The Three Opponents of SGI

A historical record is available - through the writings of Nichiren - of the strong opposition he faced during his propagation of the teachings of the Lotus Sutra.  SGI carries on the same teachings of Buddhist humanism, but its goals (expounded in SGI Charter ) do not please all people.

For example, the Charter’s emphasis that SGI teachings are based on Humanism and World Citizenship - triggers rejection and strong opposition by narrow-minded nationalists, and right wing racists.

1/    The nationalist / racist forces, whether in Japan or elsewhere, will be always at odds with the concepts of humanism, equality of all people (in having the potential for Buddhanature), and the aspiration for global citizenship.  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 arrogant nationalist sentiments did not just vanish from Japan after the war, and the animosity against SGI continued to take various forms.  Ikeda mentioned that:

There is no such thing as a special kind of human being.

To assume an elitist air is the behaviour of fanatics.

We have no room for such people in the SGI”. Page 10, Faith into Action.

The nationalist fanatics are joined by the religious fanatics in opposing the SGI:

2/   The priesthood, who regard themselves as “specialists in spiritually” and superior to ordinary people - demanded from ordinary believers “absolute obedience” to their imposed authority.  With the SGI members rejecting this spirit of arrogance and control over ordinary people, animosity of the priesthood against SGI consequently revealed itself.

3/  The ill-informed : Some institutions and journalists get misled and affected by rumours against SGI, spread by the religious and the nationalist fanatics. This group of opponents to SGI are basically driven by what tabloid media superficial presentation offer. Some traditional Buddhist schools share with this group their objections and negative views to SGI Buddhism - (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?

Buddhism teaches the principle of “Inseparability of opposing phenomena”.  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 are based on authoritarianism and the tendency to suppress the growth and development of ordinary people. 

As much as SGI is opposed, there is an overwhelming support to SGI by many intellectual - some Nobel Prize winners - cultural and humanistic institutions world wide.   


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