Nichiren Buddhism and Anatman

Nichiren Buddhism and Anatman

Postby xkatz » Sat Jun 15, 2013 7:12 am

What does Nichiren Buddhism generally say about anatman? Was Nichiren opposed to it?
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Re: Nichiren Buddhism and Anatman

Postby Son of Buddha » Sat Jun 15, 2013 1:10 pm

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.

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Re: Nichiren Buddhism and Anatman

Postby illarraza » Sat Jun 15, 2013 10:57 pm

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."

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Re: Nichiren Buddhism and Anatman

Postby robby » Sun Jun 16, 2013 5:45 am

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


My impression is that Nichiren pretty much saw the Lotus and Nirvana Sutras as equal. The Lotus Sutra is perhaps superior, because it describes the Three Great Secret Dharmas, in its depths. The Ceremony in Open Space is the Object of Veneration in Nichiren Buddha. Nichiren and his followers depicted the Ceremony in Open Space in various ways to use as the Gohonzon.

As I personally see it, the Lotus Sutra uses visual imagery and the Nirvana Sutra uses concepts to explain the same things. The core of both is the Buddha Nature and the Four Virtues. In the the Lotus Sutra, Buddha Nature is personified by the Eternal Shakyamuni Buddha; the four Virtues by his 4 attendant Bodhisattvas.
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Re: Nichiren Buddhism and Anatman

Postby robby » Sun Jun 16, 2013 6:11 am

xkatz wrote:What does Nichiren Buddhism generally say about anatman? Was Nichiren opposed to it?


I do not know that he discussed this in much detail. He seemed to accept the concept of a true, distinguished, unpretentious, selfless self. He also stressed behavior in daily life -- serving others and fulfilling one's social obligations -- rather than abstract metaphysical concepts. I do not think Nichiren Buddhism repeals the doctrine of anatman. The conditioned, selfish, arrogant self is still not true self. The true self is not self-ish.

The four distortions taught by the Buddha are mistaking pain for bliss, the inconstant for constancy, not-self for self, and impurity for beauty, However, it is still distorted to mistake bliss for pain, constancy for the inconstant, superior self for not-self, and true beauty for impurity

The Buddha said sarva samskara anitya, sarva samskara dukkha, sarva dharma anatman. All conditioning is inconstant, all conditioning is painful, all phenomena are not-self. This, at least, implies an unconditional constant असंस्कार नित्य asamskara Nntya and unconditional bliss असंस्कार सुख asamskara sukha.
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Re: Nichiren Buddhism and Anatman

Postby Son of Buddha » Sun Jun 16, 2013 10:51 am

robby
My impression is that Nichiren pretty much saw the Lotus and Nirvana Sutras as equal. The Lotus Sutra is perhaps superior, because it describes the Three Great Secret Dharmas, in its depths. The Ceremony in Open Space is the Object of Veneration in Nichiren Buddha. Nichiren and his followers depicted the Ceremony in Open Space in various ways to use as the Gohonzon. As I personally see it, the Lotus Sutra uses visual imagery and the Nirvana Sutra uses concepts to explain the same things. The core of both is the Buddha Nature and the Four Virtues.


I think I have only read in one Gossho where Nichiren seemed to put them on the same footing.
BUT im pretty sure I,ve read in many more when he made the case for the Nirvana Sutra being slightly lower than the Lotus Sutra
(i think he talked about a comparison of summer or fall gleanings,the nirvana sutra only got the gleanings left over from the lotus..... of some sort...sorry that vague but I cant remember)
I am happy to see Nichirens followers uphold the 4 virtues.
Many nowdays instead seek the 4 inversions.
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Re: Nichiren Buddhism and Anatman

Postby Son of Buddha » Sun Jun 16, 2013 10:56 am

robby wrote:
xkatz wrote:What does Nichiren Buddhism generally say about anatman? Was Nichiren opposed to it?


I do not know that he discussed this in much detail. He seemed to accept the concept of a true, distinguished, unpretentious, selfless self. He also stressed behavior in daily life -- serving others and fulfilling one's social obligations -- rather than abstract metaphysical concepts. I do not think Nichiren Buddhism repeals the doctrine of anatman. The conditioned, selfish, arrogant self is still not true self. The true self is not self-ish.

The four distortions taught by the Buddha are mistaking pain for bliss, the inconstant for constancy, not-self for self, and impurity for beauty, However, it is still distorted to mistake bliss for pain, constancy for the inconstant, superior self for not-self, and true beauty for impurity

The Buddha said sarva samskara anitya, sarva samskara dukkha, sarva dharma anatman. All conditioning is inconstant, all conditioning is painful, all phenomena are not-self. This, at least,
implies an unconditional constant असंस्कार नित्य asamskara Nntya and unconditional bliss
असंस्कार सुख asamskara sukha.


I 100% agree people mistaken the True Self to be that of the worldly self and inturn fall into the 4 inversions/perversions and inturn slander the 4 virtues.

Peace and Love
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Re: Nichiren Buddhism and Anatman

Postby illarraza » Wed Jun 26, 2013 1:14 am

Son of Buddha wrote:
robby wrote:
xkatz wrote:What does Nichiren Buddhism generally say about anatman? Was Nichiren opposed to it?


I do not know that he discussed this in much detail. He seemed to accept the concept of a true, distinguished, unpretentious, selfless self. He also stressed behavior in daily life -- serving others and fulfilling one's social obligations -- rather than abstract metaphysical concepts. I do not think Nichiren Buddhism repeals the doctrine of anatman. The conditioned, selfish, arrogant self is still not true self. The true self is not self-ish.

The four distortions taught by the Buddha are mistaking pain for bliss, the inconstant for constancy, not-self for self, and impurity for beauty, However, it is still distorted to mistake bliss for pain, constancy for the inconstant, superior self for not-self, and true beauty for impurity

The Buddha said sarva samskara anitya, sarva samskara dukkha, sarva dharma anatman. All conditioning is inconstant, all conditioning is painful, all phenomena are not-self. This, at least,
implies an unconditional constant असंस्कार नित्य asamskara Nntya and unconditional bliss
असंस्कार सुख asamskara sukha.


I 100% agree people mistaken the True Self to be that of the worldly self and inturn fall into the 4 inversions/perversions and inturn slander the 4 virtues.

Peace and Love


In The Awakening of Faith in the Mahayana, Ashvaghosha writes about the
skandas::

"As the World-honored one, considering the inferior intellectual caliber of
Shravakas (Men of Learning) and Pratyekabuddhas (Men of Self Realization),
taught them only the doctrine of the non-personal atman, [and did not make any
further demonstration of the doctrine], the people have in the meantime formed
a fixed idea of the transitoriness of the five skandhas, and being terrified of the
thought of birth and death, have fanatically craved for Nirvana.

In order that this clinging may be eliminated, be it clearly understood that
the essence of the five skandhas is uncreate, there is no annihilation of them;
that since there is no annihilation of them, they are in their [metaphysical]
origin Nirvana itself."

Illarraza the sramana of the Bronx
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Re: Nichiren Buddhism and Anatman

Postby dude » Thu Nov 28, 2013 4:37 am

xkatz wrote:What does Nichiren Buddhism generally say about anatman? Was Nichiren opposed to it?

Not all that much, and no.
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Re: Nichiren Buddhism and Anatman

Postby dude » Thu Nov 28, 2013 4:46 am

Son of Buddha wrote:
robby
My impression is that Nichiren pretty much saw the Lotus and Nirvana Sutras as equal. The Lotus Sutra is perhaps superior, because it describes the Three Great Secret Dharmas, in its depths. The Ceremony in Open Space is the Object of Veneration in Nichiren Buddha. Nichiren and his followers depicted the Ceremony in Open Space in various ways to use as the Gohonzon. As I personally see it, the Lotus Sutra uses visual imagery and the Nirvana Sutra uses concepts to explain the same things. The core of both is the Buddha Nature and the Four Virtues.


I think I have only read in one Gossho where Nichiren seemed to put them on the same footing.
BUT im pretty sure I,ve read in many more when he made the case for the Nirvana Sutra being slightly lower than the Lotus Sutra
(i think he talked about a comparison of summer or fall gleanings,the nirvana sutra only got the gleanings left over from the lotus..... of some sort...sorry that vague but I cant remember)
I am happy to see Nichirens followers uphold the 4 virtues.
Many nowdays instead seek the 4 inversions.


i think he talked about a comparison of summer or fall gleanings, the nirvana sutra only got the gleanings left over from the lotus.....

That's correct.
He also said that the second half of the Lotus Sutra is superior to the first half, and the sixteenth chapter superior to the other chapters.
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