When it comes to religion, all three proofs must be
in place, just as they must be in place in daily life. Everyone
believes in many things that mere men have put forth. Everything
from brushing your teeth to driving a car to whether we can survive
on Mars are all theories put forth by mere men. And we put our lives
on the line every day testing the actual proof of these theories.
If it's true, it's true, regardless of where it comes from. Likewise,
this profound truth of life was discovered by a mere man.
During the middle ages in Japan, there was a priest
named Nichiren. Nichiren had a theory that if you practice in exact
accord with the Law contained within the teachings of the Lotus
Sutra (his documentary proof), you will attain enlightenment (his
actual proof). He did it himself, putting it to the test. After
a few years of practicing according to this Law of Life he exhibited
enlightenment as described in the Lotus Sutra itself. Moreover,
he said he felt immense joy, even when he was in the midst of an
external hell of cold, lack of food, social disapproval, loneliness
and other things due to exile by his government for propagating
his teachings. That is enlightenment. Enlightenment is happiness
and incredible (almost superhuman) vitality no matter what the relative
circumstances. We (the writers) have experienced this feeling, which
is further evidence that it is possible to feel this way and that
Nichiren wasn't lying. He wrote down exactly how he attained enlightenment
and how others could do it. Now, it is up to his followers to prove
or disprove his theoretical and documentary proof...in other words,
to show actual proof. Should you believe him or us? That is up to
you. If you practice exactly as he taught, you will attain enlightenment.
See for yourself.
During his lifetime, Nichiren and those who followed
his teachings and example were the only people who were practicing
according to the Lotus Sutra. Most other forms of Buddhism ignore
the existence of this sutra. One reason that no one else practiced
according to the Lotus Sutra is that it is very difficult to understand
the teaching. When reading it directly, it seems to have a circular
kind of logic and content that can only be found by living the sutra
yourself. Nichiren became significant in history by taking the teaching
of the Lotus Sutra and applying it to his life and by creating a
practice out of it that anyone can do. Therefore we recommend that
you read the writings of Nichiren. Some books that contain his writings
The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin. Trans. The Gosho Translation
Committee. Tokyo, Japan: Soka Gakkai, 1999.
Letters of Nichiren. Trans. Burton Watson, et al. Ed. Philip
B. Yampolsky. New York: Columbia University Press, 1996.
Selected Writings of Nichiren. Trans. Burton Watson, et al.
Ed. Philip B. Yampolsky. New York: Columbia University Press, 1990.
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