25. Does “No benefits can be derived from a counterfeit object of worship” mean that benefits can be derived from a traditional Gohonzon worshipped by a Gakkai member?

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Even if it is a traditional Gohonzon, there will be no accumulation of benefits for someone who is a member of Soka Gakkai, a slanderous group that disparages the Three Treasures.

We say, “No benefits can be derived from a counterfeit object of worship” because from the outset the object of worship does not transmit the lifeblood of the Dai-Gohonzon and it is not endowed with the power of the Buddha and the power of the Law.

Of course, a traditional Gohonzon is truly endowed with the power of the Buddha and the power of the Law, based upon the correct lifeblood—and if one has correct faith, following the guidance of the High Priest, benefits will result.

However, even if one possesses a traditional Gohonzon, if the person worshipping it slanders a High Priest of the conferral of the lifeblood of the Law, the Four Powers (the power of the Buddha, the power of the Law, the power of faith and the power of practice) will not unite together, and there will be no benefits.

This applies all the more to members of the Gakkai, which has become a slanderous group that has gone so far as to make a counterfeit object of worship. For them, there will definitely be no benefits. Instead, the karma derived from misconduct will accumulate in direct proportion to the extent that one worships it. Moreover, all the benefits derived from faith up to that point would be extinguished. This is something to be feared. This is what is meant by,

“Unless one possesses the lifeblood of faith, even if one were to embrace the Lotus Sutra, it would be of no use.”

(Gosho, p. 515; M.W., Vol. 1, p. 25)