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Sunday, April 7, 2019

Correcting a confused Nichiren Shoshu member

"Of course, since these are secret transmissions received by only a single person, there is no reason to expect that we would understand their contents. Fifty-sixth High Priest Nichio Shonin as well stated, "Even at the time of Kosen-rufu, the specific lifeblood bequeathal documents are not to be perused by others." (Research and Education Books, Vol. 27, p. 456) He instructs us that the specific bequeathal of the entity of the Law is a secret transmission which others are not permitted to peruse. We must obediently receive the High Priest's instruction, which accords with the times, and advance in the faith and practice of the attainment of Buddhahood." -- A very confused Nichiren Shoshu member

"Thereupon the unenlightened man said: “In truth, as I listen to your description of the doctrine, I can see that, even if the Nembutsu teaching could in fact lead one to rebirth in the Pure Land, its observances and practices are very difficult to carry out. And of course, since the sutras and treatises upon which it is based all belong to the category of provisional expositions, it is perfectly clear that it can never lead to rebirth in the Pure Land. But surely there is no reason to repudiate the True Word teachings. The Mahāvairochana Sutra constitutes the secret teaching of Mahāvairochana, the King of Enlightenment. It has been handed down in an unbroken line of transmission from the Thus Come One Mahāvairochana to Shan-wu-wei and Pu-k’ung. And in Japan the Great Teacher Kōbō spread the teachings concerning the mandalas of the Diamond Realm and the Womb Realm. These are secret and arcane teachings that concern the thirty-seven honored ones. Therefore, the most profound doctrines of the exoteric teachings cannot compare even to the elementary stages of the esoteric teachings. Hence the Great Teacher Chishō of Gotō-in temple stated in his commentary, ‘Even the Lotus Sutra cannot compare [to the Mahāvairochana Sutra], much less the other doctrines.’ Now what is your view on this matter?”

The sage replied: “At first I too placed my trust in the Thus Come One Mahāvairochana and desired to carry out the teachings of the True Word school. But when I investigated the basic doctrines of the school, I found that they are founded on views that in fact are a slander of the correct teaching. -- Nichiren

"The men of the Zen school, taking advantage of this situation, pronounced themselves observers of the precepts, deceiving the eyes of the people and putting on such lofty airs that, no matter what false doctrines they presumed in their madness to put forward, these doctrines were not recognized as erroneous.

This school called Zen claims to represent a “separate transmission outside the sutras,” which was not revealed by Shakyamuni Buddha in the numerous sutras preached during his lifetime but was whispered in secret to the Venerable Mahākāshyapa. Thus the proponents of this school maintain that, if one studies the various sutras without understanding the teachings of the Zen school, one will be like a dog trying to bite at a clap of thunder or a monkey grasping at the moon’s reflection in the water.

Zen is a false doctrine that appeals to the kind of people in Japan who have been abandoned by their fathers and mothers because of their lack of filial devotion or dismissed from service by their lords because of their outrageous conduct, to young priests who are too lazy to apply themselves to their studies, and to the disreputable nature of courtesans. Even though its followers have all embraced the precepts, they are no more than swarming locusts feeding upon the people of the nation. That is why heaven glares down in anger and the gods of the earth shudder.

The True Word school is a far greater source of trouble than the other two schools I have discussed above, a major form of error, and I would therefore like to discuss it in outline here." -- Nichiren


"The Zen school is divided into two branches. One branch maintains that all the various sutras and all the profound doctrines of the various schools are included in the Zen school. The other branch holds that all the sacred teachings put forward by the Thus Come One in the course of his lifetime are so many words and explanations, mere expedient devices emerging from the mouth of the Thus Come One. The Zen school, by contrast, represents the secret intention of the Thus Come One, which has never been put into words or explanations. It constitutes a “separate transmission outside the sutras.” -- Nichiren

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