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Sunday, February 14, 2016

Nichiren on Soka Gakkai-Zen interfaith

Soka Gakkai-Zen interfaith meeting, 14th Nov 2008

"We had an initial meeting last Thursday with a couple of local representatives of Soka Gakkai International, the Nichiren Buddhist community very much engaged with applying spiritual practice in daily life and calling for world peace. We had a fascinating discussion about the value of dialogue in the SGI and the Zen Peacemakers, and are discussing creating a joint dialogue project next year- inviting members of the public to discussion circles where we explore important areas of peacemaking and learn to listen to all the voices involved!..."

Nichiren's view:

"I hope we may set about as quickly as possible taking measures to deal with these slanders against the Law and to bring peace to the world without delay, thus insuring that we may live in safety in this life and enjoy good fortune in the life to come." -- RAR

"Since taking up the study of Buddhism, however, I have frequently given thought to this matter, and it seems to me that restraining those who slander the Law and respecting the followers of the correct way will assure stability within the nation and peace in the world at large." -- RAR

"Thus it is very difficult to establish peace in society. One may be letter-perfect in reciting the Lotus Sutra, but it is far more difficult to act as it teaches." -- Lessening One's Karmic Retributions

"This I will state. Let the gods forsake me. Let all persecutions assail me. Still I will give my life for the sake of the Law. Shariputra practiced the way of the bodhisattva for sixty kalpas, but he abandoned the way because he could not endure the ordeal of the Brahman who begged for his eye. Of those who received the seeds of Buddhahood in the remote past and those who did so from the sons of the Buddha Great Universal Wisdom Excellence, many abandoned the seeds and suffered in hell for the long periods of numberless major world system dust particle kalpas and major world system dust particle kalpas, respectively, because they followed evil companions.

Whether tempted by good or threatened by evil, if one casts aside the Lotus Sutra, one destines oneself for hell. Here I will make a great vow. Though I might be offered the rulership of Japan if I would only abandon the Lotus Sutra, accept the teachings of the Meditation Sutra, and look forward to rebirth in the Pure Land, though I might be told that my father and mother will have their heads cut off if I do not recite the Nembutsu—whatever obstacles I might encounter, so long as persons of wisdom do not prove my teachings to be false, I will never yield! All other troubles are no more to me than dust before the wind." -- Opening of the Eyes

"All the people throughout Japan have been led astray by the wild assertions of Honen, who tells them to “discard, close, ignore, and abandon” [the Lotus Sutra], or of the Zen school, which declares its teaching to be “a separate transmission outside the sutras,” so that there is not a single one who is not destined to fall into the great citadel of the hell of incessant suffering. So believing, over the past more than twenty years I have never ceased to cry out in a loud voice against these errors, fearing neither the ruler of the nation nor the common people. I am in no way inferior to the outspoken ministers Kuan Lung-feng and Pi Kan of old. I am like the thousand-armed Perceiver of the World’s Sounds, the bodhisattva of great compassion, who strives to rescue at once all the beings confined to the hell of incessant suffering."--  Rebuking Slander of the Law

Now the Kamakura government is at the height of power. Therefore, the True Word priests of To-ji, Mount Hiei, Onjo-ji, and the seven major temples of Nara, along with those priests of the Lotus school who have forgotten the teachings of their own school and instead slander the Law, have all made their way east to the Kanto region, where they bow their heads, bend their knees, and seek in various ways to win over the hearts of the warriors. They are in turn assigned positions as superintendents or chief officials of various temples and mountain monasteries, where they proceed to follow the same evil doctrines that earlier brought about the downfall of the imperial forces, using them to pray for the peace and safety of the nation!

The shogun and his family, along with the samurai who are in their service, very likely believe that as a result of such prayers the nation will actually become peaceful and secure. But so long as they employ the services of priests who invite grave disaster by ignoring the Lotus Sutra, the nation will in fact face certain destruction.

When I think how pitiful it would be if the nation were to be destroyed, and how lamentable would be the loss of life involved, I feel that I must risk my own life in order to make the truth of the situation clear. If the ruler desires the security of the nation, he should question the manner in which things are proceeding and try to discern the truth. But instead, all he does is listen to the calumnies of others and in one way or another treat me with animosity. -- The Selection of the Time

"Three times now I have gained distinction by having such knowledge. The first time was the first year of the Bunno era (1260), cyclical sign kanoesaru, on the sixteenth day of the seventh month, when I presented my On Establishing the Correct Teaching for the Peace of the Land to His Lordship, the lay priest of Saimyo-ji, by way of the lay priest Yadoya Mitsunori. At that time, I said to the lay priest Yadoya, “Please advise His Lordship that devotion to the Zen school and the Nembutsu school should be abandoned. If this advice is not heeded, trouble will break out within the ruling clan, and the nation will be attacked by another country." [ibid].

He also writes in the Selection of the Time, referring to the priests of the Lotus school who go out of their way to win the hearts of the Zen sect [warriors]:

"...along with those priests of the Lotus school who have forgotten the teachings of their own school and instead slander the Law..."

Nichiren might as well have been talking about the Soka Gakka and the Nichiren Shu.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. The peaceful state that is experienced during zarzen meditation is often experienced during gongyo. It comes on by itself. I think this maybe the presence of Thus Come One,the eternal Buddha