Four Virtues – Inner Self Happiness Purity Eternity.
As another year begins to unfold it is a good time to remember that in the Nirvana Sutra we find Four Virtues which all beings should aspire too. In the Fifteenth Chapter of the Lotus Sutra, we find the Four Great Bodhisattvas, Jogyo – Superior Conduct, Muhengyo – Limitless Conduct, Jhyogyo – Pure Conduct and Anryugyo – Conduct Standing Firm. They signify respectively the four noble qualities of life, true self, happiness, purity and eternity. They are represented on our Gohonzon in large characters as the four cornerstones.
How do we achieve these virtues? Perhaps, it would be natural to realize that we may start by concentrating on our present habits. What physical action or non-action are we presently doing that would block any of the four conditions? What wrongfully motivated desires do we have that would block our happiness and purity?
The “Essential” or Honmon teachings contained within the Lotus Sutra reveals the complete and essential Four Virtues as the Buddha tells us; “I Am here always, teaching the Law” which is respective of the virtue of eternity. “This my land remains safe” manifests the virtue of happiness. “Ever since I attained enlightenment” the virtue of “true self.” And the Buddha’s land of “purity and serenity” is found in the Yakuo Chapter.
Theoretical proof means that a doctrine is consistent with reason and logic and does not contradict itself. In the Lotus Sutra we find the Theoretical proof for the four virtues
1 ] Eternity is the absolute, unchanging condition, which is to say change is constant, nothing stays the same
2 ] While happiness means different things to each of us, from a Buddhist perspective, happiness is considered a life condition free from all doubt, living in the higher worlds of Learning, Realization, inner awareness, and peaceful empowerment.
3 ] True-self is the finding and manifestation of one’s higher self, beyond selfish motivation, back sliding, ego and delusion.
4 ] Purity simply means living life as you are now, reflecting daily on ways to improve Oneself. Purity comes from the practice of conscious communication with the Infinite Mystic Law through our daily offerings, our Sound and Silent Meditations.
True Self, Happiness, Purity & Eternity.
We must “Learn” to endure and find the discipline to personal strengthening of the Four Virtues. To manifest such dynamic life force takes time and effort, but the gifts and practical proofs are well worth the effort as we remember we live in a world of challenge and endurance.
We are reminded by science that when iron is heated, if it is not strenuously forged, the impurities in it will not be removed. If one does not grind seed correctly, then not much oil will be processed. We are given an opportunity when others be-rate us or slander our person with opinion, gossip or half truths, to look deep inside seeking the Four Virtues knowing our “true self.” As our daily Sixth prayer shares, we should, “pray to erase our negative karma, created by our own past causes, daily purify our faith, and practice, seeking the buddha of perfect wisdom within.”
In addition, as Buddhists, we are empowered to do something about the injustice in the world around us, whether that is in the “block” where live, our community or in a country far away. We are reminded that we have been granted a true blessing in discovering our Buddha nature. It is our responsibility then, to meditate and pray for others regardless of their beliefs, errors, suffering or pain. In this Way, we can work towards attaining the Four Virtues in our daily life. We can do our part to overcome
the Devil of the Sixth Heaven, that energy force or King of Devils dwelling in the highest of the Six Heavens of the world of desire. We come to know this energy force as the force of fundamental darkness and ignorance, a part of the Oneness of all energy.
I challenge you to understand and realize that when you chant the Five In One, Sound Meditation of Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo, you are physically, mentally and spiritually manifesting the Four Noble Virtues of eternity, happiness, true self and purity; your offerings heard and responded too through the Law of Cause, Karma, Effect!
Each of us is a unique and wonderful Being. Daily we need give thanks for the special person we are, chanting for our wisdom and enlightenment in the here and now. Making our offerings for peaceful means through many personalities, but One mind,
Thus It Has Been Shared, Respectfully, TM Henry