Nichiren Shonin
Gohonzon Shu

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




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Gohonzon Mandala inscribed by Nichiren, formal style.


Secret Transmissions in the Hokkeshu
by Dr. Jacquie Stone

[Previous text]

It is hard to determine exactly when these transmission texts were compiled. While some are attributed--probably retrospectively--to immediate disciples of Nichiren, or to their close followers, a great number identify themselves as collections made by Muromachi period Hokke scholar-monks of oral and kirikami transmissions passed down through their respective lineages. Most appear to have been compiled roughly around the latter half of the fifteenth century. How long the transmissions may have been in existence before being written down is, of course, all but impossible to judge. Though many of them purport to represent the secret transmissions of particular schools and lineages within the Hokkeshu, overlapping content suggests that considerable communication and sharing of transmissions occured among the various schools. This too parallels the Tendai case, where, despite a rhetoric of absolute secrecy and transmission to a single disciple, ample evidence exists of individuals receiving more than one transmission and of considerable exchange among lineages.

The formation and compilation of these transmissions appears to have roughly coincided with the peak of intellectual exchange between Hokke scholar-monks and their counterparts at Tendai dangisho. Not surprising, they appropriate much of the vocabulary and interpretive style of medieval Tendai kuden literature to discuss Nichiren's mandala. Though there are individual differences of interpretation to be found among transmissions of different lineages, their commonalities are far more striking. Generally, the articles included in individual collections can be grouped into four categories, namely, transmissions concerning (1) the significance of the mandala as a whole; (2) the significance of the individual figures whose names appear on the mandala and their relationship to the central inscription of the daimoku; (3) the significance of established conventions concerning the inscription of the mandala; and (4) the relationship of the kami appearing on the mandala to the Lotus Sutra and to Nichiren. Here we will touch briefly on each of these.

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Source: Original Enlightenment and the Transformation of Medieval Japanese Buddhism by Jacqueline Ilyse Stone. (Studies in East Asian Buddhism 12) University of Hawai'i Press: Honolulu. 1999. pp. 329-330.

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The explanation below refers to Mandalas #105 and #112.
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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