The Ongi Kuden is the purported Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings of Nichiren Daishonin. Chapter 16 is the most important chapter because it corresponds to Chapter 16 of the Lotus Sutra, the most important chapter of the the Lotus Sutra. It is a controversial and disputed writing held in high esteem by the Soka Gakkai. Are the doctrines contained within the Ongi Kuden consonent with teachings of the Lotus Sutra, the Five Major Writings of Nichiren and the entire body of Nichiren's writings? Is the Ongi Kuden shallow or profound? Does it accord with the mind of the Buddha? I hope to answer these questions.
16: The Life Span of the Buddha [Nyorai Juryo]
"The Juryo chapter reveals the original life of all beings in the ten worlds. This chapter is called the essential teaching or hommon because it is the gateway to eternity. (Gosho Zenshu p. 799)
Namu Myoho Renge Kyo Nyorai Juryo-hon; for Nichiren, it is the title of this chapter that is the important teaching. The title of this chapter represents an essential principle applicable to Nichiren. This was transferred [to Bodhisattva Fukyo] in the Jinriki Chapter. Nyorai, in the broadest sense, means Shakyamuni and all the Buddhas in the universe and throughout the three existences of life, but in its strictest sense, it means only the True Buddha who possesses the three attributes of life. Now I, Nichiren and my disciples mean to say that Nyorai, in its broadest sense, indicates all humanity but, in a stricter sense, it stands for my disciples and believers." (Gosho Zenshu p. 752)
Is the True Buddha Nichiren and his disciples or the Buddha who taught Nichiren and the other disciples in the remote past, bestowing upon them the Five Characters of Myoho renge kyo at the Ceremony in the Air? The concept of the general and the specific will be brought up again and again to show that the author of the Ongi Kuden misunderstood the Lotus Sutra and the teachings of Nichiren Daishonin. The passage above is not only a teaching of the Ongi Kuden but a teachings of the Fuji sect, particularly a teaching of the Soka Gakkai.
Nichiren, on the other hand, states in the Essentials for Attaining Buddhahood:
"The Lotus Sutra states that Bodhisattva Superior Practices and the others will appear in the first five hundred years of the Latter Day of the Law to propagate the five characters, the embodiment of the two elements of reality and wisdom. The sutra makes this perfectly clear. Who could possibly dispute it? I, Nichiren, am neither Bodhisattva Superior Practices nor his envoy, but I precede them, spreading the five characters to prepare the way. Bodhisattva Superior Practices received the water of the wisdom of the Mystic Law from the Thus Come One Shakyamuni and causes it to flow into the wasteland of the people’s lives in the evil world of the latter age. This is the function of wisdom. Shakyamuni Buddha transferred this teaching to Bodhisattva Superior Practices, and now Nichiren propagates it in Japan. With regard to the transfer of teachings, it is divided into two categories: general and specific. If you confuse the general with the specific even in the slightest, you will never be able to attain Buddhahood and will wander in suffering through endless transmigrations of births and deaths."
He spends the rest of this writing explaining this passage and concludes:
"The sutra states, “Those persons who had heard the Law dwelled here and there in various Buddha lands, constantly reborn in company with their teachers,”and “If one stays close to the teachers of the Law, one will speedily gain the bodhisattva way. By following and learning from these teachers one will see Buddhas as numerous as Ganges sands.” A commentary 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.” Another commentary says, “In the beginning one followed this Buddha or bodhisattva and formed a bond with him, and so it will be through this Buddha or bodhisattva that one will attain one’s goal." Above all, be sure to follow your original teacher so that you are able to attain Buddhahood. Shakyamuni Buddha is the original teacher for all people, and moreover, he is endowed with the virtues of sovereign and parent. Because I have expounded this teaching, I have been exiled and almost killed. As the saying goes, “Good advice grates on the ear.” But still I am not discouraged. The Lotus Sutra is like the seed, the Buddha like the sower, and the people like the field. If you deviate from these principles, not even I can save you in your next life."
Nichiren is crystal clear and the teaching in The Essentials For Attaining Buddhahood accords with the Lotus Sutra and the teachings in the Five Major Works. Are we to believe the Ongi Kuden or the Lotus Sutra, the Opening of the Eyes, the True Object of Worship, and The Essentials for Attaining Buddhahood?
These passages of The Essentials For Attaining Buddhahood are antithetical to the opening passage of the Ongi Kuden. Who are we to believe? The SGI who says the profound principles of Buddhism are to be found in the Ongi Kuden or the disciples and believers of Nichiren who says the Ongi Kuden is a cunning expedient invented by the Nichiren Shoshu to promote their heretical brand of Buddhism? You would be wise to adopt the criteria of the disciples and believers of Nichiren and the Nichiren Gohonzon that is indeed sublime.
The sutra states, "We will believe and accept the Buddha's words." (LS p. 224, 3LS p. 249)
The Buddha endowed with the three enlightened properties, eternally, is the votary of the Lotus Sutra in the Latter Day of the Law. His honorific name is Nam Myoho Renge Kyo. This forms the basis for the Three Great Secret Laws in the Juryo Chapter. The three enlightened properties are attained through a single character. This is 'believe.' Therefore, the sutra states 'We will believe and accept the Buddha's words.' You should fix your mind upon the two characters 'believe' and 'accept.' The Buddha endowed with the three properties, eternally, is the votary of the Lotus Sutra in Mappo. His honorific name is Nam Myoho Renge Kyo. This forms the basis for the Three Great Secret Laws in the Juryo Chapter. (Gosho Zenshu p. 752)
The Three Enlightened Properties are the Three Buddha Bodies. In Nichiren Lotus Sutra Buddhism (not SGI or Taisekaji pseudo-Buddhism), the Jewel of the Buddha and the Secret Law of the Object of Worship is Shakyamuni Buddha of the Juryo Chapter of the Lotus Sutra. The Jewel and Secret Law of the Law is Namu Myoho renge kyo. The Jewel of the Sangha are the disciples and believers of Nichiren Daishonin while the secret Law of the Sanctuary is wherever the Law is preached and wherever the Eternal Buddha resides. The Ongi Kuden teaches (above) that Nichiren and his disciples correspond to the entirety of the Three Jewels. This is equivalent to the Tibetian Vajrayana teachings that the Lama encompasses the Three Jewels. The Ongi Kuden is mistaken, Taisekeji is mistaken. Is there any wonder that Daisaku Ikeda and the High Priests of Taisekaji would have made their advent in the SGI and the Nichiren Shoshu, these "Lamas" of Nichiren Lotus Sutra Buddhism.
"Only the Lotus Sutra represents the wonderful teaching preached directly from the golden mouth of Shakyamuni Buddha, who is perfectly endowed with the three bodies. Therefore, even Universal Worthy and Manjushri were hardly able to expound so much as a single phrase or verse of it. How much more difficult then must it be for us, who are no more than ordinary people living in this latter age, to embrace even one or two words of this sutra!" (The Blessings of the Lotus Sutra)
"...The “Life Span” chapter reads, “It has been immeasurable, boundless hundreds, thousands, ten thousands, millions of nayutas of kalpas since I in fact attained Buddhahood.” The Shakyamuni Buddha within our lives is the eternal Buddha since time without beginning, who obtained the three bodies more than numberless major world system dust particle kalpas ago..."
Please note, the above passage doesn't say "the votaries or common mortals within the life of Shakyamuni Buddha". It says, "Shakyamuni Buddha within our lives." The Ongi Kuden and the SGI confuse the general with the specific. Specifically, Shakyamuni is the Original Buddha from time withut beginning. Generally, his Original Disciples, the Bodhisattvas of the Earth, function as the Buddha in this Latter age as envoys of the Thus Come One Shakyamuni Buddha.
"You must listen carefully and hear of the Thus Come One's secret and his transcendental powers." (LS p. 225, 3LS p. 249)
The countless entities in the three thousand worlds, which are undergoing the process of birth, life, change, and extinction, are embodiments of [these] transcendental powers. As for 'transcendental powers,' the actions that are carried out instant by instant, motion by motion by us, the living beings, are called 'transcendental powers.' Apart from attaining Buddhahood, there are no 'secret' or 'transcendental powers.' In the final analysis, the five characters of Myoho Renge Kyo are synonymous with the phrase 'the Thus Come One's secret and transcendental powers.' (Gosho Zenshu p. 753)
The sutra states, "But good men, it has been immeasurable boundless hundreds, thousands, ten thousands, millions of nayutas of kalpas since I in fact attained Buddhahood." (LS p. 225, 3LS p. 250)
'I' [in the above passage] refers to Shakyamuni, who attained enlightenment in the remote past. However, according to the actual meaning of this [Juryo] chapter, 'I' represents all living beings in the universe. The Ten Worlds are each indicated by 'I.' 'In fact' means establishing that these are the Buddhas inherently endowed with the three eternal properties, this is the meaning of 'fact.' 'Attained' means to open. All phenomena of the universe are 'opened' to reveal them as the Buddha inherently endowed with the three eternal properties. Being awakened to this is called 'Buddhahood.' As for 'since' [irai] 'I' indicates the past, and 'rai,' the future. This passage is saying that the Buddhahood 'I in fact attained' is immeasurable and boundless in both the past and future. This [passage further] indicates the hundred realms, thousand factors and the three thousand realms in a single thought-moment. As for the two words 'hundreds' and 'thousands,' 'hundreds' means indicates the hundred realms and thousands is the thousand realms. These are practically the single thought-moment being three thousand realms in actuality. (Gosho Zenshu p. 753)
Once again we see in all its ignominy, the east is west, up is down, black is white, teachings of the Ongi Kuden adopted or created by Taisekaji. "I" specifically refers to Shakyamuni Buddha and generally to us, not the other way around. The Taisekaji teachings are those of arrogant licentiousness that is so appealing to the people of the Latter Day, those people thrown out by all the other Buddhas. Unfilial sons can not succeed their father Those who would depose their father from his rightful place, can not be counted as the Buddha's successors.
Now Nichiren and his disciples who chant Nam Myoho Renge Kyo are the main subjects of the Juryo chapter. In general, bodhisattvas taught by the Buddha, in his provisional aspect, cannot uphold this chapter. For them, the theoretical teaching is primary and the essential teaching secondary, while for us the essential teaching is primary and the theoretical teaching is secondary."
The main subject of the Juryo Chapter is The Father of the World, the one who saves his children from the various sufferings and travails, the Skillful Physician who cures his children with the medicine of Namu Myoho renge kyo, Shakyamuni Buddha. The children are not the main subject. It is not we who save our father. It is only by accepting and acknowledging the medicine (Law) and our father (Buddha) that we become equal to him. It is not by accepting the medicine and then turning around and declaring that it was our medicine all along and we, in fact, pounded and sifted and gave the medicine to our father. Why would anyone teach that it is we who endowed Shakyamuni Buddha with the Three Properties of the Buddha's life? To what purpose does it serve, if not to trivialize the accomplishments of our father, Shakyamuni Buddha? Nichiren says unfilial sons do not inherit the lands and riches of the father. This is the reason the Nichiren Shoshu and SGI members remain unenlightened worldlings. They are those without gratitude for their father, or those with misplaced gratitude to Daisaku Ikeda and the High Priests of Taisekaji, or those who follow the person and not the Law.
The Ongi Kuden continues:
"Even so, this chapter is not the essential teaching for the Latter Day of the Law. The reason is that this chapter confers the benefit of [reaping the harvest of] emancipation for those who lived in Shakyamuni's lifetime, while only the five characters sow the seed [of Buddhahood] for those who would come in the future, that is, at the present time. This being the case, the Buddha's lifetime was the age for the benefits of [the harvest of] emancipation, while the last age is the time for sowing the seed. In the Latter Day of the Law, sowing the seed is the basis. Nichiren and his disciples, who chant the Daimoku, are the parents of mankind because they save them from the hell of incessant suffering." (Gosho Zenshu p. 753)
This is a restatement of the teachings in the True Object of Worship:
"It is stated in the tenth chapter of the Lotus Sutra, 'The Teacher of the Dharma': 'This sutra has aroused much hatred and jealousy even in the lifetime of the Buddha. How much more can this be expected after His death!' And in the eleventh chapter, 'Appearance of the Stupa of Treasures': 'Taho Buddha and the Buddhas in manifestation (funjin Buddhas) from all the worlds in the universe gathered together to make this dharma live forever....Buddhas in manifestation should remember My (the Buddha's) intention to keep on spreading the dharma forever.'You may find similar statements in the thirteen chapter, 'Encouragement for Upholding this Sutra', and fourteenth chapter, 'Peaceful Practices'. They show that the theoretical section of the Lotus Sutra is directed to those in the beginning of the Latter Age.
The essential section of the Lotus Sutra is preached solely for those living in the beginning of the Latter Age. At first glance it appears that the seed of Buddhahood was planted in them by the Eternal Buddha in the eternal past or 500 dust particle kalpa ago. The seed germinated and grew within them with the help of all the sutras from the Lotus Sutra preached by the sixteenth prince of Daitsuchisho Buddha in 3,000 dust particle kalpa in the past to all those preached by Sakyamuni in his life before the Lotus Sutra and the theoretical section of the Lotus Sutra. Finally the essential section of the Lotus Sutra enabled them to attain Buddhahood.
On closer examination, however, the essential section differs from the theoretical section. That is to say the essential section, all through the prologue, the main discourse, and the epilogue, was preached for those people in the beginning of the Latter Age of the Decadent Dharma. The teaching of the essential section during the lifetime of Sakyamuni Buddha and that which would spread in the beginning of the Latter Age are likewise absolutely perfect. However the former is for attaining enlightenment, whereas the latter is for sowing the seed of Buddhahood. While the former is crystallized in the sixteenth chapter, 'Duration of the Life of the Buddha', with half a chapter each preceding and following it, the latter is solely embodied in the five characters of Myo, Ho, Ren, Ge, and Kyo, the title of the Lotus Sutra." Kanjin Honzon Sho, Nichiren Shu (NOPPA 1991) pp 120 - 122;
What was referred to by Nichiren as "the teaching for attaining enlightenment" [ Buddhism of the Harvest] is Shakyamuni Buddha teaching the Essential Section of the Lotus Sutra during his lifetime. In this age we also only rely on the Lotus Sutra (Myoho renge kyo) but the faith, practice, and propagation in the differs from that of the Buddha during his lifetime. We rely on the Daimoku transmitted by the Buddha to the Bodhisattvas of the Earth who are to propagate the Lotus Sutra in this age. In Chapter 15 of the Lotus Sutra, the various provisional Bodhisattvas from this and other worlds ask to expound the Lotus Sutra. However, the Buddha rejects their offer.
Nichiren, referencing Tien-tai, discusses this rejection: "After all, Sakyamuni Buddha could not reveal his innermost enlightenment, or the great dharma hidden in the lines of the Duration of the Life of the Buddha Chapter to those great bodhisattvas from other worlds who had been guided by the teaching of the theoretical section." Kanjin Honzon Sho, Nichiren Shu (NOPPA 1991) p 126; MW 173.
"Lands at the beginning of the Latter Age slander the true dharma and those who live there have poor capacity for comprehension and faith in Buddhism. Therefore, instead of relying on Buddhas from other worlds, the Buddha called out great bodhisattvas from underground to entrust them with the task of transmitting the five characters of Myo, Ho, Ren, Ge, and Kyo, the essence of the Duration of the Life of the Buddha chapter, to the people in this world. It meant also that those guided by the teaching of the theoretical section were not the original disciples of Sakyamuni Buddha." True Object of Worship Shu (NOPPA 1991) p 126; MW 173.
"Having thus manifested the ten divine powers, Sakyamuni Buddha transmitted the five characters of Myo, Ho, Ren, Ge, and Kyo to the original disciples of the Buddha since the eternal past, who had sprung up from underground." True Object of Worship (NOPPA 1991) p 140; MW 176
The meaning of the Buddhism of the Harvest and the Buddhism of the Sowing, is not that there are two different Buddhisms or two different Buddhas. This age, however, is for sowing the seed of Buddhahood, not harvesting the seed.
The sutra states, "The Thus Come One perceives the true aspect of the threefold world exactly as it is. There is no ebb and flow of birth and death, and there is no existing in this world and later entering extinction. It is neither substantial nor empty, neither consistent nor diverse." (LS p. 226)
'Thus Come One' indicates all living beings of the threefold world. When one observes these beings through the eye of the Juryo chapter, we can perceive these beings in the ten worlds exactly as they are, in their original state. The 'true aspect of the threefold world' are birth, old age, sickness, and death. When one sees these as birth and death that are originally inherent, then 'there...is no birth or death.' Since there is neither birth nor death, neither is there withdrawal or emergence. Yet this does not negate the cycle of birth and death. Regarding life and death with abhorrence and trying to separate oneself from them is delusion, corresponding to the notion that Buddhahood is acquired. To clearly perceive life, and death, as life's innate workings, is called awakening and corresponds to inherent or total enlightenment. Now Nichiren and his disciples who chant Nam Myoho Renge Kyo awaken to the ebb and flow of birth and death as the innate workings of life that is eternal. (Gosho Zenshu p. 754)
The Ongi Kuden states,"'Thus Come One' indicates all living beings of the threefold world." No distinction between Enlightened and the deluded beings is made. I challenge my readers to find a similar passage in the Lotus Sutra or any authentic writing of Nichiren Daishonin. Only the Ongi Kuden possesses such a passage. The closest Nichiren comes in his authenticated writings is found in Letter to Matsuno (Fourteen Slanders),
"Bodhisattva Never Disparaging of old said that all people have the Buddha nature and that, if they embrace the Lotus Sutra, they will never fail to attain Buddhahood. He further stated that to slight a person is to slight the Buddha himself."
Does the teaching in Letter to Matsuno mean that there is no difference between a Buddha and a common mortal or does it teach that we should treat all beings impartially?
Nichiren says in the True Aspect of All Phenomena: "A Buddha displays the form of a Buddha, and a common mortal, that of a common mortal." In Letter to Horen he writes, “If one can uphold this [sutra], one will be upholding the Buddha’s body.". In the Selection of the Time we read, “Great Man” is one of the titles of a Buddha.". On Attainng Buddhahood in this Lifetime reads, "The difference lies solely in the good or evil of our minds.". In Conversations Between a Sage and an Unenlighted Man Nichiren teaches:
“These various sutras expound partial truths such as ‘the mind itself is the Buddha, and the Buddha is none other than the mind.’ The Zen followers have allowed themselves to be led astray by one or two such sentences and phrases, failing to inquire whether they represent the Mahayana or the Hinayana, the provisional teachings or the true teaching, the doctrines that reveal the truth or the doctrines that conceal it. They merely advance the principle of nonduality without understanding the principle of duality, and commit an act of great arrogance, claiming that they themselves are equal to the Buddha. They are following in the tracks of the Great Arrogant Brahman of India and imitating the old ways of the Meditation Master San- chieh of China. But we should recall that the Great Arrogant Brahman, while still alive, fell into the hell of incessant suffering, and that San-chieh, after he died, turned into a huge snake. How frightful, how frightful indeed!'"
We should be very careful in interpreting or even believing the Ongi Kuden when it says,"'Thus Come One' indicates all living beings of the threefold world.". Nichiren writes, “Knowledge without faith” describes those who are knowledgeable about the Buddhist doctrines but have no faith. These people will never attain Buddhahood."(Letter to Nikke). Over and over Nichiren talks about those who fail to attain Buddhahood or those who will attain Buddhahood only after countless kalpas. But In the Ongi Kuden we read, "Thus come one indicates all living beings in the threefold world". Of what purpose is Buddhism if we are all Buddhas as we are?
The Ongi Kuden continues:
"In this passage, 'no' and 'is' and 'birth' and 'death' and 'withdrawal' and 'emergence' and 'being in the world' and 'passing into extinction' are all behavior which is inherent and constantly abides. 'No' means that there exists nothing apart from the Ten Worlds being all simultaneously the behavior of Myoho Renge Kyo. 'Is' means that hell, just as it is, is the entire essence of the Mystic Law, which inherently contains the Ten Worlds. As for 'birth,' since this is the birth inherent in the Mystic Law, it accords with conditions, and since 'death' is the death revealed in fathoming the Juryo Chapter, the world of Buddhahood is simultaneously all true reality. (Gosho Zenshu p. 754)
Because of 'withdrawal,' there is passing into 'extinction,' because of 'emergence,' there is 'being in the world.' This being the case, 'non-being,' 'death,' 'withdrawal' and 'extinction' denotes non-substantiality [ku], 'being' 'life,' 'appearance' and existence denotes temporary existence [ke] and the reality of the Buddha's life denotes the Middle Way. 'No,' 'death,' 'withdrawal,' and 'extinction' represented the transcendent bliss body [property of wisdom or hoshin] body. 'Is,' 'birth,' 'emergence,' and 'being in this world' represent the uncreated manifestation body [property of action or ojin] and 'the Thus Come One in accordance with reality' indicates the original entity of the Law [hosshin]. These three bodies [properties] are inherent in one's person. This is also the meaning of 'One's own body being precisely three bodies is called secret, and three bodies being precisely one body is hidden.' And this being the case, the original three bodies [properties] of the Buddha who, being the Buddha of the entity of all sentient beings embodying the Mystic Law, consists of the disciples and laity of Nichiren, because they hold [this Buddha's] honorific title: Namu Myoho Renge Kyo. (Gosho Zenshu p. 754)
These last two paragraphs are the Lotus Sutra's teachings of relative monism. As long as it is understood that "[this Buddha's]" refers to the Master of Teachings Lord Shakyamuni Buddha of the Original Doctrine, this teaching is in accord with the Lotus Sutra. Here we see that the author has reversed himself and dropped his earlier assertion that the Thus Come One is "all sentient beings" (absolute monism). The Ongi Kuden is inconsistant from beginning to end, unlike the Five Major Works or the vast body of Nichiren's authenticated writings. Taken on its own merit, the Ongi Kuden confounds rather than clarifies the teachings.
The next 21 passages are omitted because they are not controverted. The following two passages however, reverses all the good discourses of the previous 21 passages.
" The original entity [of this Buddha] is the originally inherent forms and aspects of [all living beings of ] the ten worlds. His commitments are what [these beings of] the ten worlds hold. His seed is the single character 'faith,' that is, Nam Myoho Renge Kyo just as it is. [Again,] his commitment is the palms [gassho] placed together [as in chanting the Daimoku] This should be kept secret and not told to others."
"The sutra states, "I am the father of this world, saving those who suffer and are afflicted." (LS p. 231, 3LS p. 256)
The statement, " his commitment is the palms [gassho] placed together [as in chanting the Daimoku] This should be kept secret and not told to others.", in the context of the passage, that asserts that we are the entities of the Buddha (rather than he being the entity of the beings of the Nine Realms), is not consonant with the teachings of the Lotus Sutra and the Buddha. The additions of the phrase, "I am the father of this world, saving those who are suffering and afflicted.", adds salt to the wound because it implies that it is we, rather than Shakyamuni Buddha, who is the father of this world. This is not found in any other writing, save for The inauthentic True Aspect of All Phenomena.
In the Entity of the Mystic Law, Nichiren writes,
"In essence, the entity of Myoho renge kyo is the physical body that the disciples and followers of Nichiren who believe in the Lotus Sutra received from their fathers and mothers at birth. Such persons who honestly discard expedient means, put faith in the Lotus Sutra alone and chant Namu Myoho renge kyo, will transform the three paths of earthly desires, karma and suffering into the three virtues of the Dharma body, wisdom and emancipation.
"The threefold contemplation and the Three Truths will immediately become manifest in their minds, and the place where they live will become the Land of Eternally Tranquil Light. The Buddha who is the entity of Myoho renge kyo, of the Juryo chapter of the essential teaching, who is both inhabiting subject and inhabited realm, life and environment, body and mind, entity and function, the Buddha eternally endowed with the three bodies---he is to be found in the disciples and followers of Nichiren. Such persons embody the the true entity of Myoho renge kyo; these are the meritorious workings that the spontaneous transcendental powers inherent in it display. could anyone venture to doubt it? Indeed it cannot be doubted!" (Entity of the Mystic Law, pg.64)
This is the general concept of the disciples and believers of Nichiren) but the Ongi Kuden asserts it is the specific concept (see paragraph one of the Ongi Kuden above. Nichiren clarifies this matter on pg. 67 - 68 of the Entity of the Mystic Law :
"Question: Since the beginning of the kalpa of continuance, has anyone become enlightened to the lotus that is the entity of the MysticLaw?
Answer: Shakyamuni Buddha became enlightened to this lotusthat is the entity of the Mystic Law numberless major world system dust particle kalpas in the past, and in age after age and lifetime after lifetime, declared that he had attained the way and revealed the fundamental principle he had realized with his enlightened wisdom.
In our present world as well, he appeared in the kingdom of Magadha in central India, intending to reveal this lotus of the Mystic Law. But the people lacked the proper capacity, and the time was not right. Therefore, he drew distinctions regarding this lotus of the singleLaw and expounded it as three kinds of flowers, delivering to the people the provisional teachings of the three vehicles. For over forty years he guided and led them with these temporary teachings according to their capacities. During this period, because the capacities of the people he addressed were so varied, he bestowed upon them the various flowers and plants of the provisional teachings, but he never spoke of Myoho-renge. That is why, in the Immeasurable Meanings Sutra, the Buddha said: “In the past I sat upright in the place of meditation [for six years] under the bodhi tree [and was able to gain supreme perfect enlightenment . . . But] in these more than forty years, I have not yet revealed the truth.”
But when he preached the Lotus Sutra, he cast aside the various plants and flowers of the Hinayana doctrines and the provisional teachings, which correspond to the expedient means of the four flavors and three teachings, and explained the unique doctrine of Myoho-renge. When he opened the three figurative lotuses to reveal the single lotus of Myoho-renge, the people of the provisional teachings with their four flavors and three teachings were able to gain the lotus of the first of the ten stages of security. Not until he revealed the lotus of “opening the near and revealing the distant” were they able to obtain the lotus of the highest result, advancing to the second stage of security, the third stage of security, the tenth stage, the stage of near-perfect enlightenment, and finally, the highest stage of perfect enlightenment.
Thus, specifically, Buddha Shakyamuni is the Entity of the Mystic Law and Nichiren and his disciples, generally. "If you confuse the general with the specific even in the slightest, you will fail to attain Buddhahood" (Nichiren). Please read the following passages of the Ongi Kuden with this in mind.
The Ongi Kuden now reverses itself:
'I' indicates Shakyamuni Buddha, the father of all people. The Lotus Sutra expounds the three virtues of sovereign, teacher and parent in terms of both the Buddha and the sutra. First, in terms of the Buddha, the three virtues of the Buddha of the theoretical teaching are expressed in this passage "But now this threefold world is all my domain, and the living beings in it are all my children." (LS p. 69) (Gosho Zenshu p. 757)
And then, speaking generally,
As for the three virtues expounded in terms of the sutra, the phrase 'king of the sutras' signifies the virtue of sovereign, the passage 'this sutra can save all people' represents the virtue of teacher. The phrase "like Brahma who is the father of all living beings" (LS p. 286) indicates the virtue of parent. Now Nichiren and his disciples who chant Nam Myoho Renge Kyo are the father of all living beings, for we save them from the torments of the hell of incessant suffering. The Nirvana Sutra states, "The varied sufferings of all living beings- all these the Thus Come One experiences as his own sufferings." And, Nichiren declares that the varied sufferings of living beings are those of Nichiren. (Gosho Zenshu p. 757-58)
Here the Ongi Kuden is speaking specifically:
The three virtues of the Buddha of the essential teaching are described as follows: the virtue of sovereign is indicated by the passage "This my land remains safe and tranquil." The virtue of teacher in the passage "Constantly have I taught the Law," and the virtue of parent in the passage "I am the father of this world." (LS p. 229-30) The Great Teacher Miao-lo of China states in his commentary that anyone who does not understand the text of the Juryo Chapter is no more than a beast who has no understanding of the debt of gratitude one owes to sovereign, teacher and parent. (Gosho Zenshu p. 758)
The sutra states, "For if they see me constantly, arrogance and selfishness arise in their minds." (LS p. 231, 3LS p. 256)
Abandoning themselves to the five desires is another name for slander of the Law. (Gosho Zenshu p. 758)
The sutra states, "Always I am aware of which living beings practice the Way, and which do not." (LS p. 232, 3LS p. 256)
'Practice the Way' indicates those in the four noble world [from Learning to Buddhahood], and 'not practicing the Way' indicates those in the lower six worlds. Further, [among the lower six worlds] 'practice the Way' signifies those in the worlds of Anger, Humanity and Heaven, while 'not practicing the Way' signifies the three evil paths of Hell, Hunger and Animality. In the final analysis, in the Latter Day of the Law, the votaries of the Lotus Sutra are 'practicing the Way' while slanderers are not. The 'Way' [for persons in the Latter Day] is the Lotus Sutra. T'ien-t'ai states, 'the Buddhist Way specifically means this sutra.' Now Nichiren and his disciples, who chant Nam Myoho Renge Kyo, are practicing the Way, and those who do not chant are not. (Gosho Zenshu p. 758)
The sutra states, "At all times I think to myself: How can I cause all beings to gain entry into the unsurpassed Way, and quickly acquire the body of a Buddha?" (LS p. 232, 3LS p. 256)
The sutra states, "At all times I think to myself: How can I cause all beings to gain entry into the unsurpassed Way, and quickly acquire the body of a Buddha?" (LS p. 232, 3LS p. 256)
This is the constant thought of Shakyamnui Buddha. If we are honest with ourselves we will have to admit that this is not our constant thought. Sometimes we are thinking about our next paycheck, at other times we are thinking about our sore back, still at other times we are thinking that our anger or arrogance has gotten the better of us. Daisaku Ikeda thinks about his worldly honors and fame and the High Priest how he can accumulate more donations. Only the Buddha and possibly Nichiren Daishonin, always has this thought in mind. That is why Shakyamuni Buddha and Nichiren Daishonin are our Masters and we are their disiples. That is why Shakyamuni endows us with the Three Buddha Bodies, not the other way around. I want you to think deeply about this.
The Ongi Kuden:
The word ji [interpreted as the pronoun 'one' or 'one's'] marks the beginning of the Jigage section, and the word shin ['self' or 'body'] in 'quickly acquire the body of a Buddha' marks the end. It starts and ends with 'oneself,' and the words in between the 'receiving' and 'use' of this body. In other words, the Jigage section elucidates the 'self that is freely received and used,' or the Buddha of absolute freedom. (Gosho Zenshu p. 758-759)
This is a very important passage of the Ongi Kuden to the SGI members who recklessly declare, contrary to the admonitions of Nichiren Daishonin, "we are Buddhas." Let us read this passage literally, as Nichiren did, ever keeping in mind that 'I" specifically refers to Shakyamuni Buddha and only generally, to us:
"Since the Buddha [of the “Life Span” chapter] is revealed as the Buddha who attained enlightenment in the remote past [and all the other Buddhas as his emanations], it follows that not only the great bodhisattvas whom Shakyamuni himself taught in his transient status, but the great bodhisattvas from other realms [who were taught by the Buddhas of their own realms] are also in fact disciples of Shakyamuni Buddha, the lord of teachings. If, among all the numerous sutras, this “Life Span” chapter should be lacking, it would be as though there were no sun or moon in the sky, no supreme ruler in the nation, no gems in the mountains and rivers, and no spirit in human beings." (Opening of the Eyes)
"In order to dispel this doubt and puzzlement, Shakyamuni Buddha, the lord of teachings, then preaches the “Life Span” chapter. Referring first to the version of the events presented in the earlier sutras and the theoretical teaching of the Lotus Sutra, he says: “In all the worlds the heavenly and human beings and asuras all believe that the present Shakyamuni Buddha, after leaving the palace of the Shakyas, seated himself in the place of meditation not far from the city of Gaya and there attained supreme perfect enlightenment.” But then, in order to dispel their doubts, he says, “But good men, it has been immeasurable, boundless hundreds, thousands, ten thousands, millions of nayutas of kalpas since I in fact attained Buddhahood.” (Ibid. Opening of the Eyes).
And again "I" refers specifically to Shakyamuni Buddha:
"Later, when the Buddha preached the “Life Span” chapter, he said: “In all the worlds the heavenly and human beings and asuras all believe that the present Shakyamuni Buddha, after leaving the palace of the Shakyas, seated himself in the place of meditation not far from the city of Gaya and there attained supreme perfect enlightenment.” This passage expresses the view held by all the great bodhisattvas and the rest of the multitude from the time of the Buddha’s first preaching at the place of enlightenment until his preaching of the “Peaceful Practices” chapter of the Lotus Sutra. “But, good men,” the Buddha continued, “it has been immeasurable, boundless hundreds, thousands, ten thousands, millions of nayutas of kalpas since I in fact attained Buddhahood.” (ibid.)
Because I am only a common mortal I will make you (Soka Gakkai and Nichiren Shoshu) bend before the teachings of the Lotus Sutra and Nichiren Daishonin and give up your reliance on the interpretations of Daisaku Ikeda and the priests of Taisakaji such as Nichikan. "But now all these passages have been exposed as gross falsehoods by this single pronouncement in the “Life Span” chapter." (ibid.)
"One should consider the fact that, if the Buddha had not attained enlightenment in the distant past, there could not have been so many disciples who were converted and instructed by him. The moon is not selfish with its reflection, but if there is no water, then its reflection will not be seen. The Buddha may be very anxious to convert all people, but if the connection he shares with them is not strong enough, then he cannot exhibit the eight phases of a Buddha’s existence. For example, the voice-hearers attained the first stage of security or the first stage of development, but so long as they followed the teachings that preceded the Lotus Sutra and sought only to regulate and save themselves, they had to postpone the attainment of the eight phases of a Buddha’s existence to some future lifetime.
If Shakyamuni Buddha, the lord of teachings, had attained enlightenment for the first time in his present existence, then when he preached the Lotus Sutra, Brahma, Shakra, the gods of the sun and moon, and the four heavenly kings, though they had ruled over this world since the beginning of the kalpa of continuance, would have been disciples of the Buddha for no longer than forty-some years. These beings would then have established their connection with the Lotus Sutra for the first time during the eight years of preaching at Eagle Peak. They would thus have been like newcomers unable to unreservedly approach their lord, kept at a distance by those who had been present longer.
But now that it has become apparent that Shakyamuni Buddha attained enlightenment countless kalpas ago, then the bodhisattvas Sunlight and Moonlight, who attend the Thus Come One Medicine Master of the eastern region, and the bodhisattvas Perceiver of the World’s Sounds and Great Power, who attend the Thus Come One Amida of the western region, along with the disciples of all the Buddhas of the worlds of the ten directions, and the great bodhisattvas who are disciples of the Thus Come One Mahavairochana as they are shown in the Mahavairochana and Diamond Crown sutras—all of these beings are disciples of Shakyamuni Buddha, the lord of teachings. Since the various Buddhas themselves are emanations of the Thus Come One Shakyamuni, it goes without saying that their disciples must be disciples of Shakyamuni. And of course the various deities of the sun, moon, and stars, who have dwelt in this world since the beginning of the kalpa of continuance, must likewise be disciples of Shakyamuni Buddha.'" (more Opening of the Eyes)
It is the Opening of the Eyes that explains the Ongi Kuden not the Ongi Kuden that explains the Opening of the Eyes. Wake up!
Nichiren says those who are ignorant of the teachings of the Life Span Chapter are "beasts" and no better than "talented animals". Those who assert that we endowed Shakyamuni Buddha with the seed of Namu Myoho renge kyo also fall into this category.
Nichiren teaches that we are the messengers of Shakyamuni Buddha not that Shakyamuni Buddha is our messenger:
"Question: Who is the messenger mentioned in the passage, “he sends a messenger home to announce” ?
Answer: It means the four ranks of sages. They fall into four categories. [First,] most of the four ranks of sages of Hinayana appeared in the first five hundred years of the Former Day of the Law, and [second,] most of those of [provisional] Mahayana came in the second five hundred years. Third, those of the theoretical teaching appeared mainly in the next thousand years, the Middle Day of the Law, and the rest, in the beginning of the Latter Day. Fourth, the four ranks of sages of the essential teaching are the bodhisattvas emerging from the earth, numerous as the dust particles of a thousand worlds, who are certain to appear in the beginning of the Latter Day. When the sutra says, “he sends a messenger home to announce,” it refers to the Bodhisattvas of the Earth. “This good medicine” is the heart of the “Life Span” chapter, or Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, which is endowed with name, entity, quality, function, and teaching. Since the Buddha would not entrust this good medicine even to the bodhisattvas of the theoretical teaching, how much less could he have done so to the bodhisattvas of other worlds?" (True Object of Worship)
That is why Nichiren says the Four Great Bodhisattvas of the Earth are the attendents of the Original Buddha Shakyamuni of the Juryo Chapter of the Lotus Sutra. We abdicate our lofty position, not usurp the position of the eternal Buddha like the Soka Gakkai and the Nichiren Shoshu.
"According to the Nirvana Sutra, the Buddha emitted a radiant light that illuminated the hells underground and revealed that not a single offender remained there. This was because they had all achieved Buddhahood through the “Life Span” chapter of the Lotus Sutra. What a pity, however, that the icchantikas, or persons of incorrigible disbelief, who had slandered the correct teaching, were found to have been detained there by the wardens of hell. They proliferated until they became the people of Japan today."
I would interpret this to mean the icchantikas of the Soka Gakkai and the Nichiren Shoshu priests and believers.
"The saha world Shakyamuni Buddha revealed in the “Life Span” chapter is the eternal pure land, impervious to the three calamities and to the cycle of the four kalpas..." (True Object of Worship).
Here again we see it was Shakyamuni who revealed not only his immeasureable lifespan but that of his land. We didn't reveal our immeasureable lifespan or our land to Shakyamuni Buddha as the ingrates of the Soka Gakkai would have us believe. I can not forcefully enough denounce them.
The Gohonzon is the image of Shakyamuni Buddha of the Life Span Chapter of the Lotus Sutra not the image of Daisaku Ikeda, your Chapter Chief or the High Priest of Nichiren Shoshu. We inherited the teachings from Shakyamuni Buddha. He did not inherit the teachings from us:
"The Great Teacher T’ien-t’ai Chih- che gave three reasons for Shakyamuni’s stopping the bodhisattvas, and three more for his summoning the Bodhisattvas of the Earth. Essentially, the great bodhisattvas taught by the Buddha in his transient status and the great bodhisattvas who gathered from the other worlds were not qualified to inherit the “Life Span” chapter that reveals the eternal Buddha’s inner truth. At the dawn of the Latter Day evil people who slander the correct teaching would fill the land, so Shakyamuni Buddha rejected the pledge of these bodhisattvas and instead summoned the multitude of great bodhisattvas from beneath the earth. He entrusted them with the five characters of Myoho-renge-kyo, the heart of the “Life Span” chapter, for the enlightenment of all beings in the land of Jambudvipa. The bodhisattvas taught by the Buddha in his transient status were also unqualified because they had not been the disciples of Shakyamuni Buddha since the time he had first set his mind on and attained enlightenment in the remote past. The Great Teacher T’ien-t’ai states, “[The Buddha said of the Bodhisattvas of the Earth,] ‘These are my disciples, destined to propagate my Law.’ ” Miao-lo says, “The children propagate the Law of the father, and this benefits the world.”71 The Supplement to “The Words and Phrases of the Lotus Sutra” states, “The Law embodied therein [in the Lotus Sutra] is the Law that was realized countless kalpas in the past, and therefore it was entrusted to persons who had been the Buddha’s disciples from countless kalpas in the past.” (True Object of Worship)
"Again, in the second volume it says, “I am the only person who can rescue and protect others.” And it speaks of “desiring only to accept and embrace the sutra of the great vehicle and not accepting a single verse of the other sutras.” These passages mean that only Shakyamuni Buddha can save and protect all living beings, and that one should wish to accept and uphold only the Lotus Sutra, and never even a verse from any other sutra." (Embracing the Lotus Sutra)
It doesn't say to embrace the Ongi Kuden Sutra.
"Question: Nonetheless, I urge you to answer. Unless you do, you will be guilty of the fault of greed and stinginess.
Answer: Then since I have no choice, I will try to give you a brief explanation. The “Teacher of the Law” chapter states, “[Since hatred and jealousy toward this sutra abound even when the Thus Come One is in the world], how much more will this be so after his passing?” The “Life Span” chapter states, “I will leave this good medicine here.” The “Distinctions in Benefits” chapter speaks of “the evil age of the Latter Day of the Law.” The “Medicine King” chapter says, “In the last five-hundred-year period you must spread it [the Lotus Sutra] abroad widely throughout Jambudvipa.” A passage in the Nirvana Sutra reads, “Suppose that a couple has seven children, one of whom falls ill. Though the parents love all their children equally, they worry most about the sick child.”
With the clear mirror of these passages one can guess the Buddha’s intent. They show that the Buddha did not appear for the sake of those present during the eight years when he revealed the Lotus Sutra at Eagle Peak, but for those who would come after him in the Former, Middle, and Latter Days of the Law. His advent was specifically for people like us, those living in the beginning of the Latter Day, not for those who lived in the two thousand years of the Former and Middle Days. “The sick child” mentioned in the Nirvana Sutra represents those who slander the Lotus Sutra after the Buddha’s passing. The Buddha will now “leave this good medicine here” especially for those who, the sutra says, though the medicine is of excellent color and fragrance, do not perceive it as good." (True Object of Worship)
The Buddha Shakyamuni's intent, not our intent. "I', Shakyamuni Buddha leave this good medicine here, not "I", my boddhi, nor "I" Daisaku Ikeda, nor even "I", Nichiren.
Next, the teaching of the “Life Span” chapter is what I, Nichiren, personally depend on. Although T’ien-t’ai and Dengyo also understood it in a general way, they never put it into words or proclaimed it. The same is true of Nagarjuna and Vasubandhu. The verse section of the chapter states, “. . . singlemindedly desiring to see the Buddha, not hesitating even if it costs them their lives.” As a result of this passage, I have revealed the Buddhahood in my own life. The reason is that it is this sutra passage that has enabled me to embody the Three Great Secret Laws, or the reality of three thousand realms in a single moment of life, that is found in the “Life Span” chapter. But keep this secret, keep it secret." (Letter to Gijo-bo)
"As a result of this passage" preached by Shakyamuni Buddha, Nichiren obtained Buddhahood. Nothing that Nichiren preached, let alone Daisaku Ikeda, enabled Shakyamuni to attain Buddhahood. How could it, Shakyamuni and not Nichiren Shonin or Daisaku ikeda is the Original Eternal Buddha.
"During his first forty and more years of teaching, Shakyamuni Buddha kept secret the five characters of Myoho-renge-kyo. Not only that, he still remained silent concerning them when he preached the first fourteen chapters of the Lotus Sutra, which comprise the theoretical teaching. It was only with the “Life Span” chapter that he spoke openly regarding the two characters of renge, which [represent the five characters of Myoho-renge-kyo and] indicate the true effect and the true cause.3 The Buddha did not entrust these five characters to Manjushri, Universal Worthy, Maitreya, Medicine King, or the others of their group. Instead he summoned forth the bodhisattvas Superior Practices, Boundless Practices, Pure Practices, and Firmly Established Practices and their followers from the great earth of Tranquil Light and transferred the five characters to them." (Rebuking Slander of the Law)
Rebuking the SGI and Nichiren Shoshu slander of the Law is the practice of the disciples and believers of Nichire as distasteful as it may be. We do this for the sake of the people and the future generations so that they may not veer from the path of the Master of Teachings and Nichiren Daishonin.
"Shakyamuni Buddha, the lord of teachings, treasured this Gohonzon in his heart for numberless major world system dust particle kalpas, and even after he appeared in this world, he did not expound it until more than forty years after his first preaching. Even in the Lotus Sutra he did not allude to it in the earlier chapters of the theoretical teaching. He began things in the “Treasure Tower” chapter, he revealed it in the “Life Span” chapter, and he brought things to a close in the “Supernatural Powers” and “Entrustment” chapters." (Reply to Niiama)
Neither David Kasahara nor Guy McCloskey revealed the Gohonzon. Shakyamuni Buddha not only expounded Namu Myoho renge kyo but revealed the Gohonzon.
"In your declaration regarding sutra readings, you state: “From the morning when my compassionate father closed his eyes to the thirteenth anniversary of his passing, I have recited the verse section of the ‘Life Span’ chapter before Shakyamuni Thus Come One and have transferred the merits to the departed.”(Letter to Horen)
"The word ji [interpreted as the pronoun 'one' or 'one's'] marks the beginning of the Jigage section, and the word shin ['self' or 'body'] in 'quickly acquire the body of a Buddha' marks the end. It starts and ends with 'oneself,' and the words in between the 'receiving' and 'use' of this body. In other words, the Jigage section elucidates the 'self that is freely received and used,' or the Buddha of absolute freedom." (Gosho Zenshu p. 758-759)
"Pu-k’ung makes a number of other errors as well. Thus, in his translation The Rules of Rituals Based on the Lotus Sutra, which deals with the Lotus Sutra, he defines the Buddha of the “Life Span” chapter as the Buddha Amida, an obvious and glaring mistake. He also claims that the “Dharani” chapter of the Lotus Sutra should follow immediately after the “Supernatural Powers” chapter and that the “Entrustment” chapter should come at the very end, views that are not even worth discussing.' (The Selection of the Time)
The Soka Gakkai makes an equally glaring mistake in taking the above passage of the Ongi Kuden (general teaching) as the specific teaching, asserting that Nichiren and his disciples are the Buddha of the Juryo Chapter. How can the Treasure of the Sangha be confused with the treasure of the Buddha? Only in the topsy turvy worlds of the Soka Gakkai and the Nichiren Shoshu.
“...If there are those who possess differing ideas concerning the three treasures, then truly you should know that these people can no longer hope to take refuge in, or rely upon, the three pure treasures. They will never gain benefit from any of the precepts, and in the end, they will fail to obtain the fruits of the voicehearer, the cause-awakened one, or the bodhisattva.” This passage is clearly referring to [the essential point of ] the “Life Span” chapter of the Lotus Sutra..." (The Third Doctrine)
"The Great Teacher T’ien-t’ai, who was present on Eagle Peak when the Lotus Sutra was preached and heard it in person, writes, “The word ‘this’ [of ‘This is what I heard’] indicates the essence of a doctrine heard from the Buddha.” And the Great Teacher Chang-an writes, “The transcriber [Chang-an] comments on T’ien-t’ai’s explanation of the title of the Lotus Sutra, saying, ‘Hence [his explanation of the title in] the preface conveys the profound meaning of the sutra. The profound meaning indicates the heart of the text.’ ” (Repaying Debts of Gratitude)
"Heard from the Buddha' not Ikeda, Greg Martin, Nichinyo, or Nichikan.
Nichiren admonishes those like Kobo who call Shakyamuni Buddha of the Lifespan Chapter an ordinary person:
"In his Precious Key to the Secret Treasury he claims that the Shakyamuni Buddha of the ‘Life Span’ chapter of the Lotus Sutra is an ordinary person, and in his Comparison of Exoteric and Esoteric Buddhism he calls the Great Teacher T’ien-t’ai a thief." (Actions of the Votary of the Lotus Sutra)
"The Great Teacher Kobo of Japan states, “The Lotus Sutra is inferior even to the Flower Garland Sutra, and so of course it cannot compare with the Mahavairochana Sutra.”4 He also says: “The Lotus Sutra was preached by Shakyamuni, while the Mahavairochana Sutra was preached by the Thus Come One Mahavairochana. These sutras were thus taught by two different Buddhas. In addition, the Thus Come One Shakyamuni is a mere messenger of the Thus Come One Mahavairochana. He preached the exoteric doctrines, which represent no more than the first step toward the esoteric doctrines.” And again he states: “The Buddha of the ‘Life Span’ chapter, which is the heart of the Lotus Sutra, is a Buddha in terms of the exoteric teachings; but from the point of view of the esoteric teachings, he is no more than a common mortal who is bound by and entangled in illusions and desire.” Letter to Shomitsu-bo
The Soka Gakkai and the Ongi Kuden teach the same thing. "The Buddha of the Juryo Chapter, the Thus Come One, is "I, oneself", the common mortal entangled with the delusions of thoughts and desires who endowed Shakyamuni Buddha with the Three Properties."
I now admonish The Soka Gakkai as Nichiren Daishonin admonished Kobo (see the last two paragraphs of Part 1)
"In the entire land of Jambudvipa, there has never before been a hall or pagoda that produced the image of Shakyamuni Buddha of the “Life Span” chapter of the Lotus Sutra." (The Unmatched Blessings of the Law)
Please note it doesn't say an "image of Daisaku Ikeda, Guy McClowsky, or Danny Nagashima."
The Ongi Kuden concludes:
The culmination of this chapter is the attainment of Buddhahood in the remote past. 'Far distant past' means unmoving, uncreated in its original state. All in all, the ultimate [teaching] of the Juryo chapter does not lie in subjugating delusions one-by-one in order to attain enlightenment. You should realize that [the Juryo Chapter's] significance is to gain enlightenment as you are, remaining as the entity of a common mortal. (Gosho Zenshu p. 759)
Let us never forget the Original Father, Teacher, and Sovereign, Shakyamuni Buddha of the Juryo Chapter of the Lotus Sutra, without whom we could never attain Buddhahood."
It would seem that in the very last sentence the author of this treatise became remorseful, so , in one final act of repentance, he reverses himself and expounds the True Teachings. I pray that the Soka Gakkai and the Nichiren Shoshu keep this in mind the next time they say, "Shakyamini Buddha and the Lotus Sutra have lost their power in Mappo."