God _ Buddha
God and Buddha
Q. What is the difference between God in Christianity and Buddha in Buddhism?
A. The God in Christianity is considered a creator. On the other hand, the Buddha in Buddhism is not a creator like the God in Christianity or Allah in Islam. ‘Buddha’ in Sanskrit means ‘The Enlightened One’ or ‘One Who Attained the State of Enlightenment’. So, Buddha is an extension of a perfect human being realized through the practices.
Based on the teaching of the Lotus Sutra (Hokekyo), Shakamuni Buddha in his late years revealed that “his original state” is the Primordial Buddha (Kuon Honbutsu) who possess eternal life and includes the entire universe.
Q. The concept of the Buddha as an eternal existence is similar to that of God in Christianity, isn’t it?
A. The Christian idea is that God exists somewhere outside the world where human beings and other things exist. In contrast, the Buddha as an eternal existence includes all existences and can be considered as an absolute existence. Therefore, human beings and other existences can be said to be parts of the Eternal Buddha.
Q. How are the Buddha as a human being and the Eternal Primordial Buddha connected?
A. The Buddha as the Primordial Eternal Buddha has three aspects; the Dharma Body (Hosshin), the Reward Body (Hojin) and the Manifested Body (Ojin).
Hosshin or the Dharma Body means the ultimate reality as the body of the Buddha. So, we can consider the universe is the body of the Buddha himself.
Hojin or the Reward Body means the Primordial Buddha who has great mercy and compassion as the result of his meritorious practices and guides people.
Ojin or the Manifested Body means the Buddha who appeared in this world as a manifestation of the Primordial Buddha to guide the people directly.
Buddhist scholars who belong to the Tendai Shu sect and Nichiren Shu sect tend to consider the Primordial Buddha’s main aspect is the Dharma Body. But based on the eight chapters of the Primordial Portion of the Lotus Sutra (Honmon Happon), the main aspect of the Buddha should be the Reward Body (Hojin), because the historical Shakamuni Buddha revealed his original state as the Primordial Eternal Existence (Kenpon) and taught the important teachings to the Bodhisattva Jogyo and other direct bodhisattvas (Honge no Bosatsu).
Nissen Shonin stated in his Goshinan (writings)
Buddhist scholars tend to think that the Primordial Buddha (Kuon Honbutsu) who appears in the Primordial Portion of the Lotus Sutra (Honmon) is the Dharma Body (Hosshin) – the body of the ultimate reality, one of the three bodies or aspects of the Buddha. Of course, the Dharma Body is one of the aspects of the Buddha, but the main aspect of the Buddha should be the Reward Body (Hojin) – the body of the Buddha who has great mercy and compassion as the result of his meritorious practices. Because the Dharma Body never taught us any teachings, had it not been for the teachings of the Buddha, there would have been no way of knowing the practices to walk on the road to the world of enlightenment. If there had been no sermons by the Buddha as the Reward Body, there would be no teachings for us to understand the enlightenment which the Buddha realized as the fundamental truth (Jukai Gogu – each of the ten realms mutually contains the other nine), or how to sympathize with the Gohonzon and invite it into our minds. If the Buddha had not revealed his original state as the Eternal Primordial Buddha in the Primordial Portion of the Lotus Sutra, we would never understand the difference of Ri and Ji or Ichinen Sanzen and the real path to the enlightenment of the ordinary people in the Mappo period.
(Butsuryu Seiten p.837)