Oeshiki Goshoto-e Ceremony 2010
I would like to thank you for attending today’s Oeshiki ceremony despite your busy schedule. I want to thank members who have made the determination to participate in today’s ceremony from long distance. Just now, I have offered your sincere Gokuyo to the Gohonzon, and sincerely prayed to the Gohonzon for the further development in faith; eradication of your sins and negative karma from this and infinite past lifetimes; to enjoy a safe and long life; for peace and harmony to reign in your home; for all matters to proceed forth smoothly; and for the successful achievement of all your great objectives in this and future existences.
During today’s ceremony, I read a portion of the Gosho “Rissho Ankoku Ron.” This portion covers the reply given by the host, Nichiren Daishonin, of a question from the traveler, Hojo Tokiyori. The traveler, after listening to what the host has said, is now convinced that the Lotus Sutra is the only correct practice. At the very end, the traveler declares that the Lotus Sutra is the only correct practice, and not only will he practice, he will let others know about this practice as well.
Last night, I ended right before the Sutra of the Great Assembly. Today, I will continue from the point where I ended.
Nichiren Daishonin stated:
Above all, everyone living in this world fears what is to come after death. In fear of this, people unknowingly take faith in erroneous teachings or venerate slanderous religions. Their inability to differentiate right from wrong is disgraceful. How pitiful it is that they believe they are dedicating themselves to correct Buddhism! If people were inclined to take faith, why would they heedlessly follow erroneous doctrines? If they cannot sever their attachments to heretical teachings, and if they continue to hold distorted views, they will certainly find that their lifespan will be diminished and they will fall into the hell of incessant suffering.
(GND Vol. II, p. 40)
What He mentioned here is not based from His own thoughts. Because He studied various sutras to declare that the Lotus Sutra is far superior from other sutras, He studied those same sutras to make this statement.
First, He cites from the Sutra of the Great Assembly:
If a king practiced almsgiving, observing the precepts and obtaining wisdom for innumerable existences in the past, but in his current existence finds that the Law is in danger of being destroyed yet does nothing to protect it, then the boundless good fortune he had accumulated will vanish completely…. Soon, the king will become mortally ill, and upon his death he will be confined to a deep hell. The king’s consorts, the crown prince, high ministers, barons, generals, local administrators, and officials will all receive the same retribution.
(GND Vol. II, p. 40)
Anyone can relate this passage to those who at one point devoted themselves to this practice. But, because of their association to erroneous belief systems, or their inability to overcome the fourteen slanders, they decide to abandon this practice.
Then, He cites from the Sutra of the Benevolent King:
If there is one who violates the Buddhist teachings, he will have no dutiful children, no family harmony, and no protection from the guardian deities for his family. He will fall victim to epidemics and attacks by demons day after day, be hounded by bizarre disasters one after another, and constantly be tormented by misfortune. After death, he will fall into the worlds of hell, hunger, and animality. Even if he happens to be born as a human being, he will suffer the retribution of being used as a slave in warfare. If a person writes at night and then extinguishes the lamp, the characters still remain, just like the resonance of a sound and the shadow of a body. Similarly, the consequences from what we have accumulated in our present lifetime in this threefold world will manifest themselves in our future existences.
(GND Vol. II, p. 40~1)
This passage cites the negative retribution that will come out from going against True Buddhism.
Finally, He cites from the Lotus Sutra and the Nirvana Sutra:
“If one does not believe in the sutra and commits slander,… after he dies, he will fall into avichi hell”;… “For one thousand kalpas, he will undergo tremendous sufferings in avichi hell”.
“If one becomes estranged from his good friends, refuses to listen to the true Law, and adheres to evil doctrines, he will inevitably sink into avichi hell, where his body will expand and stretch eighty-four thousand yojana.”
(GND Vol. II, p. 41)
Now, returning to the words of the host, He states:
Thus, by thoroughly reading all of these sutras, you will find that they all point out the grave consequences of slandering the Law. How lamentable it is that everyone has walked out of the gate of the correct Law and entered into the prison of erroneous teachings! How foolish people are to be caught by the hook of evil doctrines and become eternally entangled in the net of slanderous teachings! In this lifetime, the people’s ability [to see the correct Law] is obscured by a dense fog, and in future existences they will be engulfed by the roaring flames of hell.
(GND Vol. II, p. 42)
Here, the host laments about the fact that Shakyamuni Buddha drew the line between the expedient and true teachings. Yet, Tien’tai and Dengyo decides to create its own understanding of the practice.
He also thinks the people who are caught by the hook of The Sole Selection of Nembutsu, and entangled in the net of slanderous teachings are foolish.
Then the host ends his response with the following:
How can we not grieve? How can we not agonize? You must immediately renounce your erroneous belief and take faith in the supreme teaching of the one vehicle of the Lotus Sutra. Then, this entire threefold world will become the Buddha land. How could the Buddha land ever decline? All the lands in the ten directions will transform into treasure realms. How could a treasure realm ever fall to ruin? If the nation never declines and the land is indestructible, you will find safety and peace in mind. These are the very words that you must believe and revere.
(GND Vol. II, p. 42)
The passage starts with a warning that we must not take the erroneous teachings lightly.
Finally, the gosho ends with this passage:
Why would one practice erroneous teachings and refuse to follow the correct Law in this lifetime and in future existences? Now that you have thoroughly explained the words of the Buddha based on the passages you have cited from the sutras, I have come to understand that slandering the true Law is extremely serious and the offense of violating it is indeed grave. By believing only in Amida Buddha, I discarded all other Buddhas; by revering the three pure land sutras, I rejected all other sutras. This is not because of my self-centered views, but simply because of my obedience to the words of the founders. This is true for all the people throughout the land. Yet, it causes our hearts to be tormented in this life, and will certainly cause us to fall into avichi hell in future existences. The sutras clearly elucidate this point and fully explain this principle. There is no room for doubt.
From now on, I will faithfully uphold your compassionate admonition so that I may clear my foolish and deluded mind. I will immediately eliminate [all slanderous teachings] and make every effort toward realizing the peace throughout the land.
These efforts will also secure my own peace of mind in this lifetime and will enable me to attain supreme happiness in future existences.
Not only will I take faith in the correct Law, but I will also refute the erroneous views of others!
(GND Vol. II, p. 42~3)
Retired High Priest Nikken Shonin states:
The appearance of erroneous teachings changes dramatically.
I bring up the final part of the fourth question and answer. “Therefore, rather than offering a myriad of prayers and rituals, first and foremost it is vital to eliminate the single evil cause of all adversities.” (GND Vol. II, p. 20) This is a very famous passage. During Nichiren Daishonin’s time, He based this gosho on Honen’s The Sole Selection of Nembutsu…. But today, the single evil cause of all adversities points towards SGI.”
This organization has left the gate of the correct Law and is still running straight towards the avichi hell. They say that they are following the teachings of Nichiren Daishonin, but in reality, they are not.
Since the beginning of the “year of advancing toward Kosen-rufu”, we have shakubuku efforts throughout the year, and we are two and a half months away from the end of this year. I cannot say that we are close to accomplishing our goals, but I can say is that we are striving in more ways than one. We are close to accomplishing twenty shakubukus this year, and we want to move further ahead. Next year will be the 30th Anniversary of the establishment of Myogyoji Temple, so let us continue our advancement in the development of Myogyoji Temple and the Myogyoji Hokkeko Chapter.
In closing, I wish for further development of faith and greater health and happiness for each and everyone here today. Tomorrow will be the Oeshiki Ceremony. I hope to see everyone tomorrow. Thank you very much.