Rebutting the Nichiren Shoshu Priesthood's Condemnation of the Soka Gakkai's Conferral of the Gohonzon 
The following is a point-by-point rebuttal to charges made by the Nichiren Shoshu priesthood in a document they published called NST News, Special Issue: Soka Gakkai Announces Issuance of Counterfeit Gohonzons, in which the priesthood argues that the Gakkai does not have the right to confer the Gohonzon on its members. Any special brackets "{}" include text we have added for clarity, based upon the full text of the NST document. "NST" is the acronym for the religious corporation "Nichiren Shoshu Temples" in the United States. 
NST allegation #2 

The high priest is endowed with complete authority of the Gohonzon. 

The transmission document Seven Teachings on the Gohonzon Transmitted From Master to Disciple states, 'This [the transcription of the characters "Nichiren" on the Gohonzon by the transcribing High Priest] specifically means that each High Priest corresponds [in function] to Nichiren' (Fuji Shugaku Yoshu, vol. 1. p. 32). This indicates that all of the doctrines relating to the Gohonzon are transmitted throughout the ten thousand years of the Latter Day of the Law through the exclusive transmission of the Heritage of the Law from one High Priest to the next. It is in this that the solemn transmission of the Entity of the Law exists. (NST News, Special Issue, p. 3) 

Rebuttal to allegation #2 

(i) This "Seven Teachings on the Gohonzon" passage does not refer to the transmission of secret teachings about the Gohonzon exclusively through the successive high priests or imply the existence of a mystic spiritual entity ("the heritage of the entity of the Law") possessed and transmitted only by high priests. 

"Seven Teachings on the Gohonzon" records the Daishonin's orally transmitted teachings and Nikko Shonin's comments on the meaning of various inscriptions on the Gohonzon, as well as instructions on the transcription of the Gohonzon. This particular passage simply indicates that when transcribing the Gohonzon, the high priest must write "Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, Nichiren" down the center, exactly as the Daishonin did. 

After the Daishonin's passing, his senior disciples other than Nikko Shonin wrote "Nam-myoho-renge-kyo" down the center of the Gohonzon, but added their own names below instead of "Nichiren." They regarded the inscription "Nichiren" under ''Nam-myoho-renge-kyo'' on the Gohonzon only as a signature, and failed to understand the significance of the oneness of the Person and the Law this expressed. In light of these circumstances, Nikko Shonin explains in this passage from "Seven Teachings on the Gohonzon" the importance of writing "Nichiren" on the Gohonzon. Could Nikko Shonin have intended the words "each high priest corresponds to Nichiren" as a magic formula that automatically turns each high priest into a true Buddha? It does not seem likely. There is nothing magical or supernatural in Buddhism. Nikko Shonin meant this as an admonition to each high priest that he is transcribing the Gohonzon on the Daishonin's behalf, not his own. He is instructing them to write the Daishonin's name, not their own, on the Gohonzon. Instead of taking Nikko Shonin's spirit to heart, Nikken has completely twisted it, trying to use this admonition as a carte blanche endorsement of his own authority. 

(ii) Gohonzon issued by the SGI are reproduced from the Gohonzon that High Priest Nichikan transcribed in exact accord with the instructions of the Daishonin and Nikko Shonin, including those in the "Seven Teachings on the Gohonzon." They are therefore correct and valid Gohonzon of Nichiren Daishonin's Buddhism. 

(iii) All of the so-called transfer documents at Taiseki-ji already have been published. Regarding the transfer documents that he himself received as the 66th high priest, Nittatsu once stated: "Nichiko Shonin [the 66th high priest who was also a noted Buddhist scholar] has published everything. There is, therefore, nothing special or secret about it." There exists no secret teaching in Daishonin's Buddhism possessed exclusively by the high priest.



All material is from the booklet Reaffirming Our Right to Happiness, issued by SGI-USA, and used without permission.