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Switch to Forum Live View How the Theravada View Connects with the Mahayana View of the Dharma
3 years ago  ::  Oct 04, 2014 - 6:43PM #1
etoro
Posts: 595


The following is a profound revelation, a rare insight, one that remains virtually unknown and only remotely understood by much of the world,  studied, contemplated and discerned by my own inner study of Buddhist history and philosophy, concerning the principle of the Sad Dharma as it was percieved, discerned and brought forth by the Buddha and during this latter age of the Dharma, purified, restored and made clear by the great teacher of the Sad Dharma during its waning days, Nichiren Daishonin.  


There is a book on the fundamentals of Theravada Buddhism written by a famous Sri Lanka Monk named Maha Thera Narada that is available on the internet.  This book introduces the basics of Buddhism from the standpoint of the Nikaya / Theravda tradition.  The Theravada tradition is very respected in the west for its adherance to the most ancient interpretations of the Buddha's teachings. As a follower of Buddhism in the latter day through developments in the Sino - Japanese Mahayana and placing great faith in the sincerity of my teacher Nichiren's desire, a 13th century Japanese monk,  to transmit the correct wisdom of the Buddha such that people of these latter ages could awaken to the benenfit of the Buddha wisdom in the exact way that the Buddha himself desired for all people, I am always aiming to study all things Buddhism to discover what is true and correct about the Buddhist teachings of all ages, what explains their differences in outlooks and teachings and their underlying connections, reasoning and purpose. 


When I came across the book by the Maha Thera (the great Theravada elder), I was intrigued by the views expressed in this book and saught to discover whether connections could be drawn between the teachings of the Mahayana and the teachings of the Theravada grounded as they are in the so called Nikaya or Agama writings of Buddhism.  As I read through the concepts and ideas expressed in the book I could read through the ideas and discern that while they appear different than the Mahayana views on the surface a trained Mahayana practitioner can percieve the underlying meanings within the Theravda / abhidharma teachings that later where amplified through the Mahayana philosophy. 


One of the more intriguing finds that I have found in this book is the account at the beginning of the Buddha's awakening where he ponders how to teach a source of wisdom that has no discernable basis in conceptual thought. Given that conceptual thought is dualistic, derives from the interaction of self and environment, the functions of the sense organs, interaction between inner subject and outer objects, the unconditional non-dualistic wisdom that the Buddha awakened to was unfathomable through normal modes of cognition.  Therefore the proceeding account records from a Nikaya doctrinal perspective on the Buddha's thoughts vexing over the issues and pondering the proper method of how to transmit the Buddha wisdom to unawakened beings. In the following excerpts I will provide the differing accounts of how the events are interpreted from a Theravada and then Mahayana view.  There is much to be gleaned from these accounts on the interpretations of Buddhist philosophy from a so called lesser vehicle and greater vehicle perspective.


In essence what  I seek to demonstrate is that there is a literal reading of this early account of the dawning days of Shakyamuni Buddha's awakening, one which makes sense to the Hindu thinkers of the time. ensconced as they were in the Indian culturally based concepts of transmigration of the soul, a dualistic temporal world view structured on the basis of a past life, present life and future life, or temporal framework as it were.  And then there is a much deeper account (or mahayana philosophical account) which addresses these events from the actual inner standpoint or non-dual state of being that the Buddha had brought forth, one where the concepts of dualistic reality and past, present and future are no longer operative principles, except as an expedient means so as to lead others from a temporal view of reality to the state of the Buddha's wisdom itself, the state of oneness with all phenomena, the true aspect of phenomena that the Buddha sought to awaken within all others.   


The important point I wish to draw as I have discovered through vigorous study of Buddhism is that the so called Mahayana view had always been a strong part of the tradition from the start, just more deeply embedded and implicit within the mind of the Buddha .  Among the first 18 sects of the so called abhidharma school, the two schools  known as lokattarravadins and ekavyaharikas both centered their teachings on the transcendent and omniscent qualities of a Buddha's mind.  The prajnaptivadins believed that all forms of verbal discourse are inherently delusional because all phenomena (objects) are lacking in a self nature, a view which a later day scholar Nagarjuna argued forcefully and made famous as the Mahdyamaka.


It is therefore important to note that the manner in which the  Buddha wisdom was conveyed to "others", such as the audiences of the various and numerous varieties that derive from causes and conditions throughout the "threefold world" are determined by the karmic conditions from which they were encountered by the Buddha.  In this way the Buddha's teachings are divided between teachings for the conversion of others and teaching regarding the Buddha's own self practice. NIchiren argued forcefully on the importance of making such a sharp distinction between what he called provisional teachings and the ultimate, true and  essential principle. The Buddha's self practice is the true teaching, a wisdom which the Lotus Sutra makes clear that can only be shared and understood between a Buddha and another Buddha. 


The following is the Theravada view on how the Buddha contemplated the wisdom and practices necessary and the various spiritual frameworks and paths for teaching and awakening common mortals, those who are caught up within the dream realm of birth and death.    -


  On one occasion soon after the Enlightenment, the Buddha was dwelling at the foot of the Ajapāla banyan tree by the bank of the Nera�jarā river. As He was engaged in solitary meditation the following thought arose in His mind:


"Painful indeed is it to live without someone to pay reverence and show deference. How if I should live near an ascetic or brahmin respecting and reverencing him?"


Then it occurred to Him:


"Should I live near another ascetic or brahmin, respecting and reverencing him, in order to bring morality (Sīlakkhandha) to perfection? But I do not see in this world including gods, Māras, and Brahmas, and amongst beings including ascetics, brahmins, gods and men, another ascetic or brahmin who is superior to me in morality and with whom I could associate, respecting and reverencing him.


"Should I live near another ascetic or brahmin, respecting and reverencing him, in order to bring concentration (samādhikkhandha) to perfection? But I do not see in this world any ascetic or brahmin who is superior to me in concentration and with whom I should associate, respecting and reverencing him.


"Should I live near another ascetic or brahmin, respecting and reverencing him, in order to bring wisdom (pa��ākkhandha) to perfection? But I do not see in this world any ascetic or brahmin who is superior to me in wisdom and with whom I should associate, respecting and reverencing him.


"Should I live near another ascetic or brahmin, respecting and reverencing him, in order to bring emancipation (vimuttikkhandha) to perfection? But I do not see in this world any ascetic or brahmin who is superior to me in emancipation and with whom I should associate, respecting and reverencing him."


Then it occurred to Him: "How if I should live respecting and reverencing this very Dhamma which I myself have realized?"


Thereupon Brahmā Sahampati, understanding with his own mind the Buddha's thought, just as a strong man would stretch his bent arm or bend his stretched arm even so did he vanish from the Brahma realm and appeared before the Buddha. And, covering one shoulder with his upper robe and placing his right knee on the ground, he saluted the Buddha with clasped hands and said thus:


"It is so, O Exalted One! It is so, O Accomplished One! O Lord, the worthy, supremely Enlightened Ones, who were in the past, did live respecting and reverencing this very Dhamma.


"The worthy, supremely Enlightened Ones, who will be in the future, will also live respecting and reverencing this very Dhamma.


"O Lord, may the Exalted One, the worthy, supremely Enlightened One of the present age also live respecting and reverencing this very Dhamma!"


 This the Brahmā Sahampati said, and uttering which, furthermore he spoke as follows:


"Those Enlightened Ones of the past, those of the future, and those of the present age, who dispel the grief of many -- all of them lived, will live, and are living respecting the noble Dhamma. This is the characteristic of the Buddhas.


"Therefore he who desires his welfare and expects his greatness should certainly respect the noble Dhamma, remembering the message of the Buddhas."


This the Brahmā Sahampati said, and after which, he respectfully saluted the Buddha and passing round Him to the right, disappeared immediately.


As the Sangha is also endowed with greatness there is also His reverence towards the Sangha.


In the above we can observe the Buddha making clear the correct object of wisdom to which he had awakened, the Sad Dharma of all truly awakened beings, one which only the gods of the land represented by Brahma Sahampati had been aware of.  


The Invitation to Expound the Dhamma


From the foot of the Rājāyatana tree the Buddha proceeded to the Ajapāla banyan tree and as He was absorbed in solitary meditation the following thought occurred to Him.


"This Dhamma which I have realized is indeed profound, difficult to perceive, difficult to comprehend, tranquil, exalted, not within the sphere of logic, subtle, and is to be understood by the wise. These beings are attached to material pleasures. This causally connected 'Dependent Arising' is a subject which is difficult to comprehend. And this Nibbāna -- the cessation of the conditioned, the abandoning of all passions, the destruction of craving, the non-attachment, and the cessation -- is also a matter not easily comprehensible. If I too were to teach this Dhamma, the others would not understand me. That will be wearisome to me, that will be tiresome to me."


Then these wonderful verses unheard of before occurred to the Buddha:


"With difficulty have I comprehended the Dhamma. There is no need to proclaim it now. This Dhamma is not easily understood by those who are dominated by lust and hatred. The lust-ridden, shrouded in darkness, do not see this Dhamma, which goes against the stream, which is abstruse, profound, difficult to perceive and subtle."


As the Buddha reflected thus, he was not disposed to expound the Dhamma.


Thereupon Brahma Sahampati read the thoughts of the Buddha, and, fearing that the world might perish through not hearing the Dhamma, approached Him and invited Him to teach the Dhamma thus:


"O Lord, may the Exalted One expound the Dhamma! May the Accomplished One expound the Dhamma! There are beings with little dust in their eyes, who, not hearing the Dhamma, will fall away. There will be those who understand the Dhamma."


Furthermore he remarked:


"In ancient times there arose in Magadha a Dhamma, impure, thought out by the corrupted. Open this door to the Deathless State. May they hear the Dhamma understood by the Stainless One! Just as one standing on the summit of a rocky mountain would behold the people around, even so may the All-Seeing, Wise One ascend this palace of Dhamma! May the Sorrowless One look upon the people who are plunged in grief and are overcome by birth and decay!


"Rise, O Hero, victor in battle, caravan leader, debt-free One, and wander in the World! May the Exalted One teach the Dhamma! There will be those who will understand the Dhamma."


When he said so the Exalted One spoke to him thus:


"The following thought, O Brahma, occurred to me �'This Dhamma which I have comprehended is not easily understood by those who are dominated by lust and hatred. The lust-ridden, shrouded in darkness, do not see this Dhamma, which goes against the stream, which is abstruse, profound, difficult to perceive, and subtle'. As I reflected thus, my mind turned into inaction and not to the teaching of the Dbamma."


Brahmā Sahampati appealed to the Buddha for the second time and He made the same reply.


When he appealed to the Buddha for the third time, the Exalted One, out of pity for beings, surveyed the world with His Buddha-Vision.


As He surveyed thus He saw beings with little and much dust in their eyes, with keen and dull intellect, with good and bad characteristics, beings who are easy and beings who are difficult to be taught, and few others who, with fear, view evil and a life beyond.[3]


"As in the case of a blue, red or white lotus pond, some lotuses are born in the water, grow in the water, remain immersed in the water, and thrive plunged in the water; some are born in the water, grow in the water and remain on the surface of the water; some others are born in the water, grow in the water and remain emerging out of the water, unstained by the water. Even so, as the Exalted One surveyed the world with His Buddha-Vision, He saw beings with little and much dust in their eyes, with keen and dull intellect, with good and bad characteristics, beings who are easy and difficult to be taught, and few others who, with fear, view evil and a life beyond. And He addressed the Brahmā Sahampati in a verse thus:


"Opened to them are the Doors to the Deathless State. Let those who have ears repose confidence.[4] Being aware of the weariness, O Brahma, I did not teach amongst men this glorious and excellent Dhamma."


 The delighted Brahma, thinking that he made himself the occasion for the Exalted One to expound the Dhamma respectfully saluted Him and, passing round Him to the right, disappeared immediately.[5]
______________________________________

The above account offers the teaching of the Lotus Sutra from the standpoint of the Nikaya suttas. As the account indicates, in such a way the newly awakendd Buddha was encouraged by the heavenly beings of the threefold realm to spread the dharma to all mankind.  This view is also shared in the Mahayana Avatamsaka Sutra, the Sad Dharma Pundarika or Lotus Sutra as well as the Maha Nirvana Sutra.


It is worth considering in the above account found among the Theravada suttas when pondering upon the issues and methods whereby the Buddha could approach common beings, he must reflect upon the very unconditional form of the Dharma to which he had awakened, and therefore the difficulty of how to convey and transmit such a principle of wisdom to dualistic minded beings and secondly the fact that upon deciding to to take action in the world and teach the Dharma the account points to the Buddha's observance of Lotus Blossoms in the nearby pond and the different states and characteristics that the flowers depict.     


In the next post i will share Nichiren's insight of how the matter is recorded in the Mahayana Nirvana Sutra.  as well as the basis of views as they were expanded and elaborated in the mahayana context.

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3 years ago  ::  Oct 05, 2014 - 12:48PM #2
etoro
Posts: 595

In the following passages we learn of how the Buddha began his preaching career in the threefold realm  but in this case we learn how it is viewed from the from the standpoint of the Mahayana sutras. Nichiren, one of the greatest teachers of Mahayana Buddhism, states in his writing entitled "On the Protection of the Nation", a writing which addresses, like many of Nichiren's themes, the role of Buddha wisdom in correcting the evil doings in society seeks to explain the logic of how Buddhism is correctly transmitted within the threefold world.


Question: What was the very first sutra that the Buddha preached?


Answer: The Flower Garland Sutra.


Question: What proof do we have of that?


Answer: The “Non-secular Pure Eye” chapter3 of the sixty-volume version of the Flower Garland Sutra states: “This is what I heard: At one time the Buddha was in the kingdom of Magadha, in the place of meditation, and there for the first time he gained correct enlightenment.”


And again, in the “Expedient Means” chapter, where the Buddha himself describes the time when he first achieved enlightenment, he says, “When I first sat in the place of meditation and gazed at the tree and walked around it, . . . At that time the Brahmā kings, along with the heavenly king Shakra, the four heavenly kings who guard the world, and the heavenly king Great Freedom, in company with the other heavenly beings and their hundreds and thousands and ten thousands p.95of followers, reverently pressed their palms together and bowed, begging me to turn the wheel of the Law.”


hese passages in the Lotus Sutra all refer to the time when the Flower Garland Sutra was preached. Therefore the first volume of the Flower Garland Sutra says that it was preached to “the heavenly king Vaishravana, . . . the god of the moon, . . . the god of the sun, . . . Shakra Devānām Indra, . . . Brahmā, . . . Maheshvara, and others.”


The Nirvana Sutra describes the time when the Flower Garland Sutra was preached in this way: “After the Buddha had attained enlightenment, the god Brahmā made an earnest request of him, saying, ‘I beg that the Thus Come One now for the sake of living beings will open wide the gates of the doctrine of sweet dew!’ . . . The god Brahmā spoke once more, saying, ‘World-Honored One, all living beings fall into three categories, those of keen capacity, those of middling capacity, and those of dull capacity. Those of keen capacity are capable of receiving the doctrine, so I beg you to expound it for them.’


“The Buddha said, ‘Brahmā, listen carefully! For the sake of all living beings I will now open the gates to the doctrine of sweet dew.’”


And volume thirty-three of the Nirvana Sutra refers to the time when the Flower Garland Sutra was preached in these words: “For the sake of the bodhisattvas I already in the past expounded the work that is the most subtle in meaning among all the twelve divisions of the sutras.”


All these passages provide proof of the fact that when a Buddha appears in the world, among all the various sutras, he invariably preaches the Flower Garland first.


_______________________________________



The passages above are part of a fully developed Mahayana philosophy as constructed by the great teacher Tien Tai of China.  The great teacher Tien tai is credited with organizing the Buddha's preaching life into an entire logical system on the basis of the philosophy of the Lotus Sutra known as the Five periods and eight teachings. Such a view organizes the entire philosophy of Buddhism and shows the connection between Hinayana and Mahayana on the basis of a system of levels of conscious awareness.  In other words, the Mahayana interpetation is simply a deeper insight into the teachings of the Buddha by way of the use of ever deeper pedagogical means and methods of conveying his awakening the various audiences of mankind.



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3 years ago  ::  Oct 05, 2014 - 12:58PM #3
etoro
Posts: 595

Comparing and analyzing the above two posts we can see some similarities of view but there are also very obvious differences as well.


In the earliest recorded accounts or Nikaya suttas the recorders obviously believed that the Hindu gods where constantly monitoring the affairs of human beings, could resd there thoughts and intervene wherever they felt it necessary as befitting the laws of a moral universe. All accounts of the Buddha's story suggest that the gods and demons were monitoring his progress through the hinderances of the "threefold world" and managed to achieve a great spiritual victory. Now, the above account indicates that they were monitoring his next moves and observing whether he was determined to go back into the lower worlds of human consciousness and spread the Buddha Dharma to mankind. 


In the Nickaya account the god Brahma Sahampati pays a visit to the Buddha in order to encourage him to do so by informing him that there are in fact people in the world who had the capacity to listen and awaken, people with "little dust in their eyes" and the capacity to appreciate the buddha wisdom. It is also worth noting that God Brahma Sahampati  could well percieve the Buddha's awakening from afar and could instantly through the power of thought simply transmit himself across time and space to where the Buddha was residing and engage in a debate with the Buddha on whether the people of the world were worthy of listening and learning from the Buddha's ministry.


From the standpoint of the Indian and Buddhist cosmology of the time there are many implications about this event.  For one, they indicate that the Buddha had transmigrated across the many lower worlds conquered all the devilish forces even beyond the level of heavenly beings and had become a supremely awakenedd being, a Buddha.


Within the cosmology of the Theravada or school of elders the Buddha's mind frame remains within the temporal frame of thought and so believes that he is simply the latest incarnation of Buddha's to appear in response to a world that has fallen into decline and where the pure dharma had been lost.  We see Brahma Sahampati conveying a knowledge of a former time when the wisdom of the dharma was pure. He infers that this current Shakyamuni Buddha had appeared and accomplished the goal of awakening so that he could restore the purity of the dharma once again so that society could also be restored to a proper moral order.


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3 years ago  ::  Nov 15, 2014 - 3:48PM #4
etoro
Posts: 595

And so in the above accounts we can see that there is a developing conundrum concerning the concept of awakening itself and the underlying nature of the relationship between the Buddha or  Buddhas (plural) of the present, the Buddhas of the past and the Buddhas of the future.  In other words such a view is posed from the standpoint of temporality or time.  It presuposses a dharma of the past, a dharma of the present and a dharma of the future.  This suggests that if there were such things as fully awakened persons in the past, fully awakened persons in the present and fully awakened persons in the future then what is the true relationship between such awkened persons, such Buddha's of all three time periods.


The above matter is an all consuming issue, a central principle of correct wisdom in the true philosophy of Buddhism.  It is a matter, that, as the Buddha points out in the introductory chapters of the Lotus Sutra, only a Buddha and another Buddha can share equally.  This is known as the equality of all Buddhas. It is because the Lotus Sutra illuminates correctly the illuminating insight into this principle wisdom, a principle known as the oneness shared by all Buddha's, that the Lotus Sutra contains the title known as "Sad Dharma Pundarika Sutra".   


This is all predicated on the belief and logical premise that the universal enlightenmen, the awakening to the absolute truth of the true aspect of reality is a singular state of wisdom.  This is the premise behind the notion that all truly awakened beings are all one true being; meaning that within all Buddha's the true aspect of all phenomena is the basis of the self identity within them all.  


The Lotus Sutra itself is a gathering in a single place of all Buddha's throughout the three times and the ten directions.  No other genuine Buddhist sutra so perfectly depicts this principle of BUddha wisdom.  The Mahayana conveys this principle on the basis of a three part principle known as the three bodies of the Buddha's life.  The entire Lotus Sutra is constructed on the basis of this form of cognition and the entire sutra is constructed to demonstrate how this principle is manifested in the dualistic reality of life. In this respect the entire sutra is a depiction of the Buddha's mind of Buddha wisdom.    


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3 years ago  ::  Mar 04, 2015 - 10:48AM #5
etoro
Posts: 595

Among the principles by which the Lotus sutra conveys this understanding is to demonstrate how the  Buddha first hesitated and thought hard before endeavoring to go and share this principle with the world.  


In this respect, within the Lotus Sutra there is a statement in the introductory chapter whereby the Buddha indicates that the greatest law or Dharma that he is about to reveal is one in which the Buddha's "guarded it and kept in mind".  The great teacher and true devotee of the Lotus Sutra, Nichiren Daishonin interprets the meaning of this principle in his orally transmitted teachings.  Here is the quote from page 13 of the Record of Orally Transmitted Teachings, a compilation of Nichiren's oral tyeaching published by the Soka Gakkai International.


____________________________________


Point Four, the words “[a Law . . .] that is guarded and kept in mind by the Buddhas”



Words and Phrases, volume three, (Great teacher Tien Tai) says, “‘[A Law . . .] that is guarded and kept in mind by the Buddhas’ refers to that which the Buddha gained enlightenment to in the origin of immeasurable meanings. Because he had done so, the Thus Come One ‘guarded it and kept it in mind.’ Thus later on in the sutra it says, ‘The Buddha himself dwells in this Great Vehicle’ (chapter two, Expedient Means). Although he wished to reveal and teach it to others, the capacities of living beings were too dull. Therefore for a long time he remained silent about this vital matter and did not hasten to expound it to others. That is why the sutra says it was ‘guarded and kept in mind.’”


On “The Words and Phrases,” volume three (Great Teacher Miao-Lo 6th patriarch of Tien Tai school) , says, “In the past he did not expound it. Therefore the sutra uses the word ‘guarded.’ With regard to the Law, and with regard to the people’s capacities, it was all ‘guarded and kept in mind.’ . . . Because the time had not come yet and the people’s capacities had not developed sufficiently, he kept it hidden and did not expound it. Hence it says he ‘guarded it and kept it in mind.’ . . . Because he did not expound it, it says he ‘guarded,’ and because he did not reveal it, it says he ‘kept it in mind.’ When Words and Phrases says ‘for a long time he remained silent,’ it means from early times [in the Buddha’s preaching life] down to the present moment [described in the sutra]. You should think over carefully and realize the true meaning of the words ‘this vital matter.’”



The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings (Nichiren) says : With regard to this substance that the Buddha guarded and kept in mind, it is the two types of teachings, the theoretical and the essential, or the five characters Myoho-renge-kyo that make up the title of the sutra.


As for the act of guarding and keeping in mind, there are seven ways in which to consider it. First, it can be considered from the standpoint of the time. Second, it can be considered from the standpoint of the people’s capacities. Third, it can be considered from the standpoint of the person to be addressed. Fourth, it can be considered from the standpoint of the essential and the theoretical teachings. Fifth, it can be considered from the standpoint of body and mind. Sixth, it can be considered from the standpoint of the substance of the doctrine. Seventh, it can be considered from the standpoint of the mind of faith. And now Nichiren and his followers are spreading abroad this substance that was “guarded and kept in mind.”


First, with regard to the time, for more than forty years the Buddha waited. Because the proper time had not yet come, he guarded and kept in mind the Lotus Sutra. Second, with regard to the people’s capacities, the sutra says, “Because they rejected the Law and failed to believe in it, / they would fall into the three evil paths” (chapter two). Therefore for the space of more than forty years the Buddha did not expound it. Third, with regard to the person to be addressed, the Buddha intended to expound it to Shāriputra, and so he waited. Fourth, with regard to the essential and the theoretical teachings, the word “guard” refers to the essential teaching and the words “keep in mind” to the theoretical teaching. Fifth, with regard to body and mind, “guard” refers to the body and “keep in mind” to the mind. Sixth, with regard to the substance of the doctrine, the substance of the doctrine is that which has existed inherently and abides eternally, the mind of pity and compassion inherent in all living beings. Seventh, with regard to the mind of faith, it means to use the mind of faith to guard and keep in mind [the Lotus Sutra].


In effect, when Nichiren and his followers recite Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, they are opening up the substance of this guarding and keeping in mind. Guarding represents the Buddha insight; p.15keeping in mind represents the Buddha knowledge. These two words, knowledge and insight, correspond to the two teachings, the essential and the theoretical. The Buddha knowledge is called myō, the Buddha insight is called . To carry out and practice the substance of this knowledge and insight is called renge. It is the substance of cause and effect. Cause and effect put into words is kyō.


Moreover, the practitioners of the Lotus Sutra will be guarded and kept in mind by the Buddhas of the past, present, and future. The “Universal Worthy” chapter says, “First, they must be guarded and kept in mind by the Buddhas.” Guarding and keeping in mind means guarding and keeping in mind Myoho-renge-kyo. When the Buddhas guard and keep in mind the practitioners of the Lotus Sutra, they are guarding and keeping in mind Myoho-renge-kyo. The practitioners’ capacities and the Law are a single entity, and the Buddhas guard and keep them in mind as a single entity. This is what On “The Words and Phrases” means when it says in volume three, “With regard to the Law, and with regard to the people’s capacities, it was all ‘guarded and kept in mind.’”


In addition, Words and Phrases, volume three, says, “The words ‘guarded and kept in mind by the Buddhas’ validate the earlier sign of the quaking of the earth.” The quaking of the earth is symbolic of the fact that the Buddha has broken through the barriers of delusion in all six stages.5 A person who accepts and upholds Myoho-renge-kyo will without doubt break through the barriers of delusion in all six stages.


The “Supernatural Powers” chapter says, “[A person of wisdom . . . ] / after I have passed into extinction / should accept and uphold this sutra. / Such a person assuredly and without doubt / will attain the Buddha way.” This is what the sutra means when it says earlier, “The Buddha himself dwells in this Great Vehicle.”


Again, in another sense we may say that in this matter of the p.16Buddha guarding and keeping in mind all living beings, the guarding is that of the statement [in chapter three, Simile and Parable], “I am the only person / who can rescue and protect others,” and that the keeping in mind is that of the statement [in chapter sixteen, Life Span], “At all times I have this thought in mind.”6 And when we come to the “Universal Worthy” chapter, this idea is stated as “First, they must be guarded and kept in mind by the Buddhas.”


Nichiren since the thirty-second year of his life has guarded and kept in mind Nam-myoho-renge-kyo.


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3 years ago  ::  Mar 04, 2015 - 10:53AM #6
etoro
Posts: 595

In the above post therfe is the phrase by which Nichiren says:


Sixth, with regard to the substance of the doctrine, the substance of the doctrine is that which has existed inherently and abides eternally, the mind of pity and compassion inherent in all living beings.




Foe me this point perfect;y expresses a correct insight into the concept of dependent origination or pratityasamudpada in sanskrit.  This point is normally deeply debated within Buddhist circles and denotes many important points regarding the concept of non-duality, selflessness, the emptiness of all phenomena and so forth.  Here Nichiren illuminates the true meaning of the phrase by teaching that it is due to the buddha nature inherent in all living beings that we can manifest a truely deep pity and compassion to each other as living beings. This emotion is manifested by the Buddha nature inherent within all life.     




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