Nichiren Shonin
Gohonzon Shu

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




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Gohonzon Mandala inscribed by Nichiren in the third lunar month of 1280.
It is currently kept at Myohon-ji in Kamakura and is regarded by Nichiren Shu as the most significant Gohonzon Nichiren intended to inscribe. This Great Mandala is now designated as the Shutei Honzon or the "Gohonzon Authorized by the Nichiren School."
Lotus World by Rev. Ryuei
NewLotus World: an Illustrated Guide to the GohonzonNew
Ryuei's online explanation of the Shutei Mandala was converted into a book to celebrate their 25th anniversary by the Nichiren Buddhist Temple of San Jose and the Rev. Ryuei Michael McCormick in 2005. Ryuei updated the text and it was illustrated by Matt Miller and Rika Williams. It is now the most comprehensive guidebook to Nichiren's Lotus Sutra Mandala in the English language and includes a framable 8.5x11 Pictoral Gohonzon of the Great Mandala of the Nichiren School!

If you have any questions, please Email Ryuei. To order this gem of a book, mail your check or money order for $20 (incl. shipping) to the Nichiren Buddhist Temple of San Jose.

Nichiren Buddhist Temple of San Jose
3570 Mona Way
San Jose, CA 95130


[Preceeding text from Rev Senchu Murano]

The Purified Saha-world described in the Kanjin-honzon-sho must be modified when it is inscribed in the form of the Great Mandala. All the Bodhisattvas in the description of the Kanjin-honzon-sho are attendants to Sakyamuni Buddha. Therefore, if we render them as given in the description of the Kanjin-honzon-sho the right column below Prabhutaratna would be blank because Prabhutaratna has no attendant. In order to eliminate this unbalance, Visistacarita and Anantacarita, who are the first two disciples of the Original Sakyamuni Buddha, are moved to the right column as though they attend to Prabhutaratna.

The Bodhisattvas other than the four disciples of the Original Sakyamuni Buddha are represented by the two Bodhisattvas, Manjusri and Samantabhadra, who are conceived as attendants to Sakyamuni by Provisional Mahayana Buddhists. When represented in the Great Mandala, symmetry is also considered, and thus Manjusri Bodhisattva is found in the right column as though he serves Prabhutaratna. The position of the names of the other Bodhisattvas is arbitrary. The Shutei Honzon, for example, bears the names of Bhaisajyaraja and Maitreya.

Only Buddhas and Bodhisattvas are discussed in the Kanjin-honzon-sho. But the Great Mandala includes many other living beings. Members of the congregation of the Lotus Sutra are inscribed. Those who attended the congregation were Sravakas, supernatural beings and men. Those Sravakas are represented by Sariputra and Maha-kasyapa, who are conceived as the attendants of Sakyamuni by Theravada Buddhists.

The supernatural beings in the congregation included devas (gods), nagas (dragons), yaksas, asuras and raksasas. The gods inscribed in the Shutei Honzon are Maha-Brahman, Sakra, and the Kings of the Four Quarters, Mara, Surya (Sun), Candra (Moon), and Aruna (Star). The Kings of the Four Quarters are written in larger size and are positioned in the four corners of the Great Mandala. Mara is regarded as Dairokuten no Ma-o or "King Mara of the Sixth Heaven." King Mara is the lord of the highest of the six heavens of the Realm of Desire. He is considered to be able to do anything he desires. He is in reality a devil, but is treated as a deva because he is in heaven. Nagas and asuras are regarded as competent enough to hear the Dharma. Hariti, who is a female yaksa, and the ten raksasis or female raksasas, are also inscribed in the Great Mandala because they vow to protect the keepers of the Lotus Sutra in Chapter XXVI.

The laymen who attended the congregation are represented by the Cakravarti-raja (wheel-turning-holy-king) and King Ajatasatru.

Nichiren also includes the name of Devadatta in the Great Mandala although it is evident that he did not join the congregation of the Lotus Sutra. When the Sravakas were assured of their future Buddhahood by the Buddha in the Lotus Sutra, they rejoiced and expressed their gratitude to the Buddha. But Devadatta made no response to the Buddha when he was assured of his future Buddhahood in Chapter XII. This shows that Devadatta was not present before the Buddha at that time. Devadatta, once a Sravaka, later quit the Samgha, and even attempted to brashly kill the Buddha. For these deeds, legends says that he was sent to hell alive.

Nichiren also added deities and men who are not mentioned in the Lotus Sutra. They include two myo-o or spell kings of Esoteric Buddhism, two Japanese dieties, and four precursors of Nichiren Buddhism.

The two Japanese gods inscribed are Tensho Daijin and Hachiman Daibosatsu. They are, in reality, deifications of historical persons. Tensho Daijin is regarded as the ancestor of the Japanese nation. Hachiman Daibosatsu is the deified Emporer Ojin, who was given the title of Daibosatsu under the influence of Buddhism. Nichiren regarded Japan as the country where the Original Sakyamuni Buddha first chose to reveal the seed of Buddhahood to be sown in the minds of people who live in the Age of Degeneration. With this is mind, he wished to honor the gods of a country closely connected with the Lotus Sutra.

Regarding the precursors of Nichiren Buddhism, the Shutei Honzon bears the names of the four celebrated priests: Nagarjuna of India, Tendai Daishi and Myoraku Daishi of China, and Dengyo Daishi of Japan.

Manual of Nichiren Buddhism by Rev. Senchu Murano. Nichiren Shu HQ: Tokyo. 1995. pp. 59-60, 61-62.

This Nichiren Gohonzon is also referenced at Saikakudoppo's blog.
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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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Lotus World by Rev. Ryuei
NewLotus World: an Illustrated Guide to the GohonzonNew
Ryuei's online explanation of the Shutei Mandala was converted into a book to celebrate their 25th anniversary by the Nichiren Buddhist Temple of San Jose and the Rev. Ryuei Michael McCormick in 2005. Ryuei updated the text and it was illustrated by Matt Miller and Rika Williams. It is now the most comprehensive guidebook to Nichiren's Lotus Sutra Mandala in the English language and includes a framable 8.5x11 Pictoral Gohonzon of the Great Mandala of the Nichiren School!

If you have any questions, please Email Ryuei. To order this gem of a book, mail your check or money order for $20 (incl. shipping) to the Nichiren Buddhist Temple of San Jose.

Nichiren Buddhist Temple of San Jose
3570 Mona Way
San Jose, CA 95130



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