Tathagatagarbha

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tkp67
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Re: Tathagatagarbha

Post by tkp67 »

Nichiren makes several distinctions using both sudden and gradual as well as absolute and relative teachings of T'ien-t'ai. This occurs in several places and not in one direct discourse.

As I understand it Nichiren taught daimoku in such a way that it would suit people regardless of capacity. Sharp distinctions within the single vehicle doesn't possesses the quality of equality. i.e. buddha and ordinary person are the same. The daimoku is such that those who chant are not separated by these differences but still advance according to cause, capacity and conditions.

I think this is why he shrouds development for higher capacity so it doesn't seem different to those of lower capacity avoiding perceived division among practitioners.
six stages of practice [六即] ( roku-soku): Also, six identities. Six stages in the practice of the Lotus Sutra formulated by T’ien-t’ai (538–597) in Great Concentration and Insight. They are as follows: (1) The stage of being a Buddha in theory. At this stage one has not yet heard the correct teaching and is ignorant of Buddhism. Nevertheless, a single moment of life is in itself identical to the truth of the matrix of the Thus Come One; in other words, one is a potential Buddha. (2) The stage of hearing the name and words of the truth. At this stage through the spoken or written word one comes to an intellectual understanding that one has the Buddha nature and that all phenomena are manifestations of the Buddhist Law. This may take place through reading or hearing the words of the sutras. (3) The stage of perception and action. Here one perceives the truth [of the Buddha nature] within oneself through practice, the truth and the wisdom to perceive it are in accord with each other, and one’s words match one’s actions. (4) The stage of resemblance to enlightenment. At this stage, one eliminates the first two of the three categories of illusion and attains purification of the six sense organs. Having advanced this far, one’s wisdom resembles that of a Buddha. In terms of the fifty-two stages of practice, this stage corresponds to the first ten stages, the ten stages of faith. (5) The stage of progressive awakening. This is the stage at which one eradicates all illusions except fundamental darkness and awakens progressively to the truth of one’s Buddha nature. In terms of the fifty-two stages, it corresponds to the eleventh (the first stage of security) through the fifty-first (the stage of near-perfect enlightenment). (6) The stage of ultimate enlightenment, or the highest stage of practice. At this stage, one finally eliminates fundamental darkness and fully manifests the Buddha nature. This corresponds to the stage of perfect enlightenment, the last of the fifty-two stages.
T’ien-t’ai taught that all people at whatever stage of practice are equally endowed with the potential for Buddhahood. In this way he prevented his disciples from falling into the error of self-deprecation or becoming discouraged. On the other hand, possessing the Buddha nature is not the same as attaining Buddhahood. T’ien-t’ai therefore divided practice into six progressive stages to prevent his disciples from falling into the error of arrogance and relaxing their efforts. In Great Concentration and Insight, he states: “If one lacks faith, one will object that it pertains to the lofty realm of the sages, something far beyond the capacity of one’s own wisdom to understand. If one lacks wisdom, one will become puffed up with arrogance and will claim to be the equal of the Buddha.” The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings gives Nichiren’s (1222–1282) interpretation of the six stages of practice: “Speaking in terms of the six stages of practice, the Thus Come One in this [‘Life Span’] chapter is an ordinary mortal who is in the first stage, that of being a Buddha in theory. When one reverently accepts Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, one is in the next stage, that of hearing the name and words of the truth. That is, one has for the first time heard the daimoku. When, having heard the daimoku, one proceeds to put it into practice, this is the third stage, that of perception and action. In this stage, one perceives the object of devotion that embodies the three thousand realms in a single moment of life. When one succeeds in overcoming various illusions and obstacles, this is the fourth stage, that of resemblance to enlightenment. When one sets out to convert others, this is the fifth stage, that of progressive awakening. And when one comes at last to the realization that one is a Buddha eternally endowed with the three bodies, then one is a Buddha of the sixth and highest stage, that of ultimate enlightenment.
“Speaking of the chapter as a whole, the idea of gradually overcoming delusions is not the ultimate meaning of the ‘Life Span’ chapter. You should understand that the ultimate meaning of this chapter is that ordinary mortals, just as they are in their original state of being, are Buddhas.
“And if you ask what is the action or practice carried out by the Buddha eternally endowed with the three bodies, it is Nam-myoho-renge-kyo.”
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Queequeg
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Re: Tathagatagarbha

Post by Queequeg »

Nichiren remarks on the Four Teachings and Four Methods in passing throughout his writings. He assumes familiarity. You're not going to get a good introduction to those concepts from his writings. Let me save you time. Take my word for it - I tried for many years. Your better off just working through Swanson's translation than relying on the crib notes in SGI's dictionary.

I'm not sure the Ongi Kuden is Nichiren's word. It may be. But that message is at odds with his authentic writings. Hearing the Name is no meager achievement. The Ongi Kuden passage makes the stages trivial achievements.

Regarding the Six Identities, in the Perfect and Sudden Teaching, entry in the path and fruition are in a sense singular. Zhiyi quotes Nagarjuna's commentary on the Prajnaparamita Sutra - "It is neither at the beginning nor separate from the beginning; neither at the end nor separate from the end." Buddhahood in the Tiantai view is not separate from the causes of Buddhahood, meaning, the process of becoming a Buddha is integral to buddhahood itself. In this sense, the moment one enters the path, one has entered Buddhahood. The struggles are the causes that yield the fruit of Buddhahood. This is illustrated by the continuity between seed and lotus flower, or the infant crown prince who is destined to be king. In this sense, Sudden and Gradual are revealed to be the same.

What Nichiren seems to claim is that his teaching initiates this path for beings who previously were not on the path.

This is covered directly in 4 Depths of Faith and 5 Stages of Practice (Shishin Gohonsho).
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Upaya Chapter

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

-From Guanding's Introduction to Zhiyi's Great Shamatha and Vipashyana
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tkp67
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Re: Tathagatagarbha

Post by tkp67 »

Queequeg wrote: Wed Oct 07, 2020 1:02 pm . In this sense, Sudden and Gradual are revealed to be the same.
He teaches the law of simultaneity through one vehicle which encompasses all variety of expression under one unchanging identity.

It is the perfect execution of these concepts in one body, one source designed for those of all conditions, causes and capacities without division.

The very Daimoku is the buddha one should seek because it possess the qualities of purity, equanimity, compassion and boundlessness.

There is no teaching that facilitates the wishes of the buddha with such succinct execution or with the capacity to do so in a way that honors (facilitates propagation) all of the buddha's teachings AND all sentient beings.
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Queequeg
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Re: Tathagatagarbha

Post by Queequeg »

tkp67 wrote: Wed Oct 07, 2020 1:16 pm
Queequeg wrote: Wed Oct 07, 2020 1:02 pm . In this sense, Sudden and Gradual are revealed to be the same.
He teaches the law of simultaneity through one vehicle which encompasses all variety of expression under one unchanging identity.
You might need a refresher course in Dharma. There is no "one unchanging identity" to be found anywhere. It is a categorical impossibility. If there were "one unchanging identity" then awakening would be impossible, as would any change. Reality would be a crystalized nothingness, which is actually not fathomable. Its like talking about a turtle fur coat - you can imagine it, but there is no corresponding tangible object.

More practically, just some advice - its unproductive to adopt a category like that. It will mess everything else up, especially when you place such a concept in such a prominent position in your conceptualization of the teaching.
There is no teaching that facilitates the wishes of the buddha with such succinct execution or with the capacity to do so in a way that honors (facilitates propagation) all of the buddha's teachings AND all sentient beings.
Do you actually have the breadth of knowledge and experience to make this claim? No?
This is an article of faith. No interest in arguing it, but let's not be confused about the nature of this statement.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Upaya Chapter

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

-From Guanding's Introduction to Zhiyi's Great Shamatha and Vipashyana
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tkp67
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Re: Tathagatagarbha

Post by tkp67 »

Queequeg wrote: Wed Oct 07, 2020 1:31 pm
tkp67 wrote: Wed Oct 07, 2020 1:16 pm
Queequeg wrote: Wed Oct 07, 2020 1:02 pm . In this sense, Sudden and Gradual are revealed to be the same.
He teaches the law of simultaneity through one vehicle which encompasses all variety of expression under one unchanging identity.
You might need a refresher course in Dharma. There is no "one unchanging identity" to be found anywhere. It is a categorical impossibility. If there were "one unchanging identity" then awakening would be impossible, as would any change. Reality would be a crystalized nothingness, which is actually not fathomable. Its like talking about a turtle fur coat - you can imagine it, but there is no corresponding tangible object.

More practically, just some advice - its unproductive to adopt a category like that. It will mess everything else up, especially when you place such a concept in such a prominent position in your conceptualization of the teaching.
That unchanging identity is myoho renge kyo, the daimoku itself, the object of devotion. The true aspect of all phenomenon.

Perhaps you should understand these teachings as they are taught according to function and stop judging my intent based on your interpretation of my contextual use.

qq wrote:
tkp67 wrote: There is no teaching that facilitates the wishes of the buddha with such succinct execution or with the capacity to do so in a way that honors (facilitates propagation) all of the buddha's teachings AND all sentient beings.
Do you actually have the breadth of knowledge and experience to make this claim? No?
This is an article of faith. No interest in arguing it, but let's not be confused about the nature of this statement.
The top question is simply doubt. It represents the belief that the lotus/gohonzon exists external to one's life. Nichiren did not teach this.

Also doubting my statement because I can't possess the expertise is as strawman as it gets.

However Nichiren was very clear about the attributes of the daimoku. It would be easier to count those goshso that omit any such reference. So there is plenty of doctrinal evidences that simply show this is what Nichiren taught.

Being this is a Nichiren forum I don't see how vilification through doubt of my being isn't grossly inappropriate.

Something something if hatred was abound ...

:anjali:
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Re: Tathagatagarbha

Post by Minobu »

Nichiren describes the diamoku as Something that produces both defilement and the enlightened and yet is neither so this unchanging thing seems off You end up turning it into a thing. Instead of a law from which the above is derived.
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Re: Tathagatagarbha

Post by tkp67 »

the tenth realm is marked by change and transition?

the Tathagatagarbha is marked by change and transition?

the wonderful law is marked by change and transition?

Gentleman, can I please have some citations regarding these claims.

Here's mine
UESTION: The “Expedient Means” chapter in the first volume of the Lotus Sutra states, “The true aspect of all phenomena [can only be understood and shared between Buddhas. This reality consists of the appearance, nature... and] their consistency from beginning to end.” What does this passage mean?

Answer: It means that all beings and environments in the Ten Worlds, from hell, the lowest, to Buddhahood, the highest, are without exception manifestations of Myoho-renge-kyo. If there is an environment, living beings are bound to dwell there. A commentary states, “Living beings and their environments always manifest Myoho-renge-kyo.”1 Another says: “The true aspect invariably manifests in all phenomena, and all phenomena invariably manifest in the ten factors. The ten factors invariably manifest in the Ten Worlds, and the Ten Worlds invariably manifest in life and its environment.”2 And “Both the beings and the environment of the Avīchi hell exist entirely within the life of the highest sage [Buddha], and what is more, the life and the environment of Vairochana [Buddha] never transcend the lives of common mortals.”3 These explanations are precise and clear. Who could have doubts? Thus, the entire realm of phenomena is no different than the five characters of Myoho-renge-kyo.

Even the two Buddhas, Shakyamuni and Many Treasures, in performing the functions of the benefit of the five characters of Myoho-renge-kyo, manifested themselves as the two Buddhas, and seated together in the treasure tower, nodded in mutual agreement.

No one but Nichiren has ever revealed teachings like these. Though T’ien-t’ai, Miao-lo, and Dengyō knew about them in their hearts, they never put them into words. They went about their lives keeping this knowledge to themselves. And there was good reason for this. The Buddha had not entrusted them with the task, the time had not yet come, and they had not been the Buddha’s disciples from the distant past. Only Superior Practices, Boundless Practices, and the other foremost leaders and guiding teachers among the Bodhisattvas of the Earth can not only appear during the first five hundred years of the Latter Day of the Law and spread the five characters of Myoho-renge-kyo, the essence of all phenomena, but also give concrete form to the ceremony of the two Buddhas seated side by side in the treasure tower. The reason is that what they are to spread and give concrete form to is none other than the teaching of the actual three thousand realms in a single moment of life in the “Life Span” chapter of the essential teaching.

p.384Therefore, the two Buddhas, Shakyamuni and Many Treasures, are Buddhas who are functions [of Myoho-renge-kyo]. It is Myoho-renge-kyo that is the true Buddha.4 This is what is described in the sutra as “the Thus Come One’s secret and his transcendental powers.”5 The “Thus Come One’s secret” refers to the entity of the Buddha’s three bodies, and it refers to the true Buddha. “His transcendental powers” refers to the functions of the three bodies, and it refers to provisional Buddhas. A common mortal is an entity of the three bodies, and a true Buddha. A Buddha is a function of the three bodies, and a provisional Buddha. In that case, though it is thought that Shakyamuni Buddha possesses the three virtues of sovereign, teacher, and parent for the sake of all of us living beings, that is not so. On the contrary, it is common mortals who endow him with the three virtues.

The “Thus Come One” is explained clearly in T’ien-t’ai’s commentary as follows: “The Thus Come One is a general designation for the Buddhas of the ten directions and the three existences, for the two Buddhas, the three Buddhas,6 the true Buddha, and provisional Buddhas.”7 The “true Buddha” here means common mortals, whereas “provisional Buddhas” means Buddhas. However, because of the difference between ordinary people and Buddhas that stems from the disparity between delusion and enlightenment, ordinary people are unaware that they are endowed with both the entity and the functions of the three bodies.
---> https://www.nichirenlibrary.org/en/wnd-1/Content/40

The True Aspect of All Phenomena
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Queequeg
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Re: Tathagatagarbha

Post by Queequeg »

tkp67 wrote: Wed Oct 07, 2020 2:20 pm That unchanging identity is myoho renge kyo, the daimoku itself, the object of devotion. The true aspect of all phenomenon.

Perhaps you should understand these teachings as they are taught according to function and stop judging my intent based on your interpretation of my contextual use.
I don't think I'm saying anything controversial in stating you are a notoriously terrible communicator. We can only proceed based on what you write and post here. If the way you communicate is different than what you think, that burden is on you to clarify.

Assuming you have now clarified your view, the problem is you keep putting it in terms of identity.

There are no identities to speak of in the absolute sense - in the unchanging sense. If there were, then nothing would be possible. I strongly suggest getting a familiarity with Madhyamaka. There is jisso - true aspect, but this is not an identity. As Minobu points out, you make the mistake of turning this into some object with an identity.

Words matter. These are the things that guide the mind, hold view.
qq wrote:
tkp67 wrote: There is no teaching that facilitates the wishes of the buddha with such succinct execution or with the capacity to do so in a way that honors (facilitates propagation) all of the buddha's teachings AND all sentient beings.
Do you actually have the breadth of knowledge and experience to make this claim? No?
This is an article of faith. No interest in arguing it, but let's not be confused about the nature of this statement.
The top question is simply doubt.
Yes, doubt that you have the knowledge and experience to make this statement on anything but your personal faith.
It represents the belief that the lotus/gohonzon exists external to one's life. Nichiren did not teach this.
No, it doesn't represent such a belief. Its just a comment on the way you express yourself.
Also doubting my statement because I can't possess the expertise is as strawman as it gets.

I don't think you know what strawman means.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Upaya Chapter

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

-From Guanding's Introduction to Zhiyi's Great Shamatha and Vipashyana
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Re: Tathagatagarbha

Post by Queequeg »

tkp67 wrote: Wed Oct 07, 2020 2:20 pm However Nichiren was very clear about the attributes of the daimoku. It would be easier to count those goshso that omit any such reference. So there is plenty of doctrinal evidences that simply show this is what Nichiren taught.

Being this is a Nichiren forum I don't see how vilification through doubt of my being isn't grossly inappropriate.

Something something if hatred was abound ...

:anjali:
I'm critiquing you because I'm pretty familiar with what Nichiren taught, and he did not teach what you say he did.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Upaya Chapter

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

-From Guanding's Introduction to Zhiyi's Great Shamatha and Vipashyana
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Re: Tathagatagarbha

Post by Queequeg »

tkp67 wrote: Wed Oct 07, 2020 2:52 pm the tenth realm is marked by change and transition?

the Tathagatagarbha is marked by change and transition?

the wonderful law is marked by change and transition?

Gentleman, can I please have some citations regarding these claims.

Here's mine
...SNIP...
---> https://www.nichirenlibrary.org/en/wnd-1/Content/40

The True Aspect of All Phenomena
You don't understand the underlying teachings, and so you misunderstand what Nichiren is saying.

1. Note that the meat of that passage is a quote from the Maka Shikan. [Correction, its from Zhanran's Diamond Scalpel]

2. Its not appropriate to consider Buddhahood in terms of change and transition as you observe. But its also not appropriate to say that Buddhahood is unchanging per se, in contrast to things that change. Any such qualification is problematic. But, that's not what is being discussed in this passage. Rather, Nichiren is referring to the dynamic function of Buddhahood, ie. the way in which the Buddha responds to beings. This is not change or not change in the sense that we talk about birth and death; this is the awakening function that in the Tiantai, and Nichiren view, are intrinsic in reality. This is a reference to the effortless, non-action manner in which buddhas function for sentient beings. You would be well served by studying Tiantai if you want to understand passages like this.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Upaya Chapter

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

-From Guanding's Introduction to Zhiyi's Great Shamatha and Vipashyana
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Re: Tathagatagarbha

Post by _johnarundel_ »

Hi Everyone,

Second Stage of Practice = myoji-soku or "stage of first hearing the name of the Law"

The stage of myoji-soku corresponds to our faith as a common mortal. We attain Buddhahood from this second stage of practice, by taking faith in the Gohonzon, and chanting Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo. The principle of the Daishonin's Buddhism of the is based on simultaneous cause and effect of attaining Buddhahood, thus there are no sequential stages of practice.

On the other hand, Lord Shakyamuni's Buddhism of Maturing and Harvesting is non-simultaneous, requiring one to practice over countless kalpas. This teaching does not correspond to our capacities in Mappo.
Last edited by _johnarundel_ on Wed Oct 07, 2020 6:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"The five characters of Myoho-Renge-Kyo are the core of the Lotus Sutra and the origin of all Buddhas throughout the entire world. Upon seeing the signs that these five characters now must be propagated, I, Nichiren, have set the precedent, today, at the beginning of the Latter Day of the Law."

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


https://www.nichirenshoshu.or.jp/eng/daishonin.html
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Re: Tathagatagarbha

Post by _johnarundel_ »

Hi,

I apologize to Minobu for responding to this thread so late.

We all theoretically possess the Buddha-nature within our lives. However, we lack the karmic connection with Shakyamuni Buddha from the remote past. Without the seed of Buddhahood, we cannot awaken our inherent Buddha-nature; it simply remains a theoretical possibility. The original seed or cause for the enlightenment of all Buddhas is the Daimoku. Thus, at the stage of myoji-soku or verbal identity, when we hear Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo for the first time, we thus recieve the seed of Buddhahood and can attain Buddhahood through our practice.

The Daishonin states in "Letter to Soya Nyudo" ("Soya nyudo dono moto gosho"),
We have already entered into the age of Mappo. The appearance of those who had relationships with Shakyamuni Buddha during his lifetime have gradually declined. Those with the two capacities matching the provisional teaching and the true teaching have ceased to exist.

(Gosho, p. 778)
The capacity matching the provisional corresponds to the stage of Maturing
The capacity matching the true corresponds to the stage of Harvesting


He further states in "True Object of Worship" ("Kanjin no Honzon sho"),
The essential teaching of the Lotus Sutra and that intended for the beginning of the Final Dharma Age are both pure and perfect teachings that lead directly to Buddhahood. But Shakyamuni's is the Buddhism of the harvest, while this is the Buddhism of the sowing.

(Nichiren Shonin Ibun, vol. 1, p. 715)
This is from the Nichiren Shu translation. Nichiren Daishonin clearly differentiates between the Buddhism of the Sowing and the Buddhism of the Harvest
"The five characters of Myoho-Renge-Kyo are the core of the Lotus Sutra and the origin of all Buddhas throughout the entire world. Upon seeing the signs that these five characters now must be propagated, I, Nichiren, have set the precedent, today, at the beginning of the Latter Day of the Law."

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


https://www.nichirenshoshu.or.jp/eng/daishonin.html
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Re: Tathagatagarbha

Post by Queequeg »

_johnarundel_ wrote: Wed Oct 07, 2020 6:01 pm The principle of the Daishonin's Buddhism of the is based on simultaneous cause and effect of attaining Buddhahood, thus there are no sequential stages of practice.
That's not what is recorded in Ongi Kuden. How do you square that?
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Upaya Chapter

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

-From Guanding's Introduction to Zhiyi's Great Shamatha and Vipashyana
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Re: Tathagatagarbha

Post by _johnarundel_ »

Queequeg wrote: Wed Oct 07, 2020 6:45 pm
_johnarundel_ wrote: Wed Oct 07, 2020 6:01 pm The principle of the Daishonin's Buddhism of the is based on simultaneous cause and effect of attaining Buddhahood, thus there are no sequential stages of practice.
That's not what is recorded in Ongi Kuden. How do you square that?

Hi Queequeg,

Thank you for the question.

If you don't mind I will answer it with a quote from the Dictionary of Buddhist Terms and Concepts. It will word it better than I can.

Nichiren Daishonin's Buddhism teaches that to embrace the Gohonzon is in itself enlightenment (juji soku kanjin), so there are no distinct levels or stages of practice in his Buddhism. The "Sanze Shobutsu Sokammon Sho" (On the Teachings affirmed by All Buddhas throughout Time) states "Because one attains enlightenment directly at the stage of myoji-soku, there are no stages of practice in the perfect teaching." On the premise that embracing the Gohonzon is in itself enlightenment, he reinterprets the six stages in the "Ongi Kuden" (Record of Orally Transmitted Teachings) in light of Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo. From this standpoint, they can be seen as illustrating the overall development of practice. In this sense, ri-soku indicates not having hear Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo of the Three Great Secret Laws and being ignorant of one's Buddha-nature. Myoji-soku is taking faith in Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo. Kangyo-soku means that one devotes himself to faith and practice and accumulates benefit. Soji-soku is the overcoming of obstacles and devils. Bunshin-soku indicates that one teaches this practice to others and dedicates himself to the task of kosen-rufu. Kukyo-soku is the firm establishment of the state of Buddhahood.

(Dictionary of Buddhist Terms and Concepts, p. 406)

Nichiren Daishonin further states in the Ongi Kuden
The word kan, or “watch,” refers to the kan of the six stages of practice [of T’ien-t’ai’s Great Concentration and Insight]. Here one should understand it as pertaining to the kan, or perception, that is represented in the second of the six stages, the stage of hearing the name and words of the truth. Therefore, as soon as one hears Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, one has [as volume eight of Words and Phrases says in speaking of the dragon girl] “without doubt sat for a moment in the place of practice and thus attained Buddhahood.”

(Record of Orally Transmitted Teachings, p. 109)
"The five characters of Myoho-Renge-Kyo are the core of the Lotus Sutra and the origin of all Buddhas throughout the entire world. Upon seeing the signs that these five characters now must be propagated, I, Nichiren, have set the precedent, today, at the beginning of the Latter Day of the Law."

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


https://www.nichirenshoshu.or.jp/eng/daishonin.html
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Re: Tathagatagarbha

Post by tkp67 »

Queequeg wrote: Wed Oct 07, 2020 3:20 pm
tkp67 wrote: Wed Oct 07, 2020 2:52 pm the tenth realm is marked by change and transition?

the Tathagatagarbha is marked by change and transition?

the wonderful law is marked by change and transition?

Gentleman, can I please have some citations regarding these claims.

Here's mine
...SNIP...
---> https://www.nichirenlibrary.org/en/wnd-1/Content/40

The True Aspect of All Phenomena
You don't understand the underlying teachings, and so you misunderstand what Nichiren is saying.

1. Note that the meat of that passage is a quote from the Maka Shikan. [Correction, its from Zhanran's Diamond Scalpel]

2. Its not appropriate to consider Buddhahood in terms of change and transition as you observe. But its also not appropriate to say that Buddhahood is unchanging per se, in contrast to things that change. Any such qualification is problematic. But, that's not what is being discussed in this passage. Rather, Nichiren is referring to the dynamic function of Buddhahood, ie. the way in which the Buddha responds to beings. This is not change or not change in the sense that we talk about birth and death; this is the awakening function that in the Tiantai, and Nichiren view, are intrinsic in reality. This is a reference to the effortless, non-action manner in which buddhas function for sentient beings. You would be well served by studying Tiantai if you want to understand passages like this.
First let me address your impression that I haven't discussed my understanding and have it validated by a teacher. I did. However I won't claim perfection or anything more than ordinary but I will attempt to explain how it unfolds in my mind.

Let me translate this passage directly from the LS

“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.”"

What the buddha is saying is that reality is the true aspect of all compounded phenomenon are void of intrinsic self while maintaining discriminating distinctions of appearance, nature, entity, power, influence, internal cause, relation, latent effect, manifest effect and their consistency end to end.

This is only understandable by buddha because they have extinguished self.

The profound implications is this is how Shakyamuni looked out at the world when he preached. However since he did not have an intrinsic self he saw the reality of above according the ten realms as this reflects the sermons he taught and the realm of mind he encountered. That is why they are essential in the representation of Shakyamuni's enlightenment because this contemplation in the form of Daimoku is necessary for propagation of the lotus sutra by bodhisattva.

Note that this isn't just the notion of compounded phenomenon are empty. That is not a complete teaching. The use of daimoku includes this (the whole of shakyamuni's enlightenment) as both meaning and function and the words of myoho renge kyo lead directly to the Lotus Sutra for validation. There is no other place myoho renge kyo leads.

The reason it is unchanging is because the manifestation of the ten realms are no different than gravity. It expresses the true nature of conscious that never changes. i.e. where there is sentience and an environment there are the ten realms.

This is the goal, because when one realizes this they realize the are a manifestation of an unchaining eternal law and there is no separation between the law, beings and their environment one is said to have grasped the lotus.

Please feel free to correct me if I got something wrong.

:anjali:
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Minobu
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Re: Tathagatagarbha

Post by Minobu »

Minobu wrote: Wed Oct 07, 2020 2:40 pm Nichiren describes the diamoku as Something that produces both defilement and the enlightened and yet is neither so this unchanging thing seems off You end up turning it into a thing. Instead of a law from which the above is derived.
this screwed up i thought about this and this should read

you end up turning it into a thing. Instead of a law
you end up turning it into a thing. Instead of Dharma

it's not a law its Dharma

chanting the daimoku is dharma
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tkp67
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Re: Tathagatagarbha

Post by tkp67 »

Food for thought one of the chapters of the lotus sutra is teacher of the law and one of the translated titles is "the Sutra of the Lotus of the Wonderful Law".

Myoho renge kyo is both an analogy and also serves a function. It also describes the ten realms and is endowed with the ten realms.
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Queequeg
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Re: Tathagatagarbha

Post by Queequeg »

_johnarundel_ wrote: Wed Oct 07, 2020 10:36 pm
Queequeg wrote: Wed Oct 07, 2020 6:45 pm
_johnarundel_ wrote: Wed Oct 07, 2020 6:01 pm The principle of the Daishonin's Buddhism of the is based on simultaneous cause and effect of attaining Buddhahood, thus there are no sequential stages of practice.
That's not what is recorded in Ongi Kuden. How do you square that?

Hi Queequeg,

Thank you for the question.

If you don't mind I will answer it with a quote from the Dictionary of Buddhist Terms and Concepts. It will word it better than I can.

Nichiren Daishonin's Buddhism teaches that to embrace the Gohonzon is in itself enlightenment (juji soku kanjin), so there are no distinct levels or stages of practice in his Buddhism. The "Sanze Shobutsu Sokammon Sho" (On the Teachings affirmed by All Buddhas throughout Time) states "Because one attains enlightenment directly at the stage of myoji-soku, there are no stages of practice in the perfect teaching." On the premise that embracing the Gohonzon is in itself enlightenment, he reinterprets the six stages in the "Ongi Kuden" (Record of Orally Transmitted Teachings) in light of Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo. From this standpoint, they can be seen as illustrating the overall development of practice. In this sense, ri-soku indicates not having hear Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo of the Three Great Secret Laws and being ignorant of one's Buddha-nature. Myoji-soku is taking faith in Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo. Kangyo-soku means that one devotes himself to faith and practice and accumulates benefit. Soji-soku is the overcoming of obstacles and devils. Bunshin-soku indicates that one teaches this practice to others and dedicates himself to the task of kosen-rufu. Kukyo-soku is the firm establishment of the state of Buddhahood.

(Dictionary of Buddhist Terms and Concepts, p. 406)

Nichiren Daishonin further states in the Ongi Kuden
The word kan, or “watch,” refers to the kan of the six stages of practice [of T’ien-t’ai’s Great Concentration and Insight]. Here one should understand it as pertaining to the kan, or perception, that is represented in the second of the six stages, the stage of hearing the name and words of the truth. Therefore, as soon as one hears Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, one has [as volume eight of Words and Phrases says in speaking of the dragon girl] “without doubt sat for a moment in the place of practice and thus attained Buddhahood.”

(Record of Orally Transmitted Teachings, p. 109)
Not particularly convincing.

It seems too much weight is put on the comment about "no more stages" in your interpretation. That letter from which the quote is drawn is basically a commentary on Maka Shikan and other texts. Take a close look - you'll see that much of the substantive information in the text are quotes. The Six Stages are described in the Maka Shikan, and as I quoted above, Maka Shikan itself states that those first entering the path are not substantially different than Buddhas. In fact, the whole scheme starts with the premise that ordinary beings are Buddhas. Throughout Maka Shikan, Zhiyi explains the immediacy of the Sudden and Perfect Teaching. This is not Nichiren's innovation. His innovation is identifying the Lotus with its title, the Daimoku.

Nichiren himself repeatedly made remarks about his future attainment of Buddhahood. When encouraging followers about the happy hunting ground ceremony in the sky he remarks how he will report to the Buddha how they practiced the Lotus.

I suspect Nichiren, if Ongi Kuden is authentic, was implicitly acknowledging the necessity of practice even within the Sudden and Perfect teaching. To say that Buddhahood is achieved on hearing the name undermines all that stuff about having to read the sutra with the body.

What you are saying is not new to me. It never made sense to me.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Upaya Chapter

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

-From Guanding's Introduction to Zhiyi's Great Shamatha and Vipashyana
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Re: Tathagatagarbha

Post by Queequeg »

tkp67 wrote: Wed Oct 07, 2020 11:17 pm
Queequeg wrote: Wed Oct 07, 2020 3:20 pm
tkp67 wrote: Wed Oct 07, 2020 2:52 pm the tenth realm is marked by change and transition?

the Tathagatagarbha is marked by change and transition?

the wonderful law is marked by change and transition?

Gentleman, can I please have some citations regarding these claims.

Here's mine



---> https://www.nichirenlibrary.org/en/wnd-1/Content/40

The True Aspect of All Phenomena
You don't understand the underlying teachings, and so you misunderstand what Nichiren is saying.

1. Note that the meat of that passage is a quote from the Maka Shikan. [Correction, its from Zhanran's Diamond Scalpel]

2. Its not appropriate to consider Buddhahood in terms of change and transition as you observe. But its also not appropriate to say that Buddhahood is unchanging per se, in contrast to things that change. Any such qualification is problematic. But, that's not what is being discussed in this passage. Rather, Nichiren is referring to the dynamic function of Buddhahood, ie. the way in which the Buddha responds to beings. This is not change or not change in the sense that we talk about birth and death; this is the awakening function that in the Tiantai, and Nichiren view, are intrinsic in reality. This is a reference to the effortless, non-action manner in which buddhas function for sentient beings. You would be well served by studying Tiantai if you want to understand passages like this.
First let me address your impression that I haven't discussed my understanding and have it validated by a teacher. I did. However I won't claim perfection or anything more than ordinary but I will attempt to explain how it unfolds in my mind.

Let me translate this passage directly from the LS

“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.”"

What the buddha is saying is that reality is the true aspect of all compounded phenomenon are void of intrinsic self while maintaining discriminating distinctions of appearance, nature, entity, power, influence, internal cause, relation, latent effect, manifest effect and their consistency end to end.

This is only understandable by buddha because they have extinguished self.

The profound implications is this is how Shakyamuni looked out at the world when he preached. However since he did not have an intrinsic self he saw the reality of above according the ten realms as this reflects the sermons he taught and the realm of mind he encountered. That is why they are essential in the representation of Shakyamuni's enlightenment because this contemplation in the form of Daimoku is necessary for propagation of the lotus sutra by bodhisattva.

Note that this isn't just the notion of compounded phenomenon are empty. That is not a complete teaching. The use of daimoku includes this (the whole of shakyamuni's enlightenment) as both meaning and function and the words of myoho renge kyo lead directly to the Lotus Sutra for validation. There is no other place myoho renge kyo leads.

The reason it is unchanging is because the manifestation of the ten realms are no different than gravity. It expresses the true nature of conscious that never changes. i.e. where there is sentience and an environment there are the ten realms.

This is the goal, because when one realizes this they realize the are a manifestation of an unchaining eternal law and there is no separation between the law, beings and their environment one is said to have grasped the lotus.

Please feel free to correct me if I got something wrong.

:anjali:
I don't know. You make it more complicated than it needs to be.

I think you are still making the mistake in your emphasis about an eternal and unchanging law. In Buddhist discourse there is mention of an eternal dharma and its described as beyond change, especially in Tathagatagarbha teachings, but your interpretation turns it into a static monolith. Even in the Mahayana Mahaparinirvana Sutra that is understsood in Lotus School scheme as an elaboration of the Lotus where the Buddha and Dharma are explained in terms of permanency, the text goes to great lengths to attach the usual Madhyamaka caveats.

Emptiness, another way to look at this "unchanging truth" is not a thing. Its a quality of compounded dharmas. Conditionality is a quality of dharmas. Emptiness and Conditionality being the same thing is a quality of dharmas. But, emptiness of a cup is not the emptiness of plate. Its not a quality that has any tangible substance. Its a quality in the nature of dharmas being conditioned.

These insights, the Threefold Inclusive Truth, apply equally to Myohorengekyo. The Saddharma is found in the dynamism of life. This is why Ichinen Sanzen starts with Mind. "Without mind that is the end of the matter. But if there is even the subtlest mind, then the three thousand." That's not the actual quote - its something along those lines.

When the mistake is made turning Buddhist Saddharma into a substantive thing that is somehow more fundamental than reality, that's no longer Buddhism. Its a wrong view. Its a matter of emphasis that when its drawn out puts a person in a very detrimental place - right back in the reifying of self and all that.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Upaya Chapter

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

-From Guanding's Introduction to Zhiyi's Great Shamatha and Vipashyana
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tkp67
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Re: Tathagatagarbha

Post by tkp67 »

Queequeg wrote: Thu Oct 08, 2020 1:01 pm These insights, the Threefold Inclusive Truth, apply equally to Myohorengekyo. The Saddharma is found in the dynamism of life. This is why Ichinen Sanzen starts with Mind. "Without mind that is the end of the matter. But if there is even the subtlest mind, then the three thousand." That's not the actual quote - its something along those lines.

When the mistake is made turning Buddhist Saddharma into a substantive thing that is somehow more fundamental than reality, that's no longer Buddhism. Its a wrong view. Its a matter of emphasis that when its drawn out puts a person in a very detrimental place - right back in the reifying of self and all that.
I mentioned the paraphrased in bold earlier in the thread.

There is nothing substantive in cleaning the mirror for clear realization? if liberation wasn't substantive why did the buddha dedicate his existence to it?

Notice what is substantive is the reality that consists of the appearance, nature, entity, power, influence, internal cause, relation, latent effect, manifest effect, and their consistency from beginning. This represents individual sentient beings, the ignorance of suffering which is the cause of buddhism.

If they weren't substantive even for a moment in time, even in light of impermanence, there would be not benefit to this cause.

If there is no benefit what is the purpose?

Unbreakable joy while it can't be put on a cup and sold in the deli is substantive enough for some. YMMV.
sub·stan·tive

1.
having a firm basis in reality and therefore important, meaningful, or considerable.
"there is no substantive evidence for the efficacy of these drugs"
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