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PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2013 6:51 pm 
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So I'm investigating Nichiren Buddhism (I'm someone who comes from a household of SGI members so I know a lot about NMRK but didn't start my own practice until recently) but I see that in this school of Buddhism, there isn't any praying or chanting to any of the bodhisattvas. Did Nichiren ever said anything about this? I remember reading that once he went to the temple, he would pray to Akasagarbha (Kokuzo) to become a wise man but this was when he was 11 or 12.

I could be totally wrong since the whole sangha where I live is the SGI and not a peep is mentioned about the bodhisattvas. I'm curious though, since I've been thinking a lot about Avalokiteśvara while chanting NMRK and have been listening to the Om mani padme hum and last night, I was thinking about Avalokiteśvara's great compassion and I just felt something. I'm pretty much confused if including Avalokiteśvara as part of my practice would be wrong considering I'd have to study more in-depth, chant the mantra perhaps (I know many recommend a teacher for these types of things) and if it would somehow be conflicting with my chanting of NMRK.

Thank you!


Last edited by emulations on Mon Sep 09, 2013 7:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2013 7:13 pm 
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Chapters of the Lotus Sutra are chanted in Nichiren/SGI and some chapters are dedicated to Bodhisattvas, the most famous of which is Chapter 25, a chapter dedicated to Avalokitesvara. So in a sense, this is chanting to Avalokitesvara. As for mantras, I couldn't say.

Gassho,
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2013 7:23 pm 
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Seishin wrote:
Chapters of the Lotus Sutra are chanted in Nichiren/SGI and some chapters are dedicated to Bodhisattvas, the most famous of which is Chapter 25, a chapter dedicated to Avalokitesvara. So in a sense, this is chanting to Avalokitesvara. As for mantras, I couldn't say.

Gassho,
Seishin


Thank you for your reply. This is also something I've been mulling about, since Nichiren Buddhism places the Lotus Sutra at the top and there's the whole chapter dedicated to Avalokitesvara right there. From the schools I know of, however, they only chant the second and 16th chapter. But Nichiren never gave a clear format on sutra recitation from what I remember.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 10, 2013 3:38 am 
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In Nichiren Shu, we chant all of the Lotus Sutra (not at once, mind you). I sometimes chant the verse portion of the Kanzeon chapter, so you could try that out if you wanted. Mantras associated with Kanzeon are just not done in Nichiren Buddhism, however. As far as praying to various devas and bodhisattvas, it's done all the time. They are all protectors of practitioners of the Lotus Sutra


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 10, 2013 2:23 pm 
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markatex wrote:
In Nichiren Shu, we chant all of the Lotus Sutra (not at once, mind you). I sometimes chant the verse portion of the Kanzeon chapter, so you could try that out if you wanted. Mantras associated with Kanzeon are just not done in Nichiren Buddhism, however. As far as praying to various devas and bodhisattvas, it's done all the time. They are all protectors of practitioners of the Lotus Sutra


Thank you for this reply! I'm glad to hear that in Nichiren Shu all of the Lotus Sutra is chanted. I will definitely look into finding the Kanzeon chapter.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 10, 2013 2:30 pm 
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It is worth noting that, although SGI has it's roots in Nichiren, it is a separate school.

Gassho,
Seishin

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 10, 2013 2:39 pm 
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markatex wrote:
As far as praying to various devas and bodhisattvas, it's done all the time. They are all protectors of practitioners of the Lotus Sutra


Out of curiosity, are these formulaic prayers... already composed... or prayers just talking to the devas and bodhisattvas?

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 10, 2013 2:54 pm 
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Seishin wrote:
It is worth noting that, although SGI has it's roots in Nichiren, it is a separate school.

Gassho,
Seishin


Definitely. I'm not on board with a lot of the stuff SGI espouses but it is the only sangha I have available so I attend the weekly chanting and stuff. I do a lot of study by myself, I'm very curious to learn about what the other Nichiren schools have to say and so far, I'd love to attend a Nichiren Shu temple but for now, it's out of the question. Hence my curiosity about the roles of bodhisattvas since in SGI, they are not mentioned at all.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 10, 2013 3:07 pm 
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emulations wrote:
Definitely. I'm not on board with a lot of the stuff SGI espouses but it is the only sangha I have available so I attend the weekly chanting and stuff. I do a lot of study by myself, I'm very curious to learn about what the other Nichiren schools have to say and so far, I'd love to attend a Nichiren Shu temple but for now, it's out of the question. Hence my curiosity about the roles of bodhisattvas since in SGI, they are not mentioned at all.


It is a shame they are not mentioned as they play very important roles in the Lotus Sutra, practically the only Sutra SGI venerate.

On a side note, have you thought about the Tendai School? It is the parent school of Nichiren and utilises mantras and various other prayers to the Bodhisattvas and Buddhas. viewforum.php?f=64

Gassho,
Seishin

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 10, 2013 4:43 pm 
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@ Seishin

Thank you again for all of your encouragement and suggestions. :smile:

I have peeked into Tendai and I know Nichiren greatly respected it and many of the teachings are similar, hold the Lotus Sutra as being super important, etc. However, I'm a bit in a conundrum since I'm probably one of the few non-Asian people who are offspring to practicing Buddhists and as a child, I grew up going to the SGI center, I can't remember a time of my life where I didn't know what NMRK was and I supposed Buddhism was the religion I was brought up in, specifically the SGI school. There are some good things in SGI and my parents and sister still practice it and I truly feel like Nichiren's teachings and NMRK are the best for me. If only I could get to a Nichiren Shu temple...

But anyway, I think I will add the chapter of the Lotus Sutra that's all about Avalokistesvara as part of my daily practice. I thank her/him daily these days and yesterday I gathered my guts and did 1 mala of Om mani padme hum's and it was truly wonderful. Just need more study and practice, I suppose. :meditate:


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 10, 2013 5:04 pm 
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emulations wrote:
more study and practice


Excellent, I wish you the best and never loose the above thought :twothumbsup:

Gassho,
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 15, 2013 5:49 pm 
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emulations wrote:
Seishin wrote:
Chapters of the Lotus Sutra are chanted in Nichiren/SGI and some chapters are dedicated to Bodhisattvas, the most famous of which is Chapter 25, a chapter dedicated to Avalokitesvara. So in a sense, this is chanting to Avalokitesvara. As for mantras, I couldn't say.

Gassho,
Seishin


Thank you for your reply. This is also something I've been mulling about, since Nichiren Buddhism places the Lotus Sutra at the top and there's the whole chapter dedicated to Avalokitesvara right there. From the schools I know of, however, they only chant the second and 16th chapter. But Nichiren never gave a clear format on sutra recitation from what I remember.


Hi!. The Honmon Butsuyu Shu, the third largest Nichiren sect, chants the 21st Chapter of the Lotus Sutra for their daily practice.

Illarraza


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 15, 2013 6:23 pm 
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Jainarayan wrote:
markatex wrote:
As far as praying to various devas and bodhisattvas, it's done all the time. They are all protectors of practitioners of the Lotus Sutra


Out of curiosity, are these formulaic prayers... already composed... or prayers just talking to the devas and bodhisattvas?


I believe they are drawn directly from the Sutra itself, like the Dharani Chapter 26. Just a few examples (denominational affiliation uncertain)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kOYYohh7__c

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yUOWF__q3yk (I believe this is the gokito blessing. I'm not know what is being recited during the blessing itself)


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 15, 2013 7:35 pm 
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emulations wrote:
So I'm investigating Nichiren Buddhism (I'm someone who comes from a household of SGI members so I know a lot about NMRK but didn't start my own practice until recently) but I see that in this school of Buddhism, there isn't any praying or chanting to any of the bodhisattvas. Did Nichiren ever said anything about this? I remember reading that once he went to the temple, he would pray to Akasagarbha (Kokuzo) to become a wise man but this was when he was 11 or 12.

I could be totally wrong since the whole sangha where I live is the SGI and not a peep is mentioned about the bodhisattvas. I'm curious though, since I've been thinking a lot about Avalokiteśvara while chanting NMRK and have been listening to the Om mani padme hum and last night, I was thinking about Avalokiteśvara's great compassion and I just felt something. I'm pretty much confused if including Avalokiteśvara as part of my practice would be wrong considering I'd have to study more in-depth, chant the mantra perhaps (I know many recommend a teacher for these types of things) and if it would somehow be conflicting with my chanting of NMRK.

Thank you!



Nichiren said that chanting nam myoho renge kyo to the Gohonzon is the correct practice in the Latter Day of the Law.
The Bodhisattvas, the Buddhas, and the rest of the ten worlds are represented on the Gohonzon.
He also said that we should not seek the buddhas and bodhisattvas outside ourselves : "If you think the Law is outside yourself you are not embracing the Mystic Law but some inferior teaching." - On Attaining Buddhahood in This Lifetime.

Since you have SGI members around you, I think asking them and studying the writings would be the place to start.
My own understanding is limited, and communication online is no substitute for face to face dialogue, but I would be very happy to help any way I can.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2013 2:52 am 
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Jainarayan wrote:
markatex wrote:
As far as praying to various devas and bodhisattvas, it's done all the time. They are all protectors of practitioners of the Lotus Sutra


Out of curiosity, are these formulaic prayers... already composed... or prayers just talking to the devas and bodhisattvas?


The latter. I'm not familiar with any formulaic prayers to specific deities.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2013 1:43 pm 
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jmlee369 wrote:
Jainarayan wrote:
markatex wrote:
As far as praying to various devas and bodhisattvas, it's done all the time. They are all protectors of practitioners of the Lotus Sutra


Out of curiosity, are these formulaic prayers... already composed... or prayers just talking to the devas and bodhisattvas?


I believe they are drawn directly from the Sutra itself, like the Dharani Chapter 26. Just a few examples (denominational affiliation uncertain)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kOYYohh7__c

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yUOWF__q3yk (I believe this is the gokito blessing. I'm not know what is being recited during the blessing itself)


Thanks. :smile:

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Worthy, wise and virtuous: Who is energetic and not indolent, in misfortune unshaken,
flawless in manner and intelligent, such one will honor gain. - Digha Nikaya III 273


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 17, 2013 12:18 am 
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illarraza wrote:

Hi!. The Honmon Butsuyu Shu, the third largest Nichiren sect, chants the 21st Chapter of the Lotus Sutra for their daily practice.

Illarraza


Ooh, thanks for this bit of information!


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 17, 2013 12:23 am 
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dude wrote:

Nichiren said that chanting nam myoho renge kyo to the Gohonzon is the correct practice in the Latter Day of the Law.
The Bodhisattvas, the Buddhas, and the rest of the ten worlds are represented on the Gohonzon.
He also said that we should not seek the buddhas and bodhisattvas outside ourselves : "If you think the Law is outside yourself you are not embracing the Mystic Law but some inferior teaching." - On Attaining Buddhahood in This Lifetime.

Since you have SGI members around you, I think asking them and studying the writings would be the place to start.
My own understanding is limited, and communication online is no substitute for face to face dialogue, but I would be very happy to help any way I can.


Hey dude,

This is all correct information. Not all the bodhisattvas are on the Gohonzon however, for example, at least in the SGI Gohonzons, Avalokiteshvara is not represented. I would ask the SGI members around me but I'm afraid I would be shut down for asking about it and I'm not even sure they know who this bodhisattva is. There's a bit of an issue in the SGI area where I come from that's there's a definite lack of study done and so, I'm mostly venturing on it solo which can be hard since I don't always understand or fully grasp certain concepts.

Thank you for your offer :)


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 17, 2013 2:57 am 
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emulations wrote:
dude wrote:

Nichiren said that chanting nam myoho renge kyo to the Gohonzon is the correct practice in the Latter Day of the Law.
The Bodhisattvas, the Buddhas, and the rest of the ten worlds are represented on the Gohonzon.
He also said that we should not seek the buddhas and bodhisattvas outside ourselves : "If you think the Law is outside yourself you are not embracing the Mystic Law but some inferior teaching." - On Attaining Buddhahood in This Lifetime.

Since you have SGI members around you, I think asking them and studying the writings would be the place to start.
My own understanding is limited, and communication online is no substitute for face to face dialogue, but I would be very happy to help any way I can.


Hey dude,

This is all correct information. Not all the bodhisattvas are on the Gohonzon however, for example, at least in the SGI Gohonzons, Avalokiteshvara is not represented. I would ask the SGI members around me but I'm afraid I would be shut down for asking about it and I'm not even sure they know who this bodhisattva is. There's a bit of an issue in the SGI area where I come from that's there's a definite lack of study done and so, I'm mostly venturing on it solo which can be hard since I don't always understand or fully grasp certain concepts.

Thank you for your offer :)[/qudte]

You're right, the four bodhisattvas of the lotus sutra are the ones on the gohonzon.
We're all new to Buddhisom here in the Americas and nobody studies enough, including me, and I study a lot.

To venture an answer to your question : I'm not qualified to say, but from my reading of the Gosho, Nichiren said that reciting the sutra in its entirety is the "comprehensive practice" and reading the two chapters is the shorter version of practice, to be done as an auxiliary to chanting nam myoho ren ge kyo.

So I can't see anything wrong with reading and reciting the chapter if you want to.
That chapter was instrumental to me at least once in a breakthrough of understanding, and I know what you mean about Feeling something when you read a particular passage. As if the words speak directly to a wisdom deep within my mind.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 17, 2013 4:30 am 
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Avalokiteshvara is not on the Mandala Gohonzon (and no one knows exactly why), but considering that Samantabhadra and Manjushri are depicted, the absence is conspicuous, IMO.

Some have speculated that Nichiren Shonin didn't include Avalokiteshvara because of his/her close association with Pure Land Buddhism; others think Nichiren intended for Hariti/Kishimojin to stand in for that bodhisattva on the Mandala.


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