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Major Mahayana Groups: Pure Land and Nichiren


Pure Land: calling on Amida Buddha
  • Amida – ancient prince who vowed to attain enlightenment and used his virtue to prepare a special place of bliss, the Pure Land, for all who call on his name

  • “Salvation by faith” - call upon Amida for salvation to the Pure Land

  • Some take Pure Land to be a literal place, others see it as metaphorical.

 

Nichiren: salvation through the Lotus Sutra

  • Nichiren  was a 13th Century Japanese Fisherman’s son. He came to believe that the only way to purify oneself and attain Nirvana was through proper worship and the repetition of the phrase professing faith in the Lotus Sutra:  Namu myoho rengekyo.

  • Believed that the highest truths of Buddhism were embodied in the Lotus Sutra – a large compilation of parables, verses and description of innumerable forms of beings who support the teachings of the Buddha. 

  • Special attention given to the Bodhisattva of Superb Action and the Bodhisattva Ever-Abused

  • Reveres and respects everyone since each person is potentially a Buddha).
    "We do not believe that people are good because we see that they are good, but by believing that people are good we eliminate our own fear and thus we can intimately associate with them.”


 

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