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Thursday, January 18, 2018



(Here Lamont refutes Rev. Yasahara's view of Hongaku)

It is has been stated that opposition to hongaku is wrong and that 
the “Matter of the Ten Thusnesses” (Junyoze no koto) is a 
genuine work simply because it is recorded in the “Rokunai gosho” 

1) The “Rokunai” catalogue is not any guide to authenticity; although 
at one time it was a slightly better standard for genuine works than 
the “Rokuge” collections, the naive belief that it was compiled on the 
first anniversary of Nichiren’s death has long since been discredited; 
it is a catalogue from long after. (“Nichiren Shonin Ibun jiten”, 
1212c); as far as I can see the first reference to such collection is 
by Honjobo Nichijitsu of the Nakayama Lineage in 1461. Clearly given 
the state of Nichiren Buddhism then under the influence of the most 
corrupt monistic tendencies of the Medieval Tendai (chuko Tendai) 
establishment, the “Rokunai mokuroku” is by no means any guarantee
of authenticity; in light of the sophisticated studies done in modern
times when access to texts of various sects and lineages became 
easier, to cling to the notion that any document in this collection is 
ipso facto reliable and genuine is the height of ignorance and 

[Note: in Maltz’s so-called “Kempon Hokke Vision, v. 3, no.
6, p. 7, Yashuhara admits that this was compiled not later than 120
years after Nichiren; plenty of time for all sort of forgeries to be admitted
to the canon.] 

Of all the forgeries under Nichiren’s august name, this particular
document is perhaps the most egregious fake, because it can be shown 
to be derived from a work FALSELY attributed to Genshin (Eshin sozu: 
942 1017) and included in “Eshin sozu zenshu”, v. 3, the “Essential 
Notes on Attaining Buddhahood in this Very Body by the ‘Hokke’” 
(“Hokke sokushin jobutsu yoki”); the “Junyoze no koto” itself was long 
ago a subject of dispute even in traditional times and was once 
regularly attributed to (of all people) Jikaku Daishi (Ennin: 
794-864), a man whose errors Nichiren sharply attacked! As to the 
“Essential Notes on Attaining Buddhahood in this Very Body by the 
‘Hokke’”, of which this work is clearly a revision or adaptation, at 
various times it was also attributed to Kakucho (960 1034); textual 
studies by Shigyo Kaishu showed decades ago that the present “Junyoze 
no koto” and the “Essential Notes on Attaining Buddhahood in this Very 
Body by the ‘Hokke’” extremely close. (See Asai Yorin, “Nichiren 
kyogaku no kenkyu”, pp. 275-277, 303); this conclusion, far from being 
overturned in recent years has been adopted by standard reference 
works: (See“Nichiren Shonin Ibun jiten”, 503c) Moreover, even the 
editors of the “Showa Teihon” in the Nichiren Sect, who were not very 
strict in separating out forgeries decided to put this “Junyoze no 
koto” in the Continuation Section (zokuhen) which is reserved for 
questionalbe texts. (v. 3, 2030-2033; no.3)

[Note, even if one were to concede that this work is by Nichiren, it 
is supposedly from the year (Shoga 2 = 1258) and thus would have less 
significance than Sado and post-Sado writings.] 

Let us now turn to the assertion that Honda Nissho was fervent believer
in this hongaku monism, so beloved of Maltz and other “ex” Gakkai “New Agers”. 

From the Kanjin Honzon-Sho, Nichiren Dai Shonin (trans. Kyotsu Hori), 
Chapter 4 (Upholding the Lotus Sutra and Attaining Buddhahood),

Pages 88-96 

Question (20): You have not responded to the serious question raise earlier regarding the Buddha residing in our minds, have you? 
Answer: It is said in the Sutra of Infinite Meaning (Muryogi-kyo), an introductory teaching to the Lotus Sutra: "though unable to perform the six kinds of  practice leading to Buddhahood: charity, observing precepts, perseverance,  effort, meditation and wisdom, upholders of this sutra will inevitably receive merits from practicing them." The second chapter of the Lotus Sutra states: "We wish to hear the way to perfection;" and in the Nirvana Sutra it is said: "'Sad' in the Saddharmapundarika (Lotus Sutra) means 'perfection'." Bodhisattva Nagarjuna says in his great Wisdom Discourse (Daichido-ron) that "sad" means "six" while the Annotations on the Four Mahayana Treatises (Wu-i wu-te ta-cheng ssu-lun hsuan-i chi) by Hui-chun of T'ang China means "perfection" in India. The Annotations on the Meaning of the Lotus Sutra (Fa-hua i-su) by Chi-tsang states that "sad" is translated as "perfection"; whileGrand Master T'ien-t'ai states in his Profound Meaning of the Lotus Sutra (Fa-hua hsuan-i) that "sad" is a Sanskrit term which is translated as "miao" (wonderful) in China. 

I fear that I may debase these passages if I try to interpret them, but I dare do so in order to answer your question. The gist of these passages is that Sakyamuni Buddha's merit of practicing the bodhisattva way leading to Buddhahood, as well as that of preaching and saving all living beings since His attainment of Buddhahood are altogether contained in the five words of  myo, ho, ren, ge, and kyo (Lotus Sutra of the Wonderful Dharma) and that consequently, when we uphold the five words, the merits which He accumulated before and after His attainment of Buddhahood are naturally transferred to us. Thus, it is stated in the Lotus Sutra (chapter four, "Understanding by Faith) that four great sravaka such as Kasyapa rejoiced in their understanding of the teaching of the Lotus Sutra enabling sravaka to attain Buddhahood, and reported to the Buddha that they had been given invaluable jewels without asking for them. This represents the attainment of Buddhahood by the sravaka realm contained in our minds.

Not only the sravaka but also Sakyamuni Buddha is within us. For we encounter such a statement like this in the second chapter of the Lotus Sutra: "It was My (Sakyamuni's) original vow to let all beings become like Myself. My vow has now been fulfilled. I have helped them all enter the way of the  Buddha." Does this not mean, that Sakyamuni Buddha, who has attained Perfect Enlightenment, is our flesh and blood, and all the merits He has accumulated before and after attaining Buddhahood are our bones? 

Moreover, the eleventh chapter of the Lotus Sutra "Appearance of the Stupa of Treasures", states: "Those who uphold the teaching of this sutra are deemed to serve Me, Sakyamuni, and Taho Buddha. They also serve Buddhas in manifestation here who adorn and glorify their respective worlds." This means that Sakyamuni Buddha, Taho Buddha, and all the Buddhas in manifestation are in our minds, and that we, upholders of the Lotus Sutra, will follow their steps and inherit all the merits of those Buddhas. 

This is the meaning of the passage in the tenth chapter of the Lotus Sutra,"The Teacher of the Dharma", which reads: "Those who hear of this Lotus Sutra even for a moment, will instantly attain Perfect Enlightenment." A passage in the sixteenth chapter of the Lotus Sutra, "Duration of the Life of the Buddha", contends: "It has been many hundreds of thousands of billions of nayuta of kalpa (an incalculably long period of time) since I have attained Buddhahood." It means that Sakyamuni buddha, within our minds, is an ancient Buddha without beginning, manifesting Himself in three bodies, and attained buddhahood in the eternal past described as 500 dust-particle kalpa ago. 

In the same chapter, another passage reads: "The duration of My life, which I obtained through the practice of the way of bodhisattvas, has not yet expired. It is twice as long as the length of time stated above: 500 dust-particle kalpa." This reveals the bodhisattva-realm within out minds. The bodhisattvas described in the fifteenth chapter, "Appearance of Bodhisattvas from Underground", who have sprung out of the great earth, as numerous as the number of dust-particles of 1,000 worlds, are followers of the Original Buddha Sakyamuni who resides within our minds. 

They are like T'ai-kung-wang and Duke of Chou, retainers of King Wu of the Chou dynasty in ancient China, who at the same time served the King's young son, King Ch'eng; or Takeuchi-no Sukune of ancient Japan, a leading minister to Empress Jingu, who concurrently served her son, Prince Nintoku. Just like them Bodhisattvas Jogyo, Muhengyo, Jogyo and Anryugyo, the four leaders of those bodhisattvas sprung up from the earth, are simultaneously followers of the Original Buddha and Bodhisattvas who reside in the minds of us, ordinary people. 

Therefore, Grand Master Miao-le has declared in his Annotation on the Mo-ho chih-kuan (Mo-ho chih-kuan fu-hsing-chuan hung-chueh): "You should know that both our bodies and the land on which we live are a part of the 3,000 modes of existence which exist in our minds. Consequently, upon our attainment of Buddhahood, we are in complete agreement with the truth of '3,000 existences contained in one thought', and our single body and single thought permeate through all the worlds in the universe." 


Let us take a look at Honda’s “Hokekyo kogi”
(“Lectures on the Lotus Sutra”); commenting on the “Chapter of the 
Measure of Life of the Tathagata”: in volume 2, p. 215, he 
specifically states in commenting the first line of the central “Jiga 

“The saintly patriarch relying on the vast numbers preaches the 
innumerable, and therewith judges it to reveal the Beginningless 
Really-existing Original Buddha of Concrete (or Tangible) Character 
of the Enjoyment and Response [Bodies], when as he says it ‘is the 
Beginningless Ancient Buddha of kalpas as many as the dust of 
countries touched or not by the dust of five hundred of tens of 
trillions of nayutas of asamkheyas of great trichiliocosms (gohyaku 
jinden gô) and so on to the Three Bodies that are revealed’, it is 
this. Although in discussing this Original Buddha there are those who 
cull out the Buddha Who practiced and manifested the Effect and point 
to the Ideality (Abstraction) of Unmanifest Original Enlightenment 
(hongaku no ritai) and take this Abstract Buddha (ributsu) that is the 
unenlightened worldling (bombu) to be the Original Buddha (hombutsu) 
and take the Actual Buddha (jibutsu) as the Manifestation Buddha 

"This is by no means (kesshite) the conclusion of the 
faith and practice of [the Bodhisattva] Converted by the Original 
Buddha (honge). However, among the Saint’s latter lineages they 
frequently assert this doctrine and advocate that it is the sublime 
doctrine revealed by the ‘[Chapter] of the Measure of Life’ alone and 
the Ultimate Theory exceeding the {Bodhisattva] Converted by the 
Original Buddha (honge); the ignorant heedlessly would follow suit. 
Alas! This child is to be pitied !” 

The passage is reasonably clear: in interpreting this central part of 
the “Lotus Sutra” Honda makes it clear that the Buddha spoken of in 
Chapter Sixteen is of a concrete or tangible character (gutaikaku) 
relating to the Enjoyment and Response Bodies (hojin and ojin) and he 
utilizes a phrase from the “Kanjin honzon sho” to describe this 
Buddha; although there are some who have tried to twist the phrase to 
mean something else Honda is fairly clear: he believes in the “Actual 
Buddha” (ji butsu) and dismisses the theory of the Abstract or Ideal 
(ritai) Original Enlightenment, which, as every scholar should know, 
is oriented towards the Dharma Body (hosshin) of the Buddh

(See the comparison between the two views, the “Beginningless
Ancient Buddha” and the “Hongaku Uncreate Three Bodies” in Asai Yorin,
“Nichiren kyogaku no kenkyu”, pp. 287-315, especially the summary on 
p. 295) 

It should be noted that Honda’s description tallies with the idea 
found in the “Kaimoku sho” (STN, v. 1, 5536-8) where Nichiren says the 
feature that separates the “Hokekyo” from all other Mahayana Sutras is 
the concept of the “revelation of the original” (kempon) of the 
Enjoyment Body (hojin) and of the Response Body (ojin). (Shigyo 
Kaishu, “Nichiren no ‘Kanjin honzon sho’ no busshin ron ni tsuite” p. 
181, cites this “Kaimoku sho” passage to show Nichiren was NOT 
oriented towards the Hosshin based hongaku view of the Buddha

Significantly Honda then goes on to criticize in no uncertain terms 
those ignorant people who willy-nilly follow those who take ri hongaku 
to be the Original or Fundamental Buddha and take the Actual Buddha to 
be a a mere Manifestation Buddha. (This hongaku doctrine is clearly 
expressed in “On the Reality of the Dharmas” (Shoho jisso sho) (STN, 
v. 1, 724 l. 11)), a work much praised by Taisekiji and the Soka 
Gakkai. Surely this fact is significant: the position vehemently 
proclaimed by the Fuji Branch is the very position which Honda 
condemns as being by no means the final doctrine of Nichiren Shonin; 
he then continues by noting the prevalence of this view among the 
latter-day religious groups of the Nichiren movement he pities the 
children who blindly take this view point. Could there be a better
description of Maltz and his Soka Gakkai followers? Truly they are to
be pitied !

As for Yasuhara’s claim that Honda cited the “Junyoze no koto” in the
“Daizokyo yogi” (“Essential Doctrine of the Great Sutra Store”), I do 
not doubt it; but in what context did he use it? 

Moreover, as the title implies this appears to be an over-all view of the 
Buddhist canon, not the quintessential Truth of all Truths, the “Lotus Sutra”. 

Nor again can Yasuhara wriggle out of the charge of promoting
Medieval Tendai by saying that the Medieval Tendai (Chuko Tendai) idea 
required no practice; of course, the people who introduced this sort 
of thought into the Nichiren canon tack on chanting the Daimoku and so 
on in order to make their fundamental alteration of Nichiren’s world 
view more acceptable and plausible.

Moreover, even some Chuko Tendai works included some kind of nod in the 
direction “practice”. The sin here is to twist Nichiren’s doctrine of an 
actually-existing Buddha into this abstract Hongaku in which the worldling is 
the Original Buddha. 

In fact, those people who passed off such works as these as genuine 
writings of Nichiren fundamentally changed the metaphysics behind his 
religion from the concept of an objective, actual Eternal Buddha Who 
is omnipresent and even in our minds and Who out of Great Compassion 
grants us His merit through the Daimoku into that of a highly 
subjective monistic view in which the Buddha Body is reduced to a mere 
projection of ourselves. (Again: see the writings by Shigyo and Asai 
cited above.) 

Despite attempts by various groups (such as the forerunners of the
modern so-called Nichiren Shu) to reconcile the two concepts of the Buddha Body,
they are fundamentally different and the people who combined them always gave
the Hongaku view precedence. 

Because of the relative complexity of some of the issues I will defer
this. (Again: see the writings by Shigyo and Asai cited above.) 
I have to say Maltz’s recent statements seem to bear out my belief 
that he and his followers really do not understand the difference 
between hongaku thought and the historical Nichiren’s hommon thought. 

The terms “hombutsu” (original Buddha) or “hondo” (original land)
do not of themselves imply the hongaku monistic world view. Likewise the
concept of the Buddha in our minds does not imply the Tathagata of 
Original Enlightenment. [Likewise on rare occasions “hongaku” can be 
synonym for the actual Original Buddha but this appears to be a 
relatively rare usage and that is clearly not what is meant in these 
forgeries attributed to Nichiren.] Denying “Hongaku” is not equivalent 
to denying the Original Buddha (hombutsu). Quite the contrary it is 
defending and giving honor to the Original Buddha Shakyamuni! 

There is much more I could say and possibly will say on this subject but I
want to make the following observations:  First: Maltz has declared on the basis of
one passage in Stone’s book that every one who dares to oppose his Soka Gakkai 
Hongaku philosophy is “out of bounds” and “in the penalty box”. Who gave him 
authority to cut off rational discussion in this preemptive and dictatorial 

Cannot anyone see what is happening here? Not only is he chiming in
with the Gakkai/Taisekiji metaphysical view (he only differs from them 
where he needs a hook to pull in their members or ex-members to build 
his own organization) but he is acting like an absolute ruler in 
cutting off discussion! 

Well, let us see who is in the “penalty box” with me:
Most of the Old Jumonryu (followers of Nichiju) before the lineage 
began to decline. (Unless, of course, Kubota and Yasuhara want to 
show me that these men were gung-ho for “Ri hongaku”.) 

The above cited scholars, Asai Yorin and Shigyo Kaishu, two of
the best historical and textual scholars of the mid-twentieth century
Tamura Yoshiro, author of the monumental work, “Kamakura Shin Bukkyo 
no kenkyu” (“A Study of the New Buddhism of Kamakura”) 
Miyazaki Eishu (I believe he is an acquaintance of Rev. Kubota) who 
says in his excellent little reference work “Nichiren jiten” p. 261, 
where he labels the “Ongi kuden” and “Onko kikigaki” forgeries and 
notes that if Nichiren used these concepts it was as a warning and was 
exceptional, for Hongaku was not really part of the original Tendai 
doctrinal system."

A Nichiren Buddhist Dialogue [Humor Rated R]

Bill NST: I did PR work for the SGI 
Kathy SGI: Really, hon! 
Bill NST: Really. 
Kathy SGI: Where, in PR? 
Bill NST: No in Hoboken 
Soren SGI: The analysis of the theory of value creation as it relates to the day to day acivities of the SGI members in whom the socio-political realities of the music, business, and art world pulsate and fuse, is the very reason for the existence of our wonderful organization and furthermore, its true significance to the altruist self as revealed in the writings of President Ikeda are far too profound and intricate principles to be fathomed by you Dave. 
Dave NST: You must return to the spirit of the protocal you promised to uphold in the infinite past otherwise your genitals will turn blue and fall off. 
Kathy SGI: You shouldn't use dirty words around here. There may be lurkers lurking. 
Craig NST: The Enquirer's and Star's articles on the SGI documentated the use of explitives during twelve SGI general meetings this year alone and they also noted rampant homosexuality among Kotekitai members. Where is your 
documentation that this isn't true? 
Jim SGI: It isn't true because I went out with a bunch of Kotekitai members when I was a YMD and they sure knew what they were doing. 
Kurt NST: They never went out with me. 
Kathy SGI:That's because your ugly. If you remained with the SGI you would have become more handsome and they would have gone out with you. President Ikeda is very clear on this point and so are the Gosho's On Attaining 
Buddhahood, The Shoho Jisso Sho, and On the Treasure Tower. 
Karla NST: You don't know what you are talking about Kathy!  The Gosho, The Soul Transmission to the One High Priest of the Thirteen Thousand Years of Mappo clearly states that only men through the unbroken lineage can inherit the transmission of the Law. So what right did the Kotekitai have to reject Kurt's advances? As  a man, he is obviously closer to the ideal of High Priest than any of those fluzzies. 
Kathy SGI: I know Kurt and he is no man, not a real man, anyway. 
Ken NST: That's because he asked every Kotekitai at the Hawaii Convention, all 2,200 of them, to go out with him, except you. That's it Kathy, admit it, that's what's really bothering you, isn't it? 
Bruce KHK: I was there and all the good looking ones were hanging around President Ikeda. 
Kathy SGI: Bruce, you are just jealous of President Ikeda. 
Bruce KHK: Well, a little bit. But not Kurt. 

"Insulting Nichiren is an offense even graver than those of Devadatta or Vimalamitra." -- Nichiren

SGI insults Nichiren by rejecting his teachings for those of Daisaku Ikeda.

SGI Don hasn't had an original thought about Buddhism in more than 45 years.

Don Gropp: "The SGI knows what the correct object of worship is, and I believe the clue to this puzzle is found in "the one great reason."

As far as "can't be proven," I'd say the Nikko - Nichiko lineage is the one thriving and growing today, just like it did in Nikko's area after the Daishonin died. The experiences and stories of millions and millions of diverse individuals worldwide testify to fulfilling "the one great reason." That's proof of fact."

Don hasn't had an original thought about Buddhism in more than 45 years. Interfaith and deprecating the Sutra and Shakyamuni Buddha certainly IS proof of actual fact: Proof of the Gakkai's slander of Myoho renge kyo, the one great reason. They link the one great reason with the advent of Makiguchi, Toda and Ikeda as explained in the Human Revolution rather than Shakyamuni Buddha's preaching of Myoho renge kyo as explained in the Gosho. They are very confused. Their experiences are those of usurpers and slanderers of the Law. Their stories are just that, stories.

Don: "SGI has the most diverse demographic population in history, and a slew of youth who are coming out of where-ever (beneath the earth?). The youth, especially,more than 30 years are very active tweetin,' textin,' facebookin;' you name it now, with i-pads, i-phones and whatever's next. They seem even more united and pure than the youth of the "old days."

Me: Islam and Christianity is far more diverse than SGI and the SGI top leaders are all old Japanese men. SGI is about as diverse as the Catholic College of Cardinals. Whatever the SGI youth are tweeting it is not Buddhism. If it is true that they are energized, they are energized about Ikedaism not the Lotus Sutra Buddhism of  Nichiren Daishonin.

Don: The following letter to a believer seems something of a warning about failing to understand "this one great reason." I think that is the primary requisite by Nichiren, passed on by Nikko, which the other schools deny, instead, devoting themselves to "eternal Shakyamuni."

Me: Certainly devoting one's self to Eternal Shakyamuni is more in line with the Lotus Sutra and writings of Nichiren than devoting one's self to Daisaku Ikeda. Who is Don kidding? He is kidding himself and every person stupid enough to follow him and the Soka Gakkai rather than the Lotus Sutra and Nichiren.

Don: I've often seen Nichiren Shu altars with statues of Shakyamuni placed in the middle, concealing the character for "Nichiren." In reality, in the other Nichiren schools, you can practice in just about any way you'd wish. If a ceremony happens the parishioners have priests.

Me: Sour grapes. No real Nichiren priest would sign on to SGI's perversion of Buddhism. Nichiren himself enshrined his Statue of Shakyamuni Buddha From the Sea and he approved of the statues fashioned by his disciples such as Toki Jonin, Shijo Kingo, and even his former teacher Dozenbo..

Don: I've recently heard a lecture that explained each of the characters, and where we see the character for 'Nichiren,' that is where we put our own names. To put a statue or any other obstruction there is probably not a good cause, especially since the Daishonin say So I'm not into covering or concealing one's true name; Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, _ _ _, but I see it quite frequently in the Fuji schools.

Me: Hehe, Don would have a statue or picture of Don or Ikeda in front of the Gohonzon would it not seem so tacky. Don is so confused. SGI is a Fuji school. His logic is so poor. We hear SGI parrot Nichiren that the Gohonzon exists only within the mortal flesh of those who chant the Daimoku, failing to acknowledge that the Gohonzon is covered in blood, bones, urine, and excrement but he would begrudge us a statue of Shakyamuni Buddha or Nichiren Daishonin.

Don: SGI teaches much about the multiple meanings of each of the bold characters of the invocation written down the center of the Gohonzon. "Nam corresponds to the paramita of happiness" is what Ikeda taught. He said Myoho corresponds to the paramita of true self, renge corresponds to the paramita of purity, and kyo corresponds to the paramita of eternity

Me: SGI are not much different than the Zenmen in Nichiren's day.. Nichiren writes:

"....The Zen men in the world today value only meditation [as the way to realize the truth] and have no familiarity with doctrinal teachings. In relying upon meditation alone, they interpret the sutras in their own way. They put together the eight errors and the eight winds, and talk about the Buddha as being sixteen feet in height. They lump together the five components and the three poisons, and call them the eight errors. They equate the six sense organs with the six transcendental powers, and the four elements with the four noble truths. To interpret the sutras in such an arbitrary manner is to be guilty of the greatest falsehood. Such nonsense is not even worth discussing.”

Don confuses the Four Virtues of the Bodhisattvas of the Earth with the Paramitas. SGI interprets the Sutra and Namu Myoho renge kyo in their own way based on the writings of Daisaku Ikeda. We interpret the Sutra as did Nichiren Daishonin.

Don: I'm beginning my 45th year, and when I read this a couple of years ago, I felt refreshed, learning an ideal meaning of Nam, happiness - first - of course. Why didn't I think of that before???

Anyway, to make a long story very much shorter, from the Gosho:

"As I have stated many times before, the scholars in the world today assert that they have studied the Buddhist doctrines and acquired wisdom. But their whole lifetime is wasted, passed in a dream, as it were, simply because they fail to understand 'this one great reason.' You should be absolutely clear on this point, absolutely clear! Take care, take care. - Nichiren Reply to Sadashige (WND-2,1086)

Me: "The Lotus Sutra describes itself as representing the one great reason for which the Buddhas make their appearance in the world because it is a scripture that contains these Three Great Secret Laws."

Lacking a clear mirror, Don can not see himself. He has wasted a whole lifetime in the Soka Gakkai learning and teaching Ikedaism rather than the Lotus Sutra. 

Nichiren Shoshu Stinko Pachinko Gosho

"I Nichiren declare the DaiGohonzon of the 2nd year of Koan to be the True Object of Worship for all mankind. Those who believe in other Gohonzon, be it the Daimoku of the Lotus Sutra, the Eternal Buddha Shakyamuni, or the Lotus Sutra in seven volumes and sixteen fascicles are worse than howling jackals. They will suffer a fate worse than Honen."

South Carolina prediction comes true to a word ["once in a millenium disaster"]

"He [Daisaku Ikeda] turned golden (I swear to God he did and it freaked me out)" -- SGI leader Thomas Pass the Doobie on the Chanting Grower's Group

"There are many such wild and absurd stories associated with his name. Such incidents hardly lend support to the assertion that his teachings accord with the will of the Buddha." -- Nichiren Daishonin [Repaying Debts of Gratitude]

"We see that the Lotus Sutra is none other than Shakyamuni Buddha himself" -- Nichiren

Question: It is very common for a person to act as a good friend. But is there any proof that the Law can be such a friend?
Answer: It is common enough for a person to act as such a friend. But in this latter age, no true friend is to be found, and thus there is ample proof that the Law can act as such a friend.

Great Concentration and Insight says: “At times following a friend, and at times following the sutra scrolls, one hears the one true teaching of enlightenment that has been described above.”

The meaning of this passage is that one should take the sutra scrolls as one’s good friend.

The Lotus Sutra states: “If when the Lotus Sutra is propagated throughout Jambudvīpa there are those who accept and uphold it, they should think to themselves: This is all due to the authority and supernatural power of Universal Worthy!”

This passage means that when ordinary people in this latter age put faith in the Lotus Sutra, they are relying upon the power of their goodfriend Universal Worthy.

The sutra also says: “If there are those who accept, uphold, read, and recite this Lotus Sutra, memorize it correctly, practice and transcribe it, you should know that such persons have seen Shakyamuni Buddha. It is as though they heard this sutra from the Buddha’s mouth. You should know that such persons have offered alms to Shakyamuni Buddha.”

Reading this passage, we can see that the Lotus Sutra is none other than Shakyamuni Buddha himself. For persons who do not have faith in the Lotus Sutra, Shakyamuni Buddha has passed into extinction. But for those who put faith in the sutra, although Shakyamuni Buddha may seem to have passed into extinction, he is still present in the world.

Again the sutra states: “If, after I [Many Treasures] have become a Buddha and entered extinction, in the lands in the ten directions there is any place where the Lotus Sutra is preached, then my funerary tower, in order that I may listen to the sutra, will come forth and appear in that spot to testify to the sutra.” This passage tells us that when we chant the name of the Lotus Sutra, the Thus Come One Many Treasures, because of this original vow he has taken, will invariably appear before us. 

And the sutra further states: “If there should be those who wish me [Many Treasures] to show my body to the four kinds of believers, then let the various Buddhas who are emanations of that Buddha [Shakyamuni] and who are preaching the Law in the worlds in the ten directions all return and gather around that Buddha in a single spot.”

Shakyamuni, Many Treasures, and the various other Buddhas of the ten directions, the bodhisattva Universal Worthy and the others are our good friends. If we rely upon this understanding, then with the good karma we have accumulated from past existences we can fare even better than did the boy Good Treasures, Ever Wailing or Spotted Feet, and the rest. They encountered good friends of the provisional sutras, but we will encounter good friends of the true sutras. Hence, though they encountered merely bodhisattvas of the provisional sutras, we will be fortunate enough to encounter the Buddhas and bodhisattvas of the true sutras.

The Nirvana Sutra says: “Rely on the Law and not upon persons. . . . Rely on wisdom and not on discriminative thinking.”

To rely on the Law means to rely on the constantly abiding Law of the Lotus and Nirvana sutras. Not relying on persons means not relying on persons who do not themselves rely on the Lotus and Nirvana sutras. Even though they may be Buddhas or bodhisattvas, if they are Buddhas and bodhisattvas who do not rely on the Lotus and Nirvana sutras, they cannot serve as good friends. And how much more is this so if they are merely scholars, translators of the sacred texts, or ordinary teachers!

To rely on wisdom means to rely on the Buddha. Not relying on discriminative thinking means that one does not rely on those who are on the level of near-perfect enlightenment or below.

Cultivating Charisma: Ikeda Daisaku’s Self Presentations and Transformational Leadership


"Follow the Law not persons" -- Nichiren

Seeking the mentor is following the person rather than the Law

"When I'm thoroughly seeking my mentor, these are the times when I feel most human and these are the times I have access to my own heart." -- Monica Soto-Ouichi national YWD leader presenting Daisaku's Ikeda's lecture on Chapter 2 of the Lotus Sutra