|2 years ago :: Jan 06, 2012 - 7:39PM #41|
In the Lotus Sutra the Buddha reveals the true aspect of his life. It is a masterful work of literature, philosophy and spirituality. The Buddha begins by explaining this principle in its theoretical form as the underlying basis of all phenomena. He explains it in the form of ten aspects. The first aspect is appearance or the outer form of things as they are percieved by living beings. The second is the inner nature which is only known because of the way peoples expressions and appearances change as their inner life conditions change. The third is the entity or essence of things. This aspect indicates that there is a oneness between the first two aspects and this oneness between inner and outer aspects reveals the true nature of relaity. This third aspect is also known as the middleway of wisdom. It is the way in which the Buddha percieves all things; from the standpoint of the true entity of all phenomena. The final seven aspects explain how the law of phenomena function from moment to moment to produce the changing nature of events.
This revelation on the part of the Buddha is set forth in order to set the stage and provide an underlying knowledge of how the Buddha goes about projecting his own life into the world from the standpoint of his Buddhahood ergo from the standpoint of how he projects his personality into the lives of all living beings influencing them and lead all beings to the Buddha wisdom. The Buddha possesses a great wisdom indead. The Buddha explains that it is because of the nature and function of the universal Dharma Law that he is able to lead all peop[le to Buddhahood.
Nichiren was the first person to realize in totality the true meaning and power of the Lotus Sutra. But let me qualify this statement in terms of what this really means and also what it does not mean. This does not mean that the great leaders and even founders of the various schools of Buddhism in the period after the Buddha's passing did not attain a great mastery and insight into the Buddha way. Of course they did and Nichiren wrote extensively of the great accomplishments of the great leaders of Buddhism prior to his birth. However, this matter like all matters must be understand within the context of actual reality. In NIchiren's time much like today the world of humanity is still in a very contentious state and there is much conflict and violece that remains in the world in spite of our many social and intellectual advancements. Nichiren, like many of the great gurus of Buddhism felt it necessary to clarify the reasons behind such remaining conflicts and confusion even within the world of Buddhism much less in the non-Buddhist world. In other words so long as the actual peace and pacification of the human species is not fully accomplished the full measure of the Buddha's profound insight and wisdom has not been properly taught and properly disseminiated to the entire race of human beings; this being among the Buddha's true goals and one for which the Buddha mandated that his disciples on into the future carry on in earnest until the Buddha's law of wisdom which brings peace and tranquility to all beings is known and understood by a majoruty of the people of the world.
So when we say that Nichiren was the first to realize the true meaning of the Lotus Sutra we mean that Nichiren was able to fully grasp not only the correct or universal teaching hidden in the depth of the L:otus Sutra but he also understood how the universal Law of the Buddha should be taught and spread in accordance with the times and people's capacity. The importance of this is that NIchiren fully understood the way Buddhism had been disseminated across the various foreighn countries and cultures, how they were interpreted and applied by the great teachers within those countries and what the historical outcomes were and which were the fundamental issues to be addressed when teaching Buddhism abroad so to speak within foreign lands among people far removed from the original teachers of Buddhism.
NIchiren was able to respect not only the great virture of the Buddha but the profund teachings contained in the Lotus Sutra and their universal purpose and intent.