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Sunday, October 27, 2013

Josei Toda on our "worthless" Gohonzons

"We, ourselves, cannot produce the Gohonzon. Since it's the
> >> enlightened entity of Nichiren Daishonin **no one** has the
> >> authority other than the successive high priests who have
> >> been the sole heirs to the heritage of the True Law. We
> >> take no part in this. Therefore, the objects   of worship
> >> inscribed by those in the Butsuryu and Minobu factions
> >> [of the Nichiren sect] are  absolutely powerless. They are
> >> worthless because they are fake. In fact, they contain the
> >> power of evil spirits. That is why they are dangerous."
> >> Josei Toda, Daibyaku Renge, 98, p. 98.


  1. is he saying that images based on photos of genuine Nichiren Gohonzons are fake? or that priest-inscribed scrolls are fake?

    I have always thought that giving out Gohonzons written by anyone other than Nichiren is a great conceit. "here, stare at my handwriting for the rest of your life!" nope. gotta stick with Nichiren on this one.

    I also believe there is no magical "soul" of any kind ensconced in any Gohonzon. we value Nichiren's originals the same way we hold dear anything from history, it is no doubt amazing to look upon a Nichiren Gohonzon in person! but ultimately it's a worldly possession, an object, and any power that comes from it is based on one's own faith in the words it contains. our spiritual faith in the Gohonzon is drawn forth from our own hearts and minds, according to each person's understanding of the teachings. I don't even know if my thinking makes me a blasphemer?

    maybe it's also the Western flavor of belief in the "powers" of precious relics, such as in Catholicism and the LDS ... American Nichiren Buddhism reminds me more and more of Mormonism as time passes. I always strive to keep it simple. I could practice Nichiren's faith all alone in a dark, empty room. or on top of a mountain with nothing but the clothes on my back (which I have done). the Gohonzon and the teachings are always with me.

    Kempon Hokke priest Rev. Kubota once taught me when someone had stolen my Gohonzon (for their Oriental collection, thinking it had monetary value) and I was sad and suffering ... he thumped me on the chest and said it had been with me all along, in my heart. that really inspired me to mellow out and trust my instincts.

  2. Toda is saying that any Gohozon not sanctioned by Taisekiji is worthless.