Feb. 8, 2002
The Justice Chronicle, provided by Soka Gakkai International-USA, is a free monthly e-mail in support of the Soka Spirit movement. Soka Spirit is the SGI’s educational effort to create value and deepen our understanding of Nichiren Buddhism through increased awareness of issues surrounding the Nichiren Shoshu priesthood and the spiritual foundation of the SGI movement.
The Supreme Court in Tokyo recently dismissed two separate lawsuits filed by the Nichiren Shoshu clergy, both which sought the removal of priests who belong to reformist priests associations.
On Jan. 24, the Supreme Court sided with Hoshin Nakajima, member of the Association of Priests Concerned for Nichiren Shoshu and the Protection of the Law and chief priest of Myodoji Temple in Nagoya City, who seceded from Nichiren Shoshu in 1992. The priesthood banned Rev. Nakajima in 1993 and filed suit to oust him from his post as Myodoji Temple’s chief priest. The Nagoya District Court dismissed Nichiren Shoshu’s claims in 1998 on the grounds that the religious dispute was beyond the jurisdiction of the court; upon appeal, the Nagoya High Court upheld the lower court’s ruling in 2000.
On Jan. 30, the Supreme Court dismissed a similar suit filed by the Nichiren Shoshu priesthood against Shindo Yamamoto, another reformist cleric who is a member of the Association for Reformation of Nichiren Shoshu and the chief priest of Josetsuji Temple in Kamaishi City, Iwate Prefecture.
This is an excerpt from a series of informal discussions between SGI President Ikeda and various SGI members in 1994. It originally appeared in the Nov. 14 1994 World Tribune.
WHEN PEOPLE STAND UP STRAIGHT, NO ONE CAN RIDE THEIR BACKS
The Japanese word for perversity comprises the Chinese characters for flattery and twisted. Perversity is a twisted heart which manifests itself in obsequious flattery. People in this state of life are always concerned whether the other person is stronger or weaker superior or inferior to them in some way and their attitude changes accordingly. They have no beliefs no sincerity no integrity. Their lives are scheming and duplicitous rooted in jealousy and egoism.
Because such people are twisted they can see nothing correctly nothing in its true light — neither themselves nor others. Everything appears twisted. Those in the world of Anger the realm of the asura look down on others and labor under the delusion that they are superior. The Great Teacher T’ien-t’ai writes of the baseness of these people in his Great Concentration and Insight: Since the mind of those in the world of Anger desire in every moment to be superior to everyone else and cannot bear to be inferior to anyone they belittle and despise others and exalt themselves just as a hawk flies high and looks down.
He states that those in the world of Anger try to put on a fine appearance. They do not know how to respect others. When they see someone or something great and good they aren’t happy; instead they criticize and try to run it down. This is envy at its ugliest. They don’t understand that honest respect for others actually elevates their own state of being. This is true perversity.
Explaining why the people of India could triumph over the mighty British Empire Nehru once remarked Gandhi has straightened our backs and stiffened our spines.
Despotism rides on the people’s backs whips them and seeks to crush them. As long as the people’s backs remain bent in submission the despot will feel free to punish and mistreat them as he pleases. But when the people stand up straight no one can ride on their backs. Gandhi showed the people of India the boundless power they possessed. The people had faith in him and so they had faith in themselves. And they rose up and straightened their backs.
The moment they stood up straight their enormous strength was revealed. The despot rolled off their backs and saw just how powerless and insignificant he was. This was a true triumph of democracy.
Two in a series.
SOKA SPIRIT IN THE PUBLICATIONS
This section highlights articles published in the World Tribune and Living Buddhism related to the Soka Spirit movement.
Feb. 8 World Tribune page 3: In a reprint of his 1993 speech entitled On the Formality of Gongyo SGI President Ikeda comments on the importance of practicing for oneself and for others and the Nichiren Shoshu priests’ failure to do so.