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Sunday, August 28, 2016

Japan to be hit by third powerful hurricane this week.

Dropping the chracter Mu

In SGI's writings, the character Mu has been dropped ten billion times. Nichiren, on the other hand, never once in forty years ever dropped the character Mu.

"In the ninth volume of the Nirvana Sutra we read: “Good man, there are icchantikas, or persons of incorrigible disbelief. They pretend to be arhats, living in deserted places and speaking slanderously of the correct and equal sutras of the great vehicle. When ordinary people see them, they all suppose that they are true arhats and speak of them as great bodhisattvas.” It also says: “At that time, this sutra will be widely propagated throughout Jambudvīpa. In that age there will be evil monks who will steal this sutra and divide it into many parts, losing the color, scent, and flavor of the correct teaching that it contains. These evil men will read and recite this sutra, but they will ignore and put aside the profound and vital principles that the Thus Come One has expounded in it and replace them with ornate rhetoric and meaningless talk. They will tear off the first part of the sutra and stick it on at the end, tear off the end and put it at the beginning, put the end and the beginning in the middle and the middle at the beginning or the end. You must understand that these evil monks are the companions of the devil."

"Again, a single character equals innumerable others, for the validity of the sutra was attested to by the Buddhas of the ten directions. The treasures bestowed by a single wish-granting jewel equal those bestowed by two such jewels or by innumerable jewels. Likewise, each character in the Lotus Sutra is like a single wish-granting jewel, and the innumerable characters of the sutra are like innumerable jewels. The character myō was uttered by two tongues: the tongues of Shakyamuni and Many Treasures. The tongues of these two Buddhas are like an eight-petaled lotus flower, one petal overlapping another, on which rests a jewel, the character of myō.

"A single character of the Lotus Sutra is like the great earth, which gives rise to all things. A single character is like the great ocean, which contains the water from all rivers. A single character is like the sun and moon, which illuminate all four continents.

"Similarly, though we gather together all the various sutras, such as the Flower Garland Sutra, the Āgama sutras, the Correct and Equal sutras, the Wisdom, Nirvana, Mahāvairochana, and Meditation sutras, they could never equal even a single character of the Lotus Sutra."

"...Every single character in this sutra represents the true intention of the Buddhas, and every brushstroke of it is a source of aid to those who repeat the cycle of birth and death. There is not a single word in it that is untrue."

“The Lotus Sutra of the Wonderful Law, before which I bow my head, in its single case, with its eight scrolls, twenty-eight chapters, and 69,384 characters, is in each and every one of its characters the true Buddha who preaches the Law for the benefit of living beings.”

"Every single character in this sutra represents the true intention of the Buddhas, and every brushstroke of it is a source of aid to those who repeat the cycle of birth and death. There is not a single word in it that is untrue."

"If one discards one word or even one brushstroke of the sutra, the offense is graver than that of one who kills one’s parents ten million times over, or even of one who sheds the blood of all the Buddhas in the ten directions." 

"The eighth volume of The Annotations on “Great Concentration and Insight” states, “So long as a person does not try to depart from the sufferings of birth and death and aspire to the Buddha vehicle, the devilwill watch over him like a parent.” This passage means that, even thougha person may cultivate roots of goodness, so long as he practicesNembutsu, True Word, Zen, Precepts, or any teaching other than theLotus Sutra, he will have the devil king for a parent. The devil king will possess and cause other persons to respect him and give him alms, and people will be deluded into believing that he is a truly enlightened priest. If he is honored by the sovereign, for instance, the people are sureto offer him alms. On the other hand, a priest who incurs the enmity of the ruler and others [because of the Lotus Sutra] is surely practicing the correct teaching."

For this reason alone, SGI is not Nichiren's Lotus Sutra Buddhism. For this reason alone, not one Gakkai member receives the boundless benefit of the Law.

SGI shuns and castigates those who follow the correct law while praisng Islam

Abandoning the Lotus Sutra and the Buddhism of Nichiren Daishonin, the SGI misunderstands Buddhism and the world in which we live. Ignoring and sugar coating reality has become the mantra of the Soka Gakkai while they shun and castigates those who follow the correct Law. The most glaring example is, those who point out the very nature of Islam, the Q’uran, and its followers and believers, are severely criticized and rebuked by Soka Gakkai members. Copying, reading, reciting and analyzing those many dozens of passages of the Q’uran that advocate cheating, lying, killing, and maiming in the name of Islam is more fraught upon than the actual cheating, lying, maiming and killing itself that is being perpetrated by the followers and believers of Islam in the name of Islam.

How horrible when someone from the west widely publishes a video of the Islamists sawing through the neck of an American or Englishman. How horrible when someone publishes a cartoon of the Prophet Mohammad with a bomb strapped to his turban. Far more energy and resources are spent remonstrating and calumniating those who reveal the ugly face of Islam than against those who are the ugly face of Islam.

It is bad enough, the doctrinal and theoretical basis of Islam. The real reality of Islam is ten billion times more sinister. Afghanistan’s puritanical Taliban Islamic militia demolishing statues in Bamiyan, including two towering ancient stone Buddhas, was designed to stop the worshipping of “false idols”. How much worse will be their enmity and actions should Islam take hold against the votaries of the Lotus Sutra who worship the Gohonzon? Islam nearly destroyed Buddhism and killed millions of Buddhists in India. How much worse will it be 2500 years after the Buddha’s passing if the malignancy that is Islam once again takes hold? Compare and contrast the “puritanical Islamists” to the pure believers of Christianity, such as the Quakers and Mennonites? Compare the Islamic fundamentalists and Mohammad to the votaries of the Lotus Sutra and Nichiren Daishonin? Who is strapping bombs to women and mental defectives and blowing up innocent men, women, children, and animals in the pet market?

There are two ways of propagating the Lotus Sutra: The gentle method and the break and subdue method. To convert the Quakers and Mennonites of the world, we employ the gentle practices. To convert the Islamists, we employ the break and subdue practices. These bearded turbaned men of Islam are in Hell now and after they die they will go to Hell. Those who would rob the life of the votaries of the Lotus Sutra [and without doubt, since they have no compunction of taking the life of their fellow religionists, they would rob us of our life], must be routed.

Who will be the first to die if Islam reigns supreme? It will be those who chant Namu Myoho renge kyo, revere Shakyamuni Buddha, and worship the Gohonzon. This is not the imaginings of a man who needs help, it is clearly written in the Islamic Holy Book, the basis of Shariah. According to Sharia, they may spare believers in God, the Christians and the Jews but they may not compromise with Pagans or the Buddhist believers in the True Law.

These men of Islam are not politically correct. They are fervent, profound, and serious believers in the Q’uran and the tenets of Islam. They would rather die or preferably have you die than allow you to uphold even a sentence or phrase of the True Law let alone the Object of Worship for the salvation of all mankind. They will not sugar coat your “heresies” or lifestyle. They will not overlook your “apostacies”. They will hold you accountable for going against their Law. They are merciless.

If these men gain ascendency there will be no more Lotus Sutra; no more SGI; no more NST; no more Nichiren Shu; and no more Kempon Hokke. The propagation of Namu Myoho renge kyo will be outlawed, the men will be killed, the women will be incorporated into their harems, and our children will become the next suicide bombers or exclusive students of Islam. Society and civilization as we know it will cease to exist and we will return to the middle ages. All positive discourses will cease and humanity will be reciting the Q’uran day and night at the expense of scientific and philosophical advancement.

I will not be cowed by Patrick, Phillip Bret, Daisaku Ikeda, Barack Obama, George Bush, Osama Bin Laden, nor Shamon Tsuchiya. I would rather die than see you die or witness a halt to the flow of the Buddhist Law.

”Shakyamuni Buddha is the original teacher for all people." - Nichiren

“The sutra states, “Those persons who had heard the Law dwelled here and there in various Buddha lands, constantly reborn in company with their teachers,” and “If one stays close to the teachers of the Law, one will speedily gain the bodhisattva way. By following and learning from these teachers one will see Buddhas as numerous as Ganges sands.” A commentary says, “Originally one followed this Buddha and for the first time conceived the desire to seek the way. And by following this Buddha again, one will reach the stage where there is no retrogression.” Another commentary says, “In the beginning one followed this Buddha or bodhisattva and formed a bond with him, and so it will be through this Buddha or bodhisattva that one will attain one’s goal.” Above all, be sure to follow your original teacher so that you are able to attain Buddhahood. Shakyamuni Buddha is the original teacher for all people, and moreover, he is endowed with the virtues of sovereign and parent. Because I have expounded this teaching, I have been exiled and almost killed. As the saying goes, “Good advice grates on the ear.” But still I am not discouraged. The Lotus Sutra is like the seed, the Buddha like the sower, and the people like the field. If you deviate from these principles, not even I can save you in your next life.”Shakyamuni Buddha is the original teacher for all people."

With my deep respect,

Nichiren

"Catholics are our older brothers.” -- Ikeda

World Tribune, May 24, 1993, p. 4 (Ikeda speech of May 3, 1993)

“Catholics have experienced a history of suffering; they have walked a path of bitter struggle. Viewed in that vein, I don’t think it is an exaggeration to say that Catholics are our older brothers.”

Except for Makiguchi, no one from SGI has ever been martyred and, unlike the jesuits and the master Nichiren, Ikeda has hardly lived even a day as a mendicant. He’s lived like a Pope, the rich lifestyle, everyone kissing his hands and feet, the vast Vatican and Soka art treasures bought off the backs of the people donating every bit of their extra money to the Church and Soka.

Ikeda is the lay-Pope of the East and the Soka Gakkai is modeled after Rome [Vatican].

The Catholics are the older brothers of the SGI while other Nichiren Buddhists, our priests, members, and our Lotus Sutra “theology,” are lower than dirt to them.

You know who is actually lower than dirt don’t you? Who are the real betrayers and traitors of the Nichiren faith?

Next time you do gongyo in front of the Nichikan Gohonzon, think about it… On second thought, find a blank wall to chant to, if you really wish to be illumned about this issue. The Nichikan Gohonzon has too much baggage and too too many demons.

SGI holds a grudge against Shakyamuni Buddha

SGI’s 2010 video presentation of Ikeda’s lecture on The Supreme Leader of the World Gosho is [was?] available on the SGI-USA website. Nothing, not one word was said about the grave consequences of abandoning Shakyamuni Buddha which is a major point of this writing. 

Nichiren Daishonin states in this writing:

“….However, they are alike in that they all abandoned Shakyamuni Buddha. There is no doubt, therefore, that our country will be ruined. This is a teaching that has never yet been revealed. Keep it strictly to yourself.

If there are any among my followers who are weak in faith and go against what I, Nichiren, say, they will meet the same fate as did the Soga family. I will tell you the reason. It was due to the efforts of father and son, Soga no Iname and Umako, that Buddhism came to be established in Japan. They could have held the same position as Brahma and Shakra at the time of the Thus Come One Shakyamuni’s appearance in this world. Because they had brought Mononobe no Okoshi and his son Moriya to ruin, they became the only influential clan in the country. They rose in rank and controlled the nation, and their family enjoyed high prosperity. But Umako grew so arrogant that he had Emperor Sushun assassinated and many princes killed. Moreover, his grandson, Iruka, had his retainers put twenty-three of Prince Shotoku’s children to death. Thereupon Empress Kogyoku, following the advice of Nakatomi no Kamako, had a statue cast of Shakyamuni Buddha and prayed to it fervently. As a result, Iruka, his father, and the entire Soga family all perished at once.

Draw your own conclusions from what I said above. Those among my followers who fail to carry through their faith to the end will incur punishment even more severe. Even so, they should not harbor a grudge against me. Remember what fate Sho-bo, Notobo, and others met.”

Daisaku Ikeda, SGI leaders, and many general members hold a grudge against Nichiren Daishonin, the Lotus Sutra, and especially Shakyamuni Buddha. You will see for yourselves how their lives turn out.

SGI is more corrupt than Hlllary and flip fops more than Trump

I posted the following quote by Daisaku Ikeda: 

“I am the only true mentor." 

An SGI leader responded, "Sensei was saying that he was the 'only true mentor' of himself." Another SGI member [CL] responded:

"I agree, this kind of statement (whether through mis-translation both linguistically and/or culturally) makes a person like myself a bit uncomfortable. However, I never feel that, perhaps because I am a fairly new member (having done a ton of research prior to my joining, surveying the Buddhist landscape for years, from academia to personal interactions to Internet to within my own head and heart, etc..) I am being “conditioned”. The reason for this, I think, is that I do not feel a sense of what we might call “guilt” for having an uncomfortable feeling about a statement such as this (“I am the only true mentor”) I can say this with great clarity of mind. I can say this because in the Middle Way of Mahayana, one must not become attached to the uncomfortable feeling one might get when ordinary humans like President Ikeda make these kinds of statements from time to time. I would say that the life-narrative of Ikeda is a true one insofar as he can call himself the “only true mentor” of himself and he can also call himself the “only true disciple” as well, just as you and I and everybody else can. That is the beauty of the stand-alone spirit, the beauty of the individual honored by the Lotus Sutra which is honored by so many.

Therefore, one must also not be attached to the idea that he is not an ordinary human being who is both mentor and disciple at the same time!

Also, I might add that we should just ponder for a moment the profound nature of having the Internet, both an engine of great research as well as a boiling cauldron of slander, all at once! Perhaps, many years ago, the absence of such a tool hindered the NSA member from exploring various aspects of the modern Buddhist landscape and one was locked inside the literature of their chosen “path”. Buddhism was, is and will always be “free to choose”. We will ALL win!" -

Henry, still another SGI member responded:

'This CL seems to have gained an enlightened perspective from observing his own mind and the attachments formed therein. I like it. Let’s win like CL says!

Thanks for posting Mark!"

My response:

Your welcome. You are in the minority here in your thoughts about CL, SGI, and CL's “enlightened” perspective. Let me see if I can’t change your mind:

I will deconstruct another one of his posts and see if his perspective jives with the reality of SGI, the Lotus Sutra, and what might be Nichiren’s perspective of the SGI. I feel a little uncomfortable speaking for the Great Man Nichiren but I see few standing up for those principles for which Nichiren lived and died, other than myself and a handful of other disciples and believers.

CL states:

“The organization that President Ikeda constructed has developed into an international network of Nichiren Buddhist Sanghas of ordinary laypeople, each one a president of the SGI, under the authority of one Law, the Mystic Law, and one precept, the Diamond precept, is taken.”

The first thing Nichiren would strike would be his name, from "Nichiren Buddhist sanghas". The second thing he would strike would be “Buddhist”. What the SGI practices is not the faith of Nichiren. I say this because Nichiren believed in the Transmission Through the Scrolls of the Sutra (following the Law and not the person) and he believed in Shakyamuni Buddha of the Juryo Chapter of the Lotus Sutra. Both principles the SGI fail to uphold.

Is SGI Buddhist? One definition of Buddhism that accords with the Lotus Sutra is, “The Teachings of Shakyamuni Buddha.” Another definition of Buddhism that accords with the Lotus Sutra is, “The various groups that both adopt the teachings of Shakyamuni Buddha and venerate Shakyamuni Buddha.”

The SGI teachings do not accord with the teachings of Shakyamuni Buddha, especially his highest teaching, Myoho renge kyo. Advocating that we close, ignore, abandon, Myoho renge kyo while chanting Myoho renge kyo, is certainly not the highest teachings of Shakyamuni, Myoho renge kyo, or Lotus Sutra.

Certainly the SGI doesn’t venerate Shakyamuni, their members calling him derisively, the “easter bunny”, “Santa Claus”, and “Shakkie”, for example.

As far as embracing the One Precept, the Diamond Precept, I have already shown, in refuting the deceased SGI Study Department chief Shin Yatomi’s essay on the precepts, that SGI is confused about the matter of the Diamond precept and mixes the clean (Diamond precept) with the unclean (Hinayana precepts).

Cl uses the language of impropriety that is one of the hallmarks of SGI non-Buddhism:

“It can not be broken by “dogma”, “doctrine”, or the ‘words and letters of Mark Rogow”, nor by the “bad experiences of Mark Rogow with various organizations in the not too distant past.”

Response: Only by truth will the SGI be broken. It will be broken [and broken up] by the truth. Not even Makiguchi who substituted “Truth” for “Gain” can destroy the power of Truth. He can throw out truth like he threw out Shakyamuni Buddha but he can not destroy truth just as he can not destroy Shakyamuni Buddha.

CL’s last paragraph reads: “Uphold the Mystic Law and chant daimoku, practice with a sangha, and study broadly with good intentions and act on those good intentions in order to fight physical, verbal, and ideological injustices which seek to disrupt the unity of humanity’s shared buddhahood.”

This sounds noble, not unlike, “Truth, Justice, and the American way” – Superman. Also, not unlike Superman, it is based on a fantasy.

The fantasy is that SGI “upholds the Mystic Law”. Its indiscretions in this regard are too numerous to list. Suffice it to say that the SGI doesn’t even uphold its own Charter. How can it uphold the Mystic Law? Study broadly is a fantasy. It is enough to cite the many years of the precious members time wasted (over the last twelve years or so) devoted to studying only Ikeda's interpretation of Nichiren's writing, The Heritage of the Ultimate Law of Life and Death, The World Tribune, the Human Revolution, and the New Human Revolution.

The last half of his last paragraph reads:

“and act on those good intentions in order to fight physical, verbal, and ideological injustices which seek to disrupt the unity of humanity’s shared Buddhahood.”

This is Gakkai speak, to fight all those who criticize the Soka Gakkai, especially the Nichiren Shoshu but certainly not limited to them. They fight the disciples and believers of Nichiren, the most peaceful group of people the world has ever seen but protect and nurture the Islamists and the provisional Buddhists who do actually, “disrupt the unity of humanity’s shared Buddhahood.” This last passage is therefore, more fantasy from the lips of CL, hardly an "enlightened" perspective.

Friday, August 26, 2016

"One should be careful, it seems, who one follows"...Lain

Which Daisaku Ikeda do you trust and which one do you follow, the 1984 one or the current one?.. confusing huh?

In the video, in the Q & A at the end, (http://markrogow.blogspot.com/2016/03/worst-sgi-lecture-on-lotus-sutra-yet.html) we are told that Daiseku Ikeda is so busy writing guidance that the translation committee can't keep up.

We are also told about the decision to give up teaching faith in the Dai-Gohonzon and that SGI's Mr Harada, explaining this decision, said that it was holding back world wide kosen-rufu.

With such an active and present (though rarely seen) Daisaku Ikeda, surely such a change was sanctioned by him.

We are told (rightly) that the Dai-Gohonzon has no basis in Gosho. We are also told that "the priests just made a whole bunch of stuff up."

So here's Daisaku on faith, practice and study in 1984 and of course the Dai-Gohonzon and those priests who just made a whole bunch if stuff up. 

One might be forgiven for wondering why, with such an emphasis on study of the Gosho, nobody, let alone one with the depth of understanding of the "mentor" Daisaku Ikeda, didn't spot the fact that the Dai-Gohonzon had no basis in Gosho or that the priests had made a whole bunch of stuff up.

And if he had realised those two things, why he was happy to give this type of guidance and make these types of speeches?

Buddhism In Action Volume 1
1984.

ISBN 4-88872-015-0 C1315

Daisaku Ikeda

Pages 33 & 34

"Needless to say, the Dai-Gohonzon of the high sanctuary inscribed for all mankind is the most fundemental basis of the movement of the Nichiren Shoshu Soka Gakkai. The Dai-Gohonzon has been preserved and handed down within Nichiren Shoshu from the founder, Nichiren Daishonin, to his successor, Nikko Shonin, and then to the third high priest, Nichimoku Shonin, up to the present high priest, Nikken Shonin. I hope therefore we will courageously dedicate ourselves to studying Nichiren Daishonin's teachings in order to deepen our faith and to propogate true Buddhism in each country or community, as we follow the high priest's guidance, and respect the traditions and doctrines of Nichiren Shoshu.

" 'Practice' mentioned in the above passage means doing gongyo, chanting daimoku and doing shakabuku for the sake of others as well as ourselves. "study" in the same passage, means studying Nichiren Daishonin's teachings. Only those who are devoted to the two ways of practice and study can be called Nichiren Shoshu believers and Nichiren Daishonin's disciples. If you are negligent in these, you may be said to be running counter to the teachings of Nichiren Daishonin. When you are consistent in these two fundemental ways, you are practicing Buddhism correctly.

"Etch deeply in your heart the phrase, "Both practice and study arise from faith. Faith means accepting the Dai-Gohonzon as absolute, and devoting yourself to the cause of kosen-rufu.

Page 92 (ibid)

"As I have said repeatedly, it is nothing other than the Dai-Gohonzon that is the basis of our worldwide of our worldwide kosen-rufu movement. It is my honour that I have been able to use what little ability I am endowed with in order to blaze a trail for future world peace as well as fir the furtherance of kosen rufu in Japan where the Dai-Gohonzon is kept."

Pages 139-140 (Ibid)

"One of the purposes of Nichiren Daishonin's Buddhism is to develop one's life condition. Every human being has sufferings. Flesh is, as they say, heir to suffering. The sufferings of those who have little or no faith in the Gohonzon may become even worse and tend to create a life-condition confined to the three evil paths. In contrast, the sufferings of those who do believe in the Gohonzon can be transformed into the driving force for changing their negative karma, cultivating virtue and good fortune, and attaining Buddhahood. Such change is possible only through determined faith and chanting daimoku. This is the Buddhist principle that earthly desires are enlightenment. Moreover, one may experience sufferings because of one's practice of faith and activities for kosen- rufu. Enduring such sufferings should be interpreted as part of Buddhist practice to develop one's supreme life condition.

"I joined Nichiren Shoshu when I was nineteen, and tomorrow, on August 24, I will have completed 34 years of practice. I am very grateful to the Dai-Gohonzon for the fact that during all this time I have been able to exert myself for the cause of kosen rufu without interruption. Sickly as I was, I have become increasingly healthy and have been able to work for kosen-rufu as tenaciously as anyone. I will continue to pray to the Dai-Gohonzon for a longer life span so that I can devote myself even more to the cause of kosen-rufu of the world."

Page 182 (ibid)

"Last night and tonight there was a beautiful full moon. The Daishonin's Buddhism is complete and perfect, like the full moon. The ultimate entity of his Buddhism is embodied in the Dai-Gohonzon, which is the cluster of blessings of the entire universe. We should strive to be as complete as we day and night practice faith and chant daimoku to the Dai-Gohonzon, the manifestation of the great Law which is the perfect and impeccable entity of life."

Page 262 (ibid)

"The fundemental place of worship for this movement is the Head Temple of Nichiren Shoshu. Taho Fuji Dai-Nichiren-zan Taiseka-ji, where the Dai-Gohonzon of the high sanctury of true Buddhism bestowed on all mankind is enshrined, and it is high priest Nikken who presides over it. As, followers of Nichiren Shoshu and under the guidance of high priest Nikken, we must continuously strive on the basis of true Buddhism to lay the foundation for peace and culture, which will eventually secure world peace and culture through individual happiness. This is the mission of the Soka Gakkai."

Pages 290 - 292 (ibid)

"We absolutely deny violence. Friends of the world who embrace the Mystic Law advance together in spiritual unity toward the cause of lasting peace, but let us respect the manners and traditions of our respective countries.

"No one can be further from the teachings of Nichiren Daishonin than one who self-righteously thinks that he alone is respectworthy. From the day the Daishonin first chanted Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, declaring true Buddhism, he committed himself to life long propogation in his desire to achieve the great cause of kosen-rufu. Therefore as his disciples and followers of true Buddhism we exert ourselves in the two ways of practice and study for the individual cause of attaining Buddhahood in this life and the common goal of kosen-rufu with absolute faith in the Dai-Gohonzon.

"Arrogance and conceit are causes for shame to any Buddhist. No matter how an arrogant a person may try to justify himself with seemingly righteous arguments, in the depths of his life he is yeilding to the fundemental darkness and inherent devilish nature in his life.

"We believe in the Dai-Gohonzon of the high sanctuary of true Buddhism, follow the high priest Nikken, and immerse ourselves among the people in order to talk with those who face troubles, those who seek the Law, and those who search for a more meaningful way of life. We should remember that we are living noble and respectworthy lives, introducing "the Buddhism of the sun" to more and more people in many countries of the world.

"The text quoted says "Without practice and study, there can be no Buddhism." This is a very strict teaching. To put it briefly, Nichiren Daishonin definitely asserts that if "practice and study" are discontinued, there can be no Buddhism if the sowing, which Nichiren Daishonin gleaned from the depths of the Juryo chapter as the only direct path to enlightenment in the Latter Day of the Law.

"Thr ulimate entity of this Buddhism is, needless to say, the Dai-Gohonzon of the high sanctuary of true Buddhism, which had been strictly protected and preserved by successive high priests of Nichiren Shoshu for some seven hundred years. At the present time we celebrate the very rare occasion of the seven hundredth anniversary of the Daishonin's passing, the heritage of the Law has been transmitted and is being assumed by the sixty-seventh high priest, Nikken Shonin, its integrity unimpaired.

"No matter who may question the heritage of the present high priest, this is an indisputable fact, beyond any doubt. During the days of Nichiren Daishonin, there were some priests who presumuptuously went against Nichiren Daishonin, the original master of true Buddhism. Today, there are some defrocked priests who have turned against the high priest. I cannot help but feel from their example how difficult yet how essential it is to maintain faith in the orthodoxy of true Buddhism.

"We have to be aware therefore, that only when we single-mindedly devote ourselves to the Dai-Gohonzon and exert ourselves in the "two ways of practice and study" on the basis of this prime point can we find the true significance of Nichiren Daishonin's Buddhism and attain enlightenment in this lifetime.

"After all is said and done, "faith" for us, as followers of Nichiren Daishonin, means to believe in the Dai-Gohonzon. When we begin with faith in the Dai-Gohonzon, the entity of the Mystic Law which pervades the entire universe, and steadily advance on the path of "practice and study", we can open the door to "the palace of the ninth consciousness" developing the supreme state of life eternally and brilliantly.

"At the same time, with this supreme life force that surges from within through "faith", we will further advance along the path of "practice and study" so that we can lead more and more people throughout the world to faith in the Dai-Gohonzon and realise the great cause for kosen-rufu."

Did Daisaku Ikeda believe any of this when he spoke it? And what has it been replaced by? The teaching of mentor-disciple, with not only the Dai-Gohonzon cast aside but more importantly, faith in the Gohonzon relegated and the emphasis on studying Nichiren's writings directly changed to studying Human Revolution and SGI interperative lectures and guidance instead.

Baby, bathwater, bath and bathroom all tossed out together. What's left in the SGI to help cleanse one's deluded life and help one attain enlightenment? Oh that's right, the bond of mentor and disciple. And where did it lead all those people who took these words of their mentor to heart in 1984?...

And as for "denying violence" how does that fit with allowing a change to Japan's peace constitution? Is that Buddhism in Action?

One should be careful, it seems, who one follows...

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Nichiren's thoughts turn to the afterlife

Nichiren speaks about Eagle Peak more often and comprehensively after the Sado Island Exile [after 1274]. It is only natural that one's thoughts turn to the afterlife as one approaches death. Nichiren knew that his exhaustive efforts, hardships, persecutions, and endless debates would soon take their toll. It is a wonder that Nichiren lived as long as he did.

“Bodhisattva Never Disparaging was a practitioner at the initial stage of rejoicing; Nichiren is an ordinary practitioner at the stage of hearing the name and words of the truth *.”

Nichiren, like ourselves, had recently received the seed of Buddhahood from the Original Buddha (Honbutsu). For countless kalpas, we have neither heard the Law nor practiced the Lotus Sutra. This is not to say that our Buddha-field (Buddha-nature) is not fertile soil for the Buddha seeds but we have not encountered the seeds of Myoho renge kyo for a very long time. Being common mortals at the stage of Myoji Soku (first hearing the name and the words of the Truth or Myoho renge kyo), we have various worries and doubts, especially concerning the afterlife. These doubts and uncertainties come to the fore when we have a near death experience, lose a loved one, or are coming to the end of our lives. I am sure that even Nichiren experienced these feelings and he was acutely aware of the even more intense uncertainties experienced by his disciples and believers. For this reason, Nichiren made the afterlife an important part of his teachings after 1274:

"The way of attaining Buddhahood is just like this. Though we live in the impure land, our hearts reside in the pure land of Eagle Peak. Merely seeing each other’s face would in itself be insignificant. It is the heart that is important. Someday let us meet at Eagle Peak, where Shakyamuni Buddha dwells. Namu-myoho-renge-kyo, Namu-myoho-renge-kyo." [1279]

"The moon sets and rises again; the clouds disperse and then gather once more. Even heaven must regret and earth lament that this man has gone away and will never come again. You yourself must feel the same. Rely upon the Lotus Sutra as nourishment for your journey, and quickly, quickly set out for the pure land of Eagle Peak so that you can meet him there!" [1280]

"Surely your late husband is in the pure land of Eagle Peak, listening and watching over this sahā world day and night. You, his wife, and your children have only mortal senses, so you cannot see or hear him, but be assured that you will eventually be reunited [on Eagle Peak]." [1274]

"The priest Nichigyō’s death was indeed pitiful. I recited the Lotus Sutra and chanted Nam-myoho-renge-kyo for him here in Minobu, sincerely praying to Shakyamuni, Many Treasures, and the Buddhas of the ten directions to receive him on Eagle Peak." [1274?]

"Now you must shun and abandon this heartless world, entrusting yourself to the Lotus Sutra, in which the late Shichirō Gorō placed his faith, and quickly reach the eternally abiding and indestructible pure land of Eagle Peak. Your son’s father is on Eagle Peak; his mother remains in the sahā world. I sympathize with the feelings of the late Shichirō Gorō, who is in the interval between the two of you." [1280]

"As you well know, a sutra says that the boy Virtue Victorious,1 who offered a mud pie to the Buddha, was later reborn as King Ashoka, who ruled over most of the southern continent of Jambudvīpa. Since the Buddha is worthy of respect, the boy was able to receive this great reward even though the pie was only mud. Shakyamuni Buddha teaches, however, that one who makes offerings to the votary of the Lotus Sutrain the latter age for even a single day will gain benefit a hundred, thousand, ten thousand, million times greater than one would by offering countless treasures to the Buddha for one million kalpas. How wonderful then is your having wholeheartedly supported the votary of the Lotus Sutra over the years! According to the Buddha’s golden words, in the next life you are certain to be reborn in the pure land of EaglePeak. What remarkable rewards you will gain!

This is a mountainous place, remote from all human habitation. Not a single village is found in any direction. Although I live in such a forsaken place, deep in this mortal flesh I preserve the ultimate secretLaw inherited from Shakyamuni Buddha, the lord of teachings, at EaglePeak. My heart is where all Buddhas enter nirvana; my tongue, where they turn the wheel of the Law; my throat, where they are born into this world; and my mouth, where they attain enlightenment. Because this mountain is where this wondrous votary of the Lotus Sutra dwells, how can it be any less sacred than the pure land of Eagle Peak? This is what [The Words and Phrases of the Lotus Sutra means when] it says, “Since the Law is wonderful, the person is worthy of respect; since the person is worthy of respect, the land is sacred.” The “Supernatural Powers” chapter reads, “Whether in a forest, beneath a tree, in monks’ quarters... in such places have the Buddhas entered nirvana.” Those who visit this place can instantly expiate the offenses they have accumulated since the infinite past and transform their evils deriving from the three types of action into the three virtues.

A suffering traveler in central India once came to Heat-Free Lake toquench p.1098the fires of anguish in his heart. He proclaimed that he could fulfill his desire, “as a clear cool pond can satisfy all those who are thirsty.” Although Heat-Free Lake and this place are different, the principle is exactly the same. Thus, Eagle Peak of India is now here at Mount Minobu in Japan. It has been a long time since you were last here. You should come to see me as soon as you possibly can. I am looking forward eagerly to seeing you.

How can I describe your sincerity? In truth, it is splendid!" [1281].

There are more than 200 additional citations for Eagle Peak in the writings of Nichiren. 

Every “advanced” religion and most primitive religions address the question of an afterlife. Most of Nichiren’s followers had the mistaken idea of an Eternal Paradise ingrained in their psyche due to the influence of the Pure Land teachings. This is not unlike we of the western world who have the Christian idea of heaven ingrained into our psyche. Even Chapter twenty-three of the Lotus Sutra takes into account the universal teaching of an Eternal Pure Land. The compassion and mercy of the Buddha and Nichiren is not to destroy the belief in this hopeful place, mistaken though it may be, but rather to utilize it so that we could believe ever more fervently in the Supreme Law.

“This is the place we live to enjoy happiness”. This is the place where we and our loved ones will be reborn to again experience the joy of the Law. Whenever the Buddha in the pre-Lotus Sutra teachings, let alone in the Lotus Sutra, talks about “assurance of no rebirth” or Nichiren talks about going to Eagle Peak, what they are referring to is no rebirth in the Lower Six Realms [Hell, Hunger, Animality, Anger, Tranquility, and Rapture].

Our prayers for the deceased are that they be free from sufferings, that they wake up from delusions, and that they attain Enlightenment (the Great Bodhi).

Eagle Peak is the intermediate state, the Land of Actual Reward, where we meet our teachers Shakyamuni Buddha and Nichiren Daishonin before again returning to this Saha World to sow the seeds of Buddhahood in the people's lives.

While here in the manifest state, we return to the Gohonzon, the Land of Actual Reward [Eagle Peak] here on earth where we again meet our teachers Shakyamuni Buddha and Nichiren Daishonin before we sow the seeds of Namu Myoho renge kyo within the lives of our families and friends. As Nichiren teaches, “There is no discontinuity between the three existences of past, present, and future.”