Since we're in the Nichiren forum, maybe it makes sense to include an explanation of the immediate attainment of enlightenment by Nichiren. Without undertaking an intentional practice of the paramitas, a person who embraces the single precept of the Lotus naturally practices the paramitas and all the precepts. This is not to claim that a person automatically becomes a perfect bodhisattvas, but over time, as Minobu explained, people's innate pure qualities come to be expressed.
Next, with regard to the term “precepts of absolute myō,” we may note that, where the Lotus Sutra is concerned, this does not refer to a separate set of precepts. The precepts set forth in the sutras preached prior to the Lotus Sutra constitute, just as they are, the precepts of the Lotus Sutra. Therefore, the observers of the so-called “willow leaf” precepts of those in the human and heavenly realms as described in the sutras prior to the Lotus, the observers of the “clay vessel” precepts of persons of the two vehicles as described in the Hinayana Āgama sutras, the observers of the “gold and silver vessel” precepts to be carried out by bodhisattvas over numerous kalpas as described in the Flower Garland, Correct and Equal, Wisdom, and Meditation sutras—when it comes to the Lotus Sutra, all these different groups come together in harmony and form a single body.
Thus the persons in the human or heavenly realms who observe the willow leaf precepts gain the same blessings as persons of the two vehicles who observe the clay vessel precepts and bodhisattvas who observe the gold and silver vessel precepts; bodhisattvas who observe the gold and silver vessel precepts gain the same blessings as persons in the human and heavenly realms who observe the willow leaf precepts and those of the two vehicles who observe the clay vessel precepts; and so forth in the same manner.
Beings in the three evil paths do not in their present existence observe any precepts at all. In their past lives, when they were born in the human or heavenly realms, they observed the willow leaf precepts of persons in the human and heavenly realms, or the clay vessel precepts of persons of the two vehicles, or the gold and silver vessel precepts of the bodhisattvas. Later, because they violated these precepts, they fell into the three evil paths. But the blessings they gained earlier have not been lost and are still in existence. When such persons in the three evil paths encounter the Lotus Sutra, the power of the earlier precepts is brought to life once more, and hence, although such persons dwell in the three evil paths, they become endowed with the potentiality of all of the Ten Worlds. Thus, when persons in any of the Ten Worlds who abided by the teachings of the sutras prior to the Lotus Sutra come into contact with the Lotus Sutra, they all become observers of the precepts.
This is what the Lotus Sutra means when it says, “This is what is called observing the precepts.” The Reverend Annen in his On the Universally Bestowed Bodhisattva Precepts states: “The Lotus Sutra is saying that those who are capable of preaching the Lotus Sutra deserve to be called observers of the precepts.” That is, such persons do not, as described in the sutras prior to the Lotus Sutra, have to observe the precepts under the supervision of a teacher. They have only to put their faith in this sutra to become observers of the precepts.
The sutras preached prior to the Lotus Sutra did not set forth the doctrine of the mutual possession of the Ten Worlds. Therefore, although bodhisattvas might carry out practices over innumerable kalpas, they did not gain any other blessings such as those acquired by observers of the precepts in the two vehicles or the human and heavenly realms; they acquired only the blessings associated with their own one world. And because they acquired the blessings of only one world, they were in the end unable to attain Buddhahood. Therefore [in terms of the doctrine of the mutual possession of the Ten Worlds] they did not even acquire the blessings that pertain to one world.
But when persons who had previously followed the teachings of the pre-Lotus sutras encounter the Lotus Sutra, the blessings of all the other nine worlds become the possession of beings in any of the Ten Worlds. When this happens, then, the pre-Lotus sutras become synonymous with the Lotus Sutra, and the Lotus Sutra becomes synonymous with the pre-Lotus sutras. The Lotus Sutra is no longer separate from the pre-Lotus sutras, and the pre-Lotus sutras are no longer separate from the Lotus Sutra. This is what is meant by the term “wonderful Law.”
Once one has gained an understanding of this, then though the practitioner may read the Āgama sutras of the Hinayana teachings, one therewith becomes a reader of all the Mahayana sutras and a reader of the Lotus Sutra. Therefore the Lotus Sutra says, “[But if they hear this profound sutra] which defines the Law of the voice-hearer, [if they hear] this king of the sutras . . .” This passage is saying that the Āgama sutras are none other than the Lotus Sutra.
The Lotus Sutra says, “[The Buddhas] apply distinctions to the one Buddha vehicle and preach as though it were three.” This passage is saying that the Flower Garland, Correct and Equal, and Wisdom sutras are none other than the Lotus Sutra.
And the Lotus Sutra says, “If they should expound some text of the secular world or speak on matters of government or occupations that sustain life, they will in all cases conform to the correct Law.” This passage is saying that all the texts of the non-Buddhist teachers, of Lao Tzu and Confucius, are none other than the Lotus Sutra.
The precepts of provisional Mahayana recorded in the Brahmā Net Sutra and similar texts differ in many respects from the Lotus Sutra precepts. First, the former may not be administered to persons of the two vehicles or to those who have committed the seven cardinal sins. Second, the blessings accruing from the former do not include the possibility of attaining Buddhahood. Third, the former are precepts that are designed to be practiced over a period of numerous kalpas. Hence they are faulty in many respects.
But when we come to the precepts of the Lotus Sutra, we find that they may be administered to persons of the two vehicles and to those who have committed the seven cardinal sins. Moreover, through them even persons in the lowest category of ordinary mortals will enter the stage of Buddhahood within the space of a single lifetime and achieve perfect enlightenment. Thus one may acquire both the merit of practice and the benefit of Buddhahood.
I wrote above Buddha-nature is irrepressible. From this view, everything, even reactions that are ordinarily considered expressions of delusion are the expressions of Buddha nature under the particular circumstances. Buddhist practice is the active establishment of circumstances that optimize the expression of Buddha-nature. A consistent practice of NMRK brings about these circumstances. Since potential is infinite, circumstances are perpetually established. From the perspective of the Sudden and Perfect the perpetual adornment of reality with the marks of Dharma is Buddhahood. Buddhism is joyous and immediate. It's not a perpetual self flaggelation for some future goal. The Buddha did that heavy lifting long ago and bequeathed the fruits to his children to enjoy. All one has to do is recognize the fruit (Buddha nature) and enjoy it. NMRK is an expression of this joy.
“Once you have given up the ghost, everything follows with dead certainty, even in the midst of chaos.”
"Language is the liquid that we're all dissolved in.
Great for solving problems, after it creates the problems."
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-The Grateful Dead