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Friday, August 3, 2018

Answering a top SGI leaders question on the Paramita (practice) of Wisdom

Dan Defensor SGI leader:" The Daishonin I think was in the absolute sense declaring the power of the Law: "If you chant...with your whole heart" and then "it is not difficult to become a Buddha" like Shakyamuni, to become or "make all people perfectly equal."
Me: Who is it that chants with their whole heart and is a Buddha equal to Shakyamuni? Anyone we know? I'd like to go over to their house and talk to him or her, I'd even take a week or a month off from work to do so. I'd have some questions for him or her too.
Dan Defensor: heh heh heh...I know a couple of women around here who might come close, but that's just my personal limited subjective opinion . But if you're expecting something magical or intellectualy stimulating, you might be disappointed.
Me: I'd have some questions too [just to test their understanding before I committed myself to them. For example why is the paramita of wisdom (prajna) excepted in the merits of one who embraces the lifespan of the Tathagata for even a moment in the 17th Chapter of the Lotus Sutra (Discrimination of Merits) while all the other paramita's are included in his merit.
Dan Defensor [clueless about the Lotus Sutra] responds: This is interesting. Could you quote please?
Me: "...Ajita, if there are living beings who, on hearing that the life span of the Buddha is of such long duration, are able to believe and understand it even for a moment, the benefits they gain thereby will be without limit or measure. Suppose there are good men or good women who, for the sake of anuttara-samyak-sambodhi, over a period of eight hundred thousand million nayutas of kalpas practice the five paramitas - the paramitas of dana (almsgiving), shila (keeping of the precepts), kshanti (forbearance), virya (assiduousness) and dhyana (meditation), the paramita of prajna being excepted - the benefits they obtain will now measure up to even a hundred part, the thousandth part, a hundred, thousand, ten thousand, millionth part of the benefits mentioned previously. Indeed, it is beyond the power of calculation, simile or parable to convey the comparison. For good men who have gained such benefits as those [mentioned previously] to fall back without reaching the goal of anuttara-samyak-sambodhi is utterly unimaginable." 
Dan Defensor: No response
Me: The reason is, the Paramita of Wisdom or Buddha Wisdom is that which gives rise to Myoho renge kyo. In the history of the universe, only one man, Shakyamuni Buddha, the Original Buddha since time without beginning, the one and only Buddha who has been enlightened to Myoho renge kyo, has been training and guiding all others to Buddhahood. This is an integral part of Nichiren Daishonin's enlightenment and the enlightenment of all Buddhas throught the Ten Directions and Three Existences. Only the Original Eternal Buddha Shakyamuni has always and exclusively practiced and taught the True Law and he has been doing so since time without beginning.

Original Teacher means that no matter how eminent, wise, or knowledgeable one may be, no matter how diligent one is in carrying out the other Five Paramitas (Five Perfections), and no matter how long one practices them, there is no way that one could come up with, let alone reveal, Myoho renge kyo independently of Shakyamuni Buddha. Shakyamuni Buddha, in the history of the universe, was the one unique individual capable of doing so. Nichiren realized this, taught this, and reverenced Shakyamuni Buddha for His astronomical feat of autonomous self-practice. That is why He, rather than any other individual, is revered as the person of the Gohonzon of Ninpo-Ika (Oneness of Person and Law).

We owe our very Enlightenment to this Buddha and this Buddha alone. The arrogance of those who misconstrue Shakyamuni Buddha’s and Nichiren Daishonin’s words for their own aggrandizement is cause to fall into the Lower Worlds and to remain there for a very long time. How can one follow someone who is so blind to the manifest reality that someone had to give them the Five Characters that they pay homage to? Daisaku Ikeda didn’t come up with the formula Myoho renge kyo. The High Priest didn’t come up with this formula, nor did you. Even Nichiren Daishonin didn’t realize and expound the Lotus Sutra in the infinite past. It was Shakyamuni Buddha who taught Nichiren Daishonin and the other Bodhisattvas of the Earth the Lotus Sutra in the remote past. It was the Eternal Buddha Shakyamuni who planted the seed of Myoho renge kyo in our Buddha-nature, the seed that, when watered with a correct faith and practice, grows into the magnificent tree of the Supreme Enlightenment of Myoho.

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