Each morning, devout believers in the Lotus Sutra arise, face their
object of worship and fervently chant daimoku that :
This is my constant thought:
how I can cause all living beings
to gain entry to the highest Way
and quickly attain Buddhahood.
Each morning, the Devil of the Sixth Heaven, the king of devils, who
dwells in the highest of the six heavens of the world of desire, is
gleeful. His work to obstruct Buddhist practice and to sap the life
force of other beings, is succeeding splendidly. He has gotten
Buddhist priests to condemn and excommunicate laity, laity to condemn
priests and pray for the closing of temples, one organization
accusing the other organizations of forging objects of worship. The attributes
of success of his program: rather than all living beings gaining
entry to the highest Way, the rest of the non-Buddhist beings look upon the
fray and say, "A pox on all your houses. If what you claim is
enlightenment, I think I'll remain in the 'delusion of fundamental
This document is a sincere practice to create a cause, made in
faith, after years of study, to defeat the Devil of the Sixth
If, after reading it carefully, you agree with it's goals, or
especially, if you disagree with it, please copy and disseminate it
to other Lotus Sutra devoted, Nichiren inspired, Buddhists as a
seed for discussion and actions.
While, this copy is being dispersed electronically for the widest
possible distribution, by the fastest technological means,
feel free to manually copy, print or email it, to others. Please
don't change the main body of text. If you wish to append
comments, please do so before, or after, the main text body.
A short while ago, I attended what was advertised as a "kosenrufu"
gongyo. The stated purpose of which was a group chanting of dai-moku
to promote world peace. At the conclusion of gongyo a senior official
of a Lotus Sutra based, Nichiren Dai-shonin inspired organization
arose to give an inspirational commentary. In the course of his
comments, he reminded the assembled group of about 200 persons of
previous dai-moku campaigns. One such campaign, which I remembered
well, involved the goal of each organization member chanting one
million dai-moku to insure the safety and success of an event and
its participants. Laudable as that former campaign might have been,
he said, now, an even more lofty and serious a goal has been established
by the organization hierarchy. The new target is for the organization
to chant collectively TEN BILLION DAIMOKU.
What might this target dai-moku have as its goal...world peace..a
cure for a ravaging affliction..adequate food and shelter for the
dispossessed of the world? Absolutely not! The goal is to destroy
another Lotus Sutra based, Nichiren Dai-shonin inspired, Buddhist
organization, to close that organization's temples and seize the
minds and hearts of its members into the possession of this goal-oriented
I was immediately thrown into the realm of anger (and a not a little
nausea.). How could a world peace gongyo be polluted with hunger,
anger and animality toward a group who might differ in opinion about
mundane issues but who nonetheless sought to encourage the practice
of chanting Nam Myoho Renge Kyo before a Gohonzon. Fortunately, very
quickly, Nichiren spoke to me to remind me that ichinen sanzen
transcends all entities, even Lotus Sutra based, Nichiren Dai-Shonin
inspired, Buddhist organizations. However, I could not let the
slanderous message of the one, supposedly well-informed senior leader
just rest among the throng of supposedly less-informed seekers of
truth. I took him to task and told him that a more worthy goal would
be the unification of all the various Lotus Sutra based, let alone
Nichiren Dai-shonin inspired, Buddhist organizations, sects and
believers, into one grand organization. He replied that I must be
ignorant of the Sutra or Gosho, since his senior leaders had assured
him that both endorse the organizational goal for the said ten
Therefore, not to dismiss, out-of-hand, his eminent guidance, I
returned to the Sutra and Gosho to detect the failure of my
understanding. This is what I found out..
How many kinds of Buddhism exist?
When people use the term Buddhism, they imply a body of teachings or
philosophy expounded by Prince Sidhartha Shakya, also called
Shakyamuni, the "muni" being an honorific title following the family
name Shakya. Shakyamuni pondered the meaning of all existence and
then told those who asked, except once, his conclusions. Those whose
questions he answered perceived him to be "The Buddha" because of his
profound wisdom. He called himself, "a buddha" because he stated he
was manifesting a wisdom capacity, inherent, but not manifesting, in
everyone. He said that the purpose of his being was to inform
everyone else how to transform the inherent hidden powers into
manifest volitional powers. Concurrently, he admitted that everyone,
at the same time, is not ready to know the truth about themselves.
For those wanting to know, the means to transforming the theory to
manifestation is simple and straightforward. To those who want to
hide from the truth, the pathways of self-deception are infinite and
convoluted. In fact, the more convoluted the better, as such allows
people to think they are on the high road to enlightenment without
really ever having to endure the brilliant light and arguable burden
of total self-responsibility.
As I discovered, Shakyamuni taught in response to the questions of
his disciples. He never wrote anything down. His disciples, chief
among them, Ananda, wrote down his words. In the time of Shakyamuni,
there were no books as we know them but various portions of his
teachings were gathered together in "volumes" and called sutras. All
the sutras, except one, are the gathered together transcriptions of
conversations Shakyamuni had with his disciples in response to
questions they asked him, generally THREE times before he would
respond. Not all disciples stayed for the full message, however. Many
from time to time, depending on their attention span and thirst for
truth, took some of the sutras and went home to preach the word to
Now then, Shakyamuni, SPONTANEOUSLY spoke to his disciples once and
only after telling them he was about to tell them something important
FOUR times. But even though two extraordinary things had occurred,
Shakyamuni spontaneously speaking and Shakyamuni stating 'this is
important' four times, a remarkable number of disciples left for
stating we've heard enough! Shakyamuni was not disturbed by their
leave-taking, he rather welcomed it stating "Now in this congregation
I am free from useless twigs and leaves, and have nothing but all
are purely the true and real." [pg. 55, Hoben Chapter (Tactfulness),
The Threefold Lotus Sutra, Weatherhill/Kosei publishers, Bunno Kato
and W.E. Soothill, translators, Fifth Printing, 1982]
So here is the hard heart of the matter. Many call themselves
"Buddhists" but in Shakyamuni's own words, only those who know and
follow the message he spontaneously delivered are truly "Buddhists".
Many otherwise "good and sincere" people who call themselves
Buddhists, whether Hinayana Vietnamese, or Mahayana Tibetan, or,
neither fish nor fowl, Zen are NOT practicing BUDDHISM because they
are not practicing what, from the "horse's mouth", Shakyamuni, "the
Buddha", said Buddhism is.
Might this be my interpretation of reading between some obscure
Absolutely not. The one sutra spontaneously expounded by Shakyamuni
is the Lotus Sutra. The translation of Lotus Sutra takes on many
different sound vibrations in various languages but the most crucial
vibratory pattern for profound reasons is the Japanese. In Japanese,
the Lotus Sutra, translates as "Myoho Renge Kyo". Renge is the
translation of white lotus blossom, the short hand title of the sutra
and a metaphor, for the simultaneous manifestation of cause and
effect, as lotus plants, seed and flower simultaneously. The full
title is also a metaphor. Myo means mystic in the sense of having a
connected, logical, provable explanation but simultaneously very
hard to understand. Ho means a law. Kyo is onomatopoeia for a sound,
a sound sometimes translated by extenuation to mean sutra, but at the
most profound level a sound.
Inherent in sound is the fact of its formless form. Sound exists
simultaneously as matter and energy. Sound exists and yet cannot be
said to exist at any specific location. Sound is the ultimate
metaphor for the nature of all existence and the nature of a
discovered quantum of existence known as the "superstring".
So, the meaning behind the metaphor of Myoho Renge Kyo is a mystic
(hard to understand) law of cause and effect modified by a sound
vibration. Simultaneously, (that word comes up a lot in Buddhism) the
title of the sutra explains why the law it describes works if the
title is chanted aloud. By extenuation, it describes why anything
spoken has an effect, even if a very weak in manifesting effect.
Now, here is a difficult part to understand superficially, and
impossible to understand unless one is manifesting the Buddhahood
state of being. Buddha and Myoho Renge Kyo are synonymous. There is
only ONE activity which defines those who are truly Buddhist from
those who mistakenly believe themselves to be Buddhists and that is
to chant aloud "Namu Buddha" in coded words and "Nam Myoho Renge Kyo" in
My personal interpretation? Absolutely not.
Shakyamuni said, " The nine divisions..Are but the introduction to
the Great-Vehicle, Hence I preach this sutra...[pg 63] and "there is
no other vehicle, but only the One Buddha-Vehicle" ... "there is no
such thing as a (buddhist priest) who has really obtained
(enlightenment) if he has not believed this Law" [pg. 61]..."For at
length after the Buddha's preparatory teaching He must now proclaim
the perfect Truth"...[pg 55] ..." the Buddha has declared only one
principle of emancipation"...[pg55]
What is the One Buddha-Vehicle, the Law, the perfect Truth, the one
principle of emancipation? Is the explanation of these terms found in
any other sutra, thus permitting devotees of other sutras to practice
Buddhism? To answer the latter question first, No. Within the Lotus
Sutra is found the statement, "from of yore I have never heard such a
discourse from the Buddha." [page 55] meaning this is the only sutra
in which the instruction about the law and practice of true Buddhism
can be found.
To answer the former question we must look at the heart and soul of
the Lotus Sutra, found on page 69, "If any..cry but once 'Namu
They have attained the Buddha-way"
To re-iterate and amplify. The whole purpose of Buddhism is to
teach the fastest way to obtain a state of being called Buddhahood. The
fastest way to obtain Buddhahood is also said to be the only way to
obtain Buddhahood and that way, that law, that perfect Truth, that
one principle of emancipation is to chant (cry aloud) 'Namu Buddha" e.g.
"Nam(u) Myoho Renge Kyo" which sounds to the western ear like "Nam
Myoho Renge Kyo".
Paradoxically, any "Buddhist" who does not chant "Nam Myoho Renge
Kyo" is not a Buddhist or Shakyamuni, "the Buddha" is not a Buddhist!
Non-dai-moku Buddhist may achieve through their techniques some type
of emotional state which they define as enlightenment but they don't
and can't achieve Buddhahood. More precisely they achieve a high
state of consciousness or bliss, Buddhist define as rapture. But rapture is
an inferior state of being to Buddhahood or true enlightenment.
Could it be, maybe, Shakyamuni was misquoted?
Yes, it is possible. It is also possible that Nichiren, whom we
believe is the Buddha of "kuon ganjo", the Buddha who instructed
Shakyamuni in the Buddha-way in gohyaku-jintengo, and to whom we
give the title, Dai-shonin, saw the error in Shakyamuni's teachings
and therefore corrected error in the Gosho. But he didn't. Nichiren
Dai-shonin confirmed and amplified the basic conclusions and
"The entity of Myoho-renge-kyo is the physical body that the
disciples and followers of Nichiren who believe in the Lotus Sutra
receive from their fathers and mothers at birth. Such persons, who
honestly discard expedient means, PUT FAITH IN THE LOTUS SUTRA ALONE
and chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, will transform the three paths of
earthly desires, karma and suffering into the three virtues of the
Dharma body, wisdom, and emancipation.
The threefold contemplation and the three truths will immediately
become manifest in their minds, and the place where they live will
become the Land of Eternally Tranquil Light." page 64, vol. 7, .The
Major Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, NSIC Publishers, "The Entity of
the Mystic Law Gosho".
"A mudra is a gesture made with the hand. But if the hand does not
become Buddha, how can mudras made with the hand lead one to
Buddhahood? A mantra is a motion made with mouth. But if the mouth
does not become Buddha, how can mantras made with the mouth lead one
to Buddhahood? If the persons of the two vehicles do not encounter
the Lotus Sutra, then even though they may perform the mudras and mantras
of the twelve hundred and more honored ones for innumerable kalpas,
they will never attain Buddhahood in body, mouth, or mind." pages
248-249, vol. 5. "Letter to Shomitsu-Bo Gosho".
"The Lotus Sutra itself represents the essence of all the teachings
of Shakyamuni Buddha." page 178, vol. 5. "Upholding Faith in the
O.K., it's proven that there is but one type of TRUE Buddhism. Now,
isn't that Buddhism expressed in only ONE TRUE BUDDHIST sect, group,
No. The buddhas have consistently said that they use different
organizational names to lead beings to the one path. The buddhas know
that what appeals to one, may revile another. Only a buddha has the
discernment to know what organizational name to use when presenting
the one path to a being. We can only use the most rudimentary
attributes to discern the correct from the false, those attributes
being a devotion to the Lotus Sutra, an admonition to chant
Nam-myoho-renge-kyo before a true object of worship. These are not my
interpretations, but the clear text of the Lotus Sutra where it is
"Though the buddhas in future ages
Proclaim hundreds, thousands, kotis,
Countless schools of doctrine,
In reality they are [but] the One-vehicle."
page 70, Chap. 2, Hoben Chapter, Lotus Sutra.
"The present buddhas in the universe,
Whose number is as the sands of the Ganges,..
They display various kinds of ways,
Really they are [but] the [One] Buddha-vehicle."
page 71, Chap. 2, Hoben Chapter, Lotus Sutra.
"Men of devout faith, when the people came to me, I perceived with
the eyes of a Buddha the degree of their faith and other qualities.
Depending upon whether their capacities were keen or dull, I made
my appearance, teaching in many different worlds, using different
names..."page 79, Lectures on the Sutra , NSIC publishers, revised
edition, 1978, and, The Threefold Lotus Sutra, page 251 ,Chapter 16,
Nyorai Juryo-hon Chapter.
"People have differing natures, differing desires, differing modes
of behavior, and differing ideas and outlooks. Therefore, out of my
desire to plant the seeds of enlightenment in their hearts, I have
taught them various teachings..[but the] practice proper to a Buddha
I have continued unceasingly." page 86, Lectures on the Sutra and The
Threefold Lotus Sutra, page 251, Chapter 16, Nyorai Juryo-hon
If many pathways to the one vehicle exist, in the form of various
Buddhist sects, groups and organizations, isn't it the duty of a
group or organization to point out the error, and certainly the
slander, perpetrated by the interpretation of others?
All I can say is that both Shakyamuni, and Nichiren Dai-Shonin,
taught the contrary. It is written by each that:
"[If anyone shall see a person who embraces this sutra and [tries]
to expose the faults or evils of that person, he will in the present
age be afflicted with white leprosy (the AIDS of the era), even if
what he speaks is the TRUTH" ! page 343, "Encouragement of
Universal Virtue Chapter"
"The offense of uttering even a single derogatory word against the
priests or laity who believe in and preach the Lotus Sutra is even
graver than that of abusing Shakyamuni Buddha to his face for and
entire kalpa." page 189, "A Teacher of the Law Chapter"
"...always remember that believers in the Lotus Sutra should
absolutely be the last to abuse each other." page 208, vol. 3. "The
Fourteen Slanders Gosho".
But a True Buddhist Priest or Top Senior Official of a Lay Sect,
Group or Organization told me differently. Who are you to contradict
them? Aren't the priest's prayers more powerful than mine? Aren't the
priest's interpretations of the Sutra better than mine?
I am no one but a child of Nichiren Dai-Shonin. My parent
me and I pass on to you for your evaluation of this document, as well
as, your creation of value in your life:
"'Rely on the Law and not upon persons' should be your guideline".
The Nirvana Sutra and page 210, vol. 3. "The Fourteen Slanders
On the question of whether practice by you or I, is inferior to a
priest's, Nichiren Dai-Shonin commented when asked the same question:
"'How great is the difference between the blessings received when a
sage chants the daimoku and the blessings received when we chant it?'
To reply, one is in no way superior to the other. The gold that a
fool possesses is no different from the gold that a wise man possesses; a
fire made by a fool is the same fire made by a wise man." pg. 207,
vol. 3. "The Fourteen Slanders Gosho".
Well if the priests aren't the ultimate keepers of correct
and purity of Buddhism, who is?
Simply put, you are, if you are pure in faith. Shakyamuni
instructed that priest and laity share the profound responsibility to perpetuate
"Within there are wise disciples who understand the profound
doctrine and outside there are lay believers who are pure in faith,
thus perpetuating the Law." The Nirvana Sutra.
Nichiren Dai-Shonin taught that Buddhist should "[revere] those
priests and lay people who do embrace the sutra." page 208, Vol. 3.
"The Fourteen Slanders Gosho".
But the Buddha as indulgent parent knows how difficult it is to
keep the Law. It is mercifully written:
"This sutra [The Lotus] [is so] difficult to keep,
[that] If anyone keeps it a short time,
I shall be pleased,
And so will all the buddhas."
pg. 205, The Precious Stupa Chapter.
A sentiment to which adds Nichiren Dai-Shonin,
"When one chants the daimoku bearing in mind that there are no
distinctions among those who embrace the Lotus Sutra, then the
blessings he gains will be equal to those of Shakyamuni Buddha." page
208, vol. 3. "The Fourteen Slanders Gosho".
There seems to be a lot of controversy emanating out of Japan. I
heard a group of priests excommunicated some laity and a lay
organization is praying to abolish the temples of the priests. Has
Nichiren Dai-Shonin commented upon these developments?
Yes, he has and not favorably. Looking with the eye of Buddha
wisdom at the unity of past, present and future, Nichiren Dai-Shonin
"When I look at the situation in Japan, I find that the Devil of
the Sixth Heaven has entered into the bodies of people of wisdom,
transforming correct teachers into heretical teachers, and good
teachers into bad teachers. This is what the sutra means when it
'Evil demons will take possession of others.'"page 21, vol. 7. "Reply
to Sairen-bo Gosho".
But Nichiren Dai-Shonin can't be speaking of the leadership of my
organization, group, or sect, can he?
I certainly can't say for sure. But if the shoe fits, as it is
Just because one or a billion dai-moku are chanted does not guarantee
the manifestation of the blessings desired. Nichiren Dai-Shonin
"However, there is a difference if one chants the daimoku while
acting against the intent of this sutra..I will first list the evil
(3) arbitrary, egotistical judgment
(4) shallow, self-satisfied understanding
(5) attachment to earthly desires
(6) lack of seeking spirit
(7) not believing
(9) deluded doubt
Since these fourteen slanders apply equally to priesthood and
laity, you must be on guard against them." page 207, vol. 3. "The Fourteen
At the risk of committing slander (4), I would judge that any
person who attempts to chant dai-moku for the purpose of closing temples,
excommunicating (from what) a follower of the Lotus Sutra commits the
slanders (1),(2),(10), and (14). I doubt that their daimoku will
achieve the blessings they seek, nor do I think they are excluded
from Nichiren Dai-Shonin's appraisal of conditions in Japan.
Nichiren Dai-Shonin, wrote about the conditions which make for a
blessed Dai-moku. He did not exonerate from error the rank and file
believer because they blindly obeyed a "senior in faith" and not the
Law. He specifically wrote:
"In kindling a fire, three things are needed: a good piece of
steel, a good flint and good tinder. The same is true of prayer. Three
things are required -- a good teacher, a good believer, and a good doctrine
-- before the prayers can be effective and disaster banished...
A "good teacher" is a priest who is innocent of any wrongdoing in
secular affairs,..upholds the Lotus Sutra and also encourages others
to embrace it...A "good believer" is one who does not depend upon
persons of eminence nor despise persons of humble station, who does
not rely on the backing of his superiors nor look down on his
inferiors, who, not relying upon the opinions of others, upholds the
Lotus Sutra among all the various sutras. Such a person the Buddha
has called the best of all people.
As for a "good doctrine", the Buddha has told us that this sutra,
the Lotus, represents the foremost among all doctrines.." page 193,
vol. 6. "Buddhahood Through The Lotus Sutra Gosho".
Wait a minute, the senior leader told me that the priests' temples
must be closed because not only are the priests slanderous, but they
steal members away from the lay organization. What do you say about
Refer again to the previous paragraph. Nichiren Dai-Shonin with
Buddha wisdom commented on that very complaint, criticizing both
sides when he wrote:
"They strive to keep their patrons to themselves..like a dog who
goes to a house to be fed but who growls and springs to attack the
moment another dog approaches." page 206, Vol. 3. "The Fourteen
Moreover, in teaching through actions, Shakyamuni when faced with a
major defection of disciples responded thus:
a remarkable number of disciples left for home, stating we've heard
enough! Shakyamuni was not disturbed by their leave-taking, he rather
welcomed it stating "Now in this congregation I am free from useless
twigs and leaves, and have nothing but all that are purely the true
and real." [pg. 55]
No mention of excommunication made.
But weren't the actions of the priests justified by the heinous
behavior of a top senior leader of a lay organization and all that
Let us look to Nichiren Dai-Shonin's teaching through actions. Was
the behavior of the top senior leader and all who support him more
grievous than the behavior of the Priest Sammi-bo, of whom Nichiren
"Priest Sammi-bo (a disciple of Nichiren Dai-shonin who renounced
his faith in the face of the Atsuhara Persecution) may be lowly, but
since he can explain even a little about the Lotus Sutra, you should
respect him as you would the Buddha and ask him about Buddhism." page
209 - 210, vol. 3. "The Fourteen Slanders Gosho".
No mention of excommunication ( a concept which is preposterous to
expect as a manifestation, and yet slanderous in its intent) was made
by Nichiren Dai-Shonin. But he and the other buddhas have warned
"Those who vex or trouble [the practitioners of the Lotus Sutra]
will have their heads split into seven pieces, but those who give
alms to them will enjoy good fortune surpassing the ten honorable
titles." page 225, vol. 6. "On The Stages of Faith and Practice
Should our attitude to our close kin in Buddhahood be any less than
our Bodhisatva mercy to the non-Buddhist? After all, Nichiren
Dai-Shonin cautioned us to "[revere] even those who [do] not embrace
the Lotus Sutra because they too [have] the Buddha nature and might
someday believe in the sutra..." page 208, Vol. 3. "The Fourteen
Finally, let us emphatically crush any campaign by the Devil of the
Sixth Heaven infiltrating true Buddhism with calls for ten billion
daimoku to confound another true Buddhist organization. Instead, let
us strive to chant one excellent Dai-moku to instantaneously cause
all living being to gain entry to the highest Way and quickly attain
"...always remember that believers in the Lotus Sutra should
absolutely be the last to abuse each other." page 208, vol. 3. "The
Fourteen Slanders Gosho".
"honmatsu-kukyo to" means consistency from beginning to end. The
leader's guidance to me to recheck my knowledge of the Sutra and
Gosho was correct. I have changed my decision from chanting ONE EXCELLENT
DAI-MOKU for the creation of one grand true Buddhist umbrella
organization, to chanting that there may be enough variations of
pathways to the one pathway -- the chanting of Dai-moku, and Gongyo,
before a Gohonzon -- that all beings, now Black, White, Yellow, Red,
Grey or Pea-Green, now Christian, Muslim, Jew, whatever, or even,
non-true Buddhist "Buddhist" may find enlightenment. I, also, seek to
chant that ONE EXCELLENT DAI-MOKU for the creation of kosenrufu among
TRUE BUDDHISTS FIRST!
Mai ji sa ze nen.
I ga ryo shujo.
Toku nyu mu-jo do.
Soku joju busshin.
Namu Myoho Renge Kyo, Namu Myoho Renge Kyo, Namu Myoho Renge