Mantras/praying to bodhisattvas

Re: Mantras/praying to bodhisattvas

Postby rory » Tue Sep 17, 2013 6:55 am

FYI the Avalokitesvara chapter and the dharanis were added later to the Lotus Sutra. In my school, Kempon Hokke, we're similar to Nichiren Shu but stricter. That means though I visualize the deities, Kannon included, and believe they protect us I don't pray to them. In the Lotus Sutra all the Buddhas are emanations of the Eternal Buddha so I only pray to the Eternal Buddha Shakyamuni. That doesn't mean you couldn't chant other chapters of the Lotus Sutra as extra practice.

I used to practice Tendai and practice Pure Land and lots of mantras, chanting to Kannon-sama. But stopped due to my present practice. Certainly in Asia, it's degenerated to basically asking a goddess for good things and I've certainly done that.
gassho
Rory
Honmon Butsuryu Shu USA http://www.beikokuhbs.com/about-us.html

NamuMyohoRengeKyo
User avatar
rory
 
Posts: 549
Joined: Mon May 16, 2011 8:08 am
Location: SouthEast USA

Re: Mantras/praying to bodhisattvas

Postby Seishin » Tue Sep 17, 2013 9:51 am

Just for clarities sake, when you said "the Avalokitesvara chapter and the dharanis were added later to the Lotus Sutra", do you mean the understanding as below?

According to Dr. Kogaku Fuse, the Sanskrit text used by Kumara­
jiva was composed of four parts: the oldest part and three additions
to it. He holds that the oldest part of this sutra consisted of the
verses contained in Chapters I, II III, IV V VI VII VIII IX,and
XVIII of the popular edition of this sutra, which was composed in
the first century B.C. The first addition to this was the prose sec­
tions of the abovementioned ten chapters, which were made in the
first century a.D. The second addition was Chapters X XI, XIII XIV,
XV XVI, XVII, XIX XX, and XXI of the popular edition of this
sutra, which were composed about 100 A.D. The third addition, which
covers the remaining chapters, was made about 150 a.D.6
Before going into the outline of this sutra, it is absolutely neces­
sary to understand that it is composed in the form of a drama con­
sisting of six scenes http://nirc.nanzan-u.ac.jp/nfile/3178


Gassho,
Seishin.
User avatar
Seishin
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 1352
Joined: Mon Mar 22, 2010 11:53 am

Re: Mantras/praying to bodhisattvas

Postby emulations » Tue Sep 17, 2013 3:50 pm

markatex wrote:Avalokiteshvara is not on the Mandala Gohonzon (and no one knows exactly why), but considering that Samantabhadra and Manjushri are depicted, the absence is conspicuous, IMO.

Some have speculated that Nichiren Shonin didn't include Avalokiteshvara because of his/her close association with Pure Land Buddhism; others think Nichiren intended for Hariti/Kishimojin to stand in for that bodhisattva on the Mandala.


I just came across an article that mentions this issue: http://www.buddhastate.com/2012/09/was- ... alai-lama/
User avatar
emulations
 
Posts: 18
Joined: Sat Aug 17, 2013 5:39 am
Location: Argentina

Re: Mantras/praying to bodhisattvas

Postby emulations » Tue Sep 17, 2013 5:10 pm

dude wrote:
You're right, the four bodhisattvas of the lotus sutra are the ones on the gohonzon.
We're all new to Buddhisom here in the Americas and nobody studies enough, including me, and I study a lot.

To venture an answer to your question : I'm not qualified to say, but from my reading of the Gosho, Nichiren said that reciting the sutra in its entirety is the "comprehensive practice" and reading the two chapters is the shorter version of practice, to be done as an auxiliary to chanting nam myoho ren ge kyo.

So I can't see anything wrong with reading and reciting the chapter if you want to.
That chapter was instrumental to me at least once in a breakthrough of understanding, and I know what you mean about Feeling something when you read a particular passage. As if the words speak directly to a wisdom deep within my mind.


I definitely agree that Buddhism is new to this continent and there's a lot of difficulty when it comes to studying but my parents are SGI Buddhists who know their bit about ichinen sanzen, the Three Treasures, etc, etc. Recently an older member who received her Gohonzon two years ago was asking my father about the fact she doesn't know anything about the Three Treasures and a lot of other stuff and she wishes the district leaders would encourage more study of these things because she's very much confused and doesn't even know what she's chanting about while doing the gongyo. It's all these factors that have led me to ask here on this forum, hoping to see different points of views and I have gleaned a lot of information thanks to everyone who posted.

I think I will definitely recite the Avalokitesvara chapter but I'm not sure how to approach it really. Also I am still curious about the mantra Om mani padme hum and whether or not it's correct to recite it considering I follow Nichiren Buddhism.
User avatar
emulations
 
Posts: 18
Joined: Sat Aug 17, 2013 5:39 am
Location: Argentina

Re: Mantras/praying to bodhisattvas

Postby dude » Tue Sep 17, 2013 10:04 pm

I see that in this school of Buddhism, there isn't any praying or chanting to any of the bodhisattvas. Did Nichiren ever said anything about this? I remember reading that once he went to the temple, he would pray to Akasagarbha (Kokuzo) to become a wise man but this was when he was 11 or 12.


Thank you![/quote]

Nichiren studied as an acolyte in a Pure Land temple from an early age, and observed the Pure Land practices he learned from his teacher, which includes worshipping statues of buddhas and bodhisattvas.at,
He says in his writings that he was praying to Kokuzo when he first made the vow to become the wisest man in the world.
After that, he studied all the sutras and all the commentaries of all the schools
before stating his conclusions.
dude
 
Posts: 468
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 3:38 am

Re: Mantras/praying to bodhisattvas

Postby rory » Wed Sep 18, 2013 3:56 am

Nichiren was a Tendai monk, praying to Kozuko was to attain a good memory.

As for chanting Om mani padme hum, that's the Tibetan tradition. If you want to chant to Kannon, chant 'namu Kannon-bosatsu' or chant her mantra, it's done all the time in Tendai, Shingon, Kegon, Hosso traditions. Maybe even in Nichiren Shu, they're pretty anything goes so ask a priest. Study and get initiated. Mixing and mingling different tradtions when you have no idea what they are is a very bad idea.
gassho
rory
Honmon Butsuryu Shu USA http://www.beikokuhbs.com/about-us.html

NamuMyohoRengeKyo
User avatar
rory
 
Posts: 549
Joined: Mon May 16, 2011 8:08 am
Location: SouthEast USA

Re: Mantras/praying to bodhisattvas

Postby markatex » Wed Sep 18, 2013 4:07 am

rory wrote:Maybe even in Nichiren Shu, they're pretty anything goes so ask a priest.


That simply isn't true. I don't know any Nichiren Shu priest who would advocate chanting Namu Kanzeon Bosatsu, or anything besides the Odaimoku.
markatex
 
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Nov 06, 2009 1:33 am

Re: Mantras/praying to bodhisattvas

Postby rory » Wed Sep 18, 2013 8:07 am

Okay my apologies Mark;

anyway for those who want to venture out a bit from SGI actually learn about the Lotus Sutra and why it's so great. This is a wonderful article in Tricycle;
http://www.tricycle.com/special-section ... g?page=0,0

"Those familiar with secondary literature about Buddhism are likely to have the impression that the Mahayana emerged as a liberalizing movement within the Buddhist community, one that made the practice of Buddhism, and the attainment of awakening, available to a wider group than had previously been the case. Seen in this light, the Mahayana is often perceived as pro-laity, pro-family, even pro-women, and thus as a form of Buddhism particularly well adapted to the presumably more egalitarian societies of the world today. But it is becoming increasingly clear to scholars that this vision of the character of Mahayana Buddhism has been shaped by a very atypical text, namely, the Lotus Sutra ."

gassho
Rory
Honmon Butsuryu Shu USA http://www.beikokuhbs.com/about-us.html

NamuMyohoRengeKyo
User avatar
rory
 
Posts: 549
Joined: Mon May 16, 2011 8:08 am
Location: SouthEast USA

Re: Mantras/praying to bodhisattvas

Postby emulations » Mon Sep 23, 2013 4:11 pm

Just wanted to thank everyone for the information and opinions given. It's definitely given me a lot to mull over and of course, study and reflect on a lot of things. I still feel an "attraction" to Avalokitesvara but the Kanzeon chapter in the Lotus Sutra is probably the best for my practice as of now.
User avatar
emulations
 
Posts: 18
Joined: Sat Aug 17, 2013 5:39 am
Location: Argentina

Re: Mantras/praying to bodhisattvas

Postby dude » Tue Sep 24, 2013 6:27 am

[quote="rory"]Okay my apologies Mark;

anyway for those who want to venture out a bit from SGI actually learn about the Lotus Sutra and why it's so great. This is a wonderful article in Tricycle;
http://www.tricycle.com/special-section ... g?page=0,0

"Those familiar with secondary literature about Buddhism are likely to have the impression that the Mahayana emerged as a liberalizing movement within the Buddhist community, one that made the practice of Buddhism, and the attainment of awakening, available to a wider group than had previously been the case. Seen in this light, the Mahayana is often perceived as pro-laity, pro-family, even pro-women, and thus as a form of Buddhism particularly well adapted to the presumably more egalitarian societies of the world today. But it is becoming increasingly clear to scholars that this vision of the character of Mahayana Buddhism has been shaped by a very atypical text, namely, the Lotus Sutra ."

gassho


Thank you very much for this quote. It's a supremely important observation.
.
dude
 
Posts: 468
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 3:38 am

Re: Mantras/praying to bodhisattvas

Postby Anders » Tue Sep 24, 2013 9:56 am

rory wrote:As for chanting Om mani padme hum, that's the Tibetan tradition.


No it's not. Chanting Om Mani Padme Hum is a very widespread practise across all of east-asia.
"Even if my body should be burnt to death in the fires of hell
I would endure it for myriad lifetimes
As your companion in practice"

--- Gandavyuha Sutra
User avatar
Anders
 
Posts: 651
Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2009 12:39 pm

Re: Mantras/praying to bodhisattvas

Postby rory » Fri Sep 27, 2013 9:03 pm

Om mani padme hum is indeed fashionable all over Asia due to Tibetan Buddhism being fashionable; please ask Ven. Huifeng or Ven. Indrajala both scholars in this forum if this mantra had been practiced in either Chinese or Japanese Buddhist traditions. There are many mantras to Kannon in the Japanese tradition to practice.
gassho
Rory
Honmon Butsuryu Shu USA http://www.beikokuhbs.com/about-us.html

NamuMyohoRengeKyo
User avatar
rory
 
Posts: 549
Joined: Mon May 16, 2011 8:08 am
Location: SouthEast USA

Re: Mantras/praying to bodhisattvas

Postby jmlee369 » Mon Sep 30, 2013 6:50 am

rory wrote:Om mani padme hum is indeed fashionable all over Asia due to Tibetan Buddhism being fashionable; please ask Ven. Huifeng or Ven. Indrajala both scholars in this forum if this mantra had been practiced in either Chinese or Japanese Buddhist traditions. There are many mantras to Kannon in the Japanese tradition to practice.
gassho
Rory


I wouldn't necessarily attribute the Six Syllable Mantra practice to Tibetan Buddhism's modern popularity. One of the most commonly recited liturgical practices in Korean Buddhism, Cheon Su Gyeong (Thousand Arm 'Sutra') in its current form dates back to the 17th century at the latest, and includes the mantra OM MANI PADME HUM under the name Gwanseum Bodhisattva's Six Syllable Great Brilliance King Mantra. The Yoga of Flaming Mouths in the Chinese tradition also features the recitation of the mantra 108 times, in addition to inserting the mantra into various praises such as the Praise of the Five Directions' Buddhas. Granted, that particular text definitely shows Tibetan, if not a common Indian influence, but it would be hard to attribute the mantra's popularity solely to Tibetan Buddhist influences. The mantra is from the Karandavyuha Sutra after all.
jmlee369
 
Posts: 77
Joined: Tue Aug 09, 2011 1:22 am

Re: Mantras/praying to bodhisattvas

Postby smcj » Tue Oct 01, 2013 11:05 am

...if this mantra had been practiced in either Chinese or Japanese Buddhist traditions.

In China the female deity Kwan Yin's mantra is the mani. That is why she is said to be the same deity as Chenrezig instead of the feminine Tara.
smcj
 
Posts: 1435
Joined: Wed May 29, 2013 6:13 am

Re: Mantras/praying to bodhisattvas

Postby dude » Tue Oct 15, 2013 8:46 pm

emulations wrote:So I'm investigating Nichiren Buddhism (I'm someone who comes from a household of SGI members so I know a lot about NMRK but didn't start my own practice until recently) but I see that in this school of Buddhism, there isn't any praying or chanting to any of the bodhisattvas. Did Nichiren ever said anything about this? I remember reading that once he went to the temple, he would pray to Akasagarbha (Kokuzo) to become a wise man but this was when he was 11 or 12.

I could be totally wrong since the whole sangha where I live is the SGI and not a peep is mentioned about the bodhisattvas. I'm curious though, since I've been thinking a lot about Avalokiteśvara while chanting NMRK and have been listening to the Om mani padme hum and last night, I was thinking about Avalokiteśvara's great compassion and I just felt something. I'm pretty much confused if including Avalokiteśvara as part of my practice would be wrong considering I'd have to study more in-depth, chant the mantra perhaps (I know many recommend a teacher for these types of things) and if it would somehow be conflicting with my chanting of NMRK.

Thank you!


Yes it would. Chant only nam myoho renge kyo.
dude
 
Posts: 468
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 3:38 am

Re: Mantras/praying to bodhisattvas

Postby emulations » Fri Oct 18, 2013 2:50 pm

dude wrote:
Yes it would. Chant only nam myoho renge kyo.


I came to the same conclusion after sitting on the issue. Thanks for all the commentary from everyone!
User avatar
emulations
 
Posts: 18
Joined: Sat Aug 17, 2013 5:39 am
Location: Argentina

Previous

Return to Nichiren

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Masaru and 5 guests

>