Buddhism,  Enlightenment

The Kalpa of Decrease

Some are beyond redemption

The present age [of the Latter Day of the Law] is such that neither the non-Buddhist scriptures, the Hinayana sutras, the Mahayana sutras, nor the one vehicle of the Lotus Sutra has any effect….The extremity of greed, anger, and foolishness in people’s hearts in the impure world of the latter age makes it difficult for any worthy or sage to control.

“The Kalpa of Decrease,” The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, pp. 1120-1121

“In this writing, the Daishonin indicates that the three poisons of greed, anger and foolishness are the fundamental evil that weakens people’s vitality or life force. Because these poisons intensified in the Latter Day of the Law, the influence of people’s “evil wisdom” had come to outstrip that of the “good wisdom” of Buddhism.

Nichiren Daishonin states that in the Latter Day of the Law, the Lotus Sutra and the Buddha’s original teaching of universal enlightenment are incapable of saving people who remain attached to partial or expedient provisional doctrines that have caused them to lose sight of Buddhism’s true intent – helping people overcome their suffering.

According to Nichiren Daishonin, it would be better to “censure” or eliminate, persons whose teachings [persons of the eight schools of Buddhism] contradict the Lotus Sutra. Nichiren asserts that error in the realm of Buddhism causes more harm and suffering to the people than wrongdoing in the secular realm. Those who “discredit” or directly oppose the Buddha’s intent set forth in the Lotus Sutra – the teaching that all people have the potential to attain enlightenment – are guilty of slandering the Law, which as Nichiren states is a “great evil surpassing even the five cardinal sins and the ten evil acts.”

Ultimately, people themselves must strive to prevent the negative workings of life from manifesting and holding sway…To create such a society, it is crucial to widely spread the philosophical principles of the sanctity of life, respect for all people and peace-building.

Excerpted from Nichiren Daishonin’s Buddhism: Wisdom for Realizing Happiness for All Humanity, Living Buddhism August, 2022 p. 30

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