Notes on:
The Venerable Yamane’s Discourse on
Nam Myōhō Renge Kyō



The word Namu constitutes a solemn promise to found our lives on the Utterness of the Dharma (Myōhō, Saddharma), i.e., life itself. Myōhō comprises the fundamentals of our teaching, which are well-installed in our minds. It is the interdependence of cause, concomitancy and effect that permeates the entirety of existence, along with our troublesome worries (bonnō, klesha) not being separate from and being able to lead us to our enlightenment.

The word Renge indicates the limits of the reality that our persons experience. Also, it is the metaphor of the image of the lotus plant in the water, which also includes the cycles of living and dying not being separate from the way existence functions. Kyō is the ultimate way, buried in our lives. The recitation of this title and theme refers to the triple entity (kū, ke, chū) contained in the one entity of the original Buddha.

The Venerable Yamane also quotes “that the concept of a dhāranī in this instance and in particular is Myōhō Renge Kyō . . .” (This quotation comes from the piece of the Ongi Kuden that precedes the text of Shākyamuni in the Twenty-sixth Chapter on Dhāranī.)


The progress of those who have decided to hold faith in the Utterness of the Dharma (Myōhō)


1) Self conscious practice

When people start practising, they are aware of time and space as well as the impermanence of their lives. At the same, they have multiple layers of knowledge. One of the first things that people perceive when they start practising is that the single entity of the Original Buddha is a triple entity and that this triple entity is but a single one. They also learn about relativity (), materiality (ke), and the middle way between the two (chū).

    i. Mind

This implies that our minds are endowed with troublesome worries (bonnō, klesha) which are not separate from and can lead to (soku) enlightenment. Also, the cycles of living and dying are not separate from the working of existence (nehan, nirvana) which is [thusness or suchness] (shinnyo, tathātā). Through practice we also perceive that our minds are vessels that are completely taken up with the water of the Dharma and that we have become a single entity with Nichiren Daishōnin and his concept of existence.

    ii. Our persons

This means that in this ocean of existence to which we are so attached, even when all of our expected activities which constitute our karmic destinies are fulfilled, we will continue to make an effort in our practice of the Dharma without bounds throughout eternity.

    iii. Our lives

This is holding to Nam Myōhō Renge Kyō which means to devote our lives to and found them on (Nam[u]) the Utterness of the Dharma (Myōhō) [entirety of existence, enlightenment and unenlightenment] permeated by the underlying white lotus flower-like mechanism of the interdependence of cause, concomitancy and effect (Renge) in its whereabouts of the ten [psychological] realms of dharmas (Kyō).


2) The practical application of observance after having practised for a time

Apart from having many layers of knowledge, the people who practise become analytical, and, at the same time, their practice also involves thoughts about creativity.


3) The five stages of practical observance after having practised for some time

  1. Analysis which refers to looking into our minds and persons. Thoughts of other people come about, as well as the practitioner’s role in society.
  2. Looking into our minds and thinking about Nichiren’s teaching creatively.
  3. The recitation of the title and theme (daimoku).
  4. To observe the whole practice.
  5. The amelioration of our personal lives.
  6. The ability to analyse
  7. Creativity
  8. The ability to observe one’s own mind
  9. Continued and solid practice


The realisation of faith in the Utterness of Original Cause (Honnin myō)

This is apart from realising various layers of knowledge, all of which are sensitised into an aesthetic culture.


Notes written down by Martin Bradley, Kagoshima, January 2013


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