Histoire des Écoles du Lotus

Notes détaillées pour l'article de Campana


Note 14 The Saddharma-pundarika Sutra, ‘Sutra of the Lotus of the True Law’. According to tradition, six Chinese versions were made at different times. Three of them are still extant today. In chronological order : the translation made by Dharmaraksa in A.D. 286, 27 chapters ; the translation made by Kumarajiva in A.D. 406 in 28 chapters ; and the one made by Jnanagupta and Dharmagupta in A.D. 601 in 27 chapters. The last one follows faithfully the order of the chapters of the Sanskrit text. The Kumarajiva translation was, and is, the most popular text used in China and Japan. Nichiren also used this translation. The main translations of the Sanskrit text in Western languages are the French translation made by E. Burnouf in 1852 (Le Lotus de la Bonne Loi), and the English translation made by H. Kern in 1855 (The Lotus of the True Law). References below are to the Iwanami edition in three volumes, by Sakamoto Yukio and Iwamoto Yutaka ; in this work the Chinese version by Kumarajiva is accompanied by the Japanese reading of the Chinese text and the translation of the Sanskrit original in modern Japanese. Tokyo, 1962, 1965, 1967.
Fermer la fenêtre

Note 16 : ‘dharma’. It expresses the idea of ‘law’, ‘truth’, ‘essence of reality’. It also means the doctrine of the Buddha. In the translation it is rendered by one of these words, according to the context.
Fermer la fenêtre

Note 17 ''Divine'' should not be understood here tin the Western sense of the word. ''Jinriki'' or ''jinzuriki'' : a mystical and spiritual power that surpasses the level of our world of common sense and its laws. This power is free in the sense that the Tathagata can see and understand the truth that is hidden to us, and that he can effect our salvation in a way that is not accessible to us.
Fermer la fenêtre

Note 18 : Hokke-mongu (ch. 10). One of the three main works written by Chih-i ( Zhiyi 538-97), considered the founder of the Chinese T’ien-t’ai School of Buddhism because he systematized the doctrine of the school. The three main works attributed to him are in fact his lectures recorded by his disciples. The Fa-huan-wen-chu is a textual commentary on the Lotus Sutra. [The other two major works are : the Fa-hua-hsuan-i (Hokke-gengi) : ‘Profound meaning of the Lotus Sutra’, and the Mo-ho-chih-kuan (Maka-shikan) : ''Great Concentration and Insight''. All three are in 20 chapters of fascicles. In these books is found all the Tendai doctrine which was brought to Japan by Saicho (767-822 ; Dengyo Daishi) who established the Japanese Tendai Sect of Mount Hiei.]
Fermer la fenêtre

Note 19 sho-jodo, sometimes also called sanju-jodo because the legend says that Shakyamuni achieved his enlightenment at the age of thirty. It is one of the eight steps in the life of a Buddha : 1) decent from heaven : geten
2) conception in His mother’s womb : takutai
3) birth : shuttai
4) leaving the family : shukke
5) defeating the devil (Mara, the tempter) : goma
6) reaching enlightenment : jodo
7) setting in motion the Wheel of the Law (i.e. preaching) : temporin
8) entering into nirvana : nyu-nehan
Fermer la fenêtre

Note 20 This terminology is taken from the Tendai systematization of the sutras, which was perfected by Chih-i, and was devised to harmonize the often-discordant doctrines contained in the Buddhist scriptures. Briefly, according to this theory the Buddha revealed his doctrine in five different stages of times (goji) during the fifty years of his apostolic life. They are named after the sutras representative of the different stages : 1) Avatamsaka (Kegon, the first thirty-seven days of the Buddha’s preaching)
2) Agama (Agon, 12 years)
3) Vaipulya (Hodo, 8 years)
4) Prajna (Hannya, 22 years)
5) Saddharma-pundarika and Nirvana (Hokke-nehan, the last 8 years)
In this system the different sutras and the doctrines contained in them are harmonized, in the sense that the Buddha is said to have instructed his disciples in a pedagogical way, beginning form the more accessible teachings and working up to the more difficult and full revelation of his doctrine, This latter is contained in the Lotus Sutra, whose main teachings are : a) Every being - without discrimination - is endowed with the Buddha-nature and is therefore capable of attaining to the highest enlightenment ; and
b) The historical Buddha is the manifestation of the eternal Buddhahood.
The results of fruits of these different teaching stages, and of the religious life based on them, are compared to the taste, or flavor (mi), of milk in five ascending degrees : 1) fresh milk (nyu) ; 2) cream (raku) ; 3) curdled milk (shoso) ; 4) butter (shukuso) ; 5) ghee (daigo).
Therefore here ‘the four flavors’ indicates the doctrines the Buddha revealed in the first four stages of his preaching and contained in the Avatamsaka, Agama, Vaipulya, and Prajna sutras. (For a more detailed exposition of the doctrines of the Tendai School, see, among the many books in Japanese : Sato Tetsuei, Tendai Daishi no kenkyu, Kyoto, 1961 ; Ando Toshio, Tendai-gaku, Kyoto, 1968 ; Ui Hakuju, Bukkyo hanron, Tokyo, 1963, ch. 10, p. 551 ff. In English, among others : Kenneth K. S. Ch’en, Buddhism in China, Princeton, 1964, p. 303 ff. ; Leon Hurvitz, Chih-i, An Introduction to the life and ideas of a Chinese Buddhist monk, Bruxelles, 1963.)
Fermer la fenêtre

Note 21 Besides the theory on the Five Times, Chih-i also developed the so-called theory of the Eight Teachings
(hakkyo). They are divided into two groups of four each : a) keho no shikyo : concerning the content of the teaching ; b) kegi no shikyo : concerning the way of teaching.
a) Concerning the content of the teaching : 1) zo : includes the doctrine of the Pitaka of the Hinayana, directed to the two lower classes
of disciples, the shravaka (shomon ) and the pratyekabuddha (engaku ).
2) tsu : the doctrine common to the Hinayana and provisional Mahayana, directed to the
two classes mentioned above and to the lower class of the bodhisattva.
3) betsu : the doctrine exclusively directed to the bodhisattva.
4) en : the round, complete doctrine of the Buddha revealed in the Lotus Sutra
‘The Three Teachings’ in the text means the first three of this division, excluding the last (i.e. the complete
b) concerning the method of teaching and comprehending : 1) ton : the method which leads to a sudden understanding of the doctrine
2) zen : the method which leads to a gradual and increasing understanding of the doctrine
3) himitsu : when the Buddha instructs his disciples in such a way that they do not know
there are other disciples who are also instructed by the Buddha at the same time
4) fujo : when the disciples know each other, and hear the same teaching, but each one
understands the doctrine according to his capacity and the individual mystical guidance of the
Buddha. (For further details, see the same sources quoted above, n. 7.)
Fermer la fenêtre

Note 22 Lit., ''The full explanation of the three [vehicles] manifests the one [vehicle].'' In the second ch. of the Lotus Sutra (the Chapter on Skilful Means) the Buddha explains to his disciples that there are not three separate vehicles adapted to the three classes of man (the sravaka, the pratyekabuddha, and the bodhisattva) but only one vehicle (the One Buddha Vehicle of the Mahayana) which will lead all men to the supreme enlightenment. In the traditional interpretation of the Tendai School, this explanation is made by the Buddha in two steps, and the chapter is divided accordingly in two parts. The two steps are : the ‘ryakukai san-ken-ichi’, in which the Buddha explains in a short, abridged manner (ryakukai), that there are not three vehicles but only one, This he does by stating that all sentient beings are capable of attaining the same Buddhahood. The second step is the ‘kokukai san-ken-ichi’ in which the Buddha teaches, openly and extensively (kokai), that there is only one vehicle to the attainment of the same Buddhahood.
Fermer la fenêtre

23 The hommon. The Lotus Sutra in the Chinese version by Kumarajiva was traditionally divided into two parts of 14 chapters each. In the first 14 chapters the Buddha appears as a man who has reached his enlightenment and is teaching his disciples the way to reach the same enlightenment. From the 15 th chapter the Buddha reveals himself as more than a common mortal, and as a historical manifestation of the Eternal Buddha. The doctrine contained in the first part of the sutra is called shakumon, lit., ''the gateway of the Trace'', i.e. ''the doctrine of the Trace Buddha''. The second part of the sutra teaches the hommon, lit., ''the gateway of the Original Buddha''. The revelation of his eternity is the full and complete doctrine Buddha came to reveal, the engyo. It must be added here that in the earlier Tendai School the ''complete doctrine'' included both the first and second part of the Lotus Sutra.
Fermer la fenêtre

24 Lit., ''the abridged explanation that 'the close reveals the far away' ''. According to the traditional commentaries of the Tendai School, the revelation made in the Lotus Sutra of the true and eternal mature of the Buddha is given in two passages of the same sutra and in two different ways : one short and implicit, the other extensive and explicit. The first is called ryakukai gon-ken-on and is found in the second part of the [15 th ] chapter on the issuing of the bodhisattva from the earth (Yujutsu-hon), where bodhisattva are said to have been instructed by the Buddha and therefore they are given the mission of preaching, in the future, the doctrine of the Lotus Sutra. Since the Buddha did not instruct them during his historical lifetime, one can conclude from this that there is more to the Buddha than his historical existence as Shakyamuni. The second revelation is contained in the following (16 th) chapter on the Duration of the Life of the Tathagata (Juryo-hon), where the Buddha states and teaches extensively and explicitly the truth of his eternity. This is called kokai gon-ken-on. Gon-ken-on : the close, present, historical reality of the Buddha manifests his distant, eternal nature.
Fermer la fenêtre

27 True Object of Worship : honzon ; Sacred Title : daimoku ; Seat of Ordination : kaidan.These are the objects of this work and will be explained later.
Fermer la fenêtre

28. Nichiren sees in the very name of the Lotus Sutra the synthesis of the doctrine contained in the sutra itself, which he then ormulates in the Three Great Mysteries.
Fermer la fenêtre

29, the three worlds of past, present, and future, in relation to the historical (present) life of the Buddha, which are one in the eternity of his nature. However, it is implied that this doctrine was not revealed to men right after the Buddha’s entering into nirvana as it was to be preached only at the opportune time of the Latter Law.
Fermer la fenêtre

33 Honnu musa sanjin. The doctrine of the Three Bodies (Trikaya) is the final development of the Buddhology of Mahayana.
Briefly : 1) dharma-kaya (hosshin), the Body of the Law : the eternal Buddha, existing above all changes, who is the Eternal Truth and Reality.
2) nirmana-kaya (ojin), the Body of Condescension [manifest body], who appears in the world and adapts himself to our mortal conditions to teach the doctrine and save all sentient beings.
3) sambhoga-kaya (hojin), the Body of retribution : the glorious Buddha after his enlightenment who through his endless merits enjoys full happiness and has the power to save all beings.
Fermer la fenêtre

34 At the opening of the chapter of the issuing of the bodhisattva from the earth, all the disciples who have heard the revelation of the doctrine of the supreme enlightenment offer themselves to preach it to men at the end of time. The Buddha answers that he has already prepared the future apostles of that doctrine. Thereupon he calls countless bodhisattva out of the earth. They appear through crevices miraculously opened in the soil, and are led by four bodhisattva : Visistacaritra (Jogyo bosatsu : Superior Conduct) ; Anantacaritra (Muhengyo bosatsu : Endless Conduct) ; Visuddhacaritra (Jyogyo bosatsu : Pure Conduct) ; and Supratistitacaritra (Anryugyo bosatsu : Steady Conduct). Among the four bodhisattva, Superior Conduct appears to be given the primacy.
Fermer la fenêtre

39 The Buddhist view of history (and salvation) is cyclical. The demise of the Buddha and his entry into nirvana marks the beginning of the cycle. As time passed, men’s acceptance of the doctrine preached by the Buddha decreases. This decreasing process goes on till the point when men reach a degree of total moral decay. This will be the end of the cycle. Another Buddha will then appear, and a new cycle will start.
In the cycle there are three periods of ages, about whose length opinions differ. The most common view, which was also accepted by Nichiren, is as follows : 1) saddharma (shoho) : the Age of the Right Law, when the Buddhist doctrine, practice, and enlightenment all exist and are accessible to men ; 2) saddharma pratirupaka (zoho) : the Age of Imitation Law, in which the Buddhist doctrine and practice are still in existence, but - due to the growing corruption of men - enlightenment is no longer possible.
These two periods last a thousand years each, and are in turn divided into two sub-periods of five hundred years each. The two periods thus include four sub-periods of five hundred years.
After these comes : 3) saddharma vipralopa (mappo) : the Age of the Latter Law. The decadence and corruption is such that only the Buddhist doctrine remains, but men no longer practice it and no one can achieve enlightenment. This period will last ten thousand years.
As the universe gradually decays and the moral corruption of men becomes deeper, the mercy of the Buddha proportionately increases, so that his highest and most complete doctrine is reserved for the most corrupt age, the Age of the Latter Law. As Nichiren points out in this and many of his other works, the Buddha has so mercifully and skillfully planned the revelation of his doctrine that all men can be saved. The full doctrine of Nichiren on this subject is given in many of his works, especially in the Senji-sho, ‘An Essay on the [Discernment and] Choice of Time”. (Heirakuji, I, p. 1189 ff.)
Fermer la fenêtre

41 This quotation is taken from the Daihodo-daijikkyo (also called Daishukyo ), the Mahasamnipata Sutra, its Hometsu jin-hon, the chapter on the complete destruction of the Law. (Taisho Tripitaka, vol. 13, p. 363.) The expression ‘White Law’ means ‘Right Law’.
Fermer la fenêtre

42 ki-en. ‘Ki’ means the disposition of the one who hears the doctrine of the Buddha and who is the object of his salvific action. Nichiren uses in his writings other terms with the same meaning ; for example ; kikon, which indicates more directly the innate capacity of a person to respond to the doctrine and the influence of the Buddha. Also kikan, which indicates the interior sensitivity of a person who is attuned to the doctrine and the influence of the Buddha, etc. ‘En’ indicates rather the relation between Buddha’s salvific action and the man to be saved. Salvation is then realized when one’s personal disposition and the Buddha’s action come together. In his mercy the Buddha adapts his action to the disposition of the different ages. Nichiren puts more emphasis on the historical context in which one lives than on the single individuals ; according to his doctrine the action of the Buddha and the propagation of the different doctrines are measured by the particular age, rather than by a consideration of the individuals. More on this can be found in Nichiren’s ‘Senji-sho’.
Fermer la fenêtre

44 kyu-hokai (or kyu-hokkai ). In Mahayana Buddhism, according to the Tendai system, the
universe, hokkai (dharmadhatu), is divided into 10 worlds (ju-hokkai)
1) jigoku-kai : hell (naraka) ; 2) gaki-kai : hungry spirits (preta) ; 3) chikusho-kai : beasts (tiryanc) ; 4) ashura-kai : demons (asura) ; 5) ningen-kai : men (manusya) ; 6) tenjo-kai : heavenly spirits (deva) ; These first six are called the ‘six ways’, or six stages of transmigration. The beings living in these worlds are still subject to the chain of birth and rebirth and have not yet reached any kind of enlightenment. Beings in the last four of the ten words have in various degrees reached enlightenment, and have escaped the chain of birth and rebirth. They are : 7) shomon-kai : disciples or hearers (shravaka) ; 8) engaku-kai : self-made Buddhas (pratyekabuddha) ; 9) bosatsu-kai : bodhisattva ; 10) buk-kai : the Buddha.
The ‘nine worlds’ in the text includes all sentient beings who have not yet achieved enlightenment, or the supreme enlightenment, and are therefore the object of the Buddha's mercy.
Fermer la fenêtre

45 Issendai : those who are so corrupted and rooted in their passions that they have no receptivity at all to the doctrine and influence of the Buddha. However, in Mahayana Buddhism this would seem to concern only their present existence, and the Buddha will eventually bring them to a state of existence in which they will finally be able to respond to his mercy and be saved.
Fermer la fenêtre

46 Provisional Mahayana as opposed to the final or Real Mahayana. The first is a teaching of Mahayana which uses skilful devices to prepare men for the full revelation of the ultimate Buddhist teaching, to be revealed only in the final Mahayana. The Buddha taught and explained all his doctrine in the course of his life, but the understanding and propagation of the entirety of this doctrine after his entry into nirvana were to be gradual and according to the ages of mankind. This accounts for the division of the Buddhist teaching into different 'vehicles', yana. The gradual process can be summarized thus : AGES VEHICLES STATE OF BUDDHA'S TEACHING
I.Right Law
- Hinayana : (1) Avatamsaka, (2) Agama (3) Vaipulya (It is generally admitted that elements of provisional Mahayana are contained in this stage.)
- Provisional Mahayana (4) Prajna
- Imitation Mahayana of the (5) Lotus Sutra, 1 st 14 chapters
II Law Trace Buddha
III Latter Law
- Mahayana of the (6) Lotus Sutra, 16 th chapter. Original Buddha
Fermer la fenêtre

47 Iwanami, III, p. 26. In this chapter [Lotus Sutra, chapter 16], after having revealed the eternity of his enlightenment, the Buddha recounts the parable of the Good Physician. The Good Physician (the Buddha) is faced with the problem of persuading some of his poisoned children to take the good medicine he has prepared for them and which alone can cure them. But some of them are so affected by the poison that they refuse to take the medicine. The father has then recourse to a stratagem : he leaves the medicine with them and tells them that he is going on a long journey. After some time he sends a messenger with the news that he is dead. The children are grieved at the news and, moved by sorrow and remorse, take the medicine and are thus cured, saved by their father’s merciful lie.
Nichiren sees in this passage the proof asked by the disciple : the doctrine of the Eternal Life of the Buddha is the only medicine capable of delivering us from our miserable state in this age of total corruption.
Fermer la fenêtre

52 This interpretation of the two characters ('hi' secret) and ('mitsu' mystery) is rather arbitrary on the part of Chih-i and does not seem to have any real etymological foundation. In his interpretation Chih-i seems to consider the problem from the objective and subjective cognitive points of view. The truth of the eternity of the Buddha and, consequently, the fact that the Three Bodies of the Buddha are nothing more than three states of existence of the same eternal reality - this truth is a mystery that only the Buddha himself can know and which he alone can reveal to us. Chih-i calls this aspect 'hi'. The other aspect is that from our point of view we cannot comprehend that the Three Bodies (states of existence) are not three separate entities, but one and the same eternal reality of the Buddha. This indicates our incapacity to comprehend the fundamental truth of reality. Chih-i sees this expressed in 'mitsu'.
Fermer la fenêtre

59 To explain the mystical meaning of a sutra Chih-i devised a method consisting of five steps, the goju-gengi : 1) to explain the meaning of the title of the sutra (shakumyo)
2) to discern the fundamental essence of the sutra (bentai)
3) to clarify the central point and the purpose (i.e. the religious implications) of the sutra (myoshu )
4) to discuss the power of the sutra (ron’yu )
5) to assign the place of the sutra in the overall doctrine of the Buddha (hangyo)
In his Fa-huan-hsuan-i (ch. 10, part 2), Chih-i explains the mystical meaning of the Lotus Sutra, applying these five points to the five characters of the sutra’s title : myo-ho-ren-ge-kyo.
In the passage of the Fa-huan-wen-chu quoted by Nichiren at the beginning of this work, Chih-i saw in the four sentences taken from the chapter on the Divine Powers of the Tathagata, the full meaning of the Lotus Sutra : -all the doctrines of the Tathagata : myo
-all their Free Divine Powers : yu
-all the Mysteries of their Treasures : tai
-all their Depths : shu
-in this scripture I have revealed and explained : kyo
(For further details see, among others : Sato Tetsuei, Tendai Daishi no kenkyu, Kyoto, 1961, p. 310 ff.)
Nichiren saw these five points summarized in the Three Great Mysteries.
Fermer la fenêtre

69 Nichiren’s listing in inaccurate. In the first place he includes the founder of Enryaku-ji, Saicho, as the first zasu. But the official recognition of the Tendai institution was granted by the Court only after his death. Traditionally his disciple Gishin (781-833) is considered the first Chief Abbot of Enryaku-ji (from 824-33). Moreover, in the official list Ennin (794-862), who received the posthumous name of Jikaku Daishi*, appears as the third zasu (from 854 to 862). Enchin (813-91), who received the posthumous name of Chisho Daishi, is listed as the fifth zasu (from 868-91).
Fermer la fenêtre

71 The Marisen, or Marisan : a mythical mountain in Southern India covered with groves of sandalwood trees (sendan). It was believed that the sandalwood tree was a medicinal plant, and it was used as a remedy against fever. It was also called yoraku, i.e. ‘pleasure (well-being) giving. It was also believed that the sweet fragrance of this tree was so powerful that a single leaf could nullify all bad scents within a radius of forty yoyana (one yoyana being the distance a bull car could travel in a day). Nichiren compares the mountain Marisen to Mt Hiei at the time of Saicho and his first disciple Gishin, and the healing and fragrant power of the sandalwood tree to the pure doctrine of the Tendai institution : both the benefit and the good reputation there have been destroyed by the introduction of Shingon doctrines.
Fermer la fenêtre

73 ichinen sanzen, one of the fundamental doctrines of Tendai Buddhism. It formulates the principle of the basic identity of the world of the absolute and the world of phenomena. The number '3, 000' should not be taken literally but only as expressing the totality of reality. In his Mo-ho-chih-kuan (Maka-shikan), vol. 5, first part, Chih-i arrives at the figure three thousand in the following way : each one of the ten worlds also includes the other nine, thus bringing the total to one hundred. This number combined with the ten factors of existence listed in the second chapter of the Lotus Sutra (see next note) brings the total to one thousand worlds, or realms of existence. These thousand worlds can be found at the three levels of phenomenal existence : 1) sentient beings (shujo) ; 2) non-sentient beings (kokudo) ; 3) the five shandhas (go'un or go'on). Thus the figure of three thousand, which symbolizes the totality of reality. This totality is included in a single thought of an ordinary man (bombu), i.e. in a single and insignificant phenomenon existing in this changing world.
Fermer la fenêtre

74 Hoben-bon, Iwanami, I, p.68. The ten factors of existence given in the Kumarajiva translation are : 1) form [appearance] (nyoze-so) ; 2) nature (nyoze-sho) ; 3) substance [entity] (nyoze-tai) ; 4) power (nyoze-riki) ; 5) activity [influence] (nyoze-saku) ; 6) primary cause (nyoze-in) ; 7) relation (nyoze-en) ; 8) effect (nyoze-ka) ; 9) retribution (nyoze-ho) ; 10) the totality of the above nine factors (nyoze-hommatsu kyukyoto).
Fermer la fenêtre

78 Some scholars transcribe this passage in a slightly different way. The two transcriptions are as follows : a) (I have followed this transcription.)
b) (This transcription could be rendered : ‘This is the doctrine which I, Nichiren, an preaching now in response to the time [or : according to the time, discerning the time.] )
Fermer la fenêtre

79 hi su lit. 'Keep it secret.' Perhaps better : 'Take good care of it.' But the meaning intended by Nichiren is not that Ota Kingo must not reveal this doctrine to anyone. The very reason for this essay is that this doctrine be transmitted to his future disciples. However, this doctrine is the most important message Nichiren is bringing to men and should not be preached lightly, but only to those who are ready for it and can benefit from it. See the letter Nichiren wrote to Toki Jonin when he sent to him the Kanjin honzon sho (Heirakuji, I, p. 966) : 'This matter [the Kanjin honzon sho and doctrine contained in it] is most important to me, Nichiren. Keep it to yourself [ ] and disclose it only to those who have the best disposition.'
Fermer la fenêtre

haut de la page