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Friday, December 25, 2015

Nichiren on abandoning Shakyamuni Buddha

"Moreover, the Pure Land school abandons Shakyamuni Buddha, the lord of teachings, who is the father of our present world, and instead puts faith in a stranger, Amida Buddha. It is therefore guilty of committing the five cardinal sins and its followers must inevitably fall into the great citadel of the hell of incessant suffering.

In the Lotus Sutra the Buddha says, “But now this threefold world is all my domain.” This indicates that he is our sovereign. And he says, “And the living beings in it are all my children.” This means that he is our father and we are his children. He further says, “Now this place is beset by many pains and trials. I am the only person who can rescue and protect others.” This means that he is our teacher. And in the passage in which Shakyamuni Buddha speaks of entrustment, he says, “The Buddha wishes to entrust this Lotus Sutra of the Wonderful Law to someone so that it may be preserved.” What capacities could be left out? Who could fail to have faith?

And yet the followers of the Pure Land school turn their backs on the entrustment of Shakyamuni Buddha, the lord of teachings, who is sovereign, teacher, and parent to us, and rely instead on the Thus Come One Amida, a stranger to us who resides in the World of Perfect Bliss in the west. Therefore they are turning their backs upon their sovereign and conducting themselves like the kind of evil rabble who commit the eight offenses. They can hardly say they are not guilty of violating their lord’s command. They are enemies of the ruler—how can they be without blame?

Next, they have abandoned their father, Shakyamuni Buddha, and hence stand accused of the five cardinal sins. How can they escape falling into the hell of incessant suffering? And finally, they have turned their backs on their teacher, Shakyamuni Buddha, and thus are to be numbered among those who commit the seven cardinal sins. How could they fail to sink into the evil paths of existence?

Shakyamuni Buddha, the lord of teachings, as we have already seen, possesses the three virtues of sovereign, teacher, and parent in relation to the living beings of this sahā world. He is the Buddha to whom they are greatly indebted. Anyone who would abandon such a Buddha and put faith in the Buddha of some other realm, honoring and relying upon Amida or Medicine Master or Mahāvairochana, is guilty of committing the twenty cardinal sins and hence will surely fall into the evil paths of existence."

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