Why does Nichiren Buddhism seek converts?

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dharmapdx
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Why does Nichiren Buddhism seek converts?

Post by dharmapdx » Mon Dec 25, 2017 7:49 pm

Writing this post really made me realize that there is some irony here: viewtopic.php?p=424626#p424626

On one hand, in Nichiren Buddhism (and in SGI in particular) there seems to be this desire to convert others, and the belief that the world would be a better place if everyone practiced Nichiren Buddhism. On the other hand, several of us who are not of Asian descent have noticed a hesitancy of some organizations to welcome non-Asians to join. At best, it seems that many Buddhist organizations are suspicious of Westerners in their temples.

This is one thing that really caught me offguard about my experience with Nichiren Shu in Portland. In my naïveté, I thought that the concept "shokubuku" would mean the temple would be GLAD to have anyone join….

My question is: why does Nichiren Buddhism seek to have converts in the first place? I can understand why Nichiren himself would have wanted to convert people IN JAPAN. But Nichiren Buddhism -- particularly SGI -- seems to be the only school of Buddhism that seeks to have worldwide converts.

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Minobu
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Re: Why does Nichiren Buddhism seek converts?

Post by Minobu » Mon Dec 25, 2017 8:11 pm

it's not so much as convert but we are helping in your cycle of evolution to become a Buddha...

Buddha did this...and as you know, Buddha is one with ,in very loose terms, Mother Nature.

so it just a process in life

dharmapdx
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Re: Why does Nichiren Buddhism seek converts?

Post by dharmapdx » Mon Dec 25, 2017 8:37 pm

I still think that Nichiren Buddhism is the only branch of Buddhism that seeks to convert others. Why is this? Again, I can understand why in the context of Japanese culture, where Buddhism dominated, they would want to Buddhist from rivaling schools to join. What is the purpose of going into lands where Buddhism doesn't even exist? ( and is it possible that some Japanese Americans aren't aware of this aspect of Nichiren Buddhism?)

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Minobu
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Re: Why does Nichiren Buddhism seek converts?

Post by Minobu » Mon Dec 25, 2017 8:55 pm

dharmapdx wrote:
Mon Dec 25, 2017 8:37 pm
I still think that Nichiren Buddhism is the only branch of Buddhism that seeks to convert others. Why is this? Again, I can understand why in the context of Japanese culture, where Buddhism dominated, they would want to Buddhist from rivaling schools to join. What is the purpose of going into lands where Buddhism doesn't even exist? ( and is it possible that some Japanese Americans aren't aware of this aspect of Nichiren Buddhism?)
you cannot do this practice without having some acquaintance with Buddhist Dharma...
if you hear the Odaimoku once in your lifetime it is enough to set you on the path...
again keep in mind this is the degenerative times when all else is of no real use to your Buddhahood.

It's the way of nature...like a cut healing itself..or getting over the flu...

markatex
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Re: Why does Nichiren Buddhism seek converts?

Post by markatex » Mon Dec 25, 2017 8:58 pm

dharmapdx wrote:
Mon Dec 25, 2017 7:49 pm
But Nichiren Buddhism -- particularly SGI -- seems to be the only school of Buddhism that seeks to have worldwide converts.
It might seem that way, but I don’t think it’s the case, historically. Buddhism was very much a “missionary” religion earlier in its history. That’s how it spread from India to Tibet, Central Asia, China, and South and East Asia. The sutras are full of exhortations to spread the Dharma to all people. How else would people attain Buddhahood?

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Re: Why does Nichiren Buddhism seek converts?

Post by markatex » Mon Dec 25, 2017 9:02 pm

Nichiren Buddhism (and SGI in particular, but not to the extent they used to be) is probably more overt about it than others. Like I said, if people aren’t introduced to Buddhism, how can they reach Buddhahood?

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The Cicada
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Re: Why does Nichiren Buddhism seek converts?

Post by The Cicada » Mon Dec 25, 2017 9:38 pm

dharmapdx wrote:
Mon Dec 25, 2017 8:37 pm
I still think that Nichiren Buddhism is the only branch of Buddhism that seeks to convert others. Why is this? Again, I can understand why in the context of Japanese culture, where Buddhism dominated, they would want to Buddhist from rivaling schools to join. What is the purpose of going into lands where Buddhism doesn't even exist? ( and is it possible that some Japanese Americans aren't aware of this aspect of Nichiren Buddhism?)
This goes back to the Buddha's mandate to proselytize.

"Go forth, o bhikkhus, for the good of the many, for the happiness of the many, out of compassion for the world, for the benefit, for the good, for the happiness of gods and men. Let not two go by one way. Preach the doctrine that is beautiful in its beginning, beautiful in its middle, and beautiful in its ending. Declare the holy life in its purity, completely both in the spirit and the letter." ~ Mahavagga, Vinaya Pitaka.

That mandate is emphasized by Nichiren as part of a "Buddhism of sowing," where the seeds of enlightenment are planted by allowing sentient beings to form a connection with the Dharma (and specifically its essential teaching, the Lotus Sutra,) regardless of whether they accept or reject the teaching in this life. Nichiren teaches that we should overlook the instructions within the Lotus not to share it with those who will reject it, and thus condemn themselves to eons in hell, because we are in an age when the meaning of all other Dharma teachings is lost (think deconstruction memes) and beings are already gleefully at work making causes to broil, their way, like a Burger King patty for countless eons.

Most other schools have forgotten the Buddha's mandate and some Buddhist groups operate like many other religious groups—as a social and cultural hub. If you're sincere but are rejected, that's their problem. For you to be all up in "their" Buddhism, practicing the teaching of the Buddhadharma, is precisely what the Buddha and all of His noble disciples wanted, and why He taught it, and they preserved it, in the first place.

Image
Above: This cat is all up in your Buddhaism, reverin' yur Buddha.

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Queequeg
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Re: Why does Nichiren Buddhism seek converts?

Post by Queequeg » Mon Dec 25, 2017 9:41 pm

We are the media through which the Buddha's pure and far reaching voice reverberates through this world. By causing beings to hear the Buddha's name, they are brought onto the path to Buddhahood. This is the Buddha's intent which he entrusted to the bodhisattvas of the Earth and urged in the degenerate age after the parinirvana to cause the teaching to flow and never cease.
At that time Shakyamuni Buddha rose from his Dharma seat and, manifesting his great supernatural powers, with his right hand patted the heads of the immeasurable bodhisattvas mahasattva and spoke these words: “For immeasurable hundreds, thousands, ten thousands, millions of asamkhya kalpas I have practiced this hard-to-attain Law of supreme perfect enlightenment. Now I entrust it to you. You must single-mindedly propagate this Law abroad, causing its benefits to spread far and wide.”

Three times he patted the bodhisattvas mahasattva on the head and spoke these words: “For immeasurable hundreds, thousands, ten thousands, millions of asamkhya kalpas I have practiced this hard-to-attain Law of supreme perfect enlightenment. Now I entrust it to you. You must accept, uphold, read, recite, and broadly propagate this Law, causing all living beings everywhere to hear and understand it. Why? Because the thus come one has great pity and compassion. He is in no way stingy or begrudging, nor has he any fear. He is able to bestow on living beings the wisdom of the Buddha, the wisdom of the thus come one, the wisdom that comes of itself. The thus come one is a great giver of gifts to all living beings. You for your part should respond by studying this Law of the thus come one. You must not be stingy or begrudging!

“In future ages if there are good men and good women who have faith in the wisdom of the thus come one, you should preach and expound the Lotus Sutra for them, so that others may hear and understand it. For in this way you can cause them to gain the buddha wisdom.
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

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Minobu
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Re: Why does Nichiren Buddhism seek converts?

Post by Minobu » Wed Dec 27, 2017 1:36 am

driving into Toronto last summer one was hit with a double sign of a high end Tibetan giving lectures and initiations .
one huge billboard with a little bit of a smaller one next to it was used .
he was depicted with his holiness the Dali Lama both holding their hands together in prayer and giving the dates of the occasion...which cost big bucks to attend.

I'm sure he did this on some sort of world wide tour to sell his brand of Tibetan Buddhism and initiation stuff.

they all do it...in one form or the other...advertise their wares so to speak..

i am grateful for my shakubuku experience.
here it is...

walking along Englisg Bay in vancouver circa 1974 i came across in my path a guy who went to my high school. i never hung with the guy , knew his sister sort of, but knew him enough cause we had conversed...

weird thing...i see him walk towards him and just fall down...i was hit with something spiritual...so i get up and say hi blah blah..
i ask him what he is doing "thinking" was his answer...oh cool...blah blah...so what are doing .."going to a buddhist meeting tonight , want to come"

my response was cool i am into TM ...He said oh i heard about them , we chant NMRK ...i said "out loud ? "
He said yeah..and i went on a bit about meditating on a mantra that you can never vocalize or tell people about...he just listened and then said he had to go....i recall him looking at me like i just did not know...

anywho a few years later after living in Toronto i met a guy doing street shakkabukku...my bud was eating one of the best smoke meat sandwiches in toronto where i was supposed to meet him...
i said we got to go...I'm eating! waitress can i have this guy's bill please...she gives me the bill i pay for it in a hurry for they guy told me they were leaving quite soon to go to this meeting....i come back and say ok the sandwich is now mine here put it in this and lets go....

when we get into a car packed with weirdos my buddy asks me where are we going to....it was like he wanted to kill me and just bail out....

anyway...went to the meeting...enjoyed it...got a lift to the cultural centre where all the meeting people from all over toronto were gathering for an hour long chant session...my buddy was long gone....45 minutes into the chant i felt something come over me like i was home from a long vacation and all was right in Davey land....

three days later all my acne disappeared...i no longer felt intimidated by people...even though i was this top furniture sales person ...lol...

and well.....Ta Da !!!!!!!

it was years later that i recalled the incident on English Bay...i suspect he chanted for me or thought of our encounter in front of gohonzon...

illarraza
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Re: Why does Nichiren Buddhism seek converts?

Post by illarraza » Wed Dec 27, 2017 3:30 am

dharmapdx wrote:
Mon Dec 25, 2017 7:49 pm
Writing this post really made me realize that there is some irony here: viewtopic.php?p=424626#p424626

On one hand, in Nichiren Buddhism (and in SGI in particular) there seems to be this desire to convert others, and the belief that the world would be a better place if everyone practiced Nichiren Buddhism. On the other hand, several of us who are not of Asian descent have noticed a hesitancy of some organizations to welcome non-Asians to join. At best, it seems that many Buddhist organizations are suspicious of Westerners in their temples.

This is one thing that really caught me offguard about my experience with Nichiren Shu in Portland. In my naïveté, I thought that the concept "shokubuku" would mean the temple would be GLAD to have anyone join….

My question is: why does Nichiren Buddhism seek to have converts in the first place? I can understand why Nichiren himself would have wanted to convert people IN JAPAN. But Nichiren Buddhism -- particularly SGI -- seems to be the only school of Buddhism that seeks to have worldwide converts.
"Kosen Rufu" in the Lotus Sutra is the widespread propagation of the Lotus Sutra.

Mark

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