Tag Archive: Josei Toda

The Hell of Incessant Suffering and the Land of Tranquil Light

The Hell of Incessant Suffering and the Land of Tranquil Light

Note: This was originally published here on Sunday, September 24th, 2006 at 4:28 pm and filed under Buddhism..  The link has been dead for quite some time, looks unlikely to re-appear,  so I’m showing the words here as they are so wonderful because they deserve to be preserved.  The material is straight from Google’s cache as it isn’t in the Wayback Machine.  Use the contact page if you think this is unreasonable.

Through enlightenment we escape the confines of the physical and realise the unlimited potential of the human spirit. Just as the sun that dries the newly hatched butterfly’s wings, the compassion of the Lotus Sutra allows us all to soar from our pitiful cocoons and look out over the landscape of infinite possibility.

The potential for enlightenment exists within all human beings, just as an ungainly chick has the potential to become a great eagle, the single roe egg to become a great salmon, or the young cheetah to become faster even than antelope. Why then, do human beings endowed with the capacity for intelligence and great understanding constantly fail to fulfil their potential?

Physical confinement refers not only to tangible barriers, like walls, or borders, but also by those barriers caused by our lesser consciousnesses. Our lesser consciousnesses often serve to withhold our true potential, making us feel trapped within the lower life states of hell, hunger, animality and anger. We constantly fall into the three evil paths of greed anger and foolishness, and we commit the ten evil acts – all serving only to deepen our suffering and further delude us from our most true and pure nature.

Lotus Flower

Lotus Flower

This one moment of insight transformed Mr Toda’s life, and catalysed the growth of the SGI in post war Japan, and subsequently revitalised the cause for Kosen Rufu throughout the world.

It surprises me not in the least that given such a supreme teaching, and aware of his inability to directly influence the affairs of the world outside his cell, that the causes inherent in Mr Toda’s experiencing the Lotus Sutra ultimately led to such profound effects upon so many people today.

Trapped in a prison cell one is all too aware of his physical confinement. Given such an environment, and removed from every day affairs, even the ignorant would have much time to ponder. Many great people of compassion have suffered this kind of confinement – not just such great names as Mandela and Terry Waite, but the countless common people who have found their lives curtailed by cruel regimes bent on every kind of domination.

A prison cell is a relative confinement. The insects that must have occupied Josei Toda’s prison cell were most likely unaware of the rest of the prison, far less so the existence of the country of Japan, it’s people’s anguish, or the needless suffering being delivered upon countless millions of people due to the war. Those insects surely went about their daily business, oblivious to these facts. Spiders would spin their webs, and flies, being such, would daily find themselves trapped therein.

Josei Toda although knowing his mentor and friend Tsunesaburo Makiguchi was also in prison, must have felt a terrible sense of isolation from the world outside, and finally upon learning of Makiguchi’s death a year after his last brief meeting with him, he wept in his devastation all night. For a time he must have felt as isolated as a single ant in the middle of a great desert.

The hell of incessant suffering is indeed realised in this life due to our ignorance of our true nature and the way of the Lotus Sutra. Josei Toda’s prison cell provided him with the opportunity of transcending his own difficulties, realising within himself the Buddha nature which in turn blessed him with the vision that this world and all life within has the potential for buddhahood – that the potential existed for the land of tranquil light to be experienced in this life.

The relative confinement of the prison cell is no different from our confinement upon this planet. To live on a world the size of a grain of sand, human beings would be too small to see even under a powerful microscope. Imagine now that this grain of sand upon which billions of human beings depend may be more than 16000 miles from the nearest grain of sand which may also be inhabited by sentient life. It is impossible for common people to comprehend our isolation.

Surely then, humanity is more physically alone within the vast reaches of the universe than Josei Toda was within his prison cell. Yet, like the flies in Mr Toda’s cell, we are ignorant of our physical isolation and the darkness in our hearts. Why does humanity, more isolated in the universe as was Josei is his cell, not see it’s salvation in the compassion and supreme law of the Lotus Sutra? It is not unheard of for a person to exhibit great wisdom. People [pluraly] on the other hand, have never been recorded with the possession of a collective wisdom to match.

It is because people are amused by meaningless trinkets, misled by the poisonous machinations of our rulers, deluded by jealous and vengeful doctrines, and hungry for power that humanity has successfully delivered itself into a time where the great mystic forces have delivered the hell of incessant suffering before our very eyes.

Nichiren stated “those who stay long in privies forget how foul the smell is”, and so it is with humanity and the three evil paths. Our task as votaries of the Lotus Sutra and disciples of Nichiren is to make the great Law as irresistible to humanity, as the copy of the Lotus Sutra in Mr Toda’s cell was to him.

The movement for Kosen Rufu must make the Law accessible to all and to propagate it at every opportunity. True votaries of the Lotus Sutra see our worldly attachments for the illusions of smoke and dust that they are.

It is not enough simply to become comfortable exchanging our views with fellow believers at regular meetings. This time calls for shakubuku to be practiced with great wisdom, courage and compassion. To provide demonstrable proof to all those around you – your employers, employees, family and friends – is paramount if this world is ever to be transformed into the land of tranquil light. This world may not be transformed in my lifetime, but if we are to take true faith in kosen rufu then we will surely be reborn in the land of tranquil light.

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Aye oop Ron!

Strangely post on August 29th, 2009
Posted in Buddhism Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

My.  What a Big One!

Ron and his Dahlia

Ron and his Dahlia

Josiei Toda: in an impassioned speech calling for the abolition of nuclear weapons on September 8, 1957

Josiei Toda: in an impassioned speech calling for the abolition of nuclear weapons on September 8, 1957

This is Ron and his flower, a dahlia.

It reminds me of this picture taken of Josei Toda, a Buddhist, just before he announced his opinion that nuclear weapons were a curse on the world and humanity.

Toda’s flower is a chrysanthemum, but the similarities are obvious.

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Personal Power: Never Belittle Yourself

Daisaku Says:

“It has been one of history’s great tragedies that people, failing to recognise the enormous power they possess, have often been subjugated, or divided and set against one another. In contrast, the mentor-disciple relationship of the Soka Gakkai is dedicated to inspiring, uniting, and guiding people in a positive direction. There is no more lofty human bond than that shared by mentor and disciple.

“My mentor, second Soka Gakkai president Josei Toda, encouraged members who were facing adversity: ‘You should be proud that you possess within yourself the same life-state as Nichiren Daishonin. Maintain a noble spirit and triumph in life. Never belittle yourself.'”

SGI Newsletter No. 7664, The Unlimited Power of the People, from the December 2008 issue of the Daibyakurenge

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The True Meaning of Religion – Jet Fighters

Key to the KaabaToday’s little mention on this news item here on The BBC News website about the auction house sale of a key that unlocks the door to the Kaaba, shows, at the beginning and end of the article, the true meaning of religion – certainly in the ones stemming from “Abraham”.

  • It’s states it’s the “12th century key to Islam’s holiest shrine” at the beginning.
  • It states that it’s “arguably one of the most important symbols of Islam” a bit later.
  • And finally, “it demonstrates the authority of the caliph and is the ultimate emblem of power”

My summary of the key:

It’s the key to the holiest place and a most important symbol of Islam.

What’s holy? Answer; associated with divine power.

What’s divine? Answer; associated with supernatural powers, godlike.

So this item is very important…

Ah! But it’s being sold. When I sell something I have no use for it, do I not? So the question is:

Is it important or valuable? Answer; It’s being sold, therefore, it’s valuable, because if it was super-natural, it would obviously be beyond value.

It’s the ultimate symbol of power…

So the “ultimate symbol” of power is not holy or supernatural, it’s valuable (because it’s being sold), as an emblem of power.

And thus, the ultimate symbol of divinity is monetary power.

In other words, the emblem of supernatural power is a dollar

Eurofighter Picture on WikipediaSo divinity is money is power. The true meaning of religion. It’s emblem is worth 40 million dollars – less than half a Eurofighter.

How’s this key related to the Eurofighter?

Answer: Today, the High Court has ruled that the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) was an illegally acting bunch of twats (actually they said their actions were an “outrage” – ed) for cancelling investigations into BAe who probably bunged a load of Saudi princes at least 120 million quid of our money every year for at least two decades. That was the general idea except the SFO, probably under duress from a wimpish UK gov and who knows what else (bungs within bungs it’s alleged), caved in and said it was “against the national interest”.

This “cave-in” was in 2006. See this news article about the purchase of Eurofighters by the Saudis.

Well we expect a little bribery as the princes are so poor (sarcasm alert) because, as we know, there’s no money whatsoever in Saudi Arabia. All there is is the Kaaba, which is the holy of holies – and they’ve sold the key to that as I mentioned earlier, because they respect the place so much(!). The only real trouble is the weasely UK Gov. The words “because of the national interest” run a bit thin when you realise that the guns, bullets and missiles on the Eurofighter are not made in the UK – at least very soon, they won’t be. As I mentioned in an earlier comment to a post, the last ammo and explosive factory in the UK is closing and the MOD will have to source their actual killing stuff from Eastern Europe.

A little geography lesson now: Eastern Europe is right next to Russia, Belarus and the Ukraine where lots of Europe’s gas is either sourced from or passes through these days in big, fat, pipes. The Russian Bear has already turned the tap off a few times. (see here, here and here) What if they get really serious, turn the tap off and decide to “help” their neighbours in Latvia or Estonia say? If they decide to creep closer to their post-WW2 borders and turn off the gas if we don’t pay the ramped up charges, will we fight back to protect our “interests” and where will the UK get it’s ammo from to chase them off? We won’t have any as the factories will have been over-run. Our few “brave troups” in the news reports will be sat in their tanks with Kate Adie and nothing to shoot with. Will they throw snowballs? Will they throw H-bombs? Maybe they’ll throw Kate Adie and she’ll talk them to death.

This is the real area of “national interest” and “national security”. The UK Gov is so bothered about a few mad arabs banging on the front door, appeasing the ones with oil and money and killing the poor bomb-carrying fools led like sheep, that they’ve forgotten that there’s a huge bunch of Polar Bears rummaging in the larder because someone left the back door wide open. They haven’t reached the china cupboard yet, but when they do there’s going to be a hell of a noise! (btw, puns intended). In the quest to catch the few idiots, UK Gov has removed and is extending the process of removing, many of our long held rights and freedoms, and emasculated the nation into a mass of fearful, worrying, self-centred, house price watching, talentless celebrity watching twerps. As the Aussies are so fond of calling us – whingeing poms. Where is the wartime spirit like that of my mum when she mentions the bombs raining down when she was a girl? The people’s freedom wasn’t removed. People just got on with their lives. When a bomber arrived, you knew who it was and you tried to shoot it down. Then the next one until there were no more left. Compare that to now…. UK Gov says, “we think X is a bomber so all 60 million of you will have to be ID’d like criminals and we need the freedom to lock any of you up for 48 days without trial or a representative”.

No! I say let the bombers do their worst, then we know who they are and what their intentions are. Then catch them. Eventually there will be none left and we’ll still have our rights.

In preference though, let us consider why it is that the Muslim world apparently hates us so. What has the West done that irks them so much? How far back should we look? Maybe it’s true that a basic tenet of Islam is to kill everyone who isn’t a Muslim? For myself, I see no clarity in any of this. The fact is that the past has gone and only current and future actions affect the future. If all people really do desire peace, then they should say so and act accordingly in a peaceful way. The karma of people of violence will reflect back on themselves, eventually. Consider the Vikings. They were apparently a very violent people, that traded and explored widely, allowed women to hold property, tortured captives and farmed. These are all very contradictory actions. In truth, we know from the sagas that the few violent men usually had very violent grisly ends to their lives. The people with the lasting legacy were the farmers, who very often mingled peacefully with existing peoples, created landscapes and left a language, (as well as the world’s oldest parliament, in Iceland). That’s the definition of a nation. Men who die early leave nothing.

Emperors and kings have their foundation in the state and bring peace and order to the age; ministers and commoners hold possession of their fields and gardens and supply the needs of the world.

But if marauders come from other regions to invade the nation, or if revolt breaks out within the domain and people’s lands are seized and plundered, how can there be anything but terror and confusion?

If the nation is destroyed and people’s homes are wiped out, then where can one flee for safety? If you care anything about your personal security, you should first of all pray for order and tranquillity throughout the four quarters of the land, should you not?

The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, pp. 23-24; Gosho Zenshu, P. 31, lines 7-18

Nichiren Daishonin said this in 1260. The Japanese nation was under a lot of threat (mongols, famine, floods, typhoons, harsh winters etc). Nichiren, like me was a Buddhist, and against war of all kinds; but ultimately, if everyone is dead and there is no-one left to practice this Buddhism, then this Buddhism cannot spread. We want this Buddhism to spread because we want everyone to reveal their full potential and be happy. I need this country to be safe so that I can chant and tell people about chanting! Therefore, it’s vital that as many people as possible practice this Buddhism so that there is a true majority mandate for peace in all countries across the globe. After this, there will be no use for even defensive weaponry, but until then, to maintain the peace of the land (and by land I mean the Earth), everyone should properly defend themselves and strive to get as many Buddhists as possible in all countries across the world, as soon as possible.

There are now 10 million SGI Buddhists chanting twice a day in 190 or so countries for the peace and happiness of every individual on the world; there is continuous global chanting now – the Earth is truly ringing with Nam MyoHo Renge Kyo.

In 1945 there was one person, Josei Toda.

Is 2045 a good year to set as the year when people in the future say, “that’s the year that men laid down their arms”?

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