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Saturday, February 9, 2013

Reverend Yasahara corrects Graham Lamont


Hongaku means Original Enlightenment. Shigaku means the attainment of 
enlightenment. To explain the relationship between Hongaku and Shigaku, there 
are some metaphors.  For one example,  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, when once he turns on the light, he gets to be able to see the 
furniture clearly in the room.  In this situation, 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 the Hongaku.  And the fact that turning on the light and 
getting to be able to see the furniture stands for the Shigaku.  Another 
example, there was a blind man.  He could see nothing.  One day in excellent 
doctor came to see him and had an operation on his eyes.  As a result, the 
doctor opened his eyes and he gets to be able to see the sun and the moon.  As 
we know, 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 the enlightenment (Shigaku), he never fail to 
attain the original enlightenment (Hongaku).  And it is not until when one has 
Shigaku that he becomes aware of Hongaku (Oh! Everything has been originally in 
the enlightened state!!).  

So, until the time we have 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 
Roku-nai Goshos.  So it should be considered as a genuine Gosho.  I think the 
attitude of discarding every Gosho that contradicts one's own opinion would 
prevent one from understanding proper Nichiren Buddhism.  The note I wrote 
about Hongaku and Shigaku was from what I studied from Rev.  Honda's book named 
"Daizokyo Yogi" (a commentary on the essential point of the Buddhist Canon), 
which consists of thick eleven volumes.  And Rev. Honda preaches about Hongaku 
and Shigaku in PP35-37 of its fourth volume, where Rev. Honda himself cites 
the very same part of 'Junyoze no koto' that I translated and wrote in the last 
answer note.  So that is of course no problem.  Incidentally, I have obtained 
almost all books of Rev.  Honda and studied them precisely before.  So I want 
to say that people should not have a falsely fixed idea on the teachings of 
Kempon Hokke or true Buddhism Needless to say, the explanation I wrote about 
Hongaku and Shigaku have nothing to do with the Ideology of Hongaku of medieval 
old T'ien T'ai, which teaches that we need not practice because everyone has 
already enlightened. 

Rev. Sorin Yasuhara 
Kempon Hokke Shu 


September 22, 1998 

As you know the parables regarding "Hongaku and Shigaku" 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 Honmom
(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

If I add a little more explanation here, 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 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 the monism and only upholds dualism, it loses its life. There 
are in the world many other religions like Judaism, Christianity or lslam which 
is 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 
by our faith of whole-hearted devotion (Namu). In this sense, chanting Namu 
Myoho Renge Kyo (Daimoku) wholeheartedly is essential for this monism.  It is 
so to speak a bridge between the dualism and monism. And this is the theory of 
Sokushin-Jobutsu (attaining buddhahood in this very body) of Nichiren Buddhism 
So if one stays attached to the view that the dualism is the ultimate substance 
of the doctrine of Nichiren Buddhism, where can he find the chance of Jobutsu 
(attaining buddhahood)?  With such a wrong view, Buddha and he have to be the 
parallel lines forever. 

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?  By the way, "Hongaku Shiso" is a distorted view derived from the 
erroneous understanding of the doctrine of Buddha's three bodies. This view 
does not take the three bodies unitedly. Instead, after separating worldly 
beings and Buddha, the view links the Dharma Body (but this is merely an 
abstract one which is equivalent to a man in the dark or a blind man before the 
operation in the parables I wrote in the first note) only to the worldly beings 
and the other two bodies (Enjoyment Body and Response Body) to the Buddha.  
Then, one who has this view stays conceited thinking that it is the worldly 
beings that are the Original Buddha and Buddhas like Shakya, Taho are merely 
the Manifestation Buddha, In this way this view shuts the door to attaining 
buddhahood.  Therefore, the subject of "Hongaku shiso" is the matter of 
misunderstanding regarding the doctrine of Buddha's three bodies. That is by 
no means the matter of  "Hongaku and Shigaku". One must not be confused to 
connect Incidentally, the part of Gosho I cited from "Junyoze no koto" was 
"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." Let us see the underlined 
part, it expresses the ultimate state of us which comes after cleaning off the 
deluded thought and view (practice).  And what one should know here is that 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 was no room for argument in here from the first without 
Lamont's confusion and misunderstanding.  If he has some more confusion in 
these regards, he should read carefully the writings of Nichiren Daishonin or 
teachers of Jumonryu, especially Nichiju Daishoshi's "Fuju-sho" instead of 
those commentaries written by the other sect's's scholars.  So he will surely 
find the break-through. 

With Gassho, 
Rev. Sorin Yasuhara 

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

They think they uphold the Lotus Sutra because their leaders tell them they do.

Mark: Ryokan was Ritsu Chris, a Therevadan, a Hinayanist, a "keeper" of the precepts. If you wish to debate with us you had better bone up. 

Chris: Well Mark, you are right.  I was under the impression that he was a Shingon priest, but he is most famous for building bridges and roads, and then making money from them. Thank you for the point.  It's good you know your history. 

Perhaps I was thinking of Ryuzobo, in any case the priests called upon to offer prayer for rain were Shingon. 

Mark: No. It was Ryokan. If you don't know what you were thinking, how can anyone else be expected to know. 

Mark: The answers are right there to every one of your enquires. 

> Gary: 
> You have sent me quote after quote proving to me how Nichiren Daishonin deeply respects >his teacher, Buddha Shakyamuni. This isn't new news to  me or any other SGI member. 

> Mark: 
> The problem sir, is altering Nichiren's Three Treasures and Three Great Secret Laws. >This is hardly showing respect for either Shakyamuni Buddha or Nichiren. 

Chris: You quote things that nobody disagrees with and then insist that you have won a debate. 

Mark: You are either disengenuous or blind. That is why I am so hard on you and your SGI comrades. Nevertheless, I realize why you are incapable of seeing the dirt on your face. You do not have a proper mirror. Your Gohonzon is not an accurate representation of the true object of worship and therefore, it is impossible for you to see clearly. Shoju will not work to awaken you from your poisoned mind. 

Chris: How Mappo of you.  The three treasures are the Buddha, the Priest and the Law. 

Mark: Yes, THE Buddha, Shakyamuni Buddha of the 16th Chapter of the Lotus Sutra, not Amida, Dainichi, Yakushi, or Ikeda cough cough. The Priest is, of course, the Great Priest, Nichiren Daishonin 

Chris: The formulation of them differs between the various Nichiren Shu sects and the
Fuji School.  It is hardly altering Nichiren's three treasures to disagree with *you* on their formulation. 

Mark: Read the words Chris. Even your mentor is coming around. This has been proven by his words in "Space and Eternal Life", published by Journeyman Press this year. 

Chris: You are hardly Nichiren anymore than I am. 

Mark: I am much more faithful to the teachings of the Master than you or any SGI or Taisekaji member alive or dead and still, I am unworthy to be called a disciple of Nichiren Daishonin. Where does that leave you? 

> Gary:
>However you are contradicting the spirit of the Daishonin and even yourself when >you say......
 "I will only debate with the SGI Headquarters" 

> Mark: 
> You are foolish if you think the Daishonin debated every Tom, Dick and  Harry who >approached him. The Daishonin, writes: "From now on, you need not hold debates >in Shimosa. Having defeated Ryosho-bo and Shi’nen-bo, were you to debate with >others, it would only dilute the effect." (The Third doctrine). The SGI headquarters >has influence. You >have no influence and even if I defeat you and your shallow >arguments, I fear that you have neither the sincerity nor the guts to convert to the >superior teachings. 

Chris: Nichiren said this with the larger audience in mind, and with the knowledge that any future debates would only involve a rehash of already discussed points, or a reformulation of previous beliefs to make them sound more plausible. It is hardly the same as declaring victory and refusing to say any more.  That is a cowards way. Nichiren would have talked to anyone who came to inquire with him on Buddhism, or else would have referred the person to one of his leutenants. Mark: Gary  did not come to me to inquire about Buddhism. Gary came to debate and he came into our "house" to do so. Since I have defeated dozens of  SGI members, some more emminent than he, of what purpose would it serve, if he doesn't make a commitment to convert if defeated? 

> Gary: 
> I can just smell the arrogance in your words. No "Guts" but yet you mentioned that >you, yourself "fear". Explain that one to me. 
> Mark: The Daishonin himself often used the principle of fear. Would you like me to >point it out >to you? 

Chris : This is a strange dialogue to post as part of a purported debate.  What do you fear Mark, seeming a fool or being a fool.  Fools hate seeming the fool. 

Mark: Gary  doesn't even read what I write. He apparently picked the word "fear" out of context, from who knows where, maybe even from a quote by Nichiren. My record of debating  with the SGI speaks for itself and the SGI'srecord of avoiding debate too, speaks for itself. Funny thing, after this reply to Gary, I have not heard from him again. Who is it that is fearful? 

> Gary I have the  "guts" to uphold my practice on Nichiren Daishonin's >Buddhism  until my  death. 

Chris: This is a commendable attitude. 

Mark: We have proven that neither you, Chris, nor the Soka Gakkai practice the Daishonin's Buddhism but rather the Buddhism of Nichiu, Nichikan and Ikeda.If you open your eyes, read the Sado Gosho and chant very hard, you will see that many people die for shallow affairs. 

Chris: This goes back to the centuries old libel of Nichiu as the "forger" of the DaiGohonzon.  I'm not done researching this, I have not dismissed the arguments, however it is clear that the Daishonin intended us to revere the Gohonzon as oursupreme Mandala.  However, there is sufficient evidence to refute the charge that Nichiu forged the Dai Gohonzon. You have not won any debate as long as you merely pronounce the words of a rival sect. 

Mark: Certainly it isn't we who has changed Nichiren's ThreeTreasures and Three Great Secret Laws. It is the  Nichiren Shoshu and the SGI that have altered the teachings. It is equally obvious that Nichiu, Nichikan and Ikeda rather than Nichiren are your teachers. Hell, you even have a Nikken or a Nichikan Gohonzon rather than a Nichiren Gohonzon. If you were ever to exchange  your Nichikan Gohonzon for a Nichiren Gohonzon, you would see the difference in no time at all. You would experience such clarity of thought that you would never ever be misled again. 

Chris: This debate has antecedents in the time of Nichiu, and no one has been convinced so far.  You criticized me for not doing my homework, however I am a seeker of the truth, coming at it from the view of faith in the Law. You are listening to people who are advancing their own views, but you don't knowfor yourself. 

Mark: I do know. You too may know also. The knowing is in the Three Proofs. Ihave seen my unresolved karmic hindrences disappear as if frost or dew in the sun, within weeks after receiving my Nichiren Gohonzon and have seen the same with my ex-SGI converts. I also see the result of the Nichiren Shoshu and SGI as organizations, and the so-called  Actual Proof  of their priests, leaders and members. Therefore, even disreguarding Nichiu's, Nichikan's, Nikken's and Ikeda's words for a moment, it is a reasonable inference to know that Nichiu etal's teachings are mistaken merely from the perspective of Actual Proof alone.  

Chris:Until I know better, I will believe in the Dai Gohonzon.  Even if the Dai-Gohonzon could be proved to be a fake, I will believe in the Gohonzon, because that makes sense. 

Mark: We have presented 10 points that prove the Daigohonzon a forgery,thoroughly refuting your teacherrs Toda and Nittatsu

> Gary: Your definition of "guts" is very obscure. 
> Mark: You should open your mind to the truth. 
> Gary: Seeing yourself as being "above" each SGI member is simply a reflection of >your  arrogance. 

Chris: Gary say's it and hit's it on the nail.  In the absence of proof allegations of slandering the Law are sectarian and personal views. 

Mark: The words of the Lotus Sutra and Nichiren Daishonin don't count? Tell that to Nichiren. Try and explain that off to yourself but a fact is a fact. You ignore the words of Nichiren time and time again and create arbitrary and ornate rhetoric to promote the Fuji school views. You are enemies of the Buddha and Nichiren. These are not sectarian and personal views. the Our views are affirmed by all  the Bodhisattvas and Buddhas of the universe. 

Chris: Nichiren had hard evidence for his assertation, moreover he attacked persons who attacked or ignored the lotus Sutra, not upheld it. 

Mark: The Lotus Sutra and writings of Nichiren Daishonin is our hard evidence. You think you uphold the Lotus because your leaders have taught you that you do. You probably hadn't even read it till recently. If I am wrong, I apologize but I know from experience and dialogue that many SGI senior leaders, even those practicing fortwenty years or more, have only recently picked it up and read it for the first time. 

Chris: Had the Tientai Sect not adopted Shingon practices, he would have not declared it an evil sect.  However, even correct Tientai, he said, is shakumon in  comparison with the actual practice of chanting Nam Myoho Renge Kyo. 

Mark: Point being? Have you ever seen us criticize the SGI or Nichiren Shoshu for chanting the Daimoku as the principle practice? It is your object of worship and your view of the Treasures of Buddha and Priest that is mistaken. 

You should read again, Teaching, Practice and Proof. One who is correct is seated above one who is incorrect. Should the inferior b confused with the superior, it would be cause for regret. Teachings and practitioners both may fall into the category of superior and inferior. One who teaches the distorted doctrines of the Fuji School is inferior to one who teaches the doctrines of Nichiren Daishonin faithfully. 

Chris: This is your personal opinion backed by your personal interpretations of works that can be interpreted differently, and that taken as a whole should be interpreted differently. 

Mark: If you were objective, you would admit that we do little interpretating. We take the words of the Lotus Sutra and the Daishonin at face  value. You guys have to, by necessity, interpret, twist and turn, to arrive at your views. 

> Gary: Nichiren Daishonin viewed everyone on equal terms. 
> Mark:  In one sense. In another sense, he pointed out differences, the superiority >and inferiority of the various teachings as well as of the adherents of the >various teachings. 

Chris: Nichiren's motivation was the salvation of the individual and the world, he did shakubuku and announced a new teaching because it was his duty to fulfill the teachings of the Lotus Sutra. He pointed out these things in order to save people from suffering, not to score debating points. 

Mark: You must be a psychic to know that my motivation differs from that ofthe Daishonin's. I don't even question the motivation of most SGI members.I question the reality of your faith, your object of worship, and your very liberal interpretation of the teachings. 

Chris: He would have been aghast (but not surprised) at the behavior of his disciples after his death, breaking off into little contending sects on minor doctrinal assertions. 

Mark: Yes, he would be aghast at the perverse men of the Nichiren Shoshu and Soka Gakkai who have altered his teachings. These are not minor doctrinal assertions. As I  pointed out many times, the Daishonin spent at nearly a quarter of his preaching life illuminating the Treasure of the Buddha and the correct object of worship. 

Are you saying the Daishonin was a fool for spending so much time clarifying the doctrines that the Fuji School has misunderstand and alter? If you look at yourself and look at the teachings and tell yourself that what we are saying is not the truth,  it is proof you do not have a real Gohonzon and you lack a clear mirror. I make this declaration because I am confident that my views are correct in light of the Lotus Sutra and teachings of Nichiren. 

To be continued........ 

Monday, February 4, 2013

Believe in the Plank, worship the plank, build a building for the plank, fight over the plank,

"Nichiren in every letter to a believer and in his Major Work announces that one should believe in and follow the Lotus Sutra, and make Namu Myoho renge kyo and Lord Shakyamuni Buddha of the Original Doctrine the Object of Worship and chant the Daimoku (Namu Myoho Renge Kyo). Nichiren, never says, I have left a Plank for you, believe in the Plank, worship the plank, build a building for the plank, fight over the plank, the plank is for Nikko. Nichiren inscribed Gohonzon, and then said it is the World of Buddha, not the life of Nichiren." 

Dr Hayes [Professor of Buddhism at McGill University, expert on the Pali Canon, former Therevadan and current Quaker] and Mark

Richard, you write:
Doctor Rogow writes:

> But Dr.Hayes repeatedly disparages the Lotus Sutra.

I doubt that anyone but you cares what Dr Hayes thinks about the Lotus Sutra, Mark. But, as long as you are saying what other people think, there is no harm in being accurate in what you report. First, I do not disparage the Lotus Sutra itself. What I disparage is your interpretation of it. You have taken a beautiful text, full of subtle poetry, and turned it into an ugly travesty by which you go around passing negative judgement on every other Buddhist in the world, except for Nichiren (whom you don't really understand, except that you have a shadowy affinity with him because he apparently shared the same psychotic character disorder that obviously afflicts you). It is what you do with the text that appals me, sir, not the text itself.

Give it a rest, eh? Take a holiday from your obsessions. You might enjoy the 

Dr Hayes>>>>>
Mark: Richaard, you are breaking another of your precious precepts (not to lie).  Fortunately, we have Deja News in which to prove my assertions that you have both disparaged the Lotus Sutra and are a liar. If you press the issue, I will  do a meticulous search and post every last post of yours to prove my point. If you apologize to the Buddha and the Lotus Sutra you will surely spare yourself  some future grief. 

Richard: The point I have made a few times is that the Lotus is so subtle and symbolic and playful and satirical that it is very difficult to grasp its meaning 
without first knowing a great deal about the dharma.
Mark: Then you should refrain from commenting on its meaning and should praise it as have all the Buddhas throughout space and time.
Richard: But then if one knows the dharma from other sources, then one doesn't really need the Lotus Sutra, since it has very little of value to add.
Mark: Some proof please? Can you please cite the teachings of Ichinen Sanzen and the Mutual Possession of the Ten Worlds anywhere save for the Lotus Sutra? Can you cite the prediction of Buddhahood for all beings without a single exception anywhere save for the Lotus Sutra? Can you cite the Eternal Life of the Tathagata anywhere save for the Lotus Sutra?
Richard: Because I say things like this, Mark Rogow says that I revile the Lotus Sutra.
Mark: Richard, whatever happened to Right Views and Right Memory? Advocating that we
do not need the Lotus Sutra is to not revile it? Telling one's mother we do not need her is not to revile her?
Richard: And of course, following the peculiar logic of the Lotus Sutra itself, Mark is convinced that anyone who reviles the Lotus Sutra also reviles the Buddha and the Dharma.
Mark: Can we believe one who praises his good father while failing to praise his good mother? Can we believe that one heeds a good mother's instructions while reviling her?
Scholarly understanding is not a necessary and sufficient condition for the aim of any Buddhist study, which is liberation.
Richard: I quite agree. Scholarly knowledge is not necessary, nor is it automatically sufficient for everyone. If one is really determined to be liberated, then that motivation can be used with any method to make one free.
Mark: Any Method? Even the historical Buddha taught only one method...The Eightfold Path.
Richard: The Buddha himself said that one can be liberated though intellectual work,
Mark: The Buddha's statement should not be taken out of the context of the entire canon. There are intellectuals working on better, more efficient cruise missiles.
Richard: or through devotion to the Buddha
Mark: The Lotus Sutra is the mother of all Buddhas.
Richard: or through meditational practice, or through a combination of all three.
Mark: Some people meditate on how to make more money, attract more women or on the Jesus Prayer. This is hardly what the Buddha had in mind. And if you think that by counting breaths alone, you can experience or attain Supreme Enlightenment, equal to that of the Buddha, you misunderstand the teachings.   Yet, surely, one could achieve liberation by devoted practice and study of the Lotus alone, given enough faith, with only a superficial understanding of the context.
Richard: Right. I think this is much more likely to occur if one focuses on the positive messages of the Lotus Sutra.
Mark: The Lotus Sutra is stark naked reality. It is not a pie in the sky philosophy detatched from this world or a Pure Land beyond one's present situation.  Punch a rock and you break your hand; deprecates a handsome person and you will be born ugly; rob a child of its food and one will
suffer from hunger. Revile the Lotus Sutra and you become an anencephalic fetus in lifetime after lifetime for kalpas on end or suffer the worst afflictions imaginable, over and over and over, until one has expiated one's sin. Conversely, one who praises the Sutra will quickly attain Buddhood, developing the 32 signs of the Buddha and will never again regress
Richard :Unfortunately, some people just pick up on the negative tone of some parts of the Sutra, and they spend most of their time condemning other people, calling them dangerous, and saying they are leading billions of others to hell.
Mark: Only a fool would praise one who kills his mother.
Richard: People who are devoid of imagination and incapable of symbolic subtlety are likely to get dragged down into a kind of Lotus Sutra fundamentalism.
Mark: Those who are squinty eyed, bleary eyed, or blind can see little or nothing at all.
Richard: Their ranting then gives the entire sutra a bad reputation among other Buddhists.
Mark: Those who revile the Lotus Sutra are better off than those who have never heard the Sutra because they form a relationship to the Sutra. Thos who form a relationship to the Sutra, whether that relationship is positive or negative come to understand the the karmic Law of cause and effect.
Richard: I would add to that the importance of living according to the precepts. On a news group, people should give special attention to the four speech precepts: avoiding lying,
Mark: You are turning over a new leaf? Good for you Richard.
Richard: avoiding harsh and divisive speech, avoiding slanderous and libellous speech,
Mark: Then I can count on you to never once again to deprecate the Lotus Sutra or its votaries?
Richard:and avoiding idle and pointless speech. (I keep thinking there ought to be a fifth speech precept encouraging being playful as much as possible so that you don't take yourself too damn seriously.
Mark: Isn't there a precept against jocularity Richard? Uhhoh, I caught you breaking the precepts again and in this, the Fearful Age? Thankfully, there are no longer any precepts Richard to be followed except one: Revere the Lotus Sutra and chant Namu Myoho renge kyo.
Richard: I'm sure if the Buddha had had eleven fingers instead of the usual ten, he would have had eleven precepts, making room for this important fifth one that I hanker to add.)
Mark: Richard, you really must go over the 500 precepts for monks. Are you not an extremely evil man for altering the teachings of the Buddha? If even a learned and wise man as yourself can not uphold the precepts, of what use are they for ignorant worldlings such as ourselves?
Richard: By the way, I don't expect that anybody but me reads everything that I write
Mark: I read much of what you write. You are a prolific writer. Why don't you determine to use your talents to praise the Lotus Sutra and bring benefit to all beings?
Richard: and pays attention to the flak that I get from various quarters.
Mark: I only fault you for one thing Richard.
Richard: So probably nobody has noticed that Mark Rogow accuses me of hating the Dharma,
Mark: No Richard, I accuse you of praising the dharma but destroying its intent
Richard: Mark Vetanen accuses me of belonging to a dangerous and harmful cult so that I
can have a better retirement and more worldly power,
Mark: I find that hard to believe about you.
Richard: and Mark Dunlop accuses me of being a disingenuous liar.
Mark: Don't be too hard on yourself Richard. As I have proven, according to Sutras, in this depraved age, in this degenerate age, there is not one person alive without faults.
Richard: I am plagued by three Marks. I reckon this proves the doctrine of karma. Because I was a Marxist in my youth, I am now a target for all these marksmen.
Mark: Very clever.
Richard: But I also look at the bright side. The Buddha was also bothered by three marks: impermanence, sorrow and non-self.
Mark: And that is why he taught the principles of permanence, joy, and true self.
Richard: And look at where that got him.
Mark: To the other shore

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Intent is far less important than actuality or suchness

Three Thousand Realms (or Worlds) In a Momentary Existence of Life found in the Lotus Sutra and expounded upon by Tientai. 

Each of the Ten Realms [Hell, Hunger, Animality, Humanity, Rapture, Learning, Self Realization, Bodhisattva, and Buddha], one of which is manifest from moment to moment, contains Ten Realms which are latent, thus making One Hundred Realms. Each of the One Hundred Realm contains the Ten Factors, thus making One Thousand Realms. Each Realm also contains the Three Principles of Individuation [the Realm of the Individual, the Realm of the Society of Beings in which the individual resides, and the Realm of the Environment in which the individual resides] thus making Three Thousand Realms. 

In general, a Bodhisattva [selfless being] manifests primarily Bodhisattva from moment to moment and always quickly returns to Bodhisattva when manifesting one of the other realms. The Bodhisattva has the Appearance, Nature, Entity, Power, Influence, Cause, Condition, Latent Effect, Manifest Effect, and Consistency from Beginning to End of a Bodhisattva. Both the society or collection of beings in which the Bodhisattva resides and the environment [land] of the Bodhisattva manifest predominantly the Realm of Bodhisattva. 

In general, a cat manifests primarily Animality from moment to moment and always quickly returns to Animality when manifesting one of the other realms. The cat has the Appearance, Nature, Entity, Power, Influence, Cause, Condition, Latent Effect, Manifest Effect, and Consistancy from Beginning to End of an animal. Both the society or collection of beings in which the cat resides and the environment of the cat manifest predominantly the Realm of Animality. 

A Bodhisattva will manifest Animality for periods of time when, for example, he experiences the urge to sleep or defecate. 

A cat will manifest Bodhisattva for periods of time when, for example, it acts selflessly towards its kittens or its owner. 

Tientai asserted that every being has the potential to elevate its central life tendency [or the Realm or Realms to which it gravites] through the principle of Ichinen Sanzen. For example, a cat can create the causes and conditions for Bodhisattva by either very strongly [for a moment] or habitually acting selflessly. Intent, according to Tientai, is far less important than actuality or suchness in elevating [or lowering] one's central life tendency. 

The practice advocated by Tientai was meditation directed towards perceiving the Three Thousand Realms In a Momentary Existence of Life. He recited the title of the Lotus Sutra ten thousand times a day for his personal practice but since the time and the people's capacity were not ripe for the widespread propagation of the principle practice of the Lotus Sutra, he refrained from advocating this practice to others. 

Nichiren Daishonin taught Actual Ichinen Sanzen or one moment of exceptionally profound faith and joy in Namu Myoho renge kyo [Buddhahood] and its continuous recollection.

Friday, February 1, 2013

"Aside from these people, some of my disciples might not be spared from this calamity of falling into the Hell of Incessant Suffering upon death." -- Nichiren

"Our teacher, Shakyamuni Buddha..was the first Buddha to
appear in this saha world of ours, which had previously not
known any other Buddha, and he opened the eyes of all living
beings. All other Buddhas and bodhisattvas, from east and
west, from the lands of the ten directions, received
instruction from him.....But now we have monks and nuns who,
because of the teachers of the Shingon sect, have decided to
look upon Dainichi Buddha as the supreme object of
veneration and have demoted Shakyamuni Buddha to an inferior
position, or who, because they believe in the Nembutsu, pay
honor to Amida Buddha and thrust Shakyamuni Buddha aside.

There are three reasons why Shakyamuni Buddha, rather than
any of the other Buddhas, has a relationship with all the
people of this saha world. First of all, he is the
sovereign of all the people of this saha world. Amida
Buddha is not the monarch of this world.....second,
Shakyamuni Buddha is the father and mother of all the people
in this saha world....third, Shakyamuni is the original
teacher of all the people in this saha world.....Amida,
Yakushi, Dainichi and the others are the Buddhas of other
realms; they are not the World-Honored Ones of this world of

When the Buddhas are viewed in terms of the unchanging
equality of their enlightenment, there are no distinctions
to be made among them. But when they are viewed in terms of
the ever- present differences among their preaching, then
one should understand that each of them has his own realm
among the worlds of the ten directions, and that they
distinguish between those with whom they have already had
some connection, and those with whom they have no such

The sixteen royal sons of Daitsuchiso Buddha each took up
their residence in a different one of the lands of the ten
directions and there led their respective disciples to
salvation. [note: one of these sons was named "Amita", but
this not the "Amida" of the Pure Land Sect who practiced
under Sejizaio Buddha and who lives in the Western Pure
Land, ten billion buddha lands to the west of the saha
world.] Shakyamuni Buddha, who was a reincarnation of one of
these sons, appeared in this saha world of ours. As the
Lotus Sutra says, "I [Shakyamuni] alone can save them".
Shakyamuni the very one who encourages us, the
people who have been driven out of all the other Buddha pure
lands by all the other Buddhas.

I explained [to Dozen-bo, that, by making five images of Amida
Buddha, he was condemning himself to fall five times into the
Avichi Hell. The reason for this, I told him, was that the Lotus
Sutra- wherein the Buddha says that he will now "honestly
discard the provisional teachings"- states that Shakyamuni
Buddha is our father, while Amida is like a distant uncle.
Anyone who would fashion five images of his uncle and make
offerings to them, and yet not fashion a single image of his own
father- how could he be regarded as anything but unfilial?:
(The Learned Doctor
Shan wu-wei).

Predicting their future lives, I also declared in the Rissho ankoru-ron;
"Should the people refuse to change their minds, clinging to false
teachings, they will soon leave this world and fall into the Hell of
Incessant Suffering without fail." Judging from my predictions in this
present life having proved to be true, I am sure that this prediction of
mine about their future lives will also become true. It is as certain as
shooting an arrow at the great earth that all the people in Japan, high and
low, will fall into the Hell of Incessant Suffering.

Aside from these people, some of my disciples might not be spared from this
calamity of falling into the Hell of Incessant Suffering upon death. Those
who disdained and hurt the Never -Despising (Fukyo) Bodhisattva fell into
the Hell of Incessant Suffering upon death for as long as 1,000 kalpa. It
was due to their great sin of slandering the bodhisattva that they were paid
such a hard fate, although they had believed in, respected, followed, and
obeyed the bodhisattva while in this life.

Now, the same could be said of disciples of Nichiren. If they believe in,
respect, follow, and obey me in name only without heart, they will no doubt
suffer in the Hell of Incessant Suffering for the period of one, two, ten,
or one hundred, if not one thousand, kalpa. If you wish to be saved from
this, you should each practice just as the Medicine-King Bodhisattva did; he
set his arm afire to offer it as a light to the Buddha; or Gyobo Bonji, who
skinned himself to write the dharma on his own skin. Just as Sessen Doji
and Suzu Danno did, you should sacrifice your own life or serve your masters
from the bottom of your heart in search of the dharma. Otherwise, you
should beseech the Buddha for help, bowing to Him with your four limbs and
face touching the ground, dripping with sweat. Otherwise, you should pile
up rare treasures in front of the Buddha as an offering to Him. If that is
not possible, you must become servants to the upholders of the dharma. Or
you should practice some other ways according to the principle of the four
ways of teaching. Among my disciples those whose faith is shallow will show
at the moment of death the sign of falling into the Hell of Incessant
Suffering. Do not blame me for it then!" (A Tract Revealing the Gist of the
Rissho Ankoku Ron).