The Life Span of the Tathagata: Before and after Gaya.

illarraza
Posts: 1049
Joined: Fri Dec 09, 2011 4:30 am

Re: The Life Span of the Tathagata: Before and after Gaya.

Post by illarraza »

Konchak, you write:

"At what age did Nichiren acheive an open Enlightenment? Was there such a moment? Is there such a thing written in His letters? What did Nichiren write about this subject? I read the Lotus Sutra a lot and I return every now and then to certain letters, and I remember that Nichiren said He was a Buddha, but in a certain letter He was saying that He still hopes to attain Buddhahood. So these are deep questions I am pondering. A Nichiren or Lotus Sutra Mahayana respecting perspective would be appreciated. If anyone has anything to add to this topic or any answers to any of my questions I would appreciate that. Thank you.

Nichiren gives several proofs of his Enlightenment and many cite these several examples. The first was today, April 28, 1253 when he first recited Namu Myoho renge kyo on a cliff overlooking the ocean at dawn.

Others cite that he became fully Enlightened, revealing his True Identity as Bodhisattva Superior Practices (Emminent Conduct or Bodhisattva Viśiṣṭacāritra) at the moment a bright orb lit up the sky scaring the samurai contingent who raised up his sword to behead Nichiren. He stated in the Opening of the Eyes:

"On the twelfth day of the ninth month of last year, between the hours of the rat and the ox (11:00 p.m. to 3:00 a.m.), this person named Nichiren was beheaded.185 It is his soul that has come to this island of Sado and, in the second month of the following year, snowbound, is writing this to send to his close disciples. [The description of the evil age in the “Encouraging Devotion” chapter seems] terrible, but [one who cares nothing about oneself for the sake of the Law has] nothing to be frightened about. Others reading it will be terrified. This scriptural passage is the bright mirror that Shakyamuni, Many Treasures, and the Buddhas of the ten directions left for the future of Japan, and in which the present state of the country is reflected. It may also be regarded as a keepsake from me."

In Letter to Gijo-bo, he writes:

“Single-mindedly desiring to see the Buddha” may be read as follows: single-mindedly observing the Buddha, concentrating one’s mind on seeing the Buddha, and when looking at one’s own mind, perceiving that it is the Buddha. Having attained the fruit of Buddhahood, the eternally inherent three bodies, I may surpass even T’ien-t’ai and Dengyō, and excel even Nāgārjuna and Mahākāshyapa. The Buddha wrote that one should become the master of one’s mind rather than let one’s mind master oneself.This is what I mean when I emphatically urge you to give up even your body, and never begrudge even your life for the sake of the Lotus Sutra. Namu-myoho-renge-kyo, Namu-myoho-renge-kyo.

In The Person and the Law, he writes:

"This is a mountainous place, remote from all human habitation. Not a single village is found in any direction. Although I live in such a forsaken place, deep in this mortal flesh I preserve the ultimate secret Law inherited from Shakyamuni Buddha, the lord of teachings, at Eagle Peak. My heart is where all Buddhas enter nirvana; my tongue, where they turn the wheel of the Law; my throat, where they are born into this world; and my mouth, where they attain enlightenment. Because this mountain is where this wondrous votary of the Lotus Sutra dwells, how can it be any less sacred than the pure land of Eagle Peak? This is what [The Words and Phrases of the Lotus Sutra means when] it says, “Since the Law is wonderful, the person is worthy of respect; since the person is worthy of respect, the land is sacred.” The “Supernatural Powers” chapter reads, “Whether in a forest, beneath a tree, in monks’ quarters... in such places have the Buddhas entered nirvana.” Those who visit this place can instantly expiate the offenses they have accumulated since the infinite past and transform their evils deriving from the three types of action into the three virtues.:

Still others cite, the moment his predictions about the mongols invading Japan came true:

“Yet it was not I, Nichiren who made these important pronouncements. Rather it was in all cases the spirit of Shakyamuni Buddha that had entered into my body. And at having personally experienced this I am beside myself with joy.” (MW vol 3, The Selection of the Time.)

Mark
narhwal90
Global Moderator
Posts: 1681
Joined: Mon Jan 25, 2016 3:10 am

Re: The Life Span of the Tathagata: Before and after Gaya.

Post by narhwal90 »

Please note the Nichiren forum policy on quoting without discussion, seen here https://www.dharmawheel.net/viewtopic.php?f=59&t=26060
User avatar
tkp67
Posts: 2705
Joined: Sun May 12, 2019 5:42 am

Re: The Life Span of the Tathagata: Before and after Gaya.

Post by tkp67 »

Malcolm wrote: Mon Apr 26, 2021 2:09 pm
tkp67 wrote: Mon Apr 26, 2021 1:45 pm
Malcolm wrote: Mon Apr 26, 2021 12:38 pm

Context, Minobu. In an illusory battle, like Mortal Kombat, it seems people are being killed, but no one is; likewise, it seems that Siddhartha was conceived, led a sheltered palace life, attained full awakening under a tree, etc., but in reality it was all a drama, a play, a show, a movie for those to be tamed.
That is a provisional perspective.
If you want to believe the Buddha was born an ordinary person, and so on, as they do in Theravada, that’s fine with me, but that is not the Mahayana narrative.
Nichiren's buddhism does not deny any one aspect of Shakyamuni's enlightenment but recognizes the total cause and effect end to end. There is a picture on the wiki damma that encapsulates this concept.

In the Lotus Sutra Shakyamuni explains why he taught the way he did and the implications. Nichiren fused this into a single precept practice that propagates the great vehicle. It isn't provisional so one can't expect to describe the vehicle from any specific perspective. The whole of his enlightenment end to end has no bounds or distinctions.
Last edited by tkp67 on Wed Apr 28, 2021 10:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
tkp67
Posts: 2705
Joined: Sun May 12, 2019 5:42 am

Re: The Life Span of the Tathagata: Before and after Gaya.

Post by tkp67 »

Queequeg wrote: Tue Apr 27, 2021 3:22 am Fully agree with Malcolm on this point. The LS is very clear about this.

I'll go a step a step further and maybe upset those who insist Shakyamuni was an ordinary being who awoke and that suffering is really real... It's all a play. Your life with all the suffering and joys and everything else is also a play. If you're not a Buddha then that just means this is the part of the play where Shakyamuni was struggling in a past life.
A bird is genetically coded for flight before it even leaves the egg. It doesn't attempt flight until the causes, conditions and capacities are met.

Throw that bird out of the nest as an egg and it doesn't fly.

Inherent nature works like this. Causes, conditions and capacities are an inseparable facet of existence. The play is one's expedients. One's expedients are not a matter of mere willful choice.
Malcolm
Posts: 34576
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am

Re: The Life Span of the Tathagata: Before and after Gaya.

Post by Malcolm »

tkp67 wrote: Wed Apr 28, 2021 10:40 pm
Malcolm wrote: Mon Apr 26, 2021 2:09 pm
tkp67 wrote: Mon Apr 26, 2021 1:45 pm

That is a provisional perspective.
If you want to believe the Buddha was born an ordinary person, and so on, as they do in Theravada, that’s fine with me, but that is not the Mahayana narrative.
Nichiren's buddhism does not deny any one aspect of Shakyamuni's enlightenment but recognizes the total cause and effect end to end. There is a picture on the wiki damma that encapsulates this concept.

In the Lotus Sutra Shakyamuni explains why he taught the way he did and the implications. Nichiren fused this into a single precept practice that propagates the great vehicle. It isn't provisional so one can't expect to describe the vehicle from any specific perspective. The whole of his enlightenment end to end has no bounds or distinctions.
Empty rhetoric., which does not address my point at all.
Last edited by Malcolm on Thu Apr 29, 2021 1:54 am, edited 1 time in total.
"Nonduality is merely a name;
that name does not exist."
—Kotalipa
Malcolm
Posts: 34576
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am

Re: The Life Span of the Tathagata: Before and after Gaya.

Post by Malcolm »

tkp67 wrote: Wed Apr 28, 2021 10:52 pm
Queequeg wrote: Tue Apr 27, 2021 3:22 am Fully agree with Malcolm on this point. The LS is very clear about this.

I'll go a step a step further and maybe upset those who insist Shakyamuni was an ordinary being who awoke and that suffering is really real... It's all a play. Your life with all the suffering and joys and everything else is also a play. If you're not a Buddha then that just means this is the part of the play where Shakyamuni was struggling in a past life.
A bird is genetically coded for flight before it even leaves the egg. It doesn't attempt flight until the causes, conditions and capacities are met.

Throw that bird out of the nest as an egg and it doesn't fly.

Inherent nature works like this. Causes, conditions and capacities are an inseparable facet of existence. The play is one's expedients. One's expedients are not a matter of mere willful choice.
There are no inherent natures at all. The idea that there is a bird in an egg, or a tree in a seed, etc., is a specifically nonBuddhist perspective of the Samkhya school.
"Nonduality is merely a name;
that name does not exist."
—Kotalipa
User avatar
tkp67
Posts: 2705
Joined: Sun May 12, 2019 5:42 am

Re: The Life Span of the Tathagata: Before and after Gaya.

Post by tkp67 »

Malcolm wrote: Thu Apr 29, 2021 1:52 am
tkp67 wrote: Wed Apr 28, 2021 10:52 pm
Queequeg wrote: Tue Apr 27, 2021 3:22 am Fully agree with Malcolm on this point. The LS is very clear about this.

I'll go a step a step further and maybe upset those who insist Shakyamuni was an ordinary being who awoke and that suffering is really real... It's all a play. Your life with all the suffering and joys and everything else is also a play. If you're not a Buddha then that just means this is the part of the play where Shakyamuni was struggling in a past life.
A bird is genetically coded for flight before it even leaves the egg. It doesn't attempt flight until the causes, conditions and capacities are met.

Throw that bird out of the nest as an egg and it doesn't fly.

Inherent nature works like this. Causes, conditions and capacities are an inseparable facet of existence. The play is one's expedients. One's expedients are not a matter of mere willful choice.
There are no inherent natures at all. The idea that there is a bird in an egg, or a tree in a seed, etc., is a specifically nonBuddhist perspective of the Samkhya school.
The reality of genetic expression is only disputed by provision which is discarded in the Nichiren tradition because it lacks relevance.

Two steps backwards to go one step forward.
narhwal90
Global Moderator
Posts: 1681
Joined: Mon Jan 25, 2016 3:10 am

Re: The Life Span of the Tathagata: Before and after Gaya.

Post by narhwal90 »

By adopting the Lotus Sutra and ichinen-sanzen, Nichiren accepts the Lotus Sutra's 2nd chapter 10 Factors inherent in all phenomena; appearance, nature, entity, power, influence, internal cause, relation, latent effect, manifest effect, and their consistency from beginning to end. Accordingly, some of the various potentials and manifestions of the egg and the bird can be considered. By this view there is a potential for a bird in the egg.

Perhaps this could be viewed is an expedient, useful when considering questions of provisionality.
User avatar
Minobu
Posts: 3723
Joined: Mon Aug 15, 2016 6:57 pm

Re: The Life Span of the Tathagata: Before and after Gaya.

Post by Minobu »

How many angels can dance on the head of a pin ?
narhwal90
Global Moderator
Posts: 1681
Joined: Mon Jan 25, 2016 3:10 am

Re: The Life Span of the Tathagata: Before and after Gaya.

Post by narhwal90 »

Nichiren views ichinen-sanzen and the entire text of the Lotus Sutra as very important. In fact meditation on ichinen-sanzen is one of the practice forms he explicitly endorses, so it seems to be a reasonable topic to discuss.
User avatar
Queequeg
Former staff member
Posts: 12014
Joined: Tue Jul 03, 2012 3:24 pm

Re: The Life Span of the Tathagata: Before and after Gaya.

Post by Queequeg »

narhwal90 wrote: Tue May 04, 2021 3:27 am By this view there is a potential for a bird in the egg.
The potential is acceptable. It is accepted that a kernel of corn, when it meets with adequate causes and conditions, develops into a stalk of corn. It won't become a hippopotamus. What is denied is that there is a putative, preexistent, stalk of corn in a kernel of corn.

IMO, what is critical, in ichinen sanzen, but in Buddhism in general, is that things don't exist. The past is a present memory, and the future is a present speculation. The present itself is just this confluence of causes and conditions, ie. empty. Taken further, we find that the present is the confluence of causes and conditions that amount to our mind. There are no things outside of the mind (when we identify the nexus of reality as the mind).

That said, that above is a tentative explanation. In the present, we can only say that there are conventional dharmas - arbitrary labels on bundles of causes and conditions, each of which we identify is also a bundle of causes and conditions. As Zhiyi remarked,
If all phenomena arise from a single thought [mind], this is a horizontal [relationship]; if a thought in one moment encompasses all phenomena, this is a vertical [relationship]. But these are neither [merely] vertical nor [merely] horizontal. It is just that thought is all phenomena, and all phenomena is thought. Therefore [the relationship of thought and phenomena, the mind and objects] is neither [merely] vertical nor horizontal; they are neither the same nor different. This is mysterious and sublime, profound in the extreme, cannot be grasped conceptually, and cannot be verbalized. This is what is called [contemplating] “objects as inconceivable.”
MHCK, Tr. Swanson

Note, Swanson translates 一心, literally, one mind, as one thought. His choice is because he wanted to avoid giving the reader the impression that the mind is a self existent dharma. Soka Gakkai translates that term as life.
Last edited by Queequeg on Tue May 04, 2021 1:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Upaya Chapter

純一実相。実相外。更無別法。法性寂然名止。寂而常渉照名観。
There is only reality; there is nothing separate from reality. The naturally tranquil nature of dharmas is shamatha. The abiding luminosity of tranquility is vipashyana.

-From Guanding's Introduction to Zhiyi's Great Shamatha and Vipashyana
User avatar
Minobu
Posts: 3723
Joined: Mon Aug 15, 2016 6:57 pm

Re: The Life Span of the Tathagata: Before and after Gaya.

Post by Minobu »

narhwal90 wrote: Tue May 04, 2021 1:04 pm Nichiren views ichinen-sanzen and the entire text of the Lotus Sutra as very important. In fact meditation on ichinen-sanzen is one of the practice forms he explicitly endorses, so it seems to be a reasonable topic to discuss.
I was referring to this bird and egg go nowhere
User avatar
Queequeg
Former staff member
Posts: 12014
Joined: Tue Jul 03, 2012 3:24 pm

Re: The Life Span of the Tathagata: Before and after Gaya.

Post by Queequeg »

Minobu wrote: Tue May 04, 2021 4:05 am How many angels can dance on the head of a pin ?
This is not a speculative inquiry. Its vital to understand the nature of dharmas and more critically, disabuse ourselves of unfounded assumptions.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Upaya Chapter

純一実相。実相外。更無別法。法性寂然名止。寂而常渉照名観。
There is only reality; there is nothing separate from reality. The naturally tranquil nature of dharmas is shamatha. The abiding luminosity of tranquility is vipashyana.

-From Guanding's Introduction to Zhiyi's Great Shamatha and Vipashyana
User avatar
Minobu
Posts: 3723
Joined: Mon Aug 15, 2016 6:57 pm

Re: The Life Span of the Tathagata: Before and after Gaya.

Post by Minobu »

Queequeg wrote: Tue May 04, 2021 1:51 pm
Minobu wrote: Tue May 04, 2021 4:05 am How many angels can dance on the head of a pin ?
This is not a speculative inquiry. Its vital to understand the nature of dharmas and more critically, disabuse ourselves of unfounded assumptions.
I understand, but this whole egg and bird thing reminds me of Jim Morrison “When all else fails we can whip the horses eyes “.
User avatar
tkp67
Posts: 2705
Joined: Sun May 12, 2019 5:42 am

Re: The Life Span of the Tathagata: Before and after Gaya.

Post by tkp67 »

narhwal90 wrote: Tue May 04, 2021 3:27 am By adopting the Lotus Sutra and ichinen-sanzen, Nichiren accepts the Lotus Sutra's 2nd chapter 10 Factors inherent in all phenomena; appearance, nature, entity, power, influence, internal cause, relation, latent effect, manifest effect, and their consistency from beginning to end. Accordingly, some of the various potentials and manifestions of the egg and the bird can be considered. By this view there is a potential for a bird in the egg.

Perhaps this could be viewed is an expedient, useful when considering questions of provisionality.
The ten factors are only applicable when applied from within a given moment of life. It is from the applicable moment that a thing in a particular form is that thing. While I type this my computer is acting as a computer. When you read it your computer is the same. The technology that connects it is the same as well. The expectation that these things will exist moment to moment is not unreasonable either. One gets into a car, drives to their home, parks in the driveway expecting to repeat the process. The car may be a car for a brief moment of time depending on the basis and scope of that evaluation. However the LS is always centered around life as the basis.

Thus the true aspect of phenomenon must always be contextual to the moment it existed in that form. In this context Shakyamuni's teachings are not in conflict but perfectly relative to the moment they were taught.

This is why the LS was meant to be taught when the teachings are in conflict and why the parables equate to people of different perspectives being reconciled to the same "parent".
User avatar
Queequeg
Former staff member
Posts: 12014
Joined: Tue Jul 03, 2012 3:24 pm

Re: The Life Span of the Tathagata: Before and after Gaya.

Post by Queequeg »

Minobu wrote: Tue May 04, 2021 2:10 pm
Queequeg wrote: Tue May 04, 2021 1:51 pm
Minobu wrote: Tue May 04, 2021 4:05 am How many angels can dance on the head of a pin ?
This is not a speculative inquiry. Its vital to understand the nature of dharmas and more critically, disabuse ourselves of unfounded assumptions.
I understand, but this whole egg and bird thing reminds me of Jim Morrison “When all else fails we can whip the horses eyes “.
Jim Morrison was an egotistical, narcissistic putz.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Upaya Chapter

純一実相。実相外。更無別法。法性寂然名止。寂而常渉照名観。
There is only reality; there is nothing separate from reality. The naturally tranquil nature of dharmas is shamatha. The abiding luminosity of tranquility is vipashyana.

-From Guanding's Introduction to Zhiyi's Great Shamatha and Vipashyana
User avatar
Minobu
Posts: 3723
Joined: Mon Aug 15, 2016 6:57 pm

Re: The Life Span of the Tathagata: Before and after Gaya.

Post by Minobu »

Queequeg wrote: Tue May 04, 2021 2:12 pm
Minobu wrote: Tue May 04, 2021 2:10 pm
Queequeg wrote: Tue May 04, 2021 1:51 pm

This is not a speculative inquiry. Its vital to understand the nature of dharmas and more critically, disabuse ourselves of unfounded assumptions.
I understand, but this whole egg and bird thing reminds me of Jim Morrison “When all else fails we can whip the horses eyes “.
Jim Morrison was an egotistical, narcissistic putz.
An artistic genius of his time.
Your projecting again
User avatar
Queequeg
Former staff member
Posts: 12014
Joined: Tue Jul 03, 2012 3:24 pm

Re: The Life Span of the Tathagata: Before and after Gaya.

Post by Queequeg »

tkp67 wrote: Tue May 04, 2021 2:11 pm The expectation that these things will exist moment to moment is not unreasonable either.
Actually, it is unreasonable. Suffering comes from thinking that it is reasonable.

To analyze your statement in terms of the threefold inclusive truth, that statement is an expression of privileging the conditional truth.

Words matter. Words frame the gaze. Get the words wrong, and the view is cock eyed.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Upaya Chapter

純一実相。実相外。更無別法。法性寂然名止。寂而常渉照名観。
There is only reality; there is nothing separate from reality. The naturally tranquil nature of dharmas is shamatha. The abiding luminosity of tranquility is vipashyana.

-From Guanding's Introduction to Zhiyi's Great Shamatha and Vipashyana
User avatar
Queequeg
Former staff member
Posts: 12014
Joined: Tue Jul 03, 2012 3:24 pm

Re: The Life Span of the Tathagata: Before and after Gaya.

Post by Queequeg »

Minobu wrote: Tue May 04, 2021 2:16 pm
Queequeg wrote: Tue May 04, 2021 2:12 pm
Minobu wrote: Tue May 04, 2021 2:10 pm

I understand, but this whole egg and bird thing reminds me of Jim Morrison “When all else fails we can whip the horses eyes “.
Jim Morrison was an egotistical, narcissistic putz.
An artistic genius of his time.
Your projecting again
Whatever. Peace, frog.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Upaya Chapter

純一実相。実相外。更無別法。法性寂然名止。寂而常渉照名観。
There is only reality; there is nothing separate from reality. The naturally tranquil nature of dharmas is shamatha. The abiding luminosity of tranquility is vipashyana.

-From Guanding's Introduction to Zhiyi's Great Shamatha and Vipashyana
User avatar
Minobu
Posts: 3723
Joined: Mon Aug 15, 2016 6:57 pm

Re: The Life Span of the Tathagata: Before and after Gaya.

Post by Minobu »

Queequeg wrote: Tue May 04, 2021 2:18 pm
Minobu wrote: Tue May 04, 2021 2:16 pm
Queequeg wrote: Tue May 04, 2021 2:12 pm

Jim Morrison was an egotistical, narcissistic putz.
An artistic genius of his time.
Your projecting again
Whatever. Peace, frog.
There is hope for you yet lol.
Locked

Return to “Nichiren”