Queequeg wrote:I can't find any reference to chanting the title in the Dharani chapter either. Are you sure its that chapter?
Rereading chapter 6 of the MPNS, I can see where Zhiyi would have gotten the cue for title exegesis, but its only a germinal form in comparison to the his commentary on the Lotus Sutra's title. Still, thank you for that reference. Zhiyi borrowed tremendously from the MPNS.
The actual inspiration for the Daimoku in Nichiren practice as far as I know is actually pretty straight forward - Nichiren saw the popularity of the Nembutsu and substituted the Daimoku. He says as much in Rissho Ankoku Ron saying that Honen and the spread of Pure Land exclusivity paved the way for the Daimoku of the Lotus Sutra. I'm not going to touch the Nembutsu practice in any depth, but Pure Land practice had long been incorporated in Tientai Buddhism as a means to quell the mind and overcome obstacles in meditation. Zhiyi never specified which Pure Land practice - from what I understand, it was only later Tientai patriarchs who emphasized Amidism. The idea with Pure Land practice is that by contemplating the Pure Land, one basically drowns out the obstacles. Part of doing it is to call the Buddha's name as a means of focusing one's attention. Daimoku basically takes this framework and reorients it to the Lotus Sutra.
I'm reading from the Burton Watson translation so it might be a problem with translation
I take upholding of the mere name of the Lotus Sutra in this passage to mean the Daimoku (upholding of its title) I could be incorrect, and the translation might be a problem,what do you think.
Buddha said to the rakshasa daughters, "Excellent, excellent!
((((((If you can shield and guard those who accept and uphold the mere name of the Lotus Sutra, your merit will be immeasurable. ))))))
How much more so if you shield and guard those who accept and uphold it in its entirety, who offer alms to the sutra scrolls, flowers, incense, necklaces, powdered incense, paste incense, incense for burning, banners, canopies, music, who burn various kinds of lamps, lamps of butter oil, oil lamps, lamps of various fragrant oils, lamps of sumana flower oil, and lamps of utpala flower oil, and who in this manner offer hundreds and thousands of varieties of alms? Kunti, you and your attendants should shield and guard the teachers of the Law such as these!"
When [the Buddha] preached this Dharani chapter, sixty-eight thousand persons gained the truth of birthless-ness.
On the MPNS there are numerous sources for Daimoku practice in the sutra other than chapter six, chapter 6 is just the most obvious one. The MPNS is itself a "commentary" of the Lotus Sutra .
much of chapter 16 of the Lotus Sutra runs on into the Nirvana Sutra chapter 9.
I'm trying to find 3000 realms in a single moment of life teachingd in the Lotus Sutra and MPNS when I find some quotes that I think are on the subject I'll post them for your guys opinions.