Why doesn’t Ikeda inscribe his own gohonzon?

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Spiritual_living
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Why doesn’t Ikeda inscribe his own gohonzon?

Post by Spiritual_living » Tue Sep 25, 2018 7:48 pm

I don’t understand the politics of it. I may be mistaken but I think I saw a picture somewhere of a gohonzon Ikeda inscribed, a golden one apparently he keeps only in his office. This made me wonder: why doesn’t SGI use a gohonzon inscribed by Ikeda?

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Queequeg
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Re: Why doesn’t Ikeda inscribe his own gohonzon?

Post by Queequeg » Tue Sep 25, 2018 8:13 pm

good question.

:toilet:
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

narhwal90
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Re: Why doesn’t Ikeda inscribe his own gohonzon?

Post by narhwal90 » Tue Sep 25, 2018 8:38 pm

The Mandala Workshop folks propose that SG intends to update the usual gohonzon image to be a copy of Mr Ikeda's personal gohonzon. I have no info on if he inscribed it personally or not, but I'm quite sure the Mandala Workshop folks would not hesitate to call out such a novelty but they make no such claim from the material I've read.

Apparently SG also has a copy of another Taisekiji gohonzon (IIRC a copy of an original Nichiren) that is subject to a shortly expiring copyright, so that is another candidate for an updated general-issue gohonzon.

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justsomeguy
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Re: Why doesn’t Ikeda inscribe his own gohonzon?

Post by justsomeguy » Thu Sep 27, 2018 12:50 am

Honestly, I wish he would, or that SG would come up with their own gohonzon. I don't mean it out of any animosity toward SG or its practitioners, but I think it's an important that the "divorce" be finalized. Given the importance of the gohonzon, this is an important step. I nearly turned away from Nichiren Buddhism because of all the negativity and bickering. Both sides would do well to "move on", at least for the sake of new practitioners.

~Bobby

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Re: Why doesn’t Ikeda inscribe his own gohonzon?

Post by Spiritual_living » Thu Sep 27, 2018 4:56 am

justsomeguy wrote:
Thu Sep 27, 2018 12:50 am
Honestly, I wish he would, or that SG would come up with their own gohonzon. I don't mean it out of any animosity toward SG or its practitioners, but I think it's an important that the "divorce" be finalized. Given the importance of the gohonzon, this is an important step. I nearly turned away from Nichiren Buddhism because of all the negativity and bickering. Both sides would do well to "move on", at least for the sake of new practitioners.

~Bobby
That is exactly what motivated me to ask the question. You would think that given the animosity between the two groups, Soka Gakkai would inscribed its own Gohonzon and be done with it.

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Re: Why doesn’t Ikeda inscribe his own gohonzon?

Post by gohonzon » Thu Sep 27, 2018 8:03 am

justsomeguy wrote:
Thu Sep 27, 2018 12:50 am
Honestly, I wish he would, or that SG would come up with their own gohonzon. I don't mean it out of any animosity toward SG or its practitioners, but I think it's an important that the "divorce" be finalized. Given the importance of the gohonzon, this is an important step. I nearly turned away from Nichiren Buddhism because of all the negativity and bickering. Both sides would do well to "move on", at least for the sake of new practitioners.

~Bobby
I am so happy that you now finally have the Gohonzon-sama enshrined in your home. :twothumbsup: Please visit our main headquarters in Hodou-in Temple in Tokyo someday so you can also meet other international Hokkeko members who are living in Japan and practicing Nichiren Shoshu Buddhism.

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Re: Why doesn’t Ikeda inscribe his own gohonzon?

Post by justsomeguy » Thu Sep 27, 2018 10:36 am

Spiritual_living wrote:
Thu Sep 27, 2018 4:56 am
justsomeguy wrote:
Thu Sep 27, 2018 12:50 am
Honestly, I wish he would, or that SG would come up with their own gohonzon. I don't mean it out of any animosity toward SG or its practitioners, but I think it's an important that the "divorce" be finalized. Given the importance of the gohonzon, this is an important step. I nearly turned away from Nichiren Buddhism because of all the negativity and bickering. Both sides would do well to "move on", at least for the sake of new practitioners.

~Bobby
That is exactly what motivated me to ask the question. You would think that given the animosity between the two groups, Soka Gakkai would inscribed its own Gohonzon and be done with it.
It is definitely a sticking point on the Shoshu side. At the temple, SGI isn't talked about a whole lot unless it's relevant to a discussion at hand, but when it happens, there's a good chance it'll be pointed out that they still copy "our" Gohonzon. So yeah, it bothers folks. The reality is that Shoshu and SGI will have to coexist. Some are going to be drawn to Shoshu; others to SGI. We have a pretty steady flow of new members joining the temple, but I imagine SGI will continue to draw those that avoid religiosity and clergy in general. I get that. Being a new generation Shoshu myself, I'm content to just know the history and make my own call and otherwise move on. I'm optimistic that newer generations will probably feel the same way. But yeah, the Gohonzon matter has to go. If SGI can give up the Dai-Gohonzon, I don't see what would stop them from inscribing their own.

narhwal90
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Re: Why doesn’t Ikeda inscribe his own gohonzon?

Post by narhwal90 » Thu Sep 27, 2018 12:54 pm

I'm SGI, formerly NSA- I'd like have the animosity behind us too, but I guess it will take a few generations to fade. As far as Mr Ikeda inscribing his own I think that would be entirely inappropriate, I would not own or enshrine one. It may be there are some who feel such a connection to him they would choose to but such a design would be a large departure from the Nichiren tradition. After the 1st generations of followers very few priests of any of the lineages designed their own, instead all the lineages who created gohonozon copied and/or composed them from elements of others. As far as I know that is the case for the modern SGI gohonzon, perhaps likewise with N.Shoshu as well. There are roles and standards and procedures for gohonzon design. I guess there is nothing to stop anyone from designing their own- including Mr Ikeda, but to do so goes far outside the Nichiren tradition.

The current SGI general issue gohonzon was created by ex-Shoshu priests after the schism when all SGI members were encouraged to turn in their NSA gohonzons, so strictly speaking SG already has its own design though the family resemblance and lineage is obvious. N.Shoshu is not often discussed in SGI either, though the official story of the schism and related events is occasionally retold in the publications. Back when I started in NSA, I got my gohonzon from the N.Shoshu temple in Washington, and attended a few weddings there, and at least one New Years ceremony. These days a SGI newcomer would never even know such a place exists, or why.

I'm glad N.Shoshu is getting newcomers too, far as I'm concerned the more folks showing up in Nichiren schools of any lineage the better off we all are.

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Re: Why doesn’t Ikeda inscribe his own gohonzon?

Post by Ginkyo » Sat Sep 29, 2018 2:32 pm

I feel this too. When Mr Ikeda dies (or when SGI announce that he has died) could be a massive turning point in the history and potential future of SGI and the Gakkai in Japan, potentially leading to a split. In my more cynical moments I worry that there will be a move to basically beatify Ikeda as as incarnation of Boddhisatva Jogyo and that a new Gohonzon might be a part of that. I hope not.

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