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Sunday, September 18, 2016

Whose view is correct?

Dave: “Mark, the Shakyamuni you are worshipping is not the Gautama from India. It is a fictional Shakyamuni, symbolically created by the authors of the Lotus Sutra, who were trying to enlighten people to their own Eternal Buddha nature.”

Mark: Lets just throw out one of the bodies of the Three Bodied Tathagata [the Manifestation Body]. Good. Now, that fits nicely with your reshaping of the Nichiren faith.

Dave: The reality these authors knew for themselves from their own enlightenment. The Shakyamuni of the Lotus Sutra is a story of how a person can attain buddhahood and how he realized that the Buddhahood he attained, was not just a recent occurance (under the bodhi tree), but that Eternal Buddhahood is within all beings.

Mark: If Shakyamuni Buddha and Nichiren Daishonin never taught you this [through Myoho renge kyo], you would be a wandering mendicant.

Dave: i know you think this connection to Shakamuni is important and it is important, but if interpreted the wrong way you miss the real point.

Mark: We interpret our connection to Shakyamuni Buddha exactly as Nichiren Daishonin. Nichiren didn’t revere a disembodied Buddha like Dainichi or Buddha-nature. He revered The Three Bodied Tathagata Shakyamuni, as do we.

Dave: Gautama was a regular person who dicovered how to have the experience of enligtenment. Worshipping him was never his teaching anymore then worshipping Nichiren, was Nichiren’s teaching. Both taught the law.

Mark: Kobo too called Shakyamuni Buddha [of the Juryo Chapter of the Lotus Sutra] an ordinary person: “In his Precious Key to the Secret Treasury he [Kobo] claims that the Shakyamuni Buddha of the ‘Life Span’ chapter of the Lotus Sutra is an ordinary person,…” — The Actions of the Votary of the Lotus Sutra

Dave: In the context of Nichiren dealing with a country of weirdos who worshipped imaginary, fictional buddhas, he pointed back to Shakayamuni a real historical person. he had to break the bad habit of worshipping imaginary beings who would forver be greater then the common mountain folk.

Mark: All of Nichiren’s tears in gratitude for Shakyamuni Buddha, just a teaching device, not real tears, crocodile tears? You are cold Dave…and reading too much into a simple religion based largely on gratitude. Shakyamuni Buddha was Nichiren Daishonin’s teacher [and yours], more important than either sovereign or parent, according to Nichiren. The true votaries of the Lotus Sutra are uncommon mountain folk.

Dave: Scouring the gosho for ways to try to refute this is pointless. Nichiren either did not know the Lotus Sutra wasn’t direct from Shakyamuni or wasn’t saying. I believe he had a good idea about it though, based on various statements he made.

Mark: No teachings of the Buddha were directly from Shakyamuni Buddha. Those who put the Lotus Sutra into words were more Enlightened and better at the game of telephone than the others. They were more faithful, disciplined, and had better memories. That is one reason the present day votaries too experience hatred and jealousy. The best among us, Nichiren Daishonin, remembered the teachings he received from Shakyamuni Buddha in the remote past and again at the Ceremony in the Air on Vulture peak. But of course, if we are to believe you, unlike real tears, Nichiren was lying or merely using a teaching device. Thankfully, it is a free country and you are entitled to believe your mind as the source [of Myoho renge kyo]. We believe it was the Buddha’s mind. We thank Shakyamuni Buddha and you thank yourself. Whose view is superior and whose inferior? Whose view is based on reality and whose on wishful thinking? Whose is based on ego and whose view is based on egolessness? Whose is based on gratitude and whose is based in the World of Anger? Whose view is based on the Sutra and writings of Nichiren Daishonin and whose is not?

Dave: Were it really the case that the historical Buddha was what Nichiren worshipped, then why inscribe a gohonzon, using Ichinen Sanzen as a basis? Ichinen Sanzen was not taught by Gautama and does not appear in the Lotus Sutra, except when interpreted in the light of Ichinen Sanzen. Gautama had taught dependant origination, but did not go further.

Nichiren had his own awakening. So did Tientai. They both knew the Sutra does not teach Ichinen Sanzen directly. Instead they used Ichinen Sanzen as a way to interpret the core of the Lotus Sutra.

Mark: You confuse theoretical and actual Ichinen Sanzen. Actual Ichinen Sanzen is the Buddha himself, the Three Bodied Tathagata specifically, and those who realize their relationship to him generally. The Three Bodied Tathagata, one of whose bodies is the historical Shakyamuni Buddha, is best represented by Gohonzon. Gohonzon itself is Actual Ichinen Sanzen. Since Gohonzon too exists within, no external Gohonzon is actually necessary and there are other ways to represent the Eternal Buddha and the Ceremony In the Air.


  1. Replies
    1. No external Gohonzon necessary ?

    2. No external Gohonzon necessary ?


      Can you *hear* a Gohonzon, Noel? Can you chant a Gohonzon, Noel? Can one be devoted to the Lotus sutra-- dedicate one's ;life to practicing and upholding the Lotus sutra without a /Gohonzon? Yes!

      Did Nichiren bestow Gohonzon for followers who were enraptured by a few material benefits they received from *chanting*? NO. He bestowed Gohonzon for his followers whom he had taught reverence for the Lotus sutra and Shakyamuni Buddha.

      Did Nichiren teach that one must have Gohonzon to attain perfect enlightenment? NO. Though there is a very profound aspect of *protection* Nichiren taught that the Gohonzon provided for those followers and disciples whose faith was strong and resolute, and who were most likely to encounter harsh obstacles and severe hardships-- because of their *strong* FAITH.

      Don't think there are actually very many *practitioners* of Nichren's Buddhism today who would meet criteria Nichiren established for bestowing Gohonzon.

      Greg is correct saying there are " no sects today that truly follow the teacher (ordained by the eternal Buddha ) for the latter age, Nichiren."

      Yes, agree with Greg, this is an excellent refutation by Mark !


    4. The Real Aspect of the Gohonzon

      I HAVE received your offerings to the Gohonzon of five thousand coins, one horseload of polished rice, and fruit. To begin with, this Gohonzon was revealed in the last eight years of the fifty that the Buddha preached in this world, and in this period of eight years, in eight chapters [of the Lotus Sutra], from the "Emerging from the Earth" chapter through the "Entrustment" chapter. Now, during the three periods following the Buddha's passing, in the two thousand years of the Former and Middle Days of the Law, not even the term "object of devotion of the essential teaching" yet existed. How then could the object of devotion have been revealed? Moreover, there was no one who was able to give it expression. T'ien-t'ai, Miao-lo, and Dengyō perceived it in their hearts, but for some reason never put it into words, just as Yen Yüan1 realized the true meaning of Confucius's teaching, but never gave it expression. Yet the sutra itself and the commentaries of T'ien-t'ai and Miao-lo explicitly state that the Gohonzon will appear after two thousand years have elapsed following the Buddha's passing, in the first five hundred years of the Latter Day of the Law.

      How wondrous it is that, around two hundred years and more into the Latter Day of the Law, I was the first to reveal as the banner of propagation of the Lotus Sutra this great mandala that even those such as Nāgārjuna and Vasubandhu, T'ien-t'ai and Miao-lo were unable to express. This mandala is in no way my invention. It is the object of devotion that depicts Shakyamuni Buddha, the World-Honored One, seated in the treasure tower of Many Treasures Buddha, and the Buddhas who were Shakyamuni's emanations as perfectly as a print matches its woodblock. Thus the five characters of the Lotus Sutra's title are suspended in the center, while the four heavenly kings are seated at the four corners of the treasure tower. Shakyamuni, Many Treasures, and the four leaders of the Bodhisattvas of the Earth are side by side at the top. Seated below them are the bodhisattvas, including Universal Worthy and Manjushrī, and the voice-hearers, including Shāriputra and Maudgalyāyana. [Beside them are] the gods of the sun and moon, the devil king of the sixth heaven, the dragon king, and an asura. In addition, the wisdom kings Immovable and Craving-Filled take up their stations to the south and north. The evil and treacherous Devadatta and the ignorant dragon king's daughter form a group. Not only the Mother of Demon Children and the ten demon daughters, who are evil demons that sap the lives of people throughout the major world system, but also the Sun Goddess, Great Bodhisattva Hachiman, and the seven reigns of the heavenly gods and five reigns of the earthly gods, who are the guardian deities of Japan-all the various great and small gods, that is, the main gods, are ranged in rows. How then could the remaining subordinate gods be left out? The "Treasure Tower" chapter states, "[Shakyamuni Buddha used his transcendental powers to] lift all the members of the great assembly up into the air."


    5. Without exception, all these Buddhas, bodhisattvas, great sages, and, in general, all the various beings of the two worlds and the eight groups2 who appear in the "Introduction" chapter of the Lotus Sutra dwell in this Gohonzon. Illuminated by the light of the five characters of the Mystic Law, they display the dignified attributes that they inherently possess. This is the object of devotion.

      This is what is meant when the sutra says "the true aspect of all phenomena."3 Miao-lo stated: "The true aspect invariably manifests in all phenomena, and all phenomena invariably manifest in the ten factors. The ten factors invariably manifest in the Ten Worlds, and the Ten Worlds invariably manifest in life and its environment."4 It is also stated that the profound principle of the true aspect is the originally inherent Myoho-renge-kyo. The Great Teacher Dengyō said, "A single moment of life comprising the three thousand realms is itself the Buddha of limitless joy; this Buddha has forsaken august appearances." Therefore, this Gohonzon shall be called the great mandala never before known; it did not appear until more than 2,220 years after the Buddha's passing.

      A woman who makes offerings to such a Gohonzon invites happiness in this life, and in the next, the Gohonzon will be with her and protect her always. Like a lantern in the dark, like a strong guide and porter on a treacherous mountain path, the Gohonzon will guard and protect you, Nichinyo, wherever you go. Therefore, you should take every care to ward off slanderers of the Law in the same way that you would never wish a courtesan even to come near your home. This is the meaning of "Thrust aside evil friends and associate with good companions."

      The twenty-third day of the eighth month in the third year of Kenji (1277)

      Reply to Nichinyo

    6. anonymous aka, no name - you leave out so much, why?

      "never seek this gohonzon outside yourself"

      buddhism is a vast ocean, but only those with faith can enter".

      "this gohonzon is found in faith alone....only with faith can one enter".

      "one can enter by discarding provisional teachings and never accept even a single phrase from other sutras...they can enter the treasure tower of the gohonzon".

      "the most important thing is to chant only namu myoho renge kyo and attain enlightenment"


  2. "this gohonzon is found in faith alone"

    faith in what? not in ikeda, the high priest, or any organization.

    faith in the person(the eternal shakyamuni), and the law(the lotus sutra).

  3. Spot on Greg! Perfect - Cheers :)

  4. regarding "thus i heard", legitimate disciples in the former and some even in the middle day of the law, could be trusted.....not so in the latter age. there are no sects that truly follow the teacher(ordained by the eternal buddha)for the latter age, nichiren. one should seek accurate translations and stick closely to them. not an easy job.

    for your consideration.

  5. this is an excellent refutation by mark!

  6. "No external Gohonzon necessary?"

    Proof: The Atsuhara martyrs.

  7. Perfect example !

    Now how about Nichiren Shoshu's spin o. The Atsuhars martyrs ? Using " their pure faith " to support Shoshu's claim that Nichiten dedicated a special Dai-Gohonzon to " honor" those who had already attained Buddhahood-- thru " faith alone "

    So isn't that like saying " Dear ALL. Humankind , you can't achieve what the Atsuhara Martys attained thru " faith alone" / you'll need a scroll copied from this humongous wooden Gohonzon - . You'll need to be in good standing with the " keepers of the humongous wooden Gohonzon -- to view it and receive your own copy-- for a price , of course . "

    Enlightenment is now controlled by priests and it is no longer free !!

    The SGI doesn't even have a compelling sales pitch , but then SGI isn't about " stating Budfhshood " Linda Johnson said " we are already Buddhas" -/ so let's get on with building our brand --

    Gohonzon marketing and sales may not be in their " future Sutra's "
    Ay yi yi !
    ~ Katie

  8. None of Mark's replies or the comments are at all congruent with statements I made.

    The points I made above are not addressed. Only a fool thinks Magayana Buddhism was taught by Gatama. You turn him nto an magnary Buddha like how nembutsu upheld Amida or how Vairochana was literaluzed.

    The authors of the Lotus Sutra lived well after Ashoka in the reign of the Kushan Kings. There was no lineage secretly transmttng the Lotus Sutra.

    The truth is that the origin of the Lotus Sutra itself is based on specific experiential events that are within all people but rarely seen. We have a number of authors to thank for their effort to document livng revelations into a volume and have Tientai and Nichiren to thank for revealing the core of sutra theoretically and actually.

    It ONLY pertains to regular common people. The eternal buddha was an expedient way of teaching. Interpreting Nichiren out of the context of 13th century in a literalized way, is what is responsible for mistaken attitudes such as seen in the SGI or the historical sects, that seek to deify an exclusive master, while actually missing what real masters taught.

  9. The real meaning of master disciple in terms of the Lotus Sutra and Nichiren only pertains to following training in the real world and does not pertain to any exclusive deification of masters.

    Those that cannot perceive the real masters, related to them, live in a bubble of illusion. They could not strictly follow Buddhist training and end up with only dogma and superstitions.

  10. Those so-called Buddhists without gratitude and reverence for Shakyamuni Buddha are no better than the roe deer, according to Nichiren. You have no gratitude to anyone but yourself and your dangerous experience with ethnogens. I see. Nichiren's gratitude and reverence for Shakyamuni was a mere expedience while abandoning expedience is the use of LSD. That is no better than the Easy to Practice Way of Honen.

  11. Gratitude to Shayamuni has nothing to do with wirshipping an imaginary being.

    The functions of buddha exist in anyones life. Turning a hman being into a god tobwirship entirely misses the point if buddhism. Your "gratitude" is a false one, based on misjydged dogma and literalism.

  12. Then, the Gohonzon by the same token must be imaginary. when we worship the Gohonzon we worship the Law and the Eternal Buddha, the one who taught you the Law in the remotest past.

  13. A literal reading is a bodily reading. Nichiren practiced a bodily reading, a literal reading. Obviously Dave, you know nothing about a bodily reading or you would get it. Pity for you Dave.

  14. the eternal shakyamuni and his emissary for the latter age, nichiren didn't deal in expedients. thats all pre lotus sutra. "i have not yet revealed the truth".

    ask GMW about master disciple relationship. he a complete failure and died a sad and lonely man with no confidence and with no one to back him up. do sgi/nsa culties learn anything from actual proof? rhetorical.

    1. regarding GMW, the hypocrisy over on the GMW page is just hideous! no doubt he got a very bad deal. did he change his karma? i don't think so.