10. The three successive presidents

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Chapter 6: Alterations of the Text of the Soka Gakkai Rules and Regulations

Section 3: The Three Successive Presidents

1. The Soka Gakkai added the following to its regulations: “The Three Successive Presidents embody the spirit of willingness to give one’s life to propagate the Law for the attainment of kosen-rufu, and shall be considered eternal leaders of this association.” (New Regulation Article 3)

We easily can imagine that the words “embody the spirit of willingness to give one’s life to propagate the Law” are used interchangeably with “the votary of the Lotus Sutra.” If we consider these words in light of Nichiren Daishonin’s teachings, “the votary of the Lotus Sutra” in the Latter Day of the Law refers to the Daishonin, the True Buddha from the infinite past of kuon-ganjo. However, in the new regulation, the Soka Gakkai places the three successive presidents in such an exalted position. It is clear that their intention is to establish Daisaku Ikeda as the true Buddha, making the first and second presidents Makiguchi and Toda forerunners.

Let us focus on two points regarding the revised clause of the regulation to demonstrate how the Gakkai’s arguments are inconsistent and confusing.

In reality, Daisaku Ikeda is rebelling against the leadership of the first and second presidents.

First president Makiguchi taught the members to abide by the doctrines of Nichiren Shoshu Taisekiji. He once stated:

In every respect, we wish to serve and follow the doctrines of Nichiren Shoshu Taisekiji, which have been transmitted correctly by the Second High Priest Nikko Shonin. We then wish to conduct our life of great good by practicing Buddhism for ourselves and others so that we can contribute to the reform of national education in Japan.

(“Empirical Record of Living for the Greatest Good”;
Report from the Fifth General Meeting, p. 5)

Second president Toda also clearly stated the mission of the Soka Gakkai:

We are like the rickshaw pullers who lead ignorant persons to the correct path. When we find people who are confused, we put them in our rickshaw and guide them straight to the Dai-Gohonzon. This is the Gakkai’s sole mission.

(Lectures of Josei Toda, vol. 1, p. 31)

On the contrary, Ikeda declared:

The “Lifeblood Heritage” claimed by the Nikken sect is utter nonsense. Essentially, in religion, the relationship between the Buddha and the self is important. The “Heritage” based on authoritarianism is meaningless for religious faith.

(Seikyo shimbun, May 5, 1993)

He also stated:

Nichiren Shoshu’s assertion that one will receive no benefits unless he makes a pilgrimage to the Head Temple is senseless.

(Seikyo shimbun, February 29, 1992)

By slandering Nichiren Shoshu, Ikeda is guiding the members in such a way that he rebels against presidents Makiguchi and Toda, who both taught the importance of revering the Heritage, the doctrines, and the pilgrimage to the Head Temple. Ikeda claims that Nichiren Shoshu has asserted that “one will receive no benefits unless he makes a pilgrimage to the Head Temple,” but our sect has not made this claim. It is his fabrication.

What Ikeda says is completely different from Makiguchi’s and Toda’s guidance. In other words, the phrase, “the three successive presidents,” hides the fact that the third president’s pronouncements are inconsistent with those of the first two.

If the three successive presidents are placed as the “eternal leaders,” then which guidance of the three presidents is expected to be followed perpetually by the members? If a member of the Gakkai faithfully put into action all the guidance of the three presidents, he would manifest contradictory and inconsistent behavior, as though “his head had been broken into seven pieces.”

Nevertheless, President Akiya gave the following guidance to the members:

What made it possible to open a path for worldwide kosen-rufu is…none other than the spirit of oneness of master and disciple consistently carried through by the three successive presidents, and the actual practice of willing to give one’s life to propagate the Law for the attainment of kosen-rufu.

(Seikyo shimbun, March 30, 2002)

President Akiya is shamelessly teaching the members points that are far from how things actually are.

2. The phrases: “Embodiment of the spirit of willingness to give one’s life to propagate the Law” and “the eternal leaders,” are supposed to represent Ikeda as the true Buddha

These clauses seem to refer to Ikeda alone, as both presidents Makiguchi and Toda have passed away.

Currently, the Soka Gakkai is trying to prove to the world that Ikeda not only contributes to world peace but also is a great man who fights against evil. In reality, he obsessively lusts for fame and power and is not a man of religious faith. The most straightforward manifestation can be seen through his evil deed of trying to destroy Buddhism due to his jealousy and arrogance toward the true Law and true justice.

It is quite absurd to call a person such as Ikeda “one who exemplifies the spirit of willingness to give his life to propagate the Law” and “the eternal leader.” In the Daishonin’s Buddhism, the first of these terms signifies those who gave their lives to uphold pure and firm faith, such as the three Atsuhara martyrs. On the contrary, Ikeda, who slandered Nichiren Shoshu and destroyed the harmony between priesthood and laity, is actually the person who has obstructed progress toward kosen-rufu.

The Soka Gakkai actively is making a display of medals and honorary titles Ikeda has collected from around the world. Through this, they are spreading publicity, pretending that this has something to do with progress toward kosen-rufu.

The Gosho states, “To be praised by fools is the greatest shame.” (Gosho, p. 577) In light of these golden words, Ikeda, who is so proud of his medals and honorary titles, is in no way qualified to follow the teachings of Nichiren Daishonin. Furthermore, the Soka Gakkai, which heaps such unwarranted praise on Ikeda, calling him “the eternal leader,” should be considered an unsound organization.