Son of Buddha wrote:
xkatz wrote:What does Nichiren Buddhism generally say about anatman? Was Nichiren opposed to it?
Ven.Nichiren upheld the Tathagatagarbha doctrine was pro Atman and was a super supporter of the Nirvana Sutra qouting it extensively
(note the Nirvana sutra was considered by him to be second to the Lotus sutra and generally to him all you needed was the Lotus Sutra and every other sutra including the Nirvana sutra was generally used as "commentary" in support of the Lotus Sutra)
not a Nichiren Buddhist so others may have a different understanding of his writings.
Peace and Love
Robby is an expert on this subject so I look forward to his input. Let me just add a selection from one of Nichiren Daishonin's most important works, Repaying Debts of Gratitude, which perfectly clarifies his view:
'Bodhisattvas Ashvaghosha and Nagarjuna were great scholars who lived, respectively, six hundred and seven hundred years after the passing of Shakyamuni Buddha. When these men appeared in the world and began spreading the doctrines of the Mahayana sutras, the various followers of the Hinayana raised objections.
“Mahakashyapa and Ananda,” they said, “lived on for twenty or forty years after the passing of the Buddha, preaching the correct teaching. Presumably they conveyed the heart of all the teachings that the Buddha had propounded during his lifetime. Now we find that what these two men emphasized were simply the concepts of suffering, emptiness, impermanence, and non-self. Ashvaghosha and Nagarjuna may be very wise, but are we to suppose that they are superior to Mahakashyapa and Ananda? This is our first objection.
“Mahakashyapa obtained his enlightenment through direct encounters with the Buddha. But these two men, Ashvaghosha and Nagarjuna, have never encountered the Buddha. This is our second objection.
“The non-Buddhist philosophers who preceded the Buddha taught that life is permanent, joyful, endowed with self, and pure. Later, when the Buddha appeared in the world, he declared that life is marked by suffering, emptiness, impermanence, and non-self. Now Ashvaghosha and Nagarjuna insist that it is permanent, joyful, endowed with self, and pure. This being so, we must suppose that, since both the Buddha and Mahakashyapa have passed away from the world, the devil king of the sixth heaven has taken possession of these two men and is trying to overthrow the teachings of Buddhism and replace them with the teachings of the non-Buddhists.
“If that is so, then these men are the enemies of Buddhism. We must smash their skulls, cut off their heads, put an end to their lives, see that they get no more to eat. Let us drive them from the country!”
Such were the declarations of the Hinayana believers. And Ashvaghosha and Nagarjuna, each having only a few allies, were forced day and night to listen to these shouts of calumny, and morning and evening to bear the attacks of sticks and staves.
But these two men were in fact messengers of the Buddha. For in the Maya Sutra, it is predicted that Ashvaghosha will appear six hundred years, and Nagarjuna, seven hundred years, after the Buddha’s passing. The same prediction is also recorded in the Lankavatara Sutra, and of course in the Buddha’s Successors Sutra as well.
But the Hinayana believers would not heed these predictions, and instead attacked the Mahayanists blindly and without reason. “Since hatred and jealousy . . . abound even when the Thus Come One is in the world, how much more will this be so after his passing?” says the Lotus Sutra. Looking at the time of Ashvaghosha and Nagarjuna, one begins to have a little understanding of what these words of the sutra really mean. Moreover, Bodhisattva Aryadeva was killed by a non-Buddhist, and the Venerable Aryasimha had his head cut off. These events, too, give one cause for thought."