Soka Spirit
Part I: 1. Introduction

The Soka Gakkai, the Body of Believers Dedicated to Kosen-rufu

Nichiren Daishonin writes, If even a good monk sees someone destroying the teaching and disregards him, failing to reproach him, to oust him, or to punish him for his offense, then you should realize that that monk is betraying the Buddha’s teaching. But if he ousts the destroyer of the Law, reproaches him, or punishes him, then he is my disciple and a true voice-hearer (On Establishing the Correct Teaching for the Peace of the Land, The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, pp. 17-18).

As these golden words make clear, it is the highest responsibility of a disciple of the Buddha to thoroughly repudiate those whose actions oppose or are destructive to the Buddha’s teachings. Ignoring or disavowing the gravity of such serious offenses has the same ultimate effect as complicity in them. This is why the Buddha was so strict about being vigilant in this regard.

On the other hand, if we challenge negative functions that aim to destroy Buddhism, then we are at the same time gaining control over our own destructive impulses and attitudes and establishing the sublime life-state of Buddhahood. From the standpoint of the teachings of Nichiren Daishonin’s Buddhism, it is for this reason that we refute the doctrines and offenses of Nichiren Shoshu.

Nichiren Daishonin expounded the great Law that is the essence of the Lotus Sutra, and opened the way for all people equally to attain Buddha- hood. Nichiren Daishonin’s heart and spirit is to be found in his intent to widely spread the Mystic Law for the happiness of the people and peace of society.

In his writings he states, If you are of the same mind as Nichiren, you must be a Bodhisattva of the Earth (The True Aspect of All Phenomena, WND, 385). In other words, disciples of the Daishonin must stand up with the same spirit as he did and advance with that spirit. This approach to Buddhist practice is what it means to stand upon faith that is directly connected to Nichiren Daishonin and to make the Daishonin’s writings one’s foundation.

The Daishonin’s successor, Nikko Shonin, stood as an example of this principle. He revered Nichiren Daishonin as the true Buddha of the Latter Day of the Law, shared in his struggles and persecutions, attending to and learning from him every step of the way. In addition, through his efforts to spread the Mystic Law, he showed himself to be one who practiced with he same mind as Nichiren. For this reason, Nichiren Daishonin entrusted him with the entirety of his teachings and with the Dai-Gohonzon, which he had inscribed for the benefit of all humanity.