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Nichiren Buddhism

Nichiren Buddhism is a branch of Buddhism based on the teachings of the 13th century Buddhist monk named Nichiren.

In his priestly studies, Nichiren discovered that the highest teachings of the Buddha Sakyamuni (563?-483?BC) were to be found in the Lotus Sutra[?]. The mantra he expounded, "Namu Myoho Renge Kyo," expresses his devotion to that body of teachings, and is chanted by his followers to this day.

In his life he stridently believed that the contemporary teachings of Buddhism taught by other sects (like Zen) were mistaken in their interpretations of the correct path to enlightenment and therefore refuted them publicly and vociferously. In doing so, he provoked the ire of the ruling Japanese feudal lords, and was subjected to exiles and persecutions for his propagation efforts.

His personal communications and writings to his followers (called "Honorable Writings," or "Gosho") detail his view of the correct form of practice for the "Latter Day of the Law" (mappo), and many are preserved to this day.

In marked contrast to other Buddhist schools, Nichiren Buddhists believe that personal enlightenment can be reached in a single lifetime. Central to their practice of "Daimoku" is the repeated recitation of the phrase, "Namu Myoho Renge Kyo", often transliterated as "Nam Myoho Renge Kyo."



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