The Three Opponents of SGI

The writings of Nichiren provide a historical record of the strong opposition he faced during his propagation of the teachings of the Lotus Sutra. It is a normal reflection of this fact to also expect opposition to SGI movement, which carries out the propagation of Nichiren’s teachings of Buddhist humanism:

The nationalist / racist forces, whether in Japan or elsewhere, will be always at odds with the concepts of humanism, Buddha nature, and global citizenship - advocated by SGI.  History is a witness to this situation. During the II World War, the Japanese nationalist authorities banned the Soka Gakkai and imprisoned its leaders. The nationalist sentiments did not just vanish from Japan after the war, and the animosity against SGI continued to take various forms.

The priesthood, who positioned themselves as mediators between lay practitioners and the world of Buddhahood, demanded from ordinary believers “absolute obedience” to the authority of the High Priest. With the Soka Gakkai rejecting this spirit of control over ordinary people, animosity of the priesthood against SGI consequently revealed itself.

The ill-informed : Some rigid and limited in nature institutions and journalists get misled and affected by rumours against SGI, spread by the priesthood and the nationalists . This group (the “Ill-informed” about SGI) can also be found in various countries outside Japan. Some traditional Buddhist schools share this group with their negative views, perceiving Nichiren’s teachings of SGI as “too revolutionary”- a reminder of the situation faced by Nichiren when he challenged traditional beliefs with the revolutionary concepts of the Lotus Sutra.

Why the SGI is opposed?

The Soka Gakkai and its opponents are inseparable. Buddhism teaches the principle of “Inseparability of opposing phenomena”, as Nichiren clarifies:

“These two aspects, the deluded and the enlightened,

are indeed two different phenomena,

and yet both are the workings of the one principle...the true aspect of reality”.

As history records, Shakyamuni’s life was inseparable from Devadatta’s jealousy, and Nichiren’s life was a manifestation of standing up against attacks from various sides. In this perspective, it is in the normal course of events that SGI is opposed by the forces found in society, which tend to suppress the growth and development of ordinary people.


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