In SGI's writings, the character Mu has been dropped ten billion times. Nichiren, on the other hand, never once in forty years ever dropped the character Mu.
"In the ninth volume of the Nirvana Sutra we read: “Good man, there are icchantikas, or persons of incorrigible disbelief. They pretend to be arhats, living in deserted places and speaking slanderously of the correct and equal sutras of the great vehicle. When ordinary people see them, they all suppose that they are true arhats and speak of them as great bodhisattvas.” It also says: “At that time, this sutra will be widely propagated throughout Jambudvīpa. In that age there will be evil monks who will steal this sutra and divide it into many parts, losing the color, scent, and flavor of the correct teaching that it contains. These evil men will read and recite this sutra, but they will ignore and put aside the profound and vital principles that the Thus Come One 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 at the end, tear off the end and put it at the beginning, put the end and the beginning in the middle and the middle at the beginning or the end. You must understand that these evil monks are the companions of the devil."
"Again, a single character equals innumerable others, for the validity of the sutra was attested to by the Buddhas of the ten directions. The treasures bestowed by a single wish-granting jewel equal those bestowed by two such jewels or by innumerable jewels. Likewise, each character in the Lotus Sutra is like a single wish-granting jewel, and the innumerable characters of the sutra are like innumerable jewels. The character myō was uttered by two tongues: the tongues of Shakyamuni and Many Treasures. The tongues of these two Buddhas are like an eight-petaled lotus flower, one petal overlapping another, on which rests a jewel, the character of myō.
"A single character of the Lotus Sutra is like the great earth, which gives rise to all things. A single character is like the great ocean, which contains the water from all rivers. A single character is like the sun and moon, which illuminate all four continents.
"Similarly, though we gather together all the various sutras, such as the Flower Garland Sutra, the Āgama sutras, the Correct and Equal sutras, the Wisdom, Nirvana, Mahāvairochana, and Meditation sutras, they could never equal even a single character of the Lotus Sutra."
"...Every single character in this sutra represents the true intention of the Buddhas, and every brushstroke of it is a source of aid to those who repeat the cycle of birth and death. There is not a single word in it that is untrue."
“The Lotus Sutra of the Wonderful Law, before which I bow my head, in its single case, with its eight scrolls, twenty-eight chapters, and 69,384 characters, is in each and every one of its characters the true Buddha who preaches the Law for the benefit of living beings.”
"Every single character in this sutra represents the true intention of the Buddhas, and every brushstroke of it is a source of aid to those who repeat the cycle of birth and death. There is not a single word in it that is untrue."
"If one discards one word or even one brushstroke of the sutra, the offense is graver than that of one who kills one’s parents ten million times over, or even of one who sheds the blood of all the Buddhas in the ten directions."
"The eighth volume of The Annotations on “Great Concentration and Insight” states, “So long as a person does not try to depart from the sufferings of birth and death and aspire to the Buddha vehicle, the devilwill watch over him like a parent.” This passage means that, even thougha person may cultivate roots of goodness, so long as he practicesNembutsu, True Word, Zen, Precepts, or any teaching other than theLotus Sutra, he will have the devil king for a parent. The devil king will possess and cause other persons to respect him and give him alms, and people will be deluded into believing that he is a truly enlightened priest. If he is honored by the sovereign, for instance, the people are sureto offer him alms. On the other hand, a priest who incurs the enmity of the ruler and others [because of the Lotus Sutra] is surely practicing the correct teaching."
For this reason alone, SGI is not Nichiren's Lotus Sutra Buddhism. For this reason alone, not one Gakkai member receives the boundless benefit of the Law.
Abandoning the Lotus Sutra and the Buddhism of Nichiren Daishonin, the SGI misunderstands Buddhism and the world in which we live. Ignoring and sugar coating reality has become the mantra of the Soka Gakkai while they shun and castigates those who follow the correct Law. The most glaring example is, those who point out the very nature of Islam, the Q’uran, and its followers and believers, are severely criticized and rebuked by Soka Gakkai members. Copying, reading, reciting and analyzing those many dozens of passages of the Q’uran that advocate cheating, lying, killing, and maiming in the name of Islam is more fraught upon than the actual cheating, lying, maiming and killing itself that is being perpetrated by the followers and believers of Islam in the name of Islam.
How horrible when someone from the west widely publishes a video of the Islamists sawing through the neck of an American or Englishman. How horrible when someone publishes a cartoon of the Prophet Mohammad with a bomb strapped to his turban. Far more energy and resources are spent remonstrating and calumniating those who reveal the ugly face of Islam than against those who are the ugly face of Islam.
It is bad enough, the doctrinal and theoretical basis of Islam. The real reality of Islam is ten billion times more sinister. Afghanistan’s puritanical Taliban Islamic militia demolishing statues in Bamiyan, including two towering ancient stone Buddhas, was designed to stop the worshipping of “false idols”. How much worse will be their enmity and actions should Islam take hold against the votaries of the Lotus Sutra who worship the Gohonzon? Islam nearly destroyed Buddhism and killed millions of Buddhists in India. How much worse will it be 2500 years after the Buddha’s passing if the malignancy that is Islam once again takes hold? Compare and contrast the “puritanical Islamists” to the pure believers of Christianity, such as the Quakers and Mennonites? Compare the Islamic fundamentalists and Mohammad to the votaries of the Lotus Sutra and Nichiren Daishonin? Who is strapping bombs to women and mental defectives and blowing up innocent men, women, children, and animals in the pet market?
There are two ways of propagating the Lotus Sutra: The gentle method and the break and subdue method. To convert the Quakers and Mennonites of the world, we employ the gentle practices. To convert the Islamists, we employ the break and subdue practices. These bearded turbaned men of Islam are in Hell now and after they die they will go to Hell. Those who would rob the life of the votaries of the Lotus Sutra [and without doubt, since they have no compunction of taking the life of their fellow religionists, they would rob us of our life], must be routed.
Who will be the first to die if Islam reigns supreme? It will be those who chant Namu Myoho renge kyo, revere Shakyamuni Buddha, and worship the Gohonzon. This is not the imaginings of a man who needs help, it is clearly written in the Islamic Holy Book, the basis of Shariah. According to Sharia, they may spare believers in God, the Christians and the Jews but they may not compromise with Pagans or the Buddhist believers in the True Law.
These men of Islam are not politically correct. They are fervent, profound, and serious believers in the Q’uran and the tenets of Islam. They would rather die or preferably have you die than allow you to uphold even a sentence or phrase of the True Law let alone the Object of Worship for the salvation of all mankind. They will not sugar coat your “heresies” or lifestyle. They will not overlook your “apostacies”. They will hold you accountable for going against their Law. They are merciless.
If these men gain ascendency there will be no more Lotus Sutra; no more SGI; no more NST; no more Nichiren Shu; and no more Kempon Hokke. The propagation of Namu Myoho renge kyo will be outlawed, the men will be killed, the women will be incorporated into their harems, and our children will become the next suicide bombers or exclusive students of Islam. Society and civilization as we know it will cease to exist and we will return to the middle ages. All positive discourses will cease and humanity will be reciting the Q’uran day and night at the expense of scientific and philosophical advancement.
I will not be cowed by Patrick, Phillip Bret, Daisaku Ikeda, Barack Obama, George Bush, Osama Bin Laden, nor Shamon Tsuchiya. I would rather die than see you die or witness a halt to the flow of the Buddhist Law.
“The sutra states, “Those persons who had heard the Law dwelled here and there in various Buddha lands, constantly reborn in company with their teachers,” and “If one stays close to the teachers of the Law, one will speedily gain the bodhisattva way. By following and learning from these teachers one will see Buddhas as numerous as Ganges sands.” A commentary says, “Originally one followed this Buddha and for the first time conceived the desire to seek the way. And by following this Buddha again, one will reach the stage where there is no retrogression.” Another commentary says, “In the beginning one followed this Buddha or bodhisattva and formed a bond with him, and so it will be through this Buddha or bodhisattva that one will attain one’s goal.” Above all, be sure to follow your original teacher so that you are able to attain Buddhahood. Shakyamuni Buddha is the original teacher for all people, and moreover, he is endowed with the virtues of sovereign and parent. Because I have expounded this teaching, I have been exiled and almost killed. As the saying goes, “Good advice grates on the ear.” But still I am not discouraged. The Lotus Sutra is like the seed, the Buddha like the sower, and the people like the field. If you deviate from these principles, not even I can save you in your next life.”Shakyamuni Buddha is the original teacher for all people."
World Tribune, May 24, 1993, p. 4 (Ikeda speech of May 3, 1993)
“Catholics have experienced a history of suffering; they have walked a path of bitter struggle. Viewed in that vein, I don’t think it is an exaggeration to say that Catholics are our older brothers.”
Except for Makiguchi, no one from SGI has ever been martyred and, unlike the jesuits and the master Nichiren, Ikeda has hardly lived even a day as a mendicant. He’s lived like a Pope, the rich lifestyle, everyone kissing his hands and feet, the vast Vatican and Soka art treasures bought off the backs of the people donating every bit of their extra money to the Church and Soka.
Ikeda is the lay-Pope of the East and the Soka Gakkai is modeled after Rome [Vatican].
The Catholics are the older brothers of the SGI while other Nichiren Buddhists, our priests, members, and our Lotus Sutra “theology,” are lower than dirt to them.
You know who is actually lower than dirt don’t you? Who are the real betrayers and traitors of the Nichiren faith?
Next time you do gongyo in front of the Nichikan Gohonzon, think about it… On second thought, find a blank wall to chant to, if you really wish to be illumned about this issue. The Nichikan Gohonzon has too much baggage and too too many demons.
SGI’s 2010 video presentation of Ikeda’s lecture on The Supreme Leader of the World Gosho is [was?] available on the SGI-USA website. Nothing, not one word was said about the grave consequences of abandoning Shakyamuni Buddha which is a major point of this writing.
Nichiren Daishonin states in this writing:
“….However, they are alike in that they all abandoned Shakyamuni Buddha. There is no doubt, therefore, that our country will be ruined. This is a teaching that has never yet been revealed. Keep it strictly to yourself.
If there are any among my followers who are weak in faith and go against what I, Nichiren, say, they will meet the same fate as did the Soga family. I will tell you the reason. It was due to the efforts of father and son, Soga no Iname and Umako, that Buddhism came to be established in Japan. They could have held the same position as Brahma and Shakra at the time of the Thus Come One Shakyamuni’s appearance in this world. Because they had brought Mononobe no Okoshi and his son Moriya to ruin, they became the only influential clan in the country. They rose in rank and controlled the nation, and their family enjoyed high prosperity. But Umako grew so arrogant that he had Emperor Sushun assassinated and many princes killed. Moreover, his grandson, Iruka, had his retainers put twenty-three of Prince Shotoku’s children to death. Thereupon Empress Kogyoku, following the advice of Nakatomi no Kamako, had a statue cast of Shakyamuni Buddha and prayed to it fervently. As a result, Iruka, his father, and the entire Soga family all perished at once.
Draw your own conclusions from what I said above. Those among my followers who fail to carry through their faith to the end will incur punishment even more severe. Even so, they should not harbor a grudge against me. Remember what fate Sho-bo, Notobo, and others met.”
Daisaku Ikeda, SGI leaders, and many general members hold a grudge against Nichiren Daishonin, the Lotus Sutra, and especially Shakyamuni Buddha. You will see for yourselves how their lives turn out.
An SGI leader responded, "Sensei was saying that he was the 'only true mentor' of himself." Another SGI member [CL] responded:
"I agree, this kind of statement (whether through mis-translation both linguistically and/or culturally) makes a person like myself a bit uncomfortable. However, I never feel that, perhaps because I am a fairly new member (having done a ton of research prior to my joining, surveying the Buddhist landscape for years, from academia to personal interactions to Internet to within my own head and heart, etc..) I am being “conditioned”. The reason for this, I think, is that I do not feel a sense of what we might call “guilt” for having an uncomfortable feeling about a statement such as this (“I am the only true mentor”) I can say this with great clarity of mind. I can say this because in the Middle Way of Mahayana, one must not become attached to the uncomfortable feeling one might get when ordinary humans like President Ikeda make these kinds of statements from time to time. I would say that the life-narrative of Ikeda is a true one insofar as he can call himself the “only true mentor” of himself and he can also call himself the “only true disciple” as well, just as you and I and everybody else can. That is the beauty of the stand-alone spirit, the beauty of the individual honored by the Lotus Sutra which is honored by so many.
Therefore, one must also not be attached to the idea that he is not an ordinary human being who is both mentor and disciple at the same time!
Also, I might add that we should just ponder for a moment the profound nature of having the Internet, both an engine of great research as well as a boiling cauldron of slander, all at once! Perhaps, many years ago, the absence of such a tool hindered the NSA member from exploring various aspects of the modern Buddhist landscape and one was locked inside the literature of their chosen “path”. Buddhism was, is and will always be “free to choose”. We will ALL win!" -
Henry, still another SGI member responded:
'This CL seems to have gained an enlightened perspective from observing his own mind and the attachments formed therein. I like it. Let’s win like CL says!
Thanks for posting Mark!"
Your welcome. You are in the minority here in your thoughts about CL, SGI, and CL's “enlightened” perspective. Let me see if I can’t change your mind:
I will deconstruct another one of his posts and see if his perspective jives with the reality of SGI, the Lotus Sutra, and what might be Nichiren’s perspective of the SGI. I feel a little uncomfortable speaking for the Great Man Nichiren but I see few standing up for those principles for which Nichiren lived and died, other than myself and a handful of other disciples and believers.
“The organization that President Ikeda constructed has developed into an international network of Nichiren Buddhist Sanghas of ordinary laypeople, each one a president of the SGI, under the authority of one Law, the Mystic Law, and one precept, the Diamond precept, is taken.”
The first thing Nichiren would strike would be his name, from "Nichiren Buddhist sanghas". The second thing he would strike would be “Buddhist”. What the SGI practices is not the faith of Nichiren. I say this because Nichiren believed in the Transmission Through the Scrolls of the Sutra (following the Law and not the person) and he believed in Shakyamuni Buddha of the Juryo Chapter of the Lotus Sutra. Both principles the SGI fail to uphold.
Is SGI Buddhist? One definition of Buddhism that accords with the Lotus Sutra is, “The Teachings of Shakyamuni Buddha.” Another definition of Buddhism that accords with the Lotus Sutra is, “The various groups that both adopt the teachings of Shakyamuni Buddha and venerate Shakyamuni Buddha.”
The SGI teachings do not accord with the teachings of Shakyamuni Buddha, especially his highest teaching, Myoho renge kyo. Advocating that we close, ignore, abandon, Myoho renge kyo while chanting Myoho renge kyo, is certainly not the highest teachings of Shakyamuni, Myoho renge kyo, or Lotus Sutra.
Certainly the SGI doesn’t venerate Shakyamuni, their members calling him derisively, the “easter bunny”, “Santa Claus”, and “Shakkie”, for example.
As far as embracing the One Precept, the Diamond Precept, I have already shown, in refuting the deceased SGI Study Department chief Shin Yatomi’s essay on the precepts, that SGI is confused about the matter of the Diamond precept and mixes the clean (Diamond precept) with the unclean (Hinayana precepts).
Cl uses the language of impropriety that is one of the hallmarks of SGI non-Buddhism:
“It can not be broken by “dogma”, “doctrine”, or the ‘words and letters of Mark Rogow”, nor by the “bad experiences of Mark Rogow with various organizations in the not too distant past.”
Response: Only by truth will the SGI be broken. It will be broken [and broken up] by the truth. Not even Makiguchi who substituted “Truth” for “Gain” can destroy the power of Truth. He can throw out truth like he threw out Shakyamuni Buddha but he can not destroy truth just as he can not destroy Shakyamuni Buddha.
CL’s last paragraph reads: “Uphold the Mystic Law and chant daimoku, practice with a sangha, and study broadly with good intentions and act on those good intentions in order to fight physical, verbal, and ideological injustices which seek to disrupt the unity of humanity’s shared buddhahood.”
This sounds noble, not unlike, “Truth, Justice, and the American way” – Superman. Also, not unlike Superman, it is based on a fantasy.
The fantasy is that SGI “upholds the Mystic Law”. Its indiscretions in this regard are too numerous to list. Suffice it to say that the SGI doesn’t even uphold its own Charter. How can it uphold the Mystic Law? Study broadly is a fantasy. It is enough to cite the many years of the precious members time wasted (over the last twelve years or so) devoted to studying only Ikeda's interpretation of Nichiren's writing, The Heritage of the Ultimate Law of Life and Death, The World Tribune, the Human Revolution, and the New Human Revolution.
The last half of his last paragraph reads:
“and act on those good intentions in order to fight physical, verbal, and ideological injustices which seek to disrupt the unity of humanity’s shared Buddhahood.”
This is Gakkai speak, to fight all those who criticize the Soka Gakkai, especially the Nichiren Shoshu but certainly not limited to them. They fight the disciples and believers of Nichiren, the most peaceful group of people the world has ever seen but protect and nurture the Islamists and the provisional Buddhists who do actually, “disrupt the unity of humanity’s shared Buddhahood.” This last passage is therefore, more fantasy from the lips of CL, hardly an "enlightened" perspective.
We are also told about the decision to give up teaching faith in the Dai-Gohonzon and that SGI's Mr Harada, explaining this decision, said that it was holding back world wide kosen-rufu.
With such an active and present (though rarely seen) Daisaku Ikeda, surely such a change was sanctioned by him.
We are told (rightly) that the Dai-Gohonzon has no basis in Gosho. We are also told that "the priests just made a whole bunch of stuff up."
So here's Daisaku on faith, practice and study in 1984 and of course the Dai-Gohonzon and those priests who just made a whole bunch if stuff up.
One might be forgiven for wondering why, with such an emphasis on study of the Gosho, nobody, let alone one with the depth of understanding of the "mentor" Daisaku Ikeda, didn't spot the fact that the Dai-Gohonzon had no basis in Gosho or that the priests had made a whole bunch of stuff up.
And if he had realised those two things, why he was happy to give this type of guidance and make these types of speeches?
Buddhism In Action Volume 1
ISBN 4-88872-015-0 C1315
Pages 33 & 34
"Needless to say, the Dai-Gohonzon of the high sanctuary inscribed for all mankind is the most fundemental basis of the movement of the Nichiren Shoshu Soka Gakkai. The Dai-Gohonzon has been preserved and handed down within Nichiren Shoshu from the founder, Nichiren Daishonin, to his successor, Nikko Shonin, and then to the third high priest, Nichimoku Shonin, up to the present high priest, Nikken Shonin. I hope therefore we will courageously dedicate ourselves to studying Nichiren Daishonin's teachings in order to deepen our faith and to propogate true Buddhism in each country or community, as we follow the high priest's guidance, and respect the traditions and doctrines of Nichiren Shoshu.
" 'Practice' mentioned in the above passage means doing gongyo, chanting daimoku and doing shakabuku for the sake of others as well as ourselves. "study" in the same passage, means studying Nichiren Daishonin's teachings. Only those who are devoted to the two ways of practice and study can be called Nichiren Shoshu believers and Nichiren Daishonin's disciples. If you are negligent in these, you may be said to be running counter to the teachings of Nichiren Daishonin. When you are consistent in these two fundemental ways, you are practicing Buddhism correctly.
"Etch deeply in your heart the phrase, "Both practice and study arise from faith. Faith means accepting the Dai-Gohonzon as absolute, and devoting yourself to the cause of kosen-rufu.
Page 92 (ibid)
"As I have said repeatedly, it is nothing other than the Dai-Gohonzon that is the basis of our worldwide of our worldwide kosen-rufu movement. It is my honour that I have been able to use what little ability I am endowed with in order to blaze a trail for future world peace as well as fir the furtherance of kosen rufu in Japan where the Dai-Gohonzon is kept."
Pages 139-140 (Ibid)
"One of the purposes of Nichiren Daishonin's Buddhism is to develop one's life condition. Every human being has sufferings. Flesh is, as they say, heir to suffering. The sufferings of those who have little or no faith in the Gohonzon may become even worse and tend to create a life-condition confined to the three evil paths. In contrast, the sufferings of those who do believe in the Gohonzon can be transformed into the driving force for changing their negative karma, cultivating virtue and good fortune, and attaining Buddhahood. Such change is possible only through determined faith and chanting daimoku. This is the Buddhist principle that earthly desires are enlightenment. Moreover, one may experience sufferings because of one's practice of faith and activities for kosen- rufu. Enduring such sufferings should be interpreted as part of Buddhist practice to develop one's supreme life condition.
"I joined Nichiren Shoshu when I was nineteen, and tomorrow, on August 24, I will have completed 34 years of practice. I am very grateful to the Dai-Gohonzon for the fact that during all this time I have been able to exert myself for the cause of kosen rufu without interruption. Sickly as I was, I have become increasingly healthy and have been able to work for kosen-rufu as tenaciously as anyone. I will continue to pray to the Dai-Gohonzon for a longer life span so that I can devote myself even more to the cause of kosen-rufu of the world."
Page 182 (ibid)
"Last night and tonight there was a beautiful full moon. The Daishonin's Buddhism is complete and perfect, like the full moon. The ultimate entity of his Buddhism is embodied in the Dai-Gohonzon, which is the cluster of blessings of the entire universe. We should strive to be as complete as we day and night practice faith and chant daimoku to the Dai-Gohonzon, the manifestation of the great Law which is the perfect and impeccable entity of life."
Page 262 (ibid)
"The fundemental place of worship for this movement is the Head Temple of Nichiren Shoshu. Taho Fuji Dai-Nichiren-zan Taiseka-ji, where the Dai-Gohonzon of the high sanctury of true Buddhism bestowed on all mankind is enshrined, and it is high priest Nikken who presides over it. As, followers of Nichiren Shoshu and under the guidance of high priest Nikken, we must continuously strive on the basis of true Buddhism to lay the foundation for peace and culture, which will eventually secure world peace and culture through individual happiness. This is the mission of the Soka Gakkai."
Pages 290 - 292 (ibid)
"We absolutely deny violence. Friends of the world who embrace the Mystic Law advance together in spiritual unity toward the cause of lasting peace, but let us respect the manners and traditions of our respective countries.
"No one can be further from the teachings of Nichiren Daishonin than one who self-righteously thinks that he alone is respectworthy. From the day the Daishonin first chanted Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, declaring true Buddhism, he committed himself to life long propogation in his desire to achieve the great cause of kosen-rufu. Therefore as his disciples and followers of true Buddhism we exert ourselves in the two ways of practice and study for the individual cause of attaining Buddhahood in this life and the common goal of kosen-rufu with absolute faith in the Dai-Gohonzon.
"Arrogance and conceit are causes for shame to any Buddhist. No matter how an arrogant a person may try to justify himself with seemingly righteous arguments, in the depths of his life he is yeilding to the fundemental darkness and inherent devilish nature in his life.
"We believe in the Dai-Gohonzon of the high sanctuary of true Buddhism, follow the high priest Nikken, and immerse ourselves among the people in order to talk with those who face troubles, those who seek the Law, and those who search for a more meaningful way of life. We should remember that we are living noble and respectworthy lives, introducing "the Buddhism of the sun" to more and more people in many countries of the world.
"The text quoted says "Without practice and study, there can be no Buddhism." This is a very strict teaching. To put it briefly, Nichiren Daishonin definitely asserts that if "practice and study" are discontinued, there can be no Buddhism if the sowing, which Nichiren Daishonin gleaned from the depths of the Juryo chapter as the only direct path to enlightenment in the Latter Day of the Law.
"Thr ulimate entity of this Buddhism is, needless to say, the Dai-Gohonzon of the high sanctuary of true Buddhism, which had been strictly protected and preserved by successive high priests of Nichiren Shoshu for some seven hundred years. At the present time we celebrate the very rare occasion of the seven hundredth anniversary of the Daishonin's passing, the heritage of the Law has been transmitted and is being assumed by the sixty-seventh high priest, Nikken Shonin, its integrity unimpaired.
"No matter who may question the heritage of the present high priest, this is an indisputable fact, beyond any doubt. During the days of Nichiren Daishonin, there were some priests who presumuptuously went against Nichiren Daishonin, the original master of true Buddhism. Today, there are some defrocked priests who have turned against the high priest. I cannot help but feel from their example how difficult yet how essential it is to maintain faith in the orthodoxy of true Buddhism.
"We have to be aware therefore, that only when we single-mindedly devote ourselves to the Dai-Gohonzon and exert ourselves in the "two ways of practice and study" on the basis of this prime point can we find the true significance of Nichiren Daishonin's Buddhism and attain enlightenment in this lifetime.
"After all is said and done, "faith" for us, as followers of Nichiren Daishonin, means to believe in the Dai-Gohonzon. When we begin with faith in the Dai-Gohonzon, the entity of the Mystic Law which pervades the entire universe, and steadily advance on the path of "practice and study", we can open the door to "the palace of the ninth consciousness" developing the supreme state of life eternally and brilliantly.
"At the same time, with this supreme life force that surges from within through "faith", we will further advance along the path of "practice and study" so that we can lead more and more people throughout the world to faith in the Dai-Gohonzon and realise the great cause for kosen-rufu."
Did Daisaku Ikeda believe any of this when he spoke it? And what has it been replaced by? The teaching of mentor-disciple, with not only the Dai-Gohonzon cast aside but more importantly, faith in the Gohonzon relegated and the emphasis on studying Nichiren's writings directly changed to studying Human Revolution and SGI interperative lectures and guidance instead.
Baby, bathwater, bath and bathroom all tossed out together. What's left in the SGI to help cleanse one's deluded life and help one attain enlightenment? Oh that's right, the bond of mentor and disciple. And where did it lead all those people who took these words of their mentor to heart in 1984?...
And as for "denying violence" how does that fit with allowing a change to Japan's peace constitution? Is that Buddhism in Action?
One should be careful, it seems, who one follows...
Nichiren speaks about Eagle Peak more often and comprehensively after the Sado Island Exile [after 1274]. It is only natural that one's thoughts turn to the afterlife as one approaches death. Nichiren knew that his exhaustive efforts, hardships, persecutions, and endless debates would soon take their toll. It is a wonder that Nichiren lived as long as he did.
“Bodhisattva Never Disparaging was a practitioner at the initial stage of rejoicing; Nichiren is an ordinary practitioner at the stage of hearing the name and words of the truth *.”
Nichiren, like ourselves, had recently received the seed of Buddhahood from the Original Buddha (Honbutsu). For countless kalpas, we have neither heard the Law nor practiced the Lotus Sutra. This is not to say that our Buddha-field (Buddha-nature) is not fertile soil for the Buddha seeds but we have not encountered the seeds of Myoho renge kyo for a very long time. Being common mortals at the stage of Myoji Soku (first hearing the name and the words of the Truth or Myoho renge kyo), we have various worries and doubts, especially concerning the afterlife. These doubts and uncertainties come to the fore when we have a near death experience, lose a loved one, or are coming to the end of our lives. I am sure that even Nichiren experienced these feelings and he was acutely aware of the even more intense uncertainties experienced by his disciples and believers. For this reason, Nichiren made the afterlife an important part of his teachings after 1274:
"The way of attaining Buddhahood is just like this. Though we live in the impure land, our hearts reside in the pure land of Eagle Peak. Merely seeing each other’s face would in itself be insignificant. It is the heart that is important. Someday let us meet at Eagle Peak, where Shakyamuni Buddha dwells. Namu-myoho-renge-kyo, Namu-myoho-renge-kyo." 
"The moon sets and rises again; the clouds disperse and then gather once more. Even heaven must regret and earth lament that this man has gone away and will never come again. You yourself must feel the same. Rely upon the Lotus Sutra as nourishment for your journey, and quickly, quickly set out for the pure land of Eagle Peak so that you can meet him there!" 
"Surely your late husband is in the pure land of Eagle Peak, listening and watching over this sahā world day and night. You, his wife, and your children have only mortal senses, so you cannot see or hear him, but be assured that you will eventually be reunited [on Eagle Peak]." 
"The priest Nichigyō’s death was indeed pitiful. I recited the Lotus Sutra and chanted Nam-myoho-renge-kyo for him here in Minobu, sincerely praying to Shakyamuni, Many Treasures, and the Buddhas of the ten directions to receive him on Eagle Peak." [1274?]
"Now you must shun and abandon this heartless world, entrusting yourself to the Lotus Sutra, in which the late Shichirō Gorō placed his faith, and quickly reach the eternally abiding and indestructible pure land of Eagle Peak. Your son’s father is on Eagle Peak; his mother remains in the sahā world. I sympathize with the feelings of the late Shichirō Gorō, who is in the interval between the two of you." 
"As you well know, a sutra says that the boy Virtue Victorious,1 who offered a mud pie to the Buddha, was later reborn as King Ashoka, who ruled over most of the southern continent of Jambudvīpa. Since the Buddha is worthy of respect, the boy was able to receive this great reward even though the pie was only mud. Shakyamuni Buddha teaches, however, that one who makes offerings to the votary of the Lotus Sutrain the latter age for even a single day will gain benefit a hundred, thousand, ten thousand, million times greater than one would by offering countless treasures to the Buddha for one million kalpas. How wonderful then is your having wholeheartedly supported the votary of the Lotus Sutra over the years! According to the Buddha’s golden words, in the next life you are certain to be reborn in the pure land of EaglePeak. What remarkable rewards you will gain!
This is a mountainous place, remote from all human habitation. Not a single village is found in any direction. Although I live in such a forsaken place, deep in this mortal flesh I preserve the ultimate secretLaw inherited from Shakyamuni Buddha, the lord of teachings, at EaglePeak. My heart is where all Buddhas enter nirvana; my tongue, where they turn the wheel of the Law; my throat, where they are born into this world; and my mouth, where they attain enlightenment. Because this mountain is where this wondrous votary of the Lotus Sutra dwells, how can it be any less sacred than the pure land of Eagle Peak? This is what [The Words and Phrases of the Lotus Sutra means when] it says, “Since the Law is wonderful, the person is worthy of respect; since the person is worthy of respect, the land is sacred.” The “Supernatural Powers” chapter reads, “Whether in a forest, beneath a tree, in monks’ quarters... in such places have the Buddhas entered nirvana.” Those who visit this place can instantly expiate the offenses they have accumulated since the infinite past and transform their evils deriving from the three types of action into the three virtues.
A suffering traveler in central India once came to Heat-Free Lake toquench p.1098the fires of anguish in his heart. He proclaimed that he could fulfill his desire, “as a clear cool pond can satisfy all those who are thirsty.” Although Heat-Free Lake and this place are different, the principle is exactly the same. Thus, Eagle Peak of India is now here at Mount Minobu in Japan. It has been a long time since you were last here. You should come to see me as soon as you possibly can. I am looking forward eagerly to seeing you.
How can I describe your sincerity? In truth, it is splendid!" .
There are more than 200 additional citations for Eagle Peak in the writings of Nichiren.
Every “advanced” religion and most primitive religions address the question of an afterlife. Most of Nichiren’s followers had the mistaken idea of an Eternal Paradise ingrained in their psyche due to the influence of the Pure Land teachings. This is not unlike we of the western world who have the Christian idea of heaven ingrained into our psyche. Even Chapter twenty-three of the Lotus Sutra takes into account the universal teaching of an Eternal Pure Land. The compassion and mercy of the Buddha and Nichiren is not to destroy the belief in this hopeful place, mistaken though it may be, but rather to utilize it so that we could believe ever more fervently in the Supreme Law.
“This is the place we live to enjoy happiness”. This is the place where we and our loved ones will be reborn to again experience the joy of the Law. Whenever the Buddha in the pre-Lotus Sutra teachings, let alone in the Lotus Sutra, talks about “assurance of no rebirth” or Nichiren talks about going to Eagle Peak, what they are referring to is no rebirth in the Lower Six Realms [Hell, Hunger, Animality, Anger, Tranquility, and Rapture].
Our prayers for the deceased are that they be free from sufferings, that they wake up from delusions, and that they attain Enlightenment (the Great Bodhi).
Eagle Peak is the intermediate state, the Land of Actual Reward, where we meet our teachers Shakyamuni Buddha and Nichiren Daishonin before again returning to this Saha World to sow the seeds of Buddhahood in the people's lives.
While here in the manifest state, we return to the Gohonzon, the Land of Actual Reward [Eagle Peak] here on earth where we again meet our teachers Shakyamuni Buddha and Nichiren Daishonin before we sow the seeds of Namu Myoho renge kyo within the lives of our families and friends. As Nichiren teaches, “There is no discontinuity between the three existences of past, present, and future.”
Since life itself is un-moderated, I will continue to host the only un-moderated Nichiren blog and forum on earth. Sitting on the dock of Fukushima Bay at 3:00 pm, watching the tide roll away, just wastin’ time. Then, within a moment... gone, never to be heard from again. No one to moderate the Tsunami, no one to moderate the hundred thousand year + half life of uranium and plutonium. But people would moderate free speech thinking that it will protect them from what, looking foolish, sounding lame, crushing defeat, alienating people? Why? They are agenda laden cowards who fool themselves into believing that by controlling free speech, they control the world. When they are 90 years old, they won’t even be able to control their own bowels. We, the disciples and believers of Nichiren and Nichiju fear no man or woman, beast, or natural disaster. Our futures, actual proof, theory, theology, doctrine, and hearts are pure. We are secure. Be heard!
Lets not forget the SGI’s bizarre “prime point” of the Lotus Sutra [the oneness of mentor and disciple]. Some of us grow up to be adults. We refuse to be treated as children and actually read and study the Lotus Sutra and Gosho. Some of us actually believe that those who chant Namu Myoho renge kyo with strong faith in the Gohonzon, Lotus Sutra, and Shakyamuni Buddha are emanations of Shakyamuni Buddha and are Three Bodied Tathagatas in their own right. I believe that the Soka Gakkai will continue to hemorrhage unhappy members. Fortunately, we are willing to galvanize these broken human beings and repair their injured faith and practice.
The Treatise On Protecting The Nation by Nichiren Daishonin reads:
“Again, it is written, 'Whosoever receives and keeps this Lotus Sutra, reads it, correctly bears it in mind, practices it, writes and copies it, let it be known that such a person beholds Sakyamuni Buddha face to face, and hears the words of this sutra directly from the Buddha’s mouth. Such a one thus, also venerates Sakyamuni Buddha in person.'
This passage means that the Lotus Sutra and Sakyamuni Buddha are one. For those who don’t believe in the Lotus Sutra, Sakyamuni Buddha has gone to extinction and does not appear anymore, but for those who believe in this sutra, even though it is said that he has gone to extinction, the Buddha is present in this world.
Again it is written,
'After I have attained Buddhahood and have gone on to nirvana, if there is any place in the ten directions where the Lotus Sutra is preached, with my stupa, I will be there and manifest myself in that place to hear the sutra being preached, and will attest to the truth of the sutra.'
This passage means that when we ordinary beings of this latter age of the dharma recite the august title of the Lotus Sutra, Prabaratna Tathagata, on account of his vow, will come and be present.” (STN 1, 123: 8–14-9)
Karma is not the only determinant of weal and woe. It is however, the most important because it is only through a correct Buddhist faith and practice that one can overcome negative karma. Let me give you the example of the causes of diseases as revealed by the Buddha. There are five or six major categories of the causes of disease taught by the Buddha. All, save for disease caused by karma, can be cured by a skilled physician, medicine, and the healing power of the person. Disease caused by karma [weighty causes and effects] can only be cured by the healing power of a correct faith and practice of Buddhism. Likewise, the most severe external [environmental] manifestations [effects] of weighty human causes [thoughts, words, and deeds] are floods, great winds, tsunamis, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and war. As in the case of the most severe internal effects [severe illness], only through Buddhist faith and practice can we cure the most severe external “illnesses”. If the Earthquake, Tsunami, and nuclear meltdown in Japan is not due to karma, there are no seminal events that can be attributed to karma.
According to Nichiren Daishonin and Vasubhandu’s Dharma Analysis Treasury, the Abhidharmakosa [which is based on Vasubandu's exhaustive study of the Hinayana Sutras], the Japan disaster was caused by the karma of the people. By the principle of the most severe bad karma causing the most catastrophic events, the cause of the Japanese disaster is the Soka Gakkai whose karma it is to subvert the Law and the Buddha. Nichiren occasionaly cited the Dharma Analysis Treasury, the doctrines contained therein [windy circle], or the schools derived from this treatise. Also, according to this most important doctrine of the Dharma Analysis Treasury [the greatest good karma causing the most auspicious events], by far, the most important cause of the formation of planets and galaxies, for example, is due to the power of karmic reward of living beings. The slanderers with a piddling faith and understanding of the Buddhist teachings, those like Reverend Ryuei who criticize Nichiren and his followers, should first of all believe Nichiren Daishonin and then, if they still have any doubts, they should read Vasubandu’s Abhidharmakosa:
“Now, in widely propagating the Buddhist teachings and bringing salvation to all people, one must first take into consideration the teaching, the capacity of the people, the time, the country, and the sequence of propagation. The reason is as follows. In terms of the time, there are the periods of the Former, the Middle, and the Latter Days of the Law, and in terms of the teachings, there are the Hinayana and the Mahayana doctrines. In terms of the practices to be adopted, there are shoju and shakubuku. It is a mistake to practice shakubuku at a time when shoju is called for, and equally erroneous to practice shoju when shakubuku is appropriate. The first thing to be determined, therefore, is whether the present period is the time for shoju or the time for shakubuku.
“Shoju is to be practiced when throughout the entire country only the Lotus Sutra has spread, and when there is not even a single misguided teacher expounding erroneous doctrines. At such a time, one may retire to the mountain forests, practice meditation, or carry out the five, the six, or the ten practices. But the time for shakubuku is very different from this. It is a time when many different sutras and teachings spring up here and there like so many orchids and chrysanthemums, when the various schools command a large following and enjoy renown, when truth and error stand shoulder to shoulder, and when Mahayana and Hinayana dispute which is superior. At such a time, one must set aside all other affairs and devote one’s attention to rebuking slander of the correct teaching. This is the practice of shakubuku.
“If, failing to understand this principle, one were to practice shoju or shakubuku at an inappropriate time, then not only would one be unable to attain Buddhahood, but one would fall into the evil paths. This is firmly laid down in the Lotus and Nirvana sutras, and is also clearly stated in the commentaries by T’ien-t’ai and Miao-lo. It is, in fact, an important principle of Buddhist practice.
“We may compare these two kinds of practice to the two ways of the civil and the military used in governing a nation. There is a time when military measures should take precedence, and a time when civil measures ought to be emphasized. When the world is at peace and calm prevails within the country, then civil measures should take precedence. But when the barbarian tribes to the east, south, west, and north, fired by wild ambitions, rise up like hornets, then military measures should come first.
Though one may understand the importance of both civil and military arts, if one does not understand the time, donning armor and taking up weapons when all countries are calm and peaceful and there is no trouble anywhere throughout the world, then one’s actions will be wrong. On the other hand, one who lays aside one’s weapons on the battlefield when enemies are marching against one’s ruler and instead takes up a writing brush and inkstone is likewise failing to act in accordance with the time.
“The methods of shoju and shakubuku are also like this. When the correct teaching alone is propagated and there are no erroneous doctrines or misguided teachers, then one may enter the deep valleys and live in quiet contentment, devoting one’s time to reciting and copying the sutra and to the practice of meditation. This is like taking up a writing brush and inkstone when the world is at peace. But when there are provisional schools or slanderers of the correct teaching in the country, then it is time to set aside other matters and devote oneself to rebuking slander. This is like taking up weapons on the battlefield.
“Therefore, the Great Teacher Chang-an in his commentary on the Nirvana Sutra states: ‘In past times the age was peaceful, and the Law spread throughout the country. At that time it was proper to observe the precepts and not to carry staves. But now the age is perilous, and the Law is overshadowed. Therefore, it is proper to carry staves and to disregard the precepts. If both past and present were perilous times, then it would be proper to carry staves in both periods. And if both past and present were peaceful times, then it would be proper to observe the precepts in both of them. You should let your choices be fitting and never adhere solely to one or the other.’ The meaning of this passage of commentary is perfectly clear.
“In past times the world was honest, people were upright, and there were no erroneous teachings or erroneous doctrines. Therefore, one could behave in a proper manner and carry out one’s religious practices peacefully and amicably. There was no need to take up staves and berate others, no occasion to attack erroneous teachings.
“But the present age is a defiled one. Because the minds of people are warped and twisted, and provisional teachings and slander alone abound, the correct teaching cannot prevail. In times like these, it is useless to practice the reading, reciting, and copying [of the Lotus Sutra] or to devote oneself to the methods and practices of meditation. One should practice only the shakubuku method of propagation, and if one has the capacity, use one’s influence and authority to destroy slander of the correct teaching, and one’s knowledge of the teachings to refute erroneous doctrines.
“As we have seen, it is said that one should let one’s choices be fitting and never adhere solely to one or the other. Therefore, we must look at the world today and consider whether ours is a country in which only the correct doctrine prevails, or a country in which erroneous doctrines flourish." -- A Sage and an Unenlightened Man
"...One therefore must always consider the country when propagating the Buddhist teachings. One should not assume that a teaching suited to one country must inevitably be suited to another as well..." -- Nichiren
Soon, the only fundamentalist followers of Nichiren in the 21st century will die off with nary a youth to take over the mantle. Ordinarily this would be a sad thing, an unfortunate thing, a bad thing. However, thanks to Nichiren Daishonin who has left behind his relics [writings], one after another youth will read the Kaimoku Sho, Kanjin Honzon Sho, the Hoon Sho, the Senji Sho, and the Rissho Ankoku Ron and will adopt Nichiren's manner of spreading, upholding, and preserving the teachings.
Do you know what I say to our detractors? "You are destined for the Avici Hell. Furthermore, for criticizing the true votaries who refuse to alter a dot of the teachings, not only are you certain to fall into hell after you die but you are already there. What a pity. What a shame."
The Lotus Sutra and the teachings of Nichiren Daishonin are a delectable porterhouse steak while Ikedaism is a dried out, mystery meat, have it my way, burger. Though the finest steak house in the world has one ten thousandth the customers and revenues of Burger King, very few would argue that Burger King serves better food than Peter Luger’s Steak House. Likewise, very few can argue that Ikedaism is superior to Nichiren Daishonin’s Lotus Sutra Buddhism even though they are many and we are few.
Josei Toda: I will not ask whether you are sincerely practicing, because propagation is something you should carry out of your own initiative. Instead, I want to ask whether your businesses are doing well, whether you are making money, and whether you are enjoying good health.
Nichiren Daishonin: I have not enough to eat. I am living off grass, brachen, and melted snow. I wear the hide of deer that have died in the forest and icicles grow from my scraggly beard. My only visitors are the winter hares, racoons, and roe deers. It is very cold in my hermitage. But deep within this mortal flesh I preserve the ultimate secret Law inherited from Shakyamuni Buddha, the lord of teachings, at Eagle Peak.
Josei Toda: You should chant more Daimoku. Our environment reflects our life condition. Why would you think anyone will practice this teachings without showing any actual proof? You should follow in the footsteps of Taisaku here, he is well on the way to becoming a billionaire by teaching the Dharma to silk robed laymen.
Nichiren Daishonin: I desire and am satisfied with little. My only wish is to attain Buddhahood, overcome my heavy karma for long having slandered the Law in countless past lives, and to help others do the same.
Josei Toda:That's not enough Nichiren. You should aspire to "five Cadillacs" and having enough money to donate a dozen community centers to the Soka Gakkai to which you should be forever grateful.
Nichiren Daishonin: You may think that those who believe in the layman Taisaku double tongue are prospering, but you should see what has become of those who paid for the construction of Shinonamachi, Fukushima, and the Tokyo seventh ward community centers. Again, the lord Abe is the ruler of Japan and partner to the SGI New Komeito but by his conduct he has called down on himself an enemy almost as great as the land of Jambudvipa. The era of widespread temple building is long over.
Josei Toda: You just don't get it. The Gohonzon is a happiness-manufacturing machine. How can you be happy without money and tons of adoring members?
Nichiren Daishonin: Worldly fame and profit are mere baubles of your present existence, and arrogance and prejudice are ties that will fetter you in the next one.
Josei Toda [ruffled]: What do you have to be arrogant about Nichiren? You don't have a pot to piss in and barely a handful of followers. If you had a correct faith, you would have had 750,000 followers who worship the ground Taisaku and me walk on and in this very life. Chill out Nichiren. Have a couple glasses of sake with me. I really shouldn't because my liver is shot from all that sake but just this once.
Nichiren Daishonin: Slanderers are as numerous as the dust particles of the land while true believers are as few as the specks of dirt that can fit on a fingernail. What were you saying about enjoying good health? Your eyes are yellow and your complexion is sallow . Although I too suffer from poor health, having had persistent abdominal pains and chronic diarrhea for years... the persecutions, continuously running for my life, having had barely enough to eat, the endless debates, and worrying about my disciples, my spirit dwells in this body as the moon is reflected in muddy water, or as gold is wrapped in a filthy bag. Your mind however, is clouded and warped from long having embraced the slanderous teachings of Taisekaji.
"If you think that to proclaim the absolute superiority of the Lotus Sutra is to take too narrow a view, then one would have to conclude that no one in the world was more narrow-minded than Shakyamuni Buddha. I am afraid you are greatly mistaken in this matter. Let me quote from one of the sutras and from the commentary of one school, and see if I can resolve your confusion.
The Immeasurable Meanings Sutra says: “[Because people’s natures and desires are not alike], I preached the Law in various different ways. Preaching the Law in various different ways, I made use of the power of expedient means. But in these more than forty years, I have not yet revealed the truth.”
Hearing this pronouncement, Great Adornment and the others of the eighty thousand bodhisattvas replied in unison, voicing their understanding that “[as for those living beings who are unable to hear this sutra . . . ] though immeasurable, boundless, inconceivable asamkhya kalpas may pass, they will in the end fail to gain unsurpassed enlightenment.”
The point of this passage is to make clear that, no matter how much one may aspire to the Buddha way by calling upon the name of Amida Buddha, or by embracing the teachings of the Zen school—relying on the sutras of the Flower Garland, Agama, Correct and Equal, and Wisdom periods preached by the Buddha during the previous forty years and more—one will never succeed in attaining supreme enlightenment, even though a countless, limitless, inconceivable number of asamkhya kalpas should pass.
And this is not the only passage of this type. The “Expedient Means” chapter of the Lotus Sutra states, “The World-Honored One has long expounded his doctrines and now must reveal the truth.” It also says, “[In the Buddha lands of the ten directions] there is only the Law of the one vehicle, there are not two, there are not three.” These passages mean that only this [Lotus] sutra represents the truth.
Again, in the second volume it says, “I am the only person who can rescue and protect others.”1 And it speaks of “desiring only to accept and embrace the sutra of the great vehicle and not accepting a single verse of the other sutras.” These passages mean that only Shakyamuni Buddha can save and protect all living beings, and that one should wish to accept and uphold only the Lotus Sutra, and never even a verse from any other sutra.
It also says, “If a person fails to have faith but instead slanders this sutra, immediately he will destroy all the seeds for becoming a Buddha in this world. . . . When his life comes to an end he will enter the Avichi hell.” This passage means that, if one does not believe in the Lotus Sutra but instead turns against it, one will immediately destroy the seeds for attaining Buddhahood in this world. After death, one will fall into the hell of incessant suffering.
Examining these passages, T’ien-t’ai concluded that it was statements such as these that had prompted the words, “Is this not a devil pretending to be the Buddha?” If we merely rely upon the commentaries of various teachers and do not follow the statements of the Buddha himself, then how can we call our beliefs Buddhism? To do so would be absurd beyond description!
Therefore, the Great Teacher Chisho stated that, if one claims that there is no division of Mahayana and Hinayana among the sutras and no distinction of partial and perfect among revelations of the truth, and therefore accepts all the words of the various teachers, then the preachings of the Buddha will have been to no purpose.
T’ien-t’ai asserted, “That which has a profound doctrine and accords with the sutras is to be written down and made available. But put no faith in anything that in word or meaning fails to do so.” He also said, “All assertions that lack scriptural proof are to be branded as false.” How would you interpret such statements?" -- Questions and Answers about Embracing the Lotus Sutra It is the Lotus Sutra, Shakyamuni Buddha, and Nichiren Daishonin that lead to emancipation, not the Kempon Hokke, SGI, other sects, scriptures or persons.
"If we consider these examples carefully, we will realize that, among those who read the Lotus Sutra and sing its praises, there are many who are destined for the hell of incessant suffering. Even men like Chia-hsiang and Tz’uen were actually slanderers of the one vehicle of the Lotus Sutra. And if such can be said of them, it applies even more to men like Kobo, Jikaku, and Chisho, who displayed open contempt for the Lotus Sutra." -- Repaying Debts of Gratitude
"...Though one may perform meritorious deeds, if they are directed toward what is untrue, then those deeds may bring great evil, but they will never result in good. On the other hand, though one may be ignorant and make meager offerings, if one presents those offerings to a person who upholds the truth, one’s merit will be great. How much more so in the case of people who in all sincerity make offerings to the correct teaching!"
In The Awakening of Faith in the Mahayana, Ashvaghosha writes about the skandas [aggregates]:
"As the World-honored one, considering the inferior intellectual caliber of Shravakas (Men of Learning) and Pratyekabuddhas (Men of Self Realization), taught them only the doctrine of the non-personal atman, [and did not make any further demonstration of the doctrine], the people have in the meantime formed a fixed idea of the transitoriness of the five skandhas, and being terrified of the thought of birth and death, have fanatically craved for Nirvana.
In order that this clinging may be eliminated, be it clearly understood that the essence of the five skandhas is uncreate, there is no annihilation of them; that since there is no annihilation of them, they are in their [metaphysical]origin Nirvana itself."
“All of the wise persons of Japan at the present time are like the host of stars, and I, Nichiren, am like the full moon.” — The Selection of the Time
The Selection of The Time, one of Nichiren’s Five Major Writings, is a series of thirty-six questions and thirty answers. Can you answer the questions?
Question: If one preaches the great Law to people who do not have the capacity to understand it, then the foolish ones among them will surely slander it and will fall into the evil paths of existence. Is the person who does the preaching not to blame for this?
Question: Now these two views appear to be as incompatible as fire and water. May I ask how one is to resolve this dilemma? [The two views regarding the utilization of the gentle or forceful practices when spreading the Lotus Sutra]
Question: When is the time for the preaching of the Hinayana sutras and the provisional sutras, and when is the time for the preaching of the Lotus Sutra?
Answer: Even bodhisattvas, from those at the ten stages of faith to great bodhisattvas on the level of near perfect enlightenment, find it difficult to judge matters concerning time and capacity. How then can ordinary beings such as ourselves be able to judge such matters?
Question: Is there no way to determine them?
Answer: Let us borrow the eye of the Buddha to consider this question of time and capacity. Let us use the sun of the Buddha to illuminate the nation.
Question: What do you mean by that?
Question: What passages can you cite to prove this?
Question: The sutra passages you have cited clearly prove your point. But are there any prophecies in the writings of T’ien-t’ai, Miao-lo, or Dengyo that would support your argument?
Question: What you say is perfectly true. Nevertheless, we ordinary people have only a very remote idea of what the sutras mean, while the commentaries are more accessible and easier to understand. If there are clear passages of proof in such relatively understandable commentaries, then citing them might help us have greater faith in your argument.
Question: Do the scholars Nagarjuna and Vasubandhu say anything about this principle [of Namu-myoho-renge-kyo]?
Question: Why did they not expound it?
Question: Could you explain the matter in greater detail? [Why Nagarjuna and Vasubandu did not expound the Supreme Law].
Question: How then can you say that in the Middle Day of the Law the teachings of the Lotus Sutra were not widely disseminated and spread abroad?
Question: Do you mean to say that Nagarjuna, Vasubandhu, and the others did not teach the true meaning of the Lotus Sutra?
Question: Then what doctrines did they teach?
Question: How do you know that this is so? [repeated two times, that Nagarjuna and Vasubandu did not teach the doctrines of the Lotus Sutra].
Question: Among the treatises remaining in India, are there any that are superior to the ones transmitted to China? [Referring to any which might be superior the Lotus Sutra which was transmitted to China in the 3rd Century CE].
Question: Is there anyone else who thinks the way you do in this matter? [That the Three Truths doctrine is only correctly illucidated in the Lotus Sutra which goes way beyond the mere doctrine of Emptiness expounded in such Sutras as the Perfection of Wisdom and Flower Garland].
Question: In the latter part of the T’ang dynasty, the Tripitaka Master Pu-k’ung introduced to China a treatise in one volume entitled The Treatise on the Mind Aspiring for Enlightenment, whose authorship he ascribed to Bodhisattva Nagarjuna. The Great Teacher Kobo says of it, “This treatise represents the heart and core of all the thousand treatises of Nagarjuna.” What is your opinion on this?
Question: How do you know that the translators other than Kumarajiva made errors?
Question: That tells us about the translators who lived at the time of Kumarajiva or before. But what about later translators such as Shan-wu-wei or Pu-k’ung? [This question pertains to the false and error filled translations and misguided translators in the Middle Day but please keep in mind that today, in this Latter Day, the problem of false and erroneous translations from the misguided Nichiren Shoshu and Soka Gakkai translators are an even more grievous matter].
Question: In view of all this, how can you deny that during the Middle Day of the Law the true meaning of the Lotus Sutra was not made clear,..?
Question: How then can you deny that in the latter part of the Middle Day of the Law the wide proclamation and propagation of the Lotus Sutra was not achieved?
Question: What is this secret Law? First, tell me its name, and then I want to hear its meaning.
Question: In what way are these three schools in error? [Pure Land, True Word, and Zen]
Question: What are we to make of such statements put forth in these commentaries? [That the True Word teachings Are Superior to the Lotus Sutra teachings].
Question: When it comes to those who maintain that the Lotus Sutra is superior to the True Word teachings, should they try to make use of these commentaries by Jikaku, or should they reject them?
Question: How do we come to understand it? [The Tendai priest Jikaku's errors].
Question: The great earthquake of the Shoka era, the huge comet of the Bun’ei era— what caused these to appear?
T’ien-t’ai says, “Wise men can perceive the cause of things, as snakes know the way of snakes.”
Question: What do you mean by this statement?
Question: Is there anyone in Japan, China, or India who understands this matter? [That bodhisattva Superior Practices Has been summoned by Shakyamuni Buddha to spread Namu Myoho renge kyo in this dreadful age]?
Question: But if there is no wise person who understands why these calamities have arisen, then how can proper steps be taken to deal with them?
Question: Now the great earthquake and the huge comet that have appeared are calamities brought about by heaven, which is enraged because the ruler of our country hates Nichiren and sides with the Zen, Nembutsu, and True Word priests who preach doctrines that will destroy the nation!
How can I believe that?
Question: At the time of your second pronouncement on the twelfth day of the ninth month in the eighth year of the Bun’ei era, when you incurred the wrath of the authorities, how did you know that if harm was done to you rebellion would break out and the country would also be attacked by armies from abroad?
Question: These men were all guilty of faults that condemned them to the Avichi hell or the hell of incessant suffering. How, then, do you dare to claim that you are the wisest man in the entire land of Jambudvipa? Will you not fall into hell like the others? What a frightful thing to do!
Question: Is there anyone from times past who has spoken the way you have just done? [Nichiren Daishonin's proclaiming himself the Supreme Votary of the Sutra].
Question: “But under what circumstances should one be prepared to sacrifice one’s life and safety?”
Hongaku means Original Enlightenment. Shigaku means attained of enlightenment. To explain the relationship between Hongaku and Shigaku here are two examples: A man is in a dark room with furniture but he can not see and make use of anything inside the room because it is dark. However, once he turns on the light, he can clearly see the furniture in the room. The furniture was there from the beginning, however, he sees it only after he turns on the light. It is not that the furniture suddenly appeared. The furniture was always there. It was just he could not see it. The fact that the furniture was there from the beginning stands for Hongaku and the fact that turning on the light and the ability to see the furniture stands for Shigaku. Another example is a blind man who meets an excellent physician who performs an operation on his eyes. The doctor cured his blind eyes. He is now is able to see the sun and the moon. The sun and the moon were originally there (Hongaku) but he saw them for the first time when his eyes were cured (Shigaku).
Therefore, when one attains enlightenment (Shigaku), he never fail to attain original enlightenment (Hongaku). It is not until one has Shigaku that he becomes aware of Hongaku (Oh! Everything is originally in the enlightened state!!). So, until the time of Shigaku, we should make use of our power of belief that this world is in reality the Buddha's Pure Land. Nichiren Daishonin said in his writing named "Junyoze no koto", "Like waking up to reality from dream where one saw various illusion; after cleaning off the deluded thought and view, then you will see that everywhere in the dharma world is the Pure Land of tranquil light, and that the body of your own is the Tathagata of original enlightenment (Hongaku) possessing the three bodies in one." Some say that "Junyoze no koto" is a 'forgery'. However, this Gosho is one of the Roku-nai Goshos. So it should be considered a genuine Gosho. I think the attitude of discarding every Gosho that contradicts one's own opinion will prevent one from a proper understanding of Nichiren Buddhism. Needless to say, the explanation I wrote about Hongaku and Shigaku have nothing to do with the the Hongaku of old medieval T'ien T'ai which teaches that we need not practice because everyone is already enlightened.
Rev. Sorin Yasuhara FOLLOW UP TO CORRECTING H.G. LAMONT'S VIEW: September 22, 1998
As you know the parables regarding "Hongaku and Shigaku" that I wrote before was from the Mahaparinirvana Sutra (pp.522-523 Vol,2) which Rev. Honda cited in his book along with "Junyoze no koto". Answer to Mr. Lamont's last note 1) Lamont and some of the other sect's scholars thinks "Junyoze no Koto' is a forgery. But teachers of Jumonryu (followers of Nichiju) do not. Rev. Honda used this Gosho to support his view not only in "Daizokyo yogi" but also even in "Hokekyo Kogi" ("Lectures on the Lotus Sutra") the copy or which Lamont stated he had in his last note. Also Rev. Honda put this Gosho into his "Seigoroku" (analects of sacred words). Moreover, another famous teacher of Jumonryu, Rev. Nisshi Nakagawa also put this Gosho into his "Seigoroku" (analects of sacred words). I think the reason why he insists that this Gosho is a forgery is that it bothers his biased view on the Nichiren Buddhism. It is the matter of course that this Gosho does not bother the correct view of Jumonryu at all. 2) Lamont brings forward the so-called "Hongaku shiso" (ideology of Hongaku) and refutes it citing Rev. Honda"s words in "Hokekyo kogi,"with which he thinks is a refutation to my last note regarding "Hongaku and Shigaku'. And Lamont hates Hongaku monism and thinks Hongaku monism is not the view of Jumonryu (followers of Nichiju).
I agree with him on the point that "Hongaku shiso" is wrong. But it is totally beside the mark to refute us with refuting "Hongaku shiso". Because the term "Hongaku" itself never means nor imply the "Hongaku shiso". He misunderstands to take the term "Hongaku" immediately as "Hongaku shiso". This is the most critical and fundamental error in his view.
As I explained before, the term "Hongaku" only means "Original Enlightenment". This, as everyone can see very easily, is what is preached in the Honmon (Original Doctrine), especially in the Chapter 16 'Measure of life'. On the other hand, in the Shakumon (Manifestation Doctrine) it preaches on the basis of "Shigaku" (Attainment of Enlightenment). Therefore, needless to say the, subject of "Hongaku and Shigaku" is parallel to the subject of "Honmon and Shakumon".
In the Shakumon, there is a matter of "attaining" but in the Honmom there is no such a matter because Honmon is the view or world which is preached from the stand point of the Original (Eternal) Buddha, In other words. Shakamon is based on dualism and preaches distinction (discrimination) between worldly beings and Buddha; Honmom is based on monism and preaches the ultimate equality of worldly beings and Buddha. If Buddhism does not preach monism and only upholds dualism, it loses its life. There are in the world many other religions like Judaism, Christianity or lslam which are based on dualism with the teachings of absolute discrimination between divinity and humanity. And they are wrong in their object of worship and doctrine of ultimate dualism. In other words, it is a matter of common knowledge that Nichiren Buddhism is a religion of monism, because the Lotus Sutra (Hokekyo) is the teaching or One Vehicle (Ichi-jo). More importantly, it does not mean mechanical monism but means the monism that can only be attained through our faith of whole-hearted devotion (Namu). In this sense, chanting Namu Myoho Renge Kyo (Daimoku) wholeheartedly is essential for this monism. It is a bridge between dualism and monism. This is the theory of Sokushin-Jobutsu (attaining Buddhahood in this very body) of Nichiren Buddhism
So if we remain attached to the view that dualism is the ultimate substance of the doctrine of Nichiren Buddhism, where can we find the possibility of Jobutsu (attaining Buddhahood)? With such a wrong view, Buddha and we are forever parallel lines. In the "Kanjin Honzon Sho" (On the Object of Worship in Contemplation), Nichiren Daishonin states:
"Now the Saha World of the Original Time is the Ever-abiding Pure Land apart from the Three Calamities and outside of the Four Kalpas. The Buddha has not already been extinguished in the past and will not be born in the future. Those who are converted are of the same essence. This is identical to the complete possession of the three thousand (realms) of one's own mind, the three types world" (translated by Lamont).
How does Lamont read this essential part of this Gosho? Does he reject the "Kanjin Honzon Sho" as a forgery, too?
"Hongaku Shiso" is a distorted view derived from the erroneous understanding of the doctrine of the Buddha's Three Bodies. This view does not take into account the unity of the Three Bodies. Instead, it links the Dharma Body only to worldly beings and the other two bodies (Enjoyment Body and Response Body) to the Buddha. One who has this view is conceited, thinking that it is the worldly beings who are the Original Buddha and Buddhas like Shakya and Taho are merely Manifestation Buddhas.This is an abstract view, equivalent to the man in the dark or the blind man before his operation in the parables I wrote in the first note. This view shuts the door to attaining Buddhahood since it denies the need for flipping the light switch and the excellent physician.
One must not take the Gosho passage, "Like waking up to reality from dream where one saw various illusion; after deluded thought and view, then you will see that everywhere in is the Pure Land of tranquil light, and that the body of your own is the Tathagata of original enlightenment possessing the three bodies in one.", out of context of a correct faith, practice, and study. It expresses the ultimate state of life which comes after cleaning off deluded thought and view (practice).
The "Tathagata of original enlightenment possessing the three bodies in one" is the very "Actual Buddha" (Ji Butsu) revealed in the Chapter 16 of the Hokekyo. That is by no means the Ideality (Abstraction) of Unmanifest Original Enlightenment (Hongaku no ritai) or Abstract Buddha (Ributsu).
Accordingly, there is no argument from the beginning save for Lamont's confusion and misunderstanding. If he has some more confusion in this regard, he should read carefully the writings of Nichiren Daishonin and the teachers of Jumonryu, especially Nichiju Daishoshi's "Fuju-sho". Then he will surely find a break-through.