Re: [SGI] Re: Godlike Beings and Eternal Buddhas
- You revere the Moon in the Pond Rather the Moon in the sky
ryuei2000 <email@example.com> wrote:--- In SokaGakkaiInternational@y..., "Christopher H. Holte"
>we get easilly confused when we encounter newThat is the heart of the problem - semantics.
> terminology for things we already think we understand.
>But if you really explainare
> what you mean in clear language then I maybe can see that you might
> be talking about something else other than what my preconceptions
> expecting. When that happens we have a dialogue. When it doesn'tI like your distinction here between dialogue and debate.
> happen we have a debate.
I have been endeavoring to explain in more simple language. I have
already posted here an explanation of the Three Bodies and the Unity
of the Trikaya. I don't know if anyone bothered to read it or not. It
does not appear that Terry has, because he is continuing to assume
things that I do not assume.
> > But the Eternal Shakyamuni Buddha as upheld by Chih-i and Nichirenseems
> > is not about a transcendent being in any theistic sense.
> Well it could be that your use of terminology is what is confusing
> Mike. When Nichiren says that the Lotus Sutra gives birth to the
> Buddhas, he is clearly using metaphor. When you use this term, it's
> not so clear what your metaphor is. Indeed to the suspicious it
> like you are doing that Catholic thing of making Idols into SaintsAs I said, if anyone wants to they can go back through the archives
> and clothing them in Christian terms. Only by making Shakyamuni a
> synonym for the great Western ineffable one.
and find my previous posts where I explained what I believe that
Nichiren and Chih-i had in mind. And that is the thing I wonder about
- SGI has its own ideas, Ikeda has his own ideas, the Nichiren Shu has
its ideas, I have my ideas, but what I wonder about is what did Chih-i
and Nichiren themselves intend by their references and use of these
terms. I may or may not agree with them, but I at least want to take
what they wrote seriously as a starting point for a serious
> On this list it might be good to talk about the unity of the threeNow that's a twist. Most of the time people complain that I lose them
> bodies using the Japanese Terms, such as "musa no sanjin" or terms
> that Gakkai members would be familiar with, Mike.
with Sino-Japanese and/or Sanskrit jargon. And now you want me to
rejargonize what I write? LOL :)
But seriously, do any present SGI members really know these terms? I
have sometimes had to define more common things like ichinen sanzen or
esho funi. So I think SGI itself has dejargonized.
> However, Anybody can look them up on the SGI study page under the
> entry "Three Bodies" or Three Properties of the Buddha:
> It says:
> <quote>"On the basis of the Lotus Sutra and the principle of ichinen
> sanzen which is derived from it, T'ien-t'ai maintained that the
> bodies are not separate entities but three integral aspects of onBuddha
> Buddha. In this sense, the translation "three properties" is often
> used. The three properties are:
> (1) the property of the Law (Japanese, hosshin), or the essential
> property of the Buddha's life, which is the truth to which the
> is enlightened;property
> (2) the property of wisdom (Japanese, hoshin), or the spiritual
> property of the Buddha's life, which enables the Buddha to perceive
> the truth; and
> (3) the property of action (Japanese, ojin), or the physical
> of the Buddha's life. The property of action is the Buddha's bodyisshin
> with which he carries out compassionate actions to save people, or
> these actions themselves.
> In discussing the passage in the Juryo (sixteenth) chapter of the
> Lotus Sutra that reads: "Listen well and hear the Tathagata's secret
> and his mystic power,"
> T'ien-t'ai in the Hokke Mongu interprets the word "secret" to mean
> that a single Buddha possesses all three properties (Japanese,
> soku sanjin) and the three properties are all found within a singlesometimes
> Buddha (Japanese, sanjin soku isshin). In Nichiren Daishonin's
> teachings, the original Buddha of time without beginning is
> referred to as the Buddha eternally endowed with the threeproperties
> (Japanese, musa no sanjin)."</endquote>This is very helpful, though I would add that it is important to see
that their is an intrinsic connection between the Buddha who set the
Dharma Wheel rolling (including the Lotus Sutra itself) and set an
example in his own life of what Buddhahood means (and I earlier
provided a quote by Nichiren related to this) and the other properties
of Buddhahood. I see Shakyamuni Buddha as the historical source of the
teachings which we revere and follow and also as the exemplar, the one
who set forth a concrete ideal. And this Buddha is revealed in the
Lotus Sutra to have aspects that make his life meaningful even beyond
his birth and death as an individualized human being. His buddhahood
reflects upon the nature of our own, and shows that Buddhahood is not
touched by birth and death but in fact touches our own lives here
and now in the moment of faith and rejoicing in the Wonderful Dharma.
Namu Myoho Renge Kyo,
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- --- In SokaGakkaiInternational@y..., m adir <madir101@y...> wrote:
> For those who have misconception to the differing rolesAnd there is another point about Shakyamuni. This is important. His
> Shakyamuni and Nichiren Daishonin's took in our history,
> I would like to present an analogy to the difference of
> their appearance and life long work and dedication.
> When Shakyamuni appeared in history he was able trough his life
> and behavior to live the golden words of the Lotus Sutra which
> he expounded the last 8 years of his life.
actual "history" is not in the realm of "history." There were no
contemporaries who wrote down his words. Rather they were memorized
and passed down by hosts of monks, often whom represented competing
or opposed Sanghas. We aren't even sure he actually literally
preached the Lotus Sutra. Why is that important? Because it goes a
long way to explain the idea of a "golden age" versus the present age
in a more modern way that fits our own times.
Shakyamuni is depicted in the Mahayana Sutras as a perfect being with
32 characteristics. Lionlike body, long ears, gold skin, long tongue,
etceteras... The way he is depicted he could be a being like
a "Talon", but not so whimpy. The "real" Shakyamuni, we know, was
like you or I only different. Just like any other human being, but
awake and teaching his awakening.
> Nichiren Daishonin based on Shakyamuni's teaching was ableIf you remember that Shakyamuni is "mythic" and Nichiren is a real
> to establish the Gohonzon of the true cause for all mankind.
> Both Shakyamuni and Nichiren speared no efforts to lead their
> respective followers to the true teachings of Buddhism in their
> respective land and era.
human being, you are on your way to really understanding what he says
as well. "True Cause" is what we do in the present moment. When
Nichiren gave us the Gohonzon, the Daimoku, and his Gosho, he was
giving us a "dharma" or "law" that would enable our own awakening.
When he talked about "true teachings" he wasn't talking about a
mytical seperate layer of reality, but "reality as it is" -- as it
were and as he saw it. He was also implementing the directions of
the Lotus Sutra in the best way he could.
> I can only refer the following analogy to help anyone who hasActually Newton is an example of the warning that we should have
> reservation for the role that each one of them had.
> When Newton discovered the law of gravity he spent most of his
> life elaborating his discovery in various ways and theories.
> Not until many years later his theories have been put to
> practice such as creation of flying machines, airplanes,
> rockets and space ships.
about mistaking the message for the messenger. Newton developed "his"
laws in a dialogue with others who often were just behind him or
nearly in tune with him. He drew on the work of people like Kepler
and Hooke and found himself in competition with Leibnitz.
Late in life he turned his mind to other things, becoming director of
the British mint and making a mint in the process.
> We cannot say today that Newton invented or created these machinesNewton deserves credit for his three laws of causality and for his
> and he should be revered as the originator of those ideas therefore
> he is the one to be praised for these invention based on his
> awakening to the existence of the law of gravity.
innovations in Calculus. But another way of looking at it is that he
was the "central figure" for a time, in a community of scientists,
all questing after the same truth. Shakyamuni and Nichiren all were
part of a different model for seeking truth, because of the concept
of "master/disciple" as interpreted in the east. But really they
weren't so different.
> Shakyamuni's awakening to his Buddha nature and revealing theWell there are differences and limitations to this metaphor, but it
> Lotus Sutra for the benefit of all others who will come after
> his passing, was like Newton realizing the law of gravity,
> which pulsates in our lives and environment.
is a good working metaphor. And the word "Buddha nature" is simply
referring to someone who is awakened to life completely.
> Nichiren Daishonin's based on Shakyamuni's revelation was ableNichiren took the title of the Lotus Sutra and made a mantra of it
> to establish the Gohonzon.
> Nichiren did not invent the law of Nam Myoho Renge Kyo nor did
> he invent the Gohonzon he simply realized and utilized the law
> of NMRK to his own benefit and the benefit of others by depicting
> Shakyamuni's realization to equate his own realization to the
> validity of his own Buddha nature and the Buddha nature of all
and a mandala of it. We also have the single mudra of hands clasped
together. All ideas borrowed from the same Shingon he so mercifully
skewered. Even so this was a logical development of Buddhism and
consistent with what the Lotus Sutra teaches. He was using "wise
words" or skillfulness to create a practice that everyone could
benefit from. This is what the Lotus Sutra is admonishing him, and us
to do. To find the wisest best thoughts and put them out there.
In this sense what both of them were doing was similar to what Newton
was doing. Newton had to move science from following Descartes vortex
theories and develope a way to explain the causality of physics that
both he and the people of his time could understand. In the process
he created some "new" things that were really simply
better "implementations" or models for the inherent properties of
life. And Newtons mathematics and vision later had to be modified
with the inputs of quantum physics and relativity.
Similarilly the Buddhas are trying to teach us models, or views, that
will allow us to live a happier life. That is why Nam Myoho Renge Kyo
has developed such power for us, it's words represent the wise words
and thoughts of many who have come before us, ourselves, and
hopefully those who will follow us. Shakyamuni's Buddhism is like
Newton's physics in that sense, Nichiren's like special relativity.
There was the phenomena that calculus describes before, but calculus
creates a living narrative of mathematics that can help us understand
those forces and use them. Similarilly by chanting the daimoku, even
if we don't understand all the details of Buddhism we can grasp
it's "essence" or have a "model" of how to live in society.
> You can say that without Shakyamuni's advent Nichiren wouldWell, Nichiren puts it that way. But if you've seen the movie "The
> have not been able to establish the Gohonzon and without
> Nichiren Daishonin's advent Shakyamuni's teaching would have
> been a great lie.
last Temptation" what Nichiren did was to implement ideas that are
implicit in the Lotus Sutra and that someone would have had to
implement sooner or later. To use an analogy from Chaos theory, He
started the ball rolling down a mountain. The particular path is the
one he chose. Before he started it rolling it was temporarilly
balanced but unstable, and it could have gone anywhere or nowhere.
> One could not compliment each other in any other way.I guess.
> So, to say that Nichiren is but an only minor sage or aOf course I don't know anyone within the Nichiren tradition who is
> bodhisattva who appeared for a testimony to the greatness of
> Shakyamuni Buddha as Nichiren's ultimate purpose, is the
> greatest irony one can employ.
saying that, and I've argued with all of them. I used to think that
that was what they were doing, but once I investigated my prejudices
I found them groundless. The distinctions between teachings are often
more subtle than we are led to believe and people have a tendancy to
misrepresent each other. Sometimes it seems intentionally. This is
what feeds all the wars and hatred in our day. This is what Nichiren
and Shakyamuni were battling.
> It is if one will attribute all the achievements of today'sOf course without Newtonian Physics there would be a whole host of
> flying machines to Newton's credit and not to those how
> materialized it.
things absent from this world. So in a sense one can give credit
to "Newton" for all these flying machines and stuff. Just as people
give credit to Einstein for the Atom Bomb. It's a matter of
convention not literalicity. The atom Bomb was a team effort, and
probably the guy most responsible for it's creation was also most
apalled by it's results. It was Robert Oppenheimer who is responsible
for the great quote from Hindu Religion that sums up that
monstrosity. Anyone care to share it?
> Or if one will attribute all electrical and electronicsActually people sometimes do give credit to Benjamin Franklin for his
> achievements to Benjamin Franklin and not to each respective
> person who have dedicated their lives and establish all we have
> today as far as electricity is concern.
> I hope this is clear
minor contributions to the science of Electicity. But the better
analogy is to the role of George Washington as "Father of the
Country." Shakyamuni becomes a "mythic" symbol of Buddhism. Nichiren
was clear on this when he talked about the importance of
distinguishing between the "general" (myth, metaphor, analogy,
parable, principle) and the "specific" (what people actually do to
implement myth, parable, fable, and live in this world).