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Saturday, November 3, 2018

Nichiren's teaching is "receiving and keeping" not "realizing"

Soka Gakkai teaches: "Nichiren Buddhism teaches that the Mystic Law of Nam(u)-myoho-renge-kyo exists within the lives of every person and also pervades the entire universe."

Nichiren, on the other hand, teaches that, the vast majority of people in this Latter Age, have NOT not received the seed of Buddhahood, and for those few who have received the seed in past lives, they lay "scorched" or dormant. Nichiren's teaching is the teaching of "receiving and keeping".

This is one reason the SGI teachings inexorably lead to a life of great conceit and lack of gratitude, believing themselves equal to Shakyamuni Buddha and Nichiren. To argue their point, they bring out the passage from Chapter 2 of the Theoretical Section of the Lotus Sutra:

"Being common mortals at the stage of Myoji Soku" (FIRST hearing the name and the words of the Truth or Myoho renge kyo).

The Buddha plants the seeds "into the wasteland of the people’s lives in the evil world of the latter age."

Were Namu Myoho renge kyo a priori in the lives of every person, Nichiren never would have taught "wasteland", or, "The people of the Latter Age stained with the Three Poisons of Greed, Animality, and Anger."

“At the start I took a vow, hoping to make all persons equal to me, without any distinction between us, and what I long ago hoped for has now been fulfilled. I have converted all living beings and caused them all to enter the Buddha way.”

However, they fail to believe the Supreme Votary of the Lotus Sutra when he further illustrates:

"It is only the Seven Characters ‘Namu Myoho renge kyo’ that are the seed for becoming a Buddha." 

"Shakyamuni Buddha did not transmit the five characters of Myoho-renge-kyo, the heart of the essential teaching of the Lotus Sutra, even to the bodhisattvas Manjushrī and Medicine King, let alone to any lesser disciples. He summoned from beneath the earth the great bodhisattvas as numerous as the dust particles of a thousand worlds and, as he preached the eight chapters, transferred it solely to them." (Object of Devotion for Observing the Mind)


"Now, moreover, we are two hundred or more years into the Latter Day of the Law, and persons who have received the seeds of the Lotus Sutra in the distant past or in Shakyamuni’s time have with time become fewer and fewer. In addition, though there appear to be a small number of persons who have received the seeds of the Lotus, there are countless others who commit great evil in the secular world or slander the Law in the religious world, such persons veritably filling the whole land. Those who do good have become as rare as water in the midst of a great fire, fire in the midst of a great body of water, fresh water in the midst of the ocean, or gold in the midst of the earth. Evil deeds abound, and there is no trace of good deeds done in the past or evidence of good deeds done now."

Finally, he concludes in this, his most important writing:

"Showing profound compassion for those unable to comprehend the gem of the doctrine of three thousand realms in a single moment of life, the Buddha wrapped it within the five characters [of Myoho-renge-kyo], with which he then adorned the necks of the ignorant people of the latter age."

It should be noted again that the vast majority of people can not comprehend the gem of the Three Thousand Realms in a Single Moment of Life because they have never received the seed of Buddhahood. It is thanks to the Original Eternal Buddha Shakyamuni, he who transmits the five characters of Myo Ho Ren Ge Kyo to us that we can obtain Buddhahood. It is not by realizing Namu Myoho renge kyo that exists in every person, because Nichiren makes it clear that few have received the seed and none without a relationship to the sower:

"The teaching of the essential section section during the the lifetime of Sakyamuni Buddha and that which would spread in the beginning of the Latter Day are likewise absolutely perfect. However, the former is for attaining enlightenment, whereas the latter is for sowing the seeds of Buddhahood. While the former is crystallized in the sixteenth chapter, 'Duration of the Life of the Buddha', with half a chapter each preceding it and following it, the latter is solely embodied in the five characters of myo, ho, ren, ge, kyo." [pg. 122] -- The True Object of Worship).

and another faithful translation of this same passage reads:

"It is evident that the Revelation of Eternity was preached for the sake of us who live at the beginning of the period of Deprivation. In this respect, we are as blessed as those who heard the Buddha in person, the only difference is that they brought to fruit their seeds of Buddhahood by hearing directly the 'One Chapter and Two Halves', whereas WE ARE ENDOWED with the seeds of Buddhahood BY RECEIVING the Five Words." (Five Major Writings of Nichiren, Sench Murano translation, Kanjin No Honzon Sho, p. 37)

“The Lotus Sutra is like the seed, the Buddha like the sower, and the people like the field.” — The Essentials for Attaining Buddhahood.

Nichiren teaches that the Gohonzon exists within our lives, yet, in the True Object of Worship for pobserviing the mind, he states:

"If it is not the proper Object of Worship (Gohonzon), even though there be no falsehood [even if the practitioner is sincere] it will not form the seed [of Buddhahood]. The Daimoku of the Hommon [Doctrine of the Original, found in the Lotus Sutra] is the seed of Buddhahood. This is because the Eternal Shakyamuni of the Honmon has put his Causal Practices (his myriad practices that lead to enlightenment) and his Virtues of the Effect (the merits of the effect, which is Buddhahood) into the seven characters of Namu Myo Ho Renge Kyo." (The True Object of Worship)

It is receiving and keeping the seed of Namu Myoho renge kyo that awakens the "proper Object of Worship", not realizing the seed that exists within.

1 comment:

  1. In his earlier writings,for example, On Attaining Buddhahood in This Lifetime written in 1255, and in several writings not in Nichiren's hand, he or some others did assert that realizing is the purpose of faith and practice. However, in his authenticated and later writings, he teaches to substitute faith for wisdom. Faith is receiving and keeping.