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
appeared 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 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.
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
Buddha - enlightened one. One who has awakened to the ultimate reality, the eternal truth of all
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
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 and happiness.
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.
Four Lower Worlds (also the four evil paths)- the first four of the ten worlds (q.v.). They are Hell,
Hunger, Animality 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 perversity is the world of Anger.
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 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 teaches 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 focusing on the compassion of Amida.
Juzu - prayer beads
Kanji - Japanese writing system employing Chinese characters.
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 result.
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 - see The Latter Day of the Law below.
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
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 Kumarajiva.
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
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.
Myohorengekyo - 1) Japanese transliteration of the title of a Chinese translation of the Lotus Sutra.
2) The Mystic Law, the Buddha nature of all things. Myoho signifies mystic law, the mysterious
nature and manifestation of life. Renge indicates the exquisite aspect of the Law, the subtle,
simultaneity of cause and effect. Kyo is the teaching or the sutra, and the realization that one's life
and all life contain Myoho-renge-kyo.
Mystic Law - (Jap. myoho) - the ultimate reality of life and the universe, the Law of Myohorengekyo.
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 Myohorengekyo as the means to attain
enlightenment. 2) the division of Nichiren Shoshu at the head temple Taisekiji in Fujinomya, Japan.
Nikken Abe - 67th high priest of Nichiren Shoshu of Taisekiji temple, who did not have credentials.
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 unconscious realm that is the karmic repository 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, and was thus unable to indicate a successor.
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
Buddhism, that he or she had a relationship at all, albeit negative or reversed, he or she will eventually
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 secure.
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 on this earth. He is
also known by his family name as Gautama Buddha, and his given name Siddhartha.
Shingon - an estoteric Buddhism which, as a means to attain Buddhahood, chants the secret words
said to have been uttered by Dainichi Buddha.
Shoshin-kai - (Shoshin Shokaku Undo) - the movement for awakening true faith. An organization of
Nichiren Shoshu priests dedicated to protecting and preserving 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 international lay organization that practices its own unorthodox ,
secular version 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
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.
Three Treasures - The Buddha, the Law and the Priest are the three treasures of Nichiren Shoshu
Buddhism, and what all believers should revere.
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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