Lessons in Four Great Persecutions

Ven. Kenjo Igarashi’s lesson Sunday, Nov. 12, 2017

Attended the Sacramento Nichiren Buddhist Church Komatsubara Persecution Service on Sunday. Ven. Kenjo Igarashi‘s gosho covered the four great persecutions that followed Nichiren’s submission of the Rissho Ankoku-Ron.

As explained by Rev. Igarashi:

Nichiren Shonin used “strong words” in establishing the supremacy of the Lotus Sutra and Sakyamuni Buddha because he was trying to save the suffering people of Japan. But those strong words provoked many people to attack Nichiren Shonin.

Today we don’t use shakabuku to break people’s ideas and then teach them the correct view. Now we teach using shoju to lead and convince them by respectfully, accepting and understanding their viewpoints and situations.

In Nichiren’s time, however, the calamities and unhappiness were seen as the consequence of failing to embrace the Lotus Sutra and Sakyamuni. Strong words were necessary to break the wrong views and to enable the embracing of the supreme teaching of the Lotus Sutra. Only then would the protective deities return to Japan and make peace for the people.

Today many people don’t care. They’re just living day to day. But all life is the result of your cause and condition. That’s why you must extinquish your bad karma otherwise you can’t be happy, you won’t have deities protecting you. You have to chant all of the time. Then you will be happy and then the whole world will be at peace.

Nichiren Shonin was Jogyo Bodhisattva, who was one of Sakyamuni’s original disciples. He could have become Buddha but instead he chose to be born in this world in order to save suffering people. That’s why Nichiren never stopped his propagation.

If everyone follows Nichiren Shonin, then Sakyamuni Buddha and the deities are going to protect us all the time. Then we will be happy. Then we will have world peace.

Ven. Kenjo Igarashi lighting candles before the service.