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Monday, August 22, 2016

"Among those who read the Lotus Sutra and sing its praises, there are many who are destined for the Avici Hell" -- Nichiren

"If we consider these examples carefully, we will realize that, among those who read the Lotus Sutra and sing its praises, there are many who are destined for the hell of incessant suffering. Even men like Chia-hsiang and Tz’uen were actually slanderers of the one vehicle of the Lotus Sutra. And if such can be said of them, it applies even more to men like Kobo, Jikaku, and Chisho, who displayed open contempt for the Lotus Sutra." -- Repaying Debts of Gratitude

Nichiren, unlike SGI, upholds truth not gain

"...Though one may perform meritorious deeds, if they are directed toward what is untrue, then those deeds may bring great evil, but they will never result in good. On the other hand, though one may be ignorant and make meager offerings, if one presents those offerings to a person who upholds the truth, one’s merit will be great. How much more so in the case of people who in all sincerity make offerings to the correct teaching!"

Ashvaghosha the Buddhist genius

In The Awakening of Faith in the Mahayana, Ashvaghosha writes about the skandas [aggregates]: 

"As the World-honored one, considering the inferior intellectual caliber of Shravakas (Men of Learning) and Pratyekabuddhas (Men of Self Realization), taught them only the doctrine of the non-personal atman, [and did not make any further demonstration of the doctrine], the people have in the meantime formed a fixed idea of the transitoriness of the five skandhas, and being terrified of the thought of birth and death, have fanatically craved for Nirvana. 

In order that this clinging may be eliminated, be it clearly understood that the essence of the five skandhas is uncreate, there is no annihilation of them; that since there is no annihilation of them, they are in their [metaphysical]origin Nirvana itself."

Nichiren and Bill Aiken, SGI-USA Director of Public Affairs

“I thought this conference marked an expansion and deepening of the dialogue between the Obama Administration and the Buddhist, Hindu, and Jain communities, as well as a growing recognition of the contributions these faiths are making in American society." -- Bill Aiken SGI representative.

"Whenever I come upon a person who honors the True Word teachings, I tell him that True Word is an evil doctrine that will destroy the nation." -- Nichiren Daishonin

Can you answer the questions?

“All of the wise persons of Japan at the present time are like the host of stars, and I, Nichiren, am like the full moon.” — The Selection of the Time

The Selection of The Time, one of Nichiren’s Five Major Writings, is a series of thirty-six questions and thirty answers. Can you answer the questions?

Question: If one preaches the great Law to people who do not have the capacity to understand it, then the foolish ones among them will surely slander it and will fall into the evil paths of existence. Is the person who does the preaching not to blame for this?

Question: Now these two views appear to be as incompatible as fire and water. May I ask how one is to resolve this dilemma? [The two views regarding the utilization of the gentle or forceful practices when spreading the Lotus Sutra]

Question: When is the time for the preaching of the Hinayana sutras and the provisional sutras, and when is the time for the preaching of the Lotus Sutra?

Answer: Even bodhisattvas, from those at the ten stages of faith to great bodhisattvas on the level of near perfect enlightenment, find it difficult to judge matters concerning time and capacity. How then can ordinary beings such as ourselves be able to judge such matters?

Question: Is there no way to determine them?

Answer: Let us borrow the eye of the Buddha to consider this question of time and capacity. Let us use the sun of the Buddha to illuminate the nation.

Question: What do you mean by that?

Question: What passages can you cite to prove this?

Question: The sutra passages you have cited clearly prove your point. But are there any prophecies in the writings of T’ien-t’ai, Miao-lo, or Dengyo that would support your argument?

Question: What you say is perfectly true. Nevertheless, we ordinary people have only a very remote idea of what the sutras mean, while the commentaries are more accessible and easier to understand. If there are clear passages of proof in such relatively understandable commentaries, then citing them might help us have greater faith in your argument.

Question: Do the scholars Nagarjuna and Vasubandhu say anything about this principle [of Namu-myoho-renge-kyo]?

Question: Why did they not expound it?

Question: Could you explain the matter in greater detail? [Why Nagarjuna and Vasubandu did not expound the Supreme Law].

Question: How then can you say that in the Middle Day of the Law the teachings of the Lotus Sutra were not widely disseminated and spread abroad?

Question: Do you mean to say that Nagarjuna, Vasubandhu, and the others did not teach the true meaning of the Lotus Sutra?

Question: Then what doctrines did they teach?

Question: How do you know that this is so? [repeated two times, that Nagarjuna and Vasubandu did not teach the doctrines of the Lotus Sutra].

Question: Among the treatises remaining in India, are there any that are superior to the ones transmitted to China? [Referring to any which might be superior the Lotus Sutra which was transmitted to China in the 3rd Century CE].

Question: Is there anyone else who thinks the way you do in this matter? [That the Three Truths doctrine is only correctly illucidated in the Lotus Sutra which goes way beyond the mere doctrine of Emptiness expounded in such Sutras as the Perfection of Wisdom and Flower Garland].

Question: In the latter part of the T’ang dynasty, the Tripitaka Master Pu-k’ung introduced to China a treatise in one volume entitled The Treatise on the Mind Aspiring for Enlightenment, whose authorship he ascribed to Bodhisattva Nagarjuna. The Great Teacher Kobo says of it, “This treatise represents the heart and core of all the thousand treatises of Nagarjuna.” What is your opinion on this?

Question: How do you know that the translators other than Kumarajiva made errors?

Question: That tells us about the translators who lived at the time of Kumarajiva or before. But what about later translators such as Shan-wu-wei or Pu-k’ung? [This question pertains to the false and error filled translations and misguided translators in the Middle Day but please keep in mind that today, in this Latter Day, the problem of false and erroneous translations from the misguided Nichiren Shoshu and Soka Gakkai translators are an even more grievous matter].

Question: In view of all this, how can you deny that during the Middle Day of the Law the true meaning of the Lotus Sutra was not made clear,..?

Question: How then can you deny that in the latter part of the Middle Day of the Law the wide proclamation and propagation of the Lotus Sutra was not achieved?

Question: What is this secret Law? First, tell me its name, and then I want to hear its meaning.

Question: In what way are these three schools in error? [Pure Land, True Word, and Zen]

Question: What are we to make of such statements put forth in these commentaries? [That the True Word teachings Are Superior to the Lotus Sutra teachings].

Question: When it comes to those who maintain that the Lotus Sutra is superior to the True Word teachings, should they try to make use of these commentaries by Jikaku, or should they reject them?

Question: How do we come to understand it? [The Tendai priest Jikaku's errors].

Question: The great earthquake of the Shoka era, the huge comet of the Bun’ei era— what caused these to appear?

T’ien-t’ai says, “Wise men can perceive the cause of things, as snakes know the way of snakes.”

Question: What do you mean by this statement?

Question: Is there anyone in Japan, China, or India who understands this matter? [That bodhisattva Superior Practices Has been summoned by Shakyamuni Buddha to spread Namu Myoho renge kyo in this dreadful age]?

Question: But if there is no wise person who understands why these calamities have arisen, then how can proper steps be taken to deal with them?

Question: Now the great earthquake and the huge comet that have appeared are calamities brought about by heaven, which is enraged because the ruler of our country hates Nichiren and sides with the Zen, Nembutsu, and True Word priests who preach doctrines that will destroy the nation!

How can I believe that?

Question: At the time of your second pronouncement on the twelfth day of the ninth month in the eighth year of the Bun’ei era, when you incurred the wrath of the authorities, how did you know that if harm was done to you rebellion would break out and the country would also be attacked by armies from abroad?

Question: These men were all guilty of faults that condemned them to the Avichi hell or the hell of incessant suffering. How, then, do you dare to claim that you are the wisest man in the entire land of Jambudvipa? Will you not fall into hell like the others? What a frightful thing to do!

Question: Is there anyone from times past who has spoken the way you have just done? [Nichiren Daishonin's proclaiming himself the Supreme Votary of the Sutra].

Question: “But under what circumstances should one be prepared to sacrifice one’s life and safety?”

Original or Attained Enlightenment?



Hongaku means Original Enlightenment. Shigaku means attained of enlightenment. To explain the relationship between Hongaku and Shigaku here are two examples: A man is in a dark room with furniture but he can not see and make use of anything inside the room because it is dark. However, once he turns on the light, he can clearly see the furniture in the room. The furniture was there from the beginning, however, he sees it only after he turns on the light. It is not that the furniture suddenly appeared. The furniture was always there. It was just he could not see it. The fact that the furniture was there from the beginning stands for Hongaku and the fact that turning on the light and the ability to see the furniture stands for Shigaku. Another example is a blind man who meets an excellent physician who performs an operation on his eyes. The doctor cured his blind eyes. He is now is able to see the sun and the moon. The sun and the moon were originally there (Hongaku) but he saw them for the first time when his eyes were cured (Shigaku). 

Therefore, when one attains enlightenment (Shigaku), he never fail to attain original enlightenment (Hongaku). It is not until one has Shigaku that he becomes aware of Hongaku (Oh! Everything is originally in the enlightened state!!). 

So, until the time of Shigaku, we should make use of our power of belief that this world is in reality the Buddha's Pure Land. Nichiren Daishonin said in his writing named "Junyoze no koto", "Like waking up to reality from dream where one saw various illusion; after cleaning off the deluded thought and view, then you will see that everywhere in the dharma world is the Pure Land of tranquil light, and that the body of your own is the Tathagata of original enlightenment (Hongaku) possessing the three bodies in one." 

Some say that "Junyoze no koto" is a 'forgery'. However, this Gosho is one of the Roku-nai Goshos. So it should be considered a genuine Gosho. I think the attitude of discarding every Gosho that contradicts one's own opinion will prevent one from a proper understanding of Nichiren Buddhism. 

Needless to say, the explanation I wrote about Hongaku and Shigaku have nothing to do with the the Hongaku of old medieval T'ien T'ai which teaches that we need not practice because everyone is already enlightened. 

Rev. Sorin Yasuhara


September 22, 1998 

As you know the parables regarding "Hongaku and Shigaku" that I wrote before was from the Mahaparinirvana Sutra (pp.522-523 Vol,2) which Rev. Honda cited in his book along with "Junyoze no koto". 

Answer to Mr. Lamont's last note 

1) Lamont and some of the other sect's scholars thinks "Junyoze no Koto' is a forgery. But teachers of Jumonryu (followers of Nichiju) do not. Rev. Honda used this Gosho to support his view not only in "Daizokyo yogi" but also even in "Hokekyo Kogi" ("Lectures on the Lotus Sutra") the copy or which Lamont stated he had in his last note. Also Rev. Honda put this Gosho into his "Seigoroku" (analects of sacred words). Moreover, another famous teacher of Jumonryu, Rev. Nisshi Nakagawa also put this Gosho into his "Seigoroku" (analects of sacred words). I think the reason why he insists that this Gosho is a forgery is that it bothers his biased view on the Nichiren Buddhism. It is the matter of course that this Gosho does not bother the correct view of Jumonryu at all. 

2) Lamont brings forward the so-called "Hongaku shiso" (ideology of Hongaku) and refutes it citing Rev. Honda"s words in "Hokekyo kogi,"with which he thinks is a refutation to my last note regarding "Hongaku and Shigaku'. And Lamont hates Hongaku monism and thinks Hongaku monism is not the view of Jumonryu (followers of Nichiju). 

I agree with him on the point that "Hongaku shiso" is wrong. But it is totally beside the mark to refute us with refuting "Hongaku shiso". Because the term "Hongaku" itself never means nor imply the "Hongaku shiso". He misunderstands to take the term "Hongaku" immediately as "Hongaku shiso". This is the most critical and fundamental error in his view. 

As I explained before, the term "Hongaku" only means "Original Enlightenment".  This, as everyone can see very easily, is what is preached in the Honmon (Original Doctrine), especially in the Chapter 16 'Measure of life'. On the other hand, in the Shakumon (Manifestation Doctrine) it preaches on the basis of "Shigaku" (Attainment of Enlightenment). Therefore, needless to say the, subject of "Hongaku and Shigaku" is parallel to the subject of "Honmon and Shakumon". 

In the Shakumon, there is a matter of "attaining" but in the Honmom there is no such a matter because Honmon is the view or world which is preached from the stand point of the Original (Eternal) Buddha, In other words. Shakamon is based on dualism and preaches distinction (discrimination) between worldly beings and Buddha; Honmom is based on monism and preaches the ultimate equality of worldly beings and Buddha. If Buddhism does not preach monism and only upholds dualism, it loses its life. There are in the world many other religions like Judaism, Christianity or lslam which are based on dualism with the teachings of absolute discrimination between divinity and humanity. And they are wrong in their object of worship and doctrine of ultimate dualism. In other words, it is a matter of common knowledge that Nichiren Buddhism is a religion of monism, because the Lotus Sutra (Hokekyo) is the teaching or One Vehicle (Ichi-jo). More importantly, it does not mean mechanical monism but means the monism that can only be attained through our faith of whole-hearted devotion (Namu). In this sense, chanting Namu Myoho Renge Kyo (Daimoku) wholeheartedly is essential for this monism. It is a bridge between dualism and monism. This is the theory of Sokushin-Jobutsu (attaining Buddhahood in this very body) of Nichiren Buddhism

So if we remain attached to the view that dualism is the ultimate substance of the doctrine of Nichiren Buddhism, where can we find the possibility of Jobutsu (attaining Buddhahood)? With such a wrong view, Buddha and we are forever parallel lines. In the "Kanjin Honzon Sho" (On the Object of Worship in Contemplation), Nichiren Daishonin states:

"Now the Saha World of the Original Time is the Ever-abiding Pure Land apart from the Three Calamities and outside of the Four Kalpas. The Buddha has not already been extinguished in the past and will not be born in the future. Those who are converted are of the same essence. This is identical to the complete possession of the three thousand (realms) of one's own mind, the three types world" (translated by Lamont). 

How does Lamont read this essential part of this Gosho? Does he reject the "Kanjin Honzon Sho" as a forgery, too? 

"Hongaku Shiso" is a distorted view derived from the erroneous understanding of the doctrine of the Buddha's Three Bodies. This view does not take into account the unity of the Three Bodies. Instead, it links the Dharma Body only to worldly beings and the other two bodies (Enjoyment Body and Response Body) to the Buddha.  One who has this view is conceited, thinking that it is the worldly beings who are the Original Buddha and Buddhas like Shakya and Taho are merely Manifestation Buddhas.This is an abstract view, equivalent to the man in the dark or the blind man before his operation in the parables I wrote in the first note. This view shuts the door to attaining Buddhahood since it denies the need for flipping the light switch and the excellent physician.

One must not take the Gosho passage, "Like waking up to reality from dream where one saw various illusion; after deluded thought and view, then you will see that everywhere in is the Pure Land of tranquil light, and that the body of your own is the Tathagata of original enlightenment possessing the three bodies in one.", out of context of a correct faith, practice, and study. It expresses the ultimate state of life which comes after cleaning off deluded thought and view (practice). 

The "Tathagata of original enlightenment possessing the three bodies in one" is the very "Actual Buddha" (Ji Butsu) revealed in the Chapter 16 of the Hokekyo. That is by no means the Ideality (Abstraction) of Unmanifest Original Enlightenment (Hongaku no ritai) or Abstract Buddha (Ributsu). 

Accordingly, there is no argument from the beginning save for Lamont's confusion and misunderstanding. If he has some more confusion in this regard, he should read carefully the writings of Nichiren Daishonin and the teachers of Jumonryu, especially Nichiju Daishoshi's "Fuju-sho". Then he will surely find a break-through. 

With Gassho,

Rev. Sorin Yasuhara

Nichiren refutes the bizarre SGI [Tibetian/Zen] teaching of Mentor [Guru] and Disciple

"If I add my own interpretation it will be as if I had profaned these passages, but in essence they mean that Shakyamuni’s practices and the virtues he consequently attained are all contained within the five characters of Myoho-renge-kyo. If we believe in these five characters, we will naturally be granted the same benefits as he." [True Object of Worship]

"Shakyamuni Buddha is the father, sovereign, and teacher of all the other Buddhas and all the gods, of the whole assembly of human and heavenly beings, and of all living beings." -- Nichiiren

"Shakyamuni Buddha is the father, sovereign, and teacher of all the other Buddhas and all the gods, of the whole assembly of human and heavenly beings, and of all living beings. How could the heavenly gods and benevolent deities rejoice if the Buddha were killed? Today all the people of our country have proved to be enemies of Shakyamuni Buddha, but more than laymen or laywomen, it is the priests with perverse wisdom and hearts who are the Buddha’s worst enemies. There are two kinds of wisdom, correct and perverse. No matter how wise a person may appear, if his assertions are warped you should not listen to him. Nor should you follow priests merely because they are venerable or of high rank. But if a person has the wisdom to know the true meaning of the Lotus Sutra, no matter how lowly he may appear, pay respect to him and make offerings to him as though he were a living Thus Come One. Thus it is written in the sutra..."

Nichiren on accepting and offering contributions to slanderers

"Neither Buddhas nor gods would ever accept contributions from those who slander the correct teaching. Then how can we human beings accept them? The deity of Kasuga Shrine proclaimed through an oracle that he would accept nothing from those with impure hearts, though he should have to eat the flames of burning copper; that he would refuse to set foot in their homes, though he should have to sit on red-hot copper. He would rather come down to a miserable hut with weeds choking the passageway, or to a poor thatched house. He declared that he would never visit persons lacking in faith, even if they hung sacred festoons for a thousand days to welcome him, but that he would go to a house where the people have a mind of faith, even though they might be in mourning for a parent. Lamenting that slanderers have overrun this country, the benevolent gods have abandoned it and ascended to heaven. “Those with impure hearts” means those who refuse to embrace the Lotus Sutra, as is stated in the fifth volume of the sutra. If the gods themselves regard alms from slanderers as more abominable than the flames of burning copper, how could we human beings possibly accept them? If someone were to kill our parents and then try to offer us some gift, could we possibly accept it? Not even wise persons or sages can avoid the hell of incessant suffering if they accept offerings from slanderers. Nor should you associate with slanderers, for if you do, you will share the same guilt as they. This you should fear above all."