Thursday, June 22, 2017
>>>>>Historically there have been times during the history, when people pervert the teachings by stressing that the texts themselves are enough to transmit Buddhism.>>>>>
No one stresses the texts more than Nichiren. Both texts and people coexist. Only in Zen and the Nichiren Shoshu is there asserted a mythical world existing without texts. The root is the text. The text has existed since the infinite past. The text is both the teacher and the relic of the Buddha. The text is the Dharma itself. Both an excellent doctrine and an excellent believer is necessary for the transmission of the Buddha's teachings. The Eternal Buddha lives today. The Gohonzon is the Eternal Buddha. The Gohonzon is a text.
>>>>>There have also been sects, such as Zen, which have propagated ideas whichhave lead to the thinking that the Sutras and texts are not important, but only self-attained Buddhahood or a "Mind to Mind transmission," which occurs "apart from the Texts," is, according to Zen, the most important.>>>>>
No one stresses secret transmissions or personal epiphanies more than the Nichiren Shoshu and the SGI. Even Zen, as Nichiren teaches in The Conversation Between a Sage and an Unenlightened Man,, bases itself on texts. The Fuji schools are more Zen than Zen itself.
>>>>>From the viewpoint of the Daishonin and the Patriarchs of the Tien-t’ai Sects, people confuse Specific with General and General with Specific, confuse Specific, "Face to Face transmission" from Patriarch to Patriarch, or High Priest to High Priest, with General "Mind to Mind" Transmission based on texts, or "Mind to Mind transmission," "apart from texts" and based on particular peoples capacity in the realm of Self-Realization. Chih-i repeats over and over, and so do Chang-an and Miao-lo, that the Middle Way is correct, but people fail to grasp what this means and continue to be hung up on certain points.>>>>>
Nichiren Shoshu is not even Buddhism. How much less so is it the Middle Way?
“Good men, the Thus Come Oneobserves how among living beings there are those who delight in inferior teachings, meager in virtue and heavy with defilement. . . . Because living beings have [different natures, . . . I preach different doctrines. . . . This, the Buddha’s work], I have never for a moment neglected.” -- The Lifespan Chapter
Nichiren writes, referring to this passage of the Lotus Sutra:
"With respect to this doctrine: After the passing of the Thus Come One, in India for more than fifteen hundred years, the Buddha’s twenty-four successors, such as Nagarjuna and Vasubandhu, knew of it but did not reveal it. In China for more than a thousand years, others did not know of it; only T’ien-t’ai and Miao-lo gave a rough account of it. However, it seems that they did not explain its true significance. And the same was true of the Great Teacher Dengyo. Now when I, Nichiren, consider the matter, I find that in addition to the above passage of the Lotus Sutra, the Nirvana Sutra states, "If there are those who conceive differing ideas concerning the three treasures, then truly you should know that these people can no longer hope to take refuge in or rely upon these three pure treasures."(The Third Doctrine).
>>>A Priest named Ganjin, who was the founder of the Japanese Ritsu sect, had brought Chih-i’s writings to Japan and Saicho (Dengyo) first studied these texts of Tien-t’ai Buddhism, and began to teach them in Japan, founding a small temple called, Hiei-sanji, at Mt. Hiei. In 804, he went to China and studied under the disciples of the High Priest Miao-lo, Tao-sui and Hsing-man, and received the transmission of Tien-t’ai Buddhism. He returned in 805, to Japan, to officially found the Tendai Sect. Dengyo’s original temple at Mt. Hiei was renamed Enryakuji Temple by the Emperor in 723. With the principles of the Tien-t’ai sect as the true Buddhist teaching for the Middle Day of the Law, Dengyo had begun petitioning the Government for the establishment of the National Sanctuary of Mahayana Buddhism at Mt. Hiei. For his remaining, 17 years, against much criticism and antagonism from other sects, Dengyo continued his resolve. The government did finally approve this project one week after Dengyo passed away, and finally, five year later, Dengyo’s successor, Gishin, had officially founded the National Sanctuary of the Mahayana Ordination center at Enryakuji temple. This temple was the place where the Daishonin did his most intensive study of Buddhism. The meditation which Chih-i taught was very widespread. The Ch’an Sect, which was the ancestor of Japanese Zen, used Tien-t’ai meditation, even calling him a founder of Ch’an. Ch’an (Zen) taught a number of contradictory teachings. They first teach of a "mind to mind" transmission directly from Shakyamuni to the "28 Successors" of Ch’an (Zen), which is said to be passed down apart from the Sutras. Jumping from a slightly different variation of the "24 Successors of Shakyamuni," including Nagarjuna, on to Arya-Simha, the Succession then jumps to three additional Priests, and then to Bodhidharma, called the fourth patriarch of Ch’an (Zen), but is usually considered the founder.
Scholars of Buddhism generally believe that the first "4 Patriarchs of Zen," even including Bodhidharma were quite possibly fictitious. There is no firm evidence for their actual existence. Bodhidharma’s life was veiled in myth and any knowledge of his actual history is questionable. In the few works attributed to Bodhidharma, the practice of meditation was set forth, but there were no in- depth teachings about actual meditation technique. Instead, the Shikan meditation which had become very widespread through the Buddhist sects in China, was stolen by most of the other sects and appropriated for their own purposes. This was because the Maka Shikan was so complete a teaching, that other explanations of meditation practice, paled by comparison. The Ch’an (Zen) sect, also used mystical riddles, called Koans as a central part of their meditation, thus causing Beings to forget the importance of the Meditation on the Sutras of Buddhism, and instead having them focus on short poems and riddles, equating emptiness as the sum total of the Buddhist teaching. From the standpoint of Tien-t’ai Buddhism Ch’an (Zen) was like going backwards, away from the most profound Sutra of Buddhism, the Lotus Sutra, which refutes the previous views of emptiness only. Prior to and after the death of Miao-lo, the Ch’an Sect was rising in prominence, denying the texts of Buddhism in favor of the "Transmission apart from the Sutras." At the same time within the body of followers of the Tien-t’ai sect in later times, there was discord as to the principles of Specific and General and the issues of "Texts" versus, "Face to Face Transmission." Miao-lo had taught that the "Face to Face transmission" and the Texts of Chih-I were identical,...but in no way did he support the idea that either the "Face to Face Transmission" or the "Texts" were to be discarded.>>>>>
Actually, you are mistaken. I think one reason is that the Nichiren Shoshu adopted the Zen teachings on Patriarchal transmission. Why else would Nikken erected a tombstone in a Zen cemetary? As far a Miao-le is concerned, the Zen sect was already thoroughly censured by Tientai. Regardless of what he taught, be it a face to face transmission [which you haven't supported with the actual words of Miao-le] or a textual transmission: 1). What he taught was ostensibly for the people of his day, the Middle Day of the Law, and not for the Bodhisattvas of the Earth; 2). In the Latter Day, Nichiren taught only a textual transmission:
"In actuality, however, the essential teaching bears no resemblance whatsoever to the theoretical teaching. The preparation, revelation, andtransmission of the essential teaching are intended entirely for the beginning of the Latter Day of the Law. The essential teaching of Shakyamuni’s lifetime and that revealed at the beginning of the Latter Day are both pure and perfect [in that both lead directly to Buddhahood]. Shakyamuni’s, however, is the Buddhism of the harvest, and this is the Buddhism of sowing. The core of his teaching is one chapter and two halves, and the core of mine is the five characters of thedaimoku alone.
Question: On what authority do you say [that the essential teachingis meant for the generations of the Latter Day of the Law]?
Answer: The “Emerging from the Earth” chapter states: “At that time the bodhisattvas mahāsattva who had gathered from the lands of the other directions, greater in number than the sands of eight Ganges Rivers, stood up in the midst of the great assembly, pressed their palms together, bowed in obeisance, and said to the Buddha: ‘World-Honored One, if you will permit us in the age after the Buddha has entered extinction to diligently and earnestly protect, embrace, read, recite, copy, and offer alms to this sutra in the sahā world, we will preach it widely throughout this land!’ At that time the Buddha said to the bodhisattvasmahāsattva: ‘Leave off, good men! There is no need for you to protect and embrace this sutra.’” This statement totally contradicts the Buddha’s exhortations in the preceding five chapters from the “Teacher of theLaw” [to the “Peaceful Practices”]. In the latter part of the “Treasure Tower” chapter is the passage: “In a loud voice he [Shakyamuni Buddha] addressed all the four kinds of believers, saying, ‘Who is capable of broadly preaching the Lotus Sutra of the Wonderful Law in this sahā world?’” Medicine King and the other great bodhisattvas, Brahmā,Shakra, the gods of the sun and moon, and the four heavenly kingswould have followed Shakyamuni’s command before anything else even if no other Buddha had supported his exhortations, but Many TreasuresBuddha and the Buddhas from throughout the ten directions came tothis world to exhort them to propagate the sutra after Shakyamuni’s passing. Thus, hearing the Buddha’s solemn appeal, the bodhisattvas all pledged, saying, “We care nothing for our bodies or lives,” for they desired solely to fulfill the Buddha’s will.
[In the “Emerging from the Earth” chapter,] however, the Buddha suddenly reversed himself and forbade all the bodhisattvas, more numerous than the sands of eight Ganges Rivers, from propagating the sutra in this world. We therefore face what appears to be an insoluble contradiction, one that is beyond ordinary understanding.
The Great Teacher T’ien-t’ai Chih-che gave three reasons for Shakyamuni’s stopping the bodhisattvas, and three more for his summoning the Bodhisattvas of the Earth. Essentially, the great bodhisattvas taught by the Buddha in his transient status and the great bodhisattvas who gathered from the other worlds were not qualified toinherit the “Life Span” chapter that reveals the eternal Buddha’s inner truth. At the dawn of the Latter Day evil people who slander the correct teaching would fill the land, so Shakyamuni Buddha p.371rejected the pledge of these bodhisattvas and instead summoned the multitude of great bodhisattvas from beneath the earth. He entrusted them with the five characters of Myoho-renge-kyo, the heart of the “Life Span” chapter, for the enlightenment of all beings in the land of Jambudvīpa. The bodhisattvas taught by the Buddha in his transient status were also unqualified because they had not been the disciples of ShakyamuniBuddha since the time he had first set his mind on and attained enlightenment in the remote past. The Great Teacher T’ien-t’ai states, “[The Buddha said of the Bodhisattvas of the Earth,] ‘These are my disciples, destined to propagate my Law.’” Miao-lo says, “The children propagate the Law of the father, and this benefits the world.” The Supplement to “The Words and Phrases of the Lotus Sutra” states, “TheLaw embodied therein [in the Lotus Sutra] is the Law that was realized countless kalpas in the past, and therefore it was entrusted to persons who had been the Buddha’s disciples from countless kalpas in the past.”
[In the “Emerging from the Earth” chapter] Bodhisattva Maitreyaquestioned Shakyamuni Buddha as follows: “We ourselves have faith in the Buddha, believing that he preaches in accordance with what is appropriate, that the words spoken by the Buddha are never false, and that the Buddha’s knowledge is in all cases penetrating and comprehensive. Nevertheless, in the period after the Buddha has entered extinction, if bodhisattvas who have just begun to aspire toenlightenment should hear these words, they will perhaps not believe or accept them but will be led to commit the crime of rejecting the Law. Therefore, World-Honored One, we beg you to explain so we may put aside our doubts, and so that, in future ages when good men hear of this matter, they will not entertain doubts!” Here Bodhisattva Maitreya was imploring the Buddha to preach the “Life Span” chapter for those tocome after his passing.
The “Life Span” chapter states: “Some are completely out of their minds, while others are not. . . . Those children who have not lost their senses can see that this is good medicine, outstanding in both color and fragrance, so they take it immediately and are completely cured of their sickness.” The sutra explains that all bodhisattvas, persons of the two vehicles, and human and heavenly beings received the seeds ofBuddhahood numberless major world system dust particle kalpas ago. The seeds were nurtured by the preaching of the sixteenth son of the Buddha Great Universal Wisdom Excellence as well as by ShakyamuniBuddha’s four flavors of teachings and the theoretical teaching of theLotus Sutra. Then they finally gained the way when they heard theessential teaching of the Lotus Sutra.
The “Life Span” chapter continues: “Those who are out of their minds are equally delighted to see their father return and beg him tocure their sickness, but when they are given the medicine, they refuse totake it. Why? Because the poison has penetrated deeply and their minds no longer function as before. So although the medicine is of excellent color and fragrance, they do not perceive it as good. The father thinks tohimself, ‘I must now resort to some expedient means to induce them totake the medicine.’ So he says to them: ‘I will leave this good medicine here. You should take it and not worry that it will not cure you.’ Having given these instructions, he then goes off to another land, where he sends a messenger home to announce . . .” According to the “Distinctions in Benefits” chapter, [the good medicine of the “Life Span” chapter is left for those] “in the evil age of the Latter Day of the Law.”
Question: Who is the messenger mentioned in the passage, “he sends a messenger home to announce”?
Answer: It means the four ranks of sages. They fall into four categories. [First,] most of the four ranks of sages of Hinayana appeared in the first five hundred years of the Former Day of the Law, and [second,] most of those of [provisional] Mahayana came in the second five hundred years. Third, those of the theoretical teaching appeared mainly in the next thousand years, the Middle Day of the Law, and the rest, in the beginning of the Latter Day. Fourth, the four ranks of sages of the essential teaching are the bodhisattvas emerging from the earth, numerous as the dust particles of a thousand worlds, who are certain toappear in the beginning of the Latter Day. When the sutra says, “he sends a messenger home to announce,” it refers to the Bodhisattvas of the Earth. “This good medicine” is the heart of the “Life Span” chapter, orNam-myoho-renge-kyo, which is endowed with name, entity, quality, function, and teaching. Since the Buddha would not entrust this good medicine even to the bodhisattvas of the theoretical teaching, how much less could he have done so to the bodhisattvas of other worlds?
The “Supernatural Powers” chapter states: “At that time the bodhisattvas mahāsattva who had emerged from the earth, numerous as the dust particles of a thousand worlds, all in the presence of the Buddha single-mindedly pressed their palms together, gazed up in reverence at the face of the Honored One, and said to the Buddha: ‘World-Honored One, after the Buddha has entered extinction, in the lands where the emanations of the World-Honored One are present, and in the place where the Buddha has passed into extinction, we will preach this sutra far and wide.’” T’ien-t’ai says, “The great assembly witnessed theBodhisattvas of the Earth alone making this pledge.” Tao-hsienremarks: “As far as transmission goes, this sutra was entrusted solely tothe bodhisattvas who had welled up out of the earth. The reason for this is that the Law embodied therein is the Law that was realized countless kalpas in the past, and therefore it was entrusted to persons who had been the Buddha’s disciples from countless kalpas in the past.” -- True Object of Worship
You should also read The Entity of the Mystic Law. It too is very clear that the Transmission in the Latter Day is a textual transmission.
You should also read The Entity of the Mystic Law. It too is very clear that the Transmission in the Latter Day is a textual transmission.
Tuesday, June 20, 2017
The Importance of the Character Mu
Only Namu Myoho renge kyo is correct because Namu Myoho renge kyo is the personal name of the Supreme Law. Neither Nam Myoho renge kyo, Namo Miao Fa Lien Hua Ching, Namas Saddharma pundarika sutra nor Devotion to the Scripture of the Lotus Blossom of the Wonderful Dharma is the name of the Supreme Law.
Even were Nichiren to have written the Daimoku in brail, it is written Namu Myoho renge kyo. Nichiren never wrote Nam Myoho renge kyo, not once in thirty years, not on his Gohonzons nor in his writings.
“And when the two characters for Namu are prefixed to Myoho-renge-kyo, or the Lotus Sutra of the Wonderful Law, we have the formula Namu-myoho-renge-kyo.” -- The Opening of the Eyes
"The jewels of this jeweled vehicle are the seven precious substances which adorn the great cart. The seven jewels are precisely the seven orifices in one's head, and these seven orifices are precisely the [seven characters] na-mu-myo-ho-ren-ge-kyo, the essential Dharma for the Final Dharma Age." -- Mounting This Jeweled Vehicle, They Directly Arrive at the Place of Enlightenment
Nichiren on discarding even a single character of the Lotus Sutra:
"A single character of the Lotus Sutra is like the great earth, which gives rise to all things. A single character is like the great ocean, which contains the water from all rivers. A single character is like the sun and moon, which illuminate all four continents.
“Now the Latter Day of the Law, is the time when the seven characters of Namu Myoho renge kyo-the heart of the twenty-eight chapters of the Lotus Sutra that Shakyamuni Buddha who had achieved enlightenment in the remote past, along with the bodhisattvas Jogyo, Muhengyo and the others is to propogate-will alone spread throughout the country.”
"In the first five hundred years of the Former Day of the Law following the Buddha’s passing, only Hinayana teachings spread, while in the next five hundred years, provisional Mahayana teachings spread. The thousand years of the Middle Day of the Law saw the rise of the theoretical teaching. In the beginning of the Latter Day of the Law, only the essential teaching spreads, but even so, the theoretical teaching should not be discarded. Nowhere in the entire Lotus Sutra do we find a passage suggesting that we should discard the first fourteen chapters, which comprise the theoretical teaching. When we distinguish between the theoretical and the essential teachings on the basis of the threefold classification of the entire body of the Buddha’s teachings, the pre-Lotus Sutra teachings were to be spread in the Former Day, and the theoretical teaching, in the Middle Day, but the Latter Day is the time to propagate the essential teaching. In the present period the essential teaching is primary, while the theoretical teaching is subordinate. But those who therefore discard the latter, saying it is not the way to enlightenment, and believe only in the former, have not yet understood the doctrine of Nichiren’s true intention. Theirs is a completely distorted view."
"Thus a single word of this Lotus Sutra is as precious as a wish-granting jewel, and a single phrase is the seed of all Buddhas."
"Again, a single character equals innumerable others, for the validity of the sutra was attested to by the Buddhas of the ten directions. The treasures bestowed by a single wish-granting jewel equal those bestowed by two such jewels or by innumerable jewels. Likewise, each character in the Lotus Sutra is like a single wish-granting jewel, and the innumerable characters of the sutra are like innumerable jewels. The character myō was uttered by two tongues: the tongues of Shakyamuni and Many Treasures. The tongues of these two Buddhas are like an eight-petaled lotus flower, one petal overlapping another, on which rests a jewel, the character of myō.
The jewel of the character myō contains all the benefits that the Thus Come One Shakyamuni received by practicing the six pāramitās in his past existences: the benefits he obtained through the practice of almsgiving by offering his body to a starving tigress and by giving his life in exchange for that of a dove;9 the benefits he obtained when he was King Shrutasoma who kept his word, though it meant his death, in order to observe the precepts;10 the benefits he obtained as an ascetic called Forbearance by enduring the tortures inflicted upon him by King Kāli;11 the benefits he obtained as Prince Earnest Donor and as the ascetic Shōjari, and all his other benefits. We, the people of this evil latter age, have not formed even a single good cause, but [by bestowing upon us the jewel of myō] Shakyamuni has granted us the same benefit as if we ourselves had fulfilled all the practices of the six pāramitās. This precisely accords with his statement “Now this threefold world is all my domain, and the living beings in it are all my children.” Bound as we common mortals are by earthly desires, we can instantly attain the same virtues as Shakyamuni Buddha, for we receive all the benefits that he accumulated. The sutra reads, “Hoping to make all persons equal to me, without any distinction between us.” This means that those who believe in and practice the Lotus Sutra are equal to Shakyamuni Buddha."
"Therefore, a single word from one of these kings can destroy the kingdom or insure order within it. The edicts handed down by rulers represent a type of pure and far-reaching voice. Ten thousand words spoken by ten thousand ordinary subjects cannot equal one word spoken by a king."
"Similarly, though we gather together all the various sutras, such as the Flower Garland Sutra, the Āgama sutras, the Correct and Equal sutras, the Wisdom, Nirvana, Mahāvairochana, and Meditation sutras, they could never equal even a single character of the Lotus Sutra."
"Shakyamuni Buddha and the written words of the Lotus Sutra are two different things, but their heart is one. Therefore, when you cast your eyes upon the words of the Lotus Sutra, you should consider that you are beholding the living body of the Thus Come One Shakyamuni."
"The characters of this sutra are all without exception living Buddhas of perfect enlightenment. But because we have the eyes of ordinary people, we see them as characters. For instance, hungry spirits perceive the Ganges River as fire, human beings perceive it as water, and heavenly beings perceive it as amrita. Though the water is the same, it appears differently according to one’s karmic reward from the past."
The blind cannot see the characters of this sutra. To the eyes of ordinary people, they look like characters. Persons of the two vehicles perceive them as the void. Bodhisattvas look on them as innumerable doctrines. Buddhas recognize each character as a golden Shakyamuni. This is what is meant by the passage that says, “[If one can uphold this sutra], one will be upholding the Buddha’s body.”1 Those who practice with distorted views, however, are destroying this most precious sutra. You should simply be careful that, without differing thoughts, you single-mindedly aspire to the pure land of Eagle Peak. A passage in the Six Pāramitās Sutra2 says to become the master of your mind rather than let your mind master you. I will explain in detail when I see you.
“Now this Lotus Sutra of the Wonderful Law I have been speaking of represents the true reason why all Buddhas make their advent in the world and teaches the direct way to the attainment of Buddhahood for all living beings. Shakyamuni Buddha entrusted it to his disciples, Many Treasures Buddha testified to its veracity, and the other Buddhas extended their tongues up to the Brahmā heaven, proclaiming, ‘All that you [Shakyamuni] have expounded is the truth!’ Every single character in this sutra represents the true intention of the Buddhas, and every brushstroke of it is a source of aid to those who repeat the cycle of birth and death. There is not a single word in it that is untrue."
"Even if one were to prepare a feast of a hundred flavors, if the single flavor of salt were missing, it would be no feast for a great king. Without salt, even the delicacies of land and sea are tasteless."
“The Lotus Sutra of the Wonderful Law, before which I bow my head, in its single case, with its eight scrolls, twenty-eight chapters, and 69,384 characters, is in each and every one of its characters the true Buddha who preaches the Law for the benefit of living beings.”
"Every single character in this sutra represents the true intention of the Buddhas, and every brushstroke of it is a source of aid to those who repeat the cycle of birth and death. There is not a single word in it that is untrue."
"If one discards one word or even one brushstroke of the sutra, the offense is graver than that of one who kills one’s parents ten million times over, or even of one who sheds the blood of all the Buddhas in the ten directions."
I can supply dozens more similar passages.
Were believers to chant together, some chanting Namu Myoho renge kyo and others chanting Nam Myoho renge kyo, what a discordant mess it would be. Some chanting Namu Myoho renge kyo and others chanting Nam Myoho renge kyo is one of the principle causes of Nichiren faith disunity. One may spout all the theoretical reasons in the world why Nam Myoho renge kyo is equally correct but reality and actuality trumps them all.
Throwing out the character Mu is to throw out a golden Buddha from the heart of the Lotus Sutra. Perhaps the SGI should remove the character Mu from their Gohonzons as they have from Nichiren's writings?
Nichiren never wrote Nam and despite the argument that the Japanese/Chinese rules of grammar would not support writing Nam, I am sure the Supreme Votary of the Lotus Sutra would have found a way to explain how to divorce the characters from their generally accepted pronunciation were Nam the correct pronunciation. Do you really think that Nichiren wanted some of his disciples to chant Nam and others to chant Namu? The other part of the argument is derived from the fact that Japan's and more generally East Asia's great vowel shift occurred in the 14th century. Therefore, during the time of Nichiren, everyone pronounced every Sino-Japanese character. There will never be unity in the Nichiren community unless both the recitation of the Daimoku and our doctrines are uniform. Nichiren praised Saicho for his attempts at unifying the Buddhist community and he will praise those from Eagle Peak who strive to accomplish same.
Addendum 2 from the Kempon Hokke archives
"NAM" AND "NAMU"
In the 13th Century, Japanese was pronounced as it was written, therefore we can assume that Nichiren chanted "Namu". Since the 3rd Century AD, a large number of Chinese words were incorporated into the Japanese language. These words were pronounced in Japanese approximately as they were in Chinese, but subsequently their pronunciation was modified considerably. In Nichiren's day, however, all syllables were pronounced . In Chinese, "nam mu" is pronounced as two syllables (roughly, "nan woo"). In the Muromachi Period (1333-1528), pronunciation underwent great change. It is only from this time that we can see the dropping of the final "u" in Japanese words.
Coincidentally, in this same time period (1350-1550) there appeared in our own language the "Great Vowel Shift" (so named by the Danish linguist, Otto Jespersen d.1943) wherein pronunciation of the vowels in Middle English were changed dramatically and consonants were dropped (as a sound) in many words, but were retained in spelling. (i.e. "walking" used to be pronounced "wa-l-king", etc.)
Perhaps once Nichiren was dead, Mara wanted to bring chaos into the Daimoku of the Lotus Sutra (as he sought to bring chaos into Shakyamuni's teachings, once Shakyamuni had died), so he set up conditions for a worldwide shift in pronunciation, just to lessen the effects of the "good medicine for Mappo" (i.e. the Daimoku), Funny thing is, only Taisekiji adopted the practice of a six-syllable Daimoku. Most other Nichiren sects kept the "nam mu". We are discussing a linguistic point here, but the real reason for chanting "Nam mu myo ho renge kyo" is doctrinal, not linguistic. To remove a kanji from the chant is insane as well as uncalled for.
From the Gosho "REPLY TO OTA KINGO" (4/8/81)
"I, Nichiren, as the leader of the Bodhisattvas of the Earth, have indeed inherited these Three Great Secret Laws from the teacher, the Great Enlightened One and World Honored One, face to face, at a time two thousand and some odd years ago in the past. What, I, Nichiren, teach and practice is the exact, true, Three Great Secret Laws of Ji found in the Juryo chapter. The teaching that I propagate has not been altered in the slightest respect, even in form that which I inherited at Eagle Peak."
The fact that so many Taisekeji believers defend "nam" so blindly is suspicious. The usual response would be,"Namu" is correct, but we chant "nam", because we have been led to believe that it is the same as "namu"." Instead, American Taisekiji-ites are rabid about sticking to "nam", come hell or high water! These same people don't know if Taisekeji is telling the truth or not, since Americans don't know Japanese language. But they actually get into screaming matches over this point, instead of thinking about what might have been the "correct" chant in Nichiren's day, when Japanese was pronounced as it was written.
They are like fundamentalist Christians, when they are told that their bible is radically altered from the texts of Christianity, as they existed in 1st Century Palestine. The doctrine of Nichiren is that the Daimoku is seven Chinese characters, (and at that time, the Chinese pronunciation would be seven syllables, no omissions), the object of worship is the gohonzon (which is basically the 16th chapter of the Lotus Sutra, the "ceremony in the air", revealing the original eternal Shakyamuni Buddha's life and land.. There is no doctrine of a "Dai-Gohonzon" housed at Taisekeji.....ALL of Nichiren's gohonzons were the supreme mandala. The Taisekeji mandala isn't even in Nichiren's handwriting!
It's an obvious forgery. The "kaidan" is still a mystery (that's Nichiren's 3rd "great secret law".) It's certainly not and never was the "Sho Hondo", which was a sprawling replica of the 1964 Olympic Games auditorium in Tokyo.
Dropping the "mu" character in the Daimoku of Taisekeji seems to have made the other deceptions (so-called "dai-gohonzon", sho-hondo, many forged texts and documents, etc.) so easy to accept. Any one who chants "nam mu" eventually starts questioning Taisekeji doctrine, almost as if the full Daimoku awakens them from the hypnotic spell of Taisekiji. Weird, isn't it? But it holds true, under the "actual proof" criteria. If you chant "nam mu", you awaken from the Taisekeji "dream". That's the "doctrinal" mystery. How can one simple make so much difference? Yet it does. Perhaps it's as if you call out for "Bob Smith", but he only answers to "Robert Smith", so he never hears you calling him, because he doesn't respond to "Bob", never. Some imposter named "Bob" might even respond to the "abbreviated" call, who knows? After all, it's a fake honzon, posing as an authentic Nichiren gohonzon at Taisekeji. To perpetrate that kind of deception, the author must have been capable of great cunning and treachery. The real author may be Mara himself, who can assume the form of a "golden buddha", as Shakyamuni warned.
Lets not forget the SGI’s bizarre “prime point” of the Lotus Sutra [the oneness of mentor and disciple]. Some of us grow up to be adults. We refuse to be treated as children and actually read and study the Lotus Sutra and Gosho. Some of us actually believe that those who chant Namu Myoho renge kyo with strong faith in the Gohonzon, Lotus Sutra, and Shakyamuni Buddha are emanations of Shakyamuni Buddha and are Three Bodied Tathagatas in their own right. I believe that the Soka Gakkai will continue to hemorrhage unhappy members. Fortunately, we are willing to galvanize these broken human beings and repair their injured faith and practice.