Respectful Actions Convey the Heart of Buddhism
“The aspiration of leading all people to enlightenment would just be a pipe dream unless the Buddha taught the importance of our behavior as human beings.”
As Nichiren Daishonin states: “The purpose of the appearance in this world of Shakyamuni Buddha, the lord of teachings, lies in his behavior as a human being” (“The Three Kinds of Treasure,” The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, p. 852).
“The treasures of the heart in themselves may be invisible to the eye,” Ikeda Sensei says. “But when these inner treasures are given concrete expression as respectful actions toward others, they demonstrate and prove to others the power of the Mystic Law and the Buddha nature” (The Teachings for Victory, vol. 1, p. 198)
Live With the Heart of a Lion King
The phrase “teacher of the Law” describes practitioners who thoroughly develop their lives through Buddhist practice, are well versed in Buddhist teachings and strive to convey them to others to lead them to enlightenment. A teacher of the Law serves as a role model in applying Buddhism to all aspects of life.
The three founding Soka Gakkai presidents stand as unmatched examples of the selfless spirit and action to spread the Law just as Nichiren taught. They faced all manner of difficulties in sharing Buddhism for the happiness for all people. Based on the Daishonin’s teaching, this alone qualifies them as genuine teachers of the Law.
Unfortunately, countless religious leaders preach convincingly about the righteousness of their teachings but spend more time and energy judging others than being examples. What’s more, many glorify such leaders, paying more attention to what they say than what they do.
It is the nature of beasts to threaten the weak and fear the strong
Nichiren committed himself to rooting out such “false sages” in the Buddhist community of his time. His strict refutations of the contemporary Buddhist schools derived from his desire to see the ideals of Buddhism reflected in the selfless, wise and compassionate behavior of its leaders.
For instance, in “Letter from Sado,” he writes: It is the nature of beasts to threaten the weak and fear the strong. Our contemporary scholars of the various schools are just like them. They despise a wise man without power, but fear evil rulers. They are no more than fawning retainers. Only by defeating a powerful enemy can one prove one’s real strength. When an evil ruler in consort with priests of erroneous teachings tries to destroy the correct teaching and do away with a man of wisdom, those with the heart of a lion king are sure to attain Buddhahood. Like Nichiren, for example. I say this not out of arrogance, but because I am deeply committed to the correct teaching. (WND-1, 302)
The Daishonin consistently emphasized that all people, no matter their social standing, occupation or background, deserve respect.
Excerpt ~ Respectful Actions Convey the Heart of Buddhism World Tribune Oct 15, 2021 p. 10