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Monday, April 18, 2016

Robin Beck's take on the Buddha of Musa Sanjin for Noel

"Let me see if I can paraphrase one of Nichikan’s arguments that show Nichiren to be the True Buddha:

In the lifespan chapter of the Lotus Sutra, we find that Shakyamuni did not actually attain Enlightenment for the first time in India. The time period of his Enlightenment is the Remote Past of Gohyaku Jintengo. This was a long time ago, but it is still a finite time period. Therefore, Shakyamuni’s Enlightenment is not Eternal. His Buddhism is obviously only a provisional teaching. There can be no doubt about this. 

In the “Mystic Principle of the True Cause,” Nichiren Daishonin elucidates that Shakyamuni’s teacher in the Remote Past was actually an older Buddha, the Original Buddha of Kuon Ganjo. This is the Buddha of Musa Sanjin; or the Buddha who is naturally or intrinsically endowed with the Three Bodies. In the Kaimoku Sho, Nichiren Daishonin clearly reveals that this Buddha from the really infinite past is none other than the Daishonin Himself. He appears in the Latter Day to reveal True Buddhism exactly as predicted by Shakyamuni. 

As some of you know, Soka Gakkai has finally pretty much admitted that the “Mystic Principle of the True Cause” or Hon’in Myo Sho is a rather lame forgery — more on that later. As far as I know, that Gosho was the only source for the term kuon ganjo. So it seems like we could move past this old discussion of remote versus remoter, even more remote, and remotest past.

Nichiren Shonin apparently referred to the Shakyamuni who awoke in the Remote Past as the Buddha of Musa Sanjin. It seems to me this is obviously no particular person, since all three bodies are uncreated and eternally existent. However, in recorded history, Shakyamuni was still the temporal identity of the Buddha of Musa Sanjin. At any rate, gohyaku-jintengo, understood this way already covers eternity, or time without beginning or end.

IIRC, the other Nichiren Schools also take gohyaku-jintengo or ‘Remote Past’ to already be a symbol for deathlessness, eternity, or time without beginning. There is no need for Kuon Ganjo, a term which does not appear at all in the Lotus Sutra or Nichiren’s authentic writing.

It will be difficult, but I hope Soka Gakkai scholars can put this line of reasoning — “The inconceivably long period of Shakyamuni’s original enlightenment as described in the Lotus Sutra is known as gohyaku-jintengo — but this is still a finite time.” to bed. We need to forget about it, and move on.

Alas, I was informed that Kuon Ganjo has a corresponding term in Tiantai and Nichiren; Kuon Jitsujo. I am told this indicates the most remote past possible."


  1. Thanks Mark and Robin pretty much what I've been saying and currently think. It all fits in to my fluid thought parameters with a few tweaks here and there

    1. I recently read Niwano's commentary on the 3 bodies of the Buddha that's in the life span chapter.

      It makes no difference if Shakyamuni was first enlightened thousands of years ago or kalpas ago because he would still be in the category of historical. It would be a mistake to think this historical Buddha is the eternal Shakyamuni Buddha and not the Buddha that is the existence of non-beginning and non-end is the point that Niwano makes;


      Since ancient times, the Buddha has been said to have a threefold body (tri-kaya, sanjin): the Law-body (dharma-kaya, hosshin), the reward-body (sambhoga-kaya, hojin), and the manifest-body (nirmana-kaya, ojin).

      The Buddha as tathata itself is called the Law-body, which is the entity of the Buddha. When his entity appears in a form that is comprehensible, this is known as his reward-body.

      "Reward-body" means a buddha who has become endowed with perfect wisdom in reward for his religious practices over a long period of time. The Buddha who appeared as a man in this world for the purpose of instructing and leading all living beings is called the manifestbody.

      The Buddha in this body manifests himself for the purpose of saving all living beings.

      Shakyamuni Buddha, who preaches the Law to the host of bodhisattvas, is the manifest-body.

      The Tathagata mentioned by Shakyamuni indicates his Law-body, and his reward-body is its representation.

      Then the World-honored One preached as follows: "All the worlds of heavenly beings, men,and asuras consider: 'Now has Shakyamuni Buddha come forth from the palace of the Shakya clan, and seated at the training place of enlightenment, not far from the city of Gaya, has attained Perfect Enlightenment.'

      But, my good sons, since I veritably became Buddha there have passed infinite, boundless hundreds of thousands of myriads of kotis of nayutas of kalpas."

      Here the entity of the Buddha is revealed at last. An ordinary person believes the existence of what is visible to his eyes. He considers the Shakyamuni before his eyes as the Buddha and depends upon him in his mind and his religious discipline.

      He makes a great mistake in thinking so, however, because the Buddha is the existence of non-beginning and non-end, as is clearly declared here. Nikkyo Niwano

  2. Questions: (for Mark) Where in the Lotus Sutra does Shakyamuni predict a "Buddha" of the Latter Day, who will reveal "True Buddhism"?

    Wouldn't that mean that Shakyamuni spoke falsely when he claimed that only he could save all living beings in this saha world?

    Why would a Buddha need to study and practice another Buddha's teachings in order to reveal his True identity as a Buddha??


    1. Buddha is not always a Buddha. They go through the teacher/mentor/master and student/disciple/follower process endlessly.

      When the teacher or student become one with the eternal 3 bodied Tathagata thus come one they become Buddha on a temporary bases that ranges from many kalpas to seconds like in Shakymuni's case or a common mortal that experiences the same eternal unbounded awareness that knows no distinction for a brief moment.

      So really a seconds or kalpas is like a second compared to a nano second when we are talking about eternity. What really matters is that eternal intelligence that is unbounded by space and time that is the unchanging foundation of all from which all buddhas become buddha

    2. Me personally, I always think "general or specific". Specifically, it's the Buddha. Generally it is each of us including Nichiren. Specifically Namu Myoho renge kyo was transferred to Jogyo-Nichiren and generally to us.

    3. If you mistake general for specific even slightly, you don't become enlightened. Specifically its all buddas' including bodhisattva Buddha nichiren that became one with the 3 bodied tathagata

      General has two meanings,
      Those that reveal their Buddha nature through practice as in the mutual possession of the ten worlds in in the eternal moment and everything inherently contains Buddha nature. Noël

    4. So, where in his writings, did Nichiren say"specifically" he became one with the 3 bodied tathagata?

      Generally speaking, I don't accept anything Nichiren himself did not specifically, clearly and constantly state.

      What exactly is the perk for putting your own spin on a teaching that is already perfect?


    5. Have you googled 3 bodied tathagata, Trikaya its amazing what you can find out, one thing leads to another as its all interconnected

      You can also try googling '3 bodied tathagata nichiren.' We can always look deeper into the perfect teaching that can reveal something that we didn't realise that wasn't there unless we think we already know it all already. This attitude will stop us from deeper exploration into the unknown, the mysterious the most beautiful

    6. 3 bodied tathagata Shakyamuni

      3 bodied tathagata Buddha

      3 bodies tathagata thus come one

      3 bodies tathagata thus come one Lotus Sutra

      You should check this out Katie its from Eagle Peak blog some months ago that relate to this topic


    7. The One That Has Come
      (S. Tathagata)

      On the Tathagata, Nichiren says in The Oral Transmission of the Meaning (J. Ongi Kuden):

      The title of this (16th) Chapter (Measuring the Life of The One That Has Come) of The Lotus Sutra is very important in the life of Nichiren. It was this title of the Sutra that was transferred in the (21st) Chapter (The Spiritual Power of the The One That Has Come). The One That Has Come (S. Tathagata) is the one honored by all the Buddhas of the ten directions and of the past, present and future. More specifically it is the innate triple body of enlightenment.

      Now Nichiren and his kind recognize that The One That Has Come is within all living beings. More specifically, it is that which is entrusted to Nichiren’s disciples. It is the innate triple body of enlightenment of the practitioner of the Lotus Sutra in the age of the Dharma’s demise (Mappo). The precious title of the innate triple body of enlightenment is ‘Namu-Myoho Renge Kyo”. These are the three very important points in this (16th) chapter.

      There are six identities with enlightenment that are established in this chapter:
      1.The One That Has Come is inherent in ordinary people (identity in principle)
      2.The they don the crown of ‘Namu-Myoho Renge Kyo’, causing them to first hear the Title (identity in name)
      3.Then, upon hearing and believing, they cultivate its practice (identity in practice of observation). This is observation of the object of worship, which is the 3000 spiritual aspects in a single thought (J. Ichinen Sanzen) in actual practice.
      4.Confusion and obstacles are subdued (Identity to enlightenment in appearance)
      5.Influence on others arises (Identity to enlightenment in increments)
      6.The innate triple body of enlightenment is complete (Ultimate identity with enlightenment)

      In subduing confusion, The (16th) Chapter on Measuring the Life of The One That Has Come is the ultimate. Only the ordinary common mortal can embody the fundamental essence of this chapter, which is the ultimate truth that can be attained by the mind.

      What is the innate triple body of enlightenment? I now tell you that it is ‘Namu-Myoho Renge Kyo’

    8. "Generally, those who have faith in and practice the Lotus Sutra are Bodhisattvas of the Earth. Specifically, Nichiren Daishonin is the Supreme Votary of the Lotus Sutra. Generally we are all Buddhas but specifically, from a deeper sense, Shakyamuni Buddha is the Original Eternal Buddha. From the deepest sense, we are the Three Bodied Tathagata of Original Enlightenment, Shakyamuni Buddha ourselves. Nichiren teaches that this most difficult to believe and most difficult to understand teaching should not be bandied about lightly. In our mundane thoughts and activities, it is best to think in terms of the general meaning, having gratitude for and giving praise to the Lotus Sutra [Law], Eternal Buddha Shakyamuni and Nichiren Daishonin" - Mark Rogow

      With regard to the three bodies of a Buddha, the Universal Worthy Sutra states: “A Buddha’s three types of bodies are born from this correct and equal sutra, which is the great seal of the Law that assures entry into the sea of nirvana. It is from this sea that a Buddha’s three types of pure bodies are born. These three types of bodies are fields of good fortune for human and heavenly beings and are highest among those worthy of alms.”

      The three bodies are as follows: first, the Dharma body of a Thus Come One; second, the reward body of a Thus Come One; and third, the manifested body of a Thus Come One. These three types of bodies of a Thus Come One are invariably possessed by all Buddhas. If we use the moon as an illustration, we may say that the moon itself is comparable to the Dharma body, its light to the reward body, and its reflection to the manifested body. Just as a single moon has these three different aspects, so a single Buddha possesses the virtues of these three different bodies.

      These doctrines of the five types of vision and the three bodies are not expounded anywhere outside of the Lotus Sutra. Therefore, the Great Teacher T’ien-t’ai has said, “The Buddha consistently possesses the three bodies throughout the three existences. But in p.684the various teachings, he kept this secret and did not transmit it.”3 In this passage of commentary, the phrase “in the various teachings” refers not only to the Flower Garland, Correct and Equal, and Wisdom sutras, but to all sutras other than the Lotus Sutra. And the phrase “he kept this secret and did not transmit it” means that, throughout the entire body of scriptures outside of the “Life Span” chapter of the Lotus Sutra, Shakyamuni Buddha, the lord of teachings, concealed and avoided expounding it. Therefore, in performing the eye-opening ceremony for painted or wooden Buddha images, the only authority to rely on is the Lotus Sutra and the T’ien-t’ai school. (Consecrating an Image of Shakyamuni Buddha)

  3. Nichikan- bases his assertion that Nichiren is the "True Buddha"--on a forged Gosho; misperceives the meaning of gohyaku-jinyengo, or purposely re-defines it to suit his purpose --AND refers to Shakyamuni's Buddhism as *provisional*.

    Ok. Thanks-- I am grateful to have rid the world of 3 Nichikan no-honzons !


  4. one of many great lies via nichiren shoshu, the incubator for the sgi.

    ' the buddha must be japanese. not indian, japanese'.

    1. How could a true Buddha not inscribe the Gohonzon and teach such deep truths if he were not a true Buddha

  5. Another explanation :
    1) Reverence for Shakyamuni as the True Buddha
    2) Believing his "golden words"
    3)Awakening to the True Teachings for the Latter Day - contained in the Lotus Sutra
    4) Practicing = living the Lotus Sutra.
    5)Writing the "object of worship", TEXT from the Lotus Sutra--a visual representation of the *root* of the teaching for the Latter Day in the Juryo/Lifespan Chapter.
    6) Sharing the teaching in the spirit of the True Buddha Shayamuni- for the sake of all living beings in the Latter Day of the Law.

    This describes a the behavior of a True disciple!! Does it not?


  6. “[A royal envoy . . . would rather], even though it costs him his life, in the end conceal none of the words of his ruler.”

    "This mandala is in no way Nichiren's invention. It is the object of worship which perfectly depicts Lord shakyamuni in the the Treasure Tower and all the other buddhas who were present as accurately as the print matches the woodblock"(MW'S)

    "This Mandala is not my formulation, but is the honzon
    originated by Sakyamuni and other Buddhas in the Stupa of
    Treasures." (NOPPA )ranslation

    "This is not something which I, Nichiren, made myself. It is
    the Object of Worship which is from the print block of the Great Muni, the World Honored one within the Stupa of Taho and the Buddhas who are emanations of the original Shakyamuni." (Reply to Lady Nichi-nyo).(Kempon Hokke

    1. No one owns the infinite law of the multiverse myoho renge kyo. No Buddha can patent it Noël

    2. Patent? maybe not.
      Copyright? absolutely.
      Suggestion for all who want to practice and attain Buddhahood from myoho renge kyo:

      Read, study and follow to the letter, the owners manual; writings/teachings of Nichiren.


  7. No one owns Gohonzon but Nichiren states very clearly that the Great Muni "invented", "formulated", and "print blocked" it. Fortunately for us, the copyright/patent on Gohonzon has expired and we may print, inscribe, or transcribe one as we see fit [should we be the Sutra's votary]. However, as disciples and believers of the Sutra's Supreme Votary, Nichiren Daishonin, in this age of perfected printing and reproduction of original Nichiren Gohonzon, why would anyone choose to transcribe or inscribe a Gohonzon [like the Nichiren Shoshu priests and others]?

    1. Poor choice I'd say most people who had a choice of been given original Rembrandts or copies would choose the originals It is the same with Nichirens Gohonzons

    2. or should be the same for Nichiren inscribed Gohonzons that have been copied with state of the art printers in this age of perfected printing and reproduction. originals are directly from Nichiren than a transcription that has been copied by hand. The machines are hopefully not demon infested like some of the priests who copied his Gohonzons

  8. Hmmm. I am still in "seeking mind" mode regarding Gohonzon. The reason I chose copyright over patent, is that a copyright does not expire- clearly this signifies that there is something essentially and eternally unique about the words one uses to transcribe his thoughts.

    I am not yet comfortable believing that anyone can inscribe or bestow Gohonzon. I am having an amazing experience with the small poster size (16" X 20")Nichiren Prayer Gohonzon my daughter found for me-- via Amazon. I framed it and placed it in the hand carved, antique cabinet from which I recently removed a standard sized teak butsadan and Nichikan no-honzon.

    I maintain that Nichiren holds the copyright for Gohonzon, for the sake of connecting both its purpose and its actual appearance directly to Nichiren. I consider that I am seeking his permission to use this Gohonzon as the object of worship on my Buddhist altar, which amounts to my devotion to adhering to Nichiren's intent, which I seek in his writings.

    For me, at this time , it seems natural and necessary for me to personalize my altar -- even more-- all the way to the ultimate expression of the True object of worship. - I think that only Nichiren can truly bestow the Gohonzon *he wrote*-- but seeking it with faith, and enshrining it with gratitude, I believe, Nichiren would approve...


    P.S. - I, for one, did not choose to receive Gohonzon on the terms specified by SGI- I believed it was both necessary and purposeful-- AND, having no foundation or frame of reference from which to question this, at the time, I basically accepted it. When there are no other options disclosed, what's to choose?


  9. The ongi kuden is a forgery. So is the oko kikigai. Only shoshu thinks its real. They are based on hongaku shiso.Why would Nichiren give these lectures when he left the chu hokkekyo (which exists in his hand)?

    1. Pitty that a forgery makes so much sense Hmmmmmm!

    2. To me it makes no forge a writing and attribute it to the Master while changing the Master's teaching is devilish and not consonant with "making sense". It makes no sense that we are [or ever were] the teachers of the Eternal Buddha [rather that the Eternal Buddhha our teacher in the past, present, and future.]

    3. It's relative to one faith in what we choose to believe

    4. Eternal Buddha as the 3 bodied tathagatta that is temporarily one with an individual for kalpas which are but brief moments in eternity Yes

  10. Re:the inscription of honzon:
    Question: For persons who place their faith in the Lotus Sutra, what is the proper object of devotion, and what rules are to be followed in acts of worship and daily religious practice?

    Answer: First, with regard to the object of devotion, one should inscribe the eight volumes of the Lotus Sutra, or one volume, or one chapter, or simply the daimoku, or title, of the sutra, and make that the object of devotion, as is indicated in the “Teacher of the Law” and “Supernatural Powers” chapters of the sutra. And those persons who are able to do so further should write out the names of the Thus Come One Shakyamuniand the Buddha Many Treasures, or fashion images of them, and place these on the left and right of the Lotus Sutra. And if they are further able to do so, they should fashion images or write out the names of the Buddhas of the ten directions and thebodhisattva Universal Worthy and the others..
    Sho hokke daimoku sho.

    1. I have beautifully Balinese carved buddhas besides the Denpo Gohonzon. The smaller Buddha is facing the Gohonzon while the other is facing out

    2. The images are on the left and right side of the Lotus Sutra/Gohonzon just like Nichiren instructed but he didn't say which way that they should be facing. He left that up to our own wisdom to work out.

      Worship the law and not the person and the person is one with the law is included in this set up

  11. In the lotus sutra it states that the sutra is the honzon.

  12. "In the lotus sutra it states that the sutra is the honzon."

    How many different ways can the Lotus Sutra be represented as "an object"? So long as some part of the text is copied, or simply the title, the "Lotus Sutra" is represented - by, ink on paper.

    Nichiren answered many questions "about practice" in letters to his followers, always praising their sincerity, he didn't instruct them on "rules to be followed ...".

    Chanting Namu myoho renge kyo - instead of Nam--- is huge. Correct v. incorrect is a major issue, since chanting the daimoku of the Lotus Sutra IS the essential practice. I cannot fathom why anyone claiming to be a follower of Nichiren's teachings would change this "practice"-- .or incorrectly represent it, so that even if a member reads the Gosho-- all volumes cover to cover, not ONCE will she encounter the CORRECT daimoku-- Wow.

    Not stressing formalities as the basis for "devotion to the Lotus Sutra", is what I have noted to be Nichiren's attitude toward his disciples. Instead of formalities, rituals, etc. Nichiren is Teaching strict adherence to the Lotus Sutra, which is another example, for me, of what "devotion to the Lotus Sutra" means--

    Another very crucial "new"Buddhist teaching: "Rely on the Law, not upon persons"also presents challenges.

    To completely separate/differentiate the "Law" from the "person", -- way more difficult in practice, than in theory. Why? Just think of the numerous overt and even more subtle ways "people" for example, (SGI leaders, priests) intervene in the "practice" of devotion to the Lotus Sutra-- with rules, and prohibitions, formalities. I think Nichiren was purposeful in his avoiding the role of "director of another's practice"-- The important points, always stressed-- believing in the golden words of the Buddha ; chanting the daimoku of the Lotus Sutra, protecting the Law and fellow believers, --deepening and strengthening one's faith.


  13. Madam, the post i made te:the rules of practice is from the sho hokke daimoku sho gosho.
    Also, although it is not so obvious in the english gosho, priests are disciples,(deshi)and lay members are shinto or dana,which mean follower or patron,respectively. As a priest i am subject to a much stricter practice than lay members.

  14. La-dee-da

    "there should be no discrimination amongst Nichiren's followers".-- except for "priests" who are subjected to a much stricter practice than "lay members"

    I am NOT a "member"-- I am a follower of Nichiren, who, as I recall, was ousted from the "priestly class".

    Also takes the gusto out of the renegade priest identity Nichiren wore so well :-/

    Ay yi yi ~~

    1. The gosho you quoted is a forgery. It is a medieval tendai original enlightenment teaching.
      Ok,dorru. You are a lay follower.
      If you have any wuestions regarding Nichiren's views of the priesthood, read the shionsho,(four debts of gratitude) gosho.

    2. It is fortunate that there are virtuous priests who detect and expose the forgeries of Nichiren's writings that were composed by dishonest priests.

      It am grateful that Nichiren had a genuine copy of the Lotus Sutra, and could obtain genuine copies of the great works, treatises , etc. which supported his study and teachings. I can appreciate that Bodhisattva Superior Practices would have to appear at the beginning of the Latter Day, when he could count on the priesthood, or *the order* of the Former and Middle Days of the Law, to have preserved and transmitted the sacred, essential teachings he would need to reference.

      I am grateful to all of Nichiren's sincere followers whose faith has kept the practice of faith in Nichiren's teachings alive -- be they priests or lay followers, and I know they were both. The obstacles were greater than we can imagine, owing, at least in part, to the shady, greedy, slanderous nature of -- an awful lot of priests, beginning with those who were alive during Nichiren's lifetime.

      Just saying-- I feel it is my fortune to be a "lay follower"-- all things considered...
      P.S. I don't speak, read, or understand Japanese.

  15. Madam, the post i made te:the rules of practice is from the sho hokke daimoku sho gosho.
    Also, although it is not so obvious in the english gosho, priests are disciples,(deshi)and lay members are shinto or dana,which mean follower or patron,respectively. As a priest i am subject to a much stricter practice than lay members. "

    Perhaps (IF this is true *instruction* by Nichiren) it could be that putting priests on a very tight leash, and giving them the title, *disciple*, is more about their weaknesses , well known to Nichiren. No secret there.


  16. Original version [passage from The Four Debts of Gratitude]:

    “As for the debt owed to the Priesthood, both the treasure of the Buddha and the treasure of the Law are invariably perpetuated by priests. To illustrate, without firewood, there can be no fire, and if there is no earth, trees and plants cannot grow. Likewise, even though Buddhism existed, without the priests who studied it and passed it on, it would never have been transmitted throughout the two thousand years of the Former and Middle Days into the Latter Day of the Law. Therefore the Daijuku Sutra states, ‘Suppose that, in the fifth five-hundred year period, there should be someone who harasses unlearned monks without precepts by accusing them of some offense. You should know that this person is extinguishing the great torch of Buddhism.’ Difficult to recompense indeed is the debt we owe to the Priesthood!”

    SGI-USA version:

    “As for the debt owed to the Buddhist Order, both the treasure of the Buddha and the treasure of the Law are invariably perpetuated by the Order. To illustrate, without firewood, there can be no fire, and if there is no earth, trees and plants cannot grow. Likewise, even though Buddhism existed, without the members of the Order who studied it and passed it on, it would never have been transmitted throughout the two thousand years of the Former and Middle Days into the Latter Day of the Law. Accordingly, the Great Collection Sutra states: ‘Suppose that, in the last of the five five-hundred-year periods, there should be someone who harasses unlearned monks without precepts by accusing them of some offense. You should know that this person is extinguishing the great torch of Buddhism.’ Therefore, the debt we owe to the Order is difficult to recompense.”

    Of course, Nichiren is talking about virtuous priests like Shinkei and not dishonest priests like Nikken, Nichinyo, and Ryuei.

    1. Nichiren is talking about "members of the order" throughout the two thousand years of the Former and Middle Days --and talking about himself [Nichiren]- "unlearned monk without precepts" in the last of the five five-hundred-year periods- Those who harassed and accused him of offenses were "extinguishing the great torch of Buddhism"--

      Nichiren and his followers are the Third Treasure of Buddhism-- no discrimination between priests and lay followers implied or intended...

      Otherwise, we would follow the "person" and not the Law--

      There are sufficient warnings in the Lotus Sutra about Priests in
      the Latter Day -- Nichiren was forewarned and taught "The Matter To Be Pondered Day and Night"-- for good reason.

      Priests who claim to be Nichiren's disciples after his passing are due the same debt of gratitude we owe "all living beings" --if we practice as Nichiren taught, then even those priests who have falsified documents, forged sacred relics and lead lay followers astray will assist us in proving the Law.


  17. Stop and ponder! How rare is the faith that moves one to give alms to a priest who knows the heart of the Lotus Sutra! He will not stray into the evil paths if he does so even once. Still greater are the benefits arising from ten or twenty contributions, or from five years, ten years, or a lifetime of contributions. They are even beyond the measure of the Buddha's wisdom. The Buddha taught that the blessings of a single offering to the votary of this sutra are a hundred thousand myriad times greater than those of offering boundless treasure to Shakyamuni for more than eight billion aeons. When you embrace this sutra, you will overflow with happiness and shed tears of joy. It seems impossible to repay our debt to Shakyamuni, but by your frequent offerings to me deep in these mountains you will repay the merciful kindness of the Lotus Sutra and Shakyamuni Buddha. Strive ever harder in faith and never give in to negligence. Everyone appears to believe sincerely when he first embraces the Lotus Sutra, but as time passes, he tends to become less devout; he no longer reveres nor serves the priest and arrogantly forms distorted views. This is most frightening. Be diligent in developing your faith until the last moment of your life. Otherwise you will have regrets. For example, the journey from Kamakura to Kyoto takes twelve days. If you travel for eleven but stop on the twelfth, how can you admire the moon over the capital? No matter what, be close to the priest who knows the heart of the Lotus Sutra, keep learning from him the truth of Buddhism and continue you journey of faith.

    and further down we read:

    "...That is why the Great Teacher Dengyo said that the lay men and women who believe in this sutra, even if they lack knowledge or violate the precepts, should be seated above Hinayana priests who strictly observe all 250 commandments. The priests of this Mahayana sutra should therefore be seated even higher."

    of course Nichiren is talking about good priests such as Shinkei;

    "A good teacher is a priest who is free from any fault in secular affairs, who never fawns upon others even in the slightest, who desires and is satisfied with little, and who is compassionate; a priest who reads and upholds the Lotus Sutra precisely as it teaches and also encourages and leads others to embrace it. Such a priest the Buddha has praised among all priests as the finest teacher of the Law."

  18. Yo, Mark!

    Nichiren never met Shinkei. Neither have I met Shinkei -- nor have I met you-- and so on.

    I have wondered if Shinkei posted comments on Andy Hanlon's IRG discussion board as , Jerry?? I used to participate on that site ~2000-01. There were many note worthy comments that I retained through the years and have proven valuable to my understanding of bad experiences I have suffered going back to SGI twice since meeting the IRG on line.
    Back to the topic:W which *person* above should I place my trust in? You?, Shinkei? No. The only correct answer is, Nichiren, of course, and he expounds many teachings regarding evaluating good teachers-- nowhere does Nichiren encourage what I would call the SGI, mantra:

    "Trust Sensei, Trust your leaders because Sensei trusts them."

    Additionally, I will add, that I am not inclined to react with deference in response to being addressed as, "madam"; labeled and then assigned a reading assignment, that I have to assume is what Shinkei believes will "straighten out my misconceptions"--

    Whoa-- not even close to a Nichiren response--or the *good priest* behavior Nichiren described (and you quoted)--

    Good priest? Nichiren--. period. All others are subject to evaluation according to my discernment based on Nichiren's explicit instructions in this regard.

    I have to ask why you would even want to make an authoritative statement about Shinkei, given that was rarely done by Nichiren. And maybe even more importantly; given that Shinkei can reveal himself on this site. It is not as though he needs a PR man. (tongue in cheek) :-)


    1. No. That is Jerry Nowitzke on the IRG.

    2. I defended the IRG as a group and the integrity of the individuals who participated on the discussion board in my email debate with Kathy Ruby.

      I would defend you & participants here, in the same manner, no less passionately.


  19. I suggest that anyone who would support the Nichiren hater ohgee against a votary of the Lotus Sutra and Nichiren, can not possibly be a follower of Nichiren, despite their prodigious boasts.

    1. Correction: I engaged in a debate with ohgee, replete with admonishments and corrections of her erroneous views, which was ostensibly in support of the post you wrote, and your "rain challenge" offer.

      What you are calling, "support" amounts to my having struggled to understand where her animosity was coming from-. I offered my perspective on one point she made that I had originally challenged--on some other post. Understanding the negativity and fear that is generated by hate speech in our society is the gist of my "agreement" with *one* of her points.

      I appreciate the difficulty of being *impartial*, but I don't appreciate you raising doubts about my being a follower of Nichiren , characterizing my sincere beliefs as "prodigious boasts".



    2. Being sincere is not enough, One may be quite sincere yet absolutely wrong. Even were I to burnish sticks and staves, since i am a votary of the Lotus Sutra, your criticism not only unwarranted but perilous.

      Nichiren teaches,

      "That is why the Great Teacher Dengyō says that the men and women who believe in this sutra, even if they lack knowledge or violate the precepts, should be seated above priests who observe all two hundred and fifty precepts of the Hinayana teachings, and never be seated in a humble position, and that this is all the more true of the priests of this Mahayana sutra."

      9 types of arrogance.

      1) thinking that one surpasses one's equals; (2) thinking that one is equal to those who are superior; (3) thinking that one is only slightly inferior to those who are far superior; (4) assuming false humility in affirming the superiority of those in fact superior to oneself; (5) asserting equality with one's equals; (6) asserting the inferiority of one's equals; (7) thinking that one is not surpassed by one's equals; (8) thinking that one's equals are not equal to oneself, i.e., that they are inferior; and (9) humbly acknowledging the superiority of superiors and vaunting one's inferiority (a form of false humility).

  20. "Good priest Nichiren, period"

    "Nor should you follow priests merely because they are venerable or of high rank. But if a person has the wisdom to know the true meaning of the Lotus Sutra, no matter how lowly he may appear, pay respect to him and make offerings to him as though he were a living Thus Come One . Thus it is written in the sutra. That is why the Great Teacher Dengyō says that the men and women who believe in this sutra, even if they lack knowledge or violate the precepts, should be seated above priests who observe all two hundred and fifty precepts of the Hinayana teachings, and never be seated in a humble position, and that this is all the more true of the priests of this Mahayana sutra."

    and further down...

    "The Buddha explains that people in the latter age will be arrogant, though their knowledge of the doctrines is trifling, and will show disrespect to the priests, neglect the Law, and thereby fall into the evil paths. If one truly understands the Buddhist teachings, one should show this in one’s respect for the priests, reverence for the Law, and offerings to the Buddha. Shakyamuni Buddha is not among us now, so you must respect the teacher with enlightened wisdom as you would the Buddha himself. How, then, could you not receive blessings? If one p.1031wishes for happiness in one’s next existence, one should renounce one’s desire for fame and fortune and respect the priest who teaches the Lotus Sutra as one would a living Thus Come One , no matter how humble that priest’s station. Thus it is written in the sutra."

    1. From the time I first chanted daimoku, August 1988, I have read Nichiren's writings and followed his teachings. My faith is based on Nichiren's teachings. I no longer rely on any other priest or SGI leader for interpretation or instruction. (Since my formal excommunication letter from Boston SGI September, 2012)

      Maybe this is an unusual occurrence ?? Be that as it may, my practice is based on Nichren's teachings and it accords with reason, I assure you.


  21. "I no longer rely on any other priest."

    Then you are not in fact following Nichiren. At the very least, you are declaring Nichiren a failure for not having adequately developed and trained priests worthy to instruct you. Could you please site your qualifications to correctly interpret difficult ancient Chinese characters and medieval Japanese kanji?

    1. "The 'Teacher of the Law" chapter in the fourth volume of the Lotus Sutra states: 'If there should be an evil person who, his mind destitute of goodness, should for the space of a kappa appear in the presence of the Buddha and constantly curse and revile the Buddha, that person's offense would still be rather light. But id there were a person who spoke only one evil word to curse or defame the lay person, or monks or nuns who read and recite the Lotus sutra, then his offense would be very grave." ("Letter to Horen"

      I read and recite the Lotus Sutra. I read, study and share Nichiren's teachings. I have rebuked the teachings and the actions of those who *treat believers with contempt*- within the community of believers I have known and in society as well. And, I have not begrudged my life, nor aroused hatred toward anyone, though I have suffered many losses and encountered severe hardships -- I have no regret-- because I follow Nichiren's teachings and example of forbearance.

      "Among those who believed at first, many later discarded their faith, fearing that society would reject them. " ("Letter to The Brothers")

      I have not slackened a bit in my resolve , though incurring rejection of *society*- for speaking out against violations of the human rights of vulnerable people illegally imprisoned on psychiatric units. My remonstration letters were publicized by local media, and shared widely.

      "Though people may claim to be disciples of Nichiren, if they do
      not possess some proof of that fact from my own hand, you must
      not trust them." ("Letter To The Lay Priest Ichinosawa")

      "No matter what, stay close to the priest who knows the heart of the Lotus Sutra, keep learning from him the principles of Buddhism. and continue your journey of faith." ("Letter To Niike")

      I am not able to find a single passage in Nichiren's writings where he addresses anyone or refers to anyone with *contempt*-. Nichiren did not hold grudges, did not harbor hatred and never showed *contempt* for others. Thus, he always upholds the Lotus Sutra-- . Beyond any doubt, Nichiren knew the heart of the Lotus Sutra and maintained devotion to the Buddha's intent--. A True votary, a good priest, fulfilling the mission of Bodhisattva Superior Practices.


  22. Truthfully, i don't recall Nichiren praising himself, not even for his charitable contributions for the sake of society, other than his life and death struggle to awaken all people to the Mystic Way. Among those who post here are those who have encountered the Three Obstacles and Four Devils for the better part of forty years. For you to criticize any of us for even a major violation of the precepts, either justly or unjustly, goes against the admonitions of the Buddha and Nichiren regarding the votaries of the Lotus Sutra. Least of all is criticism warranted regarding ANY criticism, observation, or satire levied against the Devil King Ikeda by the actual votaries. Words such as they [criticism of the votaries] will be cause for regret.

  23. Then, it may be prudent on your part to investigate my history- both within SGI/NST and within society, before you decide that:

    1) I am not a votary of the Lotus Sutra.
    I have provided information that is no more praising myself than Nichiren was when he described his own actions for the *sake of the Law and society* Only through one's actions can a person truly be known. But, again, you degrade "me" though you cannot say you truly know me, or that I have not encountered the Three Obstacles and Four Devils during the entire 28 years I have been practicing faith in the Mystic Law. This behavior rings a bell...

    and before deciding that:

    2) My behavior goes against the admonitions of the Buddha and Nichiren??

    " For you to criticize any of us for even a major violation of the precepts, either justly or unjustly , goes against the admonitions of the Buddha and Nichiren regarding the votaries of the Lotus Sutra. "

    I harbor no animosity toward anyone here, or elsewhere, I am not "cursing, reviling or defaming anyone here"-- though I, myself, am receiving such unwarranted attacks--, while the actual points I have criticized, themselves, are ignored.

    "Chang-an writes, 'If one befriends another person but lacks the mercy to correct him, one is in fact his enemy.' the consequences of a grave offense are extremely difficult to erase. the most important thing is o continually strengthen our wish to benefit others." ("The Embankments of Faith")

    "The Buddha became enlightened to the Lotus Sutra, and as a result of the filial devotion that he showed to the mothers and fathers of the six paths and the four forms of birth, his person was endowed with blessings."
    " And these blessings enjoyed by the Buddha can be transferred by him to people who put their faith in the Lotus Sutra. It is like the food eaten by a loving mother, which turns into milk for the nourishment of her baby, for the Buddha has said , 'Now this threefold world is all my domain, and the living beings in it are all my children." ("Letter to Horen")

    All living beings-- means, those who are suffering, and those who cause suffering-- those who awaken and take faith upon hearing the True teaching and those who slander it immediately-- all are children of the Buddha.

    Nichiren is very strict regarding *enemies of the lotus Sutra*:
    "Setting aside the next life, as a warning to people in this life, i have enjoined the heaven;y lords Brahma and Shakra, the gods of the sun and moon, and the four heavenly kings to punish those who have become enemies of the Lotus Sutra. you will see by the results of my prediction whether or not I am the votary of the Lotus Sutra... .. I speak out of profound compassion to enable them to eradicate in this life the tortures of the hell of incessant suffering into which they are otherwise destined to fall... Nichiren, who admonishes them for their evil, is father and mother to the ruler, and the teacher of all living beings." ("The Royal Palace")


    1. " Least of all is criticism warranted regarding ANY criticism, observation, or satire levied against the Devil King Ikeda by the actual votaries. Words such as they [criticism of the votaries] will be cause for regret."

      The *Devil King* of the 6th heaven , is actually a function of our own fundamental darkness, NOT another person, living or dead.

      Viewed from the doctrine of the three thousand realms in a single life moment--particularly the realm of the individual human being and the 10 factors, The Devil of the 6th Heaven could be the latent effect of the original cause we made to be born in this saha world-- or rather, the darkest of the most fundamental darkness inherent in our own lives.