The Imagery of nichiren's Lotus
Sutra: Other Chinese Characters of Interest to Buddhists
Sanzen in Chinese:
Ichinen Sanzen is
composed of four main Chinese characters.
it all together:
Ichinen Sanzen is the
wish-granting gem. There are as many sides to this gem as there are living
beings. Each side reflects its own reality.
||The first character (Ichi)
is a horizontal line. It is the character one. It is both the beginning
of the Chinese alphabet and numbering system. Ichi is the source of all
||Nen is composed of three
elemental characters. On top are three lines forming a triangle. Under
the triangle is a person bending to completely enclose an object, and under
the bending person is a heart.
In some sects, nen means mindfulness
that is being aware of the Buddha in the present moment.
|| The triangle is a convergence
of the elements of ones life.
|| It combines with the
bending person to form a compound meaning the present moment. (All of one's
life is enfolded in the present moment.)
|| The heart, in this
case, is the core of intention. The derived meaning is to make present
the heart's intent, reviving or making real a person's intent.
||San is the number three,
representing heaven (the cosmos), earth, and humanity (also known as the
||Zen is ten times 100. Connected
to this concept is the harvest of crops or a thousand grains. The character
for 1000 is also used to indicate an uncountable number.
Our life is a wish-granting
When we peer into our lives
we can barely see our own reflection. But when we polish our lives through
chanting and making efforts to improve ourselves, we can see ourselves
reflected clearly. When our gem is polished in this way we can see beyond
our own reflection and see inside the gem that is the ultimate reality
of all life.
A determination (Ichi)
at the core of your being makes real (nen) that self-pledge in all the
realms (Sanzen) of your life.
Copyright 2004 The Imagery of Nichiren's Lotus