Are heaven and hell actual places?

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bcol01
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Are heaven and hell actual places?

Post by bcol01 »

Nichiren seemed to believe they were. Am I correct on this or are things like this merely metaphorical?
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_johnarundel_
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Re: Are heaven and hell actual places?

Post by _johnarundel_ »

No, they are different life conditions we possess. All common mortals of the nine worlds have the potential for Buddhahood, and a Buddha retains the lower nine worlds. In other words, a common mortal in the world of hell also possesses the life condition of Buddhahood, and by chanting Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo to the Gohonzon, one awakens their Buddha-nature.

Nichiren Daishonin states in "Reply to the Widow of Ueno" ("Ueno dono gokeama-gohenji")
The pure land or hell does not exist outside one’s mind or body. It exists within one’s mind. One who is awakened to this principle is called a Buddha, whereas one who is not, is a common mortal. To understand this difference is the heart of the Lotus Sutra. Therefore, those who embrace the Lotus Sutra should realize that hell is in fact the land of tranquil light.

(Gosho, p. 337)
"Common Mortals of the nine worlds have the potential for Buddhahood" - kukai soku bukkai

"A Buddha retains the lower nine worlds" - bukkai soku kukai

Ten Worlds: Ten life conditions which a single entity of life manifests

1. Hell
2. Hunger
3. Animality
4. Anger
5. Humanity or Tranquility
6. Rapture or Heaven
7. Learning
8. Realization
9. Bodhisattva
10. Buddahood


This explains it well:
https://nstny.org/the-ten-worlds
"The five characters of Myoho-Renge-Kyo are the core of the Lotus Sutra and the origin of all Buddhas throughout the entire world. Upon seeing the signs that these five characters now must be propagated, I, Nichiren, have set the precedent, today, at the beginning of the Latter Day of the Law."

- Nichiren Daishonin, “Shuju onfurumai-gosho” 種種御振舞御書


https://www.nichirenshoshu.or.jp/eng/daishonin.html
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_johnarundel_
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Re: Are heaven and hell actual places?

Post by _johnarundel_ »

This question concerns the doctrines of the "mutual possession of the ten worlds" and ichinen sanzen
"The five characters of Myoho-Renge-Kyo are the core of the Lotus Sutra and the origin of all Buddhas throughout the entire world. Upon seeing the signs that these five characters now must be propagated, I, Nichiren, have set the precedent, today, at the beginning of the Latter Day of the Law."

- Nichiren Daishonin, “Shuju onfurumai-gosho” 種種御振舞御書


https://www.nichirenshoshu.or.jp/eng/daishonin.html
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Bois de Santal
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Re: Are heaven and hell actual places?

Post by Bois de Santal »

bcol01 wrote: Sun Aug 09, 2020 6:13 pm Nichiren seemed to believe they were.
Where in the gosho have you read that?
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Queequeg
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Re: Are heaven and hell actual places?

Post by Queequeg »

bcol01 wrote: Sun Aug 09, 2020 6:13 pm Nichiren seemed to believe they were. Am I correct on this or are things like this merely metaphorical?
I will depart from the others and say that he did believe they were actual places. He also understood them in terms of the mutual possession of the ten worlds - which is merely an extension of the understanding of the 10 worlds as actual realms, each with the potential of the ten worlds within it. The ultimate meaning of this is to assure us that we all have buddhanature - ie. the potential to be a buddha.
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, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta
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Minobu
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Re: Are heaven and hell actual places?

Post by Minobu »

yes hell exists , this guy knows all about it.
Fortyeightvows
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Re: Are heaven and hell actual places?

Post by Fortyeightvows »

I will depart from the others and say that he did believe they were actual places.
Of course he did
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Minobu
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Re: Are heaven and hell actual places?

Post by Minobu »

I think when one dies if they have created some real heavy karmic nightmare then ,yeah, you end up being born in some sort of hell realm , maybe like here on earth with a less than desired life and body you now are inhabiting .

with all the modern talk of multi universes and such , the possibilities are endless..
The Tibetans talk of reliving nightmares every seven days for the 49 days in the Bardo.

then of course there is the Buddhist cosmology of ..
six realms of Samsara

you know immersing yourself in the world Nichiren Daishonin lived in , gods and Kami and everything wondrously allegorical to the modern eye , is cool..
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