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Thursday, May 17, 2012

From the Kempon Hokke Archives

Thanks for your thorough reply:

A few things... You could say that ("imitao dei"). St Francis was quite
successful with this methodology although his movement became corrupted
because only he could follow to the letter the Christian precepts. As far as
Nichiren Daishonin, following his manner of reading the Sutra, it too has become
corrupted because it too is difficult to practice as Nichiren did.

Everyone wishes to be liked and believes his way is the best and only
way. Nichiren states,

"It is said that good medicine tastes bitter. Similarly, this sutra dispels
attachments to the five vehicles and establishes the one supreme teaching. It
reproaches common mortals and censures saints, denies Mahayana and refutes
Hinayana... All those who are repudiated persecute the believers in the Lotus

We only care that that his teachings are maintained and transmitted perfectly
which is not easy for imperfect beings. The more we model ourselves on Nichiren
rather than Daisaku Ikeda, Nichinyo, Nissei, Nichidatsu, Nichiki and Nissatsu,
the more Nichiren's life is reflected in our own lives and the more perfectly we can
maintain and transmit his teachings.

The transmission in the Latter Day is chanting Namu Myoho renge kyo to an
authentic Gohonzon. Nichiren doesn't advocate a model based on "The Patriarchal
Transmissions", "The Patriarchal Transmission of the Golden Mouthed Ones" or "
The Patriarchal Transmission Through Current Masters." What does the Nirvana
Sutra say about the Transmission of the Buddha's teachings in the Latter Day:
"In the Latter Dharma there is a group of 120,000 great bodhisattvas who keep
the Dharma, ensuring that it will not perish." If we are numbered among these
Bodhisattvas, the Law will long endure

"More on the Transmission. 'One should consider the fact that, if the Buddha had
not attained enlightenement in the distant past, there could not have been so
many people converted to his teachings......'"(Kaimoku Sho)

Thus the Buddha is the source of both the Specific and the General transmission.
The Gohonzon, though a text, is the the reality of the Buddha.. The Gohonzon is
the entity of Ninpo-ika. Those who look upon it merely as a text lack faith. The
Maka Shikan says: "If one lacks faith in the Lotus sutra he will object that it
pertains to the lofty realm of the sages, something far beyond the capacity of
his own wisdom to comprehend. If one lacks wisdom, he will become puffed up with
his own arrogance and will claim to be the equal of the Buddha."(Kaimoku Sho).

In Shakyamuni's and Nichiren's True Buddhism, there is neither an oral nor a
patriarchal transmission of the teachings. This is why the Succession through
the Scrolls of the Sutra reigns supreme and is the true meaning of exoteric
Mahayana Buddhism. Nichiren writes:

"Are persons who receive instruction orally from their teacher invariably free
from error, while those who appear in later ages and who seek and investigate to
be regarded as worthless? If so, then should we throw away the sutras and
instead follow traditions handed down from the four ranks of bodhisattvas?
Should a man throw away the deed of transfer received from his father and mother
and instead rely upon oral transmissions? Are the written commentaries of the
Great Teacher Dengyo so much trash, and the oral traditions handed down from the
Great Teacher Jikaku the only guide to truth?" (Gosho Zenshu, p.1258)

"Putting all this aside, I will point out the truth for the sake of my
followers. Because others do not choose to believe it now, they are persons who
thereby form a reverse relation. By tasting a single drop, one can tell the
flavor of the great ocean, and by observing a single flower in bloom, one can
predict the advent of spring. One does not have to cross the water to faroff
Sung China, spend three years traveling to Eagle Peak in India, enter the palace
of the dragon king the way Nagarjuna did, visit Bodhisattva Maitreya [in the
Tushita heaven] the way Bodhisattva Asanga did, or be present at the two places
and three assemblies when Shakyamuni preached the Lotus Sutra, in order to judge
the relative merits of the Buddha’s lifetime teachings. It is said that snakes
can tell seven days in advance when a flood is going to occur. This is because
they are akin to dragons [who make the rain fall]. Crows can tell what lucky or
unlucky events are going to take place throughout the course of a year. This is
because in a past existence they were diviners. Birds are better at flying than
human beings. And I, Nichiren, am better at judging the relative merits of sutras
than Ch’eng-kuan of the Flower Garland school, Chia-hsiang of the Three Treatises
school, Tz’u-en of the Dharma Characteristics school, and Kobo of the True Word
school. That is because I follow in the footsteps of the teachers T’ien-t’ai and Dengyo.
If Ch’eng-kuan and the others had not accepted the teachings of T’ien-t’ai and
Dengyo, how could they have expected to escape the sin of slandering the Law?

I, Nichiren, am the richest man in all of present-day Japan. I have dedicated my
life to the Lotus Sutra, and my name will be handed down in ages to come. If one
is lord of the great ocean, then all the gods of the various rivers will obey
one. If one is king of Mount Sumeru, then the gods of the various other
mountains cannot help but serve one. If a person fulfills the teaching of “the
six difficult and nine easy acts” of the Lotus Sutra, then, even though he may
not have read the entire body of sutras, all should follow him." (Opening of the

Nichiren is also a more accomplished master than the men I cited above.

"The Great Teacher Dengyo was disparaged by the priests of Nara, who said,
“Saicho has never been to the capital of T’ang China!” (ibid.)

"The Great Teacher T’ien-t’ai trusted and obeyed Shakyamuni and worked to uphold
the Lotus school, spreading its teachings throughout China." (On the Buddha's

"In the Tendai school, however, there appeared a priest known as the Great
Teacher Miao-lo. Though he lived more than two hundred years after the time of
the Great Teacher T'ien-t'ai, he was extremely wise and had a clear
understanding of the teachings of T'ien-t'ai..." (Repaying Debts of Gratitude).

Who credentialed or certified Tientai, Miao-lo, or Nichiren? Nichiren gave
himself the Buddhist name Nichi-Ren. Who ordained Shakyamuni Buddha? The
nonsense of seeking a living master stifles growth and development as a direct
disciple of the Original Buddha. It is the evil priestly and monastic agenda to
coerce you into accepting them as teachers and offering them alms, rather than
the Lotus Sutra, Shakyamuni Buddha and Nichiren Daishonin. This is not True
Mahayana (exoteric Buddhism) which is based on the Succession Through the
Scrolls of the Sutra and the Authentic writings of Nichiren. The Lotus Sutra and
Nichiren Daishonin teach that we are direct disciples of the Original Eternal
Buddha Shakyamuni. Buddhism is accessible to all with or without a "face to
face" transmission. Nichiren states:

"While the Great Teacher Jikaku was in Japan, he made a thorough study of the
teachings of both Dengyo and Kobo, and he spent a period of ten years in China
studying under the eight distinguished priests, including the Tripitaka Master
Pao-yüeh of southern India, learning all the loftiest and most secret doctrines.
On this basis, he completed his commentaries on the two sutras. In addition, he
prayed to the image of the Buddha, and awoke from dreaming that he had seen the
arrow of wisdom strike the sun of the Middle Way. So great was his joy that he
requested Emperor Nimmyo to issue an edict acknowledging Mount Hiei as a center
of the True Word practice.

Though he was the chief priest of the Tendai school, he virtually became a True
Word prelate, declaring that the three True Word sutras were the works that
would ensure peace and protection of the nation. It has now been more than four
hundred years since he spread these doctrines. The eminent leaders who have
accepted them are as numerous as rice and hemp seedlings, and the fervent
believers who have embraced them are as plentiful as bamboo plants and rushes.

As a result, of all the temples established throughout Japan by Emperor Kammu
and the Great Teacher Dengyo, there is not one that has not become a propagator
of the True Word doctrine. Both courtiers and warriors alike invite True Word
priests to attend to their religious needs, look up to them as their teachers,
confer offices upon them, and place them in charge of temples. And in the
eye-opening ceremony carried out at the consecration of wooden and painted
Buddhist images, the priests of all the eight schools of Buddhism now use the
mudras and mantras of the Thus Come One Mahavairochana and the honored one
Buddha Eye! (Repaying Debts of Gratitude)

Look what happened to Buddhism. Jikaku studied under, "the Eight Distinguished
Teachers", every one of them certified, credentialed, ordained, honored,
or distinguished. Also, adopting a priestly or living mentor diminishes one
faith in the Supreme Law affirmed by all Buddhas (Myoho renge kyo).

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?
Answer: Shakyamuni Buddha laid down a rule for future conduct when he said that
we should “rely on the Law and not upon persons.” Bodhisattva Nagarjuna says
that one should rely on treatises that are faithful to the sutras, but not rely
on those that distort the sutras. T’ien-t’ai states, “That which accords with
the sutras is to be written down and made available. But put no faith in
anything that in word or meaning fails to do so.” And the Great Teacher Dengyo
says, “Depend upon the preachings of the Buddha, and do not put faith in
traditions handed down orally.”(The Selection of the Time)

"Instead of wasting all those supplies and making work for other people by
insisting upon traveling all the way to China, they should have made a more
careful and thorough study of the doctrines of the Great Teacher Dengyo, who was
their own teacher!. " (Repaying Debts of Gratitude)

"But after he went to China at the age of forty, though he continued to call
himself a disciple of Dengyo and went through the motions of carrying on
Dengyo’s line, he taught a kind of Buddhism that was wholly unworthy of a true
disciple of Dengyo." (ibid.)

Although I am merely an ignorant layman, I think that those like Makiguchi,
Toda, Daisaku Ikeda, High Priest Nichinyo and Nittsu, should have made a more
careful and thorough study of the doctrines of Nichiren. Then they wouldn't be
teaching a kind of Buddhism that is wholly unworthy of true disciples of
Nichiren. Daisaku Ikeda, in particular, has shackled his disciples to himself
like a sick siamese twin and will eventually end up killing both himself and his

"At that time, after the great assembly had heard the Buddha speak of the
great length of his life-span, incalculable, limitless asamkhyeyas of
living beings gained a great advantage. At that time, the World-Honored
One declared to the bodhisattva-mahasattva Maitreya: "O Ajita!
When I preached on the great length of the life-span of the Thus Come
One, living beings to the number of sands in six hundred and eighty
myriads of millions of nayutas of Ganges rivers gained acceptance of
[the doctrine of] the unborn dharmas. Again, a thousand times this
number of bodhisattva-mahsattvas heard and were enabled to take hold
of the gateway of the dharanis. Again, bodhisattva-mahasattvas equal
to the number of the atoms in one world-sphere gained joy in preaching
and unimpeded eloquence. Again, bodhisattva-mahasattvas equal in
number to the atoms in one world-sphere gained the dharani that can
be turned to a hundred thousand myriads of millions of incalculable
[uses]. Again, bodhisattva-mahasattvas equal in number to the atoms
in the thousand-millionfold world were enabled to turn the unreceding
Wheel of the Dharma. Again, bodhisattva-mahasattvas equal in number
to the atoms in two thousand middle lands were enabled to turn the
pure Wheel of the Dharma. Again, bodhisattva-mahasattvas equal in
number to the atoms in a minor thousand of lands were destined
after eight rebirths to gain anuttarasamyaksambodhi. Again, bodhi­
sattva-mahasattvas equal to four times the number of atoms under
four heavens were destined after four rebirths to gain anuttarasamvak­
sambodhi. Again, bodhisattva-mahasattvas equal in number to three
times the number of atoms under four heavens were destined after three
rebirths to gain anuttarasamyaksambodhi. Again, bodhisattva-maha-
sattvas equal in number to twice the atoms under four heavens
were destined after two rebirths to gain anuttarasamyaksambodhi."
(Lotus Sutra Chapter 17, Leon Hurvitz)


"The Daigo shojin Sutra says: ‘Ordinary beings and the Thus Come One share a
single Dharma body. Being pure and mystic beyond comparison, it is called
Myoho-renge-kyo.’"(Entity of the Mystic Law)


"Those who practice the Lotus Sutra are pursuing through this single act of
devotion the mind that is endowed with all manner of fortunate results. These
are present simultaneously and are not acquired gradually over a long period of
time. This is like the blossom of the lotus which, when it opens, already
possesses a large number of seeds or results. Hence such persons are called the
people of the one vehicle."(ibid)


"In essence, the entity of Myoho-renge-kyo is the physical body that the
disciples and followers of Nichiren who believe in the Lotus Sutra received from
their fathers and mothers at birth. Such persons, who honestly discard expedient
means, put faith in the Lotus Sutra alone and chant Namu myoho renge kyo, will
transform the three paths of earthly desires, karma and suffering into the three
virtues of the Dharma body, wisdom and emancipation. The threefold contemplation
and the three truths will immediately become manifest in their minds, and the
place where they live will become the Land of Eternally Tranquil Light. The
Buddha who is the entity of Myoho-renge-kyo, of the Juryo chapter of the
essential teaching, who is both inhabiting subject and inhabited realm, life and
environment, body and mind, entity and function, the Buddha eternally endowed
with the three bodies--he is to be found in the disciples and followers of Nichiren.
Such persons embody the true entity of Myoho-renge-kyo; these are the meritorious
workings that the spontaneous transcendental powers inherent in it display. Could
anyone venture to doubt it? Indeed it cannot be doubted! (ibid. Entity)

"Thereupon Shakyamuni Buddha rose from the seat of the Dharma, and by great
supernatural powers, put his right hand on the heads of the innumerable
Bodhisattva-mahasattvas, and said: "For many hundreds of thousands of billions
of asamkhyas of kalpas, I studied and practiced the Dharma difficult to obtain,
and [finally attained] Anuttara-samyak-sambodhi. Now I will transmit the Dharma
to you. Propagate it with all your hearts, and make it known far and wide."
[Lotus Sutra, Chapter 22 Transmission]

The merit of the Buddha comes from the Buddha. After the close of Chapter 22,
the replicas of Shakyamuni Buddha never appear. They went back to their home
worlds at the end of this chapter. So where does the transmission of Buddhahood
come from? The Original Buddha Shakyamuni. Here are the words of Nichiren, from
the "Ho'on Jo", enumerating the three great secret dharmas ("san dai hi ho"):

"The first is the object of worship (honzon). All the people in Japan as well
as the rest of the whole world should revere the Lord Buddha Shakyamuni
(Original and Eternal Buddha) revealed in the essential section (honmon) of the
Lotus Sutra as the object of worship (honzon)..." Then again in the "Kanji
Honzon Sho", Nichiren says: "Shakyamuni Buddha, the Lord preacher of this pure
land, has never died in the past, nor will He be born in the future. He exists
forever throughout the past present and future." In the "Senji Sho", Nichiren
says, regarding his ability to make the prediction about the forthcoming Mongol
invasion: "It was not I, Nichiren, who made these three important predications.
I believe it was solely the spirit of Shakyamuni Buddha, entering my body, who
made them."

Within these chapters of transmission, the four stages of faith and five stages
of practice expounded in the in Fumbetsu Kudoku chapter represent the most
important essential in the practice of the Lotus Sutra, a mirror to persons
living in the time of the Buddha and after his passing.

Ching-hsi writes: "'To produce even a single moment's faith and understanding'
represents the beginning in the practice of the essential teaching." Of these
various stages, the four stages of faith are intended for those living in the
Buddha's lifetime, and the five stages of practice for those living after his
passing. Among these, the first of the four stages of faith is that of
producing even a single moment's faith and understanding, and the first of the
five stages of practice is that of rejoicing on first hearing the Lotus Sutra.
These two stages together form a casket containing the treasures of the
"hundred worlds and thousand factors" and the "three thousand realms in a
single life-moment"; they are the gate from which all Buddhas of the ten
directions and the three existences emerge.

Nichiren Goes on to say,

Answer: This is a very important question, and so I will be referring to the
text of the sutra in answering you.. In describing the first, second and third
of the five stages of practice, the Buddha restricts those at these stages from
practicing precepts and meditation, and places all emphasis upon the single
factor of wisdom.. And because our wisdom is inadequate, he teaches us to
substitute faith, making this single word "faith" the foundation. Disbelief is
the cause for becoming an icchantika and for slander of the True Law, while
faith is the cause for wisdom and corresponds to the stage of myoji-soku.

And again,

Answer: Such persons are restricted from practicing almsgiving, the keeping
of the precepts, and the others of the five paramitas, and are directed to chant
Namu-myoho-renge-kyo exclusively. This practice corresponds to the capacity
of persons at the stages of "producing even a single moment's faith and
understanding" and "rejoicing on first hearing the Lotus Sutra." It represents
the true intention of the Lotus Sutra. "

And further along:

Question: When your disciples, without any understanding, simply recite with
their mouths the words Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, what level of attainment do
they reach?
Answer: Not only do they go beyond the highest level of the four tastes or the
three teachings as well as that attained by practitioners of the perfect teaching
set forth in the sutras that precede the Lotus Sutra, but they surpass by millions
and billions of times the founders of the Shingon and various other schools of
Buddhism--men such as Shan-wu-wei, Chih-yen, T'zu-en, Chi-tsang, Tao-hsuan,
Bodhidharma and Shan-tao."

This can be said about the learned priests and laymen of the Kempon Hokke.

Nichiren departed from the tradition of kuden homon, or oral transmission.
Tendai emphasized the idea of Dharma transmission passed in a direct lineage
from master to disciple. Kechimayku literally means -- blood vessel -- and is
used to indicate the transmission from master to disciple, and also the content
of the transmission. Nichiren viewed _kechimayku_ as the transmission of the
Dharma that makes it possible to escape the suffering of birth and death.
At times the notion of kechimyaku, with the image of the flow of blood, was
taken so literally that priests endeavored to pass on their lineage only to
their own sons (jisshi sojo). Nichiren, on the other hand departed from this
concept of the master and disciple relationship. Nichiren had no one person
contemporary to himself that he looked up to throughout his life as "master".
(Nichiren: sono kodo to shiso, p.32)

Nichiren, according to his writings, did retain lifelong feelings of gratitude
and affection for Dozen-bo in Awa, where Nichiren had taken the tonsure at
sixteen. But, Nichiren left Dozen-bo's mode of Amida Buddhist practice and
understanding. Nichiren also showed no special allegiance to anyone at Mount
Hiei or any of the other major Buddhist centers where he studied from 1238-1253.
It is obvious that Nichiren, based on his own writings, saw himself as standing
in a line that begun with the Historical Shakyamuni and passed to Chih-I, Saicho
and himself. We can conclude from Nichiren's writings that he believed that he
had received a spiritual transmission directly from the Eternal Shakyamuni.

"Although Nichiren dwells in such a remote and forlorn retreat [Minobu], within
the heart of his fleshly body he holds concealed the secret Dharma of the sole
great matter (ichidaiji) transmitted by the Eternal Shakyamuni, master of
teachings, on Vulture Peak." (Nanjo Hyoe Shichiro-dono gohenji)

The Dharma is not something handed down from a master to a disciple, but
directly accessible to anyone at any moment via a personal relationship formed
with the Buddha and the Lotus Sutra by chanting Namu Myoho Renge Kyo."

From the "Kanjin no-honzon sho":

"..the Eternal Lord Shakyamuni's practices undertaken as the cause (for
attaining Buddhahood), and his virtues acquired as their effect, are completely
contained within the five characters of Myoho-Renge-Kyo. When we receive and
hold these five characters, he will spontaneously transfer to us the merit of
his causes and effects."

To conclude, when we chant Namu Myoho renge kyo with faith and reverence
for the Gohonzon, the Eternal Buddha Shakyamuni, the Daimoku, and spread
the teachings to the best of our abilities, we are Bodhisattvas of the earth, requiring
no intercession by either priest or layman. Of course, since we may not have
trained ourselves to do shakabuku (break and subdue practice) and certainly not
to inscribe or eye-open Gohonzon, then we can support the priest that has been
trained in these facets of Lotus Sutra Buddhism. This is the phenomenological
concept of the division of labor found in the Lotus Sutra, Nichiren's teachings,
and the world at large. The SGI doesn't teach this, lumping all priests, except
Nikko and Nichiren, as evil and demonic.

Chris, not taking the Lotus Sutra literally, living the Lotus Sutra literally.
Becoming Medicine King Bodhisattva, becoming Bodhisattva Fukyo, becoming
Superior Practices, becoming the Eternal Buddha.

As far as persecutions for the sake of the Lotus Sutra, citing Honen, proves you
aren't reading for content. Many people suffer persecutions, even for political
or socio-economic positions. But only votaries of the Lotus Sutra suffer
persecutions on behalf of the Lotus Sutra. If you adopt Nichiren's manner of
reading the Lotus Sutra you will have no doubts about the origin of your
obstacles and perseutions.

We may have been arguing for ten years or more but for most of those years,
I was arguing exclusively from the standpoint of myself. Now I argue from
the standpoint of Nichiren. Logic is important but the Atsuhara martyrs did
more for Buddhism than a thousand logicians.

Regarding arrogance, Nichiren writes:

"The eighth volume of The Annotations on “The Words and Phrases of the Lotus
Sutra” comments as follows: “In this passage, three types of arrogance are
cited. First, there is a section that exposes people of mistaken views. This
represents [the arrogance and presumption of] lay people. Next, there is a
section that exposes the arrogance and presumption of members of the Buddhist
clergy. Third is a section that exposes the arrogance and presumption of those
who pretend to be sages. Of these three, the first can be endured.. The second
exceeds the first, and the third is the most formidable of all.. This is because
the second and third ones are increasingly harder to recognize for what they
really are.” Opening of the Eyes)

If arrrogance is so difficult to to recognize, how much more so Buddhahood?

As far as customs, current times, and reality, you put too much emphasis on the
country and capacity while failingy to realize the true nature of the Latter
Day which hasn't changed since the times of Nichiren: Earthquakes, wars,
pestilence, famines, tsunamis, global warming, inflation, deflation, misleading
religions and philosophies, Pure Land, Soka Gakkai...

As far as more than one view being worth exploring, lets start by exploring
Nichiren's view before we jump to the Rabbis' views. Everyone has a different
view than Nichiren except me and a handful of other adherents, as

I ask those having an SGI view, a Nichiren Shu view, an HBS view
an independent view, to try and have a Nichiren view, to put yourself in
Nichiren's shoes, refute misleading religions and philosophies and promote the
exclusive faith and practice of the Lotus Sutra. Instead of little Ikedas
running around lets see what happens with little Nichirens. It will shake up the
world. We will be banished again and again, we will be exiled, we will be put to
death. The Lotus Sutra will spread like never before. Nichiren says by suffering
relatively minor hardships, such as exile, death and banishements, the True Law
will spread.

Shakyamuni in his "dhuta" form is one aspect of the Eternal Buddha. Throwing out
the Manifestation Body Buddha is throwing out the Dharma Body Buddha and the
Reward Body Buddha. Throwing out the Eternal Buddha is throwing out all Three
Bodies. No one property (of the Three Properties) of the Buddha is independent
of the others. Nichiren corrected those who saw the "dhuta" body, the
Manifestation Buddha, as the sole property of the Buddha.

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