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Friday, April 22, 2016

Lord Buddha Shayamuni revealed in the essential section of the Lotus Sutra

"The first is the object of worship (honzon). All people in Japan as well as the rest of the world should revere the Lord Buddha Shayamuni revealed in the essential section of the Lotus Sutra as the object of worship (honzon). That is to say, the object worshiped should be the Buddha Shakyamuni and Taho Buddha in the Stupa of Treasures. The other Buddhas standing outside the Stupa and the four bodhisattvas such as Jogyo should be their attendants." -- Repaying Debts of Gratitude: 

"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." -- True Object of Worship

63 comments:

  1. "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."

    The historical Shakyamuni Buddha would have to of been born and died zillions of times since he first attained enlightenment kalpas and kalpas ago

    What the above verse 'Shakyamuni Buddha' is referring to is the Eternal Buddha as the 3 bodied tathagatta thus come one that has never died in the past, nor will he be born in the future and exists forever throughout the past present and future."

    The 3 bodied Tathagata thus come one is temporarily one with an individual Shakyamuni for kalpas which is just a brief moment in eternity

    Therefore we should pay attention to what is said in Shakyamuni's name but try not to take it out of context as we don't want to inadvertently slander the law through our own ignorance

    To worship the 3 bodied Tathagata thus come one as Lord-preacher of this pure land, that has never died in the past, nor will he be born in the future and exists forever throughout the past present and future stands to reason more than an individual just like us that became enlightened and will no doubt deliberately choose to leave the path of enlightenment for delusion.

    An enlightened being knows that they can always come back to the path of enlightenment as infinite compassion is the redeeming feature of the Buddha realm

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  2. "The Tathagata knows and sees the appearance
    of the Three Worlds in accordance with reality:
    there is no Birth-and-Death,
    whether backsliding or emerging;
    likewise there is neither existence in the world
    nor extinction; they are not real; they are not void,
    they are not thus; they are not different.
    It is not as the Three Worlds
    see the Three Worlds. In such a matter as this
    the Tathagata sees clearly
    and is without error. Because the various beings
    have distinctions of various types of natures
    and various types of recollections, I, desiring
    to cause various good karmic roots to be produced
    by means of considerable causalities,
    parables, and words, preach various kinds of dharmas:
    The work of the Buddha which I perform
    I have never once abandoned even for a brief time.
    Thus the time since I attained buddhahood
    is very great, long and distant. My life is immeasurable
    asemkheyas of kalpas
    and I abide forever and am not extinguished.
    You good sons. The life which I
    achieved by originally practicing the bodhisattva way
    is not yet extinguished
    and it is twice the above number.
    However, though it is not now real extinction,
    yet I thereupon proclaim, I am going to take extinction.
    the Tathagata thus converts
    the masses of beings by expedients. What is the reason?
    If the Buddha were to abide for a long time in the world,
    people of poor virtue would not plant good karmic roots
    Being poor and lowly
    and greedily attached to the five desires
    they would fall into the midst of the net of thought
    and wrong views. If they saw the Tathagata
    ever present and not extinguished
    they would then give rise to arrogant licentiousness
    and nourish a disdainful idleness and could not produce
    the thought that I am difficult to encounter
    nor the mind of reverence. For this reason the Tathagata
    preaches by expedience. The Bhikshus should know:
    it is difficult to encounter
    the Buddhas' coming forth in the world."
    What is the reason? Of the various people poor in virtue,
    having passed through immeasurable hundreds of
    thousands of tens of thousands of tens of millions of
    kalpasthere are those who see the Buddha
    and those who do not see. Because of this fact
    I say these words: Bhikshus!.
    It is difficult to be able to see the Tathagata."
    These beings having heard such words
    will necessarily produce
    the thought that I am difficult to encounter
    and nourish affectionate longing in their hearts
    and adoring the Buddha, will then plant good karmic roots.
    For this reason although the Tathagata is not extinct
    yet He says that He is extinct. Furthermore, good sons,
    with the various Buddhas, the Tathagatas,
    the Dharmas all are thus.
    Because they are for saving the masses of beings
    they are all true and not empty.

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  3. "Therefore we should pay attention to what is said in Shakyamuni's name but try not to take it out of context as we don't want to inadvertently slander the law through our own ignorance."

    Sorry? The "context" Shakyamuni's name appears in... is the Lotus Sutra, which is Shakyamuni's teaching. You seem to be saying something different than Shakyamuni's teaching--

    Nichiren did not teach what you are saying is important for us to know so that we "Don't inadvertently slander the Law"--

    I guess we all may have our own ways of making a teaching more relevant or more meaningful in our lives--Isn't caution needed here instead , NOT to make what speaks to our hearts and depends our faith a "teaching" that others should embrace?

    ~Katie

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    1. "Nichiren did not teach what you are saying is important for us to know so that we "Don't inadvertently slander the Law"--

      Well Katie lets see what Nichiren has to say

      "There are various stages in the practice of this sutra [and various forms of slander exist accordingly]. Let me sum them up by quoting from volume five of The Annotations on “The Words and Phrases of the Lotus Sutra”: “In defining the types of evil, The Words and Phrases of the Lotus Sutra states briefly, ‘Expound among the wise but not among the foolish.’5 One scholar6 enumerates the types of evil as follows: ‘I will first list the evil causes and then their effects.

      There are fourteen evil causes: (1) arrogance, (2) negligence, (3) wrong views of the self, (4) shallow understanding, (5) attachment to earthly desires, (6) not understanding, (7) not believing, (8) scowling with knitted brows, (9) harboring doubts, (10) slandering, (11) despising, (12) hating, (13) envying, and (14) bearing grudges.’” Since these fourteen slanders apply equally to priesthood and laity, you must be on guard against them.

      The Fourteen Slanders

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    2. "Sorry? The "context" Shakyamuni's name appears in... is the Lotus Sutra, which is Shakyamuni's teaching. You seem to be saying something different than Shakyamuni's teaching--"

      Yes that's right Katie, its how we see things or where we are coming from. So we cant expect everyone to see the same as us, some agree while others disagree, it will always be thus

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    3. The Lotus Sutra is how the True Buddha "saw things"--Your seeing what is not there and claiming it is "important" is definitely a display of arrogance.

      Noel, this is clearly "slander"- discarding what IS and replacing it with what YOU see--

      Ay yi yi !
      ~Katie

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    4. How can you be so sure that how you see things is correct and not slander and your arrogance. I think it is just wishful thinking on your behalf. Just because YOU cant see it because of your tunnel vision doesn't mean that its not there Katie

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  4. "The work of the Buddha which I perform
    I have never once abandoned even for a brief time.
    Thus the time since I attained buddhahood
    is very great, long and distant."

    Historical Shakyamumi Buddha

    "My life is immeasurable
    asemkheyas of kalpas
    and I abide forever and am not extinguished."

    All our lives are the never ending cycles of Birth and Death that has no beginning or end/forever

    "You good sons. The life which I
    achieved by originally practicing the bodhisattva way
    is not yet extinguished
    and it is twice the above number."

    The 3 bodied Tathagata thus come one is temporarily one with an individual Shakyamuni for kalpas which is just a brief moment in eternity

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    1. "My life is immeasurable
      asemkheyas of kalpas
      and I abide forever and am not extinguished."

      MY =Shakyamuni's life. Therefore, The Buddha Shakyamuni is teaching from his own enlightenment, using his own life as the example.

      Until *we attain Buddhahood*, our lives cycle through birth and death-- in worlds 1 thru 9-- depending on our own causes- eternally.

      Saying all of us have potential to attain Buddhahood, means we can aspire to the life state of Shakyamuni, which we should be eternally grateful to him for teaching us.

      I think this is a matter of confusing the awakening to the *world of Buddhahood* in our lives, which is evoked by chanting daimoku, and thinking we have *attained* Buddhahood-- which Nichiren teaches is dependent on correct *faith* and *practice*--.

      Me, personally, I am not inclined to speculate about what an enlightened being knows-- like you did here:

      "An enlightened being knows that they can always come back to the path of enlightenment as infinite compassion is the redeeming feature of the Buddha realm"

      My understanding of an enlightened being's attributes is based on Shakyamuni's devotion to saving all living beings, and Nichiren's devotion to practicing and teaching the correct practice of Lotus Sutra to people who have "lost their True minds"--

      I think in terms of *exemplary human behavior* and our connection to all living beings and the environment. Maybe this seems mundane compared to unlocking the mysteries of life itself-- but, I have a feeling that "know it alls" at this level are not in demand. Of what use is this knowledge, when people are seeking to live better as human beings - in the three fold world ?

      ~Katie




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    2. "I think in terms of *exemplary human behavior* and our connection to all living beings and the environment. Maybe this seems mundane compared to unlocking the mysteries of life itself-- but, I have a feeling that "know it alls" at this level are not in demand. Of what use is this knowledge, when people are seeking to live better as human beings - in the three fold world ?"


      "Because Buddhism has gradually been turned upside down, the secular world also has been plunged into corruption and chaos. Buddhism is like the body, and society like the shadow. When the body bends, so does the shadow. How fortunate that all of my disciples who follow the Buddha’s true intention will naturally flow into the ocean of comprehensive wisdom! But the Buddhist scholars of our time put their faith in teachings expounded according to the people’s capacity, and are therefore doomed to sink into the sea of suffering. I will explain in more detail on another occasion." Reply to Toki

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    3. Katie are you saying that "Until *we attain Buddhahood*, our lives cycle through birth and death-- in worlds 1 thru 9-- depending on our own causes- eternally."???

      Are you saying that you believe when we reach Buddhahood that becomes our dominant life condition of the ten worlds, we never again repeat the cycle of birth and death in the worlds from 1 - 9.???

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    4. Noel, I'm trying to say that for NOW, what is most important is following Nichiren's teachings, exactly as he taught!

      You seem to want to speculate about what " attaining Buddhahood" is like-- aside from what Shakyamuni exemplified as a *human being*, and Nichiren's life was devoted to teaching, which amounts to adding your own thoughts TO what has been written. If this serves *you* in some way that causes you to practice diligently and develop strong pure faith, that's great--However, there is cause for concern when you preach your *insights* as though they are crucial matters, and insist your views are more accurate, etc.

      I have not yet attained Buddhahood, I am a human being who aspires to the Buddha's capacity to behave with the highest regard and respect for all living beings and the environment we share-- which I guess is saying I want to be part of creating peace and harmony HERE--.

      With all due respects and appreciation for your comments here, I think that continuing on this crusade you are on to make a case for things you apparently believe, is detracting from study and discussion about the content of blog posts, though, I do agree with Greg that the discussions are "nice"--- The obstacles, devils, 3 powerful enemies that plague the propagation of the True Law are all matters that pertain directly to us living NOW-
      and no matter how much we may dislike this world as it is today, we cannot escape IT, or our karma--not literally-- anything other than developing pure faith and practicing as Nichiren taught is futile escapism at best and an impediment to what can be accomplished--worse case scenario, creating more negative karma! :-0

      ~Katie

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    5. "You seem to want to speculate about what " attaining Buddhahood" is like-- aside from what Shakyamuni exemplified as a *human being*, and Nichiren's life was devoted to teaching, which amounts to adding your own thoughts TO what has been written."


      Thus even a ruler on a throne must take care not to give unreserved expression to his thoughts. The worthy man Confucius held to his belief “Nine thoughts to one word,” which means that he reconsidered nine times before he spoke. Tan, the Duke of Chou, was so earnest in receiving callers that he would wring out his hair three times in the course of washing it, or spit out his food three times in the course of a meal [in order not to keep them waiting]. Consider this carefully so that you will have no cause to reproach me later. What is called Buddhism is found in this behavior.

      The heart of the Buddha’s lifetime of teachings is the Lotus Sutra, and the heart of the practice of the Lotus Sutra is found in the “Never Disparaging” chapter. What does Bodhisattva Never Disparaging’s profound respect for people signify? The purpose of the appearance in this world of Shakyamuni Buddha, the lord of teachings, lies in his behavior as a human being.

      The Three Kinds of Treasure

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    6. "The obstacles, devils, 3 powerful enemies that plague the propagation of the True Law are all matters that pertain directly to us living NOW-"

      "The entity of our life, which manifests either good or evil at each moment, is in fact the entity of the Mystic Law."

      The Entity of the Mystic Law

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  5. nice discussion. at the end of the day it all still comes down to faith. sharihotsu is unnecessary. faith is the only entrance, the challenge; a correct faith. history of nichirens buddhism has proven this to be a mighty challenge. our best example for the latter age is still nichiren. cheers all.

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  7. i say "nice" because it is good to see a real discussion about buddhism , instead of things that really have nothing to do with the teachings of buddhism. i must agree with katie. i think at this time, it is crucial to stick as close as we can to nichiren. for me, because nichiren put it all on the line and risked his very life for the lotus sutra, his enlightened understanding is rare and profound. difficult to believe and difficult to understand. with joy in our hearts, is it not wonderful that we can make a great cause and lend nichiren our support? gratitude to mark for his efforts.

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    1. "It is the mystic entity of the Middle Way that is the ultimate reality" Nichiren

      "I think at this time, it is crucial to stick as close as we can to Nichiren. For me, because Nichiren put it all on the line and risked his very life for the lotus sutra, his enlightened understanding is rare and profound. Difficult to believe and difficult to understand."


      What then does myō signify? It is simply the mysterious nature of our life from moment to moment, which the mind cannot comprehend or words express. When we look into our own mind at any moment, we perceive neither color nor form to verify that it exists. Yet we still cannot say it does not exist, for many differing thoughts continually occur. The mind cannot be considered either to exist or not to exist. Life is indeed an elusive reality that transcends both the words and concepts of existence and nonexistence. It is neither existence nor nonexistence, yet exhibits the qualities of both. It is the mystic entity of the Middle Way that is the ultimate reality.

      Myō is the name given to the mystic nature of life, and hō, to its manifestations. Renge, which means lotus flower, is used to symbolize the wonder of this Law. If we understand that our life at this moment is myō, then we will also understand that our life at other moments is the Mystic Law.

      This realization is the mystic kyō, or sutra. The Lotus Sutra is the king of sutras, the direct path to enlightenment, for it explains that the entity of our life, which manifests either good or evil at each moment, is in fact the entity of the Mystic Law.

      On Attaining Buddhahood in This Lifetime

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    2. As long as one remembers that, if one is to accept On Attaining Buddhahood In This Lifetime as an authentic Gosho, it is an early writing [1255] that is heavy on Tendai Medieval Original Enlightenment thought. He had recently left Mount Hiei and perhaps still retained remnants of the Tendai teachings there and his subsequent Shingon studies [1251 -1253?] on Mount Koya [before he fully developed his teachings over the next 30 years. Also, he began his Buddhist training at another smaller Tendai temple, Seicho-ji.

      Therefore, it would be wise to compare what Nichiren taught about the Character Myo in his later writings. For example, in The Opening of the Eyes 1271:

      "The characters Myoho-renge-kyo are Chinese. In India, the Lotus Sutra is called Saddharma-pundarīka-sūtra. The following is the mantra concerning the heart of the Lotus Sutra composed by the Tripitaka Master Shan-wu-wei:

      namah samanta-buddhānām
      om a ā am ah
      sarva-buddha-jna-sākshebhyah
      gagana-sambhavālakshani
      saddharma-pundarīka-sūtra
      jah hūm bam hoh vajrārakshaman
      hūm svāhā

      Hail to all the Buddhas! Three-bodied Thus Come Ones! Open the door to, show me, cause me to awaken to, and to enter into the wisdom and insight of all the Buddhas. You who are like space and who have freed yourself from form! Oh, Sutra of the White Lotus of the Correct Law! Cause me to enter into, to be everywhere within, to dwell in, and to rejoice in you. Oh, Adamantine Protector! Oh, empty, aspect-free, and desire-free sutra!

      This mantra, which expresses the heart of the Lotus Sutra, was found in the iron tower in southern India.116 In this mantra, saddharma means “correct Law.” Sad means correct. Correct is the same as myō [wonderful]; myō is the same as correct. Hence the Lotus Sutra of the Correct Law and the Lotus Sutra of the Wonderful Law. And when the two characters for namu are prefixed to Myoho-renge-kyo, or the Lotus Sutra of the Wonderful Law, we have the formula Nam-myoho-renge-kyo.

      Myō means perfect endowment. Six refers to the six pāramitās representing all the ten thousand practices. When people ask to hear the teaching of perfect endowment, they are asking how they may gain the perfect endowment of the six pāramitās and ten thousand practices of the bodhisattvas. In the phrase “perfect endowment,” endowment refers to the mutual possession of the Ten Worlds, while perfect means that, since there is mutual possession of the Ten Worlds, then any one world contains all the other worlds, indicating that this is “perfect.” The Lotus Sutra is a single work consisting of eight volumes, twenty-eight chapters, and 69,384 characters. Each and every character is endowed with the character myō, each being a Buddha who has the thirty-two features and eighty characteristics. Each of the Ten Worlds manifests its own Buddhahood. As Miao-lo writes, “Since even Buddhahood is present in all living beings, then all the other worlds are of course present, too.”

      cont...

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    3. The Buddha replied to the request of his listeners by saying that “the Buddhas wish to open the door of Buddha wisdom to all living beings.” The term “all living beings” here refers to Shāriputra, and it also refers to icchantikas, persons of incorrigible disbelief. It also refers to the nine worlds. Thus the Buddha fulfilled his words, “Living beings are numberless. I vow to save them all,”120 when he declares, “At the start I took a vow, hoping to make all persons equal to me, without any distinction between us, and what I long ago hoped for has now been fulfilled.”

      All the great bodhisattvas, heavenly beings, and others, when they had heard the doctrine of the Buddha and comprehended it, said, “Since times past often we have heard the World-Honored One’s preaching, but we have never heard this kind of profound, wonderful, and superior Law.”

      The Great Teacher Dengyō comments: “‘Since times past often we have heard the World-Honored One’s preaching’ refers to the fact that they had heard him preach the great doctrines of the Flower Garland Sutra and other sutras in the time previous to the preaching of the Lotus Sutra. ‘We have never heard this kind of profound, wonderful, and superior Law’ means that they had never heard the teaching of the one vehicle of Buddhahood propounded in the Lotus Sutra.”

      They understood, that is, that none of the previous Mahayana sutras—which are as numerous as the sands of the Ganges and include those of the Flower Garland, Correct and Equal, and Wisdom periods, such as the Profound Secrets and Mahāvairochana sutras—had ever made clear the great principle of three thousand realms in a single moment of life, the core of the Buddha’s lifetime teachings. Nor had they clarified the bone and marrow of those teachings, the doctrines that persons of the two vehicles can attain Buddhahood and that the Buddha attained enlightenment in the remote past."

      cont...

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    4. and in the True Object of worship in 1273:

      The Great Teacher T’ien-t’ai remarks, “Sad is a Sanskrit word, which is translated as myo, or wonderful.”52 If I add my own interpretation, it will be as if I had profaned these passages, but in essence they mean that Shakyamuni’s practices and the virtues he consequently attained are all contained within the five characters of Myoho-renge-kyo. If we believe in these five characters, we will naturally be granted the same benefits as he was.
      With full understanding of Shakyamuni’s teachings, the four great voice-hearers said, “This cluster of unsurpassed jewels has come to us unsought.”53 They represent the world of the voice-hearer that is within ourselves. The Buddha stated, “At the start I took a vow, hoping to make all persons equal to me, without any distinction between us, and what I long ago hoped for has now been fulfilled. I have converted all living beings and caused them all to enter the Buddha way.”54 Shakyamuni Buddha, who has attained perfect enlightenment, is our own flesh and blood. His practices and the resulting virtues are our bones and marrow. The “Treasure Tower” chapter of the Lotus Sutra says, “He who is capable of guarding the Law of this sutra will thereby have offered alms to me and to Many Treasures. . . . One who guards this sutra will also have offered alms to the emanation Buddhas who have come here adorning and making brilliant all the various worlds.” Shakyamuni, Many Treasures, and the Buddhas of the ten directions represent the world of Buddhahood within ourselves. By searching them out within us, we can receive the benefits of all these Buddhas. This is what is meant by the following passage: “If one listens to them [the preachers of the Law] for even a moment, one will immediately attain supreme perfect enlightenment.”55 The “Life Span” chapter reads, “It has been immeasurable, boundless hundreds, thousands, ten thousands, millions of nayutas of kalpas since I in fact attained Buddhahood.” The Shakyamuni Buddha within our lives is the eternal Buddha since time without beginning, who obtained the three bodies more than numberless major world system dust particle kalpas ago. The “Life Span” chapter states, “Originally I practiced the bodhisattva way, and the life span that I acquired then has yet to come to an end but will last twice the number of years that have already passed.” He was speaking of the world of the bodhisattva within ourselves. The bodhisattvas, as numerous as the dust particles of a thousand worlds, p.366who emerged from beneath the earth, are the followers of the Shakyamuni Buddha present in our lives. They follow the Buddha just as T’ai-kung Wang and Tan, the Duke of Chou,56 served as ministers to King Wu of the Chou dynasty and later assisted his son and successor, the infant King Ch’eng; or just as the Chief Minister Takenouchi57 supported Empress Jingū and later her grandson Crown Prince Nintoku as a highly valued minister. The bodhisattvas Superior Practices, Boundless Practices, Pure Practices, and Firmly Established Practices represent the world of the bodhisattva within ourselves. The Great Teacher Miao-lo says: “You should understand that one’s life and its environment at a single moment encompass the three thousand realms. Therefore, when one attains the Buddha way, one puts oneself in accord with this fundamental principle, and one’s body and mind at a single moment pervade the entire realm of phenomena.”

      cont...

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    5. And later 1275, in letter to Horen:

      “Then yesterday morning the single character myō, which begins the title of the Lotus Sutra, came flying through the air above the cauldron that is the hell of incessant suffering, and there changed into a golden-hued Shakyamuni Buddha. This Buddha possessed the thirty-two features, and his face was like the full moon. He spoke in a thunderous voice, saying, ‘Even those who have destroyed enough good causes to fill the entire realm of phenomena, if they hear the Lotus Sutra just once, will never fail to attain enlightenment.’

      “Then from this one character myō a heavy rain began to fall that extinguished the flames of the hell of incessant suffering. King Yama tipped his crown in a gesture of respect, the wardens of hell put aside their staffs and stood at attention, and all the transgressors in hell looked around in astonishment and asked what had happened."

      and in Letter to Nichinyo [1275]:

      "The jewel of the character myō contains all the benefits that the Thus Come One Shakyamuni received by practicing the six pāramitās in his past existences: the benefits he obtained through the practice of almsgiving by offering his body to a starving tigress8 and by giving his life in exchange for that of a dove;9 the benefits he obtained when he was King Shrutasoma who kept his word, though it meant his death, in order to observe the precepts;10 the benefits he obtained as an ascetic called Forbearance by enduring the tortures inflicted upon him by King Kāli;11 the benefits he obtained as Prince Earnest Donor and as the ascetic Shōjari, and all his other benefits. We, the people of this evil latter age, have not formed even a single good cause, but [by bestowing upon us the jewel of myō] Shakyamuni has granted us the same benefit as if we ourselves had fulfilled all the practices of the six pāramitās. This precisely accords with his statement “Now this threefold world is all my domain, and the living beings in it are all my children.” Bound as we common mortals are by earthly desires, we can instantly attain the same virtues as Shakyamuni Buddha, for we receive all the benefits that he accumulated. The sutra reads, “Hoping to make all persons equal to me, without any distinction between us.” This means that those who believe in and practice the Lotus Sutra are equal to Shakyamuni Buddha."

      in 1281, Nichiren taught [in King Rinda]:

      “If we discuss the matter from the point of view of the doctrines taught, then the Lotus Sutra stands as the true lord of all the teachings, since it alone preaches ‘opening the provisional and revealing the distant.’ This is the reason that it alone is permitted the word myō, or ‘wonderful’ [in its title].” He also said, “Therefore, we understand that the Lotus Sutra is the true lord of the ghee.”

      cont....

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    6. These passages of commentary point out quite rightly that the Lotus Sutra is not to be included among the five flavors. The main import of these passages is that the five flavors serve to nourish life, but life itself is lord over all the five flavors."

      Also in 1281, in Wu-lung and I-Lung, we read:

      “While I was thinking thus, a golden Buddha suddenly appeared in the hell of incessant suffering and declared, ‘Even those who have destroyed enough good causes to fill the entire realm of phenomena, if they hear the Lotus Sutra just once, will never fail to attain enlightenment.’ When this Buddha entered the hell of incessant suffering, it was as if a deluge of water had been poured over a great fire. As my agony subsided a little, I joined my palms together in prayer and asked him what kind of Buddha he was. The Buddha replied, ‘I am the character myō, one of the sixty-four characters that compose the titles [of the eight volumes] of the Lotus Sutra, which your son, I-lung, is now writing.’ As eight characters form the title of each of the eight volumes, a total of sixty-four Buddhas appeared and shone like sixty-four full moons, and the utter darkness of the hell of incessant suffering was instantly transformed into a dazzling brilliance. Moreover, in accordance with the principle that any place, without changing its characteristics, is a Buddha land,9 the hell of incessant suffering immediately became the Capital of Eternally Tranquil Light. I and all the other inmates became Buddhas seated on lotus blossoms, and we are now ascending to the inner court of the Tushita heaven. This I am reporting to you before anyone else.”

      I-lung said, “It was my hand that wrote the titles. How could you have been saved? Moreover, I did not write them with sincerity. How could it possibly have helped you?” His father replied: “How ignorant you are! Your hand is my hand, and your body is my body. The characters you write are the characters I write. Although you had no faith in your heart, you nevertheless wrote the titles with your hand. Therefore, I have already been saved. Think of a child who sets fire to something and, without the least intention of doing so, causes it to be burned. The same holds true with the Lotus Sutra. If one professes faith in it, one will surely become a Buddha, even though one may not expect it in the least. Now that you understand this principle, never slander the Lotus Sutra. Since we are among the laity, however, we are in a better position to repent of our past slanderous words, no matter how grave they may have been.”

      The writing on The Eighteen Perfectons is too complex to detail here but to summarize: It was written to a former Tientai priest in 1281 and it explains how the entire import of the Lotus Sutra is Namu Myoho renge kyoand where and what words in the Lotus Sutra [Chapter 21] proves this point.

      In conclusion, as Nichiren's teachings developed, he became more [not less] of a scriptural Buddhist.

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  9. Thanks Greg nice summary. If Mark was an SGI leader I would of been excommunicated over a dozen times by now for challenging Ikeda's authority as I have done with Marks faith in the Eternal Shakyamuni Buddha.

    I have noticed the forbearance of Shakyamuni Buddha and less of the berate method of Nichiren in his behaviour towards me but I cant say the same for his behaviour towards the SGI.

    I guess that I'm not as out of line with Nichiren and Shakyamuni than what he considers the other sects to be and that he is leaving the berating to Katie and Shinkei and to a lesser degree others who give me a frequent serving although he said it is shameful for Nichirens disciple to say that Shakyamuni isn't special that I hope I cleared up

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    1. Noel,

      I don't feel the least bit like *berating* you. My responses are coming from the same place that I defer to when I am seeking the profound meaning or explanation of some life event, and my own mind wants to create a comforting, reassuring narrative. I call it, reigning myself in--. I do it by focusing on what is clearly stated and emphasized by Nichiren.

      Shakyamuni did publicly berate Devadatta, and Nichiren showed tremendous forbearance in the face of severe hardships and life threatening persecutions.

      I always remind myself of Nichiren's vow to harbor no hatred , no matter what happened to him. He said this vow had acted like a prayer for his protection. I am reminded that forbearance involves a great deal of self restraint and self discipline . both of which are derived from sincere, assiduous practice - always chanting daimoku with gratitude.

      For me, Nichiren's forbearance is best appreciated by his "never begrudging his life.." It's a real challenge not to complain about hardships that result from sincere efforts in practice-- and none are more harsh than those that occur when rebuking slander. At those times, I reign myself in, reading the Gosho to reinforce that unless I forbear, and forge on, I will be creating more negative karma. Like, I really need more of what already feels like too much?

      I had a chance to read some of your comments from January this year, including your SGI resignation notice. All the while I was thinking how great it would be to have real time, face to face discussions-- interactive , not reactive communication.

      Checking back in and reading the most recent comments you shared, I realized it is also a good thing to have a chance to reread the discussion, and the space to renegotiate the barriers to being heard.

      It's tough because there is no gentle, soothing way to express the points Nichiren makes with regard to 'letter perfect" adherence to quite a few teachings that are very difficult to believe, the biggest one is that the Buddha's teaching re: shakubuku, for instance just happens to entail acting and speaking in ways that even Nichiren was criticized and denounced for doing.

      I think this is what it means to *practice* with a true sangha -- all of us get to practice without worries about excommunication, or "that look" that means, punishment is forthcoming; like, a home visit and personal guidance.

      I hope I have not discouraged you from discussing and debating anything you want to---. I have been chanting, studying and really thinking about the points you raise. I can't say with certainty that your insights are in error, all I know is that the basics are crucial and you seem to be creating a "comforting, reassuring narrative", which automatically sets off my alarms--The same bells and whistles my own mind sets off on a far more regular basis than I want to admit---

      ~Katie




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    2. WE all need Nichiren's original Gosho as the Bench Mark for understanding Lord Shakya's Lotus Sutra. We can all learn from each others understanding of Nichien's vast mind if we can be opened minded which is not always happening

      Question: Since, by means of a single instance, one may surmise the nature of all, on hearing your brief remarks about the Lotus Sutra, I feel that my ears and eyes have been clearly opened for the first time. But how can one understand the Lotus Sutra, so as to quickly reach the shore of enlightenment?

      I have heard it said that only one for whom the sun of wisdom shines unclouded in the great sky of the three thousand realms in a single moment of life, and for whom the water of wisdom in the broad pond of the threefold contemplation in a single mind is clear and never muddied, has the capacity to carry out the practice of this sutra

      This is Nichiren's wish for us I believe;

      May the sun of wisdom shine unclouded in the great sky of the three thousand realms in a single moment of life, and for the water of wisdom in the broad pond of the threefold contemplation in a single mind be clear and never muddied, has the capacity to carry out the practice of this sutra.

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    3. "WE all need Nichiren's original Gosho as the Bench Mark for understanding Lord Shakya's Lotus Sutra."

      I would defer to Nichiren's description of his teachings in the Gosho , his own writings; that they are the cornerstone, fundamentally, stressing *Faith* as opposed to *understanding* the Lotus Sutra.

      " We can all learn from each others understanding of Nichien's vast mind "

      I cannot find a reference to this being Nichiren's teaching -- Understanding his vast mind? Don't think that is encouraged-- or necessary, or even advisable---

      Nichiren employed faith as the means to mastering our own minds, seeking the mind of the Buddha-- and, Again, deepening *Faith* in the teaching for the Latter Day, the daimoku of the Lotus Sutra is what Nichiren stressed.

      "if we can be opened minded which is not always happening"

      You express this often, as I sense that it frustrates you-- or indicates to you how slowly "others come around"?? The thing is, employing our own minds, for the purpose you suggest is NOT taught by Nichiren, nor does it accord with reason. Our own minds are least reliable and most highly suseptable to errors-- a point made repeatedly as; the unfortunate condition of those of us born in the Latter Day. ---We can't get around that, can we? Nor can we dismiss the truth that, we need to employ our minds to grapple with all matters of our lives in the society in which we live-- and yes, we can definitely benefit from each others perspectives on how Nichiren's teachings apply to our circumstances-. Isn't that the point or the main reason we practice? All discussions that lead into what is this or that Truth pointing to or referring to or implicated by, or whatever, TO ME, suggests a lack of faith in the True Teaching just as it is-- and THAT is what I am calling slander--. Arrogant minds -- assuming they have attained what they have not--.

      It was Faith not perfect understanding of the Buddha's mind; Faith , the True cause for victory for Shijo Kingo, & the Ikegami Brothers -- is the teaching.

      Since I notice you have a strong aspiration for understanding the Lotus Sutra, which is dependent on attaining Buddhahood. I feel strongly enough about your sabotaging yourself here, that I risk your indignation- again, by saying you are veering off course--

      "Wooden or Painted Images"
      "The spiritual aspect manifests itself in the physical. A person can know another's mind by listening to his voice. This is because the physical aspect reveals the spiritual aspect. The physical and spiritual, which are one on essence, manifest themselves as two distinct aspects; thus the Buddha's mind found expression as the written words in the Lotus Sutra. These written words are the Buddh'as mind in a different form....

      The Buddha's pure and far reaching voice, which once vanished , has reappeared in the visible form of written words to benefit the people."

      How do we *know* and *understand* the mind of the Buddha?
      By reciting the Lotus Sutra ; chanting the daimoku--

      Then, we go out into the muddy swamp and --bloom!

      ~Katie

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    5. "Since I notice you have a strong aspiration for understanding the Lotus Sutra, which is dependent on attaining Buddhahood. I feel strongly enough about your sabotaging yourself here, that I risk your indignation- again, by saying you are veering off course--"

      It's important to know what it is that we have our faith in Katie otherwise it is blind faith. This means it doesn't matter what you have your faith in. You may as well be a born again Christian or a member of Isis if faith itself is all that matters.

      "All discussions that lead into what is this or that Truth pointing to or referring to or implicated by, or whatever, TO ME, suggests a lack of faith in the True Teaching just as it is-- and THAT is what I am calling slander--. Arrogant minds -- assuming they have attained what they have not--."

      You are talking about yourself, this is exactly what you are like ...how ironic

      You don't have the mandate on the True Teachings you massive deluded egotist

      I have noticed you have been out of line on quite few occasions on Nichirens Teachings and stand to be corrected but maybe you are too proud to learn from your mistakes ...that remains to be seen.

      I have observed some self righteous pompous behaviour from you that reminds me of sleazy sanctimonious SGI and not the behaviour of the Buddha. You are still suffering from your SGI hangover. We can take Katie out of the SGI but its not so easy to take the SGI out of Katie. If you criticise the way you do expect some healthy constructive criticism in return

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    6. Healthy, constructive criticism, by Noel Panton:

      " You may as well be a born again Christian or a member of Isis if faith itself is all that matters."

      "You don't have the mandate on the True Teachings you massive deluded egotist"

      "I have observed some self righteous pompous behaviour from you that reminds me of sleazy sanctimonious SGI and not the behaviour of the Buddha."

      "We can take Katie out of the SGI but its not so easy to take the SGI out of Katie."

      Thanks, Noel :-) I see the effects of your faith--

      I will continue to place faith in Nichiren's teachings.

      "One finds mean spirited people wherever one goes"

      Even on the virtual Eagle Peak--

      ~Katie


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    7. Follow your own advice Katie and stick to Nichiren for a change rather than being deluded by your negative "karma encrusted Mappo mind" (your words Katie, I learnt them from a mean spirited person, hypocrite) instead of your own arbitrary opinions that only fools would believe Ganbatte

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    8. Right. So, you learned to use personal debasing insults from me, or rather from "a hypocrite that only fools would believe"??

      You just called yourself a fool, Noel--

      ~Katie

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    9. I have been giving you a taste of your own medicine so you can have a good look at yourself and take it as an opportunity for growth as the SGI would say and that you are only too familiar with from the cliches that you been been using

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    10. We all make arbitrary and reasonable statements in the same way that we can be foolish and wise you are not alone. This is why we need to keep focused on Lotus Sutra, Shakyamuni Buddha,Nichiren, T’ien-t’ai, Miao-lo, Dengyō, and Chang-an

      Strengthen your faith now more than ever. Anyone who teaches the principles of Buddhism to others is bound to incur hatred from men and women, priests and nuns. Let them say what they will.

      Entrust yourself to the golden teachings of the Lotus Sutra, Shakyamuni Buddha, T’ien-t’ai, Miao-lo, Dengyō, and Chang-an. This is what is signified by the expression, “practicing according to the Buddha’s teachings.”

      The Lotus Sutra reads, “If in that fearful age one can preach this sutra for even a moment, [one will deserve to receive alms from all heavenly and human beings].” This passage explains that in the evil age of the Latter Day of the Law, when evil persons stained by the three poisons prevail, anyone who believes in and upholds the correct teaching, for even a short time, will receive offerings from heavenly and human beings.

      There are many degrees of slander: shallow and profound, slight and heavy. Even among those who embrace the Lotus Sutra, very few uphold it steadfastly both in mind and in deed.

      Few are the practitioners who are able to uphold this sutra. But those who do will not suffer serious retribution even if they have committed minor offenses against the sutra. Their strong faith expiates their offenses as surely as a flood extinguishes tiny fires.

      The embankments of faith

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  10. Any evil anyone of us commits pales into significance with the evils of the Soka Gakkai.

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    1. Yes, I have come to that conclusion as well- third excommunication was a charm--.

      Also now realize being all alone isn't best-- and that leaving the SGI completely alone is probably even worse. Two main reasons why I came to Eagle Peak.

      ~Katie


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    2. I would, however, issue caution regarding making pronouncements about Ikeda's faith based on tragic events in his personal life.-- Actually these cause and effect analysis exercises - or karma readings, are matters we can not fully comprehend-- "It is impossible to fathom our karma"-- let alone anyone else's--

      Because I, too have experienced the loss of a child, I have repeatedly sought refuge in Nichiren's writings to mothers who, though acknowledged as devout and praise worthy followers of Nichiren, were grieving the loss of their sons. There is absolutely no mention of "the fault, slander or egregious" behavior of these women as having caused or as the reason they failed to prevent the deaths of their sons.

      Guy McCloskey's son was killed in a motor cycle accident in Chicago-- Mr. Kasahara also lost a son--. Perhaps ALL of us suffered retribution for errors , for slander in this life after taking faith?? That may well be true, which is all the more reason to focus on breaking attachments and embracing the True Law--

      I say this because I know the deep pain of losing a child-- and the deep desire to be reunited , as Nichiren claims is absolutely possible through faith--.

      I am not suggesting*go easy* on any of those who are leaders-- I am grateful for the hard way I have had to challenge-- BUT, within the bounds of Nichiren's teachings, adhering to his example--

      There is nothing to be gained by using the inexpressible pain and sorrow of an aggrieved parent to press a point about their faith...

      ~Katie

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    3. My view [hopefully in accord with Nichiren's view...

      "If there are any among my followers who are weak in faith and go against what I, Nichiren, say, they will meet the same fate as did the Soga family. I will tell you the reason. It was due to the efforts of father and son, Soga no Iname and Umako, that Buddhism came to be established in Japan. They could have held the same position as Brahmā and Shakra at the time of the Thus Come One Shakyamuni’s appearance in this world. Because they had brought Mononobe no Okoshi and his son Moriya to ruin, they became the only influential clan in the country. They rose in rank and controlled the nation, and their family enjoyed high prosperity. But Umako grew so arrogant that he had Emperor Sushun assassinated and many princes killed. Moreover, his grandson, Iruka, had his retainers put twenty-three of Prince Shōtoku’s children to death. Thereupon Empress Kōgyoku, following the advice of Nakatomi no Kamako, had a statue cast of Shakyamuni Buddha and prayed to it fervently. As a result, Iruka, p.839his father, and the entire Soga family all perished at once.

      Draw your own conclusions from what I said above. Those among my followers who fail to carry through their faith to the end will incur punishment even more severe. Even so, they should not harbor a grudge against me. Remember what fate Shō-bō, Noto-bō, and others met."

      I recently posted the following regarding some ofthe benefits of the Lotus Sutra

      It may seem that the SGI has a great expansion through the gentle practices but if you delve into their history you will see that they experienced their explosive growth utilizing the break and subdue practices and then they lost the spirit of Bodhisattva Never Despise of the Essential Teachings. Since that time they have been either losing members or have remained stagnant and they have experienced individually and collectively punishment from heaven (cause and effect). - Mark


      Well, I stand corrected. I was unaware my fabulous life condition was "punishment from heaven." -- Laguru


      Dear Laguru:

      You are barking at the wrong lion. The Lotus Sutra and the writings of Nichiren Daishonin are my bones and marrow, not the Human Revolution and the World Tribune.

      How do we know if our problems are caused by slander or obstacles and devils trying to obstruct our practice?

      cont...

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    4. We may use the Lotus Sutra as a guide. It tells us which of our problems are caused by slander and which of our problems are caused by the Three Obstacles and Four Devils. We should avoid slander and its repercussions (punishment) and we should welcome the Three Obstacles and Four Devils. It is imperative to see clearly if we are slandering so we can make corrections. It is necessary to know if our actions are those of votaries of the Lotus Sutra. Does our mind accord with the mind of the Buddha?

      If you are a doctor, your hopes and desires are for your patients to get well. If you are slandering the Law they will not get better, They will fair poorly: If you gain something, some benefit either inconspicuous or conspicuous and you lose it quickly, you are slandering the Law. Lets say, you are making the most cogent arguments at work and at home, arguments to realize some goal or to benefit others but despite these logical and well thought out arguments, no one believes you, then you are slandering the Law. Likewise, if you are in some position of power but inferiors are ordering you about, you have damaged the Law. You can know if your mind is in contrast to the Buddha's if you have a relatively mild ailmant that festers and won't resolve despite the best of medicaments. You can tell if your slandering the Law if, at a picnic, the ants and fleas and insects are only biting you. You will realize if you are slandering the Law when you have a bad thought about a votary and the very instant the thought arises something untoward happens. When you are doing something related to Buddhism, take some action that you are not sure is good or bad, and out of nowhere, a malignant wind blows that gives you a fright, you are slandering the Law. When your garden fails to prosper and the leaves are brown and the fruit vines are withered despite optimal weather and irrigation, you are slandering the Law.

      On the contrary, if one's patients have a tendency to thrive, despite the most noxious of disease, he with the Lotus Sutra dwells. When we obtain a benefit either conspicuous or inconspicuous, material or spiritual, they remain with us long, we can assuredly state, "today I live the Sutra". When we get a cold or a sore, despite non-optimal care, quickly improve and are cured, we are traveling the Buddha Way. When your friends or acquaintances or enemies are out and about being eaten alive by mosquitos and gnats and you remain untouched, you walk with the Buddha. All is accord with the Mind of the Buddha when you are attacked with words or sticks or stones and you remain unruffled, neither angry, fearful, nor blue. When you are enveloped in a gentle breeze while forming The Thought, there is no doubt. When despite a drought your grass is green and your garden is lush with flower and fruit you walk the Way. (For more on this topic, see Chapter 3 of the Lotus Sutra, The Burning House)

      cont...

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    5. Now we procede to Chapter 19, The Merits Of The Preacher. How is it possible with our fleshy eyes, ordinary ears, human organ of smell [less developed than even that of a dog or a fish], three inch tongue, skin, feces and urine bag of a body, and base, common and insubstantial mind, all received from our parents, obtain the divine eyes and five types of vision, the ability to hear the "Light Sound and Universal Purity", perceive the odors of all beings, their thoughts, karmas and merits, have "the Buddhas and their disciples all come to hear your discourses" [through the marvelous function of your tongue], obtain "a body as a pure bright mirror" in which every image is seen, and develop a mind that is "pure, lucid, acute, unterbid" by which you will "know all laws, high, low and mean"?

      The Lotus Sutra teaches that merely by receiving and keeping the Lotus Sutra [Myoho renge kyo], the merits of the preacher are such as these. If you have these merits you share the mind of the Buddha, you are living in accord with the Buddha.

      Now let us move to Chapter 17 and then I ask a question of you.

      At that time the Buddha told Maitreya Bodhisattva Mahasattva, "Ajita! If there are living beings who, on hearing that the Buddha’s life span is as long as this, can bring forth even a single thought of faith and understanding, the merit and virtue they will gain is measureless and limitless.

      "If a good man or a good woman, for the sake of anuttara samyak sambodhi, were to practice the five paramitas: dana-paramita, shila-paramita, kshanti-paramita, virya-paramita, anddhyana-paramita; all except prajnaparamita throughout eighty myriads of millions of nayutas of eons...

      "... the merit and virtue he or she would derive if compared with that of the previous person’s would not come to a hundredth part, nor to a thousandth, nor to a hundred thousand myriad millionth part, nor could it be known by resort to calculation or analogy.

      "For a good man or a good woman possessing merit and virtue such as this, to retreat from anuttarasam yaksambodhi would be simply impossible."

      At that time, the World Honored One, wishing to restate this meaning, spoke verses saying,

      cont...

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    6. "If someone wished to seek the Buddha’s wisdom
      Throughout eighty myriads of millions
      Of nayutas of kalpas,
      Practicing the five paramitas
      Throughout all those eons,
      He would give by making offerings to the Buddhas,
      The Pratyekabuddha disciples,
      And to the hosts of Bodhisattvas.
      His gifts might be rare and precious food and drink,
      Fine clothing, and bedding.
      He might give pure abodes made of chandana
      And adorned by gardens and groves.
      Gifts such as these,
      Varied and fine,
      Throughout this number of eons,
      He would dedicate to the Buddha Way.
      Further he might hold the prohibitive precepts purely,
      Without flaw or fault,
      Seeking the supreme path,
      Praised by all the Buddhas.
      Again, he might practice patience,
      Dwelling on the Ground of Compliance,
      So that should evil befall him,
      His mind would not be disturbed.
      Also if those who have gained the Dharma,
      But who harbor overweening pride,
      Ridicule and torment him,
      He would be able to bear it.
      He might be diligent and vigorous,
      Ever solid in his resolve,
      Throughout limitless millions of eons,
      Single-minded and never lax.
      And for countless eons he might
      Dwell in a tranquil place,
      Ever collecting his thoughts, avoiding sleep,
      While either sitting or walking.
      Because of these causes and conditions,
      He would then give rise to dhyana concentration,
      So that for eighty millions of myriads of eons,
      His mind would be secure and unconfused.
      Blessed with this single-mindedness,
      He would seek the unsurpassed path, saying,
      "May I gain All-Wisdom
      And exhaust the limits of dhyana concentrations."
      This person, for hundreds of thousands
      Of tens of millions of eons,
      Might practice such meritorious virtues
      As told above.
      But should there be a good man or woman
      Who, hearing me speak of my life span,
      Gives rise to even a single thought of faith,
      His or her blessings will exceed those of the person just described.
      Any person who can be completely free
      Of doubts and misgivings
      And, with deep thought, believe for but an instant,
      Will reap blessings such as those.
      Should there be Bodhisattvas
      Who have practiced the Way for limitless eons
      And who hear me speak of my life span,
      They shall be able to believe and accept it.
      Persons such as these
      Will receive this Sutra atop their heads,
      Vowing, "May we in the future
      Gain long lives and save living beings.
      Just as today the World Honored One,
      King of the Shakyas, In the Bodhimanda puts forth the lion’s roar,
      Speaking the Dharma without fear,
      So may we in lives to come
      Be revered by all
      And, while seated in the Bodhimanda,
      Speak of our life spans in the same way."
      Should there be those who deeply believe,
      Who are pure and straightforward,
      With much learning and dharanis,
      Who explain the Buddhas’ words according to the doctrine
      Persons such as these
      Will have no doubts about this matter.

      "Further, Ajita, if anyone hears of the long duration of the Buddha’s life span and understands the import of these words, the merit and virtue such a one gains will be without boundary or limit, for it shall enable one to give rise to the supreme wisdom of the Thus Come One.

      cont...

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    7. "How much the more so will this be the case for one who can listen to this Sutra extensively; ask others to listen; uphold it oneself; ask others to uphold it; write it out oneself; ask others to write it out; or use flowers, incense, beads, banners, flags, silk canopies, fragrant oils, or butter lamps to make offerings to this Sutra. Such a person’s merit and virtue will be limitless and boundless, for it shall enable that person to give rise to the Wisdom of All Modes.

      "Ajita! If a good man or good woman hears of the long duration of the Buddha’s life span and with a deep mind believes and understands, he or she will then see the Buddha ever-present on Mount Gridhrakuta together with the great Bodhisattvas and the assembly of Hearers surrounding him as he speaks the Dharma. He or she will also see the Saha world’s soil become lapis lazuli. It will be flat and even, with eight major roads bordered with Jambunada gold and lined with jeweled trees. Adjacent to the roads will be pavilions and towers all made of jewels, wherein hosts of Bodhisattvas dwell. To behold in this way is indicative of deep faith and understanding.

      "Further, after the passing into stillness of the Thus Come One, if a person hears this Sutra and does not defame it but instead rejoices over it, you should know that that indicates he already has deep faith and understanding.

      "How much the more so is this the case for one who reads, recites, receives, and upholds it.

      "This person carries the Thus Come One on the top of his head.

      "Ajita! This good man or good woman need not build stupas or temples for me, nor build Sangha dwellings, nor make the four kinds of offerings to the Sangha. Why not? This good man or good woman, in receiving, upholding, reading, and reciting this Sutra, has already built stupas, erected Sangha dwellings, and made offerings to the Sangha. He has built stupas of the seven treasures for the Buddha’s sharira.The stupas are high and broad, tapering up to the Brahma Heavens, hung with banners and canopies. He has also offered many jeweled bells, flowers, incense, beads, ground incense, paste incense, and burning incense, as well as many drums, musical instruments, pipes, flutes, reeds, various dances, and praises sung with wonderful sounds. He has already made such offerings throughout limitless thousands of myriads of millions of eons."

      Laguru, why is Prajnaparamita excepted?

      The first half of the Lotus Sutra, the so-called Theoretical Section of the Lotus Sutra was the principle practice for the former and middle days [read the Opening of the Eyes]. We may still perform the gentle practices when we encounter people who are gentle, pliant, and upright, those who readily accept the teachings. With SGI Buddhism and their practitioners who reside in the Lower Six Realms, those who confuse Animality or Rapture for Buddha and Buddha or Bodhisattva for Anger, one must resort to the aggressive practices (shakbuku or break and subdue).

      cont...

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    8. I will not post the dozens of quotes of Nichiren about the difference of the practice of the Lotus Sutra in the former and latter days, because I will not do your homework for you. Remember this, three times the top SGI senior leaders have rejected a formal debate with me. I will not waste my time with anyone who doesn't represent the SGI.

      Karma is not the only determinant of weal and woe. It is however, the most important because it is only through a correct Buddhist faith and practice that one can overcome negative karma. Let me give you the example of the causes of diseases as revealed by the Buddha. There are five or six major categories of the causes of disease taught by the Buddha. All, save for disease caused by karma, can be cured by a skilled physician, medicine, and the healing power of the person. Disease caused by karma [weighty causes and effects] can only be cured by the healing power of a correct faith and practice of Buddhism. Likewise, the most severe external [environmental] manifestations [effects] of weighty human causes [thoughts, words, and deeds] are floods, great winds, tsunamis, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and war. As in the case of the most severe internal effects [severe illness], only through Buddhist faith and practice can we cure the most severe external “illnesses”. If the Earthquake, Tsunami, and nuclear meltdown in Japan is not due to karma, there are no seminal events that can be attributed to karma.

      According to Nichiren Daishonin and Vasubhandu’s Dharma Analysis Treasury, the Abhidharmakosa [which is based on Vasubandu's exhaustive study of the Hinayana Sutras], the Japan disaster was caused by the karma of the people. By the principle of the most severe bad karma causing the most catastrophic events, the cause of the Japanese disaster is the Soka Gakkai whose karma it is to subvert the Law and the Buddha. Nichiren occasionaly cited the Dharma Analysis Treasury, the doctrines contained therein [windy circle], or the schools derived from this treatise. Also, according to this most important doctrine of the Dharma Analysis Treasury [the greatest good karma causing the most auspicious events], by far, the most important cause of the formation of planets and galaxies, for example, is due to the power of karmic reward of living beings. The slanderers with a piddling faith and understanding of the Buddhist teachings, those like Reverend Ryuei who criticize Nichiren and his followers, should first of all believe Nichiren Daishonin and then, if they still have any doubts, they should read Vasubandu’s Abhidharmakosa:

      abhidharmakosa.files.wordpress.com/2010/09/kosa-study-materials.pdf

      cont...

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    9. The Great Teacher Chang-an interprets this story from the Nirvana Sutra in terms of the three obstacles. Observe how he does this. The fact that the woman is called "poor" indicates that the person does not have the treasure of the Law. The fact that she is identified as a woman indicates that the person has a measure of tenderness. The "inn" signifies an impure land. The child shebears is the heart that has faith in the Lotus Sutra, or the wisdom that perceives one’s inherent Buddha nature. Being driven out of the inn by its master signifies that the person is exiled. The fact that the baby has just been born means that very little time has passed since the person began to have faith in the Lotus Sutra. The fierce wind the woman encounters is the imperial decree sentencing the person to exile. The mosquitoes, gadflies and other insects are the "many ignorant people who will curse and speak ill" of the votary of the Lotus Sutra. The fact that both mother and child are drowned indicates that, though in the end the person had his head cut off, he never renounced his faith in the Lotus Sutra. Being reborn in the Brahma heaven means being reborn in the realm of Buddhahood.

      The power of karmic rewards extends to all of the Ten Worlds, even to the realm of Buddhahood. Even though one might go around killing people throughout the provinces of Japan and China, if one does not commit any of the five cardinal sins or does not slander the Law, one will not fall into the hell of incessant suffering. Yet one must go through other evil paths for a period of numerous years. Even if one observes ten thousand precepts and performs ten thousand good deeds, if one does so with a mind only half intent, one cannot be reborn in any heaven of the world of form. To be born a king in the Brahma heaven of that world, one must add the spirit of compassion to one’s karma that goes with outflows and leads one in that direction. The poor woman in the sutra passage was reborn in the Brahma heaven because of her concern for her child. Her case is different from the nature of causality that is commonly known. Chang-an offers two interpretations of it, but in the end it is nothing other than the loving kindness with which the woman cares for her child that makes the difference. Her concern concentrates on one thing just like the Buddhist practice of concentration. She thinks of nothing but her child, which is similar to Buddhist compassion. That must be why, although she created no other causes to bring it about, she was reborn in the Brahma heaven.

      cont...

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    10. The path to Buddhahood is not to be found in the Kegon doctrine of the phenomenal world as created by the mind alone, in the eight negations of the Sanron sect, in the Consciousness-Only doctrine of the Hosso sect, or in the Shingon type of meditation on the five elements of the universe. Only the T’ien-t’ai doctrine of the three thousand realms in a single moment of life is the path to Buddhahood. Even in the case of this doctrine of the three thousand realms in a single moment of life, we do not possess the kind of wisdom and understanding to comprehend it fully. Nevertheless, among all the sutras preached by the Buddha during his lifetime, the Lotus Sutra alone contains this jewel which is the doctrine of the three thousand realms in a single moment of life. The doctrines of the other sutras are merely yellow stones that appear to be jewels. They are like sand, from which you can extract no oil no matter how hard you squeeze it, or a barren woman who can never bear a child. Even a wise man cannot become a Buddha through the other sutras, but with the Lotus Sutra, even fools can plant the seeds that lead to Buddhahood. As the sutra passage I have quoted earlier puts it, "Although they do not seek emancipation, emancipation will come of itself."

      Although I and my disciples may encounter various difficulties, if we do not harbor doubts in our hearts, we will as a matter of course attain Buddhahood. Do not have doubts simply because heaven does not lend you protection. Do not be discouraged because you do not enjoy an easy and secure existence in this life. This is what I have taught my disciples morning and evening, and yet they begin to harbor doubts and abandon their faith.

      Foolish men are likely to forget the promises they have made when the crucial moment comes. Some of them feel pity for their wives and children and grieve at the thought of parting from them in this life. In countless births throughout many long kalpas they have had wives and children but parted from them in every existence. They have done so unwillingly and not because of their desire to pursue the way of the Buddha. Since they must part with them in any case, they should remain faithful to their belief in the Lotus Sutra and make their way to Eagle Peak, so that they may lead their wives and children there as well."

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    11. Hi Mark,

      I have shared Nichiren's *warnings* , i.e.; The Soga family-- in the same spirit as it is written-- having the mercy to correct misguided fellow believers, and taking the teaching to heart myself. I agree that it is sometimes necessary to reference Nichiren's strongest and most fearsome admonitions, but I don't think Nichiren's teachings support your view in this case; that the actual death of a child can be attributed to the faith of the suffering, grieving surviving parents.

      The deceased child has his own karma, that cannot be fathomed by us. The depth of suffering of the parents who lose him to death, however, is very much a matter of the parents' *faith*, and does effect their deceased child's happiness.

      I don't think your pronouncement about the death of Ikeda's son comes across as a warning to those who follow Ikeda-- it sounds as though you are saying that IF Ikeda had correct faith, his son would have survived. Therefore, your view is different from Nichiren's teachings that place the greatest emphasis on the faith of the believer who is gravely ill, or near death. In the case of Nichiren's mother's life being extended by 4 years, through Nichiren's prayers, I think, it is important to note that his mother's unconditional love for her son was also good karma she, herself created. In any case, Nichiren used his personal experience to encourage a follower to overcome her illness through faith in the Lotus Sutra-- .

      So, my understanding is that we cannot save others directly, via our prayers; just as Nichiren reminded his followers that his prayers were not enough to "save" them.

      Those who cling to Ikeda are more likely to cling tighter -- out of compassion for his having suffered the loss of his son, and find it difficult to believe that you are acting with the same compassion Nichiren displayed. I am not questioning your compassion-- I question the validity of your pronouncement--

      ~Katie

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    12. We too were born into the SGI familyof slanderers so whatever the retribution that befalls us, we should not be surprised...

      "To speak out without fearing others and without flinching before society—this is what the sutra means when it says, “We care nothing for our bodies or lives but are anxious only for the unsurpassed way.”17

      It is not that one does not recall the calumny, the staves and stones that were suffered by Bodhisattva Never Disparaging. It is not that one is unafraid of the world. It is just that the censure of the Lotus Sutra is even more severe. It is like the case of Sukenari and Tokimune, who acted as they did even though they found themselves in the camp of the shogun, because they longed to avenge themselves upon their enemy and were ashamed at the thought of failing to do so.

      The above is the principle relating to individual slanderers.

      As for the families of slanderers, the family members may pass their entire lives without slandering the Lotus Sutra. But even though they practice it every hour of the day and night, the fact that they were born into the family of a slanderer means that they will invariably be reborn in the hell of incessant suffering.19 For example, those persons who were born into the family of the monk Superior Intent or the monk Shore of Suffering and became their disciples or lay supporters all fell, against their will, into the hell of incessant suffering. Or it is like the family members of Yoshimori. Setting aside those who gave their lives in battle, even the children still in their mothers’ wombs, torn from their mothers’ bellies, were killed before birth."

      How fortunate we are to have found the true teachings and to be able to lessen our karmic retribution in this very life as Nichiren teaches:

      "The Nirvana Sutra teaches the principle of lessening one’s karmic retribution. If one’s heavy karma from the past is not expiated within this lifetime, one must undergo the sufferings of hell in the future, but if one experiences extreme hardship in this life [because of the Lotus Sutra], the sufferings of hell will vanish instantly. And when one dies, one will obtain the blessings of the human and heavenly worlds, as well as those of the three vehicles and the one vehicle. Bodhisattva Never Disparaging was not abused and vilified, stoned and beaten with staves without reason. He had probably slandered the correct teaching in the past. The phrase “when his offenses had been wiped out”2 indicates that, because Bodhisattva Never Disparaging met persecution, he was able to eradicate his offenses from previous lifetimes. (This concludes my first point.)"

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    13. I point out Ikeda's lack of protection to counter their lies that SGI faith affords their believers protection. If even their Supreme leader was not protected, why should anyone believe that there is protection in the SGI? SGI interfaith and their other perverted doctrines preclude that any SGI member could possibly receive protection from the Buddhist gods [as did Nichiren and as will we].

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    14. "Answer: If a man builds a road for others and someone loses his way on it, is that the fault of the road-builder? If a skilled physician gives medicine to a sick person but the sick person, repelled by the medicine, refuses to take it and dies, should one blame the physician?"

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    15. /"I point out Ikeda's lack of protection ..."

      But, in the matter of his son's death, it was his son who was not protected, his son's immutable karma .

      "to counter their lies that SGI faith affords their believers protection."

      Only a believer's own faith offers him/her protection-- the problem is the impediment to a member developing correct faith.

      "If even their Supreme leader was not protected, why should anyone believe that there is protection in the SGI?"

      Again, I don't think saying that Ikeda's son death resulted from Ikeda's incorrect faith/practice-- , this is not an example of Ikeda not being protected. But, since No one is protected by mere
      *association*with a group of devout followers of Nichiren, the focus should be on why and how a member can develop correct faith.

      I agree that the errors Ikeda has made and does not seem concerned about are horrifying--with implications far graver than we could fathom. :Personal tragedies he has or will suffer cannot compare to the devastating effects of the millions who slander the Lotus Sutra unwittingly as they blindly follow their "sensei"--

      Remonstratiions and religious debates should be forced on teachings, in question-- not the personal lives of the participants--

      "Rely on the Law, not upon persons"-- even or especially when engaged in proving the supremacy of the Law--

      ~Katie

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    16. "The Buddhist doctrines preached by scholars these days are regarded by most people as gentle words, truthful words, but in fact they are all harsh words and deceptive words. I say this because they are at variance with the Lotus Sutra, which embodies the Buddha’s true intention.

      On the other hand, when I proclaim that the practitioners of the Nembutsu will fall into the hell of incessant suffering or declare that the Zen and True Word schools are likewise in error, people may think I am uttering harsh words, but in fact I am speaking truthful and gentle words. As an example, I may point to the fact that Dozen-bo has embraced the Lotus Sutra and fashioned an image of Shakyamuni Buddha, actions that came about because I spoke harshly to him. And the same thing holds true for all the people of Japan. Ten or more years ago, virtually everyone was reciting the Nembutsu. But now, out of ten persons, you will find that one or two chant only Namu-myoho-renge-kyo, while two or three recite it along with the Nembutsu. And even among those who recite the Nembutsu exclusively, there are those who have begun to have doubts and so in their hearts believe in the Lotus Sutra; some have even begun to paint or carve images of Shakyamuni Buddha. All this, too, has come about because I have spoken harsh words.

      This response is like the fragrant sandalwood trees that grow among the groves of foul-smelling eranda trees, or lotus blossoms that rise from the mud. Thus, when I proclaim that the followers of the Nembutsu will fall into the hell of incessant suffering, the “wise men” of our day, who are in fact no wiser than cattle or horses, may venture to attack my doctrines. But in truth they are like scavenger dogs barking at the lion king, or foolish monkeys laughing at the god Shakra.

      Nichiren

      The seventh year of Bun’ei (1270)
      To Gijo-bo and Joken-bo
      (from the writing The Learned Doctor Shan-wu-wei)

      Nichiren also teaches,

      “My only hatred is for the act of slandering the Law.”

      Through my practice I have come to neither hate nor experience jealousy towards anyone. However, it is difficult to cure the children gone mad. The Lotus Sutra states, “This good excellent medicine now I leave here. You should take and swallow it. Do not worry that you will not be cured.”

      The children who have not lost their minds readily take the medicine but the children in which the poison has penetrated deeply, refuse to take the medicine.

      The Excellent Physician devises a skillful plan. He goes away and sends a messenger to tell his children, "Your father has died."… "Continuous grief has brought them to their senses and they take the excellent medicine and are cured."

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  11. shakyamuni began his practice of shakubuku by stating that there is only one vehicle, not two, not three. only one vehicle. he too encountered much hatred and jealousy when he taught the lotus sutra, even from many of his own disciples. the correct practice for the latter day is shakubuku. nichiren is the buddhas emissary for the latter age- two but not two. shakyamuni made his appearance in the former day, and nichiren in the latter day. the harvest is the former day , the planting is the latter day. hopefully, the deeper ones faith becomes, the greater ones understanding will be. one day we may all understand fully. for now, nichiren is my guide. good discussion.

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  12. Noel,

    I cannot know how you perceive my criticism of your 'logic' or my concern about your renderings of the same teachings I am studying and practicing, but I have not resorted to name calling and personal judgments as you continue to direct towards me. Therefore, again , I take issue with your saying:

    "I have been giving you a taste of your own medicine so you can have a good look at yourself and take it as an opportunity for growth as the SGI would say and that you are only too familiar with from the cliches that you been been using."

    In other words, I feel no sense of responsibility for your style of refuting my comments. --

    Your tone is one of contempt-- towards me personally, which is unacceptable from any perspective.

    Your contempt seems based, in part on my past affiliation with SGI-- (and NST)--- and your judgments of SGI. Again, personal matters-- to you, and yet you don't mind publicizing these judgments on an internet forum-- that is a site for spreading the True teachings of Nichiren ??

    Draw your own conclusions, but don't assume, I am particularly interested in hearing them--

    ~Katie




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    2. I have noticed you have been out of line on quite few occasions on Nichirens Teachings and that you have been corrected again and again but you are too proud to learn from your misconceptions because you are too full of your self.

      You cant under stand because you are only interested in standing over


      "I have not resorted to name calling and personal judgments as you continue to direct towards me."

      Just go back over your posts and see what you have said. This is why I say only those who don't know you would believe in what you say,your not even good liar.

      You've have been condescending, rude and disrespectful from the start with your name calling, personal judgements and condemnations.

      You are looking for a captured audience to teach.First get an education from understanding Nichiren by reading the Gosho because you cant fool those who already know Nichiren's voice

      Perhaps then we will be able to hold a sensible informed discussion based on what Nichiren is saying rather than fiction from your vein imaginings

      No wonder the SGI had to excommunicate you 3 times if your behaviour has been as bad with them as you are here on Eagle Peak, you would be a pain for anyone Ganbatte

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    3. actual, i would like to congratulate katie on her three excommunications with the sgi. nice resume. cheers!

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    4. Lets try to to get along, at least among ourselves.

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    5. Why would anyone need to be excommunicated 3 times, wouldn't once be enough. Unless she kept on coming back after the first excommunication and they had to remind her on another two occasions that she was excommunicated

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  13. Yes Katie, the purpose of this site is for spreading all the true teachings of Nichiren, not least of all those teachings which are not politically correct. One reason Nichiren suffered persecution was for being politically incorrect.

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    1. Yes, Mark, I am well aware of the consequences for being politically incorrect. :)

      ~Katie

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