SGI member: And you should never forget that your teacher is Nichiren and that if you want to understand the teacher and the teachings of the Lotus Sutra, you should let him be your guide, which means that one should use the Gosho as the basis for understanding the Sutras rather than arrogantly approaching it from the other way around.
Me: Nichiren always, without a single exception taught that the commentaries are invariably surpassed by the Sutras on which they are based. Yours is not the teaching of Nichiren and you will have to let go of your attachment to the inferior teachings of the SGI if you are to finally get it. Such a statement proves you are still an enemy of the Sutra and one to be repudiated for heretical views.
SGI member: You are a person who picks and chooses which passages to believe, while ignoring the broadest sense of what is being said.
Me: I think you mean by "ignoring the broadest sense", I am one who refuses to read between the lines and takes Nichiren at his word. There are many evil people in Mappo. There are those who have altered Nichiren's teachings, those who assert the Gosho supplants the Sutra, and those who tear off the first part of a Gosho and stick it on the end.....
SGI member: For example, If you are attached to the Dhuta Shakyamuni you might as well turn to Theravada Buddhism and ignore the writings of the Mahayana Texts that Nagarjuna found in the "Iron Tower" beneath the sea.
Me: I'm not even attached to the Law of Namu Myoho renge kyo. There are times when one refrains from proclaiming the True Law. I merely believe in the Three Bodied Tathagata, possessing the Body of the Dhuta Shakyamuni, the Body of the Dharma, and the Body of Wisdom.
SGI member: You might as well disregard the teachings of Chi-i as he extrapolated three truths where Nagarjuna had only found two.
Me: Are you picking topics out of thin air because you have nothing to say about the identity of the Original Eternal Buddha?
SGI member: And you might as well not call yourself a disciple of Nichiren.
Me. For asserting and teaching the same as he? You had better take a good hard look at yourself and your mentor before admonishing me.
SGI member: You call your Shakyamuni the Eternal Shakyamuni, but that Shakyamuni is a Shakyamuni of teachings spoken by other men-- of the Law/ Dharma, just as many of the teachers of many of the Sutras were emanations of that same Shakyamuni.
Me: You make no sense. You should leave the Soka Gakkai, forget most of what they have taught you, and chant for a clear mind.
SGI member: It was Nichiren who put them to practice and brought T'ien Tai's teachings to life. Reductionism is applicable only so far. Nichiren was enlightened, and that makes him a Buddha, and his teachings were a teaching of attaining enlightenment in ones present form -- so his teachings were a teaching of Honnimmyo (principle of true cause), which is the basis of teaching that his is a teaching of the Buddhism of the Sowing.
Me: Even Arhats are Enlightened. Not all who are Enlightened are Buddhas. You have little idea of my view of Original Enlightenment because I have not written extensively on it. I am a staunch believer in Original Enlightenment because it is preached in the Original Doctrine of the Juryo-hon Chapter of the Lotus Sutra and in Nichiren's teachings on the Original Doctrine. Original and attained enlightenment is merely a restatement of the Honmon [Essential Teachings of the Lotus Sutra] and the Shakumon [Theoretical Teachings].
"When the Person who forthrightly abandons the expedient and only believes in the Dharma Flower Sutra (Hokekyo) and chants 'Namu Myoho Renge Kyo, he has the Three Ways of Delusion, Karma, and Suffering turn into the Three Virtues of the Dharma Body, Prajna (wisdom), and Liberation…, the place where that Person abides is the Land of Eternal Quiescent Light." Totai Gi Sho, pg. 759-760 (KHK Seiten)
SGI member: So in general we are all potentially Buddhas. Therefore, those later disciples who taught teachings based on their own enlightenment only erred in that they were not wise enough to let go of claims to absolute orthodoxy and instead concentrate on advancing and getting to the truth without putting it into the words of others or interpreting it to death.
Me: Again, your mind is clouded. I have read this last statement a dozen times and it too makes no sense. You are a sectarian whose mind is closed to even the truths of the Lotus Sutra and Nichiren if they are not taught in the SGI. A far as the teachings of the so-called masters of the Nichiren Shoshu and SGI, except for the very earliest teachings and teachers such as Nikko and Nichimoku, all I see is a revision of the teachings of the Master Nichiren and even in the case of Nikko and Nichimoku, I always return to the Sutra and Nichiren.
SGI member: Whatever distortions the priests of Nichiren Shoshu are guilty of, they have not trampled on Nichiren's teachings half so much as the so-called "orthodox" sects -- although what they have done is pitiful enough.
Me: Idle chatter is cheap but apparently not beneath you.
SGI member: Nichiren relied on the three proofs; Literal, actual and theoretical. He stressed actual proof. My Gakkai friends assert and demonstrate actual proof every time we have a meeting because they are basing their lives on the Gosho.
Me: If you need to believe this, go right ahead but don't expect me to believe it just because YOU say so. I see them basing their lives on Daisaku Ikeda and the Human Revolution, not on the Lotus Sutra and Nichiren. The oneness of SGI mentor and disciple, interfaith, Nichiren as True, Eternal, Original Buddha, and the primacy of the DaiGohonzon, is hardly basing their lives on the Gosho. You [they] are the first of the Three Powerful Enemies [because you follow the Third Powerful Enemy, Daisaku Ikeda]. All your assertions mean about as much to me as the assertions of the followers of Honen, Jikaku, or Jesus.
SGI member: I would hope that you are doing the same thing -- and you will if you are a votary of the Lotus Sutra and not a slanderer.
Me: Hold SGI meetings? LOL.
SGI member: Nichiren relied on the Lotus Sutra primarily, but it was his Lotus Sutra, just as the Maka Shikan was Tientai's Lotus Sutra -- he made it his by his efforts -- and by not possessing it.
Me: When I want to read a World Tribune, I will ask you to forward one to me. I read and study the Lotus Sutra and the Gosho. Shakyamuni Buddha's Lotus Sutra, according to Nichiren, is far superior than Tientai's Great Concentration and insight and Nichiren's Lotus Sutra [Daimoku and Gohonzon] IS Shakyamuni Buddha's Lotus Sutra. For every altered quote or passage you might be able to find to support your false assertions, I will supply ten or twenty quotes to support mine from Nichiren. There is only one Lotus Sutra and a myriad of practices depending on the time.
SGI member: Tientai didn't throw away Shakyamuni's Lotus Sutra or the other sutras, he simply illuminated it with his life. Likewise Nichiren illuminated the Lotus Sutra with his life.
Me: You have it all topsy turvy because you are still inextricably connected to the topsy turvy Gakkai world and the doctrines of the Nichiren Shoshu. According to Nichiren, Tientai and even Nichiren Daishonin is enlightened through the Lotus Sutra of the Eternal Buddha Shakyamuni. The Lotus Sutra and Nichiren teach, since the Law is Supreme the person is worthy of respect [not since the person is supreme, the Law is worthy of respect]. For you to assert differently is a clear sign of the need to reevaluate your associations, be they doctrinal or social.
SGI member: That is the role of Bodhisattvas and Buddhas, these arguments over who is a Buddha are the sophistry of people who would seek to confuse people from their practice so that they can attract a few followers. The reason that this is so, is that the Lotus Sutra teaches that we are all Buddhas to be, and Nichiren teaches the principle of "attaining Buddhahood in ones present form".
Me: Honmon is based on monism. As long as we are chanting Daimoku with a correct faith, there is nothing to be attained.
SGI member: I am studying the principle of insubstantiability (in the Vimilakirti Sutra), and now I have to go back to read what Nichiren says about it -- because I think I'm starting to understand it and that is a dangerous thing. Fundamentally when we grasp the insubstantiality of these disagreements and let go of our egoistic notions then we naturally see through our attachments to heresies and the heresies themselves! Nichiren did not reject Shakyamuni, nor did he establish the worship of Shakyamuni.
Me: Nichiren established the worship of Shakyamuni Buddha of the Juryo Chapter of the Lotus Sutra and the Daimoku in the form of the Great Mandala.
SGI member: Nichiren placed the Law at the center of Buddhism seeing that that was the aim of Buddhism, and correctly saw that the center of Buddhist Law is the Lotus Sutra. He established the Nam Myoho Renge Kyo as the invocation, and the Gohonzon as the Banner of the Law, and ourselves as the Bodhisattvas of the Earth potentially and essentially displaying the power and wisdom of that law, and he directed us to center our worship around those three things, because grasping those great secrets automatically made it possible for us to understand the insubstantiality of phenomena and set our aspirations on realizing the highest state -- without consciously being aware of it!
Me: But SGI places the mentor at the center of Buddhism. Good by the inch invites evil by the yard. SGI, by rejecting so much of what Nichiren actually taught and adding to it the teachings of the Three Presidents, has rendered Nichiren's Lotus Sutra Buddhism nearly unrecognizable. Besides, you are confusing the Three Treasures with the Three Great Secret Laws. Lastly, it is faith not understanding that is the key to wisdom.
SGI member: There appear to be many vehicles but there is indeed one, and our goal in debating Buddhism is not to win debating points with sophistry or to convince rubes that we are wise and venerable, but to help others let go of their false attachments and see the diamond hard body of the Buddha for what it is. That is why we must use the clear mirror of the Gohonzon. If we see even one person as a "rube" then we are not practicing Buddhism, but betraying it. But if we see the potential that is there and draw it out then maybe we are practicing Buddhism. You say that Nichiren repudiated expedient means, but you don't even understand what expedient means are. I may not myself, but I can tell you that lies and deceptions are not what the Buddha is referring to as Expedient means except in the broadest sense.
Me: Not even in the broadest sense may lies and deceptions be equated with Expedient Means. It is better to stick to the Lotus Sutra and Gosho when attempting to explain difficult Buddhist concepts. One thing I don't do is go around telling people they can not possibly understand such difficult concepts without the help of a mentor or without receiving guidance. This is nothing but Gakkai modus operandi to assert one's superiority over the members and gain control over them. It is born from the Worlds of Animality and Anger.