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Nichiren
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Religious Figure
    (February 16, 1222-October 13, 1282)
    Born in Kominato, Japan
    Birth name was Zennichimaro
    Japanese Buddhist monk
    Founded the Nichiren Buddhist sect
    Teachings based on the Lotus Sutra
    Emphasized chanting the mantra Namu Myoho Renge Kyo
    Wrote 'On Establishing the Correct Teaching for the Peace of the Land,' 'The Opening of the Eyes,' 'The Object of Devotion for Observing the Mind,' 'The Selection of the Time' and 'On Repaying Debts of Gratitude'
    The site of his birth is submerged beneath the sea.
    He was opposed to all other forms of Buddhism, which he felt deviated from the truth he had discovered.
    He felt natural disasters -- earthquakes, typhoons, droughts, epidemics, etc. -- were caused by teaching other forms of Buddhism.
    His disciples differed on how to interpret his teachings, resulting in several different schools, each claiming to be the only true follower of Nichiren.
    He frequently had to move due to harassment and assaults from the priests of other Buddhist schools.
    He was abducted by a group of soldiers who planned to behead him, but they were reportedly terrified into inaction by an astronomical phenomenon -- 'a brilliant orb as bright as the moon.'
    He believed that all people have a Buddha nature, so anyone can attain enlightenment in their current form and lifetime.
    His manuscript of 'On Establishing the Correct Teaching for the Peace of the Land' is preserved as a National Treasure of Japan.

Credit: C. Fishel


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