Total Pageviews

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

They know nothing of the Nichiren faith.

Learning Nichiren Lotus Sutra Buddhism from "Sifu" Sylvain Chamberlain or "Sensei" Kanjin Cederman

It is impossible to learn Nichiren Lotus Sutra Buddhism from these men. Why? Because they don't practice Nichiren Lotus Sutra Buddhism. They don't practice shakubuku (break and subdue). Nichiren Daishonin was the master of the forceful practices. In order to learn Nichiren Lotus Sutra Buddhism, one needs to learn from the master of shakubuku, Nichiren Daishonin and his disciples and believers. Nichiren teaches:

“Shoju is to be practiced when throughout the entire country only the Lotus Sutra has spread, and when there is not even a single misguided teacher expounding erroneous doctrines. At such a time, one may retire to the mountain forests, practice meditation, or carry out the five, the six, or the ten practices. But the time for shakubuku is very different from this. It is a time when many different sutras and teachings spring up here and there like so many orchids and chrysanthemums, when the various schools command a large following and enjoy renown, when truth and error stand shoulder to shoulder, and when Mahayana and Hinayana dispute which is superior. At such a time, one must set aside all other affairs and devote one’s attention to rebuking slander of the correct teaching. This is the practice of shakubuku."

“The methods of shoju and shakubuku are also like this. When the correct teaching alone is propagated and there are no erroneous doctrines or misguided teachers, then one may enter the deep valleys and live in quiet contentment, devoting one’s time to reciting and copying the sutra and to the practice of meditation. This is like taking up a writing brush and inkstone when the world is at peace. But when there are provisional schools or slanderers of the correct teaching in the country, then it is time to set aside other matters and devote oneself to rebuking slander. This is like taking up weapons on the battlefield."

“In past times the world was honest, people were upright, and there were no erroneous teachings or erroneous doctrines. Therefore, one could behave in a proper manner and carry out one’s religious practices peacefully and amicably. There was no need to take up staves and berate others, no occasion to attack erroneous teachings.

“But the present age is a defiled one. Because the minds of people are warped and twisted, and provisional teachings and slander alone abound, the correct teaching cannot prevail. In times like these, it is useless to practice the reading, reciting, and copying [of the Lotus Sutra] or to devote oneself to the methods and practices of meditation. One should practice only the shakubuku method of propagation, and if one has the capacity, use one’s influence and authority to destroy slander of the correct teaching, and one’s knowledge of the teachings to refute erroneous doctrines."

“Assert aloud, ‘The various sutras have no attainment and are the source of falling to hell; the Hokekyo alone is the Dharma for Attaining Buddhahood and try to break and subdue the people and dharmas of the various sects.”

“The monks and laity who are disciples should reverence and make offering to the person who has firmly declared, ‘The various sects are the source of falling to hell; the Hokke sect alone will attain Buddhahood.’”

“Fourth, when we spread the teaching by means of “breaking and subduing” we confront believers in wrong doctrines and have discussions from a rational standpoint based on the above-mentioned Three Proofs (Textual Proof, Reasonable principles, and Actual Proof).

“This time is fixed as the time when ‘they are firm in struggle and the Pure Dharma is hidden and sinks’, an occasion of the mixing and confusion of the Provisional with the Real.”

“In the Latter Dharma the Greater and the Lesser, the Provisional and the Real, the Exoteric and the Esoteric [Teachings] are all only Teachings and have no Attainment. The whole of Jambudvipa has all become blasphemous against the Dharma. For the sake of the rebellious condition it is limited to just the Five Characters 'Myoho renge kyo' (Sutra of the Lotus Flower of the Sublime Dharma) only. For example, it is like the ‘Chapter of Fukyo’. My disciples are the obedient condition (jun en); the country of Japan is the rebellious condition (gyaku en). (STN, v. 1, 816)

“....because this era is ‘firm in struggle and the Pure Dharma is hidden and sinks’ [Daijikkyo 55 (“Embudai hon”) (T.13.363)], and, on top of this, there are only evil countries, evil kings, evil ministers, evil commoners and they turn against the True Dharma and revere perverted dharmas and perverted teachers, so evil demons enter into the land and the Three Calamities and the Seven Disasters have arisen in abundance.” (STN, v. 1, 735)

“In the ‘Chapter of Expedience’ and so on it appears one is to preach this Sutra in light of the capacities [of the audience]; in the ‘Chapter of Fukyo’ it appears that, even though they blaspheme, one should just forcibly preach it. The former and latter [parts] of the one Sutra are like water and fire. However, Tendai Daishi reconciles them, saying, ‘As to those who already originally had good [karmic roots], Shakya guards them with the Lesser [Vehicle]; as to those who originally never yet had good [karmic roots], Fukyo forcibly poisons them with the Great [Vehicle].’ [Hokke mongu 10B (T.34.141a27-b1)] The heart (meaning) of the text is: For those who originally had good [karmic] roots and who should obtain understanding within the present lifetime one should directly preach the Hokekyo. However, if among them there are still capacities who hear yet are likely to blaspheme, one should temporarily prepare them with the Provisional Sutras and afterwards preach the Hokekyo. Those who originally have not had the good [karmic] roots of the Great [Vehicle], even now they are not going to believe the Hokekyo and for whatever reason are going to fall to the Evil Ways [of Rebirth] so just forcibly preach the Hokekyo and cause them to blaspheme and also make them form a rebellious condition. According to this commentary, in the Latter Age those without good [karmic roots] are many; those having good [karmic roots] are few. Therefore there is no doubt they will fall to the Evil Ways [of Rebirth]. We should all the same forcibly preach and cause them to hear the Hokekyo and they should form the condition of the poison drum, should they not? So there are none who contest that this is the season for preaching the Hokekyothat they may form the condition of blasphemy, are there?” (STN, v. 1, 204-205)

“In the Latter Age those without good [karmic roots] are many; those having good [karmic roots] are few.” 

“The Buddha did not cure any blasphemers against the Dharma, because there were none when the Buddha was in the world. In the Latter Dharma (mappo) it is full of the Strong Enemies of the One Vehicle. The benefit of the Bodhisattva Fukyo refers to this."

“...the surpassingly arrogant still form the distant cause [of Buddhahood]; how should hearing and believing be without manifest benefit?: Therefore, those who disparage and blaspheme form the cause of the poison drum.”

“Furthermore, it would be difficult for the worldlings of the Latter Age to avoid the Evil Ways of Rebirth anyhow; if just the same they fall to the Evil Ways of Rebirth, if one causes them to blaspheme the Hokekyo and fall, it would not resemble falling by worldly sin (seken no tsumi). As in the text, ‘Hearing the Dharma, giving rise to blasphemy, and falling to hell is superior to making offering to Ganges’ sands of Buddhas.’ and so on. [Maha shikan bugyoden guketsu 1-5 (T.46.174c)] The heart (meaning) of this text preaches that to blaspheme the Hokekyo and fall to hell is hundreds and thousands and myriad times superior to the merit of offering to, adhering to, and adoring Ganges’ sands of Buddhas, the Buddha Shakya, the Buddha Amida and so on.” (STN, v. 1, 260-261)

“Now at the beginning of the Latter Dharma, by the Lesser they strike the Great and by the Provisional they smash the Real [Great Vehicle]. East and West together are lost, Heaven and Earth are overturned. The Four Reliances of the [Bodhisattvas] Converted by the Manifestation [Buddha] are hidden and do not manifest themselves before [the world]. The devas (gods) abandon this country and do not guard it. At this time the Bodhisattvas Who Sprang from the Earth for the first time come forth and manifest themselves and take only the Five Characters ‘Myoho renge kyo’ and have the young children swallow them. [When Myoraku’s Hokke mongu ki 10chu (T.34.349b)commenting on the ‘Chapter of Jofukyo’ says,] ‘If, caused by blasphemy, they fall to the Evil [Ways of Rebirth], of necessity, caused by it, they shall obtain benefit,’ it refers to this. Let my disciples ponder this. The Thousand Realms [of the Bodhisattvas] Who Sprang from the Earth are the Master of Teachings Lord Shakya’s disciples who first gave rise to the Mind [of Enlightenment. They came not to the Place of Enlightenment Where He Attained Nirvana [Realization] nor did they visit His Final {Parinirvana] at the Pair of Sal Trees and had the fault of unfiliality. Nor did they come to the Fourteen [Chapters] of the Doctrine of the Manifestation (Shakumon) and at the Six Chapter of the Doctrine of the Original [from the Chapter of Yakuo 23 on] they rose from their seats and only during the Eight Chapters did they come back. Such high exalted Bodhisattvas promised to the Three Buddhas [Shakyamuni, Taho and the Buddhas of the Ten Directions] promised to receive and keep this [‘Myoho renge kyo’]. Shall they come forth at the beginning of the Latter Dharma?” (STN, v. 1, 719)

“At the present time, it is the Provisional Teachings which have become the enemy of the Real Teaching. If at the time of the age of diffusion of the One Vehicle, there is a Provisional Teaching that becomes an enemy, one may attack it from the Real Teaching. Within the practices of Subsuming and Breaking one calls this the Breaking and Subduing for the Hokke. Tendai says, ‘The Breaking and Subduing of the Hokke smashes the ideal truths of the Provisional Doctrines.’ Truly this has a reason!” (STN, v. 1, 735 l. 13 - 736 l. 1)

“With the lesser good of the Nembutsu of [A]mida, they lose the Great Good of the Hokekyo and the Nembutsu which is the lesser good surpasses the Five Rebellious Sins (gogyakuzai) which is a great evil.” (STN, v. 2, 1543 ll. 10-11)

“Now at the beginning of the Latter Dharma with the Lesser they strike the Great; with the Provisional they smash the Real; east and west are lost together; heaven and earth are overturned.” (STN, v. 1, 719 ll. 9-10)

“In general, those who would practice the Buddha Dharma should know the two aspects (lit., ‘gates’) of Subsuming and Breaking. All the Sutras and Treatises do not go beyond these two. Therefore, although the scholars of the sects within the country roughly learn the Buddha Dharma, they do not know the Way which corresponds to the time.

The four times and four seasons change one after another. In summer it is hot, in winter it is cold, in spring the flowers bloom, and in autumn the fruits form. Now in spring one should plant the seeds and in autumn take the fruits; if one plants the seeds in autumn and gathers the fruits in spring, how could they be gathered? In the time of extreme cold, thick garments are useful; in the time extreme heat, what would they do? A cool wind is useful in summer; in winter what would it do?

The Buddha Dharma is also like this. There is a time when the Lesser Dharma is diffused and will have benefit. There is also a time when the Provisional Great Vehicle may spread. There is also a time when the Real Teaching spreads and one will obtain Buddhahood. Moreover, the two thousand years of [the ages of] the True and Counterfeit [Dharmas] are the times when the Lesser Vehicle and Provisional Great Vehicle are diffused. The five hundred years of the beginning of the Latter Dharma is the time when only the Hokekyo, which is the Purely Perfect One Real [Teaching], ‘shall be widely proclaimed and diffused’ [‘kosen rufu’ in the ‘Chapter of Yakuo’ (T.9. 54c22)]. This time is fixed as the time when ‘they are firm in struggle and the Pure Dharma is hidden and sinks’ [Daijikkyo 55 (‘Embudai hon’) (T.13.363)], an occasion of the mixing and confusion of the Provisional with the Real.” (STN, v. 1, 735 ll. 4-12)

“When they are dyed by the perverted evil ones of the Shingon, Zen, Nembutsu Sect and so on they necessarily fall to hell; when they are dyed by the Hokekyo, they necessarily become Buddhas.” (STN, v. 2, 1252)

“However, if one does the practice of the Four Peaceful Joys, which is Subsuming and Accepting, at the present time, is it not planting seeds in winter and seeking a benefit? A rooster crying at dawn is useful; crying in the night is a baleful specter. At the time of the mixing and confusion of the Provisional with the Real, if one does not attack the enemies of the Hokekyo and closes oneself off in seclusion in the mountains and forest, and does the practice of Subsuming and Accepting, how can one not be a baleful specter that misses the time of practicing the Hokekyo? So at this time of the Latter Dharma who are they that have done the practice of Breaking and Subduing according to the Sutra text? Whoever it may be, let them not spare their voices to cry, ‘The other sutras have no Attaining of the Way and are the fundamental source of dropping to the hells; the Hokekyo alone is the Dharma for attaining Buddhahood!’” (STN, v. 1, 736 ll. 1-6)

“Question: If by cause of blasphemy they fall to suffering, for what reason does the bodhisattva create the cause of suffering?
“Answer: They have no good cause and, not blaspheming, they will likewise fall. If, caused by blasphemy, they fall to the Evil [Ways of Rebirth], of necessity, caused by it, they shall obtain benefit. It is as when a person falls over on the earth, but on the contrary rises from the earth. Therefore by blasphemy of the True he takes them to the fall of the Perverted.”

A commentary of this last paragraph instructs...

"This passage of forming a connection to the True Dharma by blaspheming it, being punished, and then attaining Buddhahood in the future, is “forming the condition of the poison drum” (dokku kechien) and is the basis of Nichiren Shonin’s“shakubuku”.\

The theory of letting people blaspheme, fall and obtain the benefit of future Buddhahood (forced poisoning, the condition of the poison drum) is in the Tendai commentary itself and Nichiren Shonin connects it closely with the spread of the Daimoku by the Bodhisattvas Who Sprang from the Earth. And their appearance with this type of propagation is a necessity connected with the veracity of the Buddhas themselves:-- Graham Lamont

“...whoever it is among the monks’ assembly who are followers, carrying out propagation in the Capital and steadfastly saying, ‘The various sects are the root cause of falling to hell and the Hokke Sect alone shall attain Buddhahood’, to that person you monks and laity alike should show reverence and make offering.” (“On the Matter of Nichjju’s Legacy”)} In any case why is it that Nichiren Shonin says this: it relates to this time, the age when there are “only” (nomi) evil (blasphemous) people and “only” the Hokekyo can save them, even if it means largely doing so by having them fall to hell carrying the hidden seed of future Buddhahood (gyakuen). To do other wise is to act like some ghastly apparition out of season. It is to fail to carry out the Buddha’s injunction, particularly to Buddhist monks (priests) to castigate that which destroys the Dharma.

“If there is a good bhikshu who sees those destroying the Dharma, but sets it aside and does not upbraid, drive out, and accuse and deal with them, you should know this person is a hateful enemy within the Buddha Dharma.”(Daihatsunehangyo 3 (T.12.381a)

“Though it was at such a time, when the time was inauspicious, that I, Nichiren, received the Buddha's Edict and was born in this country, yet the Decrees of the King of the Dharma [the Buddha] are difficult to defy; so, relying upon the Sutra texts,I raised the battle of the two teachings, Provisional and Real,’put on the armor of endurance’ [a quotation from the ‘Chapter of Urging the Keeping’ 13: T.9.36c], brandished the sword of the Sublime Teaching, raised the flag of the Five Characters of the Sublime Dharma, the quintessence of the eight fascicles of the whole work [the Hokekyo], stretched the bow of ‘I have never yet revealed the Truth’ [Muryogikyo (T.9.386b1-2), loosed the arrows of ‘forthrightly abandoning the Provisional’ [The ‘Chapter of Expedience’ 2 (T.9.10a19), mounted the Great White Ox Cart [the ‘Chapter of the Parable’ 3 (T.9.14c14)], smashed through the Gate (Doctrine) of the Provisional, sallied to here, pushed forward to here, and destroyed the enemies, the Eight Sects and Ten Sects, Nembutsu, Shingon, Zen, Ritsu and so on; however, they either escaped, or withdrew, or, the ones taken alive became my disciples. Or they counterattacked, or, though I attacked and subdued them, the enemies were of great power and the one person of the Dharma King was powerless. Until now the battle has not stopped.

“When, because they are the Golden Words, ‘The Breaking and Subduing (shakubuku) of the Hokke (Dharma Flower [Sutra]) smashes the ideal truths of the Provisional Doctrines’ [Hokke gengi 9A (T.33.792b17)], I finally shall have attacked and subdued the groups of the Provisional Teachings and the Provisional Doctrine without excluding one person and made them retainers of the Dharma King and the various vehicles of the myriad commoners of the empire shall have become the One Buddha Vehicle and the Sublime Dharma alone shall flourish, then if the myriad commoners all together chant, ‘Namu Myoho renge kyo’, let each of you see the time: the blowing wind shall not whistle through the branches, the rain shall not smash the clods of earth, the age shall become the era of [Fu-]hsi and [Shen-]nung, in the present life they shall sweep away inauspicious disasters and obtain the technique of long life and not growing old, and persons and dharmas [phenomena] together shall manifest the principle of not growing old and not dying [or not dying before growing old]. One cannot doubt the proof [or prophetic] text, ‘peaceful and secure in this world.’” [The ‘Chapter of the Parable of Medicinal Plants’ (T.9.19b)]. (STN, v. 1, 732 line 14 - 733 l. 12)

“The Breaking and Subduing (shakubuku) of the Hokke (Dharma Flower [Sutra]) smashes the ideal truths of the Provisional Doctrines.”

“Our fundamental (original) teacher, the Tathagata Shakya, during the eight years [of the Hokekyo] of His time in the world practiced Breaking and Subduing. Tendai Daishi [did this] for more than thirty years and Dengyo Daishi for more than twenty years and now I, Nichiren, have for more than twenty years ‘smashed the ideal truths of the Provisional Doctrines’”. (STN, v. 1, 736 ll. 7-8)

The Buddha Taho says ‘It is all the Truth.’ [The ‘Chapter of Appearing of the Jewelled Stupa’ 11 (T.9.32c2)]

"And so they determine that there is attainment of Buddhahood in the Present Body (sokushin jobutsu) limited to the Hokekyo. No matter how much they preach that there is attainment of Buddhahood in the Previous Sutras, or how the people of the Provisional Sects madly rave, it will be ‘one hammer to a thousand earthen pans’. ‘The Breaking and Subduing (shakubuku) of the Hokke (Dharma Flower [Sutra]) smashes the ideal truths of the Provisional Doctrines’ refers to this. It is a most excellent and secret inner doctrine.” (STN, v. 2, 1634)

“All the Sutras (issaikyo) are all the preaching of the Golden [647] Mouth of the Buddha and are His Words (onkotoba) of no-lies. When we put them against the Hokekyo they are like lies, like prevarications, like bad-mouthing, like duplicity (or, double-dealing).

“It is this Sutra (onkyo) that is the True Word among True Words. It is the Sutra (onkyo) of True Words that the forthright (honest) one masters.” (STN, v. 1, 646-647)

“Question: For us to say that someone is the practicer who practices according to the preaching, in what way should we say he believes?
“Answer: What the people of the country of Japan of the present age all say is the person who practices in accordance with the preaching (nyosetsu shugyo) is:
“‘When the Vehicles are sublated (opened and merged) into the One Buddha Vehicle, they are all the Hokekyo and there is no matter of superiority and inferiority, shallowness or profundity. When one believes that saying the Nembutsu, keeping the Shingon (mantras), practicing Zen, and in general keeping and reciting all the sutras and the Names of the Buddha and the bodhisattvas are all the Hokekyo, one is said to be the person who practices in accordance with the preaching.’

“I say, ‘It is not so. In sum, when one would practice the Buddha Dharma, one may not use the words of humans. One should just respectfully guard the Golden Words of the Buddha:

“Although our Original Teacher, the Tathagata Shakya, thought he would preach the Hokke (Dharma Flower Sutra), because the capacities of beings were not yet mature, he first preached the Expedients, which are the Provisional Teachings, during more than forty years and afterwards preached the Hokekyo,which is the Truth. In the Muryogikyo (Sutra of Immeasurable Meanings), the Preface Section of this Sutra, he points to the boundary marker between the Provisional and the Real and divides the Expedient from the Truth, when he says, ‘By the power of Expedience for more than forty years I have never yet revealed the Truth.’ [Muryogikyo (T.9.386b1-2)] The Eighty Thousand Great Beings, Daishogon, and so on, having understood and distinguished the reasons for ‘putting forth the Provisional, opening (sublating) the Provisional, abolishing the Provisional’ [as expounded in the Hokke gengi] and so on, say as their received understanding, ‘With the Sutras before the Hokke according to which one practices through successive kalpas, “in the end they do not attain Supreme Bodhi.”’ [Muryogikyo (T.9.387a28-b1)]

“Moreover, after coming to the Hokke, which is [the Section of] the Principal Significance, He starts by preaching, ‘As to the World Honored One’s Dharma, after a long time He is certainly about to preach the Truth.’ [The ‘Chapter of Expedience’ 2 (T.9.6a23)] , and issues prohibitions: ‘There are neither two nor again three [Vehicles], excluding the Expedient Preaching of the Buddha’, [The ‘Chapter of Expedience’ 2 (T.9.8a)] ‘forthrightly abandon Expedience’ [Ibid. (T.9.10a)], and ‘do not even receive one verse of other sutras’ [The ‘Chapter of the Parable’ (T.9.16a)]. After this, only the Sublime Dharma of which ‘there is only One Buddha Vehicle’ [The ‘Chapter of the Transformational City’ 7 (T.9.27b2)] is the Great [Vehicle] Dharma, which makes all beings Buddhas, and the sutras outside of the Hokekyo cannot have one bit of benefit; however, the scholars of the present in the Latter Dharma, think that because every [sutra] is the preaching of the Tathagata, they all will have attainment of Buddhahood, and they believe all and sundry of the sects and sutras, whether Shingon or Nembutsu or the Zen Sect, Sanron, Hosso, Kusha, Jojitsu, Ritsu and so on. It was about persons like this that [the Buddha] determined, ‘If a person does not believe but disparages and blasphemes this Sutra, such a one at once cuts off the Buddha seeds of all worlds” and so on to “that person, when life ends, enters Avici Hell.”’ [The ‘Chapter of the Parable’ 3 (T.9.15b)] The Buddha has determined that the one who takes the bright mirror of these rules as basis and does not differ one bit and believes that there is only One Buddha Vehicle is the person who practices in accordance with the preaching.” (STN, v. 1, 733 l. 12-735 l. 2)

“And so in the more than two thousand years since Lord Shakya's entering Extinction, out of the practicers who have practiced according to the preaching we put aside the three, Lord Shakya, Tendai and Dengyo. Within the Latter Dharma I, Nichiren, as well as my disciples and lay donors are such as these. If they do not say we are the ones who practice according to the preaching, Lord Shakya, Tendai, and Dengyo would not have been people who practiced according to the preaching. If Deva[datta], Kokkuri, Zensho, Kobo, Jikaku, Chisho, Shan-dao, Honen, Ryokanbo and so on are said to be the practicers of the Hokekyo, Lord Shakya, Tendai, Dengyo, and I, Nichiren, as well as my disciples and donors would be practicers of Nembutsu, Shingon, Zen, Ritsu and so on; if the Hokekyo is said to be an Expedient Provisional Teaching, then would the sutras of the Nembutsu and so on, on the contrary, become the Hokekyo? Though east become west and the west become east, though there be examples of the great earth along with the plants and trees which it holds flying up to become heaven and heaven along with the sun, moon, and constellations falling down to become the earth, how could there be this principle [of the Hokekyo and other sutras changing places]?” (STN, v. 1, 736 l. 13 - 737 l. 6)

“Now it is also like this. That was the Counterfeit Dharma (Fukyo's time); this is the polluted evil Latter Dharma. That was a practicer of the First (Elementary) Following Joy [level]; this is a worldling of the Name {Identity]. That was the laying down of seed of the Twenty-four Characters; this is only the Five Characters [of the Daimoku]. Although the times of obtaining the Way (tokudo: Buddhahood) are different, their ultimate meaning of Attaining Buddhahood would be completely the same.” (STN, v. 2, 1479-1480)

“...only evil countries, evil kings, evil ministers, evil commoners and they turn against the True Dharma and revere perverted dharmas and perverted teachers” (STN, v. 1, 735, cited above). Lamont states, "Even conceding that there are a few people who have planted the seed of Buddhahood, among the great number of blasphemers in the world they are 'like a little water in the midst of a great fire' and 'only result in evil karma.' (STN, v. 1, 778 ll. 1-

“No matter what sect it may be, if they speak the doctrine of the Shingon Sect, one should attack (semubeku) the twisted views of the Shingon.” (STN, v. 2, 1482 l. 14 - 1483 l. 1

and referring to the Nembutsu:

“And thereafter they should intensely (anagachi: fully or wholeheartedly) smash the human teachers of that sect.” (STN, v. 2, 1483 l. 9)

and by this Nichiren means:

“One should relate calmly but also forcefully, with eyes half-closed and with composed facial expression and quietly that they are such unenviable deaths.” (STN, v. 2, 1484 ll. 6-7)

Referring to the Ritsu (Precept sect), “With the Practicer is the Precept Keeper of the ‘Chapter of the Jewelled Stupa’ one should castigate (inveigh against) these.” (STN, v. 2, 1488 l. 2)

“This Sutra is difficult to keep;
If there is one who keeps it even for short while,
I shall at once rejoice
And the Buddhas shall likewise do so.
Such a person
Is one whom the Buddhas praise:
This one then is bold and fervent;
This one then is effortful.
This one is named keeper of the precepts,
One who practices the dhutas,
And so will quickly obtain
The Supreme Buddha Way.” (T.9.34b15-18)

Mr. Lamont goes on, "the Daimoku, which is declared to 'gather the merits of the myriad practices and myriad good [acts] of the Buddha of the Three Eras' is said to contain the merits of a myriad precepts: it is the Adamantine (Diamond) Jewel Receptacle Precept and 'because it is such an excellent precept, the various precepts of Previous [Sutras] and the Manifestation Doctrine (shakumon) have not one bit of merit.'" (STN, v. 2, 1488 l. 11)

“Though the people who say the Nembutsu, keep the precepts and so on are many, the persons who rely upon the Hokekyo are few. The stars are many but they do not illuminate the great sea. Grasses are many but they do not form the pillars of the Imperial Palace. Though Nembutsus are many, they are not the Way to become a Buddha. Though one keeps the precepts they do not form the seed for going to the Pure Land. It is only the Seven Characters ‘Namu Myoho renge kyo’ that are the seed for becoming a Buddha. Though, when I said this, people were jealous and did not adopt it, the late Lord Ueno by his believing it has become a Buddha.” (STN, v. 2, 1603)

In conclusion, today, at this time, in the United States and possibly in all of Jambudvipa, it is only we who practice the Lotus Sutra as did Nichiren. It is only we who can teach Nichiren's practice, the practice of Shakubuku. The Nichiren Shu and the Soka Gakkai with their interfaith practice, know nothing of the Nichiren faith.

9 comments:

  1. for you Mark, in this lifetime, will you ever enter the deep valleys and live in quiet contentment? In our youthful naiveté we at least believed and dedicated ourselves.....our hearts and intentions were both hopeful and pure.....we were so certain, it all made so much sense......like the German people today looking at documentary footage of their outpouring of fanatical emotion for their once beloved Fuherer (especially after their 5-week defeat of France in 1940). How difficult it must be for them to comprehend today....this evil spell cast upon such a promising and culturally gifted emergence of a people. Now Mark, having been dressed up and no place to go......in other words, a frustrated debating gunslinger with only "no shows".....there's a new kid in town that needs to be addressed, a bully of sorts, who blows whistles on the SGI, but as of late, has included the Lotus Sutra, Nichiren and Shakyamuni as fair game likewise.....as a kid growing up, there used to be a feature on TV called "Fight of the Week"....boxing, that is. So, a weekly feature, say for Friday late afternoon, so that after work, it's the first post upon this site upon opening.......I'll be right back with an example.....

    ReplyDelete
  2. FRIDAY'S FEATURE "FIGHT OF THE WEEK" : "The Lotus Sutra contradicts itself" was printed 16 days ago - Kenneth Scott: "Nichiren was mistaken in his conviction that the Lotus Sutra contained the primitive Buddhism. As a matter of fact it was a late production, an expression of a form of Buddhism that would scarcely have been recognized by Gautama, or if recognized would have been repudiated."......this post goes on and on Mark, as you may well know, and there may be more enticing material than what I have chosen that you would rather elaborate on. Obviously, a word edgewise or debate will only be tolerated so far on that site, but the debate can be brought here to Eagle Peak. As you know, there are a lot of viewers going back and forth from both sites, and I am of the belief that others are intuitively seeking to salvage something, that special something that drew them to Buddhism in the first place.......and how ripe they are to be open-minded to the Independent Approach that you offer here.....without the smack of Cult - just pure Buddhism......with someone that can just about answer all questions - how fortunate, how wonderful! And, I think that THAT weekly post will generate some curiosity and a perhaps a little excitement eventually, to show the diehards and base of that other site and this one as well the satisfaction of the State of Learning.....it's just a thought.......

    ReplyDelete
  3. .....it would be a responsive strategy to defend, clarify, and/or correct......otherwise, these misguided characterizations and false charges stand abandoned and defenseless - which might then be construed as being factual.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Eagle Peak Blog
    A post very dear to my heart. I hope it helps you to perform the forceful practices.

    Stace: Hi Mark. Did you read his article on “How the Mahayana Began”? He points out that in the essay you provide the “Corruption” of the Pali texts. The same could be applied to the Mahayana. Can you tell How this is possible: Chapter 10: The Teacher of the Law – This chapter presents the five practices of the teachers of the Lotus Sutra. These practices are accepting and upholding, reading, chanting, explaining and writing the Sutra. The Sutra begins, “Thus I Have Heard”. Ananda ,the Buddhas attendant recalling verbally, (orally) what the Buddha said. How and why would the Buddha then instruct the “hearers” of this sutra to READ and; WRITE it?

    Mark: I just read it. I’m sure you are aware of one of the honorific titles of the Buddha, that of Omniscience. Gombrich disagrees with Rys David, whether “books” were mentioned in the canon. Let me say that it is probable that the Buddha who talked about the decline, not only of his teachings but of the capacities of individuals, would have realized that one day his words would be lost unless they were written down. Tientai and Nichiren taught that the Lotus Sutra was not ostensibly taught for the people of the Middle Day, let alone for the people of the Former Day. Why would anyone believe that such capable monks who could memorize thousands of lines of oral texts were incapable of keeping secret, a teaching meant for a later time? These were highly disciplined men, unlike our present day politicians and heads of state who have successfully kept secrets [documents] for hundreds or even thousands of years. This is hardly an anomally but rather a misunderstanding of the greatness of the Buddha and his followers.

    Stace: Other anomalies in the sutra are the use of the term Hinayana and Mahayana. In the Buddha’s time there was only the Buddha, Dharma, Sangha. No distinction of any Yanas. How could these terms be uttered by the Buddha or his followers when they hadn’t yet been created and would have no meaning?

    Mark: Nearly the entire Buddhist Canon is devoted to correcting wrong thought. It is only natural that the words “Hinayana” and “Mahayana” were inserted when these words came into being. They don’t change one iota the words, “superficial thought and its adherents” and “superior thought and its adherents”, of the Buddha. This argument that anything was added too, is not tenable.

    Stace: You wrote, “By the way, what I was referring to in the original post is the contention of some that the “Nikayas” are the actual words of the Buddha while the Lotus Sutra is not.”

    All he is talking about are “corruptions” of the pali. I don’t see him addressing the validity of the Lotus Sutra as the actual words of the Buddha. This is what I thought, read “How the Mahayana Began”. He doesn’t necessariy refute your position.
    cont...

    ReplyDelete
  5. Mark: Not him, others. Gombrich, in many ways supports our position. That is why I cited him, even though his understanding of the mind of the Buddha and the nature of the Sangha is incomplete.

    Stace: You state that my summation is in err that SGI is a legitimate form of Buddhism in accord with teachings of Nichiren. I am arguing that “Nichiren Buddhism” and any lineage born from his teaching is valid because of the arguments put forth in the article you present so long as the purpose is Liberation.

    Mark: I am very sorry if anyone misconstrues that the import of citing this article in any way supports the validity of Ikedaism and Gakkaism. Of course, this was not my intent. You know Stace, I don’t consider SGI to be Buddhism even though it has borrowed extensively from Buddhism. No Buddha, no Buddhahood is my contention.

    Stace: I base it off of this excerpt:

    ”These processes are not random (adhicca-samuppanna) but causally determined. Any empirical phenomenon is seen as a causal sequence, and that applies to the sāsana too. ‘One thing leads to another,’ as the English idiom has it. Whether or not we can see features common to the religion of Mr Richard Causton, the late leader of the UK branch of Soka Gakkai International,(we could add here Kempon Hokke or any other Nichiren based group) and that of Nāgārjuna, or of the Buddha himself, there is a train of human events which causally connects them. Buddhism is not an inert object: it is a chain of events.” PG.3

    Mark: Devedatta and Shakyamuni were causally connected. That Gombrich fails to see this [that SGI is to Buddhism as Devedatta was to Shakyamuni] relates to his inability to know the mind of the Buddha.

    Stace: Anyway, I do not think the article you presented puts forth the superiority of any teaching over the other but simply points out that there are things in the canon which were added and that this to be understood in an orally preserved teaching, but we can separate the wheat for the chaff and know what the buddha said.

    Mark: How much harder is it to know what the Buddha meant and to know the reality of the Buddha?

    Stace: I cannot, I mean physically cannot, force my brain to take most religious statement literally and therefor will never be a true believer. I love Dharma and Liberation wherever it be found, as there are so many flowers and scents to delight our senses I believe there are many pathways to liberation. I do not doubt the Lotus Sutra and Nichiren offer such a pathway but I will never believe that it is the only door.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Mark: According to the Lotus Sutra itself and Nichiren, it is the only pathway out of the burning house. Certainly, a living High Priest or mentor in the seat of the Law is not the pathway. The only living mentor in the seat of the Law is Shakyamuni Buddha.

    "Modern editors of the Pali Canon, however, have generally contented themselves with trying to establish a textus receptus or ‘received text’. Let me explain. Most of our physical evidence for the Pali Canon is astonishingly recent, far more recent than our physical evidence for the western classical and biblical texts.

    While talking of this, I want to take the opportunity to correct a mistake in something I published earlier this year. In Professor K. R. Norman’s splendid revision of Geiger’s Pali Grammar, published by the Pali Text Society (Geiger, 1994), I wrote an introduction called ‘What is Pali?’ (Gombrich, 1994a). In that I wrote (p. xxv) that a Kathmandu manuscript of c.800 A.D. is ‘the oldest substantial piece of written Pali to survive’ if we except the inscriptions from Devnimori and Ratnagiri, which differ somewhat in phonetics from standard Pali. This is wrong. One can quibble about what ‘substantial’ means; but it must surely include a set of twenty gold leaves found in the Khin Ba Gôn trove near Śrī Ketra, Burma, by Duroiselle in 1926-7. The leaves are inscribed with eight excerpts from the Pali Canon. Professor Harry Falk has now dated them, on paleographic grounds, to the second half of the fifth century A.D., which makes them by far the earliest physical evidence for the Pali canonical texts (Stargardt, 1995). -- Richard F. Gombrich

    Therefore, according to this reliable information, the Sanskrit text of the Lotus Sutra is older than the Pali texts that the Hinayana Buddhists arrogantly claim to be the only authoritative texts of what the Buddha actually taught.

    "It is now clear that none of the existing Buddhist collections of early Indian scriptures—not the Pali, Sanskrit, Chinese, nor even the Gandhari—“can be privileged as the most authentic or original words of the Buddha.” -- Linda Heuman

    "Only the Lotus Sutra represents the wonderful teaching preached directly from the golden mouth of Shakyamuni Buddha, who is perfectly endowed with the three bodies." -- Nichiren Daishonin





    ReplyDelete
  7. There are various teaching methods employed by the Buddha in the Lotus Sutra: simile; metaphor; parable [of which there are seven]; skillful or expedient means; logic; historical precedent; narration [current events and prior birth stories]; questions and answers; and most importantly, a direct exposition of his Enlightenment. When studying the Lotus Sutra one can reflect, "here the Buddha is speaking of his experience in a previous existence and here the Buddha is answering the question of Sariputra", etc. Are there worlds where the Buddha actually experienced parthenogenesis as the physiological method of reproducing the species or is it a metaphor or is it something else? Is the Treasure Tower a metaphor only? Bodhisattvas 500 feet tall on other worlds? Flying cars? Some things are fruitless to question or contemplate and the Buddha was silent.

    Lastly the principle of Ichinen Sanzen is unsurpassed whether theoretical, the 3000 Realms in a Momentary Existence of Life of person, society, and environment simultaneously and the reality of Actual Ichinen Sanzen [the Daimoku and the Gohonzon]. Let me expound a bit more on the Lotus Sutra and other religious faiths:

    Each person, society, and environment, even the Buddha's land has a defiled and pure aspect. When the pure aspect is manifest we speak in terms of Enlightenment. When the defiled aspect manifests, we speak of delusion. Were there not the inferior teachings to contrast with the Lotus Sutra there would be no way of ascertaining the truth. Likewise, were there no deluded teachers, we could never come to know the merits and virtues of Shakyamuni Buddha and Nichiren Daishonin, teachers without peer.

    Generally, those who have faith in and practice the Lotus Sutra are Bodhisattvas of the Earth. Specifically, Nichiren Daishonin is the Supreme Votary of the Lotus Sutra. Generally we are all Buddhas but specifically, from a deeper sense, Shakyamuni Buddha is the Original Eternal Buddha. From the deepest sense, we are the Three Bodied Tathagata of Original Enlightenment, Shakyamuni Buddha ourselves. Nichiren teaches that this most difficult to believe and most difficult to understand teaching should not be bandied about lightly. In our mundane thoughts and activities, it is best to think in terms of the general meaning, having gratitude for and giving praise to the Lotus Sutra [Law], Eternal Buddha Shakyamuni and Nichiren Daishonin. Similar reasonings can be given in the case of our relationship to the Law. Generally, everyone is a manifestation of the Mystic Law, even a dust mite. Specifically, Shakyamuni Buddha and Nichiren Daishonin are those who are one with the Mystic Law. There is a saying derived from the Infinite Meanings Sutra, the introduction to the Lotus Sutra: "Infinite meanings derive from the one Law." Equally, infinite phenomena derive from the one Law.

    Even Nichiren Daishonin and the Buddha couldn't convert everyone. "To the best of our ability" while employing the strategy of the Lotus Sutra and the wisdom of the Buddha is the means outlined by the Buddha and Nichiren Daishonin to awaken the masses of beings. The Three Proofs, documentary, theoretical, and actual is what will capture other's attention. For example, in converting a Christian or Muslim, documentary proof is comparing and contrasting the Bible or Q'uran with the Lotus Sutra. Theoretical proof is pointing out the reasonableness and sound logic of such concepts as the Mutual Possession of the Ten Worlds and 3000 Realms in a Momentary Existence of Life [Ichinen Sanzen], and the functioning of the Law of Cause and Effect. Proof of actual fact is the joy of practicing this teaching, overcoming our limiations and pointing out the hellish reality of a society based on Judeo-Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, and even scientific rationalism.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Will check it out later Maxwell' Thanks for the heads up!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Quiet contentment, like Nichiren?

    ReplyDelete