Religion and Beliefs
I discovered Nichiren Buddhism with French Soka movement 38 years ago, and it was the « non-duality of life and its environment » concept that brings me to be a Buddhist and to chant Nam Myoho Renge Kyo, the mantra that Nichiren taught when he founded his school based on the Lotus Sutra. Why this may concern the ethnography of Tantra? As two deities coming from esoteric Buddhism are on all the Nichiren’s Gohonzons mandalas since the very first one, it may mean something to him. The wisdom king Immovable is said to illustrate that « sufferings of birth and death are nirvana », that means, from the Lotus Sutra point of view, that Buddhahood exists through the life of people that can transform their condition of ordinary mortals when having faith in their own Buddha nature. The other, the wisdom king Craving-Filled stand for « earthly desires are enlightenment », like compassion may birth from attachment. These two deities illustrate for me the great consideration Nichiren had for ordinary people by empowering them to face adversity with his teachings while rejecting corrupt religious and political authorities who tried to manipulate them. Today environmental humanities are inspired by an ontological turn looking for a way to rebuilt collectives between humans and the other living beings. I would like to explore how Nichiren teachings may complete our pragmatic tool-box and help us to find wisdom in this endeavour for a creative coexistence with the earth.