Soka Gakai (SGI) Criticism Thread

Re: Soka Gakai (SGI) Criticism Thread

Postby ball-of-string » Thu Mar 06, 2014 11:18 pm

Most people really enjoy their visit to the SGI center: nice people, dynamic service, lots of social opportunities for "joining in". All due respect, one or two visits does not make one an adequate expert on this topic. I am also not an expert, having only vicarious experience, so I would not weigh in by saying they're "great" or they're a "dangerous cult".
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Re: Soka Gakai (SGI) Criticism Thread

Postby rory » Fri Mar 07, 2014 12:16 am

I used to chant locally with SGI members at their homes, I really enjoyed this, then a visit to the center where we chanted and I had to watch a silly movie with Ikeda. Meh but no problem. It was when my friend then wanted me to go to more meetings, like 3x a week that I felt pressured. Once a week was nice and normal but she called and called and then wanted me to join. I don't like or approve of pressure. The unpleasant part is that I really couldn't chant with the 2 members in their homes anymore. That's kind of the culty part to me, at least in my area; if you don't join you loose your 'friends.'

I will say it was truly impressive to see how diverse the membership is at my local SGI center; I a euro-american was in the minority. South Asians, African-Americans, Hispanic-Americans from blue collar to high tech predominated. It was great and something for all Nichiren groups to aspire to!
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Re: Soka Gakai (SGI) Criticism Thread

Postby yobosensei » Wed Apr 16, 2014 8:37 am

A struggle buddhist will actualize the true meaning of Lotus Sutra. Nichiren had shown actual proofs of the practice by protecting what he had believed. Look at Daisaku Ikeda and what he has contributed to World Peace. That is the most noble and profound ways to live your life. A true mentor and disciple spirit. A mentor without disciples wont be a good mentor. Disciples without a good mentor wont succeed it either. We are learning together with our mentor to win over our samsara. Nichiren showed us how to be a buddhist to win over all obstacles and struggles in his lifetime and not choose to be a passive buddhist. Just like Makiguchi, Joda, and Ikeda sensei, they all are a true struggle buddhist.If you want to be a struggle buddhist, come to Soka Gakkai. We are just that kinda organization. It's not magical. It's just actual proofs.

Most important is to apply your practice into your daily life. Use your challenges to overcome your obstacles. Remember you chant the wondering law of lotus sutra. You must study to understand what you're chanting for. Put that in your daily practice and win over your life in this lifetime to attain buddhahood.
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Re: Soka Gakai (SGI) Criticism Thread

Postby dude » Wed Apr 16, 2014 8:48 am

hi yobo, pleased to meet you.
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Re: Soka Gakai (SGI) Criticism Thread

Postby yobosensei » Wed Apr 16, 2014 8:59 am

Hi dude, nice to meet you too. :)
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Re: Soka Gakai (SGI) Criticism Thread

Postby dude » Thu Apr 17, 2014 1:10 am

nam myoho renge kyo
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Re: Soka Gakai (SGI) Criticism Thread

Postby DiamondSutra » Thu Apr 17, 2014 6:18 am

SGI is responsible for ALOT of people reading and venerating the lotus sutra so cult or not I'm all for it!

And hey the sutra itself warns against critizing it or those who uphold it, so there's that too.

Just throwing in my two-cents

Namo Lotus Sutra!
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Re: Soka Gakai (SGI) Criticism Thread

Postby dude » Thu Apr 17, 2014 6:21 am

DiamondSutra wrote:SGI is responsible for ALOT of people reading and venerating the lotus sutra so cult or not I'm all for it!

And hey the sutra itself warns against critizing it or those who uphold it, so there's that too.

Just throwing in my two-cents

Namo Lotus Sutra!


Ah, so you know the Lotus Sutra, excellent.
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Re: Soka Gakai (SGI) Criticism Thread

Postby smcj » Thu Apr 17, 2014 7:13 am

Isn't there something in the ToS against this type of thread?
A human being has his limits. And thus, in every conceivable way, with every possible means, he tries to make the teaching enter into his own limits. ChNN
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Re: Soka Gakai (SGI) Criticism Thread

Postby dude » Thu Apr 17, 2014 7:15 am

smcj wrote:Isn't there something in the ToS against this type of thread?


That'd be a question to ask staff.
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Re: Soka Gakai (SGI) Criticism Thread

Postby Masaru » Sat Apr 19, 2014 3:08 am

yobosensei wrote:Look at Daisaku Ikeda and what he has contributed to World Peace. That is the most noble and profound ways to live your life. A true mentor and disciple spirit. A mentor without disciples wont be a good mentor. Disciples without a good mentor wont succeed it either. We are learning together with our mentor to win over our samsara.


Who? Never herd of him outside of SGI.

SGI is hit or miss. I can't call it a "cult" anymore than the Catholic Church or other Christian groups could be called a cult. I've found a lot of what Ikeda has written very helpful, but the emphasis on "the mentor" is overblown. At this point, I wonder if he's even lucid enough to realize what's going on in the org or if some core of individuals is responsible for, basically, presenting him like a messiah. I generally see Ikeda as being positive, though. I just couldn't agree with the doctrines Gakkai inherited from Shoshu. Ikeda has his own spin on things the same way any leader who doesn't just quote scriptural copypasta will. I don't always agree with Ikeda, but I recognize him as making a meaningful contribution to Buddhism in the modern world, for better or worse.
A certain man said to the priest Shungaku, "The Lotus Sutra Sect's character is not good because it's so fearsome." Shungaku replied, "It is by reason of its fearsome character that it is the Lotus Sutra Sect. If its character were not so, it would be a different sect altogether."
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Re: Soka Gakai (SGI) Criticism Thread

Postby dude » Sat Apr 19, 2014 3:19 am

Are you then saying the master disciple relationship is of little or no importance?
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Re: Soka Gakai (SGI) Criticism Thread

Postby Masaru » Sat Apr 19, 2014 3:28 am

dude wrote:Are you then saying the master disciple relationship is of little or no importance?


Do you speak to Ikeda frequently? What is his cell phone number?
A certain man said to the priest Shungaku, "The Lotus Sutra Sect's character is not good because it's so fearsome." Shungaku replied, "It is by reason of its fearsome character that it is the Lotus Sutra Sect. If its character were not so, it would be a different sect altogether."
-- The Hagakure

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Re: Soka Gakai (SGI) Criticism Thread

Postby dude » Sat Apr 19, 2014 3:29 am

no
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Re: Soka Gakai (SGI) Criticism Thread

Postby Masaru » Sat Apr 19, 2014 3:32 am

dude wrote:no


If you refuse to give it out, that's fine. But no, I didn't actually touch on the nature of mentor-disciple relationships.
A certain man said to the priest Shungaku, "The Lotus Sutra Sect's character is not good because it's so fearsome." Shungaku replied, "It is by reason of its fearsome character that it is the Lotus Sutra Sect. If its character were not so, it would be a different sect altogether."
-- The Hagakure

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Re: Soka Gakai (SGI) Crit I've found a lot of what Iicism Th

Postby dude » Sat Apr 19, 2014 4:14 am

yes you did

" I've found a lot of what Ikeda has written very helpful, but the emphasis on "the mentor" is overblown."
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Re: Soka Gakai (SGI) Crit I've found a lot of what Iicism Th

Postby Masaru » Sat Apr 19, 2014 5:12 am

dude wrote:yes you did

" I've found a lot of what Ikeda has written very helpful, but the emphasis on "the mentor" is overblown."


That's not a statement regarding whether or not mentor-disciple relationships themselves are important, but a statement saying that SGI's emphasis on Ikeda is overblown. There's a difference. If I was commenting on mentorship itself, I would have said something like "SGI puts too much emphasis on Ikeda as a mentor" or "lay Buddhism can do without some mentor figure." "The mentor" is in quotations because that's how Ikeda is referred to, other than being called "Sensei" or "Ikeda Sensei." So, I'm actually commenting that SGI has devolved in a personality cult rather than saying that mentorship itself is unimportant in life or in Buddhism. Maybe my wording there was imprecise. If so, I apologize for that.
A certain man said to the priest Shungaku, "The Lotus Sutra Sect's character is not good because it's so fearsome." Shungaku replied, "It is by reason of its fearsome character that it is the Lotus Sutra Sect. If its character were not so, it would be a different sect altogether."
-- The Hagakure

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Re: Soka Gakai (SGI) Criticism Thread

Postby dude » Sat Apr 19, 2014 5:29 am

Why do you think it's overblown?
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Re: Soka Gakai (SGI) Criticism Thread

Postby Masaru » Sat Apr 19, 2014 5:44 am

dude wrote:Why do you think it's overblown?


I think the current emphasis on Ikeda by SGI detracts from SGI's avowed place within the Buddhist tradition by focusing on his contributions disproportionately to the content of the larger Buddhist tradition. His writings definitely talk about Buddhism, and they certainly give an idea of how to deal with common life concerns from a Buddhist perspective, but the tunnel vision on Ikeda tends to actually detract from the roots Ikeda's teachings are built on. Ikeda stands on the shoulders of many, many great people, and he's not always right. These are facts that the SGI's endorsed perspective doesn't take into account.
A certain man said to the priest Shungaku, "The Lotus Sutra Sect's character is not good because it's so fearsome." Shungaku replied, "It is by reason of its fearsome character that it is the Lotus Sutra Sect. If its character were not so, it would be a different sect altogether."
-- The Hagakure

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Re: Soka Gakai (SGI) Criticism Thread

Postby dude » Sat Apr 19, 2014 6:02 am

What would you prefer to emphasize?
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