THE BUDDHA WRITINGS OF NICHIREN DAISHŌNIN~ AN INTRODUCTION ~
by Martin Bradley
Now we come to the subtle integration of the objective realm and the subjective insight of the original terrain that is so hard to understand, which points to the Buddha vision that is also latent in each one of us, when our lives are open to the implications of Nam Myōhō Renge Kyō. This subtle integration of the objective realm, kyō, and the subjective insight, chi, of the original terrain is seen on the Fundamental Object of Veneration (gohonzon). As we stand looking at it, the subjective insight is on the left, and its objective realm is on the right.
After the subjective insight of the Tathāgata and his perceived environment, we then come to the “primordial infinity of the original beginning”. This paraphrase is a clumsy attempt to translate ku.onganjō.
Although this concept of primordiality is expressed as the starting point in a time that has been unrolled like a very long piece of string, it is so long that it can only be counted as something prior to a time span which would exceed the number of grains of dust that go into the making of five hundred kalpas. Generally speaking, a universal kalpa is considered to be the stretch of time between a big bang and a big crunch, where it is said that all space and all time become a singularity.
Be that as it may, the Buddha teaching is less concerned with physics than psychology. The infinity of this original beginning is the ever-present space, where all existence becomes a synchronistic singularity that is deep down within our psyches. And yet, at the same time, it is every instant of life. This part of us, which is the origin of life, contains all the archetypal urges of the immaculate cognition, the contents of which are written out on the Fundamental Object of Veneration (gohonzon).
With regard to the actual fundamental substance of the self-received reward body that is used by the Tathāgata, I said somewhere further back in this essay that all Buddhas are endowed with three bodies. i.) The Dharma body is the ultimate truth to which the Buddha is enlightened. ii.) The reward body is the embodiment of the Buddha wisdom. iii.) The corresponding body is the incarnation that the Buddha manifests according to the needs of sentient beings, in order to teach them.
The actual fundamental substance of the self-received body that is used by the Tathāgata entails the wisdom to which Nichiren Daishōnin was enlightened, in the primordial infinity of the original beginning. The Fundamental Object of Veneration (gohonzon) is the means with which Nichiren imparts that wisdom.
Next we come to the element which is referred to as the inherently infinite existence of the ten [psychological] realms of dharmas. In contrast to the four noble truths, the ten [psychological] realms of dharmas are inextricably a part of the one instant of mind containing three thousand existential spaces. The four noble truths are i.) being born, ii.) becoming old, iii.) getting sick, and iv.) dying, as taught in the individual vehicle (shōjō, hīnayāna), or the appearances of the four stages of existence (shiūisō) of i.) coming into being or being born, ii.) lasting as long as it lasts, iii.) change and disintegration, and (iv) ceasing to exist.
I cannot imagine where life was or what it was when our planet was little more than a miasmatic clod, or what life will be when the Earth ceases to exist. Of course, the Buddhist argument is that any perception whatsoever is the reflection of our own minds. Does this mean to say that there is a part of our minds that creates an all-embracing history of evolution, speculation as to the future, all that is known about the subatomic particles – everything that can be known, even though it is somewhat blurred at the edges? Is this entirely the product of the five aggregates and the nine cognitions?
The answer then would have to be that sentient beings each live out the interdependence of cause and effect of the Utterness of the Dharma (Myōhō, Saddharma), according to their own karmic propensities. In this light, our own existence becomes imponderably inexplicable. What is even more astounding is that each instant we live is only a transient individual glimpse at the past, present, and future of the entirety of existence.
The problem that always arises is the question, “What is going to happen to me?” To this I would say that, when one can realise that the personalities that we have forged for ourselves according to our respective karma are only the psychological means for surviving a single lifetime and that our real identity is life itself, then we realise why Nichiren wrote out in three-dimensional, realistic terms all the possible twists, turns, and alterations of the one instant of mind containing three thousand existential spaces on to this Object of Veneration (gohonzon). This was so that we can project and focus our faith in our Buddha nature upon this Object of Veneration (gohonzon), in order to help us get out of this inherently schizophrenic situation.
The oneness of the person and the Dharma means that, within the Buddha teaching of Nichiren, there lingered a dual concept of a Fundamental Object of Veneration (gohonzon) that represents the Dharma and a Fundamental Object of Veneration (gohonzon) that refers to the person [Nichiren] who established that Dharma. In order to make clear that the Fundamental Object of Veneration (gohonzon) is the oneness of the wisdom, intellect, profundity, and all-embracing compassion of Nichiren and is in no way apart from the Dharma that he taught, the following phrases, as well as others from the Sutra on the White Lotus Flower-like Mechanism of the Utterness of the Dharma (Myōhō Renge Kyō), are quoted to evince this position.
The first quotation comes from the Tenth Chapter on the Dharma as a Teacher: “Wherever this sutric scroll of the Dharma is placed for keeping, one should build a stupa made of the seven precious substances, which has to be proportionately as tall as it is broad. But there is no reason to put any relic inside it, for the simple reason that the whole of the body of the Tathāgata is already in the stupa.” The second quotation comes from the Eleventh Chapter on Seeing the Vision of the Stupa made of Precious Materials: “Among all the sutras, this sutra is the first of all. If there is anybody who can hold to this Dharma, then that person is holding to the person of the Buddha himself.”
With regard to the only Universal Object of Veneration (gohonzon) of the altar of the precept of the original gateway, it would be simpler if I were to discuss first the one and only original gateway, which is in the second consideration in the booklet of daily practice of Nichiren Shōshū. In these translations, the word gateway is a literal translation of the Sino-Japanese ideogram whose implication, in these sorts of texts, is a gateway to the Buddha Dharma. From the viewpoint of the teachings of Nichiren Daishōnin, this original gateway points to the Nam Myōhō Renge Kyō of the “three universal esoteric dharmas” (sandai hihō).
These three universal esoteric dharmas are i.) the Fundamental Object of Veneration (gohonzon), ii.) the title and theme of the original gateway to the Dharma which is Nam(u) Myōhō Renge Kyō, and iii.) the altar of the precept of the original gateway, which is where the Fundamental Object of Veneration (gohonzon) is enshrined.
Just as there are still at the present time people who obsessively read the Bible, Finnegans Wake, J. R. R. Tolkien, Lewis Carroll, or, as in my case, I read over and over again the Writings of Nichiren Daishōnin and other related material – an obsessive activity which is really a quest to bring about some kind of individuation, as well as revelations that help us to understand what existence is all about – this is precisely what Nichiren did with the teachings of the original gateway, as well as the rest of the Dharma Flower Sutra (Hokke-kyō). He projected his whole psyche into the depths of the text, and, after reading and pondering and pondering and reading again and again, the sutra yielded its esoteric secrets. Usually, in the writings of Nichiren we have the original gateway whose meaning lies submerged within the text, so that the title and theme (daimoku) is so much more than its literal translation.
What is written on the Fundamental Object of Veneration (gohonzon) of the original gateway is the full content and significance of the Dharma Flower Sutra (Hokke-kyō), in the form of a mandala that has something of the flavour of a cosmic equation, the content of which we will discuss in detail during the next few paragraphs.
The title and theme of the original gateway is the Nam Myōhō Renge Kyō, that is to be understood as the consecration and founding of one’s life on the vertical threads of the sutra that constitute the realms where existence takes place, into which is woven the filament of the interdependence of cause and effect of the Utterness of the Dharma (Myōhō, Saddharma). In other words, we are consecrating and founding our lives on the ever continuous now of single instants of mind that contain three thousand existential spaces (ichinen sanzen), in order to bring us to a greater awakening of the Buddha wisdom which is inherent in all of us. It could even be said that this is the consecration to what life really is.
The altar of the precept of the original gateway is the altar where the Fundamental Object of Veneration (gohonzon) is enshrined. Since there is only one universal object of veneration of the original gateway, then it can only be the one and only Universal Object of Veneration (gohonzon) of the altar of the precept (Nam Myōhō Renge Kyō) of the original gateway.
For those people who are not familiar with the teachings of Nichiren, the Fundamental Object of Veneration (gohonzon) is an upright oblong shape, upon which the forces that underlie our lives are written out in a ceremonial calligraphy with the exception of two Sanskrit syllables written in the Siddham alphabet. There are essentially two types of Fundamental Objects of Veneration (gohonzon). One is engraved on [traditionally camphor] wood, with gilded engraved letters with a black background. The other type is in the form of a traditional kakemono.
For fear of vilification, mockery, and slander, people, including the monks, are averse to the concept of any diagram representing or reproduction of the Fundamental Object of Veneration (gohonzon) whatsoever. So what I will do is to try to describe its essential contents, in words only.
In the four corners of the Fundamental Object of Veneration (gohonzon), there are the four universal deva kings in the service of Taishaku (Shakra Devānām Indra) whose role, in terms of the ancient Indian view of the universe, is to protect the four continents of Mount Sumeru. Perhaps in more present-day terms, would they not be something to do with the forces that prevent our planet from coming too close to or drifting too far away from the sun? Could they not be the forces that keep our environment from completely getting out of hand?
I have to say that I personally accept the fact that there are forces of good that do protect us, but at the same time I cannot clearly define what the deva (ten) are. Again, it is the same with the “spirits of good” (zenjin). We can be aware of their beneficial influence, without really knowing what is happening or how it occurs. But one can also say the same thing about evil presences.
According to the first sentence of the first consideration of the “morning ritual” (gongyō), it says, “Those born into mortal form who are ‘utterly enlightened’ (myōgaku) which is the practical benefit of the original Buddha’s own practice...” So if we are to go by this phrase, even if the deva do have extremely long lifetimes like our planet, according to all accounts from other Buddhist writings, they must be individual beings endowed with very special merits.
My personal way of understanding the deva is that they are archetypal forces within us that do have a bearing on our daily lives. However that may be, the role of the universal deva kings on the Fundamental Object of Veneration (gohonzon) is to protect the universe, pick out and punish evil, and to encourage all efforts that people make to become enlightened.
In the centre of the Fundamental Object of Veneration (gohonzon), there is the inscription of the seven ideograms for Nam Myōhō Renge Kyō, under which is written Nichiren, and under that there are the two ideograms gohan. These two ideograms generally imply that this mandala is Nichiren’s understanding of the Sutra on the White Lotus Flower-like Mechanism of the Utterness of the Dharma (Nam Myōhō Renge Kyō).
The calligraphy of the central inscription is written in a particular style that is called “the bearded theme and title” (higedaimoku). The reason for this I can only assume is that the title and theme are chanted in a particular, solemn manner, because of this practice being of its all-embracing importance for those who follow the teachings of Nichiren. Another reason might be that the recitation of the title and theme in this tone of voice forestalls it from becoming trite. This would make me think that it is for similar reasons that such a distinctive style of writing is used for nearly all inscriptions of Nam Myōhō Renge Kyō. The only comparison I can refer to are the many Taoist inscriptions that are written in a similar style.
On the left-hand side of the inscription of the title and theme as one looks at the Fundamental Object of Veneration (gohonzon) [which is in fact the right-hand side as the Object of Veneration (gohonzon) faces us], we have the Buddha Shākyamuni. On the right-hand side [again and as always in this essay as we are looking at the Fundamental Object of Veneration (gohonzon)], we have the Tathāgata Abundant Treasure (Tahō Nyorai, Prabhūtaratna). This Buddha appears in the Stupa made of Precious Materials during the ceremony in empty space, in order to bear witness to the truth of the teaching of the Buddha Shākyamuni with regard to the Dharma Flower Sutra.
According to the Eleventh Chapter on Seeing the Vision of the Stupa made of Precious Materials, the Buddha Tahō came from a Buddha land called Consummate Immaculacy. When this Buddha was still involved in the fifty-two bodhisattva stages in the process of becoming a Buddha, he made an oath that, on attaining enlightenment or even after his demise into nirvana, he would appear in the Stupa made of Precious Materials, in order to testify to the truth of the Dharma Flower Sutra wherever it was being taught. In the eleventh chapter of this sutra, the Tathāgata Tahō opens the stupa and invites Shākyamuni Buddha to sit next to him.
In the Threefold Transmission Concerning the Fundamental Object of Veneration (Honzon San Sōden), which is a personal transmission from Nichiren to one of his original disciples Nichigen, the reciprocal roles of both Shākyamuni and Tathāgata Abundant Treasure (Tahō Nyorai, Prabhūtaratna) are described in the following manner: “At the time of the Precious Stupa, when Tathāgata Abundant Treasure (Tahō Nyorai, Prabhūtaratna), as the object of the Buddha wisdom, and Shākyamuni, as that wisdom itself, sat in the one stupa, it was to show us the fundamental origin of the non-duality of the Buddha wisdom and its respective environment.
Then what is this Buddha wisdom with its respective environment? It is none other than the continuity of births and deaths that we have acquired since the primordial infinity until now. It is the environment and the wisdom of mind and materiality. It is the stillness and movement of a thousand blades of grass and ten thousand trees. Tathāgata Abundant Treasure (Tahō Nyorai, Prabhūtaratna), by already having entered nirvana, implies death and inanimation. Shākyamuni, who has not yet entered nirvana, represents life. When the duality of movement and stillness refers to materiality and mind, then mind becomes motion, and materiality silence. This is because Tathāgata Abundant Treasure (Tahō Nyorai, Prabhūtaratna) is our aspect of death, as we pass from one death to another, and Shākyamuni is our living form, from life to life.”
The two Buddhas being seated in the one stupa implies the inseparability of living and dying as not being separate in any way from death and reincarnation. What this means is that life and death are the single reality of the universal nirvana, which is also mu. [This is the Dharma realm that is the underlying fundamental quality of all existence, which can only be perceived through deep psychological perception or at the time of dying.] This universal nirvana is underlain by neither coming into being nor being extinguished.
If reasoning and wisdom are put together, then Shākyamuni represents our reception of sensation and feeling the functioning of the mind or senses, in connection with affairs and things (ju). This also includes our concepts, thoughts, discerning, and the functioning of the mind in distinguishing (sō), as well as our functioning of the mind with regard to our likes and dislikes, good and evil, and so forth (gyō). All of these along with the mental faculty that makes us think we are who we are on account of what we know (shiki) are the makeup of the four aggregates and the basic makeup of our minds. This is because it is the mind that has the function of turning over and being in motion.
The Dharma expounded through Shākyamuni. Tathāgata Abundant Treasure (Tahō Nyorai, Prabhūtaratna) is the unenlightenment of our materiality. Because materiality is silent, Tathāgata Abundant Treasure (Tahō Nyorai, Prabhūtaratna) does not teach the Dharma. For those who can grasp the meaning of this, then without affecting our materiality and mental faculties or our bodies and minds in any way, we are entirely Shākyamuni and Tathāgata Abundant Treasure (Tahō Nyorai, Prabhūtaratna). This is explained in the temporary gateway as becoming aware of our inherent Buddha nature not being separate from our respective personalities just as they are. In the original gateway, it is taught as, “Since I really became a Buddha, it is already coming to countless and boundless and hundreds and thousands of myriads of billions of nayuta asōgi kalpas ago.” In other words, our real existences consist of the synchronicity of all the past, present, and future, and all space.
On both sides of the two Buddhas Tathāgata Abundant Treasure (Tahō Nyorai, Prabhūtaratna) (1) [in the diagram] and Shākyamuni (2), there are the four leaders of the bodhisattvas who spring up from the earth (jiyu no bosatsu). Next to the Tathāgata Abundant Treasure (Tahō Nyorai, Prabhūtaratna) (1), we have the Bodhisattva Superior Practice (Jōgyō, Vishishtachāritra) (3) who along with the other four leading bodhisattvas all first appear in the Fifteenth Chapter on the Bodhisattvas who Swarm up out of the Earth in the Dharma Flower Sutra. According to the Threefold Transmission Concerning the Fundamental Object of Veneration, it says, “Bodhisattva Superior Practice (Jōgyō, Vishishtachāritra) (3) is placed next to Tathāgata Abundant Treasure (Tahō Nyorai, Prabhūtaratna) (1), which is something to do with Indian protocol of the host attending to the guest of honour. [Because it is the Tathāgata Abundant Treasure (Tahō Nyorai, Prabhūtaratna) (1) stupa] the Tathāgata Abundant Treasure (Tahō Nyorai, Prabhūtaratna) (1)] is seated in the place of the host. Bodhisattva Superior Practice (Jōgyō, Vishishtachāritra) (3), as presiding elder of the bodhisattvas who spring up from the earth, assumes the supporting function of host.” Nichiren sees the Bodhisattva Superior Practice (Jōgyō, Vishishtachāritra) (3) as the temporary or provisional manifestation of the original Buddha of the primordial infinity, while the ceremony in empty space was being conducted. Nichiren Daishōnin refers to himself as the reincarnation of the Bodhisattva Superior Practice (Jōgyō, Vishishtachāritra), in quite a number of his writings.
Again according to the Threefold Transmission, the title and theme along with the four leaders of the bodhisattvas who spring up from the earth represent the five elements of earth, water, fire, wind, and the relativity of the void. The title and theme Nam Myōhō Renge Kyō represents relativity, which is not different from the universal nirvana. And the Bodhisattva Superior Practice (Jōgyō, Vishishtachāritra) stands for fire. The name Jōgyō means “the superior practice”. Dōsen of the Tendai School wrote, in his Collection of Notes on the Textual Explanation of the Dharma Flower, that each of the four leaders of the bodhisattvas who spring up from the earth symbolises a principal quality of the Buddha of the primordial infinity. In this case, Bodhisattva Superior Practice (Jōgyō, Vishishtachāritra) indicates the original Buddha’s identity or self (ga), as well as fire.
Although the Fundamental Object of Veneration (gohonzon) has all the attributes of the Buddha of the primordial infinity, it always depends on the faith of the practitioners in their own Buddha nature, that is to say, in life itself, if they wish to have access to the inner realisation of this teaching.
Standing on the right of Bodhisattva Superior Practice (Jōgyō, Vishishtachāritra) 3], as we look at the Fundamental Object of Veneration (gohonzon) is Bodhisattva Infinite Practice (Muhengyō, Anantachārita) , who is also one of the leaders of the Bodhisattvas who spring up from the earth. His name means “Infinite Practice”, and also represents permanence or continuity, as one of the principal qualities of the Buddha. In the first part of The Oral Transmission on the Meaning of the Dharma Flower Sutra (Ongi Kuden), Nichiren states, “Going beyond the bounds of annihilation or continuity is called the Infinite Practice”. Also, out of the five elements, Bodhisattva Infinite Practice (Muhengyō, Anantachārita)  stands for earth.
On the left-hand side of Shākyamuni , who is the guest of honour in the ceremony in empty space, is Bodhisattva Pure Practice (Jyōgyō, Vishuddhachārita) , who is also one of the leaders of the Bodhisattvas who spring up from the earth, and, like all the other four, is mentioned in the Fifteenth Chapter on the Bodhisattvas who Swarm up out of the Earth in the Dharma Flower Sutra. In The Oral Transmission on the Meaning of the Dharma Flower Sutra (Ongi Kuden), Nichiren refers to these Four Bodhisattvas as representatives of the principal qualities of the Buddha, by saying that, since the name for Bodhisattva Pure Practice (Jyōgyō, Vishuddhachārita)  is written with the ideogram for immaculacy (jyō), the fundamental and particular quality of the Utterness of the Dharma (Myōhō, Saddharma) is said to be immaculately pure and without taint. This bodhisattva also stands for water.
On the left of Bodhisattva Pure Practice (Jyōgyō, Vishuddhachārita) , we have Firmly Established Practice (Anryūgyō, Supratishthichārita) , whose name signifies “the practice that establishes tranquillity”. Just like the other leaders of the bodhisattvas who spring up from the earth, Firmly Established Practice (Anryūgyō, Supratishthichārita)  is mentioned in the fifteenth chapter of the Dharma Flower Sutra. In terms of representing the principal qualities of the Buddha of the primordial infinity, this bodhisattva represents his joy and happiness. There is no such thing as an enlightened being that is browbeaten and depressed. In terms of the five elements, Firmly Established Practice (Anryūgyō, Supratishthichārita) represents wind.
Jung in his writings suggests that archetypes of the collective unconscious are subject to a variability which is dependent on the individual. Although our personal archetypes do change their aspect, the archetypes of the immaculate cognition are immutable. It is true that we can only become aware of the collective unconscious through its manifestation in art, religion, and the occasional dream, etc., but we know at the same time that this is what makes us what we are. The immaculate cognition is not only the underlying engine that makes all our unconscious activities do their daily task, it is also the cognition (shiki) that makes us perceive the state of our own fingernails, or see the bird in the tree.
In the Threefold Transmission, it goes on to say, “The single teaching is the one and only doctrine of the Dharma Flower Sutra. The profound significance is the unfathomable subtlety of these five ideograms for myō, hō, ren, ge, kyō. This is why we refer to them as being profound. And, because of their deep meaningfulness, we use the word ‘significance’. Broadly speaking, the essential of the twenty-eight chapters of the Dharma Flower Sutra is none other than the five ideograms of the objective realm and the subjective insight of the Utterness of the Dharma (Myōhō, Saddharma). Even though the temporary and original gateways each attach significance to the non-duality of the Buddha wisdom and its environment, from the view that the temporary gateway discusses the transformation of delusions into a first awakening like that of Shākyamuni under the bodhi tree, it can be surmised that wisdom is able to destroy our bewilderment, and its expression is the establishment of the gateway to enlightenment through that wisdom. Thus we have Shākyamuni on the left-hand side [as we face the Object of Veneration (gohonzon)] who stands for wisdom. The original gateway talks of the original enlightenment as being inseparable from its own conduct. Therefore, inherently it cannot break the bonds of having a lust for life. The original gateway entails this fundamental principle, which is why Tathāgata Abundant Treasure (Tahō Nyorai, Prabhūtaratna) is on the right to represent it. However, these two jointly correlate and bring to completion the Buddha wisdom and its objective realm, materiality and mind, discernment and what is discerned, and also life and death. This is called the subtle integration of the objective realm and the subjective insight of the original terrain (honchi kyōchi myōgo). You should also realise that the rest of the inscribed names on the Fundamental Object of Veneration (gohonzon) follow the same pattern.”
Halfway down both sides of the Fundamental Object of Veneration (gohonzon), there are two letters of the Sanskrit Siddham alphabet. On the left, (1) there is the syllable Hūm that symbolises the Ferocious Manifestation of the Sovereign of Enlightenment Aizen (Aizen Myō ō) who is also called King Aizen (Aizen ō), the Tathāgata Dainichi (Dainichi Nyōrai). Another name for him is the Bodhisattva Kongōai (Kongōai Bosatsu) or the Bodhisattva Kongōō (Kongōō Bosatsu). In iconography, King Aizen is represented as being red with three eyes, six arms, and a ferocious expression. In one arm, he is holding a bow and an arrow. Although this Buddha emanation has his origins in the Shingon or Esoteric School, here, in the Fundamental Object of Veneration (gohonzon), he represents “troublesome worries (bonnō, klesha) not separate from enlightenment”.
On the right-hand side (2), opposite to the Ferocious Manifestation of the Sovereign of Enlightenment Aizen, there is the syllable Ham, which is the invocation of the Sovereign of Enlightenment called Immovable Wisdom (Fudō Myō’ ō, Achala Vidyā-rāja), whose name implies immutability, who also is usually seen in his ferocious manifestation (funnu no sō). This sovereign of enlightenment is one of the principal Buddha emanations that is venerated by the Shingon School and is thought by some people to be an incarnation or emanation of the Tathāgata Dainichi himself, as well as being the head of all the other eight sovereigns of enlightenment. The role of Immovable Wisdom (Fudō Myō’ ō, Achala Vidyā-rāja) is to overcome the obstacles and demons that stand in the way of those who follow the practices of the Buddha teaching. He is normally depicted as having a body of the colour of indigo and a frightening appearance. In his right hand, he holds a sword. In the left, there is a rope that he uses as a snare and is surrounded by an aura of flames. In the Threefold Transmission, these two Sovereigns of Enlightenment have an extremely profound meaning.
“Next, with regard to the two Ferocious Sovereigns of Enlightenment, Sovereign Tainted by Sensuality (Aizen Myō’ ō, Raga-rāja Vidyā-rāja) is the embodiment of troublesome worries (bonnō, klesha) being inseparable from enlightenment. He is coloured red, which is the shade of desire for beauty and pleasure. If one is to think about the process of the desire for beauty and fun not being separate from the Buddha nature, this is precisely the concern of this Ferocious Sovereign of Enlightenment. Then, we have the Ferocious Sovereign of Enlightenment Immovable Wisdom (Fudō Myō’ ō, Achala Vidyā-rāja), who is the embodiment of the endless cycle of lives and deaths that are inseparable from the Universal nirvana. This Sovereign of Enlightenment is coloured indigo black, which is the darkness of the inaccessibly congealed inner realm of the inalterable karma of living and dying. This is what Immovable Wisdom (Fudō Myō’ ō, Achala Vidyā-rāja) the Ferocious Sovereign of Enlightenment represents. So we have Aizen acting as meditation, and Fudō as the object of meditation. What Immovable Wisdom (Fudō Myō’ ō, Achala Vidyā-rāja) and Sovereign Tainted by Sensuality (Aizen Myō’ ō, Raga-rāja Vidyā-rāja) emphasise are that the two dharmas of meditation and what is meditated upon are in fact the two dharmas of our wisdom and its objective realm. These dharmas are none other than our fundamental makeup, which is the Utterness of the Dharma (Myōhō, Saddharma).”
Maybe a way of understanding Immovable Wisdom (Fudō Myō’ ō, Achala Vidyā-rāja) – who looks across the Fundamental Object of Veneration (gohonzon) through the space between the ideogram for lotus and the ideogram for flower towards Sovereign Tainted by Sensuality (Aizen Myō’ ō, Raga-rāja Vidyā-rāja) who is tainted with desire – could mean that there is a psychological interdependence of cause and effect, which involves the whole of life and everything that has happened, is happening, and will happen.
Could this not be the point where the whole of mind becomes a singularity of meaning that makes it the flashpoint that renovates our lives? Could this also be the clear light that we become for a very short while, every time we die?
Then, as we flinch away from it, we once again become entwined in the dharmas in the dream of the ever reoccurring sticky trap of life. But, nevertheless, we are renewed.
What we do have to realise is that our troublesome worries (bonnō, klesha) are not separate from our original enlightenment.
Remote waterfall on the south end of Buttle Lake, Vancouver Island, BC
Martin Bradley, The Buddha Writings of Nichiren Daishōnin, ISBN: 2-913122-19-1, 2005,
The Buddha Writings of Nichiren Daishōnin by Martin Bradley
is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 Canada License.