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Saturday, February 13, 2016

February SGI lecture on the Lotus Sutra

Nichiren, explains the Ten Supernatural powers in his most important work, The True Object of Worship:

"After the Buddha displayed his ten supernatural powers, he entrusted the five characters of the Mystic Law to the Bodhisattvas of the Earth. As the sutra states: “At that time the Buddha spoke toSuperior Practices and the others in the great assembly of bodhisattvas, saying: ‘The supernatural powers of the Buddhas, as you have seen, are immeasurable, boundless, inconceivable. If in the process of entrusting this sutra to others I were to employ these supernatural powers for immeasurable, boundless hundreds, thousands, ten thousands, millions of asamkhya kalpas to describe the benefits of the sutra, I could never finish doing so. To put it briefly, all the doctrines possessed by the Thus Come One, all the freely exercised supernatural powers of the Thus Come One, the storehouse of all the secret essentials of the Thus Come One, all the most profound matters of the Thus Come One—all these are proclaimed, revealed, and clearly expounded in this sutra.’” T’ien-t’ai says, “The passage that follows the words ‘At that time the Buddha spoke to Superior Practices’ constitutes the third stage of the chapter, the transfer of the essence of the Lotus Sutra.” Dengyō states: “The ‘Supernatural Powers’ chapter says, ‘To put it briefly, all the doctrines possessed by the Thus Come One... are proclaimed, revealed, and clearly expounded in this sutra.’ From this it is clear that all the doctrines, all the freely exercised supernatural powers, the storehouse of all the secret essentials, and all the most profound matters possessed by the Buddha as the fruit of his enlightenment—all these are proclaimed, revealed, and clearly expounded in the Lotus Sutra.” Demonstrating ten supernaturalpowers, the Buddha transferred the five characters of Myoho-renge-kyoto the four great bodhisattvas: Superior Practices, Firmly Established Practices, Pure Practices, and Boundless Practices.

[Miao-lo states that] the first five of the ten supernatural powers are meant for those living in Shakyamuni’s lifetime, and the last five for the generations after his passing. But in a deeper sense all are intended for future generations. The Buddha confirmed this later in the same chapter, “Because after the Buddha has passed into extinction there will be those who can uphold this sutra, the Buddhas are all delighted and manifest immeasurable supernatural powers.”

The following “Entrustment” chapter states: “At that timeShakyamuni Buddha rose from his Dharma seat and, manifesting his great supernatural powers, with his right hand patted the heads of the immeasurable bodhisattvas mahāsattva and spoke these words: ‘Now I entrust it [the Lotus Sutra] to you.’” The Buddha first transferred theLotus Sutra to the Bodhisattvas of the Earth, and then to the bodhisattvas taught by the Buddha in his transient status, the bodhisattvas of other worlds, Brahmā, Shakra, the four heavenly kings, and others. Then “Shakyamuni Buddha caused the Buddhas who were emanations of his body and had come from the ten directions to return each one to his original land, saying, ‘The tower of Many TreasuresBuddha may also return to its former position.’” After the Bodhisattvas of the Earth had departed, from the “Medicine King” chapter through the Nirvana Sutra, the Buddha transferred the sutra again to the people taught by him in his transient status and to the bodhisattvas from other worlds. This was gleaning in order to entrust."

Throughout the lecture, the lecturers return again and again to the SGI mentor disciple [5:00, 11:15]. At the 5:44 mark, they assert  very clearly that the mentor[s] are "the Three Presidents of the Soka Gakkai." At the 11:15 mark, the lecturer inserts mentor-disciple into the Lotus Sutra Chapter 21, "The following five powers depicted in ancient imagery the unity of mentor and disciple struggling to achieve Kosen Rufu and the spread of True Buddhism." She goes on to say, "just as I am, I am a True Buddha" and to prove her point, the other lecturer cites the forgery called the Ongi Kuden [Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings]. Nichiren on the other hand cites Shakyamuni Buddha as the parent, teacher, and sovereign of the all the  Bodhisattvas ofthe Earth and in none of his authentic writings does he ever make the assertion that we are Buddhas just as we are . Besides, the actions of the leaders of the Soka Gakkai belie this assertion. Here we have another poor self-serving SGI lecture on the Lotus Sutra.

1 comment:

  1. Everyone gets an "F" for explaining what the 10 are. Trying to put them into current context without enumerating them doesn't impress. The SGI lecturers attempted definitions were nonsense, assuming 10 spiritual powers and 10 supernatural powers are referring to the same term.