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Switch to Forum Live View SGI vs. Nichiren Shu
9 years ago  ::  Aug 25, 2008 - 11:45PM #11
sgi_chris
Posts: 124

Why do SGI members keep their Gohonzons hidden and not out in the open where guests to your house can see it and ask questions?



I keep mine closed because it shows that the Gohonzon is not a collectors item, and to me it is a symbol that even though the doors of our inner self are sometimes closed, the greater image of the Gohonzon is still inside. When people come into my home, and they inquire about my butsudan, I don't hesitate in opening it up and showing it to them. The word Gohonzon means object of devotion, or worship. That means that it is to be placed inside and closed up when not being used for daimoku or gonyo, it is a mandala, it's not a wall painting or a movie poster. Also, butsudan means Buddha house, so think of the Butsudan as a small shrine/house for the image of the Eternal Buddha.

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9 years ago  ::  Sep 22, 2008 - 2:40PM #12
sgi_chris
Posts: 124
[QUOTE=sgi_chris;715110]I keep mine closed because it shows that the Gohonzon is not a collectors item, and to me it is a symbol that even though the doors of our inner self are sometimes closed, the greater image of the Gohonzon is still inside. When people come into my home, and they inquire about my butsudan, I don't hesitate in opening it up and showing it to them. The word Gohonzon means object of devotion, or worship. That means that it is to be placed inside and closed up when not being used for daimoku or gonyo, it is a mandala, it's not a wall painting or a movie poster. Also, butsudan means Buddha house, so think of the Butsudan as a small shrine/house for the image of the Eternal Buddha.[/QUOTE]

I also wanted to make clear that, as a Buddhist (universal) I have no enemies or I am not "vs" anyone accept my own inner ngeativity, my own fundamental darkness.
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9 years ago  ::  Jan 03, 2009 - 7:38PM #13
angel_hunter
Posts: 6
[QUOTE=H82Diet;706454]Hi,
I am new to Nichiren Buddhism so I did not go through the breakup between SGI and Nichiren Shu.  I've read about it a bit but only from the SGI perspective.  At a community center meeting recently they made an announcement that we should chant for the Nichiren Shu to abandon their erroneous teachings.  I am not clear on what this means.  I recently read a Nichiren Shu publication and it was wonderful.  Is their no chance of reconciliation between the two groups?  Any insight would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you!

Lynn
To listen to Nichiren Chanting music go to:
www.AlanSmallwood.com[/QUOTE]

Just with any perspective it will be different.  It is really childish, to me it's a embarrassment to Nichiren Buddhism.  Our main goal is world peace, we focus on these pity things.  The world is at war, people are dying and I once believe that Nichiren Buddhism will bring that calm day to this planet. I am studying out of the Nichiren Buddhist realm, but that for my personal desires.
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7 years ago  ::  Jul 20, 2010 - 11:19AM #14
sgi_chris
Posts: 124

I do not believe that admonishing certain Buddhist schools, including Nichiren, is childish or an embarrassment. The Buddha created a social movement to bring all people to Unsurpassed Happiness in their lives, since his enlightenment was recorded he expounded a great number of similes and parables to try to get people to understand the Law. Centuries after his death, Shakyamuni's greater disciples failed to spread the teachings and continue the movement to bring happiness to all people. Instead, they shut themselves up in huts and pagodas worshiping statues and performing esoteric rituals. The image of Buddhism now is dramatically different from the joyous social movement of The Buddha's day in age. 


There is no magic power surrounding Nichiren Buddhism from becoming stagnant as this, and there are no sutras where the Buddha never admonished his student from practicing or believing in a false method to enlightenment. Rather, he preached in the Lotus Sutra, that if one were to see someone destroying the teachings (in actions, thought, or word) he should admonish him. Nan-Yueh states that if a practitioner sees someone destroying the teachings and fails to reproach or oust him as a destroyer of the Law, his mind will fall into hell along with the person destroying it. 


Priests, Rituals, and Esotericism is not what Buddhism's core is about, its central point is to bring happiness to all people. Some schools go so far as to say: "When I attain enlightenment for myself, all beings will be liberated." Buddhahood is not a place far removed from our minds, like Gods or anything such as that. We know as Buddhists that nothing outside of us will bring permanent happiness in our lives. Buddhahood has always been apart of us, as a Human Race, and it is an everyday path to being a better person, strengthening our faith in our Buddha-nature and the same in others, and wanting that happiness for all people. 


I don't agree with Nichiren Shu or Shoshu, but I don't need to go out a pick a fight with them. If they make a statement I know is not held by Nichiren or is stated to the opposite of Nichiren, it is my duty given by the Buddha to bring an alternative view to the table. The SGI has rightly spoken out against the things Nichiren Shu has done. The LS itself stated that I would receive all kinds of hatred in the Latter Day, and nowhere did it mention that it wouldn't come from other members of Nichiren Buddhism. The SGI was excommunicated, twice, and Daisaku the victim of constant empty threats and attacks on his life and credibility. 


Sometimes not being stern, when necessary, is the absolute opposite of being a potential Buddha. 

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7 years ago  ::  Jul 21, 2010 - 7:11AM #15
Engyo
Posts: 138

Hi, Chris -


Personally I will follow Nichiren's admonition that followers of the Lotus Sutra should be the last to abuse each other.  I hope your practice, whatever form it takes, leads you closer to your own enlightenment.


Namaste, Engyo

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7 years ago  ::  Jul 29, 2010 - 9:19AM #16
Mission
Posts: 1

Hi All,


I've just joined the Beliefnet site and found this thread very interesting! I just wanted to say for anyone who is interested that there is an excellent book titled, "The untold history of the Fuji School" which deals with the relationship between SGI and Nichiren Shoshu. It was issued by SGI-USA's study department through World Tribune Press: ISBN 0-915678-76-4.


Anyone reading it should get a clearer understanding of SGI's position with regard to it's former priesthood and I'd be delighted to hear what you all think.


If you've already come across this book, do let me know your thoughts. It offers the SGI perspective on the lineage and heritage of faith as handed down from the Daishonin to the 6 senior priests, on through Nikko Shonin and Nichimoku Shonin until the time of the subsequent decision by the Soka Gakkai to become a lay organisation. It may also offer some insight into the subtle, but deeply profound perspective of faith in the Daishonin's teachings as expounded by the SGI.


I think that although we may all practice many different forms of Buddhism, to engage in constructive and respectful dialogue about the similarities and differences between our various practices can only create supreme value and in the end will serve to illuminate the world of objective truth that is the true reality of life more brightly.


 


With deepest gratitude


Malcolm


 

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7 years ago  ::  Jul 29, 2010 - 5:16PM #17
Engyo
Posts: 138

Hello, Malcom -


Respectfully, I personally no longer subscribe to the view of either Nichiren Shoshu or SGI regarding Nichiren's 6 senior disciples, and especially regarding Nikko as sole heir.  I believe I still have a couple of copies of the book you reference around the house, but there is a great deal of the history after Nichiren's passing I have become aware of that we were never taught when I was an NSA member or an SGI member.


If this subject interests you, you might check out this link:


www.nichirenscoffeehouse.net/Ryuei/SixDi...


but please understand that the information presented there does not come from SGI (or Nichiren Shoshu) sources.  Another good source of information on this topic would be the book "Fire in the Lotus" (ISBN-10: 1852740914 / ISBN-13: 978-1852740917), by Daniel Montgomery.  It is currently out of print, but Amazon lists 2 new and 7 used copies available.  Local used bookstores may also have copies, and larger libraries or library systems are also possibilities.


Namaste, Engyo

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7 years ago  ::  Jan 17, 2011 - 8:59PM #18
Azmildman1
Posts: 3

Hi, I am new to this forum but I am an SGI member. Of course we of SGI know about Nichiren Shu. We hear about the "evil priesthood" from the pioneer members who brought Nichiren Buddhism from Japan on at least a weekly basis. The saying in A.A. is that you can form your own meeting and all you need is a resentment and a coffee pot. S.G.I. formed their own church on a resentment. This is what Shakyamuni (Siddhartha Gautama) said in the Dhammapada which is like "The sermon on the mount" of Buddhism.


"... All that we are is the result of what we have thought: it is founded on our thoughts, it is made up of our thoughts. If a man speaks or acts with a pure thought, happiness follows him, like a shadow that never leaves him.


 "He abused me, he beat me, he defeated me, he robbed me,"--in those who harbour such thoughts hatred will never cease.


"He abused me, he beat me, he defeated me, he robbed me,"--in those who do not harbour such thoughts hatred will cease.


For hatred does not cease by hatred at any time: hatred ceases by love, this is an old rule.


The world does not know that we must all come to an end here;--but those who know it, their quarrels cease at once. ..."


This is my question, "This happened in the forties. Isn't it time to get over it and move on?"

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7 years ago  ::  Jan 18, 2011 - 7:16AM #19
Engyo
Posts: 138

Jan 17, 2011 -- 8:59PM, Azmildman1 wrote:

This is my question, "This happened in the forties. Isn't it time to get over it and move on?"



Hello, AZM -


Respectfully, I think perhaps you are just a bit confused here, on two points. 


First, Nichiren Shu is very different from Nichiren Shoshu.  Nichiren Shoshu was SGI's religious partner from 1930 to 1991.  Nichiren Shu has never been affiliated with either one. 


Second, Nichiren Shu doesn't have any issues with SGI's existence whatsoever.  There are doctrinal differences, yes, but nobody from Nichiren Shu has a specific problem with SGI that I am aware of.  I'm not sure what you think happened in the forties that is supposed to be some sort of issue between SGI and Nichiren Shu.


Namaste, Engyo

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7 years ago  ::  Jan 18, 2011 - 11:28AM #20
Azmildman1
Posts: 3

Engyo, 


Who said I was saying that Nichiren Shu was the one with the problem? Someone on this forum said that most SGI members probably didn't know Nichiren Shu existed. SGI is a LAY organization with NO PRIESTS and in all their literature they mention the evil priesthood. YOu must be mistaken if you read what I said and think you understood it. Priests are a NO NO in SGI because there are two many ways to be corrupted and they have a resentment against EVERYONE else over doctrinal differences and corrupt practices that existed at one time. I, as a Buddhist who began studying long before I found SGI, don't think of those as Buddhist behavior and that could never fall into the eightfold path of Right Action, Right Mindfulness, and even Right Livelihood. I am an SGI member because they are closest to me of what I see as modern Buddhism. The problem I have is that most of the members wouldn't know the basis of Buddhism if it bit them, because despite spewing the words, "Practice and Study with Faith", they don't seem to want to study anything except what Ikeda writes and even President Ikeda states that it is a shallow practice and wrong when people do that. Nam Myoho Renge Kyo is about the first word. MYOHO = Devotion To. One cannot be devoted without looking at the principles or you don't know what you are devoted to. As votaries of the Lotus Sutra we need to understand that Bodhisattva Never Disparaging was another analogy for the idea that we never disrespect other Buddhists for they understand the principles and if not we are obligated to be an example and teach them how to find the answer. Ichantikas, and I hate to say it, but so many of them are present in all religions, will never get it. Somehow they are constitutionally incapable of understanding some basic principles. I think much of it has to do with Christian American Indoctrination since birth in America. Dependent Origination, Karma, and understanding of Impermanence should bring us closer together, not further apart over how someone chose to write about them. President Ikeda said, "Praise the message, not the man..." and still SGI members spend their Sunday With Sensai and complete deification of Nichiren and Ikeda. I have heard it said that they are the True Buddhas of the Latter Day when their own message is that those principles are against the teachings of Shakyamuni. He empowered us in the Lotus Sutra to become equal to each other, not separate. Those who view this as a Christian Like Practice need to be told that the Gohonzon is NOT a magic Santa Clause in a box, like so many people babble about. I want to scream when I hear one more foolish person scream out, "Take it to the Gohonzon!" I am grateful to have read the writings of Shin Yatomi in the book "Buddhism in a New Light" because he explains where this practice is supposed to take us, not where the members in America are trying to take it. Here is my opinion over doctrinal differences. You can have your own opinion, but you can't have your own reality. When there are doctrinal differences, unless they are merely a matter of words that mean the same thing, then someone tried to change the meaning of the text to fit themselves. That is selfish and wrong and should be refuted. I hail from long ago so I turn to the original texts like the Dhammapada to find my answers because a lot of the message got misconstrued between India and Japan. Nichiren and Ikeda, no matter how exactly they tried to quote from ancient texts are completely reinterpreted and quoted wrong as if their message was their own - by the members, not them or the texts. People need to read the black part and quit trying to find their own answers in between the lines. There is NO Saint Nichiren. A Mandala is a Hindu tradition of painting some spiritual message in sand to be swept away when they finish. The Gohonzon is a mirror and those who don't see themselves in it missed the point. Juzu beads are not 108 beads, most sold by SGI are actually closer to 160, the 108 number comes from Mala Beads and just because they are considered prayer beads doesn't make them the same. I could go on for days. READ THE LESSON, don't make it up yourself, is my message.

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