karma and ichinen

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illarraza
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karma and ichinen

Post by illarraza » Sun Jul 22, 2018 4:04 am

Nichiren view of fame and profit differs from SGI's

Nichiren teaches, "Leave such matters [worldly fame and profit] to the karma formed in your previous existences." -- Questions and Answers about Embracing the Lotus Sutra page 63

SGI, on the other hand, teaches that it is determination [Ichinen] that determines such things.

Nichiren also teaches:

"How terrible are the slanders Nichiren has committed in his past and present existences! Since you have been born into this evil country and become the disciples of such a man, there is no telling what will happen to you. The Parinirvāna Sutra states: “Good man, because people committed countless offenses and accumulated much evil karma in the past, they must expect to suffer retribution for everything they have done. They may be despised, cursed with an ugly appearance, be poorlyclad and poorly fed, seek wealth in vain, be born to an impoverished and lowly family or one with erroneous views, or be persecuted by their sovereign.” It continues: “They may be subjected to various other sufferings and retributions. It is due to the blessings obtained by protecting the Law that they can diminish in this lifetime their suffering and retribution.” Were it not for Nichiren, these passages from the sutra would virtually make the Buddha a liar. The sutra says, first, “They may be despised”; second, “They may be cursed with an ugly appearance”; third, “They may be poorly clad”; fourth, “They may be poorly fed”; fifth, “They may seek wealth in vain”; sixth, “They may be born to an impoverished and lowly family”; seventh, “They may be born to a family with erroneous views”; and eighth, “They may be persecuted by their sovereign.” These eight phrases apply only to me, Nichiren.

One who climbs a high mountain must eventually descend. One who slights another will in turn be despised. One who deprecates those of handsome appearance will be born ugly. One who robs another of food and clothing is sure to fall into the world of hungry spirits. One who mocks a person who observes the precepts and is worthy of respect will be born to an impoverished and lowly family. One who slanders a family that embraces the correct teaching will be born to a family that holds erroneous views. One who laughs at those who cherish the precepts faithfully will be born a commoner and meet with persecution from one’s sovereign. This is the general law of cause and effect.

My sufferings, however, are not ascribable to this causal law. In the past I despised the votaries of the Lotus Sutra. I also ridiculed the sutra itself, sometimes with exaggerated praise and other times with contempt—that sutra as magnificent as two moons shining side by side, two stars conjoined, one Mount Hua placed atop another, or two jewels combined. This is why I have experienced the aforementioned eight kinds of sufferings. Usually these sufferings appear one at a time, on into the boundless future, but Nichiren has denounced the enemies of theLotus Sutra so severely that all eight have descended at once. This is like the case of a peasant heavily in debt to the steward of his village and toother authorities. As long as he remains in his village or district, rather than mercilessly hounding him, they are likely to defer his debts from one year to the next. But when he tries to leave, they rush over and demand that he repay everything at once. This is what the sutra means when it states, “It is due to the blessings obtained by protecting the Law.” -- Letter from Sado

and

"Answer: A bronze mirror will reflect color and form. The First Emperor of the Ch’in dynasty had a lie-detecting mirror that would reveal offenses committed in this present life. The mirror of the Buddha’sLaw makes clear the causal actions committed in the past. The Parinirvāna Sutra states: “Good man, because people committed countless offenses and accumulated much evil karma in the past, they must expect to suffer retribution for everything they have done. They may be despised, cursed with an ugly appearance, be poorly clad and poorly fed, seek wealth in vain, be born to an impoverished and lowly family or one with erroneous views, or be persecuted by their sovereign. They may be subjected to various other sufferings and retributions. It is due to the blessings obtained by protecting the Law that they can diminish in this lifetime their suffering and retribution.”

This sutra passage and my own experience tally exactly. By now all the doubts that I have raised earlier should be dispelled, and thousands of difficulties are nothing to me. Let me show you phrase by phrase how the text applies to me. “They may be despised,” or, as the Lotus Sutrasays, people will “despise, hate, envy, or bear grudges against them”—and in exactly that manner I have been treated with contempt and arrogance for over twenty years. “They may be cursed with an ugly appearance,” “They may be poorly clad”—these too apply to me. “They may be poorlyfed”—that applies to me. “They may seek wealth in vain”—that applies tome. “They may be born to an impoverished and lowly family”—that applies to me. “They may be persecuted by their sovereign”—can there be any doubt that the passage applies to me? The Lotus Sutra says, “Again and again we will be banished,” and the passage from theParinirvāna Sutra says, “They may be subjected to various other sufferings and retributions.” [These passages also apply to me.]

The passage also says, “It is due to the blessings obtained by protecting the Law that they can diminish in this lifetime their suffering and retribution.” The fifth volume of Great Concentration and Insight has this to say on the subject: “The feeble merits produced by a mind only half intent on the practice cannot alter [the realm of karma]. But if one carries out the practice of concentration and insight so as to observe ‘health’ and ‘illness,’ then one can alter the cycle of birth and death [in the realm of karma].” It also says, “[As practice progresses and understanding grows], the three obstacles and four devils emerge in confusing form, vying with one another to interfere.”

From the beginningless past I have been born countless times as an evil ruler who deprived the votaries of the Lotus Sutra of their robes and rations, their fields and crops, much as the people of Japan in the present day go about destroying the temples dedicated to the Lotus Sutra. In addition, countless times I cut off the heads of the votaries of the Lotus Sutra. Some of these grave offenses I have already paid for, but there must be some that are not paid for yet. Even if I seem to have paid for them all, there are still ill effects that remain. When the time comes for me to transcend the sufferings of birth and death, it will be only after I have completely freed myself from these grave offenses. My merits are insignificant, but these offenses are grave.

If I practiced the teachings of the provisional sutras, then these retributions for my past grave offenses would not appear. When iron is heated, if it is not strenuously forged, the impurities in it will not become apparent. Only when it is subjected to the tempering process again and again will the flaws appear. When pressing hemp seeds, if one does not press very hard, one will not get much oil from them. Likewise, when I vigorously berate those throughout the country who slander the Law, I meet with great difficulties. It must be that my actions in defending the Law in this present life are calling forth retributions for the grave offenses of my past. If iron does not come into contact with fire, it remains black, but if it contacts fire, it turns red. If you place a log across a swift stream, waves will pile up like hills. If you disturb a sleeping lion, it will roar loudly." --Opening of the Eyes

Nichiren Daishonin and Josei Toda discuss the Lotus Sutra

Josei Toda: I will not ask whether you are sincerely practicing, because propagation is something you should carry out of your own initiative. Instead, I want to ask whether your businesses are doing well, whether you are making money, and whether you are enjoying good health.

Nichiren Daishonin: I have not enough to eat. I am living off grass, brachen, and melted snow. I wear the hide of deer that have died in the forest and icicles grow from my scraggly beard. My only visitors are the winter hares, racoons, and roe deers. It is very cold in my hermitage. But deep within this mortal flesh I preserve the ultimate secret Law inherited from Shakyamuni Buddha, the lord of teachings, at Eagle Peak.

Josei Toda: You should chant more Daimoku. Our environment reflects our life condition. Why would you think anyone will practice this teachings without showing any actual proof? You should follow in the footsteps of Taisaku here, he is well on the way to becoming a billionaire by teaching the Dharma to silk robed laymen.

Nichiren Daishonin: I desire and am satisfied with little. My only wish is to attain Buddhahood, overcome my heavy karma for long having slandered the Law in countless past lives, and to help others do the same.

Josei Toda: That's not enough Nichiren. You should aspire to "five Cadillacs" and having enough money to donate a dozen community centers to the Soka Gakkai to which you should be forever grateful.

Nichiren Daishonin: You may think that those who believe in the layman Taisaku double tongue are prospering, but you should see what has become of those who paid for the construction of Shinonamachi, Fukushima, and the Tokyo seventh ward community centers. Again, the lord Abe is the ruler of Japan and partner to the SGI New Komeito but by his conduct he has called down on himself an enemy almost as great as the land of Jambudvipa. The era of widespread temple building is long over.

Josei Toda: You just don't get it. The Gohonzon is a happiness-manufacturing machine. How can you be happy without money and tons of adoring members?

Nichiren Daishonin: Worldly fame and profit are mere baubles of your present existence, and arrogance and prejudice are ties that will fetter you in the next one.

Josei Toda [ruffled]: What do you have to be arrogant about Nichiren? You don't have a pot to piss in and barely a handful of followers. If you had a correct faith, you would have had 750,000 followers who worship the ground Taisaku and me walk on and in this very life. Chill out Nichiren. Have a couple glasses of sake with me. I really shouldn't because my liver is shot from all that sake but just this once.

Nichiren Daishonin: Slanderers are as numerous as the dust particles of the land while true believers are as few as the specks of dirt that can fit on a fingernail. What were you saying about enjoying good health? Your eyes are yellow and your complexion is sallow . Although I too suffer from poor health, having had persistent abdominal pains and chronic diarrhea for years... the persecutions, continuously running for my life, having had barely enough to eat, the endless debates, and worrying about my disciples, my spirit dwells in this body as the moon is reflected in muddy water, or as gold is wrapped in a filthy bag. Your mind however, is clouded and warped from long having embraced the slanderous teachings of Taisekaji.

mark

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Queequeg
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Re: karma and ichinen

Post by Queequeg » Mon Jul 23, 2018 6:18 pm

Mark, you heard the title of the Lotus Sutra because of Daisaku Ikeda, Josei Toda, and Tsunesaburo Makiguchi. It is one thing remonstrate and point out errors to those whom you have debt of gratitude. It is another to turn it into an opportunity for spectacle and mockery. Look at your life's work for the last 20+ years. Even if you have a point, you soil the banner you wave with your undignified behavior.

I'm not going to categorically defend Mr. Ikeda or Soka Gakkai, but your post is dishonest because it does not acknowledge the full picture, and sows the seeds of schism among those who have newly undertaken the practice of the Lotus Sutra.

1. Nichiren taught that blessings of material reward would accrue to those who uphold the Lotus Sutra - in this life. I refer you to the letters addressed to Shijo Kingo, the man who accompanied Nichiren to the execution ground at Tatsunokuchi and resolved to give his life with his teacher.
Consider your own situation in light of these examples. [Your lord] the lay priest Ema’s domain used to be vast, but has now diminished. He has many sons who could succeed him, and there are also many retainers who have long served him. His retainers must be possessed by growing envy, just as fish become agitated when the water of their pond decreases, or as birds vie with one another to secure branches when autumn winds begin to blow. Moreover, since you have disobeyed your lord and gone against his wishes from time to time, the calumnies made to him against you must have been all the more numerous. However, even though you have been forced to relinquish your fief time and again, in your letter you said that he has now conferred an estate upon you. This is indeed wondrous. This is precisely what is meant by the statement that unseen virtue brings about visible reward. It must have happened because of your profound sincerity in trying to lead your lord to faith in the Lotus Sutra.
-Shijo Kingo dono Gohenji.

Further, you seem to disregard the material conditions and circumstances that prompted Nichiren to seek the Saddharma - Why is the world ravaged by natural disasters and social calamity? Why are we not enjoying the material rewards prophesied by the sages? That is Risshoankokuron. How then is it folly to seek and enjoy good fortune when it accrues? That is the way of beings - to want to be happy.

2. When the Japanese state demanded that all the people in Japan declare supreme allegiance to the Emperor, a few heirs of Nichiren followed his exhortation, "Therefore, I say to you, my disciples, try practicing as the Lotus Sutra teaches, exerting yourselves without begrudging your lives! Test the truth of Buddhism now! Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, Nam-myoho-renge-kyo."

I know of three examples who resisted the Japanese military government: Nichidatsu Fujii, the founder of Nipponzan Myohoji - he was exiled; and Tsuensaburo Makiguchi and Josei Toda, the founder and second president, respectively, of Soka Gakkai. Makiguchi and Toda were imprisoned. Makiguchi died in prison, never "begrudging his life."

You paint Toda as a caricature. In reality, he was a complicated person, like all people. You give no credit to the work he did in laying the groundwork for the Daimoku to be heard around the world.

3. This is what Tokyo looked like when Toda was released from prison:
Image
What can you tell a person piecing their life back together in the midst of that rubble about karmic retribution?

Mark, you have no idea about that moment. You have no idea what its like to walk along a street strewn with rotting corpses and crying orphans in the street, begging for food. There is nothing you could say to those people about living on a dirt floor, exposed to the elements that they don't already know.

Further, many Japanese intuitively understood through the centuries of Buddhist teaching, that the devastation they were living was the consequence of their past actions. This conclusion was expressed widely, and certainly in Soka Gakkai. The message the Japanese needed at that moment was to be reminded of the Saddharma and the benefit that accrues to those who embrace it.

All you acknowledge is the material benefit Toda taught, condemning him for it while conveniently disregarding Nichiren's teachings on such benefit. Conveniently disregarding the acknowledgement that the devastation of war was karmic retribution for discarding the Saddharma. Conveniently disregarding that Toda's real teaching was for the propagation of the Saddharma, that we each must undergo a radical transformation and awaken to the real aspect (Human Revolution), and that the material benefits were just ancillary.

You belittle the gratitude underlying the donations that established the community centers around Japan, the gratitude underlying the donations that built up Taisekiji.

You really ought to reflect on the Devadatta chapter. Shakyamuni does not condemn Devadatta but instead reveals that even he will be a Buddha and that it was Devadatta in a past life as a cunning brahmin who contrived circumstance in which Shakyamuni could first make offerings to the Lotus Sutra, merit that ripened into awakening.

Your point is off base. Your message is wrong. You create discord without basis.

There are reasons to critique Soka Gakkai, but you don't make them well here, and further, you introduce a frivolous attitude into this context. Something you've done for a long time. Any good you offer is tainted.
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

I think each human being has things to find out in his own life that are inescapable. They’ll find them out the easy way or the hard way, or whatever.
-Jerry Garcia

narhwal90
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Re: karma and ichinen

Post by narhwal90 » Tue Jul 24, 2018 2:17 am

I find Chapter 14 instructive in such circumstances.

illarraza
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Re: karma and ichinen

Post by illarraza » Tue Jul 24, 2018 3:51 am

Queequeg wrote:
Mon Jul 23, 2018 6:18 pm
Mark, you heard the title of the Lotus Sutra because of Daisaku Ikeda, Josei Toda, and Tsunesaburo Makiguchi. It is one thing remonstrate and point out errors to those whom you have debt of gratitude. It is another to turn it into an opportunity for spectacle and mockery. Look at your life's work for the last 20+ years. Even if you have a point, you soil the banner you wave with your undignified behavior.

I'm not going to categorically defend Mr. Ikeda or Soka Gakkai, but your post is dishonest because it does not acknowledge the full picture, and sows the seeds of schism among those who have newly undertaken the practice of the Lotus Sutra.

1. Nichiren taught that blessings of material reward would accrue to those who uphold the Lotus Sutra - in this life. I refer you to the letters addressed to Shijo Kingo, the man who accompanied Nichiren to the execution ground at Tatsunokuchi and resolved to give his life with his teacher.
Consider your own situation in light of these examples. [Your lord] the lay priest Ema’s domain used to be vast, but has now diminished. He has many sons who could succeed him, and there are also many retainers who have long served him. His retainers must be possessed by growing envy, just as fish become agitated when the water of their pond decreases, or as birds vie with one another to secure branches when autumn winds begin to blow. Moreover, since you have disobeyed your lord and gone against his wishes from time to time, the calumnies made to him against you must have been all the more numerous. However, even though you have been forced to relinquish your fief time and again, in your letter you said that he has now conferred an estate upon you. This is indeed wondrous. This is precisely what is meant by the statement that unseen virtue brings about visible reward. It must have happened because of your profound sincerity in trying to lead your lord to faith in the Lotus Sutra.
-Shijo Kingo dono Gohenji.

Further, you seem to disregard the material conditions and circumstances that prompted Nichiren to seek the Saddharma - Why is the world ravaged by natural disasters and social calamity? Why are we not enjoying the material rewards prophesied by the sages? That is Risshoankokuron. How then is it folly to seek and enjoy good fortune when it accrues? That is the way of beings - to want to be happy.

2. When the Japanese state demanded that all the people in Japan declare supreme allegiance to the Emperor, a few heirs of Nichiren followed his exhortation, "Therefore, I say to you, my disciples, try practicing as the Lotus Sutra teaches, exerting yourselves without begrudging your lives! Test the truth of Buddhism now! Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, Nam-myoho-renge-kyo."

I know of three examples who resisted the Japanese military government: Nichidatsu Fujii, the founder of Nipponzan Myohoji - he was exiled; and Tsuensaburo Makiguchi and Josei Toda, the founder and second president, respectively, of Soka Gakkai. Makiguchi and Toda were imprisoned. Makiguchi died in prison, never "begrudging his life."

You paint Toda as a caricature. In reality, he was a complicated person, like all people. You give no credit to the work he did in laying the groundwork for the Daimoku to be heard around the world.

3. This is what Tokyo looked like when Toda was released from prison:
Image
What can you tell a person piecing their life back together in the midst of that rubble about karmic retribution?

Mark, you have no idea about that moment. You have no idea what its like to walk along a street strewn with rotting corpses and crying orphans in the street, begging for food. There is nothing you could say to those people about living on a dirt floor, exposed to the elements that they don't already know.

Further, many Japanese intuitively understood through the centuries of Buddhist teaching, that the devastation they were living was the consequence of their past actions. This conclusion was expressed widely, and certainly in Soka Gakkai. The message the Japanese needed at that moment was to be reminded of the Saddharma and the benefit that accrues to those who embrace it.

All you acknowledge is the material benefit Toda taught, condemning him for it while conveniently disregarding Nichiren's teachings on such benefit. Conveniently disregarding the acknowledgement that the devastation of war was karmic retribution for discarding the Saddharma. Conveniently disregarding that Toda's real teaching was for the propagation of the Saddharma, that we each must undergo a radical transformation and awaken to the real aspect (Human Revolution), and that the material benefits were just ancillary.

You belittle the gratitude underlying the donations that established the community centers around Japan, the gratitude underlying the donations that built up Taisekiji.

You really ought to reflect on the Devadatta chapter. Shakyamuni does not condemn Devadatta but instead reveals that even he will be a Buddha and that it was Devadatta in a past life as a cunning brahmin who contrived circumstance in which Shakyamuni could first make offerings to the Lotus Sutra, merit that ripened into awakening.

Your point is off base. Your message is wrong. You create discord without basis.

There are reasons to critique Soka Gakkai, but you don't make them well here, and further, you introduce a frivolous attitude into this context. Something you've done for a long time. Any good you offer is tainted.
The very bottom line...8 years after SGI's auspicious beginnings, World War II: 13 years after, Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and 85 years after its ugly spread to every corner of Japan, Fukushima. Look at the world Look to every country where SGI has spread. Spreading Ikedaism is not the same as spreading the Lotus Sutra Buddhism of Nichiren. Here is a short alternative hx of the Great Men, Makiguchi and Toda: https://markrogow.blogspot.com/2018/05/ ... never.html

There is NO BENEFIT in SGI practice or 95% of those exposed to its teachings would not have abandoned the Lotus Sutra. One reason is their teachings on faith and benefits is warped.

For thirty years I have worked for the poorest of the poor and the most downtrodden in our society, struggling on a daily and hourly basis to help them resolve their physical, psychological, and spiritual illnesses. Sure, I never witnessed Hiroshima and Nagasaki, but I spent, at least 8 years in the ghetto, four of which at the height of the crack epidemic. I have experienced burnt out buildings and burnt out individuals and more gun shot wounds, stab wounds and trauma save for an army doctor in Iraq.

"Conveniently denying Nichiren's teaching on benefit?"

Nichiren's teachings prove my assertion about "Ichinen" versus faith or did you forget the topic of discussion? Anyway, I will stay on topic:

“It is like the case of a baby being given milk to drink. Even though the baby may not understand the flavor of milk, the milk naturally nurtures the baby’s growth. Similarly, if a physician gives medicine to a sick person, even though the sick person may not know the origin and nature of the medicine, if he takes it, then in the natural course of events his illness will be cured. But if he objects that he does not know the origin of the medicine that the physician gives him and for that reason declines to take it, do you think his illness will ever be cured? Whether he understands the medicine or not, so long as he takes it, he will in either case be cured."

"Shakyamuni, the lord of teachings, takes these blessings and, in the form of the words that make up the Lotus Sutra, brings them to the mouths of all living beings for them to taste. A baby does not know the difference between water and fire, and cannot distinguish medicine from poison. But when the baby sucks milk, its life is nourished and sustained."

"Answer: When a baby drinks milk, it has no understanding of its taste, and yet its body is naturally nourished. Who ever took the wonderful medicines of Jīvaka knowing of what they were compounded? Water has no intent, and yet it can put out fire. Fire consumes things, and yet how can we say that it does so consciously? This is the explanation of both Nāgārjuna and T’ien-t’ai, and I am restating it here."

"No intent", no ichinen for benefits. You too are a baby QQ who misunderstands the teachings of Nichiren. Get off your fence and practice shakubuku and then you will understand. Be a warrir, not a milktoast. This is Mappo.

Greedily chanting for benefit, is nothing more than an attachment to material and secular things. It is the World of Hunger. It is being a beggar at the gate. With faith, not only is one assured of benefit but it is the way to realize the benefits of the Lotus Sutra.

Mark

illarraza
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Re: karma and ichinen

Post by illarraza » Tue Jul 24, 2018 3:58 am

"3. This is what Tokyo looked like when Toda was released from prison: Image What can you tell a person piecing their life back together in the midst of that rubble about karmic retribution?" -- QQ

What could Toda say? He and his ilk were the very cause of the misfortune, having abandoned the Lotus Sutra and Shakyamuni Buddha. Nichiren is very clear.

Mark

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Re: karma and ichinen

Post by illarraza » Tue Jul 24, 2018 4:05 am

narhwal90 wrote:
Tue Jul 24, 2018 2:17 am
I find Chapter 14 instructive in such circumstances.
What does Nichiren say about Chapter 14 Narwhal? I hope you don't have a nose like a Narwhal or is that a pinocchio nose from long practicing with the Soka Gakkai?

Mark

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Re: karma and ichinen

Post by illarraza » Tue Jul 24, 2018 4:17 am

It is thanks to our seeds of auspicious causation, not to SGI, Ikeda,Toda, or your sponser...

"The Great Teacher Miao-lo says in his commentary (Hokke Mongu Ki, seven): Therefore we know that if, in the latter age, one is able to hear the Law even briefly, and if having heard it, one then arouses faith in it, this comes about because of the seeds planted in a previous existence.' And he also says (Maka Shikan Bugyoden Guketsu): "Being born at the end of the Middle Day of the Law, I have been able to behold these true words of the sutra. Unless in a previous existence one has planted the seeds of auspicious causation, then it is truly difficult to encounter such an opportunity."(Rebuking Slander of the Law, MW vol. 6)

It is thanks to the good causes that we made in previous existences that we have encountered Namu Myoho renge kyo. It is not thanks to the Soka Gakkai as they would have us believe. It is also thanks to the good causes that we made that we have strong faith in the Gohonzon, the Lotus Sutra, Shakyamuni Buddha and Nichiren Daishonin. Finally, it is thanks to these good causes that we now practice the Mystic Law correctly. What terrible causes have they made, the believers in Islam, Christianity, and especially the members of the Soka Gakkai and the Nichiren Shoshu? Truly, it can not be imagined.

Mark

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Re: karma and ichinen

Post by illarraza » Tue Jul 24, 2018 4:35 am

For Narwhal:

"The four peaceful practices [in the “Peaceful Practices” chapter] correspond to shōju. To carry them out in this age would be as foolish as sowing seeds in winter and expecting to reap the harvest in spring. It is natural for a rooster to crow at dawn, but strange for him to crow at dusk. Now, when the true and the provisional teachings are utterly confused, it would be equally unnatural for one to seclude oneself in the mountain forests and carry out the peaceful practice of shōju without refuting the enemies of the Lotus Sutra. One would lose the chance to practice the Lotus Sutra." -- On Practicing the Buddha's Teaching

narhwal90
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Re: karma and ichinen

Post by narhwal90 » Tue Jul 24, 2018 1:21 pm

""Furthermore, Manjushri, after the Thus Come One has passed into extinction, in the Latter Day of the Law, if one wishes to preach this sutra, you should abide by these peaceful practices. When he opens his mouth to expound or when he reads the sutra, he should not delight in speaking of the faults of other people or scriptures. He should not display contempt for other teachers of the Law or speak of other people's tastes or shortcomings. "

"Also, Manjushri, if a bodhisattva or mahasattva in the latter age hereafter, when the Law is about to parish, should accept and embrace, read and recite this sutra, he must not harbor a mind marked by jealousy, fawning or deceit. And he must not be contemptuous of or revile those who study the Buddha way or seek out their shortcomings. "

""Also one should never engage in frivolous debate over the various doctrines or dispute or wrangle over them. With regard to all living beings one should think of them with great compassion. With regard to the Thus Come Ones, think of them as kindly fathers; with regard to the bodhisattvas, think of them as great teachers. Toward the great bodhisattvas of the ten directions at all times maintain a serious mind, paying them due reverence and obeisance. To all living beings preach the Law and in an equitable manner. Because a person is heedful of the Law, that does not mean one should vary the amount of preaching. Even to those who show a profound love for the Law one should not on that account preach at greater length. "

I have already gone too far in this thread so will stop here.

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Re: karma and ichinen

Post by Queequeg » Tue Jul 24, 2018 6:05 pm

First, I make clear - I am not defending Soka Gakkai nor am I an advocate. You can see my criticism of them here in these message boards and elsewhere. I'm addressing your monomaniacal pursuit, setting fire to everything that does not immediately fit with your ideology, which is itself distorted. In your pursuit, you make no effort at accuracy, especially if it gets in the way of your rhetoric.
illarraza wrote:
Tue Jul 24, 2018 3:51 am
The very bottom line...8 years after SGI's auspicious beginnings, World War II: 13 years after, Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and 85 years after its ugly spread to every corner of Japan, Fukushima. Look at the world Look to every country where SGI has spread. Spreading Ikedaism is not the same as spreading the Lotus Sutra Buddhism of Nichiren.
Is this really the line of argument you want to go?

First, only Buddhas completely understand the workings of karma. Presuming to know the workings of karma says more about the person making pronouncements than any substantive statement they make.

Secondly, you should recall that according to Nichiren, disasters arise because the hokke gyoja appears. These disasters are punishment for disregarding the Buddha, his Saddharma, and in the age after his passing, his envoys. However, if there is no hokke gyoja, then these occurrences are just the ordinary course of cause and effect.

Notwithstanding, when we're talking about Japan, we're talking about a nation of 120 million people whose individual and collective karma is impossible for ordinary people to know. That said, a significant segment of the population came away from the war deeply cognizant of the terrible causes that directly led to the terrible effects and vowed to dedicate themselves to peace. Among Nichiren traditions were Nipponzan Myohoji, Soka Gakkai, Rissho Kosei Kai. I am not aware of any temple based denominations acknowledging their role in Japan's militarization or committing actively to peace (Nipponzan Myohoji excepted on this latter point).
There is NO BENEFIT in SGI practice or 95% of those exposed to its teachings would not have abandoned the Lotus Sutra. One reason is their teachings on faith and benefits is warped.
Again, is this another argument you want to make?

Statistics. viewtopic.php?f=117&t=28617&p=449804

By the way, you never answered my question there.

I know one person, personally, who for a time followed your ideas. He's now converted to Catholicism. Following your logic, you should own that. I know another who followed you for a while, but can't seem to get his head on straight no matter how many attempts he makes, and needless to say, he doesn't subscribe to your path any longer. You should own that, too.
For thirty years I have worked for the poorest of the poor and the most downtrodden in our society, struggling on a daily and hourly basis to help them resolve their physical, psychological, and spiritual illnesses. Sure, I never witnessed Hiroshima and Nagasaki, but I spent, at least 8 years in the ghetto, four of which at the height of the crack epidemic. I have experienced burnt out buildings and burnt out individuals and more gun shot wounds, stab wounds and trauma save for an army doctor in Iraq.
You are worthy of praise.

It still does not qualify you to judge what happened in those circumstances.
Nichiren's teachings prove my assertion about "Ichinen" versus faith or did you forget the topic of discussion? Anyway, I will stay on topic:
You wrote "ichinen" twice in that wall of text you posted - the title of the thread and in a bracket. You'll have to excuse me if I missed your point.
Nichiren teaches, "Leave such matters [worldly fame and profit] to the karma formed in your previous existences." -- Questions and Answers about Embracing the Lotus Sutra page 63

SGI, on the other hand, teaches that it is determination [Ichinen] that determines such things.
Both assertions are incomplete. Ichinensanzen gives us an insight into the complexity of any one moment of mind (ichinen). To say that sanzen is merely the result of past life causes, or that it is merely determined by immediate intent, are both wrong.

Are you actually trying to argue that intentional action has no immediate consequences? This is the problem you face time and again - you take quotes completely out of context to make a point, apparently unaware how silly your argument is when viewed in context or reality.

I plant seeds in the ground, they grow into vegetable plants which I harvest and take to market, where I sell them for profit. There are indeed innumerable causes that culminate in my successful vegetable business. The Sun, the Earth, the air, water, evolution, etc. etc. etc., the society that has agreed on a social contract which enables me to make a living as a farmer. Some of these causes, I am assured, are due to causes in my past existences. Some causes are more immediate. Thwart any number of those causes and my vegetable business is bankrupt, or never even starts. Certainly, if I never conceive of the goal of raising and selling vegetables, its not happening. My past life causes alone don't get that field tilled. As a devotee of the Saddharma, you would be safe to assume that I endeavor to merge my practice in all activities, including making a living.

Ideologues think they can separate the sacred from the mundane. The sage knows that they are the same.

I can't believe we really need to discuss the minutiae of cause and effect. But these are the kinds of simple things you ignore in your race to cast criticism about.

"Ichinen" can certainly be said to determine "sanzen". Though an incomplete explanation, it is not incorrect. Neither is it incorrect to assert that sanzen is determined by past life causes, though alone it is incomplete. Ichinen Sanzen requires one to have a holistic view. Picking one or another factor to focus on is biased and wrong view.
“It is like the case of a baby being given milk to drink. ...

"No intent", no ichinen for benefits. You too are a baby QQ who misunderstands the teachings of Nichiren. Get off your fence and practice shakubuku and then you will understand. Be a warrir, not a milktoast. This is Mappo.

Greedily chanting for benefit, is nothing more than an attachment to material and secular things. It is the World of Hunger. It is being a beggar at the gate. With faith, not only is one assured of benefit but it is the way to realize the benefits of the Lotus Sutra.


No, you assume to know my view, but you don't. You assume that because I reject the manner and particulars of your attack of Soka Gakkai that I am aligned with them, that I support the teaching on chanting for benefits. Narwahl here can attest that neither are true. On the other hand, I don't think praying for worldly benefits is terrible nor contrary to Saddharma.

Milk nourishes regardless of whether the baby understands milk.

I rejoice in even the 50th person hearing the Saddharma and not having aversion to it. I trust in the milk taking its course.

You seem to be so worried about the bottle and the wet nurse. To the baby, you're just a scary old man yelling.
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

I think each human being has things to find out in his own life that are inescapable. They’ll find them out the easy way or the hard way, or whatever.
-Jerry Garcia

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Re: karma and ichinen

Post by Queequeg » Tue Jul 24, 2018 6:14 pm

illarraza wrote:
Tue Jul 24, 2018 4:17 am
It is thanks to our seeds of auspicious causation, not to SGI, Ikeda,Toda, or your sponser...

"The Great Teacher Miao-lo says in his commentary (Hokke Mongu Ki, seven): Therefore we know that if, in the latter age, one is able to hear the Law even briefly, and if having heard it, one then arouses faith in it, this comes about because of the seeds planted in a previous existence.' And he also says (Maka Shikan Bugyoden Guketsu): "Being born at the end of the Middle Day of the Law, I have been able to behold these true words of the sutra. Unless in a previous existence one has planted the seeds of auspicious causation, then it is truly difficult to encounter such an opportunity."(Rebuking Slander of the Law, MW vol. 6)

It is thanks to the good causes that we made in previous existences that we have encountered Namu Myoho renge kyo. It is not thanks to the Soka Gakkai as they would have us believe. It is also thanks to the good causes that we made that we have strong faith in the Gohonzon, the Lotus Sutra, Shakyamuni Buddha and Nichiren Daishonin. Finally, it is thanks to these good causes that we now practice the Mystic Law correctly. What terrible causes have they made, the believers in Islam, Christianity, and especially the members of the Soka Gakkai and the Nichiren Shoshu? Truly, it can not be imagined.

Mark
Yet further confirmation of your unbalanced view of cause and effect.

It would be so horrible if you had to acknowledge that you first heard the Daimoku during an August Shakubuku campaign. You would have to acknowledge the humanity of that person, and that one must practice the 24 character Lotus Sutra - one ought never disparage another who is destined to Buddhahood.
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

I think each human being has things to find out in his own life that are inescapable. They’ll find them out the easy way or the hard way, or whatever.
-Jerry Garcia

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Re: karma and ichinen

Post by Queequeg » Tue Jul 24, 2018 7:39 pm

A final point -
illarraza wrote:
Sun Jul 22, 2018 4:04 am
"Leave such matters [worldly fame and profit] to the karma formed in your previous existences."
This cherry picked quote is not a prohibition. Rather, its an expression of basic Buddhist view - the samsaric world is impermanent and all worldly success is ultimately futile, so why bother investing in it?

Here is the context of that line:
How long does a lifetime last? If one stops to consider, it is like a single night’s lodging at a wayside inn. Should one forget that fact and seek some measure of worldly fame and profit? Though you may gain them, they will be mere prosperity in a dream, a delight scarcely to be prized. You would do better simply to leave such matters to the karma formed in your previous existences.

Once you awaken to the uncertainty and transience of this world, you will find endless examples confronting your eyes and filling your ears. Vanished like clouds or rain, the people of past ages have left nothing but their names. Fading away like dew, drifting far off like smoke, our friends of today too disappear from sight. Should you suppose that you alone can somehow remain forever like the clouds over Mount Mikasa?

The spring blossoms depart with the wind; maple leaves turn red in autumn showers. All are proof that no living thing can stay for long in this world. Therefore, the Lotus Sutra counsels us, “Nothing in this world is lasting or firm but all are like bubbles, foam, heat shimmer.”
He goes on with a compassionate message.
“[At all times I think to myself]: How can I cause living beings to gain entry into the unsurpassed way?” These words express the Buddha’s deepest wish to enable both those who accept the Lotus Sutra and those who oppose it to attain Buddhahood. Because this is his ultimate purpose, those who embrace the Lotus Sutra for even a short while are acting in accordance with his will. And if they act in accordance with the Buddha’s will, they will be repaying the debt of gratitude they owe to the Buddha. The words of the sutra, which are as full of compassion as a mother’s love, will then find solace, and the cares of the Buddha, who said, “I am the only person who can rescue and protect others,” will likewise be eased. Not only will Shakyamuni Buddha rejoice, but because the Lotus Sutra is the ultimate purpose for which all Buddhas appear in the world, the Buddhas of the ten directions and the three existences will likewise rejoice. As Shakyamuni said, “[If one can uphold it even for a short while] I will surely rejoice and so will the other Buddhas.” Not only will the Buddhas rejoice, but the gods also will join in their delight. Thus, when the Great Teacher Dengyō lectured on the Lotus Sutra, Great Bodhisattva Hachiman presented him with a purple surplice, and when the Honorable Kūya recited the Lotus Sutra, the great deity of Matsuo Shrine was able to gain protection from the cold wind.

For this reason, when praying that “the seven disasters will instantly vanish, and the seven blessings will instantly appear,” this sutra is the most effective of all. That is because it promises that its votaries “will enjoy peace and security in their present existence.” And when offering prayers to avert the disasters of foreign invasion and internal revolt, nothing can surpass this wonderful sutra, because it makes certain that persons who embrace it will “suffer no decline or harm within the area of a hundred yojanas.”

Nonetheless, the way that prayers are offered in our present age is the exact opposite of what it ought to be. Prayers today are based upon the provisional teachings, which were intended for propagation in previous ages, rather than upon the secret Law of the highest truth, which is intended for propagation in the latter age. To proceed in this way is like trying to make use of last year’s calendar, or to employ a crow for the kind of fishing that only a cormorant can do.

This situation has come about solely because the error-bound teachers of the provisional teachings are accorded high honor, while the teacher enlightened to the true doctrine has not been duly recognized. How sad to think that this rough gem, such as was presented by Pien Ho to the kings Wen and Wu, should find no place of acceptance! How joyful, though, that I have obtained in this life the priceless gem concealed in th topknot of the wheel-turning king, for which Shakyamuni Buddha appeared in this world!

What I am saying here has been fully attested to by the Buddhas of the ten directions and is no mere idle talk. Therefore, knowing that the Lotus Sutra says, “It will face much hostility in the world and be difficult to believe,” how can you retain even a trace of disbelief; and when it says, “Such a person assuredly and without doubt will attain the Buddha way,” how can you refuse to become a Buddha?

Since the remotest past up until now, you have merely suffered in vain the pains of countless existences. Why do you not, if only this once, try planting the wonderful seeds that lead to eternal and unchanging Buddhahood? Though at present you may taste only a tiny fraction of the everlasting joys that await you in the future, surely you should not spend your time thoughtlessly coveting worldly fame and profit, which are as fleeting as a bolt of lightning or the morning dew. As the Thus Come One teaches, “There is no safety in the threefold world; it is like a burning house.” And in the words of a bodhisattva, “All things are like a phantom, like a magically conjured image.”

Everywhere other than the Capital of Tranquil Light is a realm of suffering. Once you leave the haven of inherent enlightenment, what is there to bring you joy? I pray that you will embrace the Mystic Law, which guarantees that people “will enjoy peace and security in their present existence and good circumstances in future existences.” This is the only glory that you need seek in your present lifetime, and is the action that will draw you toward Buddhahood in your next existence. Single-mindedly chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo and urge others to do the same; that will remain as the only memory of your present life in this human world. Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, Nam-myoho-renge-kyo.
Contrast with your ceaseless bile toward fellows who recite the Daimoku.
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

I think each human being has things to find out in his own life that are inescapable. They’ll find them out the easy way or the hard way, or whatever.
-Jerry Garcia

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Re: karma and ichinen

Post by illarraza » Wed Jul 25, 2018 1:10 am

narhwal90 wrote:
Tue Jul 24, 2018 1:21 pm
""Furthermore, Manjushri, after the Thus Come One has passed into extinction, in the Latter Day of the Law, if one wishes to preach this sutra, you should abide by these peaceful practices. When he opens his mouth to expound or when he reads the sutra, he should not delight in speaking of the faults of other people or scriptures. He should not display contempt for other teachers of the Law or speak of other people's tastes or shortcomings. "

"Also, Manjushri, if a bodhisattva or mahasattva in the latter age hereafter, when the Law is about to parish, should accept and embrace, read and recite this sutra, he must not harbor a mind marked by jealousy, fawning or deceit. And he must not be contemptuous of or revile those who study the Buddha way or seek out their shortcomings. "

""Also one should never engage in frivolous debate over the various doctrines or dispute or wrangle over them. With regard to all living beings one should think of them with great compassion. With regard to the Thus Come Ones, think of them as kindly fathers; with regard to the bodhisattvas, think of them as great teachers. Toward the great bodhisattvas of the ten directions at all times maintain a serious mind, paying them due reverence and obeisance. To all living beings preach the Law and in an equitable manner. Because a person is heedful of the Law, that does not mean one should vary the amount of preaching. Even to those who show a profound love for the Law one should not on that account preach at greater length. "

I have already gone too far in this thread so will stop here.
""In actuality, however, the essential teaching bears no resemblance whatsoever to the theoretical teaching. The preparation, revelation, and transmission of the essential teaching are intended entirely for the beginning of the Latter Day of the Law..."

"Lands at the beginning of the Latter Age slander the true dharma and those who live there have poor capacity for comprehension and faith in Buddhism. Therefore, instead of relying on Buddhas from other worlds, the Buddha called out great bodhisattvas from underground to entrust them with the task of transmitting the five characters of Myo, Ho, Ren, Ge, and Kyo, the essence of the 'Duration of the Life of the Buddha' chapter, to the people in this world. It meant also that those guided by the teaching of the theoretical section were not the original disciples of Sakyamuni Buddha." Kanjin Honzon Sho, Nichiren Shu (NOPPA 1991) p 126; MW 173.

"What was referred to by Nichiren as "the teaching for attaining enlightenment" [MW - Buddhism of the Harvest] is the teaching by the historical Buddha during his lifetime, i.e., his spoken words to his disciples. In the Age of Mappo we can only rely on the Lotus Sutra but the manner of its faith, practice, and propagation in the Age of Mappo differs from that done by the historical Buddha during his lifetime. We rely on the Daimoku transmitted by the Buddha to the Bodhisattvas from underground who are commissioned to expound the Lotus Sutra in this Age of Mappo. In Chapter 15 of the Lotus Sutra, the various provisional Bodhisattvas from this and other worlds ask to expound the Lotus Sutra. However, the Buddha demurs saying, "I do not want you to uphold this sutra...." Kanjin Honzon Sho, Nichiren Shu (NOPPA 1991) p 124; MW p 172.

“The practices described in the ‘Encouraging Devotion’ chapter are for bodhisattvas who are far advanced in practice; [Nichiren ought to follow the practices of] the ‘Peaceful Practices’ chapter, yet he fails to do so.” Others say, “I, too, know the Lotus Sutra is supreme, but I say nothing about it.” Still others complain that I give all my attention to doctrinal teachings."

You sound like those renegade disciples of Nichiren.

Soka Gakkai ignores 90% of the Peaceful Practices:

“As for the associations proper for them, bodhisattvas mahasattva should not associate closely with rulers, princes, high ministers, or heads of offices. They should not associate closely with non-Buddhists, Brahmans, or Jains, or with those who compose works of secular literature or books extolling the non-Buddhists, nor should they be closely associated with Lokayatas or Anti-Lokayatas.1 They should not be closely associated with hazardous amusements, boxing, or wrestling, or with actors or others engaged in various kinds of illusionary entertainments, or with chandalas, persons engaged in raising pigs, sheep, chickens, or dogs, or those who engage in hunting or fishing or other evil activities..."

"If he enters the house of another person, he should not engage in talk with the young girls, unmarried women, or widows. Nor should he go near the five types of unmanly men or have any close dealings with them."

What about nurturing the Future Division...

“He should not delight in nurturing underage disciples, shramaneras, or children, and should not delight in sharing the same teacher with them."

Nichiren teaches:

"The sutras preached before the Lotus Sutra are like the stars, the theoretical teaching of the Lotus Sutra is like the moon, and the “Life Span” chapter is like the sun. When the “Life Span” chapter makes its appearance, then the moon of the theoretical teaching cannot equal it, to say nothing of the stars that are the previous sutras."

"...And that is why it says they need not practice the rules of proper behavior. In past times the age was peaceful, and the Law spread throughout the country. At that time it was proper to observe the precepts and not to carry staves. But now the age is perilous, and the Law is overshadowed. Therefore, it is proper to carry staves and to disregard the precepts. If both past and present were perilous times, then it would be proper to carry staves in both periods. And if both past and present were peaceful times, then it would be proper to observe the precepts in both of them. You should let your choices be fitting and never adhere solely to one or the other.”

"When the country is full of ignorant or evil persons, then shoju is the primary method to be applied, as described in the Anrakugyo chapter. But at a time when there are many persons of perverse views who slander the Law, then shakubuku should come first, as described in the Fukyo chapter." (ibid)

"...This is because there are two kinds of countries, the country that is passively evil, and the kind that actively seeks to destroy the Law. We must consider carefully to which category Japan at the present time belongs."(ibid).

Let us take the United States as an example. Some people cite as proof that the United States and its leaders are merely passively evil because they let us practice and spread the True Law in the land. However, as pointed out by Nichiren Daishonin in the Gift of Rice, "the sixth volume of the Lotus Sutra reads, "No affairs of life or work are in any way different from the ultimate reality", and "The true path of life lies in the affairs of this world." The United States, in light of these passages does indeed actively seek to destroy the Law: The United States is engaged in war upon war, it has the largest stockpile of nuclear weapons, it is the greatest source of global pollution, it is the most glaring example of greed is good, and the most powerful Christian country in the world. Is the United States not killing votaries or potential votaries of the Lotus Sutra all over the world?

The Annotations on the Nirvana Sutra states: “When monks or laymen are defending the Law, the most important thing is for them to adopt the proper basic mental attitude. They should disregard external details, stick to the principles, and in this way spread the teachings of the Nirvana Sutra. Therefore, it says that defenders of the correct teaching need not abide by petty regulations. And that is why it says they need not practice the rules of proper behavior. In past times the age was peaceful, and the Law spread throughout the country. At that time it was proper to observe the precepts and not to carry staves. But now the age is perilous, and the Law is overshadowed. Therefore, it is proper to carry staves and to disregard the precepts. If both past and present were perilous times, then it would be proper to carry staves in both periods. And if both past and present were peaceful times, then it would be proper to observe the precepts in both of them. You should let your choices be fitting and never adhere solely to one or the other.”

"This passage expresses the view held by all the great bodhisattvas and the rest of the multitude from the time of the Buddha’s first preaching at the place of enlightenment until his preaching of the “Peaceful Practices” chapter of the Lotus Sutra. “But, good men,” the Buddha continued, “it has been immeasurable, boundless hundreds, thousands, ten thousands, millions of nayutas of kalpas since I in fact attained Buddhahood.”

"The Buddha of the essential teaching denies that he first attained Buddhahood in this life. The difference between the theoretical and the essential teachings is as great as that between heaven and earth. The latter reveals the eternity of the Ten Worlds and, further, the realm of the environment. The theoretical teaching, the first four flavors of teachings, the Immeasurable Meanings Sutra, and the Nirvana Sutra were all preached according to the capacities of the people. All these teachings that fall into the three categories of preaching66 are therefore easy to believe and easy to understand. In contrast, the essential teaching, which transcends the three categories, is difficult to believe and difficult to understand, for it directly reveals the Buddha’s own enlightenment. Nevertheless, even the difference between the doctrine of three thousand realms in a single moment of life of the theoretical teaching and that of the essential teaching pales into insignificance [before the ultimate teaching contained in the depths of the “Life Span” chapter]."

Mark

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Re: karma and ichinen

Post by illarraza » Wed Jul 25, 2018 2:20 am

"First, only Buddhas completely understand the workings of karma. Presuming to know the workings of karma says more about the person making pronouncements than any substantive statement they make." -- QQ

Nonsense. That which only the Buddhas can understand, according to Nichiren, is how the provisional teachings can lead to Supreme and Perfect Enlightenment in the Former and Middle Days of the Law.

Karma is action, it is nothing but the cause and effect of words, thoughts and deeds.Nichiren clearly states that the very worst calamities are caused by slander of the Law, particularly, abandoning Shakyamuni Buddha. If only a Buddha with a Buddha can understand Karma you rightly say that World War II, Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and Fukushima, are not major disasters? Who else but SGI has caused so many people to abandon Shakyamuni Buddha? Nichiren is capable of understanding such things and so are his faithful disciples and believers. Nichiren assures us that we can lessen karmic retribution through the faith and practice of Namu Myoho Renge kyo. Since that is the case, of course we come to understand the workings of Karma.

The calamities that befell Japan were of a similar causality:

"Explain that these things have happened solely because the ruler has failed to inquire [about Buddhist doctrines]. And that the reason no inquiry has been made is that the people of this country are guilty of so many offenses that their evil karma has destined them unfailingly to be attacked by a foreign country in this lifetime and to fall into the hell of incessant suffering in the next."

For many years the princess empress of Japan has become a member of soka Gakkai. This to is no small reason for the Fukushima disaster. The Lotus Sutra states that Shakyamuni Buddha is father, teacher, and parent. There are not two father. Having made Daisaku Ikeda father, teacher and parent and encouraging others to do the same (or Makiguchi, and Toda, rather than Shakyamuni Buddha), is a great cause for disaster. Nichiren teaches:

"Question: You pointed to the great earthquake of the Shōka era and the great comet of the Bun’ei era, and said that our country would face danger from revolt within and invasion from abroad because it failed to heed the Lotus Sutra. May I ask your reasons?"

He goes on in Letter to Horen:

"I am the pillar of Japan. If you lose me, you lose the country!”

What greater hatred for Nichiren could there be than altering his teaching" Should the Soka Gakkai continue un-challenged, even more greater portents are sure to occur.

"People may wonder how I happen to know such things. I am a person of little worth, but I am working to spread the teachings of the Lotus Sutra. When the ruler and the ministers and the common people of a country show animosity toward the votary who propagates the Lotus Sutra, then the gods of earth and the gods of heaven, who were present when the Lotus Sutra was preached and who took a vow to protect its votary, will respectively begin to tremble with anger and emit beams of light as a threat to the nation. And if, in spite of all remonstrance, the ruler and his ministers fail to heed the warnings, then in the end the gods will take possession of human beings and will cause revolt within the nation and attack from abroad."

If noly Nichiren could understand such things, than you are making him into a God. The ability to understand the workings of karma is endemic among his disciples and believers. Toda and Ikeda look upon them selves of rulers of the Soka nation. Nichiren continues:

"In effect, heaven and earth are a mirror of the nation. In our state now there are heavenly calamities and strange occurrences on earth. One should realize that the ruler of the state must be committing some error. The situation is revealed as though in a mirror, so there is no disputing it. If the ruler is guilty of minor errors only, then only minor calamities will be revealed in the heavenly mirror. But the fact that we are now witnessing major calamities must mean that the ruler is committing major errors.

Answer: Omens are large or small depending upon whether the errors that cause them are grave or minor. The omens that have appeared this time are greatly to be wondered at. They have appeared not just once or twice, not on merely one or two occasions. Rather they have become more and more frequent with the passing of time. From this you should understand that the errors being committed by the ruler of the nation are more serious than those committed by rulers in earlier times, and that it is a graver error for a ruler to persecute a sage than it is for him to kill many common people, or to kill many of his ministers, or to kill his parents."

"In Japan at present, the ruler, his ministers, and the common people are committing major offenses such as have not been known in India": For example, the LDP has been supporting the Soka Gakkai Komeito and visa versa. Flood and excesssive heat has killed hundreds. Even worse calamities are in store for Japan.

The ruler(s) of the Soka nation are committing grave errors.

The Lotus Sutra and Nichiren teaches that through the Lotus Sutra we can change even fixed karma but we can't come to understand the workings of karma?

Nichiren also teaches:

"The meaning of this passage is that, when one carries out the single practice of exercising faith in Myoho-renge-kyo, there are no blessings that fail to come to one, and no good karma that does not begin to work on one’s behalf." The blessings of being able to predict events is even greater than the blessings of being able to fathom the workings of karma. I have experienced this. If you haven't maybe you should reflect on your faith and practice.

Continued...

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Re: karma and ichinen

Post by illarraza » Wed Jul 25, 2018 4:07 am

Nichiren explains well the cause of disasters in On Dealing with Disaster. Those SGI members swept away in the Tsunami are excellent examples.

"However, whether in the Former, the Middle, or the Latter Day of the Law, one should never in any of these three periods give alms to those who slander the Lotus Sutra, whether they keep the precepts, break the precepts, or do not receive them at all. If alms are given to those who slander the Lotus Sutra, then the land will invariably be visited by the three calamities and seven disasters, and the persons who give such alms will surely fall into the great citadel of the hell of incessant suffering."

The entire Rissho Ankoku Ron explains more fully.

In the Selection of the time, Nichiren shows that even an ordinary person can know the causes of disasters and calamities:

"Question: But if there is no wise person who understands why these calamities have arisen, then how can proper steps be taken to deal with them? If one does not understand the origin of an illness, though one may try to treat the sick person, the treatment will surely fail and the patient will die. Now, if the people resort to prayers without understanding the basic cause of these disasters, can there be any p.576doubt that the nation will in time face ruin? Ah, how dreadful to think of it!

Answer: They say that snakes know seven days in advance when a heavy rain is going to occur, and that crows know what lucky or unlucky events are going to take place in the course of a whole year. This must be because snakes are followers of the great dragons who make the rains fall, and crows have for a long time studied such matters of divination. Now I am only an ordinary person, and therefore have no understanding of the cause of these disasters. Nevertheless, I believe I can generally instruct you concerning this matter.

Such is the principle relating to a country where slanderers live.

In the time of King P’ing of the Chou dynasty, persons appeared who let their hair hang down and went about naked. A court official named Hsin Yu divined on the basis of this and said, “Within a hundred years this dynasty will come to an end.” In the time of King Yu of the Chou, the mountains and rivers collapsed and were destroyed and the earth shook. A courtier named Po Yang, observing this, said, “Within twelve years our great ruler will meet with some dire happening.”

"Now the great earthquake and the huge comet that have appeared are calamities brought about by heaven, which is enraged because the ruler of our country hates Nichiren and sides with the Zen, Nembutsu, and True Word priests who preach doctrines that will destroy the nation!"

There are dozens of passages relating to the cause of the Three Calamities and Seven Disasters.

Today it is the Soka Gakkai who is the worst offender and they are embraced by the ruling LDP. They are the very ones who are making the causes for the people to fall into hell.

"Answer: Because, although Devadatta and the Great Arrogant Brahman were evil men, they were not guilty of slandering the Lotus Sutra. Devadatta was numbered among the second type of persons who enter the Ganges River and the second type is icchantikas, or persons of incorrigible disbelief.22 But the 4,589,659 inhabitants of Japan today are all offenders who belong to the first type of persons who enter the Ganges. Therefore the three cardinal sins that Devadatta committed are in comparison light as a feather, while the grave offenses committed by the persons of Japan I have just mentioned are weighty as a huge stone.''

Likewise you have said, I am like Devedatta. Compared to the people of Japan, particularly the Soka Gakkai, my sins, according to Nichiren, are as light as a feather. Theirs is as grave as a large boulder. Could there be another reason that they had to suffer through World War II, Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and Fukushima?

Nichiren teaches, "Earthly desires, karma, and suffering are none other than the three virtues of the Dharma body, wisdom, and emancipation." This too is very difficult to understand. However, he also teaches, "And when ordinary people in the latter age hear this doctrine, not only will they themselves attain Buddhahood, but also their fathers and mothers will attain Buddhahood in their present forms. This is the highest expression of filial devotion." As snakes know the way of snakes, even an ordinary person as myself who believes in and chants Namu Myoho renge kyo will come to understand the causal Law of karma.

"Answer: The forces of karma do not operate in fixed ways. There is what is called karma that manifests itself in one’s present existence. Describing such cases, the Lotus Sutra says that a person “will in his present existence be afflicted with white leprosy.... And he will suffer from... severe and malignant illnesses.” The Benevolent Kings Sutra states: “If persons destroy the teachings of the Buddha, they will have no filial sons, no harmony with their six kinds of relatives, and no aid from the heavenly deities. Disease and evil demons will come day after day to torment them, disasters will descend on them incessantly, and misfortunes will dog them wherever they go.” And the Nirvana Sutra states: “If there are those who fail to put faith in this sutra, when they approach the time of death, they will encounter a world troubled by disorder, armed strife will break out, or they will find themselves the victims of the tyranny of rulers or the quarrels and contentions of warring families.”

"Answer: The Nirvana Sutra says: “If even a good monk sees someone destroying the teaching and disregards him, failing to reproach him, to oust him, or to punish him for his offense, then you should realize that that monk is betraying the Buddha’s teaching. But if he ousts the destroyer of the Law, reproaches him, or punishes him, then he is my disciple and a true voice-hearer.”

When I read this passage, it seems to me that, in order to avoid being condemned as a “betrayer of the Buddha’s teaching,” I must not be fearful of how others may judge my actions, but must proclaim that the Honorable Hōnen and the followers of his teachings are destined to fall into the great citadel of the Avīchi hell. If so, among the clerics and lay believers who heed and understand my argument, there will be some at least who have a change of heart."

You say only a Buddha can understand the workings of karma but Nichiren teaches that even non-Buddhists can gain the Five Transcendental Powers and provisional Buddhas the Six Transcendental Powers. Then, even beginning votaries of the Lotus Sutra can certainly come to understand the workings of karma:

"And great bodhisattvas who practice the teachings of the Flower Garland, Correct and Equal, or Wisdom sutras so thoroughly that they have reached the stage of near-perfect enlightenment are a hundred, a thousand, ten thousand times inferior to those ordinary people of this latter age who have formed even a slight bond with the Lotus Sutra, although they have not yet cut off the three categories of illusion and have committed all manner of evil. All this is made clear in the commentaries written by the Great Teacher T’ien-t’ai."

But you would deny us our great abilities.

“Probably those who are mistaken in their understanding fail to realize how great is the benefit gained even by a beginner [in the practice of the Lotus Sutra]. They assume that benefit is reserved for those who are far advanced in practice and disparage beginners. Therefore, the sutra here demonstrates its power by revealing that though their practice is shallow, the benefit that results is profound indeed.”

"Answer: This is what it means to hear the Lotus Sutra for the first time. Miao-lo says: “If one has faith in the teaching that the three paths of earthly desires, karma, and suffering are none other than the three virtues of the Dharma body, wisdom, and emancipation, then one can cross the two rivers of transmigration, to say nothing of making one’s way in the threefold world.”14

And when ordinary people in the latter age hear this doctrine, not only will they themselves attain Buddhahood, but also their fathers and mothers will attain Buddhahood in their present forms. This is the highest expression of filial devotion."

"Answer: The thirty-second volume of the Nirvana Sutra says, “Although there are innumerable causes that lead to enlightenment, if one teaches faith, then that includes all those causes.” And in volume nine of the same sutra, we read: “Once you have finished listening to this sutra, then you will possess all of the various causes and p.269conditions leading to enlightenment. When the voice of the Law and the Buddha’s shining light have entered into a person’s pores, then he will be certain to attain supreme enlightenment.” And the Lotus Sutra, as we have seen, says that one can “gain entrance through faith alone.”

Even such lowly sutras as the Vimilikarti Sutra "explains how ordinary people are opened up and merged [with Buddhas]"

Maybe because you have not attained what you profess to have attained that you don't understand how an ordinary mortal such as myself can clearly see the workings of karma of the Japanese nation.

The Lotus Sutra on the other hand demonstrates how the Bodhisattvas of the Earth surpass even the Great Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas of the provisional teachings.

In Conclusion:

At times perhaps a wise man may appear who understands the Buddha’s teaching, but the people of the country cast him aside, and the benevolent deities who guard and protect the land, because they can no longer taste the flavor of the Law, lose their power and brilliance and cease to benefit living beings. They abandon this country and go off to other lands. Then evil demons, seizing this opportunity, come in their place to fill the country, causing the earth to shake and ill winds to blow, bringing grief to the whole realm, and inflicting damage on the five kinds of grain.17 As a result, famine and drought arise, and demons take possession of the people’s five sense organs, so that their vital spirits are snatched away—this is how epidemics break out. All the inhabitants lose their good minds and many fall into the evil paths. All of this comes about because people put faith in the teachings of evil friends.

The Benevolent Kings Sutra states: “Evil monks, hoping to gain fame and profit, will in many cases appear before the ruler, the crown prince, or the other princes, and take it upon themselves to preach doctrines that lead to the violation of the Buddhist Law and the destruction of the nation. The ruler, failing to perceive the truth of the situation, will listen to and put faith in such doctrines, and proceed to create regulations that are perverse in nature and that do not accord with the rules of Buddhist discipline. In this way he will bring about the destruction of Buddhism and of the nation.”

This passage indicates that the evil monks of the latter age will come before the ruler and the high ministers and appear to advise them on how to insure the peace and safety of the nation, but in the end they will in fact bring ruin to the nation. They will seem to be propagating the Buddha’s teaching, but on the contrary will destroy it. The ruler and the high ministers, lacking any deep understanding of the situation, will put faith in the words of the evil monks and thereby bring ruin to the nation and destroy the Buddha’s teaching.

At such a time, the sun and moon will depart from their regular course, the seasons will become confused, summer will be cold, winter warm, and in autumn evil winds will blow. The sun and moon will take on a red color, and though it is not the first or the fifteenth day of the month, there will be eclipses of the sun or moon, or two or three suns will appear at the same time. Huge fires, great winds, and comets will appear, and famine and epidemics will break out. In bringing about the ruin of the nation and causing others to fall into the evil paths, there is nothing to surpass the harm done by evil friends."

Looking into the bright mirror of the Lotus Sutra, the location of the next major calamity and disaster is none other than the United States of America thanks to the Soka Gakkai 50,000 Lions of Justice. Be prepared, chant Namu Myoho renge kyo and pray to Shakyamuni Buddha the Lotus Sutra and the Great Mandala of Namu Myoho renge kyo.

Mark

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Re: karma and ichinen

Post by Queequeg » Wed Jul 25, 2018 2:56 pm

Mark, you can't see your own past life but you presume to know the causes that move the Earth and the reasons for the births and deaths of millions of people?

Please.
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

I think each human being has things to find out in his own life that are inescapable. They’ll find them out the easy way or the hard way, or whatever.
-Jerry Garcia

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Re: karma and ichinen

Post by Queequeg » Wed Jul 25, 2018 7:01 pm

Further, skimming your wall of text - I never compared you to Devadatta. I suggest you work on reading comprehension. I've never claimed any attainments. Again, you need some remedial work on your reading comprehension.

The rest of your twisted screed?

I suspect your poor reading comprehension combined with an inflated ego contributes to that.
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

I think each human being has things to find out in his own life that are inescapable. They’ll find them out the easy way or the hard way, or whatever.
-Jerry Garcia

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Re: karma and ichinen

Post by Queequeg » Fri Jul 27, 2018 5:26 pm

I've been giving the recent posts by Illaraza some thought the last few days, and I owe him, and anyone following along presently or who may stumble on this thread in the future, a fuller explanation of my disagreements with him about his general approach as well as his specific comments.

Illaraza explains that his practice is shakubuku.

Nichiren taught that in the Degenerate Age of Dharma, which according to East Asian Buddhism began in 1054, two methods of propagation should be practiced. In the following passage from Kaimoku-sho, one of Nichiren's most important writings, he discusses the methods of shakubuku - the stern practice of propagation in which one directly addresses erroneous doctrines that diverge from Dharma, and shoju - the peaceful practice in which one abides without confronting erroneous doctrines and instead encourages and nurtures others as they undertake Dharma practice. Notice that Nichiren relies primarily on Tientai teachings.
Great Concentration and Insight (Mohezhikuan, Makashikan, by Zhiyi Tiantai) says: “There are two ways to spread the Buddha’s teachings. The first is called shōju and the second is called shakubuku. When the ‘Peaceful Practices’ chapter says that one should not speak of the shortcomings of others, it is referring to the shōju method. But when the Nirvana Sutra says that one should carry swords and staves or that one should cut off their heads, it is referring to the shakubuku method. They differ in approach in that one is lenient and the other severe, but they both bring benefit.”

On Great Concentration and Insight (Zhanran's commentary on the Mohezhikuan) states: “With regard to the two ways of spreading the Buddha’s teachings, the passage from the Nirvana Sutra, ‘carry swords and staves,’ is found in the third volume where it says, ‘Defenders of the correct teaching need not observe the five precepts or practice the rules of proper behavior. [Rather they should carry knives and swords, bows and arrows, halberds and lances.]’ . . . And later on, the sutra tells of King Sen’yo [who put to death those who slandered the correct teaching]. It also mentions how the new physician, [explaining that the medicine from milk prescribed by the old physician was dangerous], forbade its usage, saying, ‘If anyone takes any more of this medicine, he shall have his head cut off.’ These passages also demonstrate how the method of shakubuku should be applied to persons who go against the Law. All the sutras and treatises deal with one or the other of these two methods.”

The Words and Phrases of the Lotus Sutra (Fahua Wenju by Zhiyi Tiantai) reads: “Question: The Nirvana Sutra clearly states that one should associate closely with the ruler, bearing bows and arrows and helping overthrow evil persons. And yet [the ‘Peaceful Practices’ chapter of] the Lotus Sutra says that one should stay away from persons in power and should behave with humility and loving kindness. There seems to be a major contradiction between the sternness of one approach and the gentleness of the other. Why should they differ so?

“Answer: The Nirvana Sutra speaks mostly about the shakubuku approach. But it also mentions dwelling in the state where one looks on all living beings as one’s own children. Could it say so if it did not have the shōju approach? The Lotus Sutra is mainly concerned with the shōju approach [as in the ‘Peaceful Practices’ chapter]. But [in the ‘Dhāranī’ chapter] there is also the curse [on those who trouble the preachers of the Law] that says they will have their heads split into seven pieces. Could it say so if it did not have the shakubuku approach? Both sutras employ one or the other of the two methods depending on the context. The method chosen should be that which accords with the time.”

The Annotations on the Nirvana Sutra states: “When monks or laymen are defending the Law, the most important thing is for them to adopt the proper basic mental attitude. They should disregard external details, stick to the principles, and in this way spread the teachings of the Nirvana Sutra. Therefore, it says that defenders of the correct teaching need not abide by petty regulations. And that is why it says they need not practice the rules of proper behavior. In past times the age was peaceful, and the Law spread throughout the country. At that time it was proper to observe the precepts and not to carry staves. But now the age is perilous, and the Law is overshadowed. Therefore, it is proper to carry staves and to disregard the precepts. If both past and present were perilous times, then it would be proper to carry staves in both periods. And if both past and present were peaceful times, then it would be proper to observe the precepts in both of them. You should let your choices be fitting and never adhere solely to one or the other.”

I suppose the learned priests of the time think it is only natural that one should have doubts about this. Therefore, no matter how I explain and try to persuade my own disciples, they still cannot seem to overcome their doubts, but behave like icchantikas, or persons of incorrigible disbelief. Therefore, I have quoted these passages of explanation from T’ien-t’ai, Miao-lo, and others in order to silence their ungrounded criticisms.

These two methods of shōju and shakubuku are like water and fire. Fire hates water, water detests fire. The practitioner of shōju laughs with scorn at shakubuku. The practitioner of shakubuku laments at the thought of shōju. When the country is full of evil people without wisdom, then shōju is the primary method to be applied, as described in the “Peaceful Practices” chapter. But at a time when there are many people of perverse views who slander the Law, then shakubuku should come first, as described in the “Never Disparaging” chapter. It is like using cold water to cool yourself in the hot weather, or longing for a fire when the weather turns cold. Grass and trees are kindred to the sun—they suffer in the cold moonlight. Bodies of water are followers of the moon—they lose their true nature when the hot weather comes.

In the Latter Day of the Law, however, both shōju and shakubuku are to be used. This is because there are two kinds of countries, the country that is passively evil, and the kind that actively seeks to destroy the Law. (emphasis added) We must consider carefully to which category Japan at the present time belongs.

Question: If one applies the shakubuku method at a time when the shōju method would be appropriate, or shōju at a time when shakubuku would be appropriate, is there any merit to be gained?

Answer: The Nirvana Sutra says: “Bodhisattva Kāshyapa addressed the Buddha, saying, ‘The Dharma body of the Thus Come One is as indestructible as a diamond. But I do not yet understand the means by which you acquired it. Would you tell me?’

“The Buddha replied: ‘Kāshyapa, it is because I was a defender of the correct teaching that I have been able to attain this diamond-like body. Kāshyapa, because [in the past] I devoted myself to the correct teaching, I have been able to achieve this diamond-like body that abides forever and is never destroyed. Good man, defenders of the correct teaching need not observe the five precepts or practice the rules of proper behavior. Rather they should carry knives and swords, bows and arrows . . .

“‘The monks [whom you are speaking of] preach various teachings, but still they are not able to utter “the lion’s roar.” . . . Nor are they able to refute and convert evil persons who go against the correct teaching. Monks of this kind can bring no benefit either to themselves or to the populace. You should realize that they are in fact shirkers and idlers. Though they are careful in observing the precepts and maintain spotless conduct, you should realize that they cannot achieve anything. [Then a monk raises “the lion’s roar.” . . .] Those who break the precepts, upon listening to his preaching, are all enraged to the point where they attack him. This preacher of the Law, though he may in the end lose his life, is still worthy of being called a person who observes the precepts and brings benefits to both himself and others.’”

In the passage from On the Nirvana Sutra quoted earlier, Chang-an (Zhanran) says, “You should let your choices be fitting and never adhere solely to one or the other.” And T’ien-t’ai, as we have seen, declared that “the method chosen should be that which accords with the time.” If it is not, you will be like someone who plants seeds at the end of autumn. Though you may carefully tend the field, you are not likely to harvest any rice or grain.
A couple remarks.

The reference to beheading often shocks people. For Nichiren, this is rhetorical. He clearly explains this in what is arguably his most important writing, Risshoankokuron.
The guest said: If we are to put an end to these people who slander the Law and do away with those who violate the prohibitions of the Buddha, then are we to condemn them to death as described in the sutra passages you have just cited? If we do that, then we ourselves will be guilty of inflicting injury and death upon others, and will suffer the consequences, will we not?

In the Great Collection Sutra, the Buddha says: “If a person shaves his head and puts on clerical robes, then, whether that person observes the precepts or violates them, both heavenly and human beings should give him alms. In doing so, they are giving alms and support to me, for that person is my son. But if men beat that person, they are beating my son, and if they curse and insult him, they are reviling me.”

If we stop to consider, we must realize that, regardless of whether one is good or bad, right or wrong, if he is a priest, then he deserves to have alms and nourishment extended to him. For how could one beat and insult the son and still not cause grief and sorrow to the father? The Brahmans of the Bamboo Staff school who killed the Venerable Maudgalyāyana have for a long time been sunk in the depths of the hell of incessant suffering. Because Devadatta murdered the nun Utpalavarnā, he has for a long time gasped in the flames of the Avīchi hell. Examples from earlier ages make the matter perfectly clear, and later ages fear this offense most of all. You speak of punishing those who slander the Law, but to do so would violate the Buddha’s prohibitions. I can hardly believe that such a course would be right. How can you justify that?

The host said: You have clearly seen the sutra passages that I have cited, and yet you can ask a question like that! Are they beyond the power of your mind to comprehend? Or do you fail to understand the reasoning behind them? I certainly have no intention of censuring the sons of the Buddha. My only hatred is for the act of slandering the Law. According to the Buddhist teachings, prior to Shakyamuni slanderous monks would have incurred the death penalty. But since the time of Shakyamuni, the One Who Can Endure, the giving of alms to slanderous monks is forbidden in the sutra teachings. Now if all the four kinds of Buddhists within the four seas and the ten thousand lands would only cease giving alms to wicked priests and instead all come over to the side of the good, then how could any more troubles rise to plague us, or disasters come to confront us?
For Nichiren, beheading refers to cutting off support and patronage of those who propagate erroneous teachings. There are examples of him remarking that certain monks should be beheaded, but these were again rhetorical statements in the context of repeated threats to his life by angry mobs and bands of vigilante samurai. "If you are going to behead someone, those are the people you should behead." In fact, shortly after some of these remarks, some of the samurai made good on their threats. He was arrested, beaten with the fifth scroll of the Lotus Sutra, and summarily sentenced to death. He was only saved at the last minute as he waited at the execution ground when an orb streaked across the sky lighting the landscape like it was day, delaying the execution long enough for an order commuting his sentence to exile to be delivered.

Returning to the question of shakubuku or shoju, Nichiren explains that both should be practiced and that the choice depends on the country, whether it is passively evil or if it actively destroys the Dharma.

In Kaimokusho, as well as other writings, Nichiren explained that Japan was at that time a nation that actively destroyed the Dharma because the rulers patronized teachers who slandered the Lotus Sutra. Whether Japan is still such a country is a matter of debate. The government is now a secular democracy. If anything can be said, like other modern secular societies, it is basically indifferent to Buddhism.

America certainly cannot be said to actively destroy the Dharma. Buddhists make up a small minority of the population and the secular democracy is basically ignorant of Buddhadharma. If it is ignorant then it categorically cannot be said to actively seek the destruction of Dharma.

Shoju is the appropriate practice in America.

Illaraza directs his shakubuku primarily against those who embrace the Daimoku, but in one way or another, violate his formulation of the teachings. Whether he is right or not, is beside the point. I do agree with some of his criticisms, but the question is whether it is appropriate at this time and place to berate those who have only newly undertaken the teaching.

On this question, I find guidance in the Buddha's instruction in the Bhaddali Sutta. In that text, the Buddha considers the means by which people progress on the path, particularly those who, for one reason or another, lack wisdom and instead proceed with a kind of faith called 'prasada'.
Here some bhikku progresses by a measure of faith and love. In this case bhikkus consider thus: 'Friends, this bhikku progresses by a measure of faith and love. Let him not lose that measure of faith and love, as he may if we take action against him by repeatedly admonishing him.' Suppose a man had only one eye; then his friends and companions, his kinsmen and relatives, would guard his eye, thinking: 'Let him not lose his one eye.' So too some bhikku progresses by a measure of faith and love.
In my experience, there are relatively few who chant the Daimoku with much study or insight supporting their practice. Instead, most, as Nichiren taught for those newly entering the path, proceed on a modicum of faith. There is no point in taking someone like that to task because they are mistaken about some relatively esoteric matter of doctrine. Doing so just discourages them. Instead, it seems to me, the correct approach is to offer praise and encouragement. As Nichiren remarked in Shohojissosho, "When praised highly by others, one feels that there is no hardship one cannot bear. Such is the courage that springs from words of praise."

Further, while it is important for one to advance in practice on the Three Pillars of Faith, Practice and Study, with each reinforcing and advancing the others, embracing the Daimoku alone is sufficient. As Nichiren wrote:
Question: You may talk about fire, but unless you put your hand in a flame, you will never burn yourself. You may say “water, water!” but unless you actually drink it, you will never satisfy your thirst. Then how, just by chanting the daimoku of Namu-myoho-renge-kyo without understanding what it means, can you escape from the evil paths of existence?

Answer: They say that, if you play a koto strung with a lion’s sinews, then all the other kinds of strings will snap. And if you so much as hear the words “pickled plum,” your mouth will begin to water. Even in everyday life there are such wonders, so how much greater are the wonders of the Lotus Sutra!

We are told that parrots, simply by twittering the four noble truths of the Hinayana teachings, were able to be reborn in heaven,1 and that men, simply by respecting the three treasures, were able to escape being swallowed by a huge fish. How much more effective, then, is the daimoku of the Lotus Sutra, which is the very heart of all the eighty thousand sacred teachings of Buddhism and the eye of all the Buddhas! How can you doubt that by chanting it you can escape from the four evil paths?

The Lotus Sutra, wherein the Buddha honestly discarded expedient means, says that one can “gain entrance through faith alone.” And the Nirvana Sutra, which the Buddha preached in the grove of sal trees on the last day of his life, states, “Although there are innumerable practices that lead to enlightenment, if one teaches faith, then that includes all those practices.”

Thus faith is the basic requirement for entering the way of the Buddha. In the fifty-two stages of bodhisattva practice, the first ten stages, dealing with faith, are basic, and the first of these ten stages is that of arousing pure faith. Though lacking in knowledge of Buddhism, a person of faith, even if dull-witted, is to be reckoned as a person of correct views. But even though one has some knowledge of Buddhism, if one is without faith, then one is to be considered a slanderer and an icchantika, or person of incorrigible disbelief.

Question: If a person simply chants Nam-myoho-renge-kyo with no understanding of its meaning, are the benefits of understanding thereby included?

Answer: When a baby drinks milk, it has no understanding of its taste, and yet its body is naturally nourished. Who ever took the wonderful medicines of Jīvaka knowing of what they were compounded? Water has no intent, and yet it can put out fire. Fire consumes things, and yet how can we say that it does so consciously? This is the explanation of both Nāgārjuna and T’ien-t’ai, and I am restating it here.
I understand the criticism of Soka Gakkai. Yesterday I took a look at the SGI gongyo book for the first time in a long time and was reminded how it is a dreadful document. The silent prayers are like a corral that cuts people off from the flow of Dharma by constructing a clausterphobic mandala that is doctrinally incorrect. That said, I consider how most people who look at that have no idea how it is wrong. Notwithstanding, when they practice that liturgy, they pronounce the Daimoku and so long as that teaching is inscribed in their mind, I trust that they will follow the thread, if not in this life, then eventually.

Even the leadership of Soka Gakkai I look on as fundamentally having good intentions but misguided. Again, I look at the work they've done in causing the Daimoku to be heard across the planet and praise the toil of each person who participated in that. We are assured the merit of teaching even one phrase is inconceivable. They will fare according to their karma, as we all will, but their Buddhahood is assured, as it is for all of us.

Which brings me to the point of shoju or shakubuku as the case may be.

Shakubuku is not supposed to just be a rote declaration of mistakes. Before you even get to that point, there is a question as to what is one mistaken about?

The fundamental message of the Lotus Sutra is that all beings are fundamentally Buddhas. To avoid the problem of confusing ignorance with wisdom, we talk about this fact as "Buddha Nature" or "Tathagatagarbha". This is a reference to our fundamentally perfect reality. For ordinary beings, this perfection is obscured due to the veil of ignorance.

Since we lack a direct understanding of our Buddha Nature, we rely on the Buddha's assurance of our Buddha Nature. Though we may not see that we and all beings are fundamentally Buddha, we proceed on faith that this is so and endeavor to act as though we knew this to be true, both toward ourselves and toward others. This teaching is summarized in the Daimoku, Namu Myoho Renge Kyo.

The world is a mess for reasons far beyond the activities of a few people who have mistaken ideas about the Daimoku, who use it as a material wish granting jewel. Its a mess because the veil of fundamental ignorance covers the minds of all beings. To be obsessed with the errors of a tiny fraction of the world's population while neglecting the illness of the rest is myopic. Its another small corral, a limited mandala.

The Mandala we take refuge in is the Mandala of the 16th Chapter of the Lotus Sutra that is defined by the boundless life of the Buddha. When we take refuge in the Three Great Secret Laws, we enter that vast, infinite land that Nichiren referred to as the Eternal Eagle Peak, the Original Buddha's Pure Land. In that mandala, all of these petty disputes and issues are revealed for what they are - blips against the backdrop of infinity.

If there is any practice we ought to be engaging, it is refuge in the Great Mandala - what we call the Gohonzon, invoked with Daimoku, enshrined at the Kaidan, the place where we each practice.

Nichiren didn't go through that hardship in order to start an eternal rancor. He did that to open the gate to Buddhahood. Means must never be confused with the goal.
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

I think each human being has things to find out in his own life that are inescapable. They’ll find them out the easy way or the hard way, or whatever.
-Jerry Garcia

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Re: karma and ichinen

Post by illarraza » Sat Jul 28, 2018 2:47 am

"How then is it folly to seek and enjoy good fortune when it accrues? That is the way of beings - to want to be happy." -- QQ

No need to seek good fortune. It is a given. Is the converse true, when misfortune arises should we lament? I think you should look again at the Eight Winds Gosho....

"Worthy persons deserve to be called so because they are not carried away by the eight winds: prosperity, decline, disgrace, honor, praise, censure, suffering, and pleasure. They are neither elated by prosperity nor grieved by decline. The heavenly gods will surely protect one who is unbending before the eight winds. But if you nurse an unreasonable grudge against your lord, they will not protect you, not for all your prayers."

Nearly every argument of your is easy to overturn as a hot knife through butter. All those who look upon you as a great teacher should return to the Lotus Sutra and Nichiren. I will not waste my time refuting every single mistaken point you make. Suffice it to say that your slander and curses of a true votary will return to the originator.

Mark

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Re: karma and ichinen

Post by Queequeg » Mon Jul 30, 2018 5:40 pm

illarraza wrote:
Sat Jul 28, 2018 2:47 am
All those who look upon you as a great teacher should return to the Lotus Sutra and Nichiren. I will not waste my time refuting every single mistaken point you make. Suffice it to say that your slander and curses of a true votary will return to the originator.
I'm looked on as a "great teacher"? These fools need to be set straight. I agree - return to the Lotus and Nichiren. I'll just add, bring your brain with you.

Thanks for stopping by. Always a pleasure.
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

I think each human being has things to find out in his own life that are inescapable. They’ll find them out the easy way or the hard way, or whatever.
-Jerry Garcia

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