The Wisdom of the Lotus Sutra, Volume five
(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.")
VICTORY OF MENTOR AND DISCIPLE!
VICTORY OF FAITH!
Endo: It’s true that people sometimes limit the beneficial power of daimoku without realizing it. We need to be confident that, just as Nichikan says, “no prayer will go unanswered.”
Ikeda: That’s right. In particular, the prayers of those who are exerting themselves to accomplish the propagation of the Mystic Law cannot fail to be answered. The Daishonin says, “If you are of the same mind as Nichiren, you must be a Bodhisattva of the Earth” (WND, 385). To be “of the same mind as Nichiren” means to cherish the same determination for kosen-rufu. 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.
We receive benefit because we work for kosen-rufu, which is the wish of the Buddha. This is analogous to how someone who works for a company receives a salary.
Second Soka Gakkai president Josei Toda characterized those who chant with a laundry list of things they want, as though it were the duty of the Gohonzon to supply benefit, as having “beggar’s faith.” And he urged that instead they should stand up with the determination: “I will stake my life on the struggle for kosen-rufu!”
When we muster the faith to uphold the Gohonzon and the Mystic Law with our very lives, we are protected by the Buddhas and bodhisattvas throughout time and space. In response to our earnest efforts in faith to score resounding victory for the SGI, an organization dedicated to the widespread propagation of the Mystic Law, all the protective functions of the universe come to our aid. What was Mr. Toda’s prayer when he was imprisoned alongside his mentor, Mr. Makaguchi? Each day, morning and evening, he prayed: “I am young and my mentor is old. If only my mentor could be released even one day sooner, it would not matter how long I remained. May my mentor be quickly released!”
The wisdom of the Buddha is vast and boundless. Although President Makaguchi died in prison, Mr. Toda, his faithful disciple, survived the ordeal and went on to prove the greatness of his mentor. Now because of his selfless struggle against nationalism, the SGI has gained immense trust in Asia and throughout the world.
Saito: President Makaguchi is lauded across the globe. In Brazil, for example, schools in increasing numbers are implementing his value-creating pedagogy. And a number of municipalities have named parks and streets after him.
Ikeda: President Makaguchi triumphed. President Toda’s prayers were victorious. Their struggle transcended life and death.
Japan, with its parochial, island-nation mentality, confined the truly great Mr. Makaguchi to a tiny, one-person cell. However, due to the unyielding determination of his disciple, Mr. Toda, Mr. Makaguchi’s greatness has broken free of such shackles and reached the far corners of the earth. This is a genuine united struggle of mentor and disciple. In the “Supernatural Powers” chapter, too we have a ceremony of mentor and disciple.
Endo: Yes. The Bodhisattvas of the Earth are disciples whom Shakyamuni has instructed since the remote past. In this chapter Shakyamuni entrusts them with the propagation of the Lotus Sutra in the Latter Day of the Law.
Saito: This is the key point. If we only look at the literal meaning of the chapter’s text, we wind up with the simple interpretation that Nichiren Daishonin, as the reincarnation of Bodhisattva Superior Practices, spread the twenty-eight-chapter Lotus Sutra of Shakyamuni.
Suda: That is, in fact, the standard interpretation.
Saito: But Nichiren Daishon says: “Myoho-renge-kyo is not the Mystic Law of Shakyamuni, because when the events in this [‘Supernatural Powers’] chapter takes place, the essence of the sutra has already been transmitted to Bodhisattva Superior Practices” (OTT, 167) The Daishonin is clearly stating here that the teaching he is spreading is not that of Shakyamuni.
(TO BE CONTINUED)
Last edited by PassTheDoobie; 02-13-2013 at 10:40 AM..