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    The Entity of the Mystic Law (cont) / WND pg 423

    Question: Exactly which passages in which chapters of the Lotus Sutra expound the lotus that is the entity of the Mystic Law, and which ones expound the lotus that is a metaphor?

    Answer: If we speak in terms of the three groups of voice-hearers, then we would say that the whole of the "Expedient Means" chapter expounds the lotus that is the entity, while the "Simile and Parable" and "Parable of the Phantom City" chapters expound the lotus that is a metaphor. However, it cannot be said that explanations of the lotus as a metaphor are entirely lacking in the "Expedient Means" chapter, nor can it be said that the other chapters are without explanation of the lotus as the entity.

    Question: If so, then what passage contains a full elucidation of the entity?

    Answer: The passage in the "Expedient Means" chapter that deals with the true aspect of all phenomena.

    Question: How do we know that this passage deals with the lotus that is the entity?

    Answer: Because T'ien-t'ai and Miao-lo quote this passage when they explain the essence of the Lotus Sutra. And the Great Teacher Dengyo in his commentary also writes, "Question: What is the essence of the Lotus Sutra? Answer: Its essence is the true aspect of (22) all phenomena." This passage of commentary clarifies the matter. (Scholars of the time kept this commentary secret and did not reveal the name of the entity, but the passage is clearly referring to Myoho-renge).

    Furthermore, actual evidence of the entity is to be found in the examples of (23) the three kinds of Buddhas described in the "Treasure Tower" chapter, the bodhisattvas who appeared from the earth, and the dragon king's daughter who attained Buddhahood in her present form. The Bodhisattvas of the Earth offer actual evidence because, as a passage of the Lotus Sutra says, "[They are unsoiled by worldly things] (24) like the lotus flower in the water." Thus we learn of the true entity of these bodhisattvas. And the dragon king's daughter offers actual evidence because she made her appearance at the gathering at Eagle Peak, "seated on a thousand-petaled lotus blossom big as (25) a carriage wheel."

    Moreover, the thirty-four manifestations of Bodhisattva Wonderful Sound and the thirty-three manifestations of Bodhisattva Perceiver of the World's Sounds constitute further evidence. For, as the commentary says, "If he had not gained the mysterious power of perfect freedom of action through the meditation based on the Lotus Sutra, then how could he manifest these thirty-three (26) different forms?"

    In addition, there is the sutra passage that states, ". . . the characteristics of the world are constantly abiding." All these passages are documentary proofs cited by the scholars of our time. Personally, however, I prefer to cite the passage in the "Expedient Means" chapter on the true aspect of all phenomena and the passage in the "Supernatural Powers" chapter that refers to "all the doctrines possessed by the (27) Thus Come One." This last passage is also cited by the Great Teacher T'ien-t'ai in his commentary explaining the five major principles of the Lotus Sutra. Therefore, I feel that this passage in particular can be cited as certain proof of the entity of the Mystic Law.

    Question: The documentary proofs and actual proofs that you have cited above are particularly compelling. But why do you place such emphasis upon this one passage from the "Supernatural Powers" chapter?

    Answer: This passage is profoundly significant, and that is why it is particularly pertinent.

    Question: What is that profound significance?

    Answer: In this passage, Shakyamuni Buddha explains that he is entrusting the five characters of Myoho-renge-kyo, which is the essence of the Lotus Sutra, to the Bodhisattvas of the Earth, his original disciples. The Thus Come One Shakyamuni, who attained enlightenment countless kalpas in the past, says elsewhere, "What I long ago hoped for has now been fulfilled. I have converted all living beings and caused them all to enter the Buddha (28) way." Thus, he has already fulfilled his earlier vow. Then, intending to charge his disciples with the task of accomplishing widespread propagation in the last five-hundred-year period after his passing, he called forth the Bodhisattvas of the Earth and entrusted them with the heart of the sutra, the lotus of the entity of the essential teaching. This passage represents the ultimate purpose for which Shakyamuni Buddha appeared in the world, the secret Law that he attained in the place of meditation. It is this passage that gives proof of the lotus of the entity that, for those of us who live in the Latter Day of the Law, assures the attainment of Buddhahood in both the present and future.

    Accordingly, at the present time in the Latter Day of the Law, other than the envoy of the Thus Come One, there can be no one who understands and produces this passage as proof of the lotus of the entity. Truly it is a passage of secret meaning. Truly it is a matter of great concern. Truly it is to be honored and admired. Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, Nam-myoho-renge-kyo!

    (This is what is meant by the statement (29) in the Lotus Sutra that the bodhisattvas of the perfect teaching preached before the sutra have assembled in a multitude of eighty thousand, wishing to hear the teaching of perfect endowment).

    Question: Concerning the doctrines of our school, when persons of other schools come and want to know what passages give proof of the lotus of the entity, what passages from the Lotus Sutra should be cited?

    Answer: You should point to the title Myoho-renge-kyo that appears at the very beginning of each of the twenty-eight chapters of the Lotus Sutra.

    Question: But how do we know that the title Myoho-renge-kyo appearing in each chapter is the lotus of the entity of the Mystic Law? I ask this because, when the Great Teacher T'ien-t'ai explained the title of the Lotus Sutra, he interpreted the lotus as a metaphor, so that we would have to say that this is the lotus that is a metaphor, would we not?

    Answer: The renge, or lotus, in the title of the sutra is explained as both entity and metaphor. In the interpretation you have just referred to, T'ien-t'ai is explaining the lotus as a metaphor. This is what he does in the first volume of Profound Meaning where he discusses the six metaphors of the theoretical and essential teachings. But in the seventh volume of the same work, he interprets the lotus as the entity of the Mystic Law. Thus T'ien-t'ai's doctrine is flawless in that it reveals both interpretations, explaining the lotus in the title of the sutra as both entity and metaphor.

    Question: How do we know that these two interpretations can be used and that the title can be taken as both entity and metaphor? When the Great Teacher Nan-yüeh explained the five characters Myoho-renge-kyo, he said, "Myo indicates that all living beings are myo, or mystic. Ho indicates that all living beings are ho, or the Law. Renge, or lotus, is a metaphor that is employed here." It would seem, then, would it not, that both Nan-yüeh and T'ien-t'ai interpreted the lotus as a metaphor?

    Answer: Nan-yüeh's interpretation is like that of T'ien-t'ai. While it is not entirely clear from the sutras that there can be two interpretations, that is, taking the lotus as both entity and metaphor, Nan-yüeh and T'ien-t'ai discerned these two meanings through the treatises of Vasubandhu and Nagarjuna.

    That is to say, in The Treatise on the Lotus Sutra we read: "The words Myoho-renge have two meanings. First, they signify the lotus that appears on the surface of the water. . . . The way in which the lotus emerges from the muddy water is used as a metaphor to explain that, when the Thus Come One joins the multitude of listeners, seats himself on a lotus in the same manner as the various bodhisattvas, and expounds on the unsurpassed wisdom of the Thus Come One and on the enlightened state of purity, the various voice-hearers, hearing this, are able to obtain the secret storehouse of the Thus Come One. Second, the words Myoho-renge signify the lotus opening up. [This is a metaphor explaining that] ordinary beings, though exposed to the Mahayana teachings, are timid and fearful in mind and incapable of taking faith in them. Therefore, the Thus Come One 'opens' or reveals his Dharma body in its purity and wonder, awakening in them the mind of faith."

    In this passage, the word "various" in the phrase "the various bodhisattvas" refers to the fact that the bodhisattvas of both the Mahayana and Hinayana teachings, upon arriving on the scene when the Lotus Sutra is preached, are able, for the first time, to understand the lotus of the Buddha. This is clear from the above passage in Treatise on the Lotus Sutra. Therefore, (30) we know that the statement that the bodhisattvas had already gained entrance [to enlightenment] through the various sutras was no more than an expedient.

    T'ien-t'ai explains this passage of Treatise on the Lotus Sutra as follows: "If we are to explain the meaning of the treatise, we would say that, when the Thus Come One causes ordinary beings to see the Dharma body in its purity and wonder, he is showing them the lotus that opens through a mystic cause. And when the Thus Come One enters the multitude of listeners and seats himself on a lotus, he is indicating that the land produced as a mystic reward is itself the lotus." (31)

    Again, when T'ien-t'ai wishes to give a detailed explanation of the dual interpretation of the lotus as both entity and metaphor, he quotes the passage in the Great Collection Sutra that reads, "I now bow in reverence before the lotus of the Buddha," and the passage in Treatise on the Lotus Sutra that has just been quoted, to support his argument. As he explains: "According to the Great Collection Sutra, the lotus is both the cause and the effect of religious practice. When the bodhisattvas seat themselves on the lotus, this is the lotus of the cause. But the lotus of the Buddha that one bows before in reverence is the lotus of the effect. Or, according to Treatise on the Lotus Sutra, the land surrounding one is the lotus. That is, the bodhisattvas, by practicing the Law of the lotus, are as a result able to obtain the land of the lotus. Thus we should understand that the objective realm and the subjective being who depends upon it, the cause [that is the bodhisattva] and the effect [that is the Buddha], are all the Law of the renge, or lotus. Therefore, what need is there to employ metaphors? But because dull-witted people cannot understand the lotus of the essential nature of phenomena, an ordinary lotus is introduced as a metaphor to assist them. What harm is there in (32) that?"

    And elsewhere he says, "If we do not use a lotus, then what are we to employ as a metaphor for all the various teachings that have been described above? It is because the Law and the metaphor are expounded side by side that we refer to them by the phrase (33) Myoho-renge."

    Next, we come to Great Perfection of Wisdom by Bodhisattva Nagarjuna, which states, "The lotus represents both the Law itself and a metaphor for it." The Great Teacher Dengyo, explaining the above passages from the treatises of Vasubandhu and Nagarjuna, writes as follows: "The passage in Treatise on the Lotus Sutra says that the lotus of what is called Myoho-renge-kyo has two meanings. It does not say that an ordinary lotus has two meanings. On the whole, what is admirable here is the fact that the Law and the metaphor that is used for it resemble each other. If they did not resemble each other, then how could the metaphor help people understand the meaning? That is why Great Perfection of Wisdom says that the lotus is both the Law itself and a metaphor for it. A single mind, the entity of Myoho-renge, simultaneously brings to maturity both the blossom of cause and the calyx of effect. This concept is difficult to understand, but through the use of a metaphor, it can be made easy to understand. The teaching that fully sets forth this principle is called Myoho-renge-kyo." (34)

    These passages from the treatises and their explanations quoted here will make the matter clear, and one should therefore examine them carefully. Nothing is hidden or held back, and hence the dual explanations of the lotus as both entity and metaphor are fully expounded.

    In the final analysis, the meaning of the Lotus Sutra is that the metaphor is none other than the entity of the Law and that the entity of the Law is none other than the metaphor. That is why the Great Teacher Dengyo in his commentary says: "The Lotus Sutra contains a great many metaphors and parables. However, when it comes to the major parables, we find that there are seven of them. These seven parables are none other than the entity of the Law, and the entity of the Law is none other than these metaphors and parables. Therefore, there is no entity of the Law outside of the metaphors and parables, and there are no metaphors and parables outside of the entity of the Law. In other words, the entity of the Law refers to the entity of the truth of the essential nature of phenomena, while the metaphors and parables rep-resent the entity of the Mystic Law as manifested in actual phenomena. The manifestations are none other than the entity of the truth, and the entity of the truth is none other than the manifestations. Therefore, it can be said that the Law and its metaphors constitute a single entity. This is why the passages from the treatises and the annotations by the Tendai school all explain the lotus as both the Law itself and a metaphor (35) for it."

    This passage is perfectly clear in meaning, and therefore I need say nothing further.

    Notes:

    22. A summary of a section from An Essay on the Protection of the Nation.
    23. The three kinds of Buddhas refer to Shakyamuni, Many Treasures, and the Buddhas of the ten directions who are emanations of Shakyamuni Buddha.
    24. Lotus Sutra, chap. 15.
    25. Ibid., chap. 12. In this chapter, it states, "Manjushri was seated on a thousand-petaled lotus blossom," and in the latter part of this chapter it says that the dragon king's daughter perfected the bodhisattva practice and appeared in a world to the south called Spotless World, where she seated herself on a jeweled lotus flower, acquired the thirty-two features and eighty characteristics of a Buddha, and thence proceeded to preach the Lotus Sutra to all living beings.
    26. The Annotations on "Great Concentration and Insight."
    27. Shakyamuni declares to the Bodhisattvas of the Earth, "All the doctrines possessed by the Thus Come One, all the freely exercised supernatural powers of the Thus Come One, the storehouse of all the secret essentials of the Thus Come One, all the most profound matters of the Thus Come One - all these are proclaimed, revealed, and clearly expounded in this sutra." After this statement, he transfers the essence of the Lotus Sutra to Bodhisattva Superior Practices and the other Bodhisattvas of the Earth.
    28. Lotus Sutra, chap. 2.
    29. This refers to the "Expedient Means" chapter of the Lotus Sutra. "The teaching of perfect endowment" indicates the heart of the sutra, the lotus of the entity of the essential teaching.
    30. This is found in On "The Profound Meaning."
    31. Profound Meaning.
    32. Ibid.
    33. Ibid.
    34. Essay on the Protection of the Nation.
    35. Source unknown.
    Nam-myoho-renge-kyo!

    Comment


      Shout-out to DG! GOOD TO SEE YOU SISTER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
      Nam-myoho-renge-kyo!

      Comment


        Friends, I need your help.

        I have seen this thread from the very beginning of its inception. Since then I have skimmed its pages, gleaning whatever information that seemed 'to speak' to me at the time.

        At this point in my life, more than ever, I am trying to take every word I read directly to my heart.

        Several weeks ago, I found myself in a very tough spot. At the end of my rope, if you will. I have pulled myself out of the mud countless times before, but this time I felt as though I was deeper in the mud than I ever have been before.

        Thankfully, I remembered Babbabud's story he told me of how he came to start chanting and immediately tracked him down for some direction. I am eternally grateful for being able to find him as soon as I did, and the direction in which he pointed me. Very quickly, I learned the phonetics of the chant and chanted the Daimoku as often as I could. Immediately, tears filled with every imaginable emotion began to pour out of my eyes. I felt such a GREAT relief immediately. It was at that moment I became completely aware of its power.

        Friends, I would like you all to include me and my girlfriend in your chants.

        LEO gained entrance to my girlfriend's and my dwelling. They seized plant matter and want to send us both to jail. This plant matter is completely harmless and in the thousands of years of being in use, it has never killed one person. In fact, we consider it to be good medicine. Medicine that helps us feel good. Medicine that heals. Medicine that allows us to think 'outside the box'.

        My girlfriend and I are good people. We do not want to go to jail. We want to be with our friends and family and do not want to be separated from them. We want to continue to touch other people's lives in the positive ways that we have been.

        Please include us in your chants. I will continue to chant for all of you, the LEOs that want to see us put away, and all of the other people that so desperately need positive energy in their lives.

        Thank you,
        Lap
        sigpic

        Pictures of the Pot I Grow

        Recycling Dirt Is Ridiculously Easy

        The LEDs That Are Changing the Game
        You can't stop me. I'm like a weed. I might disappear for a moment or two, but I will pop up somewhere else and will never stop growing.

        Nam-myoho-renge-kyo!




        Comment


          I'm chanting for you Lapides, so sad to hear about your situation.
          Nam Myoho Renge Kyo
          Your chanting growers will not forget you...

          Comment


            Lap we got your back!

            Don't be afraid, Don't be defeated! Faith!! Victory of Gold!!!

            Stay focused and strong! I do it alot and this is a great opportunity for you to have that one life experience that makes your faith exist for years to come. It's up to you man! The power that saves your ass comes from you! Faith Baby Faith! MAKE IT HAPPEN!

            Keep chanting Brother! You are in our prayers!

            Deep respect,

            Thomas
            Nam-myoho-renge-kyo!

            Comment


              Nam Myoho Renge Kyo... Lap I'll be chanting for you buddy
              HEAVYWEIGHT - FAST & VAST(SOON)
              HOL-ALIEN DOUBLE DOG BLUE STREAK & PAPAYAXXLCH9 - JACKTHE KALI


              RIP BROTHER MOTH, BROTHER HILLBILLIEONPCP
              sigpic
              Jah & Happiness = NAM MYO HORENGE KYO

              Comment


                "Even if your efforts are unseen by others, they will never go unnoticed by the heavenly deities--the protective forces of the universe....Even though you may be faced with many challenges now, keep your eyes fixed on the future and advance with confidence and assurance, encouraging those around you."

                SGI Newsletter No. 7892, JOINT YOUTH DIVISION AND STUDENT DIVISION GENERAL MEETING, The Efforts of Youth Will Become a Golden Bridge of Victory, from the Nov. 2nd, 2009, issue of the Seikyo Shimbun, translated Dec. 11th, 2009.
                Nam-myoho-renge-kyo!

                Comment


                  "When with our mouths we chant the Mystic Law, our Buddha nature, being summoned, will invariably emerge. The Buddha nature of Brahma and Shakra, being called, will protect us, and the Buddha nature of the Buddhas and bodhisattvas, being summoned, will rejoice."

                  (How Those Initially Aspiring to the Way Can Attain Buddhahood through the Lotus Sutra - The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, Vol.1, page 887) Selection source: SGI Study Department Chief Katsuji Saito's lecture at the SGI study conference held on Nov.13th, 2009, in Tokyo, Seikyo Shimbun, Dec. 13th, 2009
                  Nam-myoho-renge-kyo!

                  Comment


                    Thanks for summoning the Battle Call -Mugi Wasshin- Laps!

                    I shared excerpts from the thread with a fellow SGI member tonight and gave some strong encouragement because Laps helped me refresh a very special concept which is every person is endowed with the same Buddhahood. This practice is not about seeking the Gohonzon outside yourself like other religions seek god, we discuss and fundamentally respect and honor each persons inherent unlimited potential while also recognizing that within our own lives exists our Buddhanature. Laps I told my friend the same thing I say to you "You are the Buddha you make the benefits!" I will be chanting for you and my friend, but tonight I chanted with my friend and encouraged him to keep chanting and keep chanting.

                    I'm on a roll since I started talking to my best friends again recently, we are really separated by distance but always got each other's back. I've been a little lonely for the last few months just doing work and my courses, work and my courses, work and my courses, what a cycle! This weekend I had a blast with a bunch a great chanting members and feel more positive and excellent than I recently have. I look forward to spreading those vibes!

                    I'm chanting really strong for the last two weeks of this year and will make sure to do a New Years Eve chanting session (toso) with my girl after hanging with our best friends! YAY, this will be an excellent way to ring in the new year. They are so special to me and also chant and also introduced us to chanting. We've accumulated some great fortune in the past few years by battling all the obstacles in our path with our chanting.

                    Nam-myoho-renge-kyo! even works for people who don't understand it. My particular friend that chanted with me tonight has been chanting longer than me and is struggling right now, but after we chanted tonight I know his big issue will become something manageable and ultimately work to his benefit. In this practice a beginner can get huge benefit by just chanting, it is that simple only one rule, just chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo! The power of our chanting is limitless just like the mercy you will find the Gohonzon has for you. Laps, big issues call for big measures, I think it's time for me to join you in chanting as much as possible for you and your victory as I chant for my other friends as well.

                    We will do this together and I'll enjoy your victory post very much. Keep going and make it happen! Please make an effort to get your Gohonzon, in the last 5-10 pages we have thoroughly discussed how to get your Gohonzon and how this Buddhist practice works.

                    Shiwasu in full effect!

                    Respect,
                    MyohoDisco

                    P.S.- Let's keep helping all our friends to chant! I know we will introduce and simultaneously help and boost so many awesome people to reveal that they are Bodhisattvas of the Earth like us!

                    Comment


                      "And yet, though one might point at the earth and miss it, though one might bind up the sky, though the tides might cease to ebb and flow and the sun rise in the west, it could never come about that the prayers of the practitioner of the Lotus Sutra would go unanswered."

                      (On Prayer - The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, Vol.1, page 345) Selection source: "Kyo no Hosshin", Seikyo Shimbun, May 14th, 2009
                      Nam-myoho-renge-kyo!

                      Comment


                        "As the American author and social activist Helen Keller (1880-1968) wrote: 'When once we make up our minds to do this and set out fearlessly, all outward circumstances and limitations give way before us.'"

                        SGI Newsletter No. 7771, The New Human Revolution--Vol. 22: Chap. 2, Currents 55, translated May 13th, 2009
                        Nam-myoho-renge-kyo!

                        Comment


                          Chant for Lapides!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!
                          Nam-myoho-renge-kyo!

                          Comment


                            Guys, you are making me cry tears of joy and optimism!

                            I cannot thank you all enough.

                            Nam-myoho-renge-kyo!!!
                            sigpic

                            Pictures of the Pot I Grow

                            Recycling Dirt Is Ridiculously Easy

                            The LEDs That Are Changing the Game
                            You can't stop me. I'm like a weed. I might disappear for a moment or two, but I will pop up somewhere else and will never stop growing.

                            Nam-myoho-renge-kyo!




                            Comment


                              Lapides stay positive and strong, let the lion roar in you!

                              Nam Myoho Renge Kyo for you Lapides and your challange

                              I hope your all good my chanting friends, you'r in my heart every time i hit my bell. Lot of things has been happening, the new job i got is keeping me pretty busy and tired. I fight my devils every day and night but on the end it's more than worth it. I still think i should start smoking even less, because even 2-3 joints in the evening take 4 hours of my daily life on a floating condition that is pretty much useless now, would be great to smoke those 2 joints per week or less. I'm glad i have that goal.
                              The time is getting short this month

                              Treehugger buddy, thank you for stoping by and saying hello, keep in touch or land your ass here

                              MyohoDisco: I'm really happy to hear about your friends, i need to put more energy in that way too, thanks for reminding me buddy!

                              PTD: Thank you for keeping us busy with the study material, it's great to come here and read the studies with all of you Buddhas around!

                              Have a great day people!
                              Growing every day of our lives
                              ~Nam-Myoho~Renge~Kyo~

                              Comment


                                Originally posted by PassTheDoobie View Post
                                BE FUCKING HAPPY DUDE! DON'T SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF. WORRY ABOUT NOT CHANTING AND DON'T WORRY IF YOU ARE!!!!!!!!!!!! You are protected and supported by the love of many! Enjoy that protection and don't give yourself a stroke worrying about the right thing to do. Have faith and your life will guide you there.

                                PassTheDoobie

                                (Sorry Brother! Sometimes I have no idea where what I say comes from. I went back to read what I had written to you and somehow, I encouraged myself! This just seemed like something worth sharing with everyone. I hope you don't mind.)

                                T
                                I needed this! Today I got back in the rough seas. However, I just finished a powerful gongyo and will really get my coursework off my plate in a timely manner because I have procrastinated my duty to school by staying later at work and every moment is crucial. Nice to see my brother Scegy representing the peace and reality of the parallel heart over by you. We are all just invincible people! I got everyone's back with daimoku here too especially lapides.

                                Comment

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