Total Pageviews

Monday, March 31, 2014

Those who use forged documents too are parasites

Kent: My first concern was spotting and eliminating sectarian bias, so I read three versions of the Lotus Sutra: one produced by the SGI (Burton, by far the coarsest and least scholarly), one by the Rissho Kosei-kai (my favorite) and the first english translation, by a Christian, (H. Kern, 1884). After reading and comparing these versions, I concluded that Nichiren's evaluation was correct, and that the theologies of other Chinese and Japanese schools are no longer appropriate for this time.

Mark: This paragraph makes little sense to me. Could you rephrase it?

Kent: The next issue was determining how to practice Nichiren's teachings correctly. However, there is considerable dispute about the actual content and practice of his teachings, dating back to his original 6 senior disciples. Now, Nichiren certainly knew his teachings best, and would therefore be in the best position to judge who among those 6 understood them correctly.

Mark: Only one of the six elder priests understood the teachings correctly? What Gosho is that from? I don't remember reading it any where except in a copy of a copy of a copy of a "Gosho" found at Taisekaji.

Kent: He probably would therefore have passed his teachings on to that person or persons.

Mark: No, to all who embrace and uphold the Sutra at the cost of their lives.

Kent: This led me to investigate the matter of the inheritance.

A. Matters regarding the inheritance.

Murano, Shu and KHK maintained that all six elder disciples inherited the teachings equally, but I had serious doubts about the veracity of this claim.

Mark: When you read the Gosho, you see that Nichiren's Buddhism has not one particular inheritor and the Succession is Through the Scrolls of the Sutra [and the authenticated writings of Nichiren]. Remember, Namu MYOHO RENGE KYO? Since all of these men embraced and upheld the Sutra to the best of their abilities, they were all true votaries and inheritors of the Law. The present day Kempon Hokke members too inherit the Law.

Kent: First, this view is contradicted by Nichiren's actual behavior regarding Kuonji Temple, as we shall see in a moment. In addition, Japan in the 13th century was a very hierarchical society. Appointing all 6 equally would have run contrary to secular custom of the time, contrary to common practice in all temples at the time, contrary to common practice in all other sects at the time,

Mark: That is correct but for different reasons than you espouse.. As your colleague Dave Cole has pointed out, both Shakyamuni and Nichiren were iconoclasts. Nichiren, as the True Votary of the Lotus Sutra, realized that the Lotus Sutra is so radically different and ahead of its time, that all people are equal by virtue of the Succession Through the Scrolls of the Sutra(and Nichiren's authenticated works).

Kent: and contrary to common sense.

Mark: Any succession outside the scrolls of the Lotus Sutra and writings of Nichiren Daishonin is contrary to common sense and contrary to the teachings: "Follow the Law and not the person."

Kent: If you want to corrupt an organization or ontology, appoint several "equal" leaders- the result will be chaos).

Mark: If you want to create a revolutionary organization based on the Law rather than the person, you identify everyone who chants the Daimoku as a Bodhisattva of the Earth and you identify The Master of Teachings Lord Shakya of the Original Doctrine as sole Teacher and Jogyo as sole leader.

Kent: I examined the following evidence:

1. The history of Kuonji Temple. This temple was built by Hajiri Sanenaga, the Lord of Minobu, for the Daishonin, and was completed in 1281. The Daishonin was it's first Chief Priest. In 1282, the Daishoinin passed away in Ikegami. According to Dictionary, Shu and Murano, Nikko Shonin did in fact succeed the Daishonin and become the 2nd Chief Priest of Kuonji.

Mark: Nichiren instructed that there be a rotating abbottship. Only Nikko was, at first, able to keep his promise due to geopraphical considerations and faith (I surmise).

Kent: He appointed Membu Ajari Niko as Chief Instructor of Priests in 1285. Nikko then departed in 1289, leaving various relics that were specifically willed to Sanenaga and Niko, and intentionally or unintentionally, some portion of Nichiren's ashes. Niko was then appointed by Sanenaga to become Chief Priest. This is a matter of historical record at Kuonji, and is not disputed by Shu, who inherited the temple and its records via Niko. As we can see, Nikko did in fact succeed Nichiren as the abbot of the chief temple of the denomination at that time, Kuonji.

Mark: But not by the decree of the Daishonin as you assert. By virtue of his close location to Kuonji and his strong sense of responsibility.

Kent: 2. The Gosho. Nikko Shonin's appointment as the head of the denomination is supported by other documents in the Daishonin's hand. In particular, the Hyakurokka Sho (One Hundred Six Articles) states "I have appointed Byakuren Ajari Nikko as the So-Kanzu, the general Chief Priest, and transfer the entirety and every detail of the true doctrine of Nichiren. The top senior priests down to every disciple must regard each of the successive High Priests transferred from Nikko to each in succession to be the So-kanzu, General Chief Priest, without any opposition as in this time for throughout the eternity in the future." (NS)

Mark: Both SGI Jim Celer and even your own Rev. Hori have refuted the authenticity of at least parts of this Gosho. What is it that Rev. Hori states? "There have been additions to the One Hundred and Six Articles." If there are additions (which to the other Nichiren sects is a given) the Gosho must either be partially in the hand of another or must be a copy. Therefore, what you stated has been proven to be false and you you had better reform the tenets in your heart.

Kent: The original is available for perusal at Taisekiji.

Mark: Could you please allow Rev. Kubota to peruse it? I can have it arranged.

Kent: 3. The behavior of the 5 elder disciples. Although they certainly objected to Nikko's interpretations, they never actually questioned the legitimacy of his inheritance.

Mark: Could you please provide some documentation for this assertion? Rev. Yasahara would be very interested in reading it.

Kent: Nichijo, a third level successor to Nichiro of the opposing Minobu School, was the first to question the succession.

Mark: Could you please provide some documentation for this assertion? Rev. Yasahara would be very interested in reading it.

Kent: But this did not occur until 1480, nearly 200 years after the fact. Furthermore, he was in the process of establishing a competing sect at the time this accusation was made.

Mark: The Kansho accords date from this time and there is no mention of this dispute. Are you sure you are not making it up?

Kent: 4. The transfer documents. I found that the existence of two transfer documents (Minobu Sojo and the Ikegami Sojo) is a matter of record in the Nichiren Shu Shugaku Zensho, although their contents are disputed.

Mark: Not only their contents but their authenticity is disputed. Why didn't the Nichiren Shu burn these records along with all the other Gosho as the Nichiren Shoshu (through a forged letter of Nikko) alleges? If it told of Nikkko's succession, surely the Shu would have it burned? Isn't it the evil Shu who burned those Gosho's pertaining to the DaiGohonzon yet who preserved Nichiren's Five Major Works? You have a lot to answer. We will be waiting.

Kent: I then looked to see if the contents were borne out by historical fact. I found that as per these documents, Nikko became abbot of Kuonji, assumed leadership of the sect at least to the point of vociferously criticizing and reprimanding the other 5, and acquired the land for the Precept Sanctuary at Fuji (which has yet to be constructed).

Mark: I criticize the other sects, does that make me the one you should all follow? Are some of my criticisms valid? Are some invalid? Are all Nikko's criticisms valid? Are all invalid? Isn't it human nature to criticize one's colleagues when one feels that they have been unfairly passed over for promotion? Nikko too wasn't perfect. That is why we follow the Law. How much more so in the case of Nikken or Ikeda?

Kent: 5. The document of October 8, 1282. The only translation of this document I have ever seen was abridged, so the context is missing and therefore open to conjecture. However, it reads more like a set of instructions than an inheritance document. Remembering that each of the 6 were engaged in propagation in separate areas at the time without formal appointment or temple abbotship (except Nikko), my opinion is that the Oct. 8 document was intended to formalize their appointments as his primary disciples. If anybody has a complete translation from an unbiased academic source, please forward a copy to me.

Mark: First, let me establish the general view of the 35 or so other Nichiren sects:

(From Daniel Montgomery)

"These sub-sects, cut off from the sacred Mount Minobu, from the principal temples in Kyoto, and from each other, were hard-pressed to establish their titles to orthodoxy. The distinctive feature of the Fuji school is its claim that the only true line of descent from Nichiren is via Nikko, the chosen heir. In 1488, two centuries after the death of Nichiren, Nikkyo, a priest at Taiseki-ji, claimed to have discovered two documents written by Nichiren, passing on full authority to Nikko alone (Murano, 'Sokagakkai'). The original  documents have disappeared, but 'true copies' are preserved at Taiseki-ji. Other Nichiren bodies ignore them as forgeries.

"The first of these documents, called the 'Document for Entrusting the Dharma which Nichiren Propagated throughout His Life,' is said to have been written by Nichiren on Mount Minobu in September 1282, a month before his death. It reads, 'I transfer all my Buddhism to Byakuren Ajari Nikko. He should therefore be the great leader for the propagation of true Buddhism. When the sovereign establishes this religion, he should erect the Kaidan of Hommon-ji at the foot of Mount Fuji. All we have to do is await the time. This will be the Ordination Platform of the original Gate (Hommon no Kaidan).'

"Needless to say, this document played especially into the hands of the Hommon-ji party since that temple is specifically named, but it says nothing about Taiseki-ji. Since it was written in Chinese, the key phrase could also be interpreted as, 'At Hommon-ji of Mount Fuji the Kaidan ought to be established,' thus making it more specific yet. In any case, its propagation did nothing to settle the dispute between the two temples.

"The second document, called 'Document for Entrusting Mount Minobu,' is supposed to have been written by Nichiren on the day he died. It reads, 'I transfer the fifty-year teachings of Shakyamuni to Byakuren Ajari Nikko. He is to be the Chief Abbot of Kuon-ji on Mount Minobu. If anyone, clergy or layman, opposes this, he is no disciple of mine.'

"The two documents are contradictory. The second says that all authority is to go to Nikko, who is appointed High Priest of Kuon-ji, Mount Minobu, whereas the first says that the official High Sanctuary (Kaidan) is not Mount Minobu, but Hommon-ji at the foot of Mount Fuji. In any case these documents convinced few people, and Nichiren Shoshu, which published them, remained a minor sect right up to the end of World War II, when it had less than 3 per cent of the Nichiren faithful. Its sudden rise to prominence since then has been owing to other causes." (Fire in the Lotus pp.169-170)

Kent: The document of October 8, 1282. The only translation of this document I have ever seen was abridged, so the context is missing and therefore open to conjecture.

Mark: If it (the second Transfer document) were in Nichiren's hand and universally accepted, it would not be open to conjecture. As long as it is open to conjecture (for you and I at least), we must defer to the evidence. The evidence is that these so clled "Transfer Documents are no more than the fabricatiion of the Taiskeaji sect who despite having these so-called Transfer Documents, remained a backwater temple until the SGI came along. The Taisekaji evidence must not have been very convincing even to the contemporaries of Nikkyo. Why should we believe in them today?

Kent: 6. The funeral procession. A description exists in Nikko's hand, validated by the other 5. Nikko assumes the most important position, that of personal attendant to Nichiren's coffin.

Mark: Not in my copy of Nikko's Record of the Funeral Cortege.

Kent: My conclusion was that Nikko was in fact Nichiren's designated successor as the leader of the denomination. However, there is also the possibility that the other 5 senior disciples also correctly understood Nichiren's teachings.

Mark: That is why even our conclusions are not to be trusted and why we must have faith in the Lotus Sutra, the "opinion" of the Buddha.

Kent: Therefore, the next order of business was to determine whether or not any of the remaining 5 was correct.

Mark: I will let you answer my rebuttal first and then we can move on to your other assertions, if that is ok with you?

Kent: There was one exception: you asked for documentation re the 5 elders questioning the legitimacy of Nikko's inheritance- I have looked high and low, and have not found any documents where the 5 elders disputed same.

Mark: Actually, of course, you will not find any such document. They did not question Nikko's "sole" inheritence because there never was a sole inheritence.

Kent: One would think that if such documentation existed, the descendants of those 5 would surely be waving them in our faces.

Mark: Why isn't Taisekaji waving Nikko's authenticated writings in our faces where he suppots what is written in the so called 106 Articles? all Nikko, stated, was, "I think", reguarding his assertion of a more perfect understanding of the teachings. This letter would have been an opportune time for Nikko to have restated what was said in the 106 Articles, and the two transfer documents. We know why he did not mention them. Because they didn't exist!!! We know that the successive High Priests of Taisekaji are not stingy quoting from these so-called Gosho. Why was Nikko who, supposedly received these teachings directly, stingy in quoting them? Taisekaji is a castle built on sand and quicksand, I might add. That is why you and your comrades are sinking ever deeper into error.

Kent: Beyond that, I found little worth constructive remark. For example, you state that "Nichiren instructed that there be a rotating abbotship"- well, this is an opinion shared by Shu and KHK but is unsupported by any documentation.

Mark: Perhaps I can supply some documentation, however, at this time, by Oct. 8th 1282, Nichiren, on his death bed at Ikegami, he had become too weak to write anything let alone the so-called Transfer Documents. Therefore, I believe, whatever accounts there are, are from the Six Senior Disciples and these accounts indicate that he designated the Rokurosa (Six Senior Disciples) on this day. What I do know is that there is a document signed by Nikko in which there is a schedule of attendence for the overseeing of Kuonji temple at minobu which reads:

"January, Nissho; February; Nichiro; March, Echizenko:..........September, Nikko" and so on.

Kent: And it is clearly in opposition with historical fact.

Mark: What fact might that be? That there were Six Senior Disciples? Evn Taisekaji doesn't dispute this fact. Nevertheless, whether their were in fact six senior disciples or only one, this fact could never supercede the teachings of the Lotus Sutra or Nichiren's lifetimes teachings on the succession through the scrolls of the Lotus Sutra; the saving power of the Daimoku, and following the Law rather than the person.

Kent: Another example is where you state "Any succession outside of the scrolls of the Lotus Sutra is contrary to common sense and contrary to the teachings" and then quote the Lotus Sutra out of contrext.

Mark: Can you quote the Lotus Sutra in or out of context where it indicates the inheritance of the Law through a sole successor (save for Jogyo Bosatsu). The Lotus Sutra and the writings of Nichiren are very clear that Shijo Kingo, Nikko, Nanjo Tokimitsu, Toki Jonin, Nichiro, Soya Nyudo Nichiju, Lady Nichinyo Rev. Kubota, and Bonnie Bennett, for example, are all Bodhisattvas of the Earth.

Kent: In other cases, you present interpretations of teachings as actual teachings, and in several instances, you present interpretations of history as actual history.

Mark: At least I am not going against the admonitions of Nikko that those who forge documents are parasites and by inference, those who use these forged documents to change the teachings.

Kent: And then with regard to your remark about the October 8, 1282 document: you have used this document to refute the legitimacy of the transfer to Nikko, and yet you have never seen a complete translation of it, and are therefore unsure of its context?

Mark: Daniel Montgomery's passages above quote several passages. Anyway, I don't make it a habit to study the disputed texts when there are so many authenticated texts in which to learn the teachings.

Kent: Mark, forgive me, but this leads me to the conclusion that you are considerably more interested in supporting your ontology than in getting at the truth.

Mark: Since the ontology I embrace is the Lotus Sutra and Shakyamuni Buddha, there is no doubt as to its truth. You are right, it is my life's work to support my ontology, to the best of my ability. I am sorry that you are not as convinced about your ontology that you entertain doubts about it.. Might that be because you do not embrace the Lotus Sutra and you abandon Shakyamuni Buddha?

Kent: And I have no interest in and will not engage in idle "debate". If I am wrong, and you sincerely want to pursue these matters, fine. As a start, I suggest that you visit the websites of KHK, Shu, Tendai and Butsu. I don't mean to sound arrogant, but so far, you have given me nothing of substance to even discuss. best regards,

Mark: I suggest you reread the Lotus Sutra and the Kaimoku Sho. Then perhaps we can discuss the Identity of the Original Eternal Buddha.

SGI leader Janakos practically whining: "(he [Nichiren] said everything he wrote before sado [most of what you quote]) was his expedient means teaching.)

Point # 1: Most of the 100 + passages of proof of the identity of and Nichiren's reverence for the Original Eternal Buddha [Shakyamuni] are from during or after Sado. This proves that Nichiren never wavered in his teachings or gratitude for this Buddha.

Point # 2. I suggest that in order to avoid the Buddhist sin of hypocrisy that you cease teaching your members again and again such Gosho as Attaining Buddhahood in This Lifetime, A Ship to Cross the Sea of Suffering, The Daimoku of the Lotus Sutra, and Establishing the Correct Law for the Peace of the Land. 

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Daisaku Ikeda is The Third Powerful Enemy of the Lotus Sutra and its votaries

>>>>>The Sansho Shima of NST is the third of the powerful Enemies -- Nikken and his interpretation of the face to face inheritance.>>>>>

Incorrect. The NST priests are the second of the Three Powerful Enemies. Daisaku Ikeda is the Third of the Three Powerful enemies:

"Wearing patched rags (Petrocelli suits),
in seclusion (inaccessable to the rank and file members and surrounded by special STK),
pretending that they walk the true path ("Only the SGI -- dedicated to the achievement of kosen-rufu on a global scale -- has inherited the true lifeblood of faith"],
and scorning [other] people ("Traitors and slanderers"),
Greedily attatched to gain (money, awards, and honors).
They will preach the Law to laymen and be revered by the world as arhats of the six transcendent powers ("I have not yet revealed one hundredth of my powers" -- Daisaku Ikeda),
These men, cherishing evil minds, ever thinking of earthly things, assuming the name of aranyas (Sensei, SGI president for life),
will love to collumniate us (making up stories about Hokke believers being taitan, suffering loss and punishment..),
saying such things of us, as all these bhikshus for love of gain preach heretical doctrines" ("They were people who exploited the organization for their own ends while avoiding any real hard work themselves." "They never truly exerted themselves strenuously in propagation, in activities for kosen-rufu, in giving individual guidance, or in promoting publications. Instead they used the SGI merely to satisfy their own egos." " In the end, they became deadlocked and brought about their own ruin." "Because they failed to make earnest efforts, they did not grow, nor did experience the true joy of faith.")

The Object of Worship of the Original Doctrine

The Object of Worship of the Original Doctrine

by Rev. Tetsujo Kubota
(from the Tradition of Nichiren Doctrine)

"The Three Great Secret Dharma" refers to:
(1) Object of Worship of the Original Doctrine (Hommon no Honzon),
(2) the Title of the Original Doctrine (Hommon no Daimoku), and
(3) Precept (Ordination) Platform of the Original Doctrine (Hommon no Kaidan).

"Object of Worship" (honzon: "the Principal Revered or Holy One") means the Object of Faith or Belief. Incidentally for a disciple of Nichiren an explanation concerning the "Object of Worship" which goes beyond the Patriarch's teaching is not allowed. The teaching of Nichiren Shonin is absolute.

After founding his sect at age thirty-two Nichiren Shonin spread the teaching in Kamakura. At this time it seems that he worshiped the Title "Namu Myoho Renge Kyo" alone with the Hokekyo placed in front of it. After he received the standing image of Lord Shakya at Ito at age forty, that is, after the Ito Persecution for the Dharma, according to the "Letter on the Kings of the Country of the Gods", he installed the image of Lord Shakya and the ten fascicles of the Hokekyo.

According to the "Letter to the Great Assembly of Seichoji" written about this time, he says, "Having written an oath of the utmost sincerity, I, Nichiren, prayed with hands joined, to the Object of Worship..." And the fact that he prayed joined to the hands of the Object of Worship is proof that he was worshiping the statue of Lord Shakya. (It is presumed that behind the statue of Lord Shakya he worshiped the single Title "Namu Myoho Renge Kyo" but there is no evidence for this.) Moreover, as he says in his letter to the wife of Daigaku Saburo, "You worship the Seven Characters three times a day" (291), the believers at this time were worshiping the Single Title ("Namu Myoho Renge Kyo"

In the tenth month of the eighth year of Bun'ei (1271) after the Persecution at Tatsunokuchi Nichiren Shonin was kept in custody at the residence of the local chief (jito) of Echi (the modern Atsugi City), Homma Shigetsura. On the ninth, the day before they said he was to be exiled to Sado, he recorded an Object of Worship (gohonzon) with a willow twig. A single Title ("Namu Myoho renge kyo") (with Fudo to the right and Aizen to the left represented by Sanskrit characters, as we face it) and the side inscription "Written at the village of Echi in Homma in the Province of Sagami" with the year, month, and day of its revelation. It is said to have been written using a twig broken from a willow tree.

Throughout the first period after he had gone over to Sado, the Objects of Worship that he wrote had the Title, the Two Buddhas Shakya and Taho and also Fudo and Aizen written symbolically in Sanskrit characters, the side inscription "Drawn in the Province of Sado" and the year, month, and day of revelation. There are many examples of this form and it is called the "Hundred-copy Object of Worship of Sado".

In the second month of the ninth year of Bun'ei (1272) with the great motive that "they will put an end to the inconceivability of Nichiren" he composed "On Opening the Eyes (Kaimoku Sho)" and implied that in terms of his Original State (honji) he was the manifestation of the Bodhisattva Jogyo.

In the fourth month of the next year he composed On the Object Worship of Contemplation (Kanjin Honzon sho ). In this work, which he called "my own great matter", explained in doctrinal terms the substance of the Object of Worship of the Original Doctrine. On the eighth day of the seventh month in that same year he revealed and drew an Object of Worship called the "Mandala First Revealed onSado" (Sado Shiken Mandara), but regrettably the original autograph has not come down to us. But fortunately a copy still exists, so from this we can understand its arrangement. There is one at the Head Temple Myomanji which the disciple Temmoku received and was given in the sixth month of the following year. (A version on silk) There is a side inscription, "The Shramana Temmoku received and was given [it]. For some reason it does not say, "Bestowed and given [to the Shramana Temmoku"]. The arrangement of this is closest to "Mandala First Revealed on Sado".

On Sado the Saint himself kept the image of Lord Shakya enshrined:

"When I was in the Province of Sado between mountains and wilds far away from a village was a samadhi place (gosammaisho: a cremation ground or graveyard) called Tsukahara. There was a hall with a single room and four walls in that place. In the roof the boards did not meet and four walls were ruined. In the rain it was like being outside and the snow Piled up inside. There was no Buddha [image]. Neither was there a single reed tatami mat. However, I set up [the statue of] the Master of Teachings Lord Shakya which I have kept from the beginning and grasped the Hokekyo in my hand, put on a straw raincoat and held up an umbrella, yet for four years no person appeared and they gave me no food." ("Reply to the Bhikshuni Myoho", STN, v. 2, 15)

He kept and guarded this image of Lord Shakya after he entered Minobu as well. ("On the Matter of Forgetting the Sutra Which He Kept") Furthermore, he bestowed mandalas on believers.

"Although this mandala in terms of its written characters is five characters or seven characters, it is the Teacher of the Buddhas of the Three Ages; it the certifying text of the attainment of Buddhahood by all women. It becomes a torch on the paths of the underworld; it becomes an excellent horse on the Mountain of Going Forth in Death. It is like the sun and the moon in the heavens. It is like Mount Sumeru on earth. It is the ship for the Sea of Birth-and-Death. It is the Guiding Teacher for the Attainment of Buddhahood." (On Offering to the Mandala of the Sublime Dharma, STN, v. 1, 698)

The Saint, himself an exile and, what is more, in the countryside on an isolated island, was not able simply to obtain Buddha images and perform the "Eye-opening" dedication. In this respect a mandala could be drawn as soon as paper, ink, and writing brush were to be had and also was easy to transport. Moreover, there was nothing more welcome for lay donors than the mandala, which
was in the Saint's very own hand.

In the eleventh year of Bun'ei (1274) Nichiren Shonin entered Minobu and the laudatory text of the Mandala which he wrote out in the twelfth month of the same year is as follows:

"Since the Extinction of the Great Enlightened World Honored One there have passed in succession more than two thousand two hundred and twenty years. Even so among the Three Countries of India, Han [China] and Japan, there has not yet been this Great Obiect of Worship (dai honzon). Either they have known but not yet spread it or they have not known it. Our Compassionate Father, by means of the Buddha Wisdom, has hidden and retained it, leaving it for the Latter Age. At the time of the last five hundred years, the Bodhisattva Jyogyo come forth in the world and for the first time spreads and proclaims it."

What we should note on this Mandala is:

(1) The fact that the mandala is called the Object of Worship (honzon). There are those among one group of scholars who "say that the Mandala is not the object of Worship but assert as the Object of Worship the statue of the Buddha. However, the Saint himself said "the Mandala is the Object of Worship (honzon)".
(2) "Namu Tensho Hachiman to sho butsu" (Adoration to the Buddhas, Amaterasuomi-kami, Hachiman and so on) means he reveals the Original State (honji) of the national gods of Japan.
(3) He calls himself "the Bodhisattva Jogyo". The Saint was a person of humility and had only implied this in On Opening the Eyes (Kaimoku sho), the letter of the Revelation of the Person. It is on this Object of Worship that he first says this. The one other place he refers to this is only when he says through the mouth of Shijo Yorimoto, "His Reverence Nichiren Shonin is the Bodhisattva Jogyo, Messenger of the Lord of the Three Worlds, the Father and Mother of All Beings, the Tathagata Shakya." (The Deposition of Yorimoto, STN,v.2, 1358)

With the passage of time in the Bun'ei (1263-1274), Kenji (12751277), and Koan (1278-1282) periods the Saint wrote the Mandalas at various times in all sorts of forms, the Abbreviated Style, the Quintessential Style and the Expanded Style. The Abbreviated Style consists of the Title ("Namu Myoho renge kyo"), the Two Buddhas Shakya and Taho with the Two Spell Kings (Myoo), Fudo and Aizen, in Sanskrit characters. The Quintessential Style means he added the Four Bodhisattvas Converted by the Original Buddha. The Expanded Style means the whole of the Ten Realms are included.

When we view the more than one hundred twenty extant autograph specimens of the Mandala, there are various sorts, those of the first part of the Bun'ei period all having "Namu" affixed to the various deities and those of the Koan period having it affixed only to the Four Holy Ones (the Two Buddhas Shakya and Taho, the Four Bodhisattvas, Jogyo and the others, Shariputra and so on), those where there are the Branch Body Buddhas (Bun'ei) and those where there are not (Koan) and so on. Former Teachers have divided them into the Unrevised (Bun'ei and Kenji periods) and the Revised" (Koan period), separated them into those Following Others' Intentions (zui ta I) (Bun'ei and Kenji periods) and those Following His Own Intentions (zui ji I) (Koan Period), and classified the Bun'ei era as the Practice Period, the Kenji era as the Adjustment Period, and the Koan era as the Perfection (or Completion) Period. (Note)* "Revised": the word "Revised" means to "redo something incomplete". And so there are scholars who say we must not use the word "Revised", viewing Nichiren Shonin in the same way as a unenlightened worlding. However, is not the fact that the Saint studied and thought these out something superlative?

Nikko's view

"In order to make sure which is the right teaching for attaining
Buddhahood, I listened to the preachings of various priests. As a
result, I have come to believe in the Lotus Sutra, in which it is
expounded that Nichiren Shonin is the Bodhisattva Jogyo commanded by
Sakyamuni Buddha, Lord of the Saha World and parent of all living
beings, to appear in the Latter Days of the Law as a messenger of the
Buddha with the duty of propagating the Lotus Sutra." -- Nikko

Our contention based on the Nikken debacle

Nikken, before he was High Priest was supposed to have hired a prostitute in Seattle. Hiroe Clow was the witness and officer Sprinkle was the police officer who supposedly interviewed Nikken right after the supposed incident. The Nichiren Shoshu claims that both Hiroe Clow and officer Sprinkle were bribed to testify against Nikken by the Soka Gakkai to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars. 

Our contention is that the late Hiroe Clow and Mr. Sprinkle may well have big accounts in a Swiss bank but that still fails to prove the DaiGohonzon authentic or Ikeda Sensei enlightened.

Paisano Mark Herrick rebukes the Queen of Denial, Kathy Ruby and Julian Semian proud SGI members [BTW Julian is now a proud Nichiren Shoshu member]


If Mr. Daisaku Ikeda is really as bad as some contributors
to a.r.b.n would have the world believe that, for me,
prooves at least one thing... if a cult at all,
far from being a personality cult, SGI is, in fact,
an anti-personality cult.

SGI is a strong, well organised, group of people actually
bringing about World peace in spite of the variety of
individuals that make it up.

How can that be?

Only because SGI is an organisation of common mortals,
ordinary human beings, united in love and faith in
the Lotus Sutra.

The simple fact that an organisation such as SGI exists
in our lifetime is a (rare) cause for joy.

"This, my land, remains safe and unharmed,...
My pure land is indestructible." --Lotus Sutra. Chapter 16.

Mark Herrick:

Your friend and fellow memba', Kathy - "Queen of Da Nile" - Ruby,
would disagree with you here..... She claims that the Lotus Sutra has
lost its power in the Latter Day. How come you guys can't seem to get
your doctrine straight???? I mean you're so well organized and

AND....... If you are united in love and faith in the Lotus Sutra, you
must now be a memba' of a Shakaymuni Cult too. After all, who
preached the Lotus Sutra? Please don't tell us it was really Nichiren
in disguise. You were all too quick to post a warning about us being 
membes of a Shakaymuni cult.

AND...... If you are united in love and faith in the Lotus Sutra, how
can you continue to advocate that Nichiren is the Eternal Buddha? I
mean, where is it in the Lotus Sutra that Shakaymuni predicts that the
Eternal Buddha is to appear in the Latter Age to spread the Dharma?
Have you ever read the ENTIRE Lotus Sutra?

SO THEREFORE...... if you claim to be united in love and faith with
the Lotus Sutra, but fail to practice as it teaches then you are ONE

I am astounded by the self deceiption that the Gakkai is capable of,
and the slander you stoop to in critisizing us who are trying to
spread the orthodox Dharma.

We rely on the Three Proofs that our founder and leader 
in Mappo, Nichiren Daishonin, taught us. Documentary,
Theoretical and Actual. All our posts use the Three Proofs. None of
the Gakkai's posts use the Three Proofs.

All we are asking is for you to supply proof of the Gakkai's doctrine
using the Three Proofs. So far, in the last three years of this
online debate the Gakkai has failed to do so. Oh, don't get me wrong,
the Gakkai has responded, but with insults, abuse and slander... never
with doctrinal proof. Kathy even claims to have beaten me in debate
about the power of the Lotus Sutra. Of course she didn't beat me, all
she did was change the subject and say that we taught that the Daimoku
was not the primary practice, which is of course a complete lie and
fabrication. We chant the Daimoku morning and night. Anyways, its
all more lies and obfuscation to cover the truth. We supplied over
one hundred quotes and excerpts from the Gosho where Nichiren stated
unequivacably that it was the Lotus Sutra that we worship and saves us
in Mappo. When Kathy had her back to the wall she saught to change
the subject. Now you go and ADMIT the Gakkai is united in love and
faith in the Lotus Sutra.

The Gakkai is a psuedo-religion based on the teachings of Makaguchi,
Toda and Ikeda. There is little that the Gakkai actually has in
common with Nichiren, except that they coopted his Daimoku and
Gohonzon as a cloak for their real teachings. Makaguchi admitted that
he never wanted to be a Nichiren Shoshu priest becasue then he would
have to follow Nichiren Shoshu doctrine exactly without adding any of
his own *personal* ideas, which we know is the entire theory of value
creation. The Gakkai from its inception has been based on lies.
Go on Julian try and refute me using Sutra passage and Gosho passages.
Try. I doubt you can. I do expect you to insult and abuse me. You
have shown yourself perfectly capable of doing this in the past. Come
on Julian, I dare you to try and debate me using scriptural proof.
When you can't, and instead resort to insults then you will be
exposed. The entire arbn will know then that you cannot refute the

And Julian, please don't forget that it was Susan Starr who 
started arbn. And just so you don't revise history, it was to 
provide a forum for doctrinal debate and discussion. So far 
we have seen little debate from any of the Gakkai, what we 
have seen is plenty of insults.

I am waiting Julian.
Namu Myoho Renge Kyo
Mark Herrick

The Soka Gakkai and the Nichiren Shoshu are about MAKING THINGS UP

"Nichiren says Lotus Sutra but means DaiGohonzon."

"Nichiren says Lord Shakyamuni Buddha but means DaiGohonzon."

"Nichiren says Lord Shakyamuni Buddha but means Nichiren."

"Nichiren says all believers but means the SGI."

"Nichiren says Lotus Sutra but means Namu Myoho renge kyo."

"Nichiren says all believers but means the High Priest of Nichiren Shoshu."

"Nichiren says the DaiGohonzon..."(though he never mentions the DaiGohonzon)

"Nichiren says the High Priest of True Buddhism...."(though he never mentions the High Priest of True Buddhism).

"Nichiren says the Buddha of Kuon Kanjo..."(but never mentions Kuon Ganjo).

"Nichiren says Shakyamuni Buddha but means Buddha-nature."

The authentic transfer documents

The transfer document for the last age [STS 3:25941]

"Our teacher said: "Last age" means the fifth five hundred years that begin the Final Dharma age. The "transfer document" is Namu-myoho-renge-kyo, a document that is handed down as proof of inheritance. There are two meanings in this transfer. One is the designation of successorship; the other is the bestowal of wealth. The designation of successorship means that Sakyamuni named as his heirs the practitioners of the Lotus Sutra. The passage of proof states, "[..desiring to make all beings] equal to me, without difference." (67) As for the transfer of wea1th, Sakyamuni also passed on to the practitioners of the Lotus Sutra his wisdom and the virtues he had obtained by observing the precepts. The passage of proof states, "We have obtained for ourselves the supreme jewel cluster without seeking it." (68) Thus the five characters of the daimoku constitute a transfer document." -- Ongi Kikigaki

There is no transfer document other than Namu Myoho renge kyo, the scrolls of the Gohonzon, Lotus Sutra, and writings of Nichiren Daishonin

The Chapter of the Measure of Life of the Tathagata

The Juryo-hon [16th] Chapter of the Lotus Sutra is the Buddha's eternal nature of compassion and represents the Reward Body of the Eternal Buddha. It is also found in the disciples and believers of Nichiren Daishonin.

Question for SGI

With all the emphasis Nichiren placed on Shakyamuni Buddha and the Lotus Sutra, why aren't they mentioned in your silent prayers?

Would you tell a little league baseball player, "You are a hall of famer just as you are."

Then why does SGI tell their members, "You are a Buddha just as you are."?

We are the Nichijus of the modern era

Nichiju practiced, studied and pondered the teachings of all the various established Nichiren sects and concluded they all had gone against the fundamental spirit of the Daishonin. He denounced them and devoted himself to shakabuku both the Regent and the people.

How about you?

"Still, since he believed deeply in Shakyamuni Buddha and the Lotus Sutra, in his last moment he was splendidly composed. He certainly went to the pure land of Eagle Peak where his father dwells. They must have had a joyful reunion. How wonderful! How wonderful!" -- Nichiren

"Never fails" or "always fails"

Nichiren teaches that when the Lotus Sutra is placed in front of an appropriate image, the image "NEVER FAILS" to become the Buddha of the pure and perfect teaching. The Nichiren Shoshu priesthood says it ALWAYS FAILS unless the Eye Opening is done by one of them.

"How wrong you are believing in 'other power!'" -- Tim Janokos Soka University graduate and SGI senior leader


You are stupid believing Ikeda and disbelieving Ichinen Sanzen and its Three Realms which includes the realm of others and the realm of the environment.

"But he reveres Shakyamuni Buddha and puts his faith in the teaching of the Lotus Sutra. Hence he is like a snake that grips a jewel in its mouth, or a dragon that bears sacred relics on its head. A wisteria vine by twining around a pine, may climb a thousand meters into the air and a crane, because it has wings to rely upon, can travel ten thousand miles. It is not their own strength that allows them to do these things." (MW vol 7, On The Urobon, pg 172-173)

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Concerning the Statue of Shakyamuni Buddha Made by Toki

WITH regard to the statue of Shakyamuni Buddha you have made, in fact you have made and revealed the Buddha of three thousand realms in a single moment of life, which since time without beginning had never been revealed! I am eager to go at once and face it. This is what is meant by the words “The Buddhas wish to open the door of Buddha wisdom to all living beings,” and “In truth the time since I attained Buddhahood [is extremely long].”

Nevertheless, you had best lose no time in having Iyo-bō3 perform the eye-opening ceremony. Have him recite the Lotus Sutra in its entirety and imbue the six sense organs of the Buddha with it. And in this manner change the statue into the living body of the lord of teachings, Shakyamuni, and reverently welcome and enshrine him. I also think that this will be impossible without the presence of you and your son. Regarding the Buddhist hall on your estate, Āchārya Daishin knows all about it. You must make absolutely certain to face the Buddha image in prayer and form a bond with the Buddha.

You once made offerings to the god Daikoku,4 and I wonder whether, after that, you encountered nothing to lament in your daily life. This time, please believe that your good fortune will increase, as the sea tide swells and as the moon waxes full, and that your life will lengthen and you will be reborn on Eagle Peak.


The twenty-sixth day of the ninth month

Reply presented to Toki

One Buddha and Four Attendants

Commentary by Robin Beck:
14th Century Myohokkeji Izu Shizuoka 

This painting is dated to the late Kamakura Era, the early 14th Century
{1300's}. It is kept at Myohokkeji Temple Tamazawa, Mishima City, Izu,
Shizuoka. Myohokkeji was originally Nissho's Hokkeji Temple at Hama,
Kamakura. Nissho took up residence at Hama after Tatsunokuchi. Hokkeji
was officially founded by Nissho in 1284 and transfered to a Nichiyu in
1317. The Temple was moved to Izu and renamed Myohokkeji by
Oman-no-kata in 1621. Myohokkeji houses Four {4} authenticated original
Nichiren Gohonzons. These are: 

*The Nichiren Prayer Gohonzon aka Medicine Mandala of April 1276 (Kenji
2), #37 in the Gohonzon Shu, conferred upon Nissho. See Also
*Mandala #62 dated April 8, 1279 (Koan 2). See Also Coffeehouse 
*Mandala #78 {no info} See Also Coffeehouse 
*The Great Mandala for Transmitting the Dharma issued to Nissho in the
11th month of 1280; #101 in the Gohonzon Shu See Also Coffeehouse 

It is also home to Six {6} National Treasures of Japan. Note that I am
reading and trying to interpret from a Japanese Web Page. These
treasures appear to include: 

1. The Ministers' Quarters
2. What are likely scrolls of a version of the Senji Sho.
3. Nichiren's annotated scrolls of the Lotus Sutra {Chu Hokekyo}, See
Also Distribution of the Mementos?.
4. An early Pictorial Mandala Gohonzon.
5. Statues of Guardian Deities?
6. The early 14th Century {1300s} Painting of Nichiren. 

The perspective in the painting is interesting. Nichiren is shown much
larger than life. By contrast, the lay followers appear to be as small
as children. Also, note that the Gohonzon in the painting is a
Shakyamuni Statue flanked by standing statues of the Four Boddhisattvas
of the Earth. 

This motif was, I think, popular from 1275 - 1333. There is a record
that Toki Jonin had such a statue arrangement at Nakayama before 1280.
More complex arrangements become popular in the late 14th C. 
Also, I was told the painting might represent a recollection of
Nichiren teaching the Lotus Sutra to Lay Discples in the main house of
Lord Hakiri {aka Hakii Rokuro Sanenaga, Nambu Sanenaga, or Nichien
Nyudo} at Mount Minobu, between 1274 & 1282. It could also have been
copied from older sketch. 

Dr. Stone wrote:

"The "one Buddha and four attendants" came into fairly widespread use 
among Nichiren's followers as a honzon almost immediately after his 
death. There was also a more complex configuration consisting of the 
two Buddhas, Sakyamuni and Many Jewels, seated together in the jeweled 
stupa and flanked by the four bodhisattvas (itto ryoson shishi). The 
earliest attested grouping was made by Jogyoin Nichiyu (1298-1374) of 
the Nakayama lineage in 1335." 

See: See Dr Stone on the Gohonzon -- Download .pdf @
Dharma_Study_Group. Also, for discussions of Nichiren related art {and
more}, pleae check out: nichirenpix · Nichiren Buddhist Art & Culture
To access the web features of nichirenpix and Dharma_Study_Group, one
must join with a valid Yahoo ID. See Yahoo! Groups 

It is useless to rely on the Soka Gakkai to learn the Nichiren faith [Important post]

An SGI member writes:

"Who will ever join a religion that teaches that statues are equal to Gohonzon."


Of course you have never heard of statue Gohonzon or Nin-Honzon because SGI refuses to teach the entirety of the Daishonin's Buddhism.

The SGI would admonish Nichiren Dasihonin himself if he were alive. In the Gosho, Establishing the Four Bodhisattvas as the Object of Worship, nowhere does Nichiren Daishonin specifically address painted images in this work. He states only "statues" or "objects of worship".

In the writing, "The Unmatched Fortune of the Law (MW, vol. 7), the Daishonin uses the word "image" not specifying painted or sculpted: "In the entire land of Jambudvipa, there has never before been a hall or pagoda that produced the image of Shakyamuni Buddha of the Juryo Chapter of the Lotus Sutra."

More revealing still are the Daishonin's words in the writing Rebuking Slander of the Law (MW vol. 6):

"During this period of twenty-two hundred years and more, worthy rulers and sage rulers have honored painted images or wooden images of Shakyamuni, the lord of teachings, as their principle object of worship. But although they have made depictions of the Buddhas of the Hinayana and the Mahayana teachings; of the Kegon, Nirvana and Kammuryojusutras; of the theoretical teaching of the Lotus Sutra and the Fugen Sutra; of the Buddha of the Dainichi and the other Shingon sutras; and of the Buddhas Shakyamuni and Taho of the Hoto chapter, the Shakyamuni of the the Juryo chapter has never been depicted in a mountain temple or monastery anywhere." 

Please note  the phrase "painted images or wooden images".

The Daishonin states, referring to a statue of Shakyamuni Buddha fashioned by Shijo Kingo:

"This Buddha of yours, however is a living Buddha. It differs in no respect from the wooden image of the Buddha made by King Udayana, or that fashioned by King Bimbisara. Surely Bonten, Taishaku, the deities of the sun and moon, and the Four Heavenly Kings will attend you as a shadow accompanies a body and protect you always." -- Consecrating An Image of Shakyamuni Buddha Made by Shijo Kingo)

We also see in the writing, The Learned Doctor Shan-wu-wei that the Daishonin was overjoyed that Dozen-bo had fashioned an image of Shakyamuni Buddha:

"I explained all this in detail to Dozen-bo at the time of our interview, though it did not appear that he completely understood what I was saying. Nor did the other persons present on that occasion seem to understand. Later, however, I received word that Dozen-bo had com to take faith in the Lotus Sutra. I concluded that he must have renounced his earlier heretical views and had hence become a person of sound belief, a thought that filled me with joy. When I also heard that he had fashioned an image of Shakyamuni Buddha, I could not find words to express my emotion....."

The name of an entire Gosho is devoted to the clarification of this point: Opening the Eyes of Wooden or Painted Images. If only painted Images were to be included, the title of the Gosho would have been, Opening the Eyes of Painted Images or of Inscribed Images. However, the name of the Gosho and its contents demonstrate unequivocally that wooden images (statues), may be valid objects of worship.

Other important passages are to be found in the Kanjin Honzon Sho, Nichiren's most important writing. He states with the utmost clarity:

"Both the Buddhist and non-Buddhist scriptures permit wooden or painted images to be used as objects of worship, but Tientai and his followers were the first to explain the principle behind this act. If a piece of wood or paper did not have both material and spiritual, or lacked the inherent cause to manifest a spiritual nature, then it would be futile to rely upon it as an of worship."


"Even though statues and paintings were made of these Shakyamuni Buddhas during the two millennia, no image or statue was made of the Buddha of the “Life Span” chapter. Only in the Latter Day of the Law will the representation of that Buddha appear."

We see that the Daishonin unequivocally sanctions statues as objects of worship. We also see that your view is based on emotionalism, clinging to false views, and an unwillingness to listen to anything besides what you learn in the SGI. Your views and philosophy (SGI) must be rejected as unorthodox.

SGI's "friendly" image

"Nichiren" Shoshu evidently deplores the idea that someone practicing the Daishonin's Buddhism  should have a "friendly image". --  Jim Celer SGI senior leader

Do you mean like Paul Wersant's IM reply to me?

Paul: when I am done taking NST apart, you are next on the hit parade.
Me: Why don't you  take yourself apart?
Paul: You mean you are afraid to face yourself right? Is that why your member commited suicide? Joyful practice? Actual proof?
Me: I have nothing more to say to you.

It is useless to rely on the Nichiren Shoshu and Soka Gakkai Objects of Worship

Logically speaking [theoretical proof], according to Nichiren Daishonin, Objects of Worship possesses thirty one of the thirty two features of the Buddha, absent only the "Pure and Far Reaching Voice". To think that a five minute ceremony or even an hour long ceremony can infuse an object of worship with this feature is untenable. That is why we as believers must ceaselessly chant the Daimoku to continuously infuse the correct object with the Pure and Far Reaching Voice [in order to render the correct object complete]. The importance of a correct Object of Worship can not be stressed enough because, if the object fails to contain the thirty one features, supplying it with the Pure and Far Reaching Voice will be insufficient to complete the Object and it will remain an Object of Worship in name only. The Objects of Worships of the Nichiren Shoshu and SGI do not contain the thirty one features of the Buddha because they deny the reality of the Eternal Buddha Shakyamuni. Therefore, it is useless to rely on their objects to attain Buddhahood. 

The Kansho Accords, circa 1466 AD: An Accord on the Principles of the Dharma

The Kansho Accords, circa 1466 AD 

An Accord on the Principles of the Dharma

From ancient times there have been disagreements concerning the doctrines of our sect. This and that position have been taken, with no agreement, and differences of opinion exist until today. 

Further, these have become an obstacle to the prosperity of the Buddha-Dharma. This is too lamentable for words and is sad indeed to consider. So it is that now the worthy head monks of the temples of all lineages have discussed the situation and determined that as we try to propagate our teachings far and wide it will not do for our teachings to lack unity. 

For this reason we here synthesize the ancient disagreements of our past masters to express our intent to repay the debt of gratitude to our teachers. With glad hearts we declare the unity of main and branch temples alike and realize a unified harmony that will last forever. We wish from now on to be as inseparable as a fish and water, and that this firm covenant will never wither or be defiled. 

Let the lamp of the Dharma shine for more than ten thousand years and the blessed life of the enlightenment of the three assemblies endure forever.

1. Our sect's founder taught the identity of the essential and theoretical teachings; yet one or the other can be regarded as superior depending upon a person's capacities and level of understanding. [Ed note: this refers to the then ongoing issues of the itsu/shoretsu debates]
2. Monks and lay followers alike should join forces in adopting the sole practice of shakabuku.
3. We all agree to strictly observe the prohibition against making pilgrimages to the temples and shrines of the slanderers of the Dharma. [Ed note: this is a reference to the Nembutsu, Zen and Shingon sects]
4. The offerings of slanderers of the Dharma may not be accepted, with the sole exception of donations made as an expression of secular virtues such as humanity, righteousness, love and propriety. [Ed note: this refers to the then raging debate over just what constituted fujufuse.]
5. Though the Dharma principle comprises both aggressive and accommodating approaches, the aggressive approach is the proper one.
6. As for the laity, they should not forsake their original teacher under whom they first roused the thought of enlightenment, and if they should try to do so, the new temple should not permit it. If however, in consultation parties agree, both temples may receive alms from that person.

Commentary by Michael McCormick [Reverend Ryuei]:

Background: At the time these accords were drawn up, the Hokke Shu as the Nichiren sects were then known, were being threatened by the Tendai sect. This threat ultimately culminated in 1536 with an attack by the Tendai monks on the Nichiren temples in Kyoto in which all twenty-one Nichiren temples and half the city were burned to the ground. The Nichiren lineages desired to reach general agreement among themselves on major areas of contention, so as to present a united front to this external threat. This document reflects that agreement. Only one temple, Hompoji under the leadership of Nisshin refused to agree with the accords. 

In 1542 the Nichiren monks returned to Kyoto and re-established fifteen temples. In the ensuing years the Nichiren Temples sought to reduce animosities among the various lineages and concentrate on rebuilding their base in Kyoto. During this time Oda Nobunaga consolidated his power and became one of the more powerful warlords in Japan. He was familiar with the Nichiren community and its strength and support in Kyoto, particularly among the merchant and samurai classes. In 1579 he interfered in a debate between the Nembutsu and Nichiren sects, determined the Nichiren sect to be the losers. He condemned the Nichiren monks participating in the debate to death, forced the lineages to pay damages to the Nembutsu sect, sign an admission of defeat and pledge to cease proselytizing. He also attacked and burned the Tendai complex at Mount Hiei to the ground [1571] as well as slaughtered followers of the Jodo Shin sect. 

His successor Toyotoma Hideyoshi, rescinded the determination that the Nichiren lineage had been defeated in debate by the Nembutsu sect and initially allowed the exemption to perform religious services for the government to be continued, allowing the Nichiren sect to not participate in certain ceremonies. In the 1580's and 1590's he commissioned a large statue of the Great Buddha to be built and ordered the various sects, including the Nichiren sect to participate in certain memorial services at the statue. In 1596, the Nichiren sect renewed its request to be exempted from such services. The only response was that Hideyoshi's government granted a petition of the Nembutsu sect to lower the ranking of the Nichiren sect to sixth place, below that of the Nembutsu sect. The Nichiren sect appealed to the Emperor submitting the Hokkeshu Sojo or the Petition to the Emperor Concerning the Lotus Sect. That document stated seven articles: 

1. Truth in Buddhism is not determined by human judgment but by the Buddha's words alone, as recorded in the ultimately true scriptures;
2. The Buddha Sakyamuni has a profound link to our world, while Amida, the Buddha of the Pure Land sects does not;
3. There are provisional and ultimate teachings within Buddhism;
4. The Hokke Shu was established by the Buddha Sakyamuni as stated in the Lotus Sutra, not by a human teacher as was the case for the Pure Land sects;
5. The teachings of the Hokke Shu are transmitted in a double fashion, the essential transmission a direct one from Sakyamuni based upon the Lotus Sutra, and an indirect, intellectual transmission based upon the writings of the patriarchs of the Tendai sect;
6. The Hokke Shu is superior to all others;
7. The Hokke Shu may not have any association with slanderers. [hence should be exempt from participating in the ceremonies at the Great Buddha statue.]

These article were sent to Hideyoshi and to the Emperor, along with a copy of Rissho Ankoku-ron. The petition was read to the emperor who asked it there was any basis to the claims of the Nichiren sect. His senior advisers informed him that these were the doctrines of the Nichiren sect and had been from the time of its establishment. The emperor ordered that a copy of the petition be sent to Mount Hiei and Miidera for a reply as to the claims made in it. No reply was given. Unfortunately the emperor decided not to do anything given the political realities of the time. 

Whose Gohonzon is best?

"Unless one who has grasped the essence of the Lotus Sutra conducts the eye-opening ceremony for a wooden or painted image, it will be as if a masterless house were to be occupied by a thief or as if, upon a person's death, a demon were to enter his body. When, in present-day Japan, eye-opening ceremonies for the Buddha images are conducted according to the Shingon rite, demons occupy them and deprive people of their lives, for a demon is also known as a "robber of life." Moreover, devils enter those images and deprive people of benefits, and another name for a devil is a "robber of benefit." -- Nichiren Daishonin (Opening the Eyes of Wooden and Painted Images)

Since Nichiren Daishonin grasped the essence of the Lotus Sutra, then it follows that his Gohonzon, original or a copy, is best.

Who are we?

We are numbered among the Bodhisattvas of the Earth: We are they who chant the Daimoku, revere the Gohonzon, Lotus Sutra, Shakyamuni Buddha, and Nichiren Daishonin. Some of us practice principally shoju and others shakabuku. Some of us view the Gohonzon as the embodiment of the Daimoku, others as the embodiment of the Oneness of Person [as the Eternal Buddha] and Law, and still others as the embodiment of the Eternal Buddha Shakyamuni [depending on our inner awakening and mastery of the Lotus Sutra].

We are united through our seeking spirit and through having etched, "Follow the Law and not the person", in our hearts. Most of us are united in the belief that the Gohonzon is the source of our guidance and that we are direct disciples of the Eternal Buddha Shakyamuni and Nichiren Daishonin. We are also united in our belief that every Nichiren school and individual has both good and bad aspects that we are free to accept, praise, and propagate or to reject, ignore, or rebuke.

As far as your question about how many true disciples and believers there are, we don't keep statistics because neither the Lotus Sutra nor Nichiren Daishonin exhort us to. We are few but I have anecdotal evidence that we are growing for a variety of reasons: The doctrines of all the various Nichiren schools and their believers are partial, contrived, erroneous and/or distorted while ours are sound; the reality that most Nichiren sect believers follow the person rather than the Law while we follow only the Law; and most Nichiren sects believers are unable to exhibit actual proof of Enlightenment in contrast to Shakyamuni Buddha, Nichiren Daishonin, and our disciples and believers. There wouldn't be thirty-five or thirty-six Nichiren sects if they all showed actual proof of Enlightenment. 

How did they look Wiley Bad?

"I have a group picture next to my butsudan, taken at Sessen-bo with Sensei in 1970. Among the people in the picture is Genjiro Fukushima, who later became a vice president of the SGI. Then about 20 years ago he betrayed Sensei and the SGI and worked to stop the flow of Kosen-Rufu. He was the lay leader of the Hodo-in temple in Tokyo, until his death by cancer on August 8th of this year.

Eyewitness accounts of his open-casket funeral were that they found it impossible to close his eyes, cancer had completely consumed his body, and his death mask was a hideous expression of wide-eyed, agonized terror, difficult to view." -- Dick "Wiley bad" Powell proud SGI member

I wonder how those SGI members who were run over by a snow plow, whose parachute failed to open, whose skull was torn apart by a stage hook, or who was killed by the Manson gang, appeared in their caskets?

On SGI unity

Unity means nothing defending a lie.

SGI side altar (The "Three Bodhisattvas")

Thanks Nichibek

No more secret teachings the day Nichiren revealed the Three Great Secret Laws

The purpose of Nichiren Shoshu's teachings of Montei or "between the lines" is so their priests can deceive the people. The Lotus Sutra states, "this Sutra" [Myoho renge kyo] and Nichiren Daishonin states that each character of the Lotus Sutra is a golden colored Buddha. The very moment that Nichiren Daishonin revealed the Three Great Secret Laws, the Daimoku, the Gohonzon, and the High Sanctuary, there were no longer any secret between the lines teachings.

Я люблю тебя, мои дорогие российские и украинские читатели

Ya tebya lyublyu!

Namu Myoho renge kyo

Clear, not clear? Then why do you slander Buddha Shakyamuni and Nichiren?

"These Three Great Secret Laws were unquestionably received by me, Nichiren, some two thousand and more years ago, when I was the leader of the Bodhisattvas of the Earth; they were passed on to me by oral transmission from the lord of teachings, the World-Honored One of Great Enlightenment. And these actions that I now take embody what I received in transmission on Eagle Peak, without the slightest deviation or alteration in form, the three great matters of the Law of the “Life Span” chapter." (Recceiving of the Three Great Secret Laws)

I see. Toda's and Nichigen's words takes precedence over Shakyamuni Buddha's, Nichiren Daishonin's, Tientai's, and Dengyo's. PITIFUL

Jim says:

"RIC writes: Larry, the only "editorial comment" that you can possibly perceive a problem with is "when Nichiren appeared as the Buddha Shakyamuni and expounded the Lotus Sutra."

The problem here can be traced to Toda's explanation of how to read the sutra. He describes the two ways to read it - literally and as based on the Daishonin's Buddhism. Thus, for instance, the opening lines Niji seson ju sanmai.... literally means "At this time, the Buddha serenely arose form his meditation and addressed Sharihotsu."

Toda begins his lecture with: "The first sentence of the Hoben Chapter means: At this time of Mappo, the True Buddha ...emerged in Japan as Nichiren Daishonin and addressed the people of Mappo". (p47)

So when Ric said Nichiren had appeared as Shakyamuni and expounded the LS - literally, that's wrong. But from the perspective of Toda's lecture, it's the  correct way to read the sutra."

Mark says:

I see. The correct way to read the Sutra is Nichigen's and Toda's way rather than Tientai's, Dengyo's, and Nichiren Dashonin's way. SGI and Nichiren Shoshu are mighty confused.

More on Nichiren Shoshu or Nichiren Shingon

Nichikan states, "The purpose of the Hoben-pon is to smash the provisional teachings, the Purpose of the Juryo-hon is to smash the Hoben-pon, and the purpose of the Daimoku is to smash the Juryo-hon."

Since the Hoben-pon represents the Three Bodied Tathagata in his historical [manifest] aspect, the Juryo-hon represents the Three Bodied Tathagata in his Bliss or Reward Body aspect, and the Daimoku represents the Three Bodied Tathagata in his Dharma Body aspect, we can not forsake even the Hoben-pon. This is why the Daishonin reprimanded his Disciple Ota Jomyo for abandoning the theoretical section of the Lotus Sutra.

The Shingon priests also replace the Three Bodied Tathagata with the Dharma Body Buddha represented by Dainichi. Nichikan was actually a Shingon prelate.

Ri-Butsu or real Buddha

Nichiren regards Shakyamuni Buddha of the Juryo chapter as  Ri-Butsu or real Buddha who is Father, Teacher, and Parent of all other Buddhas. His name is neither Nichiren Daishonin nor is it Myoho renge kyo. The principle of Eternal Buddha is taught second only to Daimoku in Nichiren's writings. The SGI and the Nichiren Shoshu sees fit to change these teachings. 

Nichiren taught that those born in this severe degenerate age called Mappo are unable, through self power alone, to attain the fruit of Buddhood. We need to take refuge in the Law of Namu Myoho renge kyo to which the Eternal Buddha has always been enlightened by chanting it repeatedly and believing in the Original Eternal Buddha Shakyamuni. Our lack of concentration, memory, volition, fortitude and compassion is so attenuated in this age that we can not, by our power alone, attain the same unsurpassed Enlightenment as He.

To attempt to separate The Eternal Buddha Shakyamuni's Enlightenment and teaching from the Eternal Buddha Shakyamuni himself is as futile as attempting to separate carbon from diamond. Namu Myoho renge kyo is the essential element of the Eternal Buddha as carbon is the essential element of diamond. Without Namu Myoho renge kyo there is no Eternal Buddha Shakyamuni. Similarly, just as there would be no proof of the unsurpassed utility and magnificent beauty possible with elemental carbon, there would be no proof of the supreme benefits of Namu Myoho renge kyo without the Eternal Buddha Shakyamuni. Not even Nichiren Daishonin affords such absolute proof. 

Nichiren wrote in the True Object of Worship in the section, The Pure Land of the Eternal Buddha: 

"Now, when the Eternal Buddha was revealed in the essential section of the Lotus Sutra, this world of endurance (Saha-World) became the Eternal Pure Land, indestructible even by the three calamities of conflagration, flooding, and strong winds which are said to destroy the world. It transcends the four periods of cosmic change: the kalpa of construction, continuance, destruction, and emptiness. Sakyamuni 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. All those who receive His guidance are one with this Eternal Buddha...." 

And in the section, The Form of the True Object of Worship, he writes:

"The object of worship (honzon) at the scene of this transmission of "Namu Myo-ho-ren-ge-kyo" from the Eternal Buddha to his original disciples is: Suspended in the sky above the Eternal Buddha Sakyamuni's Saha-world is a stupa of treasures, in which Buddhas Sakyamuni and Taho sit to the left and right of "Myo-ho-ren-ge-kyo". They are waited on by four bodhisattvas such as Jogyo (Superior Practice) representing the original disciples of the Eternal Buddha called out from underground. Four more bodhisattvas including Manjusri and Maitreya, take lower seats as followers, other great and minor bodhisattvas---those converted by the Buddha in the theoretical section and those who came from other lands---resemble numerous people sitting on the ground and looking up at court nobles.Also lined up on the ground are Buddhas in manifestation (funjin Buddhas) who gathered together from all the worlds in the universe in praise of the Buddha's preaching, representing provisional Buddhas in their respective lands.

The true object of worship (honzon) such as this was not revealed anywhere else by Sakyamuni Buddha during the more than fifty years of His preaching life. Though He spent eight years preaching the Lotus Sutra, the scene was limited to his preaching in the sky above Mt. Sacred Eagle recounted in eight chapters, from the fifteenth to the twenty-second.. During two millenium after the death of Sakyamuni Buddha, the Ages of the True Dharma and the Imitative Dharma, some worshipped Sakyamuni Buddha accompanied by Kasyapa and Ananda as described in the Hinayana sutras; others worshipped Him accompanied by such bodhisattvas as Manjusri and Samantabhadra as he appeared in quasi-Mahayana sutras, the Nirvana Sutra, or the theoretical section of the Lotus Sutra. Many wooden statues and portraits were made of Sakyamuni as He preached Hinayana or quasi-Mahayana sutras but statues and portraits of the Eternal Shakyamuni Buddha revealed in the Duration of Life of the Buddha chapter of the Lotus Sutra were never made. Now in the beginning of the Latter Age of the Decadent Dharma, is it not the time that such statues and portraits are made?" 

Taisekeji Tom Foolery

Taisekaji/ original SGI translation of a passage of the True Object of Worship:

"The essential teaching of the Lotus Sutra and true Buddhism are both pure teachings that lead directly to Buddhahood. However, Shakyamuni's is the Buddhism of the harvest, and this is the Buddhism of sowing. The core of his teachings is one chapter and two halves, and for me it is Myoho-renge-kyo alone."  (MW vol I Kanjin No Honzon Sho,p. 72)
Kyotsu Hori tranlsation:

"It is evident that the Revelation of Eternity was preached for the sake of us who live at the beginning of the period of Deprivation.  It this respect, we are as blessed as those who heard the Buddha in person, the only difference being that they brought to fruit their seeds of Buddhahood by hearing directly the 'One Chapter and Two Halves, whereas we are endowed with the seeds of Buddhahood by receiving the Five Words." (Five Major Writings of Nichiren, Kanjin No Honzon Sho, pg 37


"Essentially, the bodhisattvas of the theoretical teaching and the bodhisattvas of the other worlds were not qualified to inherit Nam‑Myoho‑Renge‑Kyo, the heart of the Juryo chapter, which only Nichiren has realized. At the dawn of the Latter Day evil people who slander the Law would fill the land, and so the Buddha rejected their pledge and instead summoned the Bodhisattvas of the Earth. He entrusted Nam‑Myoho‑Renge‑Kyo [the five characters] to them for the salvation of all mankind. (MW 1, p. 73/ Shinpen p. 657)2

Kyotsu Hori (expanded to include the Taisekaji quote, with "Five Words", the translation for Namu Myoho Renge kyo.):

"Strangely enough, however, the Buddha answered, 'Nay good people, you need not occupy yourselves with this task.'  Why did he say so?  It was because he did not intend to entrust them; he merely desired to inform them of the existence of another group of Bodhisattvas who were properly qualified for this work. In a few moments, the Buddha summoned the Bodhisattvas equal to the dust-atoms of one thousand words in number from the gaps of the earth, and in Chapter XXI, he entrusted them with the Five Words. These Bodhisattvas were called up because they were the Buddha's disciples who had followed him from the beginning of his beginningless life; that is, they were the disciples of the Original Buddha, while the Bodhisattvas who had already assembled were the disciples of the Buddha Shakyamuni of Manifestation or of the Buddhas of other worlds, not the disciples of the Original Buddha." (Ibid, pg 38)

SGI updated translation:

"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 to inherit 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 rejected 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 Jambudvipa. The bodhisattvas taught by the Buddha in his transient status were also unqualified because they had not been the disciples of Shakyamuni Buddha 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, “The Law 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.”