Four noble truths

Re: Four noble truths

Postby illarraza » Sat Jun 15, 2013 10:39 pm

robban wrote:
robby wrote:
Seishin wrote:Thank you Robby, that was a beautiful explanation of the 8 fold path. :smile:


Thank you Seishin. I reread the post, and am pretty much satisfied with it for now. One thing I would change -- I misspelled altar.

There are a few more points that robban might find useful. One thing, I do not care for a couple of the recent re-translations of the 8-fold path -- in particular 'right thought' and 'right memory'. I think the older translations as 'right aspiration' or 'right intention', and 'right mindfulness' or 'right remembrance', do a better job of conveying the Buddhist sense of the original terms.

I usually render the second 'fold' or branch -- right thought / intention / aspiration samyak sangkalpa 正思惟 -- as right goal or right purpose. Thought might be literally correct, but we are specifically talking about the conative aspect thought, rather than the cognitive. Specifically, sangkalpa, as used here, refers to purposeful or directed thought; our drives, ambitions, plans, dreams, and goals. That is my present understanding.

In contrast, the 1st 'fold' or branch, samyak ditthi / drishti 正見 refers to cognitive thought. View is a good translation of ditthi / drishti: as it literally means sight, and is used in a figurative sense. However, it should be clarified that it usually carries the sense of biased, limited, and partial opinions, viewpoints, or perspectives. Right View, the first branch of the path, corrects the 5 kinds of wrong or opinionated views. One's goals or purposes in life are rooted in one's views about life. If we have distorted views about life; then it follows that our purpose and goals are also distorted.

AFAIK, there are two kinds of right view taught in Buddhism, the mundane right view and the supra-mundane right view. The mundane right view is belief in karma, or volitional causality. The supra-mundane right view is the title of this thread: the Four Noble Truths. In the most basic form: existence is inherently suffering (painful, dissatisfying), there is an origin of suffering, there is a cessation of suffering, and there is a path leading to the cessation of suffering. This path is variously expressed as the 8-fold path, the 10-fold path, and the three core or higher trainings. Something like that.

At any rate, afaik, all of the Nichiren schools teach that our relative or individual suffering is due to our own karma, our volitional thoughts, words, and actions. It is possible to gradually change our karma for the better and enjoy a degree of relative satisfaction. The path to change one's karma for the better is putting the Three Great Hidden Dharmas into practice.

Moreover, we can also attain non-relative, or absolute, happiness, in this lifetime. In this sense, we suffer because our inherent Buddha Nature / Immaculate Consciousness is obscured by various afflictions or impediments, such as the four distortions, the four tainted influxes/effluents, the five obscuring veils, the three poisons, and so on. Rather than attempting to remove the various impediments, one at a time, one can Awaken the inner light of Buddha Nature directly; thus reversing the four distortions. by allowing the four inherent virtues to emerge from within. The The path to Awaken the Buddha Nature is putting the Three Great Hidden Dharmas into practice.

Very interesting reading! Thank you

But do nichiren ever mention in any gosho that one should live according to the 4 nt and 8fp?
Sgi doesnt care much for the truths. Of all the goshos i've read i never seen writings about the 4nt.
So maybe sgi have a point?!

They have many points but this is not the danger of their teachings:

The first danger of the SGI teachings is mixing the clean with the unclean. No dog would ever intentionally eat ground glass. No infant would ever intentionally ingest a toxic substance nor would any mother intentionally give her baby a toxic substance. However, a dog will eagerly eat a steak inundated with ground glass and an infant will readily drink tainted breast milk. A mother, not knowing that the noxious drug is excreted into her breast milk, inadvertently gives it to her baby. This is what the SGI members serve to the children of the Buddha. They serve the poison of the heretical doctrines of Nichiren as True Buddha, The DaiGohonzon, and the Oneness of Living Mentor and Disciple to their children in the milk of Namu Myoho renge kyo. Or they, like a mean and deranged farmer, serve their loyal dog the ground glass of slander of the orthodox sects in the steak of the Jiga-ge.

The second danger is as noxious as mixing the clean with the unclean: Taking a piece of the teachings from the middle, a piece from the end, and a piece from the beginning and re-attaching them in reverse order or mixing them up. The former practice is like a surgeon who reverses a vein when creating an arterial bypass. The flow of blood ceases and the patient dies. The latter practice (that of mixing up the teachings) can be likened to a physician who is ignorant of adverse drug-drug interactions. He mixes two or three safe and efficacious drugs together which turns them into a powerful poison. The former practice of rearranging the teachings is commonplace in the SGI. For example, those teachings that Nichiren Daishonin taught before he had fully developed his faith are given precedent over the later complete teachings or they promote the theoretical teachings of expedients over the essential teachings of abandoning expedients and the exclusive faith and practice of the Lotus Sutra. An example of the danger of mixing several efficacious practices which when mixed have a deleterious effect, are the practices of shoju and shakabuku in the Soka Gakkai which are practiced without understanding the times or the circumstances in which we live. They practice shoju towards the slanderers of the Dharma such as the Zen men, Nembutsu adherents, and believers in Islam and practice shakabuku towards the members of the Kempon Hokke and the Nichiren Shu. These sundry practices the SGI perpetrates on the children of the Buddha. Neither Greg Martin nor Dave Baldshun nor any of the salaried SGI leaders are good persons and neither is their master, Daisaku Ikeda. Both have the mission of destroying the teachings and harming the children of the Buddha, Daisaku Ikeda from above and the salaried SGI leaders from below.

The third danger of the SGI is that they arbitrarily add doctrines and concepts to the Great Pure Teachings where none exist and claim them as “the original and authentic teachings of Nichiren Daishonin”. This is worse than forging Gosho because it is more insidious. By altering a word here or a word there, to already extant and authentic Gosho (literally putting words in Nichiren’s mouth), they become adept at fooling the people. This cunning and treachery they inherited from the perverse seven hundred year tradition of the Taisekaji priests and their Gosho Zenshu, Oral Teachings, and faked transfer documents. Fortunately, we have the unadulterated Showa Tehon Collection of Original Gosho (as well as expert linguists), to keep them honest. We also have the disciples and believers of the Eternal Shakyamuni Buddha and Nichiren Daishonin whose correct faith and understanding renders them capable of clarifying such matters.

The last danger is that many innocent people fall prey to the Soka Gakkai's argument, “Nichiren said this but meant that” which is the teachings of the delusion of fundamental darkness. Since this is a visceral and emotional argument and the people are steeped in the Three Poisons, no amount of logic or scholarship will suffice to overturn it. Most people can no more see their own eyebrows than heaven in the distance [Nichiren]. It will require the wisdom of the Buddha born of faith in Nichiren Daishonin’s Gohonzon and the Lotus Sutra to destroy these arguments and devils.
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Re: Four noble truths

Postby robby » Sun Jun 16, 2013 5:29 am

robban wrote:[quote="robby"
Very interesting reading! Thank you

But do nichiren ever mention in any gosho that one should live according to the 4 nt and 8fp?
Sgi doesnt care much for the truths. Of all the goshos i've read i never seen writings about the 4nt.
So maybe sgi have a point?!

I do not know off hand of any references Nichiren made to the Four Noble Truths or Eightfold Path. He does mention the Three Trainings; which are the core of the Eightfold Path, and are restated as the Three Great Hidden Dharmas.

The four noble truths, afaik, have not been repealed. All of conditioned existence is still suffering. The origin of suffering is still attachment to the four distortions. There is still a cessation of suffering -- the discernment of unborn purity, non-arisen bliss, uncreated constancy, and unconditioned or de-conditioned self. There is still a path to the cessation of suffering -- the Three Great Hidden Dharmas of the One Vehicle.

The 8-fold path is still a very nice description of how practice unfolds. First, we tentatively accept the teaching based on trust (right view), then set goals and make the determination to put it into practice (right aspiration). We accept the doctrine of karma, so we adjust our speech and deeds accordingly. We do our best to earn an honest living despite the present economic conditions and ethical dilemmas. By chanting to achieve our goals, we gradually reform our motivations (right effort), cultivate expanded awareness (right mindfulness), and become more focused (right concentration).
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