Through forming a relationship with the teachings of the first four flavors, common mortals and people of the two vehicles gradually arrived at the Lotus Sutra. This was the opportunity for them to reveal the seed of Buddhahood, to open up [the provisional teachings] to reveal [the true teaching].
written by Nichiren Daishonin, 13th century Japan
This is the explanation provided in the theoretical teaching about the cycle of the causal relationship between the Buddha and the people. The Japanese term for “the first four flavors” used in this passage is “zen-shimi.” This comes from another concept, “gomi,” which means “five flavors.” In T’ien-tai’s classification of Shakyamuni’s teachings, five different flavors are used to differentiate the five periods of the teachings Shakyamuni Buddha expounded over fifty years. These “five flavors “are fresh milk, cream, curdled milk, butter and ghee. These five flavors signify both the progression of the teachings in time as well as the relative depth of the content of the teachings. The deepest teaching is the Lotus Sutra, which corresponds to “ghee,” the fifth and the last flavor, while the other pre-Lotus Sutra teachings are known as “the first four flavors.”*
Buddhism’s Origins & Beliefs
Visit Myosenji Temple this Saturday, Feburay 10th, for a brief video presentation and lecture on Buddhism’s beliefs by our Chief Priest, Rev. Sakabe. Learn about the Lotus Sutra, what it means and how to practice Buddhism.
- Learn how to chant Nam Myoho Renge Kyo and properly use the Juzu Beads, Buddhist prayer beads.
- Q&A with our Chief Priest.
- The meeting starts at 2:00 pm and concludes around 3:15 pm. Open to the public.
If you have decided to become a Buddhist or are interested in learning how to become a Buddhist, after Saturday’s meeting (about 3:30 pm) Rev Sakabe will be performing the Acceptance of the Precept Ceremony, the ceremony where you become a Buddhist.