Non-exclusivist independent Nichiren Buddhism

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FiveSkandhas
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Non-exclusivist independent Nichiren Buddhism

Post by FiveSkandhas »

Just wondered if there were any independent Nichiren Buddhists out there who considered themselves "non-exclusivist."

I suppose I better define how I'm using that term...I guess basically I would mean people who identify as Nichiren followers but accept the validity of non-Nichiren practice for our time and respect practices like Zen, Vajrayana, Pureland, etc. as different but perfectly legitimate.

I guess in order to do this one would have to be a "non-Fundamentalist" practitioner to a significant extent as well, because Nichiren's writings are very explicit in harshly condemning other sects like Zen, Pure Land, and Shingon, in no uncertain terms.
"One should cultivate contemplation in one’s foibles. The foibles are like fish, and contemplation is like fishing hooks. If there are no fish, then the fishing hooks have no use. The bigger the fish is, the better the result we will get. As long as the fishing hooks keep at it, all foibles will eventually be contained and controlled at will." -Zhiyi
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Re: Non-exclusivist independent Nichiren Buddhism

Post by Shotenzenjin »

There probably is.

I've met non exclusive Buddhist before who also practice other religions. They seemed more confused to me but to each their own.
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Re: Non-exclusivist independent Nichiren Buddhism

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Shotenzenjin wrote: Wed Nov 11, 2020 7:26 pm There probably is.

I've met non exclusive Buddhist before who also practice other religions. They seemed more confused to me but to each their own.
Well, as you probably know there are plenty of Japanese who consider themselves both Shintoist and Buddhist, although most Japanese people are not serious "practioners" of either outside of weddings, funerals, and occasional shrine/temple visits.

But there are plenty of committed Buddhists including priests who have kamidanas, go to shrines to honor the kami, and so on.
"One should cultivate contemplation in one’s foibles. The foibles are like fish, and contemplation is like fishing hooks. If there are no fish, then the fishing hooks have no use. The bigger the fish is, the better the result we will get. As long as the fishing hooks keep at it, all foibles will eventually be contained and controlled at will." -Zhiyi
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Re: Non-exclusivist independent Nichiren Buddhism

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FiveSkandhas wrote: Wed Nov 11, 2020 7:54 pm
Shotenzenjin wrote: Wed Nov 11, 2020 7:26 pm There probably is.

I've met non exclusive Buddhist before who also practice other religions. They seemed more confused to me but to each their own.
Well, as you probably know there are plenty of Japanese who consider themselves both Shintoist and Buddhist, although most Japanese people are not serious "practioners" of either outside of weddings, funerals, and occasional shrine/temple visits.

But there are plenty of committed Buddhists including priests who have kamidanas, go to shrines to honor the kami, and so on.
Indeed how true

I was thinking more along the lines of western practioners who identify as being Buddhist but also practice other religions. the person I met was a wiccan but also a Buddhist. It happens. Wicca is a fairly open religion from what I gather. I've also met a Catholic who identified as Buddhist he was the confused one I mentioned.

I think non exclusive Nichiren Buddhist would be problematic given how clear Nichiren was. He pulled no punches.

That doesn't mean in my eyes anyway, we can't have respect for others or discussions with others of a different school or lineage

Most Buddhist sects or schools are for the most part exclusive. In one way or another.
Generation's shall pass, our determination shall grow, at the foot of Mount Fuji
Like smoke that reaches far beyond the clouds.--nichimoku shonin. Third high priest of Nichiren Shoshu

Hokekko of true Buddhism https://nstny.org

Introduction to Nichiren Shoshu Buddhism
https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source= ... VKyEQ_cxK9
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Re: Non-exclusivist independent Nichiren Buddhism

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Shotenzenjin wrote: Wed Nov 11, 2020 8:29 pm
FiveSkandhas wrote: Wed Nov 11, 2020 7:54 pm
Shotenzenjin wrote: Wed Nov 11, 2020 7:26 pm There probably is.

I've met non exclusive Buddhist before who also practice other religions. They seemed more confused to me but to each their own.
Well, as you probably know there are plenty of Japanese who consider themselves both Shintoist and Buddhist, although most Japanese people are not serious "practioners" of either outside of weddings, funerals, and occasional shrine/temple visits.

But there are plenty of committed Buddhists including priests who have kamidanas, go to shrines to honor the kami, and so on.
Indeed how true

I was thinking more along the lines of western practioners who identify as being Buddhist but also practice other religions. the person I met was a wiccan but also a Buddhist. It happens. Wicca is a fairly open religion from what I gather. I've also met a Catholic who identified as Buddhist he was the confused one I mentioned.

I think non exclusive Nichiren Buddhist would be problematic given how clear Nichiren was. He pulled no punches.

That doesn't mean in my eyes anyway, we can't have respect for others or discussions with others of a different school or lineage

Most Buddhist sects or schools are for the most part exclusive. In one way or another.
I think most of those trying to mix Wicca or Catholicism with Buddhism must have a confused and superficial understanding of Buddhism.

I suppose in the end you are correct in that most serious Buddhist practice is going to demand too much devotion to one's path to be non-exclusivist, unless one puts the "other" religion in a subordinated or more personalized role (which is not necessarily bad).

As for practicing multiple Buddhist paths, there are some examples like the Obaku sect of Zen (which uses Nembutsu practice). Or Tendai, which is its own sect but combines esotericism, Pure Land, Lotus Sutra devotion and study, and so on. So in theory I see some leeway.

I'm glad about what you wrote about mutual respect. I personally feel even if we can't practice other Buddhist paths, we should respect all "84,000 dharma doors."
:anjali:
"One should cultivate contemplation in one’s foibles. The foibles are like fish, and contemplation is like fishing hooks. If there are no fish, then the fishing hooks have no use. The bigger the fish is, the better the result we will get. As long as the fishing hooks keep at it, all foibles will eventually be contained and controlled at will." -Zhiyi
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Re: Non-exclusivist independent Nichiren Buddhism

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Shotenzenjin wrote: Wed Nov 11, 2020 8:29 pm

Most Buddhist sects or schools are for the most part exclusive. In one way or another.
Most Buddhist sects are triumphalist, but that is not the same as being exclusivist - i.e. presenting their teachings as -the only- valid practice. Some species of Nichiren are somewhat unique in this sense, in my opinion. Generally speaking Buddhist intellectual culture may have it's polemics, but claims of exclusive and absolute validity are rarer.
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Re: Non-exclusivist independent Nichiren Buddhism

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Johnny Dangerous wrote: Thu Nov 12, 2020 12:26 am
Shotenzenjin wrote: Wed Nov 11, 2020 8:29 pm

Most Buddhist sects or schools are for the most part exclusive. In one way or another.
Most Buddhist sects are triumphalist, but that is not the same as being exclusivist - i.e. presenting their teachings as -the only- valid practice. Some species of Nichiren are somewhat unique in this sense, in my opinion. Generally speaking Buddhist intellectual culture may have it's polemics, but claims of exclusive and absolute validity are rarer.
That is a very good distinction to make.
"One should cultivate contemplation in one’s foibles. The foibles are like fish, and contemplation is like fishing hooks. If there are no fish, then the fishing hooks have no use. The bigger the fish is, the better the result we will get. As long as the fishing hooks keep at it, all foibles will eventually be contained and controlled at will." -Zhiyi
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Re: Non-exclusivist independent Nichiren Buddhism

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FiveSkandhas wrote: Wed Nov 11, 2020 2:38 pm Just wondered if there were any independent Nichiren Buddhists out there who considered themselves "non-exclusivist."

I suppose I better define how I'm using that term...I guess basically I would mean people who identify as Nichiren followers but accept the validity of non-Nichiren practice for our time and respect practices like Zen, Vajrayana, Pureland, etc. as different but perfectly legitimate.

I guess in order to do this one would have to be a "non-Fundamentalist" practitioner to a significant extent as well, because Nichiren's writings are very explicit in harshly condemning other sects like Zen, Pure Land, and Shingon, in no uncertain terms.
Not I. I don't see how one can call him or herself a "Nichiren" Buddhist and be non-exclusivist. Certainly Nichiren was an exclusivist who believed in the exclusive faith and practice of the Lotus Sutra (which too is not ecumenical). "There is only the Law of the One Vehicle"; "There is only the One Vehicle, not two"; "For it is only through the buddha vehicle that one can attain extinction."; desiring only to accept and embrace the sutra of the great vehicle";I preach the sweet dew of the pure Law.

"This Law is of a single flavor,
that of emancipation, nirvana.
With a single wonderful sound
I expound and unfold its meaning;
constantly for the sake of the great vehicle"

“With regard to the buddha wisdom, the world-honored one is never begrudging. Why do I say this? From times past we have in truth been the sons of the Buddha, but we delighted in nothing but lesser doctrines. If we had had the kind of minds that delighted in great ones, then the Buddha would have preached the Law of the great vehicle for us."

"The thus come one possesses the storehouse of measureless wisdom, powers, freedom from fear, and other attributes. He is capable of giving to all living beings the Law of the great vehicle. But not all of them are capable of receiving it."

"If he is asked difficult questions, he should not reply in terms of the teachings of the lesser vehicle. He should explain things solely in terms of the great vehicle so that people will be able to acquire wisdom embracing all species.”

“Ananda, if there are monks, nuns, laymen, or laywomen, heavenly beings, dragons, or others of the eight kinds of beings, or any living beings who intone the great vehicle, practice the great vehicle, set their minds on the great vehicle, wish to see the form and body of Bodhisattva Universal Worthy, wish to see the tower of Many Treasures Buddha, wish to see Shakyamuni Buddha and the many buddhas that are emanations of his body, or wish to attain purification of the six sense organs—they should study this meditation.

The benefits of this meditation remove obstacles and impediments so they can see the finest, the most wonderful forms. They need not enter a samadhi, but merely by reciting and upholding it [the great vehicle] they can practice with their entire minds, from one instant of mind to the next never departing from the great vehicle, and by the time they have done so for one day and on up to three times seven days, they will be able to see Universal Worthy."

“At that time the buddha, responding to pleas from the shramaneras, passed a period of twenty thousand kalpas and then at last, in the midst of the four kinds of believers, preached this great vehicle sutra entitled the Lotus of the Wonderful Law, a teaching to instruct the bodhisattvas, one that is guarded and kept in mind by the buddhas. After he had preached the sutra, the sixteen shramaneras, for the sake of supreme perfect enlightenment, all together accepted and embraced it, recited and intoned it, penetrated and understood it.

There are several dozen more similar passages in the Lotus Sutra

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Re: Non-exclusivist independent Nichiren Buddhism

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There is always a choice of what views to adopt, Nichiren's or otherwise. How important is exclusivity or triumphalism vs practice?
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Re: Non-exclusivist independent Nichiren Buddhism

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The problem lies in what came after Nichiren.
there are translation problems galore, fake gosho, innuendo, forged documents, self ordained scholars offering up their own interpretations...then the problem of cross contamination... all done in the righteous behaviour they think is mimicking Nichiren Shonin.

the truth is Nichiren was a Buddhist Scholar ...He saw what Buddhism became of in Japan...zero enlightened beings from the various schools, temples vying for political influence, weddings and funerals and good luck practicers for the elite. the whole thing He saw as a misuse of The Buddha's teachings.

nothing for the peasantry, which He identified with and was comfortable with.
so Somehow He was chosen to release the Buddhist Kraken ...

the rest is history....defiled and meddled with for almost 800 years...

He saw that no one actually was benefiting from Practices meant for the direct disciples of Lord Sakyamuni Buddha which He taught over kalpas...

So He released the Buddhist Kraken....

today if you ask most Buddhists what they think of attaining enlightenment and you get . Chant nam amida Butsu three times in your life and you get to go to a pure land when you die...

I mean wowza....how quaint...how special is that huh...

death bed promises...total absence of the hard work and creating Buddhist foundations one uses their life for.

Working out your Karma, helping others there by creating positive Karma, suffering and pleased to do it...understanding what really is at stake and what you do with your life ...for your future incarnations in Samsara...

I look at what people who are not Nichiren Buddhists say when people die...they wish them birth in a pure land ...well they died in the Buddha's pure land...

So Nichiren reformed what Buddhism is for everyone...He was inspired to give to people in the time of Mappo the way to Buddhahood...a long tough road ahead ...many lifetimes...Even though the practice gives you an awareness of your own Buddha Nature...

The reason it causes benefit in this life is that it allows ones Buddha Nature to generate the qualities on Gohonzon...

Also you get tp hang out with the Ceremony in the Air Gang...

Nichiren Shonin was at the very least a man for the people...His concern was for everyone not just the elite and the Shogunate court..
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Re: Non-exclusivist independent Nichiren Buddhism

Post by Minobu »

Nichiren Shonin never argued that the actual Sutras and teachings of Lord sakyamuni Buddha were false.

He did argue what was being done to them...
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Re: Non-exclusivist independent Nichiren Buddhism

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Nichiren wrote extensively on this topic. Letter to Akimoto is a great example. I included the first three paragraphs to illustrate the whole analogy.
I HAVE received the thirty cylindrical vessels and the sixty plates that you were kind enough to send.

A vessel is a kind of utensil. Because the great earth is hollowed out, water collects on it; and because the blue sky is pure, the moon shines in it. When the moon rises, the water glows with a pure light; and when the rain falls, the plants and trees flourish.

A vessel is hollowed out like the earth, and water can be collected in it the way water is stored in a pond. And the reflection of the moon floats on the surface of the water in the same way that the Lotus Sutra pervades our being.

But a vessel is susceptible to four faults. The first is being upset or covered, which means that the vessel can be overturned or covered with a lid. The second is leaking, which means that the water leaks out. The third is being defiled, which means that the contents can be contaminated. Though the water itself may be pure, if filth is dumped into it, then the water in the vessel ceases to be of any use. The fourth is being mixed. If rice is mixed with filth or pebbles or sand or dirt, then it is no longer fit for human consumption.

The vessel here stands for our bodies and minds. Our minds are a kind of vessel, and our mouths too are vessels, as are our ears. The Lotus Sutra is the Dharma water of the Buddha’s wisdom. But when this water is poured into our minds, then we may jar and upset it. Or we may shut it out by placing our hands over our ears, determined not to listen to it. Or we may spit it out of our mouths, determined not to let our mouths chant it. In such cases, we are like a vessel that has overturned or has had a lid placed on it.

Again, although we may have a certain amount of faith, we may encounter evil influences and find our faith weakening. Then we will deliberately abandon our faith, or, even though we maintain our faith for a day, we will set it aside for a month. In such cases, we are like vessels that let the water leak out.

Or we may be the kind of practitioners of the Lotus Sutra whose mouths are reciting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo one moment, but Namu-Amida-butsu the next. This is like mixing filth with one’s rice, or putting sand or pebbles in it. This is what the Lotus Sutra is warning against when it says, “Desiring only to accept and embrace the sutra of the great vehicle and not accepting a single verse of the other sutras.”1

The learned authorities in the world today suppose that there is no harm in mixing extraneous practices with the practice of the Lotus Sutra, and I, p.1015Nichiren, was once of that opinion myself. But the passage from the sutra [that I have just quoted] does not permit such a view. Suppose that a woman who had been the consort of a great king and had become pregnant with his seed should then turn round and marry a man of common stature. In such a case, the seed of the king and the seed of the commoner would become mixed together, and as a result, the aid and assistance of heaven and the protection of the patron deities2 would be withdrawn, and the kingdom would face ruin. The child born from two such fathers would be neither a king nor a commoner, but someone who belongs not to the human realm.

This is one of the most important points in the Lotus Sutra. The doctrine of the sowing of the seed and its maturing and harvesting3 is the very heart and core of the Lotus Sutra. All the Buddhas of the three existences and the ten directions have invariably attained Buddhahood through the seeds represented by the five characters of Myoho-renge-kyo. The words Namu-Amida-butsu are not the seeds of Buddhahood, nor can the mantras or the five precepts act as such seeds. One must be perfectly clear about this point, because this is the fault referred to as being mixed.

If a vessel is free of these four faults of overturning, leaking, being defiled, and being mixed, then it can be called a perfect vessel. If the embankments around a moat do not leak, then the water will never escape from the moat. And if the mind of faith is perfect, then the water of wisdom, the great impartial wisdom, will never dry up.

Now these vessels that you have sent me are sturdy and thick, and in addition they are coated with pure lacquer. They symbolize the firmness and sturdiness of the power of your faith in the Lotus Sutra.

It is said that the heavenly king Vaishravana presented four bowls to the Buddha, and as a result, became known as the foremost deity of good fortune in all the four continents of the world. Lady Pure Virtue presented eighty-four thousand bowls as an offering to the Buddha Cloud Thunder Sound King, and as a result, became Bodhisattva Wonderful Sound. And now, since you have presented these thirty vessels and sixty plates, is there any doubt that you will become a Buddha?
---> http://www.nichirenlibrary.org/en/wnd-1/Content/144
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Re: Non-exclusivist independent Nichiren Buddhism

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I think the underlying message is this.

Our own lives are in and of themselves provisional. All teachings based on the provisional are ephemeral by nature as the provisional itself is ephemeral. This provision is part of the larger phenomenon of that represents all sentient life. Shakyamuni's enlightenment transcends the provisional. Thus it cannot be practice through provisions. Rather they are to be discarded.

This means the paradigms our mind constructs through the notion of such provisions are to be discarded. The provisional is so deeply ingrained in one's being that employing provision makes escaping it close to impossible.

Shakyamuni declares his counterfeit law will last twice as long as his correct law.

I don't believe that this mean provision is meant to be destroyed as it is a facet of existence. Rather it is meant to be identified and converted. A process that has endured since the beginning less past.
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Re: Non-exclusivist independent Nichiren Buddhism

Post by illarraza »

narhwal90 wrote: Thu Nov 12, 2020 2:57 pm There is always a choice of what views to adopt, Nichiren's or otherwise. How important is exclusivity or triumphalism vs practice?
Of course one has a choice, to be or not to be a Nichiren Buddhist. Exclusivity and practice are one and the same, likewise Fuju Fuse, neither giving nor receiving (from slanderers). Nichiju Shonin, the founder of the Kempon Hokke, had it right in his Will and Testament:

"Among the disciples of the school of Nichiju, nobody should be chosen, directly or indirectly as an heir disciple. However, anybody among the priests or the laymen of my congregation that spreads the teaching in Kyoto and swears that other sects are the root of all evils and that only the Hokke Sect makes us enter Nirvana can be my disciple. And if candidates are equally gifted, they should propagate during the summer, practicing in turn. You should consider a person who spreads the teaching like this as the true disciple of Nichiju and Nichiren Shonin. So in the days to come, this shall be my will."

However, for the laymen, Nichiren teaches that it is enough to chant Namu Myoho renge kyo and support those who perform the forceful practices. Still, in not one passage does he condone other than the faith in and practice of the Lotus Sutra. If after doing many Daimoku, you want "to mumble a few Namu Amida Butsus", Nichiren teaches that's ok.

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Re: Non-exclusivist independent Nichiren Buddhism

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Minobu wrote: Thu Nov 12, 2020 4:06 pm Nichiren Shonin never argued that the actual Sutras and teachings of Lord sakyamuni Buddha were false.

He did argue what was being done to them...
True.

Absolute Wonderfulness (Myo) and Comparative Wonderfulness (Myo)

Tientai the Great of China classified the teachings of the Buddha as follows:*

The Five Periods are as follows:

Flower Ornament Period (華嚴時) Āgamas Period (阿含時) Vaipūlya (方等時) Prajñā (般若時) Lotus-Nirvāṇa Period (法華涅槃時).

The Eight Teachings are subdivided into two groups:

The Fourfold Methods of Conversion (化儀四教) Sudden Teaching (頓教) Gradual Teaching (漸教) Secret Teaching (秘密教) Variable Teaching (不定教) The Fourfold Doctrines of Conversion (化法四教) Tripitaka Teaching (三藏教) Shared Teaching (通教) Distinctive Teaching (別教) Complete Teaching (圓教)[11]

"The word “wonderful” in the Lotus Sutra of the Wonderful Law has two meanings. One is comparative myō, or wonderful, which indicates refuting the rough teachings and revealing the wonderful teaching. The other is absolute myō, which indicates opening up the rough teachings and merging them in the wonderful teaching." - Nichiren

We can literally find all the teachings of the Buddha in the Lotus Sutra from the Flower Ornament teachings ("The mind is a skillful painter", Yogacara or mind only) to the Theravada (Four Noble Truths, Eight Fold Path, Precepts Impermanence, Dependent Origination etc) to the Prajna Paramita or Heart Sutra teachings (The Two Truths, Temporary Existence and non-substantiality) and others of the Five Periods and Eight Teachings.

For example, the Theravada precepts are taught in Chapter 14 and Dependent Origination is taught in Chapter 7. Non-substantiality is taught principally in Chapter 2.

Here we see the the absolute myō, which indicates opening up the rough teachings and merging them in the wonderful teaching.

Chapters 11 and 23 for example, we see the comparative myo which indicates refuting the rough teachings and revealing the wonderful teaching.

These are the two aspects of the Lotus Sutra. Thus you can see how we can incorporate all the teachings of the Buddha in the faith and practice of the Lotus Sutra. This is the absolute wonderfulness. A child who in the 5th grade thinks that he knows all there is to know about mathematics is gently (or forcefully) scolded by his learned PhD teacher for the sake of the child's development. This is an example of comparative wonderfulness (Myo).

*From wikipedia, the Five Periods and Eight Teachings.
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Re: Non-exclusivist independent Nichiren Buddhism

Post by illarraza »

narhwal90 wrote: Thu Nov 12, 2020 2:57 pm There is always a choice of what views to adopt, Nichiren's or otherwise. How important is exclusivity or triumphalism vs practice?
They are one in the same. Praise of the Lotus Sutra is an important part of the practice. Some things are apparent. For example, there are 119 exhortations to violence in the Q'uran and not one exhortation to violence in the Lotus Sutra. Why would a Nichiren Lotus Sutra Buddhist ever compare favorably the Q'uran to the Lotus Sutra? Yet some do. I am a basketball aficionado. When discussing the greatest basketball players, the conversation turns to Michael Jordan, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Lebron James, Wilt Chamberlain,Bill Russell, Walt Frazier, Willis Reed, Oscar Robertson and Larry Bird, for example. Who will argue that the 12th men on their teams are some of the greatest to ever play the game? Who can even remember their names? Likewise, the Lotus Sutra is the most profound, wonderful, redeeming, curative, splendid Sutra. Regarding non-exclusivism, Nichiren teaches the following:

"Answer: If you think that to proclaim the absolute superiority of the Lotus Sutra is to take too narrow a view, then one would have to conclude that no one in the world was more narrow-minded than Shakyamuni Buddha. I am afraid you are greatly mistaken in this matter. Let me quote from one of the sutras and from the commentary of one school, and see if I can resolve your confusion." - Questions and Answers on Embracing the Lotus Sutra

and

“These various sutras expound partial truths such as ‘the mind itself is the Buddha, and the Buddha is none other than the mind.’ The Zen followers have allowed themselves to be led astray by one or two such sentences and phrases, failing to inquire whether they represent the Mahayana or the Hinayana, the provisional teachings or the true teaching, the doctrines that reveal the truth or the doctrines that conceal it. They merely advance the principle of nonduality without understanding the principle of duality, and commit an act of great arrogance, claiming that they themselves are equal to the Buddha. They are following in the tracks of the Great Arrogant Brahman of India and imitating the old ways of the Meditation Master San-chieh of China. But we should recall that the Great Arrogant Brahman, while still alive, fell into the hell of incessant suffering, and that San-chieh, after he died, turned into a huge snake. How frightful, how frightful indeed!" - A Sage and an Unenlightened Man

He proves his argument of the superiority of the Lotus Sutra by demonstrating that the Lotus Sutra alone teaches that 1). icchantikas (men of incorrigible disbelief), women, Those who commit the Five Cardinal sins, and the men of the Two Vehicles can all obtain Buddhahood by the power of the Lotus Sutra and 2).That only the Lotus Sutra demonstrates that the Buddha was actually supremely Enlightened since the infinite past and not for the first time under the Tree.3). Only the Lotus Sutra contains the gem of Ichinen Sanzen (Three Thousand Realms in a Moment of Existence). Nichiren also demonstrated that so wonderful is the doctrine of Ichinen Sanzen that it was appropriated by Shingon because of their inferiority in not having this doctrine revealed in any of their foundational Sutras.

Mark
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Re: Non-exclusivist independent Nichiren Buddhism

Post by FiveSkandhas »

Let me clarify that by "non-exclusivist Nichiren Buddhism" I don't mean one that mixes practices. I mean one that simply accepts the validity of other practices.

For example, in my temple we practice only Rinzai zen, but we accept the validity of Soto-shu, the nenbutsu sects, Shingon, Tendai, Buddhist lineages of other nations, and so forth. There is no mixing of practice, but there is not either a sense that "one can only become enlightened through Rinzai."

However there is a sense in most if not all Nichiren sects that "one can only become enlightened through Nichiren practice." This is what I consider "exclusivist."

Personally I see no reason and no benefit for the various sects to blend their practices and traditions into one mushy, muddy whole. But I would like to see them accept each other and even collaborate in nonsectarian engaged-Buddhism efforts and the like. At one such effort held at Tsukiji Honganji, priests from most of the Japanese sects gather to work on a certain social project several times a year. But I can't recall ever seeing any representatives from Nichiren-shu or Nichiren-shoshu there.
"One should cultivate contemplation in one’s foibles. The foibles are like fish, and contemplation is like fishing hooks. If there are no fish, then the fishing hooks have no use. The bigger the fish is, the better the result we will get. As long as the fishing hooks keep at it, all foibles will eventually be contained and controlled at will." -Zhiyi
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Re: Non-exclusivist independent Nichiren Buddhism

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FiveSkandhas wrote: Tue Dec 29, 2020 2:38 pm However there is a sense in most if not all Nichiren sects that "one can only become enlightened through Nichiren practice." This is what I consider "exclusivist."
I do believe that this perspective could be traced to the SGI/Shoshu schism. I do not see this behavior as dominant among Nichiren interests. It seems the opposite. One must inquire directly regards to differentiation as it isn't propagated on that basis.

The discord perpetuates in some without transcendence or resolution. This does not accord with Nichiren's teachings or the Lotus itself. It should not be given the weight it does. This occurs however because of the Lotus sutra itself. All of this behavior accords to this sutra.

With great good great evil will follow. Giving purchase to such discord in one's mind to allow sharp reaction to either is not the middle way.

The very perpetuation of arguments by those who practice Nichiren buddhism that seek to reveal evil is what the sutra teaches against. The damage it does is reflected in how this tradition is seen by other traditions. Unfortunate since it does not represent the potential this tradition possesses.

:anjali:
narhwal90
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Re: Non-exclusivist independent Nichiren Buddhism

Post by narhwal90 »

illarraza wrote: Tue Dec 29, 2020 10:01 am
narhwal90 wrote: Thu Nov 12, 2020 2:57 pm There is always a choice of what views to adopt, Nichiren's or otherwise. How important is exclusivity or triumphalism vs practice?
They are one in the same. Praise of the Lotus Sutra is an important part of the practice. Some things are apparent. For example, there are 119 exhortations to violence in the Q'uran and not one exhortation to violence in the Lotus Sutra. Why would a Nichiren Lotus Sutra Buddhist ever compare favorably the Q'uran to the Lotus Sutra? Yet some do. I am a basketball aficionado. When discussing the greatest basketball players, the conversation turns to Michael Jordan, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Lebron James, Wilt Chamberlain,Bill Russell, Walt Frazier, Willis Reed, Oscar Robertson and Larry Bird, for example. Who will argue that the 12th men on their teams are some of the greatest to ever play the game? Who can even remember their names? Likewise, the Lotus Sutra is the most profound, wonderful, redeeming, curative, splendid Sutra. Regarding non-exclusivism, Nichiren teaches the following:
That is an interesting point. I don't care in the least about basketball or sports in general. I recognize a few of those names from news headlines but don't know anything about them; I have other priorities, other interests. Why should a practitioner who has other interests and different focus, not convinced by the supremacy argument or Tiantai's sutra classification be swayed?
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Re: Non-exclusivist independent Nichiren Buddhism

Post by illarraza »

narhwal90 wrote: Tue Dec 29, 2020 3:19 pm
illarraza wrote: Tue Dec 29, 2020 10:01 am
narhwal90 wrote: Thu Nov 12, 2020 2:57 pm There is always a choice of what views to adopt, Nichiren's or otherwise. How important is exclusivity or triumphalism vs practice?
They are one in the same. Praise of the Lotus Sutra is an important part of the practice. Some things are apparent. For example, there are 119 exhortations to violence in the Q'uran and not one exhortation to violence in the Lotus Sutra. Why would a Nichiren Lotus Sutra Buddhist ever compare favorably the Q'uran to the Lotus Sutra? Yet some do. I am a basketball aficionado. When discussing the greatest basketball players, the conversation turns to Michael Jordan, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Lebron James, Wilt Chamberlain,Bill Russell, Walt Frazier, Willis Reed, Oscar Robertson and Larry Bird, for example. Who will argue that the 12th men on their teams are some of the greatest to ever play the game? Who can even remember their names? Likewise, the Lotus Sutra is the most profound, wonderful, redeeming, curative, splendid Sutra. Regarding non-exclusivism, Nichiren teaches the following:
That is an interesting point. I don't care in the least about basketball or sports in general. I recognize a few of those names from news headlines but don't know anything about them; I have other priorities, other interests. Why should a practitioner who has other interests and different focus, not convinced by the supremacy argument or Tiantai's sutra classification be swayed?
Where the Lotus Sutra talks about it's superiority should suffice. Where Tientai teachings agree with Nichiren's, they should be accepted but where they diverge, Nichiren is the teacher for the Latter Day. He teaches that laymen need not perform break and subdue practice but nowhere in his teachings nor in the Lotus Sutra do they countenance slander. They consider slander, mere disbelief in the Lotus Sutra, let alone arguing that the Muryogu kyo, the Greater and Lesser Amida Sutras, the Sutras of the Wisdom period or the Flower Garland Sutra is equal to the Lotus Sutra.It is enough for a layman to chant Namu Myoho renge kyo and support those who put their lives and reputation on the line performing the Forceful Practices (usually priests). Some criticize me, "you are not a priest" but i counter that i don't see many priests performing the forceful practices, so i have made it a point to emulate Nichiren and see the results. Since I personally have not experienced punishment, as far as I can tell, I will continue the course. Please remember that even the foolish if they maintain steadfast faith are assured Enlightenment but Enlightenment will allude even the the most knowledgeable, if they fail to have steadfast faith,
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