The Gohonzon in copied and produced form

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Queequeg
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Re: The Gohonzon in copied and produced form

Post by Queequeg » Mon Oct 02, 2017 6:39 pm

Minobu wrote:
Fri Sep 29, 2017 5:24 pm
I realize our master The Very Venerable Dai Sensei Nichiren Shonin knew if Gohonzon were to be handed out they would have to have been inscribed .
A note on Nichiren's title. Nichiren is called shonin - 聖人 meaning "Sage". It is the equivalent of the Sanskrit title acharya. Priests of the Nichiren tradition are given the title shonin - 上人 meaning "Superior Person". The two words are pronounced the same way. In some cases the two terms are treated as synonyms, but that's not quite right. 聖人, the title given to Nichiren, signifies higher status. In some traditions, Nichiren is called daishonin 大聖人 meaning "Great Sage".

I'm not sure what convention ought to be used to translate shonin - 聖人. Shonin - 上人, the title of Nichiren priests is usually rendered as "Reverand". Maybe "Master", though that word carries negative connotations in the U.S. because of its use in the slavery context and generally does not sit well with notions of individuality and equality prevalent in our culture.

I'm not sure how Nichiren ought to be referred to. In my mind, he is daishonin 大聖人.
Those were pre xerox times .
So obviously there is nothing wrong with placing the date and who is the receiver of and who inscribed the Gohonzon.
In thinking whether its OK to copy or inscribe Gohonzon, we probably ought to start with Nichiren's own words.

Nichiren describes the Gohonzon like this:
The treasure tower sits in the air above the sahā world that the Buddha of the essential teaching [identified as the pure and eternal land]; Myoho-renge-kyo appears in the center of the tower with the Buddhas Shakyamuni and Many Treasures seated to the right and left, and, flanking them, the four bodhisattvas, followers of Shakyamuni, led by Superior Practices. Manjushrī, Maitreya, and the other bodhisattvas, who are all followers of the four bodhisattvas, are seated below. All the other major and minor bodhisattvas, whether they are disciples of the Buddha in his transient status or of the Buddhas of the other worlds, are like commoners kneeling on the ground in the presence of nobles and high-ranking court officials. The Buddhas who gathered from the other worlds in the ten directions all remain on the ground, showing that they are only temporary manifestations of the eternal Buddha and that their lands are transient, not eternal and unchanging.
Kanjin-no-Honzon-sho, Treatise on the Object of Worship

But Nichiren did not fashion an anthropomorphic object, ie. a statue, or arrangement of statues, or painting. Instead he wrote out the title of the sutra and arranged the names of the various entities around it, using the conventions of Buddhist iconography to communicate meaning. The significance of the arrangement is that this is more or less a description of the Ceremony in the Air. Shakyamuni and Many Treasures are seated inside the tower, on the right and left respectively. Note that the seat occupied by Shakyamuni is the seat of honor compared to Many Treasures. Flanking them are the Bodhisattvas of the Earth - signifying the primary recipients of the teaching.

The question is why Nichiren elected to make his Gohonzon a calligraphic one, rather than an arrangement of anthropomorphic (human form) statues or a painting. Part of it I think is cost. Statues were expensive to make. Paintings less so, but required artistic skill. On the other hand, a calligraphic mandala - anyone who can write can write the title of the sutra and the names out. I like to think that Nichiren's concern was wide propagation, not just propagation to the wealthy and connected who could afford to commission statues and paintings, and so he fashioned a Honzon that would be accessible to almost anyone.

We can glean a little bit of his thinking from a writing that predated the inscription of the Gohonzon:
First, with regard to the object of devotion (honzon), one should inscribe the eight volumes of the Lotus Sutra, or one volume, or one chapter, or simply the daimoku, or title, of the sutra, and make that the object of devotion, as is indicated in the “Teacher of the Law” and “Supernatural Powers” chapters of the sutra. And those persons who are able to do so further should write out the names of the Thus Come One Shakyamuni and the Buddha Many Treasures, or fashion images of them, and place these on the left and right of the Lotus Sutra. And if they are further able to do so, they should fashion images or write out the names of the Buddhas of the ten directions and the bodhisattva Universal Worthy and the others.
On Reciting the Daimoku of the Lotus Sutra

And here are the passages from the Lotus Sutra referred to above:
Wherever this sutra is taught, read, recited, copied, or wherever it is to be found, one should build a seven-jeweled stupa of great height and width and richly ornamented. There is no need to put a relic inside. Why is this? Because the Tathāgata is already in it. This stupa should be respected, honored, praised and rendered homage with offerings of all kinds of flowers, perfumes, necklaces, canopies, flags, banners, music, and songs. If there is anyone able to see this stupa and to pay it homage and honor it, know that such a one is nearing highest, complete enlightenment.

Lotus Sutra, Teacher of the Law
To sum up, in this sutra I have clearly revealed and taught all the teachings of the Tathāgata, all the transcendent powers of the Tathāgata, all the treasure houses of the hidden essence of the Tathāgata, and all the profound aspects of the Tathāgata. For this reason, after the parinirvāṇa of the Tathāgata, you should wholeheartedly preserve, recite, explain, and copy it, and practice according to the teaching. Those who accept, recite, explain, and copy it, and practice according to the teaching, in whichever land they may be, in a place where the sutra abides—either in a garden, a forest, under a tree, in a monk’s chamber, in a layman’s house, in a palace, on a mountain, in a valley, or in the wilderness—in all of these places they should erect and pay homage to a monument. Why is this? Because you should know that these places are the terraces of enlightenment where all the buddhas have attained highest, complete enlightenment, where all the buddhas have turned the wheel of the Dharma, and where all the buddhas entered parinirvāṇa.”
Lotus Sutra, Supernatural Powers

Nichiren's instructions in On Reciting the Daimoku of the Lotus Sutra mirror Zhiyi's instructions from the Lotus Samadhi manual in which he explains in the preparation of the place of practice one should enshrined the Lotus Sutra, or just its title, as the Honzon.

The Gohonzon that Nichiren would eventually inscribe for people and distribute I believe was founded on these earlier examples.

The Lotus Sutra, including its Daimoku, or title, is considered a srarira, or relic, of the Buddha. By enshrining the Sutra, we are enshrining a relic of the Buddha, and by virtue of the relic, the Buddha is present. The Mandala that Nichiren inscribed is an elaboration of the Buddha's relic which shows us the Buddha's Mind, explained as ichinen sanzen.

I think this is where we need to begin the discussion of printing or copying images of Nichiren's Gohonzon, whether Gohonzon inscribed by others are efficacious as Gohonzon, etc.
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Re: The Gohonzon in copied and produced form

Post by Minobu » Mon Oct 02, 2017 6:46 pm

markatex wrote:
Mon Oct 02, 2017 6:18 pm
Minobu wrote:
Sat Sep 30, 2017 6:21 pm

I don't look at mark saying i live a hollow experience as being rude...
You’re something else, aren’t you?
you're weird...lol...
take the whole quote in context after me being accused of rudeness .
Minobu wrote:
Sat Sep 30, 2017 6:21 pm

I don't look at mark saying i live a hollow experience as being rude...just his understanding of it i discuss. No rude intent on my part.
if you want to paint me as something, then i get to have my say...you want to dissect it to this point ...fine then.
here goes my chance to clear my name of being rude and now
You’re something else, aren’t you?
i was discussing the fact of your hollow feelings you get towards a gohonzon that isn't how does one would say "Kosher". But your statement , which i originally did not even notice as a dig till i was told i was the one being rude....i then felt the need to comment on it...blame Q for calling me rude.

If anything the independent movement did away with the whole high priest seal of approval and in fact as time went on we see the only hollowness feelings are those of archaic institutions long gone the way of the original intent.

it's healthy not hollow...


look at the entry in question...
markatex wrote:
Fri Sep 29, 2017 7:02 pm
I don't think the physical Mandala Gohonzon holds some kind of mystical power, or that chanting in front of one that's been inscribed by a person of questionable character can put some sort of gris-gris on the practitioner. I think that's all a tad silly.
Queequeg wrote:
Fri Sep 29, 2017 5:58 pm
I can't bring myself to print them for the purpose of enshrinement.
Neither can I. It would feel hollow to me, and not because I think a priest has to imbue it with juju or whatever. Mine carries meaning for me because it connects me to a lineage. Printing one off the Internet or buying one from eBay wouldn't give me that same connection.
your first statement tells us you do not feel the physical gohonzon holds some kind of mystical power.

but any gohonzon not inscribed by a lineage is hollow...yours has meaning others do not.

you have contradicted yourself to make some insulting point to those that no longer chant with a lineage gohonzon like those who use the Prayer Gohonzon given out online. their's is hollow.

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Re: The Gohonzon in copied and produced form

Post by Queequeg » Mon Oct 02, 2017 6:48 pm

Dave, back off. Mark is talking about himself. Talk about context, look at the context of his post. You take what he wrote out of context and turn it into something else.

Just stop.
“Once you have given up the ghost, everything follows with dead certainty, even in the midst of chaos.”
-Henry Miller

"Language is the liquid that we're all dissolved in.
Great for solving problems, after it creates the problems."
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Re: The Gohonzon in copied and produced form

Post by Minobu » Mon Oct 02, 2017 6:56 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Mon Oct 02, 2017 6:39 pm


I'm not quite sure I follow - Gohonzon is, as mentioned above, the Buddha. How could Buddha be a distraction? I think I get what you are hinting at - that the Gohonzon becomes a fetishized object,

What i meant by a distraction is the practice of meditating solely on the ODaimoku and what can come from that practice..
the distraction is the fact i never did this.
closing my eyes and chanting whilst trying to feel. realize and be the Daimoku , along with other things a cannot articulate.

it's not some rude insult or anything like that...we already have secondary practice wording in our practice, that being gongyo.

Melding with The Entities of the Ceremony in the Air is different , and at the the same as chanting..but chanting alone focused on that is also different.
different effects..

the purpose of the thread is to show that.
maybe distraction is not the best word but it points to what i am trying to get across here.

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Re: The Gohonzon in copied and produced form

Post by Minobu » Mon Oct 02, 2017 6:57 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Mon Oct 02, 2017 6:48 pm
Dave, back off. Mark is talking about himself. Talk about context, look at the context of his post. You take what he wrote out of context and turn it into something else.

Just stop.
i am not making a big deal of this...you people are...
just tired of being labled ...as you just did..

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Re: The Gohonzon in copied and produced form

Post by Minobu » Mon Oct 02, 2017 7:50 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Mon Oct 02, 2017 6:39 pm


The question is why Nichiren elected to make his Gohonzon a calligraphic one, rather than an arrangement of anthropomorphic (human form) statues or a painting..
I recall something taught by Gakki regarding Jungian archetypes and the Jungian collective unconscious .
the characters depict far more than a statue or painting can ever portray. they are lucid and succinct and directed .

Then there is a whole other matter i cannot articulate on regarding how they actually produce effect in the person taking refuge with them whilst chanting the ODaimoku.

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Re: The Gohonzon in copied and produced form

Post by Queequeg » Mon Oct 02, 2017 8:01 pm

Minobu wrote:
Mon Oct 02, 2017 6:46 pm
you have contradicted yourself to make some insulting point to those that no longer chant with a lineage gohonzon like those who use the Prayer Gohonzon given out online. their's is hollow.
He makes no such point.
“Once you have given up the ghost, everything follows with dead certainty, even in the midst of chaos.”
-Henry Miller

"Language is the liquid that we're all dissolved in.
Great for solving problems, after it creates the problems."
-Modest Mouse

"Wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world!"
-The Grateful Dead

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Re: The Gohonzon in copied and produced form

Post by Minobu » Mon Oct 02, 2017 8:20 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Mon Oct 02, 2017 8:01 pm
Minobu wrote:
Mon Oct 02, 2017 6:46 pm
you have contradicted yourself to make some insulting point to those that no longer chant with a lineage gohonzon like those who use the Prayer Gohonzon given out online. their's is hollow.
He makes no such point.
what ever...moving on dude..you say potato i say it's tammata .
boo fracking hoo

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Re: The Gohonzon in copied and produced form

Post by Minobu » Mon Oct 02, 2017 8:29 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Mon Oct 02, 2017 8:01 pm
Minobu wrote:
Mon Oct 02, 2017 6:46 pm
you have contradicted yourself to make some insulting point to those that no longer chant with a lineage gohonzon like those who use the Prayer Gohonzon given out online. their's is hollow.
He makes no such point.
ok so lets really put this to sleep.

for the sake of ball hair
mark never said that unless it is a lineage gohonzon it is hollow.
he was just talking about his feelings...
sorry for misunderstanding mark's take on online gohonzon independant movement stuff.

at the cost of ruining my youtube homepage pics....here goes

phpBB [video]

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Re: The Gohonzon in copied and produced form

Post by Bois de Santal » Mon Oct 02, 2017 9:03 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Mon Oct 02, 2017 6:39 pm
A note on Nichiren's title. Nichiren is called shonin - 聖人 meaning "Sage". It is the equivalent of the Sanskrit title acharya. Priests of the Nichiren tradition are given the title shonin - 上人 meaning "Superior Person". The two words are pronounced the same way. In some cases the two terms are treated as synonyms, but that's not quite right. 聖人, the title given to Nichiren, signifies higher status. In some traditions, Nichiren is called daishonin 大聖人 meaning "Great Sage".

I'm not sure what convention ought to be used to translate shonin - 聖人. Shonin - 上人, the title of Nichiren priests is usually rendered as "Reverand". Maybe "Master", though that word carries negative connotations in the U.S. because of its use in the slavery context and generally does not sit well with notions of individuality and equality prevalent in our culture.

I'm not sure how Nichiren ought to be referred to. In my mind, he is daishonin 大聖人
Thanks for explaining that there are two 'shonins' - it never sat right with me calling Nichiren 'shonin', just like the priests are. Obviously the distinction is much clearer in japanese.

Using Daishonin makes much more sense in english, despite the fact that it then implies one has a connection to Nichiren Shoshu. Whether we can recapture it for more general use in the english language is another matter.

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Re: The Gohonzon in copied and produced form

Post by Queequeg » Mon Oct 02, 2017 9:50 pm

Bois de Santal wrote: Using Daishonin makes much more sense in english, despite the fact that it then implies one has a connection to Nichiren Shoshu. Whether we can recapture it for more general use in the english language is another matter.
Its not just a Shoshu convention. Others, particularly Nikko lineages, use Daishonin in certain contexts. I've seen it in Nichiren Shu contexts, also. Shoshu does kind of own it and their particular interpretation does carry the most weight. But, I think we can take it and adapt if we wanted... :smile:
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Re: The Gohonzon in copied and produced form

Post by Minobu » Tue Oct 03, 2017 5:38 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Mon Oct 02, 2017 9:50 pm
Bois de Santal wrote: Using Daishonin makes much more sense in english, despite the fact that it then implies one has a connection to Nichiren Shoshu. Whether we can recapture it for more general use in the english language is another matter.
Its not just a Shoshu convention. Others, particularly Nikko lineages, use Daishonin in certain contexts. I've seen it in Nichiren Shu contexts, also. Shoshu does kind of own it and their particular interpretation does carry the most weight. But, I think we can take it and adapt if we wanted... :smile:
Sometimes one decides to call someone , lets say , professor, due to that person being super knowledgable about something close to the heart of the person labeling that person professor.
When an ordinary person such as myself decides to pay homage to my Master The Very Venerable Dai Sensei Nichiren Daishonin by using these words of praise even though i do not know their meaning , it's what i would say a good thing , a nice thing, something from the heart that hopefully reaches my Master The Very Venerable Dai Sensei Nichiren Daishonin.

At the funeral where a very noble Nichiren Shu priest ended up performing the ceremony for an extended family member, he said that we should mention the deceased person name from time to time. I don't know why but he said something like it reaches that person somehow.

So if i wish to call my Master The Very Venerable Dai Sensei Nichiren Daishonin it's from the heart .

If someone wishes from the heart to copy a gohonzon outside some organizations' sanctioned printing house what's the difference?

The whole point is to jerk one into the desired position and moment melding with the intention of the practice.
The Characters and wishing to take refuge in Them and chanting the Lotus Daimoku in front of them, transforms .
Transforms due to the chanting of the Lotus ODaimoku .

The independent movement , for me anyway, does not knock the other schools , but strips away the mystique of ordination.
The Master The Very Venerable Dai Sensei Nichiren Daishonin ,Somewhere , said if you want to make a statue...i forget the words, something or maybe exactly ...open the eyes ceremony...or make it real..."Place a copy of the Lotus sutra in front of the object".
By doing this it becomes real....really off exact quotes here just the idea of what i read.

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Re: The Gohonzon in copied and produced form

Post by Minobu » Tue Oct 03, 2017 6:34 pm

markatex wrote:
Fri Sep 29, 2017 7:02 pm
It would feel hollow to me,
Like all things that come before me i don't just let it go.
today i honestly realized that i might feel the same..
After chanting i realized i never bow down or nod to or anything like that , offer up the candle i light whilst chanting ...to the image on my screen...

why Dave?
and my goal is to acquire a Gohonzon from Nichiren Shu.
thanks mark for allowing me to have something to chew on.

even if i created an alter and butsudan ..i would never bow to this image..even if i put like a computer screen in the butsudan...

but i have offered greens and candles and incense and prostrated to the Gohonzon back in the day.
and want to resume that thing.

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Re: The Gohonzon in copied and produced form

Post by Queequeg » Tue Oct 03, 2017 7:26 pm

Minobu wrote: Like all things that come before me i don't just let it go.
That is one of the most endearing things about you. When you try on an idea, you don't put it down, looking through every dark corner. And you share about it. It also drives people bonkers. LOL
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Re: The Gohonzon in copied and produced form

Post by Minobu » Wed Oct 04, 2017 5:27 pm

illarraza wrote:
Mon Oct 02, 2017 1:05 am
. As a traditional Buddhist and a member of the Nichiren Shu I am happy to abide by our standards and practices, and I have yet to see any convincing argument that things should be done otherwise.
Mark
thanks for this...it took me several readings to feel it's impact and work it into my understanding.
I always thought you were Kempon hokke.something else i want to understand further for it seems they are strict to the the code..i don't know the proper name but i thought you use Gohonzon 101 .
or am i confusing you with someone else.

I always wondered about this ceramony and you cleared it up for me ..thanks.

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Re: The Gohonzon in copied and produced form

Post by illarraza » Thu Oct 05, 2017 8:07 pm

Minobu wrote:
Wed Oct 04, 2017 5:27 pm
illarraza wrote:
Mon Oct 02, 2017 1:05 am
. As a traditional Buddhist and a member of the Nichiren Shu I am happy to abide by our standards and practices, and I have yet to see any convincing argument that things should be done otherwise.
Mark
thanks for this...it took me several readings to feel it's impact and work it into my understanding.
I always thought you were Kempon hokke.something else i want to understand further for it seems they are strict to the the code..i don't know the proper name but i thought you use Gohonzon 101 .
or am i confusing you with someone else.

I always wondered about this ceramony and you cleared it up for me ..thanks.
Never did I say I was Nichiren Shu. That is not my quote. If indeed I did quote it, it was an accident for which I repent in all sincerity. Neither am I Kempon Hokke though I follow some of their tenets and priests, particularly, the teachings and practice of the founder Nichiju and the practice of the martyr Nikkyo. My Gohonzon is The Gohonzon for the Transmission of the Dharma (Gohonzon 101) which was bestowed on me by the Kempon Hokke priest Kubota. He was a traditionalist who did not believe in transmission through "internet Gohonzons". I, however, believe in the Transmission through the Sutra Scrolls. These are the Nichiren Gohonzon and the Lotus Sutra in twenty eight chapters with the latter 14 Chapters or Essential Teachings superior to the first 14 Chapters or the Theoretical Teachings. More importantly, if we are to believe Nichiren, the latter half of the 15th Chapter, 16th Chapter, and first half of the 17th Chapter are superior to the other remaining chapters of the Essential Teachings (Chapters 14-28 ). Above all, I believe that Myoho renge kyo is superior to even the One Chapter and Two Halves. Nichiren likened Myoho renge kyo to the heart of the Lotus Sutra. I, unlike the SGI, Nichiren Shoshu, and Jazzi Ricky believe as Nichiren that Myoho renge kyo (or Gohonzon) is the heart of the Lotus Sutra and the the Twenty Eight Chapters are the body. If you destroy the heart, the body dies but similarly, if you destroy the body, the heart will die. Another analogy is that Myoho renge kyo is the brain, the master organ, the One Chapter and Two Halfs are the heart, and the remaining chapters form the other more or less important organs and parts of the body.

I also incorporate into my faith and practice the orthodox teachings of the Fuju Fuse horyu* (unlike the Nichiren Shu), the life and teachings of the so-called pot-headed saint, Nisshin**

* https://howlingpixel.com/wiki/Fuju-fuse

* and ** (Fuju Fuse and Nisshin)

More on Nisshin:

** http://seattlebuddhist.org/lineage.html

** http://markrogow.blogspot.com/2016/03/t ... ed-by.html

Still more on the Pot Wearing Monk (The Priest Nisshin's Ordeals by Professor Jacqueline Stone):

**https://www.princeton.edu/~jstone/Artic ... Ordeals%20(translations%20from%20Nisshin%20Shonin%20t.pdf

Mark

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Re: The Gohonzon in copied and produced form

Post by narhwal90 » Fri Oct 06, 2017 3:23 am

The mandala workshop book 3 references Nisshin in the context of the Nakayama lineage started by Toki Jonin. They state Nisshin authored 23 gohonzon and founded 30 temples- a fine legacy.

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Re: The Gohonzon in copied and produced form

Post by Queequeg » Fri Oct 06, 2017 2:35 pm

I think this book is the next on the acquisition list. Thanks for sharing, N.
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Re: The Gohonzon in copied and produced form

Post by narhwal90 » Fri Oct 06, 2017 6:40 pm

Its a fascinating set of books. They estimate Nichiren inscribed approx 300, Nikko around 200. Nichiren's design variations are cataloged, as are the principal 1st gen disciples. Besides the gohonzon-shu detail there is are many citations of temple records of gohonzons no longer extant for various reasons- or at least not known. Fire was the biggest problem, dozens and dozens have burned over the years. Various types of "mandala-ish" curiosities are also related; my fave at the moment is a gohonzon purported be jointly inscribed by Nichiren and Nikko. Nikko's very last gohonzon, inscribed 11 days before he died is also discussed- it is named the "stilling of the hand" gohonzon.

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Re: The Gohonzon in copied and produced form

Post by Queequeg » Fri Oct 06, 2017 8:35 pm

The Nisshin story is pretty extraordinary, even if it is embellished.
“Once you have given up the ghost, everything follows with dead certainty, even in the midst of chaos.”
-Henry Miller

"Language is the liquid that we're all dissolved in.
Great for solving problems, after it creates the problems."
-Modest Mouse

"Wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world!"
-The Grateful Dead

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