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The Daimoku of the Lotus Sutra

Nichiren, follower of the Great Teacher Dengyo

NAM-MYOHO-RENGE-KYO

Question: Is it possible, without understanding the meaning of the Lotus Sutra, but merely by chanting the five or seven characters of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo once a day, once a month, or simply once a year, once a decade, or once in a lifetime, to avoid being drawn into trivial or serious acts of evil, to escape falling into the four evil paths, and instead to eventually reach the stage of non-regression?

Answer: Yes, it is.

Question: You may talk about fire, but unless you put your hand in a flame, you will never burn yourself. You may say "water, water!" but unless you actually drink it, you will never satisfy your thirst. Then how, just by chanting the daimoku of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo without understanding what it means, can you escape from the evil paths of existence?

Answer: They say that if you play a koto strung with a lion’s sinews, then all the other kinds of strings will snap. And if you so much as hear the words "pickled plum," your mouth will begin to water. Even in everyday life there are such wonders, so how much greater are the wonders of the Lotus Sutra!

We are told that parrots, simply by twittering the four noble truths of the Hinayana teachings, were able to be reborn in heaven, and that men, simply by respecting the three treasures, were able to escape being swallowed by a huge fish. How much more effective, then, is the daimoku of the Lotus Sutra, which is the very heart of all the eighty thousand sacred teachings of Buddhism and the eye of the countless Buddhas! How can you doubt that, by chanting it, you can escape from the four evil paths?

The Lotus Sutra, wherein the Buddha honestly discarded all provisional teachings, says that one may "gain entrance through faith." And the Nirvana Sutra, which the Buddha preached in the grove of sal trees on the last day of his life, states, "Although there are innumerable practices which lead to enlightenment, if one teaches faith, then that includes all those practices." 

Thus faith is the basic requirement for entering the way of the Buddha. In the fifty-two stages of bodhisattva practice, the first ten stages, dealing with faith, are basic, and the first of these ten stages is that of arousing pure faith. Though a person has no knowledge of Buddhism, if he has pure faith, then even though he may be dull-witted, he is to be reckoned as a man of correct views. But even though one has some knowledge of Buddhism, if he is without faith, then he is to be considered a slanderer and an icchantika or person of incorrigible disbelief.

The monk Sunakshatra observed the two hundred and fifty precepts, mastered the four stages of meditation, and was versed in all the twelve types of sutras while Devadatta learned the sixty thousand non-Buddhist teachings and the eighty thousand Buddhist teachings and could manifest eighteen miraculous powers with his body. And yet it is said that these men, because they had knowledge but no faith, are now in the great citadel of the Avichi Hell. Mahakashyapa and Shariputra on the other hand lacked knowledge but had faith, and the Buddha accordingly predicted that they would become the Buddhas Light Bright and Flower Light respectively. The Buddha stated, "One who gives way to doubt and does not have faith will surely fall into the evil paths." These words refer to those who have knowledge but are without faith. 

And yet contemporary scholars ask, "How is it possible simply by chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, with faith but no understanding, to avoid the evil paths of existence?" If we accept the words of the sutras, these scholars themselves can hardly avoid falling into the great citadel of the Avichi Hell.

Thus, as we have seen, even if a person lacks understanding, so long as he chants Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, he can avoid the evil paths. This is like the lotus blossom that turns in the direction of the sun, though the lotus has no mind to direct it, or like the plantain that grows with the rumbling of thunder, though this plant has no ears to hear it. Now we are like the lotus or the plantain, and the daimoku of the Lotus Sutra is like the sun or the thunder.

People say that if you tie a piece of living rhinoceros horn to your body and enter the water, the water will not come within five feet of you. They also say that if one leaf of the sandalwood tree unfurls, it can eradicate the foul odor of the eranda trees for a distance of forty yojana. In this case, our evil karma may be likened to the eranda trees or the water, and the daimoku of the Lotus Sutra may be likened to the living horn of the rhinoceros or the leaf of the sandalwood tree.

Diamonds are so hard that almost no substance will cut them, and yet they can be cut by a sheep’s horn or a turtle’s shell. The limbs of the nyagrodha tree are so stout that the largest birds can perch on them without breaking them, and yet they are vulnerable to the tailorbird, which is so tiny it could almost build its nest on the eyelashes of a mosquito. 
(...)


Dajmoku Lotos Sutre

Ničiren, sledbenik Velikog Učitelja Dengja.

NAM-MJOHO-RENGE-KJO.

Pitanje: Da li je moguće, bez razumevanja značenja Lotos Sutre, već prosto recitovanjem pet ili sedam karaktera Nam-mjoho-renge-kjoa jednom dnevno, jednom mesečno ili prosto jednom godišnje, jednom u deset godina ili jednom u životu, izbeći da se bude uvučen u beznačajan ili ozbiljan čin zla, pobeći od pada na četiri staze zla, i umesto toga najzad dostići stadijum bez povratka?

Odgovor: Da, moguće je.

Pitanje: Možeš govoriti o vatri, ali sve dok ne staviš svoju ruku u plamen nikada se nećeš opeći. Možeš reći "voda, voda!", ali sve dok je stvarno ne piješ nikada nećeš utoliti svoju  žeđ. Stoga kako možeš, tek recitujući dajmoku Nam-mjoho-renge-kjoa bez razumevanja njegovog značenja, izbeći sa zlih staza egzistencije?

Odgovor: Kažu da ako sviraš koto koji je podešen za žice od lavljih tetiva, žice svih drugih vrsta će pući. A čim čuješ reči "kisela šljiva" poći će ti voda na usta. Ako čak i u svakodnevnom životu postoje takva čuda, kako su tek velika čuda Lotos Sutre!

Rekosmo da papagaji, prosto cvrkućući četiri plemenite istine hinajana učenja, behu sposobni da budu ponovo rođeni na nebesima, i da čovek, prosto poštujući tri blaga, beše u stanju da izbegne da bude progutan od ogromne ribe. Koliko je tek delotvorniji, tada, dajmoku Lotos Sutre, koji je sama srž svih osam hiljada tajnih budističkih učenja i oko nebrojenih buda! Kako možeš da sumnjaš da ćeš, recitujući ga, moći da izbegneš četiri loše staze?

Lotos Sutra, u kojoj  je Buda iskreno odbacio sva prethodna  učenja, kaže da se može "zadobiti  pristup kroz veru". A Nirvana Sutra, koju je Buda propovedao u salovom lugu  poslednjeg dana svog života, tvrdi: "Mada postoje bezbrojne prakse koje vode prosvetljenju, ako jedna podučava veri, onda ta uključuje sve te prakse". 

Stoga je vera osnovni uslov za pristup Budinom putu. Od pedeset dva stupnja bodisatvičke prakse, prvih deset, koji se odnose na veru, su osnovni, a prvi od ovih deset je onaj o podsticanju čiste vere. Iako neko nema znanja o budizmu, ako ima čistu veru, čak i ako je slabe razboritosti, računa se kao čovek ispravnih gledišta. Ali čak i ako neko ima nekog znanja o budizmu, ako je bez vere, smatra se klevetnikom i ičantikom [icchantika] ili osobom nepopravljivog nepoverenja.

Kaluđer Sunakšatra je proučio dvesta pedeset propisa, savladao četiri stupnja meditacije i bio upućen u svih dvanaest vrsta sutri, dok je Devadata bio upućen u šest hiljada ne-budističkih učenja i osam hiljada budističkih i mogao je manifestovati osamnaest čudesnih moći svojim telom. A ipak se kaže da su ovi ljudi, stoga što su imali znanje ali ne i veru, sada u velikom utvrđenju Aviči Pakla. Mahakašjapi i Šariputri, s druge strane, manjkalo je znanje, ali su imali veru i Buda je stoga predskazao da će oni postati Buda Jasnog Svetla i Buda Cveta Svetlosti. Buda je tvrdio: "Onaj ko daje maha sumnji i nema veru sigurno će pasti na loše staze". Ove reči se odnose na one koji imaju znanje ali su bez vere.

I pored svega toga današnji učenici pitaju: "Kako je  moguće prosto recitujući Nam-mjoho-renge-kjo, s verom ali bez razumevanja, izbeći zle staze postojanja?" Ako prihvatimo reči sutri, ovi učenici teško mogu izbeći pad u veliko utvrđenje Aviči Pakla.

Stoga, kao što smo videli, čak iako nekom nedostaje razumevanje, sve dok recituje Nam-mjoho-renge-kjo može izbeći zle staze. To je slično lotosovom cvetu koji se upravlja prema suncu, mada lotos nema um da ga usmerava, ili kao bokvica koja raste uz tutnjavu groma, mada ova biljka nema uši da je čuje. Mi smo upravo kao ovaj lotos ili bokvica, a dajmoku Lotos Sutre je kao sunce ili grmljavina.

Ljudi kažu da ako vežeš jedan deo roga živog nosoroga na svoje telo i uđeš u vodu nećeš se pokvasiti. Kažu takođe da ako se raspostre jedan list sandalovog drveta, to može iskoreniti gadan miris eranda drveta na razdaljini od četrdeset jođana. U tom slučaju, naša loša karma može biti slična eranda drvetu ili vodi, a dajmoku Lotos Sutre živom rogu nosoroga ili listu sandalovog drveta.

Dijamanti su tako tvrdi da gotovo da nema materije koja bi ih mogla seći, pa ipak mogu biti sečeni ovčjim rogom ili kornjačinim oklopom. Grane njagrodha drveta tako su debele da se i najveće ptice mogu nanizati na njima a da je ne slome, a ipak su tako osetljive na pticu krojačicu, koja je tako sitna da bi gotovo mogla sagraditi gnezdo na trepavici komarca. 
(...)

Izvor: Glavna dela Ničirena Dajšonina, Tom 3, prvo izdanje


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