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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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  • 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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Spiritual Ideas Sore At The World Hindu Congress

A moment comes, which comes but rarely in history, when we step out from the old to the new -- when an age ends, and when the soul of a nation, long suppressed, finds utterance.

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At its best, speeches at the recently concluded World Hindu Congress echoed the soaring spiritual ideals evoked by Swami Vivekananda in Chicago 125 years ago.

Even Mohan Bhagwat, Sarsangchanalak of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), focused essentially on the need for unity and patience among Hindus while fighting obstacles, of which, he said, there would be many. The burden of excavating implied accusations in Bhagwat’s speech fell to his critics.

At the plenary session, the moderator requested speakers to address issues of conflict without naming the speakers or their organisations in the interest of harmony. Other speakers sought to unite the followers of all the great religions that took birth in India — Hinduism, Sikhism, Buddhism and Jainism.

Some of the speakers from Bhagwat to Swami Swaroopananda of the Chinmaya Mission, framed the issues before Hinduism in a moral paradigm. Ashwin Adhin, the Vice President of the Republic of Suriname, began his speech in chaste Hindi, later quoting cognitive scientist George Lakoff: “Facts matter immensely. But to be meaningful they have to be framed in terms of their moral importance.”

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Buddhism relates sins to the characteristics one adopts. Pixabay

The dissonances, between the spiritual and the mundane, were to emerge later on the fringes of the seminars which were part of the Congress. Many of the delegates appropriated to themselves the mantle of a culture besieged by proselytising faiths. There were speakers who urged Hindus to have more children to combat their ‘dwindling population’. Posters warned Hindus of the dangers from ‘love jihad’ (Muslim men ‘enticing’ Hindu women).

In one of the sessions on the media, filmmaker Amit Khanna noted that religion had always played a prominent part in Indian cinema, starting with the earliest mythologicals. “Raja Harishchandra”, the first silent film, he said, was made by Dadasaheb Phalke in 1913. He sought to reassure the audience on the future of Hinduism. “Over 80 percent of Indians are Hindus,” he said adding: “Hinduism has survived many upheavals for thousands of years. Hinduism has never been endangered.”

Other speakers, lacking spiritual and academic pedigrees, drew on an arsenal of simulated anguish and simmering indignation.

The nuances of history pass lightly over the ferociously devout and it took little effort to pander to an aggravated sense of historical aggrievement.

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Swami Vivekananda used to stress upon the universal brotherhood and self-awakening. Wikimedia Commons

At one of the debates, the mere mention of Jawaharlal Nehru, India’s first Prime Minister, elicited sniggers and boos. The speaker hinted at ‘Nehruvian socialism’ which had made the Indian economy a non-starter. He concluded with a coup de grace, to a standing ovation: “Nehru did not like anything Indian.”

The poet Rabindranath Tagore, who composed the Indian national anthem, had spoken of his vision of a country where the “clear stream of reason had not lost its way”. At some of the discussions, even the most indulgent observer would have been hard put to discern the stream of reason.

The image of a once great civilisation suppressed by a century of British rule and repeated plunder by invaders captured the imagination of many in the audience. Hanging above it all, like a disembodied spirit, was the so-called malfeasance of Nehru, the leader who had won the trust of Hindus only to betray them in the vilest manner.

These tortured souls would have been well advised to adopt a more holistic approach to Hinduism, and history, looking no further than Swami Vivekananda, who once said: “The singleness of attachment (Nishtha) to a loved object, without which no genuine love can grow, is very often also the cause of denunciation of everything else.”

Hinduism
The Hindu population in Pakistan is about 1.8% according to the 2018 census, 0.2% more than that of the 1998 and the 1951 figures.

Historians have informed us that Nehru preferred his father’s intellect over his mother’s tradition but he was never contemptuous of religion. While he undoubtedly felt that organised religion had its flaws, he opined that it supplied a deeply felt inner need of human nature while also giving a set of values to human life.

In private conversations some delegates spoke of how their America-born children had helped persuade them to drop their pathological aversion to gays and lesbians. Despite their acute wariness of perceived cultural subjugation, the irony was obviously lost on them that Article 377 of the Indian Penal Code,(which criminalises gay sex) recently overturned by the Indian Supreme Court, is a hangover from the Victorian British era-embodied in the Buggery Act of 1533.

In the face of the upcoming elections in the US, Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi’s decision to speak at the conference was a political risk. With a newly energised political Left, even the perception of being linked with “fascist” or sectarian forces could be political suicide in the critical November elections. Despite vociferous appeals to disassociate himself from the Congress, Krishnamoorthi chose to attend.

“I decided I had to be here because I wanted to reaffirm the highest and only form of Hinduism that I have ever known and been taught — namely one that welcomes all people, embraces all people, and accepts all people, regardless of their faith. I reject all other forms. In short, I reaffirm the teaching of Swami Vivekananda,” Krishnamoorthi said.

Given the almost pervasive abhorrence of anything remotely Nehruvian among a section of the delegates, it was a revelation to hear the opinion of Dattatrey Hosable, the joint general secretary and second-in-command in the RSS hierarchy. Speaking on the promise of a newly-resurgent India, Hosable said in an interview to Mayank Chhaya, a local journalist-author-filmmaker: “A moment comes, which comes but rarely in history, when we step out from the old to the new — when an age ends, and when the soul of a nation, long suppressed, finds utterance.”

Also Read: Triple Talaq Now Banned in India

The quote is from Nehru’s famous Tryst with Destiny speech delivered to the Indian Constituent Assembly on the midnight of August 14, 1947 — proof, if any is needed, that the force of Nehru’s ideas can transcend one’s disdain of him. (IANS)