dude wrote:It become (to me at least) a more expansive, and less defined, idea of who/what a Buddha is. - Dharma Bum.
To that I say, no kidding.
The “Thus Come One” is explained clearly in T’ien-t’ai’s commentary as follows: “The Thus Come One is a general designation for the Buddhas of the ten directions and the three existences, for the two Buddhas, the three Buddhas,6 the true Buddha, and provisional Buddhas.”7 The “true Buddha” here means common mortals, whereas “provisional Buddhas” means Buddhas. However, because of the difference between ordinary people and Buddhas that stems from the disparity between delusion and enlightenment, ordinary people are unaware that they are endowed with both the entity and the functions of the three bodies.
- Nichiren, On the True Aspect of All Phenomena
The question is, should we trust the orally transmitted teachings and the forgeries such as On the True Aspect of All Phenomena or should we trust the Five Major Works such as the Opening of the Eyes and trueObject of worship?
In the Ongi Kuden we read:
“This Myoho-renge-kyo (Lotus Sutra) is not Shakyamuni’s Mystic Law, because at the time this chapter was preached, he had already entrusted it to Bodhisattva Jogyo.” (Gosho, p. 1783)
In the Kanjin Honzon Sho (The True Object of Worship), the most important writing of Nichiren Daishonin, we read,
“Having thus manifested the ten divine powers, Sakyamuni Buddha transmitted the five charecters of Myo, Ho, Ren, Ge, and Kyo to the original disciples since the eternal past, who had sprung up from under ground.” Kanjin Honzon Sho, pp 122 to 140, NOPPA 1991.
and in the Lotus Sutra we read:
“At that time the Buddha spoke to Superior Practices and the others in the great assembly of bodhisattvas, saying: “The supernatural powers of the Buddhas, as you have seen, are immeasurable, boundless, inconceivable. If in the process of entrusting this sutra (Myoho renge kyo) to others I were to employ these supernatural powers for a measurable, boundless hundreds, thousands, ten thousands, millions of asamkhya kalpas to describe the benefits of the sutra, I could never finish doing so. To put it briefly, all the doctrines possessed by the Thus Come One, the storehouse of all the secret essentials of the Thus Come One – all these are proclaimed, revealed, and clearly expounded in this sutra.”(Myoho renge kyo). (Lotus Sutra Chapter 21)
You can read more about it in: “Some Disputed Writings in the Nichiren Corpus” by Jacqueline Stone. I will summarize some of the salient points:
1).The Ongi Kuden is not in Nikko’s hand nor is it ever mentioned (“again”) by him. There is no authentic seal of Nichiren (colophon) except for a later legendary accretion referencing a serpent who was to have appeared to Nichiren and Nikko as he was lecturing on the Devedatta Chapter.
2). It is supposed to be based on the Chu Hokkekyo, the authentic Annotated Lotus Sutra of Nichiren, the original copy exists on Mt. Minobu. The problem is it doesn’t conform well to it. Only 23 passages of the 133 passages from the Chu Hokekyo appear in the Ongi Kuden.
3). No mention of the Ongi Kuden or the Ongi Kikagaki occurs before Nitcho’s Keiun Sho in 1503. These were competing texts used by opposing sides in the Nichiren ichi-shoretsu debates (the harmony of the 28 chapters of the Lotus Sutra versus the superiority of the essential teachings debate), held at this time. “Dueling Oral Teachings”
4). The Ongi Kuden mirrors the writings of the Tendai sect. They employ the Tendai sect formulations of Kanjin style interpretations of “progression” and “resemblance and reversal” to represent concepts found commonly in Chuko Tendai (original enlightenment) doctrine. These conflict with the authenticated writings of Nichiren, most notably, the Kanjin Honzon Sho, as seen above.
5). The text contains comments regarding events that did not exist at the time of the supposed lectures:
A). For example the Ongi Kuden refers to the “six senior disciples” but Nichiren did not designate these six senior disciples until a few days before his death, some years later
B). According to scholars and priests of the orthodox sects, it refers to Nichiren as the “eminent founder,” a term which did not come into usage until well after Nichiren and Nikko died.
C). The text of the Ongi Kuden also refers to a document which was written some 13 years after Nichiren’s death, the “K’o-chu” which is a Yuan-dynasty commentary on the Lotus Sutra by Hsu Hsing-shan dated Yuan-chen 1 (1295).
D). Finally the date it was supposedly approved by Nichiren (who then affixed his seal), is the first month of the first year of Koan but the era changed its name from Kenji to Koan on the 29th day of the second month. There was no first month of Koan.
E). Additionally during the time the lectures supposedly took place and Nikko was supposedly transcribing them, he was not at Minobu where the lectures were held. He was in the Fuji area on a shakabuku campaign.
6). John Petry wrote: “The Nichiren Shoshu has pointed to a reference in another writing in a text by a Fuji school priest in the 1600′s referencing the existence of a transcript of lectures given by Nichiren in his life time but there is nothing in that reference to indicate what document he is referring to or even whether it was simply a copy of the Ongi Kuden or the Onko Kikigaki which were known to exist at right around 1500.”
7). Nichiren disparaged oral teachings. Since the core Taisekaji doctrines can not be found in the authentic Gosho, the Oral Teachings as well as many forged Gosho were invented by them.
Here are the words of Nichiren, from Repaying Debts of Gratitude, on the Secret Dharma of the Object of Worship:
“The first is the object of worship (honzon). All the people in Japan as well as the rest of the whole world should revere the Lord Buddha Shayamuni (Original and eternal Buddha) revealed in the essential section (honmon) of the Lotus Sutra as the object of worship (honzon)…”
Then again in the True Object of Worship, we read:
“Shakyamuni Buddha, the Lord-preacher of this pure land, has never died in the past, nor will He be born in the future. He exists forever throughout the past present and future.”
In the “Senji Sho”, Nichiren says, regarding his ability to have made his predicition about the Mongol invasion:
“It was not I, Nichiren, who made these three important predicitions. I believe it was solely the spirit of Shakyamuni Buddha, entering my body, who made them.”
“The number of such quotations number in the hundreds and they are all in Nichiren hand. Nowhere does Nichiren ever make the claim that he is the Original and Eternal Buddha. For this reason, the Taisekiji Gosho Zenshu has added exerpts from the 16th century “Ongi Kuden” to make this claim. They also lump the questionable Gosho with the authentic Gosho, unlike the Showa Tehon, in order to confuse the believers. However, the Ongi Kuden and many forged Nichiren Shoshu Gosho, like the Dai-gohonzon, only appears hundreds of years after the death of Nichiren and the other six disciples, including Nikko. Taisekiji has invented a new religion, created in the later Muromachi period (15th to 17th centuries) but has taken Nichiren’s name for the sake of credibility. Little of its “theology” can be found in the original writings of Nichiren or his immediate disciples. The Dai-Gohonzon is a later invention, the Nichiren-is-True-Buddha is a later invention (Nichigen’s theory). Many words and phrases the SGI and Nichiren Shoshu utilize (the so-called “buzz words” such as, “The Mystic Law of the Universe”, “getting in harmony with the universe”,”hosshaku kempon”, ‘Esho Funi”) mostly derive from “chuko tendai” original enlightenment jargon from the Muramachi period in Japan. Let’s go back to Nichiren himself. There is no honest alternative
The only part of the Ongi Kuden of any worth are the first few sentences of the Introduction and Preface:
“Namu derives from Sanskrit, and here [in Japan] it is rendered as kimyo , meaning ‘to devote one’s life.’ This means to devote one’s life to the Person and the Law. Devotion to the Law means to devote one’s life to the Lotus Sutra. Devotion to the Person means to devote one’s life to Shakyamuni.”
The SGI’s doctrines and religious worldview derive principally from the Ongi Kuden, the Shoho Jisso Sho [The True Aspect of all Phenomena], the writings of Nichikan Shonin, Josei Toda and Daisaku Ikeda. Here I will discuss the Ongi Kuden and demonstrate that the Soka Gakkai confuses the general with the specific. I will also demonstrate that the Ongi Kuden should be read in light of the Lotus Sutra [not the Lotus Sutra in light of the Ongi Kuden], in light of the Five Major Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, and in light of the entire body of writings of Nichiren Daishonin. In the first part of this commentary, I proved that the Ongi Kuden is a forgery. In light of this one must be very careful coming to any conclusions whatsoever regarding the Ongi Kuden.
The teachings of the Lotus Sutra, the Five Major Works, and the entire body of Nichiren’s writings contradict the Ongi Kuden. Who are we to believe? The SGI who says the profound principles of Buddhism are to be found in the Ongi Kuden or those who show that the Ongi Kuden is a cunning expedient invented by the Nichiren Shoshu to promote their heretical brand of Buddhism? You would be wise to adopt the criteria of the latter and the Nichiren Gohonzon that contains the power of the Buddha.
Does that which accords with our mind (the Ongi Kuden) deserve our praise while that which accords with mind of the Buddha (the Lotus Sutra, the Opening of the Eyes, and the True Object of Worship) deserve to be rejected? Let us look at the most important Chapter of the Ongi Kuden (Chapter 16).
Ongi Kuden: Chapter 16: The Life Span of the Buddha [Nyorai Juryo]
“The Juryo chapter reveals the original life of all beings in the ten worlds. This chapter is called the essential teaching or hommon because it is the gateway to eternity. (Gosho Zenshu p. 799)
Namu Myoho Renge Kyo Nyorai Juryo-hon; for Nichiren, it is the title of this chapter that is the important teaching. The title of this chapter represents an essential principle applicable to Nichiren. This was transferred [to Bodhisattva Fukyo] in the Jinriki Chapter. Nyorai, in the broadest sense, means Shakyamuni and all the Buddhas in the universe and throughout the three existences of life, but in its strictest sense, it means only the True Buddha who possesses the three attributes of life. Now I, Nichiren and my disciples mean to say that Nyorai, in its broadest sense, indicates all humanity but, in a stricter sense, it stands for my disciples and believers.” (Gosho Zenshu p. 752)
Commentary: Is the True Buddha Nichiren and his disciples or the Buddha who taught Nichiren and his disciples in the remote past and bestowed upon us the Five Characters at the Ceremony in the Air? The concept of the general and the specific will be brought up again and again to show that the author of the Ongi Kuden misunderstood the Lotus Sutra and the teachings of Nichiren Daishonin.
This above passage of the Ongi Kuden is what the Fuji sects teach but Nichiren teaches in the Essentials for Attaining Buddhahood:
“The Lotus Sutra states that Bodhisattva Superior Practices and the others will appear in the first five hundred years of the Latter Day of the Law to propagate the five characters, the embodiment of the two elements of reality and wisdom. The sutra makes this perfectly clear. Who could possibly dispute it? I, Nichiren, am neither Bodhisattva Superior Practices nor his envoy, but I precede them, spreading the five characters to prepare the way. Bodhisattva Superior Practices received the water of the wisdom of the Mystic Law from the Thus Come One Shakyamuni and causes it to flow into the wasteland of the people’s lives in the evil world of the latter age. This is the function of wisdom. Shakyamuni Buddha transferred this teaching to Bodhisattva Superior Practices, and now Nichiren propagates it in Japan. With regard to the transfer of teachings, it is divided into two categories: general and specific. If you confuse the general with the specific even in the slightest, you will never be able to attain Buddhahood and will wander in suffering through endless transmigrations of births and deaths.”
He spends the rest of this writing explaining this passage and concludes:
“The sutra states, ‘Those persons who had heard the Law dweled here and there in various Buddha lands, constantly reborn in company with their teachers,’ and ‘If one stays close to the teachers of the Law, one will speedily gain the bodhisattva way. By following and learning from these teachers one will see Buddhas as numerous as Ganges sands.’ A commentary says, ‘Originally one followed this Buddha and for the first time conceived the desire to seek the way. And by following this Buddha again, one will reach the stage where there is no retrogression.’ Another commentary says, ‘In the beginning one followed this Buddha or bodhisattva and formed a bond with him, and so it will be through this Buddha or bodhisattva that one will attain one’s goal. ‘Above all, be sure to follow your original teacher so that you are able to attain Buddhahood.’ Shakyamuni Buddha is the original teacher for all people, and moreover, he is endowed with the virtues of sovereign and parent. Because I have expounded this teaching, I have been exiled and almost killed. As the saying goes, “Good advice grates on the ear.” But still I am not discouraged. The Lotus Sutra is like the seed, the Buddha like the sower, and the people like the field. If you deviate from these principles, not even I can save you in your next life.”
Nichiren is blunt. He is crystal clear and this passage from the Essential Teaching reflects the Lotus Sutra and the teachings in the Five Major Works. What are we to believe, this forgery or the Lotus Sutra, the Opening of the Eyes, the True Object of Worship, and The Essentials for Attaining Buddhahood?
These teachings from the Essentials Teaching for Attaining Buddhahood contradict the opening passages of the Ongi Kuden [Chapter 16].
Ongi Kuden: The sutra states, “We will believe and accept the Buddha’s words.” (LS p. 224, 3LS p. 249)
The Buddha endowed with the three enlightened properties, eternally, is the votary of the Lotus Sutra in the Latter Day of the Law. His honorific name is Nam Myoho Renge Kyo. This forms the basis for the Three Great Secret Laws in the Juryo Chapter. The three enlightened properties are attained through a single character. This is ‘believe.’ Therefore, the sutra states ‘We will believe and accept the Buddha’s words.’ You should fix your mind upon the two characters ‘believe’ and ‘accept.’ The Buddha endowed with the three properties, eternally, is the votary of the Lotus Sutra in Mappo. His honorific name is Nam Myoho Renge Kyo. This forms the basis for the Three Great Secret Laws in the Juryo Chapter. (Gosho Zenshu p. 752)
Commentary: The Three Enlightened Properties are the Three Buddha Bodies. In Nichiren Daishonin’s Buddhism based on the Lotus Sutra (not SGI’s Buddhism based on the teachings of Taisekaji), the Jewel of the Buddha and the Secret Law of the Object of Worship is Shakyamuni Buddha of the Juryo Chapter of the Lotus Sutra. The Jewel and Secret Law of the Law is Namu Myoho renge kyo, and the Jewel of the Sangha are the disciples and believers of Nichiren Daishonin. The Secret Law of the Kaiden is wherever the Law is preached and wherever resides the Eternal Buddha. The Ongi Kuden is teaching (above) that Nichiren and his disciples correspond to the entierty of the Three Jewels. This is equivalent to the Tibetian Vajrayana teachings that the Lama encompasses the Three Jewels. The Ongi Kuden is confused. Taisekaji is confused. Is there any wonder that Daisaku Ikeda and the High Priests of Taisekaji would have made their advent in the SGI and the Nichiren Shoshu, the “Lamas” of Nichiren Lotus Sutra Buddhism.
“Only the Lotus Sutra represents the wonderful teaching preached directly from the golden mouth of Shakyamuni Buddha, who is perfectly endowed with the three bodies. Therefore, even Universal Worthy and Manjushri were hardly able to expound so much as a single phrase or verse of it. How much more difficult then must it be for us, who are no more than ordinary people living in this latter age, to embrace even one or two words of this sutra!” (The Blessings of the Lotus Sutra)
“…The “Life Span” chapter reads, “It has been immeasurable, boundless hundreds, thousands, ten thousands, millions of nayutas of kalpas since I in fact attained Buddhahood.” The Shakyamuni Buddha within our lives is the eternal Buddha since time without beginning, who obtained the three bodies more than numberless major world system dust particle kalpas ago…”
Note, the above passage doesn’t say we the votaries or common mortals, “within the life of Shakyamuni Buddha”. It says, “Shakyamuni Buddha within our lives.” Once again we see this writing and the teachings of the SGI confusing the general with the specific. Specifically, Shakyamuni is the Original Buddha from time withut beginning. Generally, his Original Disciples the Bodhisattvas of the Earth function as the Buddha in this Latter age as envoys of the Thus Come One Shakyamuni.
Ongi Kuden: “You must listen carefully and hear of the Thus Come One’s secret and his transcendental powers.” (LS p. 225, 3LS p. 249)
The countless entities in the three thousand worlds, which are undergoing the process of birth, life, change, and extinction, are embodiments of [these] transcendental powers. As for ‘transcendental powers,’ the actions that are carried out instant by instant, motion by motion by us, the living beings, are called ‘transcendental powers.’ Apart from attaining Buddhahood, there are no ‘secret’ or ‘transcendental powers.’ In the final analysis, the five characters of Myoho Renge Kyo are synonymous with the phrase ‘the Thus Come One’s secret and transcendental powers.’ (Gosho Zenshu p. 753)
The sutra states, “But good men, it has been immeasurable boundless hundreds, thousands, ten thousands, millions of nayutas of kalpas since I in fact attained Buddhahood.” (LS p. 225, 3LS p. 250)
‘I’ [in the above passage] refers to Shakyamuni, who attained enlightenment in the remote past. However, according to the actual meaning of this [Juryo] chapter, ‘I’ represents all living beings in the universe. The Ten Worlds are each indicated by ‘I.’ ‘In fact’ means establishing that these are the Buddhas inherently endowed with the three eternal properties, this is the meaning of ‘fact.’ ‘Attained’ means to open. All phenomena of the universe are ‘opened’ to reveal them as the Buddha inherently endowed with the three eternal properties. Being awakened to this is called ‘Buddhahood.’ As for ‘since’ [irai] ‘I’ indicates the past, and ‘rai,’ the future. This passage is saying that the Buddhahood ‘I in fact attained’ is immeasurable and boundless in both the past and future. This [passage further] indicates the hundred realms, thousand factors and the three thousand realms in a single thought-moment. As for the two words ‘hundreds’ and ‘thousands,’ ‘hundreds’ means indicates the hundred realms and thousands is the thousand realms. These are practically the single thought-moment being three thousand realms in actuality. (Gosho Zenshu p. 753)
Commentry: Once again we see the east is west, up is down, black is white, teachings of the Ongi Kuden adopted or created by Taisekaji. “I” specifically refers to Shakyamuni Buddha and generally to us, not the other way around. The Taisekaji teachings are those of arrogant licentiousness that is so appealing to the people of the Latter Day, those people thrown out by all the other Buddhas. The import of the Sixteenth Chapter is two fold: gratitude to our father, the Original Buddha Shakyamuni who transferred the entierty of his merits and virtues (Namu Myoho renge kyo) to us, the people thrown out by all the other Buddhas; encouragement that we, as filial sons, inherit the entierty of his teachings and thus are three bodied Tathagatas in our own right. The unfilial sons of Taisekaji who would depose their father’s rightful place can not be counted among the multitude of Buddhas.
"Now Nichiren and his disciples who chant Nam Myoho Renge Kyo are the main subjects of the Juryo chapter. In general, bodhisattvas taught by the Buddha, in his provisional aspect, cannot uphold this chapter. For them, the theoretical teaching is primary and the essential teaching secondary, while for us the essential teaching is primary and the theoretical teaching is secondary.”
Commentary: The main subject of the Juryo Chapter is The Father of the World, the one who saves his children from the sufferings and travails, the Good Physician who cures his children with the medicine of Namu Myoho renge kyo, Shakyamuni Buddha. The children are not the main subject. It is not we who save our father. It is only by accepting and acknowledging the medicine (Law) and our father (Buddha) that we become equal to him. It is not by accepting the medicine and then turning around and declaring that it was our medicine all along and we, in fact, pounded and sifted and gave the medicine to our father. Why would anyone teach that it is we who endowed Shakyamuni Buddha with the Three Properties of the Buddha’s life? To what purpose does it serve if not to trivialize the accomplishments of our father. Nichiren says unfilial sons do not inherit the lands and riches of the father. This is the reason the Nichiren Shoshu and SGI members remain unenlightened worldlings. They are those without gratitude for their father, or those with misplaced gratitude to Daisaku Ikeda and the High Priests of Taisekaji, or those who follow the person and not the Law.
The Ongi Kuden continues:
“Even so, this chapter is not the essential teaching for the Latter Day of the Law. The reason is that this chapter confers the benefit of [reaping the harvest of] emancipation for those who lived in Shakyamuni’s lifetime, while only the five characters sow the seed [of Buddhahood] for those who would come in the future, that is, at the present time. This being the case, the Buddha’s lifetime was the age for the benefits of [the harvest of] emancipation, while the last age is the time for sowing the seed. In the Latter Day of the Law, sowing the seed is the basis. Nichiren and his disciples, who chant the Daimoku, are the parents of mankind because they save them from the hell of incessant suffering.” (Gosho Zenshu p. 753)
Commentary: This is nothing more than a restatement of the teachings in the True Object of Worship. As long as we keep in mind the true meaning of sowing and harvesting as explained by Nichiren in the True Object of Worship, we will not get lost in the thickets of the Taisekaji doctrines. The True Object of Worship reads:
“It is stated in the tenth chapter of the Lotus Sutra, ‘The Teacher of the Dharma’: ‘This sutra has aroused much hatred and jealousy even in the lifetime of the Buddha. How much more can this be expected after His death!’ And in the eleventh chapter, ‘Appearance of the Stupa of Treasures’: ‘Taho Buddha and the Buddhas in manifestation (funjin Buddhas) from all the worlds in the universe gathered together to make this dharma live forever….Buddhas in manifestation should remember My (the Buddha’s) intention to keep on spreading the dharma forever.’You may find similar statements in the thirteen chapter, ‘Encouragement for Upholding this Sutra’, and fourteenth chapter, ‘Peaceful Practices’. They show that the theoretical section of the Lotus Sutra is directed to those in the beginning of the Latter Age.
The essential section of the Lotus Sutra is preached solely for those living in the beginning of the Latter Age. At first glance it appears that the seed of Buddhahood was planted in them by the Eternal Buddha in the eternal past or 500 dust particle kalpa ago. The seed germinated and grew within them with the help of all the sutras from the Lotus Sutra preached by the sixteenth prince of Daitsuchisho Buddha in 3,000 dust particle kalpa in the past to all those preached by Sakyamuni in his life before the Lotus Sutra and the theoretical section of the Lotus Sutra. Finally the essential section of the Lotus Sutra enabled them to attain Buddhahood.
On closer examination, however, the essential section differs from the theoretical section. That is to say the essential section, all through the prologue, the main discourse, and the epilogue, was preached for those people in the beginning of the Latter Age of the Decadent Dharma. The teaching of the essential section during the lifetime of Sakyamuni Buddha and that which would spread in the beginning of the Latter Age are likewise absolutely perfect. However the former is for attaining enlightenment, whereas the latter is for sowing the seed of Buddhahood. While the former is crystallized in the sixteenth chapter, ‘Duration of the Life of the Buddha’, with half a chapter each preceding and following it, the latter is solely embodied in the five characters of Myo, Ho, Ren, Ge, and Kyo, the title of the Lotus Sutra.” Kanjin Honzon Sho, Nichiren Shu (NOPPA 1991) pp 120 – 122;
What was referred to by Nichiren as “the teaching for attaining enlightenment” [MW - Buddhism of the Harvest] is the teaching by the historical Buddha during his lifetime, i.e., his spoken words to his disciples. In the Age of Mappo we can only rely on the Lotus Sutra (Myoho renge kyo) but the manner of its faith, practice, and propagation in the Age of Mappo differs from that of the historical Buddha during his lifetime. We rely on the Daimoku transmitted by the Buddha to the Bodhisattvas from Underground who are commissioned to propagate the Lotus Sutra in this Age of Mappo. In Chapter 15 of the Lotus Sutra, the various provisional Bodhisattvas from this and other worlds ask to expound the Lotus Sutra. However, the Buddha demurs saying, “I do not want you to uphold this sutra….” Kanjin Honzon Sho, Nichiren Shu (NOPPA 1991) p 124; MW p 172.
Nichiren, referencing Tien-tai, discusses this rejection: “After all, Sakyamuni Buddha could not reveal his innermost enlightenment, or the great dharma hidden in the lines of the Duration of the Life of the Buddha Chapter [Chapter 16] to those great bodhisattvas from other worlds who had been guided by the teaching of the theoretical section.” Kanjin Honzon Sho, Nichiren Shu (NOPPA 1991) p 126; MW 173.
Nichiren continues, explaining that in this Age of Mappo, the essence of the Lotus Sutra, Myo Ho Renge Kyo, is taught to the people by the Bodhisattvas from Underground, the original disciples of Sakyamuni Buddha:
“Lands at the beginning of the Latter Age slander the true dharma and those
who live there have poor capacity for comprehension and faith in Buddhism.
Therefore, instead of relying on Buddhas from other worlds, the Buddha called
out great bodhisattvas from underground to entrust them with the task of
transmitting the five characters of Myo, Ho, Ren, Ge, and Kyo, the essence of
the ‘Duration of the Life of the Buddha’ chapter, to the people in this world.
It meant also that those guided by the teaching of the theoretical section were
not the original disciples of Sakyamuni Buddha.” Kanjin Honzon Sho, Nichiren
Shu (NOPPA 1991) p 126; MW 173.
“Having thus manifested the ten divine powers, Sakyamuni Buddha transmitted
the five characters of Myo, Ho, Ren, Ge, and Kyo to the original disciples of
the Buddha since the eternal past, who had sprung up from underground.”
Kanjin Honzon Sho, Nichiren Shu (NOPPA 1991) p 140; MW 176.
“Tien-tai comments on this in his ‘Words and Phrases of the Lotus Sutra’:
'Following ‘Thereupon Sakyamuni Buddha said to the host of bodhisattvas’ is the third section of the chapter on the Divine Powers, summarizing the essence of the Lotus Sutra and transmitting it to the bodhisattvas from underground.” Kanjin Honzon Sho, Nichiren Shu (NOPPA 1991) p 142; MW I:76.
“The manifestation of the ten divine powers in the 21st chapter on the ‘Divine Powers’ is for the sake of transmitting the five characters of Myo, Ho, Ren, Ge Kyo to the four bodhisattvas of Jogyo, Muhengyo, Jyogyo and Anryugyo, representing the host of bodhisattvas who had sprung from underground.” –Kanjin Honzon Sho, Nichiren Shu (NOPPA 1991) p 142; MWI:76-77.
Nichiren goes on to explain that the time had only just arrived for the bodhisattvas from underground to appear and propagate Myoho Renge Kyo, the excellent medicine for the Latter Age:
“Now we are at the beginning of the Latter Age of the Decadent Dharma, when Hinayana teachings strike down Mahayana teachings, provisional teachings destroy true teachings, east is taken for west and west for east, and heaven and earth are upside down. Under these circumstances, the four ranks of bodhisattva-teachers who preach the theoretical section of the Lotus Sutra remain in hiding. Gods desert the land which they are supposed to protect. Then, for the first time, those bodhisattvas from underground appear in this world to encourage ignorant people to take the five characters of Myo, Ho, Ren, Ge, and Kyo, the excellent medicine of the Latter Age. Many ignorant people would fall into hell by slandering the five characters, but they would be saved eventually. (NOPPA) pp. 143
The real meaning of the Buddhism of the Harvest and the Buddhism of the Sowing, is NOT that there are two different Buddhisms [as taught by Taisekaji and the Soka Gakkai], the Buddhism of Shakyamuni and the Buddhism of Nichiren but that the time of the Latter day is for sowing the seed of Buddhahood not harvesting the seed.