Articles by alphabetic order
 Ā Ī Ñ Ś Ū Ö Ō
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0

Buddhist Cosmic Philosophy and Daisaku Ikeda’s Concept of Peace Cosmology

From Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
The bu e tk64.jpg

Buddhist Cosmic Philosophy and Daisaku Ikeda’s Concept of Peace Cosmology

Amalendu Guha

COSMOLOGY is a metaphysical philosophical concept of understanding the nature and means as well as ways of individual objects and conditions of the physical and meta-ideal world, their existence, succession, sustenance, space, time, transformation, motion, magnitude, quality, force, reasonability of cognition, interaction, interrelation, interdependence, etc and extension of the same to the universe. It is a vast concept with multilateral dimensions. It is both a science and a philosophy of attempt for gaining knowledge about the universe as a whole and its relation with its component parts or particles. When one comes down to the cosmic concept of humankind, cosmology, then, asserts that humankind is one and unitarily uniform. Non-violence to self can be extended as non-violence to other, while violence against other becomes violence against self. Non-aggression and non-violence have their roots in inner self. Self, again, may have two differentiating and distinctive meanings. Inner Self is the humanistic realization of and within one’s Self. Outer Self is the Self of Outer Display or Egoism. The essence of NIRVANA, in Buddhist cosmolgy, is the dissolution of outer Self, Image and Ego. Inner Self, here, is Peace, which is tranquil and transparent.

==[[[Buddhist]] Peace Philosophy and Cosmic Nirvana==[

Buddhism is a human religion, philosophy, ideology, civilization, culture and, finally, a set of human values. The old Buddhist texts desribe COSMOS as flat disk, with heaven above and hell below. Here, heaven may be described and explained as peace and hell as conflict. It can be put as such:

Upper side: Heaven = Peace (being the result or goal)

Lower side: Hell = Conflict (being the cause or motive)

The Lotus Sutra or Saddharmapuˆ∂ar¥kasËtra of Buddhism describes that there is only one or single path (termed as ekayåna) to salvation or enlightenment. Here Salvation or Nirvana is the peace. By means of devices (or upåya) three paths and/or stages (which can be explained as heterogeneous ways) can be projected, as such:

which lead to true NIRVANA (which is at the level of achieved when Wisdom is attained)

behalf of the other or others): at the highest level

The Lotus Sutra teaches that the uniformity or the goal can be attained through heterogeneous, or diverse, or different ways. Henrik Kern explains the essence behind Gautama Buddha’s formulating the Lotus Sutra as such: “He does not teach a particular Nirvana, for each being; he causes all beings to reach Complete Nirvana by means of the Complete Nirvana of the Tathagata,”1 in which, Tathagata is the Wisdom. By Cosmic Nirvana is to be understood the Universal Nirvana or Enlightenment. Universal Nirvana is the total and social salvation, in which again, social is the collectivity of the individuals. Nirvana or the Nirvanic Peace or Salvation is achieved when the stage of anåtman or absence of self (egoism) is reached or achieved.

Cosmic peace is the Nirvanic or salvation type of enlightening peace. From the Buddhist perception and perspective, peace in a human being is generated through interaction of inner tendencies with external circumstances and conditions. In other words, one may find the externalities in one’s own inner-self and internalities in the externals. They are not unchangeable entities, but both contain the contraries of each other.

Buddhism and Buddhist cosmic philosophy and Nirvanic Peace or Peace of Salvation consists of two dimensions, namely, (i) Mahayana, the spatial dimension and (ii) Hinayana, the temporal dimension. Mahayana does not preach in Divine Absolutism and it does not believe in God. Nirvana, here is not a substance embracing or underlying phenomena. Mahayana means Greater Vehicle. Nirvana or Enlightenment is not and should not be meant as the disappearance from the earth. It means the continuation in earthly life for practising and teaching detachment from greed, attraction, and involvement in ego and self-happiness and interest oriented functions, living and life. Mind has two types of functions: (a) it produces phenomena if and when it has material and inclination-type of attachment, and (b) it leads to Nirvana or Salvation as and when it succeeds in detaching the material and inclination types of propensities. The first one is the meterial concept and the second one is the meta-ideal concept. Buddhahood or the Wisdom-at-Peace can be attained through three levels:

(i) Transformation or “nirmåˆakåya” level: Historical and Material Functional Form,

(ii) Usable or “saµbhogakåya” level: Celestial and Faith Performance Form, and

(iii) Truth-attainment or “dharmakåya” level: Symbolization of the inner unity of the qualities leading to Wisdom-at-Peace.

The essence of the above notion of the Mahayana Buddhism implies to the attainment of identity with the perfection type of wisdom. Mind, for attaining such condition or state, is to suppress or detach agitation. Hinayana is the pure-to-be way or vehicle, which founds its integral qualities and elements on the material and psychical practices or “dhammas.” The Mahayana concept of the Nirvana or Salvation or Eternal Peace, was much influenced and impressed by the concept of enlightenment of great many people. It adheres to Buddha’s principle of commonness-oriented casteless and classless reformist or human salvation ideology and human philosophy of structurelessness, classlessness, castelessness, discriminationlessness and differencelessness. Hinayana stems from Buddha Himself. In Hinayana Buddhism Arhat is interpreted as one worthy of offerings, and one having nothing more to learn (essentially meaning that he has completed his practice and learning), one repelling the illusions of thought and desire and one getting rid of rebirth. The Hinayana concept of Nirvana is the concept or Salvation and is the concept of reclusiveness and asceticism. Their principle of non-material attachment, in other words, means detachment to material inclination. This is the metaphysics and logic of the Hinayana, which Buddha worked for and in which his BUDDHATVA OF RATIONAL HUMAN EMANCIPATION (or Wisdom of logical humanistic Nirvana or Salvation) was achieved, as they hold. It is, again, the means for attainment of the salvation type of peace or satisfaction-fulfillment for the entire humankind.

Hinayana means, in literary sense, the lesser vehicle or only way towards the Emancipation or Nirvana. Hinayana Buddhism attributed to the emancipation with rigidity and only over the survival needs fulfillment level combined with the detachment from material and moral attachment and over the normal or survival needs-fulfillment level.

Mahayana centered around the total or universal salvation of mankind, based on the emancipation of both the self and others. Thus, Mahayana emphasizes the Bodhisattva practice, the altruistic practice as the means to attain enlightenment for oneself and help others to attain the same as well. From the comparative points of views and perspectives, Mahayana serves the purpose of all or the total people. The Hinayana Buddhists modelled their behavior on Bodhisattva and for enlightenment of those practicing such principles and norms, not so much for others or for the benefits of the others.

Buddhist peace philosophy is a psycho-social philosophy which tries to diagnose the human malaise and prescribes measures for cure that brings out salvation type of peace from such malaise. Buddha’s suggested communal or “sa∫gha” life provides the environment and context, in which the malady of self or ego is completely wiped off. Sa∫gha or communal life provides the life of collectivity or commonness, grows the spirit of sacrifice and enables the collective decision-making. Buddhism contends that root of suffering and human imperfection lie in three poisons of greed, anger and ignorance. The beings are ignorant of the transitory nature of existence and, as result, grasp after the effects or states, believing them to be permanent. As and when the things or the states change or cease to exist, then the beings suffer due to ignorance and grasping. Attachment, graving and grasping to “self” as permanent, surviving and separate entity, generate selfishness, obsessions, further attachments, competition, hostility, violence, etc. The cure to this vicious circle is the practice of four Sublime States: (i) loving kindness, (ii) compassion, (iii) sympathy and (iv) even-mindedness. These are to be practiced without discrimination between friend or foe, self or other. This is the very basis of the universal, all round, broad and cosmic peace. Buddha’s analysis of the human conditions and their external or expressive manifestations of greed, hate and ignorance can be regarded as paramount. Prohibitions of the acts of violence and retaliation are the very preambles of the Buddhist ethical practices. Considerable practice and possession of self-discipline and control of mind through meditation, enable the attainment of the attitude of non-violence and non-retaliation.

Cosmic Nirvana can be explained as Cosmic Peace with the attainment of Buddhahood or Wisdom, through oneness of life and its environment, or non-duality of the subjective individual or “shØhØ” and the objective surroundings or “ehØ”. In other words, the laws and principles inherent in the cosmos, do also exist in the depth and root of one’s life. The metaphysical explanation of this cosmologic-human relation stands as such: the individual human life permeates the universe or cosmos and the universe or cosmos is inherent in the individual human life. This is the correspondent relationship between the cosmos and the human physique. The entity of cosmology and cosmic life is not either, existence, or, non-existence, self or other (in the sense of non-self), it is an entity of affirmation through negations. Such relation is based on (i) temporary existence, (ii) non-substantiality and the (iii) middle way. Nirvana and the Nirvanic Peace is the Peace Self, attained on the basis of the combination of One and Self, or, “Ji and Shin.” Cosmic peace can be explained as the relation of inter-linkage and mutual interdependence between a being and the universe, which generate the integrated tolerance and co-existence, the very basis of this peace of balance and stability. The Buddhist terminology Pratya-Samutpåda or Interdependent Creation and Existence holds that there is no room or ground for nonchanged or non-changing, solid, self-propelled and non-dependent entity or an absolute power being. This interdependent relation or PratyaSamutpada is explained as such, in the Samutta Nikåya II:

Imasmin Sati idam hoti, imass’ uppada idam uppajjati imasmin asati idam na hoti, iassa niroddha idam nirujjati or When ‘this’ exists, ‘that’ exists; when ‘this’ comes about ‘that’ comes about; when ‘this’ does not exist, ‘that’ does not exist; when ‘this’ does not come out, ‘that’ does not come out.

Thus, this interdependence creates tolerance and balance of regularity and no entity is irrelevant and frightful for the other entity. This can be regarded as the principal way of cosmic peace which is founded on the regulated tolerance and which guides the efforts for peace and cooperation. This principle of Pratya-Samutpåda encompasses all the creatures and constitutes the logical principle of maintaining, implementing and linking cooperation, built up on mutuality or reciprocity. There is a inter-relation between oneself and others and both are essentially, the one. The dhamma, in the sense of conduct, which is inherent in all the things of the universe is not anything other than the regulated behavior of cause and consequence. Apparently, the individuals and the objects appear to be no relation to each other, but they are related to each other linked through the circle of cause and consequence. Such inter-linkage conduct can be explained as such:

From the above diagram one can conclude that:

(a) The universal self and the individual self, because of inter-linkage

Diagram 1: Inter-linkage Relation Pattern between Cosmos and Particles (in

Forms and Contents)

relationship, constitute the One Self,

(b) The Self-in-One is, thus, a Cosmic Self,

(c) The Individual Living Entity is a part of the numerous Living Entities in the Universe or Cosmos,

(d) The Individual Life is a part or particle in the great stream of Cosmic Life,

(e) Universal Life is the endless repeatition of death and life. A born life and a dying life does not make any difference in the flow or continuity,

(f) If the Individual Self is identified with the Cosmic or Universal Self, the life and death will or can, no longer, make a difference.

The western peace concept is the concept motivated to be an antonym of war. This is an external expression. Peace, however, cannot be defined as the result of the absence of war or conflict. Peace should be understood as inner peace, as the oriental concept of peace underlines, and inner peace within each individual can become the foundation of the outer or external peace for mankind and for the globe. Inner Peace may be attained as and when every individual may attain freeness or detachment from greed, anger and folly. The real and the cosmic value of peace may be realized only when the universal and the individual are identified and synchronized with each other. In Mahayana Buddhism, Bodhisattva explains that one should help others cross before one crosses himself and that the act of awakening will become smooth while one awakens others after one is awakened. This is the social interplay of inter-dependency, motivated to attaining the rightful awakening.

Buddhist cosmology of balance and peace consists, in nutshell, of five dimensions and determinants, namely,

Dimensions: Determinants:

a) Physical: Needs without Greed

b) Psychic-intellectual: Thought Percepts towards Perfection

c) Control: (Inner + Outer) Mind + Action

d) Material Social Behavior: Abstinence from Greed + Needsbased Consumption

e) Ethical Social Behavior: Horizontal Interaction of “Self” with “Others”

Mahayana Buddhism and Cosmic Peace

The Lotus Sutra, in Mahayana, is interpreted as the great vehicle to enlightenment. If enlightenment is interpreted as Cosmic Peace, in the sense of (i) ultimate goal, (ii) the greatest realization, through assimilation of the “self” with the “universe” and (iii) in which the supreme attainment is achieved and rests. If the goal of the Lotus Sutra of the Mahayana is realized through the means of the Pratiya-Samutpåda of the Hinayana, then one can see a perfect combination of the ends with means, ideals with material environments, or, in other words, the rational assimilation of the ideals with needed material conditions. Buddhatva or Buddhahood, in the sense of Wisdom is the much adored Cosmic Peace. The followings are the stages for achieving Budhhatva or the final Cosmic goal:

a) learning and practice, the material condition,

b) attainment of knowledge, the processing function, with means for achieving the goal, and

c) attainment of Buddhatva or Wisdom, the refined or sophisticated state of Nirvana or Salvation.

The Prajñåpåramitå or the Perfection of Wisdom Sutras of the Mahayana Buddhism recognizes the truth of the human existence and asserts that:

(i) nothing exists in and of itself,

(ii) ultimate truth of existence is ßËnyatå or emptiness, in which emptiness or ßËnyatå is (a) non-atachment, (b) state or stage, devoid of any permanentown-being” and (c) non-duality.

This ßËnyatå or emptyness is the cosmic peace and it is the cosmic wisdom which involves the cultivation of non-dual and non-multiple insight into the basic of nature. The Wisdom Sutras of the Mahayana can be termed as Cosmic Sutras which involve non-dual insight into the fundamental nature or non-nature. For example, dhammata or qualitiness and tathåtå or suchness are the things or stages which are without duality and hence, emptiness. Nirvana or the cosmic peace is a transmigration towards emptiness where emptiness is the relaxed stage of detachment and this stage of detachment is the human fulfillment. This emptiness is not, however, nihilism, it is a state of non-attachment proceeding towards the state of fulfillment. The Wisdom Sutras or preachings encourage and promote the feelings, attitudes, habits and practice of non-attachment in a person. Non-attachment, in its turn, generates Non-violence. Non-violence generates stability of mind, heart and body, by removing the maladies of irritation, anger, revenge, violence and, finally, the state of imbalance in mind, thought and action. Non-attachment and non-violence create emptiness, but emptiness is not nihilism, it enables the generation of the purity of mind, thought and function. Buddhatva or wisdom is infinite in the sense that it is a continuity with gradual promotion towards perfection. Buddhatva or Wisdom is, ultimately, the peace in tranquility and such peace is the peace of non-harm and non-attachment.

Social Peace is the very starting foundation of the Cosmic Peace. Mahayana Buddhism motivated its development and promotion on social balance, or, social equality with equity. As principle and function, material charity or donation was encouraged and the abolition of povery was espoused, which could be considered as the very preamble of social horizontality. Slave trading and sales of liquor were, totally condemned. Though guilties had to be punished, clemency was also introduced as a function of forgiveness. Capital and corporate punishments of all degrees and types were forbidden. The social-spiritual aspects and norms of the Mahayana Buddhism are motivated for removing lustre, hatred and delusion. Japanese Buddhist Nichiren (1222–1282), the profound follower of Mahayana Buddhism, explained the logic of the practicing or functional process of the Lotus Sutra of Buddhism, as such:

— it leads to the universal salvation or cosmic nirvana and urged the nation to return to the following and practicing of this sutra,

— it is transmitted through infinite succession (in the sense of essence, purity and viability),

— it ends in consciousness, in which all the spheres of realities (or aspects) are embraced (on the basis of Tendai Doctrine of “Ichinen Sanzen”), and

— it is the source and way to the Wisdom of Infinite Peace or Cosmic Nirvana.

Nichiren believed that the Buddhatva or Wisdom and Cosmic Peace is incorporated in the very human body and through proper practice a person can achieve fulfillment. This concept is based on “Sokushin Jobutsu.”

The insight of the Buddhist Peace Cosmology is based on the close linkage or association of “anåtman” or selfless and “ßËnyatå” or emptiness. Both are complementary to each other in function and, when assimilated or merged both form the unified form of detachment or “anåßakti” or non-greediness/non-lustre. The Buddhist ethics of social balance or social peace, an important constituent element of the Cosmic Whole or Peace, puts much accent on the motivation and rationalized intention of social function. It holds that the actions constituted and followed by good intentions will, by virtue of the universal or cosmic order that structure reality, lead to good and positive results for the individual and the society. The contrary happens in the inverse situation. Another salient characteristic of the Buddhist ethics is that it links the adherence to precept and duties with an emphasis on the rooting out of violence and vices and cultivation as well as implantation of non-violence and virtues. Shakyamuni or Gautama Buddha urged that the common human beings should follow the Middle Path (or Noble Eightfold Path), consisting of eight components like:

Moral Conduct or ߥla: Right Conduct

Right Speech

Right Livelihood

Right Effort

Mental Discipline or samådhi: Right Meditation

Right Remembrance

Wisdom or paññå: Right Thinking

Right View

The third refuge of Buddhism “Sa∫ghaµ Saraˆaµ Gacchåmi” or following the path of collectivity, which reflects the philosophy and means of dependent origination of the Praticca or Pratya-Samutpåda and Theravada, in the sense that “he who protects himself protects others, he who protects others protects himself,” is the central insights of non-self and dependent coordination of all realities in the society. Such is the way of achieving social balance or social peace, or, in other words, social order. If we define Buddhatva or Bodhi as the Wisdom or Cosmic Peace, attained by Buddhi or Intuition, this Bodhi or Cosmic Peace means the attainment of:

Awakenness: Use of rationality not to commit violence and harm

Enlightenness: Remain clear to the goal of Peace in Tranquility, and

Awareness: Remain alert against being inflicted by the malices like violence, anger, greed, hatred, impurity, incorrectness, etc.2 These are, of course, the functions in and of mind. In the Mahayana Buddhism, mercy and compassion function as the premordial social values. These are the virtues of non-violent peace. Mercy denotes the providing of joyfulness and pleasure to others, compassion relieves others from sufferings, agonies and depressions. These two aspects, in combined form, constitute an important element of humanism.

==[[[Cosmic]] Life and Buddhist Cosmology==[

Daisaku Ikeda, in his interpretation of the meaning of the Lotus Sutra or the Great Vehicle towards Nirvana, or Salvation or Cosmic Peace, as can be termed, unifies three truths, namely, (a) emptiness (or kË in Japanese, (b) temporary reality (or ke in Japanese), and (c) mean (or chË in Japanese), which can be regarded as the middle path.3 Here, (i) emptiness means detachment and without essence, (ii) temporary reality is non-vacuum, but has temporary existence and (c) mean is the middle way, the existence between the emptiness and reality. In the dimension of space or in spatial dimension, it can be termed as (a) universe, (b) biosphere and (c) atmosphere. Logically, it can be, characterized as (i) synthesis, (ii) thesis and (iii) conthesis. In temporal dimension, it can be asserted as (a) becoming (or forthcoming), (b) having (material form) and (c) being (the stage of processing or the metaphysical condition). Daisaku Ikeda, in his tri-dimensions, intends to mean

— the emptiness as idealism or goal, — the temporary reality as materialism, and — mean as existentialism. The intermediary stage between materialism and idealism is existentialism. These three stages are the stages of the cosmic entity. In the Buddhist Sutra of the Infinite, the entityself” is, neither existence nor nonexistence, neither cause nor circumstance, neither self nor other and so on. These are not simple negations, these try to explain the actuality and reality of the cosmicity of self. The repeated negations in expression of the self and its cosmicity generate the essence of ultimate affirmation.

The philosophical meaning of Cosmic Peace may be explained on the basis of the following three properties and three truths:

Properties: Truths:

Property of Law (Hosshin) – Property of Action (Ojin) Truth of Non-Substantiality (KË)

Truth of Temporary Existence (Ke)

Property of Wisdom (HØshin) Truth of the Middle Way (ChË)

Lotus Sutra of the Mahayana Buddhism clarifies that the entire Cosmos or Universe, is one integral entity of life. Buddhist scholars explain that the truth of non-substantiality clarifies that the entire universe is an entity of the ultimate truth, the truth of temporary existence is the microcosm of one’s own being and the truth of the Middle Way is the Law which basically integrates both the non-substantiality and temporary existence.4 From the point of view of Peace Cosmology, it may be explained that the external world and the urge for peace can be combined with the inner realm of mind or inner peace, enabling them to function as an integrated whole.

A human body is an essential oneness or funi, which embodies (i) shiki or physical body and (ii) shin or mind. In combined entity it becomes shikishinfuni or oneness of the physical and mental forms. If this body, regarded as center, is extended to the universe, it permeates the cosmos. Therefore, human life is the bridge between (a) the earthly existence (or life) and the cosmic entity or emptiness (infinity). Daisaku Ikeda quotes the Japanese Mahayana Buddhist Nichiren, explaining that;

Life at each moment encompasses both body and spirit, and both self and environment of all sentient beings in every condition of life, as well as insentient beings—plants, sky and earth, on down to the most minute particles of dust.5

The totality of the above, in all the spatial, temporal and circumstantial dimensions, may be characterized as Cosmic Life. It (i) combines body and spirit of the sentient and insentient objects, (ii) extends from the material form earth to the infinity of sky or cosmos, (iii) combines the existentialist form of self and environmental circumstances, (iv) extends from each moment to infinite moment and (v) combines the minute particles of dust and the insentient realm of space.

Daisaku Ikeda explains the dialectics or unity of the contraries of (a) the earthly desires and (b) enlightenment, inherent in Buddha’s Lotus Sutra, as such:

earthly desires are poisons, and
enlightement is the medicine.6

These exist, simultaneously, within the human life. One is manifestative while the other is dormant. Ongi Kuden explains it, in a better way, when it reveals that, as and when one burns the firewood of earthly desires, the fire of enlightenment starts glowing up. Buddhist concept of non-permanence is the concept of continuity, because in the course and process of continuity the past perishes and the future emerges. This perishability is the non-permanence, in time, space and circumstances, in the cosmic process.

Ikeda’s concept of the universe seems to be the cosmologic concept.

In the poem The Universe, he expresses this as such:

The moments of cause and effect are seen simultaneously, The limited is pregnant with limitlessness, The instant embraces eternity ......


(i) the causes and effects are inherent in matter, life, space and environment,

(ii) limited and limitlessness are combined co-existence of the particles and the whole, and/or, the extension from the base to the cosmicity, and

(iii) instance or the dynamic presence starts and ends in the universal cosmicity.

The time concept of cosmos is the concept the people’s experience. The Nichiren concept of the temporal cosmos reveals that the distinction of the past, present and the future are the true life-moments, but these can be, in sensual moment of life as the present. The past, present and the future, in Buddhism, are the three existences of the relative presents, in the sense that

(a) the past can be explained as the already-come, (b) the present can be explained as the thus-come, and (c) the future as the yet-to-come. These three dimensions and notions are the ultimate reality of the truth, in which each moment is, either, disappearing, or, appearing. This reality of the truth, under the condition of dynamic stability, is Buddha or Wisdom in time dimension. This is the characteristic of the cosmic truth, in which the temporal truth is explained in such a way that each moment is the expression in the flow of the continuity, in which, each moment and its phenomena appear and disappear. Time is oneness in time dimension of the Buddhist philosophy. The past, present and the future are the temporal dimensions of the past, present and the future, created by the flow of consciousness. But these three are without distinctions. Daisaku Ikeda characterizes such function or “Buddha’s Law” as (i) continuously flowing water, without cease, and (ii) continuosly disappearing, moment by moment. In other words, it may be explained as the emergence and disappearance in the motion of time. He holds that the “eternity of time is fused in oneness in the present moment” and that the “divisions of past, present and future are created by the flow of consciousness.”6 This philosophical expression may also, scientifically and logically, be explained as such: (a) continuity of time or time in motion is one, in which past disappears and the future emerges, and

(b) cosmos being in motion, the cosmic truth is the truth and objectivity in dynamicity.

There exists a relationship between the inner cosmos and the outer cosmos. The principle and functional motivation of life is inherent. In the sense of eternity, which Daisaku Ikeda refers to, or, which can logically be said as continuity, it refers to the outer cosmos. Its inter-relation or inter-linking pattern can be explained as such:

(i) life’s moment is the dynamic stability, and

(ii) eternity or the continuity is condensed in the life’s moment.

This dialectical relation, in essence, is the unity of the inner cosmos and outer cosmos, and, the inner entity and outer extension. It is, again, the dimension of oneness of time, which starts from the exitensionalist moment and which extends to the continuity. This oneness is the principle, from which all things originate and to which all things return.

The essence of the Buddhist cosmology impresses us that, if and when a human being intends to elevate himself from the lower to the higher or upper planes, he is to eliminate his meanness and limits and has to become a person of depth and wisdom with great tolerance and magnanimity. The Buddhist practice of Shakubuku, or the method of correcting the erroneous views or eliminating the attachment to error or evil of the others or the people, means the elimination of evils from heart and cultivation of virtues in heart. The meanness weakens the force of life of the people; limits or hinders the development civilizations, cultures and values; and obscures the real and objective meaning of life. The practice of Shakubuku helps the attainment of the percept of the cosmic universe and real meaning of man and the society.

Buddhism classifies reason or principle into four categories, namely,

(a) the reasons and principles of relative relations among all phenomena,

(b) the reasons and principles of functions based on motivations andcauses,

(c) the reasons and principles of inference, and

(d) the reasons and principles inherent in all phenomena.

These reasons and principles help the understanding of the relativity of relations between the man and the cosmos, between the space and the universe. Daisaku Ikeda conceives as well as explains that the Japanese terminology dØri embodies the fundamental perceptions of relationship between the human being and the cosmos. In pali, Dhamma is Truth, Reality, Law and Religion. Dhamma can again be explained as Nature, which consists of four distinctive aspects, as explained by Ajarn Buddhadas:

(i) Nature itself (Sabhåvadhamma),

(ii) Law of Nature (Saccadhamma),

(iii) Duty of Living Things according to Natural Law (Pa†ipattidhamma), and

(iv) Result attained by performing Duty according to Natural Law(Pa†ivedadhamma).8 It contends that everything is born out of the Natural Order and everything in Dhamma is

Nature. Nature is the sum total of the reality, and there is nothing that is not Nature. Everything is produced out of Nature and by the Law of Nature. Humanity and Nature are not seperate. Human beings and all their creations are parts of Nature. This insight helps to overcome both (a) the personal egoism and (b) the collective as well as structural egoism. The Nature, in the broadest sense, is the Cosmos and each human being is a part or particle of the Cosmic Truth, Reality and Law. Buddhism expounds the concept of the real and objective manifestation of entity of all universal phenomena, especially that of the human being’s life, as Daisaku Ikeda clarifies. The universe which embodies life is far-sighted.

==[[[Buddhist]] Life and Death==[

Buddhism expounds that the human body is composed of the four elements like earth, water, fire and wind, which are the four types of energy flow throughout the body. Their functions can be asserted as such:

(a) Earth represents firmness and performs the function of holding the body together,

(b) Water is moist and water energy serves to contain and connect allthe parts of the body, comprising the blood and other fluids of the body,

(c) Fire provides heat energy, regulate the body temperature andbrings things to maturity, and

(d) Wind, i.e, air in motion, acts to enable the things to grow andbreathe.

Their harmonial function makes and keeps the body ongoing, but any imbalance among these four elements cause mal-functioning of the body organ. Daisaku Ikeda holds that the universe is also composed of these four elements and maintenance of harmony of these, on much larger and higher scale, means the maintenance of the state of harmony within the universe.

In the humanistic ethics and philosophy greed, anger and stupidity or ignorance play a negative or vicious role. Daisaku Ikeda defines greed as selfish ego and is a state of mind that is without any sense of gratitude. Greed is, again, a insatiable desire, the state of hunger and selfishness. Anger is the expression of the uncontrollable or irrational condition of life. Stupidity means the state of ignorance and the state of illogic or irrationality. These cause imbalance, irregularity and discontinuity in the process of life.

The appearance and disappearance, emergence and extinction as well as, birth and death are the opposing inherent phases within the process of continuity, which Nichiren, explains as the phases in eternal life. He explains in Ongi Kuden that “our birth and death are not the birth and death that we experience for the first time, but the birth and death that are forever inherent in life.”9 Its cosmic essence can be seen in Ongi Kuden, when it is revealed that to depart means to open out in the universe. Daisaku Ikeda explains it, spiritually, as such:

... departure or death is, itself, a merging of the individual life into the great cosmic life. Then, by virtue of myØ, the essential power of life force of the cosmos, it is re-charged, so to speak, born into the world anew. The interval of latency is called death.10

MyØ or the motive force which activates life, has got three senses, as Nichiren explains: (i) to open, (ii) to be perfectly endowed and (iii) to revive. “To open” means to open the door to the universe of boundless potentials, expanding without limits. “Perfectly endowed” can be understood from the analogue that each entity of life in the cosmic sphere is endowed with all the properties and qualities of the cosmos itself, and thus, each constituent particle of life is the inherent part of the cosmos. “To revive” means to return to life, in the sense that, a life which lost its state of vital energy proceeds to another state of fundamental energy. Therefore, the state of lost energy proceeds to another state for regaining energy. Japanese scholar Shigeru Nanbara (1889– 1974) termed such passing of one state to the other state of life as human revolution. Daisaku Ikeda elaborates its essence, in a thorough and creative way, in the followings:

It is apparent that in the innermost depth of their beings, people long to live a value-creating life; the unlimited creative potentials originate within the human being himself. For this reason, man is earnestly seeking the Law which is limitless so that he can manifest this infinite creative potential.11 The “Law” here can be interpreted also as order. The Buddhist concept of life and death is an expansion of the particular to the entire cosmic universe. Buddhist cosmology holds that the living being and its environment are inseparable and these two are one in essence. The Buddhist concept of KË is the philosophical concept of cosmicity. Every thing comes into existence out of the state of kË, perishes to merge with the state of kË. In other words, kË may be defined and explained as the reality which transcends the concept of both the existence and non-existence. KË is the space which contains the potentials to represent and manifest the matter or energy. By coming across the appropriate external environment, or cause, or condition, it gets activated, goes into the operative process and starts the creative function. Thus, kË contains infinite life potentials and potency of limitless creativity, though apparently seems to be empty space. KË is, thus, the fundamental and unique concept of the Buddhist Cosmology and Cosmicity. KËtai are the Buddhist sutras which mean the true and clear percepts of truth (i) of the universe, on macrocosmic scale and (ii) truth of life on the same macrocosmic scale. KËtai, in essence, indicates the qualities or properties of all things. Even, after it loses its form and shape, the fundamental qualities and properties of kËtai continue to exist as attributes, unique to such existence. It is dualistic in character, (a) it finds itself within a living character and (b) is fused with the universe after it ceases to exist. When manifesting within a living being, it becomes the propelling force of progress and motion, vitality and viability, and, infinite or continuing creativity.


The relation between a livng being and the cosmos can be explained, philosophically, as such: cosmic greatness is embodied in something small or some small living being, and, something small or of the small livng being is expanded into the cosmos.


1 Kern, Henrik: Saddharmapuˆ∂ar¥ka (The Lotus of the True Law), 1884, Reprinted 1965, Delhi.
2 Humphreys, Christmas: Buddhism, Penguin Books, Middlesex, U.K., 1969, p. 15.
3 Jingsong, He: The Lotus Sutra and SGI President Daisaku Ikeda, The Journal of Oriental Studies, Vol. 10, 2000, The Institute of Oriental Philosophy, Tokyo, Japan, p. 50.
4 Ikeda, Daisaku: Buddhism and the Cosmos, Macdonald & Co., London, 1986, pp. 39-40.
5 idem, p. 63.
6 idem, p. 65.
7 idem, pp. 69–70.
8 Queen Christopher S. & King Sallie B.: Engaged Buddhism, State University of New York Press, 1996, p. 159.
9 Ikeda, Daisaku, idem, p. 209.
10 idem, p. 210.
11 idem, p. 212.


1 Guha, Amalendu: Philosophy, Science and Culture of Peace, Mahatma M.K. Gandhi Foundation for Non-Violent Peace, Oslo, Norway, 2002.
2 Ikeda, Daisaku: A New Humanism, Weatherhill, New York, 2000.