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
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.
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.
rory wrote:Maybe even in Nichiren Shu, they're pretty anything goes so ask a priest.
rory wrote:As for chanting Om mani padme hum, that's the Tibetan tradition.
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.
...if this mantra had been practiced in either Chinese or Japanese Buddhist traditions.
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.
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