Nichiren Shonin
Gohonzon Shu

O'Mandalas by St. Nichiren
[1222-1282]




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Early Gohonzon inscribed by Nichiren, abbreviated style.

[Preceeding text]

The two esoteric deities inscribed [on nearly all of the Mandalas of Nichiren] are Acalanatha and Ragaraja. They are inscribed not in Chinese characters, but in Siddham scripts of their bijas (symbol letters). These are the decorative vertical writings on both sides of the Great Mandala. They are variations of Siddham letters. Vam, the symbol letter of Acalanatha [Jap: Fudo], is on the right; and Hum, the symbol letter of Ragaraja [Jap: Aizen], is on the left.

Esoteric Buddhism was established in India in the seventh century although some elements of esotericism can be seen in earlier sutras. Kodo Daishi, a contemporary of Dengyo Daishi, introduced Esoteric Buddhism from China and founded the Shingon Sect. Tendai priests also studied Esoteric Buddhism and created an esoteric school within the Tendai Sect. During Nichiren's time, both the Shingon Esoteric Buddhism and the Tendai Esoteric Buddhism prospered, and they vied with each other. The worship of Acalanatha was popular among the adherents of the Tendai Esoteric Buddhism; and the worship of Ragaraja, among the adherents of the Shingon Esoteric Buddhism.

Nichiren gave no explanation why he put the symbol letters of two myo-o in the Great Mandala, but it is evident that he did not encourage the worship of these mystic deities. It may be reasonably assumed that Nichiren included these two bijas in order to show that both Shingon Esoteric Buddhism and the Tendai Esoteric Buddhism can exist only under the umbrella of the Lotus Flower of the Wonderful Dharma.

Click here to learn more about the influences of Esoteric Buddhism on Nichiren's development.
Manual of Nichiren Buddhism by Rev. Senchu Murano. Nichiren Shu HQ: Tokyo. 1995. pp. 61.

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explanatory text explanatory text

Gohonzonsh¯u (129 halographs)
Published by Rissho Ankokukai. 1947, 1999.
1 | 2 | 3A | 3B | 3C | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32A | 32B | 33 | 34 | 35 | 36 | 37 | 38 | 39 | 40 | 41 | 42 | 43 | 44 | 45 | 46 | 47 | 48 | 49 | 50 | 51 | 52 | 53 | 54 | 55 | 56 | 57 | 58 | 59 | 60 | 61 | 62 | 63 | 64 | 65 | 66 | 67 | 68A | 68B | 69 | 70 | 71 | 72 | 73 | 74 | 75 | 76 | 77 | 78 | 79 | 80 | 81 | 82 | 83 | 84 | 85 | 86 | 87 | 88 | 89 | 90 | 91 | 92 | 93 | 94 | 95 | 96 | 97 | 98 | 99 | 100 | 101 | 102 | 103 | 104 | 105 | 106 | 107 | 108 | 109 | 110 | 111 | 112 | 113 | 114 | 115 | 116 | 117 | 118 | 119 | 120 | 121 | 122 | 123 | 124 | 125

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