A votary of the Lotus Sutra is one who fights dauntlessly against great persecution and practices the correct teaching.
The Nature of False Sages
In Buddhism, arrogant “false sages” are considered the third of the three powerful enemies, those who will persecute those who spread the Lotus Sutra in the evil age after the Buddha’s passing, identified as arrogant people, arrogant priests, and arrogant false sages.
In December 1990, the Nichiren Shoshu priesthood sent the Soka Gakkai a letter of inquiry that accused SGI President Ikeda and the SGI of “praise for non-Buddhist teachings,” as they had sung Beethoven’s hymn to universal human freedom, Symphony No. 9 Ode To Joy, at a leader’s meeting in Japan in late December. According to the Soka Gakkai, numerous events demonstrate that Nikken’s collusion with what Buddhism terms as an “evil companion,” – an individual whom Nikken himself once denounced as resembling Devadatta [the Buddha’s archenemy] – lay behind the plot to disrupt the harmonious unity of the believers.
In November of 1991, the priesthood ordered the SGI to disband, and finally sent a notice of excommunication to the Soka Gakkai in what were considered blatant attempts at intimidation. This date marks the Soka Gakkai’s spiritual independence from the corrupt and authoritarian priesthood.
A month later, in late December, the SGI sent a petition signed by over 16 million members, demanding Nikken’s resignation from the position of high priest. Ultimately, 30 temples and 53 priests left the Nichiren Shoshu priesthood.
The priesthood’s notice of excommunication goes completely against Nichiren’s teachings that all people possess the Buddha nature, and that this precious potential must never be closed off or denied.
Living Buddhism November 2021 p. 23
The late professor Kuniyasu Take of Kyoto’s Doshisha Women’s College of Liberal Arts argued:
Why is the priesthood seeking to disband an organization of its lay believers [the Soka Gakkai] , which is dedicated to the spiritual liberation of people around the world? I feel compelled to point out the suicidal behavior of the priesthood.
Living Buddhism November 2021 p. 24
French art historian Rene Huyghe remarked that the world should thank the Soka Gakkai for promoting the profound values and universality of Buddhism, as well as for its efforts to advance world peace by means of elevating the human spirit based on Buddhist ideals. 30 years have passed since the SGI received the Notice of Excommunication from the priesthood.
Admonish the Enemies of the Buddha
Both teacher and followers will surely fall into the hell of incessant suffering if they see enemies of the Lotus Sutra but disregard them and fail to reproach them.
Rather than offering up ten thousand prayers for remedy, it would be better simply to outlaw this one evil.
Be Warriors of the Pen
If you want to understand the causes that existed in the past, look at the results as they are manifested in the present. And if you want to understand what results will be manifested in the future, look at the causes that exist in the present.