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PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2012 10:38 pm 
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Probably THE most sensitive question one could ask on a Nichiren forum, so I need to mention upfront that I'm not trying to start controversy, and I've been practicing chants for two years now, with both the Hoben and Juryo chapters memorized. I'm now working on other chapters. I suppose you could say that I AM a Nichiren Buddhist.

That much said, isn't it generally recognized that the Lotus Sutra is symbolic? I mean, to my understanding, not even the Theravada sutras are the verbatim word of the historical Gautama Buddha, but were themselves written down about two hundred years after his death. To my understanding, the Mahayana sutras are in reality "symbolic" revelations of the Buddha. I know that there are probably very orthodox followers of various Mahayana schools who literally believe the Mahayana sutras are the literal words of the Buddha -- but don't most agree that they are symbolically from the Buddha?

Again, I don't mean this as an insult. It reminds me of what a mentor of mine, a man with a PhD in psychology and a lover of Shakespeare, once said to me, "I don't know if Shakespeare actually wrote the Shakespeare plays. They were probably the work of Francis Bacon. But they're good plays no matter who wrote them."

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 6:48 pm 
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OregonBuddhist wrote:
Probably THE most sensitive question one could ask on a Nichiren forum, so I need to mention upfront that I'm not trying to start controversy, and I've been practicing chants for two years now, with both the Hoben and Juryo chapters memorized. I'm now working on other chapters. I suppose you could say that I AM a Nichiren Buddhist.

That much said, isn't it generally recognized that the Lotus Sutra is symbolic? I mean, to my understanding, not even the Theravada sutras are the verbatim word of the historical Gautama Buddha, but were themselves written down about two hundred years after his death. To my understanding, the Mahayana sutras are in reality "symbolic" revelations of the Buddha. I know that there are probably very orthodox followers of various Mahayana schools who literally believe the Mahayana sutras are the literal words of the Buddha -- but don't most agree that they are symbolically from the Buddha?

Again, I don't mean this as an insult. It reminds me of what a mentor of mine, a man with a PhD in psychology and a lover of Shakespeare, once said to me, "I don't know if Shakespeare actually wrote the Shakespeare plays. They were probably the work of Francis Bacon. But they're good plays no matter who wrote them."


Hi OB,

Depending on who answers this question, you will get different answers.

A book by a Catholic scholar, Michael Fuss, presents some very good information on this subject. http://books.google.com/books/about/Buddhavacana_and_Dei_Verbum.html?id=wFXq2_3W0yYC

Here is what I recall - the earliest extant written forms of the Lotus Sutra include verse sections composed in a language called Prakrit. It is believed that Gautama spoke Prakrit. That is as close as the evidence puts the Lotus Sutra to Gautama Buddha.

There is a concept in Buddhism called Buddhavacana which is a rubric for determining whether a teaching is the Buddha's teaching. The operative question is whether a teaching conforms to what the Buddha taught. This concept has been expanded in the most liberal sense to declare that all truthful teachings are the Buddha's teaching, even if they were clearly composed by someone else.

Personally, I believe that Buddhism is not merely a tradition handed down from the Buddha, but a dynamic and ever evolving movement concerned with the enlightenment of all beings. Throughout the history of the Buddhist movements, there have been geniuses who have expanded and/or adapted the Buddhadharma to the needs and circumstances of people living then. This has meant translating the Buddhadharma into languages other than the language the Buddha spoke, but also adapting the teachings to be comprehensible and practicable to all people regardless of their capacity or conditions. This gets into ideas such as upaya (expedient means), the siddhantas (methods of teaching), etc. These are ideas that the Lotus Sutra is particularly concerned with. Because I see things this way, whether a teaching is actually Gautama Buddha's teaching is of little concern. The question is whether the teaching rings true.

In a way, the Lotus Sutra itself is an answer to this question you pose.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 10:36 pm 
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I agree with your statement. Thank you.

I suppose I was surprised by the following. I had thought it was understood that the Lotus Sutra is not the literal work of the historical Gautama Buddha, and so I was surprised to find people who say that the Lotus Sutra is the most important work -- because the Buddha himself said so. So, I suppose the answer is, um, implicit (?) in their argument: some people do believe the Lotus Sutra is literally the revelation of the historical Buddha, or, rather, the "Eternal Buddha" who incarnated within his body.

Thanks for the link.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2012 10:43 pm 
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OregonBuddhist wrote:
I agree with your statement. Thank you.

I suppose I was surprised by the following. I had thought it was understood that the Lotus Sutra is not the literal work of the historical Gautama Buddha, and so I was surprised to find people who say that the Lotus Sutra is the most important work -- because the Buddha himself said so. So, I suppose the answer is, um, implicit (?) in their argument: some people do believe the Lotus Sutra is literally the revelation of the historical Buddha, or, rather, the "Eternal Buddha" who incarnated within his body.

Thanks for the link.


I [we] for one:

Stace: Hi Mark,Did you read his article on “How the Mahayana Began”? He points out that in the essay you provide the “Corruption” of the Pali texts. The same could be applied to the Mahayana. Can you tell How this is possible: Chapter 10: The Teacher of the Law – This chapter presents the five practices of the teachers of the Lotus Sutra. These practices are accepting and upholding, reading, chanting, explaining and writing the Sutra. The Sutra begins, “Thus I Have Heard”. Ananda ,the Buddhas attendant recalling verbally, (orally) what the Buddha said. How and why would the Buddha then instruct the “hearers” of this sutra to READ and; WRITE it?

Mark: I just read it. I’m sure you are aware of one of the honorific titles of the Buddha, that of Omniscience. Gilbrich disagrees with Rys David, whether
“books” were mentioned in the canon. Let me say that it is probable that the Buddha who talked about the decline, not only of his teachings but of the capacities of individuals, would have realized that one day his words would be lost unless they were written down. Tientai and Nichiren taught that the Lotus Sutra was not ostensibly taught for the people of the Middle Day, let alone for the people of the Former Day. Why would anyone believe that such capable monks who could memorize thousands of lines of oral texts were incapable of keeping secret, a teaching meant for a later time? These were highly disciplined men, unlike our present day politicians and heads of state who have successfully kept secrets [documents] for hundreds or even thousands of years. This is hardly an anomally but rather a misunderstanding of the greatness of the Buddha and his followers.

Stace: Other anomalies in the sutra are the use of the term Hinayana and Mahayana. In the Buddha’s time there was only the Buddha, Dharma, Sangha. No distinction of any Yanas. How could these terms be uttered by the Buddha or his followers when they hadn’t yet been created and would have no meaning?

Mark: Nearly the entire Buddhist Canon is devoted to correcting wrong thought. It is only natural that the words “Hinayana” and “Mahayana” were inserted when these words came into being. They don’t change one iota the words, “superficial thought and its adherents” and “superior thought and its adherents”, of the Buddha. This argument that anything was added too, is not tenable.

Stace: You wrote, “By the way, what I was referring to in the original post is the contention of some that the “Nikayas” are the actual words of the Buddha while the Lotus Sutra is not.”

All he is talking about are “corruptions” of the pali. I don’t see him addressing the validity of the Lotus Sutra as the actual words of the Buddha. This is what I thought, read “How the Mahayana Began”. He doesn’t necessariy refute your position.

Mark: Not him, others. Gombrich, in many ways supports our position. That is why I cited him, even though his understanding of the mind of the Buddha and the nature of the Sangha is incomplete.

Stace: You state that my summation is in err that SGI is a legitimate form of Buddhism in accord with teachings of Nichiren. I am arguing that “Nichiren Buddhism” and any lineage born from his teaching is valid because of the arguments put forth in the article you present so long as the purpose is Liberation.

Mark: I am very sorry if anyone misconstrues that the import of citing this article in any way supports the validity of Ikedaism and Gakkaism. Of course, this was not my intent. You know Stace, I don’t consider SGI to be Buddhism even though it has borrowed extensively from Buddhism. No Buddha, no Buddhahood is my contention.

Stace: I base it off of this excerpt:

”These processes are not random (adhicca-samuppanna) but causally determined. Any empirical phenomenon is seen as a causal sequence, and that applies to the sāsana too. ‘One thing leads to another,’ as the English idiom has it. Whether or not we can see features common to the religion of Mr Richard Causton, the late leader of the UK branch of Soka Gakkai International,(we could add here Kempon Hokke or any other Nichiren based group) and that of Nāgārjuna, or of the Buddha himself, there is a train of human events which causally connects them. Buddhism is not an inert object: it is a chain of events.” PG.3

Mark: Devedatta and Shakyamuni were causally connected. That Gombrich fails to see this [that SGI is to Buddhism as Devedatta was to Shakyamuni]relates to his inability to know the mind of the Buddha.

Stace: Anyway, I do not think the article you presented puts forth the superiority of any teaching over the other but simply points out that there are things in the canon which were added and that this to be understood in an orally preserved teaching, but we can separate the wheat for the chaff and know what the buddha said.

Mark: How much harder is it to know what the Buddha meant and to know the reality of the Buddha?

Stace: I cannot, I mean physically cannot, force my brain to take most religious statement literally and therefor will never be a true believer. I love Dharma and Liberation wherever it be found, as there are so many flowers and scents to delight our senses I believe there are many pathways to liberation. I do not doubt the Lotus, Nichirens teachings, and the teachings Kempon Hokke offers such a pathway but I will never believe that it is the only door.

Mark: Of course, the Kempon Hokke, is not the only pathway. Namu Myoho renge kyo, the Lotus Sutra, and Shakyamuni Buddha is the only pathway and not the claims and reality of the SGI and Nichiren Shoshu that the only pathway is a living mentor in the seat of the Law. The only living mentor in the seat of the Law is Shakyamuni Buddha.

You too be well.

"Modern editors of the Pali Canon, however, have generally contented themselves with trying to establish a textus receptus or ‘received text’. Let me explain. Most of our physical evidence for the Pali Canon is astonishingly recent, far more recent than our physical evidence for the western classical and biblical texts.

While talking of this, I want to take the opportunity to correct a mistake in something I published earlier this year. In Professor K. R. Norman’s splendid revision of Geiger’s Pali Grammar, published by the Pali Text Society (Geiger, 1994), I wrote an introduction called ‘What is Pali?’ (Gombrich, 1994a). In that I wrote (p. xxv) that a Kathmandu manuscript of c.800 A.D. is ‘the oldest substantial piece of written Pali to survive’ if we except the inscriptions from Devnimori and Ratnagiri, which differ somewhat in phonetics from standard Pali. This is wrong. One can quibble about what ‘substantial’ means; but it must surely include a set of twenty gold leaves found in the Khin Ba Gôn trove near Śrī Ketra, Burma, by Duroiselle in 1926-7. The leaves are inscribed with eight excerpts from the Pali Canon. Professor Harry Falk has now dated them, on paleographic grounds, to the second half of the fifth century A.D., which makes them by far the earliest physical evidence for the Pali canonical texts (Stargardt, 1995). -- Richard F. Gombrich

Therefore, according to this reliable information, the Sanskrit text of the Lotus Sutra is older than the Pali texts that the Hinayana Buddhists arrogantly claim to be the only authoritative texts of what the Buddha actually taught.

http://www.tricycle.com/blog/whose-budd ... -turns-out

"It is now clear that none of the existing Buddhist collections of early Indian scriptures—not the Pali, Sanskrit, Chinese, nor even the Gandhari—“can be privileged as the most authentic or original words of the Buddha.” -- Linda Heuman

"Only the Lotus Sutra represents the wonderful teaching preached directly from the golden mouth of Shakyamuni Buddha, who is perfectly endowed with the three bodies." -- Nichiren Daishonin

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2012 3:45 am 
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Well, I suppose the reason you posted this here is because toward the end it makes the claim that the Lotus Sutra is older than the Pali cannon. I've never heard that before, anywhere. I have, however, heard that they recently discovered the original scrolls of the Lotus Sutra in India, and it is said to be one of the only Buddhist manuscript discovered in India. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-india-17935041 That much said, I still think, given the "incredible" occurances in the Lotus Sutra, that it has to be mostly symbolic, and I don't think it comes from the historical Gautama Buddha.

Thanks for the link to the articles by Jacquiline Stone http://www.princeton.edu/~jstone/lotus-sutra-tendai-nichiren.html. In the article you mention, she addresses the concept of "slandering the law," and says that this was originally used to refer to Theravada/Hinyana followers who said the Mahayana texts weren't from Gautama Buddha.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2012 7:37 am 
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Why is it people have no faith? At the time of Shakyamuni Buddha there weren't printing presses or recording machines. So we will definitely never know. I for one have faith that the Lotus Sutra is the teaching of Shakyamuni Buddha, I did years ago; now Illaraza posts findings that show the deep antiquity of the Lotus Sutra and still people don't believe. Meanwhile all these years of faith have built up a storehouse for me and those who disbelieved, which is so fashionable in the West, have only their doubts to nuture.
I don't believe the Lotus Sutra is a metaphor either; gods, demons etc all exist The Lotus Sutra was true discussing all the many worlds, all time being now and cosmoses before Einstein proposed his theories, and now the theory of the multiverse.
So just call me a person who anticipates scientific discoveries :namaste:
rory

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2012 8:01 am 
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I think there is a difference between faith and belief in the improbable. I once met a rabbi (albeit, a reform rabbi) who told me she (yes, she) didn't believe the Torah was literally the word of God. She said, "I believe it's a deeply inspired text...."

I suppose what I'm saying is, just because I don't believe the Lotus Sutra is literally the word of the historical Gautama Buddha, and just because I doubt that certain things literally took place (the assembly in the sky, among others), doesn't mean I don't have faith. In this interview with Myoke Cain-Barret (http://www.tricycle.com/feature/right-dharma) she says that for her, faith is the belief that something will touch your life. I've definitely felt this as a result of practicing Nichiren Buddhism. I do believe I have faith. I don't think it's necessary to believe the Lotus Sutra is literally the word of the historical Gautama Buddha, nor that the events literally took place, in order to have faith.

With regard to science.... I read an article a while back that said that most religious chants, whether they be Christian or Buddhist or what have you, follow the same basic rhythmic pulse of the electric activity in the brain. The article said that this alone may be why chanting makes people happy. One thing I liked about Judaism was that it saw no conflict between spirituality and science. I like that about Buddhism too. :namaste:

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2012 9:10 am 
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OregonBuddhist wrote:
I think there is a difference between faith and belief in the improbable. I once met a rabbi (albeit, a reform rabbi) who told me she (yes, she) didn't believe the Torah was literally the word of God. She said, "I believe it's a deeply inspired text...."

I suppose what I'm saying is, just because I don't believe the Lotus Sutra is literally the word of the historical Gautama Buddha, and just because I doubt that certain things literally took place (the assembly in the sky, among others), doesn't mean I don't have faith. In this interview with Myoke Cain-Barret (http://www.tricycle.com/feature/right-dharma) she says that for her, faith is the belief that something will touch your life. I've definitely felt this as a result of practicing Nichiren Buddhism. I do believe I have faith. I don't think it's necessary to believe the Lotus Sutra is literally the word of the historical Gautama Buddha, nor that the events literally took place, in order to have faith.

With regard to science.... I read an article a while back that said that most religious chants, whether they be Christian or Buddhist or what have you, follow the same basic rhythmic pulse of the electric activity in the brain. The article said that this alone may be why chanting makes people happy. One thing I liked about Judaism was that it saw no conflict between spirituality and science. I like that about Buddhism too. :namaste:
.

Hi OB. There is another way to resolve the conundrum but shhh, don't tell anyone [it is a secret]...The reality of the Three Bodied Tathagata Shakyamuni of the 16th Chapter of the Lotus Sutra proves that the Lotus Sutra was preached by Shakyamuni Buddha. Whether preached by his Manifestation Body on Eagle Peak or by his Reward Body [Nagarjuna for example] in another locale, it was preached from "the golden mouth of Shakyamuni Buddha." In fact, the Buddha lives today.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2012 4:18 pm 
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In Chinese Buddhism, it is said that the Lotus Sutra was not widely understood by human Buddhists and therefore kept inside a naga (dragon) palace, until Nāgārjuna Bodhisattva took it out (along with the Avatamsaka Sutra) and shared it with humans. Is the same story believed and taught in Nichiren?

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Last edited by Kaji on Sun Sep 30, 2012 4:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2012 4:24 pm 
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What would Nichiren say....

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2012 6:28 pm 
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plwk wrote:
What would Nichiren say....


What do you think?

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 8:20 am 
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illarraza wrote:
Hi OB. There is another way to resolve the conundrum but shhh, don't tell anyone [it is a secret]...The reality of the Three Bodied Tathagata Shakyamuni of the 16th Chapter of the Lotus Sutra proves that the Lotus Sutra was preached by Shakyamuni Buddha. Whether preached by his Manifestation Body on Eagle Peak or by his Reward Body [Nagarjuna for example] in another locale, it was preached from "the golden mouth of Shakyamuni Buddha." In fact, the Buddha lives today.

illarraza


That's very interesting. It's fascinating for me, because I'm a "former" student of A Course In Miracles (http://www.acim.org/), which is said to be "channeled" from Jesus. The above explanation fo how the Lotus Sutra is from Shakyamuni Buddha is very similar to the way people explain how A Course in Miracles is from Jesus. (I notice that you write that it is from Shakyamuni Buddha, not that it's from Gautama Buddha -- which was, after all, my point.)

With regard to what Nichiren would say.... Yes, I am very aware of what he would say. He would say it was literally the word of the historical Gautama Buddha and Shakyamuni Buddha, right? But, as another forum member has mentioned many times ... this isn't 13 century Japan. :smile:

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 8:47 am 
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With regard to what Nichiren would say.... Yes, I am very aware of what he would say. He would say it was literally the word of the historical Gautama Buddha and Shakyamuni Buddha, right? But, as another forum member has mentioned many times ... this isn't 13 century Japan. :smile:

Actually that's a weak and facile point; what is the difference between 13th century Japan and today? Electricity? Laptops? Spiritually we''re both in Mappo. Nichiren was a very educated and sophisticated buddhist; who in this forum think they are his equal & would dispute him...because they have cars, and the internet? We still have greed, unhappiness, craving everything that Shakyamuni Buddha talked about. Nothing has really changed. . I follow Nichiren Daishonin and I have no doubts that he is greater and wiser and smarter than me.
gassho
rory

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 9:27 am 
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Sticking my neck out here: the difference is the method used to determine the historicity of a sutra. Please don't get me wrong, I'm not favouring one method over the other. My opinion is the sutra speaks for itself whether the Buddha said the words or not. :smile:

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 6:58 pm 
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Seishin wrote:
Sticking my neck out here: the difference is the method used to determine the historicity of a sutra. Please don't get me wrong, I'm not favouring one method over the other. My opinion is the sutra speaks for itself whether the Buddha said the words or not. :smile:



I agree with you completely on the criterion that really counts.

Historians use different methods to trace the history of a text. The idea is to find evidence that demonstrates that a given text had to be written prior to a certain time, eg, "we know it was in X library by Y date, because of Z evidence, and that the text was complete..." A situation like Tun Huang makes it easy: if a text you want to date was buried and forgotten for many centuries, you know that the document inside that collection must have been at least as old as the collection.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 10:34 pm 
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On another thread, another member commented that this is not 13th Century Japan and so it is not our responsibility to "Shakubuku" others the way Nichiren himself did. I'm extrapolating this thought and suggesting that it's not necessary to believe the Lotus Sutra is the literal word of the historical Gautama Buddha in order to be a devoted Nichiren Buddhist. Lest that sounds radical on my part, I repeat that I attended a service at a Nichiren Shu temple where we were given handouts about the Lotus Sutra wherein various events were described as "symbolic."

I'm not saying I don't like the Lotus Sutra. I just chanted it for an hour.... :namaste:

rory wrote:
With regard to what Nichiren would say.... Yes, I am very aware of what he would say. He would say it was literally the word of the historical Gautama Buddha and Shakyamuni Buddha, right? But, as another forum member has mentioned many times ... this isn't 13 century Japan. :smile:

Actually that's a weak and facile point; what is the difference between 13th century Japan and today? Electricity? Laptops? Spiritually we''re both in Mappo. Nichiren was a very educated and sophisticated buddhist; who in this forum think they are his equal & would dispute him...because they have cars, and the internet? We still have greed, unhappiness, craving everything that Shakyamuni Buddha talked about. Nothing has really changed. . I follow Nichiren Daishonin and I have no doubts that he is greater and wiser and smarter than me.
gassho
rory

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 10:56 pm 
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rory wrote:
With regard to what Nichiren would say.... Yes, I am very aware of what he would say. He would say it was literally the word of the historical Gautama Buddha and Shakyamuni Buddha, right? But, as another forum member has mentioned many times ... this isn't 13 century Japan. :smile:

Actually that's a weak and facile point; what is the difference between 13th century Japan and today? Electricity? Laptops? Spiritually we''re both in Mappo. Nichiren was a very educated and sophisticated buddhist; who in this forum think they are his equal & would dispute him...because they have cars, and the internet? We still have greed, unhappiness, craving everything that Shakyamuni Buddha talked about. Nothing has really changed. . I follow Nichiren Daishonin and I have no doubts that he is greater and wiser and smarter than me.
gassho
rory


Hi rory,

This is a rhetorical question, really (I mean a question about rhetoric, the art of communicating and convincing people). It's true that people are, fundamentally, the same whereever you go. That's samsara for you, true in 13th century Japan as well as the present, as you say. But it's also true that different approaches to convincing people of something are needed to reach different people. 84,000 Dharma gates! Communication styles differ between the genders, by age group, by geographical distribution, by race, by class, and so on. Individuals differ greatly in what motivates them to act. In this sense, a one-size-fits-all approach to communicating the Dharma seems weak and facile. That's why I disagree with your argument against our friend from the great state of Oregon.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2012 9:03 am 
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Jikan wrote:
rory wrote:
With regard to what Nichiren would say.... Yes, I am very aware of what he would say. He would say it was literally the word of the historical Gautama Buddha and Shakyamuni Buddha, right? But, as another forum member has mentioned many times ... this isn't 13 century Japan. :smile:

Actually that's a weak and facile point; what is the difference between 13th century Japan and today? Electricity? Laptops? Spiritually we''re both in Mappo. Nichiren was a very educated and sophisticated buddhist; who in this forum think they are his equal & would dispute him...because they have cars, and the internet? We still have greed, unhappiness, craving everything that Shakyamuni Buddha talked about. Nothing has really changed. . I follow Nichiren Daishonin and I have no doubts that he is greater and wiser and smarter than me.
gassho
rory


Hi rory,

This is a rhetorical question, really (I mean a question about rhetoric, the art of communicating and convincing people). It's true that people are, fundamentally, the same whereever you go. That's samsara for you, true in 13th century Japan as well as the present, as you say. But it's also true that different approaches to convincing people of something are needed to reach different people. 84,000 Dharma gates! Communication styles differ between the genders, by age group, by geographical distribution, by race, by class, and so on. Individuals differ greatly in what motivates them to act. In this sense, a one-size-fits-all approach to communicating the Dharma seems weak and facile. That's why I disagree with your argument against our friend from the great state of Oregon.


Jikan; SGI/Shoshu have managed to spread the Daimoku and Nichiren's works all around the 4 corners of the earth to all peoples, (though I disagree with their emphasis on worldy benefits and Nichiren as the Buddha) so your argument is clearly and easily refuted. They have millions of diverse adherents chanting the title of the Lotus Sutra, if they understood that Shakyamuni is the Eternal Buddha it would be a wonderful thing.

btw you never explained how you in Tendai 'contemplate the Middle' and how you teach that to your lay members.
with gassho
Rory

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2012 9:58 am 
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Sticking my neck out again, but "quantity" can be gained in a manner of different ways. SGI have a reputation for being pretty "full-on" meaning their numbers grow quickly, which may not be the result of their teachings. So this does not refute Jikan's point, and goes on a tangent away from the threads' subject matter.

Gassho,
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2012 1:50 pm 
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rory wrote:

Jikan; SGI/Shoshu have managed to spread the Daimoku and Nichiren's works all around the 4 corners of the earth to all peoples, (though I disagree with their emphasis on worldy benefits and Nichiren as the Buddha) so your argument is clearly and easily refuted. They have millions of diverse adherents chanting the title of the Lotus Sutra, if they understood that Shakyamuni is the Eternal Buddha it would be a wonderful thing.


Sorry, but it's more complicated than that. There are many people in the US and worldwide who have never heard of the Daimoku or Nichiren's works. In fact, it's a small minority who have. Among that small minority, there is an even smaller minority who have a positive view of them because of the work of the SGI you credit with spreading the good word. Hence, it doesn't make much sense to claim that a one-size-fits-all approach is working, because affliction comes in many different shapes and sizes. Samsara is not homogenous. It's a complex mess.

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btw you never explained how you in Tendai 'contemplate the Middle' and how you teach that to your lay members.
with gassho
Rory


Sorry... I missed this one. If anyone's interested, peek in the Tendai forum, and find the thread on the Three Truths.

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