1) "Ugly New SGI Pressure Group"
A few SGI members in New York have erected a website for their own benefit and communication. One of them made the suggestion that the SGI should "liberate" the Dai Gohonzon, which is currently enshrined at Taisekiji. SG-eye would like to make it appear that this is a growing, militant sentiment that is prevalent throughout the SGI. It is, more accurately, bluster from a few people who have absolutely no way to implement such a plan, and who would have little support throughout the SGI membership if they were trying to elicit such support. Which they are not.
Yet the good folks at SG-eye write that this "sounds like something that would have been said by various radical European governments during the middle of the last century. These efforts to 'liberate' various cities and regions lead to violence on a massive scale and WW2."
Later on they accuse the SGI of "abusing the Holocaust"!
On "The Dai Gohonzon:" This is a mandala enshrined at the Nichiren Shoshu head temple Taisekiji. Nichiren Shoshu maintains that it is the one true, ultimate and basic Gohonzon inscribed in 1279 by the Daishonin. As supporters of Nichiren Shoshu until 1991, the SGI long subscribed to this idea also. However, in his writings, the Daishonin makes no distinction from one Gohonzon to another, and never mentioned a Dai Gohonzon as the most fundamental. In fact, he says the "fundamental" basis for the Object of Worship is the Buddhahood inherent in each individual's life: "Never seek this Gohonzon outside yourself," he instructs. "The Gohonzon exists only within the mortal flesh of us ordinary people who embrace the Lotus Sutra and chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo." (Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, p. 832) The SGI now subscribes solely to the teaching of Nichiren Daishonin in this regard, while Nichiren Shoshu clings to its tradition that, without the Dai Gohonzon, no one can attain Buddhahood. Still, because of the long relationship with Nichiren Shoshu, many SGI members feel an empathy with the Dai Gohonzon — it holds a special place in their hearts. Hence, the sympathy among the New York members to "liberate" it.
As to who "owns" it: Nichiren said he was not a founder or member of any sect, and in his writings makes it clear that the actions he took throughout his life were due to his compassion for all humanity. As his immediate successor, Nikko Shonin had possession of the Dai Gohonzon when he founded Taisekiji in 1290. There is not an exact analogy, but think of it in terms of Jesus' message being claimed by a publisher of the Bible. In a sense, the publisher "owns" the words he translated; but can he copyright and control the message of Christian salvation?
Nichiren Shoshu certainly has physical possession of this one object, and under Japanese law is likely its "owner." But, the matter of "owning" the Dai Gohonzon, then, is problematical. Using Nichiren Shoshu's own argument, if the Dai Gohonzon is the basic element necessary for all people's happiness, it certainly can not "own" it. If, as Nichiren taught and the SGI teaches, the basic element for happiness is faith, then it doesn't matter who "owns" one particular object.
"Cash and Cancer Cures" for Voodoo Curses
Rev Narita's speech was about
a fundamental tenet of Nichiren Daishonin's Buddhism: that there is immense
benefit in fighting to propagate the correct teaching, and refuting and
opposing those who would muddle that teaching with their own interpretations.
He relates the experiences of two ordinary people who decided to live that
way. He does not say that chanting (praying) to defeat Nichiren Shoshu
cures cancer and produces money — only that these people, who were facing
those particular problems in their own lives, saw those particular results
from the change in their own life conditions.
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