Nichiren Resources?

Nichiren Resources?

Postby ylee111 » Sun Jan 05, 2014 5:54 am

I notice in the other sections of East Asian Buddhism, there are resources listed for materials that best transmit the teachings of the respective schools. So, what are some good books and websites that explain the beliefs and practices of Nichiren Shoshu and Nichiren Shu, respectively?
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Re: Nichiren Resources?

Postby dude » Sun Jan 05, 2014 6:21 am

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Re: Nichiren Resources?

Postby ylee111 » Wed Jan 08, 2014 2:44 am

If I visit NIchiren Shoshu's Myosetsuji in New York, do you think as an outsider, they would let me purchase books on Nichiren Shoshu? Same question in regards to Daiseion-Ji.
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Re: Nichiren Resources?

Postby dude » Wed Jan 08, 2014 6:14 am

I don't know.
You might have better luck at an SGI community center, where they'll be glad to help you with whatever you want.
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Re: Nichiren Resources?

Postby ylee111 » Wed Jan 08, 2014 4:04 pm

http://nichiren-shu.org/books.html Of the books listed on this site, which are the best to learn the basic rituals and beliefs?
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Re: Nichiren Resources?

Postby dude » Wed Jan 08, 2014 7:08 pm

You will need someone to teach you.
Start by chanting nam myoho renge kyo.
The right person will appear in your environment.
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Re: Nichiren Resources?

Postby dude » Wed Jan 08, 2014 8:39 pm

The basic ritual is chanting nam myoho renge kyo to the Gohonzon, the mandala inscribed by Nichiren Daishonin.
The basic belief is that the title of the Lotus Sutra, myoho renge kyo, is the essence of all the Buddha's teachings, and chanting it is the direct way to enlightenment, the only way to gain good karma in the Latter Day of the Law.
Chant for specific things that you want to see happen, for proof that it works.
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Re: Nichiren Resources?

Postby illarraza » Sun Feb 09, 2014 12:58 am

ylee111 wrote:http://nichiren-shu.org/books.html Of the books listed on this site, which are the best to learn the basic rituals and beliefs?


Set up an altar with a bell, water cup for daily water offering, offering bowl [for fresh fruit offerings usually], vase for fresh flowers or evergreens. a candle holder and candle, and incense burner. Until you print and mount or have bestowed upon you a copy of a scriptured Gohonzon, you may place a statue of Shakyamuni Buddha with a copy of the Lotus Sutra placed before it. Recite Namu Myoho renge kyo daily, usually morning and evening, and recite the Namu Myoho renge kyo before and after, principally the 2nd and 16th chapters of the Lotus Sutra using any Sutra book from any denomination [except the Honmon Butsuryu Shu]. Please forego the sectarian prayers before and after the 2nd and 16th chapters until you feel comfortable with the rituals and the teachings and then you can either adopt the pre and post sutra chanting prayers from whichever sect [except the Nichiren Shoshu and the Soka Gakkai] or create your own based on the Lotus Sutra itself and/or the writings of Nichiren Daishonin. You may chant the 2nd and 16th chapters in Sino-Japanese or english. The reason we do not chant the Daimoku or Namu Myoho renge kyo in English [or any other language] is because it is the proper name for the Law or highest most profound teaching in this age of the Latter Day of the Law. Contact me and I will send you a Sutra book.

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Re: Nichiren Resources?

Postby Rokushu » Thu May 08, 2014 2:35 pm

Why is Japanese superior in chanting the name of the Lotus Sutra? Why didn't Shakyamuni teach this? Did Shakyamuni chant Namu Myoho Renge Kyo? Why not Prakrit, native language of Lord Buddha? Is Japanese better than Sanskrit? So, chanting Namu Myoho Renge Kyo has more power because it is in Japanese? Why? Who can declare this, and by what authority? Just curious, thanks.
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Re: Nichiren Resources?

Postby Myoho-Nameless » Thu May 08, 2014 3:40 pm

Rokushu wrote:Why is Japanese superior in chanting the name of the Lotus Sutra? Why didn't Shakyamuni teach this? Did Shakyamuni chant Namu Myoho Renge Kyo? Why not Prakrit, native language of Lord Buddha? Is Japanese better than Sanskrit? So, chanting Namu Myoho Renge Kyo has more power because it is in Japanese? Why? Who can declare this, and by what authority? Just curious, thanks.

If you prefer, you can chant it in any other language. I think the Nichiren Shu of Korea chants something else, either Korean or the Korean pronunciation of the characters. Its not actually being chanted in Japanese per se but the Japanese pronunciation of the Chinese Characters (the reverent word for this is shindoku, however this is not what it is called by most people in Japan in informal context. Classical Chinese had something like the status of Latin in Europe before a few hundred years ago). I have seen videos of Chinese Nichiren Buddhists chanting it in Chinese, which is Namo Miao Fa Lien Hua Ching. Indeed, given the changes to the Japanese language since Nichiren's time, it is possible Niciren chanted something a bit different.
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Re: Nichiren Resources?

Postby Rokushu » Thu May 15, 2014 4:57 am

Myoho-Nameless, agreed! I don't know why some people insist on chanting in Japanese, and as you pointed out, the Japanese pronunciation nowadays might be very different from hundreds of years ago, like any language. Why don't most Nichiren groups take this approach? SGI claims to be modern-day reformers, like Buddhist Protestants I guess with no priests, so why not translate the liturgy in to everyday spoken language of the followers if they are so reform-minded? Just like the RC church, for hundreds of years the mass was in Latin, now mostly in the language of the followers, to make the teachings more accesible to regular folks.
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Re: Nichiren Resources?

Postby Masaru » Thu May 15, 2014 7:24 am

ylee111 wrote:If I visit NIchiren Shoshu's Myosetsuji in New York, do you think as an outsider, they would let me purchase books on Nichiren Shoshu? Same question in regards to Daiseion-Ji.


If you/'re in New York, you should contact contributor Queequeg / Matt P who set up an independent group in the area. Matt has been a major contributor to the online Nichiren community for a while and would love to hear from a new practitioner. He can give you a run down of the various sects. Myself and illaraza are in Texas and Oklahoma, respectively. It is often more helpful to interact directly with another practitioner rather than simply look over materials.
A certain man said to the priest Shungaku, "The Lotus Sutra Sect's character is not good because it's so fearsome." Shungaku replied, "It is by reason of its fearsome character that it is the Lotus Sutra Sect. If its character were not so, it would be a different sect altogether."
-- The Hagakure

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Re: Nichiren Resources?

Postby Myoho-Nameless » Thu May 15, 2014 4:23 pm

Rokushu wrote:Myoho-Nameless, agreed! I don't know why some people insist on chanting in Japanese, and as you pointed out, the Japanese pronunciation nowadays might be very different from hundreds of years ago, like any language. Why don't most Nichiren groups take this approach? SGI claims to be modern-day reformers, like Buddhist Protestants I guess with no priests, so why not translate the liturgy in to everyday spoken language of the followers if they are so reform-minded? Just like the RC church, for hundreds of years the mass was in Latin, now mostly in the language of the followers, to make the teachings more accesible to regular folks.


It is said that the Romans did not trust a healing spell if they understood the language it was spoken in. And now we wont trust an exorcism unless it is IN the language of those Romans. Languages we do not understand have a certain power. Indeed even if you are a Japanese speaker, I think you have to be trained to understand the recitations by audio.

Actually I used to recite the Sutra passages in English once a week, sunday morning, a holdover from my christian past, making one day a week more "religious". Sometimes I consider going back to that. But it worked, I can now recall in gist what is being said. Nichiren Shu gongyo books often give you the option to do English or not. at least for ch. 2. The english is just less rhythmic to me. Plus....it does not have that "magic spell" effect, I may stem more from the Nordic tribe rather than the Latin, but I feel the same way about language as they. Notwithstanding, I would like to be able to do the whole ritual of Gongyo in Sanskrit/Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit and I hope I will one day have the capability.

Or Dothraki.
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Re: Nichiren Resources?

Postby westcountry » Thu May 29, 2014 5:58 pm

In terms of Nichiren Shoshu stuff there's plenty to be found here:

http://www.nst.org/

http://www.nstny.org/Pages/default.aspx

http://myohoji.nst.org/

:twothumbsup:
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Re: Nichiren Resources?

Postby illarraza » Sat May 31, 2014 1:06 am

Rokushu wrote:Why is Japanese superior in chanting the name of the Lotus Sutra? Why didn't Shakyamuni teach this? Did Shakyamuni chant Namu Myoho Renge Kyo? Why not Prakrit, native language of Lord Buddha? Is Japanese better than Sanskrit? So, chanting Namu Myoho Renge Kyo has more power because it is in Japanese? Why? Who can declare this, and by what authority? Just curious, thanks.


Only Namu Myoho renge kyo is correct because Namu Myoho renge kyo is the personal name of the Supreme Law. Neither Namo Miao Fa Lien Hua Ching, NamasSaddharmapundarikasutra nor Devotion to the Scripture of the Lotus Blossom of the Wonderful Dharma is the name of the Supreme Law.

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Re: Nichiren Resources?

Postby illarraza » Sat May 31, 2014 1:11 am

illarraza wrote:
Rokushu wrote:Why is Japanese superior in chanting the name of the Lotus Sutra? Why didn't Shakyamuni teach this? Did Shakyamuni chant Namu Myoho Renge Kyo? Why not Prakrit, native language of Lord Buddha? Is Japanese better than Sanskrit? So, chanting Namu Myoho Renge Kyo has more power because it is in Japanese? Why? Who can declare this, and by what authority? Just curious, thanks.


Only Namu Myoho renge kyo is correct because Namu Myoho renge kyo is the personal name of the Supreme Law. Neither Namo Miao Fa Lien Hua Ching, NamasSaddharmapundarikasutra nor Devotion to the Scripture of the Lotus Blossom of the Wonderful Dharma is the name of the Supreme Law.

Illarraza


To take this one step further, not even Nam Myoho renge kyo is the name of the Supreme Law or Nichiren would have written it as such.

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Re: Nichiren Resources?

Postby Myoho-Nameless » Sat May 31, 2014 3:10 am

How sad, I guess deaf people or the tongueless cannot attain Buddhahood then. Sucks to be them. Because if a different language messes the process up, surely such unfortunate people have no chance. :shrug:


luckily of course, language does not matter and I was being sarcastic.
I seem to have been like a boy playing on the sea-shore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.

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Re: Nichiren Resources?

Postby Queequeg » Sat May 31, 2014 10:47 pm

illarraza wrote:
Only Namu Myoho renge kyo is correct because Namu Myoho renge kyo is the personal name of the Supreme Law. Neither Namo Miao Fa Lien Hua Ching, NamasSaddharmapundarikasutra nor Devotion to the Scripture of the Lotus Blossom of the Wonderful Dharma is the name of the Supreme Law.

Illarraza


To take this one step further, not even Nam Myoho renge kyo is the name of the Supreme Law or Nichiren would have written it as such.

Illarraza[/quote]

Mark, you're ignorance of the Japanese written language is complete.

For others who are interested, the Japanese written language incorporates Chinese characters. In some cases, the Chinese characters are pronounced in a way that is derived, but different from, a Chinese pronunciation circa 800 CE. In other instances, they are read with wholly Japanese readings. It would be like adopting the Chinese character for dog, 犬, to write "dog" in English.

In reading, there are often cases where two characters read together are contracted. For instance, this is the character for Buddha: 仏 (the modern, simplified version) read as butsu or alternatively, hotoke, the former being a transliteration of "Buddha" via Chinese, and the latter being the Japanese word for Buddha. This is the character for teaching: 教 read as "kyo" or alternatively "oshie", the former being derived from the Chinese and the latter being the Japanese root for "teach". When read together 仏教, we don't read it butsukyo, which would not be incorrect, but its read bukkyo, and literally means, Buddha's Teachings, and is used to refer to what we know in English as Buddhism. The reason for the contraction is simply convention. Such contractions are not informal or colloquialism, but rather follow formal rules.

The contraction of 南無, which is ordinarily read as namu, and instead pronounced nam by some, is on account of the following syllable being myo. This is another contraction that follows formal rules having to do with to consecutive syllables starting with the same sound, in this case, "m".

The fact is, Nichiren never, as far as I know, wrote out the Daimoku in phonetic characters - which he could have. As such, we don't know how he pronounced 南無妙法蓮華経.

Mark, who goes around the internet making a big deal about this and using it as a basis to condemn others, has no textual basis for his criticism. Its just more rancor. He only has his tradition, which it should be pointed out, traces back to a person who does not have a personal lineage back to Nichiren himself, but comes from reading Nichiren's writings divorced from a personal teacher.

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Re: Nichiren Resources?

Postby illarraza » Sun Jun 01, 2014 5:07 pm

Even were Nichiren to have written the Daimoku in brail, it is written Namu Myoho renge kyo. Even in contemplation, Namu Myoho renge kyo is the name of the Supreme Law. Nichiren never once wrote Nam Myoho renge kyo, not on his Gohonzons nor in his writings.

“And when the two characters for Namu are prefixed to Myoho-renge-kyo, or the Lotus Sutra of the Wonderful Law, we have the formula Namu-myoho-renge-kyo.” -- The Opening of the Eyes

"The jewels of this jeweled vehicle are the seven precious substances which adorn the great cart. The seven jewels are precisely the seven orifices in one's head, and these seven orifices are precisely the [seven characters] na-mu-myo-ho-ren-ge-kyo, the essential Dharma for the Final Dharma Age." -- Mounting This Jeweled Vehicle, They Directly Arrive at the Place of Enlightenment

Were believers to chant together and some are chanting Namu Myoho renge kyo while others are chanting Nam Myoho renge kyo, what a discordant mess it would be. Some practitioners chanting Namu Myoho renge kyo and others chanting Nam Myoho renge kyo is one of the principle causes of Nichiren faith disunity. One may spout all the theoretical reasons in the world why Nam Myoho renge kyo is equally correct but reality and actuality trumps them all.

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Re: Nichiren Resources?

Postby Myoho-Nameless » Sun Jun 01, 2014 5:57 pm

Nope, Nichiren did not write in in braille, ergo it does not work. Otherwise he would have written it as such, remember? Signing does not work either, what a shame! And you? You write in in Romaji, nichiren did not use romaji either. Or really anyone, because even if we write it in Japanese, there exists a real chance that the way Japanese was spoken back then is not the same as it is today.

I guess we should all quit the practice because we don't know how to write or pronounce the daimoku, so no one can attain awakening. :tantrum:

perhaps we have hope because when this topic is brought up to Japanese people, they facepalm most profoundly.
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