OrthodoxChristianity.net
December 20, 2014, 11:09:35 AM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: Reminder: No political discussions in the public fora.  If you do not have access to the private Politics Forum, please send a PM to Fr. George.
 
   Home   Help Calendar Contact Treasury Tags Login Register  
Pages: 1 2 3 »  All   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Will the Real Buddhism Please Stand Up?  (Read 7930 times) Average Rating: 0
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
Iconodule
Uranopolitan
Warned
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Ecumenical Patriarchate (ACROD)
Posts: 7,132


"My god is greater."


« on: January 28, 2011, 11:44:45 PM »

Well, I practice "genuine Zen" and am a believing Orthodox Christian.

If you are not a Buddhist, you don't practice Zen. Maybe you practice some neat mental tricks you learned in your Zen monastery, but if it's divorced from Buddhism, it's not Zen.

Quote
But I believe you've misunderstood the expression "a teaching outside the scriptures."  It is the direct experience of fundamental reality. What could that be but God?

Of course God is the fundamental reality. However, to recognize this is to overthrow Zen and all Buddhist doctrine. All the Zen practices and teachings, including the "outside the scriptures" stuff, is based on Buddhist principles... which are in the scriptures. A lot of the distinctive Zen approaches came from the Lankavatara Sutra, Diamond Sutra, Heart Sutra, etc. Much of Dogen's craziness can be traced to the Avatamsaka Sutra. Maybe they left the raft behind, but Buddha-Dharma was still the only raft.

Quote
The point is that rigorous study or the application of sequential logic do not lead to that direct experience. That is the problem with many of Shihfu Sheng Yen's teachings. They do not go deep enough.

Buddhism, including Zen, doesn't go deep enough. It's not Sheng Yen's fault. But terms of Zen and Buddhism, Sheng Yen is miles above most of the narcissists peddling "Zen" in the West. If you have an edge over Sheng yen, it's not because of your Zen insights but because you are a Christian.

Quote
Of course you can find people who "worship" the historical Buddha,

Yes, they're called Buddhists, especially Mahayana Buddhists, all of whom recognize the Lotus Sutra and other scriptures that advocate the worship of the Buddha. In Zen temples incense is burned and offerings are made before statues of the Buddha, just like in every other Buddhist temple.
 
Quote
just as you can find savior figures, such as Amitabha, in movements like the Pure Land schools. You can find the same wide variety in Christianity. Mary the Virgin Mother of God--yes or no?

Amitabha is not a matter of "yes" or "no." All Mahayana Buddhists revere him- whether that manifests in Pure Land practice or not does not indicate a division in any way as deep as the one between Orthodoxy and Pentecostalism.

Quote
You'll get a quite different answer from an Orthodox than from a Pentecostal.  What's your point?

Pure Land and Chan are completely compatible currents ("skillful means") within Buddhism. Chan Buddhists recognize the Pure Land scriptures as legitimate, even if some of them think the practice is not as advanced as Chan. Sure, individual teachers of the sects bickered amongst each other, but the practices became integrated for many (the lines between the sects were never so hardened in China as they were in Japan). Nowadays Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese Chan routinely integrate Pure Land practice. I think you're thinking about Buddhism in general through the distorted lens of Japanese sectarian division. Even in Japan, though,  the Obaku Zen sect integrates Pure Land as a Zen practice. D.T. Suzuki came to believe that Zen and Pure Land are essentially the same.

Quote
That Buddhism manifests in many forms? No one argues against this.

Those many forms are mostly not mutually contradictory, unlike Pentecostalism and Orthodoxy. They are recognized as legitimate and often complementary paths to enlightenment. Is that how you view Pentecostalism?
« Last Edit: January 29, 2011, 12:01:03 AM by Iconodule » Logged

"A riddle or the cricket's cry
Is to doubt a fit reply." - William Blake
stavros_388
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: +
Posts: 1,275



« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2011, 12:15:35 AM »

I don't think it is just Japanese offshoot sects that teach a radical sort of anti-religious, anti-sutra, anti-dogmatic Zen.  Kwan Um Seon (Zen) in Korea teaches something similar.  Korean Zen master Seung Sahn writes that one can chant "coca cola" all day with the same effect as chanting something from a sutra.  Touching Ultimate Reality by somehow short-circuiting the habitual rational or conditioned responses to everything is the goal.  Seemingly unintelligible Koans are often used for this purpose...  to stump the mind, render it momentarily impotent, so that one can come in contact with things as they really are, right now, without any coloring or interpretation.  

From Zen comes the saying: "If you see the Buddha, kill him!"  In some Zen centers, the Buddha is not even represented, and if a Buddha statue is present, Zen Buddhists bow to it with the idea that they are bowing to their own innate Buddha-nature, which is everything's true nature... not to some numinous God-like Buddha.  That is my understanding from studying (or investigating, rather) Zen.  A Zen center in my current city (while run by Western Zen teachers, I admit) has a big rock in the center of it instead of a Buddha statue so that no one gets attached to some kind of Buddha-out-there idea.

« Last Edit: January 29, 2011, 12:28:15 AM by stavros_388 » Logged

"The kingdom of heaven is virtuous life, just as the torment of hell is passionate habits." - St. Gregory of Sinai

"Our idea of God tells us more about ourselves than about Him." - Thomas Merton
stavros_388
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: +
Posts: 1,275



« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2011, 12:26:35 AM »

Quote
Those many forms are mostly not mutually contradictory, unlike Pentecostalism and Orthodoxy. They are recognized as legitimate and often complementary paths to enlightenment. Is that how you view Pentecostalism?


This is true, from my understanding.  Buddhists generally don't squabble so much about who is doing it right, because there are many ways to "wake up" to Ultimate Reality.  I'm generalizing a bit, of course.  Many of their methods, across traditions, are inter-changeable. 


« Last Edit: January 29, 2011, 12:31:51 AM by stavros_388 » Logged

"The kingdom of heaven is virtuous life, just as the torment of hell is passionate habits." - St. Gregory of Sinai

"Our idea of God tells us more about ourselves than about Him." - Thomas Merton
Iconodule
Uranopolitan
Warned
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Ecumenical Patriarchate (ACROD)
Posts: 7,132


"My god is greater."


« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2011, 11:55:38 AM »

I don't think it is just Japanese offshoot sects that teach a radical sort of anti-religious, anti-sutra, anti-dogmatic Zen.

First of all, I wouldn't characterize the Japanese Zen sects as "anti-sutra" or "anti-dogmatic." Rinzai and Soto monks are still expected to know the sutras and basic Buddhist doctrine. Dogen remains highly revered in the Soto sect, and Dogen was very much a traditionalist. When a Zen master says to his disciples to burn the sutras or kill the Buddha, it's after a long time of learning the Sutras, to the point where one might get too attached to them. With the average Westerner, the opposite is the problem.

Quote
 Kwan Um Seon (Zen) in Korea teaches something similar.  Korean Zen master Seung Sahn writes that one can chant "coca cola" all day with the same effect as chanting something from a sutra.

I somehow doubt that Zen in Korea would bear much resemblance to the religion that Seung Sahn presented to the US. Seung Sahn was one of a number of Buddhist teachers from the East who exploited the ignorance and prejudices of Westerners to create a personality cult for himself (and bed a few followers along the way) using a watered down "Zen" full of cliches and gimmicks ("KATZ!"). The ironic thing about this supposed "anti-dogmatism" is how the followers parrot the rhetorical style and gimmicks with depressing predictability.

Quote
Touching Ultimate Reality by somehow short-circuiting the habitual rational or conditioned responses to everything is the goal.  Seemingly unintelligible Koans are often used for this purpose...  to stump the mind, render it momentarily impotent, so that one can come in contact with things as they really are, right now, without any coloring or interpretation.

Koan practice is not contradictory of other more standard Buddhist practices. Sometimes other Buddhist practices, like the nembutsu, can become koans themselves. The problem with Koan practice is that it has become very much ossified and many teachers are more likely to use koans as a means to silence critical questioning ("who asked that question?").

 
Quote
From Zen comes the saying: "If you see the Buddha, kill him!"  In some Zen centers, the Buddha is not even represented, and if a Buddha statue is present, Zen Buddhists bow to it with the idea that they are bowing to their own innate Buddha-nature, which is everything's true nature...not to some numinous God-like Buddha.

This teaching is given lots of emphasis to children of the Enlightenment who start to wig out if someone askes them to bow to anything... but themselves. Of course it's not entirely out of line-  the "buddha-nature" stuff is standard Mahayana but this is not considered contrary to the devotion one gives to the Buddha. The Buddha is "numinous" and "God-like" and he is our own nature.

Logged

"A riddle or the cricket's cry
Is to doubt a fit reply." - William Blake
stavros_388
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: +
Posts: 1,275



« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2011, 01:00:18 PM »

Quote
First of all, I wouldn't characterize the Japanese Zen sects as "anti-sutra" or "anti-dogmatic." Rinzai and Soto monks are still expected to know the sutras and basic Buddhist doctrine. Dogen remains highly revered in the Soto sect, and Dogen was very much a traditionalist. When a Zen master says to his disciples to burn the sutras or kill the Buddha, it's after a long time of learning the Sutras, to the point where one might get too attached to them. With the average Westerner, the opposite is the problem.

Yes, I can see that. Traditionally, I can see there being an emphasis on learning the Sutras well before moving to the "Only Don't Know" or "Kill the Buddha" mindset.  Personally, I think that the emphasis on practice of zazen over dogma and Sutra study that is prevalent in the West is not a particularly bad thing, whether one wants to call it Zen or not.  

Quote
I somehow doubt that Zen in Korea would bear much resemblance to the religion that Seung Sahn presented to the US. Seung Sahn was one of a number of Buddhist teachers from the East who exploited the ignorance and prejudices of Westerners to create a personality cult for himself (and bed a few followers along the way) using a watered down "Zen" full of cliches and gimmicks ("KATZ!"). The ironic thing about this supposed "anti-dogmatism" is how the followers parrot the rhetorical style and gimmicks with depressing predictability.

Not to be argumentative, but having lived in Korea for a few years, I can say that Seung Sahn (posthumously) and his legacy of students still seem to have a big presence there.  He founded a Zen temple in Seoul that is still very active and where practitioners do intensive meditation retreats.  Apparently, he received the title of Great Master by the Korean Chogye Buddhist order in 2004. http://www.seoulzen.org/foundingteacher.html .  Many of his Western disciples have been adopted by Korean Buddhists as respected Zen teachers.  Hyon Gak Sunim is one in particular who teaches in both English and Korean, and was often featured on the Korean Buddhist television network while I was there.  There are, of course, various Buddhist forms in Korea, but the "Don't Know Mind" (akin to Shinru Suzuki's "Beginner's Mind") approach seems to me to be fairly common in Korean Zen.  That said, I was only a foreign observer of Korean Buddhism, so can't say with certainty how common.

Quote
the "buddha-nature" stuff is standard Mahayana but this is not considered contrary to the devotion one gives to the Buddha. The Buddha is "numinous" and "God-like" and he is our own nature.

Well stated.   Smiley
« Last Edit: January 29, 2011, 01:03:33 PM by stavros_388 » Logged

"The kingdom of heaven is virtuous life, just as the torment of hell is passionate habits." - St. Gregory of Sinai

"Our idea of God tells us more about ourselves than about Him." - Thomas Merton
Marc1152
Toumarches
************
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Rocor
Posts: 13,496


Probiotic .. Antibiotic


« Reply #5 on: January 29, 2011, 01:01:25 PM »


Quote

The Three Refuges essentially set up the Buddha as one's Lord (made even more clear by the fact that many Buddhists refer to Siddhattha Gotama as "the Lord Buddha") in a way that cannot be reconciled with Christ's Lordship. Sure, certain concepts and practices of Buddhism may be able to be incorporated into a Christian life, but I think it's clear that one cannot be a full Christian and a full Buddhist.

The historical Buddha was a human. he's referred to as Lord Budddha in the same way as one might refer to Lord Wellington, as a mark of respect.

Once again, you must be extremely careful to recognize that there are different forms of Buddhism that have far different idea's from one to another. You can never simply state that "Buddhism" teaches so and so.

For example in the Lotus Sutra based Sects it is understood that the Buddha was NOT merely a human. The LS teaches that his enlightement under the Bohdai Tree was an expedient means of teaching and that his disappearance ( death) was only to prevent people from being too attached to him.

In fact,  his "real " identity is as the "Eternal Buddha" ( chapter 15-16 LS)  and he is referred to in the commentaries by St. Nichiren and others as... "Our Father, the Eternally Living Lord Shakyamuni"..... That sort of representation is far closer to how one referrers to someone Divine than it is to Lord Wellington ( with my apologies to the General who was a great hero Smiley

Revisionist LS Buddhist groups like the Soka Gakkai often  take the original language and shorten or delete all the honorifics leaving just "Lord Shakyamuni" or simply "Shakyamuni".

Thanks. I get tired of making this same point over and over. One can no more refer to Buddhism, as if it were something monolithic, than one can derive accurate understanding of Christianity from a children's Bible. On that basis, one would probably conclude than all Christians were like Methodists or Presbyterians.

Buddhism may not be monolithic, but some describe it as "holographic"- the different traditions reflect each other. There is rarely a significant contradiction in doctrine between the different sects- it's usually more a matter of making different emphases or adding some layers to the common cosmology. In China and Japan there were big-tent sects (Tiantai/ Tendai, Hua Yen/ Kegon) that sought to unify all the teachings into one. When Chan became dominant in China, it didn't wipe out the other teachings but absorbed them, no now it is common in Chan to practice Pure Land nian fo and other practices not commonly associated with Chan. The only really radical departures tha I know of would be some of the crazier mappo sects like Nichiren.

Well..the "crazier" Nichiren sect is now the largest Buddhist school in the world.. go figure. But it is important to understand that there is also great diversity within the Nichiren Sect. The largest is of course the Soka Gakkai and it's estranged Order the Nicihren Shoshu. They have adopted a crude Health Wealth and Happiness format. Most everything they teach is inauthentic in terms of what Nichiren Shonin actually taught. Their most prized writings ( "Gosho") are almost all forgeries.

There are many other Nichiren sects: Nichiren Shu, Kempon Hokke shu, Honmon butusryu Shu and others that are very traditional and authentic. Nichiren is disliked because he was Japanese and not Chinese and carried some national prejudices. He famously is credited for conjuring up the Typhoon that sank the entire invading Chinese armada...  

He also had a close encounter with a UFO for those reading the other thread about contact with Aliens. I can tell the story if anyone is interested.  
« Last Edit: January 29, 2011, 01:02:31 PM by Marc1152 » Logged

Your idea has been debunked 1000 times already.. Maybe 1001 will be the charm
Jetavan
Argumentum ad australopithecum
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Science to the Fourth Power
Jurisdiction: Ohayo Gozaimasu
Posts: 6,580


Barlaam and Josaphat


WWW
« Reply #6 on: January 29, 2011, 01:57:10 PM »


Quote

The Three Refuges essentially set up the Buddha as one's Lord (made even more clear by the fact that many Buddhists refer to Siddhattha Gotama as "the Lord Buddha") in a way that cannot be reconciled with Christ's Lordship. Sure, certain concepts and practices of Buddhism may be able to be incorporated into a Christian life, but I think it's clear that one cannot be a full Christian and a full Buddhist.

The historical Buddha was a human. he's referred to as Lord Budddha in the same way as one might refer to Lord Wellington, as a mark of respect.

Once again, you must be extremely careful to recognize that there are different forms of Buddhism that have far different idea's from one to another. You can never simply state that "Buddhism" teaches so and so.

For example in the Lotus Sutra based Sects it is understood that the Buddha was NOT merely a human. The LS teaches that his enlightement under the Bohdai Tree was an expedient means of teaching and that his disappearance ( death) was only to prevent people from being too attached to him.

In fact,  his "real " identity is as the "Eternal Buddha" ( chapter 15-16 LS)  and he is referred to in the commentaries by St. Nichiren and others as... "Our Father, the Eternally Living Lord Shakyamuni"..... That sort of representation is far closer to how one referrers to someone Divine than it is to Lord Wellington ( with my apologies to the General who was a great hero Smiley

Revisionist LS Buddhist groups like the Soka Gakkai often  take the original language and shorten or delete all the honorifics leaving just "Lord Shakyamuni" or simply "Shakyamuni".

Thanks. I get tired of making this same point over and over. One can no more refer to Buddhism, as if it were something monolithic, than one can derive accurate understanding of Christianity from a children's Bible. On that basis, one would probably conclude than all Christians were like Methodists or Presbyterians.

Buddhism may not be monolithic, but some describe it as "holographic"- the different traditions reflect each other. There is rarely a significant contradiction in doctrine between the different sects- it's usually more a matter of making different emphases or adding some layers to the common cosmology. In China and Japan there were big-tent sects (Tiantai/ Tendai, Hua Yen/ Kegon) that sought to unify all the teachings into one. When Chan became dominant in China, it didn't wipe out the other teachings but absorbed them, no now it is common in Chan to practice Pure Land nian fo and other practices not commonly associated with Chan. The only really radical departures tha I know of would be some of the crazier mappo sects like Nichiren.
....
He also had a close encounter with a UFO for those reading the other thread about contact with Aliens. I can tell the story if anyone is interested.  
Please do.
Logged

If you will, you can become all flame.
Extra caritatem nulla salus.
In order to become whole, take the "I" out of "holiness".
सर्वभूतहित
Ἄνω σχῶμεν τὰς καρδίας
"Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion is." -- Mohandas Gandhi
Y dduw bo'r diolch.
Marc1152
Toumarches
************
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Rocor
Posts: 13,496


Probiotic .. Antibiotic


« Reply #7 on: January 29, 2011, 04:39:00 PM »

The Priest Nichiren was a Buddhist Monk who live from February 16, 1222 – October 13, 1282. You can read his bio on
wikipedia:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nichiren

In 1271 he was abducted by the authorities and taken to Tatsunokuchi Beach which was a killing ground, to be beheaded. The attempt failed when there was a dramatic celestial event ( probably a Meteor or some sort of fire storm). The executioner became frightened and  dropped his sword right at the moment of the beheading. The soldiers guarding him fell back in fear. Just then a messenger arrived with orders to spare his life. Instead of killing him, he was to be sent into exile on far off ( read cold) Sado Island. He was kept under guard not far from Tatsunokuchi awaiting transport. The UFO encounter happened the night after the failed execution.

Nichiren wrote a detailed account of the event. He said late at night he and the guards were awakened be a great noise. winds and a bright light. They went out of their hut to see a vehicle which "Hung over a plum tree". He said some of the guards ran off. Others stayed but fell on their faces.

 Nichiren called the two beings inside the Vehicle "Two Bodhisattvas" . He apparently had a conversation with them. Unfortunately he gave no details of what was said.

There is also a wood block print of the encounter drawn by one of Nichiren's followers ( I don't know how long afterwards). It shows Nichiren standing upright with guards laying prone. The Vehicle is above a Tree and it looks like all the Flying Saucer depictions we have all seen. It was a saucer with a domed cockpit on top with two "Aliens" sitting inside with very big eyes... This all happened in 1271...... Scary , huh?

Nichiren groups know about this letter but  tend to be circumspect about it. I had access to it since my teacher was an Academic. He is certain it is original.    
« Last Edit: January 29, 2011, 04:40:52 PM by Marc1152 » Logged

Your idea has been debunked 1000 times already.. Maybe 1001 will be the charm
Iconodule
Uranopolitan
Warned
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Ecumenical Patriarchate (ACROD)
Posts: 7,132


"My god is greater."


« Reply #8 on: January 30, 2011, 09:02:03 PM »

Well..the "crazier" Nichiren sect is now the largest Buddhist school in the world.. go figure. But it is important to understand that there is also great diversity within the Nichiren Sect. The largest is of course the Soka Gakkai and it's estranged Order the Nicihren Shoshu. They have adopted a crude Health Wealth and Happiness format. Most everything they teach is inauthentic in terms of what Nichiren Shonin actually taught. Their most prized writings ( "Gosho") are almost all forgeries.

Most Buddhists I've heard from on the matter are of the opinion that SGI is not really Buddhist, more of a new religion, for just these reasons. The more "orthodox" Nichiren seem to have some recognition. I heard there is a statue of Nichiren at the main Tiantai temple in China (as you may know, the Tiantai sect greatly revered the Lotus Sutra).
 
Quote
There are many other Nichiren sects: Nichiren Shu, Kempon Hokke shu, Honmon butusryu Shu and others that are very traditional and authentic. Nichiren is disliked because he was Japanese and not Chinese and carried some national prejudices.

Disliked by whom? In terms of national prejudices, maybe he stood out in his time but after WWII I don't think any Japanese Buddhist sect is untainted. Yasutani Roshi comes to mind, who has a pervasive influence in modern Zen and who was a rabid cheerleader for Japanese imperialism (he was certainly not alone in this among Buddhist leaders).

I think Nichiren tends to raise eyebrows because his teaching is kind of... odd. The Buddha's ultimate teaching is to chant the name of a sutra, even if this practice isn't explicitly taught in the sutra itself? In Japanese? Other Japanese teachers like Shinran or Dogen had their radical moments but nothing quite so outlandish.

 
Quote
He famously is credited for conjuring up the Typhoon that sank the entire invading Chinese armada...

Wasn't that the Mongols?
Logged

"A riddle or the cricket's cry
Is to doubt a fit reply." - William Blake
Marc1152
Toumarches
************
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Rocor
Posts: 13,496


Probiotic .. Antibiotic


« Reply #9 on: January 30, 2011, 10:19:25 PM »

Well..the "crazier" Nichiren sect is now the largest Buddhist school in the world.. go figure. But it is important to understand that there is also great diversity within the Nichiren Sect. The largest is of course the Soka Gakkai and it's estranged Order the Nicihren Shoshu. They have adopted a crude Health Wealth and Happiness format. Most everything they teach is inauthentic in terms of what Nichiren Shonin actually taught. Their most prized writings ( "Gosho") are almost all forgeries.

Most Buddhists I've heard from on the matter are of the opinion that SGI is not really Buddhist, more of a new religion, for just these reasons. The more "orthodox" Nichiren seem to have some recognition. I heard there is a statue of Nichiren at the main Tiantai temple in China (as you may know, the Tiantai sect greatly revered the Lotus Sutra).
  
Quote
There are many other Nichiren sects: Nichiren Shu, Kempon Hokke shu, Honmon butusryu Shu and others that are very traditional and authentic. Nichiren is disliked because he was Japanese and not Chinese and carried some national prejudices.

Disliked by whom? In terms of national prejudices, maybe he stood out in his time but after WWII I don't think any Japanese Buddhist sect is untainted. Yasutani Roshi comes to mind, who has a pervasive influence in modern Zen and who was a rabid cheerleader for Japanese imperialism (he was certainly not alone in this among Buddhist leaders).

I think Nichiren tends to raise eyebrows because his teaching is kind of... odd. The Buddha's ultimate teaching is to chant the name of a sutra, even if this practice isn't explicitly taught in the sutra itself? In Japanese? Other Japanese teachers like Shinran or Dogen had their radical moments but nothing quite so outlandish.

 
Quote
He famously is credited for conjuring up the Typhoon that sank the entire invading Chinese armada...

Wasn't that the Mongols?

The SGI was the lay organization for a legit Nichrien branch, the Nichiren Shoshu. They had diverged from authentic Nichiren-ism in the 1400's. They adopted a concept called "Hongaku Shi so". Everyone is the Buddha, you need only practice to bring out this inherent Buddha-hood. Lots of Japanese Buddhism was infected by this idea and you can see it all round today. When you see the metaphor " Polish the Mirror of your life to reflect your Buddhahood" it is representative of this concept.

Nichiren had a far different idea. He took the Eternal Buddha seriously and believed in his actual existence ( he was not a metaphor for the "Buddha within"). Nichiren started out as a Tendai Shu monk whom as you pointed out take the Lotus Sutra ( "Hokkeyo" jap.) as the final and supreme teaching of Buddhism.

They believe as does the Nichiren Sect that as we travel in time further and further away from the Buddha's temporal life in India, the capacity of the ordinary person to practice diminishes. At the point in time of master Tendai (538-597)  in China, it was believed that we were about to enter the final Dharma age, "Mappo". Capacity is so degraded in Mappo that the only way people can reache enlightenment is directly from the Eternal Buddha Shakyamuni.

The Tendai shu and Nichiren in his early career believed that Buddhist practice was only for a few talented people. They used all kinds of complicated Esoteric practices not suited for everyday use by the common folk. It was on that point that Nichiren evetually broke away and developed a practice so simple and elegant that everyone, Monk and commoner alike could practice it. It was also so potent that a devoted person could reach enlightenment in his current body.

The formula was thus. The Lotus Sutra is the Buddha's highest teaching. It contains the entirety of his enlightenment. The entire Sutra and all of it's merits is contained in it's title "Myoho Renge Kyo".. The Buddha's Dharma ( his word) and the Buddha are identical. Therefore if one hears the Title of the Sutra ( by chanting it) with faith ( adding " Namu" or "devotion to". Thus making the entire recitation "Namu Myoho Renge Kyo") you had the complete practice.

When one takes in the entire Dharma by hearing it, the seed of enlightenment is thereby planted within your life. After awhile one takes notice like a pregnant women who does not at first feel her child but later becomes aware of him ( Paraphrase of Nichiren). Nichiren belived that you thus commune with the Buddha who actually indwells within you, transforms you and leads you to enlightenment which you cannot ( In Mappo) reach by your own power.

So:

The Buddha actually exists as a Divine Supreme Being who has eternal life.

All people have the ability to become enlightend, not just a seperate class of Monks

The Word ( The Sutra) and the Person are for all intents and purposes identical in merit.

You achieve enlightenment by communion with this Supreme Being and by his grace alone.      

You commune by hearing the Dharma encapsulated in an easy to use form, the Title of the Hokkeyo .

The Buddha thereby indwells within your life and transforms you..

Sound at all familiar ?... Nichiren was a smart cookie. He got an awful lot right.  

( Yes, it was the Mongol invasion)
« Last Edit: January 30, 2011, 10:23:30 PM by Marc1152 » Logged

Your idea has been debunked 1000 times already.. Maybe 1001 will be the charm
Iconodule
Uranopolitan
Warned
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Ecumenical Patriarchate (ACROD)
Posts: 7,132


"My god is greater."


« Reply #10 on: February 13, 2011, 09:14:27 PM »

To be fair, Buddhists did the same thing with Indian, Chinese, Japanese, and Tibetan deities.
Logged

"A riddle or the cricket's cry
Is to doubt a fit reply." - William Blake
Marc1152
Toumarches
************
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Rocor
Posts: 13,496


Probiotic .. Antibiotic


« Reply #11 on: February 13, 2011, 09:52:22 PM »

To be fair, Buddhists did the same thing with Indian, Chinese, Japanese, and Tibetan deities.

Yes, that was his point. As Buddhism has spread it has subsumed the local Kami, Deities and Demi-gods into it.

There was a big huff and puff in Medieval Japan over which group of Deities were superior. Were the Buddhists "Gods" in the superior position or were the Japanese Kami ( Local "Gods").
Logged

Your idea has been debunked 1000 times already.. Maybe 1001 will be the charm
Hermogenes
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 493



« Reply #12 on: February 14, 2011, 03:09:18 PM »


Quote

Then we have a difference of opinion ( FYI, I also have a Dharma transmission and ordination).

First of all, I can detect a different philosophical point of view between us. On the one hand you emphasize intent, do you "Understand" what you are doing when you bow before a Pagen Statue. Do you have a complicated understanding of the Bodhisattva of Compassion ( Kannon) or are you willfully engaged in some sort of worship.

I would prefer not to split those hairs. You have bowed before a Pagan Statue. I am not trying to be overly strict but I see an insidious effect from this bowing ( and often offering a bit of incense) that is not mitigated by what you have in your mind at the time.

In most forms of Buddhism there are a few very pivotal events in life. Being born a human (who has a Buddha Nature ie capacity to become enlightened) is the first. The next is coming into actual contact with the Dharma ( The Buddha's teaching. "Buddha-Dharma" ).

When Buddhists get you to do something very simple, like bowing before Kannon and offering a speck of incense, you have you accomplished what is to the Buddhist, a great passage in life. You may have live thousands of prior lives ( in their way of thinking) without ever once coming into contact with the Buddha-Dharma, and now finally you have. It's a big deal.

This is a form of initiation. Fr. Seraphim Rose ( who was a Buddhist in his youth) specifically warns of this sort of thing.

A few seasons back the TV show "Survivor" took place in Burma ( maybe it was Thailand). During the opening show they took the contestants to a Buddhist Temple for a "Welcoming Ceremony". They were to walk into the Temple with hands folded and then make a deep bow all the way to the floor. They were to then offer a bit of incense in front of the alter where there were Statues of all kinds of Buddhist Deities.

One of the contestants was a Woman who was an Evangelical Christian.. She walked into the Temple looked around and saw what they wanted her to do. To her great credit, she turned on her heals and walked out.

Jeff Probst the host was bewildered by this and argued with her a bit. He was clearly annoyed and kept saying "It's only a Welcoming Ceremony"...."It's only a Welcoming Ceremony" But by her good Christian sense, she could understand that this is not something a Christian should ever do.

You do understand that Christians were put to death in the Arena, torn apart by wild animals or hacked up by soldiers or burned alive for refusing to bow before Statues of Roman God's and offer a speck of incense to them.

What's the source of your transmission and in which tradition?

We do, indeed, have a different view, although I disagree about the characterization that it is splitting hairs. It is exactly the same distinction that needs to be made about bowing before and kissing an icon. What the person is doing and why make all the difference between reverence and idolatry. Just because it's a picture of Jesus and not of Hermes Trismegistus doesn't automatically make the action less idolatrous.

Depending on the tradition you trained in, you may have been taught that when a Buddhist bows to an image of any kind is not the piece of wood or the painting or even the being represented. It is the qualities represented in the image as manifested in ourselves, both actually and as an aspiration. We bow to a statue of Buddha out of respect for the teachings he transmitted to us, as well as in the hope that we ourselves may be able to realize those teachings. We are not bowing to a god or even a saint. Simply a deceased human being whom we respect. To equate that with the observance of a pagan Roman is really over the top.

Now, of course, if you are a Pure Land Buddhist, the image may have a different meaning altogether. That's why I emphasize intent. And I'll reiterate once more that Orthodox Christians are actually much more prone than almost any Zen person to mistake the representation of a thing for the thing itself, and thus, an object of worship. We Orthodox had generations of controversy over just this tendency in the Eighth and Ninth centuries, and it is still an ever-present danger. Icons and relics need to be used very judiciously and with quite a bit of care about what exactly we are doing.

Bowing to a statue of Kannon Bosa is for me the same thing as bowing to a beautiful sunset or a flower or a human being I respect. I cannot say what it is for you, of course, and I don't mind being challenged on the point; but I see no reason at all to allow you, Seraphim Rose, or anyone else to define my actions for me or to assume in the absence of any discussion with me that they know what I am doing or why. You speak about what you think Buddhists as a whole believe, and I question whether that's either possible or advisable. I am speaking about what I personally believe, and my belief isn't that unusual, even among Zen Buddhists who aren't also Orthodox Christians. Certainly, some Buddhists think and believe as you've described. But there are 400 million of them, so there is a range of expression.

I think what this really hinges on is our understanding of joriki and toriki. If we see salvation as something that operates from the outside in, the danger is a little greater that one will end up reifying the concept represented by the image. The kingdom of God is within us. A religious image is at most a reflection of that kingdom. Or to quote a Chinese proverb, the treasure of the house doesn't enter by the gate.

Please do not use a general discussion about what some Buddhists believe to try to knock down a specific individual's practice, especially when their specific beliefs differ from the general ones you've outlined.
Logged
Marc1152
Toumarches
************
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Rocor
Posts: 13,496


Probiotic .. Antibiotic


« Reply #13 on: February 14, 2011, 05:13:07 PM »


Quote

Then we have a difference of opinion ( FYI, I also have a Dharma transmission and ordination).

First of all, I can detect a different philosophical point of view between us. On the one hand you emphasize intent, do you "Understand" what you are doing when you bow before a Pagen Statue. Do you have a complicated understanding of the Bodhisattva of Compassion ( Kannon) or are you willfully engaged in some sort of worship.

I would prefer not to split those hairs. You have bowed before a Pagan Statue. I am not trying to be overly strict but I see an insidious effect from this bowing ( and often offering a bit of incense) that is not mitigated by what you have in your mind at the time.

In most forms of Buddhism there are a few very pivotal events in life. Being born a human (who has a Buddha Nature ie capacity to become enlightened) is the first. The next is coming into actual contact with the Dharma ( The Buddha's teaching. "Buddha-Dharma" ).

When Buddhists get you to do something very simple, like bowing before Kannon and offering a speck of incense, you have you accomplished what is to the Buddhist, a great passage in life. You may have live thousands of prior lives ( in their way of thinking) without ever once coming into contact with the Buddha-Dharma, and now finally you have. It's a big deal.

This is a form of initiation. Fr. Seraphim Rose ( who was a Buddhist in his youth) specifically warns of this sort of thing.

A few seasons back the TV show "Survivor" took place in Burma ( maybe it was Thailand). During the opening show they took the contestants to a Buddhist Temple for a "Welcoming Ceremony". They were to walk into the Temple with hands folded and then make a deep bow all the way to the floor. They were to then offer a bit of incense in front of the alter where there were Statues of all kinds of Buddhist Deities.

One of the contestants was a Woman who was an Evangelical Christian.. She walked into the Temple looked around and saw what they wanted her to do. To her great credit, she turned on her heals and walked out.

Jeff Probst the host was bewildered by this and argued with her a bit. He was clearly annoyed and kept saying "It's only a Welcoming Ceremony"...."It's only a Welcoming Ceremony" But by her good Christian sense, she could understand that this is not something a Christian should ever do.

You do understand that Christians were put to death in the Arena, torn apart by wild animals or hacked up by soldiers or burned alive for refusing to bow before Statues of Roman God's and offer a speck of incense to them.

What's the source of your transmission and in which tradition?

We do, indeed, have a different view, although I disagree about the characterization that it is splitting hairs. It is exactly the same distinction that needs to be made about bowing before and kissing an icon. What the person is doing and why make all the difference between reverence and idolatry. Just because it's a picture of Jesus and not of Hermes Trismegistus doesn't automatically make the action less idolatrous.

Depending on the tradition you trained in, you may have been taught that when a Buddhist bows to an image of any kind is not the piece of wood or the painting or even the being represented. It is the qualities represented in the image as manifested in ourselves, both actually and as an aspiration. We bow to a statue of Buddha out of respect for the teachings he transmitted to us, as well as in the hope that we ourselves may be able to realize those teachings. We are not bowing to a god or even a saint. Simply a deceased human being whom we respect. To equate that with the observance of a pagan Roman is really over the top.

Now, of course, if you are a Pure Land Buddhist, the image may have a different meaning altogether. That's why I emphasize intent. And I'll reiterate once more that Orthodox Christians are actually much more prone than almost any Zen person to mistake the representation of a thing for the thing itself, and thus, an object of worship. We Orthodox had generations of controversy over just this tendency in the Eighth and Ninth centuries, and it is still an ever-present danger. Icons and relics need to be used very judiciously and with quite a bit of care about what exactly we are doing.

Bowing to a statue of Kannon Bosa is for me the same thing as bowing to a beautiful sunset or a flower or a human being I respect. I cannot say what it is for you, of course, and I don't mind being challenged on the point; but I see no reason at all to allow you, Seraphim Rose, or anyone else to define my actions for me or to assume in the absence of any discussion with me that they know what I am doing or why. You speak about what you think Buddhists as a whole believe, and I question whether that's either possible or advisable. I am speaking about what I personally believe, and my belief isn't that unusual, even among Zen Buddhists who aren't also Orthodox Christians. Certainly, some Buddhists think and believe as you've described. But there are 400 million of them, so there is a range of expression.

I think what this really hinges on is our understanding of joriki and toriki. If we see salvation as something that operates from the outside in, the danger is a little greater that one will end up reifying the concept represented by the image. The kingdom of God is within us. A religious image is at most a reflection of that kingdom. Or to quote a Chinese proverb, the treasure of the house doesn't enter by the gate.

Please do not use a general discussion about what some Buddhists believe to try to knock down a specific individual's practice, especially when their specific beliefs differ from the general ones you've outlined.

I dont have much time right now. I have to take my Valentine out to dinner soon.

I dont ascribe to the "Real Buddha" is the Buddha within. I will write at length later when I have more time.

I am ordained as a "Gakato" ( Priest with a secular Job) in the Honmon Butsuryu Shu Sect of Nichiren Buddhism. I also have done extensive zazen and taught Buddhism and sitting meditation as part of a Buddhist Prison Ministry. 

Actually, I am a "Riest"  the Japanese Bishop ( Bishop equivalent) sounded out.. Priest.. when he wrote out my transmission papers..So he dropped the P and wrote an R.... Funny
Logged

Your idea has been debunked 1000 times already.. Maybe 1001 will be the charm
Marc1152
Toumarches
************
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Rocor
Posts: 13,496


Probiotic .. Antibiotic


« Reply #14 on: February 15, 2011, 03:57:19 PM »

The idea that people are inherently enlightened took hold in Japan in the 14th Century after the lifetimes of the Great Japanese sages, Nichiren, Dogen, Saicho, Kobo,and the rest.  The doctrine is called “Hongaku-Shi so” or  or more commonly “Original Enlightenment”.

There has always been a sort of Hongaku in Buddhism but how it was thought of changed in the 14th century. Until the change , it meant that the common person inherently posses the capacity for enlightenment. They had "Buddha Nature". People are like a fertile field ready for the seed of enlightenment to be planted.

This changed to “People are already Buddhas inherently” so therefore the Buddha Nature became "The Buddha". People are already the field and seed both. Practice then becomes a method of realizing your already existing enlightenment. You are “Originally Enlightened
.”
In the truer form, you have capacity, the Buddha (who actually exists) has enlightenment and you bridge the gap via your faith. Faith is both mental agreement (the Mind of Faith) and physically practicing ( Chanting, Meditation etc.).

Hongaku has enjoyed ups and downs in popularity. It is consciously taught to Americans/Westerners. The Japanese understand that Western converts are often running away from Christianity or Judaism and want to spin Buddhism in a manner that is sale-able.
I have a close friend who is a well known translator of Nichiren who once confronted a high ranking Priest and asked him:

”Why don’t you tell these people the Truth”?

 In other words why are you teaching them Hongaku? His answer was: “They would never believe it” ( the authentic teachings)

Hogaku ( Original enlightenment) has some similarities to Christian Gnosticism. In one of Elaine Pagles books about Gnostic beliefs she tells the story of speaking to an American Buddhist Monk. He said that if he knew what Christianity “really taught” ( Gnosticism) he probably would never have become a Buddhist.

There are many implications to   a Hongaku styled World View. Mandalas become mere symbols since the "Real Buddha" is always within yourself. The Sutra’s are not the Truth, the Truth is your own experience, since you are a Buddha.
At times this thinking has led to considerable debauchery in Japan. An immoral act is fine since it is the act of a Buddha (we are all Buddha’s deep down inside).

Everything becomes a symbol  or a metaphor and a reflection or a mirror to the central Truth which is that you are a Buddha inherently.  

This is not the teaching of the great Buddhist sages. To them the Buddha was..... imminent..... up close, accessible via faith and practice. “Imminent” is different than inherent.

Unfortunately, Hongaku zealots have produced forgeries under the name of the Great Teachers to make it look as if they are in agreement with all this. Sometimes the document is made up out of whole cloth and sometimes an existing treatise is altered and this Hongaku doctrine is inserted.

This heresy has influenced all the Buddhist Schools. The largest Nichiren group, the Soka Gakkai, is very caught up with this Hongaku idea. They have well over 20 million members. However, no writing by Nichiren that teaches Hongaku has ever been authenticated. Not one , not ever. They are all frauds…………..Go figure
« Last Edit: February 15, 2011, 04:11:08 PM by Marc1152 » Logged

Your idea has been debunked 1000 times already.. Maybe 1001 will be the charm
Hermogenes
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 493



« Reply #15 on: February 16, 2011, 12:59:34 PM »

The idea that people are inherently enlightened took hold in Japan in the 14th Century after the lifetimes of the Great Japanese sages, Nichiren, Dogen, Saicho, Kobo,and the rest.  The doctrine is called “Hongaku-Shi so” or  or more commonly “Original Enlightenment”.

There has always been a sort of Hongaku in Buddhism but how it was thought of changed in the 14th century. Until the change , it meant that the common person inherently posses the capacity for enlightenment. They had "Buddha Nature". People are like a fertile field ready for the seed of enlightenment to be planted.

This changed to “People are already Buddhas inherently” so therefore the Buddha Nature became "The Buddha". People are already the field and seed both. Practice then becomes a method of realizing your already existing enlightenment. You are “Originally Enlightened
.”
In the truer form, you have capacity, the Buddha (who actually exists) has enlightenment and you bridge the gap via your faith. Faith is both mental agreement (the Mind of Faith) and physically practicing ( Chanting, Meditation etc.).

Hongaku has enjoyed ups and downs in popularity. It is consciously taught to Americans/Westerners. The Japanese understand that Western converts are often running away from Christianity or Judaism and want to spin Buddhism in a manner that is sale-able.
I have a close friend who is a well known translator of Nichiren who once confronted a high ranking Priest and asked him:

”Why don’t you tell these people the Truth”?

 In other words why are you teaching them Hongaku? His answer was: “They would never believe it” ( the authentic teachings)

Hogaku ( Original enlightenment) has some similarities to Christian Gnosticism. In one of Elaine Pagles books about Gnostic beliefs she tells the story of speaking to an American Buddhist Monk. He said that if he knew what Christianity “really taught” ( Gnosticism) he probably would never have become a Buddhist.

There are many implications to   a Hongaku styled World View. Mandalas become mere symbols since the "Real Buddha" is always within yourself. The Sutra’s are not the Truth, the Truth is your own experience, since you are a Buddha.
At times this thinking has led to considerable debauchery in Japan. An immoral act is fine since it is the act of a Buddha (we are all Buddha’s deep down inside).

Everything becomes a symbol  or a metaphor and a reflection or a mirror to the central Truth which is that you are a Buddha inherently.  

This is not the teaching of the great Buddhist sages. To them the Buddha was..... imminent..... up close, accessible via faith and practice. “Imminent” is different than inherent.

Unfortunately, Hongaku zealots have produced forgeries under the name of the Great Teachers to make it look as if they are in agreement with all this. Sometimes the document is made up out of whole cloth and sometimes an existing treatise is altered and this Hongaku doctrine is inserted.

This heresy has influenced all the Buddhist Schools. The largest Nichiren group, the Soka Gakkai, is very caught up with this Hongaku idea. They have well over 20 million members. However, no writing by Nichiren that teaches Hongaku has ever been authenticated. Not one , not ever. They are all frauds…………..Go figure


The notion that immoral acts are fine because we are all inherently enlightened (as, for example, in the doctrine of "Imperial Way Zen") was--and is acknowledged by modern Buddhists to have been--one of the great perversions of the Buddha's teachings. Immoral acts are never "OK." Anyone doubting this should take a look at the extremely extensive literature on ethics, morality, and the behavior of monks.

I don't believe your statement that the doctrine of Original Mind arose in the 14th century and that anything purporting to be an earlier appearance of that teaching is a forgery is entirely accurate. Certainly, there are plenty of made up stories in all religions, but that would have had to be very systematic and very complete a job of forgery to have included as much as it did--the entire 95 fascicles of Shobogenzo, for example, and many early sources in all their translated versions.

In any event, I'm not sure what your point is?

As you point out, though, many of Nichiren's followers have been closely associated with a variety of heresies over the years. Most mainstream Buddhists (certainly those outside Japan) would probably regard Soka Gakkai as an heretical group, not genuinely Buddhist--roughly the way Orthodox Christians regard Jehovah's Witnesses.
Logged
Iconodule
Uranopolitan
Warned
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Ecumenical Patriarchate (ACROD)
Posts: 7,132


"My god is greater."


« Reply #16 on: February 16, 2011, 07:46:30 PM »

The notion that immoral acts are fine because we are all inherently enlightened (as, for example, in the doctrine of "Imperial Way Zen") was--and is acknowledged by modern Buddhists to have been--one of the great perversions of the Buddha's teachings. Immoral acts are never "OK." Anyone doubting this should take a look at the extremely extensive literature on ethics, morality, and the behavior of monks.

While you probably won't find this kind of nonsense among some of the more sober Chinese and Theravada Buddhists, Japanese Zen and Tibetan Tantric groups can be rife with it. The problem is that in these traditions the disciple is supposed to regard the master as an enlightened being and there is a strong pressure to regard his immoral acts as esoteric expressions of enlightenment. So if your master sleeps with his students, spends all his monastery's cash to buy himself fancy cars, or is a warmongering nationalist or an alcoholic, these all somehow have to explained away as examples of "crazy wisdom" which only seem immoral to the deluded, unenlightened student. Consider the Karmapa controversy- the Tibetan Karma Kagyu lineage is split in two, because different sets of "enlightened" tulkus recognize a different Karmapa, and accuse each other of lying, thievery, and even murder. Why are these supposed emanations of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas bickering? Someone told me, "maybe it's just a test for us, to resist the temptation to judge our gurus."

I don't think "Imperial Zen" has gone away. The Soto sect has renounced it, but I think most of the Rinzai sects have yet to do so.
Logged

"A riddle or the cricket's cry
Is to doubt a fit reply." - William Blake
Marc1152
Toumarches
************
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Rocor
Posts: 13,496


Probiotic .. Antibiotic


« Reply #17 on: February 16, 2011, 09:35:11 PM »

The idea that people are inherently enlightened took hold in Japan in the 14th Century after the lifetimes of the Great Japanese sages, Nichiren, Dogen, Saicho, Kobo,and the rest.  The doctrine is called “Hongaku-Shi so” or  or more commonly “Original Enlightenment”.

There has always been a sort of Hongaku in Buddhism but how it was thought of changed in the 14th century. Until the change , it meant that the common person inherently posses the capacity for enlightenment. They had "Buddha Nature". People are like a fertile field ready for the seed of enlightenment to be planted.

This changed to “People are already Buddhas inherently” so therefore the Buddha Nature became "The Buddha". People are already the field and seed both. Practice then becomes a method of realizing your already existing enlightenment. You are “Originally Enlightened
.”
In the truer form, you have capacity, the Buddha (who actually exists) has enlightenment and you bridge the gap via your faith. Faith is both mental agreement (the Mind of Faith) and physically practicing ( Chanting, Meditation etc.).

Hongaku has enjoyed ups and downs in popularity. It is consciously taught to Americans/Westerners. The Japanese understand that Western converts are often running away from Christianity or Judaism and want to spin Buddhism in a manner that is sale-able.
I have a close friend who is a well known translator of Nichiren who once confronted a high ranking Priest and asked him:

”Why don’t you tell these people the Truth”?

 In other words why are you teaching them Hongaku? His answer was: “They would never believe it” ( the authentic teachings)

Hogaku ( Original enlightenment) has some similarities to Christian Gnosticism. In one of Elaine Pagles books about Gnostic beliefs she tells the story of speaking to an American Buddhist Monk. He said that if he knew what Christianity “really taught” ( Gnosticism) he probably would never have become a Buddhist.

There are many implications to   a Hongaku styled World View. Mandalas become mere symbols since the "Real Buddha" is always within yourself. The Sutra’s are not the Truth, the Truth is your own experience, since you are a Buddha.
At times this thinking has led to considerable debauchery in Japan. An immoral act is fine since it is the act of a Buddha (we are all Buddha’s deep down inside).

Everything becomes a symbol  or a metaphor and a reflection or a mirror to the central Truth which is that you are a Buddha inherently.  

This is not the teaching of the great Buddhist sages. To them the Buddha was..... imminent..... up close, accessible via faith and practice. “Imminent” is different than inherent.

Unfortunately, Hongaku zealots have produced forgeries under the name of the Great Teachers to make it look as if they are in agreement with all this. Sometimes the document is made up out of whole cloth and sometimes an existing treatise is altered and this Hongaku doctrine is inserted.

This heresy has influenced all the Buddhist Schools. The largest Nichiren group, the Soka Gakkai, is very caught up with this Hongaku idea. They have well over 20 million members. However, no writing by Nichiren that teaches Hongaku has ever been authenticated. Not one , not ever. They are all frauds…………..Go figure


The notion that immoral acts are fine because we are all inherently enlightened (as, for example, in the doctrine of "Imperial Way Zen") was--and is acknowledged by modern Buddhists to have been--one of the great perversions of the Buddha's teachings. Immoral acts are never "OK." Anyone doubting this should take a look at the extremely extensive literature on ethics, morality, and the behavior of monks.

I don't believe your statement that the doctrine of Original Mind arose in the 14th century and that anything purporting to be an earlier appearance of that teaching is a forgery is entirely accurate. Certainly, there are plenty of made up stories in all religions, but that would have had to be very systematic and very complete a job of forgery to have included as much as it did--the entire 95 fascicles of Shobogenzo, for example, and many early sources in all their translated versions.

In any event, I'm not sure what your point is?

As you point out, though, many of Nichiren's followers have been closely associated with a variety of heresies over the years. Most mainstream Buddhists (certainly those outside Japan) would probably regard Soka Gakkai as an heretical group, not genuinely Buddhist--roughly the way Orthodox Christians regard Jehovah's Witnesses.

I don't believe your statement that the doctrine of Original Mind arose in the 14th century and that anything purporting to be an earlier appearance of that teaching is a forgery is entirely accurate. Certainly, there are plenty of made up stories in all religions, but that would have had to be very systematic and very complete a job of forgery to have included as much as it did--the entire 95 fascicles of Shobogenzo, for example, and many early sources in all their translated versions.

You need to be careful not to confuse legitimate images of inherency with the later corrupt form.
I am not entirely certain what you mean by "Original Mind" but the idea in Zen of returning to an unfettered natural Mind in not corrupt Hongaku.
Zen teaches that Birds express their Birdness naturally and unfettered. A Tree it's Treeness etc. Only Humans over lay lots of crap on top of their clear Mind. The idea is to return to the clear- Original Mind- of a Human.

That can easily slip into the heresy that I was speaking of. Since we can through practice have this clear natural Mind, we therefore are enlightened Inherently. That is not the intent of the Shobogenzo or other authentic Zen Teachings. though I would not be shocked if later scoundrels added corrupt Hongaku imagery to those idea's.

It takes awhile to spot the tell tale signs of the corrupt form.  

In any event, I'm not sure what your point is?<<

The point you made earlier that it's okay to bow to a likeness of Kannon  because she is a mere representation of your inner self seemed to draw from corrupt Original Enlightenment idea's.

>>As you point out, though, many of Nichiren's followers have been closely associated with a variety of heresies over the years. Most mainstream Buddhists (certainly those outside Japan) would probably regard Soka Gakkai as an heretical group, not genuinely Buddhist--roughly the way Orthodox Christians regard Jehovah's Witnesses. <<

Many Buddhist are jealous of the success of the Soka Gakkai. While they damn them in one instance, they wish they could be as popular with the next.

There is a difference between the Soka Gakkai and the other Nichiren Sects. No educated person familiar with them could rightly accuse the Main Stream Nichiren groups of not being Buddhist.

http://www.nichiren-shu.org/

 The Soka Gakkai does strain credibility. They have adopted a Health Wealth and Happiness approach and also the a fore mentioned corrupt Hongaku philosophy.  



« Last Edit: February 16, 2011, 09:39:28 PM by Marc1152 » Logged

Your idea has been debunked 1000 times already.. Maybe 1001 will be the charm
Hermogenes
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 493



« Reply #18 on: February 17, 2011, 09:43:34 AM »

The idea that people are inherently enlightened took hold in Japan in the 14th Century after the lifetimes of the Great Japanese sages, Nichiren, Dogen, Saicho, Kobo,and the rest.  The doctrine is called “Hongaku-Shi so” or  or more commonly “Original Enlightenment”.

There has always been a sort of Hongaku in Buddhism but how it was thought of changed in the 14th century. Until the change , it meant that the common person inherently posses the capacity for enlightenment. They had "Buddha Nature". People are like a fertile field ready for the seed of enlightenment to be planted.

This changed to “People are already Buddhas inherently” so therefore the Buddha Nature became "The Buddha". People are already the field and seed both. Practice then becomes a method of realizing your already existing enlightenment. You are “Originally Enlightened
.”
In the truer form, you have capacity, the Buddha (who actually exists) has enlightenment and you bridge the gap via your faith. Faith is both mental agreement (the Mind of Faith) and physically practicing ( Chanting, Meditation etc.).

Hongaku has enjoyed ups and downs in popularity. It is consciously taught to Americans/Westerners. The Japanese understand that Western converts are often running away from Christianity or Judaism and want to spin Buddhism in a manner that is sale-able.
I have a close friend who is a well known translator of Nichiren who once confronted a high ranking Priest and asked him:

”Why don’t you tell these people the Truth”?

 In other words why are you teaching them Hongaku? His answer was: “They would never believe it” ( the authentic teachings)

Hogaku ( Original enlightenment) has some similarities to Christian Gnosticism. In one of Elaine Pagles books about Gnostic beliefs she tells the story of speaking to an American Buddhist Monk. He said that if he knew what Christianity “really taught” ( Gnosticism) he probably would never have become a Buddhist.

There are many implications to   a Hongaku styled World View. Mandalas become mere symbols since the "Real Buddha" is always within yourself. The Sutra’s are not the Truth, the Truth is your own experience, since you are a Buddha.
At times this thinking has led to considerable debauchery in Japan. An immoral act is fine since it is the act of a Buddha (we are all Buddha’s deep down inside).

Everything becomes a symbol  or a metaphor and a reflection or a mirror to the central Truth which is that you are a Buddha inherently.  

This is not the teaching of the great Buddhist sages. To them the Buddha was..... imminent..... up close, accessible via faith and practice. “Imminent” is different than inherent.

Unfortunately, Hongaku zealots have produced forgeries under the name of the Great Teachers to make it look as if they are in agreement with all this. Sometimes the document is made up out of whole cloth and sometimes an existing treatise is altered and this Hongaku doctrine is inserted.

This heresy has influenced all the Buddhist Schools. The largest Nichiren group, the Soka Gakkai, is very caught up with this Hongaku idea. They have well over 20 million members. However, no writing by Nichiren that teaches Hongaku has ever been authenticated. Not one , not ever. They are all frauds…………..Go figure


The notion that immoral acts are fine because we are all inherently enlightened (as, for example, in the doctrine of "Imperial Way Zen") was--and is acknowledged by modern Buddhists to have been--one of the great perversions of the Buddha's teachings. Immoral acts are never "OK." Anyone doubting this should take a look at the extremely extensive literature on ethics, morality, and the behavior of monks.

I don't believe your statement that the doctrine of Original Mind arose in the 14th century and that anything purporting to be an earlier appearance of that teaching is a forgery is entirely accurate. Certainly, there are plenty of made up stories in all religions, but that would have had to be very systematic and very complete a job of forgery to have included as much as it did--the entire 95 fascicles of Shobogenzo, for example, and many early sources in all their translated versions.

In any event, I'm not sure what your point is?

As you point out, though, many of Nichiren's followers have been closely associated with a variety of heresies over the years. Most mainstream Buddhists (certainly those outside Japan) would probably regard Soka Gakkai as an heretical group, not genuinely Buddhist--roughly the way Orthodox Christians regard Jehovah's Witnesses.

I don't believe your statement that the doctrine of Original Mind arose in the 14th century and that anything purporting to be an earlier appearance of that teaching is a forgery is entirely accurate. Certainly, there are plenty of made up stories in all religions, but that would have had to be very systematic and very complete a job of forgery to have included as much as it did--the entire 95 fascicles of Shobogenzo, for example, and many early sources in all their translated versions.

You need to be careful not to confuse legitimate images of inherency with the later corrupt form.
I am not entirely certain what you mean by "Original Mind" but the idea in Zen of returning to an unfettered natural Mind in not corrupt Hongaku.
Zen teaches that Birds express their Birdness naturally and unfettered. A Tree it's Treeness etc. Only Humans over lay lots of crap on top of their clear Mind. The idea is to return to the clear- Original Mind- of a Human.

That can easily slip into the heresy that I was speaking of. Since we can through practice have this clear natural Mind, we therefore are enlightened Inherently. That is not the intent of the Shobogenzo or other authentic Zen Teachings. though I would not be shocked if later scoundrels added corrupt Hongaku imagery to those idea's.

It takes awhile to spot the tell tale signs of the corrupt form.  

In any event, I'm not sure what your point is?<<

The point you made earlier that it's okay to bow to a likeness of Kannon  because she is a mere representation of your inner self seemed to draw from corrupt Original Enlightenment idea's.

>>As you point out, though, many of Nichiren's followers have been closely associated with a variety of heresies over the years. Most mainstream Buddhists (certainly those outside Japan) would probably regard Soka Gakkai as an heretical group, not genuinely Buddhist--roughly the way Orthodox Christians regard Jehovah's Witnesses. <<

Many Buddhist are jealous of the success of the Soka Gakkai. While they damn them in one instance, they wish they could be as popular with the next.

There is a difference between the Soka Gakkai and the other Nichiren Sects. No educated person familiar with them could rightly accuse the Main Stream Nichiren groups of not being Buddhist.

http://www.nichiren-shu.org/

 The Soka Gakkai does strain credibility. They have adopted a Health Wealth and Happiness approach and also the a fore mentioned corrupt Hongaku philosophy.  





Yes, I'm familiar with the difference. I've done a little work with Nichiren monks and found them sincere and rather inspiring. But I know I don't need to tell you that Soka Gakai has some very scary tendencies. I won't tax them with accusations of nationalism, since every Buddhist school (and all the Christians, too, I might add) went right along with the militarization of Japan and the rape of China and Asia generally. But in their present form they feel distinctly cult-like, sort of like a Japanese version of Scientology, but with less outlandish mythology.
Logged
Hermogenes
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 493



« Reply #19 on: February 17, 2011, 10:03:10 AM »

The notion that immoral acts are fine because we are all inherently enlightened (as, for example, in the doctrine of "Imperial Way Zen") was--and is acknowledged by modern Buddhists to have been--one of the great perversions of the Buddha's teachings. Immoral acts are never "OK." Anyone doubting this should take a look at the extremely extensive literature on ethics, morality, and the behavior of monks.

While you probably won't find this kind of nonsense among some of the more sober Chinese and Theravada Buddhists, Japanese Zen and Tibetan Tantric groups can be rife with it. The problem is that in these traditions the disciple is supposed to regard the master as an enlightened being and there is a strong pressure to regard his immoral acts as esoteric expressions of enlightenment. So if your master sleeps with his students, spends all his monastery's cash to buy himself fancy cars, or is a warmongering nationalist or an alcoholic, these all somehow have to explained away as examples of "crazy wisdom" which only seem immoral to the deluded, unenlightened student. Consider the Karmapa controversy- the Tibetan Karma Kagyu lineage is split in two, because different sets of "enlightened" tulkus recognize a different Karmapa, and accuse each other of lying, thievery, and even murder. Why are these supposed emanations of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas bickering? Someone told me, "maybe it's just a test for us, to resist the temptation to judge our gurus."

I don't think "Imperial Zen" has gone away. The Soto sect has renounced it, but I think most of the Rinzai sects have yet to do so.

It's Imperial Way Buddhism (or Christianity), all sects bought in, as did all Christians. The principle has been repudiated officially, but of course there are still nationalists in all areas of Japanese society.

No rational Zen student sees his master as fully enlightened. The master is a place-holder, if you will, representing Buddha, Dogen, Rinzai, etc. The master ought (one hopes) to have realized his true nature to a much higher degree than the student, so is deserving of respect. Surrendering the ego, as far as this is possible, is for the benefit of the student (and by extension all beings), not the master. The exact same relationship exists in all Christian monasteries, either of the East or the West. All bow to the decisions of the abbot, as well as to their monastic superiors. He is described in the rules as being in the place of Christ. There's no difference at all between the two traditions, except that Japanese tend to be a little more skeptical about it.

Immoral acts are immoral, period.

Having sex with one's students is more complicated a question in our society. I personally feel it is always wrong, but in a society where casual sex is regarded as normative and even healthy, it is not too surprising that boundaries such as these are more porous than we might wish. I don't see how sex under those conditions can be fully consensual, but I know circumstances where it was. It also creates resentment among other students, especially if the teacher's lover gets advanced ahead of others, which I've also seen. So I want to be clear: I am in no way defending it. I'm simply saying in mixed communities of adults, in a society that glorifies practically every manifestation of sex, it is not at all surprising. A good tree produces good fruit. Our society isn't a good tree.

Financial problems are often due to a teacher's incompetence, or to delegating too much oversight to others. But just as in the Christian world (can you say OCA or Antiochian Archdiocese?), money is a huge temptation. Best to keep communities small and poor, in my view.
Logged
Hermogenes
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 493



« Reply #20 on: February 17, 2011, 10:11:02 AM »

Quote

The SGI was the lay organization for a legit Nichrien branch, the Nichiren Shoshu. They had diverged from authentic Nichiren-ism in the 1400's. They adopted a concept called "Hongaku Shi so". Everyone is the Buddha, you need only practice to bring out this inherent Buddha-hood. Lots of Japanese Buddhism was infected by this idea and you can see it all round today. When you see the metaphor " Polish the Mirror of your life to reflect your Buddhahood" it is representative of this concept.

Nichiren had a far different idea. He took the Eternal Buddha seriously and believed in his actual existence ( he was not a metaphor for the "Buddha within"). Nichiren started out as a Tendai Shu monk whom as you pointed out take the Lotus Sutra ( "Hokkeyo" jap.) as the final and supreme teaching of Buddhism.

They believe as does the Nichiren Sect that as we travel in time further and further away from the Buddha's temporal life in India, the capacity of the ordinary person to practice diminishes. At the point in time of master Tendai (538-597)  in China, it was believed that we were about to enter the final Dharma age, "Mappo". Capacity is so degraded in Mappo that the only way people can reache enlightenment is directly from the Eternal Buddha Shakyamuni.

The Tendai shu and Nichiren in his early career believed that Buddhist practice was only for a few talented people. They used all kinds of complicated Esoteric practices not suited for everyday use by the common folk. It was on that point that Nichiren evetually broke away and developed a practice so simple and elegant that everyone, Monk and commoner alike could practice it. It was also so potent that a devoted person could reach enlightenment in his current body.

The formula was thus. The Lotus Sutra is the Buddha's highest teaching. It contains the entirety of his enlightenment. The entire Sutra and all of it's merits is contained in it's title "Myoho Renge Kyo".. The Buddha's Dharma ( his word) and the Buddha are identical. Therefore if one hears the Title of the Sutra ( by chanting it) with faith ( adding " Namu" or "devotion to". Thus making the entire recitation "Namu Myoho Renge Kyo") you had the complete practice.

When one takes in the entire Dharma by hearing it, the seed of enlightenment is thereby planted within your life. After awhile one takes notice like a pregnant women who does not at first feel her child but later becomes aware of him ( Paraphrase of Nichiren). Nichiren belived that you thus commune with the Buddha who actually indwells within you, transforms you and leads you to enlightenment which you cannot ( In Mappo) reach by your own power.

So:

The Buddha actually exists as a Divine Supreme Being who has eternal life.

All people have the ability to become enlightend, not just a seperate class of Monks

The Word ( The Sutra) and the Person are for all intents and purposes identical in merit.

You achieve enlightenment by communion with this Supreme Being and by his grace alone.      

You commune by hearing the Dharma encapsulated in an easy to use form, the Title of the Hokkeyo .

The Buddha thereby indwells within your life and transforms you..

Sound at all familiar ?... Nichiren was a smart cookie. He got an awful lot right.  

( Yes, it was the Mongol invasion)

It was virtually the same rationale as that of the Pure Land school, except in place of the title of a sutra they chant the Nembutsu, the name of the Amida Butsu, the buddha of the Western Pure Land.

As far as simplicity, it is hard to imagine anything simpler than Dogen's zazen. Just sit. But here we are squabbling like a bunch of Japanese pigeons! LOL
Logged
Marc1152
Toumarches
************
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Rocor
Posts: 13,496


Probiotic .. Antibiotic


« Reply #21 on: February 17, 2011, 11:43:46 AM »

The idea that people are inherently enlightened took hold in Japan in the 14th Century after the lifetimes of the Great Japanese sages, Nichiren, Dogen, Saicho, Kobo,and the rest.  The doctrine is called “Hongaku-Shi so” or  or more commonly “Original Enlightenment”.

There has always been a sort of Hongaku in Buddhism but how it was thought of changed in the 14th century. Until the change , it meant that the common person inherently posses the capacity for enlightenment. They had "Buddha Nature". People are like a fertile field ready for the seed of enlightenment to be planted.

This changed to “People are already Buddhas inherently” so therefore the Buddha Nature became "The Buddha". People are already the field and seed both. Practice then becomes a method of realizing your already existing enlightenment. You are “Originally Enlightened
.”
In the truer form, you have capacity, the Buddha (who actually exists) has enlightenment and you bridge the gap via your faith. Faith is both mental agreement (the Mind of Faith) and physically practicing ( Chanting, Meditation etc.).

Hongaku has enjoyed ups and downs in popularity. It is consciously taught to Americans/Westerners. The Japanese understand that Western converts are often running away from Christianity or Judaism and want to spin Buddhism in a manner that is sale-able.
I have a close friend who is a well known translator of Nichiren who once confronted a high ranking Priest and asked him:

”Why don’t you tell these people the Truth”?

 In other words why are you teaching them Hongaku? His answer was: “They would never believe it” ( the authentic teachings)

Hogaku ( Original enlightenment) has some similarities to Christian Gnosticism. In one of Elaine Pagles books about Gnostic beliefs she tells the story of speaking to an American Buddhist Monk. He said that if he knew what Christianity “really taught” ( Gnosticism) he probably would never have become a Buddhist.

There are many implications to   a Hongaku styled World View. Mandalas become mere symbols since the "Real Buddha" is always within yourself. The Sutra’s are not the Truth, the Truth is your own experience, since you are a Buddha.
At times this thinking has led to considerable debauchery in Japan. An immoral act is fine since it is the act of a Buddha (we are all Buddha’s deep down inside).

Everything becomes a symbol  or a metaphor and a reflection or a mirror to the central Truth which is that you are a Buddha inherently.  

This is not the teaching of the great Buddhist sages. To them the Buddha was..... imminent..... up close, accessible via faith and practice. “Imminent” is different than inherent.

Unfortunately, Hongaku zealots have produced forgeries under the name of the Great Teachers to make it look as if they are in agreement with all this. Sometimes the document is made up out of whole cloth and sometimes an existing treatise is altered and this Hongaku doctrine is inserted.

This heresy has influenced all the Buddhist Schools. The largest Nichiren group, the Soka Gakkai, is very caught up with this Hongaku idea. They have well over 20 million members. However, no writing by Nichiren that teaches Hongaku has ever been authenticated. Not one , not ever. They are all frauds…………..Go figure


The notion that immoral acts are fine because we are all inherently enlightened (as, for example, in the doctrine of "Imperial Way Zen") was--and is acknowledged by modern Buddhists to have been--one of the great perversions of the Buddha's teachings. Immoral acts are never "OK." Anyone doubting this should take a look at the extremely extensive literature on ethics, morality, and the behavior of monks.

I don't believe your statement that the doctrine of Original Mind arose in the 14th century and that anything purporting to be an earlier appearance of that teaching is a forgery is entirely accurate. Certainly, there are plenty of made up stories in all religions, but that would have had to be very systematic and very complete a job of forgery to have included as much as it did--the entire 95 fascicles of Shobogenzo, for example, and many early sources in all their translated versions.

In any event, I'm not sure what your point is?

As you point out, though, many of Nichiren's followers have been closely associated with a variety of heresies over the years. Most mainstream Buddhists (certainly those outside Japan) would probably regard Soka Gakkai as an heretical group, not genuinely Buddhist--roughly the way Orthodox Christians regard Jehovah's Witnesses.

I don't believe your statement that the doctrine of Original Mind arose in the 14th century and that anything purporting to be an earlier appearance of that teaching is a forgery is entirely accurate. Certainly, there are plenty of made up stories in all religions, but that would have had to be very systematic and very complete a job of forgery to have included as much as it did--the entire 95 fascicles of Shobogenzo, for example, and many early sources in all their translated versions.

You need to be careful not to confuse legitimate images of inherency with the later corrupt form.
I am not entirely certain what you mean by "Original Mind" but the idea in Zen of returning to an unfettered natural Mind in not corrupt Hongaku.
Zen teaches that Birds express their Birdness naturally and unfettered. A Tree it's Treeness etc. Only Humans over lay lots of crap on top of their clear Mind. The idea is to return to the clear- Original Mind- of a Human.

That can easily slip into the heresy that I was speaking of. Since we can through practice have this clear natural Mind, we therefore are enlightened Inherently. That is not the intent of the Shobogenzo or other authentic Zen Teachings. though I would not be shocked if later scoundrels added corrupt Hongaku imagery to those idea's.

It takes awhile to spot the tell tale signs of the corrupt form.  

In any event, I'm not sure what your point is?<<

The point you made earlier that it's okay to bow to a likeness of Kannon  because she is a mere representation of your inner self seemed to draw from corrupt Original Enlightenment idea's.

>>As you point out, though, many of Nichiren's followers have been closely associated with a variety of heresies over the years. Most mainstream Buddhists (certainly those outside Japan) would probably regard Soka Gakkai as an heretical group, not genuinely Buddhist--roughly the way Orthodox Christians regard Jehovah's Witnesses. <<

Many Buddhist are jealous of the success of the Soka Gakkai. While they damn them in one instance, they wish they could be as popular with the next.

There is a difference between the Soka Gakkai and the other Nichiren Sects. No educated person familiar with them could rightly accuse the Main Stream Nichiren groups of not being Buddhist.

http://www.nichiren-shu.org/

 The Soka Gakkai does strain credibility. They have adopted a Health Wealth and Happiness approach and also the a fore mentioned corrupt Hongaku philosophy.  





Yes, I'm familiar with the difference. I've done a little work with Nichiren monks and found them sincere and rather inspiring. But I know I don't need to tell you that Soka Gakai has some very scary tendencies. I won't tax them with accusations of nationalism, since every Buddhist school (and all the Christians, too, I might add) went right along with the militarization of Japan and the rape of China and Asia generally. But in their present form they feel distinctly cult-like, sort of like a Japanese version of Scientology, but with less outlandish mythology.

Yup.. I agree
Logged

Your idea has been debunked 1000 times already.. Maybe 1001 will be the charm
Ebor
Vanyar
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Posts: 6,440



« Reply #22 on: February 27, 2011, 01:24:24 PM »

Actually Christianity has a rather long history in Japan, dating back to the 700s.  It died out in the 1100s…devolving and being mixed with bit of Daoism and Buddhism and the like.  The largest Buddhist monastery in Japan is built on the ruins of one of the last Nestorian churches in Japan in the 11th century. One of its timbers still survives with a few words of Syrian script, a Gospel portion, visible upon it and can be seen in the national museum.

So even though Nestorian Christianity died out, a lot of its ideas lingered and took root in Japanese popular religious culture:

http://www.syriacstudies.com/AFSS/Syriac_Articles_in_English/Entries/2009/5/6_SYRIAN_NESTORIANISM_IN_JAPAN__.html

That is very interesting. I makes you wonder.

It doesn't make me wonder.  I've seen this sort of thing before and I did some research on it for this thread from 2004. http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,3357.45.html The Mrs. Gordon mentioned was part of it and I do not think that she should be considered a good resource.  

Further, while I have not been able so far to find out the precise quote by "noted English scholar, Professor Lewis Bush" nor what its source is (and the ellipses in the quote make me suspicious) the idea that there was "complete indifference" to knowledge and memory of Prince Shotoku is astounding to the point of being imho ridiculous.  The prince put forth the first constitution in which he promoted Buddhism http://www.sarudama.com/japanese_history/jushichijokenpo.shtml  
He promoted the founding of at least one Buddhist temple and there are statues of him.  He was certainly remembered enough to be controversial:  http://www.onmarkproductions.com/html/shotoku-taishi.html  
He was not forgotten, but mentioned in the Kojiki and his image was put in a 10,000 yen note. Here is a picture of one from 1958: http://cuip.uchicago.edu/~tonli/wit2002/Yen2.htm
  
Quote
I have never seen anything to indicate Nichiren had any contact with Christians but as you said, some idea's may have crept into the general population. However, I think my teacher ( who is a famous translator of Nichiren) would reject the suggestion.

Without some very good and reliable support I would not believe that Nichiren had ever met any Christians nor that there was Christianity in Japan until the coming of the Portuguese in the 15th

Ebor

And here is more from another old thread about a copy of the Nestorian stele from Xian which was put up on Mt. Koya in 1911 http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,11272.0.html
« Last Edit: February 27, 2011, 01:36:02 PM by Ebor » Logged

"I wish they would remember that the charge to Peter was "Feed my sheep", not "Try experiments on my rats", or even "Teach my performing dogs new tricks". - C. S. Lewis

The Katana of Reasoned Discussion

For some a world view is more like a neighborhood watch.
Hermogenes
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 493



« Reply #23 on: March 01, 2011, 04:17:19 PM »

  
Quote
I have never seen anything to indicate Nichiren had any contact with Christians but as you said, some idea's may have crept into the general population. However, I think my teacher ( who is a famous translator of Nichiren) would reject the suggestion.

Quote
Without some very good and reliable support I would not believe that Nichiren had ever met any Christians nor that there was Christianity in Japan until the coming of the Portuguese in the 15th

Not unless he traveled in Western China or went to the court of the Khan, and I'm not aware that he did.

Why all this interest in Nichiren? He's one of the most unorthodox of all the reformers. His practice is exactly akin to Christians sitting around praising the title of ONE of the books of the Bible. Not reading the book, mind you, just reciting its name. "Homage to the First Letter of the Apostle Paul to the Corinthians!" Because in this degenerate time, we are unable to appreciate or understand the true meaning of the book itself, and because the title represents the contents, at least in an esoteric sense. I am simplifying and reducing to absurdity, and of course devout Nichiren Buddhists study the Lotus Sutra. And there is a way in which mantra practice can be a very deep practice. But I'm only trying to point out that Nichiren's practice is one of the least mainstream, and his is one of the sects where the least correlation with Christianity could be made.
« Last Edit: March 01, 2011, 04:19:06 PM by Hermogenes » Logged
Marc1152
Toumarches
************
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Rocor
Posts: 13,496


Probiotic .. Antibiotic


« Reply #24 on: March 01, 2011, 11:03:05 PM »

 
Quote
I have never seen anything to indicate Nichiren had any contact with Christians but as you said, some idea's may have crept into the general population. However, I think my teacher ( who is a famous translator of Nichiren) would reject the suggestion.

Quote
Without some very good and reliable support I would not believe that Nichiren had ever met any Christians nor that there was Christianity in Japan until the coming of the Portuguese in the 15th

Not unless he traveled in Western China or went to the court of the Khan, and I'm not aware that he did.

Why all this interest in Nichiren? He's one of the most unorthodox of all the reformers. His practice is exactly akin to Christians sitting around praising the title of ONE of the books of the Bible. Not reading the book, mind you, just reciting its name. "Homage to the First Letter of the Apostle Paul to the Corinthians!" Because in this degenerate time, we are unable to appreciate or understand the true meaning of the book itself, and because the title represents the contents, at least in an esoteric sense. I am simplifying and reducing to absurdity, and of course devout Nichiren Buddhists study the Lotus Sutra. And there is a way in which mantra practice can be a very deep practice. But I'm only trying to point out that Nichiren's practice is one of the least mainstream, and his is one of the sects where the least correlation with Christianity could be made.

Actually it is the mainstream. Nichiren Buddhists far out number all other sects. It must have happened while you were not looking. Smiley
Logged

Your idea has been debunked 1000 times already.. Maybe 1001 will be the charm
Iconodule
Uranopolitan
Warned
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Ecumenical Patriarchate (ACROD)
Posts: 7,132


"My god is greater."


« Reply #25 on: March 01, 2011, 11:06:38 PM »

 
Quote
I have never seen anything to indicate Nichiren had any contact with Christians but as you said, some idea's may have crept into the general population. However, I think my teacher ( who is a famous translator of Nichiren) would reject the suggestion.

Quote
Without some very good and reliable support I would not believe that Nichiren had ever met any Christians nor that there was Christianity in Japan until the coming of the Portuguese in the 15th

Not unless he traveled in Western China or went to the court of the Khan, and I'm not aware that he did.

Why all this interest in Nichiren? He's one of the most unorthodox of all the reformers. His practice is exactly akin to Christians sitting around praising the title of ONE of the books of the Bible. Not reading the book, mind you, just reciting its name. "Homage to the First Letter of the Apostle Paul to the Corinthians!" Because in this degenerate time, we are unable to appreciate or understand the true meaning of the book itself, and because the title represents the contents, at least in an esoteric sense. I am simplifying and reducing to absurdity, and of course devout Nichiren Buddhists study the Lotus Sutra. And there is a way in which mantra practice can be a very deep practice. But I'm only trying to point out that Nichiren's practice is one of the least mainstream, and his is one of the sects where the least correlation with Christianity could be made.

Actually it is the mainstream. Nichiren Buddhists far out number all other sects. It must have happened while you were not looking. Smiley

If you discount SGI, is that still the case?
Logged

"A riddle or the cricket's cry
Is to doubt a fit reply." - William Blake
Marc1152
Toumarches
************
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Rocor
Posts: 13,496


Probiotic .. Antibiotic


« Reply #26 on: March 02, 2011, 11:49:54 AM »

 
Quote
I have never seen anything to indicate Nichiren had any contact with Christians but as you said, some idea's may have crept into the general population. However, I think my teacher ( who is a famous translator of Nichiren) would reject the suggestion.

Quote
Without some very good and reliable support I would not believe that Nichiren had ever met any Christians nor that there was Christianity in Japan until the coming of the Portuguese in the 15th

Not unless he traveled in Western China or went to the court of the Khan, and I'm not aware that he did.

Why all this interest in Nichiren? He's one of the most unorthodox of all the reformers. His practice is exactly akin to Christians sitting around praising the title of ONE of the books of the Bible. Not reading the book, mind you, just reciting its name. "Homage to the First Letter of the Apostle Paul to the Corinthians!" Because in this degenerate time, we are unable to appreciate or understand the true meaning of the book itself, and because the title represents the contents, at least in an esoteric sense. I am simplifying and reducing to absurdity, and of course devout Nichiren Buddhists study the Lotus Sutra. And there is a way in which mantra practice can be a very deep practice. But I'm only trying to point out that Nichiren's practice is one of the least mainstream, and his is one of the sects where the least correlation with Christianity could be made.

Actually it is the mainstream. Nichiren Buddhists far out number all other sects. It must have happened while you were not looking. Smiley

If you discount SGI, is that still the case?

If you discount the Catholic Church is Christianity still a major religion?

If you discount Prosperity Mega Churches, are Evengelicals still a major faction?

Etc.

Like them or not, the SGI is a legit lineage stemming from Nikko Shonin one of Nichiren's hand picked heirs. No one should say they not  "Real" Nichiren Buddhists. The other Nichiren sects would not say that except in a fit of pique.

Yes, they are political ( the are the 3rd largest Party in Japan) and they have dumbed down Nichiren's formula...Much like Protestants have done to Christianity.. No?
Logged

Your idea has been debunked 1000 times already.. Maybe 1001 will be the charm
Hermogenes
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 493



« Reply #27 on: March 02, 2011, 01:07:17 PM »

 
Quote
I have never seen anything to indicate Nichiren had any contact with Christians but as you said, some idea's may have crept into the general population. However, I think my teacher ( who is a famous translator of Nichiren) would reject the suggestion.

Quote
Without some very good and reliable support I would not believe that Nichiren had ever met any Christians nor that there was Christianity in Japan until the coming of the Portuguese in the 15th

Not unless he traveled in Western China or went to the court of the Khan, and I'm not aware that he did.

Why all this interest in Nichiren? He's one of the most unorthodox of all the reformers. His practice is exactly akin to Christians sitting around praising the title of ONE of the books of the Bible. Not reading the book, mind you, just reciting its name. "Homage to the First Letter of the Apostle Paul to the Corinthians!" Because in this degenerate time, we are unable to appreciate or understand the true meaning of the book itself, and because the title represents the contents, at least in an esoteric sense. I am simplifying and reducing to absurdity, and of course devout Nichiren Buddhists study the Lotus Sutra. And there is a way in which mantra practice can be a very deep practice. But I'm only trying to point out that Nichiren's practice is one of the least mainstream, and his is one of the sects where the least correlation with Christianity could be made.

Actually it is the mainstream. Nichiren Buddhists far out number all other sects. It must have happened while you were not looking. Smiley
Just because there are a lot of them doesn't make them orthodox. And I believe it is actually Soka Gakai that outnumbers the other sects, not Nichirenshu per se. The traditional form of Nichiren (the one that has monks and stuff) is pretty small, compared to Sotoshu and the Pure Land schools.

It's pretty easily settled. Do you know how many Nichiren temples or priests there are in Japan? I don't, so this is a real question. NOT including Soka Gakai.
Logged
Iconodule
Uranopolitan
Warned
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Ecumenical Patriarchate (ACROD)
Posts: 7,132


"My god is greater."


« Reply #28 on: March 02, 2011, 04:45:44 PM »

I don't think it makes sense to compare the different Buddhist sects to Christian denominations. Pure Land, Chan, Tiantai, Theravada, Geluk, etc. are all different Buddhist sects, but they all recognize each other as Buddhist. Even if a given school might claim that theirs is the "higher" teaching, this does not amount to the kind of division one sees between, say, Orthodoxy and Protestantism. But I doubt anyone from these sects would recognize SGI as legitimate Buddhism.
Logged

"A riddle or the cricket's cry
Is to doubt a fit reply." - William Blake
Marc1152
Toumarches
************
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Rocor
Posts: 13,496


Probiotic .. Antibiotic


« Reply #29 on: March 02, 2011, 05:26:09 PM »

I don't think it makes sense to compare the different Buddhist sects to Christian denominations. Pure Land, Chan, Tiantai, Theravada, Geluk, etc. are all different Buddhist sects, but they all recognize each other as Buddhist. Even if a given school might claim that theirs is the "higher" teaching, this does not amount to the kind of division one sees between, say, Orthodoxy and Protestantism. But I doubt anyone from these sects would recognize SGI as legitimate Buddhism.

That is simply not correct. No expert or scholar with a reputation to protect would say the SGI is not a legitimate form of Nichiren Buddhism. That is not to say that people jealous of their success would not throw rocks but that's all it would be.

lets review:

Do they  have a legitimate lineage?

Yes, without question. They come from the Nikko school. He was one of Nichiren's hand picked heirs. Now they would say Nikko was Nichiren's sole heir, which is incorrect but all Japanese groups like to puff up their founders reputation. Par for the course IMHO.

Do they practice Nichiren's formula for enlightenment?

Again, without question. They chant the "Daimoku"  (Namu Myoho Renge Kyo) and recite the essential portions of the Lotus Sutra. They use the "DaiMandara" or "Gohonzon" as their Object of Worship. Those are the basic elements of Nichirenism.

Now they have adopted the false Metaphysical View of Hongaku Shiso as I wrote about earlier. But most of the current Japanese sects have either flirted with that philosophy or teach it outright.

They have a fearless leader, Daisaku Ikeda but he does not fit the exact mold of cult leaders like Sun Yung Moon.
It is true that many if not most SGI members hang on every trite word he speaks, but it is not at all a requirement. I know many SGI members who are not at all fans of his and have lived within the SGI for decades.  

They have added a strong dose of "Humanism" to their idea's. Happiness in this life. That is not a heresy.

They are not very intellectual. They dont have the snob appeal of many other forms of Buddhism it is true. they have as members more than a few Artists, Musicians and Actors: Patrick Duffy, Herbie Hancock, Tina Turner.... She credits her SGI practice for giving her the strength to leave Ike.
Go ahead and tell her she isn't "Really" a Buddhist.  

I recall just recently seeing a Musician being interview after he won a Grammy ( I cant remember his name). he talked very simply about about what a mess he used to be and how Buddhism ( SGI) had changed him.

 Years ago they would go down to the red-light district here in DC and convert Prostitutes. They would go into Prisons. They would build community centers in poorer areas. They are the sole Buddhist sect in the USA to have a very large number of African Americans as members.  

Talk is cheap
« Last Edit: March 02, 2011, 05:34:17 PM by Marc1152 » Logged

Your idea has been debunked 1000 times already.. Maybe 1001 will be the charm
Hermogenes
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 493



« Reply #30 on: March 02, 2011, 05:34:41 PM »

I don't think it makes sense to compare the different Buddhist sects to Christian denominations. Pure Land, Chan, Tiantai, Theravada, Geluk, etc. are all different Buddhist sects, but they all recognize each other as Buddhist. Even if a given school might claim that theirs is the "higher" teaching, this does not amount to the kind of division one sees between, say, Orthodoxy and Protestantism. But I doubt anyone from these sects would recognize SGI as legitimate Buddhism.

Well, the statement that the differences aren't as pronounced as between Orthodoxy and Protestantism is flat wrong. To Buddhists, Christians look the same, too, hardly any significant differences. All Christians believe that Christ rose from the dead--even Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses believe that. They believe that He was born of Mary in Bethlehem, and they believe in the prophecies of the Old Testament. They pray to the same God and they all worship Jesus as His Son. They squabble about bread and what happens esoterically during some of their ceremonies, but on all the main points they see things pretty much the same way...

So you see how dangerous it can be to generalize. A Vajrayana Buddhist has no more in common with a Nichiren adherent than an Episcopalian does with a holy roller. And Zen Buddhists and ALL other sects differ profoundly on the fundamental teachings of what it means to be an enlightened human being. They are really complete polar opposites in terms of how they define the process and the experience.
Logged
Iconodule
Uranopolitan
Warned
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Ecumenical Patriarchate (ACROD)
Posts: 7,132


"My god is greater."


« Reply #31 on: March 02, 2011, 05:43:38 PM »

I don't think it makes sense to compare the different Buddhist sects to Christian denominations. Pure Land, Chan, Tiantai, Theravada, Geluk, etc. are all different Buddhist sects, but they all recognize each other as Buddhist. Even if a given school might claim that theirs is the "higher" teaching, this does not amount to the kind of division one sees between, say, Orthodoxy and Protestantism. But I doubt anyone from these sects would recognize SGI as legitimate Buddhism.

Well, the statement that the differences aren't as pronounced as between Orthodoxy and Protestantism is flat wrong. To Buddhists, Christians look the same, too, hardly any significant differences. All Christians believe that Christ rose from the dead--even Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses believe that. They believe that He was born of Mary in Bethlehem, and they believe in the prophecies of the Old Testament. They pray to the same God and they all worship Jesus as His Son. They squabble about bread and what happens esoterically during some of their ceremonies, but on all the main points they see things pretty much the same way...

So you see how dangerous it can be to generalize. A Vajrayana Buddhist has no more in common with a Nichiren adherent than an Episcopalian does with a holy roller. And Zen Buddhists and ALL other sects differ profoundly on the fundamental teachings of what it means to be an enlightened human being. They are really complete polar opposites in terms of how they define the process and the experience.

Sorry, I don't think you understand Buddhism much at all.
Logged

"A riddle or the cricket's cry
Is to doubt a fit reply." - William Blake
Iconodule
Uranopolitan
Warned
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Ecumenical Patriarchate (ACROD)
Posts: 7,132


"My god is greater."


« Reply #32 on: March 02, 2011, 05:49:43 PM »

I don't think it makes sense to compare the different Buddhist sects to Christian denominations. Pure Land, Chan, Tiantai, Theravada, Geluk, etc. are all different Buddhist sects, but they all recognize each other as Buddhist. Even if a given school might claim that theirs is the "higher" teaching, this does not amount to the kind of division one sees between, say, Orthodoxy and Protestantism. But I doubt anyone from these sects would recognize SGI as legitimate Buddhism.

That is simply not correct. No expert or scholar with a reputation to protect would say the SGI is not a legitimate form of Nichiren Buddhism. That is not to say that people jealous of their success would not throw rocks but that's all it would be.

lets review:

Do they  have a legitimate lineage?

Yes, without question. They come from the Nikko school. He was one of Nichiren's hand picked heirs. Now they would say Nikko was Nichiren's sole heir, which is incorrect but all Japanese groups like to puff up their founders reputation. Par for the course IMHO.

Do they practice Nichiren's formula for enlightenment?

Again, without question. They chant the "Daimoku"  (Namu Myoho Renge Kyo) and recite the essential portions of the Lotus Sutra. They use the "DaiMandara" or "Gohonzon" as their Object of Worship. Those are the basic elements of Nichirenism.

Now they have adopted the false Metaphysical View of Hongaku Shiso as I wrote about earlier. But most of the current Japanese sects have either flirted with that philosophy or teach it outright.

They have a fearless leader, Daisaku Ikeda but he does not fit the exact mold of cult leaders like Sun Yung Moon.
It is true that many if not most SGI members hang on every trite word he speaks, but it is not at all a requirement. I know many SGI members who are not at all fans of his and have lived within the SGI for decades.  

They have added a strong dose of "Humanism" to their idea's. Happiness in this life. That is not a heresy.

They are not very intellectual. They dont have the snob appeal of many other forms of Buddhism it is true. they have as members more than a few Artists, Musicians and Actors: Patrick Duffy, Herbie Hancock, Tina Turner.... She credits her SGI practice for giving her the strength to leave Ike.
Go ahead and tell her she isn't "Really" a Buddhist.  

I recall just recently seeing a Musician being interview after he won a Grammy ( I cant remember his name). he talked very simply about about what a mess he used to be and how Buddhism ( SGI) had changed him.

 Years ago they would go down to the red-light district here in DC and convert Prostitutes. They would go into Prisons. They would build community centers in poorer areas. They are the sole Buddhist sect in the USA to have a very large number of African Americans as members.  

Talk is cheap

Marc- I'm not invested in Buddhism anymore, I'm just relaying the attitude I encountered among Buddhists, of various persuasions. The question isn't whether SGI does good stuff for people (can we please ignore the celebrity testimonies? Otherwise Scientology starts to look promising) but whether it's Buddhist. You argue that it is. I'm not going to disagree.
Logged

"A riddle or the cricket's cry
Is to doubt a fit reply." - William Blake
Marc1152
Toumarches
************
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Rocor
Posts: 13,496


Probiotic .. Antibiotic


« Reply #33 on: March 02, 2011, 05:51:59 PM »

 
Quote
I have never seen anything to indicate Nichiren had any contact with Christians but as you said, some idea's may have crept into the general population. However, I think my teacher ( who is a famous translator of Nichiren) would reject the suggestion.

Quote
Without some very good and reliable support I would not believe that Nichiren had ever met any Christians nor that there was Christianity in Japan until the coming of the Portuguese in the 15th

Not unless he traveled in Western China or went to the court of the Khan, and I'm not aware that he did.

Why all this interest in Nichiren? He's one of the most unorthodox of all the reformers. His practice is exactly akin to Christians sitting around praising the title of ONE of the books of the Bible. Not reading the book, mind you, just reciting its name. "Homage to the First Letter of the Apostle Paul to the Corinthians!" Because in this degenerate time, we are unable to appreciate or understand the true meaning of the book itself, and because the title represents the contents, at least in an esoteric sense. I am simplifying and reducing to absurdity, and of course devout Nichiren Buddhists study the Lotus Sutra. And there is a way in which mantra practice can be a very deep practice. But I'm only trying to point out that Nichiren's practice is one of the least mainstream, and his is one of the sects where the least correlation with Christianity could be made.

Actually it is the mainstream. Nichiren Buddhists far out number all other sects. It must have happened while you were not looking. Smiley
Just because there are a lot of them doesn't make them orthodox. And I believe it is actually Soka Gakai that outnumbers the other sects, not Nichirenshu per se. The traditional form of Nichiren (the one that has monks and stuff) is pretty small, compared to Sotoshu and the Pure Land schools.

It's pretty easily settled. Do you know how many Nichiren temples or priests there are in Japan? I don't, so this is a real question. NOT including Soka Gakai.

The SGI has around 8.3 million members in Japan and about 12 million World Wide;

The Nichiren Shu has around 3 to 5 million members in Japan. I dont know how many outside of Japan. There are six or seven Nichiren Shu Temples here in the USA.

Several Nichiren groups like Honmon Butsuryushu ( "Hapoon Ha"..Eight Chapters branch) have at least one million members and it's sister sect the Hokke Shu with another million. There are probably one or two more that size or close to it. I would think Nichiren Shoshu which the SGI came out of retains around one million

The Risso Kosikai probably has at least 3 million members.

Then there are a dozen or more small sects in the range of 30 to 60 thousand members. Kempon Hokke Shu, Fuju Fuse ha, and others.  
Logged

Your idea has been debunked 1000 times already.. Maybe 1001 will be the charm
Hermogenes
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 493



« Reply #34 on: March 02, 2011, 05:52:57 PM »

I don't think it makes sense to compare the different Buddhist sects to Christian denominations. Pure Land, Chan, T'ien-tai, Theravada, Geluk, etc. are all different Buddhist sects, but they all recognize each other as Buddhist. Even if a given school might claim that theirs is the "higher" teaching, this does not amount to the kind of division one sees between, say, Orthodoxy and Protestantism. But I doubt anyone from these sects would recognize SGI as legitimate Buddhism.

That is simply not correct. No expert or scholar with a reputation to protect would say the SGI is not a legitimate form of Nichiren Buddhism. That is not to say that people jealous of their success would not throw rocks but that's all it would be.

lets review:

Do they  have a legitimate lineage?

Yes, without question. They come from the Nikko school. He was one of Nichiren's hand picked heirs. Now they would say Nikko was Nichiren's sole heir, which is incorrect but all Japanese groups like to puff up their founders reputation. Par for the course IMHO.

Do they practice Nichiren's formula for enlightenment?

Again, without question. They chant the "Daimoku"  (Namu Myoho Renge Kyo) and recite the essential portions of the Lotus Sutra. They use the "DaiMandara" or "Gohonzon" as their Object of Worship. Those are the basic elements of Nichirenism.

Now they have adopted the false Metaphysical View of Hongaku Shiso as I wrote about earlier. But most of the current Japanese sects have either flirted with that philosophy or teach it outright.

They have a fearless leader, Daisaku Ikeda but he does not fit the exact mold of cult leaders like Sun Yung Moon.
It is true that many if not most SGI members hang on every trite word he speaks, but it is not at all a requirement. I know many SGI members who are not at all fans of his and have lived within the SGI for decades.  

They have added a strong dose of "Humanism" to their idea's. Happiness in this life. That is not a heresy.

They are not very intellectual. They dont have the snob appeal of many other forms of Buddhism it is true. they have as members more than a few Artists, Musicians and Actors: Patrick Duffy, Herbie Hancock, Tina Turner.... She credits her SGI practice for giving her the strength to leave Ike.
Go ahead and tell her she isn't "Really" a Buddhist.  

I recall just recently seeing a Musician being interview after he won a Grammy ( I cant remember his name). he talked very simply about about what a mess he used to be and how Buddhism ( SGI) had changed him.

 Years ago they would go down to the red-light district here in DC and convert Prostitutes. They would go into Prisons. They would build community centers in poorer areas. They are the sole Buddhist sect in the USA to have a very large number of African Americans as members.  

Talk is cheap

Almost any religion is preferable to active drug addiction or alcoholism. I am speaking from some experience here. And don't forget that Jim Jones was a well-known community activist with impressive credentials (or so it seemed) before he started messing with Kool-Aid recipes. (Rev. Moon wasn't always regarded as a crazy, either, and still commands some respect in Korea.) You are right about the presence of Nichiren/SGI teachings in the African American community. At least some of that success is due to the message of material prosperity than many Evangelical Protestant churches preach to the same community. Like Rev. Ike.

I can only say the few times I attended Nichiren or SGI services in the US they scared the crap out of me. I was a devout Buddhist for several decades and prepared to be sympathetic to almost any effort to spread the Dharma, although not a pushover. As I've written elsewhere, I worked a few times with Nichiren peace activists and was moved by their integrity and sincerity. What I saw and felt in those temples, though, was something else, and it was frightening.
Logged
Marc1152
Toumarches
************
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Rocor
Posts: 13,496


Probiotic .. Antibiotic


« Reply #35 on: March 02, 2011, 05:56:30 PM »

I don't think it makes sense to compare the different Buddhist sects to Christian denominations. Pure Land, Chan, Tiantai, Theravada, Geluk, etc. are all different Buddhist sects, but they all recognize each other as Buddhist. Even if a given school might claim that theirs is the "higher" teaching, this does not amount to the kind of division one sees between, say, Orthodoxy and Protestantism. But I doubt anyone from these sects would recognize SGI as legitimate Buddhism.

That is simply not correct. No expert or scholar with a reputation to protect would say the SGI is not a legitimate form of Nichiren Buddhism. That is not to say that people jealous of their success would not throw rocks but that's all it would be.

lets review:

Do they  have a legitimate lineage?

Yes, without question. They come from the Nikko school. He was one of Nichiren's hand picked heirs. Now they would say Nikko was Nichiren's sole heir, which is incorrect but all Japanese groups like to puff up their founders reputation. Par for the course IMHO.

Do they practice Nichiren's formula for enlightenment?

Again, without question. They chant the "Daimoku"  (Namu Myoho Renge Kyo) and recite the essential portions of the Lotus Sutra. They use the "DaiMandara" or "Gohonzon" as their Object of Worship. Those are the basic elements of Nichirenism.

Now they have adopted the false Metaphysical View of Hongaku Shiso as I wrote about earlier. But most of the current Japanese sects have either flirted with that philosophy or teach it outright.

They have a fearless leader, Daisaku Ikeda but he does not fit the exact mold of cult leaders like Sun Yung Moon.
It is true that many if not most SGI members hang on every trite word he speaks, but it is not at all a requirement. I know many SGI members who are not at all fans of his and have lived within the SGI for decades.  

They have added a strong dose of "Humanism" to their idea's. Happiness in this life. That is not a heresy.

They are not very intellectual. They dont have the snob appeal of many other forms of Buddhism it is true. they have as members more than a few Artists, Musicians and Actors: Patrick Duffy, Herbie Hancock, Tina Turner.... She credits her SGI practice for giving her the strength to leave Ike.
Go ahead and tell her she isn't "Really" a Buddhist.  

I recall just recently seeing a Musician being interview after he won a Grammy ( I cant remember his name). he talked very simply about about what a mess he used to be and how Buddhism ( SGI) had changed him.

 Years ago they would go down to the red-light district here in DC and convert Prostitutes. They would go into Prisons. They would build community centers in poorer areas. They are the sole Buddhist sect in the USA to have a very large number of African Americans as members.  

Talk is cheap

Marc- I'm not invested in Buddhism anymore, I'm just relaying the attitude I encountered among Buddhists, of various persuasions. The question isn't whether SGI does good stuff for people (can we please ignore the celebrity testimonies? Otherwise Scientology starts to look promising) but whether it's Buddhist. You argue that it is. I'm not going to disagree.

But the basis for smearing them as not real Buddhists is based on actions not doctrinal or historical analysis. Testimonies cut both ways. Live by the anecdote then die by it too.

There is no legitimate reason for saying they are not Buddhists. It's just a way to  insult them.
« Last Edit: March 02, 2011, 05:57:18 PM by Marc1152 » Logged

Your idea has been debunked 1000 times already.. Maybe 1001 will be the charm
Hermogenes
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 493



« Reply #36 on: March 02, 2011, 06:00:13 PM »

 
Quote
I have never seen anything to indicate Nichiren had any contact with Christians but as you said, some idea's may have crept into the general population. However, I think my teacher ( who is a famous translator of Nichiren) would reject the suggestion.

Quote
Without some very good and reliable support I would not believe that Nichiren had ever met any Christians nor that there was Christianity in Japan until the coming of the Portuguese in the 15th

Not unless he traveled in Western China or went to the court of the Khan, and I'm not aware that he did.

Why all this interest in Nichiren? He's one of the most unorthodox of all the reformers. His practice is exactly akin to Christians sitting around praising the title of ONE of the books of the Bible. Not reading the book, mind you, just reciting its name. "Homage to the First Letter of the Apostle Paul to the Corinthians!" Because in this degenerate time, we are unable to appreciate or understand the true meaning of the book itself, and because the title represents the contents, at least in an esoteric sense. I am simplifying and reducing to absurdity, and of course devout Nichiren Buddhists study the Lotus Sutra. And there is a way in which mantra practice can be a very deep practice. But I'm only trying to point out that Nichiren's practice is one of the least mainstream, and his is one of the sects where the least correlation with Christianity could be made.

Actually it is the mainstream. Nichiren Buddhists far out number all other sects. It must have happened while you were not looking. Smiley
Just because there are a lot of them doesn't make them orthodox. And I believe it is actually Soka Gakai that outnumbers the other sects, not Nichirenshu per se. The traditional form of Nichiren (the one that has monks and stuff) is pretty small, compared to Sotoshu and the Pure Land schools.

It's pretty easily settled. Do you know how many Nichiren temples or priests there are in Japan? I don't, so this is a real question. NOT including Soka Gakai.

The SGI has around 8.3 million members in Japan and about 12 million World Wide;

The Nichiren Shu has around 3 to 5 million members in Japan. I dont know how many outside of Japan. There are six or seven Nichiren Shu Temples here in the USA.

Several Nichiren groups like Honmon Butsuryushu ( "Hapoon Ha"..Eight Chapters branch) have at least one million members and it's sister sect the Hokke Shu with another million. There are probably one or two more that size or close to it. I would think Nichiren Shoshu which the SGI came out of retains around one million

The Risso Kosikai probably has at least 3 million members.

Then there are a dozen or more small sects in the range of 30 to 60 thousand members. Kempon Hokke Shu, Fuju Fuse ha, and others.  

Sotoshu Shumucho claims about 15,000 temples in Japan and roughly 20 million adherents. It's hard to measure international membership--most US communities aren't registered, for example. But roughly the same amount overseas seems about right. Soto has large communities in Brazil (more than in the US) and Peru, as well as the US, Europe, and Southern Africa, the rest of Asia, etc. (I'm not combining Japanese Sotowith Chinese or Korean forms.)

I think we've gotten very far away from the topic.
Logged
Marc1152
Toumarches
************
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Rocor
Posts: 13,496


Probiotic .. Antibiotic


« Reply #37 on: March 02, 2011, 06:01:14 PM »

I don't think it makes sense to compare the different Buddhist sects to Christian denominations. Pure Land, Chan, T'ien-tai, Theravada, Geluk, etc. are all different Buddhist sects, but they all recognize each other as Buddhist. Even if a given school might claim that theirs is the "higher" teaching, this does not amount to the kind of division one sees between, say, Orthodoxy and Protestantism. But I doubt anyone from these sects would recognize SGI as legitimate Buddhism.

That is simply not correct. No expert or scholar with a reputation to protect would say the SGI is not a legitimate form of Nichiren Buddhism. That is not to say that people jealous of their success would not throw rocks but that's all it would be.

lets review:

Do they  have a legitimate lineage?

Yes, without question. They come from the Nikko school. He was one of Nichiren's hand picked heirs. Now they would say Nikko was Nichiren's sole heir, which is incorrect but all Japanese groups like to puff up their founders reputation. Par for the course IMHO.

Do they practice Nichiren's formula for enlightenment?

Again, without question. They chant the "Daimoku"  (Namu Myoho Renge Kyo) and recite the essential portions of the Lotus Sutra. They use the "DaiMandara" or "Gohonzon" as their Object of Worship. Those are the basic elements of Nichirenism.

Now they have adopted the false Metaphysical View of Hongaku Shiso as I wrote about earlier. But most of the current Japanese sects have either flirted with that philosophy or teach it outright.

They have a fearless leader, Daisaku Ikeda but he does not fit the exact mold of cult leaders like Sun Yung Moon.
It is true that many if not most SGI members hang on every trite word he speaks, but it is not at all a requirement. I know many SGI members who are not at all fans of his and have lived within the SGI for decades.  

They have added a strong dose of "Humanism" to their idea's. Happiness in this life. That is not a heresy.

They are not very intellectual. They dont have the snob appeal of many other forms of Buddhism it is true. they have as members more than a few Artists, Musicians and Actors: Patrick Duffy, Herbie Hancock, Tina Turner.... She credits her SGI practice for giving her the strength to leave Ike.
Go ahead and tell her she isn't "Really" a Buddhist.  

I recall just recently seeing a Musician being interview after he won a Grammy ( I cant remember his name). he talked very simply about about what a mess he used to be and how Buddhism ( SGI) had changed him.

 Years ago they would go down to the red-light district here in DC and convert Prostitutes. They would go into Prisons. They would build community centers in poorer areas. They are the sole Buddhist sect in the USA to have a very large number of African Americans as members.  

Talk is cheap

Almost any religion is preferable to active drug addiction or alcoholism. I am speaking from some experience here. And don't forget that Jim Jones was a well-known community activist with impressive credentials (or so it seemed) before he started messing with Kool-Aid recipes. (Rev. Moon wasn't always regarded as a crazy, either, and still commands some respect in Korea.) You are right about the presence of Nichiren/SGI teachings in the African American community. At least some of that success is due to the message of material prosperity than many Evangelical Protestant churches preach to the same community. Like Rev. Ike.

I can only say the few times I attended Nichiren or SGI services in the US they scared the crap out of me. I was a devout Buddhist for several decades and prepared to be sympathetic to almost any effort to spread the Dharma, although not a pushover. As I've written elsewhere, I worked a few times with Nichiren peace activists and was moved by their integrity and sincerity. What I saw and felt in those temples, though, was something else, and it was frightening.

You didnt like the Brass Band or the Pep rally songs?

They would say that when you go to meetings of other Buddhists they are filled with nothing but University Graduate Students. Smiley
Logged

Your idea has been debunked 1000 times already.. Maybe 1001 will be the charm
Iconodule
Uranopolitan
Warned
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Ecumenical Patriarchate (ACROD)
Posts: 7,132


"My god is greater."


« Reply #38 on: March 02, 2011, 06:02:00 PM »

For the record I do know someone who heads a local SGI chapter and she doesn't strike me as creepy or "cultish"- actually a pretty fun person to be around.
Logged

"A riddle or the cricket's cry
Is to doubt a fit reply." - William Blake
Marc1152
Toumarches
************
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Rocor
Posts: 13,496


Probiotic .. Antibiotic


« Reply #39 on: March 02, 2011, 06:04:20 PM »

 
Quote
I have never seen anything to indicate Nichiren had any contact with Christians but as you said, some idea's may have crept into the general population. However, I think my teacher ( who is a famous translator of Nichiren) would reject the suggestion.

Quote
Without some very good and reliable support I would not believe that Nichiren had ever met any Christians nor that there was Christianity in Japan until the coming of the Portuguese in the 15th

Not unless he traveled in Western China or went to the court of the Khan, and I'm not aware that he did.

Why all this interest in Nichiren? He's one of the most unorthodox of all the reformers. His practice is exactly akin to Christians sitting around praising the title of ONE of the books of the Bible. Not reading the book, mind you, just reciting its name. "Homage to the First Letter of the Apostle Paul to the Corinthians!" Because in this degenerate time, we are unable to appreciate or understand the true meaning of the book itself, and because the title represents the contents, at least in an esoteric sense. I am simplifying and reducing to absurdity, and of course devout Nichiren Buddhists study the Lotus Sutra. And there is a way in which mantra practice can be a very deep practice. But I'm only trying to point out that Nichiren's practice is one of the least mainstream, and his is one of the sects where the least correlation with Christianity could be made.

Actually it is the mainstream. Nichiren Buddhists far out number all other sects. It must have happened while you were not looking. Smiley
Just because there are a lot of them doesn't make them orthodox. And I believe it is actually Soka Gakai that outnumbers the other sects, not Nichirenshu per se. The traditional form of Nichiren (the one that has monks and stuff) is pretty small, compared to Sotoshu and the Pure Land schools.

It's pretty easily settled. Do you know how many Nichiren temples or priests there are in Japan? I don't, so this is a real question. NOT including Soka Gakai.

The SGI has around 8.3 million members in Japan and about 12 million World Wide;

The Nichiren Shu has around 3 to 5 million members in Japan. I dont know how many outside of Japan. There are six or seven Nichiren Shu Temples here in the USA.

Several Nichiren groups like Honmon Butsuryushu ( "Hapoon Ha"..Eight Chapters branch) have at least one million members and it's sister sect the Hokke Shu with another million. There are probably one or two more that size or close to it. I would think Nichiren Shoshu which the SGI came out of retains around one million

The Risso Kosikai probably has at least 3 million members.

Then there are a dozen or more small sects in the range of 30 to 60 thousand members. Kempon Hokke Shu, Fuju Fuse ha, and others.  

Sotoshu Shumucho claims about 15,000 temples in Japan and roughly 20 million adherents. It's hard to measure international membership--most US communities aren't registered, for example. But roughly the same amount overseas seems about right. Soto has large communities in Brazil (more than in the US) and Peru, as well as the US, Europe, and Southern Africa, the rest of Asia, etc. (I'm not combining Japanese Sotowith Chinese or Korean forms.)

I think we've gotten very far away from the topic.

I have heard the SGI claim 26 million members in Japan. The Japanese are very competitive with each other. And they lie  a lot. Smiley

I was just IMing a buddy who lived in a Nichiren Shu temple in  Japan for awhile. He says they have 16 Million members.. I doubt that very much.
« Last Edit: March 02, 2011, 06:07:49 PM by Marc1152 » Logged

Your idea has been debunked 1000 times already.. Maybe 1001 will be the charm
Iconodule
Uranopolitan
Warned
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Ecumenical Patriarchate (ACROD)
Posts: 7,132


"My god is greater."


« Reply #40 on: March 02, 2011, 06:07:06 PM »

Quote from: Marc1152
I have heard the SGI claim 26 million members in Japan. The Japanese are very competitive with each other. And they lie  a lot. Smiley

Tokyo's 'oldest woman' missing for decades
By Roland Buerk
BBC News, Tokyo

Tokyo's reputed oldest woman has been missing for decades, Japanese officials have discovered as they made checks after the city's supposed oldest man was found to have died years ago.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-10848254  Wink



Excerpt of article added to make post compliant with current forum policy regarding naked links.  -PtA
« Last Edit: March 03, 2011, 12:49:00 AM by PeterTheAleut » Logged

"A riddle or the cricket's cry
Is to doubt a fit reply." - William Blake
Hermogenes
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 493



« Reply #41 on: March 02, 2011, 06:09:00 PM »

I don't think it makes sense to compare the different Buddhist sects to Christian denominations. Pure Land, Chan, Tiantai, Theravada, Geluk, etc. are all different Buddhist sects, but they all recognize each other as Buddhist. Even if a given school might claim that theirs is the "higher" teaching, this does not amount to the kind of division one sees between, say, Orthodoxy and Protestantism. But I doubt anyone from these sects would recognize SGI as legitimate Buddhism.

That is simply not correct. No expert or scholar with a reputation to protect would say the SGI is not a legitimate form of Nichiren Buddhism. That is not to say that people jealous of their success would not throw rocks but that's all it would be.

lets review:

Do they  have a legitimate lineage?

Yes, without question. They come from the Nikko school. He was one of Nichiren's hand picked heirs. Now they would say Nikko was Nichiren's sole heir, which is incorrect but all Japanese groups like to puff up their founders reputation. Par for the course IMHO.

Do they practice Nichiren's formula for enlightenment?

Again, without question. They chant the "Daimoku"  (Namu Myoho Renge Kyo) and recite the essential portions of the Lotus Sutra. They use the "DaiMandara" or "Gohonzon" as their Object of Worship. Those are the basic elements of Nichirenism.

Now they have adopted the false Metaphysical View of Hongaku Shiso as I wrote about earlier. But most of the current Japanese sects have either flirted with that philosophy or teach it outright.

They have a fearless leader, Daisaku Ikeda but he does not fit the exact mold of cult leaders like Sun Yung Moon.
It is true that many if not most SGI members hang on every trite word he speaks, but it is not at all a requirement. I know many SGI members who are not at all fans of his and have lived within the SGI for decades.  

They have added a strong dose of "Humanism" to their idea's. Happiness in this life. That is not a heresy.

They are not very intellectual. They dont have the snob appeal of many other forms of Buddhism it is true. they have as members more than a few Artists, Musicians and Actors: Patrick Duffy, Herbie Hancock, Tina Turner.... She credits her SGI practice for giving her the strength to leave Ike.
Go ahead and tell her she isn't "Really" a Buddhist.  

I recall just recently seeing a Musician being interview after he won a Grammy ( I cant remember his name). he talked very simply about about what a mess he used to be and how Buddhism ( SGI) had changed him.

 Years ago they would go down to the red-light district here in DC and convert Prostitutes. They would go into Prisons. They would build community centers in poorer areas. They are the sole Buddhist sect in the USA to have a very large number of African Americans as members.  

Talk is cheap

Marc- I'm not invested in Buddhism anymore, I'm just relaying the attitude I encountered among Buddhists, of various persuasions. The question isn't whether SGI does good stuff for people (can we please ignore the celebrity testimonies? Otherwise Scientology starts to look promising) but whether it's Buddhist. You argue that it is. I'm not going to disagree.

But the basis for smearing them as not real Buddhists is based on actions not doctrinal or historical analysis. Testimonies cut both ways. Live by the anecdote then die by it too.

There is no legitimate reason for saying they are not Buddhists. It's just a way to  insult them.


Aren't you doing the same thing when you say they are cut off from God's grace? Not just Nichirens, but all Buddhists: God has damned them eternally, all of them. (Along with most Christians, btw.) That's much more serious than an uninformed layperson making an uninformed statement about Buddhism.
Logged
Marc1152
Toumarches
************
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Rocor
Posts: 13,496


Probiotic .. Antibiotic


« Reply #42 on: March 02, 2011, 06:13:54 PM »

I don't think it makes sense to compare the different Buddhist sects to Christian denominations. Pure Land, Chan, Tiantai, Theravada, Geluk, etc. are all different Buddhist sects, but they all recognize each other as Buddhist. Even if a given school might claim that theirs is the "higher" teaching, this does not amount to the kind of division one sees between, say, Orthodoxy and Protestantism. But I doubt anyone from these sects would recognize SGI as legitimate Buddhism.

That is simply not correct. No expert or scholar with a reputation to protect would say the SGI is not a legitimate form of Nichiren Buddhism. That is not to say that people jealous of their success would not throw rocks but that's all it would be.

lets review:

Do they  have a legitimate lineage?

Yes, without question. They come from the Nikko school. He was one of Nichiren's hand picked heirs. Now they would say Nikko was Nichiren's sole heir, which is incorrect but all Japanese groups like to puff up their founders reputation. Par for the course IMHO.

Do they practice Nichiren's formula for enlightenment?

Again, without question. They chant the "Daimoku"  (Namu Myoho Renge Kyo) and recite the essential portions of the Lotus Sutra. They use the "DaiMandara" or "Gohonzon" as their Object of Worship. Those are the basic elements of Nichirenism.

Now they have adopted the false Metaphysical View of Hongaku Shiso as I wrote about earlier. But most of the current Japanese sects have either flirted with that philosophy or teach it outright.

They have a fearless leader, Daisaku Ikeda but he does not fit the exact mold of cult leaders like Sun Yung Moon.
It is true that many if not most SGI members hang on every trite word he speaks, but it is not at all a requirement. I know many SGI members who are not at all fans of his and have lived within the SGI for decades.  

They have added a strong dose of "Humanism" to their idea's. Happiness in this life. That is not a heresy.

They are not very intellectual. They dont have the snob appeal of many other forms of Buddhism it is true. they have as members more than a few Artists, Musicians and Actors: Patrick Duffy, Herbie Hancock, Tina Turner.... She credits her SGI practice for giving her the strength to leave Ike.
Go ahead and tell her she isn't "Really" a Buddhist.  

I recall just recently seeing a Musician being interview after he won a Grammy ( I cant remember his name). he talked very simply about about what a mess he used to be and how Buddhism ( SGI) had changed him.

 Years ago they would go down to the red-light district here in DC and convert Prostitutes. They would go into Prisons. They would build community centers in poorer areas. They are the sole Buddhist sect in the USA to have a very large number of African Americans as members.  

Talk is cheap

Marc- I'm not invested in Buddhism anymore, I'm just relaying the attitude I encountered among Buddhists, of various persuasions. The question isn't whether SGI does good stuff for people (can we please ignore the celebrity testimonies? Otherwise Scientology starts to look promising) but whether it's Buddhist. You argue that it is. I'm not going to disagree.

But the basis for smearing them as not real Buddhists is based on actions not doctrinal or historical analysis. Testimonies cut both ways. Live by the anecdote then die by it too.

There is no legitimate reason for saying they are not Buddhists. It's just a way to  insult them.


Aren't you doing the same thing when you say they are cut off from God's grace? Not just Nichirens, but all Buddhists: God has damned them eternally, all of them. (Along with most Christians, btw.) That's much more serious than an uninformed layperson making an uninformed statement about Buddhism.


I didnt follow that exactly.. FYI, I wasn't a Layman.
Logged

Your idea has been debunked 1000 times already.. Maybe 1001 will be the charm
Iconodule
Uranopolitan
Warned
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Ecumenical Patriarchate (ACROD)
Posts: 7,132


"My god is greater."


« Reply #43 on: March 02, 2011, 06:38:24 PM »

None of the Buddhist sects consider the others "damned" or anything like that, especially when it comes to the Mahayana offshoots that emerged in China and spread to Vietnam, Korea, and Japan, and also Tibetan Buddhism. There are disagreements but it is rare that the differences amount to accusations of heresy. Go to any Chan temple and you will probably see Pure Land practiced there. Near me there is a Buddhist monastery in the grand Chinese Mahayana tradition- they are followers of Yin Shun- but they also study Theravada writings and their co-abbot is Bhikkhu Bodhi, a world-renowned Theravada scholar. Vajrayana teachers will routinely tell their students that the hinayana and mahayana paths are legitimate teachings of the Buddha- they are just slower paths to enlightenment than the lightning-quick tantra path.

Buddhist cosmology and soteriology remains remarkably consistent across the different sects. The differences that arise tend to be new "layers" upon the common system- for example, the Dzogchen and Kalachakra cosmologies are different but not contradictory.

The difference between Orthodoxy and Protestantism is far more profound. A Chan Buddhist can say of a Pure Land Buddhist that the latter's teaching comes from the Buddha. He would have no choice but to say so because Chan, like all Mahayana sects, accepts the common Mahayana canon which includes the Pure Land sutras which are the basis of specific Pure Land practice. Some Mahayanists might question some of the Vajrayana tantras but the tantric practices are still recognizable as stemming from common Buddhist principles.

Even the broadly differing philosophical schools- Madhyamika, Yogacara, etc.- can be made compatible and a number of teachers have proposed systems for reconciling them.

The same sort of thing cannot be said of Protestantism- there are no specficially Protestant scriptures, or specifically Roman Catholic scriptures, or anything else of the sort that we accept, which would make these heresies acceptable paths within the Church.
Logged

"A riddle or the cricket's cry
Is to doubt a fit reply." - William Blake
Hermogenes
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 493



« Reply #44 on: March 02, 2011, 07:12:34 PM »

None of the Buddhist sects consider the others "damned" or anything like that, especially when it comes to the Mahayana offshoots that emerged in China and spread to Vietnam, Korea, and Japan, and also Tibetan Buddhism. There are disagreements but it is rare that the differences amount to accusations of heresy. Go to any Chan temple and you will probably see Pure Land practiced there. Near me there is a Buddhist monastery in the grand Chinese Mahayana tradition- they are followers of Yin Shun- but they also study Theravada writings and their co-abbot is Bhikkhu Bodhi, a world-renowned Theravada scholar. Vajrayana teachers will routinely tell their students that the hinayana and mahayana paths are legitimate teachings of the Buddha- they are just slower paths to enlightenment than the lightning-quick tantra path.

Buddhist cosmology and soteriology remains remarkably consistent across the different sects. The differences that arise tend to be new "layers" upon the common system- for example, the Dzogchen and Kalachakra cosmologies are different but not contradictory.

The difference between Orthodoxy and Protestantism is far more profound. A Chan Buddhist can say of a Pure Land Buddhist that the latter's teaching comes from the Buddha. He would have no choice but to say so because Chan, like all Mahayana sects, accepts the common Mahayana canon which includes the Pure Land sutras which are the basis of specific Pure Land practice. Some Mahayanists might question some of the Vajrayana tantras but the tantric practices are still recognizable as stemming from common Buddhist principles.

Even the broadly differing philosophical schools- Madhyamika, Yogacara, etc.- can be made compatible and a number of teachers have proposed systems for reconciling them.

The same sort of thing cannot be said of Protestantism- there are no specficially Protestant scriptures, or specifically Roman Catholic scriptures, or anything else of the sort that we accept, which would make these heresies acceptable paths within the Church.

You keep making this point over and over, and I keep disagreeing with it over and over. I think you're wrong. I think the differences between a Teravadin Buddhist and a tantric Buddhist are at least as significant as the differences between Orthodox and Anglicans, for example. If you were able to step back from Christianity and see it with the eyes of a non-Christian, many of the sects would seem quite similar. ALL Christians believe in the Risen Christ. I just last night heard a fundamentalist Mormon pray a prayer that could have come out of the mouth of an Episcopalian, a Methodist, or even a liberal Catholic. To the non-Christian Buddhist, the differences between the various sects, liturgies aside, would seem very small indeed. Leavened vs. unleavened? Even the larger issues  would seem more like preferences than like fundamental differences.

Not, for example, like the difference between Chan and Pure Land. Those two sects happen to like each other, but their approach to and teaching about the path of enlightenment (even the source of  enlightenment) is exactly 100% diametrically opposite.

Logged
Tags:
Pages: 1 2 3 »  All   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.18 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.263 seconds with 73 queries.