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Wednesday, September 26, 2018

I am but a lowly layman of the Buddha founded sect

Rain challenges are a tried and true Buddhist tradition embraced by Nichiren and many others. It is a useful faith practice to arrive at the superiority or inferiority of a particular teaching. There must be very few so-called Nichiren Lotus Sutra Buddhists, let alone provisional Buddhists, who are absolutely confident that their faith and practice is correct because not one in twenty years has taken me up on my rain challenge. 

"When conducting prayers for rain, if rain actually falls, the nature and aspect of the rain will indicate whether the person conducting the prayers is worthy or unworthy. There are various types of rain such as heavenly rain, dragon rain, asura rain, coarse rain, sweet rain, and thunder rain.

In the present instance of prayers for rain, of course, no rain whatsoever fell. Moreover, for a period of fourteen days there was even more severe drought than there had been previously, and great evil winds blew without cease throughout the twenty-four hours of the day and night." -- Nichiren

Shakyamuni Buddha states:

"If someone seeking the buddha wisdom
for a period of eight hundred thousand million
nayutas of kalpas
should practice the five paramitas,
during all those kalpas
distributing alms to the buddhas
and to the cause-awakened ones and disciples
and the multitude of bodhisattvas,
rare delicacies of food and drink,
fine garments and articles of bedding,
or building religious retreats of sandalwood
adorned with gardens and groves;
if he should distribute alms
of many varieties, all refined and wonderful,
and do this for the entire number of kalpas
to express his devotion to the buddha way;
and if moreover he should keep the precepts,
in purity and without omission or outflow,
seeking the unsurpassed way,
praised by the buddhas;
and if he should practice forbearance,
remaining in a posture of submission and gentleness,
even when various evils are visited on him,
not allowing his mind to be roused or swayed;
when others, convinced they have gained the Law,
harbor thoughts of overbearing arrogance
and he is treated with contempt and vexed by them,
if he can still endure it with patience;
and if he is diligent and assiduous,
ever firm in intent and thought,
for immeasurable millions of kalpas
single-minded, never lax or neglectful,
for countless kalpas
dwelling in a deserted and quiet place;
and if he practices sitting and walking exercises,
banishing drowsiness, constantly regulating his mind,
and as a result of such actions
is able to produce states of meditation,
for eighty million ten thousand kalpas
remaining calm, his mind never deranged;
and if he holds to the blessing of this single-mindedness
and with it seeks the unsurpassed way,
p.280saying, “I will gain comprehensive wisdom
and exhaust all the states of meditation!”
If this person for a hundred, a thousand,
ten thousand, a million kalpas
should carry out these meritorious practices
as I have described above,
still those good men and women
who hear me describe my life span
and believe it for even a moment
win blessings that surpass those of such a person.
If a person is completely free
of all doubt and regret,
if in the depths of his mind he believes for one instant,
his blessings will be such as this.
These bodhisattvas
who have practiced the way for immeasurable kalpas
when they hear me describe my life span
are able to believe and accept what I say.
These people will
gratefully accept this sutra, saying,
“Our wish is that in future ages
we may use our long lives to save living beings.
Just as today the world-honored one,
king of the Shakyas,
roars like a lion in the place of enlightenment,
preaching the Law without fear,
so may we too in ages to come,
honored and revered by all,
when we sit in the place of enlightenment
describe our life spans in the same manner.”
If there are those profound in mind,
pure, honest, and upright,
who, hearing much, can retain it all,
who follow principle in understanding the Buddha’s words,
then people such as this
will have no doubts. -- LS Chapter 17

Nichiren teaches, quoting the Lotus Sutra:

“If there are good men or good women who... believe and revere it with pure hearts and harbor no doubts or perplexities, they will never fall into hell or the realm of hungry spirits or of beasts, but will be born in the presence of the Buddhas of the ten directions.”


"Though one might point at the earth and miss, though there be one who binds the heavens, though the tides would cease to ebb and flow, and the sun rise in the west, it could never happen that the prayers of the devotees of the Lotus Sutra would go unanswered. If the bodhisattvas, the human and heavenly beings, the eight kinds of nonhuman beings, the two sages, the two heavenly deities, and the ten demon daughters would by some unlikely chance fail to appear and protect the practitioner of the Lotus Sutra, then above them they would be showing disdain for Shakyamuni and the other Buddhas, and below they would be guilty of deceiving the beings of the nine realms.

It makes no difference if the practitioner himself is lacking in worth, defective in wisdom, impure in his person, and lacking in virtue derived from observing the precepts. So long as he chants Namu-myoho-renge-kyo, they will invariably protect him. One does not throw away gold because the bag that holds it is dirty; one does not ignore the sandalwood trees because of the foul odor of the eranda trees around them; and one does not refuse to gather lotuses because the pond in the valley where they grow is not clean. If they ignore the practitioner of the Lotus Sutra, they will be going against their vow."

And still, my challenge is brushed aside by the Buddhist masters who claim their practices excellent medicine for the people of this latter degenerate age. I would think especially the HBS, SGI, Pure Land, Shingon, Tendai, Gold Mountain Temple, and Tibetian masters would rush to defend their faith and practice against this lowly layman of the Buddha founded sect.

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