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Monday, May 30, 2016

"Leave such matters [worldly fame and profit] to the karma formed in your previous existences." -- Nichiren

SGI, on the other hand, teaches that it is determination [Ichinen] that determines such things. 

Nichiren also teaches;

"How terrible are the slanders Nichiren has committed in his past and present existences! Since you have been born into this evil country and become the disciples of such a man, there is no telling what will happen to you. The Parinirvāna Sutra states: “Good man, because people committed countless offenses and accumulated much evil karma in the past, they must expect to suffer retribution for everything they have done. They may be despised, cursed with an ugly appearance, be poorlyclad and poorly fed, seek wealth in vain, be born to an impoverished and lowly family or one with erroneous views, or be persecuted by their sovereign.” It continues: “They may be subjected to various other sufferings and retributions. It is due to the blessings obtained by protecting the Law p.305that they can diminish in this lifetime their suffering and retribution.” Were it not for Nichiren, these passages from the sutra would virtually make the Buddha a liar. The sutra says, first, “They may be despised”; second, “They may be cursed with an ugly appearance”; third, “They may be poorly clad”; fourth, “They may be poorly fed”; fifth, “They may seek wealth in vain”; sixth, “They may be born to an impoverished and lowly family”; seventh, “They may be born to a family with erroneous views”; and eighth, “They may be persecuted by their sovereign.” These eight phrases apply only to me, Nichiren.

One who climbs a high mountain must eventually descend. One who slights another will in turn be despised. One who deprecates those of handsome appearance will be born ugly. One who robs another of food and clothing is sure to fall into the world of hungry spirits. One who mocks a person who observes the precepts and is worthy of respect will be born to an impoverished and lowly family. One who slanders a family that embraces the correct teaching will be born to a family that holds erroneous views. One who laughs at those who cherish the precepts faithfully will be born a commoner and meet with persecution from one’s sovereign. This is the general law of cause and effect.

My sufferings, however, are not ascribable to this causal law. In the past I despised the votaries of the Lotus Sutra. I also ridiculed the sutra itself, sometimes with exaggerated praise and other times with contempt—that sutra as magnificent as two moons shining side by side, two stars conjoined, one Mount Hua placed atop another, or two jewels combined. This is why I have experienced the aforementioned eight kinds of sufferings. Usually these sufferings appear one at a time, on into the boundless future, but Nichiren has denounced the enemies of theLotus Sutra so severely that all eight have descended at once. This is like the case of a peasant heavily in debt to the steward of his village and toother authorities. As long as he remains in his village or district, rather than mercilessly hounding him, they are likely to defer his debts from one year to the next. But when he tries to leave, they rush over and demand that he repay everything at once. This is what the sutra means when it states, “It is due to the blessings obtained by protecting the Law.” -- Letter from Sado

and

"Answer: A bronze mirror will reflect color and form. The First Emperor of the Ch’in dynasty had a lie-detecting mirror that would reveal offenses committed in this present life. The mirror of the Buddha’sLaw makes clear the causal actions committed in the past. TheParinirvāna Sutra states: “Good man, because people committed countless offenses and accumulated much evil karma in the past, they must expect to suffer retribution for everything they have done. They may be despised, cursed with an ugly appearance, be poorly clad andpoorly fed, seek wealth in vain, be born to an impoverished and lowly family or one with erroneous views, or be persecuted by their sovereign. They may be subjected to various other sufferings and retributions. It is due to the blessings obtained by protecting the Law that they can diminish in this lifetime their suffering and retribution.”

This sutra passage and my own experience tally exactly. By now all the doubts that I have raised earlier should be dispelled, and thousands of difficulties are nothing to me. Let me show you phrase by phrase how the text applies to me. “They may be despised,” or, as the Lotus Sutrasays, people will “despise, hate, envy, or bear grudges against them”—and in exactly that manner I have been treated with contempt and arrogance for over twenty years. “They may be cursed with an ugly appearance,” “They may be poorly clad”—these too apply to me. “They may be poorlyfed”—that applies to me. “They may seek wealth in vain”—that applies tome. “They may be born to an impoverished and lowly family”—that applies to me. “They may be persecuted by their sovereign”—can there be any doubt that the passage applies to me? The Lotus Sutra says, “Again and again we will be banished,” and the passage from theParinirvāna Sutra says, “They may be subjected to various other sufferings and retributions.” [These passages also apply to me.]

The passage also says, “It is due to the blessings obtained by protecting the Law that they can diminish in this lifetime their suffering and retribution.” The fifth volume of Great Concentration and Insight has this to say on the subject: “The feeble merits produced by a mind only half intent on the practice cannot alter [the realm of karma]. But if one carries out the practice of concentration and insight so as to observe ‘health’ and ‘illness,’ then one can alter the cycle of birth and death [in the realm of karma].” It also says, “[As practice progresses and understanding grows], the three obstacles and four devils emerge in confusing form, vying with one another to interfere.”

From the beginningless past I have been born countless times as an evil ruler who deprived the votaries of the Lotus Sutra of their robes and rations, their fields and crops, much as the people of Japan in the present day go about destroying the temples dedicated to the Lotus Sutra. In addition, countless times I cut off the heads of the votaries of the Lotus Sutra. Some of these grave offenses I have already paid for, but there must be some that are not paid for yet. Even if I seem to have paid for them all, there are still ill effects that remain. When the time comes for me to transcend the sufferings of birth and death, it will be only after I have completely freed myself from these grave offenses. My merits are insignificant, but these offenses are grave.

If I practiced the teachings of the provisional sutras, then these retributions for my past grave offenses would not appear. When iron is heated, if it is not strenuously forged, the impurities in it will not become apparent. Only when it is subjected to the tempering process again and again will the flaws appear. When pressing hemp seeds, if one does not press very hard, one will not get much oil from them. Likewise, when I vigorously berate those throughout the country who slander the Law, I meet with great difficulties. It must be that my actions in defending the Law in this present life are calling forth retributions for the grave offenses of my past. If iron does not come into contact with fire, it remains black, but if it contacts fire, it turns red. If you place a log across a swift stream, waves will pile up like hills. If you disturb a sleeping lion, it will roar loudly." --Opening of the Eyes

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