Tathagatagarbha

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Queequeg
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Re: Tathagatagarbha

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All are reminded that comparative discussions are proscribed at DW.
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: Tathagatagarbha

Post by Minobu »

PadmaVonSamba wrote: Tue Oct 20, 2020 5:48 pm
Minobu wrote: Tue Oct 20, 2020 5:08 pm
PadmaVonSamba wrote: Tue Oct 20, 2020 4:36 pm

I can certainly appreciate not wanting to sit through this presentation.

The question I am raising is, in what way, specifically, are atman and Buddha-nature not simply two words for the same thing, since by this fellow’s understanding they both describe nothing other than a beginningless and endless awareness?
Well one day rinpoche was addressing a hindu that came to His gompa from time to time. they were friends.

It was His saying that the only real difference between Buddhism and Hinduism is this concept of Atman.

Atman is like this created inherent soul ..Buddhist have nothing that compares to that.

You can draw lines and say they are the same but they are two entirely different views.

Again, the question is how are they different?
What specific attributes describe tathagatagharba that do not describe atman, and vice versa?
Do you know exactly what a Buddha is. Describe it for me. What about tathagatgharba. All I can say is it is not some created inherent soul.
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Queequeg
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Re: Tathagatagarbha

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At this risk of causing people confusion... Here is an excerpt from the Mahayana Mahaparinirvana Sutra. If you haven't read it before, you might be surprised. Alternatively, you might also find yourself feeling like a Tirthika whose wrong views have been confirmed, exactly as the story warns against... This subject is like handling a razor blade - if you don't know what you are doing, it will harm you.
All right teachings are left in the hands of Mahakasyapa. Know that all that you have learned up to now about the non-eternal and suffering is not true. In spring, for example, people go bathing in a big pond. They are enjoying themselves, sailing in a boat, when they drop a gem of beryl into the depths of the water, after which it can no longer be seen. Then they all get into the water and search for this gem. They competitively scoop up all such rubbish as tiles, stones, bits of wood, and gravel, and say that they have the beryl. They are glad and take the things out, and see that what they hold in their hands is not true. The gem is still in the water. By the power of the gem itself, the water becomes clear and transparent. As a result, the people see that the gem is still in the water, as clearly as when they look up and see the form of the moon in the sky. At that time, there is a wise man there who, working out a power, slowly gets into the water and gains the gem. O you Bhiksus! Do not abide in the thought of the non-Eternal, Suffering, non-Self, and the not-Pure and be in the situation of those people who take stones, bits of wood, and gravel to be the true gem. You must study well the Way, how to act, wherever you go, and “meditate on the Self, the Eternal, Bliss, and the Pure”. Know that the outer forms of the four items which you have learnt up to now are inversions and that anyone who desires to practise the Way should act like the wise man who deftly gets hold of the gem. This refers to the so-called thought of Self, and that of the Eternal, Bliss, and Pure."

Then all the bhiksus said to the Buddha: "O World-Honoured One! You, the Buddha, said before that all things have no Self, that we should practise this and that, when practised, the thought of Self goes away, and that once the thought of Self is done away with, one does away with arrogance and that, arrogance once done away with, one gains Nirvana. Thus did you say "How might we understand this?"

The Buddha said to all the bhiksus: "Well said, well said! You ask this question and intend to dispel your doubt. Imagine: there is a king, who is dull-witted. He has little wisdom. And there is a doctor, who is obstinate. But the King does not know this and pays him a
salary. This doctor uses the products of milk to cure all illnesses. Also, he does not know where the illnesses come from. He may be versed in the medicine of milk, but for him there exists no difference between a cold and a fever. He prescribes milk for all illnesses. This King was unaware that this doctor was ignorant of the pleasing and non-pleasing, the good and bad aspects of milk. But there was a Doctor who knew eight different treatments for illnesses and who was able to cure all diseases. This Doctor was versed in prescription and medicines and had come from a far-off place. And the King’s doctor did not know how to ask and learn. He was rash and haughty. So the learned Doctor cordially invited the King’s doctor and looked up to him [as an expedient] as his master and asked of him the secret of treatment. He said to the King’s doctor: "I now invite you and make you my teacher. Please be good enough to teach me." The King’s doctor said: "If you serve me for 48 years, I will teach you the art of medicine." Then, at these words, the learned Doctor said: "I shall do as you tell me. I shall do my best and run errands." Then the King’s doctor, taking the learned Doctor along with him, went to see the King. At this, the visiting Doctor explained to the King the various ways of treatment and even other things. He said: "Please know, O great King! Know well! This Dharma is like this and you will well cure illnesses." On hearing this, the King recognised the ignorance and lack of knowledge of his own doctor. He at once drove him out of the country. And he respected
the new Doctor all the more. Then the new Doctor said to himself: "It is now time to teach the King." He said to the King: "O great King! If you truly love me, please make me a promise!" The King replied: "I shall give you, should you desire it, even my right hand or any part of my body." The new Doctor said: "You may give me all statuses, but I myself do not wish to have much. What I desire you to do for me is to proclaim to the people of every corner of your land that henceforth they are not to use the milk medicine, which the former doctor told them to use. Why not? Because much harm and poisonous results arise [from it]. Any person who still takes this medicine should be beheaded. If the milk medicine is not used, there will be no untimely deaths; all will go in peace. That is why I ask this of you." Then the King said: "What you ask me to do is a trifle. I shall at once issue an order and see to it that anyone who is ill does no take milk as a medicine. Any person who does will be beheaded." At this, the learned Doctor made several kinds of medicine, which tasted pungent, butter, salty, sweet, and sour. With these, treatment was given, and there was no case in which illness could not be cured.

"After some time, the King himself became ill, and the Doctor was called in. The King said: "I am now ill. How am I to be cured?" The Doctor thought about the illness of the King and saw that the milk medicine was good [here]. So he said to the King: "What you are now suffering from can very well be cured by milk. What I said before about the milk medicine was not true. If you take it now, you will be cured. You are now suffering from a fever. It is right that you should take milk." Then the King said to the Doctor: "Are you mad? Is it a fever? And you say that if I take milk, it will cure me? Before, you said it was poison. Now you tell me to take it. How is this? Do you mean to cheat me? What the former doctor said was good, [yet] you despised it and said that it was poison, and you made me drive him away. Now you say that it well cures illness. From you you say, the former doctor ought to excel you."

"Then the learned Doctor said to the King: "O King! Do not say this, please. A worm eats on [a piece of] wood and [the shape of] a letter comes out. This worm does not know anything of letters. A wise person sees this. But he does not say that this worm understands letters. And he is not overcome by surprise. O great King! Please know: so was it also with the former doctor. To all illnesses he gave medicine made from milk. This is as in the case of the worm that eats on wood, as a result of which a form like a letter emerges. The former doctor did not know how to distinguish between the pleasing and non-pleasing aspects, the good and the bad." Then the King wanted to know: "What do you mean he did not know?" The guest Doctor answered the King: "This milk medicine is harmful, but it is also a manna." "How can you say that this milk is manna?" "If you milking cow has not taken the lees, the slippery grass and the wheat refuse, and if the calf fares well, and if the cow was not grazed too high up on the land or in a low and wet place, if the cow is given pure water and not made to run or made to live among the bulls, and if feeding is done regularly, and if the place it lives in is fit, the milk gained from such a cow well does away with all illnesses. This can well be called the manna of
medicine. Any other milk is poison."

"On hearing this, the King praised the great Doctor: "Well said, well said, O great Doctor! Today, for the first time in my life, I know of the pleasing and non-pleasing, that which is good and not good in the milk medicine. Taking this, I am now well. I shall at once proclaim to the people that they may well take the milk medicine." On hearing this, the people of the country, angry and resentful, said: "The great King is now caught by a devil. Is he mad? He cheats us and makes us take milk." All the people, angry and resentful, came to the King. The King said to them: "Be not angry, and have no resentment. To take milk or not to take it all comes from the science of medicine. I am not to blame." At this, the great King and the people all jumped for joy. They all the more respected and honoured the Doctor, and made offerings to him. That is how all the people took the milk medicine and regained their health.

"Know, O you Bhiksus! The same is the case with the Tathagata, the Alms-deserving, the All-Enlightened-One, the Unsurpassed Best Trainer, the Teacher-of-Heaven-and-Earth, the Buddha-World-Honoured One. He comes as a great Doctor and subdues all tirthikas and bad doctors. In the presence of kings and all people, he says: "I shall become the King of doctors and subdue tirthikas." Thus we say: "There is no self, no man, no being, no life, no nurturing, no knowing, none that does, and none that receives." O Bhiksus! Know that what the tirthikas say is like the case of a worm that eats upon [a piece of] wood, from which, by chance, there appears what looks like a letter. Because of this, the Tathagata teaches and says no-self. This is to adjust beings and because he is aware of the occasion. Such non-self is, as occasion arises, spoken of, and it is [also] said that there is the Self. This is as in the case of the learned Doctor,
who knows well the medicinal and non-medicinal qualities of milk. It is not as with common mortals, who might measure the size of their own self. Common mortals and the ignorant may measure the size of their own self and say, ’It is like the size of a thumb, like a mustard seed, or like the size of a mote.’ When the Tathagata speaks of Self, in no case are things thus. That is why he says: ’All things have no Self.’ Even though he has said that all phenomena [dharmas] are devoid of the Self, it is not that they are completely truly devoid of the Self. What is this Self? Any phenomenon [dharma] that is true [satya], real [tattva], eternal [nitya], sovereign/ autonomous/ self-governing [aisvarya], and whose ground/ foundation is unchanging [asraya-aviparinama], is termed ’the Self’ [atman]. This is as in the case of the great Doctor who well understands the milk medicine. The same is the case with the Tathagata. For the sake of beings, he says "there is the Self in all things" O you the four classes! Learn Dharma thus!"
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: Tathagatagarbha

Post by Minobu »

Queequeg wrote: Tue Oct 20, 2020 6:32 pm At this risk of causing people confusion... Here is an excerpt from the Mahayana Mahaparinirvana Sutra. If you haven't read it before, you might be surprised. Alternatively, you might also find yourself feeling like a Tirthika whose wrong views have been confirmed, exactly as the story warns against... This subject is like handling a razor blade - if you don't know what you are doing, it will harm you.

so this is basic Sunyata.
the middle way..
both aspects of existence and non existance is the nature of everything..
you teach non self in order to come to the conclusion that actually conventionally there is a self but it not being inherant has the aspect of non self.
tkp67
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Re: Tathagatagarbha

Post by tkp67 »

Queequeg wrote: Tue Oct 20, 2020 3:03 pm
PadmaVonSamba wrote: Tue Oct 20, 2020 1:55 pm I stumbled across this YouTube video
...
I don't know Vedanta. I've only got a tenuous inkling of what the Buddha taught. That said, my intuition is that all of these descriptions, self, not-self, Buddha-nature, Tathagatagarbha, Ichinen-Sanzen, etc. these are instructions for orienting the gaze so that one can see for themselves. That said, depending on where you start from, the directions will be different. If you are East of the destination, then instructions would be, "Go West." If you are West of the destination, then instructions would be, "Go East." If you start to the East and travel West, but overshoot the destination, the instruction would then be, "Go East."

More fundamental than any of those directional instructions, though, is this: "Buddha-nature is." One needs to arouse faith in that teaching first before any instruction can be given about how to get there. Once there is faith in Buddha-nature, then there can be examination of its nature, of its location, its characteristics, etc.

I have comments about that video, but I will not go there as I don't want to take this down the path of comparative discussion.

In Tiantai, reality is described in terms of Three Thousand Realms in a Single Moment of Thought. It more or less is a way to explain that the moment of mind is the entirety of reality (in the all encompassing sense of "reality"). There is a description of progressive meditation practices in which each samadhi, once achieved, becomes an obstacle to be transcended. The antidote for the dhyana Neither Thought Nor No Thought is the Samadhi of Self. I was reminded of that when this fellow compared Vedanta and Buddhism.
:good:

I was talking with a friend in similar terms using the using a dirty lens as an analogy. He responded saying it reminded him of a jigsaw puzzle. The more of the puzzle that was complete the easier it became to put the puzzle together. People employ different strategies when putting together a jigsaw puzzle but in the end the completed puzzle is the same.

I feel as if the daimoku is as such. One's own interpretive is what one first sees and as daimoku is applied the interpretive perspective becomes refined. I seems to accommodate individual specificity while maintaining the attributes of the one vehicle in the process. Propagation seems to have become the sticky wicket but not an impossible one imho.
“But stop, Shariputra, I will say no more. Why? Because what the buddhas have achieved is the rarest and most difficult-to-understand Law. The true aspect of all phenomena can only be understood and shared between buddhas. This reality consists of the appearance, nature, entity, power, influence, internal cause, relation, latent effect, manifest effect, and their consistency from beginning to end.
The reality that exists between buddhas still has the above attributes.

This is where reversion to the pointing sutras pose danger but the lotus establishes that it is not.

Why? Because not only is there a proof to test one's understanding of such things but the grim reality of human degeneracy is such that the ecological fate of this planet and mankind are at stake. The earth is now the burning house, so is dharma really that dangerous or is the lack thereof the true danger?
illarraza
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Re: Tathagatagarbha

Post by illarraza »

Minobu wrote: Mon Oct 05, 2020 6:10 pm from another thread we have this
_johnarundel_ wrote: Mon Oct 05, 2020 4:44 pm Finally, in our current age of Mappo, because of our lower capacities, we must receive the seed of Buddhahood for the first time by chanting Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo to the Gohonzon, which is how common mortals can attain Buddhahood in their present form, as taught by Nichiren Daishonin.

couple things about this statement to ponder.

a) At ceremony in the air the Four Leaders of the Bodhisattvas of The Earth ,with Bodhisattvas in the numbers of more than sixty thousand times the grains of sand in the Ganges River,came to ceremony in the air. As explained these are Bodhisattvas trained by Lord Sakyamuni Buddha in the infinite past, and remained dormant if you will , for the work to be done during Mappo. dormant meaning in the sense, at mappo they rise to the occasion, This is what Lord Sakyamuni Buddha trained them for.

b) The Eternal Buddha MyoHo RenGe Kyo is exactly that, Eternal ,and every sentient has a Buddha nature.


It's like taking the three thousand moments of Ichinen Sanzen out of the picture till this true buddha of kuon ganjo arrives on scene...

So this concept of receiving the seed of Buddhahood for the first time seems a concept purely designed in Nichiren shoShu to support their narrative.
which only causes angst if i mention it so i won't...

but this narrative is not common to anyone but Nichiren shoshu and goes against the grain of what a) and b) is explained .
The Buddha on abortion and the Bodhi Mind:

The Buddha speaks directly about abortion in the Great [Mahayana] Dharani Sutra

"My circumstance is such that my family's condition does not allow me to bear any children. That is why I used medicine to murder the foetus, which was fully eight months old. The foetus that I aborted was fully grown with four healthy limbs and was complete with a human form."

"Later I met with a wise man who told me, 'People who have purposely aborted the foetus will be infected with serious illnesses in the present lifespan and receive the retribution of a short lifespan with very little blessing. After they have passed away, they will fall into the Avici Hell to experience terribly acute sufferings'."

"After listen to that, I was very frightened and I deeply regret what I have done. I only hope that the World Honoured One, with your strength of great kindness and compassion, will save me from falling into the deep pit. Please tell me the ways of liberation. Do allow me to leave the home life, so as to not undergo such acute sufferings."

The Thus Come One of Pervasive Lights and Proper Views said to Confusion, "There are five kinds of Evil Karma which are difficult to extinguish, even if one were to repent of them. What are the five kinds of offences? The first one is killing the father, the second one is killing the mother, the third one is abortion, the fourth one is to injure The Buddha, the fifth one is to create disharmony among the Sangha assemblies. These five types of evil and sinful karma are difficult to extinguish."

After listening to that, the woman Confusion wept sorrowfully with tears like falling rain. Sadly, she made obeisance to The Buddha. Then she fell down before The Buddha and again she begged, "The World Honoured One is of great kindness and compassion, who is able save all beings. I beg the World Honoured One to have pity on me and tell me the way to liberation."

The Thus Come One of Pervasive Lights and Proper Views told her, "You are supposed to fall down into The Avici Hell because of your evil karma, and experience the acute suffering without any respite. In the cold Hell, the offenders will encounter the severely cold wind and be tortured by the sudden chill. In the feverish Hell of heat, the offenders will experience sudden heat waves, which are brought about by the hot wind."

"In the Uninterrupted Hell, there is no alternating sufferings of sudden coldness or sudden heat as experienced here. But there is a great burning fire, which plunges from the top to the bottom of the hell, then again shoots up from the bottom to the top. The four walls are made of iron, and covered with iron nettings. The four gates, on the East, West, South and North, are also filled with great burning fire of karma."

"The length of time the offender is in the Uninterrupted Hell is eight million Yojanas. Even thought he is alone, his body still covers the whole hell fully. If there are more people, each of their bodies also pervasively fills up the whole hell."

"The body of the offenders is covered with great iron snakes. The suffering thus experienced by him is more severe than the great burning fire. Some of the iron snakes may enter his mouth and then come out from his eyes and ears."

"Or there are iron snakes which encircle his body fully. Great fire often bursts out from the limbs and joints of the offender. There are also the iron crows that peck and eat his flesh."

"There are also copper dogs which bite and chew his body. The hellish guards with bulls' heads hold the weapons and roar like thunder. With a harsh voice full of anger, they scolded…"

" 'You have purposely murdered the foetus, so you have to undergo this great torture from one kalpa to another kalpa without any respite!' If I were to lie to you about such torturing retribution, then I am not known as The Buddha."

"When the woman Confusion heard the teaching of The Buddha, she was so sorrowful that she fainted and fell on the floor. After some time, she gradually recovered, and again she asked, "World Honoured One! Is it the case that I alone will experience such torment? Or is this suffering to be experienced by all those women who have purposely aborted their foetus?"

"The Thus Come One Pervasive Light told the woman Confusion, 'Your foetus is fully grown like a human being. And its dwelling in the womb resembles that of a hell. It also resembles that of a great rock, which oppresses one's body. If the mother has partaken hot food, the foetus will feel as though it is dwelling in the Heated Hell. If the mother has taken cold food, the foetus will feel as though it is dwelling in the icy cold and chilling Hell. It is tormented by acute suffering the whole day"

"You are emotionally unstable because of the fire of delusion which gives rise to evil thoughts. That is why you have purposely taken the poison to abort the foetus."

"You have created such evil karma, so it is natural for you to fall into The Avici Hell. The offenders in the Uninterrupted Hells are your partners."

After hearing that, the women Confusion cried sorrowfully. Again she said to The Buddha, "Once I heard a wise man say, 'If we are able to encounter The Buddha, or pure Sangha members, whatever evil offences that we have created will be extinguished, if we seek to repent and reform sincerely'."

" Even when such a man has already passed away and entered the hells, if the relatives who are still alive are able to cultivate goodness and small blessing on his behalf, the dead one will be able to get a rebirth in the heavens!' Are there really such happenings? I beg The World Honoured One to explain this to me!"

The Thus Come One Pervasive Lights and Proper Views told the Woman Confusion, "It is true. If there is a living being who has committed all kinds of offences, but was able to encounter The Buddha and the members of the pure Sangha assembly, to repent sincerely and never to commit any more offences, then his sinful karma will be extinguished."

"Even if he has passed away, but his family and relatives are able to pay respect and make obeisance to The Buddha, Dharma and Sangha. If, within the seven days, they are able to read and chant ,on behalf of him, the Sutra of Great Vehicle, and to make offerings to the Triple Jewels with fragrant incense and flowers, the messenger from the Dark Realm will carry the Spiritual Banner of Five Colours, and go to the hall of The King Yama. There troops of ghosts will stand around the front and back of the Banner. They will sing and praise the dead man. With a gentle and subtly wonderful voice, they report to King Yama, 'The dead man has accumulated lots of merits!"

"When King Yama sees the arrival of the Banner of five colours, he is greatly happy and says aloud, 'May my body which is full of offences be like him, in order to accumulate all merits.' "

"Immediately, the hells are transformed into pure streams. The hills of knives and the trees of swords are transformed into lotuses. All the offenders feel refresh and blissful."

"If there is another dead man who does not have faith in the Buddha Dharma, who does not read and chant the Sutra of Great Vehicle, whose mind has a lack of filial piety, respectfulness, kindness and compassion, who (instead) believes in deviant paths and evil views. And if, within the seven days, there is no next of kin who is alive to perform goodness and blessings on his behalf., then the messenger from the dark realm will hold the Black Banner, together with innumerable evil ghosts, who make the following report to King Yama, 'The dead one has accumulated lots of evil deeds.' "

When King Yama sees the Black Banner, he gets angry immediately. All the halls and houses vibrate under his thunder-like harsh voice. The offender is immediately sent down to the eighteen layers of hells."

"The offender is forced to climb the trees of swords and hills of knives. Or he is forced to lie on the iron bed, to embrace the bronze pillar, or his tongue is being pulled out and ploughed by a bull. Or his body is being beaten by stony rod, his bones and flesh are grind to powder by a stone grinder."

"In a single day, there are millions of occurrences of birth and death. And then the offender will repeatedly fall into the Avici Hell, to experience acute suffering from one kalpa to another without respite."

Before The Thus Come One Pervasive Lights And Proper Views had finished His teaching, suddenly there arose from the empty space a great thunderous roar of harsh and evil voices, which called out to the woman Confusion, "You have purposely murdered the foetus. You should receive the retribution of a short life. I am the messenger of the ghostly troop, here to catch you to settle the case."

The woman Confusion was frightened and lost. She caught hold of the feet of The Thus Come One and wept. She begged, "May The World Honoured One widely propound the Great Dharma Store of The Buddhas for me, and the way to extinguish all sinful offences. Only then will I die in peace!"

At that time, The Thus Come One Pervasive Lights and Proper Views, with the awesome spiritual strength of The Buddha, told the ghost messenger, "Ghastly ghost of impermanence, I am now going to teach the woman Confusion on the Sutra of Longevity and the extinction of offences. Please wait for a while. Naturally there will be a change in circumstances."

"You also should pay attention and listen carefully. I will also tell you the Secret Dharma Door which was taught by The Buddhas in the past, The Sutra of the extinction of offences and the prolongation of lifespan, in order to help you all to stay away from the evil paths."

The Buddha said, "Confusion, you should know that the ghastly ghost of Impermanence does not give any special favours to people. Even if you use innumerable amounts of gold, silver, lapis lazuli, beryl, red pearls, carnelian and other jewelry to bribe him in exchange of your life, it will still be in vain."

"Even people who are in honourable positions, such as The King, the princes, great officers, respectable elder and others, with their awesome spiritual strength, will still be unable to escape the ghastly ghost of impermanence who comes to claim their lives."

"Confusion, you should know that only the word 'Buddha' is able to sever the suffering of death. Confusion, there are two types of people who are very rare to be found. They are like the Udumbara Flowers which rarely bloom."

"The first type refers to those people who never practise any evil dharma, nor commit any karmic offences. The second type refers to those who are able to repent and reform when they realise their offences."

"People like these are rare and most precious. As you are able to repent sincerely before me, I will of course teach you The Sutra of Longevity and The Extinction of Offences, in order to free you from the suffering of being chased and caught by the evil ghost of impermanence."

"Confusion, let me tell you. In the future World of Five Turbidities, if there are people who kill the father, harm the mother, who purposely abort the foetus, who destroy The Buddha's Pagoda and Temple…"

"Who shed The Buddha's Blood, who create disharmony among The Sangha and others, they have created the five unwholesome deep offences and will surely fall into the Uninterrupted Hell to suffer the acute torments."

"If these beings who have committed the five unwholesome offences are able to accept, uphold this Sutra of Longevity and The Extinction of Offences, to write it down, read and memorize it, or copy it down by themselves, or ask others to copy the Sutra, they will be able to put an end to their offences, and be born in the Brahman Heaven to enjoy the heavenly blessing."

"Isn't that a better chance for you to extinguish your evil karma, as you are able to meet me personally at this time? Luckily, you have already cultivated lots of good roots in innumerable long kalpas past. In addition, you are eloquent in asking questions, besides repenting and reforming sincerely."

"So, not long from now, you will be able to turn the Unsurpassed Dharma Wheel, and cross over limitless great seas of birth and death. You will be able to fight against the Heavenly Demon Papiyan and destroy the Banner of Victory which was erected by him. You should listen wholeheartedly. I will teach you once the Twelve Conditioned Links of Causation, which was taught by The Buddhas in the past."

"All the living beings are originally pure. But, the arising of a single false thought out of delusion in the past leads to the creation of activities. Because of activities, there create karmic forces, and hence leads to the arising of consciousness to enter the womb. The consciousness that enters the womb will lead to the formation of a foetus presently. When there is a foetus, it is then complete with the six roots such as eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body and mind."

"After leaving the womb, the six roots will experience the six senses of touch. The six senses of touch will give rise to six kinds of feelings. When there is feeling, love will arise. When there is love, the feeling of attachment will arise. Once there is attachment, a man will try to fight to possess. When there is fighting for possession, it will give rise to future karmic causes."

"When there are the future karmic causes, a man will experience birth in the future. When there is birth, it will naturally lead to the process of old age and death, and also all the worries, sorrows, sufferings and torments. This is known as the Door Which Is Accordance with the Production of Twelve Conditioned Links of Causation."

"If there is no false thought because of delusion, then from where will activities and karmic deeds arise? If there is no activity and Karmic deeds, from where will there be the entering of womb by consciousness? When there is no consciousness to enter the womb,what then will give rise to a foetus, the form of a body?"

"When there is no feeling, there is no love. Without love, attachment to possession will not arise. When there is no attachment to possession, there are no more karmic causes for future birth…"

"When there is no karmic cause for the future birth, there is no more birth in the future. Without birth, there is also no old age and death. And the worries, sorrows, sufferings and Extinction of the Twelve Conditioned Links of Causation."

"Confusion, you should know that all the living beings are unable to contemplate the Dharma of Twelve Conditioned Links of Causation, and so they revolve and suffer in the seas of birth and death. If there is a man who is able to contemplate the Dharma of Twelve Conditioned Links of Causation, then he is able to see the Reality of Form Dharma. If a man is able to see the Reality of Form Dharma, he indeed sees The Buddha."

"When a man sees The Buddha, he is able to see The Buddha Nature. Why did I say so? Because all The Buddhas also base on the Twelve Conditioned Links of Causation as The Dharma Nature. Now that you are able to listen to the Twelve Conditioned Links of Causation from me, you will obtain the Pure Buddha Nature. You are suitable to be the Dharma Vessel in the Door of The Buddha."

"Now I will again tell you the only True Path. You should give thought to protect single mindfulness. The single mindfulness is known as The Bodhi Mind. The Bodhi Mind is also known as The Mind of the Great Vehicle."

"Because the root nature of the living beings is different, so all the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas teach and differentiate the Three Vehicles. You should constantly be mindful, and look after the Bodhi Mind. Never should you forget it."

"Even if your body is burnt by the five skandas of forms, feelings, thoughts, activities and consciousness, is being swallowed and eaten by the four snakes of earth, water, fire and wind, is being attacked by the three poisoning of greed, hatred and delusion, is being invaded by the six thieves of forms, sounds, fragrance, tastes, senses of touch and dharma, and is being harmed and tormented by the devils and demons, you should remain unmoving and never should you change your Bodhi Mind."

"With the Bodhi Mind, your body will be as hard and firm as the Vajra. Your mind will resemble the empty space, where no one can really harm and destroy it."

"If the Bodhi Mind is firm and solid, it is replete with the four virtues of Nirvana, namely, Permanence, Bliss, True Self and purity. It will help us to attain The Unsurpassed Perfect Enlightenment."

"When you are replete with four virtues of Nirvana, you will be liberated from the conditions of birth, old age, sickness and death, and all the realms of hells. Then the ghastly ghost of Impermanence will naturally have no way to chase and catch hold of you to settle the case."

After The Buddha had finished His Teaching, the messenger of the ghosts who dwell in the empty space gave rise to the following thought, "Then the World Honoured One has said that even the hells could also be transformed into Pure Lotus Pond. Why then do I not renounce the state of the ghost realm?"

Then he told the woman, Confusion, "After you have certified to the sagely path, please do not forget to ferry me over!"

After that, The Thus Come One of Pervasive Lights and Proper Views again taught the woman, Confusion, "I have already taught you the Dharma of Twelve Conditioned Links of Causation. Now I will teach you also The Six Paramitas, which are also practised by the Bodhisattvas."

"What are the Six Paramitas? The first Paramita is to give expansively. Giving helps us to cross over the feelings of greed and stinginess. The second Paramita is to uphold the precepts firmly. By doing so, we will cross over wrong actions and intentions; of being heedless in committing offences."

"The third Paramita is to be patient always. Such practice will cross over the feelings of hatred and anger. The fourth Paramita is to be diligent constantly. A man who is diligent will cross over laxity and heedlessness. The fifth Paramita is to cultivate concentration diligently. Concentration helps to cross over confusion."

"The sixth Paramita is to clearly penetrate wisdom. A wise man will cross over his delusion and ignorance. When a man is able to uphold the six paramitas fully and completely, only then will he arrive at the other shore. He should never even neglect any one of the Paramitas. There is also a verse on the accomplishment of Buddhahood by The Buddhas in the past."

"All activities are impermanent.
They are the dharma of birth and death.
When there is no more birth and death, a man will enjoy the bliss of quietude and extinction.
You should uphold and practise this dharma joyfully."

At that time, the woman Confusion was full of happiness after listening to the Buddha Dharma. Her heart opened up, and became clear and pure. She understood deeply, and had an awakening to the Dharma. With the endowment of the spiritual strength of The Buddha, she rose up to the empty space, and reached a height of seven times the height of a Tor-Lo tree, and sat in meditation peacefully in the empty space."
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Minobu
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Re: Tathagatagarbha

Post by Minobu »

Is this for real. A sutra on abortion?
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Re: Tathagatagarbha

Post by PadmaVonSamba »

Minobu wrote: Thu Oct 22, 2020 2:47 pm Is this for real. A sutra on abortion?
I think you posted this in the wrong discussion thread.
EMPTIFUL.
An inward outlook develops outward insight.
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Re: Tathagatagarbha

Post by mansurhirbi87 »

Queequeg wrote: Fri Oct 09, 2020 2:26 am
tkp67 wrote: Fri Oct 09, 2020 1:14 am Everything you are saying is simply incorrect.

...Why am I so certain? Because I 'learned it from you reading your posts.
You better make up your mind.

First response is a straw man .. "but you misquote too". I am not as easy as the American public to assuage with such dialog. I get you don't appreciate my views but I don't get the denigration of response tbh.
To the extent I can decipher what you're saying, I don't agree with you. Appreciation or no appreciation has nothing to do with it.
The next argument about a metaphor and attachment thereof. These are pointers and you know this.


In your view, what's the difference between the application of a metaphor and a pointer? I don't understand what you're arguing about. Of course I know this - because the metaphor is used to point something out, in this case, the practice of removing defilements. Are you really disputing the problems that come with getting attached to the metaphor?
However It is a straw man argument because it denies the dynamic because of the metaphor.


What?
Then you go into a dialog about subtly, nuance and study are required to understand this Buddhism. This against the teachings of Nichiren which I can provide citations.
In this letter, I have written my most important teachings. Grasp their meaning firmly, and make them a part of your life. Believe in the Gohonzon, the supreme object of devotion in all of Jambudvīpa. Be sure to strengthen your faith, and receive the protection of Shakyamuni, Many Treasures, and the Buddhas of the ten directions. Exert yourself in the two ways of practice and study. Without practice and study, there can be no Buddhism. You must not only persevere yourself; you must also teach others. Both practice and study arise from faith. Teach others to the best of your ability, even if it is only a single sentence or phrase. Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, Nam-myoho-renge-kyo.
Shohojissosho
Before I get to your third response I want to comment on a cause and condition that most certainly facilitates practice outside the auspice of subtle nuance that marks all true buddha. This cause and condition is human suffering.


I'm not sure what you are saying. Suffering is the mark of an ordinary, unenlightened, sentient being, for sure. In Shoshu terminology, ordinary beings are thought to be "true buddha." I'm not sure that view is shared by other Nichiren lineages. But, buddhas are not marked by suffering.
Now I appreciate many people rather get acclimated to the water when they live lives of virtue and prestige in the degenerate age. I really do. I believe it to be a true expression of equanimity that atheist and theist, the well to do and the austere, the hedonist and ascetic alike have paths that appeal to them. I believe it the true equanimity of Nichiren to incorporate it into a single mantra vehicle without distinction between practitioners. But let me be clear on one thing. There is enough suffering the in the world to act as a cause that can quickly build practice. Not many people seem keen on experiencing suffering in the process of eliminating it. This is why Nichiren is clear about it being a powerful cause/condition in understanding this teaching. Honest to my word I repeat I don't know if I would ever willing choose to know suffering if I wasn't exposed to it as I was. I didn't have a choice in understanding the mind. As I saw it so much of these teachings seeming common sense in regards to the human condition until I realized I was a real minority in this thinking.


Your testimony aside... Suffering and the escape from suffering is the central problem Shakyamuni resolved, and is the problem he taught others how to resolve. I'm not sure what profound statement you are trying to make.

I think if you had more familiarity with Buddhism in general, you might find a little more context for suffering being the central problem in Buddhism, and that it frames the endeavor of all Buddhist practitioners - Hinayana, Mahayana, Vajrayana, whateveryana. To paraphrase Nichiren, the man is great because the teaching is great. Nichiren was a learned Buddhist teacher. Most of what he taught is Mahayana. His special teaching was the Daimoku.
To third point every teaching of buddha is pointed to in the writings and the lotus and Nichiren suggests if one has the capacity they should study all sutras as well as non Buddhist teachings.
I'm not sure what you are trying to say. I am clarifying - in my experience, teaching of Buddhism in Nichiren traditions is very narrow. The Buddhist education they offer, at least to lay people, is very narrow. The priestly education just seems like talmudic investigation of Nichiren's writings at best. I suspect this has to do with the decline of Buddhism in Japan in general. Its a shame.

I don't have the energy to decipher and address the rest of your points.
The whole point , QQ, i guess, is how Nichiren saw what is Daimoku and the Gohonzon. He taught the all buddhism (theory and practice) were encapsulated in the Daimoku and Gohonzon. you can't ignore it was and is revolutionary and that in it there is profound meanings that i (maybe we all) can't understand, so it's a matter of faith. I can't concede that Nichiren only paraphresed Tiantai (i understand that this is your interpretation now). If that was the point the japanese monks and scholars had already conclude it as the western ones.
_/\_
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Re: Tathagatagarbha

Post by Queequeg »

mansurhirbi87 wrote: Mon Nov 16, 2020 3:02 pm The whole point , QQ, i guess, is how Nichiren saw what is Daimoku and the Gohonzon. He taught the all buddhism (theory and practice) were encapsulated in the Daimoku and Gohonzon. you can't ignore it was and is revolutionary and that in it there is profound meanings that i (maybe we all) can't understand, so it's a matter of faith. I can't concede that Nichiren only paraphresed Tiantai (i understand that this is your interpretation now). If that was the point the japanese monks and scholars had already conclude it as the western ones.
_/\_
No. That's not my interpretation.
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
mansurhirbi87
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Re: Tathagatagarbha

Post by mansurhirbi87 »

Queequeg wrote: Mon Nov 16, 2020 4:09 pm
mansurhirbi87 wrote: Mon Nov 16, 2020 3:02 pm The whole point , QQ, i guess, is how Nichiren saw what is Daimoku and the Gohonzon. He taught the all buddhism (theory and practice) were encapsulated in the Daimoku and Gohonzon. you can't ignore it was and is revolutionary and that in it there is profound meanings that i (maybe we all) can't understand, so it's a matter of faith. I can't concede that Nichiren only paraphresed Tiantai (i understand that this is your interpretation now). If that was the point the japanese monks and scholars had already conclude it as the western ones.
_/\_
No. That's not my interpretation.
Could you explain what is your intepretation of Nichiren so ? Nichiren's novelty or originality is something since a long time i struggle with. I guess i even ask about it here years ago
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Re: Tathagatagarbha

Post by Queequeg »

mansurhirbi87 wrote: Mon Nov 16, 2020 5:56 pm
Queequeg wrote: Mon Nov 16, 2020 4:09 pm
mansurhirbi87 wrote: Mon Nov 16, 2020 3:02 pm The whole point , QQ, i guess, is how Nichiren saw what is Daimoku and the Gohonzon. He taught the all buddhism (theory and practice) were encapsulated in the Daimoku and Gohonzon. you can't ignore it was and is revolutionary and that in it there is profound meanings that i (maybe we all) can't understand, so it's a matter of faith. I can't concede that Nichiren only paraphresed Tiantai (i understand that this is your interpretation now). If that was the point the japanese monks and scholars had already conclude it as the western ones.
_/\_
No. That's not my interpretation.
Could you explain what is your intepretation of Nichiren so ? Nichiren's novelty or originality is something since a long time i struggle with. I guess i even ask about it here years ago
Nichiren accepted that in Mappo, the beings who appear lack the capacity to benefit from the teachings of the Buddha with the exception of the Lotus Sutra. The beings who appear in Mappo are of such meager merit that they lack the seed of buddhahood, and so he taught faith in the Lotus Sutra, distilled to its title, so that people could receive the seed of buddhahood in their mindstream. Those who receive it are entrusted with the responsibility of propagating the seed and planting it in the mindstreams of others.

That's it.
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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Re: Tathagatagarbha

Post by Queequeg »

Queequeg wrote: Tue Nov 17, 2020 1:51 am
mansurhirbi87 wrote: Mon Nov 16, 2020 5:56 pm
Queequeg wrote: Mon Nov 16, 2020 4:09 pm

No. That's not my interpretation.
Could you explain what is your intepretation of Nichiren so ? Nichiren's novelty or originality is something since a long time i struggle with. I guess i even ask about it here years ago
Nichiren accepted that in Mappo, the beings who appear lack the capacity to benefit from the teachings of the Buddha with the exception of the Lotus Sutra. The beings who appear in Mappo are of such meager merit that they lack the seed of buddhahood, and so he taught faith in the Lotus Sutra, distilled to its title, so that people could receive the seed of buddhahood in their mindstream. Those who receive it are entrusted with the responsibility of propagating the seed and planting it in the mindstreams of others.

That's it.
That is not to diminish Nichiren's teaching in any way. If you understand how rare a human birth is, and how much rarer it is to even hear a single line of Buddhadharma, and how much rarer than that to be able to accept it, this is no small accomplishment. See the 6 Difficult and 9 Easy Acts in the 11th chapter of the Lotus Sutra.
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
tkp67
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Re: Tathagatagarbha

Post by tkp67 »

But it is truly difficult to put this sutra, the Lotus, into practice. If there p.130is some essential point to be observed, could you explain it to me?”

The sage replied: “I can tell that your aspiration for the way is very earnest and sincere. The essential thing the Buddhas needed in order to attain the true way or enlightenment is nothing other than the five characters of Myoho-renge-kyo. It was solely because of these five characters that King Suzudan relinquished his jeweled throne [and attained Buddhahood], and the dragon king’s daughter transformed her reptilian characteristics [into those of a Buddha].93

“When we stop to consider it, we find that the sutra itself says, concerning how much or how little of it is to be embraced, that a single verse or phrase is sufficient, and, concerning the length of practice [necessary to reach enlightenment], that one who rejoices even for a moment on hearing it [is certain to become a Buddha]. The eighty thousand teachings in their vast entirety and the many words and phrases of the eight volumes of the Lotus Sutra were all expounded simply in order to reveal these five characters. When Shakyamuni Buddha in the clouds above the Sacred Mountain, in the mists of Eagle Peak, summed up the essence of the doctrine and entrusted it to the Bodhisattvas of the Earth, what do you suppose that teaching was? It was nothing other than these five characters, the essential Law.

“The six thousand leaves94 of commentary by T’ien-t’ai and Miao-lo, like strings of jewels, and the several scrolls of exegesis by Tao-sui and Hsing-man, like so much gold, do not go beyond the meaning of this teaching. If you truly fear the sufferings of birth and death and yearn for nirvana, if you carry out your faith and thirst for the way, then the sufferings of change and impermanence will become no more than yesterday’s dream, and the awakening of enlightenment will become today’s reality. If only you chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, then what offense could fail to be eradicated? What blessing could fail to come? This is the truth, and it is of great profundity. You should believe and accept it.”

The unenlightened man, pressing his palms together and kneeling respectfully, said: “These priceless words of yours have moved me deeply, and your instruction has awakened my mind. And yet, in light of the principle that superior things encompass those that are inferior, it would seem that the broad should also encompass the narrow and the many should take in the few. However, when we examine the matter, we find that these five characters you have mentioned are few, while the words in the sutra text are many, and that the daimoku, or title, of the Lotus Sutra is narrow, while its eight scrolls are very broad. How then can the two be equal in the blessings that they bring?”

The sage said: “How foolish you are! Your attachment to this belief that one should abandon the few in favor of the many towers higher than Mount Sumeru, and your conviction that the narrow should be despised and the broad honored is deeper than the vast ocean. In the course of our discussion, I have already demonstrated that something is not necessarily worthy of honor simply because it is many in number or despicable simply because it is few. Now I would like to go a step farther and explain how the small can actually encompass the great, and the one be superior to the many.

“The seed of the nyagrodha tree, though one-third the size of a mustard seed, can conceal five hundred carts within itself.95 Is this not a case of the small containing the large? The wish-granting jewel, while only one in number, is able to rain down ten thousand treasures without a single thing lacking. Is this not a case of the few encompassing the many? The popular p.131proverb says that ‘one is the mother of ten thousand.’ Do you not understand the principle behind these matters? The important thing to consider is whether or not a doctrine conforms with the principle of the true aspect of all things. Do not be blindly attached to the question of many or few!

“But since you are so extremely foolish, let me give you an analogy. Myoho-renge-kyo is the Buddha nature of all living beings. The Buddha nature is the Dharma nature, and the Dharma nature is enlightenment. The Buddha nature possessed by Shakyamuni, Many Treasures, and the Buddhas of the ten directions; by Superior Practices, Boundless Practices, and the other Bodhisattvas of the Earth; by Universal Worthy, Manjushrī, Shāriputra, Mudgalyāyana, and the others; by the great Brahmā and the lord Shakra; by the deities of the sun and moon, the morning star, the seven stars in the Big Dipper in the northern sky, the twenty-eight constellations, and the countless other stars; by the heavenly gods, the earthly deities, the dragon deities, the eight kinds of nonhuman beings, and the human and heavenly beings who gathered in the great assembly to hear the Buddha’s preaching; by King Yama—in short, by all living beings from the realm where there is neither thought nor no thought above the clouds down to the flames in the lowest depths of hell—the Buddha nature that all these beings possess is called by the name Myoho-renge-kyo. Therefore, if you recite these words of the daimoku once, then the Buddha nature of all living beings will be summoned and gather around you. At that time the three bodies of the Dharma nature within you—the Dharma body, the reward body, and the manifested body—will be drawn forth and become manifest. This is called attaining Buddhahood. To illustrate, when a caged bird sings, the many birds flying in the sky all gather around it at once; seeing this, the bird in the cage strives to get out.”

The unenlightened man said, “You have now explained to me in detail the benefits of the daimoku and the significance of the Mystic Law. But I would like to ask whether these matters are explained in this manner in the sutra.”

The sage replied: “Since you have already understood the principle involved, there is really no need to go on and inquire what scriptural passages it is based on. However, I will cite a passage from the sutra as you request.

“The ‘Dhāranī’ chapter in the eighth volume of the Lotus Sutra says, ‘If you can shield and guard those who accept and uphold the mere name of the Lotus Sutra, your merit will be immeasurable.’ In this passage, the Buddha is praising Mother of Demon Children and the ten demon daughters for their vow to protect the votaries of the Lotus Sutra, and saying that the blessings from their vow to protect those who embrace the daimoku of the Lotus Sutra are beyond even the Buddha wisdom, which completely comprehends the three existences, to fathom. While by rights nothing should be beyond the grasp of the Buddha wisdom, the Buddha says here that the blessings that accrue from accepting and embracing the daimoku of the Lotus Sutra are the one thing that wisdom cannot measure.

“The blessings of the entire Lotus Sutra are all contained solely within the five characters of Myoho-renge-kyo. While the words in the eight volumes of the Lotus Sutra differ according to the contents of the twenty-eight chapters, the five characters of the daimoku remain the same throughout. To illustrate, within the two characters for Japan are included the more than sixty provinces and the two islands. Are there any districts or provinces that p.132are not contained within this name?

“If one uses the term ‘birds,’ people know that one is talking about creatures that fly in the sky; if one says ‘beasts,’ people understand that one is referring to animals that run over the ground. In all things, names are of great importance precisely because they can convey general meanings in this way. This is what the Great Teacher T’ien-t’ai meant when he said that names convey the basic nature of a thing while phrases describe how it differs from other things, or when he said that names designate the fundamental character of a thing.

“In addition, names have the virtue of being able to summon the things to which they refer, and things as a matter of function respond to the name that refers to them. In similar fashion, the name, or daimoku, of the Lotus Sutra has the power [to summon the Buddha nature to which it refers].”
---> https://www.nichirenlibrary.org/en/wnd- ... Part%20One

Conversation between a Sage and an Unenlightened Man
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Re: Tathagatagarbha

Post by Queequeg »

tkp67 wrote: Tue Nov 17, 2020 6:55 am
“The blessings of the entire Lotus Sutra are all contained solely within the five characters of Myoho-renge-kyo. While the words in the eight volumes of the Lotus Sutra differ according to the contents of the twenty-eight chapters, the five characters of the daimoku remain the same throughout. To illustrate, within the two characters for Japan are included the more than sixty provinces and the two islands. Are there any districts or provinces that p.132are not contained within this name?

“If one uses the term ‘birds,’ people know that one is talking about creatures that fly in the sky; if one says ‘beasts,’ people understand that one is referring to animals that run over the ground. In all things, names are of great importance precisely because they can convey general meanings in this way. This is what the Great Teacher T’ien-t’ai meant when he said that names convey the basic nature of a thing while phrases describe how it differs from other things, or when he said that names designate the fundamental character of a thing.

“In addition, names have the virtue of being able to summon the things to which they refer, and things as a matter of function respond to the name that refers to them. In similar fashion, the name, or daimoku, of the Lotus Sutra has the power [to summon the Buddha nature to which it refers].”
---> https://www.nichirenlibrary.org/en/wnd- ... Part%20One

Conversation between a Sage and an Unenlightened Man
And then we also have passages like this:
The characters Myoho-renge-kyo are Chinese. In India, the Lotus Sutra is called Saddharma-pundarīka-sūtra. The following is the mantra concerning the heart of the Lotus Sutra composed by the Tripitaka Master Shan-wu-wei:

namah samanta-buddhānām
om a ā am ah
sarva-buddha-jna-sākshebhyah
gagana-sambhavālakshani
saddharma-pundarīka-sūtra
jah hūm bam hoh vajrārakshaman
hūm svāhā

Hail to all the Buddhas! Three-bodied Thus Come Ones! Open the door to, show me, cause me to awaken to, and to enter into the wisdom and insight of all the Buddhas. You who are like space and who have freed yourself from form! Oh, Sutra of the White Lotus of the Correct Law! Cause me to enter into, to be everywhere within, to dwell in, and to rejoice in you. Oh, Adamantine Protector! Oh, empty, aspect-free, and desire-free sutra!


This mantra, which expresses the heart of the Lotus Sutra, was found in the iron tower in southern India. In this mantra, saddharma means “correct Law.” Sad means correct. Correct is the same as myō [wonderful]; myō is the same as correct. Hence the Lotus Sutra of the Correct Law and the Lotus Sutra of the Wonderful Law. And when the two characters for namu are prefixed to Myoho-renge-kyo, or the Lotus Sutra of the Wonderful Law, we have the formula Nam-myoho-renge-kyo.
Kaimoku-sho

And
It was the same with Bodhisattva Never Disparaging, who lived in the Middle Day of the Law of the Buddha Awesome Sound King. He propagated widely throughout his land the teaching of twenty-four characters that begins, “I have profound reverence for you... ,” and was attacked with sticks of wood by the whole population. The twenty-four characters of Never Disparaging and the five characters of Nichiren are different in wording, but accord with the same principle.
Kembutsu mirai ki, On the Buddha’s Prophecy

and
In the past, in the Middle Day of the Law of the Buddha Awesome Sound King, not a single person knew of the three treasures. However, Bodhisattva Never Disparaging appeared, and to all living beings he declared the teaching of twenty-four characters that the Buddha Awesome Sound King had expounded. All those who heard this twenty-four-character teaching, without a single exception, were later reborn with Bodhisattva Never Disparaging, and were at last able to obtain the benefit of enlightenment. This was solely because they had already received the seeds of Buddhahood when they first heard the teaching. The same thing occurs in our present era. Bodhisattva Never Disparaging’s age was the Middle Day of the Law, whereas this age is the defiled Latter Day of the Law. He was a practitioner at the initial stage of rejoicing, and I, Nichiren, am an ordinary practitioner at the stage of hearing the name and words of the truth. He sowed the seeds of Buddhahood with the twenty-four characters, while I do so with only the five characters [of Myoho-renge-kyo]. Although the ages are different, the process of attaining Buddhahood is exactly the same.
Kyō gyō shō gosho, The Teaching, Practice, and Proof

and
Bodhisattva Medicine King burned his arms for seventy-two thousand years as an offering to the Lotus Sutra. Bodhisattva Never Disparaging was for many years cursed and humiliated, beaten with sticks and staves, and pelted with tiles and stones by countless monks, nuns, laymen, and laywomen because he venerated them by uttering the twenty-four characters that read: “I have profound reverence for you, I would never dare treat you with disparagement or arrogance. Why? Because you will all practice the bodhisattva way and will then be able to attain buddhahood.” Bodhisattva Never Disparaging was Shakyamuni Buddha in one of his past lifetimes. King Suzudan performed menial labor in the service of the seer Asita for a thousand years in order to receive the five characters of Myoho-renge-kyo. He even went so far as to make a bed of his own body for his master. As a result, he was reborn as Shakyamuni Buddha.

The Lotus Sutra of the Wonderful Law consists of eight volumes. Reading these eight volumes is in effect equal to reading sixteen, for the sutra was expounded by Shakyamuni Buddha and verified by Many Treasures Buddha. The sixteen volumes, in turn, represent innumerable volumes, for the Buddhas of the ten directions verified their truth. In the same way, each character in the sutra equals two, for it was uttered by Shakyamuni and confirmed by Many Treasures. Again, a single character equals innumerable others, for the validity of the sutra was attested to by the Buddhas of the ten directions. The treasures bestowed by a single wish-granting jewel equal those bestowed by two such jewels or by innumerable jewels. Likewise, each character in the Lotus Sutra is like a single wish-granting jewel, and the innumerable characters of the sutra are like innumerable jewels. The character myō was uttered by two tongues: the tongues of Shakyamuni and Many Treasures. The tongues of these two Buddhas are like an eight-petaled lotus flower, one petal overlapping another, on which rests a jewel, the character of myō.

The jewel of the character myō contains all the benefits that the Thus Come One Shakyamuni received by practicing the six pāramitās in his past existences: the benefits he obtained through the practice of almsgiving by offering his body to a starving tigress and by giving his life in exchange for that of a dove; the benefits he obtained when he was King Shrutasoma who kept his word, though it meant his death, in order to observe the precepts; the benefits he obtained as an ascetic called Forbearance by enduring the tortures inflicted upon him by King Kāli; the benefits he obtained as Prince Earnest Donor and as the ascetic Shōjari, and all his other benefits. We, the people of this evil latter age, have not formed even a single good cause, but [by bestowing upon us the jewel of myō] Shakyamuni has granted us the same benefit as if we ourselves had fulfilled all the practices of the six pāramitās. This precisely accords with his statement “Now this threefold world is all my domain, and the living beings in it are all my children.” Bound as we common mortals are by earthly desires, we can instantly attain the same virtues as Shakyamuni Buddha, for we receive all the benefits that he accumulated. The sutra reads, “Hoping to make all persons equal to me, without any distinction between us.” This means that those who believe in and practice the Lotus Sutra are equal to Shakyamuni Buddha.

To illustrate, a father and mother unite in conjugal harmony to give birth to a child. No one can dispute that the child is the flesh and blood of its parents. A calf begotten by an ox king will become an ox king; it will never become a lion king. A cub sired by a lion king will become a lion king; it will never become a human king or heavenly king. Now the votaries of the Lotus Sutra are the children of Shakyamuni Buddha, the lord of teachings, as the sutra states, “The living beings in it are all my children.” It is not difficult for them to become kings of the Law just as Shakyamuni Buddha did.
Nichimyō Shōnin gosho, Letter to the Sage Nichimyō

and
Also in your letter, you say that three times each day you bow in reverence to the seven characters of the title, and that each day you repeat the words Namu-ichijō-myōten12 ten thousand times... Though reciting the words Namu-ichijō-myōten amounts to the same thing, it would be better if you just chanted Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, as Bodhisattva Vasubandhu and the Great Teacher T’ien-t’ai did. There are specific reasons why I say this.
The Recitation of the “Expedient Means” and “Life Span” Chapters

and
Question: The great teachers such as Nan-yüeh, T’ien-t’ai, and Dengyō employed the Lotus Sutra to spread widely the perfect teaching of the one vehicle, but they did not recite Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. Why is that? Does this mean that they did not know about the lotus of the entity, or that they failed to understand it?

Answer: It is said that the Great Teacher Nan-yüeh was an incarnation of Bodhisattva Perceiver of the World’s Sounds, and that the Great Teacher T’ien-t’ai was an incarnation of Bodhisattva Medicine King. If so, then they were present on Eagle Peak when the Buddha preached the “Life Span” chapter of the essential teaching, and at that time they became enlightened to the lotus of the entity. But when they appeared in the world [as Nan-yüeh and T’ien-t’ai, respectively], they knew it was not the right time to spread the Mystic Law. Therefore, for the words “Mystic Law” they substituted the term “concentration and insight” and instead engaged in the meditation on the three thousand realms in a single moment of life and in the practice of the threefold contemplation in a single mind. But even these great teachers recited Nam-myoho-renge-kyo as their private practice, and in their hearts they understood these words to be the truth.

Thus the Great Teacher Nan-yüeh in his Method of Repentance through the Lotus Sutra employs the words Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. The Great Teacher T’ien-t’ai employs the words Nam-byōdō-daie-ichijō-myoho-renge-kyo, Keishu-myoho-renge-kyo, and Kimyō-myoho-renge-kyo. And the document concerning the vow taken by the Great Teacher Dengyō on his deathbed carries the words Nam-myoho-renge-kyo.
The Entity of the Mystic Law

Unpacking some of this, recall that in the opening chapter of the Lotus Sutra, the Buddha is seated in the Samadhi of Immeasurable Meanings when he emits a light from the urna illuminating the lands in the eastern direction so that the assembly sees the beings course through samsara according to their karma, as well as buddhas and beings on the path escaping the rounds of birth. Maitreya asks the reason for this auspicious sign and Manjusri explains the last time he saw this sign from a buddha he was about to teach the Lotus Sutra. And then in the Seventh Chapter, the Parable of the Apparitional City, the Buddha tells of a buddha in the ancient past who had sixteen sons, and after giving various teachings, made a similar display and finally taught the Lotus Sutra. Those sixteen sons all went on to become buddhas, including the last who became Shakyamuni, and all likewise gave various teachings throughout their lives, teaching the Lotus Sutra last. All of these stories echo what is described as presently happening in the Lotus Sutra we have.

The point I'm making is, and maybe this is understood, but the five characters is not the universal name of the teaching, nor is it the exclusive name or some sort of essential core of the teaching to the exclusion of all other expressions of the teaching. It is a name, which Nichiren selected, but even he did not think it was the same name universally, in all times, in all places. He understood that it was a name at this time and place. IMO, his reasons for selecting one name to the exclusion of others was, primarily simplicity, clarity, and ease; after you strip all the rhetoric away, a provisional choice. It was to eliminate confusion and to foster unity. To make it simple for those who don't have the capacity, or time, or inclination, or opportunity, to understand the profundity of the Lotus Sutra - a simple formula, a simple teaching and practice that unambiguously directs one to the Saddharma, the Ekayana.

Keep in mind, whatever you receive as the teaching, even the nominal five characters, is weighed down by centuries and millennia of baggage. The hangups of the people who came before us, compounded with baggage of our own. The Lotus teaching itself is immaculate, but as the sutra says, difficult to believe, difficult to understand. And so faith in the teaching is our lifeline, through the confusion and maelstrom of samsara, our inborn confusion (gampon no mumyo - fundamental nescience). Of course we are the same as Shakyamuni and the buddhas of the ten directions. The difference between them and us, though, is we're still lugging our baggage around while they have relinquished all of it, especially the baggage we don't even know we are carrying (gampon no mumyo). In one sense, each buddha is defined by the luggage they relinquished and the beings they appear to - that's what gives us the array of appearances, but, none of them carry any of that baggage - and that is the point. Still, the process of relinquishing baggage is inseparable from attaining annuttarasamyaksambodhi, the same as all the buddhas.

Leave the baggage, we are told. The sages assure us, we won't be lost without the baggage, in fact very much the opposite. The 5 or 7 Characters is an excellent practice for this, IMHO.
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
tkp67
Posts: 2125
Joined: Sun May 12, 2019 5:42 am

Re: Tathagatagarbha

Post by tkp67 »

If one doubts the strength of the Buddha when he says, “I am the only person who can rescue and protect others”; if one is suspicious of the rope held out by the Lotus Sutra when its teachings declare that one can “gain entrance through faith alone”;19 if one fails to chant the Mystic Law which guarantees that “such a person assuredly and without doubt [will attain the p.60Buddha way],”20 then the Buddha’s power cannot reach one, and it will be impossible to scale the embankment of enlightenment.

Lack of faith is the basic failing that causes a person to fall into hell. Therefore, the sutra states, “If with regard to this sutra one should harbor doubt and fail to believe, one will fall at once into the evil paths.”21

When one has had the rare good fortune to be born a human being, and the further good fortune to encounter the teachings of Buddhism, how can one waste this opportunity? If one is going to take faith at all, then among all the various teachings of the Mahayana and the Hinayana, provisional and true doctrines, one should believe in the one vehicle, the true purpose for which the Buddhas come into the world and the direct path to attaining enlightenment for all living beings.

If the sutra that one embraces is superior to all other sutras, then the person who can uphold its teachings must likewise surpass other people. That is why the Lotus Sutra states, “A person who can accept and uphold this sutra is likewise foremost among all living beings.”22 There is no question about these golden words of the great sage. And yet people fail to understand this principle or to examine the matter, but instead seek worldly reputation or give way to suspicion and prejudice, thus forming the basis for falling into hell.

All I wish is that you will embrace this sutra and cast your name upon the sea of the vows made by the Buddhas of the ten directions, that you entrust your honor to the heaven that is the compassion of the bodhisattvas of the three existences. One who thus embraces the Lotus Sutra will cause the heavenly gods, dragons, and the others of the eight kinds of nonhuman beings, as well as all the great bodhisattvas, to become one’s followers. Not only that, but that person’s physical body, still in the process of forming causes for achieving Buddhahood, will acquire the Buddha eye of one who has perfected that course; and this ordinary flesh that exists in the realm of the conditioned will put on the holy garments of the unconditioned. Then one need never fear the three paths23 or tremble before the eight difficulties.24 One will ascend to the peak of the mountain of the seven expedients and sweep away the clouds of the nine worlds. Flowers will bloom in the garden of immaculate earth, and the moon will shine brightly in the sky of the Dharma nature. One can rely on the passage that promises, “Such a person assuredly and without doubt will attain the Buddha way,” and there is no question about the Buddha’s pronouncement that “I am the only person who can rescue and protect others.”

The blessings gained by arousing even a single moment of faith in and understanding of the Lotus Sutra surpass those of practicing the five prāmitās;25 and the benefit enjoyed by the fiftieth person who rejoices on hearing the Lotus Sutra is greater than that acquired by giving alms for eighty years.26 The doctrine of the immediate attainment of enlightenment far outshines the doctrines of other scriptures; and the pronouncements concerning the revelation of the Buddha’s original enlightenment and his immeasurable life span are never found in any other teachings.

Thus it was that the eight-year-old dragon girl was able to come out of the vast sea and in an instant give proof of the power of this sutra, and Superior Practices, a bodhisattva of the essential teaching, emerged from beneath the great earth and thereby demonstrated the unfathomably long life span of the Buddha. This is the king of sutras, defying description in words, the p.61wonderful Law that is beyond the mind’s power to comprehend.

To ignore the supremacy of the Lotus Sutra and assert that other sutras stand on a par with it is to commit the worst possible slander of the Law, a major offense of the utmost gravity. No analogy could suffice to illustrate it. The Buddhas, for all their powers of magical transformation, could never finish describing its consequences, and the bodhisattvas, with all the wisdom at their command, could not fathom its immensity. Thus, the “Simile and Parable” chapter of the Lotus Sutra says, “If I were to describe the punishments [that fall on persons who slander this sutra], I could exhaust a kalpa and never come to the end.” This passage means that not even a whole kalpa would be time enough to explain the full gravity of the offense of a person who acts even once against the Lotus Sutra.

For this reason, a person who commits this offense will never be able to hear the preaching of the Buddhas of the three existences, and will be cut off from the doctrines of the Thus Come Ones, who are as numerous as the sands of the Ganges. Such a person will move from darkness into greater darkness. How could he escape the pains and sufferings of the great citadel of the Avīchi hell? Could a thoughtful person fail to dread the prospect of lengthy kalpas of misery?

Thus the sutra states, “If this person . . . on seeing those who read, recite, copy, and uphold this sutra, should despise, hate, envy, or bear grudges against them . . . When his life comes to an end he will enter the Avīchi hell.” This passage means that a person who despises, looks down on, hates, envies, or holds a grudge against those who read and embrace the Lotus Sutra will fall into the great citadel of the Avīchi hell after he dies.27 Who could help but fear these golden words of the great sage? And who could doubt the clear-cut pronouncement of the Buddha when he said, “Honestly discarding expedient means, ”?28

However, people all turn their backs on these sutra passages, and the world as a whole is completely confused with regard to the principles of Buddhism. Why do you persist in following the teachings of evil friends? T’ien-t’ai said that to accept and put faith in the doctrines of evil teachers is the same as drinking poison.29 You should deeply consider this and beware!

Taking a careful look at the world today, we see that, although people declare that the Law is worthy of respect, they all express hatred for the person who upholds it. You yourself seem to be very much confused as to the source from which the Law springs. Just as all the different kinds of plants and trees come forth from the earth, so all the various teachings of the Buddha are spread by persons. As T’ien-t’ai said: “Even during the Buddha’s lifetime, the Law was revealed by people. How, then, in the latter age, can one say that the Law is worthy of respect, but that the person who upholds it is to be despised?”30

Hence, if the Law that one embraces is supreme, then the person who embraces it must accordingly be foremost among all others. And if that is so, then to speak ill of that person is to speak ill of the Law, just as to show contempt for the child is to show contempt for the parents.

You should realize from this that the people of today speak words that in no way match what is in their hearts. It is as though they were to beat their parents with a copy of The Classic of Filial Piety. When they know that, unseen by others, the Buddhas and bodhisattvas are observing them, how can they fail to be ashamed of such actions! The pains of hell are frightful indeed. Beware of them! Beware of them!

p.62When you look at those of superior capacity, do not disparage yourself. The Buddha’s true intention was that no one, even those of inferior capacity, be denied enlightenment. Conversely, when you compare yourself with persons of inferior capacity, do not be arrogant and overproud. Even persons of superior capacity may be excluded from enlightenment if they do not devote themselves wholeheartedly.

One may think fondly of one’s native village, but, paying no visit and with no particular reason to go, one in time gives up the idea of returning. Or one may pine for a particular person, but, with no hope of winning that person’s love and having exchanged no vows, one abandons the thought of waiting. So in like manner we neglect to journey to the pure land of Eagle Peak, though it surpasses in grandeur the palaces of nobles and high ministers, and moreover is quite easy to reach. We fail to behold the gentle and benign figure of the Buddha, who has declared, “I am a father to you,”31 though we ought surely to present ourselves before him. Should we not grieve at this, until our sleeves are drenched with tears and our heart consumed by regret?

The color of the clouds in the sky as twilight falls, the waning light of the moon when dawn is breaking—these things make us ponder. In the same way, whenever events remind us of life’s uncertainty, we should fix our thoughts on the existence to come. When we view the blossoms of spring or the snow on a winter morning, we should think of it, and even on evenings when winds bluster and gathering clouds tumble across the sky, we should not forget it even for an instant.

Life lasts no longer than the time the exhaling of one breath awaits the drawing of another. At what time, what moment, should we ever allow ourselves to forget the compassionate vow of the Buddha, who declared, “At all times I think to myself: [How can I cause living beings to gain entry into the unsurpassed way and quickly acquire the body of a Buddha]?”32 On what day or month should we permit ourselves to be without the sutra that says, “[If there are those who hear the Law], then not a one will fail to attain Buddhahood”?33

How long can we expect to live on as we have, from yesterday to today or from last year to this year? We may look back over our past and count the years we have accumulated, but when we look ahead into the future, who can for certain number himself among the living for another day or even for an hour? Yet, though one may know that the moment of one’s death is already at hand, one clings to arrogance and prejudice, to worldly fame and profit, and fails to devote oneself to chanting the Mystic Law. Such an attitude is futile beyond description! Even though the Lotus Sutra is called the teaching that enables all living beings to attain the Buddha way, how could a person such as this actually attain it? It is said that even the moonlight will not deign to shine on the sleeve of an unfeeling person.

Moreover, as life does not go beyond the moment, the Buddha expounded the blessings that come from a single moment of rejoicing [on hearing the Lotus Sutra]. If two or three moments were required, this could no longer be called the original vow of the Buddha endowed with great impartial wisdom, the single vehicle of the teaching that directly reveals the truth and leads all living beings to attain Buddhahood.

As for the time of its propagation, the Lotus Sutra spreads during the latter age, when the Buddha’s Law is about to perish. As for what capacity of persons it is suited to, it can save even those who commit the five cardinal sins, or who slander the correct p.63teaching. Therefore, you must be guided by the intent of [the Lotus Sutra, which is] the immediate attainment of enlightenment, and never give yourself up to the mistaken views that stem from doubts or attachments.


---> https://www.nichirenlibrary.org/en/wnd- ... /8#para-51

Questions and Answers about Embracing the Lotus Sutra
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Minobu
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Re: Tathagatagarbha

Post by Minobu »

Queequeg wrote: Thu Nov 19, 2020 5:10 pm

The point I'm making is, and maybe this is understood, but the five characters is not the universal name of the teaching, nor is it the exclusive name or some sort of essential core of the teaching to the exclusion of all other expressions of the teaching. It is a name, which Nichiren selected, but even he did not think it was the same name universally, in all times, in all places.
As long as you see that all the Buddhas rejoice that Nichiren Daishonin enabled Lotus Buddhism to develop to the point it has...

Nothing in Buddhism compares to practicing the Daimoku , add Gohonzon and it's beyond imagination.

As you know this is Mappo...there is but one approach to Lord Sakyamuni Buddha's teaching...the gateway laid out by Nichiren inspired by a few ancients who led the ground work , but not the practice..

Nichiren shonin was in complete accord with the Earth , or Universe or what ever you wish....and was able to call upon comets and made it rain ...

the baggage gets burnt off...it's karmic and you still have to go through it...I learned in the Gakki to suffer what there is to suffer and enjoy what there is to enjoy...Nichiren's words....So with a steady practice nothing is taken for granted...we learn from our own personal baggage...and move on to another layer of baggage....kalpas of baggage...

unless of course you are a True BOA....then you have taken on collective Karma and the baggage is a whole other ball of wax...


your life is totally different than others and your practice is definitely different...
tkp67
Posts: 2125
Joined: Sun May 12, 2019 5:42 am

Re: Tathagatagarbha

Post by tkp67 »

Since the Lotus Sutra defines our body as the Dharma body of a Thus Come One, our mind as the reward body of a Thus Come One, and our actions as the manifested body of a Thus Come One, all who uphold and believe in even a single phrase or verse of this sutra will be endowed with the benefits of these three bodies. Nam-myoho-renge-kyo is only one phrase or verse, but it is no ordinary phrase, for it is the essence of the entire sutra. You asked whether one can attain Buddhahood only by chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, and this is the most important question of all. This is the heart of the entire sutra and the substance of its eight volumes.

The spirit within one’s body of five or six feet may appear in just one’s face, which is only a foot long, and the spirit within one’s face may appear in just one’s eyes, which are only an inch across. Included within the two characters representing Japan is all that is within the country’s sixty-six provinces: the people and the animals, the rice paddies and the other fields, those of high and low status, the nobles and the commoners, the seven kinds of treasures and all the other precious gems. Similarly, included within the title, or daimoku, of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo is the entire sutra consisting of all eight volumes, twenty-eight chapters, and 69,384 characters, without the omission of a single character. Concerning this, Po Chü-i1 stated that the title is to the sutra as the eyes are to the Buddha. In the eighth volume of his Annotations on “The Words and Phrases of the Lotus Sutra,” Miao-lo states, “When for the sake of brevity one mentions only the daimoku, or title, the entire sutra is by p.923implication included therein.” By this he means that, although for the sake of brevity only the title of the sutra is spoken, the entire sutra is contained in the title alone.

Everything has its essential point, and the heart of the Lotus Sutra is its title, or the daimoku, of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. Truly, if you chant this in the morning and evening, you are correctly reading the entire Lotus Sutra. Chanting daimoku twice is the same as reading the entire sutra twice, one hundred daimoku equal one hundred readings of the sutra, and one thousand daimoku, one thousand readings of the sutra. Thus, if you ceaselessly chant daimoku, you will be continually reading the Lotus Sutra. The sixty volumes2 of the T’ien-t’ai doctrines give exactly the same interpretation. A teaching this easy to uphold and this easy to practice was expounded for the sake of all living beings in the evil world of this latter age. A passage from the Lotus Sutra reads, “In the Latter Day of the Law . . .”3 Another reads, “If a bodhisattva mahāsattva in the latter age hereafter, when the Law is about to perish, should accept and embrace, read and recite this sutra . . .” A third states, “In the evil age of the Latter Day of the Law if there is someone who can uphold this sutra . . .”4 A fourth reads, “In the last five-hundred-year period you must spread it [the Lotus Sutra] abroad widely.”5 The heart of all these passages is the admonition to embrace and believe in the Lotus Sutra in this Latter Day of the Law. The learned authorities in Japan, China, and India have all failed to comprehend this obvious meaning and have slandered the sutra. They follow and practice the Hinayana and the provisional teachings upheld by the Nembutsu, True Word, Zen, and Precepts schools, thereby discarding the Lotus Sutra. They misunderstand the Buddha’s teachings, but the people are ignorant of their mistakes. Because they appear to be true priests, the people trust them without the slightest doubt about what they preach. Therefore, without realizing it, the people who follow them have become enemies of the Lotus Sutra and foes of Shakyamuni Buddha. It is obvious from the sutra that not only will all their wishes remain unfulfilled, but their lives will be short, and after this life, they will be doomed to the great citadel of the hell of incessant suffering.6

Even though one neither reads nor studies the sutra, chanting the title alone is the source of tremendous good fortune. The sutra teaches that women, evil men, and those in the realms of animals and hell—in fact, all the beings of the Ten Worlds—can attain Buddhahood in their present form. [This is an incomparably greater wonder than] fire being produced by a stone taken from the bottom of a river, or a lantern lighting up a place that has been dark for a hundred, a thousand, or ten thousand years. If even the most ordinary things of this world are such wonders, then how much more wondrous is the power of the Buddhist Law! We ordinary beings are fettered by evil karma, earthly desires, and the sufferings of birth and death. But due to the three inherent potentials of the Buddha nature—innate Buddhahood, the wisdom to perceive it, and the actions to manifest it—we can without doubt reveal the Buddha’s three bodies—the Dharma body, the reward body, and the manifested body. The Great Teacher Dengyō states, “Through the power of the Lotus Sutra of the Wonderful Law they can do so in their present form.”7 He is referring to the example of the dragon king’s daughter, who achieved Buddhahood in her reptilian form through the power of the Lotus Sutra. Do not doubt this in the least. Please tell her that I will explain this in detail when I see her.
---> https://www.nichirenlibrary.org/en/wnd-1/Content/121

The One Essential Phrase
Question: What passages of proof can be cited to show that one should chant only the daimoku?

Answer: The eighth volume of the Lotus Sutra of the Wonderful Law states that one who accepts and upholds the mere name of the Lotus Sutra will enjoy immeasurable good fortune. The Lotus Sutra of the Correct Law says that, if one hears this sutra and proclaims and embraces its title, one will enjoy merit beyond measure. And the Supplemented Lotus Sutra of the Wonderful Law says that one who accepts and upholds the name of the Lotus Sutra will enjoy immeasurable good fortune. These statements indicate that the good fortune one receives from simply chanting the daimoku is beyond measure.

To accept, uphold, read, recite, take delight in, and protect all the eight volumes and twenty-eight chapters of the Lotus Sutra is called the comprehensive practice. To accept, uphold, and protect the “Expedient Means” chapter and the “Life Span” chapter is called the abbreviated practice. And simply to chant one four-phrase verse or the daimoku, and to protect those who do so, is called the essential practice. Hence, among these three kinds of practice, comprehensive, abbreviated, and essential, the daimoku is defined as the essential practice.

Question: How great are the blessings contained within the five characters of Myoho-renge-kyo?

Answer: The great ocean contains all the numerous rivers that flow into it, the great earth contains all sentient and insentient beings, the wish-granting jewel is capable of showering down innumerable treasures, and the heavenly king Brahmā rules over all the threefold world. The five characters of Myoho-renge-kyo are comparable to these. All beings of the nine worlds, as well as those in the world of Buddhahood, are contained within them. And since all beings of the Ten Worlds are contained within them, so are their environments.

Let us first examine the fact that the five characters, Myoho-renge-kyo, contain within them all teachings. The single character kyō, or “sutra,” is the king p.144of all sutras, and all the other sutras are encompassed by it. The Buddha appeared in the world and over a period of fifty years preached eighty thousand sacred teachings. At that time the life span of human beings is said to have been one hundred years. The Buddha passed away in the middle of the night on the fifteenth day of the second month of the year with the cyclical sign mizunoe-saru.13 Thereafter, during some ninety days of summer, or the period from the eighth day of the fourth month until the fifteenth day of the seventh month of the same year, one thousand arhats gathered at the compilation hall and set down all the sutras.

After that, during the one thousand years of the Former Day of the Law, all these various sutras spread throughout the five regions of India, but they did not reach as far as China. It was only in the fifteenth year of the Middle Day of the Law [1,015 years after the Buddha’s passing] that Buddhist sutras were first introduced to China. This was in the year with the cyclical sign hinoto-u, the tenth year of the Yung-p’ing era (c.e. 67) in the reign of Emperor Ming of the Later Han dynasty. From that time until the year with the cyclical sign kanoe-uma, the eighteenth year of the K’ai-yüan era (c.e. 730) in the reign of Emperor Hsüan-tsung of the T’ang dynasty, a total of 176 translators went over to China, taking with them 1,076 sutras, works on discipline, and treatises comprising 5,048 volumes contained in 480 scroll cases. All of these sacred writings are followers of the single character kyō of the Lotus Sutra.

Among the sutras that the Buddha preached during the more than forty years before he expounded the Lotus Sutra, there is one called the Great and Vast Buddha Flower Garland Sutra. This sutra is preserved in the dragon king’s palace in three versions. The first version contains as many chapters as the dust particles of ten major world systems. The second version contains 498,800 verses, and the third version contains 100,000 verses in forty-eight chapters. Outside of these three versions, only the smaller texts such as the eighty-volume and sixty-volume versions14 are preserved in China and Japan.

In addition, there are the Hinayana Āgama sutras, and the various Mahayana sutras of the Correct and Equal and the Wisdom periods. Among the latter, the Sanskrit text of the Mahāvairochana Sutra devotes a total of thirty-five hundred verses simply to the explanation of the five characters of the mantra avarahakha, 15 to say nothing of the countless verses it uses to describe the seeds, august forms, and samayas16 of the various honored ones. In China, however, the text exists in a mere six- or seven-volume form. The Nirvana Sutra, which the Buddha preached in the sal grove on his last day, is preserved in China in a version that is only forty volumes long, though in this case, too, the Sanskrit versions of the text have many more volumes. All these various sutras are followers of the Lotus Sutra, the most profound teaching of the Thus Come One Shakyamuni. In addition, all the sutras expounded by the seven Buddhas of the past,17 the thousand Buddhas, or the Buddhas of countless kalpas ago, as well as those expounded by the Buddhas presently living in the ten directions, are followers of the single character kyō of the Lotus Sutra.

Thus, in the “Medicine King” chapter of the Lotus Sutra, the Buddha addresses Bodhisattva Constellation King Flower, saying that, just as the ocean is foremost among all the rivers, streams, and other bodies of water, just as Mount Sumeru is foremost among all the mountains, and just as the moon is foremost among the heavenly bodies, [so the Lotus Sutra is likewise among all the sutras]. The Great Teacher p.145Miao-lo says in his commentary that the Lotus Sutra is “foremost among all the sutras preached in the past, now being preached, or to be preached in the future.”18

Within this single character kyō are contained all the sutras in the worlds throughout the ten directions. It is like the wish-granting jewel that contains within it all manner of treasures, or the vastness of space that encompasses all phenomena. And because this single character kyō of Myoho-renge-kyo is the supreme achievement of the Buddha’s lifetime of teaching, the other four characters, Myō-hō-ren-ge, likewise surpass all the other eighty thousand doctrines that the Buddha taught.

Coming now to the character myō, the Lotus Sutra says, “This sutra opens the gate of expedient means and shows the form of true reality.”19 The Great Teacher Chang-an states, “Myō means to reveal the depths of the secret storehouse.”20 The Great Teacher Miao-lo says of this, “To reveal means to open.”21 Hence the character myō means to open.

If there is a storehouse full of treasures but no key, then it cannot be opened, and if it cannot be opened, then the treasures inside cannot be seen. The Buddha preached the Flower Garland Sutra, but he did not therein expound the key to open this sutra. Likewise, in the more than forty years that followed, he preached the sutras of the Āgama, Correct and Equal, and Wisdom periods as well as the Meditation Sutra, but he did not reveal their meaning. Their doors remained closed, and therefore no one could understand these sutras. Even though people thought they understood, their understanding was in fact distorted.

But then the Buddha preached the Lotus Sutra and in this way opened the storehouses of the sutras. And for the first time in more than forty years, all the people of the nine worlds were able to view the treasures that lay within. To give an analogy, even though there are people and animals, plants and trees on the earth, without the light of the sun or moon, even those with good eyes cannot make out their shapes and colors. It is when the sun or moon rises that one can discern for the first time what these things really look like. The sutras that preceded the Lotus Sutra were shrouded in the darkness of a long night, and the essential and theoretical teachings of the Lotus Sutra were like the sun and moon.

Among the bodhisattvas with their two good eyes, the cross-eyed people of the two vehicles, ordinary people with their blind eyes, or icchantikas who have been blind since birth, there were none who could make out the true color or shape of things by means of the earlier sutras. But when the Lotus Sutra was preached and the moon of the theoretical teaching came forth, first the bodhisattvas with their two good eyes gained enlightenment, and then the cross-eyed people of the two vehicles. Next the blind eyes of ordinary people were opened, and then even icchantikas, who had been blind from birth, were able to establish a relationship with the Lotus Sutra that assured them that their eyes would one day open. All this was due entirely to the virtue of the single character myō.

There are two myō, or mystic, principles expounded in the Lotus Sutra, one in the first fourteen chapters, which constitute the theoretical teaching, and one in the latter fourteen chapters, which constitute the essential teaching.22 From another point of view, there are twenty mystic principles,23 ten in the theoretical teaching and ten in the essential teaching; or there are sixty mystic principles,24 thirty in the theoretical teaching and thirty in the essential teaching. From yet other points of view, forty mystic principles25 may be discerned in each half of the p.146Lotus Sutra. By adding these to the forty mystic principles concerning the observation of the mind,26 the single character myō will be found to contain fully one hundred and twenty myō, or mystic, principles.

One fundamental myō, or mystic, principle underlies every one of the 69,384 characters that make up the Lotus Sutra. Hence the Lotus Sutra comprises a total of 69,384 mystic principles.

Myō in India is rendered as sad, and in China, as miao. Myō means to be fully endowed, which in turn has the meaning of “perfect and full.” Each word and each character of the Lotus Sutra contains within it all the 69,384 characters that compose the sutra. To illustrate, one drop of the great ocean contains within it the waters of all the various rivers that flow into the ocean, and a single wish-granting jewel, though no bigger than a mustard seed, is capable of showering down the treasures that one could wish for with all the wish-granting jewels.

To give another analogy, plants and trees are withered and bare in autumn and winter, but when the sun of spring and summer shines on them, they put forth branches and leaves, and then flowers and fruit. Before the preaching of the Lotus Sutra, the people in the nine worlds were like plants and trees in autumn and winter. But when the single character myō of the Lotus Sutra shone on them like the spring and summer sun, then the flower of the aspiration for enlightenment blossomed, and the fruit of Buddhahood or rebirth in the pure land emerged.

Bodhisattva Nāgārjuna in his Treatise on the Great Perfection of Wisdom says, “[The Lotus Sutra is] like a great physician who can change poison into medicine.” This quotation occurs in a passage in Great Perfection of Wisdom that explains the virtues inherent in the character myō of the Lotus Sutra. The Great Teacher Miao-lo remarks, “Because it can cure what is thought to be incurable, it is called myō, or wonderful.”27

In general, there are four kinds of people who have great difficulty in attaining Buddhahood or rebirth in the pure land. First are those predestined for the two vehicles,28 second are icchantikas, third are those who cling to the doctrine of void,29 and fourth are those who slander the Law. But through the Lotus Sutra, all of these people are able to become Buddhas. That is why the Lotus Sutra is called myō..
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The Daimoku of the Lotus Sutra
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