Thursday, 29 September 2016

Grade 1 Study Exam - 2016. Section C

All your answers should be based on the material in Section C: Principles of Nichiren Buddhism in SGI.
Write a maximum of 200 words in answer to each of the following questions.
In the study exam, you will be set two questions from this section.

C1  What is the meaning of ‘establishing the correct teaching’? What is the meaning of ‘for the peace of the land’?

C2  What is Kosen‐rufu?

C3  What is the Soka Gakkai? 

Looks deceivingly simple, right?

Nichiren Daishonin sets forth the principle for realising peace in his treatise ‘On Establishing the Correct Teaching for the Peace of the Land’.
‘Establishing the correct teaching’ means promoting faith in and acceptance of the correct teaching of Buddhism and making the Buddhist teaching of respect for the dignity of life the fundamental principle of society. ‘For the peace of the land’ means realising peace and prosperity in society as well as safety and security for all individuals in their daily lives. The word ‘land’ refers to the social structure formed by human beings, and also the natural environment. 

The Daishonin wrote this treatise and remonstrated with the ruling authorities out of his wish to put an end to the sufferings of the people of his day. He was showing that practitioners of Buddhism must not content themselves with praying for their own enlightenment. Rather they must actively engage in seeking solutions to the problems and issues facing society. 

Kosen Rufu ("Spread abroad widely") is the widespread propagation of the Mystic Law, and it is the aim and fundamental spirit of Nichiren Daishonin's Buddhism. 
Widespread propagation is mentioned by Shakyamuni in the 23rd Chapter Lotus Sutra, when he exhorts his followers to "spread abroad widely" this teaching after he has passed into extinction. The role of propagating is entrusted to the Bodhisattvas of the Earth (us).
In accordance to Shakyamuni's teachings, Nichiren strove to propagate the Mystic Law (even when his life was threatened), referring to propagation as the 'great vow', indicating that propagation was the ultimate effect of compassion and in fact, the only way to attain enlightenment.

The Soka Gakkai is a harmonious gathering of Buddhist practitioners who have inherited and carry on the Daishonin’s spirit, spreading the Mystic Law just as he taught in his writings. 
The Daishonin wrote, ‘If you are of the same mind as Nichiren, you must be a Bodhisattva of the Earth.’ 
The Soka Gakkai, which has spread the Mystic Law in the same spirit as the Daishonin, is the organisation of Bodhisattvas of the Earth fulfilling the mission of kosen‐rufu. 
Until the appearance of the Soka Gakkai seven hundred years after the Daishonin’s death, no one had been able to widely spread the Mystic Law. It is the Soka Gakkai that has made the predictions of Shakyamuni and Nichiren Daishonin a reality. This is proof that the Soka Gakkai is the organisation that has emerged to carry out the mission of kosen‐rufu, acting in accord with the Buddha’s intent.
The Soka Gakkai is making kosen‐rufu a reality, spreading the Mystic Law throughout the entire world, just as the Lotus Sutra teaches. 
(ok, this last one was copy and paste from the exam material, but darn. Have you SEEN the exam material?)

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