The One That Has Come:Nichiren's interpretation
The title of this (16th) Chapter (Measuring the Life of The One That Has Come) of The Lotus Sutra is very important in the life of Nichiren. It was this title of the Sutra that was transferred in the (21st) Chapter (The Spiritual Power of the The One That Has Come). The One That Has Come (S. Tathagata) is the one honored by all the Buddhas of the ten directions and of the past, present and future. More specifically it is the innate triple body of enlightenment.
Now Nichiren and his kind recognize that The One That Has Come is within all living beings. More specifically, it is that which is entrusted to Nichiren’s disciples. It is the innate triple body of enlightenment of the practitioner of the Lotus Sutra in the age of the Dharma’s demise (Mappo). The precious title of the innate triple body of enlightenment is ‘Namu-Myoho Renge Kyo”. These are the three very important points in this (16th) chapter.
- The One That Has Come is inherent in ordinary people (identity in principle)
- The they don the crown of ‘Namu-Myoho Renge Kyo’, causing them to first hear the Title (identity in name)
- Then, upon hearing and believing, they cultivate its practice (identity in practice of observation). This is observation of the object of worship, which is the 3000 spiritual aspects in a single thought (J. Ichinen Sanzen) in actual practice.
- Confusion and obstacles are subdued (Identity to enlightenment in appearance)
- Influence on others arises (Identity to enlightenment in increments)
- The innate triple body of enlightenment is complete (Ultimate identity with enlightenment)
In subduing confusion, The (16th) Chapter on Measuring the Life of The One That Has Come is the ultimate. Only the ordinary common mortal can embody the fundamental essence of this chapter, which is the ultimate truth that can be attained by the mind.