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Kuon-ganjo

From Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia
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kuon-ganjo 久遠元初 ( Jpn)

Literally kuon means the remote past, and ganjo, beginning or foundation. This term appears in On the Mystic Principle of the True Cause, a work written by Nichiren in 1282.

This work refers to "the Mystic Law, uncreated and eternal, of the Buddha of beginningless time (kuonganjo), " and states that the Mystic Law lies in the depths of the "Life Span" (sixteenth) chapter of the Lotus Sutra.

Nichiren interprets kuonganjo on two different levels:

(1) In the context of the "Life Span" chapter, kuon refers to the remote past when Shakyamuni originally attained enlightenment, and ganjo, to the foundation of his original enlightenment.

(2) In The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings, Nichiren's oral teachings on the Lotus Sutra compiled by Nikkoin 1278, it is stated:

"Kuon means something that was not worked for, that was not improved upon, but that exists just as it always has." Orally Transmitted Teachings continues: "Because we are speaking here of the Buddha eternally endowed with the three bodies, it is not a question of something attained for the first time at a certain time, or of something that was worked for.

This is not the kind of Buddhahood that is adorned with the thirty-two features and eighty characteristics or that needs to be improved on in any way. Because this is the eternal and immutable Buddha in his original state, he exists just as he always has. This is what is meant by kuon."

The same section of Orally Transmitted Teachings concludes, "Kuon is Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, and 'true attainment' means awakening to the fact that one is eternally endowed with the three bodies."

In essence, for Nichiren, kuon, or kuonganjo, means the eternal Law of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo and the original state of life that embodies Buddhahood.

Source

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