8. Changing the doctrines and faith (part 1)

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

Section 1: Deleting and Secretly Changing the Words concerning the Gohonzon (continued…)

In Articles 2 and 3 of its new rules and regulations, the Soka Gakkai changed the phrase, “the Dai-Gohonzon of the High Sanctuary of the Essential Teaching,” to “[the Dai-Gohonzon] bestowed upon the entire world,” and “[the Dai-Gohonzon of] the Three Great Secret Laws.” We will bring to light the Gakkai’s intentions and refute its incorrect ideas.

The Soka Gakkai replaced the original wording, “High Sanctuary of the Essential Teaching,” with “bestowed upon the entire world.”

The phrase “bestowed upon the entire world” means that which is equally given to all people in the entire world. If this phrase were used to describe the Gohonzon, it would indicate the Gohonzon that everyone in the entire world should receive and embrace. The Soka Gakkai, however, interprets this phrase to mean that the Gohonzon is “given” to all people, including the Soka Gakkai members.

Nichiren Daishonin expounds in “The True Object of Worship” (“Kanjin no honzon-sho”):

Bringing forth his profound compassion for those who are ignorant of ichinen sanzen, the Buddha wraps this gem within the five characters [of Myoho-Renge-Kyo] and places it around the necks of those living in the Latter Day of the Law.

(Gosho, p. 662)

Nichikan Shonin explains this passage in his Exegesis on “The True Object of Worship” (“Kanjin no honzon-sho” mondan):

Exhibiting profound compassion, the Buddha of the property of perfect wisdom from the infinite past of kuon-ganjo inscribed the object of worship of the five characters of the mystic Law (Myoho), the manifestation of the oneness of the property of perfect wisdom and ichinen sanzen, and placed it around the necks of the people in the Latter Day of the Law.

(Mondan, p. 285)

Out of his profound compassion, Nichiren Daishonin inscribed the Dai-Gohonzon of the High Sanctuary of the Essential Teaching in order to save those who are ignorant of ichinen sanzen and bound by their earthly desires, and to lead them to enlightenment.

As the Daishonin teaches in “Document for Entrusting the Law that Nichiren Propagated throughout his Life” (“Nichiren ichigo guho fuzokusho”):

I, Nichiren, transfer the entirety of the Law that I have propagated throughout my life to Byakuren Ajari Nikko.

(Gosho, p. 1675)

As the Daishonin teaches in this passage, the Heritage of the Law was transmitted from Nichiren Daishonin to Nikko Shonin alone. Since then, it solemnly has been transmitted [through the successive High Priests] to the current High Priest at Head Temple Taisekiji. This is the Heritage of the Law entrusted to a single person.

High Priest Nikken Shonin taught the significance of the phrase “bestowed upon the entire world” as follows:

A name that refers to the Dai-Gohonzon of the High Sanctuary should be chosen from the viewpoint of the Daishonin’s ownership. It is because the Daishonin transferred the Dai-Gohonzon to Nikko Shonin based on the significance of the phrase, “bestowed upon the entire world.” In this case, these words are used to refer to the one who teaches the path (no ke). In other words, they are used for the Buddha….“Bestowed upon the entire world” only can be used from the standpoint of the Buddha.

(“Refuting the Soka Gakkai’s View Regarding
the Counterfeit Object of Worship,” p. 136)

The words, “bestowed upon the entire world,” which are used to describe the Dai-Gohonzon of the High Sanctuary of the Essential Teaching, are based on the true intention of the Buddha. The true significance is that the Gohonzon is to be bestowed on all people in the entire world through the Heritage of the Law transmitted to the successive High Priests.

Nichiren Shoshu always strictly teaches that those who do not inherit the Heritage of the Law should not thoughtlessly interpret the deep meaning of such passages. This leads to biased and illusory perspectives. It is obvious that the Soka Gakkai strongly opposes the correct interpretation of Buddhism. Based on their arrogance and misplaced intentions, the Gakkai leaders try to deny the significance of the bestowal of the Gohonzon through the Heritage of the Law.

It should be noted that the phrase, “bestowed upon the entire world,” cannot be found either in the Gosho of Nichiren Daishonin or the guidance of the Second High Priest Nikko Shonin. It also cannot be found in the writings of Twenty-sixth High Priest Nichikan Shonin.

Approximately 74 years ago, Fifty-ninth High Priest Nichiko Shonin referred to this phrase in the publication, Dai-Nichiren. He stated:

Mr. Araki recently argued that since the Dai-Gohonzon of the High Sanctuary was bestowed on all people in the entire world, it should be called the Gohonzon bestowed upon the entire world.

(Dai-Nichiren, January 1937, p. 14)

As you can see, this argument was initiated by a lay believer in the first half of the 20th Century. The Soka Gakkai states that the Gosho is the basis of Buddhism. In its new rules and regulations, however, the Gakkai deleted the words, “High Sanctuary of the Essential Teaching,” which can be found in the two transfer documents written by the Daishonin and replaced this phrase with words that are not even in the Gosho. The behavior of the Gakkai truly is contradictory.

The Soka Gakkai replaced the original wording with “The Three Great Secret Laws.”

The term, “The Three Great Secret Laws,” refers to the doctrine that constitutes the foundation of Nichiren Daishonin’s Buddhism. The entity of the Law, which is the core of the Three Great Secret Laws, is the Dai-Gohonzon of the High Sanctuary of the Essential Teaching.

The various other Nichiren sects discuss the Three Great Secret Laws, but none of them possess the Heritage of the Law. They expound completely heretical views that are far distant from our founder Nichiren Daishonin’s true intention.

To take one example of many, it is stated in The Buddhist Practice of Nichiren Shu (Nichiren Shu dokuhon):

The object of worship of the Essential Teaching has an artistic element, the Daimoku of the Essential Teaching has a musical value, the High Sanctuary of the Essential Teaching shows a figurative element….”

(Nichiren Shu dokuhon [summary], p. 150)

The Soka Gakkai replaced the wording, “The High Sanctuary of the Essential Teaching,” which clearly indicates the Dai-Gohonzon, with “The Three Great Secret Laws,” which is generally used by other Nichiren sects. Its intention was to conceal the importance of the Dai-Gohonzon of the High Sanctuary of the Essential Teaching and to diminish its significance in the eyes of the Gakkai members.

Section 2: Changing the Doctrines and Faith

The Soka Gakkai altered the basic part of its doctrines and tenets, which are the lifeline of a religious corporation.

1: The Soka Gakkai deleted the words, “Shall adhere to the doctrines and tenets of Nichiren Shoshu.”

The original clause stated:

This organization shall adhere to the doctrines and tenets of Nichiren Shoshu, revere Nichiren Daishonin as the True Buddha of the Latter Day of the Law, and as its basis, pray to the Dai-Gohonzon of the High Sanctuary of the Essential Teaching, inscribed on October 12 in the second year of Ko’an (1279), which is enshrined at the Nichiren Shoshu Head Temple Taisekiji.

(Old Regulation, Article 3;
underlines by the editor)

The Gakkai changed this clause to the following:

This organization shall revere Nichiren Daishonin as the True Buddha of the Latter Day of the Law, embrace the Dai-Gohonzon of the Three Great Secret Laws bestowed upon the entire world, base itself on the Gosho of Nichiren Daishonin, and seek to realize, as its ultimate goal, the worldwide propagation of Nichiren Buddhism, thus fulfilling the Daishonin’s mandate.

(New Regulation, Article 2;
underlines by the editor)

As you can see, the Gakkai has eliminated the phrase, “shall adhere to the doctrines and tenets of Nichiren Shoshu.” The Soka Gakkai was originally established as a lay organization of Nichiren Shoshu. It now has pursued a path of heresy as an independent religion.

Daisaku Ikeda once stated:

We are the lay believers who practice the Buddhism of Nichiren Daishonin. The Daishonin’s Buddhism has been transmitted to the Second High Priest Nikko Shonin, the Third High Priest Nichimoku Shonin, the Fourth High Priest Nichido Shonin, as well as all the successive High Priests. Now we must revere the guidance of the current Sixty-seventh High Priest Nikken Shonin. We must not in the least go against the correct flow of this consistent Buddhist teaching.

(Kosen-rufu and My Life, Vol. 3, p. 249)

In the past, Ikeda taught the members that the transmission of the Heritage of the Law by the successive High Priests and the observance of the doctrines and tradition of the 750-year history of Nichiren Shoshu are the basic philosophy of the Soka Gakkai.

Now that it has separated from the Nichiren Shoshu doctrines and faith, the Soka Gakkai has lost the qualification to propagate the Dai-Gohonzon of the High Sanctuary of the Essential Teaching. Through the act of removing the words, “shall adhere to the doctrines and tenets of Nichiren Shoshu,” the Gakkai slanders the pure flow of Nichiren Daishonin’s teaching. Rather, it has become a group of rootless people floating on a muddy stream.

2: The Soka Gakkai added the words, “Base itself on the Gosho of Nichiren Daishonin” in Article 4, a new regulation.

The Soka Gakkai states that it will “base itself on the Gosho of Nichiren Daishonin.” This group, however, conveniently interprets the Gosho to suit its own purposes without following the legitimate transmission of the Heritage of the Law.

The Second High Priest Nikko Shonin warns:

The followers of this School should engrave the teachings of the Gosho into their lives and thereby inherit the ultimate principles expounded by the master.

(Gosho, p. 1884)

In this passage Nikko Shonin teaches that Nichiren Daishonin’s disciples must study the Gosho based on the ultimate principle of the Heritage of the Law entrusted to a single person.

The Sixty-fifth High Priest Nichijun Shonin teaches:

In the case of the disciples of Nichiren Daishonin, they adhere to the Gosho and neglect the transmission of the Heritage of the Law. As a result, they are practicing Buddhism in a self-serving manner. How deplorable!

(The Collection of the Lectures of
High Priest Nichijun Shonin
, p. 45)

As this passage teaches, studying the Gosho without following the ultimate principle of the Heritage of the Law leads one to adopt his own narrow views, which will be the cause of falling into a life condition of suffering.

Ikeda once said:

When we study the Gosho of Nichiren Daishonin, we must study it based on the sermons of the High Priest.

(Kosen-rufu and My Life, Vol. 1, p. 118)

The Gakkai’s intention in deleting “shall adhere to the doctrines and tenets of Nichiren Shoshu” and inserting “base itself on the Gosho of Nichiren Daishonin” was to deny the Heritage of the Law passed down since the time of the founder Nichiren Daishonin. Instead, the Gakkai bases its practice on Daisaku Ikeda’s guidance. The Soka Gakkai has strayed from the teaching of the True Buddha and has become an evil organization existing apart from the Heritage of the Law. Its most significant deviation appears to be switching its object of worship from the “Gohonzon” to its own interpretation of the Gosho.