(If you think about it, the Lotus Sutra is concerned in many passages with pedagogy, with learning and guiding beings to the truth, creating situations in which people can learn, and so on)
I agree and would go you one further - I think it can be argued that Buddhism is all
Buddhism did not start with the Buddha's enlightenment at Gaya, but at Sarnath when he first turned the wheel for the five ascetics (in terms of East Asian Lotus theory - it started with the Buddha's preaching of the Avatamsaka as the Buddha Vairocana).
The Lotus Sutra seems to say so, also. The Buddha concludes the 16th chapter where he reveals his life span explaining what he's been doing all these unfathomable kalpas since his original enlightenment saying:
BDK Translation, p. 230-1
Always aware of which sentient beings
Practice the path and which do not,
I teach the Dharma in various ways,
According to their ability to be saved.
I am always thinking:
By what means can I cause sentient beings to be able to
Enter the highest path
And quickly attain the Dharma?
Everything else in the Lotus Sutra is about how to carry out the Buddha's sole concern - explanation of expedient means, prophecies of enlightenment, description of benefits, entrustment, etc.
Zhiyi seemed to put it in those terms also - focusing on the what (four teachings) and how (four methods/siddhantas), describing practice in terms of the Six Stages of Enlightenment as "seeking above and edifying below", emphasizing "practice for oneself and practice for others", etc.
My impression about Soka University has been that they have been running from their Buddhist identity since opening in Aliso Viejo. They want to be a school emphasizing "Value Creation", not Buddha Dharma. Ikeda is celebrated, but Buddha makes only cameo appearances.
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