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Thursday, August 2, 2018

SGI picks and chooses Nichiren like a Chinese buffet customer (a top ten post)

Nichiren's disciples don't pick and choose Nichiren like a chinese buffet customer, 'I'll take the spare ribs but I don't like the salty fish." The few lines where Nichiren was sympathetic to the pre-Lotus Sutra teachings and the one passage where he acknowledged the exceedingly rarely to be used teaching method of introducing pre-Lotus Sutra teachings initially, are far outweighed by his numerous admonitions to abandon expedients. Here are two salient passages:

"In Tung-ch’un we read: “Question: While the Buddha was in the world, there were many who were resentful and jealous. But in the age after his passing, when someone preaches this [Lotus] sutra, why do so many oppose that person? Answer: It is said that good medicine tastes bitter. This sutra, which is like good medicine, dispels attachments to the five vehicles and establishes the one ultimate principle. It reproaches those in the ranks of ordinary beings and censures those in the ranks of sagehood, denies [provisional] Mahayana and refutes Hinayana. It speaks of the heavenly devils as poisonous insects and calls non-Buddhists demons. It censures those who cling to Hinayana teachings, calling them mean and impoverished, and it dismisses bodhisattvas as beginners in learning. For this reason, heavenly devils hate to listen to it, non-Buddhists find their ears offended, persons of the two vehicles are dumbfounded, and bodhisattvas flee in terror. That is why all these types of people try to make hindrances [for a practitioner of the Lotus Sutra]. The Buddha was not speaking nonsense when he declared that hatred and jealousy would abound.” -- The Opening of the Eyes

"In this age, the provisional teachings have turned into enemies of the true teaching. When the time is right to propagate the teaching of the one vehicle, the provisional teachings become enemies. When they are a source of confusion, they must be thoroughly refuted from the standpoint of the true teaching. Of the two types of practice, this is shakubuku, the practice of the Lotus Sutra. With good reason T’ient’ai stated, “The Lotus Sutra is the teaching of shakubuku, the refutation of the provisional doctrines.” -- On Practincg the Buddha's Teachings

"Now, in the Latter Day of the Law, who is carrying out the forceful practices of the Lotus Sutra in strict accordance with the Lotus Sutra? Suppose someone, no matter who, should unrelentingly proclaim that the Lotus Sutra alone can lead people to Buddhahood, and that all other sutras, far from enabling them to attain the way, only drive them into hell. Observe what happens should that person thus try to refute the teachers and the doctrines of all the other schools. The three powerful enemies will arise without fail."-- Ibid

Nichiren's teachings are in perfect accord with the Lotus Sutra:

“If I convert by a smaller vehicle
Even but one human being,
I shall fall into grudging
A thing that can not be.” (Lotus Sutra Chapter 2)

“In all the Buddha’s lands of the universe there is but one supreme vehicle, not two or three, and it excludes the provisional teachings of the Buddha.”(Ibid)

“Honestly discarding the provisional teachings, I will now expound the Supreme Way.”(ibid)

“The World-honored One has long expounded his doctrines and now must reveal the truth.” (ibid)

“These nine divisions of my Law
Preached according to the [capacity] of all creatures
Are [but] the introduction of the Great-vehicle
Hence I preach this sutra.”(ibid)

“…desiring only to accept and embrace the sutra of the great vehicle and not accepting a single verse of the other sutras.” (Lotus Sutra Chapter 3)

“If I were to describe the punishments [that fall on persons who slander this sutra], I could exhaust a kalpa and never come to the end.” (ibid)

“If a person fails to have faith but instead slanders this sutra, immediately he will destroy all the seeds for becoming a Buddha in this world. . . . When his life comes to an end he will enter the Avichi hell.” (ibid)

“Suppose that someone coming from a land of famine should suddenly encounter a great king’s feast.” (Lotus Sutra Chapter 6)

“At that time the World-Honored One addressed Bodhisattva Medicine King, and through him the eighty thousand great men, saying: ‘Medicine King, do you see in this great assembly the immeasurable number of heavenly beings, dragon kings, yakshas, gandharvas, asuras, garudas, kimnaras, mahoragas, human and nonhuman beings, as well as monks, nuns, laymen, and laywomen, those who seek to become voicehearers, who seek to become pratyekabuddhas, or who seek the Buddha way? Upon these various kinds of beings who in the presence of the Buddha listen to one verse or one phrase of the Lotus Sutra of the Wonderful Law and for a moment think of it with joy I will bestow on all of them a prophecy that they will attain supreme perfect enlightenment.” (Lotus Sutra Chapter 10)

“The scriptures I preach number in the countless millions. Among all those I have preached, now preach and will preach, this Lotus Sutra is the most difficult to believe and the most difficult to understand.”(Ibid)

“I constantly expounded the Lotus Sutra of the Wonderful Law alone.” (Lotus Sutra Chapter 12)

“Among all the Sutras it holds the highest place” (Chapter 14)

“At that time the Buddha addressed Emminent Conduct and the host of other Bodhisattvas: “The divine powers of buddhas are so infinite and boundless that they are beyond thought and expression. Even if I, by these divine powers, through infinite, boundless hundred thousand myriad kotis of asemkheya kalpas, for the sake of entailing it, were to declare the merits of this sutra, I should still be unable to reach the end of those [merits]. Essentially speaking, all the laws belonging to the Tathagata, all the mysterious, essential treasuries of the Tathagata, and the very profound conditions of the Tathagata, all are proclaimed, displayed, revealed, and expounded in this sutra.Therefore you should, after the extinction of the Tathagata, wholeheartedly receive and keep, read and recite, explain and copy, cultivate and practice it as the teaching. In whatever land, whether it be received and kept, read and recited, explained and copied cultivated and practiced as the teaching; whether in a place where a volume of the sutra is kept, or in a temple, or in a grove, or under a tree, or in a monastery, or in a lay devotee’s house, in a palace or a mountain, in a valley or in the wilderness, in all these places you must erect a caitya and make offerings.

Wherefore? You should know that [all] these spots are the thrones of enlightenment. On these [spots] the buddhas attain Perfect Enlightenment; on these [spots] the buddhas roll the wheel of the Law; on these [spots] the buddhas [enter] parinirvana.” (Lotus Sutra, Chapter 21)

“Just as Mount Sumeru is the highest among the various mountains , so this Lotus Sutra holds the highest position among all the sutras.”(Chapter 23)

“Amongst all the sutras preached by tathagatas it is the profoundest and greatest.” and “…, so it is also with this Law-Flower Sutra; amongst all the sutras it is the highest,” and “… it is the most illuminating.” and “…it is the most honorable.” and “…it is the king of all sutras.” and “…it is the father of of all the wise and holy men” and “…amongst all the sutras preached by tathagatas, bodhisattvas or preached by sravakas, it is the supreme.”(ibid)

“Star Constellation King Flower! This sutra is that which can save all the living; this sutra can deliver all the living from pain and sufferings; this sutra is able to greatly benefit all the living and fulfill their desires. Just as a clear, cool pool is able to satisfy all those who are thirsty, as the cold who obtain a fire [are satisfied], as the naked who find clothing, as [a caravan of] merchants who find a leader, as children who find their mother, as at a ferry one who catches the boat, as a sick man who finds a doctor, as in the darkness one who obtains a lamp, as a poor man who finds a jewel, …., so it is with this Law-Flower sutra; it is able to deliver all the living from all sufferings and all diseases, and is able to unloose all bonds of mortal life.”(ibid)

“Even the Buddha wisdom could never finish calculating their [benefits] extent.” (ibid)

“If in future ages there should be one who accepts and upholds, reads and recites this sutra,…his wishes shall not be in vain, and he will receive his reward of good fortune in his present life.”(Chapter 28)

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