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Sunday, May 31, 2020

A joyously tearful passage

"This sahā world occupies the lowest position among all the worlds of the ten directions. Among these worlds, it holds a place like that of a prison within a nation. All the persons in the worlds of the ten directions who have committed any of the ten evil acts, the five cardinal sins, the grave offense of slandering the correct teaching, or other terrible crimes and have been driven out by the Buddhas, Thus Come Ones, of those worlds, have been brought together here in this sahā land by the Thus Come One Shakyamuni. These people, having fallen into the three evil paths or the great citadel of the hell of incessant suffering and there duly suffered for their offense, have been reborn in the realm of human or heavenly beings. But because they still retain certain vestiges of their former evil behavior, they are inclined to easily commit some further offense by slandering the correct teaching or speaking contemptuously of persons of wisdom. Thus, for example, Shāriputra, though he had attained the status of an arhat, at times gave way to anger. Pilindavatsa, though he had freed himself from the illusions of thought and desire, displayed an arrogant mind, while Nanda, though he had renounced all sexual attachment, continued to dwell on the thought of sleeping with a woman. Even these disciples of the Buddha, though they had done away with delusions, still retained their vestiges. How much more so must this be the case, therefore, with ordinary people? Yet the Thus Come One Shakyamuni entered this sahā world with the title “One Who Can Endure.” He is so called because he does not berate its people for the slanders they all commit, but shows them forbearance.

These, then, are the special qualities [possessed by Shakyamuni Buddha, qualities] that the other Buddhas lack." - The Tripitaka Master Shan-wu-wei

The Buddha stated

"Happiness is not having a lot. Happiness is giving a lot."

Monday, May 25, 2020

Nichiren explains how the founders of the Lotus Sutra went against the Lotus Sutra and Nichiren

"...But the founders who first established these sects failed to discern the true meaning of the sutras upon which they based their teachings. They proceeded only in a shallow manner, employing the sutras in a way that fitted with their own ideas. In doing so, they went against the Lotus Sutra, which means that their teachings were not in accord with the true intention of the Buddha. They were unaware of this, however, and as they proceeded to propagate their doctrines, both the rulers of the nation and the common people came to believe in them. In addition, these doctrines spread to other countries, and many years have gone by since they were first propagated. As a result, the scholars of this latter age, unaware that the founders of these sects were in error, look up to those who practice and propagate their teachings as men of wisdom."

From Letter to Ichinosawa Nyudo:

“Soka Kyoiku-gakkai is unique in that it is a combination of the Buddhism of Nichiren Daishonin and my own philosophy of values. By becoming a Nichiren Shoshu priest I would be unable to teach anything except the doctrine of their faith, therefore I will not enter this sect.” (Showa Tokko Dan Atsu Shi — History of Oppression by the Secret Police in Showa Period, Part IV.)

Correcting SGI Chas

Chas stated on Alternate Religion Buddhism of Nichiren that the following passage that I provided was a forgery designed by the orthodox sects:

"When I was in the Province of Sado between mountains and wilds far away from a village was a samadhi place called Tsukahara. There was a hall with a single room and four walls in that place. On the roof the boards did not meet and all four walls were ruined. In the rain it was like being outside and the snow piled up inside. There was no Buddha [image]. Neither was there a single reed tatami mat. However, I set up the statue of the Master of Teachings Lord Shakya which I kept from the beginning and grasped the Hokekyo in my hand, put on a straw raincoat and held up an umbrella, yet for four years nary a person appeared to give me food." -- Reply to the Bhikshuni Myoho", STN, v. 2, 15

Then I showed him from whence it came in the SGI writings of Nichiren Daishonin:

"When I was in the province of Sado, I lived in a graveyard called Tsukahara, at a place between the meadows and the mountains that was far removed from human habitation. I lived in a small hut built with four posts. The roof boards did not shut out the sky, and the walls were crumbling. Rain came in as though there were no roof at all, and the snow piled up inside. There was no image of the Buddha, and no trace of matting or other floor covering. But I set up the figure of Shakyamuni, the lord of teachings, that I have carried with me from times past, and held the Lotus Sutra in my hand, and with a straw coat around me and a straw hat on my head, I managed to live there. Four years passed, during which no one came to visit and no one brought me food. I was like Su Wu, held captive for nineteen years in the land of the northern barbarians, wearing a straw coat and eating snow."

Japan's Crusader or Corrupter...The Los Angeles Times/March 15, 1996 By Teresa Watanabe

"Buddhist lay leader Daisaku Ikeda and his giant organization cast a long shadow. Backers hail him as a champion of the masses. The government claims he is a threat to democracy 

Japan's Crusader or Corrupter
The Los Angeles Times/March 15, 1996
By Teresa Watanabe

He is, by some accounts, the most powerful man in Japan--and certainly one of the most enigmatic: Daisaku Ikeda, leader of the nation's largest religious organization, has been condemned and praised as a devil and an angel, a Hitler and a Gandhi, a despot and a democrat.

He is a grasping power-monger aiming for political control by rallying the 8 million families of the Soka Gakkai lay Buddhist organization, critics say. Ridiculous, his supporters retort: He is a crusader for common folk who unflinchingly fights the oppressive establishment.

He is an "evil slanderer" skewing Buddhist doctrine to glorify himself and deny the clergy's authority, say priests of Ikeda's Nichiren Shoshu sect, who excommunicated him in 1991 in a tumultuous split with the laity. No, followers say, he is an inspired teacher who helps them understand Buddhism as a personal communion between the inner self and divine law.

Ikeda is a glory-hound who covets meetings with world leaders yet is himself void of scholarship, said writer Kunihiro Naito.

Wrong, countered Claremont McKenna professor Alfred Balitzer. He said Ikeda, whom he met in 1992, can embrace all cultures and see connections between the Western philosophy of Plato, the Eastern metaphysics of Buddhism and the social problems of the day.

"He reminds me of a great rabbi, a man of deep learning with followers of great passion, commitment and loyalty," Balitzer said.

Perhaps no other figure in Japan today presents such a puzzle of conflicting perceptions. Ikeda resembles a prism, reflecting people's greatest hopes and worst fears.

But he chooses another metaphor.

As he began a rare interview, this 68-year-old man blown up to mythic proportions presented an ordinary appearance of spectacles and slicked-back hair.

His handshake was soft; his eyes escaped prolonged contact. He confessed intimidation at being laid bare, then issued the invitation:

"Please begin cutting up Daisaku Ikeda," he said. "I'm like an onion: No matter how you slice me, I'm the same."

Understanding Ikeda is a daunting task. Japan is home to a frenzied anti-Ikeda industry, where tabloid coverage has affected his public image and blurred the lines between suspicion and fact, imagination and reality.

The Soka Gakkai also seems to trigger deep emotions unusual in a society where black-and-white judgments are rare.

No one seems able to explain why. It is possible to view Soka Gakkai members as conscientious citizens who get out the vote, donate to charitable causes and hold deeply to their religious beliefs. In six decades, they say, they have expanded abroad with 1.2 million followers in 115 countries. That includes 300,000 in the U.S. branch, which is based in Santa Monica.

The group boasts tremendous organizational strength, discipline and wealth--including ownership of Japan's third-largest newspaper, Seikyo Shimbun.

Ikeda also has started a political party, education system, art museum and cultural programs that have taken him to 50 countries--deeds that will establish his legacy as one of modern Japan's most remarkable religious leaders, said Shin Anzai, a Roman Catholic scholar.

Yet the prevailing view portrays him as a tyrant and his followers as brainwashed zombies, poised to undermine Japan's democratic process.
Electoral Powerhouse

The decline of farmers and labor unions has made Soka Gakkai the nation's biggest voting bloc--and its decision to ally with opposition forces was the greatest factor behind the New Frontier Party's upset win in last year's elections for parliament's upper house.

Alarmed, the government has stepped up attacks on Ikeda as it faces crucial general elections amid sagging popularity caused by outrage over financial scandals.

The leading Liberal Democratic Party freely admits that its electoral strategy is to equate the New Frontier Party with the Soka Gakkai.

"We will not stop our campaign until we get Ikeda to testify in the parliament," LDP Secretary-General Koichi Kato recently declared. "He wants to control our country."

But at least some of the criticism against the Soka Gakkai appears to be deliberate fear-mongering.

Writer Atsushi Mizoguchi unblinkingly said Ikeda would probably kill his enemies if he ever took power. Others imagine tax harassment or steps to remove the current separation of church and state and declare Nichiren Buddhism the state religion.

Soka Gakkai's affiliated Clean Government Party--known mainly for pacifism and promoting welfare--attempted no such actions when it held power as part of the coalition governments of Morihiro Hosokawa and Tsutomu Hata in 1993 and 1994. And even if its members did desire sole political rule--which they deny--they make up only 20% of the voting electorate.

Aside from voicing these political fears, critics paint pictures of a violent, vengeful group. Masao Okkotsu and other former members describe tales of being followed and videotaped, harassed with midnight phone calls. Tabloids routinely report alleged violence against enemies, from manslaughter to arson.

At least two incidents can be confirmed: a 1991 threat to dynamite the Nichiren sect's main temple and the 1992 attempted arson of a Hiroshima temple. The organization says these were isolated incidents involving distraught members.

Other charges have proved groundless. A tabloid report that a Soka Gakkai member had killed a priest in a deliberate car collision was spread on the Internet and taken up in parliament by Ikeda critics. But it was the priest who strayed over the center line and hit the member's truck head-on, police and the local media say.

In the most high-profile cases against him, Ikeda was cleared in 1962 of charges of election tampering and won a libel suit in 1980 against a tabloid that claimed he was a womanizer.
Claims of Distortion

Ikeda said the myriad accusations deliberately distort the group's philosophy. They also ignore history: Soka Gakkai was one of the few organizations that resisted the militaristic Shinto theocracy in the dark years leading to World War II and was nearly destroyed for it. Its founder, Tsunesaburo Makiguchi, died in jail; Josei Toda, Ikeda's late, revered mentor, suffered behind bars for two years.

Jabbing a finger in the air, Ikeda declared: "We don't have the slightest intention of ever supporting a theocratic government. The Soka Gakkai organization was destroyed by state Shinto, by a form of nationalism that really did merge the political and the religious. Why in the world would we want to repeat that bitter experience?"

The group's political activity--as well as its other endeavors--stems from a belief that the spirit of religion should animate and uplift all realms of society, he said.

"If religion does nothing but pray in quiet isolation, then there is no need for it," he said, paraphrasing Mahatma Gandhi. "Unless the spirit of religion is reflected in politics, in society, unless it contributes to the world, then it is without value."

Still, Ikeda said Soka Gakkai's aims have been so misunderstood that it will begin endorsing candidates rather than specific parties after the next election, which must be held by spring, 1997.

Even so, public acceptance is likely to remain elusive.
Pushy Proselytizers

Some say the antipathy stems from Soka Gakkai's history of aggressive proselytizing--a legacy of the fiery brand of Buddhism preached by Nichiren, a poor fisherman's son who founded the sect in 1253. He declared that disasters would destroy Japan unless people abandoned their evil belief in other Buddhist doctrines and recognized the Lotus Sutra as the only true teaching.

At the height of their aggression in the late 1950s, followers entered homes and threw competing Buddhist altars into the streets. Such methods have long been abandoned, but the image of pushy proselytizers still offends many Japanese, who tend to tolerate a mix of beliefs.

Religion scholar Hiroshi Shimada said many Japanese dislike the group because it reflects a history they want to escape: the feudalistic fealty of disciple to master; a clannishness that to critics reeks of a suffocating rural society.

Soka Gakkai's membership has traditionally been drawn from the poor, the ill and the dispossessed, leading to class snobbery among some critics, Shimada said.

Ikeda does not pause when asked why he is attacked so vehemently.

"Because I am antiauthority. The fundamental reason is that we haven't allowed ourselves to be co-opted by authorities and don't do as we are told.

"The Japanese national character is very muddled," he said. "You don't know what their religious beliefs are, who they follow. But for some reason, they never criticize authority."

In the 3 1/2-hour interview at his group's Soka University outside Tokyo, Ikeda was blunt, impassioned and erudite.

He spoke of Japan's spiritual hunger and political malaise, the wounds of his own childhood, French literature and American poetry, the universal message of hope that Buddhism offers.

He denied designs on being prime minister, and he confessed to holding grudges against betrayers and to a fondness for sushi and spring.

He consistently returned to the theme of the "demonic nature of authority." The topic provokes thunder in his voice and fire in his eyes, stirring painful memories of a family ripped apart by war.
Poor Beginnings

Born Jan. 2, 1928, in Tokyo, Ikeda was the fifth son in a family of 10, whom he describes as poor but happy harvesters of seaweed.

As Japan began its long slide into militarism, four of his brothers were drafted, and one was killed at the front. His brothers' absence devastated the family business and cast clouds of sorrow over his normally radiant mother.

Afflicted with tuberculosis, Ikeda was forced at age 14 to fend for the family when his father fell ill.

He recalls coughing up bloody phlegm as he labored in an ironworks factory. He recalls the terrifying secret police and the nauseating stories of cruelty toward the Chinese that his brothers brought back from the front.

His life's decisive encounter occurred when he was 19, as the benumbed Japanese began picking up the pieces of a demolished country. What he believed would be a study meeting on "life philosophy" instead was a lecture on the Lotus Sutra by Toda, who would become his touchstone.

To Ikeda, Toda was a man of unshakable convictions, "like a sheer and towering cliff," who had gone to prison defending them; he was a mathematical genius and a master at explaining ancient Buddhist doctrine in logical, modern terms.

"He was completely open, frank and unaffected," Ikeda said. "I intuitively knew this was someone I could put my trust in."

A year later, in 1949, Ikeda began working for Toda's publishing company, and the two became inseparable. Toda taught him more than Buddhism: Every morning, he instructed Ikeda--whose education was cut off by war--in economics, law, political science, astronomy, chemistry, the Chinese classics and organizational theory.

As a result, Ikeda's breadth of knowledge dazzles scholars such as Balitzer. "He has read every book I teach, and he knows them better than most educators," he said. "He is not a cult leader. Cult leaders don't read Plato."

Ikeda married, and he has two sons. A poet, photographer and author of about 150 publications, he was named Soka Gakkai president in 1960 and resigned in 1979. Today, he is honorary president.

He receives both a Soka salary similar to those of other top officers in the group and royalties from some of his publications.

His followers say he lives modestly compared with presidents of major Japanese corporations. He occupies a small 1941 wooden house; he is, however, chauffeured in a Mercedes-Benz and stays in expensive suites when traveling, though defenders say both these seeming luxuries are fitting for him when he meets security- and status-conscious world leaders.

Meanwhile, Toda's influence still permeates Ikeda's core; Soka Gakkai President Einosuke Akiya said Ikeda still invokes his mentor's name every day.

"Josei Toda wanted me to understand his own life and experience and to realize we really have no choice but to fight against persecution and authoritarianism," Ikeda recalled.

That task is pressing in Japan, which "sanitized and glorified" a horrible war and is still caught in a spiritual bondage created by centuries of feudalism, Ikeda said.

But his critics say Ikeda is a religious tyrant, intolerant of dissent.

The struggle between the priests and Soka Gakkai has been largely portrayed by the secular press as a clash for money and power, but it raises questions about the nature of faith itself.

Nichiren priests preach a fundamentalist vision, stressing the importance of objects such as sacred scrolls and the authority of the clergy. If the clergy are not obeyed and doctrine not followed, worshipers will "fall into hell," Nichiren high priests state.

But Ikeda says Nichiren's essential teachings are antiauthoritarian, aimed at empowering the masses to gain spiritual enlightenment through their own action. He views religion as an inner communion, independent of controlling clergy. He also says the true spirit of Buddhism is tolerant, affirming the value of all teachings, even as it holds to its core beliefs.
Split With Priests

Ikeda's stands are hailed by such scholars as Anzai, who said Soka Gakkai has become more open to interfaith dialogue since splitting with the priests. Bryan Wilson, an Oxford University sociologist who examined the group's British branch in a 1994 book, said Soka Gakkai was the most open to academic scrutiny of any movement he has studied.

But Ikeda's stands are also attacked by such critics as Kotoku Obayashi, chief priest of the Myokoji temple in Tokyo: "He doesn't pay any respect to priests . . . this indicates his . . . arrogance and selfishness."

If Ikeda has challenged Japan's religious and political status quo, he has also embraced outsiders shunned here.

Rabbi Abraham Cooper of the Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Center, South African President Nelson Mandela and American civil rights legend Rosa Parks all found a supporter in Ikeda.

While other groups balked at requests to help combat anti-Semitism here, Cooper said, Soka Gakkai delivered $100,000 to help bring an exhibit on Anne Frank and the Holocaust to 15 cities; the display has been attended so far by 1 million people. Soka Gakkai has raised more than $7.5 million to aid refugees around the world.

Critics condemn Ikeda's global activities as ploys to boost his stature and to win him the Nobel Peace Prize. But there is no question that he spreads goodwill--and transforms stereotypes.

"My image of Japan was that it was monolithic and that there might be great resistance to African Americans because of {racist} statements made by some political leaders," said Elaine Steele, who accompanied Parks to Japan as co-founder of their self-development institute. "Since meeting with Soka Gakkai, I've come to learn--and very pleasantly so--that it is just like America: Some people are monolithic, and others are very open and multiracial."

Ikeda said he will put his final efforts into education to repay Japan's debt to the United States. Plans for a graduate campus of Soka University in Orange County and an existing undergraduate campus in Calabasas have sparked some controversy.

Whatever his ultimate legacy, Ikeda said the message is more important than the man: "The choice is between being a slave of authority or of holding to your beliefs, living for your convictions. This is the history of Buddhism for the past 3,000 years."

Putting entire faith in Nichiren's words will lead to a peaceful world

"The host exclaimed with delight: The dove has changed into a hawk, the sparrow into a clam. How gratifying! You have associated with a friend in the orchid room and have become as straight as mugwort growing among hemp. If you will truly give consideration to the troubles I have been describing and put entire faith in these words of mine, then the winds will blow gently, the waves will be calm, and in no time at all we will enjoy bountiful harvests." -- Nichiren

Is Daisaku Ikeda the most evil man in the world?

Daisaku Ikeda is the Devedatta of the modern age and the Third of the Three Powerful Enemies described in the Exhortation to Hold Firm Chapter [13] of the Lotus Sutra. 

Nichiren Daishonin teaches...

“However, they do not look like those referred to in the sutra: ‘monks who wear robes and stay in tranquility.’ People do not suppose that they are ‘revered by the people as though they were arhats with Six Superhuman Powers.’ Or, should I say that they are those who are ‘more cunning and less likely to reveal their faults?” — Opening of the Eyes

Who could be more cunning than a monk who states, “I am not a monk, I am a layman.”? At this time, it is the business suited president of the SGI who is looked upon by his disciples and the ignorant non-Buddhists with whom he holds dialogues as a living Buddha or one having superhuman powers ["He could read my thoughts"; "Rainbows follow him wherever he goes"; "How could anyone but a living Buddha collect so many awards and honors?"; "Who but a Buddha could write so many hundreds of books?"; "DaiSensei"].

Regarding the Soka Gakkai:

“…Then, as laymen, they work to destroy the teachings of Buddhism. Men of this kind steal and usurp the correct teachings of Buddhism and use them to supplement and bolster the erroneous writings…” — Opening of the Eyes

The Soka Gakkai steals and usurps the Daimoku of the Lotus Sutra to supplement and bolster the erroneous non-Buddhist SGI teachings of Human Revolution and Oneness of Mentor and Disciple. They [Daisaku Ikeda and his high paid lieutenants] steal and usurp Namu Myoho renge kyo in order to enrich themselves.

"The votaries of the Lotus Sutra are like Mount Sumeru, the sun and moon, or the great ocean."

"Question: Why should one discuss the relative worth of the various sutras?
Answer: The seventh volume of the Lotus Sutra states: “A person who can accept and uphold this sutra is likewise foremost among all living beings.” The “Medicine King” chapter of the Lotus Sutra lists ten comparisons indicating that this is the greatest of all the sutras preached by the Buddha in the past, present, and future. Of these ten comparison, the eighth is followed by the passage just quoted, and thus it becomes evident that the Buddha’s intention was not only to establish the superiority of the Lotus Sutra in comparison to the other sutras, but also to indicate that the votary of the Lotus Sutra is superior to all other kinds of persons.

The votaries of the Mahāvairochana Sutra and the other sutras are like the various mountains or stars or rivers and streams or the subjects of the various rulers. But the votaries of the Lotus Sutra are like Mount Sumeru, the sun and moon, or the great ocean.

And yet the world today despises and makes light of the Lotus Sutra, treating it like dirt or like a lowly subject of the ruler, while it respects and honors the erroneous men of the True Word teaching, awarding them the title of Teacher of the Nation and treating them like gold or like kings.

So the country has become full of persons of overbearing arrogance, causing the blue heavens to blaze with anger and the yellow earth to bring forth strange calamities. As small streams come together until they break down the walls and moats, so the sorrow and distress of the common people will pile up until it destroys the nation.

Question: In the Buddhist commentaries and the other types of non-Buddhist writings, are there any passages setting forth this view?
Answer: The memorial submitted to Emperor T’ai-tsung by the historian official Wu Ching states: “I make so bold as to observe that the government administered by Emperor T’ai-tsung, ruler in both civil and military affairs, has no equal in excellence, however far back we may seek in history. Even Yao of T’ang, Shun of Yü, Yü of the Hsia dynasty, T’ang of the Yin dynasty, Kings Wen and Wu of the Chou, Emperors Wen and Ching of the Han—none of these could compare to him.” Looking at the words of the memorial, we may wonder if Emperor T’ai-tsung was not a highly conceited ruler. But in fact he is praised because the skill and excellence with which he governed surpassed that of all these earlier sages mentioned in the memorial.

The Great Teacher Chang-an, speaking in praise of T’ien-t’ai, says: “Even the great scholars of India were not in a class with him, and the Chinese teachers—well, one need hardly mention them. This is no idle boast—the doctrine he taught was indeed of such excellence.” And the Dharma Teacher Ts’ung-i also praises him, saying, “Nāgārjuna and Vasubandhu cannot compare with T’ien-t’ai.”

The Great Teacher Dengyō has these words of praise: “The Tendai Lotus school is superior to the other schools because of the sutra that it is founded on. Therefore, in declaring its superiority, it is not simply praising itself and disparaging others. I hope that gentlemen of wisdom will examine the matter of sutras and on that basis decide which school they will follow.”

And he also says, “Those who can uphold the Lotus are foremost among living beings. This is borne out by the words of the Buddha himself. How could it be mere self-praise?”

Now if I may state my own humble view on the matter, I would say that Shan-wu-wei, Kōbō, Jikaku, Chishō, and the others all not only go against the intentions of the Buddha, but are persons of grave error who steal from the Law and contradict the Great Teacher Dengyō. Therefore Shan-wu-wei was reprimanded by King Yama, Jikaku has no grave mound, [Kōbō’s] disciples declare that he entered a “state of deep meditation” [instead of acknowledging his death], and the temples [of Jikaku’s and Chishō’s lineage] are repeatedly visited by great fires or massive attacks from soldiers.

The old texts tell us that if one is a temporal manifestation of a Buddha or a bodhisattva, then one’s dead body will not suffer shame, and yet they met with such a fate!

Question: As was done by the six older schools of Buddhism, did the True Word school ever submit a document in which it acknowledged its inferiority to the Tendai school?
Answer: Such a document will be found at the end of the tenth volume of The Annotations on “The Words and Phrases of the Lotus Sutra.” The Great Teacher Dengyō wrote A Clarification of the Schools Based on T’ien-t’ai’s Doctrine and included such material. Those who have eyes would accordingly do well to open the text and see what it says.

It is my hope that scholars of this latter age will heed the sage words of Miao-lo and Dengyō and will put no trust in the crass statements of Shan-wu-wei or Jikaku. And I hope that the followers of my own teachings will give deep thought to this matter. Do not let fear of others in your present existence lead you to do something that will invite evil consequences in an existence to come.

With my deep respect,

The twenty-fourth day of the first month
To the lay priest Ōta Kingo

The Toll

"More Americans have died of the coronavirus in the last 12 weeks than died in the Vietnam and Korean wars combined and nearly twice as many as died of battle wounds during World War I. The death toll has nearly matched the number of people killed by the initial blasts of the world’s first atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. In terms of American deaths, it is the equivalent of 22 Iraq wars, 33 Sept. 11 attacks, 41 Afghanistan wars, 42 Pearl Harbors or 25,000 Benghazis." - NY Times

Sunday, May 24, 2020

All the crowds...Ozarks/Daytona

When the Lake of the Ozarks and 'Ozark' Meet in a Pandemic Fueled ...

Daytona Beach witnessed largest spring break crowds in 10 years ...

Christianity: "Forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing."

Buddhism: Pestilence is a result of foolishness. Eradicating foolishness will eradicate pestilence.

For those pretending to be models of compassion

“The meaning of this passage is that, if a practitioner of Buddhism should fail to chastise evil persons who slander the Law but give himself up entirely to meditation and contemplation, not attempting to distinguish between correct and incorrect doctrines, or provisional and true teachings, but rather pretending to be a model of compassion, then such a person will fall into the evil paths along with the other doers of evil. Now a person who fails to correct the True Word, Nembutsu, Zen, and Precepts adherents who are slanderers of the correct teaching and instead pretends to be a model of compassion will meet just such a fate as this.” - A Sage an Un-Enlightened Man

Holding up the mirror of the Gohonzon so that SGI members can see their ugly cult faces

Holding up the mirror of the Gohonzon so that SGI members can see their ugly cult faces

“You should read again and again the previous letter in which I explained that one should of course obey one’s teacher, sovereign, and parents, but should they commit wrongs, admonishing them is in fact being loyal to them,” (The Three Obstacles and four Devils)

“How could I ever feel distantly toward any of you? Even in the case of the Nembutsu priests, the Zen priests, and the True Word teachers, and the ruler of the nation and other men of authority, all of whom bear me such hatred— I admonish them because I want to help them, and their hatred for me makes me pity them all the more.” (Reply to the lay Priest Takahashi)

“If rumor spreads that you appear to be a votary of the Lotus Sutra, both those who are close to you and those who are not will unexpectedly admonish you as if they were your true friends, saying, “If you believe in the priest Nichiren, you will surely be misled.” (The Workings of Brahma and Shakra)

“The Classic of Filial Piety states, “[In a case of moral wrong,] a son must admonish his father, and a minister must admonish his lord.” (The Letter of Petition from Yorimoto )

“The Great Teacher Dengyo states, “In general, where unrighteousness is concerned, a son must admonish his father, and a minister must admonish his lord.” (ibid.)

“Yet not only do they fail to remonstrate with them, but they criticize one who does confront the Nembutsu school, which is strange indeed! As for Daishin-bo, as I wrote you before, please strongly admonish him by letter.” (The third Doctrine)

“It stipulates that, no matter how learned one may be, if one sees an enemy of the Lotus Sutra but fails to admonish that person out of fear, one will fall into the hell of incessant suffering.” (Letter to Akimoto)

“What is more, it was through the Lotus Sutra that these bodhisattvas attained Buddhahood, and because the Buddha fervently admonished them concerning it, they took solemn vows in the presence of the Buddha.” (On Prayer0

“The high minister Pi Kan, seeing that the Yin dynasty was on the path to ruin, strongly admonished the ruler, though it cost him his head.” (Opening of the Eyes)

“The hermit regretfully replied, “It is my fault for not having admonished you enough beforehand.” (Letter to the Brothers)

”But Punyayashas admonished him, saying, “Ashvaghosha, do not behead yourself ! Use that head and mouth to praise Mahayana.” (On Curing Karmic Disease)

“But because Kuan Lung- feng remonstrated with King Chieh of the Hsia dynasty and Pi Kan admonished King Chou of the Yin dynasty, their names have been handed down in history as those of worthies.” (op cit. Letter of Petition to Yorimoto)

“For years, therefore, I have continually admonished myself that, even though I might lack food or clothing, or be rebuked by my parents, brothers, teacher, and colleagues, or be persecuted by the ruler and all the people, if I were going to waver even in the slightest on that account, I would have done better never to have spoken out in the first place. ” (Letter to Misawa)

“Nichiren, who admonishes them for their evil, is father and mother to the ruler, and the teacher of all living beings.” (The Royal Palace)

“Is not a person of wisdom one who admonishes the ruler when the country is endangered or corrects others’ mistaken views? But in your case, no matter what error you may see, you will no doubt refuse to correct it for fear of society’s reaction.” (op. cit. Yorimoto)

The Nirvana Sutra states, “Human life runs its course more swiftly than a mountain stream; the person here today will not likely be here tomorrow.” The Maya Sutra reads, “Imagine, for instance, a flock of sheep being driven by a chandala to the slaughterhouse. Human life is exactly the same; step by step one approaches the place of death.” The Lotus Sutra states, 

“There is no safety in the threefold world; it is like a burning house, replete with a multitude of sufferings, truly to be feared.”

In these passages from the sutras, our compassionate father, the World Honored One of Great Enlightenment, admonishes us, the ordinary people of the latter age; it is his warning to us, his ignorant children. Nevertheless, the people do not awaken for even one instant; nor do they conceive a desire to attain the way for even a single moment. In order to decorate their bodies, which, if abandoned in the fields, would be stripped naked overnight, they spend their time striving to pile up articles of clothing.

When their lives come to an end, within three days their bodies will turn into water that washes away, into dust that mixes with the earth, and into smoke that rises up into the sky, leaving no trace behind. Nevertheless, they seek to nurture these bodies and to amass great wealth.

This principle has been known since ancient times, but today the situation is pitiable. The country of Japan has been visited by continuous famine for the last several years, and supplies of food and clothing are exhausted. The domestic animals have all been consumed, and persons who eat human flesh are appearing. They tear flesh from the bodies of the dead, children, and the sick, mix it with fish or deer meat, and sell it. People purchase this mixture and eat it. Thus, this country has unwittingly become an abode of great evil demons.

Moreover, from the spring of last year through the middle of the second month of this year, epidemics have spread throughout the country. In five families out of ten, in fifty households out of a hundred, all the members have died from disease. Others have escaped illness but are suffering from great spiritual distress, and thus are in even greater agony than those who are ill. Even the people who managed to survive have lost the children who used to follow them as closely as shadows, or the spouses from whom they had been as inseparable as a pair of eyes, or the parents upon whom they had relied as they would upon heaven and earth. For them, what meaning does life hold? How could sensible people not abhor this world? The Buddha taught that there is no safety in the threefold world, but the current state of affairs seems excessively tragic.

Although I myself am only an ordinary person, I informed the ruler that the Buddha had left behind teachings predicting such a situation. However, he did not heed my admonitions, but rather began to persecute me even more harshly, so there was nothing further I could do. This country has already become a slanderer of the Law, and by turning into an enemy of the Lotus Sutra, it has also made itself an enemy of the Buddhas and the gods of the three existences and the ten directions.

Please consider deeply. No matter what grave crimes I, Nichiren, have been charged with, I am a votary of the Lotus Sutra. No matter what grave crimes a person who chants Namu Amida Butsu may be guilty of, it cannot be denied that he is a follower of the Nembutsu. Because I chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo with my own mouth, I have been reviled, struck, exiled, and had my life threatened. However, in spite of all this, I have continued to exhort others to do likewise. Am I not then a votary of the Lotus Sutra?

In the Lotus Sutra, it is stipulated that those who bear a grudge against its votary are destined to fall into the Avichi hell. The fourth volume states that the offense of harboring malice toward a votary of the Lotus Sutra in the latter age is graver than that of reviling the Buddha for an entire medium kalpa.2 The seventh volume teaches that people who disparage the votary will suffer in the Avichi hell for a thousand kalpas.3 The fifth volume states that after the Buddha’s passing, when the Latter Day of the Law arrives, a votary of the Lotus Sutra will certainly appear, and that at that time, in that country, an immeasurably great multitude of monks who either uphold or violate the precepts will gather and denounce the votary to the ruler of the country, causing him to be banished and ruined.

These passages from the sutra all coincide precisely with what has happened to me. I am therefore convinced that I will attain Buddhahood in the future. I will speak in more detail when we meet” (No Safety in the Threefold World)

“Question: What eye of wisdom allows you to perceive that the Nembutsu, Zen, and other schools of our time are the enemies of the Lotus Sutra and evil companions who are ready to mislead all people?
Answer: I do not state personal opinions, but merely hold up the mirror of the sutras and commentaries so that the slanderers of the Law may see their ugly faces reflected there and perceive their errors. But if they are incurably “blind,” it is beyond my power.

In the “Treasure Tower” chapter in the fourth volume of the Lotus Sutra we read: “At that time Many Treasures Buddha offered half of his seat in the treasure tower to Shakyamuni Buddha . . . At that time the members of the great assembly [saw] the two Thus Come Ones seated cross-legged on the lion seat in the tower of seven treasures . . . And in a loud voice he [Shakyamuni Buddha] addressed all the four kinds of believers, saying: ‘Who is capable of broadly preaching the Lotus Sutra of the Wonderful Law in this saha world? Now is the time to do so, for before long the Thus Come One will enter nirvana. The Buddha wishes to entrust this Lotus Sutra to someone so that it may be preserved.’ ” This is the first pronouncement of the Buddha.

Again the chapter reads: “At that time the World-Honored One, wishing to state his meaning once more, spoke in verse form, saying: ‘This holy lord, this World-Honored One, though he passed into extinction long ago, still seats himself in the treasure tower, coming here for the sake of the Law. You people, why then do you not also strive for the sake of the Law? . . . In addition, these emanations of my body, Buddhas in immeasurable numbers like Ganges sands, have come, desiring to hear the Law . . . Each has abandoned his wonderful land, as well as his host of disciples, the heavenly and human beings, dragons, and spirits, and all the offerings they give him, and has come to this place on purpose to make certain the Law will long endure. . . . as though a great wind were tossing the branches of small trees. Through this expedient means they make certain that the Law will long endure. So I say to the great assembly: After I have passed into extinction, who can guard and uphold, read and recite this sutra? Now in the presence of the Buddha let him come forward and speak his vow!’ ” This is the second proclamation of the Buddha.

The passage continues: “The Thus Come One Many Treasures, I myself, and these emanation Buddhas who have gathered here, surely know this is our aim. . . . All you good men, each of you must consider carefully! This is a difficult matter—it is proper you should make a great vow. The other sutras number as many as Ganges sands, but though you expound those sutras, that is not worth regarding as difficult. If you were to seize Mount Sumeru and fling it far off to the measureless Buddha lands, that too would not be difficult. . . . But if after the Buddha has entered extinction, in the time of evil, you can preach this sutra, that will be difficult indeed! . . . If, when the fires come at the end of the kalpa, one can load dry grass on his back and enter the fire without being burned, that would not be difficult. But after I have passed into extinction if one can embrace this sutra and expound it to even one person, that will be difficult indeed! . . . All you good men, after I have entered extinction, who can accept and uphold, read and recite this sutra? Now in the presence of the Buddha let him come forward and speak his vow!” This is the third admonition from the Buddha. The fourth and fifth admonitions are found in the “Devadatta” chapter, and I will deal with them later.” (op. cit. Opening of the Eyes)

“Adherents of the various schools may attempt to attack you by citing the passage from The Treatise on the Great Perfection of Wisdom that states, “If one denounces the teachings others follow out of love for one’s own, then even if one is the practitioner who observes the precepts, one will never escape the pains of hell.” Ask them whether they know why Nagarjuna wrote this admonition, and if Nagarjuna could possibly have been ignorant of how serious an offense it is to slander the true teaching by clinging to provisional teachings. He stated, “The various sutras are not secret teachings; only the Lotus Sutra is secret.”30 He declared that the Lotus Sutra alone is the seed of enlightenment, likening it to a great physician who can change poison into medicine. Is it possible that he later regretted having said these things, and therefore wrote that, if one denounces the teachings others follow out of love for one’s own, one will be destined to fall into the evil paths? If so, he would have been directly contradicting the truthful words of the Lotus Sutra, in which the Buddha states, “Honestly discarding expedient means” and “Not accepting a single verse of the other sutras.”31 This is hardly conceivable. Nagarjuna was a bodhisattva who appeared in accordance with Shakyamuni Buddha’s prediction, as well as a scholar in the direct lineage of the Buddha’s teaching. He may well have written this admonition in his treatise because he foresaw that such priests as Kobo and T’an-luan would slander the Lotus Sutra, the teaching that befits this age of the Latter Day of the Law. You should scoff at your opponents for not knowing the meaning of the words they cite. Tell them: 'Are you yourselves not followers of those destined to fall into the evil paths? How pitiful! Are you not to be counted among those who will suffer for countless kalpas to come?'” (Teaching Practice and Proof)

“He agonized over what course to take, but in the end, fearful of violating the Buddha’s admonition, made known his views to Emperor Kammu.” (Selection of Time)

“The Nirvana Sutra states: “If even a good monk sees someone destroying the teaching and disregards him, failing to reproach him, to oust him, or to punish him for his offense, then you should realize that that monk is betraying the Buddha’s teaching. But if he ousts the destroyer of the Law, reproaches him, or punishes him, then he is my disciple and a true voice-hearer.”
This admonition urged me on, and I spoke out against slander in spite of the various persecutions I faced, because I would have become an enemy of the Buddha’s teaching if I had not.

Slander can be either minor or serious, however, and sometimes we should overlook it rather than attack it. The True Word and Tendai schools slander the Lotus Sutra and should be severely rebuked. But without great wisdom it is hard to differentiate correctly between their doctrines and the teachings that Nichiren spreads. Therefore, at times we refrain from attacking them, just as I did in On Establishing the Correct Teaching for the Peace of the Land.
Whether or not we speak out, it will be difficult for those who have committed the grave offense of slander to avoid retribution. Our seeing, hearing, and making no attempt to stop slander that, if we spoke out, could be avoided, destroys our gifts of sight and hearing, and is utterly merciless.

Chang-an writes, “If one befriends another person but lacks the mercy to correct him, one is in fact his enemy.”3 The consequences of a grave offense are extremely difficult to erase. The most important thing is to continually strengthen our wish to benefit others.” (The Embankments of Faith)

“The heart of all these passages is the admonition to embrace and believe in the Lotus Sutra in this Latter Day of the Law.” (The Embankments of Faith)

“Nevertheless, I was concerned that any admonition would be taken by the ignorant as mere jealousy of his wisdom, and so I refrained from speaking out.” (On Persecution Befalling the sage)

“Then the unenlightened man said: “Listening to the teachings and admonitions of a sage like you, I find that the misunderstandings I have labored under in recent days are all suddenly dispelled.” (op. cit. Conversations Sage)

“The third volume of the Nirvana Sutra says: ‘If even a good monk sees someone destroying the teaching and disregards him, failing to reproach him, to oust him, or to punish him for his offense, then you should realize that monk is betraying the Buddha’s teaching. But if he ousts the destroyer of the Law, reproaches him, or punishes him, then he is my disciple and a true voice-hearer.’

“The meaning of this passage is that, if a person striving to propagate the correct teaching of the Buddha should hear and see others propounding the teachings of the sutras in a mistaken manner and fail to reproach them himself or, lacking the power to do that, fail to appeal to the sovereign and in this way take measures to correct them, then he is betraying the Buddha’s teaching. But if, as the sutras direct, he is not afraid of others but censures these slanderers himself and appeals to the sovereign to take measures against them, then he may be called a disciple of the Buddha and a true priest.

“Being therefore determined to avoid the charge of ‘betraying the Buddha’s teaching,’ although I have incurred the hatred of others, I have dedicated my life to Shakyamuni Buddha and the Lotus Sutra, extending compassion to all living beings and rebuking slanders of the correct teaching. Those who cannot understand my heart have tightened their lips and glared at me with furious eyes. But if you are truly concerned about your future existence, you should think lightly of your own safety and consider the Law above all. Thus the Great Teacher Chang-an states, ‘ “[A royal envoy . . . would rather], even though it costs him his life, in the end conceal none of the words of his ruler”91 means that one’s body is insignificant while the Law is supreme. One should give one’s life in order to propagate the Law.’

“This passage is saying that, even if one must give up one’s life, one should not conceal the correct teaching; this is because one’s body is insignificant while the Law is supreme. Though one’s body be destroyed, one should strive to propagate the Law.” (ibid.)

“And what of these admonitions of mine? Because people regard them with suspicion and refuse to heed them, disasters such as those we now face occur.” (Three tripitak Masters Pray For Rain)

“Now this great evil True Word doctrine has spread to Kamakura, deceiving the members of the ruling clan and threatening to bring about the destruction of Japan. This is a matter of the gravest import, and I have not discussed it even with my disciples. Instead I have dissembled, pretending ignorance and filling their ears only with attacks upon Nembutsu and Zen. But since my admonitions continue to go unheeded, without begrudging even my life, I will also tell my disciples what the true situation is.

“When I do so, they will be even more perplexed, saying that, no matter how admirable or worthy of respect Nichiren may be, he can scarcely surpass Jikaku and Kobo. I fear I will never succeed in banishing all their doubts. How can I dispel them?” (op. cit. Takahashi)

“It is a grave offense to go against these admonitions, and though invisible to the eye, the error piles up until it sends one plummeting to hell.” (Fourteen Slanders)

“My admonitions have surpassed even those set forth in the yüeh-fu poems of Po Chüi, and my prophecies are not inferior to those of the Buddha.” (The Actions of the Votary of the Lotus Sutra)

“In ancient China, King Chou of the Yin dynasty refused to heed the admonitions of his loyal minister Pi Kan and instead cut out Pi Kan’s heart.” (ibid.)

“But just as a high wind creates great waves, or a powerful dragon brings forth torrential rains, so my admonitions called forth increasing animosity.” (ibid.)

“However, he did not heed my admonitions, but rather began to persecute me even more harshly, so there was nothing further I could do. (op. cit. no Safety Threefold World)

“I, Nichiren, fearing these admonitions of the Buddha, accordingly accused all those throughout the nation who were deserving of it, and more than once I was condemned to exile or to death.” (Letter to Akimoto)

“Thus, although Shan-wu-wei, Hsüantsang, Kobo, Jikaku, Chisho, and the others put forth a variety of clever arguments, they could produce no passage of scripture proving the Lotus Sutra to be inferior to the Mahavairochana Sutra. Their whole argument rests solely on the question of whether the sutra includes mudras and mantras. Rather than writing hundreds of volumes of argument, traveling back and forth between China and Japan with their unending schemes, and arranging for the promulgation of imperial edicts in order to intimidate people, they would have been better off producing some clear passage of proof in the sutras themselves. Who then could have doubted their assertions??

Dewdrops accumulate to form a stream, and streams accumulate to form the great ocean. Particles of dust accumulate to form a mountain, and mountains accumulate to form Mount Sumeru. And in the same way, trifling matters accumulate to become grave ones. How much more so in the case of this matter, which is the gravest of all! When these men wrote their commentaries, they should have exerted themselves in examining both the principles and documentary evidence of the two teachings, and when the court issued imperial edicts, it, too, should have delivered its admonitions after thoroughly investigating both sides and citing some clear passage of proof.

Not even the Buddha himself could repudiate his statement that, among all the sutras he has preached, now preaches, and will preach, [the Lotus Sutra stands supreme]. How much less, then, can scholars, teachers, and rulers of states use their authority to do so! This statement [of the Buddha] has been heard by Brahma, Shakra, the gods of the sun and moon, and the four heavenly kings, and duly recorded in their respective palaces.

So long as the people truly did not know of this statement, it seems that the false interpretations of the teachers I mentioned spread without anyone incurring retribution. But once a person of forceful character has come forward to make this sutra passage known in a bold and uncompromising fashion, then grave matters are certain to occur. Because people have looked down on this person and cursed him, struck him, sent him into exile, or attempted to take his life, Brahma, Shakra, the gods of the sun and moon, and the four heavenly kings have risen up in anger and become that votary’s allies. Thus unexpected censures have come down from heaven, and the people are about to be wiped out and the nation destroyed.

Though the votary of the Lotus Sutra may be of humble background, the heavenly deities who protect him are fearsome indeed. If an asura tries to swallow the sun or moon, its head will split into seven pieces. If a dog barks at a lion, its bowels will rot. And as I view the situation today, the same sort of retribution is happening here in Japan.

On the other hand, those who give alms and support to the votary will receive the same benefit as though making offerings to the Lotus Sutra itself. As the Great Teacher Dengyo says in his commentary, “Those who praise him will receive blessings that will pile up as high as Mount Calm and Bright, while those who slander him will be committing a fault that will condemn them to the hell of incessant suffering.”

The person who offered a humble meal of millet to a pratyekabuddha became the Thus Come One Treasure Brightness. He who offered a mud pie to the Buddha became the ruler of Jambudvipa. Though one may perform meritorious deeds, if they are directed toward what is untrue, then those deeds may bring great evil, but they will never result in good. On the other hand, though one may be ignorant and make meager offerings, if one presents those offerings to a person who upholds the truth, one’s merit will be great. How much more so in the case of people who in all sincerity make offerings to the correct teaching!” (The Bodies and Minds of Ordinary Beings)

I changed my mind again... they are true Nichiren priests and nuns

They are celibate and try to live as did Nichiren Daishonin in poverty. In their peace (anti-nuclear)  walks across the country, chanting Namu Myoho renge kyo and beating their drums, they sleep in basements or churches or by the side of the road. They are also involved with Native American issues. They have a temple in Washington D/C and several stupas around the U.S.

Soka Gakkai LIES that they were the first to bring Namu Myoho renge kyo to India

The White Lotus Gohonzon

Beautiful White Lotus Flowers (HD1080p) - YouTube

In all good consciense I can also, not recommend Nipponzan Myohoji....

...if you wish to practice Nichiren Lotus Sutra Buddhism. They have an interfaith practice. However, they are a true peace sangha as opposed to the Soka Gakkai, even risking their lives and imprisonment.

Nichidatsu Fujii

“Civilization is not to kill human beings,Not to destroy things, not to make war; Civilization is to hold mutual affection And to respect one another.”
–Most Venerable Nichidatsu Fujii

I would say that if you have to join an organization...

Nipponzan Myohoji.  I believe their slanders are minor but if I find out they embrace provisional Buddhists or if they accept donations from non-believers, they are no longer Nichiren Lotus Sutra Buddhists. Were that the case, I would have to wave my recommendation.

Nipponzan Myohoji Temple Kalkuta India

Saturday, May 23, 2020

The two types of wisdom

"Neither Buddhas nor gods would ever accept contributions from those who slander the correct teaching. Then how can we human beings accept them? The deity of Kasuga Shrine proclaimed through an oracle that he would accept nothing from those with impure hearts, though he should have to eat the flames of burning copper; that he would refuse to set foot in their homes, though he should have to sit on red-hot copper. He would rather come down to a miserable hut with weeds choking the passageway, or to a poor thatched house. He declared that he would never visit persons lacking in faith, even if they hung sacred festoons for a thousand days to welcome him, but that he would go to a house where the people have a mind of faith, even though they might be in mourning for a parent. Lamenting that slanderers have overrun this country, the benevolent gods have abandoned it and ascended to heaven. “Those with impure hearts” means those who refuse to embrace the Lotus Sutra, as is stated in the fifth volume of the sutra. If the gods themselves regard alms from slanderers as more abominable than the flames of burning copper, how could we human beings possibly accept them? If someone were to kill our parents and then try to offer us some gift, could we possibly accept it? Not even wise persons or sages can avoid the hell of incessant suffering if they accept offerings from slanderers. Nor should you associate with slanderers, for if you do, you will share the same guilt as they. This you should fear above all.

Shakyamuni Buddha is the father, sovereign, and teacher of all the other Buddhas and all the gods, of the whole assembly of human and heavenly beings, and of all living beings. How could the heavenly gods and benevolent deities rejoice if the Buddha were killed? Today all the people of our country have proved to be enemies of Shakyamuni Buddha, but more than laymen or laywomen, it is the priests with perverse wisdom and hearts who are the Buddha’s worst enemies. There are two kinds of wisdom, correct and perverse. No matter how wise a person may appear, if his assertions are warped you should not listen to him. Nor should you follow priests merely because they are venerable or of high rank. But if a person has the wisdom to know the true meaning of the Lotus Sutra, no matter how lowly he may appear, pay respect to him and make offerings to him as though he were a living Thus Come One . Thus it is written in the sutra. That is why the Great Teacher Dengyō says that the men and women who believe in this sutra, even if they lack knowledge or violate the precepts, should be seated above priests who observe all two hundred and fifty precepts of the Hinayana teachings, and never be seated in a humble position, and that this is all the more true of the priests of this Mahayana sutra."