I was reading a commentary on the Gosho posted on Amazon.com.
I was in total agreement with the perspective on the content of the books
but I did have a suggestion about the order in which the author of the
commentary listed "Three precepts of Nichiren's Buddhism". While he
certainly was correct, in as far as, what they are, Faith, Practice, and Study,
my reading of both the Gosho and the Lotus Sutra leads me to a critical
difference in the order in which they should be presented. That is,
Practice, Study, Faith.
To summarize by metaphor. Television was invented, fundamentally,
by 15 y/o, Philo Farnsworth, who later became the founder of Philco
Television Company. He urged his, then 14 y/o, girlfriend to have faith
in his mathematical formulae, which he had written on the blackboard at
their rural Utah high school, because, someday, when his invention made
him rich, they could be wed. As karma played out, he was robbed of the
immense wealth he should have received by RCA Corporation which studied
and manufactured his designs. The actual proof of his written and
logical proof theories is that anyone can, now, press a button and
experience in practice the benefit of the theory. Out of repeated
experience, the average person gains a building faith that everytime
they press the button on the TV remote, their favorite show will appear.
That is until the battery goes dead, but even then, for a time, because
of their faith they will tend to make an incorrect assessment of the
Now, although, Philo and his girlfriend had immense faith, they
could not watch what had not been made manifest. Although, RCA, had
studied the plans and had faith, no one could watch, Jack Benny, a major
radio, and soon-to-be-major TV star, until all were able to practice the
turning of a knob or the pressing of a button.
In the Tactfulness (Hoben) Chapter of the Lotus Sutra is written:
"If any, [even] with distracted mind, ..chant but once, "Nam myoho renge
They have attained the Buddha-way"
This is the keystone of the Three Great Secret Laws. The practice of
chanting dai-moku, not the studying of Buddhism, nor even a hint of
understanding or faith in why is might work. After one practices, it is
possible to study why chanting is beneficial. It is possible to have a
body of experience which deepens ones faith in the beneficence of
chanting. Without practice, faith and study are useless.
Faith, in Chinese, and therefore, Japanese ideograms is comprised of
two characters. One character means, "To Always Speak the Truth", the
other character means, "To Have All of One's Questions Answered". Faith
in this context closely relates to the concept of the The Three Proofs
(written, logical and actual). The Buddhist concept of faith is in stark
contrast to the Western definition, which most commonly in matters of
philosophy is preceded by the adjective "blind" because it is Action
based upon Belief which manifests itself as Confidence. In the East, it
is Confidence based upon Belief which is the result of repeatedly
duplicated Actions. It is intrinsic to the Eastern concept of faith that
one approaches the "later to be believed in issue" with skepticism that
produces questions posed to a worthy teacher. The worthy teacher, by
speaking the truth, satisfies the intellectual quest and the actual
proof of the theory made manifest, satisfies the essence of one's being.
Hence, one's knowing, the equivalent of the Rastafarian cry, "Seen!" is
the equivalent of Eastern faith.
Faith, following Practice and Study is what separates the
elegance of the science at the heart of Buddhism from the superstitions
at the heart of fear-based "Western-faith-based" religion.
I would welcome your comments on my thoughts and my review of the
Bunno Kato translation of the Lotus Sutra at
Nam myoho renge kyo,
Victor Om Shanti