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Sunday, June 30, 2013

SGI members' spin of Ikeda's statement, “I am the only true mentor” and my response

"He was saying that he was the 'only true mentor' of himself." -- SGI leader 

SGI leader CL responds:

"I agree, this kind of statement (whether through mis-translation both linguistically and/or culturally) makes a person like myself a bit uncomfortable. However, I never feel that, perhaps because I am a fairly new member (having done a ton of research prior to my joining, surveying the Buddhist landscape for years, from academia to personal interactions to Internet to within my own head and heart, etc..) I am being “conditioned”. The reason for this, I think, is that I do not feel a sense of what we might call “guilt” for having an uncomfortable feeling about a statement such as this (“I am the only true mentor”) I can say this with great clarity of mind. I can say this because in the Middle Way of Mahayana, one must not become attached to the uncomfortable feeling one might get when ordinary humans like President Ikeda make these kinds of statements from time to time. I would say that the life-narrative of Ikeda is a true one insofar as he can call himself the “only true mentor” of himself and he can also call himself the “only true disciple” as well, just as you and I and everybody else can. That is the beauty of the stand-alone spirit, the beauty of the individual honored by the Lotus Sutra which is honored by so many.

Therefore, one must also not be attached to the idea that he is not an ordinary human being who is both mentor and disciple at the same time!

Also, I might add that we should just ponder for a moment the profound nature of having the Internet, both an engine of great research as well as a boiling cauldron of slander, all at once! Perhaps, many years ago, the absence of such a tool hindered the NSA member from exploring various aspects of the modern Buddhist landscape and one was locked inside of the literature of their chosen “path”.
Buddhism was, is and will always be “free to choose”. We will ALL win!" 

Henry, still another SGI member responds:

'This CL seems to have gained an enlightened perspective from observing his own mind and the attachments formed therein. I like it.

Let’s win like CL says!
Thanks for posting Mark!"
My response:
Your welcome. You are in the minority here in your thoughts about CL, SGI, and his “enlightened” perspective. Let me see if I can’t change your mind:
I will deconstruct another one of his posts and see if his perspective jives with the reality of SGI, the Lotus Sutra, and what might be Nichiren’s perspective of the SGI. I feel a little uncomfortable speaking for the Great Man Nichiren but I see few standing up for those principles for which Nichiren lived and died, other than myself and a handful of disciples and believer of Nichiren.
CL states:
“The organization that President Ikeda constructed has developed into an international network of Nichiren Buddhist Sanghas of ordinary laypeople, each one a president of the SGI, under the authority of one Law, the Mystic Law, and one precept, the Diamond precept, is taken.”
The first thing Nichiren would strike would be his name, from “‘Nichiren’ Buddhist sanghas”. The second thing he would strike would be “Buddhist”. What the SGI practices isn’t the faith of Nichiren. I say this because Nichiren believed in the Transmission Through the Scrolls of the Sutra (following the Law and not the person) and he believed in Shakyamuni Buddha of the Juryo Chapter of the Lotus Sutra. Both principles the SGI fails to uphold.
Is SGI Buddhist? One definition of Buddhism that accords with the Lotus Sutra is, “The Teachings of Shakyamuni Buddha.” Another definition of Buddhism that accords with the Lotus Sutra is, “The various groups that both adopt the teachings of Shakyamuni Buddha and venerate Shakyamuni Buddha.”
The SGI teachings do not accord with the teachings of Shakyamuni Buddha, especially his highest teaching, Myoho renge kyo. Advocating that we close, ignore, abandon, Myoho renge kyo while chanting Myoho renge kyo, is certainly not the highest teachings of Shakyamuni, the Myoho renge kyo, or the Lotus Sutra.
Certainly the SGI doesn’t venerate Shakyamuni, their members calling him derisively, the “easter bunny”, “Santa Claus”, and “Shakkie”, for example.
As far as embracing the One Precept, the Diamond precept, I have already shown, in refuting the deceased SGI Study Department chief Shin Yatomi’s essay on the precepts, that SGI is confused about the matter of the Diamond precept and mixes the clean (Diamond precept) with the unclean (Hinayana precepts).
Then, cl uses the language of impropriety that is one of the hallmarks of SGI no-Buddhism:
“It can not be broken by “dogma”, “doctrine”, or the ‘words and letters of Mark Rogow”, nor by the “bad experiences of Mark Rogow with various organizations in the not too distant past.”
Only by Truth will the SGI be broken. It can be broken, it will be broken [and broken up] by Truth. Not even Makiguchi who substituted “Truth” for “Gain” can destroy the power of Truth. He can throw out truth like he threw out Shakyamuni but he can not destroy truth just as he can’t destroy Shakyamuni Buddha.
Cl’s last paragraph reads:
“Uphold the Mystic Law and chant daimoku, practice with a sangha, and study broadly with good intentions and act on those good intentions in order to fight physical, verbal, and ideological injustices which seek to disrupt the unity of humanity’s shared buddhahood.””
This sounds noble, not unlike, “Truth, justice, and the American way” – Superman. Also, not unlike Superman, it is based on a fantasy.
The fantasy is that SGI “upholds the Mystic Law”.  Its indiscretions in this regard are too numerous to enumerate. Suffice it to say that the SGI doesn’t even uphold its own Charter. How can it uphold the Mystic Law? Study broadly is a fantasy. It is enough to cite the many years of the precious members time wasted (over the last twelve years or so) devoted to studying the Heritage of the Ultimate Law of Life, The World Tribune, the Human Revolution, and the new Human Revolution.
The last half of his last paragraph reads:
“and act on those good intentions in order to fight physical, verbal, and ideological injustices which seek to disrupt the unity of humanity’s shared Bkjuddhahood.”
This is Gakkai speak, to fight all those who criticize the Soka Gakkai, especially the Nichiren Shoshu but certainly not limited to them. They fight the Kempon Hokke and the Nichiren Shu, a more peaceful group of people the world has never seen but protect and nurture the Islamists and provisional Buddhists who do actually, “disrupt the unity of humanity’s shared Buddhahood.” This last passage is, therefore, more fantasy from the lips of Cl’s enlightened perspective.

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