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What is the view of Nichirenism/ Nichiren Buddhism on rebirth and reincarnation? What was the opinion of Nichiren on rebirth and reincarnation? What was the opinion of Gautama Buddha on rebirth and reincarnation according to Nichiren?

  • Do you have reason to believe it is different from other traditions/schools of Buddhism? If so, could you elucidate those reasons in your question? – Yeshe Tenley May 18 '18 at 16:25
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Nichiren explains the Buddhist concepts of Twelve Linked Causation and Transmigration

On the Principle of Three Thousand Realms in a Single Moment of Life

"Question: What is the twelve-linked chain of causation as it applies to the process of transmigration?

Answer: The first link is ignorance. The Dharma Analysis Treasurysays: “The state resulting from past delusion is ignorance.” That is to say, ignorance represents the earthly desires of love and craving that one gave rise to in the past. Thus a son may conceive hatred for his father and love for his mother, or a daughter may conceive hatred for her mother and love for her father, as described in the ninth volume of Dharma Analysis Treasury.

The second link is action. Dharma Analysis Treasury says: “The various deeds carried out in the past are called action.” That is, the deeds or karma one has created in the past are called action. There are two kinds of karma. The first is “karma leading to rebirth,” that is, karma that determines what realm of existence we will be reborn into. The second is “completing karma,” which represents all the karma not included in the above category. It is past karma that determines such things as whether one will break a leg or cut a finger. This is completing karma.

The third link is consciousness. Dharma Analysis Treasury says: “Consciousness is the one of the five aggregates that is crucial in the forming of life.” The five aggregates are already present when the child is in the mother’s body. The five aggregates are form, perception, conception, volition, and consciousness. They are also known as the five components.

The fourth link is name and form. Dharma Analysis Treasury says: “What precedes the six sense fields is name and form.”

The fifth link is the six sense fields. Dharma Analysis Treasury says: “After the eyes and other organs are produced, but before the three elements of perception,1 the six sense fields come into being.” The six sense fields are the activities, or output, of the six sense organs, the eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body, and mind.

The sixth link is contact. Dharma Analysis Treasury says: “In the process of perception, the stage before there is any awareness of whether the perception is pleasing, unpleasing, or neutral, is known as contact.” This is the stage in which one does not yet understand that fire is hot, that water is cold, or that a knife is something that can cut a person.

The seventh link is sensation, or perception. Dharma Analysis Treasury says: “The stage before any inordinate desire exists is called sensation.” At this time one understands that a thing is hot or cold, but has not yet experienced any sexual desire.

The eighth link is desire. Dharma Analysis Treasury states: “The craving for material goods or sexual satisfaction is called desire.” This refers to the time when one desires a woman and has feelings of sexual desire.

The ninth link is attachment. Dharma Analysis Treasury says: “Because one hopes to acquire various objects, one races here and there in search of them, and this is called attachment.” This means that while one is in this present life, one pursues worldly affairs and is greedy tograsp and acquire things that belong to others.

The tenth link is existence. Dharma Analysis Treasury states: “Existence means that one performs karmic actions that will determine the kind of fruit, or state of existence, that one will have at one’s next birth.” That is, existence here refers to the carrying out of karmic actions that will lead to one’s receiving life once more in a future existence.

The eleventh link is birth. Dharma Analysis Treasury says: “Birth refers to the receiving of life in one’s next existence.” This refers to the time when one receives life in a future existence and enters the womb of one’s mother.

The twelfth link is aging and death. Dharma Analysis Treasury says: “Until one reaches the stage of sensation in one’s future existence, one is subject to aging and death.” To be subject to birth, aging, and death means that one suffers the anxieties and distress of aging and death.

Question: How do the twelve links in the chain of causation apply tothe three realms of past, present, and future and the two categories of cause and effect?

Answer: Ignorance and action represent two causes in a being’s past existence. Consciousness, name and form, the six sense organs, contact, and sensation represent five effects that appear in a being’s present existence. Desire, attachment, and existence represent three causes appearing in a being’s present existence. Birth and aging and death represent two effects that will appear in a being’s future existence.

I will summarize these as follows: two causes in the past (ignorance, action), five effects in the present (consciousness, name and form, the six sense organs, contact, sensation), three causes in the present (desire, attachment, existence), and two effects in the future (birth, aging and death).

Question: How does the twelve-linked chain of causation operate when it applies to the process of transmigration?

Answer: Ignorance is the condition that causes or brings about action, action brings about consciousness, consciousness brings about name and form, name and form bring about the six sense organs, the six sense organs bring about contact, contact brings about sensation, sensation brings about desire, desire brings about attachment, attachment brings about existence, existence brings about birth, and birth brings about the anxieties and distress of aging and death.

Thus it is that one transmigrates through the sea of the sufferings of birth and death. This is how one comes to be an ordinary mortal.

Question: How does one go about wiping out the twelve-linked chain of causation, thereby attaining emancipation?

Answer: Wipe out ignorance and action will be wiped out. Wipe out action and consciousness will be wiped out. Wipe out consciousness and name and form will be wiped out. Wipe out name and form and the six sense organs will be wiped out. Wipe out the six sense organs and contact will be wiped out. Wipe out contact and sensation will be wiped out. Wipe out sensation and desire will be wiped out. Wipe out desire and attachment will be wiped out. Wipe out attachment and existence will be wiped out. Wipe out existence and birth will be wiped out. Wipe out birth and this will wipe out the anxieties and distress of aging and death. This is how one wipes out the chain of causation, thereby attaining emancipation. This is how the Buddha frees himself from earthly desires.

In my view, persons who are in the intermediate state between death and a new life are not affected by all of the links in the twelve-linked chain of causation. Likewise, beings in the heavenly realm are not affected by all of them. And likewise, beings in the world of formlessness are not affected by all of them."

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