The purpose of the teachings of the Lotus Sutra and the
Gosho are basically for the achievement of
enlightenment for all living things. There are no absolute
and perfect people. There isn't one special person. A
very basic teaching of this Buddhism is that all living
beings have the T
en Worlds from Hell to Buddhahood
in their lives. There isn't a special, omnipotent and
omniscient person whom you can ask to absolve you of
your sins, approve your actions or enlighten you. Each
person should devote him- or herself to following the
Law and not a person. Practice diligently to polish your
own Buddha nature and achieve enlightenment. This is
the Daishonin's teaching.

Why #2 is wrong.
The DaiGohonzon was inscribed on October 12, 1279.

In the
Minobu area during the 13th-century there was a temple called Shijuku-in of the
Tendai sect. In his childhood Second High Priest Nikko Shonin studied and entered the
priesthood at this temple. Following his stay at Shijuku-in he became a disciple of
Nichiren Daishonin and accompanied him into exile to Izu Peninsula and throughout his
life. Once the Daishonin retired to Minobu Nikko Shonin spent much of his time
converting his family and friends, and priests he had studied with at Shijuku-in. He was
so successful at propagation that the number of people following the Daishonin's
teachings grew rapidly. The Chief Priest of Shijuku-in became very suspicious of Nikko
Shonin's activities and appealed to the government to have him stopped. Nothing was
done so Nikko Shonin moved on to the nearby village of Atsuhara. Again in and around
Atsuhara Nikko Shonin very successfully converted large numbers of farmers. These
peasant folk firmly believed in the Daishonin's teaching. Despite the efforts of the priest
from the local temple to force these believers to refrain from practicing the Daishonin's
teachings and to return to
Nembutsu beliefs, the peasant farmers never doubted and
never recanted their faith even in the face of the menacing threats levied against them.

Finally, on September 21, 1279 the persecution of the Atsuhara believers heightened
when the Shogunate government sent samurai into the area. Twenty peasant believers
were arrested and transported back to Kamakura where they were detained. Three
brothers, Jinshiro, Yagoro and Yarokuro became the spokesmen for these believers.
They stood up to the Shogunate and proclaimed that Nichiren Daishonin's Buddhism is
the only true Buddhism and the only way to become enlightened. As a result of their
bold stance they were summarily beheaded. Despite the execution of the three brothers
the remaining farmers held firm to their faith. Consequently they were banished from
Atsuhara and became homeless.

To state it clearly, martyrdom is not the purpose of Nichiren Daishonin's teachings. You
should carry out your faith in true Buddhism no matter what obstacles may confront
you, even if you should die as a result. This is most important. But you are not
sacrificing your life for the Law. Should you die, you are dying for yourself. You must
realize that your life, and all life, is fundamentally
Namu-myoho-renge-kyo. That is why
you must hold on to your belief in Namu-myoho-renge-kyo no matter how difficult it is
tpo do so. Even if you die in the process you must hold steadfast to your faith, not for
the sake of the Law, but for yourself.

Early Christian missionaries who came to Japan to convert the Japanese were put to
death by the government. Christians also murdered in the name of Christ.
Notwithstanding, there were a great number of Christian martyrs compared with only
three martyrs in Nichiren Daishonin's Buddhism. The important thing here is that these
three brothers - Jinshiro, Yagoro and Yarokuro - of Atsuhara did not forsake the Law
when facing death. It is religious persecution when one is put to death for his beliefs.
But there is a great difference in meaning between one dying for God, and one making
use of his life for the true Law.

Nichiren Daishonin, recognizing how staunch the faith of these believers was, decided
that the time had arrived for him to manifest the supreme object of worship. So with the
help of Nikko Shonin, and another disciple, Nippo, he inscribed the DaiGohonzon.

If the meaning and spirit of anything is forgotten--this includes the DaiGohonzon--then it
is just a thing. If you only see the external aspect of the DaiGohonzon and forget that its
spirit is Namu-myoho-renge-kyo, then it is only an idol. To worship this then would be
idol worship.

At the present time Taiseki-ji insists that wherever the DaiGohonzon resides is the right
and virtuous place. This is wrong. They forget the most important thing, which is how
the Daishonin describes the heart and spirit of this DaiGohonzon. "The Real Aspect of
the Gohonzon" reads in part, "The Gohonzon exists only within the mortal flesh of us
ordinary people who embrace the Lotus Sutra and chant Namu-myoho-renge-kyo. The
body is the palace of the ninth consciousness, the unchanging reality which reigns over
all life's functions. To be 'endowed with the Ten Worlds' means that all the Ten Worlds
without exception are contained in the one world of Buddhahood. That is why the
Gohonzon is called a mandala. Mandala is a Sanskrit word meaning 'perfectly endowed'
or 'cluster of blessings.' The Gohonzon is found in faith alone."

Nikken Abe and the priests and lay believers who follow him have all forgotten this
spirit. Nikken and his followers cannot be saved for they are far removed from the
Daishonin's teachings.

The foregoing is my argument. My intention is to point out the erroneous views of
Taiseki-ji, and what the spirit of the Daishonin is.

Q: What is the function of the High Priest?

A: Above all it is for him to transmit the Daishonin's true teachings to everyone, and to
be the model for all of us to follow in the Daishonin's true teachings.

Q: Doesn't the Shoshin-kai need the High Priest in order to remain connected to

A: No, because Nikken himself is wrong and, as a result of the power he has gained, he
has lost the heart of the Law; he has lost its spirit. It is a sad thing.

Q: If Nikken Abe apologizes will the Shoshin-kai return to Taiseki-ji?

A: He should not apologize to us. Nikken Abe thinks he is the Law. If he reevaluates
and reforms his own thinking Taiseki-ji will change a lot. Enlightenment is the purpose
of faith; returning to Taiseki-ji is not. The most important thing is to return to the
Daishonin's true teachings. If we return to Taiseki-ji as it is today we will be smeared
with slander.

Q: Is there hope for reconciliation between Shoshin-kai and Nichiren Shoshu, now that
Nichiren Shoshu has excommunicated the Soka Gakkai? Would this mean the
Shoshin-kai will recognize the legitimacy of Nikken's succession to the High Priesthood?

A: First of all, we do not recognize Nikken as having legitimately acceded to the position
of High Priest. We have always been ready to talk to Taiseki-ji - anytime anywhere. But
Taiseki-ji says if the Shoshin-kai does not agree to an absolute Gohonzon and absolute
High Priest they will not talk. It will be very difficult to talk to Taiseki-ji if they won't
open their eyes to the Daishonin's true teachings. The correct path of true faith is not
through group negotiations and bargaining. It is for each one of us to carefully consider
whether Taiseki-ji's assertions are true or not. The Shoshin-kai does not acknowledge
Nikken's claim of succession to the position of High Priest. There was no transfer
ceremony for him to receive the position from Nittatsu Shonin and no transfer
document. From the Nichiren Daishonin's point of view Nikken is wrong. He deviates
from the Daishonin's teachings.

Q: Why does the Shoshin-kai do a longer Gongyo?

A: Seventy years ago, when the Soka Gakkai formed, they asked Taiseki-ji to
abbreviate the Hoben chapter. They felt it was too long. That is how the shortened form
came about. It is important to recite the entire Hoben chapter because that is the original
form of Gongyo that Nichiren Daishonin, Second High Priest Nikko Shonin, and Third
High Priest Nichimoku Shonin recited.

Q: Why do we have to chant aloud? Can't we chant silently?

A: When practicing the Buddhist Law you must employ body, mind and voice-these
three. If you are not sick or your voice is not injured you should chant aloud. Other than
that, if the neighbors complain, you can also practice silently.
This is NOT an official site of
the Nichiren Shoshu Shoshin-kai
By Reverend Raido Hirota
Ballerinas  by Degas
Translated and edited by Udumbara Foundation staff.