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Monday, April 4, 2016

"If my disciples believe in, respect, follow, or obey me in name only without heart, they will suffer in the hell of Incessant Suffering for one, two...or even one thousand kalpas."

"If there is anyone among my followers who is weak in faith and goes against what I, Nichiren, say, he will meet the same fate as did the Soga family." (The Supreme Leader of This World).

"Now, the same could be said of disciples of Nichiren. If they believe in, respect, follow, and obey me in name only without heart, they will no doubt suffer in the Hell of Incessant Suffering for the period of one, two, ten, or one hundred, if not one thousand, kalpa. If you wish to be saved from this, you should each practice just as the Medicine-King Bodhisattva did; he set his arm afire to offer it as a light to the Buddha; or Gyobo Bonji, who skinned himself to write the dharma on his own skin. Just as Sessen Doji and Suzu Danno did, you should sacrifice your own life or serve your masters from the bottom of your heart in search of the dharma. Otherwise, you should beseech the Buddha for help, bowing to Him with your four limbs and face touching the ground, dripping with sweat. Otherwise, you should pile up rare treasures in front of the Buddha as an offering to Him. If that is not possible, you must become servants to the upholders of the dharma. Or you should practice some other ways according to the principle of the four ways of teaching. Among my disciples those whose faith is shallow will show at the moment of death the sign of falling into the Hell of Incessant Suffering. Do not blame me for it then! (A Tract Revealing the Gist of the Rissho Ankoru-ron)

Again, speaking to his disciples, Nichiren states:

"The doctrine concerning the theoretical and essential teachings is not my own [but was expounded by the Buddha] Those who would distort it can only be possessed by devils, and will topple others as well as themselves into the great citadel of the hell of incessant suffering. How foolish thaey are! Teach others clearly as I have taught you these many years. Those who call themselves my disciples and practice the Lotus Sutra should all practice as I do. If they do so, Shakyamuni, Taho and all the buddhas of the ten directionsas well as the Ten Goddesses will protect them. Yet for all that [some people around Ota Jomyo distort the teaching]. I can not fathom their minds. Priest Nichigyo's (Sammi-bo) death was indeed pitiful....." (Establishing the Four Bodhisattva's as the Object of Worship).

The third chapter of the Lotus Sutra states,

"They dwell in hell so long that they come to think it as natural as playing in a garden, and the other evil paths seem like their own home."

Those who execute the ten evil acts fall into the hell of Tokatsu or Kokujo and there must spend five hundred lifetimes or one thousand hell-years. Those who execute the five cardinal sins fall into the hell of continuous suffering and after staying there for one medium aeon, are born again in this world.

Why is it, then, that those who forsake the Lotus Sutra collapse into the hell of persistent despair and have to stay there for such an unimaginably great number of aeons? The sin of abandoning one's faith in the sutra must at the time seem nowhere near as horrible as killing one's parents. However, even if one killed his parents in one, two, ten, one hundred, one thousand, ten thousand, one hundred thousand, one million or even one billion lifetimes, he would not have to tarry in hell for a period as long as sanzen-jintengo.

Even if one were to kill one, two, ten, one hundred, one thousand, ten thousand, or as many as one billion Buddhas, would he have to dwell in abyss for as long as gohyaku-jintengo?

The three groups of men of Understanding, however, had to agonize through the period of sanzen-jintengo, and the great boddhisattvas, through that of gohyaku-jintengo, because of the sin they practiced by discarding the Lotus Sutra. This shows what an unimaginably beastly sin it is.

To put this directly, if one strikes at the air, his fist will not hurt, but when he hits a rock, he feels pain. The sin of killing an evil person is slight, parallelled to the sin of killing a good person, which is consequential. If one kills someone who is not his kin, it is like striking mud with his fist, but if he kills his own parents, it is like hitting a rock. A dog may bark at a deer and not have its skull broken, but if it barks at a lion, its intestines will rot. Ashura tried to ingest the sun and the moon and had his head split into seven pieces. Because Devadatta harmed the Buddha, the earth split open and absorbed him alive. The seriousness of a sin depends on whom one harms.

The Lotus Sutra is the eye of every Buddha. It is the ageless master of Shakyamuni. If one disposes of one character or even a single dot, his sin is weightier than that of one who kills his parents ten million times over, or even of one sheds the blood of Buddhas everywhere in the cosmos. This is why those who cast the Lotus Sutra had to suffer for as long as sanzen-jintengo or gohyaku-jintengo.

Moreover, it is extremely hard to meet a person who teaches this sutra exactly as it reads. It is even more difficult than for a one-eyed turtle to find a piece of floating sandalwood or for someone to dangle Mount Sumeru from the sky with a fiber from a lotus stem.

Great Teacher Tz'u-en was the pupil of Priest Hsuan-chuang and the instructor of Emperor T'ai-tsung. He was a saint who was not only well-versed in the Sanskrit and Chinese scriptures but had memorized all of the Buddha's sutras. It is said of him that the Buddha's ashes fell from the tip of his writing brush and that light gleamed forth from his teeth. His contemporaries regarded him as though he were the sun and the moon, and men in later ages enthusiastically sought out his teachings as guides for living. Even so, the Great Teacher Dengyo condemned him, writing, "Even though he applauds the Lotus Sutra, he demolishes its heart."

The quotation means that even though he intended to honor the Lotus Sutra, in the end, he annihilated it. Priest Shan-wu-wei was once the king of Udyana in India. He renounced the throne, became a priest, and in the course of his Buddhist practice journeyed through more than fifty countries in India, finally mastering all the esoteric and exoteric teachings of Buddhism. Later he went to China and became the teacher of Emperor Hsuan-tsung. Every Shingon priest in both China and Japan has since become his disciple. Though he was such a respectable person, he died abruptly, tortured by Enma, the king of hell, although no one knows why.

Nichiren considers that this happened because Shan-wu-wei was at first a votary of the Lotus Sutra, but when he read the Dainichi Sutra, he declared it superior to the Lotus Sutra. Similarly, Shariputra, Maudgalyayana and the others were not doomed to wander through the evil paths for the period of sanzen-jintengo or gohyaku-jintengo because they had committed the ten evils or five cardinal sins. Nor was it because they had committed any of the eight rebellious acts. It was because they met someone who was an evil influence, and discarded the Lotus Sutra to take faith in the provisional teachings.

According to the Great Teacher T'ien-t'ai, "If one befriends an evil person, he will lose his mind." "Mind"means the heart which believes in the Lotus Sutra, while "lose"means to betray one's faith in the Lotus Sutra and follow some other sutras. The Lotus Sutra reads, "... but when they are given the medicine, they refuse to take it."

The Great Teacher T'ien-t'ai stated, "Those who had lost their minds would not take the excellent medicine, even though it was given them. Lost in suffering, they fled to other countries."

Since this is so, the believers of the Lotus Sutra should fear those who plague their faith more than they fear bandits, burglars, midnight killers, tigers, wolves or lions -- even more than invasion by the Mongols. This world is the province of the Devil of the Sixth Heaven (Letter to the Brothers)

"On the surface, it appears that the teachings of Buddhism flourish throughout Japan today. There is something strange about these teachings, but the people do not seem to sense it. For instance, just as an insect flies into a flame or birds fly into the mouths of snakes, the masters of Shingon, and the followers of the Kegon, Hosso, Sanron, Zen, Jodo and Ritsu sects presume that they have obtained the true teachings of Buddhism; they think that they have freed themselves from the cycle of suffering of birth and death. However, without comprehending the sutras’ significance, the founders who established these schools merely followed their own personal concepts of Buddhism while appearing to give patronage to the sutras. With this superficial approach, the founders of each of the various schools propagated their doctrines without realizing that in turning their back on the Lotus Sutra, the true intent of the Buddha would not be realized. The sovereign and many people throughout the nation completely and blindly placed their beliefs in these teachings.

It has now been many years since these doctrines were transmitted to our country. Later scholars not realizing the errors of the founders of these schools, regarded those who mastered and then spread these mistaken teachings as sages. If the source of a stream is muddy, that stream will not run clear. If a body is bent, its shadow will not be straight. Shan Wu Wei and the founders of the other schools must have already fallen into hell. Perhaps, however, there were some amongst them who modified their beliefs and practices, repented and thus escaped the suffering of falling into hell. There may have been some that merely propagated their own sutras without either praising nor criticizing the Lotus Sutra, and even though they not able to liberate themselves from the cycle of life and death, they avoided falling into the evil paths. Even so, there are people in this later age who are not aware of this, they all continue to believe in the misguided teachings of the followers of these schools. This is as dangerous as boarding a wrecked ship and sailing out onto the open seas or a drunken person who lies down and falls asleep in a burning house.

I, Nichiren, saw how these mistaken forms of Buddhism were spread and was at once awakened with aspiration for enlightenment [to save the people]. I therefore began preaching the true doctrines of the Lotus Sutra. I was fully aware from the very start that no matter how I explained this situation to the people, they would not believe me and I would instead be faced with exile and execution. Today, since the nation of Japan has turned its back on the Lotus Sutra and abandoned Sakyamuni Buddha, its people will certainly fall into Avichi Hell in their next life. Not only that, they will without fail also be faced with great suffering in this lifetime too. That is to say, foreign military forces will invade our country and every single individual will lament as they encounter great adversity, from the Emperor all the way down to the common person. If, for example, one thousand brothers were to kill a parent, the sin from that act would not be divided into one thousand separate parts, each one would have to fall into the Hell of Incessant Suffering and endure its torment for the long period of an entire kalpa. The country of Japan is also like this in which every single human being must be subjected to their offenses against Buddhism.

Since the infinite past of Gohyaku Jintengo, this Saha World has been the domain of the Revered One, Sakyamuni Buddha, founder of the teachings of the Lotus Sutra. The immense land, air, mountains and oceans, plants and trees belong to no other Buddha than him. Furthermore, all living beings are the children of Sakyamuni Buddha. Since this earth first came into being during the Kalpa of Formation, Bonten descended from the heavens and gave birth to the sentiment beings of the six lower worlds. Just as Bonten is the father of all sentient beings, Sakyamuni Buddha is also the parent of all living beings in this Saha World. Furthermore, the Revered One, Sakyamuni Buddha, founder of the teachings of Buddhism, is an enlightened master who accurately guides all living beingsthroughout this country. Being able to recognize who is one’s mother and who is one’s father is a debt of gratitude we owe the Master. The ability to distinguish between good and evil is also debt of gratitude we owe Sakyamuni Buddha."(Ichinosawa Nyudo Gosho)

"I especially warn the priests on Mount Kiyosumi. If they treat me with less respect than they show their own parents or the three treasures, they will become wretched beggars in this life and will fall into the hell of incessant suffereing in the next. I will explain why. The villainous Tojo Saemon Kagenobu once hunted the deer and other animals kept by Seicho-ji and tried to force the priests in the various lodging temples to become Nembutsu believers. At that time I pitted myself against Tojo and supported the lorde of the manor. I composed a fervernt oath and read, "If the two temples at Kiyosumi and Futama should come into Tojo's possession, I will discard the Lotus Sutra!"   Then, I tied it to the hand of the object of worship (23), to which I prayed continuously. Within a year both temples were freed from Tojo's grasp........(Letter to the Priests of Seicho-ji, MajorWritings Volume 2 Page 267) Written January 11, 1276,three years after the Daishonin began to inscribe Gohonzon.

"No matter how much they chant, everybody who has hatred for Nichiren first must fall to the Unremitting Hell; after immeasurable kalpas, having become the disciples of Nichiren, they shall attain Buddhahood." (Kyoo gozen gosho, Stn, v. 1, 687)

The Great Teacher Nan-yueh in his Shi Anrakugyo states, ‘If there should be a bodhisattva who protects evil persons and fails to chastise them... then when his life comes to an end, he will fall into hell along with those evil persons.'

"The meaning of this passage is that, if a practitioner of Buddhism should fail to chastise evil persons who slander the Law but give himself up entirely to meditation and contemplation, not attempting to distinguish between correct or incorrect doctrines, provisional or true teachings, but rather pretending to be a model of compassion, then such a person will fall into the evil paths along with the other doers of evil. Now a person who fails to correct Shingon, Nembutsu, Zen and Ritsu adherents who are slanderers of the Law and instead pretends to be a model of compassion will meet just such a fate as this." (Gosho name?)

"...when it comes to the True Dharma, they show no inclination to establish it and help protect it over the ages, but rather speak of it with malice and contempt, their words replete with error. Persons of this kind too I would say are following the path of the Icchantika. With the exception of this one group of people called Icchantika, however, you may offer alms to all others and everyone will praise you."(Rissho Ankoku ron)

"They entirely look up to groups of icchantikas and rely on them as leaders and, reverencing blasphemers against the Dharma, make them national teachers. Taking up the Classic Filial Piety of Confucious, they beat their parents' heads and, while chanting the Lotus Sutra of Lord Shakya with their mouths, they go against the Master of teachings." (Letter to Tonsured Layman Soya).

"That person , when life ends, together with the various evil people, shall fall to hell."(STN, v. 2 p.1500).

Nichiren is the most perverse person in Japan. The reason is this: Nichiren proclaims that because the people revere Amida, Dainichi, Yakushi and other Buddhas even more than their own parents and lords, the three calamities and seven disasters are occurring in greater magnitude than in any previous age, and natural disasters are now more terrible than ever. I am forever reminding them that they will not only ruin themselves and destroy the country in this lifetime, but will fall into the depths of hell in the next". (The Swords of Good and Evil).

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