Three Great Secret Laws

Last updated

Three Great Secret Laws (三大秘宝) (or also "Three Great Secret Dharmas") are the fundamental teachings in Nichiren Buddhism, which include Hommon-no-honzon (本門の本尊: object of devotion of the essential teaching), Hommon-no-kaidan (本門の戒壇: sanctuary of the essential teaching), and Hommon-no-daimoku (本門の題目: daimoku of the essential teaching). [1]

The interpretations of each item are different by each school of Nichiren's teachings, such as Nichiren shu sects, Nichiren shoshu sects, Soka Gakkai branches.

Nichiren Shu [2] Nichiren Shoshu [3] Soka Gakkai [4]
Honzon・The Essential Focus of Reverence (Gohonzon)

Shakyamuni Buddha is none other than the embodiment of the Eternal Buddha:

・ The Dai-Gohonzon, inscribed by Nichiren Daishonin on October 12, 1279・In terms of the Personification: Nichiren representing the Buddha of the Latter Day of the Law)

・In terms of the Law: Nichiren’s mandala. (Currently in use: a transcribed copy of the Dai Gohonzon mandala from year 1720. )

Kaidan・Any place where one chants the Odaimoku・The place where the Dai-Gohonzon will be enshrined at the time of Kosen-rufu ・The place where one enshrines the object of devotion and chants Nam-myoho-renge-kyo
DaimokuNamu-myoho-renge-kyo (embodies the essence of the Lotus Sutra, it contains all of the qualities of Buddhahood)・Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo (The True Invocation carries the significance of both faith and practice)・Chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo with belief in Gohonzon of the essential teaching referring to the teaching of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo (not to the essential teaching defined as the latter half of the Lotus Sutra)

(The table is summarized from the texts by each sect)

Further reading

The collections of Nichiren's writings by each sect

・Nichikan (1725). Rokkan-shō (Six-Volume Writings)

・Montgomery, Daniel (1991). Fire In The Lotus. London: Mand ala (Harper Collins).

Masatoshi Ueki (1992). Sanju-Hiden-Sho-Ronko (A study on the Sanju-Hiden-Sho) [in Japanese]. Kokoku-Shoin, Tokyo.

・Zuiei Itou (1992). Sandai hihou bonjouji no keiryoubunkengaku teki shin kenkyu [in Japanese]. Osaki haku-hou. No. 148

・Fumihiko Sueki (1999). Nichiren's Problematic Works. Japanese Journal of Religious Studies, Vol. 26(3/4), pp. 261-280

Footnotes

  1. Hajime, Nakamura (2002). Iwanami Bukkyo Jiten. p. 394.
  2. "Teachings of Nichiren Shonin".
  3. Nichiren Shoshu Temple (1999). "An Introduction to True Buddhism, p.12" (PDF).
  4. "Soka Gakkai Dictionary of Buddhism".

Related Research Articles

Nichiren Founder of Nichiren Buddhism in Japan

Nichiren was a Japanese Buddhist priest of the Kamakura period (1185–1333), who developed the teachings of Nichiren Buddhism, a branch school of Mahayana Buddhism.

Nichiren Buddhism Branch of Buddhism based on the teachings of the 13th century Japanese monk Nichiren

Nichiren Buddhism is a branch of Mahayana Buddhism based on the teachings of the 13th-century Japanese Buddhist priest Nichiren (1222–1282) and is one of the Kamakura Buddhism schools. Its teachings derive from some 300–400 extant letters and treatises attributed to Nichiren.

Nichiren Shōshū Branch of Nichiren Buddhism

Nichiren Shōshū is a branch of Nichiren Buddhism based on the teachings of the 13th-century Japanese Buddhist priest Nichiren (1222–1282). Nichiren Shōshū claims Nichiren as its founder through his disciple and secretary Nikko Shonin (1246–1333), the founder of the school's Head Temple Taiseki-ji, located at the base of Mount Fuji. Nichiren Shōshū has adherents around the world, with the largest concentration in Japan. The Enichizan Myohoji Temple located in Los Angeles, California serves as the organization's headquarters within the United States.

Namu Myōhō Renge Kyō

Namu Myōhō Renge Kyō is the central mantra chanted within all forms of Nichiren Buddhism.

Soka Gakkai religious corporation

Soka Gakkai is a Japanese Buddhist religious movement based on the teachings of the 13th-century Japanese priest Nichiren as taught by its first three presidents Tsunesaburō Makiguchi, Jōsei Toda and Daisaku Ikeda. It is the largest of the Japanese new religions and claims the largest membership among Nichiren Buddhist groups. "The organization bases its teachings on Nichiren's interpretation of the Lotus Sutra and places chanting "Nam Myōhō Renge Kyō" at the center of devotional practice. The organization promotes its goals as supporting "peace, culture, and education".

Nichiren-shū confederation of four of the original Nichiren Buddhist schools

Nichiren Shū is a combination of several schools ranging from four of the original Nichiren Buddhist schools that date back to Nichiren's original disciples, and part of the fifth:

Nikkō Shōnin, Buddhist name Hawaki-bō Byakuren Ajari Nikkō (伯耆房白蓮阿闍梨日興), was one of the six senior disciples of Nichiren and was the former chief priest of Kuon-ji temple in Mount Minobu, Japan. Various Nichiren-related sects based in Japan claim to have been founded by Nikko, including Nichiren Shōshū and some lineages within Nichiren Shu.

Taiseki-ji Buddhist temple in Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan

Tahō Fuji Dainichirenge-zan Taiseki-ji (多宝富士大日蓮華山大石寺); more commonly just Sōhonzan Taiseki-ji (総本山大石寺), informally known as Head Temple Taiseki-ji (大石寺) is the administrative center of Nichiren Shoshu Buddhism. It is located in the foothills of Mount Fuji in Kamijo, Fujinomiya, Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan.

Buddhist liturgy is a formalized service of veneration and worship performed within a Buddhist Sangha community in nearly every traditional denomination and sect in the Buddhist world. It is often done one or more times a day and can vary amongst the Theravada, Mahayana, and Vajrayana sects.

<i>Gohonzon</i>

Gohonzon is a generic term for a venerated religious object in Japanese Buddhism. It may take the form of a scroll or statuary. In Nichiren Buddhism, it refers to the hanging calligraphic paper mandala inscribed by Nichiren to which devotional chanting is directed.

Hokkekō is the mainstream lay organization affiliated with the Nichiren Shōshū school of Japanese Buddhism. It traces its origins to three martyr disciples who were arrowed and later beheaded in the Atsuhara persecutions and a more recent tradition of family lineages who have historically protected the Dai-Gohonzon over the centuries.

Jōsei Toda educator and second president of Soka Gakkai

Jōsei Toda was a teacher, peace activist and second president of Soka Gakkai from 1951 to 1958. Imprisoned for two years during World War II under violating the Peace Preservation Law and the charge of lèse-majesté, he emerged from prison intent on rebuilding the Soka Gakkai. He has been described as the architect of the Soka Gakkai, the person chiefly responsible for its existence today.

Nikken Abe was a Japanese Buddhist monk who served as the 67th High Priest of Nichiren Shōshū Buddhism and chief priest of its head temple, Taiseki-ji, in Fujinomiya, Shizuoka, Japan.

<i>Dai Gohonzon</i> The main object of worship in Nichiren Shōshū Buddhism

The Dai-Gohonzon of the High Sanctuary of the Essential Teachings, commonly known as the Dai-Gohonzon is a venerated calligraphic mandala image inscribed with Sanskrit and Chinese characters on a plank of Japanese camphorwood. The image is the main object of worship in Nichiren Shōshū Buddhism, which claims that the image was painted by Nichiren on wood, then carved by his artisan disciple Izumi Ajari Nippo. According to recent published scholarly sources, the image was first explicitly mentioned in an official document issued by the ninth High Priest Nichiu Shonin (1409–1482). The High Priests of Nichiren Shoshu copy and transcribe their own rendition of this image, which is then disseminated to its believers.

Viśiṣṭacāritra is a bodhisattva mentioned in the 15th, 21st, and 22nd chapters of the Lotus Sutra. He is one of the four great perfected bodhisattvas who attends Gautama Buddha and protects the Lotus Sutra and its devotees. The other three are Anantacaritra, Visuddhacaritra, and Supratisthitacaritra; together they make up the four great primarily evolved bodhisattvas. Viśiṣṭacāritra is also believed to represent the "true self" characteristic of buddhahood, which is the selflessness of Nirvana.

Kōsen-rufu (広宣流布), a phrase found in the Japanese translation of the Lotus Sutra, means the future widespread dissemination of the Lotus Sutra. The term derives from its Yakuō 23rd chapter: "Propagate this chapter widely throughout the Jumbudvipa in the last 500-year period after my death." Nichiren (1222–1282) took this statement to indicate that the Lotus Sutra is the Law to be declared and widely spread during the Latter Age.

Bodhisattvas of the Earth, also sometimes referred to as "Bodhisattvas from the Underground," "Bodhisattvas Taught by the Original Buddha," or "earth bodhisattvas," are the infinite number of bodhisattvas who, in the 15th chapter of the Lotus Sutra, emerged from a fissure in the ground. This pivotal story of the Lotus Sutra takes place during the "Ceremony in the Air" which had commenced in the 11th chapter. Later, in the 21st chapter, Shakyamuni passes on to them the responsibility to keep and propagate the Lotus Sutra in the feared future era of the Latter Day of the Law.

Jimon Ogasawara, a priest of the Nichiren Shoshu school of Buddhism, was a religious apologist for the pre-war and wartime Japanese military government. His collusion with the government, scholars claim, came close to destroying his sect during the war.

Ongi kuden or "The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings" is a text in Nichiren Buddhism. Ongi Kuden is Nichiren's oral teachings (kuden) on the Lotus Sutra, which his disciple and successor Nikko Shonin recorded and compiled.

Soka Gakkai is a Japanese Buddhist organisation. Soka Gakkai and some international branches have held an examination called "Kyogaku shiken(study exam)" which aims to deepen the practices of Soka Gakkai as to understand their background theoretical rationale embedded in Nichiren's teachings, as well as the history of Soka Gakkai, in particular, the life of the three presidents. This examination encourages members to do practices based on Soka Gakkai's guideline "Faith, practice, and study" well balanced.