original enlightenment (hongaku shiso) in Nichiren

original enlightenment (hongaku shiso) in Nichiren

Postby Jikan » Sat Apr 14, 2012 5:07 pm

Rory made an interesting distinction in a separate thread, in criticism of a book by Thich Nhat Hanh on the _Lotus Sutra_:

rory wrote:we're all bodhisattvas - that's Original Enlightenment thought, which I really reject. We all have buddhanature and the potential to be bodhisattvas but it takes lots of hard work to make it grow and develop. Some people don't try at all. This kind of thing can turn into a 'you're perfect as you are' I try daily to think about my behavior and control it and do good things. It's hard, it's not easy.


Original Enlightenment thought has a long & deep history in Japanese Buddhism. I'd like to know what role it plays in Nichiren's thought and practice. Did Nichiren advocate original enlightenment (hongaku shiso), reject it, avoid talking of it...?
Jikan
Site Admin
 
Posts: 5486
Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2010 5:04 pm

Re: original enlightenment (hongaku shiso) in Nichiren

Postby Tatsuo » Sat Apr 14, 2012 8:50 pm

Actually there are elements of hongaku thought in Nichiren Buddhism. See here :)
    南無阿弥陀佛
    南無妙法蓮華經
    南無観世音菩薩
User avatar
Tatsuo
 
Posts: 176
Joined: Wed Apr 07, 2010 5:50 pm

Re: original enlightenment (hongaku shiso) in Nichiren

Postby Jikan » Sat Apr 14, 2012 9:11 pm

That was my understanding as well (hence the question), but I didn't want to over-generalize...
Jikan
Site Admin
 
Posts: 5486
Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2010 5:04 pm

Re: original enlightenment (hongaku shiso) in Nichiren

Postby rory » Thu May 24, 2012 12:32 am

Sorry, to be away from this interesting discussion;
Yes of course there are elements,influence; Nichiren didn't teach hongaku , after he died many followers many who came from Mt, Hiei thoroughly embraced it. Other Kamakura religious leaders such as Honen, Shinran rejected it as well, have no idea about Dogen. Today Nichiren Shu, Kempon Hokke (half of whose priests are part of Nshu) don't teach original enlightenment but Nichiren Shoshu, SGI and other groups do.

Jikan just read the 'no proselyte' thing. I'm confused does this mean I can't mention Dr. Ambedkar and the conversion of the Dalits , Nichiren Shu's new temple in Nagpur, India or Rev. Tamura their new missionary to Sao Paolo or Rev. Tsuchiya's work in India and Cambodia spreading the Lotus Sutra? Please explain...
with gassho
Rory
User avatar
rory
 
Posts: 722
Joined: Mon May 16, 2011 8:08 am
Location: SouthEast USA

Re: original enlightenment (hongaku shiso) in Nichiren

Postby Jikan » Thu May 24, 2012 9:06 pm

Hi rory,

It's quite alright to discuss how people come to Dharma, as in the case of Dr. Ambedkar's great work. It's also just fine to take a position on doctrine or practice and explain why you think it's a helpful approach. That's all good in the nature of discussion. We just don't want to see anyone discouraged from practice at all, or put down by members of group A for belonging in good faith to group B, or someone who is clearly practicing with group C getting an aggressive hard sell to join group D. That's all. Respectful discussion is always welcome.


Also, thanks for your insights on how hongaku theory works among followers of Nichiren. I'd always thought Nichiren was indeed a proponent of hongaku shiso. Perhaps I'm mistaken?
Jikan
Site Admin
 
Posts: 5486
Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2010 5:04 pm

Re: original enlightenment (hongaku shiso) in Nichiren

Postby rory » Sat May 26, 2012 3:21 am

Jikan;
I dove back into J. Stone's "Original Enlightenment" just to double-check my scholarly understanding. Nichiren did embrace hongaku thought when we was young, which makes sense as he was a Tendai monk. But in his later writings don't show support of hongaku doctrine (p.92). Many later gosho of Nichiren that did uphold hongaku doctrine have been shown to be forgeries. So far there are none in his writing.If any are found that will change things.
Now that doesn't mean there is no influence; you can see it in the saying such as this world is the Pure Land of Tranquil Light. But at the same time Nichiren believed in a post-mortem afterlife with the Buddha on Mt. Ryojusen.

Nichiren sects can be quite different, some believe the Eternal Buddha is the Dharma, some the Daimoku, for mine, Kempon, we believe the Eternal Buddha is Shakyamuni in his nirmankaya form and that's whom we worship.
thanks for the explanation.
with gassho
Rory
User avatar
rory
 
Posts: 722
Joined: Mon May 16, 2011 8:08 am
Location: SouthEast USA

Re: original enlightenment (hongaku shiso) in Nichiren

Postby markp » Fri Jun 01, 2012 6:19 pm

Part of the problem with Original Enlightenment theory (Hongaku Shiso) is that there is also the theory of the Diamond Chalice Precept that originates in the Lotus Sutra, which states that everyone that forms a relationship with the Lotus Sutra will eventually attain enlightenment. These two different concepts get confused in Nichiren's teachings. Subsequently, some of the teachings of Nichiren were declared forgeries based on what is an example of DCP and not OE.

Nichiren said it was possible to attain enlightenment in this body, but for most people not probable. For most people he said that they would attain enlightenment after death, but he never said which lifetime did he? He was also very hard on the Japanese in general saying that only the number of grains of sand that could fit on the fingernail would be the number of Japanese that actually attained enlightenment, so he was hardly a proponent of Hongaku Shiso. :)

Hi Rory! :)
The observer and that which is observed are everywhere produced by the matrix of causality and conditions. In all that is produced by causality and conditions, there is emptiness of self.
The Great Calm-Observation, Volume 5, Part 3, Page 1
markp
 
Posts: 11
Joined: Fri Jun 01, 2012 6:05 pm

Re: original enlightenment (hongaku shiso) in Nichiren

Postby safron » Fri Jun 01, 2012 10:23 pm

I think Nichiren Might of said that it could take people 4 or 5 life times. (not exact words)
safron
 
Posts: 25
Joined: Fri May 11, 2012 1:15 am
Location: unknown Country

Re: original enlightenment (hongaku shiso) in Nichiren

Postby rory » Sat Jun 02, 2012 3:09 am

Hi MarkP!
super to see you here. Where are the Diamond Chalice Precepts in the Lotus Sutra? I'm not as knowledgeable as you are about these things. I'm trying to get enlightened in this life but I think a long post-mortem stay at Sacred Eagle Peak is in my future..lol.
:namaste: j
rory
User avatar
rory
 
Posts: 722
Joined: Mon May 16, 2011 8:08 am
Location: SouthEast USA

Re: original enlightenment (hongaku shiso) in Nichiren

Postby markp » Sat Jun 02, 2012 4:58 pm

You should tell them so and reproach them by citing the
Hoto chapter's explanation of what "one who observes the precepts" truly
means. Then, pausing briefly, tell them that the five characters of
Myoho-renge-kyo, the heart of the essential teaching of the Lotus Sutra,
contain all the benefits amassed by the beneficial practices and
meritorious deeds of all the Buddhas throughout the past, present and
future. Then, how can this phrase not include the benefits obtained by
observing all of the Buddha's precepts? Once the practitioner embraces
this perfectly-endowed mystic precept, he cannot break it, even if he
should try.
It is therefore called the precept of the diamond chalice.
Only by observing this very precept have the Buddhas of the three
existences obtained the properties of the Law, wisdom and action, which are
each without beginning or end. The Great Teacher T'ien-t'ai wrote of this
precept, "The Buddha kept it secret and did not transmit it in any other
sutra."
Now in the Latter Day of the Law, if any person embraces Myoho-
renge-kyo and practices it in accordance with the Buddha's
teaching--whether he be wise or foolish, priest or lay believer, or of high
or low position--he cannot fail to attain Buddhahood.
Teaching, Practice and Proof


Not sure which chapter is the Hoto chapter. It has to do with the transmission I believe.

So this precept is often misconstrued with Original Enlightenment, and when people say 'we are all Buddha's' even though it is silly to voice this, it really has nothing to do with OE theory.

BTW, this Gosho is considered to be authentic.
The observer and that which is observed are everywhere produced by the matrix of causality and conditions. In all that is produced by causality and conditions, there is emptiness of self.
The Great Calm-Observation, Volume 5, Part 3, Page 1
markp
 
Posts: 11
Joined: Fri Jun 01, 2012 6:05 pm

Re: original enlightenment (hongaku shiso) in Nichiren

Postby rory » Sun Jun 03, 2012 7:57 am

Ahh, now I begin to understand, funny when i was with Nshu I don't remember them talking very much about the Diamond Chalice Precepts; maybe they had some sectarian bias? I find this all so very interesting, it's always a pleasure to have a thoughtful discussion. So my apologies for attributing the 'I'm a buddha' to OE. So do discuss more about OE thought..... The Hoto Chapter is Ch. 11 Treasure Tower.

Here's something fun, a classic quote that many attribute to Nichiren Daishonin (rather disdainfully)!
Hence Nagarjuna writes: "There is nothing whatever which differentiates samsara from nirvana; and there is nothing whatever which differentiates nirvana from samsara. The extreme limit of nirvana is also the extreme limit of samsara; there is not the slightest bit of difference between these two" (M 25: 19-20).

with gassho
Rory
User avatar
rory
 
Posts: 722
Joined: Mon May 16, 2011 8:08 am
Location: SouthEast USA

Re: original enlightenment (hongaku shiso) in Nichiren

Postby markp » Sun Jun 03, 2012 4:48 pm

So here is the part of the LS which is the basis for the DCP.

"Now in the presence of the Buddha
let him come forward and speak his vow!
This sutra is hard to uphold;
if one can uphold it even for a short while
I will surely rejoice
and so will the other Buddhas.
A person who can do this
wins the admiration of the Buddhas.
This is what is meant by valor,
this is what is meant by diligence.
This is what is called observing the precepts
and practicing dhuta.
This way one will quickly attain
the unsurpassed Buddha way."

What I want to know is what Chi-I has to say about it, because I don't see where they are getting that the vow cannot be broken. We have the quote, but I think it comes from the Hokke Mongu and chapter 11 hasn't been translated yet. Probably won't be in my lifetime unless ION gets a bunch of money and we feel we can commission the translation. :)

funny when i was with Nshu I don't remember them talking very much about the Diamond Chalice Precepts; maybe they had some sectarian bias?


They probably don't want to appear to be on the wrong side of OE thought and it is very similar, but SGI shouldn't be saying the we are all Buddha's thing anyway. It's just ridiculous, and I know that Shoshu doesn't say it.

The Hongaku Shiso debate has been raging for over 1000 years and is not limited to Nichiren Buddhism. I believe Zen got the distinction of being the first sect that crossed the line, so to speak, and then Pure Land, so Nichiren was definitely aware of it.

"There is nothing whatever which differentiates samsara from nirvana; and there is nothing whatever which differentiates nirvana from samsara. The extreme limit of nirvana is also the extreme limit of samsara; there is not the slightest bit of difference between these two"


This quote actually addresses purity of the mind which leads to the purity of the environment and has its basis in the Vimalakirti Sutra. Nichiren does much better here saying; "If the minds of living beings are impure, their land is also impure, but if their minds are pure, so is their land. There are not two lands, pure or impure in themselves. The difference lies solely in the good or evil of our minds."

A lot of Buddhists don't understand this concept at all, and it is one of the ways that one can distinguish how far along the path someone is. Just look at their environment, which is a reflection of their mind, and you can tell if someone is full of hogwash or not. :)
Now, that may be hard to do because people see only what they want to see based on their own conditioning and not the reality as-it-is, so I wouldn't recommend judging people until one is at a point where they can be judged as well.
The observer and that which is observed are everywhere produced by the matrix of causality and conditions. In all that is produced by causality and conditions, there is emptiness of self.
The Great Calm-Observation, Volume 5, Part 3, Page 1
markp
 
Posts: 11
Joined: Fri Jun 01, 2012 6:05 pm

Re: original enlightenment (hongaku shiso) in Nichiren

Postby safron » Mon Jun 04, 2012 1:47 am

It is no ordinary thing for a woman in the latter age to have resolved to make an offering to each of the twenty-eight chapters of this wonderful Lotus Sutra. At the ceremony of the Hoto (eleventh) chapter, the Tathagatas Taho and Shakyamuni, the Buddhas of the ten directions and all bodhisattvas gathered together. When I ponder where the Hoto chapter is now, I see that it is to be found in the eight-petaled lotus of the heart within the breast of Lady Nichinyo.


An Outline of the Zokurui and Other Chapters Vol. 5, page 263.


From this time forward, the great bodhisattvas as well as Bonten, Taishaku, the gods of the sun and moon and the Four Heavenly Kings became the disciples of Shakyamuni Buddha, the lord of teachings. Thus, in the Hoto chapter of the Lotus Sutra, the Buddha treats these great bodhisattvas as his disciples, admonishing and instructing them in these words: "So I say to the great assembly: After I have passed into extinction, who can guard and uphold, read and recite this sutra? Now in the presence of the Buddha let him come forward and speak his vow!" This was the solemn way he addressed them. Then, among the great bodhisattvas, it was "as though a great wind were tossing the branches of small trees." Like the kusha grass1 bending before a great wind or like rivers and streams drawn to the great ocean, so were they drawn to the Buddha.


- The Opening of the Eyes
safron
 
Posts: 25
Joined: Fri May 11, 2012 1:15 am
Location: unknown Country

Re: original enlightenment (hongaku shiso) in Nichiren

Postby markp » Mon Jun 04, 2012 8:03 pm

Your point is....?
The observer and that which is observed are everywhere produced by the matrix of causality and conditions. In all that is produced by causality and conditions, there is emptiness of self.
The Great Calm-Observation, Volume 5, Part 3, Page 1
markp
 
Posts: 11
Joined: Fri Jun 01, 2012 6:05 pm


Return to Nichiren

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests

>