Do Nichiren Buddhists believe in God?

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Minobu
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Re: Do Nichiren Buddhists believe in God?

Post by Minobu » Wed Aug 22, 2018 4:59 pm

I've been watching this thread and would like to just ask ;
Why is it that people always resort to a myopic historic account of what God actually means?
I have always loathed Dawkins definition and his mocking of something he has no clue of other than his debasing parables and metaphors .

How in sam's hell did he snag and marry Lalla Ward aka Romana doctor who's companion I'll never know....the saving grace is she left him....yay!

Even Jesus Christ explained only He understood His Father.
Nichiren said understanding Buddhahood is only shared amongst Buddhas. (someone could correct the exact quote.)

I have always said that Jesus and Buddha are the same Being, a Being who taught of three Bodies.

As to the exact nature of those Bodies, they have been abused and politicized to death .
Here at DW everything Primordial Buddha or Original enlightenment has never been nailed down or explained plainly , the arguments continue daily on a plethora of variables ...... .... ...... ...

Only a truly enlightened being can actually define God. God being a word with a capitol "G" to distinguish from Samsaric gods.

For me I see a lot of similarities to the "DefinitionS" of NMRK as a primordial source or God.

In fact my time spent here with "Q" has led me to actually for the first time explore the New Testament and see it from what "Q" opened my eyes to.

I would recommend everyone should lighten up on the use of the word "GOD", something that is told one cannot know or one can explain definitively..I'm still waiting for a plain explanation of Original Enlightenment and the actual concept of Primordial Buddha....way too many on and off ramps in those honest discussions .

All this is to be experienced....and never explained....

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Queequeg
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Re: Do Nichiren Buddhists believe in God?

Post by Queequeg » Wed Aug 22, 2018 6:03 pm

I sort of get your point, M, but that term "God" is loaded with meaning that does not match up with Buddhist teachings. More critically, that word carries a lot of baggage for people coming to Buddhism from a theistic background. IMHO, its best to not draw that connection and instead maintain distinct lines of separation. Comparative studies takes a different mind set than the one a person generally undertakes in Buddhist practice.
Minobu wrote:
Wed Aug 22, 2018 4:59 pm
Here at DW everything Primordial Buddha or Original enlightenment has never been nailed down or explained plainly , the arguments continue daily on a plethora of variables ...... .... ...... ...
In the Nichiren tradition, the Primordial Buddha is the Eternally Abiding Triple Bodied Buddha who appeared as Shakyamuni in India.
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: Do Nichiren Buddhists believe in God?

Post by Minobu » Wed Aug 22, 2018 7:20 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Wed Aug 22, 2018 6:03 pm
I sort of get your point, M, but that term "God" is loaded with meaning that does not match up with Buddhist teachings. More critically, that word carries a lot of baggage for people coming to Buddhism from a theistic background. IMHO, its best to not draw that connection and instead maintain distinct lines of separation. Comparative studies takes a different mind set than the one a person generally undertakes in Buddhist practice.

yes the term God is loaded....i get that...but terms are not what buddhist practice is for....experience is the the thing....
Minobu wrote:
Wed Aug 22, 2018 4:59 pm
Here at DW everything Primordial Buddha or Original enlightenment has never been nailed down or explained plainly , the arguments continue daily on a plethora of variables ...... .... ...... ...
Queequeg wrote:
Wed Aug 22, 2018 6:03 pm
In the Nichiren tradition, the Primordial Buddha is the Eternally Abiding Triple Bodied Buddha who appeared as Shakyamuni in India.
and as i implied sort of....when i said the Being Buddha and Jesus Christ are one and the same.....

in the desert of middle east 2000 years ago that Eternally Abiding Triple Body was again taught for the first time to those people...

500 years after Sakyamuni .

The teachings of Christ used the old Testament but the Teaching is totally different..."Eternally Abiding Triple Bodied " same teaching...different terms of reference...and ancient superstitious peoples to teach...but they are one and the same essentially ...

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Re: Do Nichiren Buddhists believe in God?

Post by narhwal90 » Thu Aug 23, 2018 12:42 pm

WIkipedia says the first assertions of the beginnings of the Christian Trinity proposition appeared approx 110 AD.

Not sure that its appropriate to assert equivalence because the # of elements are equal in both propositions and some of the terms are reminiscent.

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Re: Do Nichiren Buddhists believe in God?

Post by Queequeg » Thu Aug 23, 2018 5:04 pm

Minobu wrote:
Wed Aug 22, 2018 7:20 pm
Queequeg wrote:
Wed Aug 22, 2018 6:03 pm
I sort of get your point, M, but that term "God" is loaded with meaning that does not match up with Buddhist teachings. More critically, that word carries a lot of baggage for people coming to Buddhism from a theistic background. IMHO, its best to not draw that connection and instead maintain distinct lines of separation. Comparative studies takes a different mind set than the one a person generally undertakes in Buddhist practice.

yes the term God is loaded....i get that...but terms are not what buddhist practice is for....experience is the the thing....
I'm not conceding that Eternal Buddha and God are equivalent at all; there might be some superficial comparison.

But here's my real objection - as you mention, we are concerned with, for lack of a better word, experience of the thing. There are a lot of factors that go into experience, and most of it is what we bring to the table - our baggage, good and bad. In what I see, a lot or people's experience with God is not helpful, and rather an obstacle, on the Buddhist path.

I often paraphrase this parable, but maybe its better to just quote it. This is from the Mahaparinirvana Sutra. To summarize, the Buddha makes a remarkable declaration about the teachings on impermanence, suffering, and no-self:
You should also understand that the perceptions of impermanence and suffering that you have been cultivating are not true realities. The situation is analogous to a group of people going out on a lake in boats to enjoy themselves in springtime and they inadvertently drop a jeweled necklace made of vaiḍūrya into the water, thereby losing it. At that moment everyone jumps into the water to look for it. Competing with one another in the water, they grab rocks, vegetation, or gravel, each declaring, “I have found it!” and jubilantly holding it up for all to see, only then realizing that they have something else entirely, as the necklace is still in the water. By virtue of the power of the gemstones, however, the water becomes clear. Everyone in the crowd can then see the necklace in the water just as if they were looking up into the sky and seeing the shape of the moon. While all this is going on, there is one wise man in the crowd who skillfully slips into the water and grabs the necklace.

Bhikṣus, thus you should not cultivate your ideas of impermanence, suffering, nonself, impurity, and so forth as if they were the true meaning [of the human condition]. Just like those people who took rocks, vegetation, or gravel to be the jeweled necklace they were looking for, you must carefully learn about expedient means so that wherever you are, you can continually cultivate your perception of self as well as your perceptions of permanence, bliss, and purity. You also need to understand that the forms of the four teachings that you have been studying are all inverted. Those who want to obtain the truth need to cultivate their discernment of things, just like the wise man who skillfully [noticed what was really going on and] brought up the jeweled necklace. By this I am referring to your perception of self and your perceptions of permanence, bliss, and purity as well.
This does not mean that the ordinary notions of self, permanence, bliss and purity that untrained people have are true. In the ordinary sense these are very much mistaken perceptions and lead to suffering. What the Buddha is referring to here is something that is ordinarily obscured by our mistaken perceptions about reality. Only the wise see correctly. The text continues:
At that point the monks responded by saying to the Buddha:

World-Honored One, in the past you preached this to us:

All dharmas are devoid of self. You should cultivate this understanding, for having done so you will then leave behind your idea of self. When you have abandoned your idea of self, you will then leave behind your arrogance, and one who abandons arrogance can gain entrance into nirvāṇa.

What did that mean?

The Buddha said to the monks:

Excellent, excellent! It is well that you have inquired into the meaning of this matter in an effort to dispel your own doubts.

Consider this parable. There was once a king of dull sensitivity and little wisdom . [Serving him] was a physician whose nature was also rather stupid, yet as the king was unable to distinguish such things, he gave [the physician] a very generous official salary. This doctor treated a host of illnesses by simply prescribing milk, for he did not understand the causes of the ailments with which he was faced. Although he knew that milk was often not particularly efficacious as medicine, whatever illness he encountered, whether it was an illness of wind, of cold, of heat—in each case he nevertheless administered milk. And the king, on his part, could not discern if the physician himself understood what was beneficial or deleterious, good or bad , in his medicinal use o f milk.

Now there also happened to be a brilliant physician in the kingdom who was quite proficient in all eight technical disciplines of healing. He responded skillfully to whatever ailment he encountered, because he was aw are of all known medicinal treatments. People came from great distances to see him. It did not occur to the elder physician to seek him out for consultation; instead the elder physician displayed arrogance and contempt toward him. At that time, however, the brilliant physician put himself in a dependent relationship with the king’s physician, requesting that the older man become his teacher, and consulting with him about medical methods and esoteric teachings. He said directly to the elder physician: “If I may, I would like to ask if you would consider becoming my mentor. All I ask is that you open up to me and explain [your understanding] of medicine.”

The elder physician responded in this way: “Well now, let’s see. If you can agree to offer yourself in service to me for forty-eight years, only after that will I teach you the practice of medicine.”

The brilliant physician immediately accepted his proposal, saying: “I will do as you say. I will do as you say. To the best of my ability, I
humbly offer to serve you.”

The elder physician then brought him into [the palace] as a “visiting physician” to see the king. On that occasion, the brilliant physician, as a visitor, proceeded to explain a variety of different treatments and techniques to the king, saying:

O great king, of course you understand how important it is to distinguish things carefully. This dharma as such may be used to rule nations, or this dharma as such may be used to cure illnesses.

Upon hearing these words, the sovereign realized at that moment that the elder physician was an imbecile, lacking any knowledge of what he was doing. He immediately sent him away, ordering him banished from the country. Thereafter he found that his respect for the visiting physician had doubled.

Now on his part, this visiting physician thought to himself, “If I want to educate the king, now is the right time to do so.” He then turned to the king and said: “Great king, if you truly love me, then please grant me one wish.”

The king answered: “From being here at my right hand to any other rank, whatever your heart desires I shall grant to you.”

The visiting physician then said:

O king, although you permit me every possible rank, I would not dare to ask for so much. Instead what I seek is a royal decree to be enforced throughout the nation stating that henceforth there shall be no more taking of milk for medicinal purposes, as was prescribed by the elder physician. Why do I ask for this? It is because this medicine [can be] toxic with many harmful effects. Therefore, [declare that] if anyone insists on ingesting this form of medicine, they are to be beheaded. After you put a stop to the use of medicinal milk, you will see premature deaths come to an end and peace and happiness will reign forever. This is why I make this request.

Then the king replied:

What you have asked for surely merits no further discussion. I shall immediately issue a proclamation for all the lands in my domain to the effect that without exception sick people are no longer allowed to use milk as medicine. Anyone who takes it as medicine will lose his or her head.

The visiting physician at that point turned his efforts toward blending ingredients with different tastes to synthesize a number of medicines. That is, he based [the medicines] on [herbs that] tasted pungent, bitter, salty, sweet, and sour. With them he treated a range of illnesses, none of which were beyond his means to cure.

Not long after this, however, the king himself grew ill. He immediately called for the physician, saying: “I am now seriously ill, racked with pain, and it appears that I am about to die. Can you do something to help me?”

The physician divined the king’s illness and determined that milk should be prescribed. He then addressed the king and explained:

The ailment that is causing the king so much discomfort is one that should be treated by drinking milk. In the past I suspended the use of milk as medicine, [saying it was toxic,] but that position was not entirely truthful. If you could take some milk now, it would be the best possible way of ridding yourself of this illness. The king is now suffering from a debilitating fever and he should definitely drink milk for this.

The king then said to the physician:

Have you gone mad? Are you stricken with fever yourself? For you are saying that drinking milk will take away my illness! Before you called it poison, so why would you tell me to drink it now? Are you trying to deceive me? The previous doctor praised [medicinal milk] but you called it poison and had me ban it. Yet now you claim it is the best thing to cure what ails me. If I were to do as you say, it would mean that from the beginning the elder physician was clearly a better doctor than you!

Then the visiting physician responded to the king with these words:

O king, you should not speak in that way. It is like an insect that eats through wood in such a way that what he leaves behind is in the shape of a letter of the alphabet. The insect is not aware if what he has left behind forms a letter or not, and no intelligent person who sees this would cry out, “This insect knows letters,” or be particularly surprised by what he sees. Great king, you must understand that the old physician was [operating] like this. He did not distinguish one illness from another but merely gave milk to everyone as medicine, so just as that insect whose path accidentally formed a letter, [his success was a random occurrence]. The previous, elder physician did not understand what was beneficial or deleterious, good or bad, in the use of milk as medicine.

Then the king asked: “Why did he not understand this?”

The visiting physician answered, “When milk is used as medicine, it can have the harmful effect of poison or it can have the effect of amrita, an ambrosia of immortality.”

[The king asked:] “When would you say that milk is something that prevents death?”

[The physician answered:]

If a cow does not eat wine dregs, slimy grass, or wheat tailings, her calves will be strong. If her pastures are neither high plains nor wet lowlands, if she drinks from clear streams and is not forced to run, if she is not placed in a herd together with bulls, if her eating and drinking are regulated properly and she has a proper place to move about and sleep, then her milk will be able to eliminate certain diseases. In this case, we can refer to milk as a fine amrita medicine that staves off death. But excluding milk obtained in this manner, all other forms of milk should be called [potentially] toxic [when used medicinally].

After listening to his words, the great king then praised him, saying:

Great physician, excellent, excellent! Today for the first time I have understood what is good and bad, beneficial and deleterious, about prescribing milk as medicine.

He thereupon drank the milk given him and was subsequently cured of his illness. Right away the king then issued a decree for the entire nation stating that, from that point forward people should take medicinal milk as they had in the past. When the citizens heard this they felt resentment, however, and discussing the matter among themselves, said things like: “Has the great king become possessed by a demon? Is he mad?
Does he mean to deceive us by ordering us to drink milk once again?”

Feeling angry, the people all gathered at the king’s location [to confront him]. The king then spoke to them, saying:

You should not give rise to feelings of anger toward me. This matter of whether or not milk is to be prescribed medicinally all stems from the teachings of the physician. There is no negligence on my part in this.

[With the problem defused,] the great king and the people of his kingdom then proceeded to dance with joy, offering even greater honor and reverence to the physician. The ill all began to drink the milk prescribed for them as medicine and each found their ailments either eliminated or alleviated.

Monks, you should understand that the Tathāgata, Worthy of Offerings, of Right and Universal Knowledge, with Clarity and Conduct Perfect, Well Gone, with Understanding of the World, Unsurpassed Worthy, Tamer of Men, Teacher of Gods and Humans, Buddha World-Honored One is also like this. I have appeared in the world as a great physician king, suppressing all heretical physicians [despite sharing some of the same rhetoric]. In the presence of a gathering of kings, I thus announced myself, saying: “I am the physician-king.” And out of my desire to subdue the non-Buddhist paths I therefore declared: “There is no self, there is no person or [individual] living being, life span, personality, observer, actor, or experiencer.”

Monks, the heterodox paths affirm a “self” in the same manner as [some infer literacy in] the shapes of letters incised into wood accidentally by insects. This is why the Tathāgata proclaims “nonself” as part of his buddha-dharma. It is because I need to straighten out [the thinking] of living beings—because I am aware of their situation—that I expound the absence of self. There are reasons why I also expound the presence of self, just like that skilled physician who was well aware that milk may be either medicinal or nonmedicinal.

But what I am speaking of is not what ordinary people imagine the self to be. Ordinary people or ignorant people suppose the self to be the size of a thumb, or perhaps a mustard seed, or a speck of dust. What the Tathāgata explains the self to be is nothing like that. Therefore when I preach “dharmas are without self,” in truth they are not without self.

So what is this self [of which I now speak]? If a dharma is true, real, permanent, autonomous, a basis, and its nature is immutable, then that is what I call self. Just like that great physician who correctly appreciated the [genuine] medicinal value of milk, for the sake of living beings the Tathāgata similarly expounds the presence of a true and real self in dharmas.

This is how you four groups of followers should practice the dharma.
Maybe there is an acceptable use of the term capital G God in a Buddhist context. I don't know what that is, and unless it can be articulated and explained to be in accord with Buddhadharma, I don't think it is helpful to compare Buddha to God and suggest they are the same. Assuming for the sake of argument that there is an acceptable notion of God, the baggage must first be removed. There is still a lot of baggage to be removed.

Mahaparinirvana Sutra Vol. 1, published by BDK
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: Do Nichiren Buddhists believe in God?

Post by Minobu » Thu Aug 23, 2018 8:20 pm

Well at the end of "my" day i see a world i live in fraught with peril.

The teachings i rely upon by which i wish to develop and improve my"Lot" are all from thousands of years ago , or based on people that lived thousands of years ago....

The only thing i have faith in is thus:
The hope that there is a higher being who somehow guides me towards the well..

then of course the very world we live in...some say it is Buddha's others say it is God's ....

both Jesus and Buddha talk of a Three Bodied Being from which we rely on ...

a historic in the flesh Being...Jesus Christ or Buddha Sakyamuni

A Holy Ghost we cannot see that guides us and makes way the path...A Dharma Body that guides us and makes way the path...

A Father in Heaven with many mansions ..A Sambogakaya Body only dwelling in heaven with many pure lands for us available...

Both Jesus and Buddha used the religion of the day to introduce the basic teaching of not hurting one another and that there is a Triple Bodied Being looking after us...Both described our illness due to karma or sin...

By the Way ...Jews definatly believe in reincarnation...

Jews and Muslims who profess to all believe in the same God ....do not believe in the Holy Ghost...

Introduced by Jesus Christ...just saying...

ok so as per the OP question....
I think it all depends on what you thing the Capitol G God actually is.....it's very close to concepts of what NMRK is thought to be and a source of all that it is...

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Re: Do Nichiren Buddhists believe in God?

Post by Virgo » Sat Aug 25, 2018 11:03 pm

bcol01 wrote:
Fri Aug 10, 2018 4:28 pm
?


I thought this response from a Zen master was quite good, although I know he is not a Nichiren priest.

Kevin...
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bcol01
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Re: Do Nichiren Buddhists believe in God?

Post by bcol01 » Thu Aug 30, 2018 6:25 pm

:twothumbsup:
Virgo wrote:
Sat Aug 25, 2018 11:03 pm
bcol01 wrote:
Fri Aug 10, 2018 4:28 pm
?


I thought this response from a Zen master was quite good, although I know he is not a Nichiren priest.

Kevin...

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Re: Do Nichiren Buddhists believe in God?

Post by illarraza » Mon Sep 03, 2018 8:16 am

bcol01 wrote:
Fri Aug 10, 2018 4:28 pm
?
As Grigoris mentioned, everything is a succession and interaction of causes and conditions... There are Three Wrong Views from the Flower Garland [Kegon or Avatamsaka] Sutra

"In this world there are three wrong viewpoints. If one clings to these viewpoints, then all things in this world are but to be denied. First, some say that all human experience is based on destiny; second, some hold that everything is created by God and controlled by His will; third, some say that everything happens by chance without having any cause or condition.

If all has been decided by destiny, both good deeds and evil deeds are predetermined, weal and woe are predestined; nothing would exist that has not been foreordained. Then all human plans and efforts for improvement and progress would be in vain and humanity would be without hope.

The same is true of the other viewpoints, for, if everything in the last resort is in the hands of an unknowable God, or of blind chance, what hope has humanity except in submission? It is no wonder that people holding these conceptions lose hope and neglect efforts to act wisely and to avoid evil.

In fact, these three conceptions or viewpoints are all wrong: everything is a succession of appearance whose source is the accumulation of causes and conditions."

Mark

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Re: Do Nichiren Buddhists believe in God?

Post by Sherab » Mon Sep 03, 2018 10:02 am

The Buddha is an atheist. The Buddha was probably the first to use the argument of evil against the existence of an almighty God.

https://inthewordsofbuddha.wordpress.co ... -buddhism/

http://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=946

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