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Saturday, September 3, 2016

Soka Spirit/The Temple Issue "has brought shame upon Nichiren's Buddhism"

submitted  by BlancheFromage
The following is the conclusion to a former SGI-USA leader/member's account of his experience with "the Temple Issue" - the rest is in the first reply to this topic.
I feel that the SGI has lead the members down a slippery-slope – pumping them up with self-righteous zeal, and aiming negativity at fellow Buddhists, now regarded as enemies. In retrospect, my own personal conduct was like a solider that killed during war because “I was just following orders.” I have since reflected on my actions and taken refuge in the Buddha. For those still fighting this w2inless war, I feel compassion and great pity, because only bad karma will ensue.
Members are taught that to fight the priests is the highest cause – something that Nichiren himself would praise and sanction. They are commanded from the highest level that those who refuse to fight will miss their great opportunity to attain Buddhahood, and “will instead fall into the hell of incessant suffering.” How frightening! There is no honor or Buddhahood in trying to destroy another sect of Buddhism – and what is so ironic is that the SGI and NST are virtually identical. It is tragic that the members have been put in the middle of this battle of egos, ambitions, and wills. No – they’ve been put on the front lines and told that if they don’t fight against this perceived evil that they will fall into hell. Prayers to impede, confound, destroy, and harm in no way produce happiness or good karma. I believe that Nichiren’s writing have been taken out of context by NST and the SGI, thus they are locked in a winless battle, likeSiamese twins who are at war with each other. To my way of thinking, this futile conflict has brought shame on Nichiren’s Buddhism. The solution to this problem is for each to go their separate ways and end the conflict. Or, perhaps, they can recognize that they pretty much believe the same thing and should strike a compromise. This could only be possible if PI would step aside, and the SGI would center itself on the high priest and priesthood – the exact same way it was done before the split. In those days, PI was the master of the laity, but he was supposed to be centered on the authority of the high priest. Thus, the members served three masters, so to speak – they were trained by president Ikeda who served the high priest, and we all took refuge in the Buddha dharma of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo and the Gohonzon. The priests said, “know your place.” The SGI claimed we were all equal. Somewhere in these two opposing views is the middle way. I found it. So can they – but I wouldn’t hold my breath.
He's right - this petty feud is dishonorable, ignoble, demeaning, and shameful. They've made themselves a laughingstock, and their rank hypocrisy is clear to all - take a look at these two bullet points from the SGI's own charter:
  • SGI shall respect and protect the freedom of religion and religious expression.
  • SGI shall, based on the Buddhist spirit of tolerance, respect other religions, engage in dialogue and work together with them toward the resolution of fundamental issues concerning humanity.
BUT NOT NICHIREN SHOSHU!! RE: Nichiren Shoshu, SGI-USA will only express the most hateful uncompromising intolerance and antagonism!
...all the while purporting to teach the world the proper way to live and how to attain happiness while promoting world peace - while at war with the group that gave them their start and provided the legitimacy that enabled them to exist in the first place. What a bunch of self-righteous ungrateful spoiled brats!

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