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Old 02-13-2013, 09:44 AM #11
PassTheDoobie
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The Wisom of the Lotus Sutra, Volume five

pgs. 157-159

(SGI President Ikeda and Soka Gakkai study department leaders Katsuji Saito, Takanori Endo, and Haruo Suda explore the profound meaning of the Lotus Sutra based on Nichiren Daishonin's lecture on the Lotus Sutra, "The Record of the Orally Transmited Teachings.")


Endo: Even so, some still interpret these words of the Daishonin to mean that he is saying that Myoho-renge-kyo is not Shakyamuni’s teaching because Bodhisattva Superior Practices inherited the teaching in the same way that a son inherits the estate of his father and insists: “Since the tenure of my father is over and I am now the head of the household, everything that belongs to me and no longer to my father.”

Saito: How can we further clarify this?

Ikeda: The analogy of a family estate expresses one side of the truth. Namely, that the Latter Day of the Law is the age of Bodhisattva Superior Practices and not the age of Shakyamuni. In the “Supernatural Powers” chapter, Shakyamuni transfers his teaching in its entirety; it’s as though he is saying, “From here on, I leave everything in your hands.”

Let’s look at the passage.

Suda: OK. Shakyamuni says:

To put it briefly, all the doctrines possessed by the Thus Come One, all the freely exercised supernatural powers of the Thus Come One, the storehouse of all the secret essentials of the Thus Come One, all the most profound matters of the Thus Come One—all these are proclaimed, revealed, and clearly expounded in this sutra. (LS21, 274)

This is a well-known description of the transmission of the essence of the Lotus Sutra.

Saito: In short, it means that the Lotus Sutra reveals the life of the Thus Come One in its totality. Shakyamuni then says that he transfers this to Bodhisattva Superior Practices.

The Great Teacher T’ien-t’ai of China describes this transmission as summing up the entirety of the Lotus Sutra. And he explains the significance of the Lotus Sutra based on this passage. This is the doctrine of the five major principles of name, entity, quality function, and teaching. T’ien-t’ai associated “name” with “all the doctrines possessed by the Thus Come One,” or the sutra’s title, Myoho-renge-kyo; “entity” with “the storehouse of all the secret essentials of the Thus Come One,” or the ultimate Law itself; “quality” with “all the most profound matters of the Thus Come One,” or the causality of the enlightenment of the Thus Come One; “function” with “all the freely exercised supernatural powers of the Thus Come One,” or the power to benefit all people; and “teaching” signifies that “all these are proclaimed, revealed, and clearly expounded in this sutra.”

It seems to me that T’ien-t’ai is explaining the reason that the Lotus Sutra is endowed with infinite benefit; in other words, he is elucidating that it is the ultimate source of all benefit.

Suda: Put another way, it is the very life of the Thus Come One.

Endo: This is what is transferred to Bodhisattva Superior Practices.

(TO BE CONTINUED)
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Old 02-13-2013, 09:59 AM #12
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The Wisom of the Lotus Sutra, Volume five

pgs. 159-162

(SGI President Ikeda and Soka Gakkai study department leaders Katsuji Saito, Takanori Endo, and Haruo Suda explore the profound meaning of the Lotus Sutra based on Nichiren Daishonin's lecture on the Lotus Sutra, "The Record of the Orally Transmited Teachings.")


SUPERIOR PRACTICES IS A BODHISATTVA-BUDDHA

Ikeda: The question then becomes: Just what is this bodhisattva who “receives and embodies the entirety of the Thus Come One?”

Ordinarily, when we speak of a bodhisattva we mean someone who is practicing the teachings with the aim of becoming a Buddha. But this is clearly not the case with the Bodhisattva Superior Practices. Although he embodies the entirety of the Thus Come One, he is still called a bodhisattva. Superior Practices is a “bodhisattva-Buddha.”

Let’s go back to the analogy of as son inheriting the family estate from his father. We must assume that father and son are equal, that if the father is a Buddha, the son who inherits the family estate is also a Buddha. Otherwise, this analogy is illogical.

Endo: Certainly, a person who inherits sovereignty over a country from a king is also a king.

Ikeda: At the time of their appearance, Superior Practices and the other Bodhisattvas of the Earth are described as follows: “The bodies of these bodhisattvas were all golden in hue, with the thirty-two features and immeasurable brightness” (LS15, 213).

Suda: The thirty-two features are special characteristics of the Buddhas. This therefore seems to indicate that the Bodhisattvas of the Earth are Buddhas.

Saito: What’s more, they are described as even more splendid in appearance that Shakyamuni. The sutra likens Shakyamuni to a young man of twenty-five with a hint of immaturity, and the Bodhisattvas of the Earth as venerable seasoned elders of a hundred years (cf. LS15, 221)

Ikeda: Therefore, the ceremony of essential transmission in the “Supernatural Powers” chapter is fundamentally a transmission from a Buddha to a Buddha. This is a state of life that “can only be understood and shared between Buddhas’ (LS2, 24).

Why, then, does Superior Practices appear as a bodhisattva? Well, for one thing, it is so this sutra would not contradict the traditional idea that in any given world there can only be one Buddha. People would be confused if two Buddhas were to appear at the same time.

Saito: This is the view that Superior Practices assumes the position of disciple who is helping Shakyamuni expound his teaching.

Endo: When the Bodhisattvas of the Earth make their appearance, everyone else, including Bodhisattva Maitreya, is startled. This is what prompts Shakyamuni to begin preaching the “Life Span” chapter. In that sense, the Bodhisattvas of the Earth certainly assisted in preaching.

Ikeda: But this takes on still greater significance, given that Bodhisattva Superior Practices appears unequivocally as the representative of the nine worlds. This point virtually transforms the entire history of Buddhism. It is a recognition of the virtues (or effect) of Buddhahood existing within the practice (or cause) of a bodhisattva.

Up to this juncture, Buddhism had taught that the effect was superior and that practice, which is the cause of enlightenment, was inferior, which seems like common sense.

Endo: I think we intuitively think of the world of Buddhahood as above, or better than, the nine worlds.

Ikeda
: But with the appearance of Bodhisattva Superior Practices, it becomes evident that the cause (the nine worlds) contains the effect (the world of Buddhahood).

Why is this important? Let’s try to recall the teaching of the “Life Span” chapter. There, Shakyamuni explains that he attained Buddhahood in the extremely remote time described as numberless major world system dust particle kalpas ago. This implies that all Buddhas throughout the universe are disciples of Shakyamuni who attained enlightenment in the remote past. Then what about before that time?

Saito: Shakyamuni’s statement , “originally I practiced the bodhisattva way” (LS16, 227), indicates that before numberless major world system dust particle kalpas ago he carried out a bodhisattva practice.

Ikeda: From there we can infer that since he carried out the Buddhist practice, there was a Buddhist Law. There was a Law, but no Buddha, which means that there was no Buddha who is a one with the universe and whose life is without beginning or end.

Suda: It goes without saying that if the time when the Buddha appeared could be pinpointed, he could not be called the “Buddha eternally existing throughout past, present, and future.”

Endo: The view that Shakyamuni had first attained enlightenment during his lifetime in India is refuted as without origin and existing only in the present. Such a Buddha is like grass without roots. But the Shakyamuni of the “life Span” chapter, who revealed that he attained enlightenment in the remote past, also became enlightened at some specific point in time. Strictly speaking, this view also fails on the grounds that it is “without origin and existing only in the present.” It does not present Buddhahood as being originally inherent.

Saito: If a Buddha’s enlightenment is not originally inherent, then that Buddha cannot be called the true Buddha who exists eternally.

Ikeda: While this is an important point for our present discussion, it is somewhat challenging. Those who find this a bit confusing should feel free to just skip ahead! It’s a concept that can be studied throughout one’s life. Even if we don’t comprehend the fine points of Buddhist theory, the main thing is that we understand the importance of chanting daimoku.

Suda: I, for one, am relieved to hear you say that.

(TO BE CONTINUED)
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Old 02-13-2013, 10:27 AM #13
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Originally Posted by PassTheDoobie View Post

SUPERIOR PRACTICES IS A BODHISATTVA-BUDDHA

Ikeda: The question then becomes: Just what is this bodhisattva who “receives and embodies the entirety of the Thus Come One?”

Ordinarily, when we speak of a bodhisattva we mean someone who is practicing the teachings with the aim of becoming a Buddha. But this is clearly not the case with the Bodhisattva Superior Practices. Although he embodies the entirety of the Thus Come One, he is still called a bodhisattva. Superior Practices is a “bodhisattva-Buddha.”
.....
Ikeda: At the time of their appearance, Superior Practices and the other Bodhisattvas of the Earth are described as follows: “The bodies of these bodhisattvas were all golden in hue, with the thirty-two features and immeasurable brightness” (LS15, 213).

Suda: The thirty-two features are special characteristics of the Buddhas. This therefore seems to indicate that the Bodhisattvas of the Earth are Buddhas.
.....
Ikeda: Therefore, the ceremony of essential transmission in the “Supernatural Powers” chapter is fundamentally a transmission from a Buddha to a Buddha. This is a state of life that “can only be understood and shared between Buddhas’ (LS2, 24).
.....
Ikeda: But this takes on still greater significance, given that Bodhisattva Superior Practices appears unequivocally as the representative of the nine worlds. This point virtually transforms the entire history of Buddhism. It is a recognition of the virtues (or effect) of Buddhahood existing within the practice (or cause) of a bodhisattva.

Up to this juncture, Buddhism had taught that the effect was superior and that practice, which is the cause of enlightenment, was inferior, which seems like common sense.

Endo: I think we intuitively think of the world of Buddhahood as above, or better than, the nine worlds.

Ikeda: But with the appearance of Bodhisattva Superior Practices, it becomes evident that the cause (the nine worlds) contains the effect (the world of Buddhahood).

Saito: Shakyamuni’s statement , “originally I practiced the bodhisattva way” (LS16, 227), indicates that before numberless major world system dust particle kalpas ago he carried out a bodhisattva practice.

Ikeda: From there we can infer that since he carried out the Buddhist practice, there was a Buddhist Law. There was a Law, but no Buddha, which means that there was no Buddha who is a one with the universe and whose life is without beginning or end.
.....
Endo: The view that Shakyamuni had first attained enlightenment during his lifetime in India is refuted as without origin and existing only in the present. Such a Buddha is like grass without roots. But the Shakyamuni of the “life Span” chapter, who revealed that he attained enlightenment in the remote past, also became enlightened at some specific point in time. Strictly speaking, this view also fails on the grounds that it is “without origin and existing only in the present.” It does not present Buddhahood as being originally inherent.

Saito: If a Buddha’s enlightenment is not originally inherent, then that Buddha cannot be called the true Buddha who exists eternally.
Hi everyone! It took me hours to type what I am sharing here. If you want to know the truth, YOU MUST TAKE THE TIME AND MAKE THE EFFORT TO FIND IT. That is an effort that extends way beyond what I am presenting. However, I hope this brings clarity if you were unsure. Read this! If you have questions, please ask them.

Much love and deepest respect,

Thomas
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Old 02-13-2013, 10:39 AM #14
PassTheDoobie
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pgs. 162-164

(SGI President Ikeda and Soka Gakkai study department leaders Katsuji Saito, Takanori Endo, and Haruo Suda explore the profound meaning of the Lotus Sutra based on Nichiren Daishonin's lecture on the Lotus Sutra, "The Record of the Orally Transmited Teachings.")


Ikeda: To return to the topic at hand, there are two ways of explaining the fundamental Buddha at one with the universe whose life is without beginning or end. The first involves ignoring the workings of causality. By doing so, we can assume the existence of a Buddha whose life is without beginning or end and leave it at that. That’s because once causality is brought into the picture, the question arises regarding what happened before the effect of Buddhahood was attained.

If the issue of causality is simply passed over, however, then what we are talking about is not Buddhism. It is precisely this explanation of the workings of cause and effect that distinguishes a teaching as Buddhist, while the absence of causality marks a teaching as non-buddhist.

In particular, the cause of Buddhahood and effect of Buddhahood are Buddhism’s main concern. It could be said that, after Shakyamuni’s passing, Mahayana Buddhism itself originated out of the people’s quest for the cause that had enabled Shakyamuni to attain Buddhahood.

Saito: Yes. Having lost Shakyamuni they must have sought to become Buddhas themselves by grasping the cause that enabled him to attain enlightenment.

Ikeda: To put it another way, it was an investigation into the true nature of Shakyamuni’s life, which yielded a variety of doctrines expounding an eternal Buddha.

Suda: These would include a discussion of Shakyamuni’s eternal life as a “Buddha of the Dharma body,” in contrast to the living Shakyamuni. A number of arguments were further advanced as to the properties of the Buddha’s life, including the doctrine of the Buddha’s three inherently enlightened properties (of the Law, wisdom and action).

Endo: Perhaps an argument could be made that the various Buddhas of Mahayana Buddhism—Vairochana of the Kegon Sutra, Amida of the Pure Land sutras, and Dainichi of the Dainichi Sutra—each reveal one side of the Buddha while pointing toward the fundamental Buddha whose life is without beginning or end.

Ikeda: But no matter how these teachings might deal with the eternal life of the Buddha, they were greatly limited. In the first place, because they described the world of the Buddha as a grand and beautiful realm, they departed from Shakyamuni the human being. This signifies their having moved away from the reality of human life.

Another limitation has to do with the issue of cause and effect we are now discussing. If the cause of Budddhahood comes first and the effect of Buddhahood comes later, then it follows that the Buddha appears at some particular point in time.

In short, to explain the Buddha without beginning or end, the effect of Buddhahood (benefit) has to be recognized as being inherent in the cause of Buddhahood (practice). This is the second approach, and the only one that can suffice to explain the reality of the original Buddha being eternally present throughout past, present, and future.

Saito: This seems to be the most logical conclusion.

(TO BE CONTINUED)
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Old 02-13-2013, 11:53 AM #15
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I new this thread would become too big for itself .

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And that is our right and free will.

Make sure to medicate - before you meditate
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Old 02-13-2013, 12:20 PM #16
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The Wisdom of the Lotus Sutra, Volume five

pgs. 164-168

(SGI President Ikeda and Soka Gakkai study department leaders Katsuji Saito, Takanori Endo, and Haruo Suda explore the profound meaning of the Lotus Sutra based on Nichiren Daishonin's lecture on the Lotus Sutra, "The Record of the Orally Transmited Teachings.")

Ikeda: Bodhisattva Superior Practices is actually a Buddha who is exerting himself at the level of Buddhist practice that enables one to attain enlightenment. In other words, he is the Buddha embodying the simultaneity of cause and effect.

The original Buddha whose life is without beginning or end could not be revealed without the appearance of Superior Practices. His emergence points to the existence of the “true Buddha of kuon ganjo,” the Buddha enlightened from time without beginning, which far surpasses the idea of an unimaginably remote time called “numberless major world system dust particle kalpas ago.”

Suda: I am much clearer now on a number of points that were somewhat ambiguous.

This original Buddha whose life is without beginning or end is the Nam-myoho-renge-kyo Thus Come One that we refer to as the Buddha of absolute freedom of kuon ganjo or time without beginning.

Ikeda: That’s correct.

Suda: So it becomes clear that time without beginning in this context does not mean the remote past. It transcends the framework, indeed the very concept of time.

Ikeda: Yes, time without beginning is another name for life that is without beginning or end. It pertains, not to the doctrine of time, but to the doctrine of life.

The truth in the depths of life, the very life of the universe that continues to function ceaselessly, is referred to by the term time without beginning. This can also be called the “Thus Come One originally endowed with the three enlightened properties.”

Regarding the term “time without beginning” which in Japanese is kuon ganjo, the Daishonin says, “Kuon means neither created or adorned but remaining in one’s original state” (OTT, 141). “Not created” means inherently endowed; it does not indicate a specific point in time. “Not adorned” means not possessing the thirty-two features and eighty characteristics; it refers to ordinary people just as they are. “Remaining in one’s original state” means eternally existing.

Kuon signifies Nam-myoho-renge-kyo; it signifies the Gohonzon. When we pray to the Gohonzon, that very instant is beginningless time. For us, each day is beginningless time. Each day we can cause the supreme, pure, eternal life of time without beginning to well forth from our entire being. Each day we start anew from time without beginning, the starting point of life.

Saito: This is what it means to live based on the mystic principle of the true cause.

Ikeda: That’s why the present time is the most important. We should not dwell on the past; there is no need to do so. Those who exert themselves fully in the present moment and burn with great hope for the future are the true sages in life.

In transmitting the essence of the Lotus Sutra to Bodhisattva Superior Practices, Shakyamuni entrusts him with achieving kosen-rufu in the Latter Day of the Law. Therefore, when we stand up in earnest and work for the propagation of the eternal Mystic Law, we experience the eternity of time without beginning in each moment.

President Toda always regarded propagation of the Mystic Law as his personal responsibility, vowing to realize it without relying on anyone else. And he prayed that youth would rise up with the same great spirit of faith.

On one occasion before a gathering of about twenty youth, he suddenly called out in a powerful voice: “I will accomplish kosen-rufu!” He then had each person there repeat these words: One after another they fervently exclaimed, “I will achieve kosen-rufu by myself!” Some spoke with weak and unsure voices. Some were taken aback. And some later abandoned their faith. President Toda’s sole wish was for young people to stand up with the same determination that he himself cherished. This was his strict compassion. My feelings toward members of the youth division are exactly the same.

At any rate, although the doctrine concerning Bodhisattva Superior Practices is extremely difficult, since it is the very heart and essence of the Lotus Sutra, let’s pursue our investigation a little further.

Saito: So to confirm what we’ve covered so far, while the Lotus Sutra expounds the essential transmission from Shakyamuni as the Buddha enlightened since the remote past to Bodhisattva Superior Practices, the Law that is handed down is not the twenty-eight chapter Lotus Sutra, but the Law of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo that is contained in the sutra’s depths.

Ikeda: That’s right. But I think the expression “handed down” may invite misunderstanding. Fundamentally, Bodhisattva Superior Practices is already an entity of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. Since he has possessed this Law eternally, the purpose of the ceremony is merely to verify that he is qualified and charged with spreading Nam-myoho-renge-kyo in the Latter Day; it provides proof of his status.

Endo: Then if I may return once again to the analogy of inheritance of a family estate, it’s something like a document from the parent certifying the transference of assets.

Ikeda: I think you could say that. The “Supernatural Powers” chapter is the letter of certification. Compared to the Mystic Law itself, it is merely a shadow. To illustrate, let us say that a child receives ten million Yen form his parents. That would also be a kind of transmission. The ten million Yen is the essential teaching (body), and the certificate attesting that he has received it is the theoretical teaching (shadow). The difference between essential and theoretical is like day and night. This is also stated in the Daishonin’s writing, “The One Hundred and Six Comparisons.”

The Mystic Law which Shakyamuni received in the remote past when he was practicing the Bodhisattva Way at the level of hearing the name and the words of the truth is essential (the body), whereas Superior Practices and the others are theoretical (the shadow). The transmission of the essential teaching of the Lotus Sutra from beginningless time is the same as Nichiren’s present inheritance of the “Life Span” chapter.

This is complex. In essence Nichiren Daishonin says that since time without beginning, he—as a common mortal at the stage of hearing the name and the words of the truth—has been upholding the true Law of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, that is, the body or the essential teaching. From that standpoint, the ceremony involving Superior Practices and the other bodhisattvas is the shadow, or the theoretical teaching. The sutra is a prophesy; it is documentary proof authorizing the Daishonin to carry out widespread propagation of the Mystic Law.

The Nam-myoho-renge-kyo Thus Come One reflected on the canvas of the twenty-eight chapter Lotus Sutra manifests both as Shakyamuni who attained enlightenment in the remote past (the world of Buddhahood) and as Bodhisattva Superior Practices (the nine worlds). We must never forget that the Mystic Law is the “body,” and Bodhisattva Superior Practices is the “shadow.”

(TO BE CONTINUED)
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Old 02-13-2013, 12:35 PM #17
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The Wisdom of the Lotus Sutra, Volume five

pgs. 168-170

(SGI President Ikeda and Soka Gakkai study department leaders Katsuji Saito, Takanori Endo, and Haruo Suda explore the profound meaning of the Lotus Sutra based on Nichiren Daishonin's lecture on the Lotus Sutra, "The Record of the Orally Transmited Teachings.")


THERE ARE NO BUDDHAS
APART FROM HUMAN BEINGS


Endo: So the ceremony of transmission boils down to a passing of the eternal Law from the world of Buddhahood to the nine worlds. But what is the significance?

Ikeda: It indicates that the common mortal is a Buddha.

The point I would like to stress is that we might speak of the Buddha as a “perfect being” possessing the thirty-two features, this is an ideal image that recedes the closer you get, as in the poem about utopia that I cited earlier.

Although we might make assumptions about what a “perfect Buddha” is, in actuality this is nothing more than a target. In other words, there is no such thing as a Buddha living apart from the nine worlds of the ordinary person; an idealized Buddha possessing the thirty-two features simply does not exist. In reality, the Buddha can be found only in the life and activities of a bodhisattva. There is no Buddha other than the bodhisattva-Buddha.

The effect resides within the cause. That is to say, the simultaneity of cause and effect is the true aspect of attaining Buddhahood. This is the reality of the original Buddha’s enlightenment; therefore, apart from this there is no attainment of Buddhahood. The Daishonin says: “Shakyamuni’s practices and the virtues he consequently attained are all contained within the five characters of Myoho-renge-kyo. If we believe in these five characters, we will naturally be granted the same benefits as he was” (WND, 365).

Saito: What, then, is the reason for the description of perfect Buddhas possessing the thirty-two features? Is it simply to prompt people to practice, much as utopian ideals cause people to seek to advance humanity?

Ikeda: It is to motivate people to persevere in Buddhist practice. Descriptions of Buddhas endowed with wonderful and grand attributes generate within people a yearning to know such beings, which subsequently inspire them to strive to attain Buddhahood themselves. Such images are meant to awaken within people the desire to advance and seek self-improvement.

To say that the Buddha does not exist only means that ordinary people cannot see the Buddha with their own eyes. The world of Buddhahood is undeniably inherent in our lives; it just is not manifested anywhere but in the nine worlds.

As the Great Teacher Dengyo of Japan says, “The bliss body of the Buddha, which is created by causes, represents the provisional result obtained in a dream, while the uncreated, eternally endowed three enlightened bodies represent the eternal true Buddha.”

Suda: “Created” means that it is not inherent; it is something achieved that had not existed previously. The “bliss body of the Buddha” is a property of the Buddha achieved as a result of Buddhist practice. With the exception of the Buddha inherently endowed with the three enlightened properties, all Buddhas adorned with idealized features and characteristics are provisional Buddhas who symbolize the effects of Buddhist practice; they are but illusions.

Endo: An actual Buddha is inherently endowed with the three enlightened properties; it is an eternally existing condition of life, not something attained as a result of countless aeons of practice.

Saito: I have read this passage many times, but now I have en entirely fresh sense of its meaning.

Ikeda: Majestic Buddhas are but illusions that have nothing to do with reality. The only actual Buddhas are ordinary people who each moment bring forth the eternal life force of time without beginning. There is no Buddha existing apart from the people. A Buddha set above the people is a fake, and expedient means. Therefore, the correct way is to live with dignity as a human being and to continue along the supreme path in life; to do so is to be a Buddha.

This is what the Lotus Sutra teaches. The transmission to Bodhisattva Superior Practices in the “Supernatural Powers” chapter signifies such a transformation toward a Buddhism focused on the human being. As the Daishonin indicates when he says, “If you are of the same mind as Nichiren…..” we, who are endeavoring to spread the Mystic Law and thereby bring happiness to all humanity, are the Buddhas of the modern age. There are no others.

For this reason, those who use the SGI members for their personal gain will without fail experience retribution for acting against the Law of the Buddha. On the other hand, to work for the welfare of SGI members and strive to see them become ultimately happy is to cause wonderful benefit to bloom in one’s life.

(end of segment)
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Old 02-13-2013, 04:20 PM #18
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Niceeee brothers new chanting Growers 3D

Keep on chanting!!!

Nam-myoho-renge-kyo! Nam-myoho-renge-kyo!
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Old 02-13-2013, 05:39 PM #19
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Thank you Thomas! I love reading your posts!

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When we work for kosen-rufu and we stand up with the resolve to demonstrate the victory of faith, our lives overflow with benefit beyond belief.
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Old 02-13-2013, 07:35 PM #20
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Thank you Thomas! I love reading your posts!



Nam Myoho Renge Kyo!

This is TRUE!
Yes me too... is always a pleasure!
Thx Thomas
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