Uncommitted Nichiren Believer, thinking of returning to the Nichiren Shoshu: I have never seen a quote anywhere in the gosho where he uses this to refer to a priest who upholds the Lotus Sutra as the highest teaching of Shakyamuni and denies the efficacy of other sutras.
Mark: "At that time this sutra will be preached throughout the continent of Jambudvipa. In that age there will be evil monks who will do violence to this sutra and destroy it's unity, losing the 'color, scent and flavor ' of the True Law that it contains. These evil men will read and recite this sutra, but they will ignore and put aside the vital principles that the Buddha has expounded in it and replace them with ornate rhetoric and meaningless talk. They will tear off the first part of the Sutra and stick it on the end, tear off the end and put it at the begining, put the end and the beginning in the middle and the begining at the middle or end. You must understand that these evil monks are the companions of the devil." (MW vol 2, Opening Of The Eyes).
Uncommitted member: Right, his own views if he wants to claim that other sutras are superior to the Lotus Sutra or disregard the true object of worship. None of which the high priest has done. If the high priest ever says the gohonzon is not real or that the Lotus Sutra is inferior to any other, or even that any other is equal to the Lotus Sutra. This has not happened.
Mark: Let us look at the High Priest's words:
[Nikken] "It is in this Gosho, the Opening of the Eyes, that the Daishonin reveals the three virtues of sovereign, teacher and parent, as the Buddha of all teachings non-Buddhist doctrines and Buddhist doctrines. Of the Buddhist doctrines, he is the Buddha of the Hoben teachings, the doctrines of truth, the theoretical teaching and the essential teaching. And within this essential teaching, he is the Buddha of the True Cause, the depths of the fundamental core of the essential teaching. "
[Me] Why do the Nichiren Shoshu members believe the high priest and not the Lotus Sutra and Nichiren Daishonin?
Nikken goes on to say in his lecture on the Opening of the Eyes:
"This is why he states in the beginning, There are three categories of people that all men and women should respect. They are the sovereign, the teacher and the parent.² Here he instructs us to open our eyes to this fact. In the end of the Opening of the Eyes, he writes, I, Nichiren, am sovereign, teacher, father and mother to all the people of Japan.²(Shinpen, p. 577; M.W., Vol. 2, p.212).
[Me] The Lotus Sutra teaches that the Eternal Shakyamuni is the sovereign, teacher and parent to all the people of the world, not just the little island nation of Japan. There are kings that govern over small countries, over medium sized countries, and over large countries. Nichiren Daishonin taught, "If you mistake the general for the specific, even in the slightest, you will fail to attain Buddhahood".
Nikken continues: "Here, the Daishonin explains that he is the sovereign, teacher and parent."
Mark: Of Japan.
Nikken: "Thus, he conclusively reveals that he is the person who possesses the three virtues of sovereign, teacher and parent and who will save all mankind."
Mark: But he doesn't say this. The Eternal Shakyamuni of the 16th Chapter of the Lotus Sutra says this. Here are the Daishonin's teachings on this very point.
"Since the Buddha of the Juryo chapter is revealed as the eternal Buddha, it follows that the great Bodhisattvas such as Monju and Miroku, and the great bodhisattvas from other realms are in fact disciples of Shakyamuni Buddha. If, among all the numerous sutras, this Juryo chapter should be lacking, it would be as though there were no sun and moon in the sky, no supreme ruler in the nation, no gems in the mountains and rivers, and no spirit in man." (MW, V2, pg. 150)
"Since Sakyamuni Buddha is eternal and all other Buddhas in the universe are His manifestations, then those great bodhisattvas converted by manifested Buddhas are also disciples of Lord Sakyamuni Buddha. If the 'Life Span of the Buddha' chapter had not been expounded, it would be like the sky without the sun and moon, a country without a king, mountains and rivers without gems, or a man without a soul." (Noppa, pg. 176, Kaimoku Sho)
"Thus it was revealed that Shakyamuni had long been the Buddha since the eternal past, and it became clear that various Buddhas in other worlds were all manifestations of Shakyamuni Buddha..[ ] now, however, as Shakyamuni was proved to be the Eternal Buddha, those Buddhas in the Flower Garland Sutra, or Buddhas in the Hodo, Hannya, or Great Sun Buddha sutras all became subordinates of Shakyamuni Buddha." (Kaimoku Sho, p. 174, translated by Kyotsu Hori, 1987)
"Since Shakyamuni Buddha is eternal and all other Buddhas in the universe are His manifestations........" (Kaimoku Sho, translated by Kyotsu Hori, p.176).
"But now that it has become apparent that Shakyamuni Buddha attained enlightenment countless aeons ago,.......etc. (MW V.2, p. 151)
Not only is there no mention of Nichiren as "True buddha in the Kaimoku Sho but in the Kanjin honzon Sho, translated by Kyotsu Hori, not in one single place, does Nichiren mention that he is the "True" Buddha:
"...Shakyamuni Buddha, within our minds, is an ancient Buddha without beginning, manifesting Himself in three bodies and attained Buddhahood n the eternal past......(ibid. P.94)
"...the Bodhisattvas (who sprang from underneath the ground), as described in the 15th chapter, are followers of the Original Buddha Shakaymuni who resides within our minds."(p.94)
"Shakyamuni Buddha, the Lord-preacher of this pure land, has never died in the past, nor will he be born in the future. He exists forever, throughout the past, present and future." (P.100)
"The "honzon", at the scene of this transmission of "Namu Myo Ho Renge Kyo" from the Eternal Buddha to His Original Disciples that is....suspended in the sky above the Eternal Buddha Shakyamuni's Saha-world, is a stupa of treasures, in which Shakyamuni Buddha and Taho sit to the left and right of "Myo Ho Renge Kyo". (P.102)
"Many wooden statues and portraits were made of Shakyamuni Buddha as He preached Hinayana and quasi-Mahayana sutras, but statues and portraits of the Eternal Shakyamuni Buddha revealed in the Juryo Chapter of the Lotus Sutra were never made. Now, in the beginning of Mappo, is it not the time that such statues and portraits are made?" (P.104)
The Hoon Sho (translated by Taikyo Yajima) states:
"All the people in Japan as well as the rest of the whole world should revere the Lord Buddha Shakyamuni (Original and Eternal Buddha) revealed in the essential section (honmon) of the Lotus Sutra as the object of worship (honzon)." (P. 198)
The Lotus Sutra, Chapter 16, states, "Then he sent a messenger back to his children, telling them that their father has passed away." In the Kanjin Honzon Sho, Nichiren refers to this phrase, "The phrase, 'send a messenger back,' in the 'Duration of the Life of the Buddha' chapter, which I have just cited, refers to those bodhisattvas who were called out from
Here we have clear proof that Shakyamuni is the Father of all people of the world and Nichiren is the messenger.
"On Practicing According to the Preaching" (Nyosetsu shugyo sho STN, v. 1, 733 1, 2), "I Nichiren, received the Buddha s Edict and was born in this land . ."
In the Kito Sho (STN v.1, 676 1,4) Nichiren Daishonin calls him "the compassionate Father, the Buddha Shakya" and in the same work says, "the Buddha Shakya alone combines the three principles of Lord, Teacher, and Sovereign," (STN, v. 1, 677 I, 4)
Thus we see that the Daishonin's pronouncement in the Gosho, reguarding his position as sovereign, teacher and parent is relative, while Lord Shakya's pronouncement in the Lotus Sutra is absolute.
Before you make a rash decision to rejoin the Nichiren Shoshu, please chant and study a lot. Those evil monks are not worthy of having you as a disciple.
We may appear to be icchantika but we are actually Great Bodhisattvas. The priests of the Nichiren Shoshu, especially the High Priest may appear to be a Great Bodhisattva but he is really an icchantika.. Nikken is the Second of the Three Powerful Enemies, Ikeda is the Third of the Three Powerful Enemies. Joining either of them makes you the First of the Three Powerful Enemies. Ponder well your decision. Ponder it well.