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Friday, July 15, 2016

SGI and Yogacara [Mind or Consciousness Only school]

Empathy is being able to put oneself in another person's shoes. I never found empathy in the Soka Gakkai because the organization takes precedence over the individual. Leaders would often quote President Toda, "The organization is more important than my life" or they were placed the blame on the failures of the organization by placing the blame on you: "You are the organization" or "the organization is a mirror of your own life condition." This last assertion is wrong from the standpoint of the Lotus Sutra teachings of the oneness of person and the environment and of "Thusness" or reality as it is. SGI practices a type of Buddhism called Yogacara or Mind Only, where all phenomena are said to derive from the mind.* This being the case, there can be no empathy and no acknowledgement of others because everything derives from one's own mind. It is a selfish way to view the world. Despite their rhetoric of caring, they embrace the ignoble and selfish teachings of pre-Lotus Sutra Buddhism rather than the actual caring and respect of Nichiren Daishonin towards his disciples and believers.

*SGI might argue as Nichiren did in one of his earlier writings, "It [the Vimalakirti Sutra] also states that, if the minds of living beings are impure, their land is also impure, but if their minds are pure, so is their land. There are not two lands, pure or impure in themselves. The difference lies solely in the good or evil of our minds."

Please contrast this with passages from some later writings of Nichiren in which he rejects the Yogacara [Consciousness Only] view which is based on the Flower Garland, Mahavairochana and other provisional sutras:

"The path to Buddhahood is not to be found in the Flower Garland doctrine of the phenomenal world as created by the mind alone, in theeight negations of the Three Treatises school, in the Consciousness-Only doctrine of the Dharma Characteristics school, or in the True Word type of meditation on the five elements of the universe. Only the T’ien-t’ai doctrine of three thousand realms in a single moment of life is the path to Buddhahood."


"The essence of the sutras preached before the Lotus Sutra is that all phenomena arise from the mind. To illustrate, they say that the mind is like the great earth, while the grasses and trees are like all phenomena. But it is not so with the Lotus Sutra. It teaches that the mind itself is the great earth, and that the great earth itself is the grasses and trees. The meaning of the earlier sutras is that clarity of mind is like the moon, and that purity of mind is like a flower. But it is not so with the Lotus Sutra. It is the teaching that the moon itself is mind, and the flower itself is mind. You should realize from this that polished rice is not polished rice; it is life itself."

1 comment:

  1. "SGI practices a type of Buddhism called Yogacara or Mind Only, where all phenomena are said to derive from the mind.*"

    In combination with their belief in *original enlightenment*; that they are all Buddha's, there is a stunning disconnect between their behavior and Nichiren's description of the Buddha's behavior, as well as his own devotion to Shakyamuni's example of "behavior as a human being".

    However, since there is NO connection to Shakyamuni in SGI's teachings and a full blown neglect, total disregard of Nichiren's teachings regarding the behavior of the Buddha, how would any SGI "Buddha" gauge their behavior?

    Another curious behavior that reflects the "Mind Only" practice of the SGI is that a member who voices issues with, or complains about the behavior of a leader will be schooled in this practice of viewing the problem in terms of the members *mind of faith*, and the members life condition which the member is told to *elevate* by chanting daimoku-- which will result in a change of *mind* regarding the source or cause of *the members problem*--it is never outside of one's own life/mind.

    So, if the practice is to change your own *mind* / life condition as the solution to your own suffering-- no matter if someone else is involved, or what has actually happened, there is no reason for any member to feel the need to empathize with another member who is suffering-- or for any leader to apologize or address a complaint form a member-- In fact if ALL chant for their own individual happiness and do their own human revolution and chant to fulfill their mission , seeking the Mentor, then EVERYONE will be happy== nothing else required.

    In the SGI they substitute daimoku for humanism and compassion- for self and others, JUST CHANT --