Author Topic: Gongyo - should be the chanting of 'Nam Myoho Renge Kyo Exclusively'  (Read 3416 times)

Offline JazzIsTvRicky

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I contend that Nichiren never defined what is called Gongyo as is taught in most Nichiren Sects. Nichiren writes in one of his 'Ten Major Writings' On the Four Stages of Faith and the Five Stages of Practice: Nichiren writes:
"Question: For practitioners in the Latter Day of the Law, who have just aroused the aspiration for enlightenment, what types of practice are restricted?

Answer:"Answer: Such persons are restricted from practicing almsgiving, the keeping of the precepts, and the others of the five paramitas, and are directed to chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo exclusively. This practice corresponds to the capacity of persons at the stages of "producing even a single moment's faith and understanding" and "rejoicing on first hearing the Lotus Sutra." It represents the true intention of the Lotus Sutra."

"And the words "should directly give all his attention to embracing the sutra" do not refer to the sutra as a whole. They mean that one should embrace the daimoku, or title, of the sutra exclusively and not mix it with other passages. Even recitation of the entire sutra is not permitted. How much less the five paramitas!" Nichiren

This is interesting why recite Shakyamuni's Lotus Sutra? Shouldn't I simply Chant Nam Myoho Renge Kyo?

I say YES! What say you?

Sincerely, JazzIsTvRicky A Votary of The Lotus Sutra
« Last Edit: July 09, 2016, 09:16:37 pm by JazzIsTvRicky, Reason: punctuation »

Offline Dairy Lama

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Re: Gongyo - should be the chanting of 'Nam Myoho Renge Kyo Exclusively'
« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2016, 05:01:52 am »
This is interesting why recite Shakyamuni's Lotus Sutra? Shouldn't I simply Chant Nam Myoho Renge Kyo?

Could you say briefly what the purpose of chanting the mantra is?  I got the impression from some SGI people that it was about wish-fulfilment, but I wasn't sure how that fitted in Buddhist teachings on the letting go of desire?
"My religion is very simple - my religion is ice-cream"

Offline DCP

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Re: Gongyo - should be the chanting of 'Nam Myoho Renge Kyo Exclusively'
« Reply #2 on: August 06, 2016, 05:22:39 pm »

Please read with caution for I am No Master

There is a thought that all Buddhas are emanations of Sakyamuni Buddha and then some Bodhisatvas and other sentients as well. just saying.

Myoho Renge are the words to describe one's Buddha nature.

The intent of Chanting Nam Myoho Renge Kyo is to call upon the Buddha Nature within in one's person, and more precisley, in what realm of Ichinen Sanzen one finds them selves in.
I guess you could infer it is a wish granting gem in the sense it produces Buddha Nature (or Buddha Mind) in what realm of Ichinen Sanzen one finds themselves in .

This produces positive effects on one's person.

Offline Skylar

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Re: Gongyo - should be the chanting of 'Nam Myoho Renge Kyo Exclusively'
« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2019, 11:54:19 pm »
Beautifully said, DCP.

Dairy Lama, your impression is not unfounded.

There is at least one sect that seems more focused on getting goodies (passing exams, a new car, a spouse, etc) than on enlightenment, as Nichiren Shonin taught.  At least that's how it seems to be here in the West - where pursuing accumulation seems to have become a Fine Art.

In earlier years, I was of that bewildered mindset about Mantras themselves (do Mantras have Self?) - collecting them like wildflowers - believing they were like magical incantations "Chanting For Fun & Profit". 

Did all those Mantras alleviate suffering?  Occasionally - temporarily...

Thankfully, that pursuit eventually caved-in on itself.  As I settled down into serious(!) maturity(!!) my mother observed, "Well, I see you're finally growing up."  (That was more than 30 years ago.)

Back-To-Topic, Some time ago, Having some exposure to and concern for a Nichiren-associated friend, I searched for an answer to this very question, among others.

What I found was a number of purported quotes, wherein Nichiren appeared to have occasionally recommended chanting passages of the Lotus Sutra to specific people.  Unfortunately, no citations were included, and I've not (yet?) read all of Nichiren's writings to confirm those quotes.

But this still doesn't answer the question of "Gongyo" as it's performed by certain Nichiren sects today.  It's an example of ritualized religious practice.  Is that good or bad?  I'd say that depends on the experience of those who take part in it.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2019, 01:51:15 am by Skylar »
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Offline Burton

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Re: Gongyo - should be the chanting of 'Nam Myoho Renge Kyo Exclusively'
« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2019, 10:47:49 pm »

If you had continued reading Nichiren's Gosho on the topic, you would see that he recommends this limitation for those of a lower consciousness.  And, if you would further research, you would find that he recommended, and encouraged the reading of the Lotus Sutra for those who were able and so disposed - often directing them to the 2nd and 16th Chapters.

ETA: I also kind of wonder if you have actually read the Lotus Sutra?  In it The Buddha himself talks about the merits of reading, inscribing, and intoning the Lotus Sutra.  So why not Gongyo?

But if you don't want to chant Gongyo, then don't. It's really entirely up to you.

If it's really a matter of of the difficulty in learning to recite Gongyo, I understand - it can be daunting.  But I have a few helps to offer, if you want them...

Simply changing Namu Myoho Renge Kyo alone can, most certainly, bring you to enlightenment, just as Nichiren promised.

But there's no good reasoon to oppose the chanting of Gongyo - especially in light of all of Nichiren's teachings (not just a selected few).

In fact, here's an interesting (admittedly Soka Gaggai) presentation in support of chanting Gongyo:

Burton  (just a simple follower of the Great Bodhisattva Nichiren Shonin)
« Last Edit: February 19, 2019, 07:48:43 pm by Burton, Reason: edited for clarity »
"We ordinary people can see neither our own eyelashes, which are so close, nor the heavens in the distance. Likewise, we do not see that the Buddha exists in our own hearts."
~ Nichiren Shonin, New Year’s Gosho (precise year undetermined}


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