattva Perceiver of the World’s Sounds and they can rid themselves of
stupidity.
http://www.english.fgs2.ca/sites/defaul ... 0Sutra.pdf
Also, the Lotus Sutra teaches, in several instances, that practicing the Six Paramitas leads to Buddhahood.

Imagine if the Lotus Sutra were an instructional manual for the path to Buddhahood. Would it make sense to simply chant its title? I can only go by what the Lotus Sutra itself says on how to attain Buddhahood, and in doing so, I mean no disrespect to later commentators.
It's a matter of what the Masters in the past figured out, so to speak.
then of course there is the actual effects of practicing according to past Masters.

Lotus Buddhism is an evolutionary process , as is all Buddhist Practice.
It's ingrained in Mother Nature so to speak.

I chant Om Mane Padme Hum , from time to time when i want my Kundalini to do Her thing.
i recieved several Chenrezig empowerments which I feel brought me closer to Avolikiteshvara , who is bodhisattva Canon in Japan.
Who , by the way, Nichiren Daishonin prayed to for a whole night in order to acquire wisdom before revealing Lotus Buddhism and Nam Myo Ho Ren Ge Kyo to this planet and it's people.

Always keep in mind the edict that we are in the Latter Day of the law, Mappo,...and that all of lord Sakyamuni's teachings are not the same as they were in the Former and Middle Days of the law...

it's a whole new bag of apples and sentients...the harvest has long gone....

I kind of look at the Fall Of Tibet as a sign of how hard the olden day ways are to maintain....the caves and the populace set up to allow for the types of practice of olden days are no longer the same.

I asked my Guru Rinpoche in public if house holders could attain enlightenment through these Tantric practices in this modern age. He shook his head and said no..so eventually i stopped buying the empowerments.

Not to say they did nothing...i'm back to Lotus Buddhism with a whole other knowledge. something i now see Nichiren Shonin knew of but is sort of lost .
Nichiren Sects to my knowledge do not teach Buddhism in it's fullest but concentrate on base teachings of Nichiren Daishonin..

Dharma Flower
Posts: 1035
Joined: Thu Dec 22, 2016 9:03 am
Contact:

Re: Buddhahood in one lifetime

Post by Dharma Flower » Thu Jun 08, 2017 1:51 am

I'm sorry for stepping on anyone's toes. The interpretation of the Lotus Sutra in Tendai and Nichiren Buddhism is very different from how other Buddhist traditions might interpret the same text.

This is true especially if one's interpretation is based on a belief that certain parts of the Lotus Sutra were only provisional, and not applicable to the latter day of the Dharma.

I guess the only point I am making here is that devotion to the Lotus Sutra isn't exclusive to Tendai and Nichiren Buddhism, and people can have different interpretations while still being equally devoted to and appreciative of the text.

User avatar
Queequeg
Global Moderator
Posts: 5956
Joined: Tue Jul 03, 2012 3:24 pm

Re: Buddhahood in one lifetime

Post by Queequeg » Thu Jun 08, 2017 6:32 am

Dharma Flower wrote:I'm sorry for stepping on anyone's toes. The interpretation of the Lotus Sutra in Tendai and Nichiren Buddhism is very different from how other Buddhist traditions might interpret the same text.

This is true especially if one's interpretation is based on a belief that certain parts of the Lotus Sutra were only provisional, and not applicable to the latter day of the Dharma.

I guess the only point I am making here is that devotion to the Lotus Sutra isn't exclusive to Tendai and Nichiren Buddhism, and people can have different interpretations while still being equally devoted to and appreciative of the text.
Which is actually no point.

FYI, you still don't know what 'Provisional' means and you don't understand that this distinction is set forth in the Sutra itself.
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

I think each human being has things to find out in his own life that are inescapable. They’ll find them out the easy way or the hard way, or whatever.
-Jerry Garcia

Dharma Flower
Posts: 1035
Joined: Thu Dec 22, 2016 9:03 am
Contact:

Re: Buddhahood in one lifetime

Post by Dharma Flower » Thu Jun 08, 2017 7:09 am

Queequeg wrote: FYI, you still don't know what 'Provisional' means and you don't understand that this distinction is set forth in the Sutra itself.
I regard this as the most important passage of the Lotus Sutra, since it explains why the Buddha taught this sutra, from the mouth of the Buddha himself:
Thereupon the Bhagavat, wanting to elaborate on the meaning of this
further, spoke these verses...

The Buddha, knowing the minds of his children
And their past conduct, taught the six perfections
And various transcendent powers
Through incalculably numerous explanations
And various illustrations.
Explaining the true teaching
And the path to be practiced by the bodhisattvas,
He taught this Lotus Sutra in verses
Equal in number to the sands of the Ganges River.
http://www.bdk.or.jp/document/dgtl-dl/d ... a_2007.pdf
According to the above passage, the Buddha taught the Lotus Sutra in order to train Bodhisattvas in the Six Paramitas and various transcendent powers. If we interpret the Lotus Sutra with the Lotus Sutra itself, we will find a precious jewel beyond our imagination.

User avatar
Queequeg
Global Moderator
Posts: 5956
Joined: Tue Jul 03, 2012 3:24 pm

Re: Buddhahood in one lifetime

Post by Queequeg » Thu Jun 08, 2017 7:44 am

That passage describes the Buddha teaching according to the needs of his listeners, not a direct display of his own enlightenment. That is the definition of upaya, ie. Provisional Teachings.
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

I think each human being has things to find out in his own life that are inescapable. They’ll find them out the easy way or the hard way, or whatever.
-Jerry Garcia

User avatar
Queequeg
Global Moderator
Posts: 5956
Joined: Tue Jul 03, 2012 3:24 pm

Re: Buddhahood in one lifetime

Post by Queequeg » Thu Jun 08, 2017 8:06 am

Also, the message of the Lotus Sutra is that the Buddha teaches the Ekayana - Single Vehicle - as Three - the Sravakayana, Pratyekabuddhayana and Bidhisattvayana - according to the capacities of beings, not to teach the 6 Paramitas. The point is not the Paramitas, it's Buddhahood. The Lotus Sutra is, by it's own terms, the Buddhayana.

The Buddha accomplishes his goal by awakening beings to their Buddha-nature. Everything else is Upaya.
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

I think each human being has things to find out in his own life that are inescapable. They’ll find them out the easy way or the hard way, or whatever.
-Jerry Garcia

Dharma Flower
Posts: 1035
Joined: Thu Dec 22, 2016 9:03 am
Contact:

Re: Buddhahood in one lifetime

Post by Dharma Flower » Thu Jun 08, 2017 8:31 am

Queequeg wrote:Also, the message of the Lotus Sutra is that the Buddha teaches the Ekayana - Single Vehicle - as Three - the Sravakayana, Pratyekabuddhayana and Bidhisattvayana - according to the capacities of beings, not to teach the 6 Paramitas. The point is not the Paramitas, it's Buddhahood. The Lotus Sutra is, by it's own terms, the Buddhayana.
When ones read the Lotus Sutra from beginning to end, the One Buddha Vehicle is the Bodhisattva path, and that the paths of the hearer and of the solitary Buddha were the provisional paths. The Lotus Sutra was taught as the Buddha's final testament that all beings are welcome on the Bodhisattva path to full Buddhahood.

The dragon king's daughter was able to attain Buddhahood in such a short time either because of how profoundly she practiced the Bodhisattva path in that short amount of time, or because her past lives had ripened her for that attainment.
Despite being young, female, a non-brahmin (priests revered in ancient India as the ‘select few’ with higher spirituality), and a dragon (naga), the Dragon Girl was able to attain Buddhahood swiftly, by adhering to the great universal teachings of the Lotus Sutra. She herself attests to this very teaching against unjustified forms of discrimination by example. Even if there are relatively few like the Dragon Girl among us, it is true, nevertheless, that anyone of any age, gender, social background, race or even kind, can attain Buddhahood. It all depends on how diligently one had been practising and realising the Dharma both in this life and in previous lives.
http://thedailyenlightenment.com/2011/0 ... uddhahood/
It is possible to read the Lotus Sutra without the lens of any sectarian commentarial tradition. If one does so, it becomes clear that the overall message of the Lotus Sutra is the Buddha's welcoming of all beings to the Bodhisattva path, that all beings have the potential to attain Buddhahood through Bodhisattva practices, no matter how many lifetimes it takes.

Dharma Flower
Posts: 1035
Joined: Thu Dec 22, 2016 9:03 am
Contact:

Re: Buddhahood in one lifetime

Post by Dharma Flower » Thu Jun 08, 2017 8:57 am

It's said the Buddha taught 84,000 paths to enlightenment, for people of different needs and temperaments. Other than Soka Gakkai, which I've previously discussed on this forum from personal experience, I have nothing negative to say about Nichiren Buddhism whatsoever.

From what I've seen, when teachers outside the Tendai and Nichiren traditions present the Lotus Sutra from a general Mahayana perspective, they make the point of the One Vehicle as being the path of the Bodhisattva. Master Sheng-Yen, founder of Dharma Drum Mountain, and Master Cheng-Yen, founder of Tzu Chi International, are good examples of this.

Everyone has to find their own way that works for them. May you be happy and well.

User avatar
Queequeg
Global Moderator
Posts: 5956
Joined: Tue Jul 03, 2012 3:24 pm

Re: Buddhahood in one lifetime

Post by Queequeg » Thu Jun 08, 2017 12:10 pm

Full circle. Except yourself from the Dragon Girl's example. Happy trails.
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

I think each human being has things to find out in his own life that are inescapable. They’ll find them out the easy way or the hard way, or whatever.
-Jerry Garcia

Dharma Flower
Posts: 1035
Joined: Thu Dec 22, 2016 9:03 am
Contact:

Re: Buddhahood in one lifetime

Post by Dharma Flower » Thu Jun 08, 2017 12:29 pm

I've had this sweet, serene feeling the past three hours, just from thinking about the Lotus Sutra. If the Lotus Sutra didn't already exist, it's everything that I'd want in a scripture.

narhwal90
Posts: 637
Joined: Mon Jan 25, 2016 3:10 am

Re: Buddhahood in one lifetime

Post by narhwal90 » Fri Jun 09, 2017 6:08 pm

This thread moved on from the question of precepts, but I was digging around on the 3 Secret Laws and found some interesting conversation on the topic of precepts related to Nichiren.

http://ichinensanzen.ca/the-three-great ... awsSources

which seems somewhat SGI biased at least wrt their reference materials. I searched briefly for Shoshu comments on the topic, which seemed reasonably consistent though they emphasize the Dai-gohonzon vs the SGI "wherever you practice is the kaidan" concept. The proposition is not that no precepts are required but that daimoku is the precept platform for this age, and that by taking up the Nichiren practices one's behavior comes into alignment with that which the other precepts were designed to produce.

Personally I take a pragmatic approach and find a lot of value in the explicit lists of precepts (at least the major ones) and consider my behavior in that context. It seems like superseding the others with a single blanket precept being "daimoku" and not explaining the details oversimplifies the question. OTOH I wonder if structuring the doctrine in such a way made for simpler (ie single) practice & transmission in 13th century Japan.

In her book on hongaku, Stone touches on the topic of issues wrt precepts in the Tendai practice of the age. I wonder to what extent Nichiren was responding to that wrt this doctrine. I've not finished her book yet hopefully she will address the topic further.

User avatar
Minobu
Posts: 2124
Joined: Mon Aug 15, 2016 6:57 pm

Re: Buddhahood in one lifetime

Post by Minobu » Fri Jun 09, 2017 7:16 pm

narhwal90 wrote:This thread moved on from the question of precepts, but I was digging around on the 3 Secret Laws and found some interesting conversation on the topic of precepts related to Nichiren.

http://ichinensanzen.ca/the-three-great ... awsSources

which seems somewhat SGI biased at least wrt their reference materials. I searched briefly for Shoshu comments on the topic, which seemed reasonably consistent though they emphasize the Dai-gohonzon vs the SGI "wherever you practice is the kaidan" concept. The proposition is not that no precepts are required but that daimoku is the precept platform for this age, and that by taking up the Nichiren practices one's behavior comes into alignment with that which the other precepts were designed to produce.

Personally I take a pragmatic approach and find a lot of value in the explicit lists of precepts (at least the major ones) and consider my behavior in that context. It seems like superseding the others with a single blanket precept being "daimoku" and not explaining the details oversimplifies the question. OTOH I wonder if structuring the doctrine in such a way made for simpler (ie single) practice & transmission in 13th century Japan.

In her book on hongaku, Stone touches on the topic of issues wrt precepts in the Tendai practice of the age. I wonder to what extent Nichiren was responding to that wrt this doctrine. I've not finished her book yet hopefully she will address the topic further.
Good stuff.thanks.

I think that in centuries to come how we view this practice will be much different than how the Earthly High Command and high priests portray it.

It's evolving to what you said...vital to see this as the best approach and the natural outcome over centuries.
"wherever you practice is the kaidan" concept. The proposition is not that no precepts are required but that daimoku is the precept platform for this age, and that by taking up the Nichiren practices one's behavior comes into alignment with that which the other precepts were designed to produce.
Bingo !!!

User avatar
Queequeg
Global Moderator
Posts: 5956
Joined: Tue Jul 03, 2012 3:24 pm

Re: Buddhahood in one lifetime

Post by Queequeg » Mon Jun 12, 2017 10:17 pm

narhwal90 wrote:This thread moved on from the question of precepts, but I was digging around on the 3 Secret Laws and found some interesting conversation on the topic of precepts related to Nichiren.

http://ichinensanzen.ca/the-three-great ... awsSources

which seems somewhat SGI biased at least wrt their reference materials.
Nice project. Thanks for the reference. I'm not too sure about their reliance on that article by Ingram. I've never read the article, but the few quotes in the blog post just seem off. He seems to relate the Gohonzon to Dharma and Daimoku to Buddha - I believe its the other way around. The rest of Ingram's quotes sound labored and do not sound like they come from personal knowledge or practice.
The proposition is not that no precepts are required but that daimoku is the precept platform for this age, and that by taking up the Nichiren practices one's behavior comes into alignment with that which the other precepts were designed to produce.

Personally I take a pragmatic approach and find a lot of value in the explicit lists of precepts (at least the major ones) and consider my behavior in that context. It seems like superseding the others with a single blanket precept being "daimoku" and not explaining the details oversimplifies the question. OTOH I wonder if structuring the doctrine in such a way made for simpler (ie single) practice & transmission in 13th century Japan.
Earlier in the thread I wrote something along the lines that embracing the Daimoku naturally leads to behavior in conformity with the precepts, but on reflection I think I was wrong. For instance - sex is absolutely prohibited in the Vinaya, but I don't think that embrace of the single precept necessarily leads to celibacy.

I don't think this single precept is an expedient to promote transmission of the single practice - in the interest of establishing an enduring teaching, rules of conduct are probably a better vehicle than something as subtle as Buddha nature.

I think the daimoku as single precept is considerably more radical - I think it flirts dangerously with a justification of hedonistic behavior - the kind of thinking associated with Original Enlightenment where anything we do is OK because its all Buddhanature.

The best insight in that blogpost in my opinion is this - "we interpret that one becomes the chanting..."

When Nichiren says that he reads the sutra with the body, I imagine he means that his thoughts, words and deeds become an expression of the Lotus Sutra - his thoughts, words and deeds in propagating the Lotus Sutra is the Lotus Sutra. I think this is what happens when we sit down and chant - in that moment, our Mind is an expression of the Gohonzon, our body sits in a posture of devotion to the Sublime Dharma, and our words become both an expression of devotion as well as the vehicle for the Buddha's Pure and Far Reaching Voice. In this respect I'm reminded of the passage in the Lotus Sutra about, entering the Buddha's room (mind of compassion - could be related to contemplation), putting on the Buddha's robe (gentleness and forbearance - could be related to the precept ie. conduct) and sitting on the Buddha's seat (emptiness - the Buddha's wisdom).

Tough to put this stuff in words.
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

I think each human being has things to find out in his own life that are inescapable. They’ll find them out the easy way or the hard way, or whatever.
-Jerry Garcia

narhwal90
Posts: 637
Joined: Mon Jan 25, 2016 3:10 am

Re: Buddhahood in one lifetime

Post by narhwal90 » Tue Jun 13, 2017 12:52 am

I liked the link too though it is fairly light on scholarship OTOH I very much appreciated its use of not only SGI references.

Stone makes an argument that situations in medieval Tendai where precepts could be "followed" by observing rituals and not actually practiced were potentially a factor in the development of the single-practice schools- not just Nichiren, including Dogen, Honen & Shinran which is not to say the schools are somehow similar wrt precepts but there are some arguments that the precept situation in contemporary Tendai was a contributing factor.

I could see a daimoku-as-precept" sort of argument when developing a simple practice well suited to lay practitioners, almost in an expedient form to encourage an introspective attitude towards one's behavior. Note the very specific guidance for behavior in Peaceful Practices which goes a ways towards cultivating the Paramitas and the basic sets of Precepts- aspiring to live the Lotus Sutra with one's body has implications. Granted the focus of that chapter is for conduct of the priesthood, yet from a precept perspective there is a much a layperson can adopt.

I've had a fair number of moments of seeming fusion with the gohonzon while chanting, but those states didn't seem to inform my conscious mind of anything in particular. I don't think chanting cures ignorance, though I'm inclined to think it may well expose ignorance and perhaps inspire study afterwards.

markatex
Posts: 316
Joined: Fri Nov 06, 2009 1:33 am

Re: Buddhahood in one lifetime

Post by markatex » Tue Jun 13, 2017 3:58 am

I have some misgivings about mindless rule-following, namely that it tends to give rise to hypocrisy and sanctimonious moralizing. So, I appreciate Nichiren's approach to precepts. They're good to use as a general guide, but upholding the Lotus Sutra is the most important thing.

Dharma Flower
Posts: 1035
Joined: Thu Dec 22, 2016 9:03 am
Contact:

Re: Buddhahood in one lifetime

Post by Dharma Flower » Fri Jan 19, 2018 6:15 am

After learning the influence the Lotus Sutra has had on the Zen doctrine of sudden enlightenment, I've re-thought the opinions that I previously expressed in this thread. I was just honestly confused when I started it.

Post Reply

Return to “Nichiren”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: justsomeguy and 16 guests