Namaste Adwoa,

Thank-you so much for finding the reference which led you to believe that there is apparently a FOURTH great secret law - that is the carrying at all times of juju beads.

No action which is motivated by a sincere desire to find the way is wasted. However, in 20/20 hindsight it is often the case that a part of finding the way is find out where the way is not.

I am thankful that the various buddhas when they make there rare manifestations as human beings leave clear instructions for what we non-buddhas should do in the time between their appearances. A very clear, couldn't be more specific instruction is "Rely on the Law, not the Person."

It seems to me that this very specific instruction was stated because the sincere can often lead themselves and others astray, especially when their sincerity is linked to what is perceived as lofty human position or influence, such as error by a king or priest. Many are the specific warnings by Nichiren Daishonin, especially, to be highly skeptical about anything another human tells you is the Way or the necessary actions along the way.

Shakyamuni warned in the Hoben Chapter of the Lotus Sutra to be on guard against, "The dull who delight in petty rules."

Hoben Chapter, page 63, The Threefold Lotus Sutra, Kosei Publishing Co., Tokyo, 1998.

Why? Because in former times sincere teachers, sages and priests said there were at least 250 rules which needed to be followed in order to obtain Buddhahood.

In the "On the Four Stages of Faith and the Five Stages of Practice Gosho" , Nichiren Daishonin writes very clearly:

"Set aside formal practices but maintain [meditation on] the principle."

and also,

To "set aside formal practices but maintain [meditation on] the principle"

means that one should set aside the keeping of the precepts and the other specific practices and embrace the principle of the daimoku exclusively. When the commentary says that "the benefits will be many and far-reaching," it implies that if the beginner should attempt to practice various other practices and the daimoku at the same time, then his benefits will be completely lost.

Break it down.

Chant Nam myoho renge kyo only.

What about carrying beads?

Chant Nam myoho renge kyo only.

What about offerings to the Gohonzon, the Temple, the priests?

Chant Nam myoho renge kyo only.

What about twice daily rakaat before the Gohonzon?

It is part of the accessory practice which also includes studying the Sutra and Gosho, and being a sincere person in general, but the essential practice, the hard to understand because it is too easy practice is to chant Nam myoho renge kyo only.

What about mixing in some of the religious practices of my ancestors as part of the essential practice of chanting Nam myoho renge kyo? You know what I'm saying, being a hyphen buddhist?

The benefits of chanting will be completely lost.

Be wary, also, of good feelings whether they last a week, a month or longer. If the realms of Shomon (Learning) and Engaku (Self-Realization) are not sufficient to prevent the error of falling off the Way, so much moreso are the realms of Tranquility and Rapture seductive to slander. If moving the spirit and good feelings were a proof, we should all be African Methodist Episcopal (A.M.E.) or Church of God in Christ (C.O.G.I.C.) Speaking in tongues is sure a witness of something spiritual going on, just not necessarily good!

Rely on the Law, not the Person.

Rely on yourself, not others, for the correct subtle meanings of the Sutra and Gosho.

Nichiren in that same gosho wrote:

"If they should encounter an evil friend, then they will lose their true mind." Here, however, evil is not only by intention, but also by the consequences of sincere but erroneors advice. Thus, Nichiren says because of bad advice,

"they have as a result lost the true mind of faith in the Lotus Sutra, ... They are persons who have "abandoned the great and instead chosen the small"

When one compares chanting Nam myoho renge kyo to the carrying of juju beads, which do you think is the great? Which is the small?

"May the Lord add a blessing to the reading of HIS holy word!"

My AME/Baptist paternal grandmother, Past Grand Worthy Matron, O.E.S.

Nam myoho renge kyo.

Nam myoho renge kyo.

Nam myoho renge kyo.