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Saturday, August 4, 2018

Who is capable of answering your questions?

Most people begin the faith and practice of Nichiren Lotus Sutra Buddhism and want to learn about the Lotus Sutra and Nichiren’s practice of the Lotus Sutra. They chant the Daimoku, learn to recite the Sutra, and then they have questions. For answers, they go to the people who introduced them to the practice and in the case of Soka Gakkai members, they go to their sponsors or to an SGI leader. The sponsor or leader teaches them what they think the Lotus Sutra and Nichiren’s faith and practice entails or what Daisaku Ikeda teaches that it entails. Rarely do they teach the new member the Lotus Sutra or the Gosho or, if they do teach the Gosho, they teach them the SGI's interpretation of the Gosho. Through false confidence, blind certainty, and uniformity of misguided opinions, the new believer comes to the opinion that Nichiren taught and practiced the SGI way. 

Sometimes they teach the new member that Nichiren Daishonin too was into crystals and he always performed the gentle practices. Sometimes they teach that Nichiren is the True Buddha and Shakyamuni is a cast off Buddha. Sometimes they say, "of course Nichiren chanted Nam myoho renge kyo and not Namu Myoho renge kyo". Often they teach that the Lotus Sutra is tolerant of all teachings, Islam, Christianity, Hindu, Taoism, Pure Land, Zen, Theravadan, Shingon and Tendai, that the Lotus Sutra is an ecumenical text and you can believe in Jesus Christ as well as the Gohonzon because the only important thing is chanting Nam Myoho renge kyo. They may tell the new members that Nichiren outlawed the statue worship of Shakyamuni Buddha and the Four Great Bodhisattvas or that the Nichikan Gohonzon is a Nichiren Gohonzon. Other times they teach, [when asked why we don’t chant to a Nichiren Gohonzon], "all Gohonzon from whatever source are the same yet only the Nichikan “Gohonzon” is valid.

Despite what some jealous people say, if you want to learn Nichiren Lotus Sutra Buddhism, you have to go where Nichiren Lotus Sutra Buddhism is believed and practiced. That is through the Lotus Sutra itself and the writings of Nichiren Daishonin. That is through the body of believers that actually preach and live the Lotus Sutra as did Nichiren Daishonin.

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