Easten Religion

Easten Religion

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Nichiren Buddhism is a Japanese form of Buddhism that

began with a humble �sherman’s son, Nichiren Daishonin

(1222-1282). Nichiren Buddhists consider him a reformer

who became a Pillar of Japan.

He lived during a volatile time in Japan’s history when there

was extreme social unrest and natural catastrophe.

Nichiren blamed much of Japan’s ills on people following the

wrong religious paths. Though he had studied with Tendai

monks when he was 11 years old, he would later declare

that the Lotus Sutra (taught during the �nal eight years of

Buddha’s life) was the highest and most ultimate teaching of

the Buddha. After an intensive study of the Lotus Sutra,

Nichiren (at the age of 31) created a simple daily practice based on the scripture for all people.

Because Nichiren declared all other paths to be corrupt and questioned the government, he was exiled

twice from Japan as a radical. But many of his followers believed him to be an incarnation of a

Bodhisattva who would save Japan from all the political and social evils.

Nichiren was against social classes and because of this, Nichiren Buddhism, at the time, became very

attractive to many peasants and farmers . Another reason for this attraction is because Nichiren taught

that only one thing was needed for salvation: to chant the Daimoku Chant. Many of the peasants and

farmers were illiterate, so this teaching is another reason why Nichiren Buddhism was so popular. It can be

embraced whether educated or not.

The Daimoku chant is Namu M yoho Rengekyo which translates as “Praise to the Wondrous Truth

of the Lotus Sutra.” Modern Nichiren Buddhists, including Tina Turner, say that chanting gives them a

sense of personal empowerment and helps them to have clarity in their daily lives.

Watch the following: Tina Turner Chanting on Larry King Live

Nichiren Buddhists have a special type of worship, focusing

on the Gohonzon , which is a Mandala on a scroll inscribed

with names of Buddhas and bodhisattvas outlined in the

Lotus Sutra. It usually has the Daimoku chant in the middle.

It is said this Gohonzon was originally designed by Nichiren

himself and it has become the chief object of focus on

Nichiren households and temples. The Gohonzon functions

as a spiritual mirror. Practitioners say that sitting in front of

the Gohonzon enables them to recognize their own Buddha


6/29/2018 Nichiren – 18.SU.REL.1111.C50 EASTERN RELIGIONS

https://elearn.sinclair.edu/d2l/le/content/112110/viewContent/3876279/View 2/2

Nichiren Buddhists believe the Daimoku contains the universal Buddha nature.

Worship includes reciting the Daimoku Chant and other portions of the Lotus

Sutra before the Gohonzon, sometimes accompanied by drums and gongs. Some

Nichiren Buddhists also count mala beads.

There are many different branches of Nichiren Buddhism, including Nichiren Shu,

Nichiren Soshu, and Soka Gakkai. Each has their own distinct beliefs, practices

and politics. There is a Soka Gakkai center in Columbus (866. W. Broad Street) and

their website is www.sgi- usa.org. Actors and Actresses like Orlando Bloom, Tina

Turner, and Kate Bosworth all belong to the Soka Gakkai denomination.

Though little was known about Nichiren Buddhism outside of Japan before World War II, it has become a

very popular denomination of Buddhism today across the world.

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