The Writings of Nichiren

tkp67
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Re: The Writings of Nichiren

Post by tkp67 » Wed Oct 02, 2019 8:46 am

The “Thus Come One” is explained clearly in T’ien-t’ai’s commentary as follows: “The Thus Come One is a general designation for the Buddhas of the ten directions and the three existences, for the two Buddhas, the three Buddhas,6 the true Buddha, and provisional Buddhas.”7 The “true Buddha” here means common mortals, whereas “provisional Buddhas” means Buddhas. However, because of the difference between ordinary people and Buddhas that stems from the disparity between delusion and enlightenment, ordinary people are unaware that they are endowed with both the entity and the functions of the three bodies.
---> https://www.nichirenlibrary.org/en/wnd-1/Content/40

The True Aspect of All Phenomena

tkp67
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Re: The Writings of Nichiren

Post by tkp67 » Wed Oct 02, 2019 5:33 pm

When Shakyamuni Buddha attained the way at the age of thirty, he seized the sahā world away from the great heavenly king Brahmā and the devil king of the sixth heaven, who had both ruled it previously, and made it his own.
---> https://www.nichirenlibrary.org/en/wnd- ... Part%20Two

The Opening of the Eyes

tkp67
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Re: The Writings of Nichiren

Post by tkp67 » Tue Oct 08, 2019 11:41 pm

This Gosho has several sections that I find worthy of contemplation.
You may think of hell, the iron rods of the guards of hell or the accusing cries of the demon wardens5 as existing way off in some faraway place, but they are not like that. This teaching is of prime importance, and yet I will impart it to you just as Bodhisattva Monju revealed to the dragon king’s daughter the secret teaching of the attainment of Buddhahood in one’s present body. Now that you are about to receive that teaching, strive even more earnestly in your faith. One who practices still more earnestly whenever one hears the teachings of the Lotus Sutra is a true seeker of the way. T’ien-t’ai states, "From the indigo, an even deeper blue."6 This passage means that something dyed repeatedly with indigo becomes even bluer than the indigo plant itself. For us the Lotus Sutra is the indigo plant, and the growing intensity of our practice is "an even deeper blue."
---> http://nichiren.info/gosho/HellBuddhahood.htm

Hell is the Land of Tranquil Light

Pomona
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Re: The Writings of Nichiren

Post by Pomona » Thu Oct 10, 2019 6:41 am

Passage from Kaimoku Sho
Ware narabi-ni waga deshi / shonan aritomo
utagau kokoro nakuba. / jinen-ni bukkai-ni itarubeshi.
Ten-no kago naki koto-wo / utagawa-zare.
Gense-no an-non narazaru koto-wo / nageka-zare.
Waga deshi-ni / choseki oshie shikadomo
utagai-wo okoshite / mina suteken.
Tsutanaki monono narai-wa / yakusoku-seshi koto-wo /
makoto-no toki-wa / wasururu narubeshi.
Although I and my disciples may encounter various difficulties, if we do not harbor doubts in our hearts, we will as a matter of course attain Buddhahood. Do not have doubts simply because heaven does not lend you protection. Do not be discouraged because you do not enjoy an easy and secure existence in this life. This is what I have taught my disciples morning and evening, and yet they begin to harbor doubts and abandon their faith. Foolish men are likely to forget the promises they have made when the crucial moment comes.
Back in the day, we used to recite this in Japanese and English after evening gongyo.

tkp67
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Re: The Writings of Nichiren

Post by tkp67 » Thu Oct 10, 2019 5:28 pm

Thank you for that thoughtful addition. I personally find it especially encouraging and substantive to hear about Sangha practices.

:anjali:

narhwal90
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Re: The Writings of Nichiren

Post by narhwal90 » Fri Oct 11, 2019 12:23 pm

Back in the old NSA days at our community center we had a standing 6:30a weekday gongyo followed by stretches accompanied with music. It was a popular meeting, quite a few folks made it part of their morning commute.

markatex
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Re: The Writings of Nichiren

Post by markatex » Sat Oct 12, 2019 4:50 pm

Muddy water has no mind but it still catches the moon’s reflection and naturally becomes lucid. Plants and trees catch the rain in order to blossom, but can we say they do this deliberately? The five characters of Myo Ho Ren Ge Kyo are not the text of the sutra nor a mere explanation; rather they are the sole intent of the whole sutra. Beginners may practice this without knowing the heart (of the Lotus Sutra), but their practice will naturally harmonize with its intention.
From Shishin Gohon-sho (The Four Depths of Faith and Five Stages of Practice), Writings of Nichiren Shonin, Vol. 4

tkp67
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Re: The Writings of Nichiren

Post by tkp67 » Sun Oct 13, 2019 2:31 pm

narhwal90 - It is so interesting to see how the practice manifested elsewhere, I imagine that must have been a very enriching experience. I wonder if it still impacts your practice today?

markatex - Thank you very much for that thoughtful and meaningful posting.

The sutra states: "The king [the Buddha] and the queen [this sutra] come together, and this son [a bodhisattva] is born of them." (3LS p. 21)
---> http://nichiren.info/ongikuden/text/Muryogi.htm

illarraza
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Re: The Writings of Nichiren

Post by illarraza » Sat Oct 19, 2019 9:01 am

Pomona wrote:
Thu Oct 10, 2019 6:41 am
Passage from Kaimoku Sho
Ware narabi-ni waga deshi / shonan aritomo
utagau kokoro nakuba. / jinen-ni bukkai-ni itarubeshi.
Ten-no kago naki koto-wo / utagawa-zare.
Gense-no an-non narazaru koto-wo / nageka-zare.
Waga deshi-ni / choseki oshie shikadomo
utagai-wo okoshite / mina suteken.
Tsutanaki monono narai-wa / yakusoku-seshi koto-wo /
makoto-no toki-wa / wasururu narubeshi.
Although I and my disciples may encounter various difficulties, if we do not harbor doubts in our hearts, we will as a matter of course attain Buddhahood. Do not have doubts simply because heaven does not lend you protection. Do not be discouraged because you do not enjoy an easy and secure existence in this life. This is what I have taught my disciples morning and evening, and yet they begin to harbor doubts and abandon their faith. Foolish men are likely to forget the promises they have made when the crucial moment comes.
Back in the day, we used to recite this in Japanese and English after evening gongyo.
I remember those days as a YMD, encouraged to memorize both the Japanese and English.

Here is the Kyotsu Hori translation of the same partial paragraph:

"Not only I, Nichiren but also my disciples will reach the land of Buddha unfailingly so long as we hold on to unwavering faith no matter what difficulty confronts us. I have always told my disciples not to have doubts about the lack of heavenly protection and not to lament the lack of tranquility in this world. I am afraid, however, that they might all have doubts about these and no longer listen to me. It seems only natural that ordinary people, in face of reality, will forget what they had promised..."

He includes the following as the latter part of the paragraph:

"...Having pity on their families, my lay followers must lament on being separated from wives and children in this world. However, had they ever been separated from their beloved families without sorrow throughout many lives in the past? Had they ever been separated for the sake of Buddhism? Theirs must have been the same sad separation. Since everyone has to be separated from his family, he should continue upholding the Lotus Sutra and attain Buddhahood in the land of the Eternal Buddha, so that he will be able to return to this world to save his wife and children."

Mark

tkp67
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Re: The Writings of Nichiren

Post by tkp67 » Wed Oct 23, 2019 11:14 pm

Thank you so much for the contribution Mark.
The teaching that I, Nichiren, am now propagating may seem limited, but it is actually exceedingly profound. This is because it goes deeper than the teachings expounded by T’ien-t’ai and Dengyo. It consists of the three important matters8 contained in the Juryo chapter of the essential teaching. To practice only the seven characters of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo may appear limited, yet since this Law is the master of all the Buddhas of the three existences, the teacher of all the bodhisattvas in the ten directions, and the guide that enables all living beings to attain the Buddha way, its practice is incomparably profound.

The sutra states, "The wisdom of the Buddhas is infinitely profound and immeasurable."9 "The Buddhas" means every Buddha throughout the ten directions in the three existences. It represents every single Buddha and bodhisattvas of any sutra or sect whatsoever, including both the Thus Come One Dainichi of the Shingon sect and Amida of the Pure Land sect, every Buddha of the past, the future or the present, including the present Thus Come One Shakyamuni himself. The sutra refers to the wisdom of all these Buddhas.

What is meant by the ‘wisdom’ of the Buddhas! It is the entity of the true aspect, or the ten factors, of all phenomena, the entity that leads all beings to Buddhahood. What then is the entity! It is nothing other than Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. A commentary states that the profound principle of the true aspect is the originally inherent Law of Myoho-renge-kyo.10 The true aspect of all phenomena indicates the two Buddhas Shakyamuni and Taho [seated together in the treasure tower]. Taho represents all phenomena and Shakyamuni, the true aspect. The two Buddhas also indicate the two principles of the truth as object and the wisdom to grasp it. Taho signifies the truth , as object and Shakyamuni, the wisdom. Although these are two, they are fused into one in the Buddha’s enlightenment.

Earthly Desires Are Enlightenment

---> http://nichiren.info/gosho/EarthlyDesires.htm

tkp67
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Re: The Writings of Nichiren

Post by tkp67 » Tue Oct 29, 2019 2:24 pm

Now I, Nichiren, have been born as a human being, something difficult to achieve, and I have encountered the Buddhist teachings, which are but rarely to be met. Moreover, among all the teachings of Buddhism, I have been able to meet the Lotus Sutra. When I stop to consider my good fortune, I realize that I am indebted to my parents, indebted to the ruler and indebted to all living beings.

With regard to the debt of gratitude owed to one's parents, one's father may be likened to heaven and one's mother to the earth, and it would be difficult to say to which parent one is the more indebted. But it is particularly difficult to repay the great kindness of one's mother.

If, in desiring to repay it, one seeks to do so by following the outer scriptures such as the Three Records and the Five Canons or the Classic of Filial Piety, he will be able to provide for his mother in this life, but he cannot assist her in the life to come. Although he may provide for her physically, he will be unable to save her spiritually.

On turning to the inner scriptures, those of Buddhism, because the more than five thousand or seven thousand volumes of Hinayana and Mahayana sutras teach that women cannot attain Buddhahood, they offer no way to requite the debt owed to one's mother. The Hinayana teachings flatly deny that a woman can attain Buddhahood. The Mahayana sutras in some cases seem to say that a woman may attain Buddhahood or may be reborn in a pure land, but this is simply a possibility mentioned by the Buddha and no examples are given of such a thing actually having happened.

Only the Lotus Sutra reveals that a woman can attain Buddhahood, and therefore I have come to realize that this sutra is the very one that makes possible true requital for a mother's kindness. To repay that debt, I have vowed to enable all women to chant the daimoku of this sutra.
---> http://nichiren.info/gosho/SutraTrueRequital.htm

The Sutra of True Requital

tkp67
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Re: The Writings of Nichiren

Post by tkp67 » Sat Nov 02, 2019 1:54 am

When they had seen these things, they were all filled with great joy, having gained what they had never had before. At the time the heavenly beings in the midst of the sky cried out with loud voices, saying: "Beyond these immeasurable, boundless hundreds, thousands, ten thousands, millions of asamkhya worlds there is a land named saha, and in it a Buddha named Shakyamuni. Now for the sake of the bodhisattvas and mahasattvas he is preaching in his sutra of the Great Vehicle called the Lotus of the Wonderful Law., a Law to instruct the bodhisattvas, one that is guarded and kept in mind by the Buddhas. You must respond with joy from the depths of your heart, and also offer obeisance and alms to Shakyamuni Buddha!"

When the various living beings heard the voices in the sky, they pressed their palms together, faced the saha world, and spoke these words: "Hail, Shakyamuni Buddha! Hail, Shakyamuni Buddha!"

Then they took different kinds of flowers, incense, necklaces, banners and canopies, as well as the ornaments, rare jewels and other wonderful articles that adorned their persons, and all together scattered them far off in the direction of the saha world. The objects thus scattered poured in from the ten directions like clouds gathering together. Then they changed into a jeweled curtain that completely covered the area where the Buddhas were. At that time the worlds in the ten directions were opened up so that there was unobstructed passage from one to the other and they were like a single Buddha land.

At that time the Buddha spoke to Superior Practices and the others in the great assembly of bodhisattvas, saying: "The supernatural powers of the Buddhas, as you have seen, are immeasurable, boundless, inconceivable. If in the process of entrusting this sutra to others I were to employ these supernatural powers for a measurable, boundless hundreds, thousands, ten thousands, millions of asamkhya kalpas to describe the benefits of the sutra, I could never finish doing so. To put it briefly, all the doctrines possessed by the Thus Come One, the storehouse of all the secret essentials of the Thus Come One - all these are proclaimed, revealed, and clearly expounded in this sutra.

For this reason, after the Thus Come One has entered extinction, you must single-mindedly accept, uphold, read, recite, explain, preach and transcribe it, and practice it as directed. In any of the various lands, wherever there are those who accept, uphold, read, recite, explain, preach, transcribe, or practice it as directed, or wherever the sutra rolls are preserved, whether in a garden, a forest, beneath a tree, in monks quarters, in the lodgings of white-robed laymen, in palaces, or in mountain valleys or the wide wilderness, in all these places one should erect towers and offer alms. Why? Because you should understand that such spots are places of religious practice. In such places have the Buddhas gained anuttara-samyak-sambodhi, in such places have the Buddhas turn the wheel of the Law, in such places have the Buddhas entered parinirvana."

---> http://nichiren.info/buddhism/lotussutr ... hap21.html

Chapter Twenty-one: The Mystic Powers of the Tathagata

tkp67
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Re: The Writings of Nichiren

Post by tkp67 » Sat Nov 09, 2019 2:51 pm

The two Buddhas, Shakyamuni and Taho, are merely functions of the true Buddha, while Myoho-renge-kyo actually is the true Buddha. The sutra explains this as "the Tathagata's secret and his mystic power."4 The "secret" refers to the entity of the Buddha's three properties and the "mystic power" to their functions. The entity is the true Buddha and the function, a provisional Buddha. The common mortal is the entity of the three properties, or the true Buddha. The Buddha is the function of the three properties, or a provisional Buddha. Shakyamuni is thought to have possessed the three virtues of sovereign, teacher and parent for the sake of us common mortals, but on the contrary, it is the common mortal who endowed him with the three virtues.

T'ien-t'ai explains the Tathagata as follows: "Nyorai is the title of the Buddhas of the ten directions and three existences, of the two Buddhas5 and the three Buddhas,6 and of all the Buddhas, true and provisional."7 Here the "true Buddha" is the common mortal, whereas "provisional Buddhas" means the Buddha. Nevertheless, there is a clear distinction between a Buddha and a common mortal, in that a common mortal is deluded while a Buddha is enlightened. The common mortal fails to realize that he himself possesses both the entity and the function of the Buddha's three properties.

"All phenomena" in the sutra refers to the Ten Worlds, and the "true entity" is what permeates the Ten Worlds. Reality8 is another expression for Myoho-renge-kyo; hence Myoho-renge-kyo is manifest in all phenomena. Hell appears hellish; that is the reality of Hell. When Hunger emerges, the reality of Hell is no longer present. A Buddha exhibits the reality of a Buddha, and a common mortal, that of a common mortal. All phenomena are themselves manifestations of Myoho-renge-kyo. This is the meaning of "all phenomena reveal the true entity." T'ien-t'ai states, "The profound principle of 'true entity' is the original law of Myoho-renge-kyo,"9 thus identifying the phrase "true entity" with the theoretical teaching and "the original law of Myoho-renge-kyo" with the essential teaching. You should ponder this passage deep in your heart.

True Entity of Life

---> http://nichiren.info/gosho/TrueEntityLife.htm

tkp67
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Re: The Writings of Nichiren

Post by tkp67 » Sun Nov 10, 2019 1:42 pm

Our teacher, the Thus Come One Shakyamuni, in the course of his lifetime of teaching, expounded eighty thousand sacred doctrines. He was the first Buddha to appear in this saha world of ours, which previously had not known any Buddha, and he opened the eyes of all living beings. All the other Buddhas and bodhisattvas from east and west, from the lands of the ten directions, received instruction from him.
The Learned Doctor Shan-wu-wei

--> http://nichiren.info/gosho/LearnedShanwuwei.htm

markatex
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Re: The Writings of Nichiren

Post by markatex » Mon Nov 11, 2019 5:23 pm

Today is the commemoration of the Komatsubara Persecution, which occurred on November 11, 1264. At yesterday's service, we recited the following, from the Nanjo Hyoe Shichiro-dono Gosho (WNS Vol. 3, pp 145-146):
On the 11th day of the 11th month this year, on the thoroughfare of Matsubara in Tojo, Awa Province, about four or six o’clock in the afternoon, hundreds of nembutsu followers ambushed me. I was accompanied by about ten people, of whom only three or four were strong enough to fight. Arrows shot by nembutsu followers were falling like rain, and their swords were attacking us like lightning.

One of my disciples was killed at the spot and two others were seriously wounded. I was also hit and wounded, and faced mortal danger, but somehow I escaped death am still alive today. My faith in the Lotus Sutra has been strengthened as I experienced persecutions such as this.

It is said in the 10th chapter, ‘The Teacher of the Dharma’ in the Lotus Sutra, fascicle four, ‘Many people hate it [the Lotus Sutra] with a passion, even in my lifetime. Needless to say, more people will do so after my death.’ And in the 14th chapter, ‘Peaceful Practices,’ in fascicle five, it states, ‘Many people in the world would have hated it [the Lotus Sutra] and few would have believed it.’

There are many people in Japan who read and study the Lotus Sutra. Many people are punished because they steal or commit adultery, but no one has been punished due to his faith in the Lotus Sutra. Therefore, none of the followers of the Lotus Sutra in Japan have practiced the sutra as it is preached. Only I, Nichiren, have truly read it. This is what the chapter of ‘Encouragement for Upholding This Sutra,’ states: ‘We will not spare even our lives. We treasure only unsurpassed enlightenment.’ Therefore, I, Nichiren, am the foremost practitioner of the Lotus Sutra in Japan.

illarraza
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Re: The Writings of Nichiren

Post by illarraza » Thu Nov 14, 2019 2:13 am

tkp67 wrote:
Sun Nov 10, 2019 1:42 pm
Our teacher, the Thus Come One Shakyamuni, in the course of his lifetime of teaching, expounded eighty thousand sacred doctrines. He was the first Buddha to appear in this saha world of ours, which previously had not known any Buddha, and he opened the eyes of all living beings. All the other Buddhas and bodhisattvas from east and west, from the lands of the ten directions, received instruction from him.
The Learned Doctor Shan-wu-wei

--> http://nichiren.info/gosho/LearnedShanwuwei.htm
“Shakyamuni Buddha, our father and mother, who is endowed with the three virtues of sovereign, teacher and parent, is the very one who encourages us, the people driven out by all other Buddha, saying, “I alone can save them.” The debt of gratitude we owe him is deeper than the ocean, weightier than the earth, vaster than the sky. Though we were to pluck out our two eyes and place them before him as an offering until there were more eyes there than stars in the sky, though we were to strip off our skins and spread them out by the hundreds of thousands of ten thousands until they blanketed the ceiling of heaven, though we were to give him our tears as offerings of water and present him with flowers for the space of a hundred billion kalpas, though we were to offer him our flesh and blood for innumerable kalpas, until our flesh piled up like mountains and our blood overflowed like vast seas, we could never repay a fraction of the debt we owe to this Buddha!” (MW vol. 4, The Learned Doctor Shan-wu-wei)

and

“However, later seeking and entering the deep cave, you see a single hermitage. The voices of the reading and reciting of the Hokekyo echo against blue heaven and the words of discussing the doctrine of the One Vehicle are heard in the midst of the mountains. Informing [them, of your presence and requesting] admittance, you enter the chamber, place your mother’s bones before the Master of Teachings Lord Shakya, cast your five limbs to the ground, press your palms together, and opening your two eyes, look up to the Holy Face: joy overflows your body and the pain of your heart suddenly ceases.”(On forgetting Ones Copy Of The Lotus Sutra, NOPPA Translation)

mark

tkp67
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Re: The Writings of Nichiren

Post by tkp67 » Tue Nov 19, 2019 2:55 am

In time he arrived at a rocky cave with green mountains rising sheer behind it. The wind in the pines played a melody of eternity, happiness, true self and purity, and the emerald stream that bubbled along in front sent its waves striking against the bank with echoes of the perfection of these four virtues. The flowers carpeting the deep valley bloomed with the hue of the true aspect of the Middle Way, and from the plum blossoms just beginning to open in the broad meadow wafted the fragrance of the three thousand realms. Truly it was beyond the power of words to describe, beyond the scope of the mind to imagine. One might have thought it the place where the Four White-haired Recluses of Mount Shang lived, or the site where some ancient Buddha had walked about after meditation. Auspicious clouds rose up at dawn, a mysterious light appeared in the evening. Ah, the mind cannot grasp it nor words set it forth!
Conversation between a Sage and an Unenlightened Man

---> http://nichiren.info/gosho/Conversation-1.htm

tkp67
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Re: The Writings of Nichiren

Post by tkp67 » Thu Nov 21, 2019 2:33 pm

Because the flower called the lotus is endowed with such splendid virtue, the Buddha likened it to the Mystic Law.
Beneficial Medicine for All Ills

---> http://nichiren.info/gosho/BeneficialMedicineIlls.htm

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