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Saturday, July 23, 2016

SGI's and others' irrational fear and loathing of Nichiren priests is a great slander

"There are over a thousand references in the English gosho for the term 'disciple' and over 600 for 'supporter'. There is a clear distinction between 'deshi' (disciple) and 'danna' (patron, supporter) in the gosho. To assert that the Daishonin said there is no need for priests is very arrogant and slander of the Three Treasures." -- Shinkei Marcheso disciple of Nichiren Daishonin


  1. I respectfully offer the possible explanation for the " need for priests" as evident in the context of the real time, present day, encounters former SGI or NST members have had with present day, real live, *priests*.

    Many former members of SGI are not from a Buddhist culture, nor are we living in Nichiren's time. It is impossible to fathom the effects we must challenge as a result of *bad teachers/leaders/priests*--

    I would content that Nichiren would more readily understand the sentiments of those of us struggling to attain *the way* based on the influence of *those who appeared in robes of virtue*.

    In any case, I speak from my own experience. I feel confident that my justified concerns are not slanderous. I am skeptical-- in this latter age, it is a fool who is not skeptical....

    in my humble opinion.

  2. Without those who can read and translate the difficult ancient Nichiren Chinese and medieval Japanese Kanji, one will soon destroy the teachings [basing oneself exclusively on the flawed and self serving NST, SGI, and Nichiren Shu translations]. The most reliable person, more reliable than a mere scholar [due to a correct faith] would certainly be a Nichiren priest were one to be found in the mold of Nichiren and his disciple priests like Nichiro, Sairenbo. Lady Nichinyo, and others. I maintain that since it is still Mappo, little has changed. There are many bad priests like Sammibo and few like Nichiro.

  3. Who would be more aware of this situation than Nichiren himself? If it weren't possible for a sincere believer to develop correct faith, then Nichiren would not have been so confident that the Law would spread for the next 10,000 years-- and more, would he?

    I think that sometimes there is too much emphasis placed on that which many of Nichiren's followers would have had difficulty comprehending. It always amazes and reassures me at the same time, how Nichiren emphasized the basics of faith and encouraged these devoted followers by saying they were certain to attain Buddhahood.

    I have not been swayed by forged Gosho or the sketchy translations that the Gakkai is famous for-- I don't know how to explain it, other than to say that faith itself is ALL important --


  4. As you stated that you cant read the gosho in the languages it is written in i hardly think your understanding of the teachings is anything near comprehensive. Your constant assertion that the shakyamuni in india is the eternal buddha is 100% wrong. If you dont think do get the showa teihon from your local library (use webcat) and read it in the classical chinese. I posted an english translation from noppa.
    There are many examples of removed, changed and repositioned sentences by the various sects. And no, there is no sangha in mappo. The sangha is the comminity of monks. Many of the terms and phrases you learned from the gak are shoshu doctrine, and they were made up by nichikan et al. They dont exist in the gosho, sutra or any other place except in the erroneous teachings of these mistaken teachers.
    Guven the fact that thete are over 900 docs. and fragments of nichirens writingd, and there are only around 120 spuriously translated into english i would say that this is insufficient data to claim some sort of high level of understanding of the teachings.

  5. Thank you for your thoughts and your references for them.

    My beliefs are are faith based; from the beginning of my practice, I experienced *joy* from the Law-- and have never been swayed by anything that I did not read and chant to understand in the Gosho.

    Shakyamuni's special characteristics, mostly described by Nichiren, have been the foundation for my comprehension of "The Buddha" and the purpose for practicing and studying Buddhism. This has meaning to me because of my feeling of connection to Shakyamuni Buddha-- AND regardless of the title given to him, I share Nichiren's deep appreciation and desire to repay my debt of gratitude to Shakyamuni. -

    Where else can one find examples of the Buddha's behavior as a human being? If not in Nichiren's writings and through the beautiful images that have been made of the True Buddha? How does one even approach an understanding of what it means to attain Buddhahood without a wonderful example who spent many lifetimes fulfilling his desire to *lead all living beings to perfect enlightenment*?

    I don't think there is anything valuable to be gained by arguing over concepts of *eternal* or *original* that in themselves are incomprehensible to those of us living in this latter age.

    I have totally rejected the contemplation/meditation as a correct practice-- not finding a single reason to *attempt to perceive 3,000 realms in a single life moment*-- because it is impractical given my responsibilities to many other living beings in this threefold world, and actual proof of the benefit I can offer through my devotion to the Lotus Sutra- chanting to Gohonzon with firm faith in Nichiren's example.

    When I worship at my altar, I am not distracted by *titles* or *arguments over them*-- I display reverence for Shakyamuni Buddha, which I believe is appropriate due to the Lotus Sutra being his teaching. I pray with appreciation for the Law, for Nichiren, -- I reflect on those whom I know are suffering; I seek to understand how to uphold and propagate the Lotus Sutra for the sake of all living beings.

    I believe Shakyamnui represents the Treasure of the Buddha-- In my practice this has deep meaning and is not a topic for debate. Nichiren is my teacher-- the Third Treasure-- The Law/Lotus Sutra and Gohonzon are together in my mind as the teaching, Second Treasure, which are also Shakyamuni's teaching, and entrusted to Nichiren who fulfilled his mission.

    Without filial devotion, there is no Buddhism imo, -- or rather, failing to note that which most clearly applies to living beings in the saha world results in a theoretical practice that does not transform the self centeredness that is so prevalent today--. Examples of this abound!

    I have deep faith-- and actual proof of it. I accept your judgment of my meager understanding as your scholarly opinion.

    Thank you,

  6. Addendum to my comment above:

    I have no doubt that it is solely due to my reverence for Shakyamnui Buddha which is engrained in my life solely through multiple readings of Nichiren's writings, all of which had been, until recently, Gakkai published, Burton Watson Translations; it is through my own humble efforts, based on my only source of Nichiren's teachings for 28 yeas, that I am predisposed to skepticism of *persons* claiming to be correct teachers of the dharma in this latter age. I am even more indebted to Shakyamnui Buddha for never following in my heart or with my life, the erroneous teachings of SGI, Ikeda and the Nichiren Shoshu high priests, though it is their version of the teachings that i have studied.

    The SGI discards Shakyamuni-- so either they don't read their own collected writings of Nichiren Daishonin, or I am fundamentally flawed and incapable of noting from my own reading that"Nichiren was actually the True Buddha, the teacher of Shakyamuni", a mere provisional Buddha. I do know from years of personal experience that it is impossible to engage most SGI leaders on specific topics and points raised by Nichiren in *SGIs own translated Gosho* --

    Over time, at least 2 decades, I have witnessed what can only be called, retribution for changing and distorting the faith and practice of Nichren via fabricating the basic elements of Buddhism to substantiate SGI's claim to being a "religion"-- the requirement for maintaining 501(3)(c) IRS tax exempt status in the U.S. It is no small matter that the most senior leaders in SGI are arrogant, ignorant, ill behaved, based minded people who exploit the suffering of members for their own personal comfort and personal gain. That, so many of these leaders have suffered a fearsome death cannot be explained out of the context of their adherence to false teachings.

    Those who appear to have the least in common, in terms of attributes and behavior, with *The Buddha* are those who have discarded Shakyamuni and claim Nichiren is the True Buddha. I am sharing from personal encounters over two decades, and yes, my standard for defining the attributes and behavior of *The Buddha* is what I consider the *Gold Sandard* taught by Nichiren-- in the Gakkai translated, questionable Gosho I have read for the past 28 years, Shakyamnui Buddha is the Gold Standard. Period. If there are genuine examples that refute the validity of my observations I have yet to hear or see them.

    It does not matter what official title Shakyamuni is given, as it likewise, doesn't matter what name one assigns to Sandlewood, because the essential nature of a person or thing is not altered in the least by the words we use to describe it. However, the attitudes we develop toward a person or a thing can be manipulated easily though the use of descriptive words, especially when the words are spoken by someone who is claiming, and believed to be an authority on the thing or person he/she is describing.

    If I am correct in believing that Shakymuni is the Treasure of the Buddha, and correct in assuming that acknowledgment of this is crucial to one's developing the correct attitude in faith and adopting the correct behavior in practice of the Lotus Sutra in this latter age, then the terms used to describe Shakyamuni by those who claim some authority with regard to Nichiren's teachings, should be scrutinized for the impact they have on a believers understanding, not based on arcane knowledge possessed only by a *priestly class*, in my humble opinion. For, Nichiren, himself, always took into account the disparity between his knowledge of Buddhism and the knowledge of his followers, remaining stedfast in teaching the one vehicle, while employing the language that conveyed the essential teaching to his followers.



  7. I am not disputing the existence of teachings Nichiren conveyed only to priests who became his disciples. I am questioning the relevance of disparity of knowledge between disciples and lay followers as it relates to the fundamental teaching of faith in the true teaching and the capacity to attain enlightenment. It is my understanding that Nichiren made no distinction between his followers in terms of their capacity to attain enlightenment.

    When I adhere strictly to Nichiren's own standards as a priest and a correct teacher, I tend towards skepticism of authoritative pronouncements that relegate a division between believers based *solely *on their exposure to, or understanding of, arcane Buddhist concepts and doctrines.**Please note, I am not saying I disbelieve that there are deeper and more profound teachings in the possession of priests, nor am I saying that there are no priests of our time capable of correctly understanding these arcane teachings. I merely point out that IF enlightenment can only be attained by those who possess and understand these documents, then the essential teaching of the Lotus Sutra must be worthless, and Shakyamuni spoke in error when he uttered these words before entering nirvana: "Rely on the Law and not upon persons". BUT, how can that possibly be the case, when there is substantial actual proof that such disregard for the Lotus Sutra and Shakyamuni, the basis for the teachings of the SGI and Nichiren Shoshu, produces great evil and tremendous suffering?


  8. "As you stated that you cant read the gosho in the languages it is written in i hardly think your understanding of the teachings is anything near comprehensive."

    I think you are close to a false assertion here Shinkei. You omit lay priests and also scholars.

    I happen to agree with you that there is the treasure of the priest but precisely what good looks like in that role is more debatable and must also be balanced by the bad.

    Did the schisms not come about because of highly learned people who had all the advantages you're acsribing, in terms of comprehension and understanding?

    Unless you are going to refute me based on Gosho, is it not the case that Nichiren taught faith in the Daimoku as the primary and most fundemental practice for attaining enlightement and did so precisely so all people, of all levles of learning and all capacities could attain enlightenment?

    If that is so, then the level of comprehension you are describing is an added extra, it is not a replacement for depth of faith.

    Of course it is great to have both but I'd say that if one has to choose, faith wins over learnedness everytime, as the history of Nichiren Buddhism, in actual fact, demonstrates.

    It's quite possible to go astray when one is learned and quite badly. Worse, it's quite possible to lead many others down the wrong path. How did NST ever come about in the first place and how did it survive for so long?

    There are two sides to that learnedness coin and in my veiw both should be represented, lest we get too rosy a picture of the value of the priest and fail to recognise the capacity to lead astray...

  9. Well said, Mudpie!
    I have been studying the Four Debts of Gratitude-- chanting to deepen my understanding, I realized that we repay our debts of gratitude to all living beings, our father and our mother, our sovereign and the Three Treasures by upholding, and propagating the Law. In this Gosho, Nichiren is doing just that while in exile.

    It would not be possible, or so I believe, to ignore or deny all to whom we owe a debt of gratitude when we sincerely devote our lives to the Lotus Sutra. Even if we can only name by their given names, our parents, sovereign , the Buddha and the priest who propagated the daimoku and taught the correct practice for the latter age, there is a profound awareness of too many too count or name lay persons, priests and scholars who have enhanced our lives by causing us to encounter and correctly practice the Law. That is the sense of unity, of eternal bonds as bodhisattvas of the earth that I experience when I chant.

    Correct practice and faith includes a vow to be amongst those who fulfilled their vow and repaid their debts of gratitude to the Three Treasures of Buddhism-- If one is sincere and stedfast in this vow, surely all one needs in order to fulfill it will appear, and one will be protected until it does...

    In my humble opinion,