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Sunday, March 27, 2016

Daisaku ikeda and his Human Revolution novel

"Why would the Ikeda Sect attach their stories from the quasi-trilogy The Human Revolution to the True teachings of Buddhism of Shakyamuni as taught by Nichiren Daishonin ? 

The SGI organization has appended their ongoing narrative of the Human Revolution to the teachings of Nichiren Daishonin, which by all readings of Nichiren Daishonins extant writings, is an uninvited chapter – at least in this religion. Therefore, it is highly inappropriate for many reasons. Firstly, does Nichiren Daishonin state that the Buddha Shakyamuni promises a life of human revolution through chanting Namu Myoho Renge Kyo? Does Nichiren not say that the Lotus Sutra and Daimoku will have power for 10,000 years and more to come? Yes, that is what Nichiren says. He does not say – wait for the next guy to hand out another chapter. It is as if Nichiren Daishonin himself knew this would happen in the future, as it happened in the past, and wrote like a maniac his whole life to show how the Nembutsu did it, how the Shingon did it, how the Pure Land did it, how the religions that cropped up via words and phrases from the teachings of Shakyamuni – to show us to teach us to spot a fake when we see it. Let’s honor the life he spent writing for us by acknowledging the SGI as one of those forgeries of religions. 

As to the merits of the Human Revolution, while it carries a catchy theme, it has no bearing or relevance to the practice of Buddhism as taught by Shakyamuni or Nichiren Daishonin. It is simply a story with a catchy title, and while tempting as it is to go into the flaws of the ongoing narrative (as in, geesh! Are they still talking about that?), it might be better to reserve judgment of Ikeda’s philosophy, and just concentrate on separating this idea of Ikeda’s being somehow related to Nichiren and from actual Buddhism. 

There may be many reasons why the SGI likes the idea of attaching The Human Revolution and the life of Shin’ichi Yammamoto (who, as everyone should know, this hero, this larger than life, miracle worker is none other than the self-aggrandizing Ikeda) - as he goes through the world and causes such a change in the world due to his lion-like behavior against all evils. 

However, let’s not forget that this is a story, not even a parable, and one that has over-extended the use of artistic license to add "art" to the heroes and the villains. It is a story told by one man, even though the origins were ascribed to Josei Toda who in reality was a malnourished, alcohol abusing, vitamin deficiencient despot whose life was marked by dark hallucinations and who ultimately died of cirrhosis. But the true SGI disciple gives title credit, not to Toda since, the Human Revolution is but the thinly veiled testimony of Shin ichi Yamamoto, if it weren’t for Daisaku Ikeda, the dreams of the SGI would not have ever gotten off the ground. They know this in their hearts [even though they weren’t there in the early days] because Ikeda is a political powerman, a narcissist and one who also ultimately pits himself against Nichiren Daishonin. 

The true SGI disciple learns early on not to make a distinction between Nichiren and Ikeda. That Nichiren and Ikeda are one, like the water in the vessel, that will take the shape of whatever container the water it poured into. Everyone else looks at the situation without the eyes of the SGI member and simply see a short, podgy megalomaniac, extending his T-rex arms no further than his rotund body. He is one of grandiose delusions of beating out Nichiren Daishonin in his elocutionary skills, believing his knowledge of the Lotus Sutra vastly superior to his and rarely giving credit to Shakyamuni and never to those who did the translations, not even to those who gave their lives [if they aren't SGI]. Mostly, Ikeda's putting on airs of being a Buddha while engaging in a perverse competition with the True Masters reveals his true nature . . . Suffice it to say, Ikeda is highly competitive [World of Anger].

If there is the need to show you some proof of Ikeda's angry competitive nature, here it is: ‘World Poet Laureate’ status that he received from a company [World Poet Laureate Society] that he purchased with same name and then bestowing that title upon himself; the outpouring of monies to various legitimate universities and institutions of higher learning in order to buy his way into the circle of intellectuals while collecting honorary degrees along the way; his hiring ghost writers to re-invent the big “human revolution’ movement in America where he plucks out George Williams and inserts Shin’ichi in his stead [by the way, leaving George Williams with no pension, no retirement, no humane acknowledgement of his 40 years of work in the SGI]; and above all, Ikeda's complete disregard of all that Nichiren taught. This latter point is evidenced by the manner in which he takes the wonderful words and phrases from Nichiren’s writings and intermixes them with his own, in order to turn all attention unto himself and thus subliminally creating the the illusion that he himself is the relevant person. At the same time, flattering his disciples that Nichiren is smiling down on them all. This blessing from Ikeda is supposed to confirm that they are in fact, Nichiren’s disciples, . . . as is he. I can only say to Ikeda, thank you for making my point. 

Look at America today – look at Japan today – look at the world today! What did your human revolution do, other than cause a schism between people and their own sense of reality, their own conscience, their own trust in their gut decision-making, and their sense of perception. The SGI disciples are charged and guarded, with inflammatory and toxic emotions for anything that may hint at any criticism of Ikeda. This is another way of validating the idea that Ikeda is more infallible than the pope.

Even though Ikeda has made many well documented mistakes, he himself could care less, so his disciples dismiss it as well. It is only important if Sensei says it is important. When a scandal arises within the SGI, the good disciples of Ikeda are taught that there really are never scandals in SGI – there are only rumors -- until that time, of course, when they receive his ‘guidance’ about how to view the event. Only with ‘faith’ in this new viewpoint [President Ikeda’s divine providence] which of course is handed down to his immediate underlings and which is ultimately trickled down to the local community centers to be disseminated to all the members, can one truly understand the why of the bad occurrence --or maybe just a seemingly bad occurrence – because we "know" from Nichiren [as usurped and twisted by Ikeda] that the the aspect of all phenomena is sometimes temporary, sometimes illusional but there is always the promise that it will reveal itself later as an omen of righteousness. 

Of course, it never does, but if you are a true disciple, that becomes immaterial because to look back is ho gammyo [living in the past] and not proper. As a member of this organization for 27 years, I can attest to the degree of mind bending that goes on in order to make Ikeda and the SGI organization appear the correct path. 

On the other hand, Nichiren Daishonin’s knowledge of Shakyamuni’s teachings, the Lotus Sutra, the world, the event of omens and phenomena are all thus: They are real; they are true; they are based on the teachings of the World Honored One. Nichiren Daishonin, unlike Ikeda, never utilized another’s teaching without proper discovery nor did he insert his own ideas when explicating another's teachings. Least of all did he alter the teachings. For example, he always assigned the articulation of the theory of ichinen sanzen to T’ien T’ai, rather than pretending that he himself came upon the theory himself through his understanding of the Lotus Sutra. 

There is no sane comparison of Ikeda to Nichiren Daishonin. The Daishonin never sought fame, power, money, provence. As reasonable as Ikeda makes it sound that he needed these things to change the world, all I ask is look at your own bank accounts: Count the money you gave the SGI, and compare it to the money in your bank account; count all the daimoku and ‘guidance’ you followed, and look at the condition of your life and the rest of the world; take an assessment of how much of your life you gave up to allow Ikeda the space and support to be who HE is and ask yourself if that is true courage or the act of a coward who is afraid to venture out and live his or her own life, afraid to rely on your own wits and your own heart. 

You want to be accountable? Then check out the failing economies in Europe and around the world. Check out the Fukushima disaster which continues to threaten the world’s environment and its people or the implosion of excess of an unbridled Wall Street culture [which is NOT a free market but rather the mono-economic cloning of virtual dollars that will again burst eventually if left unchecked]. I implore you to live a real life, read Nichiren Daishonin’s writings with a heart as to what Nichiren and Nichiren alone is saying, and then take courageous action as his disciple." -- former SGI member


  1. Back in 1991, three years into my practice with NSA, I naturally gravitated toward the NST, where I had received Gohonzon in Washington D.C.
    With almost no prior exposure to Buddhism, I navigated the excommunication of the SGI by Nikken as the Episcopalian I was raised to be-- Naturally, since the High Priests were a pure lineage-- back to Niko, who was "Nichiren's True heir and most important disciple"- according to study info published and promoted by SGI, anyone serious about practicing Buddhism had better stick close to the most credible source ....

    Goodrich? Goodyear?? How confusing it became!

    Is it Live or Memorex?? How can one say for certain?

    I have been fortunate to be outcast for the same behavior by SGI and NST in America. Neither of these dueling -for -dollars Buddhist organizations will tolerate a *heretic*, or rather any member who reads the Gosho, as opposed to a member who is "making a good cause by attending a Gosho lecture on a selected *passage* from the Gosho".

    10 years after I first chanted (incorrectly) the daimoku of the Lotus Sutra, I knew from up close, personal experience there was virtually no significant difference between the SGI & NST. Same authoritative, rigid indoctrination practices-- the choice, as I saw it, given no other Nichiren Buddhism practitioners were known to me in 1998, was -- about personal preference and my human limitations.

    What do you think best reflects a modern , engaged Buddhism, mainstream philosophy? The linen robes priestly-look?, or business casual attire that replaced white uniforms and pastel polyester blazers??

    It sucks to realize that for all of the amazing, profound --even exciting teachings Nichiren wrote about to his disciples, the only way to connect with and practice "this Buddhism" with others was to keep your burning questions and disturbing realizations to yourself...

    Until I realized I could practice on my own, I accepted SGI as my karmic retribution for having joined NST-- albeit, briefly.

    I accepted the challenge to connect with Sensei's vision, and have studied the lives and writings of the 3 SGI presidents for 20 years, no less. Right now I am trying to be fair, unbiased and compassionate--regarding the actual role Pres. Ikeda has played in the grave matter of propagating erroneous teachings and distorting the teachings Nichiren based on faith in the Lotus Sutra.

    I think Niko Shonin's sketchy tactics are at the root of this *evil* --the well trodden path of least resistance and very minor good intentions--?

  2. Both Niko and Nikko were not without their faults. How wise the Buddha and Nichiren, "Follow the Law and not persons".


  3. Hi Mark,

    If only "Follow the Law and not persons" were as easy as it sounds.

    I found your site on Sunday, March 20th. After a friend told me Aidin Straus was in Boston for the Youth Division "Kosen-rufu Day" activity. I am on the periphery here as far as SGI news goes, so I was shocked to hear he was GD. My friend did not want to discuss it with me, so I goggled him and found link to your very informative post, "What we know about Aidin Straus"- . Another friend who is a Region WD leader in Baltimore refused to "have this discussion with me." So, I spent some more time on your site and realized that I was at "shakubuku central"-- a breath of fresh air!

    I have three Nichikan gohonzons rolled up and stored on my balcony. The immediate and dramatic change in my *life* persuaded my husband to discard the gohonzon he was issued in 2007 during a six month separation and guidance from top leader to "divorce me a quickly as possible". My best friend, whom I introduced to SGI 28 years ago, asked me to take her gohonzon and burn it with mine and Kevin's. That was yesterday. All three of us are chanting Namu Myoho Renge Kyo, with deep appreciation for the clarity and serenity we are experiencing.

    Just wanted to share how I discovered "Eagle Peak" ~
    With deep appreciation,

  4. "Moreover, in this evil latter age, evil companions are more numerous than the dust particles that comprise the land, while good friends are fewer than the specks of dirt one can pile on a fingernail." -- Nichiren

    "...If good men and good women have planted good roots, and as a result in existence after existence have been able to gain good friends, then these good friends can do the buddha’s work, teaching, benefiting, delighting, and enabling them to enter supreme perfect enlightenment. Great king, you should understand that a good friend is the great cause and condition by which one is guided and led, and that enables one to see the buddha and to conceive the desire for supreme perfect enlightenment..." -- Lotus Sutra Chapter 27

    "The Treatise on the Treasure Vehicle of Buddhahood by Bodhisattva Sāramati reads: “Those who are ignorant and unable to believe in the correct teaching, who hold false views and are arrogant, suffer such hindrances in retribution for the slanders of their past lives. They cling to incomplete doctrines and are attached to receiving alms and being treated with deference; they recognize only false doctrines, distance themselves from good friends, approach with familiarity such slanderers who delight in attachment to the teachings of the lesser vehicle, and do not believe in the great vehicle. Therefore they slander the Law of the Buddhas."

    “A person of wisdom should not fear enemy households, snakes, the poison of fire, the god Indra, the roll of thunder, attacks by swords and staves, or wild beasts such as tigers, wolves, and lions. For these can only destroy one’s life, but cannot cause one to fall into the Avīchi hell, which is truly terrifying. What one should fear is slander of the profound teaching as well as companions who are slanderers, for these will surely cause one to fall into the frightful Avīchi hell. Even if one befriends evil companions and with evil intent spills the Buddha’s blood, kills one’s own father and mother, takes the lives of many sages, disrupts the unity of the Buddhist Order, and destroys all one’s roots of goodness, if one fixes one’s mind on the correct teaching, one can free oneself from that place. But if there is someone who slanders the inconceivably profound teaching, that person will for immeasurable kalpas be unable to obtain emancipation. However, if there is one who can cause others to awaken to and take faith in a teaching such as this, then that person p.621is their father and mother, and also their good friend. This is a person of wisdom. After the Thus Come One’s passing, that person corrects false views and perverse thoughts, and causes people to enter the true way. For that reason, he has pure faith in the three treasures, and his virtuous actions lead others to enlightenment.” -- Nichiren