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Saturday, April 22, 2017

Disproving SGI's assertions of righteousness

An SGI member quotes Nichiren to prove SGI rightousness:

"Those who call themselves my disciples and practice the Lotus Sutra should all practice as I do. If they do, Shakyamuni, Many Treasures, Shakyamuni's emanations throughout the ten directions, and the ten demon daughters will protect them." -- On Establishing the Four Bodisattvas as the Object of Devotion WND, 978

Let us put this passage into context, first with the entirety of this writing and then with the entirety of Nichiren's writings. Two salient points of the writing, On Establishing the Four Bodhisattvas as the Object of Worship I would like to bring out [to validate my assertions about the SGI teachings]:

"In your letter you asked: "You have told me that an object of devotion should be made of Shakyamuni Buddha of the essential teaching, who attained enlightenment in the remote past, attended by the four bodhisattvas who sprang from the earth and who have been his disciples since that remote past. If this is correct, when is such an object of devotion to be established? "

The SGI denies that the object of devotion is Lord Shakyamuni of the essential teachings. This is not practicing with the same faith as Nichiren.

Finally, Nichiren writes in the concluding paragraphs:

"You also mentioned in your letter that the people connected with Ota Jomyo are apparently saying that the theoretical teaching of the Sutra can in no way lead to enlightenment. They are making a serious mistake. Remember this about the theoretical and essential teachings of the Lotus Sutra: Which is shallow and which profound, which superior and which inferior, which lenient and which severe, and which subordinate and which primary must be judged in accordance with the time and the people's capacity. There are three periods in which the sacred teachings of the Buddha's lifetime should be propagated; the people's capacity should be thought of in the same way.

In the first five hundred years of the Former Day of the Law following the Buddha's passing, only Hinayana teachings spread, while in the next five hundred years, provisional Mahayana teachings spread. The thousand years of the Middle Day of the Law saw the rise of the theoretical teaching. In the beginning of the Latter Day of the Law, only the essential teaching spreads, but even so, the theoretical teaching should not be discarded. Nowhere in the entire Lotus Sutra do we find a passage suggesting that we should discard the first fourteen chapters, which comprise the theoretical teaching. When we distinguish between the theoretical and the essential teachings on the basis of the threefold classification of the entire body of the Buddha's teachings, the pre- Lotus Sutra teachings were to be spread in the Former Day, and the theoretical teaching, in the Middle Day, but the Latter Day is the time to propagate the essential teaching. In the present period the essential teaching is primary, while the theoretical teaching is subordinate. But those who therefore discard the latter, saying it is not the way to enlightenment, and believe only in the former, have not yet understood the doctrine of Nichiren's true intention. Theirs is a completely distorted view.

This doctrine concerning the theoretical and essential teachings is not my own [but was expounded by the Buddha]. Those who would distort it can only be possessed by the heavenly devil, or Papiyas, and will topple others along with themselves into the great citadel of the hell of incessant suffering. How foolish they are! Teach this doctrine to others clearly as I have taught you these many years. Those who call themselves my disciples and practice the Lotus Sutra should all practice as I do. If they do, Shakyamuni, Many Treasures, Shakyamuni's emanations throughout the ten directions, and the ten demon daughters will protect them. Yet, for all that, [some people associated with Ota Jomyo distort the teaching]. I cannot fathom what could be in their minds.

The priest Nichigyo's [Sammibo's] death was indeed pitiful. I recited the Lotus Sutra and chanted Namu-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. I have not yet recovered from my illness, so I have written only briefly. I will write to you again."

The SGI, on the other hand, teaches the Nichikan doctrine: "We chant the Juryo-hon to smash the Hoben-pon and we chant the Daimoku to smash the Juryo-hon." They also teach:

"Although LS and Gosho are great teachings, they are limited to certain countries (Asian countries) and certain era (India 6 centuries BC, or 13th century Japan). It may need some explanations and interpretations in applying their principles to modern times and to other countries, such as Western countries and Africa. The person who is doing this unprecedented task is SGI President Ikeda. With his Ichinen and wisdom, Nichiren Daishonin's teachings has spread to 14 million people in 128 countries. President Ikeda is the mentor for our Buddhist practice. There is no other person in the world who can do this. . . . KHS members assert that LS and Gosho can be understood clearly by reading and interpreting as they are. This is an arrogant attitude. When someone falls into arrogance that he/she can understand everything by him/herself, the individual growth stops and he/she will fail to attain enlightenment. Buddhism is profound. No matter how many years we practice, still we always make new discoveries when we read Sensei's lectures and speeches."

Nichiren says we can not even abandon the Theoretical section of the Lotus Sutra but SGI teaches that the Lotus Sutra only applies to 6th Century India and the Lotus Sutra and Nichiren teach that the Lotus Sutra applies to to the entire world [Jambudvipa] throughout the Latter Day [Lotus Sutra Chapters 13, 14, 15, 21, 22 and 23 and countless passages from the writings of Nichiren].

In asserting that the Lotus Sutra is too difficult and not applicable to us, SGI's teachings are no different than Nembutsu and Zen. In the Opening of the Eyes, Nichiren writes:

"Great Concentration and Insight says: "If one lacks faith [in the Lotus Sutra], one will object that it pertains to the lofty realm of the sages, something far beyond the capacity of one's own wisdom to comprehend. If one lacks wisdom, one will become puffed up with arrogance and will claim to be the equal of the Buddha."

Puffed up with arrogance, SGI teaches:

"...Buddhism is a teaching of mentor and disciple, expounding as it does the oneness of the Buddha (mentor) and living beings (disciples)."-- Encounter With a Mentor, World Tribune, Jun 25, 1999 PAGE 7

In other SGI writings they make the claim that all SGI members are Buddhas while actually, the members are treated as anything but Buddhas by their seniors in faith.

There are ten epithets of a Buddha used in the Lotus Sutra: Worshipful. All Wise, Perfectly Enlightened in Conduct, Understander of the World, Peerless Leader, Controller, Teacher of Gods and Men, Buddha, Tathagata. Would a Buddha say to another Buddha, "you lack faith" or "you ask too many questions, like Sharihotsu"? Why would a Buddha need guidance? Since when do Buddhas receive guidance from other Buddhas? When a Buddha expounds his teachings they are all true without a single exception. Every last Buddha has their own retinue of disciples and believers. Thus there is no need for a centralized organization of Buddhas since each one is autonomous and creates their own organization of believers.

If you compare the way the SGI and we treat believers, you see that we come much closer to the ideal of treating members as Buddhas, with all the faith, wisdom, and respect accorded to a Buddha.

Here are two similar passages to the one cited by the SGI member at the top of this essay.

"If you are of the same mind as Nichiren, you must be a Bodhisattva of the Earth." (The True Aspect of All Phenomena)

"In the same way, one who chants the Daimoku as the Lotus Sutra teaches will never have a twisted mind." (MW vol 5, Letter to Myomitsu Shonin, pg 196)

The reality of the SGI faith and practice, particularly SGI interfaith, Nichiren as True Buddha doctrine, and SGI Guru Yoga, is more correctly mirrored in the following passages:

"They entirely look up to groups of icchantikas and rely on them as leaders and, reverencing blasphemers against the Dharma, make them national teachers. Taking up the Classic Filial Piety of Confucious, they beat their parents' heads and, while chanting the Lotus Sutra of Lord Shakya with their mouths, they go against the Master of teachings." -- Letter to Tonsured Layman Soya.

"Those who practice Buddhism but adhere to distorted views destroy this loftiest of Sutras." -- Reply to Soya Nyudo

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