Great religious leaders were masters of their times. Buddhism is the ocean that can accept all rivers of thought. The Gosho reflect Nichiren's mastery of the classical and contemporary thinkers of his day. He freely drew upon the knowledge base of his day-- references to the works of historians, philosophers, poets, and scholars of all known cultures appear in many Gosho. He certainly would encourage believers to freely draw on all of their sources of wisdom.
Although NST members are free to hold their own opinions about the current dispute with the SGI, several insights of the successive presidents of the Soka Gakkai are powerful lenses to help modern people understand the spirit and principles of Buddhism. These insights should be treasured and not erased from the vocabulary of believers.
Value Creation. This concept was conceived by Tsunesaburo Makiguchi. From his youth he perceived the universe as an interconnected symphony of life. He saw the individual as a potential creator of value who has limitless ability to overcome circumstances and make an impact on the environment. Makiguchi applied this concept to his work in education; It also formed the basis of his ability to recognize Nichiren Buddhism as the motor which could actualize an individual's ability to create value. This belief led him to organize a lay movement and to withstand the numerous persecutions he faced.
Buddha is Life. Josei Toda came to this realization while he was imprisoned during World War II. Many abstract principles of Buddhism became easily understandable with his realization . According to his insights, Buddhahood and kosen-rufu are not end points but paths of life. Enlightenment, the attainment of Buddhahood, is not a mystical and dreamy promise but the ability to lead a happy and constructive life. Kosen-rufu becomes the ability to spread happiness, meaning, and value to others.
Human Revolution. Josei Toda and Daisaku Ikeda employed this term to explain the steady and profound growth of a human being in order to transcend sorrow, small egoism, and limitations leading to fulfilling and contributive lives.
Mentor-Disciple Relationship. By following the path of mentor-disciple, Daisaku Ikeda illustrated how an individual can make a lasting impact on life, even on the stage of international events.
Questions for Shinga Takikawa and Yuzui Murata:
Can these lenses be useful in explaining Nichiren Buddhism?
Why were these terms eliminated from the vocabulary of NST?
What unique insights into Buddhism have you contributed?
Is it possible and beneficial for NST and SGI members to conduct broad, sustained and open dialogue about Nichiren Buddhism?
Would you be willing to lead a local effort to reestablish friendships and find broad commonalities of belief between NST and SGI members? Would you be willing to engage in a sustained dialogue to identify key points of difference and to find ways of exploring and overcoming them?