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Saturday, July 15, 2017

On “Montei” or the Teachings Hidden in the Depths.

The Nichiren Shoshu and SGI response to the clear canon of Nichiren Daishonin and the lucid arguments of his faithful disciples, is “Montei” or "Teachings Hidden in the Depths."

Nichiren Daishonin discussed this principle in such Goshos as the Opening of the Eyes, The Selection of the Time, and On Repaying Debts of Gratitude He taught that he revealed all the important teachings hidden in the depths of the Lotus Sutra, ie: The Three Great Secret Laws, and "now, there is nothing left to reveal." Once the pagoda was completed by Nichiren Daishonin, it is our merit and virtue to praise, admire, and maintain it for future generations, not to tear it down while building cheap imitations.

We preserve the magnificent Lotus Sutra pagoda in two ways: By living the teachings as revealed by Nichiren Daishonin and by pointing out the shoddy craftmanship and substandard foundation of the Nichiren Shoshu and SGI pagoda.

Daisaku Ikeda's duplicity

Daisaku Ikeda says, “the Original Buddha is Shakyamuni” when talking to scholars and scientists but when talking to commoners, his “dear” SGI members, he sometimes says, “The Original Buddha is Nichiren”, and at other times he says that "ordinary people are the original Buddha". Why would anyone follow someone who speaks out of both sides of their mouth, especially when one side of his mouth goes against the Lotus Sutra and Nichiren Daishonin? 

In his lecture on the Opening of the Eyes for SGI members, Ikeda states:

“This sentence implies that the Daishonin is the original Buddha, the master of all other buddhas. Because of this, all Buddhas and Bodhisattvas follow him and all good fortune is contained within the original life The Daishonin used analogies most easily understood by the people of his day. Water gods were thought to live in rivers and followed the lord of the ocean, and the mountain gods were all subservient to Mount Sumeru, the king of mountains. In his analogy, the Daishonin likened these lesser gods to all the buddhas and Bodhisattvas; and the lord of the ocean and king of Mount Sumeru to the votary of the Lotus Sutra.”

But his public stance can be summarized in this article:

“Space and Eternal Life”, with the astronomer, Dr. Weiramisinghe, 1998:

“Buddha is in its simplest interpretation, means a person who is incomparably wise and fully enlightened. Sakyamuni was portrayed as a real human being who reached a state of enlightenment and eventually entered Nirvana. He was a royal prince born to a society torn with strife – poverty, caste and race discrimination were everywhere. His own early life was one of absolute luxury. He renounced this life to seek enlightenment. The fruit of his untiring efforts over the years was the realization of the true nature of things and the discovery of a path that could lead to freedom from suffering. The Buddha held that the cause of suffering is the result of wrong attitudes; it is our craving or desire that makes us suffer. Although Sakyamuni Buddha set out the Eightfold path that could free us from suffering, he often exhorted his monks to discover the way for themselves as for instance in his last words to his disciple Ananda in the Mahaparinirvana Sutra.

“Self is the lord of self, for who else could lord be? Be ye lamps unto yourselves. Look not for refuge to any beside yourself.” In response to Ananda’s entreaty to preach one last time, Sakyamuni speaks about being a beacon of self and of being a beacon of the Law. Sakyamuni taught that it is none other than one’s self and the Law that are the guiding lights that illuminate the darkness of life and death. And the true self referred to by Sakyamuni is the self realized in the course of one’s actions in accordance with the Law of the Universe and of life.

Sakyamuni also said, in a statement made just before his death, that since all phenomena are transient, one should diligently apply oneself to the perfection of one’s practice. His leaving behind such a statement perfectly demonstrates the special character of Buddhism, which points to the path of endeavour and diligence to perfect oneself as a human being and to achieve self-realization.

One calls one who has awakened to the truth of life and the universe a “Buddha”. It is thought that many Buddhas have appeared in this universe, expounded the Law and saved human lives. Mahayana Buddhism teaches that many Buddhas have made their advent.

Here I would like to follow the currents of Buddhist history from the death of Sakyamuni Buddha to the rise of Mahayana Buddhism. Buddhist records indicate that following Sakyamuni’s death, people’s respect and admiration for him deepened and questions arose about the meaning of his death, and from this developed the theory of the Buddha’s three bodies.

At first it was said that the Buddha , as the eternal and indestructible “body of the law” who is one with the law of life and the universe appeared in this world to save people in the physical form of Sakyamuni – in other words, as the “manifested” body. Later when the Buddha who jointly possessed the two kinds of body – “the body of the Law” and the “manifested body” – became widely revered, the idea of the “bliss body” or spiritual strength to perceive the truth, developed. And along with the theory of the bodies, or aspects of Buddhas, a theory evolved concerning the appearance of Buddhas. First the concept of past Buddhas developed, in which it was held that Sakyamuni and various other Buddhas also appeared in the past. Then the concept of future Buddhas developed, in which it is said that Bodhisattva Maitreya will be reborn in this world as a Buddha in the future. The concepts of Buddhas in other worlds and of becoming a Buddha in the next life also arose. For instance, Amitabha Buddha is said to dwell in the western region of the universe. Akshobya Buddha, in the eastern region of the universe, and bodhisattvas, to be reborn in the Tushita heaven before attaining Buddhahood. Finally a concept of present lifetime Buddhas took shape in which it is taught that Buddhas exist throughout the ten directions of the universe.

The Lotus Sutra is the scripture that incorporates and unites the theories of the three bodies of the Buddha and of the appearance of the Buddhas. This scripture is respected as a pivotal text in Japanese Buddhism and has many followers.

In the 16th and most important chapter, entitled “The Life Span of the Thus Come One”, Sakyamuni reveals that he has been a Buddha since the infinite past, that he has all along been preaching in this mundane world and leading people to enlightenment, and that he has appeared as various Buddhas in order to save all living beings and preached the Law in accord with his listener’s capacity. He states that the reason he is now about to leave this world is that, although the life span he has attained by practicing the bodhisattva way is of infinite duration, through the means of his death he can teach and instruct people.

Here, principally in the 16th chapter, the concept of the original Buddha of the remotest past is revealed. In connection with this concept, Tien-tai of China commented that because it is shown in the “Life Span” chapter that Sakyamuni has appeared as various Buddhas in response to the capacity of the people he will teach and enlighten, all the Buddhas who appear in Mahayana Buddhism are united in the one Buddha, Sakyamuni.

Based upon this Tien-tai called the Sakyamuni revealed in the “Life Span” chapter, the Original Buddha and stated that he simultaneously embodies the Law Body, the manifested body and the bliss body, and that he is the Buddha whose true nature lies in the bliss body aspect. In other words, the “Life Span” chapter identifies the historical personage of Sakyamuni as the Original Buddha, presenting him as the manifestation in historical reality of the suprahistorical or Original Buddha.

Accordingly it {the 16th chapter] teaches that the Buddha’s life span is infinite. This is the concept of the Original Buddha of the remotest past. The distinguishing characteristic of the Lotus is the fact that it unites all Buddhas in the Original Buddha and perceives eternal life or an infinite life span, in the person of the historical figure Sakyamuni.

In this way, the concept of the original Buddha of the remotest past revealed in the “Life Span” chapter incorporates and unifies the Mahayana concepts of the three bodies and of the appearance of Buddhas; this new concept clearly reveals the outstanding personality of Sakyamuni, who is endowed with both eternity and reality, and filled with great compassion to save the people.

Private Stance [for SGI Consumption]:

April 17 WT (1998), speech by Daisaku Ikeda delivered March 13, 1998:

“In contrast, this Gosho passage states that Shakyamuni Buddha resides in the hearts of those with sincere faith. Read in terms of Nichiren Daishonin’s Buddhism, “Shakyamuni’ here refers to the original Buddha, Nichiren Daishonin himself.” p. 12, right hand column.

And today, if you view the July 6, 2015 Wisdom of the Lotus Sutra lecture,  
he is teaching that the ordinary  person is the Original Buddha.

As an aside, the SGI teachings on members surpassing the mentor is too ridiculous to even address.

What did Nichiren mean, "beholding the living body of Shakyamuni Buddha"?

 "....but Shakyamuni [by bestowing upon us the character myo] has granted us as many benefits as if we ourselves had fulfilled all the practices of the six paramitas"

 "And among the Sutras, the Lotus Sutra is a manifestation in writing of Shakyamuni Buddha's intent; it is his voice set down in written word."

"Shakyamuni Buddha and the written words of the Lotus Sutra are two different things but their heart is one.  Therefore, when you cast your eyes upon  the words of the Lotus Sutra you should consider that you are beholding the living body of the Buddha Shakyamuni."

"However the Buddha recognizes each character as a golden Lord Shakyamuni.' This is the meaning of the statement that '[one who is able to hold this Sutra] thereby holds the Buddha's body' "

"The Son of Heaven utters not a single word in vain' and 'the words of the Dharma King contain no falsehood'.  A wise ruler will never lie, even if it should bring about his ruin.  How much less would Shakyamuni Buddha ever speak falsely!"

"Only the Lotus Sutra represents the wonderful teaching preached directly from the golden mouth of Shakyamuni Buddha, who is perfectly endowed with the three bodies."

"The nation of Japan today has turned its back on the Lotus Sutra and cast aside Shakyamuni Buddha."

"Therefore, the words of this Sutra are indeed the very soul of  Shakyamuni Buddha. And since every single word constitutes the soul of the Buddha, Shakyamuni Buddha will protect persons who practice this Sutra as though he were protecting his very own eyes. He will accompany such persons just as a shadow accompanies a body.  How then could the prayers of such persons not be answered."

"In the same volume in the Lotus Sutra, the Buddha says, 'for the sake of the Buddha way I have in countless different lands from the begining until now widely preached various sutras, but among them this Sutra is foremost'.  This passage means that Shakyamuni Buddha has appeared in countless lands, taking different names and assuming varying life spans."

"I Nichiren, humble person though I am, have received Lord Shakyamuni's royal command and come to this country of Japan."

Actual Proof

Actual proof as a standard for the superiority of a religion or philosphy is the most important of the three proofs [documentary, theoretical, and actual]. There must be a way to establish actual proof or all philosophies and religions would be equally valid. There are several ways to establish actual proof. Historicity is one way but as a retrospective device, it is not as powerful as a prospective device such as a rain challenge, prophecies, predictions, and formal debates. Likewise, thusness, or the actuality of a teaching and the behavior of the believers of a particular teaching is an important aspect of actual proof. For example, there is not one exhortation to violence in the Lotus Sutra and the non-violent behavior of the votaries of the Lotus Sutra can be contrasted with the call for violence in the Bible and Q'uran and the actual violence perpetrated by Muslims, Christians, and Jews. Merely leading an ethical life and performing good deeds is a less powerful standard of actual proof because followers of all religions are capable of adhering to this standard.

Nichikan's or Nichiren's Gohonzon?

A major doctrine of the Soka Gakkai, Nikken's "Vasectomy"?, Mikio Matsuoka head of SGI Study Department explains

"Question #25. Next is a subject that is very distasteful to me, but it is nonetheless important. I asked Nikken to respond firmly to the report that “he got a vasectomy as a practice of permanent contraception for the sake of pursuing pleasure.” In response, he stated that “there was no such fact existed.” He then criticized me strongly, saying that “your nerve is beyond ordinary people when you ask filthy questions concerning my bodily privacy, such as whether I had an operation for vasectomy or not; and you published this in a book without confirming the facts” (Letter dated December 13, 2005, page 122)." -- Mikio Matsuoka

Mikio Matsuoka, the head of Soka Gakkai Study Department, easily refutes the Nichiren Shoshu but he could never win a debate here

From Chapter 23 of the Lotus Sutra, The Former Deeds of Medicine King Bodhisattva

Chapter 23 of the Lotus Sutra, The Former Deeds of Medicine King Bodhisattva

"If, further, a person filled the three thousand great thousand world system with the seven treasures and offered it to the Buddha, to the great Bodhisattvas, Pratyekabuddhas, and Arhats, the merit and virtue that person would obtain would not be equal to that of one who receives and upholds even a single four-line verse of the Dharma Flower Sutra, for the latter�s blessings are greater by far.

"Constellation King Flower! Just as, for example, among all the streams, rivers, and bodies of water, the ocean is foremost, so, too, among all the Sutras spoken by the Thus Come One, the Dharma Flower Sutra is the deepest and greatest.

"Further, just as among Earth Mountain, Black Mountain, the Lesser Iron Ring Mountain, the Greater Iron Ring Mountain, the Ten Jeweled Mountains, and the entire multitude of mountains, Mount Sumeru is foremost, so, too, among all the Sutras, the Dharma Flower Sutra is the most supreme.

"Further, just as among the stars, the Moon God is foremost, so, too, among the thousands of myriads of kotis of kinds of Sutra Dharmas, the Dharma Flower Sutra shines the brightest.

"Further, just as the Sun God can disperse all darkness, so, too, this Sutra can disperse all the darkness of unwholesomeness.

"Further, just as among the minor kings, the Wheel-Turning Sage King is foremost, so, too, among the Sutras, this Sutra is the most honored.

"Further, just as in the Heaven of the Thirty-three, Lord Shakra is king, so, too, among the Sutras, this Sutra is king.

"Further, just as the great Brahma God is the father of all living beings, so, too, is this Sutra the father of all the worthy sages, those studying, those beyond study, as well as those who have brought forth the Bodhisattva mind.

"Further, just as among the common people, the Srotaapanna, Sakridagamin, Anagamin, Arhat, and Pratyekabuddha are foremost, so, too, among all Sutra Dharmas, whether spoken by the Thus Come Ones, by the Bodhisattvas, or by Hearers, this Sutra is foremost.

"One who can receive and uphold this Sutra, in the same way, is foremost among all living beings.

"Just as among all the Hearers and Pratyekabuddhas, the Bodhisattva is foremost, so, too, among all the Sutra Dharmas, this Sutra is foremost.

"Just as the Buddha is the king of all Dharmas, so, too, is this Sutra the king of all Sutras.

"Constellation King Flower! This Sutra can save all living beings. This Sutra can lead all living beings to separate from suffering and distress. This Sutra can greatly benefit all living beings, fulfilling their vows. Just as a clear, refreshing pool can quench the thirst of all; as a cold person finds fire; as a naked person finds clothing; as a merchant finds customers; as a child finds its mother; as a passenger finds a boat; as a sick person finds a doctor; as one in a dark place finds a lamp; as a poor person finds a jewel; as the people find a king; as a trader finds the sea; as a torch dispels darkness the Dharma Flower Sutra, in the same way, can cause living beings to leave all suffering and all sickness and pain; it can untie all the bonds of birth and death.

"If a person hears the Dharma Flower Sutra, writes it out himself, or employs others to write it out, the limits of the merit and virtue he shall obtain cannot be calculated even by means of the Buddha's wisdom.

"If a person writes out this Sutra and makes offerings to it of flowers; incense; beads; burning incense; powdered incense; paste incense; banners and canopies; clothing; and lamps of various kinds such as butter lamps, oil lamps and fragrant oil lamps, lamps of champaka oil, lamps of sumana oil, lamps of patala oil, lamps of varshika oil, and lamps of navamalika oil, the merit and virtue obtained is also limitless.

"At that time all the Buddhas will praise this person from afar saying, 'Good indeed, good indeed, good man, that within the Dharma of Shakyamuni Buddha you can receive, uphold, read, recite, and ponder this Sutra, and speak it for others. The merit and virtue you obtain is limitless and boundless. Fire cannot burn it. Water cannot flood it. Your merit and virtue is such that if a thousand Buddhas spoke of it together, they could not exhaust it.

"You have already been able to destroy the thieves of Mara, to ruin the troops of birth and death, and to demolish all remaining enemies.

"Good man, a hundred thousand Buddhas, with their power of spiritual penetrations, all protect you. In all the world with its gods and humans, there is none like you, with the exception of the Thus Come One. The Hearers and Pratyekabuddhas, and even the Bodhisattvas, cannot equal you in wisdom and Dhyana concentration."

"Constellation King Flower, such is the power of the merit and virtue and wisdom accomplished by this Bodhisattva.

"If a person hears this chapter, "The Past Deeds of Medicine King Bodhisattva," and rejoices in accord, praising its goodness, that person's mouth in his present life will always emit the fragrance of a blue lotus. The pores of his body will always emit the perfume of oxhead chandana. The merit and virtue he obtains will be as described above.

"Therefore, Constellation King Flower, I entrust to you this chapter, "The Past Deeds of Medicine King Bodhisattva." After my passing, in the last five hundred years, propagate it extensively in Jambudvipa. Do not let it become extinct, thereby allowing evil demons, demonic denizens, all the heavenly dragons, yakshas, kumbhandas, and so forth to get their way.

"Constellation King Flower, you should use the power of spiritual penetrations to protect this Sutra. Why? Because this Sutra is good medicine for the sicknesses of those in Jambudvipa. If a sick person gets to hear this Sutra, his sickness will be cured immediately. He will not grow old or die.

"Constellation King Flower, if you see a person who receives and upholds this Sutra, you should scatter blue lotuses filled with powdered incense over him as an offering. Having done that, you should reflect: 'Before long, this person will certainly lay out a grass mat, sit in the Way-place, vanquish the troops of Mara, blow the Dharma conch, strike the great Dharma drum, and save all iving beings from the sea of old age, sickness, and death. therefore, when those who seek the Buddha Way see one who receives and upholds this Sutra, they should bring forth a reverent heart in this way."

When this chapter, "The Past Deeds of Medicine King Bodhisattva," was spoken, eighty-four thousand Bodhiattvas obtained the dharani of understanding the speech of all living beings.

From within the jeweled stupa, the Thus Come One Many Jewels praised Constellation King Flower Bodhiattva, saying, "Good indeed, good indeed, Constellation King Flower! You have accomplished such inconceivable merit and virtue that you are able to question Shakyamuni Buddha about matters such as these and to benefit limitless living beings."