ric wrote:Nichiren's final days were at his lodging temple at Mt. Minobu near the current location of the Nichiren Shu head temple.
And Nikko founded the Fuji School, now Nichiren Shoshu.
Queequeg wrote:Nichiren Shu is not a monolithic Nichiren group with some set orthodoxy across the whole. It is a federation of temples and practitioners with varying degrees of affiliation with the central administration of Nichiren Shu based at Minobu Kuonji and Ikegami Honmonji. There is a wide diversity of beliefs held within Nichiren Shu owing to the many different lineages that have been united under the Nichiren Shu umbrella. Nichiren did teach Mahayana. His critique is a nuanced, but I would say still falls within Mahayana (Mahayana is by no means a designation for a monolithic tradition either).
Queequeg wrote:Hi OB,
Right, Nichiren Shu's central authority is not like the Vatican. What I have found is that there is a sense of affiliation across all creeds held together by a sense of openness to each other's views. I think many Nichiren groups that are not part of Nichiren Shu will participate in discussions about theory and practice with them - including members of Soka Gakkai. At least among the various Nichiren Shu associated groups, there will be joint ceremonies - Everyone can agree on the Daimoku (although not necessarily on Nam/Namu - lol).
Nichiren Shoshu is much more like the Vatican. They have the mothership Gohonzon through which humanity will be saved and they even have a concept similar to the Pope's infallibility associated with the Taisekiji Abbot. I'm being a little humorous about it. In any event don't want to go into too much detail because that stuff is tedious. There are plenty of sources all over the net to get educated on the idiosyncratic ideas of Nichiren Shoshu. Nichiren's Coffeehouse site is a good place to start. But, a word of advice - if you haven't been exposed to their ideas and don't need to recover from them, don't bother with it. The only reason it might be necessary to get acquainted with their views is if you are participating in online forums like this and come across people espousing their views. It would be an inoculation against getting confused by them.
My connection to Soka Gakkai is fading. I was a member for a long time but have not had any direct connection with them in years, so I don't know what they are up to these days. However, I get the sense that they are lost. Following the schism with Shoshu, a huge pillar of their "theology" was kicked out from under them. They used to have a strong central authority, but I feel like they have become unfocused. They tried to compensate by ramping up the Mentor Disciple thing, and in Japan by throwing their energy into politics through the Komeito party. The M&D thing has fallen flat except for the people already in the choir, especially with the Mentor having lost his faculties and absent from the public for the last few years. Bottom line, their central authority is weakening - example 1 is SGI-USA and their floundering around trying to enunciate a consistent creed for the last 10 years. The authoritarian tendency however was still there when I quit. Authoritarianism with a creed could be about strictness and discipline. Authoritarianism without a creed is just despotism. But they don't want to be despots, and so it just adds to their confusion and lack of focus. They can't decide who they are or what they want to do. They're having a serious identity crisis. Who knows what's going on now.
Blech. More than I wanted to state about that subject.
BullToro wrote:Yes as a practicing member in the SGI your statements appear terribly biased.
OregonBuddhist wrote:Something recently occurred to me in this question of "Who is more traditional of the two?" ... If Nichiren himself never taught that he was the reincarnation of Buddha and therefore the "True Buddha of the Age," but Nichiren Shoshu teaches that he was, and Nichiren Shu teaches that he was not, then it follows that Nichiren Shu is the more traditional of the two.
Queequeg wrote:For the record, no one, other than Nichiren Shoshu and their associated groups, thinks this. But, can we know for sure that Nichrien Shoshu is "wrong"? Does that make them less "traditional"? They can trace their lineage as far back as anyone else.
OregonBuddhist wrote:I think another reason I had thought that Nichiren Shu may be older and more established is that Nichiren Shoshu shortened "Namu" to "Nam," making for a mantra that rolls off the tongue more easily. To my knowledge, Nichiren Shoshu and Soka Gakkai are the only schools that say "nam" as opposed to "namu." It seems they are the more aggressive in the "shakabuku," and "shakabuku" itself seems uncharacteristic to Buddhism, at least by what I know of Buddhism.
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