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Switch to Forum Live View SGI: A 'Cult' to the Average Japanese?
7 years ago  ::  Apr 07, 2008 - 5:07PM #1
Truth27
Posts: 523
Greetings,

I've heard that SGI is considered a cult to the average Japanese person.  Is that true to anyone's personal experience?  If so, why is this the case?

Thanks.
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7 years ago  ::  Apr 13, 2008 - 8:55PM #2
sgi_chris
Posts: 124
Truth27,

If you look up in the Dictionary the definition of 'cult' then not only is SGI guilty, but he whole spectrum of Buddhism itself should also be cast in with this accusation.


–noun
1.    a particular system of religious worship, esp. with          reference to its rites and ceremonies.
2.    an instance of great veneration of a person, ideal, or thing, esp. as manifested by a body of admirers: the physical fitness cult.
3.    the object of such devotion.
4.    a group or sect bound together by veneration of the same thing, person, ideal, etc.
5.    Sociology. a group having a sacred ideology and a set of rites centering around their sacred symbols.
6.    a religion or sect considered to be false, unorthodox, or extremist, with members often living outside of conventional society under the direction of a charismatic leader. (Outside of this definition since we have no charasmatic leader who controls our actions.)
7.    the members of such a religion or sect.



*The underlined definition is the essence of all Buddhist denominations, not just the Soka Gakkai.

Remember, when a criminal is caught he/she seeks to lay the blame on another factor or person so as to not make their guilt appear as bad as it truly is. When one sect is guilty of a crime of the past or present they seek to point out the differences of another so others may not see or give any mind to their errors that they seek to hide in the darkness.


SGI has been the kind of Buddhism that has been broken down for the common man to practice and has also maintained the true essence that Shakyamuni has preached since the time of his englighenment.

The Lotus Sutra is the king of sutras, true and correct in both word and principle. Its words are the ultimate reality, and this reality is the Mystic Law (myoho). It is called the Mystic Law because it reveals the principle of the mutually inclusive relationship of a single moment of life and all phenomena. That is why this sutra is the wisdom of all Buddhas.

(WND, 1 On Attaining Buddhahood in this Lifetime.)

Any others issues or questions can be answered here: http://www.sokaspirit.org/

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6 years ago  ::  May 28, 2008 - 2:11AM #3
Budog
Posts: 18
If you go by the definition of a "Cult" in the dictionary, then all religious groups, including zealous athiests are a cult. This also could be said of rock bands with devoted groupies etc. Allot of people think that if you aren't part of their religion and way of thinking, then you are in a cult and doomed...


Budog.
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6 years ago  ::  May 28, 2008 - 7:54AM #4
Engyo
Posts: 138
That's the problem with imprecise terminology - when we use the same word to mean different things (without realizing we are doing so) then we aren't communicationg, but talking past each other.  This doesn't get anyone anywhere positive.
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6 years ago  ::  May 28, 2008 - 3:15PM #5
Budog
Posts: 18
[QUOTE=Engyo;528235]That's the problem with imprecise terminology - when we use the same word to mean different things (without realizing we are doing so) then we aren't communicationg, but talking past each other.  This doesn't get anyone anywhere positive.[/QUOTE]


This is a keen observation. One example of this I have seen is on the internet. It is occasionally easy to misinterpret what the writer is trying to communicate, or the context in which it was meant. What was meant to be humorous, it taken as an attack or insult etc. There are occasions when defining our basic terms is important or to try and communicate our thoughts absolutely clearly...

One mans "cult" is another's religion. I may not agree with a persons world view and spiritual path, but I do respect their right to hold those beliefs. It is when a person shoves their opinion forcefully or disrespectfully in my face that it becomes an issue.


Budog.
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6 years ago  ::  May 28, 2008 - 3:15PM #6
Budog
Posts: 18
[QUOTE=Engyo;528235]That's the problem with imprecise terminology - when we use the same word to mean different things (without realizing we are doing so) then we aren't communicationg, but talking past each other.  This doesn't get anyone anywhere positive.[/QUOTE]


This is a keen observation. One example of this I have seen is on the internet. It is occasionally easy to misinterpret what the writer is trying to communicate, or the context in which it was meant. What was meant to be humorous, it taken as an attack or insult etc. There are occasions when defining our basic terms is important or to try and communicate our thoughts absolutely clearly...

One mans "cult" is another's religion. I may not agree with a persons world view and spiritual path, but I do respect their right to hold those beliefs. It is when a person shoves their opinion forcefully or disrespectfully in my face that it becomes an issue.


Budog.
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6 years ago  ::  Jul 15, 2008 - 1:33PM #7
tonyscoca
Posts: 5
There's no need to place the word cult to the soka gakkai.   it is an organization that works for people and world peace.  there is much to be said of its cultivation of peace education and united efforts to bring about the positive efforts of many who believe in the ultimate potential of each human being.
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6 years ago  ::  Jan 03, 2009 - 8:08PM #8
angel_hunter
Posts: 6
[QUOTE=Truth27;415414]Greetings,

I've heard that SGI is considered a cult to the average Japanese person.  Is that true to anyone's personal experience?  If so, why is this the case?

Thanks.[/QUOTE]

There was this documentary called cults and the SGI was in it. It had Jim Jones, Waco Texas dude, and this Japanese cult.  I think they put the SGI because it is an organization run by one leader, Ikeda. It seems everything rotates around him, to someone looking in, it would seem cult like.  It is really an embarrassment to Nichiren Buddhism. There is no voting process to elect a new president. The SGI preaches about the diversity of people, in the prayers everyone is Japanese.  The Buddha was not Japanese, he is not mentioned in the prayers.  What I am saying I know the next president will be Japanese.  SGI do lot of talk, but they won't never lay their guns on the table, and I don't mean to offend, if so I am sorry.
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6 years ago  ::  Jan 04, 2009 - 1:13AM #9
sgi_chris
Posts: 124
No offense at all, lol

Many people mis-judge the SGI. That's because I have noticed a bad habit people have; they seem to judge things they know absolutely nothing about, they seem to judge merely on their assumptions. The truth is the SGI won't put its guns on the table because we have none! 

There is no voting process to elect a new president.



Voting is not the only heritage by which leadership can be transfered. Presidents Makiguchi, Toda, and Ikeda are not presidents in the sense that G.W. Bush is.

With all do respect, it was the great Greek philosopher Plato that despised the voting process and felt that democracy was no more than idiocy. Is he part of a cult as well? Just because a mindset is different doesn't mean that it is threatening or evil, that's simply having a closed mind.

The SGI preaches about the diversity of people, in the prayers everyone is Japanese.



Not true, I am writing to you now as a devout SGI member and I was born and raised a white american. There are many races in the SGI, but our minds are not chain to that sort of mentality we are called Global Citizens because, in theory, we are a World of one people. Many leaders within my district are African-American, Indian, White, Hispanic, etc.

Don't believe the hype.

Also, before the 2nd Vatican council all Roman Catholics spoke Latin every Sunday morning at Mass. There is nothing evil or cultish about practicing in an alternate language. 

The Buddha was not Japanese, he is not mentioned in the prayers



No, your right, Shakyamuni was born, raised, and achieve enlightenment in India. However, geographically Shakyamuni spread his teachings as far as he could! Buddhism became highly popular in China and Japan. China is the birth place of Zen and Pureland Buddhism, where in Japan you have Nichiren who reformed what he felt to be "errors" in current Buddhism. 

Just because the Buddha is not mentioned in a prayer doesn't mean that it's a false prayer. The Buddha is not God or a lower level deity so why would I pray to the Buddha?

Plus, gongyo or the chanting of the Japanese, you mentioned earlier, is a sutra preached by the Buddha; the Great Lotus Sutra. So, in a way the Buddha is mentioned in our practice.

Some SGI members would say that chanting nam-myoho-renge-kyo is not even a prayer or a mantra, but a Higher State of Wisdom. 

Buddhism is not confined to most western stereotypes that award some religions the title of "cult."

What I am saying I know the next president will be Japanese.



Maybe...Maybe not.

There will be a day where the SGI will no longer need a president, we are a humanistic organization ran by people, not one person. We empower individuals to manifest their inner potential. Nichiren Buddhist practice is just as personal as it is community oriented. 

Again, no offense. In the 21st century, more and more, I find television documentaries to be a less reliable vehicle of knowledge. I see it decaying under the delusion of bias and racism.

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6 years ago  ::  Jan 04, 2009 - 1:13AM #10
sgi_chris
Posts: 124
No offense at all, lol

Many people mis-judge the SGI. That's because I have noticed a bad habit people have; they seem to judge things they know absolutely nothing about, they seem to judge merely on their assumptions. The truth is the SGI won't put its guns on the table because we have none! 

There is no voting process to elect a new president.



Voting is not the only heritage by which leadership can be transfered. Presidents Makiguchi, Toda, and Ikeda are not presidents in the sense that G.W. Bush is.

With all do respect, it was the great Greek philosopher Plato that despised the voting process and felt that democracy was no more than idiocy. Is he part of a cult as well? Just because a mindset is different doesn't mean that it is threatening or evil, that's simply having a closed mind.

The SGI preaches about the diversity of people, in the prayers everyone is Japanese.



Not true, I am writing to you now as a devout SGI member and I was born and raised a white american. There are many races in the SGI, but our minds are not chain to that sort of mentality we are called Global Citizens because, in theory, we are a World of one people. Many leaders within my district are African-American, Indian, White, Hispanic, etc.

Don't believe the hype.

Also, before the 2nd Vatican council all Roman Catholics spoke Latin every Sunday morning at Mass. There is nothing evil or cultish about practicing in an alternate language. 

The Buddha was not Japanese, he is not mentioned in the prayers



No, your right, Shakyamuni was born, raised, and achieve enlightenment in India. However, geographically Shakyamuni spread his teachings as far as he could! Buddhism became highly popular in China and Japan. China is the birth place of Zen and Pureland Buddhism, where in Japan you have Nichiren who reformed what he felt to be "errors" in current Buddhism. 

Just because the Buddha is not mentioned in a prayer doesn't mean that it's a false prayer. The Buddha is not God or a lower level deity so why would I pray to the Buddha?

Plus, gongyo or the chanting of the Japanese, you mentioned earlier, is a sutra preached by the Buddha; the Great Lotus Sutra. So, in a way the Buddha is mentioned in our practice.

Some SGI members would say that chanting nam-myoho-renge-kyo is not even a prayer or a mantra, but a Higher State of Wisdom. 

Buddhism is not confined to most western stereotypes that award some religions the title of "cult."

What I am saying I know the next president will be Japanese.



Maybe...Maybe not.

There will be a day where the SGI will no longer need a president, we are a humanistic organization ran by people, not one person. We empower individuals to manifest their inner potential. Nichiren Buddhist practice is just as personal as it is community oriented. 

Again, no offense. In the 21st century, more and more, I find television documentaries to be a less reliable vehicle of knowledge. I see it decaying under the delusion of bias and racism.

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