Nyedrag Yeshe wrote: ↑
Thu Oct 19, 2017 3:11 pm
Queequeg wrote: ↑
Thu Oct 19, 2017 3:07 pm
Maybe? As scholars have pointed out, the sectarian divides were not what later commentators with sectarian agendas made them out to be. Nichiren made numerous references to esoteric rites. It's not clear how these exactly figured in his views, except that they were subordinate to the Lotus.
Do you know of any reference to some tradition or individuals that actually combine Nichiren practice with Vajrayana? This would be an interesting thing!
I am not sure... but... and take this with a very big grain of salt and understand this is highly speculative on my part...
The lineage started by Toki Jonin - one of Nichiren's most important disciples who was also a layperson until after Nichiren passed away - seems to most strongly have a yogic flavor. I've recently read references to early leaders of the lineage conducting esoteric rites and some prominent figures in the tradition undertaking yogic practices like living in cemeteries. These days, they have an annual 100 day ascetic practice and conduct various rituals for protection and blessings. This is one of the main lineages of Nichiren Shu, and I believe many of the Nichiren Shu priests in the US are from this lineage - I am pretty certain the Hawaii Nichiren Shu is.
I find it difficult to explain, but Nichiren viewed his practice of shakubuku as "Reading the Sutra with the Body". He was immersed in the mandala of the Lotus Sutra, and when he writes "I inscribe my life in sumi (ink)", I get the sense he meant this in the tantric sense - I get the sense he meant it in what might be compared to guru yoga, though I understand that there is no guru yoga in Japanese vajrayana. This Saha World is the mandala in which the struggle for enlightenment plays out. I think this is similar to higher tantras in the Indo-Tibetan traditions. Nichiren was not particularly unique in understanding the world as mandala in Japan - Alan Grapard has written about this trend, calling it "Mandalization of Geography" or something like that. Nichiren took it to another level, though, completely absorbing everything, including politics, into the Mandala of the Lotus Sutra. The sufferings and tribulations, including political intrigues and domestic relationships, are all within this Mandala. I realize this is fundamentally a Mahayana view, but I think mainstream Mahayana doesn't take this as far. There is still that distinction between the Sangha and society at large. It required the influence of vajrayana to bring it to the level that Nichiren took it.
The Toki Jonin lineages seem to straddle that line of what I'll call formal vajrayana to a greater degree than other lineages.