Time , Circumstance, and Teachings: Our Struggle with the Soka Gakkai and the Nichiren Shoshu
Nichiren had Nembutsu, Zen, Ritsu, True Word, and Tendai [Mikkyo] with whom to contend. Our struggle with the Nichiren Shoshu and the Soka Gakkai is even more profound and serious. The most perverse sect at the time of Nichiren was arguably Tendai [Mikkyo] which mixed Lotus Sutra Buddhism and Shingon. Today, we have a similar problem but NST and SGI are more dangerous than Tendai because they mix the Essential Teachings of the Lotus Sutra with Shingon [rather than the Theoretical Teachings and Shingon, as in Mikkyo]. They are more cunning and clever than Jikaku, Enchin, and Annen. Lamanism and secret oral transmissions are not Nichiren Daishonin’s Lotus Sutra teachings period. Our main struggle today is with these two aberrant sects. They praise the Lotus Sutra but destroy its intent and many people are confused and led into the evil paths. Nichiren says extreme evil is most difficult to perceive and like radiation, we can not see, smell, touch, hear, or taste extreme evil [because it is so disguised] . Only with a tool such as a geiger counter can we perceive radiation or through witnessing the effects of exposure. Only through the Scripture of the Wonderful Law, the writings of Nichiren, and the disastrous effects of the NST and SGI faith, can we perceive the devastation of these false teachings.
Makiguchi and Toda were ignorant. They were unaware of the extent and gravity of Nichiren Shoshu's slander. They devoted themselves to the Nichiren Shoshu teachings at the expense of the purity of the Lotus Sutra and the teachings of Nichiren Daishonin. They misunderstood Buddhism. Their views and that of SGI are antithetical to the Lotus Sutra, their vision wisps of smoke or a dream within a dream. Their teachings result in an ever greater accumulation of suffering as demonstrated by the untoward events in heaven and on earth. The Soka Gakkai was born in 1931. By 1945 Japan was completely devastated. This will happen in the future also, unless the SGI is disbanded.
SGI asserts, “In essence, Toda revitalized Buddhism based upon his new interpretations of the Lotus Sutra and applied it to devastated, war-torn Japan.” Actually, Toda revitalized the heretical teachings of Taisekaji. His interpretations derive from Nichikan’s Exegesis. Proof is Toda’s slanderous Lecture On The Sutra, where up is down, east is west and right is wrong. Were it not for the Soka Gakkai and the slanderous Taisekaji teachings [which destroy the intent of the Lotus Sutra], there never would have been a devastated war-torn Japan. Their teachings, like the True Word [Shingon] teachings, are devoid of literal, theoretical, and actual proof while the teachings of the Original Buddha Shakyamuni and Nichiren Daishonin are endowed with all three and affirmed by all Buddhas throughout the past, present. and future.
The SGI teaches that we shouldn’t read or follow The Lotus Sutra or Nichiren Daishonin literally, even though Nichiren read the Lotus Sutra with his very body. Yet, they claim:
“Toda also read the Lotus Sutra with his life. While he was imprisoned during W.W.II, he struggled to understand the meaning of the word “Buddha.” He contemplated and chanted with intense concentration and finally came to the realization that the concept of “Buddha” in the Lotus Sutra signified “life.” In other words, Toda also found a new, profound meaning of the Lotus Sutra. This awakening gave a new, modern meaning to Buddhism. Buddhism, which for centuries had been a funeral conducting religion, was reborn as a life philosophy. In jail, Toda also had a glimpse of his past: he saw that he was attending the Ceremony in the Air. Based upon these two awakenings, he reformed the Soka Kyoiku Gakkai (Value-Creating Educators Society; a lay organization for educators which had practiced Nichiren’s Buddhism), which was destroyed during W.W.II by the militaristic Japanese government. He renamed it Soka Gakkai (Value-Creating Society) with the spirit of including all common people, and started his task of reconstructing the society by giving lectures about the Lotus Sutra. Since he saw that he himself emerged from the earth during the preaching of the Lotus Sutra, his interpretation of the Lotus Sutra was very realistic and his explanations were filled with absolute confidence.”
Likening Buddha to life was completely mistaken in light of the Lotus Sutra and Gosho. All that lives is destined to die. Life is marked by transience, suffering, impurity, and selfishness. The Original Buddha is eternal, joyful, pure, and selfless. The Buddha transcends life [and death]. Ikeda’s transgressions are far worse because of the principle of intent. He knows all too well the true and eternal principles of the Lotus Sutra and Nichiren Daishonin but persists in transmitting SGI’s [and Taisekaji's] distorted teachings. How many more untoward events in heaven and on earth will we have to experience because of Daisaku Ikeda’s transgressions? If Daisaku Ikeda and SGI continue to destroy and distort the teachings and fool the people, many more and severe sufferings will beset the people
President Toda taught in his Lecture on the Sutra:
“With this silent prayer, we express our sincere thanks to the Second High Priest Nikko Shonin, the founder of Head temple Taisekiji. Hossui-shabyo: Hossui is the Law or Buddhism metaphorically compared to clean water. Shabyo means “transfer. Now suppose here are two glasses, one of which is filled with water. The water is transferred from one glass into the other. The quality of the water remains unchanged through this transfer even though the shapes of the glasses may differ. Simililarly, the Hossui of Nichiren Daishonin was handed down from Nikko Shonin to Third High Priest Nichimoku Shonin. However, its geneuine purity was not changed in the least. This solemn tradition has been strictly maintained by the successive high priests of Nichiren Shoshu.
YUIGA YOGA: This means that the life of Nikko Shonin equals that of Nichiren Daishonin. A Gohonzon called the “Tobi” (Flying) Mandala” is enshrined at Butsugenji Temple in Sendai City in Northeast Japan. It was inscribed co-operatively by the Daishonin and His immediate successor Nikko Shonin. This fact evidences what yuiga yoga signifies.” –Josei Toda as quoted in: From “Lectures on the Sutra” Third Edition, 1968 Seikyo Press.
Please note that no where in the Lotus Sutra or the writings of Nichiren Daishonin, can we find the concepts or words, YUIGA YOGA but in Tendai/Shingon esotericism, this is a core principle. Central to Lamanism, an offshoot of Shingon, are the Four Treasures and the most important Treasure is the Treasure of the Guru. The other Three Treasures are subsumed within the Treasure of the Guru. This is known as Guru Yoga. The same goes for the SGI, whether it is implicit or implied. When SGI members or leaders chant Namu Myoho renge kyo, they are revering their Sensei. While they chant Namu Myoho renge kyo with their voices, they chant Namu Sensei in their hearts.
Makiguchi and Toda read the Lotus Sutra according to the distorted teachings of the Taisekaji priests who adopted the two related Zen and Shingon concepts respectively: The Transfer of the Water of the Law; and Yuiga Yoga or the Oneness of living Master and Disciple. The SGI has adopted these distorted Zen and Shingon viewpoints, in contrast to the Lotus Sutra and writings of Nichiren Daishonin which state, “This Sutra”.
More proof of SGI’s transgressions are Daisaku Ikeda’s teachings that mirror those of his deluded Sensei, JoseiToda. Ikeda once taught, “The basis of Nichiren Shoshu is the Lifeblood recieved only by a single person. To faithfully follow the High Priest of the bequethal of the Lifeblood is the correct way for priests and laybelievers. If one is mistaken about this single point, then everything will become insane.” And now he declares, “Following the Three Presidents of the Soka Gakkai is the basis of the Lifeblood of faith”
Doctor Daisaku Ikeda, ironically, was born into a household whose ancestors reside in Mitsugonin, a temple of the Shingon sect. It is a slanderous place which was established in accordance with Shingon formalities.
The Shingon patriarch, the Learned Doctor Shan-wu-wei too, despite his wisdom and strong practice, was mistaken about the teachings of Buddhism. Shan wu-wei was persecuted. Christ too was persecuted and his teachings are far less insidious than Shan-wu-wei’s, Makiguchi’s, and Ikeda’s. Their teachings resemble little the teachings of the Original Buddha Shakyamuni’s [Lotus Sutra] and Nichiren Daishonin’s. Visions and “visionaries”, not firmly grounded in the teachings of the Original Buddha Shakyamuni and the Daishonin, reside in the realm of delusion.
“Since 1960, at the time when Ikeda was inaugurated as the President of the Soka Gakkai, he has been emphasizing the concept of “Human Revolution”, which is the reformation of each person’s inner world. In other words, “From Inside to Outside” has been his motto. In 1995, Ikeda started lecturing about the Lotus Sutra. Two serialized articles are being published in Soka Gakkai’s publications, a dialogue in Daibyaku Renge (monthly magazine) and a lecture in Seikyo Shimbun (daily newspaper). Each article is translated into different languages and is now being studied throughout the world.”
There is nothing to change. Buddhood is ours to reveal through faith. How can you change beginingless Buddhahood? How can you change the beginingless Bodhisattva or beginningless Hell realm? The Bodhisattvas of the Earth will reveal the truth of Ikeda and refute his slander.
“I feel a new direction in his articles. Although “Human Life” is always the central theme, a new emphasis seems to be “From Inside to Outside,” more specifically, “How can we change the “Outside World” based upon the changes in our “Internal World?” Ikeda discussed this theme with M. Gorbachev in their dialogue. He talked about Rissho (Establishing the true teaching, namely, “Inner” reformation or “Religious Value”) and Ankoku (Securing peace, namely, “Outer” reformation or “Secular Value”). He believes, “Rissho is the starting point for Ankoku, and Rissho is completed with Ankoku.”
There is nothing to change. We reveal the beginningless Buddhahood by chanting Namu Myoho renge kyo and propagating the teaching. Simultaneously the beginningless Buddhahood of the land will emerge and become apparent. Nichiren Daishonin teaches,
“Concerning the passage in the Lotus Sutra that you quoted, “He [the Buddha] has rooted out evil from among the phenomena,” here the Buddha is referring to a teaching from one of the earlier sutras. But when you take a closer look at the sutra, it is clear that the mutual possession of the Ten Worlds is being explained. For, in the same sutra, this passage is found: “The Buddhas wish to open the door of Buddha wisdom to all living beings.” T’ien-t’ai comments on this passage as follows: “If people do not possess innate Buddha wisdom, how could the Buddha say he wanted to open it? One must understand that Buddha wisdom is inherent in all human beings.”41 The Great Teacher Chang-an concludes, “How could people open the door to and realize their Buddha wisdom if it did not exist within them? How could a person show the poor woman her treasure repository if the treasure repository did not exist?” — The Object of Devotion for Observing the Mind.
It is not change [Human Revolution] that brings about Buddhahood, it is observing the mind and seeing what we already possess since time without beginiing. The Three Realms of Ichinen Sanzen [Three Thousand Realms in a Moment of Existence] also demonstrates that the Realm of the Masses of the Beings and the Realm of the Environment possess the World of Buddhahood. One can not change that which is changeless. One perceives and reveals Buddhahood through faith in and practice of the Lotus Sutra, as taught by Nichiren Daishonin.
SGI teaches, “Toda established the foundation of the propagation of Buddhism in Japan based upon his interpretation of the Lotus Sutra. Similarly, Ikeda is now solidifying the foundation of the world propagation of Buddhism based upon his interpretation of the Lotus Sutra.” Actually, as clearly demonstrated above, their teachings have more in common with Zen and Shingon than with the Lotus Sutra and the teachings of Nichiren Daishonion. It is a stretch to even call their teachings, “Buddhism”, let alone "Nichiren Daishonin's Buddhism".
Toda and Ikeda would have us believe that the Soka philosophy, based on the Taisekaji teachings, is superior to the Lotus Sutra which they assert, “has lost its power in Mappo”. Shan-wu-wei too declared the True Word teachings superior to the Lotus Sutra by virtue of Mudras.
Nichiren Shonin states:
“The Buddhist doctrines preached by scholars these days are regarded by most people as gentle words, truthful words, but in fact they are all harsh words and deceptive words. I say this because they are at variance with the Lotus Sutra, which embodies the Buddha’s true intention.”(The Learned Shan-wu-wei).
In the SGI, all praise is heaped on the successive presidents of the SGI and not even a mustard seed of praise is afforded the Original Buddha Shakyamuni. On the contrary, Shakyamuni is slandered as a cast-off or husk Buddha. Contrast this with the Daishonin’s words:
“Shakyamuni Buddha, our father and mother, who is endowed with the three virtues of sovereign, teacher and parent, is the very one who encourages us, the people driven out by all other Buddha, saying, “I alone can save them.” The debt of gratitude we owe him is deeper than the ocean, weightier than the earth, vaster than the sky. Though we were to pluck out our two eyes and place them before him as an offering until there were more eyes there than stars in the sky, though we were to strip off our skins and spread them out by the hundreds of thousands of ten thousands until they blanketed the ceiling of heaven, though we were to give him our tears as offerings of water and present him with flowers for the space of a hundred billion kalpas, though we were to offer him our flesh and blood for innumerable kalpas, until our flesh piled up like mountains and our blood overflowed like vast seas, we could never repay a fraction of the debt we owe to this Buddha!” (MW vol. 4, The Learned Doctor Shan-wu-wei)
“However, later seeking and entering the deep cave, you see a single hermitage. The voices of the reading and reciting of the Hokekyo echo against blue heaven and the words of discussing the doctrine of the One Vehicle are heard in the midst of the mountains. Informing [them, of your presence and requesting] admittance, you enter the chamber, place your mother’s bones before the Master of Teachings Lord Shakya, cast your five limbs to the ground, press your palms together, and opening your two eyes, look up to the Holy Face: joy overflows your body and the pain of your heart suddenly ceases.”(On forgetting Ones Copy Of The Lotus Sutra, NOPPA Translation)
Taking a central place in the Daishonin’s teachings is that Lord Shakyamuni is Parent,Teacher and Sovereign. To deny this aspect of the teachings is to be no better than Shan-wu-wei. Since Daisaku Ikeda degrades the Eternal Lord Buddha Shakyamuni, he will meet the same fate as Shan-wu-wei.
Outlining the Three Treasures, the Daishonin writes,
“The Sutra is the Hokkekyo, the foremost Great Dharma of the Exoteric and Esoteric. The Buddha is the Buddha Shakya, the foremost supreme Buddha of the Buddhas. The Practicer resembles the Practicer of the Hokkekyo”(Letter to Lord Niita, STN, v. 2, 1752, no. 368). This Doctrine is clearly restated in Nikko’s writing, The Order of Spreading the Sutra in the Three Ages: “The Temple of the Hommon The disciple of Entrustment The Bodhisattva Jogyo Nichiren Daishonin.”Nichiju, the founder of the Kempon Hokke, states, “By no means should one differ from the Sutra and the Compilations and the Great Teacher’s commentaries of their fundemental intention”(The Record of Nichiun, p. 58)
Nichiren clearly states in Letter to Tonsured Layman Soya (Soya nyudo sho), “They entirely look up to groups of icchantikas and rely on them as leaders and, reverencing slanderers against the Dharma, make them national teachers (ie: Ikeda). Taking up the Classic Filial Piety of Confucius, they beat their parents’ heads and, while chanting the Lotus Sutra of Lord Shakya with their mouths, they go against the Master of teachings.” Nichiren, quoting Dengyo states, “Although they praise the Hokkekyo, on the contrary, they kill the heart of the Hokke.”
We have heard from SGI members that, because they chant and propagate the Daimoku, either irregardless of their beliefs or precisely because they embrace the Daishonin as the Original Buddha and Ikeda as their mentor, they are assured of attaining Buddhahood. Sometimes they restate the medieval Tientai doctrine that “I am already a Buddha”, citing inauthentic works or twisting the words of the authentic ones. I have heard them state, citing Reply to Lord Matsuno, that the Daimoku is the same regardless of who embraces it, like the gold possessed by a fool and that possessed by a wise man and that there is no distinction. They assert that this gives them the license to teach their [arbitrary] interpretation of the Lotus Sutra. However, the Daishonin repeatedly warns that, when one chants contrary to the heart of the Sutra, one is a devil. Denying the central position of the Original Eternal Buddha Shakyamuni, is to have no faith in the Sutra and to slander it and its Supreme Votary, Nichiren
The Daishonin quotes the sixth patriarch of the Tientai in his Chu Hokekyo (Annotated Lotus Sutra), “If it is not the right object (or field), even though there is no falsehood, it will also not form seeds.” The field or object is none other than the Buddha of beginingless time, Shakyamuni who is one with the Law of Namu Myoho renge kyo.
“Priest Shan-wu-wei was once the king of Udyana in India. He renounced the throne, became a priest, and in the course of his Buddhist practice journeyed through more than fifty countries in India, finally mastering all the esoteric and exoteric teachings of Buddhism. Later he went to China and became the teacher of Emperor Hsuan-tsung. Every Shingon priest in both China and Japan has since become his disciple. Though he was such a respectable person, he died abruptly, tortured by Enma, the king of hell, although no one knows why.
Nichiren considers that this happened because Shan-wu-wei was at first a votary of the Lotus Sutra, but when he read the Dainichi Sutra, he declared it superior to the Lotus Sutra. Similarly, Shariputra, Maudgalyayana and the others were not doomed to wander through the evil paths for the period of sanzen-jintengo or gohyaku-jintengo because they had committed the ten evils or five cardinal sins. Nor was it because they had committed any of the eight rebellious acts. It was because they met someone who was an evil influence, and discarded the Lotus Sutra to take faith in the provisional teachings.
According to the Great Teacher T’ien-t’ai, “If one befriends an evil person, he will lose his mind.” “Mind”means the heart which believes in the Lotus Sutra, while “lose”means to betray one’s faith in the Lotus Sutra and follow some other sutras. The Lotus Sutra reads, “… but when they are given the medicine, they refuse to take it.” The Great Teacher T’ien-t’ai also stated, 'Those who had lost their minds would not take the excellent medicine, even though it was given them. Lost in suffering, they fled to other countries.' Since this is so, the believers of the Lotus Sutra should fear those who plague their faith more than they fear bandits, burglars, midnight killers, tigers, wolves or lions — even more than invasion by the Mongols. This world is the province of the Devil of the Sixth Heaven.”(The Learned Doctor Shan-wu-wei)
Doctor Daisaku Ikeda’s passing will be marked by torment, as was that of the Tripitaka Master, the Learned Doctor Shan-wu-wei. One [Ikeda] reads the Lotus Sutra according to the distorted teachings of the Taisekaji priest Nichikan, Toda, and Makiguchi and the other [Shan-wu-wei], read the Lotus Sutra in the light of the Dainichi and other provisional sutras while adding the practice of Mudras. What a terrible fate Ikeda is sowing for himself and the members of the SGI.