Total Pageviews

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Opening of the Eyes: Five Holy Proclamations MAIN DISCOURSE Part 2 Chapter VIII with Commentary

I, Nichiren believe as soon as the practitioner of the Lotus Sutra appears, all those gods such as the Sun God and the Moon God who heard the preaching of the Lotus in three meetings at two places (on Mt. Sacred Eagle and in a stupa appearing high in the sky) will hurry to his aid just as a magnet attracts pieces of iron and the moon reflects itself on the water. They will bear his difficulties and carry out the vows they made before the Buddha at those meetings.

Nevertheless, they have not come to rescue me, Nichiren. Is it because I am not a votary of the Lotus Sutra? I must reconsider the sutra in light of my own background in order to see what is wrong with me.

Some might ask how do I know that the Pure Land and Zen Schools today are enemies of the Lotus Sutra and 'evil friends' of all people. To this I would not answer in my own words. Instead, I would show them the ugly faces of the slanderers of the true dharma reflected in the mirror of sutras and commentaries although I can't help those who were born blind.

In the eleventh chapter, "The Appearance of the Stupa of Treasures," in the Lotus Sutra fascicle four, it is written:

Then Taho Buddha in the stupa of treasures offered
half of his seat to Sakyamuni Buddha and the great
crowd saw the two Buddhas sit cross-legged on the
lion-shaped throne in the stupa of the seven treasures.
Sakyamuni Buddha spoke out resoundingly to monks,
nuns, laymen, and laywomen: 'who will expound the
Lotus Sutra widely in this world? Now is the time. I
shall enter Nirvana before long, and therefore hope
to transmit this Lotus Sutra to someone so that it may
be preserved after My death.'

This was the first proclamation of the Buddha. 'Then Sakyamuni Buddha, wishing to repeat what he had said, declared in verse in the same chapter":

The Saintly Master, the Taho Buddha,
Who had passed away a long time ago,
Came riding in the stupa of treasures
For the sake of the dharma
Why don't you, everyone
Strive to preserve the dharma?
Buddhas in My manifestation
As numerous in number
As the sand in the Ganges River
Also came to hear the dharma.
Leaving their wonderful worlds,
Parting from their disciples,
And giving up the offerings made to them
By gods, men, and dragon-gods,
They came here to have the dharma
Forever preserved
Just as a strong wind
Sways the twigs of a tree
Those Buddhas employ these expedients
To have the dharma forever preserved.
Listen everyone!
Who will uphold this sutra,
And read and recite it
After my death?
Now is the time for you
To make your vows before Me.

This was his second proclamation. Sakyamuni continued on:

The Taho Buddha
And the Buddhas of my manifestation
Who have assembled here
Know this desire of Mine.
Good men! consider thoroughly
before making a great vow
to preach this sutra
For it is difficult to do so.
It is not so difficult
to preach all other sutras,
Which are as numerous
As the sands of the Ganges River,
It is not so difficult
To take Mt. Sumeru
And throw it over to
Countless Buddha-lands
As it is difficult
To preach this sutra
In the evil world
After My death.
It is not so difficult
To carry a stack of hay
And remain unburnt in the conflagration
Burning down the whole world
As it is difficult
To uphold this sutra
And preach to even one person
After My death.
Good men!
Who will uphold this sutra
And read and recite it
After My death?
Now is the time for you
To make a vow before the Buddha.

This was the third proclamation of Sakyamuni Buddha. The fourth and fifth, which appear in the 'Devedatta' chapter, will be considered later.

The meaning of these words in the "Appearance of the Stupa " chapter is clear. It is as clear as the great sun shining in the sky or a mole on a white face. Nevertheless, those who were born blind, those who have slanted eyes, who are one eyed, who believe that only their own teachers are wise men, or those who are stuck to false teachings will not be able to see. Despite all the difficulties, however, I will try to write down here for those who would aspire for Buddhahood.

It is difficult to have the chance of hearing the Lotus Sutra, harder than to see the once-in-3,000-years peach flowers at Hsi Wang-mu's orchard or the udonge blossom, which is said to bloom once in 3,000 years to foretell the coming of the Wheel-Turning King. You should also know that even the eight year war between Han Kao-tsu and Hsiang Yu for the control of China, the seven year war in Japan between Minamoto-no-Yoritomo and Taira-no-Munemori, the struggle for power between the asura demons and Indra, or the battle between a monster bird konji-cho and a dragon king at Lake Anavatapta, does not exceed in importance and intensity the war between the Lotus and all other sutras. The Lotus Sutra was spread over Japan twice; due to Grand Master Dengyo and me, Nichiren. Blind persons will not believe this; it can't be helped. These words in the Lotus are an assessment through the meeting of Sakyamuni, Taho, and other Buddhas from all over the universe of all the Buddhist scriptures that exist in Japan, China, India, the Dragon Palace, heaven and all the worlds of the universe.

You might wonder whether those sutras such as the Flower Garland, Hodo, Hannya, Jimmitsu, Ryoga, Great Sun Buddha, and Nirvana are among what the Lotus Sutra calls the 'nine easier' ones or the 'six difficult' ones to spread after the death of Sakyamuni Buddha. To this question, people have different answers. Flower Garland scholars such as Tu-shun, Chih-yen, Fa-tsang, and Ch'en-kuang say, 'Both the Flower Garland and Lotus Sutras are among the 'six difficult' ones. In name they are two separate sutras, but they are one in principle or in what they preach, just as there are four separate gates leading to the one one truth.'

Venerable Hsuan-tsang, Grand master T'z u-en and other Fa-hsiang scholars maintain, 'Both the Jimmitsu-kyo and Lotus Sutra are among the 'six difficult' ones because they preach the most sophisticated of the 'consciousness-only' doctrine expounded at the third or final stage, according to Fa-hsiang theology.'

Chi-tsang (Chia-hsiang) and others of the San-lun School maintain: 'The Hannya and Lotus Sutras are different in name but identical in body; they preach the same dharma.'

Venerable Subhakarasimha, Vajrabodhi, Amoghavajra, and other Indian-Chinese Chen-yen (Shingon) scholars say, 'The Great Sun Buddha Sutra and the Lotus Sutra are the same in principle; they both are among the 'six difficult ones.' However, Grand Master Kobo in Japan states, "The Great Sun Buddha Sutra is not among either the 'six difficult' nor the 'nine easier' ones. It is not among the scriptures preached by Sakyamuni; it was preached by the 'dharma-body' of the Great Sun Buddha.' Some say, 'As the Flower Garland Sutra was preached by the 'reward-body' of the Buddha, it does not belong to either the 'six difficult' ones nor the 'nine easier' ones.' Founders and scholars of these four schools maintain this; later scholars repeat the same.

It is regrettable to say that if I, Nichiren spoke up against them without reservation, people today would not even look at me. They would further heap injustices upon me even to the point of slandering me to the king and endangering my life. Nevertheless, in the Nirvana Sutra preached under the twin sala tree, the will of our compassionate Father Sakyamuni Buddha, it is said that we should rely on the dharma preached by the Buddha, not upon interpretations by teachers. It means that bodhisattvas, who are to lead the people after the death of the Buddha, are divided into four groups. In the fourth group are the highest ranking bodhisattvas such as Samantabhadra and Manjusri, and even they should not be trusted unless they preach with sutras in hand.

It is also said in the Nirvana Sutra that we should rely only upon perfect sutras, not upon the imperfect sutras. This means that we must distinguish the true sutra from provisional ones before relying upon it. In the Juju bibasha-ron by Bodhisattva Nagarjuna it is also said that we should rely upon the true sutra and not upon provisional ones. Grand Master T'ien-t'ai says, 'Adopt whatever agrees with the sutra, and not believe in that which is not found in the sutra in word or in meaning,' while Grand Master Dengyo states, 'Rely upon the words of the Buddha; do not believe in what has been transmitted orally.' Enchin, the Grand Master Chisho, states that we should transmit the Buddhas's teaching only from sutras.


People who think the time for clarifying the relative and absolute worth of the sutras is over are wrong. It will last for tens of centuries. Prepare yourselves for the long haul. Sutra means teaching or sound and vibration. Even the bark of the dog is a sutra. The Q'uran is a sutra. There is a hierarchy of sutras. The Lotus Sutra is the King of Sutras.

The last paragraph of this section is most profound. It supports our contention that Enlightenment and Buddhahood lies in the "Succession of the Scrolls of the Sutra" and demolishes the oral or secret teachings of the SGI and the Nichiren Shoshu. It also supports the principle of relying on the Five Major Works of Nichiren rather than the inauthentic and shallow works attributed to Nichiren that are the basis of the SGI and Nichiren Shoshu theology.

Five Holy Proclamations Chapter VIII cont...

Now, as for the assessments of the sutras by the founding fathers of the four Buddhist schools, their judgments seem to conform, more or less, to sutras and their commentaries. However, they all seem to stick to the teaching of their own schools without correcting the errors of their own teachers. Their opinions are formed from egotism and distorted interpretations of sutras. It is self decorated egocentricity! Men of Vatsiputra and Vaipula Schools, after the death of the Buddha, were stronger in theology than Brahamanism before the rise of Buddhism in India. Confucianism since the Later han, when Buddhism was introduced to China, became more intricate than Confucianism in the time of the Three Emperors and Five Rulers, when Buddhism was unknown in China. In the same way, teachers of such schools as Kegon, Hosso, and Shingon, envious of T'ien-t'ai's true teaching, tend to resort to distorted interpretations of the true Lotus Sutra in order to fit it into their provisional teachings. Surely, those who aspire to enlightenment should not be biased, stay away from sectarian quarrels and not despise other people.

It is said in the Lotus that among the sutras which had already been preached, are now being preached, and will be preached, the Lotus Sutra is supreme. Commenting on this, Grand Master Miao-le states,: 'Besides the Lotus Sutra, some sutras claim to be the king of sutras, but they are not really the first among sutras as they do not claim to be one among those which have already been preached, are being preached, and will be preached.' He also asserts, 'Although the Lotus Sutra is incomparable dharma above all the scriptures preached in the past, present, and future, many are confused about this, and they will suffer for ever from slandering the true dharma.'

Surprised by this statement in the Lotus Sutra and his commentary on it, I have read all the Buddhist scriptures and commentaries by later teachers. As a result all my doubts have melted away. It is not even worth mentioning that ignorant men of the Shingon School today believe that their's is superior to the Lotus Sutra because they have finger signs and mantras or simply because Grand Master Jikaku said so.

(I) Likewise, it is said in the Mitsugon-kyo (Secret Solemnity Sutra): 'Such sutras as the Juji-kyo (Ten Stages), Flower Garland Sutra, Daiju-kimnara-kyo (Great Tree King Kimnara), Jinzu-kyo (Supernatural Powers), and Shoman-gyo (Shrimala) are all begotten from this Mitsugon-kyo. As such, this sutra is superior to all the Buddhist scriptures.'

(II) The Daiun-gyo (Great Cloud Sutra) says: 'This Daiun-gyo is the Wheel-Turning Noble King among sutras because it preaches the real nature of the people and everlasting Buddha-nature.'

(III) The Six Paramita Sutra states:

All the true dharmas preached by numerous
Buddhas in the past and all the 84,000 wonderful
dharmas I am preaching in this world can be
grouped in five categories: 1. sutras, the Buddhas
teachings; 2. commandments; 3. commentaries on
sutras; 4. Buddha-wisdom; and 5. mystic spells.
With these five, I shall preach and converty all the
people. Even if the people are incapable of upholding
the sutras, commandments, commentaries, and 
Buddha-wisdom, I can still enable them to attain
enlightenment. Even if they have committed such
sins as the 'four major sins,' 'eight major sins,' or
'five rebellious acts', or even if those issendai
(icchantika), who slander Mahayana sutras, have
committed serious sins, I can still enable them to
purge themselves of their sins and obtain emancipation
and enlightenment at once. It is to such people that I
preach the teachings of the mystic spells. These five
categories of teachings are analogous to the 'five tastes'
of milk and four milk products, the most refined of which
is the wonderful taste of "clarified butter" (daigo or ghee).
The teaching of the mystic spells is like the taste of ghee,
which is the most exquisite of the five. It can cure various
sicknesses and keep both body and mind healthy. So, the
teaching of the mystic spells is the most admirable teaching
of Buddhism because it can extinguish the serious sins of
the people.'

(IV) Next, in the Gejjimmitsu-kyo (The Profound Secrets Sutra), it is stated:

The Bodhisattva Shogiisho (Superlative Truth)
again said to the Buddha that the World Honored One was
at first in the Deer Park in Baranasi, where He preached
the true teaching of the Four Noble Truths to those who
aspires for the Hinayana sage of sravaka. It was such a
rare teaching never preached before by gods or people.
Nevertheless, the preaching preached then was imperfect,
not without room for improvement and criticism. It was the
source of endless controversy.

In the second period of preaching for those who aspired to
practice Mahayana Buddhism. the Buddha preached that all
phenomena are void without substance, without life and death,
originally constant and unchanging, and in the state of Nirvana.
This was the preaching of the true dharma without revealing the
true intention of the Buddha. It was rarer than the one preached
in the first period, but still there was room for further improvement,
It was not yet a perfect teaching and was a source of constant

And now in the third period, the Buddha preached, for those who
seek the teaching for all to obtain Buddhaood, that all phenomena
are void without substance, without life and death, originally constant
and unchanging, in the state of Nirvana, and of no substance. This is
the preaching of the true dharma with the Buddha's intention clearly
revealed. It is the most wonderful and rarest of all sutras. What the
Buddha preaches now is the supreme teaching with no room for
improvement or criticism. It is the perfect teaching, which could not
cause any controversy.

(V) The Daihannya-kyo (Great Wisdom Sutra) states: 'By following 
whatever teaching one listens to, either within Buddhism or outside, 
as an expedient, one can grasp the exquisite principle of the 'wisdom'
in this sutra. All worldly matters and actions can be led into ultimate 
truth by this 'wisdom." Nothing exists outside the realm of ultimate 

(VI) It is said in the Great Sun Buddha Sutra, fascicle one:
Bodhisattva Kongo! Practicing Mahayana Buddhism
means to aspire to the teaching of void and know
that there is no 'self' in all phenomena. Why is that
so? It is because practitioners of mahayana Buddhism
in the past observing the arayashiki (alaya-consciousness),
the substance of all phenomena, knew that all phenomena
are illusory.

Bodhisattva Kongo! He thus abandoned the teaching of
egolessness, won freedom of mind, and realized that
he was originally without birth or death.

The so-called 'emptiness' is beyond the realm of the six
sensory organs and is without form or boundary, beyond
futile squabbles and is analogous to space. A phenomena
is not an entity in itself.

The great Sun Buddha said to Bodhisattva Kongo that
Buddhahood is to know one's mind as it is.

(VII) Then it is asserted in the Flower Garland Sutra:

Among the people in all worlds, there are few who
aspire to the sravaka way. Even fewer people seek
the pratyekabuddha way. Those who seek the Mahayana
teaching are extremely rare. Even then it is easier to seek
the Mahayana teaching as compared to having faith in this
Flower Garland Sutra, which is extremely difficult to do. How
much more difficult it is to uphold it, remember it correctly,
practice as it teaches, and understand it truly! It is not so
difficult to sustain on the head all the worlds in the universe
for as long as one kalpa without moving an inch as it is to
have faith in this dharma. It is not so meritorious to offer
various things of joy to people as numerous as the dust of
all the worlds in the universe for as long as one kalpa as it
is to believe in this dharma. It is not so difficult to sustain
ten Buddha-lands in a palm and float in the air for as long
as one kalpa as it is to believe in this dharma. It is not so
meritorious to offer things of joy to people as numerous
as the dust of ten Buddha-lands for as long as one kalpa
as it is to believe in this dharma. It is not so meritorious
to revere and give offerings to Buddhas as innumerable
as the dust of ten Buddha-lands for as long as one kalpa
as it is to uphold this sutra.

VIII Finally it is said in the Nirvana Sutra:

Although these Mahayana scriptures have immeasurable
merits, they can not even be compared with this Nirvana
Sutra. The latter is a hundred, a thousand, a hundred
thousand trillion times, or infinite number of times more
meritorious than the former. Good men! It is analogous to
a cow producing milk, which in turn produces cream, which
in turn produces curdled milk, which in turn produces butter,
which in turn produces clarified butter called daigo. This daigo
is the supreme product and it cures all sicknesses of the people
who take it as if it contained all medicines in it. Good men!
The Buddha is the same. He preached the Flower Garland
Sutra, which in turn produced Hodo Sutras, from which
stemmed the Hannya Sutra, from which was produced the
Nirvana Sutra. The Nirvana Sutra is like the taste of daigo,
an allegory of the Buddha-nature expounded in the Nirvana

Each of the eight sutras cited above thus claims to be the supreme one. However when compared to the references in the Lotus Sutra to 'the sutras preached in the past, being preached at present, and will be preached in the future' and 'six difficult' and 'nine easier ones,' those statements look like stars compared to the moon and the nine mountain ranges of the world compared to Mt. Sumeru.


Even Nichiren Daishonin can not open the eyes of those blind since birth. But the Lotus Sutra (Myoho renge kyo) can. Nichiren Daishonin writes:

"Therefore, when you chant the daimoku of this sutra, you should be aware that it is a more joyful thing than for one who was born blind to gain sight and see one’s father and mother, and a rarer thing than for a man who has been seized by a powerful enemy to be released and reunited with his wife and children." (The Daimoku of the Lotus Sutra)

"Again if anyone offers a three-thousand-great-thousandfold world full of the precious things in homage to buddhas, great bodhisattvas, pratyekabuddhas, and arhats, the merit this man gains is not equal to the surpassing happiness of he who receives and keeps but a single fourfold verse of this Law-Flower Sutra" (Lotus Sutra Chapter 23, Bodhisattva Medicine King)

The fourfold verse is none other than Namu Myoho renge kyo.

"Just as Mount Sumeru is the highest among the various mountains, so this Lotus Sutra (Myoho renge kyo) holds the highest position among all the sutras."(ibid, chapter 23)

"..., so it is also with this Law-Flower Sutra (Myoho renge kyo); amongst all the sutras it is the highest;" and "it is the most illuminating;" and "it is the most honorable;" and "it is the king of all sutras;" and "it is the father of of all the wise and holy men;" and "amongst all the sutras preached by tathagatas, bodhisattvas or preached by sravakas, it is the supreme." (ibid passages from Chapter 23)

"Star Constellation King Flower! This sutra (Myoho renge kyo) is that which can save all the living; this sutra can deliver all the living from pain and sufferings; this sutra is able to greatly benefit all the living and fulfill their desires. Just as a clear, cool pool is able to satisfy all those who are thirsty, as the cold who obtain a fire [are satisfied], as the naked who find clothing, as [a caravan of] merchants who find a leader, as children who find their mother, as at a ferry one who catches the boat, as a sick man who finds a doctor, as in the darkness one who obtains a lamp, as a poor man who finds a jewel, ...., so it is with this Law-Flower sutra; it is able to deliver all the living from all sufferings and all diseases, and is able to unloose all bonds of mortal life." (ibid Chapter 23)

"The World-honored One has long expounded his doctrines and now must reveal the truth." (ibid Chapter 2)

''In all the Buddha's lands of the universe there is but one supreme vehicle, not two or three, and it excludes the provisional teachings of the Buddha" (ibid chapter 2)

"Honestly discarding the provisional teachings, I will expound the Supreme Law (Myoho)."(ibid chapter 2)

"I have briefly described in this sutra (Myoho renge kyo) all the laws of the Buddha, all the invincible mystic powers of the buddha, all the secret storehouses of the Buddha, and all the profound practices of the Buddha." (Ibid, Chapter 21)

"The scriptures I preach number in the countless millions. Among all those I have preached, now preach and will preach, this Lotus Sutra (Myoho renge kyo) is the most difficult to believe and the most difficult to understand." (ibid Chapter 11)

"Among all the Sutras it (Myoho renge kyo) holds the highest place" (Ibid, Chapter 14)

"If in future ages there should be one who accepts and upholds, reads and recites this sutra (Myoho renge kyo),...his wishes shall not be in vain, and he will receive his reward of good fortune in his present life." (Ibid, Chapter 28)

Five Holy Proclamations Chapter VIII cont...

Nevertheless, even such master teachers as Ch'eng-kuang of the Hua-yen School, Tz'u-en of the Fa-hsiang School, Chia-hsiang of the San-lun School, and Kobo of the Shingon School, who appeared to have the eye of a Buddha, were confused by those sutras. How much more confused are those blind present-day scholars! How can they see the comparative merits of those sutras? They are unable to perceive even a clear distinction between black and white or Mt. Sumeru and a poppy-seed, not to speak of a principle as abstract as the sky. Since they do not know the depth of the teaching, no one knows the depth of the principle preached in the teaching. As the Lotus and other sutras are in separate fascicles and are out of sequence, it is difficult to differentiate the doctrine contained in them. Therefore, I cited from the eight sutras above in order to help ignorant people. In considering kings, we must know the difference between great ones and minor ones. The Daiun-kyo, which claims to be the king of sutras, cited above, is merely a minor king.

In considering " all," we must know the difference between all of a portion and all of a total. When the Mitsugon-kyo says that it is the most superior of the scriptures, it does not mean all the Buddhist scriptures. In considering the "five tastes," we must know whether they are applicable to all Buddhism or only a portion of Buddhism. The Six Paramita Sutra cited above talks of the attainment of Buddhahood by all the people but not by men of the Two Vehicles, whose Buddha-nature has been burnt away. How much less do they speak of the Eternal Buddha! The 'five tastes' doctrine of this sutra is not equal to that of the Nirvana Sutra. How can it face up to the Lotus Sutra, either the theological section of the essential section? Confused with this sutra, however, Grand Master Kobo of Japan classified the Lotus Sutra as the fourth or the second from the top among the 'five tastes.' Even the fifth or the most refined daigo taste of the Six Paramita Sutra can not equal that of the Nirvana Sutra. How can it face up to the Lotus Sutra which is superior to the Nirvana Sutra? What happened to Grand Master Kobo? Nevertheless, he called Grand Master T'ien-t'ai and other teachers thieves when he claimed in his Kemmitsu nikyo-ron that Chinese teachers competed against one another in stealing the daigo taste of the Six Paramita Sutra. Praising his own school, he further stated in it that regrettably wise men in the past had not tasted daigo.

Leaving aside the question, I will write this for my followers. Others will not believe in me and go to hell for slandering the true dharma, which would in turn cause them to obtain Buddhahood. It is possible to know the salinity of the ocean by tasting one drop of water, and the advent of spring by seeing a flower bloom. In the same way without sailing thousands of miles over to Sung China, without spending as long as three years as Fa-hsien did to visit Mt. Sacred Eagle, without entering the Dragon Palace as Nagarjuna did, without visiting Bodhisattva Maitreya as Asanga did, or without attending the three assemblies for lectures on the Lotus Sutra (Two on Mt. Sacred Eagle and one up in the sky) you should be able to perceive the relative merits of all the sutras preached by the Buddha during His lifetime by reading this writing of mine.

As snakes are relatives of dragons, they can foretell a flood seven days before its coming. As crows had been fortune-tellers in past lives, they can foretell the fortune of the year. Birds are superior to human beings in their ability to fly. In knowing the comparative merits of sutras, I, Nichiren am superior to Ch'eng-kuan of Hua-yen, Ch'ia-hsiang of San'lun, Tz'u-en of Fa-hsian, and Kobo of Shingon. It is because I follow the tradition of T'ien-t'ai and Dengyo. These masters had not yielded to the authority of T'ien-t'ai and Dengyo; how could they avoid the crime of slandering the true dharma?

It is I, Nichiren, who is the richest in Japan today, because I sacrifice my life for the sake of the Lotus Sutra and leave my name for posterity. Gods of rivers take orders from the masters of a great ocean, and gods of mountains follow the king of Mt. Sumeru. Likewise, when one knows the meaning of the "six difficult ones and nine easier ones" and "scriptures preached in past, are preached at present, and will be preached in the future" in the Lotus Sutra, one would automatically know the comparative merits of all Buddhist scriptures without reading them.

Besides the three proclamations made in the "Appearance of s Stupa" (11th) chapter of the Lotus Sutra, the Buddha issued two more proclamations in the following twelfth chapter, "Devedatta," of the same sutra with the intention of having it spread after His death. Devedatta had been reguarded as a man of issendai who did not have any possibility of attaining Buddhahood. He, nevertheless, was assured by the Buddha of becoming Tenno Buddha in the future. The forty-fascicled Nirvana Sutra has stated the existence of Buddha-nature in all, which is realized in this "Devedatta" chapter. Numerous offenders such as monk Zensho and King Ajatasatru committed the Five Rebellious sins or slandered the true dharma. Since the worst of them, Devedatta, was assured of becoming a Buddha in the future, all others would naturally be assured just as people follow the leader and twigs and leaves join a tree. That is to say, the example of Devedatta assured of being the future Tenno Buddha has made it unmistakable that all offenders of the Five Rebellious Sins or Seven Rebellious Sins, slanderers of the true dharma, and men of issendai --- all of them would attain Buddhahood someday. This is somewhat like deadly poison turning into 'nectar,' the best of all tastes.

Also, the example of a dragon girl becoming a buddha does not mean only her. It means the attainment of Buddhahood by all women. In the Hinayana sutras preached before the Lotus Sutra, woman is not thought of in attaining Buddhahood. Various Mahayana sutras appear to recognize women attaining Buddhahood or women going to the Buddha land, but only after they changed themselves to the good by giving up the evil. This is not an immediate attainment of Buddhahood in this world, which can only be possible through the '3,000 in one thought' doctrine. Therefore, what the Buddha promised in those Mahayana sutras is in name only. On the other hand, the attainment of Buddhahood by a dragon girl in the Lotus Sutra is meant as an example among many, opening the way for women of the Latter Age to attain Buddhahood or reach the Buddha land.

Filial devotion in Confucianism is limited to this life. Confucian sages and wise men are in name only because they do not help parents in their future lives. Brahmins know of the past as well as the future, but they do not know how to help parents. Only Buddhism is worthy of being the way of sages and wise men, as it helps parents in future lives. However, both the Mahayana and Hinayana sutras expounded before the Lotus Sutra preach Buddhahood in name only, without substance. Therefore, the practitioners of such sutras would not be able to attain Buddhahood even for themselves, not to talk about helping parents obtain Buddhaood. Now, coming to the Lotus Sutra, when enlightenment of women was revealed, enlightenment of mothers was realized; and when a man as wicked as Devedatta could attain Buddhahood, enlightenment of fathers was realized. These are two proclamations of the Buddha in the 'Devedatta' chapter, and this is the reason why the Lotus Sutra is the sutra of the filial way among the Buddhist scriptures.


The Five Holy Proclamations or Five Vows of the Buddha are three vows to preserve, uphold, and transmit this sutra in the Latter Day and two vows to cause all men and all women to obtain Buddhahood [as exemplified by Devedatta and the Dragon King's daughter].

One of the responsibilities of those who would vow to transmit this sutra is that they transmit this sutra correctly. The next section of the Opening of the Eyes, On the Three Powerful Enemies of the Lotus Sutra from the 13th Chapter Exhortation to Hold Firm, goes on to further discuss this matter. We shall see who are the Three Powerful Enemies in Nichiren Daishonin's day and today and even how someone who chants the daimoku can be an enemy of the Lotus Sutra:

"At that time this sutra will be preached throughout the continent of Jambudvipa. In that age there will be evil monks who will do violence to this sutra and destroy it's unity, losing the 'color, scent and flavor' of the True Law that it contains. These evil men will read and recite this sutra, but they will ignore and put aside the vital principles that the Buddha has expounded in it and replace them with ornate rhetoric and meaningless talk. They will tear off the first part of the Sutra and stick it on the end, tear off the end and put it at the beginning, put the end and the beginning in the middle and the beginning at the middle or end. You must understand that these evil monks are the companions of the devil." (MW vol 2, Opening Of The Eyes).

The Five Holy Proclamation section is also important because, despite the harsh reality of Nichiren's exile to Sado, he proclaims that he is the richest person in Japan. This is proof of the profundity of his enlightenment and the grandeur of his life state.

He further clarifies in this section of the Kaimoku Sho that it was written for his followers who should believe what he writes since he is the very one experiencing the Lotus Sutra with his very being,

"It is possible to know the salinity of the ocean by tasting one drop of water, and the advent of spring by seeing a flower bloom."

Observing the life of Nichiren Daishonin there can be no doubt about the validity of the teachings. Also, this is the reason that his analysis of the sutras is correct. As the only one to have actually lived the king of all sutras, he is best able to explain the Sutra and analyze the relative merits of all the sutras.


  1. "Observing the life of Nichiren Daishonin there can be no doubt about the validity of the teachings. Also, this is the reason that his analysis of the sutras is correct. As the only one to have actually lived the king of all sutras, he is best able to explain the Sutra and analyze the relative merits of all the sutras."

    Jose Toda, on the other hand represents a stark contrast via his writing, "On Life- The Mystery of Life" (July 1949)
    "I devoted myself to reading the Lotus sutra and Nichiren Daishonin's writings. Then I came across some mysterious passages in the Lotus Sutra. To experience the meaning of those passages, I began chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, as the Daishonmin taught. When I finished chanting two million times, I experienced something mystic, beholding in my mind the state of existence never known to me before. Trembling with joy, I stood in my solitary cell, proclaiming to all Buddhas and bodhisattvas throughout time and space:'I have shaken off my delusions five years behind Confucius but came to know my mission five years ahead of him."

    With all due respects for Toda's 2 year imprisonment, which is recounted as an act of upholding the teachings of Nichiren, for which he was persecuted, *alongside his mentor Makiguchi*, who passed away in prison, I have to reference Toda's *persisting* delusions as they became the foundation for the Soka Gakkai.

    Nichiren actually taught *Namu*, not *Nam*-- a vital fact missed by Toda, the educator, who claimed to have become enlightened during his two year prison term at the end of WWII. I wonder which writing of Nichiren's Toda is referring to, in reference to: *chanting to experience the mysterious passages he came across in the Lotus Sutra." It seems that Toda's understanding was that chanting=faith, and faith = *comprehending* the mysteries of life-- as in grasping the teaching intellectually? From there he took off in a vastly different direction from Nichiren. Jose Today emerged from prison, pumped up with pride and all set to share what *he attained*with his defeated, downtrodden countrymen. He also held a deep, hate filled grudge against a Shoshu priest he believed was directly responsible for his mentor's death in prison. (Some obvious vacancy in his study of Nichiren's writings on that score as well.)

    Toda's gross perversion of the Daishonmin's teachings and his arrogant claim to * have lived passages of the Lotus Sutra* , as Nichiren described in his writings, could be explained by the effects of 2 years of solitary confinement and poor nutrition-- except that correct faith and practice of the Lotus Sutra, as taught by Nichiren would have mitigated those circumstances and produced a very different result, or rather NOT produced the forerunner to the SGI, the foremost slanderous organization in the world.

    I just happened to have a copy of the reprint of Toda's article. I quoted from the paragraph I highlighted with ???? at the end-- a sort of WTF?

    Thank you Mark, for your commentaries on this most enlightening Gosho study. I am finally learning why certain cherished Gakkai relics always made me feel queasy. But, more importantly, I feel that my eyes are opening to the Lotus Sutra and Nichiren's profound dedication to teaching it correctly.