Can I mix Nichiren with Shinto? Isn't mixing practices bad?

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Queequeg
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Re: Can I mix Nichiren with Shinto? Isn't mixing practices bad?

Post by Queequeg » Thu Jan 31, 2019 8:08 pm

Nyedrag Yeshe wrote:
Thu Jan 31, 2019 7:49 pm
Regarding Sutra recitation to Kami, this is also very old, and was not necessarily done directed towards them, but for their benefit! It was thought that this could create merits to be dedicated to them, and also as a gift of Dharma.
“Hokke Shinto: Kami in the Nichiren Tradition,” in Buddhas and Kami in Japan: Honji Suijaku as a Combinatory Paradigm, M. Teeuwen and F. Rambelli, eds., London: Curzon/Routledge, 2003, pp. 222-254.
http://www.academia.edu/17621396/_Hokke ... p._222-254
This is different than what people are doing when the chant daimoku to Inari.

I don't know what point you think you are making to me.
Queequeg wrote:
Sat Jan 19, 2019 3:42 pm
There is no problem with integrating the Kami Reverence consciousness into your Nichiren practice.
Maybe we disagree about details.
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: Can I mix Nichiren with Shinto? Isn't mixing practices bad?

Post by Queequeg » Thu Jan 31, 2019 8:16 pm

I would add as a further challenge - Go to Ise, go to the Naiku and start chanting Daimoku as a dharma offering to the kami. See what happens.

AFAIK, Buddhist monks are technically actually not even allowed to enter the shrine premises. That's how heavy they are about the distinctions. This is modern Shinto.
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: Can I mix Nichiren with Shinto? Isn't mixing practices bad?

Post by Nyedrag Yeshe » Thu Jan 31, 2019 8:42 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Thu Jan 31, 2019 8:16 pm
I would add as a further challenge - Go to Ise, go to the Naiku and start chanting Daimoku as a dharma offering to the kami. See what happens.

AFAIK, Buddhist monks are technically actually not even allowed to enter the shrine premises. That's how heavy they are about the distinctions. This is modern Shinto.
Those distinctions in Ise are also apparently very old. Even mentioning the name Buddha was forbidden, well before Meiji era. Buddhism was/is a tabooed stuff there. Even with Oracles confirming the compatibility of the two faiths.

But there are still obscure sects that connect Ise with Buddhism, sects that identify itself as Shinto. That's one of the points I'm trying to highlight here, Shinto is not a simple reduced phenomena as you seem to imply, reducing it to State Shinto.
“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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Re: Can I mix Nichiren with Shinto? Isn't mixing practices bad?

Post by Queequeg » Thu Jan 31, 2019 9:02 pm

Nyedrag Yeshe wrote:
Thu Jan 31, 2019 8:42 pm
Queequeg wrote:
Thu Jan 31, 2019 8:16 pm
I would add as a further challenge - Go to Ise, go to the Naiku and start chanting Daimoku as a dharma offering to the kami. See what happens.

AFAIK, Buddhist monks are technically actually not even allowed to enter the shrine premises. That's how heavy they are about the distinctions. This is modern Shinto.
Those distinctions in Ise are also apparently very old. Even mentioning the name Buddha was forbidden, well before Meiji era. Buddhism was/is a tabooed stuff there. Even with Oracles confirming the compatibility of the two faiths.

But there are still obscure sects that connect Ise with Buddhism, sects that identify itself as Shinto. That's one of the points I'm trying to highlight here, Shinto is not a simple reduced phenomena as you seem to imply, reducing it to State Shinto.
Dude, then its just semantics. Peace.
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: Can I mix Nichiren with Shinto? Isn't mixing practices bad?

Post by Bois de Santal » Thu Jan 31, 2019 11:13 pm

I'd just like to thank both you guys for your contributions to this thread.

I, for one, have learnt a lot.

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Re: Can I mix Nichiren with Shinto? Isn't mixing practices bad?

Post by dude » Fri Feb 01, 2019 6:25 am

"But there are still obscure sects that connect Ise with Buddhism, sects that identify itself as Shinto. That's one of the points I'm trying to highlight here, Shinto is not a simple reduced phenomena as you seem to imply, reducing it to State Shinto."




This I do agree with.
State Shinto, I assume, refers to the militarist government"s appropriation of the Shinto tradition. All religions at that time were subjugated to "State Shinto by government decree. Some Nichiren sects gave in. Soka Gakkai's founder Makiguchi was imprisoned, basically for opposing a compromise with the government.

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Re: Can I mix Nichiren with Shinto? Isn't mixing practices bad?

Post by Nyedrag Yeshe » Fri Feb 01, 2019 2:48 pm

dude wrote:
Fri Feb 01, 2019 6:25 am
"But there are still obscure sects that connect Ise with Buddhism, sects that identify itself as Shinto. That's one of the points I'm trying to highlight here, Shinto is not a simple reduced phenomena as you seem to imply, reducing it to State Shinto."




This I do agree with.
State Shinto, I assume, refers to the militarist government"s appropriation of the Shinto tradition. All religions at that time were subjugated to "State Shinto by government decree. Some Nichiren sects gave in. Soka Gakkai's founder Makiguchi was imprisoned, basically for opposing a compromise with the government.
Yes, and also, some Shinto-based sects and traditions also suffered repression for not conforming to the standards set by the government. One of them was Oomoto who like some traditions of Southern Japan, tought that Okuninushi was the supreme deity of the pantheon in the place of Amaterasu. Izumo shrine seemingly still promotes this kind of teachings through its Izumo-Taishakyo organization which promotes its teachings.
“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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Re: Can I mix Nichiren with Shinto? Isn't mixing practices bad?

Post by dude » Fri Feb 01, 2019 2:58 pm

Very interesting, I didn't know that.

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Re: Can I mix Nichiren with Shinto? Isn't mixing practices bad?

Post by Queequeg » Fri Feb 01, 2019 6:19 pm

Here is the problem with "Shinto" - and this may well be just my own perspective. So, take it for what its worth.

The term "Shinto", like it or not, is defined by history. That history includes deification of the Japanese imperial family who is said to be descended from Amaterasu, and is now soaked in the blood of an aggressive war that killed millions across Asia and the Pacific. Young Japanese threw themselves fanatically into war committing atrocities that the Japanese in general to this day still can't fully own up to.

Millions of Japanese, Chinese, Koreans, Vietnamese, Burmese, Phillipinos, Malaysians, etc. died in the name of the kami.

There is no way that is compatible with Nichiren's teachings.

The diversity of beliefs and practices you point to as proof that "Shinto" is not just State Shinto has a point. But, for the same reason the swastika is a symbol of hate rather than holiness for many people, "Shinto" is likewise stained with hate. Just look at people's reactions to Yasukuni Shrine.

But let's take this diversity of beliefs and cults that also goes by the label "Shinto" - is it really compatible with what Nichiren taught? I don't think so.

Shinto literally means, "path of the gods".

The Great Vehicle does not ride on the path of the gods.

The term Shinto implies the superiority of this path of the gods over all other paths. To say that one is following shinto - one is following the path of the gods. That cannot be reconciled with NMRK.

What we have now that is called "Shinto" is a self conscious separation and constructed idea of kami reverence that emerged long after Nichiren was around. The tension between the various kami cults and Buddhism has been there from the beginning when Buddhism was introduced from Paekche. Shotoku Taishi's political victory and the Imperial family's subsequent devotion to Buddhism for centuries after placed Buddhism in the supreme position. Nichiren lived at a time when Buddhism was the view. it was conventional wisdom that Buddhism is the ultimate truth and kami, to the extent they had been converted into protectors, were part of the Buddhist pantheon of helpful and protective spirits along with Brahma and Shakra, and the hosts of dharma protectors who came from abroad. This view underlies Nichiren's criticism in Rissho Ankoku Ron - the kami, and the rest of the Dharma Protectors, he argued, had stopped protecting Japan because the people had turned into slanderers of the Sublime Dharma.

While some of those kami cults that are called "Shinto" now were around then and have continued uninterrupted to the present, historically they were closely related to Buddhism. It was only in the late medieval period that there was movement to distinguish themselves from the Buddhist view.

Buddhism finally fell as the predominant view following centuries of corruption in the Buddhist institutions, punctuated by the destruction of the Tendai monastic complex at Hiei-zan by Oda Nobunaga. In the centuries that followed him, the Edo or Tokugawa period, Buddhism was neutered and when Japan was threatened from the outside, the people behind the Meiji restoration drew on the putative nationalism in the Imperial kami cults to complete their authority. All those other kami cults you guys point to as "not State Shinto" all ride the wake of Imperial Shinto for their character as distinct, native spiritual traditions. The odd exception that lets foreigners participate does not change the basic underlying consciousness that they are about nativist identity. (I guarantee that as Japan accepts ever greater numbers of foreign workers, we will see some strain of nationalistic Shinto rise up as a reaction. The elements are already around.)

When I go to places like Meiji Jingu, I'm taken aback by the expressions of reverence by Japanese because of its nationalistic meaning, and ironically bemused by foreigners offering prayers. I don't get the same feeling when I encounter a little old lady making offerings at a shrine to a tree sprite up in the mountains, and while it would surprise me to see a foreigner do that, it would not strike me as ironic - "Oh, you get it about the tree?"

Back to Nichiren - the various Shinto cults around now imply a view about the supremacy of the kami path - this is not compatible with Nichiren's teaching that Buddhism, and the Sublime Dharma in particular, is the supreme path. Nichiren taught NMRK. All else is extraneous. So long as what you otherwise do does not conflict with NMRK, no problem. Nichiren himself fully acknowledged and engaged kami. But he did not follow shinto.
Utsubusa came a long distance to visit me despite her advanced age, but since I was told that it was merely a casual visit on her way back from the shrine to the god of her ancestors, I would not see her, although I pitied her greatly. Had I permitted her to see me, I would have been allowing her to commit slander against the Lotus Sutra. The reason is that all gods are subjects, and the Lotus Sutra is their lord. It is against even the code of society to visit one’s lord on the way back from calling on one of his subjects. Moreover, Utsubusa is a lay nun and should have the Buddha foremost in mind. Because she made this and other mistakes as well, I refused to see her.
Letter to Misawa
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: Can I mix Nichiren with Shinto? Isn't mixing practices bad?

Post by Nyedrag Yeshe » Fri Feb 01, 2019 6:34 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Fri Feb 01, 2019 6:19 pm
The term "Shinto", like it or not, is defined by history. That history includes deification of the Japanese imperial family who is said to be descended from Amaterasu, and is now soaked in the blood of an aggressive war that killed millions across Asia and the Pacific. Young Japanese threw themselves fanatically into war committing atrocities that the Japanese in general to this day still can't fully own up to.
Can we also apply this same logic regarding modern "theravada" in Burma with regards to the Rohingya genocide? Is it Buddhism's fault?
“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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Re: Can I mix Nichiren with Shinto? Isn't mixing practices bad?

Post by Queequeg » Fri Feb 01, 2019 6:36 pm

Nyedrag Yeshe wrote:
Fri Feb 01, 2019 6:34 pm
Queequeg wrote:
Fri Feb 01, 2019 6:19 pm
The term "Shinto", like it or not, is defined by history. That history includes deification of the Japanese imperial family who is said to be descended from Amaterasu, and is now soaked in the blood of an aggressive war that killed millions across Asia and the Pacific. Young Japanese threw themselves fanatically into war committing atrocities that the Japanese in general to this day still can't fully own up to.
Can we also apply this same logic regarding modern "theravada" in Burma with regards to the Rohingya genocide? Is it Buddhism's fault?
Those people are defiling the name of the Buddha. Unfortunately, that's what's happening. That's how meaning is created.

viewtopic.php?f=9&t=26832
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: Can I mix Nichiren with Shinto? Isn't mixing practices bad?

Post by Queequeg » Fri Feb 01, 2019 7:04 pm

In the end, whatever people want to do, we are all free to do so.

The question was about the compatibility of Nichiren's teachings and Shinto.

Whatever conclusion one settles on about the terms Shinto, my hope is that the the reader's takeaway is that the word "Shinto" is complicated and not without controversies.

Whether its compatible with what Nichiren taught, it depends on how you define that term.

What is clear - Nichiren taught NMRK. For a Nichiren practice, this comes first and defines the view with which kami should be considered.
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: Can I mix Nichiren with Shinto? Isn't mixing practices bad?

Post by Yavana » Sat Feb 02, 2019 7:05 pm

I never would have imagined that modern Japanese could be so possessive of their gods.

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Re: Can I mix Nichiren with Shinto? Isn't mixing practices bad?

Post by Queequeg » Sat Feb 02, 2019 7:14 pm

Yavana wrote:
Sat Feb 02, 2019 7:05 pm
I never would have imagined that modern Japanese could be so possessive of their gods.
Well, there are 120 million or so Japanese. 110 million probably don't have any particular feelings about it one way or another. The ones who do feel something about it get to define it. That's just how these kinds of things work.
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: Can I mix Nichiren with Shinto? Isn't mixing practices bad?

Post by Yuren » Thu Feb 07, 2019 7:35 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Thu Jan 31, 2019 6:50 pm

Friend, I don't know what your real life experience with Shinto is. At this time in Japan, Shinto is very much tied up with Japanese right wing nationalism. Please go to Ise and explain to the priests there how it is perfectly natural for non-Japanese to be able to participate in Shinto.

When we talk about Shinto, we are very much talking about politics and national identity in Japan.

Right now, Shinto means Japanese nationalism.
Quite surprised to read that.
I (European) married an ethnically Korean woman (Zainichi) in a Japanese Shinto shrine, a big one, too, not far from Ise. My wife was wearing a traditional Korean dress at the wedding. There were ethnically Japanese guests invited who are legit Shinto practitioners.

Not saying this anecdote by itself proves anything, but if my wife's mother, who is quite a proud Korean, but born in Japan, living all her life there, and she's extremely sensitive to Japanese nationalism - if she had that impression about Shinto, she wouldn't recommend we marry there.

(She's actually atheist, like almost everyone in Japan. Not saying you're wrong, just expressing my surprise if what you say is the case.)

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Re: Can I mix Nichiren with Shinto? Isn't mixing practices bad?

Post by Queequeg » Thu Feb 07, 2019 8:07 pm

Different issues.
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: Can I mix Nichiren with Shinto? Isn't mixing practices bad?

Post by Caoimhghín » Fri Feb 08, 2019 10:12 pm

Korean shamanism is like extroverted Shinto. Less slow moving in a circle and with a more intense drum beat. Less stately and more rowdy.

In fact, certain traditional Chinese religious currents are called "shendao", which I believe is the same word as Shinto, illustrating a religious sprachbund in East Asian animism and shamanism.
歸命本覺心法身常住妙法心蓮臺本來莊嚴三身徳三十七尊住心
城遠離因果法然具普門塵數諸三昧無邊徳海本圓滿還我頂禮心諸佛

In reverence for the root gnosis of the heart, the dharmakāya,
for the ever present good law of the heart, the lotus terrace,
for the inborn adornment of the trikāya, the thirty-seven sages dwelling in the heart,
for that which is removed from seed and fruit, the upright key to the universal gate,
for all boundless concentrations, the sea of virtue, the root perfection,
I prostrate, bowing to the hearts of all Buddhas.

胎藏金剛菩提心義略問答鈔, Treatise on the teaching of the gnostic heart of the womb and the diamond, T2397.1.470c5-8

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Re: Can I mix Nichiren with Shinto? Isn't mixing practices bad?

Post by Queequeg » Fri Feb 08, 2019 11:55 pm

Coëmgenu wrote:
Fri Feb 08, 2019 10:12 pm
Korean shamanism is like extroverted Shinto. Less slow moving in a circle and with a more intense drum beat. Less stately and more rowdy.

In fact, certain traditional Chinese religious currents are called "shendao", which I believe is the same word as Shinto, illustrating a religious sprachbund in East Asian animism and shamanism.
Its dying out now, but Japanese Shamanism is/was pretty rowdy. Very different than the formal stuff you find at major shrines.

For an excellent discussion check out Carmen Blacker's Catalpa Bow. One of the best books on Japanese religions.
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: Can I mix Nichiren with Shinto? Isn't mixing practices bad?

Post by Yavana » Sat Feb 09, 2019 3:32 am

Does a Westerner have to become a naturalized Japanese citizen in order to convert to Shinto?

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Re: Can I mix Nichiren with Shinto? Isn't mixing practices bad?

Post by Wayfarer » Sat Feb 09, 2019 8:45 am

Coëmgenu wrote:
Fri Feb 08, 2019 10:12 pm
In fact, certain traditional Chinese religious currents are called "shendao", which I believe is the same word as Shinto, illustrating a religious sprachbund in East Asian animism and shamanism.
Excellent word to know, thanks Coëmgenu.
'Only practice with no gaining idea' ~ Suzuki Roshi

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