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    The Eternity of Life (conclusion)

    There are innumerable different circumstances for birth: rich or poor; man or woman; race and culture. Individual karma accounts for these. While alive, we have the opportunity to shape our own future through the causes we make. If we believe that life is eternal and that the effects of these causes continue, there is all the more reason to challenge our weaknesses in this lifetime.

    Belief in the eternity of life gives us perspective and security. Fear of all kinds stems ultimately from fear of death. When we experience the oneness of life and death, the oneness of ourselves and the universe, we feel calm and happy. Life becomes a source of wonder and joy. There is no longer any need to cling on to people and possessions. From the viewpoint of eternity, this life is but a fleeting moment. From another point of view, the present moment is itself eternity. Expressing our true humanity and savouring each moment is real happiness.

    "Cycles of life and death can be likened to the alternating periods of sleeping and wakefulness. We can understand death as a state in which, just as sleep prepares us for the next day's activities, we rest and replenish ourselves for a new life. Viewed in this light, death is not to be reviled, but should be acknowledged with life, as a blessing to be appreciated. The Lotus Sutra, the core of Mahayana Buddhism, states that the purpose of existence - the eternal cycles of life and death - is to be 'happy and at ease'. It further teaches that sustained faith and practice enable us to know a deep and abiding joy in death as well as life, to be equally 'happy and at ease' with both. Nichiren Daishonin describes the attainment of this state as the 'greatest of all joys'.

    If the tragedies of this century of war and revolution have taught us anything, it is the folly of viewing the reform of external factors, such as social systems, as the sole determinant of human happiness. I am convinced that in the coming century, foremost importance must and will be placed on the inward-directed reformation, inspired by a new understanding of life and death.". {Daisaku Ikeda, A New Humanism, p. 153}

    From 'Basics of Buddhism' by Pat Allwright
    Nam-myoho-renge-kyo!

    Comment


      You Stand Corrected Mr. Doobie

      Excuse me Sir! But you stand corrected. I remember your birthday every year! It is also the same day as my girlfriend's in NM. And the two of you have quite the same traits---Many!
      Synergistic uh? I'll have to look that one up. I have been called alot of names but not that one! Love Ya

      Comment


        A Short History of Buddhism

        Written without permission from 'Basics of Buddhism' by Pat Allwright

        Shakyamuni, the first historical Buddha, lived around three thousand years ago in India. He was born a prince, but renounced his secular life and devoted himself to finding a solution to the sufferings of birth, old age, sickness and death. He attained enlightenment through meditation and then taught for over forty years, according to the circumstances and understanding of the people he met. His teachings are therefore many and varied, and sometimes paradoxical.

        In the last eight years of his life he gave his most profound teaching, the Lotus Sutra, despite the fact that he knew many people would not immediately understand it. When he taught this sutra, he urged his disciples to 'honestly discard expedient means'. By this, he meant them to discard his previous teachings, which had been preparatory. This did not happen, partly because many of his followers did not understand, and partly because many had already departed and were spreading his earlier teachings.

        This is why so many different forms of Buddhism exist today. Moreover, the teachings were added to, or modified, according to the culture and understanding of the people. This is only natural, since Buddhism is not a religion of dogma, but of action. It is a practical philosophy which relates to the time and place.

        After Shakyamuni's death, Mahayana Buddhism gradually spread to China, and from there, to Korea and Japan. This took place over a period of roughly one thousand five hundred years. During those periods when Buddhism flourished, peaceful and prosperous societies were established: in India during the reign of Ashoka the Great, China during the T'ang Dynasty and in Japan during the Heian period.

        During the next five hundred years, established Buddhism started to decline. It had become formalized and ritualized so that only monks, or those with independent means, could undertake the lifetime of austerities involved. It had lost its effectiveness for ordinary people and it was now time for a revitalization of the Buddhist teachings.

        Shakyamuni had foretold this gradual decline and predicted the appearance of a Buddha who would reveal the correct teaching for the time beginning two thousand years after his death, which in Buddhism is known as the Latter Day of the Law. He also predicted the many persecutions this person would experience. Nichiren Daishonin underwent exactly these persecutions, and this is one of many specific reasons for calling him the Buddha of the Latter Day of the Law.

        Nichiren Daishonin (Daishonin means great sage) was born in Japan in 1222. He was the son of a fisherman and was educated at a local temple, a common practice in those days. He chose to enter the priesthood, and studied Buddhism widely before declaring, on 28 April 1253, that Nam-myoho-renge-kyo is the correct teaching for this time period.

        Nichiren Daishonin spent the rest of his life expounding his teachings, teachings which enable ordinary people, living ordinary lives, to attain the same enlightened state as he did. On 12 October 1279, he inscribed his enlightened life-condition on a great mandala called the Dai-Gohonzon, dedicated to the happiness of all humankind.

        Nichiren Daishonin declared that the Lotus Sutra is supreme amongst Buddhist teachings. This is mainly because of two points: it teaches that everyone without exception has Buddhahood, and it reveals that life is eternal. The Lotus Sutra describes the magnificence and wonder of life. However it is unlikely, were we to read it, that we would be able to understand it. The sutra was expounded at great length, using metaphors and parables. From his enlightened life-condition, Nichiren Daishoinin was able to 'read between the lines' and declare the ultimate teaching.

        Although Shakyamuni described the wondrous state of enlightenment, he did not define the fundamental law of the universe. Nichiren Daishonin revealed this Law as Nam-myoho-renge-kyo and taught a specific practice by which all people can attain enlightenment.

        "Everything has its essential point and the heart of the Lotus Sutra is its title, Nam-myoho-renge-kyo... A law this easy to embrace and this easy to practice was taught for the sake of all mankind in this evil age of the Latter Day of the Law." {Nichiren Daishonin}
        Nam-myoho-renge-kyo!

        Comment


          Basics of Buddhism

          PTB,
          Where did you get your book Basics of Buddhism? The writings are easier for me to follow than the older books that I have. SG

          Comment


            The Life of Nichiren Daishonin

            Written without permission from,'Basics of Buddhism" by Pat Allwright

            Nichiren Daishonin declared Nam-myoho-renge-kyo to be the ultimate law on 28 April 1253. Twenty-six years later, on 12 October 1279, he inscribed the Dai-Gohonzon, a great mandala dedicated to the happiness of all mankind. He died in 1282, having devoted his life to the study, reformation and propagation of Buddhism.

            The young Zennichimaro (splendid sun), as he was named at birth, was born into extraordinarily turbulent times in Japan. Not only was there social unrest with fighting between rival warrior clans, there were also natural catastrophes such as the great earthquake which struck the capital, Kamakura, in 1257. To add to the problems, the Mongols were threatening to invade. Society was in disarray, as was the land, and Buddhist sects were confused about which of the many different teachings were correct.

            It seems that Zennichimaro was a deep thinker from an early age. He was later to write, "Since childhood, I, Nichiren have never prayed for secular things of this life but have single-minedly sought to become a Buddha." On another occasion he said:

            "Ever since my childhood I have studied Buddhism with one thought in mind. Life as a human being is pathetically fleeting. A man exhales his last breath with no hope to draw another. Not even dew borne by the wind suffices to describe this transience. No one, wise or foolish, can escape death. My sole wish has therefore been to solve this eternal mystery. All else has been secondary."

            Zennichimaro was the son of a fisherman. His parents must have sensed his potential as they sent him to the local temple at the age of eleven. There, he prayed to become the wisest man in Japan. In response to his seeking mind, he became enlightened to the essential truth of life which enabled him to distinguish between truth and illusion. He set out to study all of the Buddhist teachings from the age of fifteen, when he became a priest.

            Shakyamuni, the founder of Buddhism in India, had predicted three time periods during which Buddhism would develop and change after his death. During the first thousand years, he said, people would be able to attain enlightenment through his teachings. In the second millinium, Buddhism would become dominate by ritual and formality, gradually losing its power to lead people to enlightenment. This duly happened around sixth to ninth centuries AD when many temples were built in China and Japan.

            According to the Japanese Buddhist tradition, the third period, known as the Latter Day of the Law, began in 1052. At this time, Shakyamuni had said, Buddhism would decline and a new teacher would appear to spread the true law, suitable for the people of that age, which would last 'ten thousand years and more'. The Buddhist sects of the time were therefore afraid that the attainment of Buddhahood would no longer be possible through their traditional methods of practice. New schools sprang up. The Jodo sect, also known as Nembutsu, was popular among the common people. It claimed that belief in a higher power was the only way to salvation and that chanting the name of a Buddha called Amida would enable rebirth in a Western Paradise, removed from this world. Zen also gained influence at this time, mostly among the warrior class. It advocated abandoning all the written texts and concentrating on personal effort under the guidance of a teacher. Both were attempts, though at opposite ends of the scale, to simplifly Buddhist practices which had become extremely complex and beyond people's capaility.

            It was widely accepted at that time, as it probably was in medieval Britain, that the actions and beliefs of the people were reflected in the environment. Thus, if the people were practising the correct religion, they would expect to be rewarded with good weather, peace and harmonious social conditions. It was blatantly obvious that this was not the case in Japan, in those times of huge difficulties. These are described by Nichiren Daishonin in one of his writings:

            "In recent years, there are unusual disturbances in the heavens, strange occurences on earth, famine and pestilence, all affecting every corner of the empire and spreading throughout the land. Oxen and horses lie dead in the streets, the bones of the sticken crowd the highways. Over half the population has already been carried off by death, and in every family someone grieves"

            (to be continued to conclusion)
            Last edited by PassTheDoobie; 10-14-2004, 21:17.
            Nam-myoho-renge-kyo!

            Comment


              The Life of Nichiren Daishonin (conclusion)

              Nichiren Daishonin travelled extensively to study at all the temples which were centres of learning. He was confident, with his enlightened life-condition, that he could find documentary evidence for the correct Buddhist teaching of the Latter Day of the Law.

              He returned after his travels to the temple of his education, Seicho-ji, and gave a lecture declaring Nam-myoho-renge-kyo to be the teaching for this time. At the same time, he vociferously refuted the four prevalent Japanese Buddhist sects, which included Zen and Nembutsu. Because of this, he is sometimes described by other Buddhist sects as 'belligerent', or even 'militant', although he never bore arms. He was certainly full of conviction that Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, the heart of the Lotus Sutra, is the ultimate Buddhist teaching and the only way to enlightenment in this turbulent age of the Latter Day of the Law. He based his conclusions on documentary proof (the Lotus Sutra), theoretical proof (the study of doctrine) and actual proof (the fact that it works).

              "A law this easy to embrace and this easy to practice was taught for the sake of all mankind in this evil age of the Latter Day of the Law."

              It is important to understand that Nichiren Daishonin's overriding concern was for the welfare of the people; he could see clearly that misleading philosophies lead to misery. His declaration that all people, equally, can attain Buddhahood here and now, deeply upset the priests and people in authority who wanted to retain their power. His denunciation of authorities which used people for their own misguided ends was unequivocal. However, one has only to read his letters to his followers to see that his compassion towards ordinary people was truly great.

              His statements drew upon him a lifetime of persecutions. He knew, however, that he was carrying out his purpose in life as the Buddha of the Latter Day of the Law and fulfilling the predictions of Shakyamuni. These predictions were quite specific, detailing the persecutions which would befall the votary of the Lotus Sutra in the Latter Day of the Law, including exile on more than one occasion. Nichiren Daishonin was exiled twice: to the peninusula of Izu and to the island of Sado. Both banishments were meant to ensure his certain death. Nichiren Daishonin wrote, "Had it not been for the advent of Nichiren in the Latter Day of the Law, the Buddha would have been a great liar." To Nichiren Daishonin, there was no greater happiness than to establish the universal law. The persecutions were an inevitable part of his purpose in life:

              "I think I have practised the Lotus Sutra twenty-four hours each day and night. I say so because, having been exiled on the Lotus Sutra's account, I now read and practise it continuously whether I am walking, standing, sitting or lying down. For anyone born human, what greater joy could there be?"

              Every time Nichiren Daishonin entered a debate with other sects, or wrote to the government, he was persecuted anew. Despite this, he continued the propagation of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo and won many followers. They, too, were subjected to harassment by the authorities. The most serious was the Atsuhara Persecution, when twenty peasant-farmers were arrested and tortured in an attempt to make them give up their faith. They refused. Three of them were later executed. Because of their strong faith, Nichiren Daishonin knew he could rely on his disciples to protect the Law in the future. It was then that he inscribed the Dai-Gohonzon, dedicated to the happiness of all humankind, the fulfilment of his lifelong purpose. Thanks to him, and the fortitude of his disciples, the ultimate law for this age has survived and been passed down to this day.

              "Now in the second year of Koan (1279), it is twenty-seven years since I first proclaimed the true teaching at Seicho-ji temple ... The Buddha fulfilled the purpose of his advent in a little over forty years; T'ien-t'ai took almost thirty years, and Dengyo, some twenty years. I have repeatedly spoken of the indescribable persecutions they suffered during those years. For me it took twenty-seven years and the persecutions I faced during this period are well known to you all."
              Last edited by PassTheDoobie; 10-14-2004, 22:56.
              Nam-myoho-renge-kyo!

              Comment


                Wow ! That was close!

                My computer farted at the moment I got the confirmation that my last post had been accepted. Wow, all of that typing would have been down the tubes. Nam-myoho-renge-kyo!

                Basics of Buddhism by Pat Allwright

                SG! I am going to send you one as a house warming gift then. I'll go to the friendship center and pick up a few. ANYONE wanting a copy, just PM me and I will send it out at my expense. Gladly! Happily! Nothing but good fortune will come to me from such a cause so don't be shy in asking.

                It will be my honor and pleasure!

                Thomas
                Nam-myoho-renge-kyo!

                Comment


                  That's why they call it a Job

                  Southern Girl; just wanted to let you know I've been chanting up a storm here in Indiana for you to pass the drug screen for that job. How did it go? Hopefully they just asked for some pee in a cup instead of a clip of hair. Lost a NICE gig a few years ago due to that fucking hair test! They made me a great offer, the papers were all signed and sealed, then they told me all that was left was to clip just a few hairs off my lil ol' head (job was in TN). Later that night I got the call from em, telling me "your offer has been rescinded" . . . CLICK!!

                  Which is why you're now reading the words of a guy who's been "Clean and Serene" now for 123 and 1/2 days. Cleaned up all Summer long for a job interview I knew was coming in August. It's for a good full-time spot here locally with one of the few surviving companys that was spun-off by GM. This is one of those places that for years was booming with General Motors' jobs and money, but is now just a sad little ghost-town. Anyway, they spun off all the business here in bits and pieces, and this job is for a spin-off that survived and is now prospering. I worked with most the people there from our GM haydays and was told this gig was coming months ago and I was at the top of everyone's list to get it.

                  So I rode out the 90-days before the interview I knew would be coming in August. Interview went great, everyone was pleased and impressed, and all seemed to going according to plan. It still is, really, only my hiring schedule doesn't seem to be matching up with theirs. Checked in with them a few times since August and got told I'm still at the top of their A-list, but they just haven't been able to "get all the right people together" to make an official decision and make somebody an offer. Damn, they sure are takin' their sweet time! Now I'm stuck in "straight-time", waiting for these fuckers to decide on somebody. Hell, I could have kept tokin' for another MONTH before starting my dope fast if I'd known this shit was gonna happen! One thing I do know, regardless how the decision goes, when it's finally made this boy's gonna be makin' up for a lot of lost high time! So along with chanting for you passing your screen, I'm chanting I get a call or Email very soon about this new job for me. They can run any type drug screen they want on me now, but as soon as it's done this cowboy's headin' for the high country.

                  [U]Note to Doobie:[U] After thinking about it a little, I remembered I've got an old hair dryer which I don't need anymore (not with my businessman haircut for the new millenium). I just set it at low fan and no heat and TA DAHH, I got a gentle breeze of air now nudging my babies back and forth in my veg closet. Had another one pop up yesterday after givin' up hope. Must be that good karma from chanting the last couple days.

                  Keep Em Green and Growin'

                  GordyP
                  Find the good, and praise it

                  Comment


                    Kisses & Hugs From this Scorp to Gordy

                    Thanks so much Gordy for the daimoku. If peeing in a cup gets you to chant, what else can I do to get you to chant? ha ha No I have not heard anything. I did it yesterday and they said it was all a go, See ya Monday unless we need to call ya. I figure If they don't call tomorrow, I'm clear. However, I did hear from state Boards today and my license is a go which is short of a miracle. I haven't even gotten the mail they returned to me and all was overnighted to a guy name rANGEL. I overnighted another $127 which I got from my first unemployment check ever in my life which came yesterday. So I truly appreciate you helping me stay in rhythm. And I too will chant for you to get that call. A job does alot for a person, particularly that check.
                    However, now that I have taken my test and have a few days before returning to the grind, I have no smoke! Can't have it all can we.

                    And Doobie, I would very much appreciate and graciously accept your gift of the book. And I always have hugs and kisses for you just cuz your you. SG

                    Comment


                      The Meaning of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo

                      Written without permission from 'Basics of Buddhism' by Pat Allwright

                      Nichiren Daishonin first declared Nam-myoho-renge-kyo on 28 April 1253. He had entered the priesthood at the age of fifteen, with the devoted aim of finding the ultimate teaching of Buddhism. He attained enlightenement through his own efforts and continued his studies so that he could find a way of making this wonderful state of life available to everyone.

                      After sixteen years of studying the sutras, Nichiren Daishonin declared that the Lotus Sutra contains the ultimate Buddhist teaching: namely, that everyone without exception has the potential to be a Buddha and that life is eternal. Further, the essence of these teachings is contained within the sutra's title. As he says in one of his letters:

                      "Included within the word Japan is all that is within the country's sixty-six provinces: all of the people and animals, the rice paddies and other fields, those of high and low status, the nobles and the commoners, the seven kinds of gems and all other treasures. Similarly, included within the title, Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, is the entire sutra consisting of all eight volumes, twenty-eight chapters and 69,384 characters without exception... Everything has its essential point and the heart of the Lotus Sutra is its title, Nam-myoho-renge-kyo."

                      The title of the Lotus Sutra in Chinese characters is Myoho-renge-kyo. Chinese characters are pictorial: they encapsulate the essence of a concept, making this the most suitable language for the concise expression of profound principles. The word 'nam' derives from Sanskrit and means 'to devote'. Literally, Nam-myoho-renge-kyo could be translated as "Devotion to the Sutra of the Lotus Blossom of the Wonderful Law".

                      To Nichiren Daishonin, Myoho-renge-kyo was far more than the title of a Buddhist text. It is the expression of the ultimate truth to which he was enlightened. It is the true entity of all phenomena, the Buddha nature inherent in all life, sentient and insentient. Chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo enables us to fuse our lives with the ultimate law and immediately manifest enlightenment.

                      (continued)
                      Nam-myoho-renge-kyo!

                      Comment


                        The Meaning of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo

                        "Myoho"

                        'Myoho' means Mystic Law. It is called mystic ('myo') because it is difficult to discern. 'Ho' means phenomena. 'Myoho" means all phenomena and the ultimate law are one. As stated in 'On Attaining Buddhahood":

                        "What does 'myo' signify? It is simply the mysterious nature of our lives from moment to moment, which the mind cannot comprehend nor words express. When you look at your own mind at any moment, you percieve neither colour nor form to verify that it exists. Yet you still cannot say it does not exist, for many differing thoughts continually occur to you. Life is indeed an elusive reality that transcends both the words and concepts of existence and non-existence. It is neither existence nor non-existence, yet exhibits the qualities of both. It is the mystic entity of the middle way that is the reality of all things. 'Myo' is the name given to life, and 'ho' to its manifestations."

                        The word mystic, then, has nothing to do with other-worldly experiences. Rather an enlightened person is able to perceive the oneness of the ultimate reality ('myo') and everyday life ('ho'). If we live based only on 'ho' - all phenomena, or changing circumstances - we are confused and deluded. Enlightenment is signified by 'myo' - the perception of the true nature of unversal life. However, 'myo' and 'ho' are inseparable. This oneness is what is meant by the middle way. There is no fundamental distinction between enlightenment ('myo') and delusion ('ho'), it just depends on whether we are seeing the whole picture.

                        In the same vein, 'myoho' also means life ('ho') and death ('myo'); seen ('ho') and unseen ('myo'); manifest ('ho') and latent ('myo'). These aspects of life are two phases of the universal law. We have difficulty grasping the whole picture because of the unseen, latent phase.

                        'Myo' has three more meanings: to open, to be endowed and perfect, and to revive. Opening refers to the energy, inherent in the universe, to create life. It also means the potential to open up one's life to reveal Buddhahood, thereby overcoming illusion. To be endowed and perfect means that every element of life contains the whole within itself: 'myo' contains all truths and encompasses all phenomena. To revive refers to the regeneration force of nature. It also indicates that anyone, however deluded, has the capacity to awaken to their Buddha nature.

                        It is possible to see from this short explaination that the meanings of 'myoho' expand outwards to encompass all laws and all phenomena. Th is also the case for the other characters in Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. Ultimately this phrase contains all Buddhist philosophy.


                        (continued)
                        Last edited by PassTheDoobie; 10-15-2004, 17:42.
                        Nam-myoho-renge-kyo!

                        Comment


                          The Meaning of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo

                          "Renge"

                          'Renge' literally means lotus flower. It indicates the simultaneity of cause and effect. This is because the lotus produces seeds and flowers at the same time. The lotus was also traditionally respected throughout the east for its auspicious qualities. It appeared frequently in paintings and literature, indicating purity, longevity, and fertility as well as beauty.

                          In the same way as Myoho-renge-kyo goes far beyond just a title, 'renge' goes far beyond being the name of a flower. It is the law of the simultaneity of cause and effect. Nichiren Daishonin said:

                          "The supreme principal was originally without a name. When the sage was observing the principal and assigning names to all things, he perceived that there is this wonderful single law ('myoho') which simultaneously possesses both cause and effect ('renge'), and he named it 'myoho-renge'. This single law that is 'myoho-renge' encompasses within it all phenomena comprising the ten states and the three thousand realms, and is lacking in none of them. Anyone who practices this law will obtain both the cause and the effect of Buddhahood simultaneously."

                          This means that when we chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo (cause) the state of Buddhahood (effect) immediately wells up from within us. This simultaneity of cause and effect is very important. In earlier forms of Buddhism, the effects of various practices were thought to emerge much later, even in a future lifetime. Perhaps because of these earlier Buddhist teachings, people tend to think the law of cause and effect, karma, is fatalistic. However, the way in which our individual karma manifests itself depends on our life-state at each moment. At each moment we determine the future. As we experience Buddhahood more and more, the entire network of causes and effects which make up our individual karma is drastically transformed. Those things which induced suffering in the past work to enhance our development as human beings, now based on enlightenment rather than illusion.

                          Another important feature of the lotus is that it blooms from muddy swamps, showing that beauty can emerge from the darkest places. In Nichiren Daishonin's Buddhism, we do not remove ourselves from the difficult realities of ordinary life. On the contrary, we plunge into them as a source of nutrition for our growth, just as the swamp nourishes the lotus flower. Naturally, the lotus does not reject the swamp because it is muddy. On the contrary, it thrives vigorously, 'enjoying' itself. Likewise, we enjoy our relationship with our environment when we are in the state of Buddhahood.

                          (to be continued to conclusion)
                          Nam-myoho-renge-kyo!

                          Comment


                            The Meaning of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo

                            "Kyo"

                            'Kyo means sutra, or teaching; it can also be interpreted to mean sound. Nichiren Daishonin said, " 'Kyo' means the words and speech, sound and voices of all living beings." This indicates that the ultimate law to which the Buddha is enlightened is inherent in all living beings.

                            'Kyo' originally meant the warp of a length of cloth, summoning up the image of continuity. The Buddhist teachings are passed on through past, present, and future. It therefore also means the eternity of life.

                            A Buddha's enlightenment is expressed through the voice of his teachings and the truth to which he is enlightened is eternal. Through chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, we too become enlightened to this truth. We awaken to the eternal aspect of our own lives which transcends the changes of the physical world and the cycle of birth and death.

                            "Nam"

                            'Nam' is the way we relate to the law of Myoho-renge-kyo. 'Nam' is derived phonetically from Sanskrit and is a word of invocation. Nichiren Daishonin explains that it means the devotion of body and mind. When we chant, we concentrate both our bodies and minds.

                            Action is most important. Nam-myoho-renge-kyo contains many depths of meaning which we can study and which inspire us. However, it is the action of chanting which activates Buddhahood, even if we understand nothing. Nichiren Daishonin says:

                            "Those who chant Myoho-renge-kyo, the title of the Lotus Sutra, even without understanding its meaning, realize not only the heart of the Lotus Sutra, but also the essence of all of the Buddha's teachings."

                            'Nam' is a two-way communication. When chanting, we 'return' our lives to the unchanging eternal truth. We can then deal with the changing circumstances of life using the wisdom of Buddhahood. With this regular 'returning' rhythm, we are able to live based on our intrinsic enlightened nature.

                            There is nothing in our changing circumstances which is guaranteed to bring us lasting happiness. A career and a family can just as easily be sources of suffering as sources of joy. Enlightenment means that we are united with the rhythm of the entire universe, able to live with freedom and joy, whatever the uncertainties of our daily lives.

                            "Myoho-renge-kyo is the king of sutras, flawless in both letter and principle. Its words are the reality of life, and the reality of life is the mystic law ('myoho'). It is called mystic law because it explains the mutually inclusive relationship between life and all phenomena. That is why this sutra is the wisdom of all Buddhas."
                            Nam-myoho-renge-kyo!

                            Comment


                              hi ya'll

                              Been quite some time since checking out this thread and I don't have alot of time catching up. Glad to see you SG hitting 'home runs' in your life. Congrats! and Gordy, that's awesome you are chanting the 'D's'!!! Timing in life and Buddhism is mystifying. I miss you too PTD, just been ultra busy and somehow my username/login got booted and so I wasn't getting any confirmations by email of and recent posts here so I didn't bother to check it out when I did have time; I was quite wrong tho when i finally reset my username, etc and saw ive missed quite a bit.

                              late

                              SoCal
                              SoCal

                              Comment


                                What is the Gohonzon

                                Being October and October 12th is a significant day in Buddhism
                                (Nichiren Daishonin inscribed the Dai-Gohonzon on this day in 1272) I did a presentation on the Gohonzon at an SGI World Peace Prayer meeting and I would like to post it here for those seeking and wondering...have a great day!!!

                                The Gohonzon

                                Nichiren Daishonin inscribed the fundamental object of respect, the Gohonzon. The object, in the form of a scroll, depicts in Chinese and Sanskrit characters, the law of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo and the life of Nichiren, as well as protective influences. In Japanese, go means worthy of honor and honzon means object of fundamental respect. Nichiren defined the universal Law permeating life and the universe as Nam-myoho-renge-kyo and embodied it in the form of a mandala. SGI members enshrine a replica of the Gohonzon in their homes as a focal point for their daily practice. In the Gohonzon, Nichiren symbolically depicted the life state of Buddhahood, which all people possess.

                                The purpose of Buddhist practice is to establish the life condition of Buddhahood as the foundation of our lives so that we may experience a state of indestructible happiness, invulnerable to ever-changing external circumstances. Nichiren Daishonin inscribed the Gohonzon as the means for all people to fundamentally elevate their inherent life-condition and realize true happiness.

                                The Gohonzon can be described as the object of devotion that represents the life-state of Nichiren, the Buddha of the Latter Day of the Law, who was awakened to the essential law of life and the universe, that is, Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. He wrote to one of his disciples in the gosho, “Reply to Kyo’o”: “I, Nichiren, have inscribed my life in sumi ink, so believe in the Gohonzon with your whole heart…..The soul of Nichiren is nothing other than Nam-myoho-renge-kyo” The Daishonin manifested the Mystic Law which is the seed of Buddhahood and the embodiment of the ultimate truth that enables people to discover and develop their innate Buddhahood, in the form of the Gohonzon. Nichiren made it possible for all people to access their unlimited potential.

                                Down the center are the characters Nam-myoho-renge-kyo and Nichiren's signature. This indicates the oneness of person and Law — that the condition of Buddhahood is a potential within and can be manifested by all people. At the top, on either side of the main inscription are the names “Shakyamuni Buddha” and “Many Treasures Thus Come One.” The fundamental Law, Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, makes possible the enlightenment of all Buddhas, represented here by the Chinese characters for Shakyamuni and Many Treasures. Their names also indicate the purpose for which the Lotus Sutra describes the Ceremony in the Air, which is to reveal the existence of the Law of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo to all people of the Latter Day of the Law. Just beneath the names of Shakyamuni and Many Treasures, on either side of the main inscription, are the names of the four bodhisattvas, as well as other beings representing the nine worlds, the components of the Ten Worlds other than Buddhahood. This means that the function of the nine worlds, through the ultimate Law of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, can manifest their inherent virtue. Put simply, the collective characters surrounding the main inscription down the center of the Gohonzon indicate that whatever life-state we may be in at any given moment, once our lives our based on the Law of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, we can bring forth our highest potential and create the greatest possible value.

                                Our inner life-condition changes constantly as we come into contact with different external stimuli, everything around us--people, the weather, a piece of music, the color of the walls--creates some kind of influence on us. A movie can bring tears or laughter, a painting can cause the viewer to feel enraptured, calm or disgusted, and a letter can either cause joy or shock and dismay. In order to bring out our highest potential condition of life, our Buddhahood, we also need a stimulus. Nichiren's enlightenment to the law of life enabled him to create a stimulus that would be able to activate the life-condition of Buddhahood within us.

                                The Gohonzon's power comes from one’s faith — the Gohonzon functions as a spiritual mirror. When we believe in the power of the Gohonzon and chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo as part of our practice for self and others, our lives will resonate with the Gohonzon and our inherent Buddhahood will reveal itself.
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