The Writings of Nichiren

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illarraza
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Re: The Writings of Nichiren

Post by illarraza » Sat Feb 22, 2020 2:28 am

More on ascertaining what Nichiren actually taught.

There has been numerous insertions and deletions in the Nichiren Corpus. However, the English translations, either from the original Showa Tehon or the modern Gosho Zenshu, whether from the Nichiren Shu. Nichiren Shoshu, Kempon Hokke, or Soka Gakkai, have a 90+ percent concordance. Also, we can use the following method to know what Nichiren Daishonin actually taught:

There are certain approaches that can aid one: Is it in Nichiren's hand, signed and stamped?; are they in one or the other of the earliest collections of Gosho?; congruence with the content and principles espoused with respect to the period in which Nichiren taught [the stage of development of Nichiren's teachings]; are there citations, principles, or events in the Gosho from a time after Nichiren's death?; comparing content of Gosho to the Five Major Works and the entire body of authenticated [in Nichiren's hand] works; computer or reasoned analysis of writing style and the words contained in the Gosho [again, comparing Gosho written in Nichiren's hand to the Gosho in question]; and the approach of textual parsimony [limiting oneself to Gosho in Nichiren's hand] and weighing Gosho according to profundity and the preponderance of established concepts.

A lesser criteria: That which the vast majority of priests and scholars have deemed authentic or one particularly learned priest or scholar.

tkp67
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Re: The Writings of Nichiren

Post by tkp67 » Sat Feb 22, 2020 2:39 am

Therefore its practitioners,
after the Buddha has entered extinction,
when they hear a sutra like this
should entertain no doubts or perplexities
but should with a single mind
preach this sutra far and wide,
age after age encountering buddhas
and quickly completing the buddha way.
The Bodhisattva Never Disparaging

https://www.nichirenlibrary.org/en/lsoc/Content/20
All disciples and believers of Nichiren should chant Nam(u)-myoho-renge-kyo with one mind (itai doshin), transcending all differences among themselves13 to become as inseparable as fish and the water in which they swim. This spiritual bond is the basis for the universal transmission of the ultimate law of life and death. Herein lies the true goal of Nichiren's propagation. When you are so united, even the great hope for kosen-rufu can be fulfilled without fail. But if any of Nichiren's disciples should disrupt the unity of itai doshin, he will destroy his own castle from within.
Heritage of the Ultimate Law of Life
- Shoji Ichidaiji Kechimyaku Sho -


http://nichiren.info/gosho/HeritageUltimateLawLife.htm

illarraza
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Re: The Writings of Nichiren

Post by illarraza » Sat Feb 22, 2020 2:43 am

Three translations of a passage from the Gift of Rice:

"Without food, I could not long continue to recite the sutra or concentrate on MEDITATION (Major Works)

"Under these circumstances [without food], my voice reciting the sutra would not long endure nor could I concentrate on FAITH. (1972 Nichiren Publication)

"Without food, I could not long continue to recite the sutra or concentrate on PRACTICE. (George Williams Gosho Reference).

illarraza
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Re: The Writings of Nichiren

Post by illarraza » Sat Feb 22, 2020 2:50 am

Two translations of a passage from Nichiren's most important writing, The True Object of Worship

Kempon Hokke translation:

“This earthly world is the eternal pure land, unaffected by the three calamities and the four cycles of change. In this world, the Buddha transcends birth and death, and his disciples are also such. This is none other than the three thousand worlds, the three realms of existence within our very own being.”

SGI translation:

“The saha world Shakyamuni Buddha revealed in the “Life Span” chapter is the eternal pure land, impervious to the three calamities and to the cycle of the four kalpas. The Buddha neither has entered into extinction in the past nor will be born in the future. And the same is true of his disciples. This means that their lives are perfectly endowed with the three thousand worlds, that is, with the three realms of existence.”

illarraza
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Re: The Writings of Nichiren

Post by illarraza » Sat Feb 22, 2020 3:28 am

Glaring example of SGI/NST's heterodox translation of a passage from Nichiren's most important writing, The True Object of Worship:

Three translations of one passage
"At this time the countless Bodhisattvas of the Earth will appear and establish in this country the object of devotion, foremost in Jambudvipa, that depicts Shakyamuni Buddha of the essential teaching attending the eternal Buddha." -- Latest SGI translation of a Gosho passage from The True Object of Worship [based on the Nichiren Shoshu's modern Japanese Gosho Zenshu.

"Now is when the Bodhisattvas of the Earth will appear in this country and establish the supreme object of worship on the earth which depicts Shakyamuni Buddha of the essential teaching attending the true Buddha." -- Older SGI translation also based on the Gosho Zenshu].

"This is the very time when the original disciples of the Buddha will spring up from underground, attend both sides of the Eternal Buddha [Shakyamuni] revealed in the essential section of the Lotus Sutra and establish in this land of Japan the supreme object of worship in the world." -- Nichiren Shu's translation of the same passage from the Showa Tehon, the Gosho in its original form.

The two translations from the SGI/NST Gosho Zenshu are inconsistent, not only with the entire authenticated canon of Nichiren but they are even inconsistent with the rest of this writing. For example:

"Even though statues and paintings were made of these Shakyamuni Buddhas during the two millennia, no image or statue was made of the Buddha of the “Life Span” chapter. Only in the Latter Day of the Law will the representation of that Buddha appear."

and

The Great Teacher T’ien-t’ai Chih-che gave three reasons for Shakyamuni’s stopping the bodhisattvas, and three more for his summoning the Bodhisattvas of the Earth. Essentially, the great bodhisattvas taught by the Buddha in his transient status and the great bodhisattvas who gathered from the other worlds were not qualified to inherit the “Life Span” chapter that reveals the eternal Buddha’s inner truth. At the dawn of the Latter Day evil people who slander the correct teaching would fill the land, so Shakyamuni Buddha p.371rejected the pledge of these bodhisattvas and instead summoned the multitude of great bodhisattvas from beneath the earth. He entrusted them with the five characters of Myoho-renge-kyo, the heart of the “Life Span” chapter, for the enlightenment of all beings in the land of Jambudvīpa. The bodhisattvas taught by the Buddha in his transient status were also unqualified because they had not been the disciples of Shakyamuni Buddha since the time he had first set his mind on and attained enlightenment in the remote past. The Great Teacher T’ien-t’ai states, “[The Buddha said of the Bodhisattvas of the Earth,] ‘These are my disciples, destined to propagate my Law.’” Miao-lo says, “The children propagate the Law of the father, and this benefits the world.”71 The Supplement to “The Words and Phrases of the Lotus Sutra” states, “The Law embodied therein [in the Lotus Sutra] is the Law that was realized countless kalpas in the past, and therefore it was entrusted to persons who had been the Buddha’s disciples from countless kalpas in the past.”

Need I cite the entire canon of Nichiren to prove my point?

illarraza
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Re: The Writings of Nichiren

Post by illarraza » Sat Feb 22, 2020 4:22 am

Nichiren on the importance of reliable translations:

"In studying the teachings of Buddhism, apart from the distinctions between Hinayana and Mahayana, provisional and true, and exoteric and esoteric teachings, this question of the reliability of the sutra translation is the most important of all."

tkp67
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Re: The Writings of Nichiren

Post by tkp67 » Sun Feb 23, 2020 2:31 pm

Mark,

Thank you for your diligence in regards to shakubuku. Since I first encountered your posts on the internet have been a cause to question my own ignorance in regards to Nichiren Buddhism. For this I am absolutely grateful.

I am at an impasse however because I understand what you are posting but I cannot fathom the benefit or the perspective. I won't ascribe ownership to right or wrong perspective but I will take it as my own lack of understanding but I will pose the questions going unanswered in my mind because perhaps I am not the only one with the same obstacle.

In regards to the comment below. Please provide citations proven to be directly from Nichiren that the commentary bellow was also to be applied to his collections of goshos as if they were sutras themselves. I don't believe Nichiren ever made this claim. I also loans to the question, what is the benefit of undermining the one mind doctrine of the Lotus Sutra I provided before. I don't believe the translation of the sutra itself is being questioned. Rather translation of commentary between schools. From what I understand these discussions are only put out into the public by independent practitioners. I believe this is in accord with the one mind doctrine.
illarraza wrote:
Sat Feb 22, 2020 4:22 am
Nichiren on the importance of reliable translations:

"In studying the teachings of Buddhism, apart from the distinctions between Hinayana and Mahayana, provisional and true, and exoteric and esoteric teachings, this question of the reliability of the sutra translation is the most important of all."
Here we have another example of undermining the one mind doctrine because a difference in vernacular that appears to illustrate the very same meaning.

It seems to me that this destroys the very seeds of Buddhism before they are cast.
illarraza wrote:
Sat Feb 22, 2020 2:50 am
Two translations of a passage from Nichiren's most important writing, The True Object of Worship

Kempon Hokke translation:

“This earthly world is the eternal pure land, unaffected by the three calamities and the four cycles of change. In this world, the Buddha transcends birth and death, and his disciples are also such. This is none other than the three thousand worlds, the three realms of existence within our very own being.”

SGI translation:

“The saha world Shakyamuni Buddha revealed in the “Life Span” chapter is the eternal pure land, impervious to the three calamities and to the cycle of the four kalpas. The Buddha neither has entered into extinction in the past nor will be born in the future. And the same is true of his disciples. This means that their lives are perfectly endowed with the three thousand worlds, that is, with the three realms of existence.”

Furthermore NB does not have a great reputation because of inter organizational and independent practitioners strife. This detriment of this phenomenon can be determined to an extent since it is a product of the internet.

I question whether it is truly paying back one's debt to Nichiren, Shakyamuni and the buddha of the ten direction and three periods. Inverse poison drum relations are meant for non believers, not those who embrace the LS regardless of cause, capacity or conditions. I do not see the benefit in evoking it anywhere else.


edit: added last sentence first paragraph.

illarraza
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Re: The Writings of Nichiren

Post by illarraza » Mon Feb 24, 2020 3:05 am

tkp67 wrote:
Sun Feb 23, 2020 2:31 pm
Mark,

Thank you for your diligence in regards to shakubuku. Since I first encountered your posts on the internet have been a cause to question my own ignorance in regards to Nichiren Buddhism. For this I am absolutely grateful.

I am at an impasse however because I understand what you are posting but I cannot fathom the benefit or the perspective. I won't ascribe ownership to right or wrong perspective but I will take it as my own lack of understanding but I will pose the questions going unanswered in my mind because perhaps I am not the only one with the same obstacle.

In regards to the comment below. Please provide citations proven to be directly from Nichiren that the commentary bellow was also to be applied to his collections of goshos as if they were sutras themselves. I don't believe Nichiren ever made this claim. I also loans to the question, what is the benefit of undermining the one mind doctrine of the Lotus Sutra I provided before. I don't believe the translation of the sutra itself is being questioned. Rather translation of commentary between schools. From what I understand these discussions are only put out into the public by independent practitioners. I believe this is in accord with the one mind doctrine.
illarraza wrote:
Sat Feb 22, 2020 4:22 am
Nichiren on the importance of reliable translations:

"In studying the teachings of Buddhism, apart from the distinctions between Hinayana and Mahayana, provisional and true, and exoteric and esoteric teachings, this question of the reliability of the sutra translation is the most important of all."
Here we have another example of undermining the one mind doctrine because a difference in vernacular that appears to illustrate the very same meaning.

It seems to me that this destroys the very seeds of Buddhism before they are cast.
illarraza wrote:
Sat Feb 22, 2020 2:50 am
Two translations of a passage from Nichiren's most important writing, The True Object of Worship

Kempon Hokke translation:

“This earthly world is the eternal pure land, unaffected by the three calamities and the four cycles of change. In this world, the Buddha transcends birth and death, and his disciples are also such. This is none other than the three thousand worlds, the three realms of existence within our very own being.”

SGI translation:

“The saha world Shakyamuni Buddha revealed in the “Life Span” chapter is the eternal pure land, impervious to the three calamities and to the cycle of the four kalpas. The Buddha neither has entered into extinction in the past nor will be born in the future. And the same is true of his disciples. This means that their lives are perfectly endowed with the three thousand worlds, that is, with the three realms of existence.”

Furthermore NB does not have a great reputation because of inter organizational and independent practitioners strife. This detriment of this phenomenon can be determined to an extent since it is a product of the internet.

I question whether it is truly paying back one's debt to Nichiren, Shakyamuni and the buddha of the ten direction and three periods. Inverse poison drum relations are meant for non believers, not those who embrace the LS regardless of cause, capacity or conditions. I do not see the benefit in evoking it anywhere else.


edit: added last sentence first paragraph.
There is immeasurable benefit in preserving (not altering) the teachings. The Lotus Sutra states:

“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,... you should understand that such spots are places of religious practice.” - Lotus Sutra Chapter 21

and

“The Buddha wishes to entrust this Lotus Sutra of the Wonderful Law to someone so that it may be preserved.” - Lotus Sutra Chapter 11


Nichiren writes:

"This passage means that, among all the sutras preached in the three periods of past, present, and future of the fifty years of the Buddha’s preaching life, this sutra is the foremost of all. The Buddha is saying that, among all his eighty thousand sacred teachings, he is particularly desirous that this one be preserved for future ages."

Again, "preserved", not "altered".

The Lotus Sutra according to the Lotus Sutra itself and according to Nichiren is the supreme teaching in the past, present, and future. Likewise, Nichiren's commentaries as the Supreme votary of the Lotus Sutra are supreme in the past, present, and future. What Nichiren writes is as valid then as it is now and in the future.

When Nichiren criticizes Pu-k'ung, for example, his translations, he also criticizes his commentaries. How much worse to alter the teachings of the Lotus Sutra and Nichiren's commentaries!

Do you remember Nikko's 26 articles, sometimes cited by Soka Gakkai? Article 4 reads, "Those who produce forged writings and say that they are Gosho, or who practice with the view that the essential and theoretical teachings [of the Lotus Sutra] are the same, are parasites in the lion’s body."

If it wasn't already a problem by Nikko's time or at least a potential problem, why would Nikko highlight it as one of his articles?

I am criticizing SGI's translation of Nichiren's commentaries. I am also highlighting the ambiguous status of the corpus that constitutes the bones and marrow of SGI doctrine. I believe I sent you several scholars writings on the subject. For example, Fumiko's Nichiren's problematic works: https://nirc.nanzan-u.ac.jp/nfile/2684 and Jacqueline Stones dissertation, Some Disputed Writings in the Nichiren Corpus: http://www.princeton.edu/~jstone/Disser ... 0Herme.pdf

I do what I do because I highly respect the Lotus Sutra Buddhism of Nichiren and I hate what Soka Gakkai, among others, have done to the teachings.

Regarding what you stated as "one mind doctrine", I can't find where you wrote this. However, I argue that "one mind doctrine" is not the doctrine of the Lotus Sutra and Nichiren:

SGI and Yogacara [Mind or Consciousness Only school]

Empathy is being able to put oneself in another person's shoes. I never found empathy in the Soka Gakkai because the organization takes precedence over the individual. Leaders would often quote President Toda, "The organization is more important than my life" or they placed blame on the failures of the organization by placing the blame on you: "You are the organization" or "the organization is a mirror of your own life condition." This last assertion is wrong from the standpoint of the Lotus Sutra teachings of the oneness of person and the environment and of "Thusness" or reality as it is. SGI practices a type of Buddhism called Yogacara or Mind Only, where all phenomena are said to derive from the mind.* This being the case, there can be no empathy and no acknowledgement of others because everything derives from one's own mind. It is a selfish way to view the world. Despite their rhetoric of caring, they embrace the ignoble and selfish teachings of pre-Lotus Sutra Buddhism rather than the actual caring and respect of Nichiren Daishonin towards his disciples and believers.

*SGI might argue as Nichiren did in one of his earlier writings, "It [the Vimalakirti Sutra] also states that, if the minds of living beings are impure, their land is also impure, but if their minds are pure, so is their land. There are not two lands, pure or impure in themselves. The difference lies solely in the good or evil of our minds."

Please contrast this with passages from some later writings of Nichiren in which he rejects the Yogacara [Consciousness Only] view which is based on the Flower Garland, Mahavairochana and other provisional sutras:

"The path to Buddhahood is not to be found in the Flower Garland doctrine of the phenomenal world as created by the mind alone, in theeight negations of the Three Treatises school, in the Consciousness-Only doctrine of the Dharma Characteristics school, or in the True Word type of meditation on the five elements of the universe. Only the T’ien-t’ai doctrine of three thousand realms in a single moment of life is the path to Buddhahood."

and

"The essence of the sutras preached before the Lotus Sutra is that all phenomena arise from the mind. To illustrate, they say that the mind is like the great earth, while the grasses and trees are like all phenomena. But it is not so with the Lotus Sutra. It teaches that the mind itself is the great earth, and that the great earth itself is the grasses and trees. The meaning of the earlier sutras is that clarity of mind is like the moon, and that purity of mind is like a flower. But it is not so with the Lotus Sutra. It is the teaching that the moon itself is mind, and the flower itself is mind. You should realize from this that polished rice is not polished rice; it is life itself."

Mark

tkp67
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Re: The Writings of Nichiren

Post by tkp67 » Mon Feb 24, 2020 10:52 pm

Based on the interpretation you are promoting, technically any transmission in English would be evil and slanderous. Does this really represent the equanimity of the Buddha of the ten directions and three times?

Would it not also render any Shakabuku as Daimoku in English slanderous as well destroying the seeds of Buddhism before they are cast?

illarraza
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Re: The Writings of Nichiren

Post by illarraza » Tue Feb 25, 2020 4:29 am

tkp67 wrote:
Mon Feb 24, 2020 10:52 pm
Based on the interpretation you are promoting, technically any transmission in English would be evil and slanderous. Does this really represent the equanimity of the Buddha of the ten directions and three times?

Would it not also render any Shakabuku as Daimoku in English slanderous as well destroying the seeds of Buddhism before they are cast?
Really? You must point this out to me paragraph by paragraph and line by line. If the translation is inconsistent internally within a particular Gosho or inconsistent with the entire authenticated cannon, I maintain, it is a poor translation or a translation with an agenda because Nichiren was basically consistent (with the caveat that Nichiren's teachings developed over time).

Can one develop doubt free faith, a prerequisite for Buddhahood, should one encounter inconsistencies in the teachings? How can one not harbor doubts if the teachings are inconsistent. If Nichiren taught in one place that Shakyamuni Buddha is sovereign, teacher, and parent (actually in hundreds of places with Nichiren's signature and in the Lotus Sutra) and in another, it is we common mortals who endow him with the Three Virtues and we are the True Buddha (in one or two Gosho not in Nichiren's hand), isn't it logical that the latter is not Nichiren's writings and we should reject the latter's teachings.

Nichiren teaches about differing thoughts and harboring doubts,

"Those who practice with distorted views, however, are destroying this most precious sutra. You should simply be careful that, without differing thoughts, you single-mindedly aspire to the pure land of Eagle Peak. A passage in the Six Pāramitās Sutra says to become the master of your mind rather than let your mind master you. I will explain in detail when I see you."

and more importantly:

"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."

I have no doubt in the Lotus Sutra and Nichiren because I see consistency from beginning to end. I reject inconsistencies in translations and doctrines as deriving from other than the Lotus Sutra and Nichiren. Surprisingly, where there are inconsistencies, they come either from A). Gosho not in Nichiren's hand or B.Soka Gakkai and Nichiren Shoshu translations.

tkp67
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Re: The Writings of Nichiren

Post by tkp67 » Tue Feb 25, 2020 5:22 am

Vernacular does not define essence, meaning does. In the example of yours I quoted earlier the difference in wording does not equate to a difference in meaning. Is meaning really subjective to linguistical aesthetics and if so where does that line get drawn?

Furthermore, regardless of virtue or capacity, anyone who embraces the Lotus Sutra under the Nichiren banner should be doing so in solidarity. That is the notion of one mind many in body Nichiren and the Lotus Sutra discuss. The reason being is deviation from this destroys the potency of the practice to those who have yet to know it. When people see a community divided and riddle with strife that is all they need to judge the validity of those teachings. I assume this is why the very few corrective personalities are independent.

There seems very little on derision between anyone else who claims Nichiren as their teacher regardless of differences in practices.

FWIW Mark, number systems translate PERFECTLY in different languages and different numbers and equations can be used to express the same meaning. That is the nature of doubt. It forces us to overlay our individual interpretations as totalitarian realities. In this case pointing to a difference that does not exists in all minds.

What is there to doubt when a person encounters even a phrase or a word of the Lotus Sutra? Is not doubt the antithesis of practice.

Perhaps Nichiren's medicine is working as prescribed for his practitioners and compassionate forbearance among them a corner stone of propagation.

This is how I interpret his teachings and I an very curious why you find shakyubuku of those who also embrace this sutra necessary and productive in light of the sutra and his teachings stating otherwise.

Especially in a thread that asked for distinct mindfulness in this regard. The fact that you state hatred for a population of practitioners is difficult to grasp because on a personal level it betrays both the necessary reason and compassion for proper practice.

illarraza
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Re: The Writings of Nichiren

Post by illarraza » Tue Feb 25, 2020 8:45 pm

tkp67 wrote:
Tue Feb 25, 2020 5:22 am
Vernacular does not define essence, meaning does. In the example of yours I quoted earlier the difference in wording does not equate to a difference in meaning. Is meaning really subjective to linguistical aesthetics and if so where does that line get drawn?

Furthermore, regardless of virtue or capacity, anyone who embraces the Lotus Sutra under the Nichiren banner should be doing so in solidarity. That is the notion of one mind many in body Nichiren and the Lotus Sutra discuss. The reason being is deviation from this destroys the potency of the practice to those who have yet to know it. When people see a community divided and riddle with strife that is all they need to judge the validity of those teachings. I assume this is why the very few corrective personalities are independent.

There seems very little on derision between anyone else who claims Nichiren as their teacher regardless of differences in practices.

FWIW Mark, number systems translate PERFECTLY in different languages and different numbers and equations can be used to express the same meaning. That is the nature of doubt. It forces us to overlay our individual interpretations as totalitarian realities. In this case pointing to a difference that does not exists in all minds.

What is there to doubt when a person encounters even a phrase or a word of the Lotus Sutra? Is not doubt the antithesis of practice.

Perhaps Nichiren's medicine is working as prescribed for his practitioners and compassionate forbearance among them a corner stone of propagation.

This is how I interpret his teachings and I an very curious why you find shakyubuku of those who also embrace this sutra necessary and productive in light of the sutra and his teachings stating otherwise.

Especially in a thread that asked for distinct mindfulness in this regard. The fact that you state hatred for a population of practitioners is difficult to grasp because on a personal level it betrays both the necessary reason and compassion for proper practice.
As I stated, there is ~ 90 % concordance in the writings (and meanings) of the translations from the various Nichiren sects (in regards to the authenticated texts). It is in the ~10 % differences that one should discriminate between what Nichiren actually taught and what has been changed. The bigger problem is in the canon itself. The Fuji school canon relies heavily on the disputed texts, those texts not in Nichiren's hand, includingn known forgeries.

Nichiren's teachings are consistent, SGI's/Nichiren Shoshu's not so much

The Nichiren Shoshu/SGI doctrine of Nichiren, or the common mortal as True Buddha, is nothing but ornate rhetoric and meaningless talk. The moment Nichiren revealed the Three Great Secret Laws, nothing remained hidden in the depths, either in the Lotus Sutra nor in the teachings of Nichiren. Faith or lack of faith in the teachings of Nichiren is the issue.

Accurately following the teachings is different than originalism or seeking out what the Daishonin had in mind, the interpretation of others, or hearsay. Nichiren was a scriptural Buddhist. What Nichiren actually wrote is that which should be believed and embraced. It is not easy to cull what the Daishonin actually wrote because there are many forgeries in his name. But it is not impossible, as proven by the efforts of various scholars and scholar-priests. By utilizing their methods, we can come to know the truth of the teachings. One method is textual parsimony. What this means is that the writings are weighted. Those actually found in Nichiren's hand are weighted more heavily. Those considered more profound by the majority of priests and scholars, for example, the Five Major Works, are weighted more heavily. Those principles found in the majority of the authenticated works too, are weighted more heavily. The principles in the unauthenticated works are accepted or rejected in light of the Five Major Works and in light of the entire body of authenticated works. Utilizing this method, one can forge strong faith and therefore understanding [because fundamentally, Nichiren's teachings are consistent and not contradictory].

It is a soteriological issue [issue of salvation] rather than a hermeneutical or as you say, a vernacular issue [issue of interpretation].

If you want to accept the Fuji schools take (interpretation) on who is the True Buddha, for example, which goes against the overwhelming evidence, it is your loss.

Nichiren writes in Letter to Akimoto:

"But a vessel is susceptible to four faults. The first is being upset or covered, which means that the vessel can be overturned or covered with a lid. The second is leaking, which means that the water leaks out. The third is being defiled, which means that the contents can be contaminated. Though the water itself may be pure, if filth is dumped into it, then the water in the vessel ceases to be of any use. The fourth is being mixed. If rice is mixed with filth or pebbles or sand or dirt, then it is no longer fit for human consumption.

The vessel here stands for our bodies and minds. Our minds are a kind of vessel, and our mouths too are vessels, as are our ears. The Lotus Sutra is the Dharma water of the Buddha’s wisdom. But when this water is poured into our minds, then we may jar and upset it. Or we may shut it out by placing our hands over our ears, determined not to listen to it. Or we may spit it out of our mouths, determined not to let our mouths chant it. In such cases, we are like a vessel that has overturned or has had a lid placed on it...."

and

"If a vessel is free of these four faults of overturning, leaking, being defiled, and being mixed, then it can be called a perfect vessel. If the embankments around a moat do not leak, then the water will never escape from the moat. And if the mind of faith is perfect, then the water of wisdom, the great impartial wisdom, will never dry up."

The changes made by the Fuji school to the original translations (~ 10 % or less but often to crucial passages from the Ten Major Writing) and the unquestioning reliance on disputed texts (not in Nichiren's hand) is to defile the teachings of Nichiren.

tkp67
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Re: The Writings of Nichiren

Post by tkp67 » Tue Feb 25, 2020 9:15 pm

You posts contrasting doctrine in response to posts for clarity have never been questioned regardless of perceived validity because due diligence is reasonable. You posted scriptural differences that have never been presented in this thread without any contextual impetus.

You also have yet to respond to Nichiren's dictate for solidarity among practitioners. Is there reasoning for this?

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Re: The Writings of Nichiren

Post by narhwal90 » Wed Feb 26, 2020 3:16 am

As disagreeable as the language can be, perhaps its sometimes the case that very strict orthodoxy towards a chosen body of doctrine is whats needed to support practice.

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Re: The Writings of Nichiren

Post by dude » Wed Feb 26, 2020 5:51 am

illarraza wrote:
Sat Feb 22, 2020 2:43 am
Three translations of a passage from the Gift of Rice:

"Without food, I could not long continue to recite the sutra or concentrate on MEDITATION (Major Works)

"Under these circumstances [without food], my voice reciting the sutra would not long endure nor could I concentrate on FAITH. (1972 Nichiren Publication)

"Without food, I could not long continue to recite the sutra or concentrate on PRACTICE. (George Williams Gosho Reference).
what on earth is wrong with any of the translations? do they not mean the same thing?

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Caoimhghín
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Re: The Writings of Nichiren

Post by Caoimhghín » Wed Feb 26, 2020 6:16 am

Meditation, faith, or practice? There's some translators with a lack of consensus.
savi saghara aṇica di, savi saghara dukha di, savi dhama aṇatva di:
yada paśadi cakhkṣuma tada nivinadi dukha eṣo mago viśodhia.

"All formations are inconstant," he said.
"All formations are stressful," he said.
"All phenomena are selfless," he said.
When one sees this, one becomes adverse to stress, and this is the path of purity.

(Gāndhārī Dharmapada fragments)

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KanseCapon
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Re: The Writings of Nichiren

Post by KanseCapon » Wed Feb 26, 2020 7:53 am

I don’t know about a lack of consensus, but the translators have chosen to translate it differently...

Just to muddy the waters a bit more, a fourth available translation is:
“The voice of chanting the sutra here on Mt. Minobu is about to disappear. The practice of spiritual contemplation tends to be neglected.”
(Writings of Nichiren Shonin Volume 4 (WNS-4) p.99, published by Nichiren Shu Overseas Propagation Promotion Association (NOPPA))

The original is:
読経の音も絶へぬべし。観心の心をろしかなり。

Kanjin 観心 Is the term in question, which is the same “kanjin” which is part of Nichiren Shonin’s major treatise Kanjin Honzon-sho. In WNS-4 it’s translated as “spiritual contemplation”...

Taken most literally, it means “observation of the mind”. In Kanjin Honzon-sho Nichiren Shonin teaches that observation of the mind is practised by chanting the Odaimoku.

However, in this Gosho (Jiri Kuyo Gosho) he also makes an interesting connection between intention, offering (the Paramita of giving), and kanjin based on Tendai Daishi’s Maka Shikan (I haven’t got it in front of me, but we happened to study this Gosho last week here at the London Nichiren Shu Temple, so from memory the relevant pages are Swanson p.1181 and 1184...but I may be wrong)

dude
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Re: The Writings of Nichiren

Post by dude » Wed Feb 26, 2020 8:50 am

KanseCapon, each new translation I read tells me a little bit more about what it really means. Yours is the only one I haven't heard before, so I am in your debt. Thank you very much indeed. :namaste:

tkp67
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Re: The Writings of Nichiren

Post by tkp67 » Wed Feb 26, 2020 10:41 am

narhwal90 wrote:
Wed Feb 26, 2020 3:16 am
As disagreeable as the language can be, perhaps its sometimes the case that very strict orthodoxy towards a chosen body of doctrine is whats needed to support practice.
If in accordance to capacity, cause and conditions I would agree. Yet do Nichiren's writings condemn those of inferior capacity to who express full potential relative to this capacity? What is the benefit in shakubuku of those who embrace the lotus sutra to the fullness of their capacity? Does this pay back one's debt to all buddha of the ten directions and three times this way?

If people lack the ability to discriminate and determine capacity, brute force shakubuku is always an easy out. But if someone has that capacity and refuses to engage it? What then?

The writings are very clear about capacity, condition and cause. No where is the pure, boundless, compassionate, equanimity to be discarded to benefit personal desire.

If there is a true cause for orthodoxy it is compassion. If that isn't present during sharp correction what tempers intention and desire to keep our action in accord with our debt to the buddha of the ten directions and three times?

Rhetorical questions in a food for thought scenario.

:anjali:

narhwal90
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Re: The Writings of Nichiren

Post by narhwal90 » Wed Feb 26, 2020 4:55 pm

I think we're in general agreement. Its easy to see similar divisive commentary in any number of different schools- its prominent amongst Christians as well. On DW we only need observe the threads closed due to inflammatory rhetoric.

For my part shakabuku at the point of a sword or as a screed is counterproductive. I have a lot of respect for orthodoxy, its inspiring to me when observed in the practitioner's own conduct but less so when its directed at others.

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