Amida - (Skt. Amitayus or Amitabha) The Buddha worshipped by Nembutsu, or Pure Land believers. He is said to abide in the Pure Land of
Perfect Bliss in the western part of the universe. He appreared in the Sutra of the Buddha of Infinite Life and made 48 false vows.
Bodhisattva - a state of being deeply compassionate; also one who aspires to attain Buddhahood or enlightenment but postpones it to
dedicate his or her life to saving others. One of the 10 worlds.
Bodhisattva Jogyo - "Superior Conduct" One of the four bodhisattvas and the leader of the Bodhisattvas of the Earth. In the 21st chapter of
the Lotus Sutra Shakyamuni Buddha transfers all his teachings to this bodhisattva.
Bodhisattva Monjushiri - (Jap. Monju) - one the bodhisattvas attending Shakyamuni.
Bonten - ( Skt. Brahma) - In Buddhism he is one of the two major tutelary gods, together with Taishaku.
Buddha - enlightened one. One who has awakened to the ultimate reality, the eternal truth of all things.
Buddhahood - the state of enlightenment. The higest state of realization and absolute freedom. The highest of the 10 worlds (q.v.).
Daimoku - 1) Chanting of Namu-myoho-renge-kyo. 2) The title of a sutra; most specifically the title of the Lotus Sutra, Myoho-renge-kyo.
Dainichi - (Skt. Mahavairochana) the Buddha worshipped in the Shingon, or True Word sect. In the teachings of this sect Dainichi is a Buddha
in the property-of-the Law aspect which is one of the three aspects (or bodies) of a Buddha.
DaiGohonzon - the supreme object of worship (see Gohonzon).
Daishonin - Great Sage. A title given to Nichiren, indicating his status as the Buddha of the Latter Day of the Law.
Dengyo - (767-822 A.D.) a Buddhist sage and founder of the Tendai sect (a Lotus Sutra sect) of Buddhism in Japan.
The five desires - the desires that arise from contact of the five sense organs (eyes, ears, nose, tongue and body).
The Four Great Bodhisattvas - Jogyo, Muhengyo, Jyogyo and Anryugyo. These are the leaders of the Bodhisattvas of the Earth who are
mentioned in the 15th chapter of the Lotus Sutra. They represent respectively the four virtues of the Buddha's life: true self, eternity, purity
Four Heavenly Kings - In the 26th chapter of the Lotus Sutra they vowed to protect the Lotus Sutra. In ancient Indian cosmology these four
were regarded as the protectors of the four continents.
Gohonzon - the object of worship in Nichiren Shoshu Buddhism. Representing Buddhahood or perfection in all conditions of life, it is the
physical manifestation of the ultimate Law which is enshrined in every believer's home.
Gohonzon of the high sanctuary - the Dai-Gohozon; the great object of worship in Nichiren Shoshu Buddhism, enshrined at Taiseki-ji, in
was inscribed by Nichiren Daishonin with the help of Second High priest Byakuren Ajari Nikko Shonin on October 12, 1279.
Gongyo - morning and evening prayer. The morning and evening recitation of the second and sixteenth chapters of the Lotus Sutra and the
chanting of Namu-myoho-renge-kyo.
Gosho - the sacred writings of Nichiren Daishonin.
Hoben Chapter - "Expedient Means." This is the second chapter of the Lotus Sutra. In this chapter of Shakyamuni explains that the sole
purpose for all Buddha to appear in the world is to enable all living beings to attain Buddhahood.
Ichinen Sanzen - A single thought (a single being) contains everything. A theoretical system based on the Lotus Sutra put forth by T'ien-t'ai
that clarifies the relationship between the phenomenal world and the ultimate reality.
Jodo - a Pure Land sect of Buddhism in which adherents aspire to reborn in the Pure Land of Amida Buddha. Pure Land sects believe that the
Buddha Amida resides in a remote part of the universe. Whereas, Nichiren Daishonin's Buddhism teachees that the Buddha exists only within
our 5 or 6 foot bodies, and the Buddha land is to be found all around us, if only we could see it.
Jodo-Shin - True Sect of the Pure Land focussing on the compassion of Amida.
Juzu - prayer beads.
Kanji - Japanese writing system employing Chinese characters.
Kegon Sect - see Shingon.
Ku -a state of latency or potential, the qualitative or spiritual realm of life.
Ku, ke, chu - the three truths, or the three perceptions of existence. Ke represents temporary form, ku represents nature or potential, and chu
represents entity. Temporary form indicates the physical or material aspect of life, nature indicates spiritual or qualitative aspects, and entity
indicates the eternal and unchanging life-essence which is neither physical nor spiritual but manifests itself as both.
Kumarajiva - (344-413 A.D.) an Indian scholar noted for his clarity and excellence in translation, he translated a number of Buddhist scriptures
into Chinese, including the Lotus Sutra (Suddharma-pundirika-sutra), which is the most famous of his translations.
The Latter Day of the Law - (Mappo) - The age beginning 2,000 after Shakyamuni's death in which the true Buddha will make his advent to
open the door for all living beings to attain enlightenment.
The Law - Namu-myoho-renge-kyo, the ultimate Law of life.
Lotus Sutra - (Jap. Hokkekyo; Skt. Saddharma-pundirika-sutra) "The Sutra of the Lotus Flower of the Wonderful Law," Shakyamuni's
highest teaching, expounded in the last 8 years of his life. The translation known in China and Japan is Myoho-renge-kyo translated by
Mahayana - The Great Vehicle. One of the major schools of Buddhism active in Central Asia, China, Korea and Japan that teaches not only
individual salvation, but also the importance of leading others to enlightenment as well.
Maka Shikan - "Great Concentration and Insight" - a work by T'ien-t'ai of China which reveals his theory of ichinen sanzen.(q.v.)
Mara - Devil of the Sixth Heaven (Jap. Dairokuten no ma-o) - The most powerful devil who dwells in the highest of the six realms of desire,
and he works to prevent believers from practicing Buddhism.
Middle Way - the ultimate reality of all phenomena, which, in Nichiren Daishonin's Buddhism is the Law of Namu-myoho-renge-kyo (q.v.).
Minobu - an area near Mt. Fuji in Japan in which Nichiren Daishonin settled after his release from exile on Sado Island.
Mount Kiyosumi - this is where Seichoji Temple, the first temple the Daishonin entered as a child to study Buddhism, was located.
Mount Sumeru - In ancient Indian cosmology this is the central mountain of every world.
Myoho-renge-kyo- 1) Japanese transliteration of the title of a Chinese translation of the Lotus Sutra. 2) The Mystic Law, the Buddha nataure
of all things. Myoho signifies mystic law, the mysterious nature and manifestation of life. Renge indicates the exiquisite aspect of the Law, the
subtle, simulanteity of cause and effect. Kyo is the teaching or the sutra, and the realization that one's life and all life contain
Mystic Law - (Jap. myoho) - the ultimate reality of life and the universe, the Law of Myoho-renge-kyo.
Namu-myoho-renge-kyo - Odaimoku pronounced nahn - myo - ho - ren - gay - key - oh. This is the cause of enlightenment and it is
enlightenment itself. In another words, by chanting it one calls forth enlightenment from within.
Nembutsu - A Pure Land Buddhist sect in China and Japan that worships Amida Buddha (q.v.).
Nichiren Daishonin - The true Buddha; the founder of our faith, born on February 16, 1222, 170 years after the beginning of the Latter Day
of the Law (q.v.).
Nichiren Shoshu - 1)the Fuji sect of Nichiren Buddhism, believing that Nichiren Daishonin is the eternal Buddha; worshipping the Gohonzon
and the Law of Myoho-renge-kyo as the means to attain enlightenment. 2) the division of Nichiren Shoshu at the head temple Taisekiji in
Nikken Abe - current high priest of Nichiren Shoshu.
Ninth consciousness - the eternal Buddha nature. There are nine classifications of the spiritual functions of perception which are called the
nine consciousnesses. The first five are the five sensory perceptions" touch, taste, sight, hearing and smell. The sixth is integrating and
forming a judgment about the five senses. The seventh consciousness is reason, abstract thought and self awareness. The eighth is an
unconsious realm that is the karmic respository of good and evil effects and new mental actions. The ninth consciousness is pure and
undefiled. It is the Buddha consciousness, the essential self.
Nittatsu Shonin - the 66th High Priest of Nichiren Shoshu Buddhism who suddenly passed away July 22, 1979.
Rebirth in the six worlds - the souls of living beings transmigrate from one world to another: hell, hunger, animality, anger, tranquility (or
humanity) and rapture (or heaven).
Reverse relationship - or "poison-drum relationship" is a bond formed with Myoho-renge-kyo by opposing it or slandering it. Even though
one should suffer the consequences of slandering this Buddhsim, that he or she had a relationship at all, albeit negative or reversed, he or she
will eventually attain Buddhahood.
Rissho-Ankoku-Ron - "On Securing the Peace of the Land through the Propagation of True Buddhism," a treatise written by Nichiren
Daishonin in 1260. It explains that misleading beliefs create suffering, while faith in the Mystic Law will enable society to become stable and
Sanron sect - Sanron means three treatises and it is a sect based two works by Nagarjuna's (c. 3rd Century India) -- Chu Ron and Junimon
Ron -- and one work by Aryadeva -- Hyaku Ron
Shakyamuni Buddha - sage of the Shakyas. The historical founder of Buddhism. He is also known by his family name as Gautama Buddha.
Shingon - an estoteric Buddhism which, as a means to attain Buddhahood, chants the secret words said to have been uttered by Dainichi
Shoshin-kai - (Shohshin Shokaku Unduo) - the movement for awakening true faith. An organization of Nichiren Shoshu priests dedicated to
protecting and preseving the purity of the true teaching of Nichiren Daishonin and correcting erroneous beliefs within the priesthood -
including those of the high priest - and laity.
Six lower worlds - first six of the Ten Worlds -- Hell, Hunger, Animality, Anger, Tranquility (or Humanity) and Heaven (or Rapture). These
are the worlds of delusion and suffering.
Snow Mountains - Himalaya Mountains
Soka Gakkai - SGI - a powerful worldwide lay organization that practices its own unorthodox , secular vesion of Nichiren Shoshu Buddhism.
Sutra - teaching; scripture.
Taho - "Many Treasures Buddha" - He appears in the 11th chapter of the Lotus Sutra to validate the truth of the sutra. This was his vow as
a bodhisattva, to appear wherever the Lotus Sutra was being expounded to verify its authenticity and veracity.
Taisekiji - 1)the temple grounds at the foot of Mt. Fuji in Japan where the head temple of Nichiren Shoshu is situated. 2) Also refers to
Nikken Abe and his followers.
Taishaku -(Skt. Sakra Devanam Indra) One of the main tutelary gods of Buddhism, together with Bonten.
Ten worlds - ten potential conditions inherent in every life form that manifests in the continuum of time. They are, hell, hunger, animality,
anger, tranquility, rapture, learning, realization, bodhisattva, and Buddhahood. These conditions are inherent in a single entity of life.
T'ien-t'ai - (538 - 597 A.D.) Also known as Chih-i, a Buddhist scholar and priest, the founder of the T'ien-t'ai school of Buddhism in China.
Wheel-turning King - In Buddhism those kings who rule with justice and reason rather than by force.
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Three Treasures - The Buddha, the Law and the Priest are the three treasures of Nichiren Shoshu Buddhism, and what all believers should
The Latter Day - see The Latter Day of the Law below.
Karma- the storehouse of all thoughts, words and deeds that are the latent influences deep within the inner realm of each individual life. Karma is
of two broad types: mutable karma, the result of which is not absolute or fixed, but is changeable; and immutable karma, always produces a fixed
Four Lower Worlds (also the four evil paths)- the first four of the ten worlds (q.v.). They are Hell, Hunger, Animailty and Anger. Rage is the
world of Hell; greed is the world of Hunger; having no sense of reason or morality is the state of Animality; and pervesity is the world of Anger.
Bodhisattva Jofukyo (also Fukyo) - Bodhisattva Never Despising, a bodhisattva described in the 20th chapter of the Lotus Sutra who revered
everyone he met as a potential Buddhas.