Total Pageviews

Thursday, April 30, 2015

According to Nichiren Lotus Sutra Buddhism, what kind of country is the United States?

“Now, in widely propagating the Buddhist teachings and bringing salvation to all people, one must first take into consideration the teaching, the capacity of the people, the time, the country, and the sequence of propagation. The reason is as follows. In terms of the time, there are the periods of the Former, the Middle, and the Latter Days of the Law, and in terms of the teachings, there are the Hinayana and the Mahayana doctrines. In terms of the practices to be adopted, there are shoju and shakubuku. It is a mistake to practice shakubuku at a time when shoju is called for, and equally erroneous to practice shoju when shakubuku is appropriate. The first thing to be determined, therefore, is whether the present period is the time for shoju or the time for shakubuku.

“Shoju is to be practiced when throughout the entire country only the Lotus Sutra has spread, and when there is not even a single misguided teacher expounding erroneous doctrines. At such a time, one may retire to the mountain forests, practice meditation, or carry out the five, the six, or the ten practices. But the time for shakubuku is very different from this. It is a time when many different sutras and teachings spring up here and there like so many orchids and chrysanthemums, when the various schools command a large following and enjoy renown, when truth and error stand shoulder to shoulder, and when Mahayana and Hinayana dispute which is superior. At such a time, one must set aside all other affairs and devote one’s attention to rebuking slander of the correct teaching. This is the practice of shakubuku.

“If, failing to understand this principle, one were to practice shoju or shakubuku at an inappropriate time, then not only would one be unable to attain Buddhahood, but one would fall into the evil paths. This is firmly laid down in the Lotus and Nirvana sutras, and is also clearly stated in the commentaries by T’ien-t’ai and Miao-lo. It is, in fact, an important principle of Buddhist practice.

“We may compare these two kinds of practice to the two ways of the civil and the military used in governing a nation. There is a time when military measures should take precedence, and a time when civil measures ought to be emphasized. When the world is at peace and calm prevails within the country, then civil measures should take precedence. But when the barbarian tribes to the east, south, west, and north, fired by wild ambitions, rise up like hornets, then military measures should come first.

Though one may understand the importance of both civil and military arts, if one does not understand the time, donning armor and taking up weapons when all countries are calm and peaceful and there is no trouble anywhere throughout the world, then one’s actions will be wrong. On the other hand, one who lays aside one’s weapons on the battlefield when enemies are marching against one’s ruler and instead takes up a writing brush and inkstone is likewise failing to act in accordance with the time.

“The methods of shoju and shakubuku are also like this. When the correct teaching alone is propagated and there are no erroneous doctrines or misguided teachers, then one may enter the deep valleys and live in quiet contentment, devoting one’s time to reciting and copying the sutra and to the practice of meditation. This is like taking up a writing brush and inkstone when the world is at peace. But when there are provisional schools or slanderers of the correct teaching in the country, then it is time to set aside other matters and devote oneself to rebuking slander. This is like taking up weapons on the battlefield.

“Therefore, the Great Teacher Chang-an in his commentary on the Nirvana Sutra states: ‘In past times the age was peaceful, and the Law spread throughout the country. At that time it was proper to observe the precepts and not to carry staves. But now the age is perilous, and the Law is overshadowed. Therefore, it is proper to carry staves and to disregard the precepts. If both past and present were perilous times, then it would be proper to carry staves in both periods. And if both past and present were peaceful times, then it would be proper to observe the precepts in both of them. You should let your choices be fitting and never adhere solely to one or the other.’ The meaning of this passage of commentary is perfectly clear.

“In past times the world was honest, people were upright, and there were no erroneous teachings or erroneous doctrines. Therefore, one could behave in a proper manner and carry out one’s religious practices peacefully and amicably. There was no need to take up staves and berate others, no occasion to attack erroneous teachings.

“But the present age is a defiled one. Because the minds of people are warped and twisted, and provisional teachings and slander alone abound, the correct teaching cannot prevail. In times like these, it is useless to practice the reading, reciting, and copying [of the Lotus Sutra] or to devote oneself to the methods and practices of meditation. One should practice only the shakubuku method of propagation, and if one has the capacity, use one’s influence and authority to destroy slander of the correct teaching, and one’s knowledge of the teachings to refute erroneous doctrines.

“As we have seen, it is said that one should let one’s choices be fitting and never adhere solely to one or the other. Therefore, we must look at the world today and consider whether ours is a country in which only the correct doctrine prevails, or a country in which erroneous doctrines flourish." -- A Sage and an Unenlightened Man


  1. The erroneous doctrine is shakubuku, a non-Buddhist contrivance not practiced by past, present or future Buddhas. Such methods will only contribute to the further imbalance of the Four Elements.

  2. Replies
    1. World honored ones of the future
      Who are limitless in number
      all of these Tathagatas
      Will also teach skillful means"

      Miao Fa: Wondrous Dharma
      Wondrous: clever, skillfull "wink, wink"

  3. this is why people like ogee , president ikeda and his followers will fall into the evil paths and make nonsense out of the true teachings. too bad.

  4. Yes, after the Latter Day of Shakyamuni Buddha, in the far distant future. Now the only proper practice is the direct exposition of the Law.

  5. "The father knew his children,
    that each had his or her own preferences for
    all kinds of precious toys or unusual objects,
    which would surely bring them joy."

    This explains the three vehicles. The Buddha wanted to share the enlightened state he had attained with everyone so that everyone's minds would be in the state equal to the Buddhas. Sadly, their habitual tendencies were already quite severe, so he had to teach the three vehicle Dharma.

    The father knew his children,
    that each had his or her own preferences:
    this explains the reason behind the Three Vehicles
    he knew that they
    each had preferences, things which they sought,
    just as the Buddha knew sentient beings abilities
    gave them strong or weak powers of wisdom
    he considered their capacity to accept and
    Apply the Dharma before giving it to them

    In the era of dharma degeneration, what's needed is to return to the Buddha's principles, not invent another religion.

  6. With the preaching of the 16th Chapter, the Buddha abandoned all expedients, even the expedient of death by revealing his immeasurable lifespan. In the Former and Middle Days, not only did the Buddha employ the expedience of having attained Enlightenment for the first time under the Tree, but all other expedients, such as the Four Noble Truths, suffering, emptiness, impermanence, and non-self, the Worship of Amida Buddha, The Two Truths, The Six Paramitas, and even The 3000 Worlds in a Single Moment of Life.

    Since I obtained Buddhahood the number

    of kalpas that have passed is immeasurable

    hundreds of thousands of myriads of tens of

    millions of quintillians of asemkheyas. I have

    ever been preaching the Dharma, teaching and

    converting numberless tens of millions of beings,

    Causing them to enter the Buddha Way;

    Since then it has been immeasurable kalpas.

    For the sake of the masses of beings

    By expedience manifest Nirvana,

    Yet in reality I do not become extinct;

    I ever abide here preaching the dharma,

    Although I ever abide here,

    By various Divine Pervasive Powers

    I cause the wrong-headed masses of beings,

    Though close by, not to see me.

    The masses see My Extinction,

    And widely make offering to my relics,

    And all of them, nourishing affectionate longing,

    Produce the mind of adoration. When the masses

    of beings have already submitted and believed,

    Are simple and upright with minds gentle and pliant

    and with single mind desire to see the Buddha,

    Not sparing their bodily lives, At that time I as

    well as the assemblies of monks together come

    forth at the Spiritual Eagle Mountain (Ryojusen)

    I at that time say to the masses of beings,

    'I am ever here, not extinguished.'

    Yet by the power of expedience

    I manifest extinction and non-extinction.

    When in other countries there are masses of

    beings, those who reverence and believe

    with joy. I likewise among them

    preach the Supreme Dharma for their sake.

    You, not hearing this,

    Merely say to yourselves that I am extinguished,

    When I see the masses of beings,

    They are drowning in the sea of suffering.

    Therefore I do not manifest My Body,

    To cause them to produce adoration.

    Because of their hearts' affectionate longing

    Then I come forth and preach the Dharma for

    them. My Divine Pervasive Powers are like this

    For Asemkheya[countless number] of kalpas

    I have ever been at the Spiritual Eagle Mountain (Ryojusen).

    As well as at various other abodes,continued...


  7. The masses of beings see the kalpas exhausted,

    When they are burned by the great fires;

    This land of mine is peaceful and secure;

    Gods and humans ever fill it. Gardens

    and forests and various halls and pavilions,

    With various types of jewels adorned; On the

    jewelled trees many flowers and fruit, Wherein

    the masses of beings take their pleasure

    and rejoice. The gods strike the celestial drums,

    Ever making instrumental music.

    Raining mandara flowers. Scattering them

    Over the Buddha and the great assemblies.

    Though My Pure Land is not destroyed,

    Yet the masses see it burned up,

    Worrisome fears and agonizing sufferings

    And such things all filling it up. These

    beings of various sins, Because of the causes

    and conditions of their evil karma, Though

    they pass through asemkheyas of kalpas,

    Do not hear the name of the Three Jewels.

    Those who have performed merit,

    Who are gentle and pliant, simple and upright,

    Then all see my body.

    Staying here, preaching the Dharma.

    Sometimes for these masses I preach the

    Buddha's Life is immeasurable. To those who

    see the Buddha only after a long time, I preach

    for them the Buddha is difficult to encounter.

    The power of My Wisdom is like this;

    The illumination of the Light of My Wisdom is

    immeasurable; My Lifespan is immeasurable

    kalpas; It is what I obtained by performing the

    karmas for a long time. You those who have

    wisdom, Do not produce doubts about this. You

    should cut them off and cause them to end forever:

    The Buddha's Words are true and not empty.

    It is like the physician by skilled expedience

    for the sake of curing his children gone mad,

    Though in reality he exists, yet he says he dies,

    and there are none who can declare it is a vain

    lie: I likewise am the Father of the World. The

    One who saves from the various sufferings and

    travails. Because the unenlightened worldlings are

    wrong-headed, though in reality I exist, I say I am

    extinguished; because by seeing my constantly,

    They would produce an arrogant and licentious

    mind, Self-abandoned, attached to the five

    desires, And would fall among the Evil Ways of

    Rebirth. I ever know the masses of beings

    Proceeding on the Way or not proceeding on the

    Way; according to what will save them,

    I preach for them all sorts of Dharmas.

    I Myself ever form this thought:

    'By what shall I cause the masses of beings

    To be able to enter the Supreme Way

    And rapidly achieve the Buddha Body?'