Response to PadmaVonSamba

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illarraza
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Passage for discussion: Atman or Anatman

Post by illarraza »

Nichiren teaches in On Repaying Debts of Gratitude:

“Mahākāshyapa and Ānanda,” they said, “lived on for twenty or forty years after the passing of the Buddha, preaching the correct teaching. Presumably they conveyed the heart of all the teachings that the Buddha had propounded during his lifetime. Now we find that what these two men emphasized were simply the concepts of suffering, emptiness, impermanence, and non-self. Ashvaghosha and Nāgārjuna may be very wise, but are we to suppose that they are superior to Mahākāshyapa and Ānanda? This is our first objection.

“Mahākāshyapa obtained his enlightenment through direct encounters with the Buddha. But these two men, Ashvaghosha and Nāgārjuna, have never encountered the Buddha. This is our second objection.

“The non-Buddhist philosophers who preceded the Buddha taught that life is permanent, joyful, endowed with self, and pure. Later, when the Buddha appeared in the world, he declared that life is marked by suffering, emptiness, impermanence, and non-self. Now Ashvaghosha and Nāgārjuna insist that it is permanent, joyful, endowed with self, and pure. This being so, we must suppose that, since both the Buddha and Mahākāshyapa have passed away from the world, the devil king of the sixth heaven has taken possession of these two men and is trying to overthrow the teachings of Buddhism and replace them with the teachings of the non-Buddhists.

“If that is so, then these men are the enemies of Buddhism. We must smash their skulls, cut off their heads, put an end to their lives, see that they get no more to eat. Let us drive them from the country!”

Such were the declarations of the Hinayana believers. And Ashvaghosha and Nāgārjuna, each having only a few allies, were forced day and night to listen to these shouts of calumny, and morning and evening to bear the attacks of sticks and staves.

But these two men were in fact messengers of the Buddha. For in the Māyā Sutra, it is predicted that Ashvaghosha will appear six hundred years, and Nāgārjuna, seven hundred years, after the Buddha’s passing. The same prediction is also recorded in the Lankāvatāra Sutra, and of course in the Buddha’s Successors Sutra as well.

But the Hinayana believers would not heed these predictions, and instead attacked the Mahayanists blindly and without reason. “Since hatred and jealousy . . . abound even when the Thus Come One is in the world, how much more will this be so after his passing?” says the Lotus Sutra. Looking at the time of Ashvaghosha and Nāgārjuna, one begins to have a little understanding of what these words of the sutra really mean. Moreover, Bodhisattva Āryadeva was killed by a non-Buddhist, and the Venerable Āryasimha had his head cut off. These events, too, give one cause for thought."
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Re: Passage for discussion: Atman or Anatman

Post by PadmaVonSamba »

I don’t know about what that Ashvaghosha fellow may have said, but any assertion of atman (intrinsically arising thus permanent self) is completely inconsistent with the teachings of Nagarjuna.
EMPTIFUL.
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Re: Passage for discussion: Atman or Anatman

Post by narhwal90 »

Topic locked because of excessive quotation, please see Nichiren forum posting guidelines- https://www.dharmawheel.net/viewtopic.php?f=59&t=26060
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Response to PadmaVonSamba

Post by illarraza »

PadmaVonSamba wrote: Thu Dec 31, 2020 5:31 am I don’t know about what that Ashvaghosha fellow may have said, but any assertion of atman (intrinsically arising thus permanent self) is completely inconsistent with the teachings of Nagarjuna.
Ashvaghosha would disagree with you:

In The Awakening of Faith in the Mahayana, Ashvaghosha writes about the skandas [aggregates]:

"As the World-honored one, considering the inferior intellectual caliber of Shravakas (Men of Learning) and Pratyekabuddhas (Men of Self Realization), taught them only the doctrine of the non-personal atman, [and did not make any further demonstration of the doctrine], the people have in the meantime formed a fixed idea of the transitoriness of the five skandhas, and being terrified of the thought of birth and death, have fanatically craved for Nirvana.

In order that this clinging may be eliminated, be it clearly understood that the essence of the five skandhas is uncreate, there is no annihilation of them; that since there is no annihilation of them, they are in their [metaphysical]origin Nirvana itself."

Mark
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Re: Response to PadmaVonSamba

Post by karmanyingpo »

illarraza wrote: Thu Dec 31, 2020 5:40 am
PadmaVonSamba wrote: Thu Dec 31, 2020 5:31 am I don’t know about what that Ashvaghosha fellow may have said, but any assertion of atman (intrinsically arising thus permanent self) is completely inconsistent with the teachings of Nagarjuna.
Ashvaghosha would disagree with you:

In The Awakening of Faith in the Mahayana, Ashvaghosha writes about the skandas [aggregates]:

"As the World-honored one, considering the inferior intellectual caliber of Shravakas (Men of Learning) and Pratyekabuddhas (Men of Self Realization), taught them only the doctrine of the non-personal atman, [and did not make any further demonstration of the doctrine], the people have in the meantime formed a fixed idea of the transitoriness of the five skandhas, and being terrified of the thought of birth and death, have fanatically craved for Nirvana.

In order that this clinging may be eliminated, be it clearly understood that the essence of the five skandhas is uncreate, there is no annihilation of them; that since there is no annihilation of them, they are in their [metaphysical]origin Nirvana itself."

Mark
I am not certain that this quotation asserts there is an intrinsically existent atman...
It merely states that the aggregates are ultimately or essentially uncreated, unborn, not subject to coming or going. This seems to be similar to what Nagarjuna argues in Madhyamaka, that on the ultimate level there is no intrinsic independent essence or selfness to anything at all, so there is no coming into existence or leaving existence or even movement on the ultimate level of emptiness.
I am more unclear on the part that says "they are in their metaphysical origin Nirvana itself"... What does it mean for something to have a metaphysical origin in Nirvana... does it mean that it is not separate from nirvana because I believe Nagarjuna and other Madhyamakins would say the same.... OR does it mean that they COME FROM nirvana as a primary cause/creator???

KN
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Re: Response to PadmaVonSamba

Post by jake »

illarraza wrote: Thu Dec 31, 2020 5:40 am
PadmaVonSamba wrote: Thu Dec 31, 2020 5:31 am I don’t know about what that Ashvaghosha fellow may have said, but any assertion of atman (intrinsically arising thus permanent self) is completely inconsistent with the teachings of Nagarjuna.
Ashvaghosha would disagree with you:

In The Awakening of Faith in the Mahayana, Ashvaghosha writes about the skandas [aggregates]:

"As the World-honored one, considering the inferior intellectual caliber of Shravakas (Men of Learning) and Pratyekabuddhas (Men of Self Realization), taught them only the doctrine of the non-personal atman, [and did not make any further demonstration of the doctrine], the people have in the meantime formed a fixed idea of the transitoriness of the five skandhas, and being terrified of the thought of birth and death, have fanatically craved for Nirvana.

In order that this clinging may be eliminated, be it clearly understood that the essence of the five skandhas is uncreate, there is no annihilation of them; that since there is no annihilation of them, they are in their [metaphysical]origin Nirvana itself."

Mark
Moderator Comment: You must cite sources for quotes. The quote above is from the 1900 translation of the Awakening of Faith by Suzuki. It is [almost!] over 120 years old and makes translation choices that many of us would find very confusing today.

I would appreciate it if you took a moment to explain what you think the quoted text means? You've quoted this section before and I continue to think it is taken out of context and therefore misunderstood. I'll withhold stating my opinion until I hear more from you on what you think this portion of the text means.
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Re: Response to PadmaVonSamba

Post by jake »

While we wait for feedback from the OP. I'll offer a bit of context for the unfamiliar reader.

The section of the Treatise where the quoted text appears is titled "Antidotes to Wrongly Held Views." Here, the author of the Awakening of Mahayana Faith (billed as written by Asvaghosa and translated (this edition) by Paramartha) provides antidotes to two wrongly held views on A) View of an inherent existing self (of which there are 5 kinds) and B) Inherently existing dharmas (this is where the quote by Illaraza can be found, though by different translators).

It should go without saying here at Dharma Wheel Mahayana, that view B is considered a wrong view. In fact, I don’t believe there are any Buddhist traditions still around today that posit the inherent existence of dharmas.

With that context, here is a broader quote. Please note I am using a different translation, one put out last year by Oxford University Press which we used for an online bookclub discussion at my site earlier in 2020.
Jorgensen et al, 2019 wrote: With the view of inherently existing dharmas, the Tathāgata merely taught that people do not have an inherent self [and not that all dharmas lack inherent existence] because of the dull faculties of followers of the Two Vehicles. Since this doctrine is not definitive, followers of the Two Vehicles perceive the arising-and-ceasing dharmas of the five aggregates, fearing birth and death and falsely grasping nirvana.

What is the antidote? It is to explain that is there is no cessation of the self-nature of dharmas, which is the five aggregates, since that self-nature does not arise; it has always been nirvanic.

Moreover, those who have completely freed themselves from falsely held views should know that all defiled and pure dharmas are mutually dependent and do not have intrinsic characteristics that might be [the subject of] cognition or consciousness, existent or non-existent—ultimately, dharmas cannot be spoken of. And [those who have completely freed themselves from falsely held views] should know that when language is used [it is because] the Tathāgata, who was accomplished in skillful means, was guiding sentient beings by provisional means of this language. His intentions all served to free them from conceiving and return them to suchness, because conceiving of any dharma causes the mind to arise and cease, preventing it from cognizing things as they really are. (pg. 112-113 in "Treatise on Awakening Mahayana Faith")
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Re: Response to PadmaVonSamba

Post by Malcolm »

illarraza wrote: Thu Dec 31, 2020 5:40 am
PadmaVonSamba wrote: Thu Dec 31, 2020 5:31 am I don’t know about what that Ashvaghosha fellow may have said, but any assertion of atman (intrinsically arising thus permanent self) is completely inconsistent with the teachings of Nagarjuna.
Ashvaghosha would disagree with you:

In The Awakening of Faith in the Mahayana, Ashvaghosha writes about the skandas [aggregates]:

Mark
Not written by Ashvaghosha, at least not by the Indian Acharya called Ashvaghosha.
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that name does not exist."
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Re: Response to PadmaVonSamba

Post by Caoimhghín »

jake wrote: Thu Dec 31, 2020 2:05 pm It should go without saying here at Dharma Wheel Mahayana, that view B is considered a wrong view. In fact, I don’t believe there are any Buddhist traditions still around today that posit the inherent existence of dharmas.
Traditional conservative Mahāvihāravāsin Ābhidhammika Buddhism is a form of mereological realism. Their version of emptiness is "the sattva does not exists because what does exist are the dhammas." They believe that nibbāna is a particular immaterial object that exists independent of perception. Furthermore they believe the rupa dhammas exist as elements of ultimate reality, along with the mind, mental factors, and nibbāna.
Then, the monks sang this gāthā:

These bodies are like foam.
Them being frail, who can rejoice in them?
The Buddha attained the vajra-body.
Still, it becomes inconstant and rots.
The many Buddhas are vajra-entities.
All are also subject to inconstancy.
Quickly ended, like melting snow --
how could things be different?

The Buddha passed into parinirvāṇa afterward.
(T1.27b10 Mahāparinirvāṇasūtra DĀ 2)
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Re: Response to PadmaVonSamba

Post by narhwal90 »

Merged with the original topic due to development of productive conversation.
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Re: Response to PadmaVonSamba

Post by tkp67 »

I think it may be helpful to note that this thread is a continuation of another thread within the Nichiren forum. The original context is repaying debts of gratitude. Nichiren's comparative discussions can get distorted when held out of context so I wanted to provide a link to the gosho for those interested in reading it in its entirety.

On Repaying Debts of Gratitude

https://www.nichirenlibrary.org/en/wnd-1/Content/88
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Re: Response to PadmaVonSamba

Post by jake »

tkp67 wrote: Thu Dec 31, 2020 5:39 pm I think it may be helpful to note that this thread is a continuation of another thread within the Nichiren forum. The original context is repaying debts of gratitude. Nichiren's comparative discussions can get distorted when held out of context so I wanted to provide a link to the gosho for those interested in reading it in its entirety.

On Repaying Debts of Gratitude

https://www.nichirenlibrary.org/en/wnd-1/Content/88
Would you kindly explain how the above Gosho is relevant? It is 55 pages long and I don't think many will read every page. Perhaps you can point us to the relevant section or help to explain the link between this Nichiren writing and the attestation by Illaraza that Asvaghosa presents an assertion of intrinsic self in the skandhas via his quoting of the Awakening of Mahayana Faith.

thanks.
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Re: Response to PadmaVonSamba

Post by jake »

Caoimhghín wrote: Thu Dec 31, 2020 5:15 pm
jake wrote: Thu Dec 31, 2020 2:05 pm It should go without saying here at Dharma Wheel Mahayana, that view B is considered a wrong view. In fact, I don’t believe there are any Buddhist traditions still around today that posit the inherent existence of dharmas.
Traditional conservative Mahāvihāravāsin Ābhidhammika Buddhism is a form of mereological realism. Their version of emptiness is "the sattva does not exists because what does exist are the dhammas." They believe that nibbāna is a particular immaterial object that exists independent of perception. Furthermore they believe the rupa dhammas exist as elements of ultimate reality, along with the mind, mental factors, and nibbāna.
Sorry for my ignorance, but which contemporary tradition is this? Sri Lankan?
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Re: Response to PadmaVonSamba

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jake wrote: Thu Dec 31, 2020 6:03 pm
tkp67 wrote: Thu Dec 31, 2020 5:39 pm I think it may be helpful to note that this thread is a continuation of another thread within the Nichiren forum. The original context is repaying debts of gratitude. Nichiren's comparative discussions can get distorted when held out of context so I wanted to provide a link to the gosho for those interested in reading it in its entirety.

On Repaying Debts of Gratitude

https://www.nichirenlibrary.org/en/wnd-1/Content/88
Would you kindly explain how the above Gosho is relevant? It is 55 pages long and I don't think many will read every page. Perhaps you can point us to the relevant section or help to explain the link between this Nichiren writing and the attestation by Illaraza that Asvaghosa presents an assertion of intrinsic self in the skandhas via his quoting of the Awakening of Mahayana Faith.

thanks.
Sure
Now Ashvaghosha and Nāgārjuna insist that it is permanent, joyful, endowed with self, and pure

This is meant to be interpreted in context to Shakyamuni’s complete and supreme enlightenment not according to the provisional teaching before.
The permanency of life represents the phenomenon of life itself, not life on an individual basis. Shakyamuni’s complete and supreme enlightenment was such that it had no conceptual beginning or end. Life being provisional for this it does not exist outside of life itself. If his enlightenment had no bounds then the boundaries held in regards to life are conditioned and not representative of Shakymani’s enlightenment. This is why from a provisional perspective there are a certain set of marks but from an absolute perspective there is a different set.

Joy and purity that mark self indicate the state Shakyamuni achieved and displayed after his complete and supreme enlightenment. It is the look from inside out opposed to outside in as he taught provisionally. Joy the state from which compassion is expressed. There is no intrinsic self but the obfuscation pointed to as self is not a separate entity. The clear glass analogy works well. Self with obfuscation is dirty glass, self without is clear. This is not to say there is an intrinsic self. Rather what is confused as permanent is part and parcel of the same mind whether it is engaged in the delusional or enlightened perspective. Nichiren points to this in this way because the perspective of Buddhist teachings were in contest and this methodology unified the understandings to one conceptual destination which was representative of the complete body of Shakyamuni’s teachings.

Being this is the Nichiren forum understanding these teachings as taught and contesting them on that basis is more appropriate. However I am not accusing anyone of having or lacking this knowledge just pointing to the reference since this forum represents Nichiren's perspective and contesting perspectives should be tempered with an understanding or it is not representative of proper dissemination of Buddhist teachings or respectful of the practitioners who don't see these teachings as lacking or beneath others.

:anjali:
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Re: Response to PadmaVonSamba

Post by tkp67 »

A small excerpt from that very gosho elucidating one facet of my summary. The link is included in the previous post. As one might discern it is very contextual. It unpacks much more succinctly within the totality of writings and the LS itself.
When we look at the world, we find each of the various schools saying, “We are the one, we are the one!” But within a nation, there can be only one man who is sovereign. If two men try to be sovereign, the country will know no peace. Likewise, if one house has two masters, it will surely face destruction. Must it not be the same with the sutras?

Among the various sutras, there must be one that is the monarch of all. Yet the ten schools and seven schools I have mentioned all argue with one another over which of the sutras it is and can reach no consensus. It is as though seven men or ten men were all trying to be the monarch of a single p.692nation, thus keeping the populace in constant turmoil.

Wondering how to resolve this dilemma, I made a vow. I decided that I would not heed the claims of these eight or ten schools, but would do as the Great Teacher T’ien-t’ai did and let the sutras themselves be my sole teacher, in this way determining which of the various teachings of the Buddha’s lifetime are superior and which are inferior. With this in mind, I began to read through all the sutras.

In a scripture called the Nirvana Sutra, the Buddha says, “Rely on the Law and not upon persons.” Relying on the Law here means relying on the various sutras. Not relying upon persons means not relying on persons other than the Buddha, such as the bodhisattvas Universal Worthy and Manjushrī or the various Buddhist teachers I have enumerated earlier.

In the same sutra, the Buddha also says, “Rely on sutras that are complete and final and not on those that are not complete and final.” When he speaks of the “sutras that are complete and final,” he is referring to the Lotus Sutra, and when he speaks of “those that are not complete and final,” he means the Flower Garland, Mahāvairochana, Nirvana, and other sutras preached before, during, and after the preaching of the Lotus Sutra.

If we are to believe these dying words of the Buddha, we must conclude that the Lotus Sutra is the only bright mirror we should have, and that through it we can understand the heart of all the sutras.

Accordingly, let us turn to the text of the Lotus Sutra itself. There we find it stated that “This Lotus Sutra [is the secret storehouse of the Buddhas, the Thus Come Ones]. Among the sutras, it holds the highest place.”12 If we accept these words of the sutra, then, like the lord Shakra dwelling on the peak of Mount Sumeru, like the wish-granting jewel that crowns the wheel-turning kings, like the moon that dwells above the forest of trees, like the knot of flesh13 that tops the head of a Buddha, so the Lotus Sutra stands like a wish-granting jewel crowning the Flower Garland, Mahāvairochana, Nirvana, and all the other sutras.
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Re: Response to PadmaVonSamba

Post by jake »

tkp67 wrote: Thu Dec 31, 2020 6:29 pm Sure
Now Ashvaghosha and Nāgārjuna insist that it is permanent, joyful, endowed with self, and pure

Thank you tkp. Please correct me, but it seems here that Nichiren is quoting "various Hinayana followers" who raised objections to the teachings of these two men. That would be why the text you cite is found in the four paragraphs that appear in quotations in the Gosho.Nichiren writes immediately after the last paragraph in quotes:
Such were the declarations of the Hinayana believers. And Ashvaghosha and Nāgārjuna, each having only a few allies, were forced day and night to listen to these shouts of calumny, and morning and evening to bear the attacks of sticks and staves.

But these two men were in fact messengers of the Buddha.(Pg. 733, https://www.nichirenlibrary.org/en/wnd- ... 8#para-325 )
So, I don't believe this actually says what is apparently claimed by Illaraza. Please have a second look and tell me if I'm misreading this section?

Thanks for the response.
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Re: Response to PadmaVonSamba

Post by jake »

tkp67 wrote: Thu Dec 31, 2020 6:38 pm A small excerpt from that very gosho elucidating one facet of my summary. The link is included in the previous post. As one might discern it is very contextual. It unpacks much more succinctly within the totality of writings and the LS itself.
In a scripture called the Nirvana Sutra, the Buddha says, “Rely on the Law and not upon persons.” Relying on the Law here means relying on the various sutras. Not relying upon persons means not relying on persons other than the Buddha, such as the bodhisattvas Universal Worthy and Manjushrī or the various Buddhist teachers I have enumerated earlier.
I'm sorry to say I don't really see the link to the OP and I still have the same question which I asked Minobu but it is off topic for this thread. Is Nichiren the law? or the Person?
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Re: Response to PadmaVonSamba

Post by tkp67 »

jake wrote: Thu Dec 31, 2020 6:46 pm
tkp67 wrote: Thu Dec 31, 2020 6:29 pm Sure
Now Ashvaghosha and Nāgārjuna insist that it is permanent, joyful, endowed with self, and pure

Thank you tkp. Please correct me, but it seems here that Nichiren is quoting "various Hinayana followers" who raised objections to the teachings of these two men. That would be why the text you cite is found in the four paragraphs that appear in quotations in the Gosho.Nichiren writes immediately after the last paragraph in quotes:
Such were the declarations of the Hinayana believers. And Ashvaghosha and Nāgārjuna, each having only a few allies, were forced day and night to listen to these shouts of calumny, and morning and evening to bear the attacks of sticks and staves.

But these two men were in fact messengers of the Buddha.(Pg. 733, https://www.nichirenlibrary.org/en/wnd- ... 8#para-325 )
So, I don't believe this actually says what it claimed by Illaraza. Please have a second look and tell me if I'm misreading this section?

Thanks for the response.
I am not interpreting it for our good friend Illaraza. I do not want to assume his interpretation and the conclusion it comes to.

What you are referencing however is Nichiren expressing the progression of teachings and the obstacles theses progressions encountered. As I understand it the underlying theme is that a teaching is cast and it becomes popularized and false views are attached to it. New progression seek to evoke the intended essence through a variation without these preconceived notions about them. This in and of itself challenges the comfort zone of the mental landscape for many people especially people who delegate agency to someone other then themselves. This tended to represent those who cling to teachings out of attachment refusing to address the attachment as lacking benefit and even having potential detriment.

These corrections are edification for interpretive process over time in the evaluation of cause and effect of teachings within a populous over a given period of time.

It does lack some granular aspects but it works off the assumption that these granular aspects will be fulfilled though the presence of existing provisional teachings. This is why he constantly compares traditions. Can't be done without preservation of their cannons minimally but examination has to be done from Shakyamuni's perspective which implies it is understood as taught. Without doubt or conflict that they too are the golden words of Shakyamuni.

I hope this finds you and all who read it well.

:anjali:
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Re: Response to PadmaVonSamba

Post by tkp67 »

jake wrote: Thu Dec 31, 2020 6:51 pm
tkp67 wrote: Thu Dec 31, 2020 6:38 pm A small excerpt from that very gosho elucidating one facet of my summary. The link is included in the previous post. As one might discern it is very contextual. It unpacks much more succinctly within the totality of writings and the LS itself.
In a scripture called the Nirvana Sutra, the Buddha says, “Rely on the Law and not upon persons.” Relying on the Law here means relying on the various sutras. Not relying upon persons means not relying on persons other than the Buddha, such as the bodhisattvas Universal Worthy and Manjushrī or the various Buddhist teachers I have enumerated earlier.
I'm sorry to say I don't really see the link to the OP and I still have the same question which I asked Minobu but it is off topic for this thread. Is Nichiren the law? or the Person?
Well in context of the ultimate teaching of the LS they are not separate. To paraphrase where there is a sign of life there is manifestation of the ten realms. I think the basic distillation is that is the human mind manifests the realms to the limit of the teachings it has encountered. So while the consensus might be varied from the perspective of the tenth realm it is not varied it is a constant.

I believe the intent was to let Diamoku facilitate practice to let this manifest organically which is why definitive statements aren't so abundant. Much talk is pointing around the idea of function, cause and effect. I believe this observation is mean to develop unconditioned wisdom.
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Re: Response to PadmaVonSamba

Post by jake »

tkp67 wrote: Thu Dec 31, 2020 6:58 pm
jake wrote: Thu Dec 31, 2020 6:46 pm
tkp67 wrote: Thu Dec 31, 2020 6:29 pm Sure

Thank you tkp. Please correct me, but it seems here that Nichiren is quoting "various Hinayana followers" who raised objections to the teachings of these two men. That would be why the text you cite is found in the four paragraphs that appear in quotations in the Gosho.Nichiren writes immediately after the last paragraph in quotes:
Such were the declarations of the Hinayana believers. And Ashvaghosha and Nāgārjuna, each having only a few allies, were forced day and night to listen to these shouts of calumny, and morning and evening to bear the attacks of sticks and staves.

But these two men were in fact messengers of the Buddha.(Pg. 733, https://www.nichirenlibrary.org/en/wnd- ... 8#para-325 )
So, I don't believe this actually says what it claimed by Illaraza. Please have a second look and tell me if I'm misreading this section?

Thanks for the response.
I am not interpreting it for our good friend Illaraza. I do not want to assume his interpretation and the conclusion it comes to.

What you are referencing however is Nichiren expressing the progression of teachings and the obstacles theses progressions encountered. As I understand it the underlying theme is that a teaching is cast and it becomes popularized and false views are attached to it. New progression seek to evoke the intended essence through a variation without these preconceived notions about them. This in and of itself challenges the comfort zone of the mental landscape for many people especially people who delegate agency to someone other then themselves. This tended to represent those who cling to teachings out of attachment refusing to address the attachment as lacking benefit and even having potential detriment.

These corrections are edification for interpretive process over time in the evaluation of cause and effect of teachings within a populous over a given period of time.

It does lack some granular aspects but it works off the assumption that these granular aspects will be fulfilled though the presence of existing provisional teachings. This is why he constantly compares traditions. Can't be done without preservation of their cannons minimally but examination has to be done from Shakyamuni's perspective which implies it is understood as taught. Without doubt or conflict that they too are the golden words of Shakyamuni.

I hope this finds you and all who read it well.

:anjali:
Okay, but before we get into what it means or its implications can we please reach a shared understanding on to whom we should attribute the words pasted below?

Choice 1) Nichiren is making the claims in this section
Choice 2) Nichiren is only quoting the objections made by hinayana followers
"[...] Now Ashvaghosha and Nāgārjuna insist that it is permanent, joyful, endowed with self, and pure. This being so, we must suppose that, since both the Buddha and Mahākāshyapa have passed away from the world, the devil king of the sixth heaven has taken possession of these two men and is trying to overthrow the teachings of Buddhism and replace them with the teachings of the non-Buddhists.

“If that is so, then these men are the enemies of Buddhism. We must smash their skulls, cut off their heads, put an end to their lives, see that they get no more to eat. Let us drive them from the country!” (https://www.nichirenlibrary.org/en/wnd-1/Content/88 page 733)
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