1. You do not have to convert to Buddhism to chant. Anyone can chant. It's like meditation or yoga..it's a practice.
2. The goal of this practice is RESULTS, also called actual proof, or benefits. In other words - you get what you chant for- or something better - as long as you do not give up.
Nonsense. The goal is Enlightenment.
3. In this practice, each person is a Buddha and possesses the entire power of the universe within their own lives. This is the awakening that the original Buddha experienced under the Bodhi tree. Nonsense. Those who live and behave as the Buddha and Nichiren are Buddhas.
We all possess the potential for bringing forth our own Buddhahood (happiness and strength) through chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, right now, in this lifetime ~ without having to focus on making other changes in our lives.
Nonsense. Did you forget about your [SGI/Ikeda's] Human Revoluton, let alone the Truth of Temporary Existence [change].
4. We have a Living Mentor ~ Daisaku Ikeda is the President of the Soka Gakkai International. I write about him often. Several of the posts last week were on the mentor and disciple relationship. Daisaku Ikeda is an extraordinary human being that we connect with through his writings, his speeches, his actions and through our own hearts.
You have Daisaku Ikeda. He is as good as dead, if not already dead. We have Shakyamuni Buddha and Nichiren Daishonin...
“Shakyamuni Buddha, the Lord-preacher of this pure land, has never died in the past, nor will he be born in the future. He exists forever, throughout the past, present and future.”
5.There are no lifestyle, diets, rules of behavior or “paths” to memorize or carefully trod. There is the keen awareness that life operates under the strict law of cause and effect, and at each moment WE are creating our lives, but most of us knew that already!
Nonsense. "The purpose of the appearance in this world of Shakyamuni Buddha, the lord of teachings, lies in his behavior as a human being”
6. Desire is not the enemy. Your desires lead you to chant...when you chant you change your karma. Each person chants for their desires from their heart. Alleviation of desire is not the goal of this practice. Neither is mindlessness. We focus when we chant. Nonsense."Simply chant Namu Myoho renge kyo and strive to attain the way"; and "Thus he states: 'Chant the Lotus Sutra with your ordinary distracted mind. You do not have to enter into a state of mental concentration. Whether sitting, standing, or walking, just fix your whole mind on the words of the Lotus Sutra.'”
Nonsense. Regarding desires [attachments], the 5th of the 14 slanders is attachment to earthly desires.
7. There are no clergy, no robes and no temples. YOU have direct access to the power of the universe, your own Buddha power within. No intermediaries are needed. We SGI members practice together because we grow and learn together. There are SGI (Soka Gakkai - Value Creating Organization) community centers, and many smaller meetings are held in people’s homes. We are all normal people in the world living extraordinarily happy lives.
Nonsense. Nichiren was a priest. He had many priest disciples, not a few who were faithful to Nichiren until their last moment. They protected and preserved his teachings until today
8. We are changing our karma every time we chant. We can change our karma. Karma is not immutable. Suffering is not "Noble", but it is part of life. The goal of chanting is HAPPINESS, not to learn to be better sufferers.
Nonsense. Nichiren teaches that we change our karma when we encounter the Three Obstacles and Four Devils. For example:
"I SEE from your letter that you have been stricken with a painful affliction. On the one hand, knowing that you are in agony grieves me, but on the other, I am delighted. The Vimalakīrti Sutra states: “At that time the wealthy Vimalakīrti thought to himself, ‘I am ill, lying on my bed, [yet why does the World-Honored One, man of great compassion, not take pity on me]?’ . . . At that time the Buddha said toManjushrī, ‘Go visit Vimalakīrti, and inquire after his illness.’” TheNirvana Sutra says, “At that time the Thus Come One . . . assumed the appearance of one who is ill in body and lay on his right side like a sick man.” The Lotus Sutra states, “[The Thus Come One is well and happy], with few ills and few worries.” The eighth volume of Great Concentration and Insight states: “Vimalakīrti lay on his sickbed in Vaishālī, making his illness a pretext to promote the teachings . . . Through his death, the Thus Come One taught the eternity [of life], and through illness, the power [of Buddhism].” It also says: “There are six causes of illness: (1) disharmony of the four elements; (2) improper eating or drinking; (3) inappropriate practice of seated meditation; (4) attack by demons; (5) the work of devils; and (6) the effects of karma.”
The eighth volume of Great Concentration and Insight states: “Vimalakīrti lay on his sickbed in Vaishālī, making his illness a pretext to promote the teachings . . . Through his death, the Thus Come One taught the eternity [of life], and through illness, the power [of Buddhism].” It also says: “There are six causes of illness: (1) disharmony of the four elements; (2) improper eating or drinking; (3) inappropriate practice of seated meditation; (4) attack by demons; (5) the work of devils; and (6) the effects of karma.”
The Nirvana Sutra reads: “There are three types of people whose illness is extremely difficult to cure. The first is those who slander the great vehicle; the second, those who commit the five cardinal sins; and the third, icchantikas, or persons of incorrigible disbelief. These three categories of illness are the gravest in the world.”
It also states: “One who creates evil karma in this life . . . will surely suffer in hell. . . . But by making offerings to the three treasures, one avoids falling into hell and receives the retribution in this life, in the form of afflictions of the head, eye, or back.” Great Concentration and Insight states, “Even if one has committed grave offenses . . . the retribution can be lessened in this life. Thus, illness occurs when evil karma is about to be dissipated.” In his Treatise on the Great Perfection of Wisdom, Bodhisattva Nāgārjuna says: “Question: . . . [Answer]: If that is so, then none of the sutras, from the Flower Garland to the Wisdom sutras, is a secret teaching, but the Lotus Sutra is secret. . . . [The Lotus Sutra is] like a great physician who can change poison into medicine.”T’ien-t’ai explained the quotation further, saying: “This can be likened toa skilled physician who can change poison into medicine. . . . That persons of the two vehicles were given the prophecy of their enlightenment in this sutra means that it can change poison into medicine. This is what Great Perfection of Wisdom means when it says, ‘The various sutras are not secret teachings; only the Lotus Sutra is secret.’”2 Great Concentration and Insight says, “The Lotus Sutra can cure them [illnesses], which is why it is called myō, or wonderful.” Miao-lo says, “Because it can cure what is thought to be incurable, it is calledmyō, or wonderful.”
The Nirvana Sutra states: “King Ajātashatru of Rājagriha was wicked by nature . . . He killed his father, and thereafter, in a fit of remorse, he developed a high fever . . . Because of the fever from remorse, boils broke out over his entire body. They were foul and evil-smelling, so that none could come near. At that time his mother, Vaidehī, tried to help by applying various medicines, but this only made the boils worse; there appeared to be no hope of recovery. The king said to his mother, ‘These boils have their origin in the mind; they do not arise from the four elements. Though people say that there is a physician who can cure them, that could not possibly be . . .’ Then the World-Honored One, the compassionate and merciful teacher, entered into the moon-loving meditation for the king’s sake. Upon entering meditation, he emitted a brilliant ray of light. This ray of clear coolness fell upon the body of the king, and instantly the boils were healed.”
The Lotus Sutra of the Wonderful Law, which is the great wisdom of equality, says in its seventh volume: “This sutra provides good medicine for the ills of the people of Jambudvīpa. If a person who has an illness is able to hear this sutra, then his illness will be wiped out and he will know neither old age nor death.”
In light of the above quotations, it would seem that your illness cannot have originated in anything other than the six causes of disease. I will set aside the first five causes for the moment. Illnesses of the sixth, which result from karma, are the most difficult to cure. They vary in severity, and one cannot make any fixed pronouncements, but we know that the gravest illnesses result from the karma created by slandering the Lotus Sutra. Even Shen Nung, Huang Ti, Hua T’o, and Pien Ch’üeh threw up their hands,6 and Water Holder, Water Carrier, Jīvaka, and Vimalakīrti likewise kept silent. Such illnesses can only be cured by the good medicine of the one Buddha Shakyamuni’s Lotus Sutra, as that sutra itself explains.
The Nirvana Sutra, referring to the Lotus Sutra, states: “Even the offense of slandering this correct teaching [will be eradicated] if one repents and professes faith in the correct teaching. . . . No teaching other than this correct teaching can save or protect one. For this reason one should take faith in the correct teaching.” The Great Teacher Ching-hsi8said, “The Nirvana Sutra is itself pointing to the Lotus Sutra and saying that it is the ultimate.” He further said: “It is like the case of a person who falls to the ground, but who then pushes himself up from the ground and rises to his feet again. Thus, even though one may slander the correct teaching, one will eventually be saved from the evil paths.”
Bodhisattva Vasubandhu was originally a scholar of Hinayana Buddhism. In an effort to prevent Mahayana Buddhism from spreading throughout the five regions of India, he wrote five hundred treatises onHinayana. Later, however, he encountered Bodhisattva Asanga and abandoned his erroneous views on the spot. Facing Asanga, he said that, in order to eradicate this offense all at once, he wanted to cut out his own tongue. Asanga stopped him, saying, “Vasubandhu, use that tongue to praise Mahayana.” Vasubandhu immediately wrote five hundred Mahayana treatises in which he refuted Hinayana. He also made a vow that, as long as he lived, he would never place the Hinayana teachings on his tongue. In this way he eradicated his past offense and was later reborn in the heaven where Bodhisattva Maitreya dwells.
Bodhisattva Ashvaghosha, a native of eastern India, was thirteenth among the successors of the Buddha’s teachings. At one time Ashvaghosha had been a leader of Brahmanism. When he debated with the Buddhist monk Punyayashas over the validity of their respective teachings, however, he quickly realized the superiority of Buddhist teachings. Ashvaghosha was prepared to behead himself in order to pay for his past offense, saying, “I have been my own worst enemy, leading myself to hell.” But Punyayashas admonished him, saying, “Ashvaghosha, do not behead yourself! Use that head and mouth to praise Mahayana.” Ashvaghosha soon thereafter wrote The Awakening of Faith in the Mahayana, in which he refuted Brahmanism and Hinayana. This marked the beginning of the spread of Mahayana Buddhism in India.
The Great Teacher Chi-tsang of Chia-hsiang-ssu temple was among the most outstanding scholars in China. He was the founder of the Three Treatises school, and lived on Mount Hui-chi in Wu. Believing that none could equal him in knowledge, he raised the banner of his pride to its highest. He challenged the Great Teacher T’ien-t’ai to discuss the meaning of the passage that states, “Among the sutras I have preached, now preach, and will preach, [this Lotus Sutra is the most difficult to believe and the most difficult to understand].” In the debate Chi-tsang was soundly defeated and thereupon renounced his misguided beliefs. In order to expiate his serious offense of slander of the correct teaching and of those who upheld it, he gathered more than one hundred eminent scholars and begged the Great Teacher T’ien-t’ai Chih-che to lecture to them. Chi-tsang used his body as a bridge for the Great Teacher T’ien-t’ai to climb [onto the preaching platform], supporting T’ien-t’ai’s feet with his head. Moreover, he served T’ien-t’ai for seven years, cutting firewood and drawing water for him. He ceased giving lectures of his own, dispersed his followers, and in order to purge himself of his great conceit, refrained from reciting the Lotus Sutra. After the Great Teacher T’ien-t’ai’s death, Chi-tsang had an audience with the emperor of the Sui dynasty to pay his respects. As he was leaving, he clutched His Majesty’s knees and tearfully bade him farewell. Sometime later, Chi-tsang looked into an old mirror and, seeing his reflection, condemned himself for his past errors. All these many acts of penitence were done to eradicate his karmic disease.
The Lotus, the wonderful sutra of the single vehicle, is the golden words of the three kinds of Buddhas. Likened to a bright jewel, it ranks highest among all the sutras that “I have preached, now preach, and will preach.” There are passages in the Lotus Sutra that say, “Among the sutras, it [the Lotus Sutra] holds the highest place,” and “[Among those sutras] the Lotus is the foremost!” The Great Teacher Dengyō said that [the Lotus school is] the school founded by the Buddha himself.1
9. We do not chant “to” anything outside of us. There is no Higher Power in this practice. When we are chanting we access our own wisdom and power as a the Buddha, or awakened one. We are chanting to our own lives.
Nonsense. Ichinen Sanzen [3000 Worlds in a Moment of Existence and the Three Realms] and Nichiren prove that "in" and "out" are inseparable. The Gohonzon and correct Gohonzon is indispensable.
10. The main practice is reciting the words Nam-myoho-renge-kyo over and over and over. Everyone on earth recites the same phrase. It means: "I fuse my life with the mystic (unfathomable) law of cause and effect through sound vibration"
Nonsense. The correct phrase is Namu Myoho renge kyo.
11. The SGI does not discriminate for any reason. All people...ALL people have the right to access the Mystic Law within their own lives.
Nonsense. SGI has excommunicated thousands. Go to any meeting and forcefully assert the faults and flip flops of Daisaku Ikeda and see what happens.
12. There is no guilt, there is only the awareness of the law of cause and effect.
Nichiren teaches, “Those who have yet to attain the truth should humble themselves before the highest principle, which is comparable to heaven, and feel abashed before all the sages. Then they will be monks with a sense of shame. When they manifest insight and wisdom, then they will be true monks.” --Nichiren