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“Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings”

 

“Kyo means the words and speech, sounds and voices of all living beings. Chang-an states, ‘The voice does the Buddha’s work and is therefore called kyo.’ Kyo also signifies that life spans the three existences of past, present and future” (Seikyo Times, July 1995, p. 9).

 

“the voice does the work of the Buddha” (Gosho Zenshu, p. 708).

 

“[With regard to the five characters of Myoho-renge-kyo,] our head is myo, our neck is ho, our chest is ren, our belly is ge, and our legs are kyo. Our five-foot body is the five characters of Myoho-renge-kyo” (Gosho Zenshu, p. 716).

 

the Daishonin cites the Great Teacher Miao-lo: “Concealing shortcomings and boasting of virtues define arrogance” (Gosho Zenshu, p. 718).

 

the difference between “arrogance” and “self-importance”:
“‘Because they conceal their failings, flaunt their virtues,’ refers to arrogance. ‘Incapable of self-reflection’ refers to self-importance” (Gosho Zenshu, p. 718).

 

“kyo of Myoho-renge-kyo corresponds to our legs. “Now Nichiren and his followers who chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo are all Shariputras” (Gosho Zenshu, p. 722).

 

“The word together means that when one is together with Nichiren, one will reach the place where the treasure is” (Gosho Zenshu, p. 734).

 

Now, when Nichiren and his followers chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, they are bestowing on both learners and adepts a prophecy that, as Shakyamuni Buddha said, “all persons [will be] equal to me, without any distinction between us,” are they not? . . . On all of them, wise and ignorant alike, we bestow the prophecy of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, “forcing them to listen, though it angers them.” (Gosho Zenshu, p. 735)

 

“We awaken with the Buddha every morning, dream with the Buddha every night; at every moment we enter the Way, and at every moment we reveal our true identity” (Gosho Zenshu, p. 737).

 

“The heavenly deities manifest themselves as ordinary men and women” (Gosho Zenshu, p. 738).

 

“Treasure” stands for the five components of life. “Tower” stands for their harmonious functioning. The five components functioning in harmony is designated the Treasure Tower. The harmonious functioning of the five components emerges, or is seen, in the five characters myoho-renge-kyo. This is the meaning of to “emerge” or “be seen.” (GZ, 739)

 

“The four sides [of the Treasure Tower] represent the four sufferings of birth, aging, sickness and death. These four aspects of life adorn the tower of our individual lives. By chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo through birth, aging, sickness and death, the fragrance of the four virtues [of eternity, happiness, true self and purity] are made to issue forth [from our lives]” (Gosho Zenshu, p. 740).

 

“Those who embrace the Lotus Sutra should do so with the awareness that they will meet persecution without fail” (Gosho Zenshu, p. 742).

 

“At the time when the precious jewel was still in the hands of the dragon girl, it represented the attainments that were inherent in her nature. But when the Buddha accepted the precious jewel, it became representative of the attainments acquired through religious practice” (Gosho Zenshu, p. 747).

 

“four virtues” ? eternity, happiness, true self, and purity ? which the four Bodhisattvas represent, Bodhisattva Jogyo embodies “true self” (Gosho Zenshu, p. 751).

 

“‘I’ represents the living beings of the Dharma-realm. Each and every one in the Ten Worlds is being referred to here in the word ‘I’” (GZ, 753). “The countless entities in the three thousand realms which are under-going the process of birth, duration, change and extinction are all in themselves embod-iments

of [the Thus Come One’s] transcendental powers” (GZ, 753).

 

“The assembly at Eagle Peak has not yet dispersed” (Gosho Zenshu, p. 757).

 

The Great Teacher Miao-lo of China states in his commentary that anyone who does not understand the text of the “Life Span” chapter is no more than a beast who has no understanding of the debt of gratitude one owes to sovereign, teacher and parent ….

Now Nichiren and his followers who chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo are the father of all living beings, for we save them from the torments of the hell of incessant suffer-ing. The Nirvana Sutra says, “The varied sufferings of all living beings?all these the Thus Come One himself experiences as his own sufferings.” And Nichiren declares: The varied sufferings of all living beings?all these Nichiren himself experiences as his own sufferings! The word ji [interpreted as the pronoun “one” or “one’s”] marks the beginning of the Jigage section, and the word shin [“self ” or “body”] in “quickly acquire the body of a Buddha” marks the end. It starts and ends with “oneself,” and the words in between describe the “receiving” and “use” of this body. In other words, the Jigage section elucidates the “self that is freely received and used,” or the Buddha of absolute freedom. (Gosho Zenshu, 758-59)

 

“This one word ‘believe’ means to believe in the principle of the fundamental truth revealed in the ‘Life Span’ chapter. And the word ‘understand’ means to understand the practice of the fundamental truth revealed in the ‘Life Span’ chapter” (GZ, 760).

 

“‘Joy’ means delight shared by oneself and others.... When both oneself and others have wisdom and compassion, this is called joy” (Gosho Zenshu, p. 761).

 

“Respond” means to respond to and comply with practice and principle....

“Practice” means responding to and complying with the practice of the fundamental truth revealed in the Life Span chapter, which is known as gohyaku-jintengo [incon-ceivably remote past]. “Principle” means responding to the principle of the funda-mental truth revealed in the “Life Span” chapter. In the end, then, responding means responding to and complying with the inner truth of the “Life Span” chapter. (GZ, 761)

 

The word hosshi, or teacher of the Law, means one who teaches the five prac-tices [of embracing, reading, reciting, teaching and transcribing the Lotus Sutra]. The word kudoku, or benefit, means the results or rewards that come about through the purification of the six sense organs. In essence we may say that Nichiren and his followers who now chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo are carrying out purification of the six sense organs. Hence they are acting as teachers of the Law of Myoho-renge-kyo and possess great virtue. The element ku in the word kudoku means good fortune. (Gosho Zenshu, p. 762)

 

Nichiren Daishonin says of the word kudoku, meaning benefit, merit or virtue: “Ku... means to extinguish evil, and doku means to bring forth good” (Gosho Zenshu, p. 762).

 

“‘Benefit’ means the result and recompense of purifying the six sense organs.… Benefit is attaining Buddhahood in one’s present form and the purification of the six sense organs” (Gosho Zenshu, p. 762).

 

“the practice and principle of the fundamental truth revealed in the ‘Life Span’ chapter” (GZ, p. 763).

“Benefits of the Teacher of the Law” (nineteenth) chapter, the Daishonin also refers to the “the practice and principle of the fundamental truth revealed in the ‘Life Span’ chapter” (GZ, p. 763).

 

“These twenty-four Chinese characters that make up this passage are interchangeable with the five characters of Myoho-renge-kyo; [though the wording is different] the meaning is the same. These twenty-four characters represent the abbreviated Lotus Sutra (Gosho Zenshu, p. 764).

 

“When Bodhisattva Fukyo bowed in reverence to the four categories of people [monks, nuns, laymen and laywomen], the Buddha nature inherent in the lives of these arrogant people bowed back to him. This is the same as how, when one bows facing a mirror, the reflected image bows back” (“Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings” in Gosho Zenshu, p. 769).

 

Myoho-renge-kyo is not the Mystic Law of Shakyamuni, because when the events in this chapter take place, the essence of the sutra has already been transmitted to Bodhisattva Superior Practices [Jpn Jogyo]. Generally speaking, this entrustment of Myoho-renge-kyo to Bodhisattva Superior Practices begins in the “Emergence of the Treasure Tower” [eleventh] chapter, becomes apparent with the “Life Span” [sixteenth] chapter, and comes to an end with the “Supernatural Powers of the Thus Come One” and “Entrustment” [twenty-sec-ond] chapters. “Thus Come One” refers to the Thus Come One explained in the “Life Span” chapter, and “supernatural powers” to the ten supernatural powers. (Gosho Zenshu, p. 770)

 

“The exercise of the great power of forbearance by the bodhisattvas of the essential teaching in proclaiming and propagating Myoho-renge-kyo is known as saha. Forbearance means the Land of Eternally Tranquil Light. This mind of forbearance is called Shakyamuni Buddha” (Gosho Zenshu, p. 771).

The expression “in the end” refers to widely declaring and spreading the teaching [kosen-rufu]. “To dwell in the single vehicle,” means that one should dwell in the single teaching of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. “Such a person” refers to a common mortal who has reached the stage of initial aspiration. “The Buddha way” refers to the ultimate stage. The word “doubt” here indicates the darkness of fundamental doubt and confusion. The passage makes clear that now, in the Latter Day of the Law, one should carry out this single practice only, that of accepting and upholding “this sutra,” in order to attain Buddhahood. (Gosho Zenshu, p. 772)

 

“Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings”: “Cherry, plum, peach or apricot blossoms ? all, just as they are, are entities possessing their own unique qualities” (Gosho Zenshu, p. 784).

 

“If you exert a hundred million eons of effort in a single moment of life, the three enlightened properties of the Buddha will appear within you at each moment” (Gosho Zenshu, p. 790).

 

“Bravely and vigorously” means immense courage. “Exert” has two meanings: pure, in the sense of unsullied; and incessant, in the sense of continuous activity and unswerving advancement. The Daishonin says, “Nam-myoho-renge-kyo is the practice of ‘exerting’ oneself ” (GZ, 790).

 

“because they are Bodhisattvas contained in Shakyamuni’s own life, Shakyamuni summons forth these true disciples who were nurtured by the original Buddha” (Gosho Zenshu, p. 798).

 

“The entity of these peaceful practices is this [teaching of] Nam-myoho-renge-kyo that is transmitted by Bodhisattva Superior Practices (Jp. Jogyo)” (GZ, 798).

 

“In the ‘Distinctions in Benefits’ chapter…they [the bodhisattvas] then recognize that the earthly desires of the three poi-sons innate to living beings in each of the Ten Worlds are the benefit of the Mystic Law” (GZ, 799).

 

“The ‘Life Span’ chapter reveals the original life of all beings in the Ten Worlds. This chapter is called the essential teaching or hommon because it is the gate (Jpn mon) to the truth of eternity (Jpn hon)” (Gosho Zenshu, p. 799).

 

the Daishonin says of Bodhisattva Wonderful Sound (who appears in the twenty-fourth chapter of the Lotus Sutra): “He manifests thirty-four different bodily forms, illustrating the principle of the mutual possession of the Ten Worlds and preaching the Law so as to bring benefit to others” (Gosho Zenshu, p. 801).

Excerpt from 1997 - 1999 Living Budhism & World Tribune