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Monday, April 15, 2019

The benefits of the Lotus Sutra

“Good men, the first [great benefit] is that this sutra can cause bodhisattvas who have not yet conceived the desire for enlightenment to conceive such a desire.

It can cause those who are without compassion or benevolence to nurture compassionate minds.

It can cause those who delight in killing and slaughter to nurture minds of great pity.

It can cause those filled with envy and jealousy to nurture minds of joyful acceptance.

It can cause those who are begrudging and attached to things to nurture minds capable of relinquishing.

It can cause those who are close-fisted and greedy to nurture minds of almsgiving.

It can cause those of abundant arrogance and pride to nurture minds that uphold the precepts.

It can cause those much given to wrath and anger to nurture forbearing minds.

It can cause those who are indolent and lazy to nurture minds of diligence.

It can cause those who are scatterbrained and disordered to nurture minds devoted to meditation.

It can cause those with much ignorance and folly to nurture minds of wisdom.

It can cause those who are not yet capable of saving others to nurture minds set upon saving others.

It can cause those who practice the ten evil acts to nurture minds devoted to the ten good acts.

It can cause those who delight too much in the conditioned to strive for minds fixed on the unconditioned.

It can cause those whose minds are given to regression to cultivate minds of non-regression.

It can cause those given to outflows to nurture minds free of outflows.

It can cause those with many earthly desires to nurture minds that cleanse and extinguish such desires. 

Good men, this is called the first benefit and inconceivable power of this sutra”  (LSOC, p21-22)

Soka Gakkai's hypocrisy

When I supply a quote from Nichiren's writings before his exile on Sado, SGI members retort, "As for my teachings, regard those before my exile to the province of Sado as equivalent to the Buddha’s pre-Lotus Sutra teachings." Were this passage misunderstood or taken out of context, we would have to abandon such seminal teachings as the Rissho Ankoku Ron [On Establishing the Correct Teaching for the Peace of the Land] and The Daimoku of the Lotus Sutra.

Point # 1: Most of the 200 + passages of proof of the identity of and Nichiren's reverence for the Original Eternal Buddha [Shakyamuni] are from during or after Sado. This proves that Nichiren never wavered in his teachings or gratitude for this Buddha.

Point # 2. I suggest that in order to avoid the Buddhist sin of hypocrisy that SGI cease teaching your members such Gosho as Attaining Buddhahood in This Lifetime, A Ship to Cross the Sea of Suffering, The Daimoku of the Lotus Sutra, and Establishing the Correct Law for the Peace of the Land. 

Soka Gakkai members and Nichiren Shoshu members and priests are wardens of hell

"In Japan today, many people claim they have mastered the practice of concentration and insight. But is there anyone who has actually encountered the three obstacles and four devils? The statement “If one falls under their influence, one will be led into the paths of evil” indicates not only the three evil paths but also the worlds of human and heavenly beings, and in general, all of the nine worlds. Therefore, with the exception of the Lotus Sutra, all of the sutras—those of the Flower Garland, Āgama, Correct and Equal, and Wisdom periods, and the Nirvana and Mahāvairochana sutras—will lead people toward the paths of evil. Also, with the exception of the Tendai school, the adherents of the seven other schools are in reality wardens of hell who drive others toward the evil paths. Even in the Tendai school are found those who profess faith in the Lotus Sutra, yet actually lead others toward the pre-Lotus Sutra teachings. They, too, are wardens of hell who cause people to fall into the evil paths." -- Letter to the Brothers

"There is no sacrifice in Buddhsim" -- SGI leader

"None of you who declare yourselves to be my disciples should ever give way to cowardice. Neither should you allow concern for your parents, wife, or children to hold you back, or be worried about your property. Since countless kalpas in the past you have thrown away your life more times than the number of dust particles of the land for the sake of your parents, your children, or your lands. But not once have you given up your life for the Lotus Sutra. You may have tried to practice its teachings to some extent, but whenever you were persecuted, you backslid and ceased to live by the sutra. That is like boiling water only to pour it into cold water, or like trying to strike fire but giving up halfway. Each and every one of you should be certain deep in your heart that sacrificing your life for the Lotus Sutra is like exchanging rocks for gold or dung for rice." -- Nichiren

Why not try chanting?

"I certainly support Mark's advice if you are already chanting and if not why not try?

You might try another approach and say calmly that you are puzzled by the differences in SGI's teaching during different periods.

You will find lots of information that points out those changes of doctrine/faith in SGI Whistle blowers and also some threads in ARBN (Alt religion Buddhism Nichiren). If you too find that SGI's own publications are inconsistent with each other you could then say that SGI doesn't seem to be and organization that knows what it believes from one moment to the next. You could reference examples from sources that have good & reliable citations.

Personally, I wouldn't get into a dispute with you friend, if the "poison has penetrated deeply" as the Lotus Sutra says then they're unlikely to "take the good medicine" that will cure them, very easily.

If they're deeply in then SGI teaching will have programmed them to respond to any legitimate challenges not by thinking about it and evaluating it fairly but by ignoring the facts and focussing on your reasons for challenging.

In your friends's head, they may think that your motivation is any one of number of supposed evil or deluded tactics to challenge their faith in the organisation and its "mentor".

You have to understand that for people that have got deeply in, they have completely blurred the lines between the SGI, it's leaders and Nichiren 's teaching.

It doesn't matter that these are very different things, they have been taught and encouraged to think of them as the same thing. They have also been taught that if they are practicing correctly they will meet people who oppose their faith. Put thus together and it means that to a dedicated SGI follower, resisting your challenge and successfully ignoring or explaining away the inconsistencies, however flimsily done, will be taken as a "victory" in their Faith and their practice of Buddhism.

It doesn't matter how reasonable the critique of SGI, its mentors and their teaching. It doesn't matter how variant SGI fantasy is from the reality of Nichiren's teaching or Buddhism in general.

It can be really hard for people who have been deeply suckered into the SGI to separate the legitimate faith & practice that the Lotus Sutra and Nichiren expounded from illegitimate (and sometimes harmful) "teaching" about that faith and practice. These types of SGI, its mentors and leaders as being knowledgeable, authoritative and correct even when they're demonstrably not.

I've seen really capable, intelligent and articulate people fail to see glaring contradictions in what they were basing their faith and practice on 10 years ago to what they are now. I've even seen them get rid of books etc. that could have helped them sense check the present with the past because SGI leaders had told them that these old SGI publications were a form of attachment (and of course one shouldn't be attached!).

You can see how it works, erasure of history, making it hard to compare and judge. Being able to keep even smart people from looking and questioning. Conflating Buddhist faith and practice with an organization and it's leaders and making ever challenge to the latter an "attack" on the former. SGI member internalised self-censorship. But just enough "normal" to make it all seem OK.

It's a tricky one, which brings us back to Marks advice..."

"Reverently make this teaching your own, and transmit it as an axiom of faith for future generations."

Nichiren teaches:

"It is the same with Nichiren’s disciples and lay supporters. The Lotus Sutra reads, “Since hatred and jealousy toward this sutra abound even when the Thus Come One is in the world, how much more will this be so after his passing?” It also reads, “It will face much hostility in the world and be difficult to believe.” The Nirvana Sutra states, “By suffering an untimely death, rebuke, curses or humiliation, beatings with a whip or rod, imprisonment, starvation, adversity, or other minor hardships in this lifetime, one can avoid falling into hell.” The Parinirvāna Sutra says: “They may be poorly clad and poorly fed, seek wealth in vain, be born to an impoverished and lowly family or one with erroneous views, or be persecuted by their sovereign. They may be subjected to various other sufferings and retributions. It is due to the blessings obtained by protecting the Law that they can diminish in this lifetime their suffering and retribution.” -- Letter to the Brothers  

and in the same writing:

"The doctrine of three thousand realms in a single moment of life revealed in the fifth volume of Great Concentration and Insight is especially profound. If you propagate it, devils will arise without fail. If they did not, there would be no way of knowing that this is the correct teaching. One passage from the same volume reads: “As practice progresses and understanding grows, the three obstacles and four devils emerge in confusing form, vying with one another to interfere . . . One should be neither influenced nor frightened by them. If one falls under their influence, one will be led into the paths of evil. If one is frightened by them, one will be prevented from practicing the correct teaching.” This statement not only applies to me, but also is a guide for my followers. Reverently make this teaching your own, and transmit it as an axiom of faith for future generations."

Nikko Shonin said...

"In order to make sure which is the right teaching for attaining Buddhahood, I listened to the preachings of various priests. As a result, I have come to believe in the Lotus Sutra, in which it is expounded that Nichiren Shonin is the Bodhisattva Jogyo commanded by Sakyamuni Buddha, Lord of the Saha World and parent of all living beings, to appear in the Latter Days of the Law as a messenger of the Buddha with the duty of propagating the Lotus Sutra."

From Soka Gakkai members, plenty of insults


If Mr. Daisaku Ikeda is really as bad as some contributors to a.r.b.n would have the world believe that, for me, proves at least one thing... if a cult at all, far from being a personality cult, SGI is, in fact, an anti-personality cult.

SGI is a strong, well organised, group of people actually bringing about world peace in spite of the variety of individuals that make it up.

How can that be? Only because SGI is an organisation of common mortals, ordinary human beings, united in love and faith in the Lotus Sutra.

The simple fact that an organisation such as SGI exists in our lifetime is a (rare) cause for joy. "This, my land, remains safe and unharmed,... My pure land is indestructible." --Lotus Sutra. Chapter 16.

Mark Herrick:

Your friend and fellow memba', Kathy - "Queen of Da Nile" - Ruby, would disagree with you here..... She claims that the Lotus Sutra has lost its power in the Latter Day. How come you guys can't seem to get your doctrine straight???? I mean you're so well organized and all....

AND....... If you are united in love and faith in the Lotus Sutra, you must now be a memba' of a Shakaymuni Cult too. After all, who preached the Lotus Sutra? Please don't tell us it was really Nichiren in disguise. You were all too quick to post a warning about us being members of a Shakaymuni cult.

AND...... If you are united in love and faith in the Lotus Sutra, how can you continue to advocate that Nichiren is the Eternal Buddha? I mean, where is it in the Lotus Sutra that Shakaymuni predicts that the Eternal Buddha is to appear in the Latter Age to spread the Dharma? Have you even ever read the ENTIRE Lotus Sutra?

SO THEREFORE...... if you claim to be united in love and faith with the Lotus Sutra, but fail to practice as it teaches then you are ONE BIG LIAR.

I am astounded by the self deception that the Gakkai is capable of, and the slander you stoop to in criticizing us who are trying to spread the orthodox Dharma. We rely on the Three Proofs that our founder and leader in Mappo, Nichiren Daishonin, taught us. Documentary, Theoretical and Actual. All our posts use the Three Proofs. None of the Gakkai's posts use the Three Proofs.

All we are asking is for you to supply proof of the Gakkai's doctrine using the Three Proofs. So far, in the last three years of this online debate the Gakkai has failed to do so. Oh, don't get me wrong, the Gakkai has responded, but with insults, abuse and slander... never with doctrinal proof. Kathy even claims to have beaten me in debate about the power of the Lotus Sutra. Of course she didn't beat me, all she did was change the subject and say that we taught that the Daimoku was not the primary practice, which is of course a complete lie and fabrication. We chant the Daimoku morning and night. Anyways, its all more lies and obfuscation to cover the truth. We supplied over one hundred quotes and excerpts from the Gosho where Nichiren stated unequivacably that it was the Lotus Sutra that we worship and saves us in Mappo. When Kathy had her back to the wall she saught to change the subject. Now you go and ADMIT the Gakkai is united in love and faith in the Lotus Sutra.

The Gakkai is a psuedo-religion based on the teachings of Makaguchi, Toda and Ikeda. There is little that the Gakkai actually has in common with Nichiren, except that they coopted his Daimoku and Gohonzon as a cloak for their real teachings. Makaguchi admitted that he never wanted to be a Nichiren Shoshu priest becasue then he would have to follow Nichiren Shoshu doctrine exactly without adding any of his own *personal* ideas, which we know is the entire theory of value creation. The Gakkai from its inception has been based on lies.

Go on Julian try and refute me using Sutra passage and Gosho passages. Try. I doubt you can. I do expect you to insult and abuse me. You have shown yourself perfectly capable of doing this in the past. Come on Julian, I dare you to try and debate me using scriptural proof. When you can't, and instead resort to insults then you will be exposed. The entire arbn will know then that you cannot refute the truth.

And Julian, please don't forget that it was Susan Starr who  started arbn. And just so you don't revise history, it was to provide a forum for doctrinal debate and discussion. So far we have seen little debate from any of the Gakkai, what we have seen is plenty of insults.

I am waiting Julian.
Namu Myoho Renge Kyo
Mark Herrick

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Nichiren on the path to Buddhahood

"The path to Buddhahood is not to be found in the Flower Garland doctrine of the phenomenal world as created by the mind alone, in the eight negations of the Three Treatises school, in the Consciousness-Only doctrine of the Dharma Characteristics school, or in the True Word type of meditation on the five elements of the universe. Only the T’ien-t’aidoctrine of three thousand realms in a single moment of life is the path to Buddhahood. Even in the case of this doctrine of three thousand realms in a single moment of life, we do not possess the kind of wisdom and understanding to comprehend it fully. Nevertheless, among all the sutras preached by the Buddha during his lifetime, the Lotus Sutra alone contains this jewel that is the doctrine of three thousand realms in a single moment of life. The doctrines of the other sutras are merely yellow stones that appear to be jewels. They are like sand, from which you can extract no oil no matter how hard you squeeze it, or a barren woman who can never bear a child. Even a wise person cannot become a Buddha through the other sutras, but with the Lotus Sutra, even fools can plant the seeds that lead to Buddhahood. As the sutra passage I have quoted earlier puts it, “Although they do not seek emancipation, emancipation will come of itself.”

Largest Gohonzon in the world