superstition and Nichiren's Teachings

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Minobu
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superstition and Nichiren's Teachings

Post by Minobu » Thu Oct 11, 2018 5:04 pm

I was always under assumption that buddhism would always hold up to scientific investigation.


In the thread on atheism some of the material got me to thinking .
these are the main culprits!
Wayfarer wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 3:46 am

One of the things to be mindful of, is that many of the arguments deployed by atheism against Christianity also apply to Buddhism. It used to be said that karma was 'scientific' like 'the law of cause and effect' but it's clearly not, as it concerns intention, whereas the laws of motion only concern matter.
Reality is reality and superstition and mumbo jumbo are just that.

It's one thing to have faith in Lotus Buddhism , it's another to let slide "Truth" .

Hopefully the whole emptiness nihilistic misunderstandings does not make too much of a drift..Like ..it's all not real anyway .

so clearly Karma involves the lesser hard scientific reality with intention via ethics and morality.

Then it's unto what is gleaned from Cārvāka
From

Charvaka, originally known as Lokāyata and Bṛhaspatya, is the ancient school of Indian materialism. Charvaka holds direct perception, empiricism, and conditional inference as proper sources of knowledge, embraces philosophical skepticism and rejects Vedas, Vedic ritualism, and supernaturalism.


SO just how much of what we believe in is superstition?

A few examples.
Did Hachiman really protect Nichiren from the ronin executioners on the beach?

Was the Divine wind that swept away the mongols really an act of a protector god?

Did Nichiren actually cause the rain to fall?

Did I or gohonzon cure my father of an incurable leukemia ?

Did Buddha really exist and is Mahayana truly His work.

Do we believe that NMRK is the actual source of all things?

Is this really the Buddha's land?

What's the difference between an almighty God and an almighty Buddha in charge of reality ?

are we splitting hairs when using the word Buddha and Almighty God?

are all of the above just superstition or reality?

hopefully no one's toes get stomped on here....i'm just opening up my long term baggage.

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Re: superstition and Nichiren's Teachings

Post by dude » Thu Oct 11, 2018 10:55 pm

Very good question.

Did Hachiman really protect Nichiren from the ronin executioners on the beach?

I'd say it only made sense that the light in the sky was a natural phenomenon, like a comet.
But why did it appear at just that instant?
Your call.

Was the Divine wind that swept away the mongols really an act of a protector god?

similar answer


Did Nichiren actually cause the rain to fall?

It looks that way to me


Did I or gohonzon cure my father of an incurable leukemia ?

To address all of the above, these "miracles" can be attributed to either the function of some kind of protective force or just sheer blind luck, total coincidence. When I was first experimenting with chanting, more to see what would happen than thinking anything would, I piled up a good many such "coincidences". After a while, I started thinking these occurences were really weird and wondered if I was somehow fooling myself. Eventually I had seen enough and concluded that it would be "unscientific" to deny the empirical evidence in front of me.

What's the difference between an almighty God and an almighty Buddha in charge of reality ?

The Buddha isn't almighty.

are we splitting hairs when using the word Buddha and Almighty God?

Pardon the pun, but God no.
A Buddha has many powers, but can't dictate reality. Cause and effect dictate reality.
God, per his reputation,at least, can do anything.

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Re: superstition and Nichiren's Teachings

Post by Wayfarer » Thu Oct 11, 2018 11:58 pm

I would be careful applying labels like 'superstition'. To a lot of people, anything that can't be proven by science amounts to 'superstition'. On the other hand, some people are willing to believe anything. Scriptural texts need to be interpreted, as often they have symbolic meaning beyond their literal meaning. So as the saying goes, keep an open mind, but not so open that your brain falls out. :smile:
Only practice with no gaining idea ~ Suzuki Roshi

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Re: superstition and Nichiren's Teachings

Post by Queequeg » Fri Oct 12, 2018 12:00 am

Minobu wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 5:04 pm
Did Hachiman really protect Nichiren from the ronin executioners on the beach?
Nichiren suggests that Nitten, the sun god saved him.
Also, those weren't ronin. They were basically police officers.
Also, that gosho, Actions of the Votary, is suspect.
What definitely saved him was an order from the Imperial authority to commute the sentence to banishment to Sado. The Imperial house is also the house of the sun, descended from Amaterasu, goddess of the sun.
:shrug:
Was the Divine wind that swept away the mongols really an act of a protector god?
Maybe. But also shoddy ship building by Chinese workers who probably didn't really want to be building a fleet of ships for their conquerers.
Did Nichiren actually cause the rain to fall?
It was the Naga King.
Did I or gohonzon cure my father of an incurable leukemia ?
Your father was cured because of the causes and conditions of his life at that time. Were your prayers to the Gohonzon the determining factor? Maybe.
Did Buddha really exist and is Mahayana truly His work.
May depend on who you ask. Too many variables.
Do we believe that NMRK is the actual source of all things?
What do you mean by source? I probably do not believe that.
Is this really the Buddha's land?
Of course. And this land is your land, this land is my land.
What's the difference between an almighty God and an almighty Buddha in charge of reality ?
Nobody is in charge of reality. We're each in charge of reality. We're all collectively in charge of reality.
are we splitting hairs when using the word Buddha and Almighty God?
No.
are all of the above just superstition or reality?
What's superstition? What's reality?

YMMV
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

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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Re: superstition and Nichiren's Teachings

Post by DGA » Fri Oct 12, 2018 2:25 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Fri Oct 12, 2018 12:00 am
are all of the above just superstition or reality?
What's superstition? What's reality?

YMMV
Here's a superstition:

The assumption that because one is the cultural heir to the rationality and empiricism espoused by eighteenth-century Europeans, one is positioned to 1) diagnose which aspects of other people's cultures are superstitions, and which aspects are knowledge or of value and 2) not reflect on the absurdity of this position, but instead crow about how universal this notion should be or must be, and how much sense it makes, and how confusing it is when others (particularly non-Westerners) object or disagree


Resistance to "cultural trappings" is, itself, a cultural trapping

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Re: superstition and Nichiren's Teachings

Post by Queequeg » Fri Oct 12, 2018 5:26 pm

DGA wrote:
Fri Oct 12, 2018 2:25 pm
Here's a superstition:

The assumption that because one is the cultural heir to the rationality and empiricism espoused by eighteenth-century Europeans, one is positioned to 1) diagnose which aspects of other people's cultures are superstitions, and which aspects are knowledge or of value and 2) not reflect on the absurdity of this position, but instead crow about how universal this notion should be or must be, and how much sense it makes, and how confusing it is when others (particularly non-Westerners) object or disagree


Resistance to "cultural trappings" is, itself, a cultural trapping
Is the "assumption that because one is the cultural heir to the rationality and empiricism espoused by eighteenth-century Europeans, one is positioned to...", ever articulated in people's minds? Maybe some, but my intuition is that people lack awareness of the culturally conditioned nature of the way they view the world and the often arbitrariness of values and standards they hold and just proceed as though their world view were simply True. That is, more or less a superstition.

I just want to flesh out your comment a little more.

The naive assumption about our connection to "reality" seems to be the biggest problem we have, and that may just be a human thing. There is no awareness of a legacy, just naive perpetuation. If there was an articulated assumption like that, then what you describe is a conscious decision to assert the superiority of one's own views, and that's a different issue. This sort of cultural imperialism does not seem to be what you are getting at though, and rather you seem to be addressing the naive assumptions that one's own view is Truth against which others are to be measured.

As far as "diagnosing" (I would suggest "evaluating" as a more productive way to describe the process) something novel and foreign, what else should one do? What is an alternative, reasonable approach? When we engage, there are necessarily going to be distinctions and judgments. Mere acceptance is naive, too, and that is not a reasonable approach. What perspective can a person reasonably bring to the table? Wherever you go, there you are... We're stuck in our skin, and that includes our cultural conditioning, and that's all we have to work with when we evaluate something new to us. We are inevitably going to make judgments about what is valuable and what is not... to us.

Your second point I largely agree with, with caveats. I believe that self-reflection and having an open mind are essential aspects of all engagement, which I think is your main point. As I pointed out above, though, I don't think its absurd to come to the discussion as you are... suggesting the possibility that there is any alternative is absurd. What saves any engagement between two unfamiliar people is self awareness and good will on both sides.

And so we come to another Western cultural legacy - "How to engage with others with different cultural backgrounds in a genuine way in good faith."

This is a question we in the US, and the West in general, have been grappling with for a while now. Its all part of our "melting pot" ideal. In my experience, other societies have and others have not developed means to approach globalization constructively and humanely. Globalization is pretty new to all of us... some of us have been working with its problems and how to do it in an existentially good willed and genuine way. I think this approach is informed by Western Enlightenment ideals.

Its not all bad.

Is such a form of engagement possible? I don't know... might be one of those positive and valuable cultural superstitions.
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

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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Re: superstition and Nichiren's Teachings

Post by Minobu » Sat Oct 13, 2018 8:03 pm

you know it was this site and the people on it that sparked new thought in me.

I used to get it and know...you people put a wrench in those gears....

I never gave God the Creator, in any form ..pantheistic or just the base line wisdom in physics that allows for all these realms of samsara any thought...

But then here i started to get the idea that Eastern thought of Buddha was similar to a creator...someone responsible for a plain of existence for sentience to dwell in...
call it pure land or Buddha fields...what ever....the concept"S" we all get...but hate to label for some...as was me before this encounter here..

Buddha became so much more than just a being who figured it out and gain "Boons"...a sort of something underlining everything came into focus from what i read here.....

All the Mahayana sutras that are written sort of back up something very similar to a being all omniscient and responsible for everyone and everything...

a self imposed responsible due to compassion and enlightenment...but now there is more ...Buddha fields ...pure lands....

it's like i don't believe in abrahamic God all kosher and everything...but i see all the wisdom and spirit that goes into everything as some sort of collective mind or something behind it all......sort of a creator but we are it as well...Christians always separate the creation and the creator.something over us...i don't see it that way....

very much colored with Buddhist Belief....

the whole it's not real i don't dig.

cause it's both not real and real....Buddhism shows you the nature of what we live in...for sure...but then i think of the possibility of political interference in the name of Buddha's mahayana sutras ...creating something for rulers to rule with....not unlike europe's gaf of putting crowns on people's head in the name of God and the priesthood to back it all up...so you get an almighty God seperate from us...ruling us with a priesthood to intervene...always on the side of the kings and queens...

i love this place..it makes me think...only great minds can do that...
thanks
Dave

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Re: superstition and Nichiren's Teachings

Post by Queequeg » Sun Oct 14, 2018 3:00 am

Manifestation of the Tathagata: Buddahood According to the Avatamsaka Sutra https://www.amazon.com/dp/0861710541/re ... WBbB5FYP2C
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

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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Re: superstition and Nichiren's Teachings

Post by illarraza » Mon Oct 15, 2018 3:02 am

Minobu wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 5:04 pm
I was always under assumption that buddhism would always hold up to scientific investigation.

In the thread on atheism some of the material got me to thinking .
these are the main culprits!
Wayfarer wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 3:46 am

One of the things to be mindful of, is that many of the arguments deployed by atheism against Christianity also apply to Buddhism. It used to be said that karma was 'scientific' like 'the law of cause and effect' but it's clearly not, as it concerns intention, whereas the laws of motion only concern matter.
Reality is reality and superstition and mumbo jumbo are just that.

It's one thing to have faith in Lotus Buddhism , it's another to let slide "Truth" .

Hopefully the whole emptiness nihilistic misunderstandings does not make too much of a drift..Like ..it's all not real anyway .

so clearly Karma involves the lesser hard scientific reality with intention via ethics and morality.

Then it's unto what is gleaned from Cārvāka
From

Charvaka, originally known as Lokāyata and Bṛhaspatya, is the ancient school of Indian materialism. Charvaka holds direct perception, empiricism, and conditional inference as proper sources of knowledge, embraces philosophical skepticism and rejects Vedas, Vedic ritualism, and supernaturalism.


SO just how much of what we believe in is superstition?

A few examples.
Did Hachiman really protect Nichiren from the ronin executioners on the beach?

Was the Divine wind that swept away the mongols really an act of a protector god?

Did Nichiren actually cause the rain to fall?

Did I or gohonzon cure my father of an incurable leukemia ?

Did Buddha really exist and is Mahayana truly His work.

Do we believe that NMRK is the actual source of all things?

Is this really the Buddha's land?

What's the difference between an almighty God and an almighty Buddha in charge of reality ?

are we splitting hairs when using the word Buddha and Almighty God?

are all of the above just superstition or reality?

hopefully no one's toes get stomped on here....i'm just opening up my long term baggage.
There is a Lotus Sutra Buddhism called Nichiren Secular Buddhism... https://sites.google.com/site/buddhistrealism/home
I don't agree with his premises and conclusions but he put a lot of work into his philosophy.

In Lotus Sutra Buddhism, Karma = thoughts, word's, and deeds. Intention plays a part but not a major part. For example, one may be sincere (usually a good thing) but sincerely wrong (a bad thing). Due to Anger, Avarice, and Stupidity, one's intentions may be noble but as the saying goes, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Without an Enlightened perspective, our thoughts, words, and deeds may or may not lead to lessening karmic retribution.

"Did Hachiman really protect Nichiren from the ronin executioners on the beach?"

Since Hachiman is an emanation of Shakyamuni Buddha, Shakyamuni Buddha and the Lotus Sutra saved Nichiren.

"Was the Divine wind that swept away the mongols really an act of a protector god?"

Was it chance, a protector god, the stupidity of the Mongols, or Nichiren's prayers to the gods, Shakyamuni Buddha, and the Lotus Sutra or a combination of all of these things?

"Did Nichiren actually cause the rain to fall?"

Why don't you try praying for rain, for example when the meteorologists predict no rain for the next several weeks. Make a real concerted effort to test the Lotus Sutra, lets say for 5 days and let us know. I myself have caused rain to fall chanting Namu Myoho renge kyo.

"Did I or gohonzon cure my father of an incurable leukemia ?"

There are Four Powers: The power of faith and practice (you); and the power of the Buddha (Gohonzon) and Law (Namu Myoho renge kyo). They all work together to create auspicious results.

"Did Buddha really exist and is Mahayana truly His work."

Yes and yes.

"Do we believe that NMRK is the actual source of all things?'

Entity, not source. One of the Four Powers.

"Is this really the Buddha's land?"

To the Supremely and Perfectly Enlightened.

"What's the difference between an almighty God and an almighty Buddha in charge of reality?"

We can become an almighty Buddha but never an almighty God. Buddha is one third of the cause and effect of reality. We and the Law make up the other two thirds.

"are we splitting hairs when using the word Buddha and Almighty God?"

Not at all. As I mentioned above, we can become Buddha but not God in the Christian, Muslim, or Brahman sense.The universe (or multiverse) has always existed and will continue to exist, at least, cyclically. In a sense, we create our environment (universe) according to Vasubandhu. The Eternal Buddha may be thought of as an "Inconceivable Omni-Present Field of Cognition" (from Tendai).

"are all of the above just superstition or reality?"

If you believe my answers, though not yet a supremely and perfectly enlightened Buddha, then it is reality.

Mark

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Re: superstition and Nichiren's Teachings

Post by Queequeg » Mon Oct 15, 2018 4:57 am

illarraza wrote:
Mon Oct 15, 2018 3:02 am
"What's the difference between an almighty God and an almighty Buddha in charge of reality?"

We can become an almighty Buddha but never an almighty God. Buddha is one third of the cause and effect of reality. We and the Law make up the other two thirds.
Can you elaborate on that?
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

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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Minobu
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Re: superstition and Nichiren's Teachings

Post by Minobu » Mon Oct 15, 2018 7:58 pm

illarraza wrote:
Mon Oct 15, 2018 3:02 am
Minobu wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 5:04 pm
I was always under assumption that buddhism would always hold up to scientific investigation.

In the thread on atheism some of the material got me to thinking .
these are the main culprits!
Wayfarer wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 3:46 am

One of the things to be mindful of, is that many of the arguments deployed by atheism against Christianity also apply to Buddhism. It used to be said that karma was 'scientific' like 'the law of cause and effect' but it's clearly not, as it concerns intention, whereas the laws of motion only concern matter.
Reality is reality and superstition and mumbo jumbo are just that.

It's one thing to have faith in Lotus Buddhism , it's another to let slide "Truth" .

Hopefully the whole emptiness nihilistic misunderstandings does not make too much of a drift..Like ..it's all not real anyway .

so clearly Karma involves the lesser hard scientific reality with intention via ethics and morality.

Then it's unto what is gleaned from Cārvāka
From

Charvaka, originally known as Lokāyata and Bṛhaspatya, is the ancient school of Indian materialism. Charvaka holds direct perception, empiricism, and conditional inference as proper sources of knowledge, embraces philosophical skepticism and rejects Vedas, Vedic ritualism, and supernaturalism.


SO just how much of what we believe in is superstition?

A few examples.
Did Hachiman really protect Nichiren from the ronin executioners on the beach?

Was the Divine wind that swept away the mongols really an act of a protector god?

Did Nichiren actually cause the rain to fall?

Did I or gohonzon cure my father of an incurable leukemia ?

Did Buddha really exist and is Mahayana truly His work.

Do we believe that NMRK is the actual source of all things?

Is this really the Buddha's land?

What's the difference between an almighty God and an almighty Buddha in charge of reality ?

are we splitting hairs when using the word Buddha and Almighty God?

are all of the above just superstition or reality?

hopefully no one's toes get stomped on here....i'm just opening up my long term baggage.
There is a Lotus Sutra Buddhism called Nichiren Secular Buddhism... https://sites.google.com/site/buddhistrealism/home
I don't agree with his premises and conclusions but he put a lot of work into his philosophy.

In Lotus Sutra Buddhism, Karma = thoughts, word's, and deeds. Intention plays a part but not a major part. For example, one may be sincere (usually a good thing) but sincerely wrong (a bad thing). Due to Anger, Avarice, and Stupidity, one's intentions may be noble but as the saying goes, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Without an Enlightened perspective, our thoughts, words, and deeds may or may not lead to lessening karmic retribution.

"Did Hachiman really protect Nichiren from the ronin executioners on the beach?"

Since Hachiman is an emanation of Shakyamuni Buddha, Shakyamuni Buddha and the Lotus Sutra saved Nichiren.

"Was the Divine wind that swept away the mongols really an act of a protector god?"

Was it chance, a protector god, the stupidity of the Mongols, or Nichiren's prayers to the gods, Shakyamuni Buddha, and the Lotus Sutra or a combination of all of these things?

"Did Nichiren actually cause the rain to fall?"

Why don't you try praying for rain, for example when the meteorologists predict no rain for the next several weeks. Make a real concerted effort to test the Lotus Sutra, lets say for 5 days and let us know. I myself have caused rain to fall chanting Namu Myoho renge kyo.

"Did I or gohonzon cure my father of an incurable leukemia ?"

There are Four Powers: The power of faith and practice (you); and the power of the Buddha (Gohonzon) and Law (Namu Myoho renge kyo). They all work together to create auspicious results.

"Did Buddha really exist and is Mahayana truly His work."

Yes and yes.

"Do we believe that NMRK is the actual source of all things?'

Entity, not source. One of the Four Powers.

"Is this really the Buddha's land?"

To the Supremely and Perfectly Enlightened.

"What's the difference between an almighty God and an almighty Buddha in charge of reality?"

We can become an almighty Buddha but never an almighty God. Buddha is one third of the cause and effect of reality. We and the Law make up the other two thirds.

"are we splitting hairs when using the word Buddha and Almighty God?"

Not at all. As I mentioned above, we can become Buddha but not God in the Christian, Muslim, or Brahman sense.The universe (or multiverse) has always existed and will continue to exist, at least, cyclically. In a sense, we create our environment (universe) according to Vasubandhu. The Eternal Buddha may be thought of as an "Inconceivable Omni-Present Field of Cognition" (from Tendai).

"are all of the above just superstition or reality?"

If you believe my answers, though not yet a supremely and perfectly enlightened Buddha, then it is reality.

Mark
I very much enjoyed your post.
thanks for helping

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