Four Noble Truths in Nichiren Buddhism?

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Four Noble Truths in Nichiren Buddhism?

Postby OregonBuddhist » Sat Sep 29, 2012 9:22 am

I recently got into the "classic" argument with another person about whether Nichiren Buddhism really is Buddhism. My argument was to say, "Just because it isn't a quiet, meditative path, doesn't mean it isn't Buddhism. Buddhism encompasses much more than just that...." The other person responded, "Buddhism IS meditation. And what about the Four Noble Truths and the Noble Eight-fold Path?" This got me thinking....

I have read a great deal about Nichiren Buddhism, and I don't think I have ever seen the Four Noble Truths mentioned anywhere in any book about Nichiren Buddhism. There is no talk of "All life is suffering" anywhere in any Nichiren book I've read. Am I missing something? Or does Nichiren Buddhism just disregard the Four Noble Truths altogether? Are they considered part of the "provisional" teachings that are no longer necessary now that we have Namu-myoho-renge-kyo?

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Re: Four Noble Truths in Nichiren Buddhism?

Postby Queequeg » Sat Sep 29, 2012 1:06 pm

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Re: Four Noble Truths in Nichiren Buddhism?

Postby catmoon » Sat Sep 29, 2012 2:55 pm

A remarkable post there QQ. I had no idea.
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Re: Four Noble Truths in Nichiren Buddhism?

Postby TaTa » Sat Sep 29, 2012 5:01 pm

Last edited by TaTa on Sat Sep 29, 2012 5:57 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Four Noble Truths in Nichiren Buddhism?

Postby Queequeg » Sat Sep 29, 2012 5:51 pm

“Once you have given up the ghost, everything follows with dead certainty, even in the midst of chaos.”
-Henry Miller

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Great for solving problems, after it creates a problem."
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Re: Four Noble Truths in Nichiren Buddhism?

Postby TaTa » Sat Sep 29, 2012 5:55 pm

Sory about that my english is quite rusty. I should take a second or to to post hehe.
Thanks for the reply

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Re: Four Noble Truths in Nichiren Buddhism?

Postby Queequeg » Sat Sep 29, 2012 5:59 pm

“Once you have given up the ghost, everything follows with dead certainty, even in the midst of chaos.”
-Henry Miller

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Re: Four Noble Truths in Nichiren Buddhism?

Postby TaTa » Sat Sep 29, 2012 6:25 pm

Yes. I see you point! It was clarifiyng.

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Re: Four Noble Truths in Nichiren Buddhism?

Postby Queequeg » Sat Sep 29, 2012 8:58 pm



For an idea about how the Four Noble Truths are viewed in Tientai Buddhism see Swanson's "Foundations of T'ien-T'ai Philosophy" which contains a partial translation of Zhiyi's Fahua Hsuan-i (Profound Meaning of the Lotus Sutra), p. 226 supra. There are pages missing in the google books preview, but better than nothing.
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Re: Four Noble Truths in Nichiren Buddhism?

Postby OregonBuddhist » Sun Sep 30, 2012 2:03 am


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Re: Four Noble Truths in Nichiren Buddhism?

Postby Myoho-Nameless » Tue Oct 02, 2012 5:56 am

I really do not see why chanting is not a form of meditation.....


hell it iS a form of meditation, and I have a theory, than as far as observing the mind, there is the advantage for chanting that one is forced to concentrate more, and is less likely to be distracted by thoughts. Not impossible to be distracted but harder. I will use a nerdy example, for a while I was into the "Eragon" books by that Paolini guy. to work magic in that story one needed to speak the elvish language, however it is then said that one only needs to THINK in the language, but by actually saying it rogue thoughts will not mess up your magic.

"Meditation" is such a broad term in reality....people trying to pin it down are making a mistake.

as far as being Buddhism being limited to meditation, I am under the impression that the Buddha actually taught morality FIRST to most people, and only to certain people was meditation taught.
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Re: Four Noble Truths in Nichiren Buddhism?

Postby noisemonkey » Tue Oct 02, 2012 6:23 am

Doesn't chanting the Daimoku to the Gohonzon include meditation on a single point in space? Can't remember the terminology for this but I've read it somewhere.

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Re: Four Noble Truths in Nichiren Buddhism?

Postby rory » Tue Oct 02, 2012 9:11 am

Rev. Tsuchiya of my sect recommends that we study the Dhammapada and apply it to our lives. He stresses the 4 Noble Truths.

SGI stresses worldy benefits as it is basically a neo buddhist prosperity sect. People for the most part are quite ignorant of Buddhism and don't understand that study of the sutra, chanting of the sutra, faith, ethical behavior and right thought are part of the totality of Buddhism.
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Chih-I:
The Tai-ching states "the women in the realms of Mara, Sakra and Brahma all neither abandoned ( their old) bodies nor received (new) bodies. They all received buddhahood with their current bodies (genshin)" Thus these verses state that the dharma nature is like a great ocean. No right or wrong is preached (within it) Ordinary people and sages are equal, without superiority or inferiority
Paul, Groner "The Lotus Sutra in Japanese Culture"eds. Tanabe p. 58
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Re: Four Noble Truths in Nichiren Buddhism?

Postby Myoho-Nameless » Tue Oct 02, 2012 4:21 pm

The 4 Noble Truths make a sort of logic, and I think they have a place in Nichiren Buddhism....I think. I still am confused as to what proper place provisional teachings should have in our lineage. On the one hand I see them dismissed, on the other I see them studied and given importance.

The important thing is, that in regards to desire being the root cause of suffering, we should remember to keep in mind translation. What is used is "Tanha" which is also translated "craving" which is a stronger word than "desire". And I have been told that "Tanha" really means more like really strong egotistical desire, or selfish or akusala desire. not everyday "I want to watch Family Guy tonight" or "I think I will have pasta" or "man that cake looks good"....or Buddha forbid "I want to deepen my understanding of Buddhism"....is not wanting to extinguish desire itself a desire? Tanha must refer to something stronger than just desire.....or am I under the wrong impression?
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Re: Four Noble Truths in Nichiren Buddhism?

Postby rory » Tue Oct 02, 2012 8:45 pm

Here is a dharma talk from Rev. Tsuchiya from our Facebook group discussing the 4 noble truths and Nichiren.

It was indeed an expression of the pleasure of peace that Nichiren shonin said "Let's laugh for having gotten so much pleasure" when he was likely to be cut off his head, and said "I have been filled with pleasure" when he was snowed up in Sado island. For spending the pleasant life only, if you merely hope to eat when you feel hungry, if you merely hope to warm when you feel cold, if you merely hope to cool when you feel hot, if you merely hope to go to bed when you feel sleepy, any religions and disciplines are not necessary for you. However, life doesn't go the way we want it to. We suffer from four sufferings and eight sufferings one after another. Therefore, we need to train ourselves to keep the peace of mind even if unwelcome situations happen, and
show the power of spirit. Because the activity of the Buddha Shakamuni is to give the discipline and training, it is described that "I will save them from sufferings, giving the pleasure of peace." But it is not the Buddha Shakamuni's real intention, if you obstinately insist on this pleasure of peace as the moral courage only. The content of pleasure of peace is divided to the pleasure of the world and the pleasure of Nirvana. And the pleasure of the world guarantees the physical happiness, too. That is to say, the Buddha Shakamuni preaches for keeping your happy life, and is endeavoring to give the ideal and noble-minded pleasure, the pleasure of Nirvana.
gassho
rory
Namu Kanzeon Bosatsu
Chih-I:
The Tai-ching states "the women in the realms of Mara, Sakra and Brahma all neither abandoned ( their old) bodies nor received (new) bodies. They all received buddhahood with their current bodies (genshin)" Thus these verses state that the dharma nature is like a great ocean. No right or wrong is preached (within it) Ordinary people and sages are equal, without superiority or inferiority
Paul, Groner "The Lotus Sutra in Japanese Culture"eds. Tanabe p. 58
https://www.tendai-usa.org/

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Re: Four Noble Truths in Nichiren Buddhism?

Postby Dechen Norbu » Tue Oct 02, 2012 11:09 pm


dsaly1969
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Re: Four Noble Truths in Nichiren Buddhism?

Postby dsaly1969 » Fri Nov 02, 2012 4:43 pm

The problem is that most people equate Soka Gakkai and Nichiren Shoshu which do not explicitly reference the core teachings of Shakyamuni as the sum total of NIchiren Buddhism. They are not. There are, in fact, a number of different Nichiren Buddhist and related schools like Nichiren Shu and Rissho Kosei-kai (which generally considers itself a "Lotus Sutra" school rather than a Nichiren school per se) which do teach the Four Noble Truths, the Eightfold Path, and include such elements as Taking Refuge in the Three Treasures and the Four Bodhisattva Vows in their daily liturgy - but they also chant Odaimoku and Gongyo. And neither Nichiren Shu nor Rissho Kosei-kai explicitly teach "chanting for benefits" (I have an impression this is part of the wishful thinking and superstition by some of the laity - and explicitly institutionalized in SGI as a response to post-WWII rampant poverty in Japan).

So it really depends about which particular Nichiren sect to which you are referring.

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Re: Four Noble Truths in Nichiren Buddhism?

Postby Queequeg » Fri Nov 02, 2012 8:47 pm

“Once you have given up the ghost, everything follows with dead certainty, even in the midst of chaos.”
-Henry Miller

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Great for solving problems, after it creates a problem."
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Re: Four Noble Truths in Nichiren Buddhism?

Postby dsaly1969 » Sat Nov 03, 2012 4:46 am


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Re: Four Noble Truths in Nichiren Buddhism?

Postby Queequeg » Sat Nov 03, 2012 1:52 pm

dsaly,

My bad. Thank you for the clarification and I misread the context of your post.

I am about to have my first and one of my concerns is how to open the Buddhadharma to him over the next few decades. I am very curious - how do your children react to the discussions? How does the subject come up? Do you incorporate it when talking to them? Do they identify as Buddhist? Is it something they internalize? Do you have a regular community that you attend?

Sorry for so many questions. I apologize if I am prying too much. I probably have a million more. I think I am getting into the angst ridden new parent phase and can't help it. :smile:
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