Thursday, August 03, 2006

From Eagle Peak to an RSS feed in 2500 years

Added the Daily Gosho Quote in the sidebar; it's taken from SGI-USA's RSS feed interpreted by some quick and dirty PHP on Still slows the blog's loading down a bit, but to my mind that's a good trade-off for acquiring the sort of wisdom that you might never come across in thousands of lifetimes.

So what are the gosho? They're the writings of Buddhist priest Nichiren Daishonin (1222-1282), which, while they include a handful of treatises, are mainly his letters to his followers. Nichiren wrote in Japanese, unusual in his time, priests would usually use the more formal Chinese, but this was always intended to be Buddhism for common people rather than the reserve of priests, monks or nobility. If you want to find out more about him, the SGI-USA's most excellent site (link in sidebar) contains a wealth of info.

The evolution of all this is quite amazing, starting with Shakyamuni's teaching, the Lotus Sutra, given on Eagle Peak, North India, sometime round about 500BC. An epic stretching across multiple worlds and vast aeons, transmitted orally for centuries until it eventually got written down, and from there, carried to China. In China, a great scholar called T'ien T'ai (538-597) fitted it in with his classification of the many sutras, and managed to elucidate some of the principles it contained. From there, Nichiren, who studied in a Japanese monastery based on T'ien T'ai's works, pronounced the deep meanings within it and made it accessible to ordinary people. After WWII, the gosho got translated into many other languages, enabling these teachings to spread throughout the world. And now it comes down the internet direct to a computer near you...


At 8/8/06 02:30, Blogger saeed said...

wow. thanks for posting the gosho quote feed. i am a sgi-usa youth division member and i started started posting quotes of my own. what an excellent opportunity to share this buddhism with the world.

feel free to check out my blog.

At 8/8/06 20:34, Blogger Les the Spaceman said...

Feel free to use it on your own blog, just open up the source in your browser and search for 'daily gosho', and copy the chunk there. If you don't know any HTML, get in touch via the contact page at and I'll give you some better instructions. If you know any HTML, the script tag is obviously the bit that sucks in the feed, and you can alter the rest as you see fit (I had to mangle it a bit to get it on here:

< script language="JavaScript" src="" >
< /script >

If you want you can include Sensei's daily guidance instead, by replacing 'gosho.php' with 'encour.php'.

Only one word of warning if you want to use it: I'll probably not renew when it expires end of Feb 2007, but I will move those scripts elsewhere.


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