Lineage in Nichiren

User avatar
Nyedrag Yeshe
Posts: 409
Joined: Fri Jun 03, 2016 3:06 am
Location: Brazil

Lineage in Nichiren

Post by Nyedrag Yeshe » Sat Oct 28, 2017 10:16 pm

What is the importance of lineage an oral transmission in Nichiren practice? I've seen some information regarding a critical position of Nichiren Shonin regarding the attitude of some Schools on this whole issue, but recently a Shami on a facebook group I'm a member pointed out this(oral transmission) is of paramount importance. But this same Shami was once a Tibetan monk, where lineage and oral transmission is paramount, being in a prominent position regarding textual transmission! Any thoughts?
“Whatever has to happen, let it happen!”
“Whatever the situation is, it’s fine!”
“I really don’t need anything!
~Tsangpa Gyare Yeshe Dorje (1161-1211)
ओं पद्मोष्णीष विमले हूँ फट । ओं हनुफशभरहृदय स्वाहा॥
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔ ཀརྨ་པ་མཁྱེན་ནོ།

narhwal90
Posts: 510
Joined: Mon Jan 25, 2016 3:10 am

Re: Lineage in Nichiren

Post by narhwal90 » Sun Oct 29, 2017 5:17 pm

This is an interesting question that I'm not well equipped to address. That said, lineage was important in the various lineages that developed amongst the 1st gen leading disciples after Nichiren died. There are several extant lineages, and there has been some combining and dividing among them as well. I don't know much about oral transmission though there are quite a few gohonzon passed along the lineages acting something like the tokens of a transmission. Sometimes the record of the transfer of a gohonzon was written on the gohonzon itself- though such things were also noted in temple records etc. I wonder what other aspectss of transmission might exist in Nichiren-land, but I think its probably hard to compete with ownership of a gohonzon; eg if I have a legitimately transferred gohonzon (previous legitimate holder signed it over to me, I didn't steal or buy it), then its hard to argue against transmission to me, but I should think the question is ultimately more complicated than that.

Sadly, questions of lineage remain divisive among the Nichiren schools.

User avatar
Nyedrag Yeshe
Posts: 409
Joined: Fri Jun 03, 2016 3:06 am
Location: Brazil

Re: Lineage in Nichiren

Post by Nyedrag Yeshe » Sun Oct 29, 2017 7:13 pm

I was not very much clear in the first post, but I`m referring to the notion of having to actually listen to the teachings from teachers in order to gain realizations on practice, this is a central issue in TB Buddhism, this is the point I think the Shami was referring to! Owing maybe to his TB past? Can't know, but what I know is that Nichiren himself was quite critical of this position! The Shami insisted that people cannot learn Nichiren Buddhism in online groups, but only going to a physical temple and get the transmission from teachers!
“Whatever has to happen, let it happen!”
“Whatever the situation is, it’s fine!”
“I really don’t need anything!
~Tsangpa Gyare Yeshe Dorje (1161-1211)
ओं पद्मोष्णीष विमले हूँ फट । ओं हनुफशभरहृदय स्वाहा॥
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔ ཀརྨ་པ་མཁྱེན་ནོ།

User avatar
Minobu
Posts: 1816
Joined: Mon Aug 15, 2016 6:57 pm

Re: Lineage in Nichiren

Post by Minobu » Sun Oct 29, 2017 7:13 pm

Nyedrag Yeshe wrote:
Sat Oct 28, 2017 10:16 pm
What is the importance of lineage an oral transmission in Nichiren practice? I've seen some information regarding a critical position of Nichiren Shonin regarding the attitude of some Schools on this whole issue, but recently a Shami on a facebook group I'm a member pointed out this(oral transmission) is of paramount importance. But this same Shami was once a Tibetan monk, where lineage and oral transmission is paramount, being in a prominent position regarding textual transmission! Any thoughts?
Is a Shami a Moslem?
The lineage for me is en eclectic mix starting with in our time ,Lord Sakyamuni Buddha , lord Nagarjuna, Tien Tai and Dengyo ,oh and the Bodhisattvas of the Earth , and everything Buddhist ever ...the Dharmakaya or Eternal buddha, Nichiren Daishonin....for me Soka gakki which i dropped, Nichiren shoShu which i dropped...and now DW and most especially Queequeg. Who led me to an awakening .....
i think there have been people on buses who said stuff in earshot that led me to mini awakenings... and people i have interacted with.. that also are part of my lineage...
we all have a sort of lineage that is fluid...after all we all are in this together...and any sort of government edict on lineages is just so...so...contrived at times and power based and political...controlling...and maybe not even lineage based...

User avatar
Minobu
Posts: 1816
Joined: Mon Aug 15, 2016 6:57 pm

Re: Lineage in Nichiren

Post by Minobu » Sun Oct 29, 2017 7:15 pm

Nyedrag Yeshe wrote:
Sun Oct 29, 2017 7:13 pm
I was not very much clear in the first post, but I`m referring to the notion of having to actually listen to the teachings from teachers in order to gain realizations on practice, this is a central issue in TB Buddhism, this is the point I think the Shami was referring to! Owing maybe to his TB past? Can't know, but what I know is that Nichiren himself was quite critical of this position! The Shami insisted that people cannot learn Nichiren Buddhism in online groups, but only going to a physical temple and get the transmission from teachers!
so i think i clued into you and was posting as you were posting and we both sort of shared ...
but I`m referring to the notion of having to actually listen to the teachings from teachers in order to gain realizations on practice,
i had to read a someone just posted before the submit button worked...
pretty cool huh...

User avatar
Minobu
Posts: 1816
Joined: Mon Aug 15, 2016 6:57 pm

Re: Lineage in Nichiren

Post by Minobu » Sun Oct 29, 2017 7:18 pm

, but only going to a physical temple and get the transmission from teachers!
the real transmission comes from yourself. you are Buddha..once awakened to that the real learning takes place...
looking for it in side a temple is sort of...political and power based .

we need the temple and the teachers to guide us and keep the teachings so they can be taught...we should protect all that and show gratitude...but eventually...when the teachings kick in.....

User avatar
Minobu
Posts: 1816
Joined: Mon Aug 15, 2016 6:57 pm

Re: Lineage in Nichiren

Post by Minobu » Sun Oct 29, 2017 7:21 pm

Minobu wrote:
Sun Oct 29, 2017 7:15 pm
Nyedrag Yeshe wrote:
Sun Oct 29, 2017 7:13 pm
I was not very much clear in the first post, but I`m referring to the notion of having to actually listen to the teachings from teachers in order to gain realizations on practice, this is a central issue in TB Buddhism, this is the point I think the Shami was referring to! Owing maybe to his TB past? Can't know, but what I know is that Nichiren himself was quite critical of this position! The Shami insisted that people cannot learn Nichiren Buddhism in online groups, but only going to a physical temple and get the transmission from teachers!
so i think i clued into you and was posting as you were posting and we both sort of shared ...
but I`m referring to the notion of having to actually listen to the teachings from teachers in order to gain realizations on practice,
i had to read a someone just posted before the submit button worked...
pretty cool huh...
oh oh...maybe i misunderstood who the teachers are...
for me they are and can be , everywhere...even people who are not Buddhist but say something in ear shot...that gives one a mini awakening and nudges one on the path...

not to say i don't deeply respect the "Teachers"..it's just they appear sometimes in a pop song...
sounds ridiculous...

User avatar
Nyedrag Yeshe
Posts: 409
Joined: Fri Jun 03, 2016 3:06 am
Location: Brazil

Re: Lineage in Nichiren

Post by Nyedrag Yeshe » Sun Oct 29, 2017 7:22 pm

Minobu wrote:
Sun Oct 29, 2017 7:13 pm
Nyedrag Yeshe wrote:
Sat Oct 28, 2017 10:16 pm
What is the importance of lineage an oral transmission in Nichiren practice? I've seen some information regarding a critical position of Nichiren Shonin regarding the attitude of some Schools on this whole issue, but recently a Shami on a facebook group I'm a member pointed out this(oral transmission) is of paramount importance. But this same Shami was once a Tibetan monk, where lineage and oral transmission is paramount, being in a prominent position regarding textual transmission! Any thoughts?
Is a Shami a Moslem?
The lineage for me is en eclectic mix starting with in our time ,Lord Sakyamuni Buddha , lord Nagarjuna, Tien Tai and Dengyo ,oh and the Bodhisattvas of the Earth , and everything Buddhist ever ...the Dharmakaya or Eternal buddha, Nichiren Daishonin....for me Soka gakki which i dropped, Nichiren shoShu which i dropped...and now DW and most especially Queequeg. Who led me to an awakening .....
i think there have been people on buses who said stuff in earshot that led me to mini awakenings... and people i have interacted with.. that also are part of my lineage...
we all have a sort of lineage that is fluid...after all we all are in this together...and any sort of government edict on lineages is just so...so...contrived at times and power based and political...controlling...and maybe not even lineage based...
As I said before, He was a Tibetan Buddhist, in Tb in order to get realizations from any teaching, be it Sutra or Vajrayana, you must get it orally from a lineage representative. The Shami is part of a Nichiren Shu lineage today, obviously, I cannot share his identity, but it really caused me some surprise this idea in Nichiren Shu!
“Whatever has to happen, let it happen!”
“Whatever the situation is, it’s fine!”
“I really don’t need anything!
~Tsangpa Gyare Yeshe Dorje (1161-1211)
ओं पद्मोष्णीष विमले हूँ फट । ओं हनुफशभरहृदय स्वाहा॥
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔ ཀརྨ་པ་མཁྱེན་ནོ།

User avatar
Minobu
Posts: 1816
Joined: Mon Aug 15, 2016 6:57 pm

Re: Lineage in Nichiren

Post by Minobu » Sun Oct 29, 2017 7:25 pm

shami ...ahh sorry ...i googled it and it came up kebobs and a Mohamed guy...
one day i think i shall join Nichiren Shu...sorry no disrespect on my part...

User avatar
Nyedrag Yeshe
Posts: 409
Joined: Fri Jun 03, 2016 3:06 am
Location: Brazil

Re: Lineage in Nichiren

Post by Nyedrag Yeshe » Sun Oct 29, 2017 7:26 pm

Minobu wrote:
Sun Oct 29, 2017 7:25 pm
shami ...ahh sorry ...i googled it and it came up kebobs and a Mohamed guy...
one day i think i shall join Nichiren Shu...sorry no disrespect on my part...
Shami is a novice monk, 沙弥 in Japanese!
“Whatever has to happen, let it happen!”
“Whatever the situation is, it’s fine!”
“I really don’t need anything!
~Tsangpa Gyare Yeshe Dorje (1161-1211)
ओं पद्मोष्णीष विमले हूँ फट । ओं हनुफशभरहृदय स्वाहा॥
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔ ཀརྨ་པ་མཁྱེན་ནོ།

User avatar
Minobu
Posts: 1816
Joined: Mon Aug 15, 2016 6:57 pm

Re: Lineage in Nichiren

Post by Minobu » Sun Oct 29, 2017 7:29 pm

Nyedrag Yeshe wrote:
Sun Oct 29, 2017 7:22 pm


As I said before, He was a Tibetan Buddhist, in Tb in order to get realizations from any teaching, be it Sutra or Vajrayana, you must get it orally from a lineage representative.
yeah well as you know you guys have been having problems with that as of late...

the real teaching and guidance comes from you. your Buddha Sambhogakaya in the present but which seems in the future. you have attained that which you wish to attain already before this incarnation...well after this incarnation conventionally...lol...

narhwal90
Posts: 510
Joined: Mon Jan 25, 2016 3:10 am

Re: Lineage in Nichiren

Post by narhwal90 » Sun Oct 29, 2017 7:33 pm

Nichiren structured his operations along the same lines as Tendai, so many of those forms are found in his tradition such as temple operations, patronage etc but transmission is a separate question. The Nichiren schools may have different perspectives on the question of oral transmission. If SGI is accepted as a Nichiren school (and some may find the proposition controversial), there is no oral transmission; you do the practice, you get the results there is no intermediary and no formula. Generally speaking in SGI it is not recommended to take up a solitary practice, attendance in the basic unit of organization is encouraged but not essential. OTOH like the other schools, the provenance of the gohonzons is important which is why I mentioned it above- it may be that lineage is more about the gohonzon than oral transmission.

User avatar
Minobu
Posts: 1816
Joined: Mon Aug 15, 2016 6:57 pm

Re: Lineage in Nichiren

Post by Minobu » Sun Oct 29, 2017 7:48 pm

there are roughly 38 Nichiren Schools and counting..
i come from a horrific break up of two of those schools which might have cost me my faith. i abhor the whole lineage thing in a way ...tibetan stuff which i thought was pure as snow ...did the same...putting all your eggs into this basket is only going to hurt you one day...
thank Goodness for DW...and the online mish mash of teachers...really realized and studied people that helped me..
and besides that...

something helped me...

User avatar
Minobu
Posts: 1816
Joined: Mon Aug 15, 2016 6:57 pm

Re: Lineage in Nichiren

Post by Minobu » Sun Oct 29, 2017 7:53 pm

Nyedrag Yeshe wrote:
Sun Oct 29, 2017 7:26 pm
Minobu wrote:
Sun Oct 29, 2017 7:25 pm
shami ...ahh sorry ...i googled it and it came up kebobs and a Mohamed guy...
one day i think i shall join Nichiren Shu...sorry no disrespect on my part...
Shami is a novice monk, 沙弥 in Japanese!
I meant no disrespect here is a google
https://www.google.ca/search?q=Shami&oq ... e&ie=UTF-8

Also i did a five year intense stretch with a Rinpoche whom i am very fond of and very grateful to...
unfortunately i cannot even mention on this site what became of him...which i see nothing wrong with for i know the guy...some inter sect stuff...begins with S

narhwal90
Posts: 510
Joined: Mon Jan 25, 2016 3:10 am

Re: Lineage in Nichiren

Post by narhwal90 » Mon Oct 30, 2017 12:48 am

I did a bit of digging on the lineage question. The Mandala Workshop folks propose 2 initial divisions of Nichiren's followers after he died; the first being on the question of statues or not, the second was over which chapters of the Lotus Sutra should be considered relevant. The latter is the Shoretsu/Itchi argument; hoben/juryo only or all chapters (perhaps emphasizing hoben/juryo), respectively. According to the workshop, this argument divided 11 extant lineages over the question, abstainers are not mentioned. Further divisions developed.. but back to lineage, these are 1st and 2nd gen disciples who had known Nichiren. Among them were a number of converted Tendai monks, thus lineages expressed their own tendencies, preferences, interpretations.

Conferral of gohonzon seems to be the common currency of transmission back to the beginning. Some of the lineages were stricter than others in bestowing gohonzon to lay and priesthood, a very active believer (lots of converts etc) might be given a special gohonzon- such things were often handed down in the family tree thus associations with temples and lineages developed. Oral preparatory ceremonies are not mentioned, though I would not be surprised if some lineages developed them. Generally, transmission documents are cited and examples are exhibited- secret transmission is not connoted. Authenticity of the mandalas was (is) a big deal and they were a commodity; sold, stolen, donated, copied, forged etc through the years.

wrt "shami"- various of the disciples added that to their given priest names.

User avatar
Queequeg
Global Moderator
Posts: 4345
Joined: Tue Jul 03, 2012 3:24 pm

Re: Lineage in Nichiren

Post by Queequeg » Mon Oct 30, 2017 6:56 pm

Nyedrag Yeshe wrote:
Sat Oct 28, 2017 10:16 pm
What is the importance of lineage an oral transmission in Nichiren practice? I've seen some information regarding a critical position of Nichiren Shonin regarding the attitude of some Schools on this whole issue, but recently a Shami on a facebook group I'm a member pointed out this(oral transmission) is of paramount importance. But this same Shami was once a Tibetan monk, where lineage and oral transmission is paramount, being in a prominent position regarding textual transmission! Any thoughts?
I would be interested to pick this fella's brain.

The only essential transmission in Nichiren's teaching is NMRK. Specifically, it is the transmission of the Lotus Sutra to Jogyo Bosatsu (Bodhisattva Superior Practice).

From Chapter 21:
Thereupon the Buddha addressed the great assembly of bodhisattvas, beginning with Viśiṣṭacāritra (Jogyo/Superior Practice):

“The transcendent powers of the buddhas are as immeasurable, limitless, and inconceivable as this. Yet if I were to use these transcendent powers to teach the benefits of this sutra so that it would be entrusted to you for immeasurable, limitless, hundreds of thousands of myriads of koṭis of incalculable kalpas, I would not be able to reach the end of these qualities. 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 pari nirvāṇa 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.”
There is another transmission related later.

From Chapter 22:
Thereupon, having arisen from the Dharma seat and manifested his great transcendent powers, Śākyamuni Buddha caressed the heads of the innumerable bodhisattva mahāsattvas with his right hand, and addressed them, saying: “For immeasurable hundreds of thousands of myriads of koṭis of incalculable kalpas, I practiced this Dharma of highest, complete enlightenment, which is hard to attain. I now entrust it to you. You should wholeheartedly spread this teaching and so extensively benefit others.”

Having caressed the heads of the bodhisattva mahāsattvas three times in this way, he further addressed them, saying: “For immeasurable hundreds of thousands of myriads of koṭis of incalculable kalpas, I practiced this Dharma of highest, complete enlightenment, which is hard to attain. I now entrust it to you. You should preserve and recite it. You should spread this teaching extensively. You should let all the sentient beings hear and know it. Why is this? Because with his great compassion, unstinting and unafraid, the Tathāgata gives the wisdom of the Buddha, the wisdom of the Tathāgata, and the knowledge of the self-arising one to the sentient beings. The Tathāgata is nothing but the great donor to all the sentient beings. You should accordingly practice the teaching of the Tathāgata. Never allow the thought of avarice to awaken in you! If there are sons and daughters of a virtuous family who believe in the wisdom of the Tathāgata in the future, you should expound this Lotus Sutra; and let them hear and know it so that they may attain the wisdom of the Buddha. If there are sentient beings who do not accept it, you should reveal, teach, benefit, and gladden them with the other profound teachings of the Tathāgata. If you do this, you will repay your indebtedness to the Buddha.”

Having heard the Buddha teach this, all the bodhisattva mahā sattvas were filled with joy, inclined their bodies, bowed their heads with increased respect, and, with their palms pressed together, faced the buddhas and uttered these words: “We will certainly do as the Bhagavat directs us. O Bhagavat, we entreat you to feel no anxiety.”

All the bodhisattva mahāsattvas uttered these words three times in this way, saying: “We will do as the Bhagavat directs us. O Bhagavat, we entreat you to feel no anxiety.”
The above passages are understood to relate two different transmissions - the first is the Specific Transmission to the bodhisattvas who emerged from the Earth led by Jogyo. The second is the General Transmission to the rest of the assembly. The Gohonzon, Nichiren's mandala, is the Specific Transmission, and the teaching that is transmitted is Myoho Renge Kyo.

Nichiren refers to some oral teachings, but these seem to be details about his teaching that he wanted to relate personally because of their subtlety, not because they were secret transmissions.

Obviously, it helps to have exposure to a teacher and community of believers - it helps to see how this practice is lived. I don't think its essential. Nichiren went to great lengths to expound on the intrinsic power of NMRK comparing it to the milk that an infant drinks - the infant knows nothing about the milk, and yet the milk nourishes the infant. Hearing the Teaching, hearing NMRK, is essential, but that's it. Everything else is supplemental teaching.

I'd be wary of anyone talking about oral transmissions. Nichiren was very skeptical of oral transmissions. Someone who stresses the importance of oral transmissions in Nichiren's teachings has the burden of proof. There is a transmission, but its from the Buddha direct.
“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

User avatar
Nyedrag Yeshe
Posts: 409
Joined: Fri Jun 03, 2016 3:06 am
Location: Brazil

Re: Lineage in Nichiren

Post by Nyedrag Yeshe » Mon Oct 30, 2017 8:23 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Mon Oct 30, 2017 6:56 pm
Nyedrag Yeshe wrote:
Sat Oct 28, 2017 10:16 pm
What is the importance of lineage an oral transmission in Nichiren practice? I've seen some information regarding a critical position of Nichiren Shonin regarding the attitude of some Schools on this whole issue, but recently a Shami on a facebook group I'm a member pointed out this(oral transmission) is of paramount importance. But this same Shami was once a Tibetan monk, where lineage and oral transmission is paramount, being in a prominent position regarding textual transmission! Any thoughts?
I would be interested to pick this fella's brain.

The only essential transmission in Nichiren's teaching is NMRK. Specifically, it is the transmission of the Lotus Sutra to Jogyo Bosatsu (Bodhisattva Superior Practice).

From Chapter 21:
Thereupon the Buddha addressed the great assembly of bodhisattvas, beginning with Viśiṣṭacāritra (Jogyo/Superior Practice):

“The transcendent powers of the buddhas are as immeasurable, limitless, and inconceivable as this. Yet if I were to use these transcendent powers to teach the benefits of this sutra so that it would be entrusted to you for immeasurable, limitless, hundreds of thousands of myriads of koṭis of incalculable kalpas, I would not be able to reach the end of these qualities. 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 pari nirvāṇa 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.”
There is another transmission related later.

From Chapter 22:
Thereupon, having arisen from the Dharma seat and manifested his great transcendent powers, Śākyamuni Buddha caressed the heads of the innumerable bodhisattva mahāsattvas with his right hand, and addressed them, saying: “For immeasurable hundreds of thousands of myriads of koṭis of incalculable kalpas, I practiced this Dharma of highest, complete enlightenment, which is hard to attain. I now entrust it to you. You should wholeheartedly spread this teaching and so extensively benefit others.”

Having caressed the heads of the bodhisattva mahāsattvas three times in this way, he further addressed them, saying: “For immeasurable hundreds of thousands of myriads of koṭis of incalculable kalpas, I practiced this Dharma of highest, complete enlightenment, which is hard to attain. I now entrust it to you. You should preserve and recite it. You should spread this teaching extensively. You should let all the sentient beings hear and know it. Why is this? Because with his great compassion, unstinting and unafraid, the Tathāgata gives the wisdom of the Buddha, the wisdom of the Tathāgata, and the knowledge of the self-arising one to the sentient beings. The Tathāgata is nothing but the great donor to all the sentient beings. You should accordingly practice the teaching of the Tathāgata. Never allow the thought of avarice to awaken in you! If there are sons and daughters of a virtuous family who believe in the wisdom of the Tathāgata in the future, you should expound this Lotus Sutra; and let them hear and know it so that they may attain the wisdom of the Buddha. If there are sentient beings who do not accept it, you should reveal, teach, benefit, and gladden them with the other profound teachings of the Tathāgata. If you do this, you will repay your indebtedness to the Buddha.”

Having heard the Buddha teach this, all the bodhisattva mahā sattvas were filled with joy, inclined their bodies, bowed their heads with increased respect, and, with their palms pressed together, faced the buddhas and uttered these words: “We will certainly do as the Bhagavat directs us. O Bhagavat, we entreat you to feel no anxiety.”

All the bodhisattva mahāsattvas uttered these words three times in this way, saying: “We will do as the Bhagavat directs us. O Bhagavat, we entreat you to feel no anxiety.”
The above passages are understood to relate two different transmissions - the first is the Specific Transmission to the bodhisattvas who emerged from the Earth led by Jogyo. The second is the General Transmission to the rest of the assembly. The Gohonzon, Nichiren's mandala, is the Specific Transmission, and the teaching that is transmitted is Myoho Renge Kyo.

Nichiren refers to some oral teachings, but these seem to be details about his teaching that he wanted to relate personally because of their subtlety, not because they were secret transmissions.

Obviously, it helps to have exposure to a teacher and community of believers - it helps to see how this practice is lived. I don't think its essential. Nichiren went to great lengths to expound on the intrinsic power of NMRK comparing it to the milk that an infant drinks - the infant knows nothing about the milk, and yet the milk nourishes the infant. Hearing the Teaching, hearing NMRK, is essential, but that's it. Everything else is supplemental teaching.

I'd be wary of anyone talking about oral transmissions. Nichiren was very skeptical of oral transmissions. Someone who stresses the importance of oral transmissions in Nichiren's teachings has the burden of proof. There is a transmission, but its from the Buddha direct.
Thanks, this is exactly what I thought :good: ! He was criticising indirectly another Nichiren Shu group, in which another Shami also teaches by webcast, his intentions being helping people away from their mission such as me, receiving guidance also from a Japanese Sensei!

In his critique, the first Shami said that studying in online groups is not "sufficient" and does not substitute "in person" attendance to a temple, he was very adamant in highlighting the word temple! Citing the importance of receiving the oral transmission! I believe we all agree here that meeting the teachers and experienced practitioners and learning directly is always preferred! But I tried to highlight to him that our country is one of continental proportions, where covering all of its corners with temples, for now, is next to impossible!
“Whatever has to happen, let it happen!”
“Whatever the situation is, it’s fine!”
“I really don’t need anything!
~Tsangpa Gyare Yeshe Dorje (1161-1211)
ओं पद्मोष्णीष विमले हूँ फट । ओं हनुफशभरहृदय स्वाहा॥
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔ ཀརྨ་པ་མཁྱེན་ནོ།

User avatar
Queequeg
Global Moderator
Posts: 4345
Joined: Tue Jul 03, 2012 3:24 pm

Re: Lineage in Nichiren

Post by Queequeg » Mon Oct 30, 2017 11:30 pm

Nyedrag Yeshe wrote:
Mon Oct 30, 2017 8:23 pm
Thanks, this is exactly what I thought :good: ! He was criticising indirectly another Nichiren Shu group, in which another Shami also teaches by webcast, his intentions being helping people away from their mission such as me, receiving guidance also from a Japanese Sensei!

In his critique, the first Shami said that studying in online groups is not "sufficient" and does not substitute "in person" attendance to a temple, he was very adamant in highlighting the word temple! Citing the importance of receiving the oral transmission! I believe we all agree here that meeting the teachers and experienced practitioners and learning directly is always preferred! But I tried to highlight to him that our country is one of continental proportions, where covering all of its corners with temples, for now, is next to impossible!
I'd like to hear more about this person's views and their basis. I am skeptical but curious.

Remarking on propagation Nichiren wrote in Senji-sho (Selection of the Time):
Little streams come together to form the great ocean, and tiny particles of dust accumulate to form Mount Sumeru. When I, Nichiren, first took faith in the Lotus Sutra, I was like a single drop of water or a single particle of dust in all the country of Japan. But later, when two people, three people, ten people, and eventually a hundred, a thousand, ten thousand, and a million people come to recite the Lotus Sutra and transmit it to others, then they will form a Mount Sumeru of perfect enlightenment, an ocean of great nirvana. Seek no other path by which to attain Buddhahood!
The Teaching that Nichiren started to propagate is simple - refuge in the Daimoku, refuge in the real aspect. There is no simpler teaching than refuge in reality.

The simplicity of the teaching makes it universally accessible. Every being is participating in reality and as such, every being can take refuge in reality - and in fact is taking refuge in reality. It is unavoidable - that's what is called the Diamond Chalice Precept. Reality is the Universal Gate. The unbreakable precept of reality. Those who don't understand the nature of this refuge, this gate, experience it as suffering.

What elaborate oral teachings do you really need? Once the teaching is taught, the only option remaining is to put it into practice, and through practice, we come face to face with Reality (also known as the Eternal Triple Bodied Buddha) who we recognize as our teacher from the remote past.

Nichiren did not envision some careful lineage, handed down from one teacher to the next. A survey of his writing reveals that he saw how lineages had been broken and corrupted. He saw how teachings of questionable merit and substance were faithfully spread by devoted lineages. He looked out on the Latter Day and saw the chaos that was coming. What teaching that departed a single iota from immediate reality in the name of upaya (expedient means) would survive in the coming storm? Instead, he envisioned this teaching on refuge in reality encapsulated in five characters. A simple slogan for distracted people. This is not some linear propagation that could be taken out by a break in one generation or tainted by deluded or insincere teachers insinuated in the lineage. He envisioned a swarm lineage - one, then two then ten, etc. each taking refuge in reality and teaching others to do the same.
“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

User avatar
Nyedrag Yeshe
Posts: 409
Joined: Fri Jun 03, 2016 3:06 am
Location: Brazil

Re: Lineage in Nichiren

Post by Nyedrag Yeshe » Tue Oct 31, 2017 3:15 am

As a trainee, maybe he is still ignorant about many aspects of Nichiren Shonin's thought, as his background is Tibetan Buddhism, he must be still attached to his former views from TB.

But I always regarded exactly this point of simplicity and direct access to practice, in contrast to the views of other schools in Nichiren's time that privileged and/or restricted access to practice, to be one of the most endearing elements of Nichiren Buddhism in general. His view came as a big surprise, not to say a shock, coming from a Nichiren Shu apprentice!

In fact, he was one of the first Brazilians to be ordained in Tibetan Monasticism!
“Whatever has to happen, let it happen!”
“Whatever the situation is, it’s fine!”
“I really don’t need anything!
~Tsangpa Gyare Yeshe Dorje (1161-1211)
ओं पद्मोष्णीष विमले हूँ फट । ओं हनुफशभरहृदय स्वाहा॥
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔ ཀརྨ་པ་མཁྱེན་ནོ།

User avatar
Queequeg
Global Moderator
Posts: 4345
Joined: Tue Jul 03, 2012 3:24 pm

Re: Lineage in Nichiren

Post by Queequeg » Tue Oct 31, 2017 4:35 am

Sorry for having gone preachy. I'll step down from the :soapbox: .

I felt compelled to push back on the confining tendency of the shami's assertion. I wish the best for the shami. His background is very interesting.
“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

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bois de Santal, Kunzang Tobgyal, Minobu, ratna, shaunc, tiagolps and 32 guests