Soka Spirit
Know the Difference (No. 10): Two Philosophies

December 05, 1997

By Craig Green & Jeff Farr
Los Angeles

The current dispute between the SGI and Nichiren Shoshu is not simply a conflict between two religious organizations. It’s a struggle between two opposing ways of life. When Nichiren Daishonin began to propagate the Law, he made it clear that those who propagate this philosophy correctly will undoubtedly incur persecution and slander. The only organization that has fulfilled this criteria is the SGI. Nichiren Shoshu has never come close.

Instead of working together with the SGI, Nichiren Shoshu has, since 1990, conspired with other anti-Gakkai factions to bring down the organization, even going so far as to request that the Japanese government dissolve the Soka Gakkai. Spurred on by Nikken’s jealousy, Nichiren Shoshu has excommunicated and re-excommunicated millions of members, threatening that they will not be able to attain enlightenment as a ruse to get them back into the temples.

Nowhere in his writings does Nichiren Daishonin point to the supremacy of a high priest or the inferiority of lay believers. Nowhere in his writings does he speak of excommunication. But today, these illogical theories have found a home in Nichiren Shoshu. The difference is clear: The SGI is basing itself on the teachings of Nichiren Daishonin. And the temple is wrapping itself in the security blanket of monastic ritual.

This concludes “Know the Difference”