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Friday, July 31, 2015

A top three post

Following in the Footsteps of Shakyamuni Buddha and Nichiren Daishonin 

“On the other hand, when I proclaim that the practitioners of the Nembutsu will fall into the hell of incessant suffering or declare that the Zen and True Word schools are likewise in error, people may think I am uttering harsh words, but in fact I am speaking truthful and gentle words. As an example, I may point to the fact that Dozen-bo has embraced the Lotus Sutra and fashioned an image of Shakyamuni Buddha, actions that came about because I spoke harshly to him. And the same thing holds true for all the people of Japan. Ten or more years ago, virtually everyone was reciting the Nembutsu. But now, out of ten persons, you will find that one or two chant only Namu-myoho-renge-kyo, while two or three recite it along with the Nembutsu. And even among those who recite the Nembutsu exclusively, there are those who have begun to have doubts and so in their hearts believe in the Lotus Sutra; some have even begun to paint or carve images of Shakyamuni Buddha. All this, too, has come about because I have spoken harsh words.

This response is like the fragrant sandalwood trees that grow among the groves of foul-smelling eranda trees, or lotus blossoms that rise from the mud. Thus, when I proclaim that the followers of the Nembutsu will fall into the hell of incessant suffering, the “wise men” of our day, who are in fact no wiser than cattle or horses, may venture to attack my doctrines. But in truth they are like scavenger dogs barking at the lion king, or foolish monkeys laughing at the god Shakra.”

We can include Christianity, Hinduism, Judaism, and Islam along with the Nembutsu, True Word, Zen, and Therevada. SGI can not make the connection because they follow the devilish slanderer Ikeda rather than Nichiren. Even the Daimoku can not penetrate the hearts of such slanderers. As long as they remain in the SGI, they will never gain a correct view. Their Object of Worship is mistaken. Their faith is lame.

“If, knowing the best path, one sees one’s parents or sovereign taking an evil path, can one fail to admonish them? If a fool, crazed with wine, is about to drink poison, can one, knowing this, not try to stop him? In the same way, if one understands the truth of the Buddhist teachings and knows the sufferings of fire, blood, and swords, can one fail to lament at seeing someone to whom one owes a debt of gratitude about to fall into the evil paths? Rather one should cast away one’s body and lay down one’s life in an effort to save such a person.”

“How reassuring, that those who respect the monks of the correct teaching and admonish those who are evil and in error receive such blessings as these!.”

“You should read again and again the previous letter in which I explained that one should of course obey one’s teacher, sovereign, and parents, but should they commit wrongs, admonishing them is in fact being loyal to them,” (The Three Obstacles and four Devils)

“How could I ever feel distantly toward any of you? Even in the case of the Nembutsu priests, the Zen priests, and the True Word teachers, and the ruler of the nation and other men of authority, all of whom bear me such hatred— I admonish them because I want to help them, and their hatred for me makes me pity them all the more.” (Reply to the lay Priest Takahashi)

“The Classic of Filial Piety states, “[In a case of moral wrong,] a son must admonish his father, and a minister must admonish his lord.” (The Letter of Petition from Yorimoto )

Christians, Muslims, Jews, and Hindus slander Shakyamuni Buddha and the votaries of the Lotus Sutra, not even aware that their gods follow the Buddha and the votaries .

“The Great Teacher Dengyo states, “In general, where unrighteousness is concerned, a son must admonish his father, and a minister must admonish his lord.” (ibid.)

“Yet not only do they fail to remonstrate with them, but they criticize one who does confront the Nembutsu school, which is strange indeed! As for Daishin-bo, as I wrote you before, please strongly admonish him by letter.” (The Third Doctrine)

The SGI leaders, far from admonishing these heretics and heretical philosophies and religions, pander to them through their interfaith activities. The only ones they admonish are the True Votaries of the Lotus Sutra. It will be no small occurrence if they don’t suffer some great loss for acting contrary to the Lotus Sutra and teachings of Nichiren Daishonin.

“It stipulates that, no matter how learned one may be, if one sees an enemy of the Lotus Sutra but fails to admonish that person out of fear, one will fall into the hell of incessant suffering.” (Letter to Akimoto)

We can only conclude that the SGI fails to speak and act as Nichiren Daishonin out of fear and cowardice.

“The high minister Pi Kan, seeing that the Yin dynasty was on the path to ruin, strongly admonished the ruler, though it cost him his head.” (Opening of the Eyes)

The entire world is based on Christianity, Islam, Judaism, and Hinduism. They are paths to war and ruin. But SGI seeks support and guidance from these slanderers and give them support and succor.

“But because Kuan Lung-feng remonstrated with King Chieh of the Hsia dynasty and Pi Kan admonished King Chou of the Yin dynasty, their names have been handed down in history as those of worthies.” (op cit. Letter of Petition to Yorimoto)

That is why Nichiren Daishonin and his true disciples will be remembered for ten thousand years and more and Ikeda and his disciples will be forgotten.

“Nichiren, who admonishes them for their evil, is father and mother to the ruler, and the teacher of all living beings.” (The Royal Palace)

And we too are fathers and mothers to the rulers and the Christian, Jewish, Hindu, and provisional Buddhist religious leaders. Why? Because we admonish them for not embracing the Lotus Sutra and chanting Namu Myoho renge kyo. If you chant the Daimoku but you don’t like Nichiren Daishonin or Nichiren Daishonin’s way, you are not true to yourself and your words are hollow.

“Is not a person of wisdom one who admonishes the ruler when the country is endangered or corrects others’ mistaken views? But in your case, no matter what error you may see, you will no doubt refuse to correct it for fear of society’s reaction.” (op. cit. Yorimoto)

“In the Lotus Sutra, it is stipulated that those who bear a grudge against its votary are destined to fall into the Avichi hell. The fourth volume states that the offense of harboring malice toward a votary of the Lotus Sutra in the latter age is graver than that of reviling the Buddha for an entire medium kalpa. The seventh volume teaches that people who disparage the votary will suffer in the Avichi hell for a thousand kalpas. The fifth volume states that after the Buddha’s passing, when the Latter Day of the Law arrives, a votary of the Lotus Sutra will certainly appear, and that at that time, in that country, an immeasurably great multitude of monks who either uphold or violate the precepts will gather and denounce the votary to the ruler of the country causing him to be banished and ruined.”

Do you think these persecutions happened to Nichiren Daishonin for holding interfaith conferences with the Nembutsu, Zen, Ritsu, and Shingon? Or do you think that he underwent these trials for correcting their errors? Do you think Nichiren Daishonin would compromise with the Christians, Jews, Muslims, or Brahmins? I will not compromise the teachings for a pat on the back and an award or two.

“Question: What eye of wisdom allows you to perceive that the Nembutsu, Zen, and other schools of our time are the enemies of the Lotus Sutra and evil companions who are ready to mislead all people?
Answer: I do not state personal opinions, but merely hold up the mirror of the sutras and commentaries so that the slanderers of the Law may see their ugly faces reflected there and perceive their errors. But if they are incurably “blind,” it is beyond my power.

In the “Treasure Tower” chapter in the fourth volume of the Lotus Sutra we read: “At that time Many Treasures Buddha offered half of his seat in the treasure tower to Shakyamuni Buddha . . . At that time the members of the great assembly [saw] the two Thus Come Ones seated cross-legged on the lion seat in the tower of seven treasures . . . And in a loud voice he [Shakyamuni Buddha] addressed all the four kinds of believers, saying: ‘Who is capable of broadly preaching the Lotus Sutra of the Wonderful Law in this saha world? Now is the time to do so, for before long the Thus Come One will enter nirvana. The Buddha wishes to entrust this Lotus Sutra to someone so that it may be preserved.’

This is the first pronouncement of the Buddha. Again the chapter reads: “At that time the World-Honored One, wishing to state his meaning once more, spoke in verse form, saying: ‘This holy lord, this World-Honored One, though he passed into extinction long ago, still seats himself in the treasure tower, coming here for the sake of the Law. You people, why then do you not also strive for the sake of the Law? . . . In addition, these emanations of my body, Buddhas in immeasurable numbers like Ganges sands, have come, desiring to hear the Law . . . Each has abandoned his wonderful land, as well as his host of disciples, the heavenly and human beings, dragons, and spirits, and all the offerings they give him, and has come to this place on purpose to make certain the Law will long endure. . . . as though a great wind were tossing the branches of small trees. Through this expedient means they make certain that the Law will long endure. So I say to the great assembly: After I have passed into extinction, who can guard and uphold, read and recite this sutra? Now in the presence of the Buddha let him come forward and speak his vow!’

This is the second proclamation of the Buddha. The passage continues: “The Thus Come One Many Treasures, I myself, and these emanation Buddhas who have gathered here, surely know this is our aim. . . . All you good men, each of you must consider carefully! This is a difficult matter—it is proper you should make a great vow. The other sutras number as many as Ganges sands, but though you expound those sutras, that is not worth regarding as difficult. If you were to seize Mount Sumeru and fling it far off to the measureless Buddha lands, that too would not be difficult. . . . But if after the Buddha has entered extinction, in the time of evil, you can preach this sutra, that will be difficult indeed! . . . If, when the fires come at the end of the kalpa, one can load dry grass on his back and enter the fire without being burned, that would not be difficult. But after I have passed into extinction if one can embrace this sutra and expound it to even one person, that will be difficult indeed! . . . All you good men, after I have entered extinction, who can accept and uphold, read and recite this sutra? Now in the presence of the Buddha let him come forward and speak his vow!”

This is the third admonition from the Buddha. The fourth and fifth admonitions are found in the “Devadatta” chapter, and I will deal with them later.” (op. cit. Opening of the Eyes)

“Adherents of the various schools may attempt to attack you by citing the passage from The Treatise on the Great Perfection of Wisdom that states, “If one denounces the teachings others follow out of love for one’s own, then even if one is the practitioner who observes the precepts, one will never escape the pains of hell.” Ask them whether they know why Nagarjuna wrote this admonition, and if Nagarjuna could possibly have been ignorant of how serious an offense it is to slander the true teaching by clinging to provisional teachings. He stated, “The various sutras are not secret teachings; only the Lotus Sutra is secret.” He declared that the Lotus Sutra alone is the seed of enlightenment, likening it to a great physician who can change poison into medicine. Is it possible that he later regretted having said these things, and therefore wrote that, if one denounces the teachings others follow out of love for one’s own, one will be destined to fall into the evil paths? If so, he would have been directly contradicting the truthful words of the Lotus Sutra, in which the Buddha states, “Honestly discarding expedient means” and “Not accepting a single verse of the other sutras.” This is hardly conceivable. Nagarjuna was a bodhisattva who appeared in accordance with Shakyamuni Buddha’s prediction, as well as a scholar in the direct lineage of the Buddha’s teaching. He may well have written this admonition in his treatise because he foresaw that such priests as Kobo and T’an-luan would slander the Lotus Sutra, the teaching that befits this age of the Latter Day of the Law. You should scoff at your opponents for not knowing the meaning of the words they cite. Tell them: “Are you yourselves not followers of those destined to fall into the evil paths? How pitiful! Are you not to be counted among those who will suffer for countless kalpas to come?” (Teaching Practice and Proof)

“He agonized over what course to take, but in the end, fearful of violating the Buddha’s admonition, made known his views to Emperor Kammu.” (Selection of Time)

“The Nirvana Sutra states: “If even a good monk sees someone destroying the teaching and disregards him, failing to reproach him, to oust him, or to punish him for his offense, then you should realize that that monk is betraying the Buddha’s teaching. But if he ousts the destroyer of the Law, reproaches him, or punishes him, then he is my disciple and a true voice-hearer.”

This admonition urged me on, and I spoke out against slander in spite of the various persecutions I faced, because I would have become an enemy of the Buddha’s teaching if I had not.Slander can be either minor or serious, however, and sometimes we should overlook it rather than attack it. The True Word and Tendai schools slander the Lotus Sutra and should be severely rebuked. But without great wisdom it is hard to differentiate correctly between their doctrines and the teachings that Nichiren spreads. Therefore, at times we refrain from attacking them, just as I did in On Establishing the Correct Teaching for the Peace of the Land.

Whether or not we speak out, it will be difficult for those who have committed the grave offense of slander to avoid retribution. Our seeing, hearing, and making no attempt to stop slander that, if we spoke out, could be avoided, destroys our gifts of sight and hearing, and is utterly merciless.

Chang-an writes, “If one befriends another person but lacks the mercy to correct him, one is in fact his enemy.” The consequences of a grave offense are extremely difficult to erase. The most important thing is to continually strengthen our wish to benefit others.” (The Embankments of Faith)

“The heart of all these passages is the admonition to embrace and believe in the Lotus Sutra in this Latter Day of the Law.” (The Embankments of Faith)

“Nevertheless, I was concerned that any admonition would be taken by the ignorant as mere jealousy of his wisdom, and so I refrained from speaking out.” (On Persecution Befalling the sage)

“Then the unenlightened man said: “Listening to the teachings and admonitions of a sage like you, I find that the misunderstandings I have labored under in recent days are all suddenly dispelled.” (op. cit. Conversations Sage)

“The third volume of the Nirvana Sutra says: ‘If even a good monk sees someone destroying the teaching and disregards him, failing to reproach him, to oust him, or to punish him for his offense, then you should realize that that monk is betraying the Buddha’s teaching. But if he ousts the destroyer of the Law, reproaches him, or punishes him, then he is my disciple and a true voice-hearer.’

“The meaning of this passage is that, if a person striving to propagate the correct teaching of the Buddha should hear and see others propounding the teachings of the sutras in a mistaken manner and fail to reproach them himself or, lacking the power to do that, fail to appeal to the sovereign and in this way take measures to correct them, then he is betraying the Buddha’s teaching. But if, as the sutras direct, he is not afraid of others but censures these slanderers himself and appeals to the sovereign to take measures against them, then he may be called a disciple of the Buddha and a true priest."

Yet the SGI teaches that the Zen, Nembutsu, Christians, Muslims, and Hindus of today are somehow different. Nothing could be further from the truth. Instead of sharing the dais with them they should be correcting their errant views.

“Being therefore determined to avoid the charge of ‘betraying the Buddha’s teaching,’ although I have incurred the hatred of others, I have dedicated my life to Shakyamuni Buddha and the Lotus Sutra, extending compassion to all living beings and rebuking slanders of the correct teaching. Those who cannot understand my heart have tightened their lips and glared at me with furious eyes. But if you are truly concerned about your future existence, you should think lightly of your own safety and consider the Law above all. Thus the Great Teacher Chang-an states, ‘ “[A royal envoy . . . would rather], even though it costs him his life, in the end conceal none of the words of his ruler” means that one’s body is insignificant while the Law is supreme. One should give one’s life in order to propagate the Law.’

“This passage is saying that, even if one must give up one’s life, one should not conceal the correct teaching; this is because one’s body is insignificant while the Law is supreme. Though one’s body be destroyed, one should strive to propagate the Law.” (ibid.)

Doesn’t the SGI conceal the True Teaching of the exclusive faith and practice of the Lotus Sutra by holding these interfaith dialogue? Never once do they utter the lion’s roar as did Nichiren during their interfaith conferences.

“And what of these admonitions of mine? Because people regard them with suspicion and refuse to heed them, disasters such as those we now face occur.” (Three Tripitaka Masters Pray For Rain)

“Now this great evil True Word doctrine has spread to Kamakura, deceiving the members of the ruling clan and threatening to bring about the destruction of Japan. This is a matter of the gravest import, and I have not discussed it even with my disciples. Instead I have dissembled, pretending ignorance and filling their ears only with attacks upon Nembutsu and Zen. But since my admonitions continue to go unheeded, without begrudging even my life, I will also tell my disciples what the true situation is.

“When I do so, they will be even more perplexed, saying that, no matter how admirable or worthy of respect Nichiren may be, he can scarcely surpass Jikaku and Kobo. I fear I will never succeed in banishing all their doubts. How can I dispel them?” (op. cit. Takahashi)

“It is a grave offense to go against these admonitions, and though invisible to the eye, the error piles up until it sends one plummeting to hell.” (Fourteen Slanders)

“My admonitions have surpassed even those set forth in the yüeh-fu poems of Po Chüi, and my prophecies are not inferior to those of the Buddha. ” (The Actions of the Votary of the Lotus Sutra)

“In ancient China, King Chou of the Yin dynasty refused to heed the admonitions of his loyal minister Pi Kan and instead cut out Pi Kan’s heart.” (ibid.)

“But just as a high wind creates great waves, or a powerful dragon brings forth torrential rains, so my admonitions called forth increasing animosity.” (ibid.)

“However, he did not heed my admonitions, but rather began to persecute me even more harshly, so there was nothing further I could do. (op. cit. no Safety Threefold World)

“I, Nichiren, fearing these admonitions of the Buddha, accordingly accused all those throughout the nation who were deserving of it and more than once I was condemned to exile or to death.” (Letter to Akimoto)

“Thus, although Shan-wu-wei, Hsüantsang, Kobo, Jikaku, Chisho, and the others put forth a variety of clever arguments, they could produce no passage of scripture proving the Lotus Sutra to be inferior to the Mahavairochana Sutra. Their whole argument rests solely on the question of whether the sutra includes mudras and mantras. Rather than writing hundreds of volumes of argument, traveling back and forth between China and Japan with their unending schemes, and arranging for the promulgation of imperial edicts in order to intimidate people, they would have been better off producing some clear passage of proof in the sutras themselves. Who then could have doubted their assertions??

Dewdrops accumulate to form a stream, and streams accumulate to form the great ocean. Particles of dust accumulate to form a mountain, and mountains accumulate to form Mount Sumeru. And in the same way, trifling matters accumulate to become grave ones. How much more so in the case of this matter, which is the gravest of all! When these men wrote their commentaries, they should have exerted themselves in examining both the principles and documentary evidence of the two teachings, and when the court issued imperial edicts, it, too, should have delivered its admonitions after thoroughly investigating both sides and citing some clear passage of proof.

Not even the Buddha himself could repudiate his statement that, among all the sutras he has preached, now preaches, and will preach, [the Lotus Sutra stands supreme]. How much less, then, can scholars, teachers, and rulers of states use their authority to do so! This statement [of the Buddha] has been heard by Brahma, Shakra, the gods of the sun and moon, and the four heavenly kings, and duly recorded in their respective palaces.

So long as the people truly did not know of this statement, it seems that the false interpretations of the teachers I mentioned spread without anyone incurring retribution. But once a person of forceful character has come forward to make this sutra passage known in a bold and uncompromising fashion, then grave matters are certain to occur. Because people have looked down on this person and cursed him, struck him, sent him into exile, or attempted to take his life, Brahma, Shakra, the gods of the sun and moon, and the four heavenly kings have risen up in anger and become that votary’s allies. Thus unexpected censures have come down from heaven, and the people are about to be wiped out and the nation destroyed.

Though the votary of the Lotus Sutra may be of humble background, the heavenly deities who protect him are fearsome indeed. If an asura tries to swallow the sun or moon, its head will split into seven pieces. If a dog barks at a lion, its bowels will rot. And as I view the situation today, the same sort of retribution is happening here in Japan.

On the other hand, those who give alms and support to the votary will receive the same benefit as though making offerings to the Lotus Sutra itself. As the Great Teacher Dengyo says in his commentary, “Those who praise him will receive blessings that will pile up as high as Mount Calm and Bright, while those who slander him will be committing a fault that will condemn them to the hell of incessant suffering.”

The person who offered a humble meal of millet to a pratyekabuddha became the Thus Come One Treasure Brightness. He who offered a mud pie to the Buddha became the ruler of Jambudvipa. Though one may perform meritorious deeds, if they are directed toward what is untrue, then those deeds may bring great evil, but they will never result in good. On the other hand, though one may be ignorant and make meager offerings, if one presents those offerings to a person who upholds the truth, one’s merit will be great. How much more so in the case of people who in all sincerity make offerings to the correct teaching!” (The Bodies and Minds of Ordinary Beings)

Regarding believers in the Lotus Sutra and Shakyamuni Buddha, Nichiren’s compassion and protection was in no way different than a lioness for her cubs. Towards those who would harm the Law and his disciples, he was fearless and uncompromising.

“… But even bodhisattvas with their great compassion, if they make offerings to the enemies of the Lotus Sutra, are certain to fall into the hell of incessant suffering. On the other hand, even those who commit the five cardinal sins, if they show animosity toward those enemies, will definitely be reborn in the human or heavenly world. King Sen’yo and King Possessor of Virtue, who had destroyed, respectively, five hundred and countless enemies of the Lotus Sutra, became Shakyamuni Buddha in this world. His disciples such as Mahakashyapa, Ananda, Shariputra, Maudgalyayana, and other countless followers were people who, at that time, were in the vanguard, defeating the enemy, or killing them, injuring them, or rejoicing in the fight. The monk Realization of Virtue became Kashyapa Buddha. He was a votary of the Lotus Sutra of great compassion who, at that time, urged King Possessor of Virtue to attack the enemies of the sutra as if they were the ones who had betrayed his father and mother in a previous lifetime.” (On Recommending This Teaching to Your Lord and Avoiding the Offense of Complicity in Slander)

By making offerings to these slanderers through your interfaith activities one destines oneself to hell. To have the same mind as Nichiren takes courage.

We are disciples of the Supreme Votary of the Lotus Sutra. We live his words while others offer lip service to the Daishonin or use him to gain credibility. We will not withold anything of Nichiren Daishonin’s teachings because he lived the Sutra and those who criticize his way are nothing but barking dogs. The teachings of the Nichiren Daishonin are The Succession Through the Scrolls of the Sutra. No intermediary like a special priest or Daisaku Ikeda is necessary. The SGI should immediately disband and humbly approach those who keep and protect the true teachings in order to receive a True Object of Worship so that they can lessen the karmic retribution they have brought upon themselves. They are not true believers. At best they are parrots of the "Daimoku of SGI”. To chant Namu Myoho renge kyo while abandoning and causing others to abandon the Lotus Sutra and Shakyamuni Buddha and expect to attain Buddhahood is as futile as entering a treasure mountain without hands. There is no benefit chanting Namu Myoho renge kyo with one’s mouth while chanting Namu Daisaku Ikeda, Namu SGI, or Namu interfaith in one’s heart. If it were possible to attain Buddhahood without confronting evil, the Buddha and Nichiren Daishonin would be great liars.

Here is what Nichiren says about those who chant the Daimoku but go against the Sutra:

“They entirely look up to groups of icchantikas and rely on them as leaders and, reverencing blasphemers against the Dharma, make them national teachers. Taking up the Classic Filial Piety of Confucious, they beat their parents’ heads and, while chanting the Lotus Sutra of Lord Shakya with their mouths, they go against the Master of teachings.

As far as converting others, Nichiren teaches in, On Establishing the Correct Law for the Peace of the Land:

“How can we do any good thing without criticizing them?”

“We should rather eliminate (this one sided teaching) than perform ten thousand prayers.”

“You should stop the fountainhead, you should cut out the root.”

“If you wish to realize the peace of our country quickly, you should eliminate them (mistaken doctrines) from our country.”

“If the four kinds of devotees of all the countries of the world stop making offerings to the bad priests and take refuge in the Good Law, no calamity will take place.”

and finally, in conclusion (very last sentences).

“I will not satisfy myself with the pleasure of believing the Right Law. I will lead others by correcting their mistakes.”

This is not just a call for the leaders of the country but a call for his disciples and believers. That is why so many copies of this treatise was circulated. Thanks to Shakyamuni Buddha and the Lotus Sutra, we of the will overcome the oppression of the Muslims, Hindus, Jews, Christians and the provisional Buddhists in the West, in India and in Southeast Asia. 

Now let me say a little bit about defilement and mixing:

“The third is being defiled, which means that the contents can be contaminated. Though the water itself may be pure, if filth is dumped into it, then the water in the vessel ceases to be of any use.’

By exchanging ideas with the heretics in a friendly congenial manner, rather than break and subdue, we ourselves become defiled. Tientai states, “From the indigo, an even deeper blue.” When we dilute the indigo through interfaith we get a pale facsimile of the indigo.

“Or we may be the kind of practitioners of the Lotus Sutra whose mouths are reciting Namu-myoho-renge-kyo one moment, but Namu Amida Butsu the next. This is like mixing filth with one’s rice, or putting sand or pebbles in it. This is what the Lotus Sutra is warning against when it says, “Desiring only to accept and embrace the sutra of the great vehicle and not accepting a single verse of the other sutras.”

Not accepting a single verse of the other sutras, means not accepting a single verse of the Koran, Bible, Torah or Vedas, let alone the Agamas, the Pure Land, and the Collection Of Wisdom Sutras.

“The learned authorities in the world today suppose that there is no harm in mixing extraneous practices with the practice of the Lotus Sutra, and I, Nichiren, was once of that opinion myself. But the passage from the sutra [that I have just quoted] does not permit such a view. Suppose that a woman who had been the consort of a great king and had become pregnant with his seed should then turn round and marry a man of common stature. In such a case, the seed of the king and the seed of the commoner would become mixed together, and as a result, the aid and assistance of heaven and the protection of the patron deities would be withdrawn, and the kingdom would face ruin. The child born from two such fathers would be neither a king nor a commoner, but someone who belongs not to the human realm.

This is one of the most important points in the Lotus Sutra. The doctrine of the sowing of the seed and its maturing and harvesting is the very heart and core of the Lotus Sutra. All the Buddhas of the three existences and the ten directions have invariably attained Buddhahood through the seeds represented by the five characters of Myoho-renge-kyo. The words Namu Amida Butsu are not the seeds of Buddhahood, nor can the mantras or the five precepts act as such seeds. One must be perfectly clear about this point, because this is the fault referred to as being mixed.”

These friendly interfaith meetings are mixing the clean with the unclean. These blasphemers must be remanded to the audience. They may not sit on the platform of Unexcelled Enlightenment with the True Preachers of the Dharma. They are not welcome to preach their heretical Dharma in our homes or temples: “I’m sorry, you will have to sit down and refrain from expressing your heretical views, or you will be asked to leave.” They may ask questions and they my praise the Lotus Sutra and its votaries but they will have to do so from the audience. Debate is a whole other story. These interfaith SGI meeting are a meeting of the minds, a consensus. There is no compromise with evil, according to Nichiren Daishonin. We must never defer to the provisional Buddhist schools let alone those of the non-Buddhists lest we be guilty of complicity like the SGI and others.

“The scholars of the various schools continue to cling to the mistaken opinions of their respective teachers. Therefore, they declare that Buddhist practices must be accommodated to the people’s capacities, or they defer to the opinions of their founders or try to persuade the worthy rulers of the time to be their allies. The upshot of all this is that in the end they give themselves up wholly to evil intentions, engage in wrangling and doctrinal disputes, and take delight in inflicting injury upon people who are guilty of no fault.” (Letter From Teradomari)

These are the causes and effects, the thoughts, words, and deeds of those who go against the Lotus Sutra. One who has the very same thoughts, words, and deeds of the Lotus Sutra and Nichiren Daishonin can never give themselves up to evil intentions, follow evil teachers, or engage in wrangling and doctrinal disputes since we have the same noble intentions, embrace the very same doctrines, and never delight in injuring people who are guilty of no fault. Those guilty of no fault are those who embrace the Lotus Sutra and follow Nichiren Daishonin. Those guilty of great faults are the Soka Gakkai, the Nichiren Shu, the accommodating Nichiren priests of whatever denomination, the Muslims, Hindus, Christians and Jews.

Nichiren also writes:

“Answer: Chang-an writes: “Hence [T’ien-t’ai’s explanation of the title in] the preface conveys the profound meaning of the sutra. The profound meaning indicates the heart of the text, and the heart of the text encompasses the whole of the theoretical and essential teachings.” And Miao-lo writes, “On the basis of the heart of the text of the Lotus Sutra, one can evaluate all the other various teachings of the Buddha.”

We can also evaluate the non-Buddhist teachings and reveal their fallacies. We can evaluate the devotees of these religions and point out their faults. There is no common ground and there is no compromise. Chant Namu Myoho renge kyo or fall into hell.

Nichiren writes:

“The Great Teacher Chia-hsiang wrote the ten-volume Hokke Genron, and that would under ordinary circumstances have condemned him to fall into the hell of incessent suffering. But he set aside his own manner of reading the Lotus Sutra and served the Great Teacher Tientai, and thus was able to escape the pains of hell.” (Akimoto Gosho)

Is interfaith, Nichiren’s manner of reading the Sutra? Can anyone say so and back up their point of view? In the Opening of the Eyes, he takes to task Confucianism, Brahmanism, Taoism, and each and every provisional Buddhist teaching. Were he aware of Christianity and Islam would he not take them to task? Would he join them in prayers [or friendly discussions], even for the sake of peace? Never. He never did nor would he ever and neither will we [unlike the SGI and the Nichiren Shu who is so steeped in slander that they can neither distinguish black from white].

Today all the members and priests of all the so-called Nichiren sects, have a different manner than Nichiren Daishonin [in the way they read the Lotus Sutra]. Their mistaken doctrines and practices are proof that they have their own manner of reading the Sutra. The SGI and others are so worried about being liked and accepted that they have abandoned the Lotus Sutra and the Supreme Votary. Ikeda is so preoccupied with receiving awards and honors he will compromise with the devil. It is ten thousand, one hundred thousand, one million times better to be hated as Nichiren Daishonin and speak the truth to slanderers than be loved like Ryuei of the Nichire Shu and Daisaku Ikeda:

"Among all these men, Nichiren alone deserves to be regarded as the foremost. In what sense is he the foremost?? He is foremost in being hated by men and women…”

He explains why:

“But I, Nichiren, one man alone, declare that the recitation of the name of Amida Buddha is an action that leads to rebirth in the hell of incessant suffering, that the Zen school is the invention of the heavenly devil, that the True Word school is an evil doctrine that will destroy the country, and that the Precepts school and the observers of the precepts are traitors to the nation.”

While the modern “reformers” of the Nichiren sect [who I call blasphemers], Daisaku Ikeda, Arai Nissatsu, and Udai-in Nichiki have changed the Four Dictums of Nichiren to fit in with their limited slanderous worldview

Nissatsu teaches, “Because we contemplate the Buddha, ceaselessly devils are quieted; because our words are true, traitors who would destroy the nation are subdued.”, thus changing the import and thrust of the Four Dictums. 

Ikeda teaches, “The modern significance of the four dictums is not limited to the simple refutation of Japanese Buddhist schools but in fully developing the positive power of human life. This is the Mystic Law of the simultaneity of cause and effect inherent in human life, and to embrace it is to create boundless value.”– Ikeda

Nichiren’s life and death struggle was a mere “simple refutation” to Daisaku Ikeda. Then he goes on with a non sequitor to change the subject which is offensive to his slanderous ears. This is what all the SGI do when we perform Nichiren Daishonin’s practice of Shakabuku, as if it is divorced from Nichiren Daishonin’s Buddhism. It is the very heart of Nichiren Daishonin’s Buddhism and our practice for the sake of others.

We who embrace Nichiren Daishonin’s Four Dictums, on the other hand, expand them to make Eight Dictums, Twenty Eight Dictums, One Thousand Dictims, such as Christianity is the teaching of heavenly demons, Islam is the teaching of blind heretics, Hinduism is the teaching of parasitic worms, and Judaism is the teachings of misanthropes.

Nichiren states:

“Because I do so, from the sovereign on down to the common people, all people fear me more than they would an enemy of their parents, an enemy from a past existence, a plotter of treason, a night raider, or a bandit. They rage, they curse, they strike at me. Those who slander me are given grants of land, while those who praise me are driven from their areas or fined, and the people who desire to kill me are singled out for rewards. And on top of all this, I have twice incurred the wrath of the authorities.

I am not only the strangest person alive in the world today; in the ninety reigns of human sovereigns, in the more than seven hundred years since the Buddhist teachings were first introduced to Japan, there has never been such a strange person. I, Nichiren, am like the great comet of the Bun’ei era (1264), a disorder of the heavens such as had never happened in Japan before that time. I, Nichiren, am like the great earthquake of the Shoka era (1257), a freak of the earth that had never before occurred in this land.

In Japan since the history of this country began, there have been twenty- six perpetrators of treason. The first was Prince Oyama, the second was Oishi no Yamamaru, and so on down to the twenty-fifth, Yoritomo, and the twenty-sixth, Yoshitoki. The first twenty-four of these men were struck down by the imperial forces and had their heads put on display at the prison gate, or their corpses left to rot in the mountain fields. But the last two succeeded in overthrowing the sovereign and gaining complete control of the nation, and at that time the imperial rule came to an end.

And yet these various perpetrators of treason are less hated by the mass of people than is Nichiren. If you ask why that should be, I will tell you. The Lotus Sutra contains a passage declaring that that sutra is first among all the sutras. However, the Great Teacher Kobo declares that the Lotus Sutra ranks third, while the Great Teacher Jikaku declares that the Lotus Sutra ranks second, and the Great Teacher Chisho agrees with Jikaku. Hence at present, when the priests of Mount Hiei, To-ji, and Onjo-ji look upon the Lotus Sutra, they read the passage that says the Lotus Sutra is first, but what they understand when they read it is that the Lotus Sutra is second or third in standing.

Neither the nobility nor the warrior clans have any detailed information about this matter. But since the eminent priests in whom they place their faith all subscribe to this opinion, the laity share the same view as their teachers.” - Letter to Akimoto

In like manner, the disciples and believers of Daisaku Ikeda share their mentor's view that the Lotus Sutra has lost its power in the Latter Age. To support this mistaken view, they cite one or both passages from the writings of Nichiren Daishonion that an ignorant might take as proof, ignoring his more than three thousand citations that exalt the Lotus Sutra. We know why the Soka Gakkai makes such claims while ignoring the vast majority of the writings of Nichiren ... Were their members to embrace the Lotus Sutra and the entirety of the writings of Nichiren Daishonin, they would realize that there is no need for a living mentor in the seat of the Law or an organization that teaches and practices contrary to the Lotus Sutra and Nichiren Daishonin.

Namu Myoho renge kyo and Karma

Lotus Sutra Buddhism supplies answers to the very profound questions of being. 

Individual Karma...

One child is born sightless to poverty stricken parents in a drought and war ravaged region of Africa and another born to immensely wealthy parents in a penthouse in Zurich. One child is born with an IQ of 60 and can barely feed himself and another is reading an encyclopedia by the age of two. A four year old girl who never took a music lesson can play several different instruments while another with cerebral palsy can not even hold a spoon. One child is born into the Brahman caste and another into an untouchable family. Still another overcomes her disability and goes on to develop a cure for AIDS while a perfectly healthy world class athlete suffers a career ending compound fracture of the femur. There are five billion examples of differences in fortune, wisdom, physical and mental drive and abilities. 

There are rarely encountered adults and even children who have a documented first hand knowledge of historical individuals, events, and locations and there are unmistakable shared physical and mental characteristics among certain deceased and living individuals with no associated shared heredity. Only the doctrine of Karma reasonably explains and answers this observable reality.

Collective Karma...

Examples of collective karma are those with cerebral palsy, those born white, those killed in the holocaust, doctors, lawyers, indian chiefs. Either there is individual and group responsibility or there is none. Weal and woe either happens by chance, the will of god, or through the thoughts, words, and actions of individuals and groups. Those who have faith in the Lotus Sutra believe in personal and group responsibility caused by the thoughts, words, and deeds of individuals and groups accumulated since the infinite past. Who is the agent of your weal or woe? I hit my thumb with a hammer. I would be a fool to blame someone else. Likewise, only fools blame God, others, the environment, or chance for their misfortune.

Nichiren Daishonin on Karma:

"Question: How can you be certain that the exiles and sentences of death imposed on you are the result of karma created in the past?

Answer: A bronze mirror will reflect color and form. The First Emperor of the Ch'in dynasty had a lie-detecting mirror that would reveal offenses committed in this present life. The mirror of the Buddha's Law makes clear the causal actions committed in the past. The Parinirvana Sutra states: "Good man, because people committed countless offenses and accumulated much evil karma in the past, they must expect to suffer retribution for everything they have done. They may be despised, cursed with an ugly appearance, be poorly clad and poorly fed, seek wealth in vain, be born to an impoverished and lowly family or one with erroneous views, or be persecuted by their sovereign. They may be subjected to various other sufferings and retributions. It is due to the blessings obtained by protecting the Law that they can diminish in this lifetime their suffering and retribution."

Namu Myoho renge kyo and Karma...

Karma can be the most comforting or the most disquieting belief. Everything depends on one's Buddhist faith and practice, true and correct or false and mistaken. Certitude of karmic reward is always comforting while certitude of karmic retribution may or may not be disquieting. You will have to repay your karmic debt. If you have accumulated much karmic reward, the debt seems insignificant. If you have accumulated little karmic reward, your debt seems oppressive. Chanting Namu Myoho renge kyo with a correct faith and teaching others to do the same, is the way to accumulate infinite karmic reward. Your travails will pale in significance. 

Great experience of a former thirty year member

"I truly appreciate finding and reading this post and the comments. I feel saddened, but supported by the observations re District overload, not being consulted, top-down administration, in-group appointment, appointment of MD leaders at all costs, and other counter-intuitive (not to mention counter-Buddhist) SGI organizational policy. I practiced with the SGI for 30 years–through famine-feast, drought-flood, plague-wellness, disaster and more. Until the last cycle of leadership rearrangement. It seems to me that SGI continually puts the emphasis on the wrong sy-la’-ble. CEC wonders why we can’t keep members, without asking fundamental questions. Why do people leave? Fundamentally and historically the SGI-USA has put the emphasis on structure, form and growth, i.e. numbers. Last year’s emphasis on 4-Divisional leadership, even where there were no possible candidates, and this year’s call for “Champion Districts” are prime examples. Despite everything Nichiren taught about it being “the heart that matters,” SGI can’t seem to catch on that measurement of growth is internal, and that teaching the law to others is not a campaign, but a natural, predictable outcome of the joy of experiencing the benefit of practice. Alas, conformity, counting and control reign in an organization that claims to foster equality, empowerment and enlightenment."

Great experience of a former three month member

#12 | Written by michaelmichael about 8 months ago.

"I started going to an SGI center about 7 months ago and was LOVING it. The practice totally resonated with me, I saw immediate, obvious benefit, and felt like it was a simple practice, with a solid philosophy, and a vibrant community supporting the practice. 3 months later I received my Gohonzon and now have just quit the organization completely LOL. The week before I received my Gohonzon one of the more complicated “leaders” began to harass me, including calling me on the phone to threaten me that he knew people that had died of cancer, in car accidents, and even ended up in mental institutions because they didn’t “practice Buddhism properly” (whatever that means). I had from the moment I started attending district meetings steered clear of this guy, and I’d actually been warned by another member that he had chased off people he didn’t like in the past, and had had many problems over the years with other members. He was sure that I wasn’t a “proper” practitioner and tried to jam up the process of my moving forward. Other leaders intervened when I asked because they all knew his personality conflicts and they encouraged me to just breathe through it, and keep chanting. One also admitted to me out of frustration that the SGI tends to hand out leader titles like they’re candy, to pretty much anyone that will take it. And that once you get the title there’s no process to remove you from your position if you abuse it, so it just continues. That did not sit well with me. I DID receive Gohonzon but my partner stopped chanting and attending classes and meetings because he thought the whole thing was really disordered. A friend that we had introduced to the practice also left because whenever he went to a meeting in his district the “leader” would harass him that he REALLY needed to bring his partner to a meeting in order for his life to get better. (Lame).

Within a few weeks I was so soured on the lack of organization and oversight in the organization, and the strange proslytizing practices that I had to quit. I like the practice but the people seem REALLLLLY damaged. I saw more than a few “stepford wives” walking around parroting “Sensei” quotes, people climbing over themselves to give “encouragements” that seemed totally inappropriate/wrong/damaging, and also people that seemed like they didn’t have much else in their lives, so climbing the ladder at the SGI was probably the only way they were ever going to “be somebody”. The whole organization seems about 180 degrees away from where it could be, given the revolutionary and really empowering message you get from reading the Gosho and Lotus Sutra. What a pity. In the meantime, I still think the practice is good, and I wasn’t one of the people showing up in dire straits, my life was already really great, so this hasn’t been a disaster at all. I do hope they figure out how to do better. I also will warn anybody that ever asks that they are probably not a good place to go."

Reverend Ryuei hates Nichiren and his literal view of the Lotus Sutra

"Senchu Murano or Zen Masters like Taigen Dan Leighton or Thich Nhat Hanh, have no problem with a metaphorical approach to the Lotus Sūtra and its traditions, teachings, and practices. Their commentaries have already opened up the way to a profounder reading of the sūtra than the merely literal."

Can you find support for this SGI leader's view?

"Your basic question, I believe, is about the relationship of a person to the Law. In other words, must a believer subjugate themselves to another believer because of organizational standing without the theoretical and practical proof of the validity of doing so?" -- SGI leader

He went on to say that "thanks" to the SGI discussion meeting one will realize the benefit of being subjugated by Daisaku Ikeda.

Does he mean enslaved, crushed, brought to heel, kept under thumb, reduced, put down, coerced, bore down, vanquished, ruled by, kicked around, beat down, reeled back in, forced, overthrown, suppressed, or all these things?

I asked him if he could find a sentence or a phrase from the Lotus Sutra or writings of Nichiren Daishonin that supports his view. Of course, nothing.

Answering the questions of what, why, how, who, and when

Faith in the Lotus Sutra answers the questions of what, why, how, who, and when, the totality of mundane and supramundane [metaphysical] causality. The interpenetration of reality is Enlightenment and the difference between a Buddha and a common mortal. The Buddha, thanks to his mercy, bequeathed the Lotus Sutra and the method [devotion to the Lotus Sutra] for interpenetrating reality so that we too could experience the exact same Enlightenment as he. Gaining an unobstructed view of reality, we have unbounded appreciation for Shakyamuni Buddha, as did Nichiren.

Grand Master Dogen would have been a follower of Nichiren. Why not Daisaku Ikeda?

"The Saddharma-pundarika-sutra explains the purpose of the various Buddhas having appeared in this world. It may be said to be the great king and the great master of all the various sutras that the Buddha Shakyamuni taught. Compared with this sutra, all the other sutras are merely its servants, its relatives, for it alone expounds the Truth. The other sutras, on the other hand, include provisional teachings of the Buddha, and therefore do not express his real intention.

It is a mistake to use the teachings of the other sutras as the basis for determining the validity of those contained in the Saddharma-pundarika-sutra, for without the merit-power of the latter, the former would be  valueless. All the other sutras find their origin in this sutra. As the previously quoted sentence from this sutra shows, the merit of the Three Treasures is truly of unsurpassed value." --  Grand Master Dogen

The absolute exquisiteness of the Lotus Sutra.

"Compared to Hinayana Buddhism all Brahma schools are in error. Compared to the Lotus Sutra, the correct way of Hinayana Buddhism or first four of the so-called "five tastes" and the first three of the Four Teachings are all evil and erroneous. the Lotus Sutra alone is true and correct. The 'perfect teaching" preached in such pre-Lotus sutras as the Flower Garland, Hodo, and Hannya Sutras is called perfect but its perfection is only from a relative point of view. It is still inferior to the absolute exquisiteness of the Lotus Sutra.

Also, the "perfect teaching" of the pre-Lotus sutras is erroneous because it still remains in the first three categories of the Four Teachings. Therefore, we are still treading the way of error even if we practice the ultimate teaching of the pre-Lotus sutras such as the Flower Garland and Hannya. How much more should Honen and his disciples and followers be in error! They depended on such petty sutras as the Kanmuryoju-kyo, which are inferior to such pre-Lotus sutras as the Flower Garland and Hannya, taking the "Lotus" in the Kanmuryoju-kyo and urging the people to discard the Lotus sutra. Aren't they the so-called slanderers of the true dharma? Sakyamuni, Taho, and numerous other Buddhas from all over the universe came to this world in order to have the Lotus Sutra remain here forever. Honen and Pure Land believers in Japan claim that the Lotus Sutra in the Latter Age of the Decadent Dharma will perish before the Pure Land School. Aren't they the enemies of Sakyamuni, Taho, and many other buddhas from all the worlds in the universe?" -- Opening of the Eyes

Disillusioned with SGI

"I was introduced to SGI Buddhism 2 1/2 years ago. It is actually the only Nichiren sect I knew existed at the time. I was fine with what the practice seemed to encourage based on my introduction. I was excited about embracing the Lotus Sutra and reading the letters of Nichiren. This all began to fade when “May contribution” month hit. It wasn’t the asking for money part, it was the nature of the videos, and the paranoia surrounding potential cameras in the room! Apparently there are people out there who wish to harm president Ikeda’s image! That really struck a chord with me. I tried to let things go and continue my study and practice with less interaction with this particular group. Also I don’t know if anyone has seen these videos but they seemed to imply people give what they don’t really have…that one really raised red flags for me. I had just about begun to forget each incident and kinda just distanced more, then another friend who was curious suggested we go to a meeting. I was reluctant at first but I went against my better judgment and took him to one. He said it was all okay until, they began singing “Forever Sensei”. He says he’d rather just chant at home. I try not to laugh but I don’t blame him. I’m actually accepted by family and friends just fine as a Buddhist but I’m actually embarrassed to introduce people anymore because I don’t want to see them drop chanting all together. I haven’t stopped chanting or studying, I just include non-SGI materials in the stack now. I hope that change will come, I really do. I also wanna add I have found a lot of information about SGI history I didn’t know. If I had been informed better I probably wouldn’t have joined. For now I chant and study alone."

SGI repays their debt of gratitude to Nichiren by spitting in his face

Please go to 1:02 to see how SGI repays their debt of gratitude to Nichiren.

Regarding my enemies assertion

Regarding my enemies assertion that it is hypocritical to use SGI source materials, Nichiren made use of the commentaries of those he considered to be slanderers of the Dharma, for example, the following passage from the Learned Doctor Shan-wu-wei in the Opening of the Eyes:

"The characters Myoho-renge-kyo are Chinese. In India, the Lotus Sutra is called Saddharma-pundarika-sutra. The following is the mantra concerning the heart of the Lotus Sutra composed by the Tripitaka Master Shan-wu-wei: namah samanta-buddhanam om a a am ah sarva-buddha-jna-sakshebhyah gagana-sambhavalakshani saddharma-pundarika-sutra jah hum bam hoh vajrarakshaman hum svaha Hail to all the Buddhas! Three- bodied Thus Come Ones! Open the door to, show me, cause me to awaken to, and to enter into the wisdom and insight of all the Buddhas. You who are like space and who have freed yourself from form! Oh, Sutra of the White Lotus of the Correct Law! Cause me to enter into, to be everywhere within, to dwell in, and to rejoice in you. Oh, Adamantine Protector! Oh, empty, aspect-free, and desire-free sutra!

This mantra, which expresses the heart of the Lotus Sutra, was found in the iron tower in southern India. In this mantra, saddharma means “correct Law.” Sad means correct. Correct is the same as myo [wonderful]; myo is the same as correct. Hence the Lotus Sutra of the Correct Law and the Lotus Sutra of the Wonderful Law. And when the two characters for namu are prefixed to Myoho-renge-kyo, or the Lotus Sutra of the Wonderful Law, we have the formula Namu-myoho-renge-kyo."

The use of other's source materials can be likened to a master judaoka using his opponent's strength against him.

Good friends and bad friends

What do you do when your so-called friends continuously lie to you? Do you continue to remain friends or do you break off the relationship? Your SGI friends are bad friends who repeatedly and continually lie to you about the most important thing in your life, your faith and practice of Nichiren Daishonin's Lotus Sutra Buddhism and the nature of the SGI organization. Shouldn't you find some good friends who will never lie to you regarding the faith and practice of the Lotus Sutra?

Former TEPCO Chairman and top SGI leader facing criminal charges

Born in company of the Buddha Shakyamuni

We, the various beings who live in this world, have been the beloved children of Shakyamuni Buddha, the lord of teachings, since numberless major world system dust particle kalpas in the past. And though because of the offense of our unfilial behavior we are unaware of this to this day, we are nevertheless not the same as the beings of another realm.

A Buddha with whom one establishes a connection that leads to enlightenment, and the various beings who establish such a connection, may be compared to the moon in the sky as it is reflected in countless bodies of clear water. But in the case of a Buddha with whom no such connection can be established, the various beings are comparable to deaf persons straining to hear the sound of thunder or blind persons facing the sun or the moon.

And yet there are some teachers who deprecate Shakyamuni and pay reverence to the Thus Come One Mahāvairochana, or some teachers who declare that one cannot establish a connection leading to Buddhahood with Shakyamuni, but can establish such a connection with Amida. Other teachers support the Shakyamuni of the Hinayana teachings, the Shakyamuni of the Flower Garland Sutra, or the Shakyamuni of the theoretical teaching of the Lotus Sutra. All these teachers and their supporters who forget [the] Shakyamuni [of the “Life Span” chapter] and choose some other Buddha instead are like Prince Ajātashatru, who killed his father, King Bimbisāra, and, turning against Shakyamuni, became a patron of Devadatta.

The fifteenth day of the second month is regarded as the date when Shakyamuni Buddha passed away, and the fifteenth day of each month also as the day of memorial service for this loving father of all the beings of the threefold world. And yet, led astray by such veritable Devadattas as Shan-tao, Hōnen, and Yōkan, people have now decided that that date is to be looked on as a day consecrated to Amida Buddha! The eighth day of the fourth month is the birthday of the World-Honored One Shakyamuni, and yet it has now been taken over as the birthday of Medicine Master Buddha! To take the anniversary of the death of your own loving father and turn it into the anniversary for some other Buddha—what kind of filial conduct is that!

The “Life Span” chapter says, “I am the father of this world because I cure my deranged sons.” The Great Teacher T’ien-t’ai says, “Originally one followed this Buddha and for the first time conceived the desire to seek the way. And by following this Buddha again, one will reach the stage where there is no retrogression. . . . Just as all the hundred rivers flow into the sea, so is one drawn by one’s connection with the Buddha and born in company with the Buddha.”

"The Nirvana Sutra says: “Rely on the Law and not upon persons. . . . Rely on wisdom and not on discriminative thinking.”

"The Nirvana Sutra says: “Rely on the Law and not upon persons. . . . Rely on wisdom and not on discriminative thinking.”

To rely on the Law means to rely on the constantly abiding Law of the Lotus and Nirvana sutras. Not relying on persons means not relying on persons who do not themselves rely on the Lotus and Nirvana sutras. Even though they may be Buddhas or bodhisattvas, if they are Buddhas and bodhisattvas who do not rely on the Lotus and Nirvana sutras, they cannot serve as good friends. And how much more is this so if they are merely scholars, translators of the sacred texts, or ordinary teachers!

To rely on wisdom means to rely on the Buddha. Not relying on discriminative thinking means that one does not rely on those who are on the level of near-perfect enlightenment or below."

Thursday, July 30, 2015

From: Can Scholars Be Deceived? Empirical Evidence from Social Psychology and History by Steve Eichel

"I am currently reviewing two books that present the results of sociological surveys of the U.K. and U.S. membership of the Soka Gakkai International. The SGI is a new religious movement that practices the Buddhism founded by a 13th century Japanese monk, Nichiren Daishonin. Both books are published by the Oxford University Press, certainly a publisher with name recognition and associated prestige. Both books are, in my opinion, extremely well-constructed and informative studies that are unabashedly friendly toward the SGI. The first study, by Bryan Wilson and Karel Dobbelaere (1994) was published as A Time to Chant. It was funded by Oxford University and the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium. The second study, by Phillip Hammond and David Machacek (1999) has just been published as Soka Gakkai in America. It was funded by the Boston Research Center, which, to their credit, the authors squarely identify as an arm of the SGI. The Hammond and Machacek book even provides an accounting of how much funding was provided ($28,000). This is only part of the story, however, because both books have been heavily advertised in official SGI publications, and I know members are strongly encouraged to buy them. If the Philadelphia keikon is at all indicative of other SGI community centers, thousands of these books have been advanced ordered. I bought A Time to Chant at the Philadelphia keikon, which at the time stocked a dozen or so copies. (The SGI bookstore salesperson told me “Oh yes, we sell a lot of these.”) I conservatively estimate that these books have sold or will sell well into the thousands, perhaps even into the tens of thousands. In academia, this constitutes a runaway best seller. And while I doubt any of the authors are using their royalty checks to purchase beach front property on Martha’s Vineyard, I would not be surprised if, compared to other sociologists, they have a somewhat easier time getting published by Oxford (or some other press) in the future. And publishing in academia means survival and, better yet, advancement.

But academics may not generally respond to overt financial reward, for most of us like to think our opinions cannot be bought. However, cognitive dissonance (Festinger, 1957; Kelman, 1974), one of the most researched and cross-validated constructs in social psychology, helps us to understand why it is unnecessary to buy us outright. In general, if you want to influence scholars, don’t pay them too much! You’d do much better to underpay them. Since few of us want to think of ourselves as “cheap labor,” when we are underpaid for our services we tend to resolve the ensuing dissonance by experiencing our behavior as a product of true conviction rather than avarice. This is the psychological mechanism behind many initiation rituals. From religious rites to fraternity hazing, cognitive dissonance leads to attitude change, “hardening” of belief systems, and greatly increased affiliation (bonding and loyalty).

I have briefly reviewed our vulnerability to making inaccurate judgments as a result of our prior beliefs, expectations, attractions, and financial relationships. Many or even most of you were probably aware of these social psychological influences. So you and I are immune to them, right? Not according to Robert Kraut and Steven Lewis of the Bell Labs. In their study, published in the Journal of Personality & Social Psychology, they found that we scholars are only moderately accurate at estimating the impact of these incidental influences on our judgments." (Kraut & Lewis, 1982).

Scholars, doctors, butchers, bakers, and candlestick makers too...

Who is and how to recognize the Third and most powerful of the Three Powerful Enemies

David Kasahara SGI vice general director wrote:

"The more we strictly follow the Law, including, in my mind, President Ikeda's guidance..."

Nichiren writes,

"However, they do not look like those referred to in the sutra: monks who wear robes and stay in tranquility. People do not suppose that they are revered by the people as though they were arhats with Six Superhuman Powers or, should I say that they are those who are more cunning and less likely to reveal their faults?"

It is very important to determine who are the cunning monks. Think carefully. Who could be more cunning than a monk who states, "I am not a monk, I am a layman." From the perspective of this age and time, we would have to conclude that it is the business suited lay vice presidents and President of the SGI who are these cunning monks. Those who are looked up to as living Buddhas or having Superhuman Powers ("He could read my thoughts.", "How could anyone but a living Buddha collect so many awards and honors?", "Who but Daisaku Ikeda could write three hundred books." -- discounting of course his dozens of ghost writers) - that is who is the most cunning of the cunning monks.

Nichiren goes on to reveal another way to determine who is in fact the third of the Three Powerful enemies. Here he uses the Zen monks as an example:

"Monks who study only the writings refer to those who
are concerned only with the scholastic aspects without
understanding the true meaning of the scriptures through
wisdom; and Zen monks who are concerned only with
formality refer to those who are concerned with the
conventions of meditation without firmly grasping the
fundamentals. This is the same as the meditation of
Brahmans, who will never gain complete freedom from
delusions and evil passions. T'ien-t'ai's statement that
some Zen monks concentrate only on meditation is an
understatement sypathetic to them. In actuality, they
lack both practice in meditation as well as wisdom to
understand the doctrine. Those who practice Zen consider
only the meditation important and pay little attention to
the study of doctrines. They interpretate sutras from the
viewpoint of meditation in such an absurd way as to say
that the eight-fold Evil Path and the Eight Winds make the
sixteen-feet tall Buddha, and the Five Elements of all
existences and the Three Poisons of greed, anger, and
stupidity make the Eight-fold Evil Path. They confuse the
six sensory organs with the Six superhuman Powers, or
confuste the basic elements of the material world (earth,
water, fire, and wind) with the Four Noble Truths. That such
interpretations of the sutras are the worst of all is beyond
question, an absurdity not worthy of discussion."

If you have spoken to the top leaders of SGI, you will know that they are not much different than the Zen monks, confusing the very basic concepts of Buddhism with meaningless but sometimes ornate rhetoric. They are also like Sammibo, a former disciple of Nichiren Daishonin who became arrogant thus distorting his teachings. If you haven't spoken to the top leaders, here are some examples.

"In the November 9, 1992 World Tribune (WT) p. 5, the late Richard Causton, former general director of the SGI-UK, stated,

"We must deeply understand that the heritage of the Universal Law of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo can only be transmitted through organizations joined in unity, based on faith in Nichiren Daishonin's Buddhism and the principle of the oneness of master and disciple." (emphasis added). Mr. Causton also explains his reference to "the oneness of master and disciple" as follows: "All of us who chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, which our ultimate master, Nichiren Daishonin, taught us, can develop the eyes of the Buddha; but it is President Ikeda, our master in life, who guides us through the rocks and shoals of this life, with pride and gratitude. President Ikeda has taught me everything. "The article also states: "Hence, the master gives his guidance based on his interpretations of the Gosho in contemporary terms and his experience of action, both for his own human revolution and for guiding the movement for kosen-rufu. We as disciples, must then set out to prove its validity for ourselves . .

Please note the focus on President Ikeda and not on the Eternal Shakyamuni, Namu myoho Renge kyo, the Lotus Sutra, nor the Daishonin .

"An editorial in the WT of November 16, 1992, p. 2, stated:

"One way [of making 'sincerity' real in our lives] is to constantly renew our determination to live with sincerity by putting President Ikeda's guidance into action every day . . . It's important to study Nichiren Daishonin's writings and the guidance of President Ikeda, but unless we put all these words into action, they are meaningless."

It is implied that President Ikeda's guidance is superior to the guidance of the Gohonzon, Buddha Shakyamuni. and Nichiren Daishonin.

"In the January 11, 1993 WT, p. 4, Mr. Ikeda stated:

"Since the Buddhist way of mentor and disciple is the ultimate way for humanity, it is impossible to grasp even the tiniest fragment of it if your efforts are only half-hearted. How faithfully did Mr. Toda follow and protect Mr. Makiguchi? And how faithfully did I follow and protect Mr. Toda? To a degree nearly unimaginable by people today. I could not hope to serve that great leader of Buddhism, Mr. Toda, without a determination to give up my own life if necessary. In that fierce determination we find the very essence of what it is to be human."

The Daishonin's master was the Eternal Shakyamuni and the Lotus Sutra. Again, again and again he stated to rely on the Law and not on the person.

"In the November 16, 1992 WT, p. 5, Mr. Ikeda stated:

"Those who think that the times when the SGI is facing terrible persecutions has nothing to do with themselves will receive no benefits. They have nothing to commend themselves; they have no faith. But those who fight with the conviction that they are personally being persecuted possess truly great faith. Those who can maintain their faith until the last moment of their lives -- even if they are thrown in jail because of their faith for 20 or 30 years -- are true Buddhists, true 'revolutionaries' directly linked to the Daishonin."

Is the SGI being persecuted for the sake of the Law or for their questionable social and political activities or merely admonished for their bastardization of the Lotus Sutra and teachings of Nichiren Daishonin?

In the September 12, 1994 WT, p. 5, Senior Vice General Director David Kasahara stated:

" . . . ', the more capable we become at being flexible in our awareness of what others need for their happiness."

The Law is President Ikeda's guidance according to the SGI. They chant Nam(u) Myoho renge kyo with their mouths but Nam(u) daisaku Ikeda and Namu Daisaku Ikeda's guidance with their hearts. Next, he will have his guidance inscribed on the Gohonzon.

In the May 3, 1996 WT, p. 10, Mr. Ikeda stated:

"Ultimately, Buddhism comes down to the person. I did not wait to place my trust in President Toda until I had learned about the Daishonin's teachings. Rather, I came to trust Buddhism because I first believed in the person, Josei Toda."

Rely on the person and not on the Law is the teaching of the Soka Gakkai. Is this not destroying the Law, the Lotus and Nirvana Sutras, and the writings of Nichiren?

In the SGI May study preparation lecture on Letter to Misawa by the head of the SGI study department, the jist of Greg Martin's lecture was that, through faith in the oneness of mentor and disciple, faith that the disciple is one with the Buddha, Daisaku Ikeda (specifically and our seniors in faith, generally), we can prevent the Devil of the Sixth Heaven from entering into our lives and organization. Don't drop "oneness" when entrusting yourself to Ikeda or a senior or even when discussing the mentor disciple relationship, he explained (obviously a very very important point because he made it several times).

Another "important" point he made, was not to succumb to the tantalizing temptation for power and authority [except in relation to the mentor of Daisaku Ikeda and your seniors in faith]. This too was another example of double speak.

Select a mentor (someone like Ikeda and your seniors) who has defeated the Devil of the Sixth Heaven . Substitute wisdom for faith (faith in the mentor and your seniors). About the organization he said, one reed can't stand alone which is double talk because one moment earlier he discussed self reliant faith and practice and in the next moment, reliance on SGI.

Greg Martin went on in his lecture on the Letter to Misawa to say that we can transform ourselves through reading and putting president Ikeda's guidance into practice but he never touched upon those enemies of the Lotus Sutra, such as the Shingon priests and their teachings, nor did he discuss the principle of not begrudging one's life for the Lotus Sutra, contrasting strong faith with the weak faith of the Nun Usabusa. He also talked very little about the Supreme Votary of the Lotus Sutra, Nichiren Daishonin and he did mention the Daimoku and teaching others but his conclusion was that the one vehicle to realize the widespread propagation of the Law (Kosen Rufu) is the teaching of mentor (Daisaku Ikeda) and disciple. The reality is, this important writng of Nichiren Daishonin has very little to say about anything that remotely resembles the SGI teachings on mentor and disciple.

In general the SGI maintains, like the zen school,

"The Lotus Sutra is a finger pointing to the moon
while the Zen School is the moon itself. After
grasping the moon there is no need for the finger
to point at it. Zen is the heart of the Buddha while
the Lotus Sutra is merely His words. Having finished
preaching all the sutras, including the Lotus, the Buddha
picked up a bunch of flowers and gave it to Kasyapa
because he alone understood what the Buddha
meant. As proof the Buddha entrusted him with His
kesa (vestment), which had been handed down through
twenty-eight patriarchs of Buddhism in India to six
patriarchs of Buddhism in China."

They assert either that the Lotus Sutra has lost its power or it is too difficult to understand without the instruction of Daisku Ikeda.

As a matter of course, we do not spare our voices to protect the teachings of the Daishonin while the SGI does not spare it's voice slandering and distorting the sacred teachings. The truth will be disseminated despite the power, money and prestige of Daisaku Ikeda and the SGI. We are determined to follow in the footsteps of Shakyamuni Buddha, Nagarjuna, Vasubandu, Nan Yueh, Chang-an, Tientai, Miao-lo, Dengyo, Nichiren Daishonin, and Nichiju Shonin and admonish those who would seek to destroy the Sublime Dharma  of the Lotus Flower Sutra.

One need look no further than the SGI leaders and specifically Daisaku Ikeda as the third and most dangerous of the Three Powerful Enemies in this present age.

The real reason SGI members are blind

"Thinking about Sensei I want you to look at the sun" -- Danny Nagashima SGI-USA General Director

On the forceful practices [shakubuku]

Not everyone is predisposed to perform the forceful practices. Some have not studied Buddhism sufficiently and others are innately gentle people. Regardless, Nichiren mandated that his monks and priests perform the forceful practices but not necessarily laymen. He also taught that whether or not one performs the forceful practices or merely chants Namu myoho renge kyo, one should support those who do the forceful practices, either through moral support, withholding criticism, or through donations [if a priest]. The forceful practices are the only appropriate means to convert such evil men and women as Soka Gakkai leaders and members, Nichiren Shoshu priests and laymen, Islamic fundamentalists who would strap explosives on mental defectives and detonate them in the marketplace, Christian fire and brimstone fundamentalists, those of the Jewish Defense League, the Hindi Kashitra and Brahman class, and the authorities who support them.

"There are no videos or documents proving that anyone worships president Ikeda" -- SGI leader