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SGI-USA Intro Study Exam
Terms in this set (45)
What key passage from Nichiren Daishonin's letter "The True Aspect of All Phenomena" stresses the importance of faith, practice and study?
Exert yourself in the two ways of practice and study. Without practice and study, there can be no Buddhism. You must not only persevere yourself; you must also teach others. Both practice and study arise from faith (WND-1, 386)
What are the two key components of practice in Nichiren Buddhism?
Nichiren Buddhist practice consists of practice for oneself and practice for others. These are compared to the two wheels of a cart; both are necessary for the cart to move ahead properly.
What does "Nam" of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo mean?
to dedicate one's life
Rather than being distinct realms that certain beings inhabit, what are the Ten Worlds according to the Lotus Sutra?
The Ten Worlds are conditions of life that everyone has the potential to experience at any time.
In the concept of the Ten Worlds, what differentiates the four noble worlds from the six paths?
The six paths describe states of life easily influenced by external circumstances. The four noble worlds represent a self-determined happiness that is uncontrolled by the environment.
How does Nichiren describe the meaning of "attain" as it pertains to "attaining Buddhahood"?
"Attain" means to open or reveal. It is to reveal that the beings of the Dharma-realm are Buddhas eternally endowed with the three bodies (OTT, 126)
Nichiren states, "Each thing—the cherry, the plum, the peach, the damson—in its own entity, without undergoing any change, possesses the eternally endowed three bodies" (The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings, p. 200). What does this passage suggest regarding the attainment of Buddhahood?
Attaining Buddhahood means giving free and full play to our unique inherent qualities and leading a dynamic and most fulfilling way of life
In "The Real Aspect of the Gohonzon," what does Nichiren Daishonin say about seeking the Gohonzon?
Never seek this Gohonzon outside yourself. The Gohonzon exists only within the mortal flesh of us ordinary people who embrace the Lotus Sutra and chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo (WND-1, 832)
Today, the SGI has embraced the Gohonzon as Nichiren truly intended. What does Nichiren say about "this great mandala"?
I was the first to reveal as the banner of propagation of the Lotus Sutra this great mandala (WND-1, 831)
Through chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, how do we produce the most meaningful results or rewards?
Chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo produces the most meaningful rewards when accompanied by action or effort.
In "The Three Kinds of Treasure," what does Nichiren instruct Shijo Kingo to do in dealing with jealous colleagues, some of whom had spread rumors and made false reports about him?
Live so that all the people of Kamakura will say in your praise that Nakatsukasa Saburo Saemon-no-jo [Shijo Kingo] is diligent in the service of his lord, in the service of Buddhism, and in his concern for other people (WND-1, 851).
In the same letter, what does Nichiren also say to Shijo Kingo about the significance or purpose of Buddhism?
Nichiren encouraged him that the entire significance or purpose of Buddhism lies in the Buddha's "behavior as a human being" (WND-1, 852) to fundamentally respect all people.
Nichiren Buddhism exists to enable people to change their karma and become truly happy. What is karma?
Karma is a Sanskrit word that means "action." It explains the workings of cause and effect that span the boundaries of life and death.
Describe the process of changing karma in Nichiren Buddhism.
To change karma arising from rejecting or slandering this fundamental Law, we need to make the most fundamental good cause, which is to protect and spread that Law for the sake of people's happiness. This means to believe in the correct teaching of the Mystic Law, to practice it correctly, and to uphold, protect and teach it to many people. In this way, we can immediately change the direction of our lives, from one bound for suffering to one of increasing power and joy deriving from the law of life.
How does Nichiren Buddhism view obstacles, sufferings and negative influences that arise in the course of working for kosen-rufu?
Nichiren Daishonin taught that to encounter such opposition is in fact a benefit. That is because by meeting and winning over difficulties, we naturally carry out the process of "lessening our karmic retribution."
What is the principle of "lessening karmic retribution"?
Through the benefit of devoting ourselves and leading others to the Mystic Law, the heavy consequences of our karma can quickly be lightened. That is, we can effectively rid ourselves of all our negative karma in this lifetime by experiencing its results in much lightened form as obstacles and troubles we challenge for the sake of kosen-rufu.
Compare the principle of "voluntarily assuming the appropriate karma" with that of "changing karma into mission."
"Voluntarily assuming the appropriate karma" means that bodhisattvas voluntarily give up the good karmic rewards due them as a result of their pure actions in past lives. Out of compassion, they choose instead to be born in an evil age so that they can teach people the principles of the Lotus Sutra and save them from suffering. "Changing karma into mission" means that with every problem we overcome through Buddhist faith and practice, we create a model for winning in life, a genuine experience through which we can encourage many others.
What words of the Great Teacher T'ien-t'ai does Nichiren cite to encourage his followers who will surely face obstacles in the course of their Buddhist practice?
As practice progresses and understanding grows, the three obstacles and four devils emerge in confusing form, vying with one another to interfere . . . One should be neither influenced nor frightened by them (WND-1, 501)
When faced with the three obstacles and four devils, what does Nichiren say "the wise" will do?
The wise will rejoice while the foolish will retreat (WND-1, 637)
What was Nichiren's initial reason for deciding to become a Buddhist monk?
He sought to gain the wisdom of the Buddhist teachings for overcoming the fundamental sufferings of life and death, and thereby lead his parents and all people to genuine happiness.
What was Nichiren's main conclusion after many years of intensely studying the teachings of the major Buddhist schools of Japan?
He confirmed that the Lotus Sutra is the foremost among all the Buddhist sutras and that the Law of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo to which he had awakened is the essence of the sutra and provides the means for freeing all people from suffering on the most fundamental level.
What took place on April 28, 1253?
Nichiren Daishonin proclaimed Nam-myoho-renge-kyo to be the sole correct Buddhist teaching for leading all people in the Latter Day of the Law to enlightenment.
What prompted Nichiren to write "On Establishing the Correct Teaching for the Peace of the Land"?
The devastating earthquake of the Shoka era, which struck the Kamakura region in August 1257, destroying many homes and important buildings in Kamakura, prompted the Daishonin to write the treatise to clarify the fundamental cause of people's suffering and set forth the means by which people could eradicate such suffering.
What two things did Nichiren predict would happen if the people continued to believe in misleading teachings and failed to embrace the correct Buddhist teaching?
Continued reliance on erroneous teachings, he warned, would inevitably result in the country encountering internal strife and foreign invasion—the two calamities of the "three calamities and seven disasters" yet to occur.
What was the significance of the Tatsunokuchi Persecution for Nichiren?
In triumphing over the Tatsunokuchi Persecution, he cast off his transient status as an ordinary, unenlightened person burdened with karma and suffering and, while remaining an ordinary human being, revealed his original, true identity as a Buddha possessing infinite wisdom and compassion (the Buddha of beginningless time or eternal Buddha). This is called "casting off the transient and revealing the true." Thereafter, the Daishonin's behavior was that of the Buddha of the Latter Day of the Law, and he went on to inscribe the Gohonzon for all people to revere and embrace as the fundamental object of devotion.
What was the Atsuhara Persecution?
On September 21, 1279, twenty farmers, who were followers of Nichiren in Atsuhara, a village in Suruga Province, were arrested on trumped-up charges and taken to Kamakura. At the residence of Hei no Saemon-no-jo, they were subjected to harsh interrogation equivalent to torture. Though they were pressed to abandon their faith in the Lotus Sutra, they all remained true to their beliefs. Three of the 20 followers arrested—the brothers Jinshiro, Yagoro and Yarokuro—were ultimately executed, while the remaining 17 were banished from their places of residence. This series of events is known as the Atsuhara Persecution.
To whom did Nichiren entrust his teachings before the end of his life?
Nikko Shonin, who continued to speak out against slander of the Law and to remonstrate with the government authorities. He treasured every one of the Daishonin's writings, referring to them by the honorific name Gosho (honorable writings), and encouraged all disciples to read and study them as the sacred scripture for the Latter Day of the Law. He also fostered many outstanding disciples who exerted themselves in Buddhist practice and study.
What does the word "soka" mean?
Value creation. Soka encompasses first Soka Gakkai President Tsunesaburo Makiguchi's long-developed theory that the purpose of education and of life is to create happiness, and in order to do that one must know how to create value.
While in prison for upholding his beliefs, President Toda deeply contemplated the significance and meaning of the Lotus Sutra, and eventually awakened to two essential messages of the sutra. What were the two realizations?
After deep prayer and contemplation, he came to the realization that the Buddha is essentially life itself; and that he was among the Bodhisattvas
of the Earth entrusted with the mission to spread the sutra's teaching in the Latter Day of the Law, the impure age after Shakyamuni Buddha's passing.
What did Daisaku Ikeda do on August 24, 1947?
He joined the Soka Gakkai, vowing to regard Josei Toda as his mentor.
What did SGI President Ikeda set out to do on Oct. 2, 1960?
Determined to fulfill second Soka Gakkai President Josei Toda's wish to spread Nichiren Buddhism worldwide, on October 2, 1960, five months after becoming president, he visited nine cities in North and South America.
What has President Ikeda done every year since 1983?
In 1983, President Ikeda wrote his first peace proposal to the United Nations, offering a perspective and detailed suggestions on issues such as nuclear abolition, the environment and strengthening the United Nations. He has submitted a peace proposal each year since.
According to the article, what has President Ikeda said of the relationship between dialogue and peace?
History teaches us the bitter lesson that coercive balances of power and attempts to resolve conflicts through military force only create greater division. Choosing dialogue is the key to building peace and achieving a victory of our inner humanity.
In "The Dragon Gate," what does Nichiren emphasize through the analogy of the carp struggling to climb the waterfall to turn into a dragon?
Nichiren Daishonin emphasizes that attaining Buddhahood entails overcoming many hurdles and difficulties.
Regarding the strong currents of the waterfall that drive the carp back, what does President Ikeda say these currents can be likened to?
The strong currents of the waterfall that drive the fish back can be likened to the conditions of an evil age defiled by the five impurities as described in the Lotus Sutra.
In this writing, Nichiren says, "My wish is that all my disciples make a great vow." In his lecture, how does President Ikeda connect living based on a great vow to bringing our practice of theMystic Law to a successful completion?
To bring our practice of the Lotus Sutra, or the Mystic Law, to successful completion means that we must eagerly and joyfully embrace the mission of taking on the sufferings of still more and more people and of challenging even greater difficulties in our cause for peace and happiness. Nichiren urges us to actively seek this way of life, to valiantly climb the Dragon Gate of faith as successors of kosen-rufu, and attain Buddhahood without fail. As practitioners of the Mystic Law, this is what it means for us to "live based on a great vow."
President Ikeda offers a detailed explanation of Nichiren's words "revere Myoho-renge-kyo inherent in our own life as the object of devotion." What does he say is key to activating the "Myoho-renge-kyo inherent in our own life"? And what does he say will happen if we were to lose sight of this important point?
Chanting with faith in the Gohonzon is the key to manifesting the Gohonzon within us and activating the "Myoho-renge-kyo inherent in our own life" (WND-1, 887). If we were to lose sight of this important point, our Buddhist practice would run the risk of lapsing into the subservient worship of some absolute being outside of us.
In this writing, Nichiren offers an analogy, saying, "When a caged bird sings, birds who are flying in the sky are thereby summoned and gather around, and when the birds flying in the sky gather around, the bird in the cage strives to get out." How does President Ikeda explain this analogy as it pertains to our practice of chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo?
Our voice chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo is the powerful sound that awakens and summons forth the Buddha nature of all living beings throughout
In "The Real Aspect of the Gohonzon," what is the significance of Nichiren's statement "The Gohonzon exists only within the mortal flesh of us ordinary people"?
"The Gohonzon exists only within the mortal flesh of us ordinary people"—the real significance of this statement is that the Gohonzon inscribed by Nichiren functions as the means by which we can awaken to and call forth the Gohonzon (the Buddhahood) within us. When we chant before the physical Gohonzon, the very same Gohonzon is in our heart; it clearly manifests itself there when ]we chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo for the happiness of ourselves and others.
In this letter, Nichiren also states that "the body is the palace of the ninth consciousness, the unchanging reality that reigns over all of life's functions." According to President Ikeda's lecture, what does this statement mean?
The ninth consciousness—also the amala-consciousness, or pure consciousness—is often referred to in Buddhist texts as the "mind king" or "ruler of the mind," indicating the fundamental entity of the mind itself. "The unchanging reality" means the ultimate truth, free from all delusion. Since the "mind king" dwells in this unchanging reality, our mortal bodies are called its "palace."
In "The Real Aspect of the Gohonzon," what does Nichiren say about faith and the Gohonzon?
This Gohonzon also is found only in the two characters for faith. This is what the sutra means when it states that one can 'gain entrance through faith alone' . . . What is most important is that, by chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo alone, you can attain Buddhahood. It will no doubt depend on the strength of your faith. To have faith is the basis of Buddhism (WND-1, 832).
The Nichiren Shoshu priesthood upholds the doctrine that the high priest alone has the power to determine who attains Buddhahood and who does not. It also requires that practitioners must obediently follow the high priest and never question whether his teachings or actions correctly accord with Nichiren's teachings. This runs counter to which statement of Nikko Shonin's "Twenty-Six Admonitions"?
Do not follow even the high priest if he goes against the Buddha's Law and propounds his own views (Gosho zenshu, p. 1618).
The claim of Nichiren Shoshu that "the fundamental principle of the Daishonin's Buddhism is transmitted only to its high priest" is contradicted by many of Nichiren's own statements. What is an example of such a statement by Nichiren given in the article?
"The heritage of the Lotus Sutra flows within the lives of those who never forsake it . . . "Nichiren has been trying to awaken all the people of Japan to faith in the Lotus Sutra so that they too can share the heritage and attain Buddhahood" (WND-1, 217).
Nichiren emphasizes the Lotus Sutra's teaching recognizing that all people are equally capable of attaining Buddhahood. The Nichiren Shoshu priesthood, however, asserts that "an innate difference exists between the priesthood and laity in the Daishonin's Buddhism." This stands in stark contrast to many of Nichiren's statements. What are a few examples of Nichiren's statements expressing the equality of all people?
"The Buddha surely considers anyone in this world who embraces the Lotus Sutra, whether lay man or woman, monk or nun, to be the lord of all living beings" ("The Unity of Husband and Wife," WND-1, 463); and "Anyone who teaches others even a single phrase of the Lotus Sutra is the envoy of the Thus Come One, whether that person be priest or layman, nun or laywoman" ("A Ship to Cross the Sea of Suffering," WND-1, 33).
What do we come to see as we deepen our faith through study of Nichiren Buddhism?
As we deepen our faith through study, we come to see the opportunity within problems and obstacles and fortify our ability to overcome them.
What is the role of a priest?
Who was the head of the Hebrews when they entered the promised land?
How does Jesus' suffering and death show love for us?
How many kids does Zeus have?
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