Briefly, the basic practice of Nichiren Buddhism is chanting the invocation Nam-myoho-renge-kyo to a mandala inscribed by Nichiren, called the Gohonzon. He considered his disciples the " Bodhisattvas of the Earth " who appeared in the Lotus Sutra with the vow to spread the correct teaching and thereby establish a peaceful and just society. A prevailing pessimism existed associated with the perceived arrival of the Age of the Latter Day of the Law. The era was marked by an intertwining relationship between Buddhist schools and the state which included clerical corruption. It was the most frequently read and recited sutra by the literate lay class and its message was disseminated widely through art, folk tales, music, and theater.
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At the back of each Gosho is some background information to get a flavour of when it was written and who it was written to. Read this to set the tone of the letter. Understand It! He must have really wanted to pass on these words to his followers. Imagine Nichiren writing the Gosho as you read it again.
But also think about each paragraph as you read it. Paper and other resources would have been difficult to get and expensive so Nichiren would have thought very carefully about every paragraph he included. Many of the Gosho contain imagery and analogies to explain difficult concepts. The footnote explains these are two characters from Chinese legends with unbelievable hearing and sight. Use It!
These letters to his disciples or government leaders were written for a reason. Nichiren wants us to learn something. To deepen our understanding of something.
To do something. To raise our awareness of something. To warn us about something. How can I improve my behaviour? How will I improve my attitude?
How should I protect myself? Engrave It! Live It! As we read his writings, we can connect with his wisdom, his compassion and his Buddha nature. BUT there is a big difference between reading the Gosho, and applying it to your life. Use the guidance of Nichiren Daishonin and apply it to your own life, deepening your faith, and advancing on a path of absolute happiness in this world. Nichiren Buddhism is daily life. Posted by.
Gosho (Nichiren Daishonin)
At the back of each Gosho is some background information to get a flavour of when it was written and who it was written to. Read this to set the tone of the letter. Understand It! He must have really wanted to pass on these words to his followers.
Contrary to the Nichiren Shoshu and its offshoots, Nichiren Shu is well-known for its more open, inclusive and tolerant views of other Buddhist traditions. Nichiren Shu does not believe the Dai-Gohonzon as revered in Nichiren Shoshu to be superior to any other objects of worship, be it statues or scroll. The version of the Gohonzon used by Nichiren Shu is purported to be closer in style to the one inscribed by Nichiren Shonin himself. This is because it incorporates both teachings from Shakyamuni Buddha as well as Nichiren Shonin. Taiseki-ji is a Nichiren temple founded by Nikko Shonin and it is visited regularly by Nichiren Shoshu members from around the world as part of their religious pilgrimage to chant in front of the Dai-Gohonzon. Dai-Gohonzon, presently enshrined in Hoando building located in Fujinomiya, Shizuoka Prefecture, is the supreme main object of veneration.
Aside from historical documents stored in the repositories of various Nichiren sects, the first extensive non-religious biographical account of Nichiren did not appear until more than years after his death. Hokke shikidoku. Several hagiographies about Nichiren and are reflected in various pieces of artwork about incidents in his life. Accounts of his lineage vary. Nichiren described himself as "the son of a Sendara Skt: chandala, despised outcast , "a son born of the lowly people living on a rocky strand of the out-of-the-way sea," and "the son of a sea-diver. Although his writings reflect a fierce pride of his lowly birth, followers after his death began to ascribe to him a more noble lineage, perhaps to attract more adherents.