What did Nichiren think of Confucianism and Shintoism?

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bcol01
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What did Nichiren think of Confucianism and Shintoism?

Post by bcol01 » Thu May 17, 2018 1:12 am

:thanks:

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Queequeg
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Re: What did Nichiren think of Confucianism and Shintoism?

Post by Queequeg » Thu May 17, 2018 4:25 pm

"Cofucianism" for Nichiren was more expansive than just the teachings of Confucius. It also included Mencius as well as Daoism. He considered it a worthy teaching that prepared the Chinese for transmission of Buddhism. He considered it a correct teaching within its context for ordering society, and since his own society was founded on a Confucian framework, he accepted it as an expedient convention. However, since it does not explain the workings of karma beyond this life, it is a limited and relatively coarse teaching.

In the event that the teachings Dharma and Confucianism diverge, Dharma is the correct path.

See the opening passages of Opening the Eyes where Nichiren explains the place of Confucianism in comparison to Buddhism.

See also the writings, Four Debts of Gratitude (One owes a debt to all sentient beings, parents, sovereign and the Triple Jewel), and On Repaying Debts of Gratitude (directly addressing Confucian norms of filial piety and the debts one owes to parent, sovereign, and nation). Nichiren explains that by following the Buddhist path, one fulfills all debts one owes because as a Buddha, one can truly benefit everyone.

With regard to Shinto, Shinto is actually a fairly modern invention. That's not to say that there has not been worship of kami since before recorded history in Japan, it just wasn't organized and codified as Shinto.

In Nichiren's view, kami are emanations of Buddhas and bodhisattvas, or alternatively, Dharma Protectors. In any event, they are guardians of Dharma and those who practice dharma.
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

bcol01
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Re: What did Nichiren think of Confucianism and Shintoism?

Post by bcol01 » Thu May 17, 2018 5:44 pm

Thank you for that insight! Would there be anything wrong with practicing Confucian ideals or incorporating Confucian advice into daily life, as a Nichiren Buddhist?

Queequeg wrote:
Thu May 17, 2018 4:25 pm
"Cofucianism" for Nichiren was more expansive than just the teachings of Confucius. It also included Mencius as well as Daoism. He considered it a worthy teaching that prepared the Chinese for transmission of Buddhism. He considered it a correct teaching within its context for ordering society, and since his own society was founded on a Confucian framework, he accepted it as an expedient convention. However, since it does not explain the workings of karma beyond this life, it is a limited and relatively coarse teaching.

In the event that the teachings Dharma and Confucianism diverge, Dharma is the correct path.

See the opening passages of Opening the Eyes where Nichiren explains the place of Confucianism in comparison to Buddhism.

See also the writings, Four Debts of Gratitude (One owes a debt to all sentient beings, parents, sovereign and the Triple Jewel), and On Repaying Debts of Gratitude (directly addressing Confucian norms of filial piety and the debts one owes to parent, sovereign, and nation). Nichiren explains that by following the Buddhist path, one fulfills all debts one owes because as a Buddha, one can truly benefit everyone.

With regard to Shinto, Shinto is actually a fairly modern invention. That's not to say that there has not been worship of kami since before recorded history in Japan, it just wasn't organized and codified as Shinto.

In Nichiren's view, kami are emanations of Buddhas and bodhisattvas, or alternatively, Dharma Protectors. In any event, they are guardians of Dharma and those who practice dharma.

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Queequeg
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Re: What did Nichiren think of Confucianism and Shintoism?

Post by Queequeg » Thu May 17, 2018 5:54 pm

bcol01 wrote:
Thu May 17, 2018 5:44 pm
Thank you for that insight! Would there be anything wrong with practicing Confucian ideals or incorporating Confucian advice into daily life, as a Nichiren Buddhist?
Not at all. Jen and Li are wonderful ideals, IMHO. There is a lot of great advice in the Analects.

There's nothing wrong with incorporating any practices or ideals unless they conflict with the practice of NMRK.
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

bcol01
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Re: What did Nichiren think of Confucianism and Shintoism?

Post by bcol01 » Thu May 17, 2018 5:55 pm

:sage:
Last edited by bcol01 on Thu May 17, 2018 5:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

bcol01
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Re: What did Nichiren think of Confucianism and Shintoism?

Post by bcol01 » Thu May 17, 2018 5:56 pm

Thank you! Gassho
Queequeg wrote:
Thu May 17, 2018 5:54 pm
bcol01 wrote:
Thu May 17, 2018 5:44 pm
Thank you for that insight! Would there be anything wrong with practicing Confucian ideals or incorporating Confucian advice into daily life, as a Nichiren Buddhist?
Not at all. Jen and Li are wonderful ideals, IMHO. There is a lot of great advice in the Analects.

There's nothing wrong with incorporating any practices or ideals unless they conflict with the practice of NMRK.

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Bois de Santal
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Re: What did Nichiren think of Confucianism and Shintoism?

Post by Bois de Santal » Thu May 17, 2018 6:55 pm

Two observations...

Confucianism certainly prompts much thought. One of the challenges is to separate the underlying principles rather than blindly following rules that applied to a different period and culture. In many ways our society today can seem to have lost its bearings and confucianism can provide some sign posts but it is still up to us to decide how and when to follow them.

And of course, in general, Nichiren Buddhism is not exclusive. One of the main points that is made over and over again in the goshos is the superiority of the lotus sutra. The mistake he is criticising is to put other sutras above the lotus. There is never ever any exhortation to discard, close and ignore other sutras and teachings - just to keep them in their correct context vis-a-vis the Lotus Sutra.

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Re: What did Nichiren think of Confucianism and Shintoism?

Post by Nyedrag Yeshe » Thu May 17, 2018 8:52 pm

bcol01 wrote:
Thu May 17, 2018 1:12 am
:thanks:
It might be of your interest also doing some research on Hokke Shinto, or the syncretism of Lotus Sects and Shinto. This kind of practice is still done in some Nichiren sects and Lineages, specifically in Nichiren Shu (more so in Nakayama Lineage). I also think you must be aware that two Kami, Amaterasu Omikami and Hachiman Sama(Yahata no Okami) are actually represented in the Gohonzon.
“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།

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Queequeg
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Re: What did Nichiren think of Confucianism and Shintoism?

Post by Queequeg » Fri May 18, 2018 4:53 pm

Bois de Santal wrote:
Thu May 17, 2018 6:55 pm
And of course, in general, Nichiren Buddhism is not exclusive. One of the main points that is made over and over again in the goshos is the superiority of the lotus sutra. The mistake he is criticising is to put other sutras above the lotus. There is never ever any exhortation to discard, close and ignore other sutras and teachings - just to keep them in their correct context vis-a-vis the Lotus Sutra.
This point probably needs to be hashed out a little.

There is a letter to a believer in which Nichiren explains why he refused to give a woman and audience or inscribe a Gohonzon for her.

What happened was that this woman went on a pilgrimage to visit a shrine and on the way back went to Mt. Minobu to see Nichiren. He refused to see her because the main purpose of her trip was to visit a shrine, and visiting Nichiren, which amounted to an offering to Myohorengekyo, was more or less an afterthought. This demonstrated a disposition in which the woman privileged the kami over the Lotus Sutra.

In another letter, Nichiren praises Shijo Kingo for carrying on certain esoteric rites that he learned from his father, even saying that he also practiced these rites. However, Nichiren makes clear that these rites are subordinate to devotion to the Lotus Sutra and that the kami honored by the rites have power only because they vowed to uphold and protect the Lotus Sutra and its practitioners.

The point is, the Lotus Sutra is explained as the profoundest teaching of the Buddha, and everything else is coarse in comparison, ie. an unrefined level of truth.

There are teachings that are incompatible with the Lotus Sutra - these are teachings asserting that they are deeper truths than the Lotus.

Nothing is more true than the True Aspect, and the Lotus is considered the most refined expression of it.
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: What did Nichiren think of Confucianism and Shintoism?

Post by Minobu » Fri May 18, 2018 5:26 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 4:53 pm
Bois de Santal wrote:
Thu May 17, 2018 6:55 pm
And of course, in general, Nichiren Buddhism is not exclusive. One of the main points that is made over and over again in the goshos is the superiority of the lotus sutra. The mistake he is criticising is to put other sutras above the lotus. There is never ever any exhortation to discard, close and ignore other sutras and teachings - just to keep them in their correct context vis-a-vis the Lotus Sutra.
This point probably needs to be hashed out a little.

There is a letter to a believer in which Nichiren explains why he refused to give a woman and audience or inscribe a Gohonzon for her.

What happened was that this woman went on a pilgrimage to visit a shrine and on the way back went to Mt. Minobu to see Nichiren. He refused to see her because the main purpose of her trip was to visit a shrine, and visiting Nichiren, which amounted to an offering to Myohorengekyo, was more or less an afterthought. This demonstrated a disposition in which the woman privileged the kami over the Lotus Sutra.

In another letter, Nichiren praises Shijo Kingo for carrying on certain esoteric rites that he learned from his father, even saying that he also practiced these rites. However, Nichiren makes clear that these rites are subordinate to devotion to the Lotus Sutra and that the kami honored by the rites have power only because they vowed to uphold and protect the Lotus Sutra and its practitioners.

The point is, the Lotus Sutra is explained as the profoundest teaching of the Buddha, and everything else is coarse in comparison, ie. an unrefined level of truth.

There are teachings that are incompatible with the Lotus Sutra - these are teachings asserting that they are deeper truths than the Lotus.

Nothing is more true than the True Aspect, and the Lotus is considered the most refined expression of it.
so then i used to do a recital of the sutra and then offer a prayer to the Shoten Zenjin..or Buddhist Gods.

I used to ignore the Vedic Gods.and wonder who exactly are the Buddhist Gods..

and yet this past year or so i now see The God Brahma and the God Indra inscribed on the Shutei Gohonzon..

many questions indeed.

Also i recall on many an occasion praising the Gods and telling us we should be... for lack of the actual words...nice to them or honour them with utmost respect...cherish them for helping us...

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