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Thursday, April 21, 2016

Gohonzon discussion

Nichiren: The Gohonzon is the very life and land of the Master of Teachings Lord Shakya of the Juryo Chapter of the Lotus Sutra. It is more valuable than my own life. 

Nikken: That is why we printed them up like Grateful Dead posters. 

Ikeda: And why we sold hundreds of thousands of them to every Tom, Dick and Harry with $12.00 in their pocket. 

Nichiren believer: We have always been very careful about who we allow to receive Gohonzon and we will continue to prudent 

Nichiren: I wouldn't even bestow a Gohonzon on Usabusa and she was chanting for 14 years and never missed Gongyo. 

Nikken: We were sure that those who had $12.00 in their pockets had deep faith. Oh well, live and learn. 

Ikeda: That was then and this is now. Now they must also buy a years subscription to the World Fibune and Living Ikedaism. 

Nichiren believer: There are believers who are chanting for thirty years in America who wish to obtain a Nichiren Gohonzon but we are loathe to give them one because of their warped faith. 

Nichiren: I have inscribed my life in sumi ink. 

Nikken: We thought you'd enjoy the smell of the San Francisco dump, the flames of the mid-Manhattan incinerator, and the warm and cozy socks [in sock drawers]. 

Ikeda: You are being overly dramatic, Nichie. Your life in sumi ink? LOL. Those who sing Forever Sensei and have my picture beside the altar are the true votaries. I myself am the banner of propagation in the Latter Day.

Nichiren believer: Since the Gohonzon is so important to you Master, how could we indiscriminately bestow them upon others? 

Nichiren: I have inscribed this Gohonzon for you. It will protect you like a sturdy house in a storm, like a bodyguard skilled in martial arts, or like a mother lion protects her cubs. To abandon this Gohonzon is the cause of the greatest misfortune in this life and the road to hell in the next. 

Nikken: We have Craig Bratcher, Nichiu, and the priest Goto. 

Ikeda: We have Guy McCloskey, Terry, and Kathy Ruby. 

Nichiren believer: Master, we will teach each and every person that the Gohonzon is more valuable than life itself and if our believers were to abandon the Gohonzon we would refrain from teaching the Lotus Sutra. 

Nichiren: It appears that the DaiGohonzon breeds evil men.

Nichiren believer: We have been teaching this for many years. Thank you for reaffirming our understanding.

Nikken: Impossible, look at me, priest Goto, and Nichiu the leper. 

Ikeda: Haha. how can a plank of wood breed evil men?

6 comments:

  1. "Nichiren: I have inscribed my life in sumi ink. "... and please note that each and every Gohonzon I inscribed was bestowed by me, specifically for my followers who had displayed strong resolve and earnest faith.

    ME: Stands to reason-- an *oblject* so precious, so perfect must have a *security code* ----

    ~Katie

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  2. The Gohonzon's are alive

    The doctrine of three thousand realms in a single moment of life arises from the concept of the three realms of existence. The three realms of existence are as follows: first, the realm of living beings; second, the realm of the five components; and third, the realm of the environment. Let us set aside the first two for now. The third, the realm of the environment, refers to the realm of plants and trees. And the realm of plants and trees includes those plants and trees from which are produced the five shades of pigment used in painting. From this pigment, painted images are created, and from trees, wooden statues are made.

    It is the power of the Lotus Sutra that can infuse such paintings and statues with a “soul” or spiritual property. This was the realization of the Great Teacher T’ien-t’ai. In the case of living beings, this doctrine is known as attaining Buddhahood in one’s present form; in the case of painted and wooden images, it is known as the enlightenment of plants and trees. This is why [the Great Teacher Chang-an] wrote, “There has never been anything to compare to the brightness and serenity of concentration and insight,” and why [the Great Teacher Miao-lo] stated, “They are nevertheless shocked and harbor doubts when they hear for the first time the doctrine that insentient beings possess the Buddha nature.”

    This doctrine [of three thousand realms in a single moment of life] was never heard of in the ages [before the Great Teacher T’ien-t’ai], nor was it known in the ages that followed. And even if it did appear, one may be certain that it had been stolen from him.

    Consecrating an Image of Shakyamuni Buddha

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    Replies
    1. "The Gohonzon exists in faith alone."

      ~Katie

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  3. "The Lotus Sutra describes itself as representing the one great reason for which the Buddhas make their appearance in the world because it is a scripture that contains these Three Great Secret Laws."

    "If it is not the proper Object of Worship (Gohonzon),
    even though there be no falsehood [even if the practitioner
    is sincere] it will not form the seed [of Buddhahood]. The
    Daimoku of the Hommon [Doctrine of the Original, found
    in the Lotus Sutra] is the seed of Buddhahood. This is because the Eternal Shakyamuni of the Honmon has put his Causal Practices (his myriad practices that lead to enlightenment) and his Virtues of the Effect (the merits of the effect, which is Buddhahood) into the seven characters of Namu MyoHo Renge Kyo." (The True Object of Worship)

    Jim, an SGI senior leader has posted that nothing is ceded from the Gohonzon (power of the Buddha and power of the Law) to the believer because the only powers derives from the faith and practice of the believer.

    There are several ways to look at this to demonstrate Jim's error and they derive from the timeless principles of Buddhism called Dependent Origination and Ichinen Sanzen or Three Thousand Worlds in a Momentary State of Existence.

    These principles demonstrate that everything in the universe is inextricably connected to everything else. Therefore, not only does one's thoughts words and deeds affect ones own being but all beings both sentient and insentient and all phenomena equally affect us. This is the rational for chanting for other people's welfare, those dead and alive, praying for rain, good weather, lack of accidents etc. The environment equally has the power to influence us. Rainy days are gloomy or cause our joints to hurt, for example.

    When examining one's own power compared to the power of the Buddha and Law, it is impossible to fail to acknowledge that our power alone is indeed limited. Whether in the religious or in the secular realm, a team can accomplish more than an individual and an individual with a tool can accomplish more than one without a tool. Were our power not limited, we could, by our own power, obtain Buddhahood but according to Nichiren Daishonin, we require both the help of others [the Buddha, the Law, and good friends in the dharma] and the hindrances of others [those who obstruct our faith and practice]. Believing that we can utilize our power alone to attain Buddhahood is a shallow mechanistic approach to Buddhism, denying others assistance and the utility of a tool. It also deprecates the Gohonzon thinking that the paper and ink of the object of devotion is inferior to the flesh and bones of the human being. In the secular realm, millions have given their lives for the sake of ink and paper, ie: for the Constitution of the United States. How much more so in the realm of Buddhism where, "Since the Law is supreme, the Person is worthy of respect; since the Person is worthy of respect, the Land is sacred.", not the other way around.

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  4. I am still seeking and pondering the absence of more emphasis and concrete instruction regarding Nichiren's own Gohonzon--amongst his followers. It all seems very personally directed toward the very deep bonds that were shared between Nichiren and those for whom he inscribed Gohonzon.

    Somehow, even though most if not all who post here accept that the Dai-Gohonzon is fake, which means the "for all mankind" offering is also fake; since this is well substantiated to be fake, I wonder why discussions about Gohonzon still proceed from a perspective that :WE ALL NEED ONE !

    This in no way means I do not believe all of what Nichiren wrote about Gohonzon, or that I am not seeking *this* object of worship-- Just that-- may this is more of a personal matter than SGI, NST and other Nichiren sects make it out to be.-- Not sufficient doctrinal evidence for me to seek Gohonzon directly from another *person*.

    ~Katie

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