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Monday, April 18, 2016

Nichiren on seeking him out and treating him with appropriate respect.

"When the unenlightened man heard these words, he began to ponder various things and to quietly consider the principles he had heard. He said: “There are a great many different Buddhist doctrines, and it is very difficult to determine which are sound and which are not. It is only natural that Bodhisattva Ever Wailing should have gone east to inquire about the truth, that the boy Good Treasures should have sought for it in the south, that Bodhisattva Medicine King burned his arms as an offering, and that the ascetic Aspiration for the Law stripped off his skin. A good teacher is truly difficult to find. Some say that one should go by the teachings of the sutras, while others say that the truth lies outside the sutras. In pondering the rights and wrongs of these doctrines, one who has not yet fathomed the depths of Buddhism and stands gazing over the waters of the Law is in doubt as to how deep they may be; one who assesses a teacher does so with all the anxiety of a person walking on thin ice. That is why the Buddha has left us those golden words, ‘Rely on the Law and not upon persons,’ and why it is said that those who encounter the correct teaching are as few as the grains of earth that can be placed on a fingernail. If there is someone who knows which of the Buddhist teachings are true and which are false, then I must seek him out, make him my teacher, and treat him with appropriate respect.”

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