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Sunday, September 29, 2019

"We will part from the so-called Dai-Gohonzon of Kaidan” - official Soka Gakkai memo

I was going through some files on my computer earlier today and came across this. I'm not sure where it came from. Apologies if it's already been posted. However, it makes for interesting reading. Here's an organisation that's apparently working for 'kosen-rufu'!!!

The Gohonzon of So-honbu (general headquarters) 2015-08-17 11:19:31 テーマ:ブログ

The Gohonzon of So-honbu (general headquarters) and issues connected with the Statute of the Nichiren World School - Soka Gakkai (Soka Seka Shu)

I: The Plan to change the doctrine of the Gohonzon and to enact the Statute

We will part from the so-called “Dai-Gohonzon of Kaidan” (The Dai-Gohonzon located at the Taisekiji temple) and we will instead let the “Gakkai Jouju Gohonzon” (the resident Gohonzon located at the Soka Gakkai Headquarters building) become the Soka Gakkai’s fundamental Dai-Gohonzon. Such a plan to greatly transform the doctrine is proceeding. This great transformation will be announced as “Ikeda Sensei’s intention” at the time when the [Soka Gakkai] general headquarters’ building will be completed. And on the “Gakkai Jouju Gohonzon” (the resident Gohonzon at the Soka Gakkai HQ) it is now clearly written as “the Dai-Gohonzon” and over the inscription of Ikeda Sensei it will be inserted “Kosen-rufu DaiSeido” (the Hall of the Great Vow for Kosen-rufu), which is the general headquarters’ building.

Moreover, under the notion of completing its structure as a world religion, a “Statute of Nichiren World School - Soka Gakkai (the Statute of the World Soka Gakkai) “ --that is the statute of Soka Gakkai in the whole world-- will be enacted and at the same time the statute of the Soka Gakkai is going to be changed. In the statute, the “Gakkai Jouju Gohonzon” (the resident Gohonzon at the Soka Gakkai HQ) and “Kosen-rufu Dai- Seido” (the Hall of the Great Vow for Kosen-rufu) will be indicated as the base of faith. And the article mentioning “the president of Japanese Soka Gakkai” will be changed to the post of “the president of World Soka Gakkai”. It means that in such a new structure only one person will be “the president of the Japanese Soka Gakkai” and will control all the doctrine, the human resources, the finance and the policy of the SGI in the world. This plan lacks enough consideration and preparations but it is being rushed. Such a situation constitutes an emergency for the Soka Gakkai for the following reasons:

1) If the plan will be realized, the faith of members in Japan and abroad will be upset at its root, the organization will be confused, and the relationship between Japan and the other countries will worsen. As a result of this the Soka Gakkai will surely decline. 2) As everything will be announced as the intention of Ikeda Sensei, the history and achievements of Ikeda Sensei will certainly be tainted. This because only Ikeda Sensei will be blamed for all the confusion created. The [Soka Gakkai] Study Department has been saying that someday we would surely have to solve the issue about “the Dai-Gohonzon of Kaidan”.

However, it also noted that the Soka Gakkai has respected it for decades in the past, and therefore we should engage on this issue as carefully as possible, not hastily promote it and be careful not to confuse the faith of members. But such advice was easily pushed aside by the leaders of the faction that wants to promote the changes. They said “No matter if some members cannot follow it, we will accept a little bleeding.” We were constantly threatened with the words “the top ordered you, then you must do as you were ordered.”

On September 25th a meeting was held gathering the leaders of the main SGI countries in the world [and the changes were announced]. SGI country leaders hesitated to show dissent in front of Japanese leaders. But many SGI leaders were uncomfortable and anguished and some said: “I cannot explain such changes in my own country.” Especially the representatives of Taiwan who have been oppressed in their country under the accusation that: “Soka Gakkai is a Japanese religion” expressed strong anxiety and mistrust for a change that places Japan at the center.

The Soka Gakkai leaders who promoted this plan first decided that the “Gakkai Jouju Gohonzon” (the resident Gohonzon at the Soka Gakkai HQ) must be “the Dai-Gohonzon” instead of “the Dai-Gohonzon of Kaidan (Taisekiji temple)” and they insisted to completely separate from “the Dai-Gohonzon of Kaidan (Taisekiji temple)”. To do so they thought “this can be proof that we closed the priesthood issue.” They were excited to change the whole meaning of “Shusse no honkai “of Nichiren Daishonin (the purpose of his advent in this world) and the interpretation of the Gosho sentence: “It has been twenty-seven years since I first proclaimed this teaching...” (English Gosho p.996/ Japanese Gosho p.1189) from “Shounin Gonanji (On Persecutions Befalling the Sage).” However, they could not give an answer to the numerous objections by the Study Department that the fundamental structure of the theory would be broken by such a change and it would become a big issue. Then later their arguments weakened. In “The Statute of the Nichiren World School - Soka Gakkai “ they also decided in the first draft that the “Gakkai Jouju Gohonzon” (the resident Gohonzon at the Soka Gakkai HQ) is “The Dai-Gohonzon for Kosen-rufu” but they later abandoned this concept and the current draft went back to “The Dai Gohonzon for Kosen-rufu.”

On the other hand, in the draft-statute about “the Dai-Gohonzon of Kaidan” (the Dai-Gohonzon at Taisekiji temple) the following is written: “(this organization) believes in ‘the Gohonzon of the Three Great Secret Laws, which was bestowed upon the entire world ”, in accordance with it they decided to change the article of the Soka Gakkai statute which says that [we] ‘believe in the Dai-Gohonzon of The Three Great Secret Laws, which was bestowed upon the entire world and’ and also the silent prayer of the Gongyo book which reads as: “I devote myself to the Dai-Gohonzon of the Three Great Secret Laws which was bestowed upon the entire world”. The word “Dai” of “Dai-Gohonzon” is only one word but it has a very important meaning in the doctrine. Earlier “the Statute of the Soka Gakkai” was revised once in 2002. Then, Mr. Saito, who was the Director of the [Soka Gakkai] Study Department, commented as follows: “it is written (in the statute) that we ‘believe in the Dai-Gohonzon of the Three Great Secret Laws, which was bestowed upon the entire world’. This shows that the true meaning ‘faith in the Dai-Gohonzon’ penetrated into the Soka Gakkai.”

Nichiren Daishonin inscribed the Dai-Gohonzon to fulfill the purpose of his advent in this world on October 12th, 1279 when farmers showed “self-sacrificing devotion” to their faith during the Atsuhara persecution. The Daishonin responded to the heart of ordinary people who showed strong seeking faith for happiness and peace. He then inscribed the Dai-Gohonzon with the great wish to save people, build the Buddha land and realize Kosen-rufu to save all ordinary people for over 10,000 years during the latter day of the law, as the purpose of his advent in this world. This strong faith that leads us to respond to the heart of Nichiren Daishonin, have his great vow for Kosen-rufu and advance the movement to save ordinary people is the same faith of Soka Gakkai. But they want to change the statute in the opposite direction after only 11 years since their last decision of 2002. Moreover, in the revised statute, there is the article “believe in the Gohonzon of the Three Great Secret Laws, which is bestowed upon the entire world” and the issue is whether the reference includes “the Dai-Gohonzon of Kaidan” (the Dai-Gohonzon at Taisekiji temple) or not. About that president Harada said: ”it is included” but chairman Akiya said: “it is not included”.

The opinions among the leaders that are promoting this change are quite different. Furthermore, chairman Akiya said that the “Dai-Gohonzon of Kaidan” is not the object that we should believe in”, and insisted saying that: “Anyway, president Harada should widely announce the fact that: “’The Dai-Gohonzon of Kaidan’is not the object that we should believe in and after that it is the duty of the Study Department to make up a good explanation.”

And in the original Ikeda Sensei’s inscription with the words “Gakkai Jouju Gohonzon” (the resident Gohonzon at the Soka Gakkai HQ), the word “Dai-Gohonzon” is now clearly inscribed. The one word “Dai” was inserted following the strong wish of president Harada. By adding the one word “Dai” the attack by priests of Taisekiji will 100% certainly be directed at Ikeda Sensei. The Study Department repeatedly submitted a petition since this July and said “If we describe the “Gakkai Jouju Gohonzon” as “the Dai-Gohonzon” then we would surely trouble Ikeda Sensei. Therefore we want to change the inscription (plan) in any way”. As there was not enough time till the November 23rd deadline, the same petition was submitted to president Harada by the interpreters and the translators. President Harada agreed once to modify it but then he changed his position again on November 24th and decided to keep the word “Dai”. Although, it was decided not to add the word “Dai” in all documents mentioning the “Gakkai Jouju Gohonzon”, we [Soka Gakkai Study Department] sincerely worry about its effects as it may appear that only Ikeda Sensei inserted the word “Dai”.

II/ Effect of the plan

We now consider the issues that will arise once the definition of the Gohonzon and the [Soka Gakkai] statute will be changed, and their effect.

All issues that may arise can be summarized in two points: 1) It will trouble Ikeda Sensei; 2) The members in Japan and abroad will be confused. “The Gakkai Jouju Gohonzon” which will be enshrined at the Soka Gakkai general HQ is the transcription of “The Kaidan no Gohonzon” [the Dai-Gohonzon at Taisekiji temple] by the high priest Nissho. The “Okatagi (printed) Gohonzon” which members worship day and night is also a transcript of “The Kaidan no Gohonzon” by the high priest Nichikan. The words “I transcribed this” (on The Kaidan no Gohonzon) were clearly written on all the Gohonzons which were transcribed. Then, if we specifically deny “The Kaidan no Gohonzon”, it means that we are directly denying the basis of the existence of all Gohonzons which were transcribed. If the basis of the Gohonzon that the members worship day and night will be shaken, the faith of members will be greatly upset. Once we change the doctrine, we will not be able to turn back. If we change it, then to the least we would need validation and proof of theory. If we fail in that, then we will pay a tremendous price at one point in the future. Surely there has not been enough preparation to now enact the change of doctrine. We are afraid that the executive leaders who are promoting this change, are easily underestimating the related risks, thinking instead that somehow they can start such an action without consideration.

We are also afraid that the member’s faith in the Gohonzon will be shaken. As the Gohonzon is ‘the basic object of worship’, once the doctrine of the Gohonzon will be shaken, then the basis of faith of the members will be shaken too. If such doubt as: ‘The thing in which I have believed was wrong. Although I have practiced for decades, there was no meaning.” will spread, it will bring a crisis that will threaten the very existence of the Soka Gakkai. As the levels of the members’ understanding of the doctrine are different, all members will not be able to immediately accept the change of the doctrine. As a result, futile controversies about the Gohonzon will occur and the organization will be split. Moreover different factions may arise in the organization. We are afraid that ‘The golden three years’ may then change into the ‘Three years of great conflicts”. Especially, the members abroad will evaluate the new doctrine in much stricter terms than the Japanese members. Then we worry that the situation that may arise will exceed by far the capacity of the Study Department to cope with it. Until now there is no preparation and plan at all to allow members in Japan and abroad to reasonably understand this plan.

This hasty change of doctrine will provide a good opportunity for the Nikken Sect to attack the Soka Gakkai. Until today, the Soka Gakkai has denounced the ex-high priest Nikken’s declaration which denied “the Kaidan no Gohonzon” [Dai-Gohonzon] and his order to destroy the Sho-hondo, as mortal sins against the universal law. But we will break such a rationale ourselves. In fact, we can forecast that the [Nichiren Shoshu] priests and the Hokkeko (the people who practice with Nichiren Shoshu) will take advantage of the opportunity and attack our frontline members. The incident with Shumon (Nichiren Shoshu) itself will be changed when the view that: ”the corrupted and deviated Shumon excommunicated the Soka Gakkai which protected the justice of Nichiren Daishonin.” will instead become the view that: “the Soka Gakkai that easily changed the doctrine was excommunicated by Shumon which strictly protected the doctrine. We believe that there is no way to really separate from Shumon except in the way of: ‘We thoroughly protect the justice of Nichiren Daishonin.’

There are a lot of issues with ‘The Statute of the Nichiren Sekai Shu (Nichiren World School) – Soka Gakkai’. For example, the article of ‘the president’ is changed into ‘the president of Soka Gakkai in Japan takes up the post of president of the Sekai (World) Soka Gakkai.” As the Soka Gakkai of Japan has accumulated a huge experience, and it actually manages the organization, then it is quite easy for it to lead the promotion of Kosen-rufu in the world. [SGI] leaders abroad understand that too. But it will be more difficult for them to understand when it will be ‘clearly written’ in the Statute. For example, there are no women who are vice president in the Soka Gakkai in Japan, although the statute does not say that: ‘a woman cannot be vice president.’ And also, that a woman staff member will have to retire from Soka Gakkai after her marriage although the employment contract does not say that: “a woman staff member must retire after her marriage.” These are “unwritten rules” that are “customary practice” [in Japan] and are widely accepted. However, if we adopt in writing such unwritten rules, we will then be accused by wider society to be a “discriminatory” organization. As the ‘Nichiren Sekai Shu (Nichiren World School)’ aspires to become a world religion, then ‘international sensibility’, ‘universality’ and ‘equality’ are very important. If we are asked “Why there is such an article where the [Soka Gakkai] president in Japan takes up the post of president of the world [Soka Gakkai]? Wouldn’t this be against the spirit of equality of Buddhism?” Then we would not be able to answer at all.

We also worry that, within countries where there were victims of Japanese aggressive wars, the security authorities and mass communication outlets will recognize our organization as Japanese supremacy. This, will specifically concern, members in South Korea and Taiwan, who have already been oppressed under the accusation that [the Soka Gakkai] ‘is a Japanese religion’. As the relationship between Japan and South Korea as well as the relationship between Japan and China have increasingly deteriorated, [these changes] will make the situation worse, and will increase the possibility [that the SGI members of South Korea and Taiwan] will be oppressed and persecuted again.

In ‘the Statute’ there is not even one article which restricts the power of the president of Soka Gakkai in Japan. This means that the authority of the president of Sekai (World) Soka Gakkai is not specified at all. However, as long as Ikeda Sensei exists there is no problem with this. In ‘the previous Statute of Soka Gakkai’ there is also no article that restricts the power of the [Soka Gakkai] president in Japan or defines how to dismiss the president. However Ikeda Sensei gives strict guidance from above therefore it is almost the same situation as if the authority is de facto restricted. But when we consider the far ahead future, it would be a very dangerous system in which one person will have absolute powers to control all important matters such as the doctrine, human resources, finance, policies, etc. Even in ‘the twenty six admonitions of Nikko (Nikko yuikai okimon)’ which was written 700 years ago, there are rules to restrict both ‘the high priest’ and the ‘common people’. For example one rule says: “Do not follow even the high priest if he goes against the Buddha’s law and propounds his own views.” and another one says: “Even if a view is set forth unanimously by a conference (of believers), the high priest should repudiate it if it goes against the Buddha’s Law.” Each leader of SGI countries has strong anxiety and fear about the anti-democratic, conservative, and authoritarian content of the [new] ‘Statute’.

III/ The plan’s effect on Ikeda Sensei

Everything will be announced in the world as “Ikeda Sensei’s strong intention”. Therefore only Ikeda Sensei will bear all responsibility about the unsound doctrine, the upset of faith of the members and the confusion in the organization. Then Ikeda Sensei will be under intensive attack. Ikeda Sensei’s history and achievements could be denied. His faithful inheritance from the first and the second president, the victory against the Nichiren Minobu School at the Otaru debate, the building of the Sho-hondo, the battle against the Taisekiji temple and the reformation accomplishment -- all his great accomplishments in the history of Kosen-rufu will be denied.

A lot of books written by Ikeda Sensei will not be used like before. The books that will be published from now on could be corrected but it is impossible to correct all the books published in the past. As a result Ikeda Sensei’s contradictions will be engraved in history. There are about 450 mentions of the Dai-Gohonzon in “Daisaku Ikeda complete works” already published and about 250 mentions in “The Human Revolution” and “The New Human Revolution”. We will have to carefully consider what we should do about this. Because Ikeda Sensei’s books must be eternally the fundamental guidance for Kosen-rufu. But leaders that promote [these changes] say without any respect: “We will start anew. Past is past. We should just treat such things as the previous things.”

Any way, it is quite clear that if leaders rush to promote things without consideration, the minuses will clearly outweigh the pluses. If this goes on, I am afraid that the “Establishment of a System of World Religion” will lead to the “Collapse of a System of World Religion”. We, at the [Soka Gakkai] Study Department are determined in our resolve not to trouble Ikeda Sensei and the members.

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