Archive | June, 2012

Turning poison into medicine

The concept of turning poison into medicine (Jpn hendoku-iyaku) through one’s Bodhisattva practice is a strong thread that runs throughout many Gosho. It is common material for discussion amongst Nichiren Buddhists, and is one of the primary doctrines of the SGI, forming a major part of the SGI’s contemporary definition of one’s Human Revolution. For the sake of clarity the poison/medicine metaphor relates life’s challenges, or rather one’s unenlightened attitude towards them, to poison – and the function of the […]

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Inclusive and exclusive readings of the Lotus Sutra

Following this brief introduction are three different translations of a single passage, as an example of how translations can serve an exclusive or include view of the Supremacy of the Lotus Sutra. Make of this what you will – many others have already made of it what they would. The english versions of the Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, were produced by the SGI’s Gosho Translation Committee with the assistance of Burton Watson, so it’s easy to understand how his translation […]

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What is the Mystic Law of the Lotus Sutra?

The Entity of the Mystic Law gosho begins thus: QUESTION: What is the entity of Myoho-renge-kyo? Answer: All beings and their environments in any of the Ten Worlds are themselves entities of Myoho-renge-kyo. As Elwood says in the Blues Brothers… And remember people, that no matter who you are, and what you do to live, thrive and survive, there’re still some things that make us all the same. You, me… them… everybody! everybody! This first passage from the Gosho reveals […]

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How does Human Revolution contribute to world peace

Today, the topic of our monthly discussion meeting was “How does our Human Revolution contribute to world peace?” Not something easily packed into an hour or two! Daisaku Ikeda writes A great revolution of character in just a single person will help achieve a change in the destiny of a nation and, further, will cause a change in the destiny of all humankind. Many will have heard of the “butterfly effect” – whereby a small change in the initial conditions […]

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Neo on the road to enlightenment

The Matrix from a Buddhist perspective

I know – the film’s been out a while. More than a few have analysed it from a Buddhist perspective, but many have come unstuck when it comes to the foul language, bullets and guns, BDSM clothing and all the violence. More than a few commentators have speculated that, apart from a being scattered with nuggets Buddhist doctrine, the film devolves into a good old dualistic good and evil battle between the machines and the humans, making it more akin […]

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Esoteric and tantric elements of Nichiren Buddhism

The three vehicles of Buddhism are accepted generally as; Hinayana (of which the Theravada is the extant school). This term translates as Lesser Vehicle and as such can be regarded derogatory. Mahayana, which translates as Great Vehicle. Vajrayana, which translates to Diamond Vehicle or Adamantine Vehicle. However, to classify Buddhism rigidly in this way is not always helpful. Mayahana Buddhism, which is largely attributed to Nagarjuna and the Nalanda centre of learning, is based firmly on the foundations of the […]

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All pervasive suffering - The Big Kahuna

Three kinds of suffering

We all suffer as a result of our desires – this includes clinging and attachment to material things, to our dearly held views, or to physical experiences. By gaining insight into the nature of our various sufferings we can begin to recognise the kinds of mental afflictions that lead us there in the first place, and in doing so, perhaps, avoid them. Of course, in the Nichiren tradition it is believed that by chanting Daimoku and basing our lives on […]

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Earthly desires are enlightenment – really?

The Buddha Shakyamuni teaches that suffering is Nirvana. Without suffering there could be no cause for the desire to end suffering. Without the desire to end suffering there can be no understanding of the causes of suffering. Without an understanding of the causes of suffering there can be no realisation of or enlightenment to share the path that ends suffering. Therefore, it can be plainly seen that the Buddha’s words are intrinsically true. So, Nichiren’s line regarding “Desires are enlightenment” […]

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