This is part of a series of posts to share my preparation for the Grade 2 Study Exam that I will sit this coming November.
Sidenote: I read the question before I read the corresponding chapter. I immediately thought about the anecdote of the woman who trampled the Lotus Sutra. I feel like a complete smartypants now!
From ‘The benefit arising from forming a reverse relationship’:
A3 - Explain the principle of gaining benefit through forming a ‘reverse relationship’ with the Lotus Sutra.
The principle of Reverse relationship is also called "poison‐drum relationship". It indicates a bond formed with the correct teaching by opposing or slandering it. When people hear the correct teaching, some may reject and slander it and fall into the state of hell as a consequence. However, the act of rejecting and slandering the correct teaching is a cause to
establish a connection with it and receive the seeds of Buddhahood. Because of this connection, even slanderous people will eventually attain Buddhahood.
The Daishonin illustrates this principle citing an Indian anecdote of a jealous woman who trampled the Fifth scroll under her feet in a fit of rage. She fell into hell but her feet didn't. He then refers to Sho‐bo, who struck him with the fifth scroll of the Lotus Sutra because ‘Sho‐bo hated both the Lotus Sutra and me, Nichiren.’ (WND‐1, p. 962) Although Sho‐bo’s actions mean that he cannot avoid falling into the hell of incessant suffering, the Daishonin says, through the benefit of forming a reverse relationship with the Lotus Sutra, Sho‐bo will eventually attain Buddhahood.
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