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Know about Nichiren Buddhism and Significance of Saddharma-pundarika Sutra or Lotus Sutra in the Religion!

Nichiren Buddhism is a branch of Mahayana Buddhism based on the teachings of the 13th Century Japanese monk "Nichiren"

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Nichiren Buddhism Chant Practice of Buddhism. Youtube
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  • Buddhism is the world’s fourth-largest religion, with over 500 million followers or 7% of the global population, known as Buddhists
  • Buddhism is basically divided into two parts ‘’Theravada’’ and “Mahayana” 
  • Many forms of Buddhism are practiced around the world but all Buddhists do not follow the same teachings and the texts

Sept 12, 2016: Buddhism is a religion that encompasses a variety of traditions, beliefs and spiritual practices that are largely based on teachings by Gautam Buddha. Buddhism is the world’s fourth-largest religion, with over 500 million followers or 7% of the global population, known as Buddhists.

Many forms of Buddhism are practiced around the world but all Buddhists do not follow the same teachings and the texts. The core principle stays the same but numerous important aspects are observed in each type of practices.

Buddhism is basically divided into two parts- “Theravada’’ and “Mahayana,” which is also the origin of Vajrayana form. Theravada Buddhism is also known as the doctrine of the elders, Southern Buddhism or Ancient Teachings. The main area of influence includes the following countries: Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Thailand, Laos and Burma (Myanmar). Mahayana is also known as the great vehicle, “Bodhisattvayana’’ or the Bodhisattva Vehicle and it is a larger of the two major traditions of Buddhism that exists today, the other being that of the Theravada school.

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Nichiren Buddhism is a branch of Mahayana Buddhism based on the teachings of the 13th Century Japanese monk “Nichiren”. Nichiren Buddhism is named after his founder, Nichiren Daishonin (1222-1282), a Japanese monk.

The son of a poor fisherman, Nichiren became a monk in the Tendai School. He became frustrated by the many paths of salvation that were taught and left the Tendai monastery at Mount Hiei for 10 years in search of the true Buddhist path.

nichiren-buddhism

“Nichiren Buddhism stress the profound connection between one’s own happiness and the happiness of others. The greatest personal satisfaction and fulfillment in life is realized by working for the happiness of others’’.

Nichiren, the priest who established the form of Buddhism practiced by the members of the SGI (Soka Gakkai International) is a unique figure in Japanese social and religious history. An outspoken critic of the established Buddhist schools and the secular authorities, he was also a person of great warmth and humanity, as is evident in the content of the numerous letters he sent to his followers. It was this deep concern for the welfare of ordinary people that made him such an unrelenting opponent of the often corrupt and oppressive social structures of his time.

Nichiren’s philosophy originates in the teachings of Shakyamuni, the historical founder of Buddhism who lived in India some 2500 years ago. Nichiren discovered that the Lotus Sutra contains the heart of the Buddhist teachings and the truth to which Shakyamuni was awakened. This sutra reveals that a universal principle, called the Buddha nature, is inherent in all life. It affirms that all people are capable of attaining enlightenment.

The Soka Gakkai International (SGI) is an international Nichiren Buddhist organization founded in 1975 by Daisaku Ikeda. The SGI is the world’s largest Buddhist lay organization, with approximately 12 million Nichiren Buddhist practitioners in 192 countries and regions.

Lotus Sutra in Buddhism. Wikimedia Commons

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The SGI movement has its roots in the life-affirming philosophy of Nichiren, a Buddhist monk who lived in 13th century Japan. Nichiren’s teachings assert that each individual, regardless of race, gender, capacity or social standing, has the power to overcome life’s inevitable challenges, to develop a life of great value and creativity, and to positively influence their community, society and the world. It characterizes itself as a support network for practitioners of Nichiren Buddhism and a global Buddhist movement for “peace, education, and cultural exchange.”

“Study” is an important part of the practice, as followers believe Buddhist study to be fundamental in illuminating one’s path in life. They also read Nichiren’s writing in a book called the ‘Gosho’, which expounds his beliefs and insights through letters and stories. A number of Nichiren Buddhist organizations are actively working across the globe to spread peace.

– by Aakash Mandyal of NewsGram

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Copyright 2016 NewsGram

  • Anubhuti Gupta

    This article provided a deep insight into the beliefs of one of the major religions of the world and cleared some misconceptions, Very informative indeed

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‘Religion’ in India- Types and its Connection to Country’s Civilization

The Ancient religions of India are Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism.

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Religion
Ancient Religions of India.

India’s economic and political strata in today’s world have reached a great level, but that is still not what the country is known for. The country is known for its diversity and religions because the term ‘religion’ in India is not just a system of belief and worship, but a way of life too. Since ancient times, it has been an integral part of its culture. For the citizens of this country, religion pervades through all the activities of life- from cooking chores to working and politics. The religion we follow plays an important role in our upbringing as well. Our conditioning is done based on the principles of our religion. India is a home to many religions- Hinduism, Sikhism, Christianity, Jainism, Buddhism, Islam and others.

How old is the Indian civilization?

The Indian civilization is around 4000 years old, with the existing Indian religions growing in that period. The antiquity of the religions in India begins from the Harappan culture. It’s a secular country which respects all kinds of religion and culture, but during the ancient times, when the Human civilization was developing, there were three main religions native to India- Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. The predominant religion during this period was Hinduism, which is said have originated in the Northern India.

Religion wise Indian Population:

  • HINDUISM – about 82%
  • ISLAM – about 12%
  • CHRISTIANITY – about 2.5%
  • SIKHISM – about 2%
  • BUDDHISM – about 0.7%
  • JAINISM – about 0.5%
  • ZOROASTRIANISM – about 0.01%
  • JUDAISM – about 0.0005%   (stated by adaniel.tripod)

Hinduism

Religion
Brahma                                                                                                                                                          Pixabay

Hinduism is a polytheistic religion. Its followers worship several deities. Unlike the other religions, this religion does not have one teacher. Its followers, the ‘Hindus’ believe in a supreme divine spirit called ‘Parama Brahma’. The concept of Parama Brahma states that Brahma is omnipresent.

Hindus believe in vasudhaiva kutumbakam, which means the whole world is a single family. They also believe in Sarva dharma Sama Bhava, which means all religions are equal. The practice follows the ideas of mercy, charity, compassion, benevolence, non-violence and mercy. It believes the concept of ‘Bhakti’ or devotion.

The sacred writings of Hinduism include the Vedas, Ramayana, Mahabharata and the Upanishads.

Also Read: The history and development of Indian Handicrafts

Jainism

Religion
Lord Mahavira                                                                                                                                                   Pixabay
According to tradition, the founder of Jainism was first Tirthankara Adinatha. However, the religion was widely propagated by the 24th Tirthankara, Mahavira. He was born in Vaishali, Bihar, who belonged to the clan ‘Licchavi’. Mahavira was moved by the sufferings of people, and therefore, left his home at the age of 30 to seek the truth. He supported the teachings of the previous Tirthankaras, and added his own beliefs to the teachings.
He believed in the ideology of leading a good life and not doing any wrong. He did not encourage the practice of needing the help of God for everything.
Doctrines of Jainism:
  1. Ahimsa (Non-violence)
  2. Satya (Truth)
  3. Asteya (Non-stealing)
  4. Brahmacharya (Chastity)
  5. Aparigraha (Non-possession)

Buddhism

Religion
Lord Buddha                                                                                                                                                    Pixabay
Buddhism is a religion which consists of different kinds of beliefs and practices based on the teachings of Lord Buddha. Buddha’s name was Siddhartha. He was the son of the Shakya clan’s leader. It is believed that Siddhartha made three observations, which changed his life:  a feeble old man; a person suffering from disease; and a dead body being taken for cremation. This propelled him in finding the true meaning of life. He left his home at an early age and attained ‘enlightenment’ in Bodhgaya.
He also prescribed the four noble truths and eight fold path.
Four noble truths are:
  • Dukkha (truth of suffering)
  • Samudāya (truth of the suffering’s origin)
  • Nirodha (the truth of suffering’s cessation.)
  • Magga (Direction to eight-fold path)

The eight fold path are- Right aims, Right beliefs, Right conduct, Right speech, Right effort, Right occupation, Right meditation and Right thinking.

-by Megha Acharya of NewsGram. Megha can be reached at twitter @ImMeghaacharya.