And a Happy Rissho Ankoku Ron to You: An Open Letter to Daido Nakamoto

Dear Rev. Nakamoto,

Since, we gather, you are focusing on drumming up participation for a pilgrimage celebrating the 750th anniversary of the Rissho Ankoku Ron at your meeting, we would like to question your understanding of this writing. Here is an important quote at its center:

Moreover, the Nirvana Sutra states: “If even a good monk sees someone destroying the teaching and disregards him, failing to reproach him, to oust him, or to punish him for his offense, then you should realize that that monk is betraying the Buddha’s teaching. But if he ousts the destroyer of the Law, reproaches him, or punishes him, then he is my disciple and a true voice-hearer.” WND-1, pg. 17

It is clear from this quote that you, as a priest, should be concerned about clarifying what is true and what is erroneous in the practice of Nichiren’s Buddhism. It seems clear from this that you would be very happy to have the opportunity to meet with SGI leaders in a public discussion to reveal the truth and refute the erroneous.

At this meeting we are hoping we can jointly discuss the following points:

In the spirit of the Rissho Ankoku Ron

The Rissho Ankoku Ron takes the form of a dialogue and this underlies Nichiren’s eternal spirit to engage in dialogue to prove the righteousness of his teachings. In this spirit we are asking to meet with you on Sunday as well as in future occasions to fully, openly, and publicly explore what is the true spirit and doctrine of Nichiren’s Buddhism. These include discussions of the following topics:

  • All human beings have an equal ability to manifest Buddhahood.
  • All priests and lay people are equal and can equally understand Nichiren Buddhism..
  • In none of the writings designated by Nikko Shonin as the most important Gosho are there any mentions of a “living essence” of Buddhism that travels from high priest to high priest beyond Nichiren’s transmittal to Nikko.
  • There have been extreme violations and deviations of Nichiren Daishonin’s Buddhism in the history of the Fuji School.
  • Nikko Shonin’s Twenty-Six Admonitions provide a framework for removing high priests and other priests who have disgraced Nichiren’s teachings.

Clarifying the contributions of SGI President Ikeda

In your posted Oko lectures you have refrained from any mention of our mentor, Daisaku Ikeda. At our meeting we would like you to acknowledge that his past and current contributions to Nichiren Buddhism and to society are actual proof of the correctness of his practice of Nichiren’s Buddhism

We would also like you to clarify your statement in your January sermon (“These Fourteen Slanders are not only committed by those who are non-believers of Buddhism. Even those who have received Gojukai and have practiced Buddhism for many years—such as those who follow the SGI—commit slanders such as arrogance, shallow, self-satisfied understanding, and arbitrary, egotistical judgment, and fall off the correct path of True Buddhism.”). We would like you to acknowledge that the appearance of the SGI and its three mentors is a manifestation of the Daishonin’s will.

Renouncing discredited statements of your colleagues

At our discussion we are hoping you will you publicly discredit the following statements made by other Nichiren Shoshu priests that have sullied the reputation of Buddhism to the general public:

  • Rev. Dorei Ito’s statement that Mother Teresa leads people to hell?
  • Rev. Kosho Mizushima offensive statements at a training course in 1997 that God and Allah are “heartless and uncharitable gods” and that “religions that force people to believe in gods who do not exist are, indeed, arrogant faiths that lack compassion.”
  • Rev. Jisei Nagasaka’s tasteless statements about Christianity and monotheism (“discard imperfect precepts based on imperfect religions and ideas such as the Judeo-Christian Ten Commandments”).
  • Rev. Jisei Nagasaka’s incendiary statements about Islam (e.g., , “Just as Indian Buddhism was destroyed by Islam [sic]… all slanderous religions, including Islam, will be defeated by true Buddhism in this [age].”
  • Rev. Jisei Nagasaka’s statement statements about the death of SGI leader David Aoyama which insinuated that Mr. Aoyama died on September 11th as a form of divine retribution.

We would be delighted to arrange a meeting with you to discuss guidelines for how such a joint discussion would proceed.

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