Gosho and Guidance Quotes: Why the SGI Eternally Fights Injustice

Daido Nakamoto instructs his followers: “Don’t talk to SGI members!” These instructions are self-serving: the safety of his status as a priest is assured as long as none of his followers think objectively about what he is saying. For him, believers’ ignorance is bliss.

The only problem is: this has nothing to do with Nichiren’s Buddhism! Only a dodo (a Daido should know better) would ignore that Nichiren’s life and writings were nothing else but the courageous challenging of erroneous teachings in order to clarify the truth.

I have compiled a series of quotations from both the Writings of Nichiren Daishonin (WND) and various guidances from President Ikeda to clarify why the SGI eternally fights evil. I am writing this post because Nichiren’s Buddhism clearly demands that practitioners fight with the same spirit as the founder. “We need to chant with the same mind and attitude as the Daishonin. In other words, our chanting of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo–the daimoku–must be based on faith, the spirit to battle fundamental darkness. The daimoku that the Daishonin spread could be described as “fighting daimoku.” (LB, March-April 2006, 75). Here is another introductory thought:

“Shakyamuni thoroughly reproached Devadatta’s evil. There is no doubt about that. It is by denouncing evil that we can cause such people to open their eyes. That is because hearing voices resounding with the justice of the Mystic Law has the effect of activating the Buddha nature that lies dormant in an evil person’s heart. But because such a person’s heart is covered with a thick, rocklike crust of ignorance, a weak voice will not reach it. It takes a voice of censure, one that strictly takes evil to task, to break through this hard crust and illuminate the Buddha nature.” (Living Buddhism, June 2003, 37).

Quotes from the Gosho

To hope to attain Buddhahood without speaking out against slander is as futile as trying to find water in the midst of fire or fire in the midst of water.

Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, 747

Bodhisattvas, have no fear of mad elephants. What you should fear are evil friends! …Even if you are killed by a mad elephant, you will not fall into the three evil paths. But if you are killed by an evil friend, you are certain to fall into them.

WND, 11

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

As Chang-an has noted,] “One who rids the offender of evil is acting as his parent.”
WND, 287

In [the Latter Day of the Law] there will be evil monks who will steal this sutra and divide it into many parts, losing the color, scent and flavor of the correct teaching that it contains. These evil men will read and recite this sutra, but they will ignore and put aside the profound and vital principles that the Thus Come One has expounded in it and replace them with ornate rhetoric and meaningless talk.
WND, 271

People think that good deeds are all equal in their goodness; thus they adhere to lesser good and do not realize that, in doing so, they bring about major evil.
WND, 78

Now is the time when, because the impurity of thought prevails, more people fall into the evil paths with the intention of creating good causes than they do by committing evil.”
WND, 78

If, knowing the best path, one sees one’s parents or sovereign taking an evil path, can one fail to admonish them? If a fool, crazed with wine, is about to drink poison, can one, knowing this, not try to stop him? In the same way, if one understands the truth of the Buddhist teachings and knows the sufferings of [the worlds of hell, hunger and animality], can one fail to lament at seeing someone to whom one owes a debt of gratitude about to fall into the evil paths? Rather one should cast away one’s body and lay down one’s life in an effort to save such a person. One will never grow weary of admonishing him, nor will their be limits to one’s grief.
WND, 122-123

I hope we may set about as quickly as possible taking measures to deal with these slanders against the Law and bring peace to the world without delay.
WND, 26

Only the worms that are born from the body of the lion itself will feed on the lion’s flesh. In the same way, Ananda, the Buddha’s teachings cannot be destroyed by outside forces. But the evil monks who exist within the body of my teachings — they are the ones who will destroy these teachings that the Buddha has labored over and worked to establish for a period of three great asamkhya kalpas.

WND, 577

The devil king of the sixth heaven has attempted to take possession of my body. But I have for some time been taking such great care that he now no longer comes near me.

WND, 310.

Devadatta was the foremost good friend to the Thus Come One Shakyamuni. In this age as well, it is not one’s allies, but ones powerful enemies who assist one’s progress.The Hojo clan in Kamakura could not have firmly established itself as the ruler of Japan had it not been for the challenges posed by Yoshimori and the Retired Emperor of Oki. In this sense these men were the best allies the ruling clan could have. For me, Nichiren, my best allies in attaining Buddhahood are Kagenobu, the priests Ryokan, Doryu and Doamidabutsu, and Hei no Saemon and the lord of Sagami. I am grateful when I think that without them I could not have proved myself to be the votary of the Lotus Sutra.
WND I, 770

The Buddha and Devadatta are like a form and its shadow—in lifetime after lifetime, they are never separated.
WND I, 278

From these examples you may imagine how inadequate are the scholars of this latter evil age! It is far better to be an evil person who learns nothing of Buddhism at all than to put one’s faith in such men, who declare that heaven is earth, east is west, or fire is water, or assert that the star is bigger than the moon, or an anthill higher than Mt. Sumeru.
WND I, 599

None of you who declare yourselves to be my disciples should ever give way to cowardice. Neither should you allow concern for your parents, wife, or children to hold you back, or be worried about your property. Since countless kalpas in the past you have thrown away your life more times than the number of dust particles of the land for the sake of your parents, your children, or your lands. But not once have you given up your life for the Lotus Sutra. You may have tried to practice its teachings to some extent, but whenever you were persecuted, you backslid and ceased to live by the sutra. That is like boiling water only to pour it into cold water, or like trying to strike fire but giving up halfway. Each and every one of you should be certain deep in your heart that sacrificing your life for the Lotus Sutra is like exchanging rocks for gold or dung for rice.
WND I, 764

It also says: “After the Former Day of the Law has ended and the Middle Day of the Law has begun, there will be monks who will give the appearance of abiding by the rules of monastic discipline. But they will scarcely ever read or recite the sutras, and instead will crave all kinds of food
and drink to nourish their bodies. . . . Though they wear the clothes of a monk, they will go about searching for alms like so many huntsmen who, narrowing their eyes, stalk softly. They will be like a cat on the prowl for mice.” The Parinirvana Sutra states, “There are also icchantikas who resemble arhats but who commit evil deeds.”
WND I, 406

Concerning the third group of enemies of the Lotus Sutra, the sutra says: “Or there will be forest-dwelling monks wearing clothing of patched rags and living in retirement . . . they will preach the Law to white-robed laymen and will be respected and revered by the world as though they were arhats who possess the six transcendental powers.” And the six volume Parinirvana Sutra states: “There are also icchantikas who resemble arhats but who commit evil deeds. There are also arhats who resemble icchantikas but display merciful hearts. The icchantikas who look like arhats spend their time slandering the correct and equal sutras to the populace. The arhats who look like icchantikas, on the other hand, are critical of the voice-hearers and go about preaching the correct and equal sutras. They address the populace, saying, ‘You and I are all bodhisattvas. Why? Because each living being possesses the Buddha nature.’ But the populace will probably call such men icchantikas.”
WND I, 275

The fact that I have attained impartial and correct enlightenment and can save living beings on a broad scale is all due to Devadatta, who was a good friend.

Lotus Sutra, Ch. 12, p. 184.

Quotes from President Ikeda’s Guidance

The Daishonin states,

“Though evils may be numerous,

they cannot prevail over a single great truth”*

Both SGI’s pride and tradition exists

in the spirit of refuting evil thoughts and erroneous beliefs

(that will misguide people into suffering and misery).

Never ever yield to any form of injustice or malicious lies!

“Many in Body, One in Mind”, WND-I, page 618
To My Friends, May 14th, 2008

While it is true that all living beings are entities of the Mystic Law whose lives are inherently endowed with the state of Buddhahood, unless we strive in earnest to dispel the obstructing clouds of fundamental darkness, the world of Buddhahood will not actually manifest in our lives. It is not something we can hope to achieve if we are halfhearted, simply going through the motions of chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. Much less will it be achieved by having priests chant for us instead! It is up to each person who chants Nam-myoho-renge-kyo to wage an individual struggle to dispel the darkness in his or her life. Because this darkness arises from our inner delusion, the struggle to defeat it must be waged within. In short, this struggle means persevering in faith.”
LB, March-April 2006, 74-75

Buddhist compassion entails fighting against traitors and ingrates. The Soka Gakkai is the most joyful and harmonious realm in the entire universe. We cannot permit devilish forces to destroy it. We must never let even one individual with evil intentions come anywhere near our noble organization!”
WT, Dec 9, 2004

To attain Buddhahood, we have to thoroughly conquer our own inner evil. The concrete means for doing so is struggling against and defeating external evil. Struggling to defeat evil enables us to polish and purify our lives and attain Buddhahood. Because we strive against the ultimate evil, we attain the ultimate good.
Wisdom of the Lotus Sutra, III, 84

To remain silent and passive in the face of evil is itself an evil act. As founding Soka Gakkai president Tsunesaburo Makiguchi noted, those who pretend not to see a wrong or injustice are, by their silence, contributing to its escalation and end up no different from the wrongdoers. Kosen-rufu is a struggle of words and ideas. As such, we must fight resolutely against erroneous ideas and falsehoods that cause people suffering and misery. http://www.sokaspirit.org/whats_new/enewsletter43.shtml

Let me again share some teachings of Mr. Toda. On one occasion, he said: “People who are lax toward evil, people who do not fight against wrong, no matter how good-natured they are or how impressive they may appear on the surface, ultimately have no principles, no convictions. They have no real character, either. They are devious, self-serving individuals.”,
http://www.sokaspirit.org/whats_new/enewsletter43.shtml

Fourth–

[The members of Kansai] have the courage to

“refute the erroneous

and reveal the true.”

They actively take on

formidable adversaries

who seek to destroy Buddhism,

“raising their voices all the more

and admonishing [slander of the Law},”

just as the Daishonin urges.

They speak out for what is right,

hitting back with ten words of truth

for every word of malicious falsehood.

“The voice does the Buddha’s work” —

this is the essence of Buddhism.

The sound of voices of valor

are the exhilarating driving force

of undefeated victory.
Poem, “Why Kansai Won”

In essence, we chant daimoku to achieve kosen-rufu. We also chant daimoku to fight against the devilish functions within life. Great benefit will illuminate those who have fought against the power of the “three obstacles and four devils” and the forces of “the three powerful enemies.” Daimoku is the source of energy to take action against these negative forces within life. Now is the time for you to fight against the forces of evil and build the foundation for your eternal happiness.
Message, Day of Spiritual Independence, Nov 28, 2006

“Each of you should summon up the courage of a lion king and never succumb to threats from anyone,” urges Nichiren (WND-1. 997). We can never be defeated as long as we, with the heart of lion king, carry on our courageous struggle of words for truth and justice.
WT, Feb 9, 2007, 7

When we bravely struggle to protect the Law the power of our courage dispels the mist of fundamental delusion that shrouds out hearts and allows the limitless power of the Law to flow from our lives. We reveal the life-state of Buddhahood that is one with the Mystic Law.
LB, Nov 2002, 27

Fighting spirit is a non-regressing spirit. If we do not fight continuously and energetically, we cannot prevail over the magnetic force of negative influence. Please remember this vital principle for victory in life.
LB, Jan-Feb 2007, 6

We must not relax in our struggle against evil. We need to raise our voice even more and denounce injustice. This is Daishonin’s injunction. Let us boldly proclaim the truth of Buddhism.
WT, Oct 22, 04

Because Shakyamuni defeated Devadatta, Devadatta’s ‘evil’ helped prove Shakyamuni’s ‘good’. On the other hand, had Shakyamuni been defeated by evil, then it certainly would not have been possible for him to call Devadatta a good friend…If evil functions to reveal good, then evil in its entirety becomes good. This is truly the oneness of good and evil. But if evil is simply allowed to run its course, then it does not become good. Only when evil is thoroughly challenged and conquered, does it become an entity of the oneness of good and evil. In that sense, the enlightenment of evil people presented in the ‘Devadatta’ chapter is great proof of the victory won by Shakyamuni. It is his ‘victory declaration’. Only when he stands in this lofty state of life as a winner, can he say that Devadatta had in a past life been a good friend and mentor, and had in t
his life aided his efforts to instruct people.
Conversations on the Lotus Sutra, 16

Josei Toda, “Those who do not despise hypocrisy are hypocrites themselves. People of justice are outraged by injustice and fight against it.”
Source missing

Do not fear, through obstacles surround you,

You, a Bodhisattva of the Earth,

The youth who pledged his oath before the Buddha,

Arise to carry out his heavy mission,

Mighty waves that tower on high,

Break with all your fury,

Test your power against mine!
Youthful Diary, 8/10/1950 entry

Now thanks to the priesthood, we are learning that what matters is not only what we believe in but also how we believe in it, that what people sometimes think of as faith in the Gohonzon can be a problem.
Buddhism in a New Light, 13

They (the priests in Nikken sect) act as if they revere the Daishonin, but in fact they are betraying his most profound intent. They are transforming a teaching of supreme respect for human beings into a teaching of the most deplorable contempt for human beings. They want to destroy the path of the oneness of mentor and disciple as taught by the Daishonin because of their own arrogant disdain for the laity.
Wisdom of the Lotus Sutra I, 160

Nothing is more foolish than to be taken in by such corrupt people. It is important that we see through them. — To reject the oneness of mentor and disciple is to reject the mutual possession of the Ten Worlds; it constitutes an attack on the fundamental equality of all human beings. The true nature of the Nikken sect is revealed here for all to see.
Wisdom of the Lotus Sutra I, 161

Devadatta did not try to understand Shakyamuni’s difficult ordeal. Why couldn’t he see this? Most likely it’s because he had given up his own internal struggle. If we perceive our inner evil but neglect efforts to conquer it, then our lives are instantaneously stained with evil. In that sense, a good person is someone who struggles against evil. It is by fighting the evil around us that we eradicate evil within our lives and so purify them. That is the path of human revolution.
Wisdom of the Lotus Sutra III, 76

The Lotus Sutra’s doctrine of three thousand realms in a single moment of life is the ultimate philosophy of self-reflection. It is a philosophy of equality that does not permit anyone the arrogance to claim special nobility or status. It is a philosophy of the sanctity of all life.
Wisdom of the Lotus Sutra III, 77

Intelligence makes a good person that much better and on evil person that much worse. Probably Devadatta’s inner mind was not that of a person of faith but of a person of ambition. A person of faith seeks self-mastery; a person of ambition or power seeks to control others. A person of faith takes action, works hard and struggles to overcome his or her inner weakness; a person driven by a desire for power forces others to work for his own selfish purpose, never reflecting upon himself. Devadatta, perhaps on account of arrogance, was such a person, and so in the end he departed from the path of a person of faith.
Wisdom of the Lotus Sutra III, 72

Buddhism is a struggle with all kinds of devilish, negative forces inherent in life. Without struggling against and overcoming such enemies, there is no enlightenment, there is no true joy, there is no human revolution, there is no Buddhism. Unless we struggle with all our might against the forces of darkness and negativity, we cannot become Buddhas.
Wisdom of the Lotus Sutra IV, 94

To attain Buddhahood, we have to thoroughly conquer our own inner evil. The concrete means for doing so is struggling against and defeating external evil. Struggling to defeat evil enables us to polish and purify our lives and attain Buddhahood. Because we strive against the ultimate evil, we attain the ultimate good.
Wisdom of the Lotus Sutra III, 84

Nichiren writes: “My wish is that my disciples will be cubs of the lion king, never to be laughed at by the pack of foxes. It is hard to encounter a master like Nichiren who since distant kalpas in the past down to the present day has never begrudged his body or life in order to expose the faults of his powerful enemies!” (WND-2, pg. 1062) . The cubs of the lion king have the potential to become lion kings as well. In order to do so, they need to struggle selflessly, brimming with the spirit to propagate Nichiren Buddhism. Embodying the mentor’s spirit means fighting against and defeating powerful enemies.”

WT, 4/18/08

The Buddha’s compassion in planting this seed in people’s lives is not only characterized by a deep caring for their happiness and welfare but also by strict rebuke of slander of the law. This is because people cannot actualize the principle of attaining Buddhahood in this lifetime as long as their hearts are clouded by the darkness of delusion and disbelief that causes them to denigrate the correct teaching.
LB, Mar/Apr 2006, 82

Building genuine happiness for oneself and others necessarily entails battling erroneous thinking and mistaken beliefs that lead people to misery. This is what the practice of shakubuku is all about.
LB, Mar/Apr 2006, 85

At the same time, the Lotus Sutra teaches that if anti-humanistic influences should arise in the realm of Buddhism, and if they were to distort the spirit of the Lotus Sutra, then its practitioners should actively and thoroughly repudiate such error.
LB, Mar/Apr 2006, 88

To attain Buddhahood, we have to thoroughly conquer our own inner evil. The concrete means for doing so is struggling against and defeating external evil. Struggling to defeat evil enables us to polish and purify our lives and attain Buddhahood. Daisaku Ikeda, Wisdom of the Lotus Sutra, Vol. 3, 84

Even if those with profound faith do not reproach the enemies of the Lotus Sutra, however great the good causes one may make, or even if one reads and copies the entirety of the Lotus Sutra a thousand or ten thousand times, or attains the way of perceiving three thousand realms in a single moment of life, if one fails to denounce the enemies of the Lotus Sutra, it will be impossible to attain the way.
WND I, 78

From President Ikeda’s Words on Soka Spirit #001 (http://sokaspirit.org/study/words/words001.shtml)

It is especially important for leaders to be energetic. As leaders, we must courageously speak out against any evil that would cause suffering to our fellow members.

Construction entails an all-out struggle; destruction can happen in an instant. Should evil flourish, good will perish. As long as there are courageous people who will battle selflessly against corruption, good can be protected. But if that spirit is lost, destruction will begin immediately.

Base, self-serving people must not be allowed to exploit the Gakkai or the members’ faith. Never give anyone the kind of special status that would place them above criticism even when all around them know something is wrong with their behavior.

Always speak out boldly against wrongdoing. Corruption should be denounced unequivocally. Don’t be timid or cowardly. Cowardice is a form of dishonesty, and dishonesty is evil.

Those who neither act nor speak out against wrongdoing when they see it will be guilty of the same offense. This will only erase the good fortune and benefit that they have accumulated thus far.

The truly good are those who battle against evil. Buddhism entails a constant struggle against the devilish functions that cause peo
ple misery.

It is proper and just to strictly refute evil. To do the right thing, one must be strong; without strength, one will not be able to uphold what is right. Justice and courage are inseparable.

Power-hungry tyrants, on the other hand, ignore or denigrate the supreme value of the individual, seeing people only as faceless masses. Anyone who does this is on a par with such dictators as Adolf Hitler.

Hitler had no conception of the dignity of the individual. He was only interested in people as a mass. This is because as far as tyrants are concerned, people are just a means to an end.

Dictators seek to use the people to further their own greed and ambitions, to cleverly manipulate them. The way of the Soka Gakkai is diametrically opposed to such human exploitation.

The organization does not come first and the individual second. Everything starts with the individual and through individuals uniting strongly together. Losing sight of this fundamental point can have terrible consequences. Anyone who sees the Gakkai and its members as nothing but a means to advance personal ends, just like the tyrants I have described, is a person of the purest evil.

In one passage from this classic text, Confucius replies to a question from a disciple, saying, “Promote the upright, place them above the crooked, and you shall make the crooked upright.”

In other words, the upright must be placed above the wicked and be allowed to give full play to their potential. Upright people must be given opportunities to contribute and use their talent and ability, and be empowered. This is the key to an organization achieving sound and healthy development, while correcting and eradicating evils.

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