The Teaching and Practices of
Honmon Butsuryu Shu
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10. Starting Point of The HBS Religion

“There are many fools who are unaware of themselves, but will notice the other fools and the wise of this world"(Nissen Shonin's Instructive Poem):


There are people who constantly assess others, but when it comes to themselves, they are blind. There are many such fools in this world.

Possess a soul of a bodhisattva as master:

Other than the “Souls of the Six Worlds" that one possesses, there are an additional four elegant and noble Worlds known as the “Four Kinds of Sages" (Shiso). They are: 1) Disciple (Shomon) 2) A Self-enlightened Buddha (Engaku). 3) A Future Buddha (Bodhisattava) and 4) Buddha.

Following is brief explanation of:

The World of Disciple:

It means, “Listen to Sermons". It is a mind that seeks teachings or a master to aid in polishing one's personal character and intellect.

The World of a Self-enlightened Buddha:

This is “Learning from Relationships". It is a mind to measure one's efforts to improve them through seeing, hearing and experiencing affairs that surround them. It is also known as “Self-learning"(Dokugaku).

The World of Bodhisattva:

The World of Bodhisattva is not merely to improve oneself. It is also an effort to provide good fortune to others. It is a soul to turn one's effort to others through their powers of knowledge and motivation.

World of Buddha:

The stage of Buddha is a mind to see things straightforwardly and equally, and not be led astray through preconception or self-interest.

The above are the souls possessed by men, but the souls of Shomon and Engaku are minds to improve only one-self. They have no room to turn their attention to others. As such, they are souls of self-interest only.

In the Large Vehicle Buddhism, Shomon and Engaku have been criticized to be self-centered, having no motivation to save mankind. The people that remained in the Worlds of Shomon and Engaku are known to be “Two Vehicle Natured". The consistent teaching of Mahayana Buddhism is that one's soul should possess as its master, the soul of Bodhisattva rather than that of the Shomon and Engaku.

The HBS Sect that bases its teaching on the Lotus Sutra elucidates that “The Odaimoku should be chanted not only by one-self but be spread to others". It condemns Hinayana Buddhism.

The soul that creates society:

By the way, in Europe and China that entertain the fundamental position of Christian doctrine and philosophy, various philosophers and religionists have debated whether humans had descended from wolves or sheep. In other words, whether men's true character is “good" or “bad". Buddhism's view on human nature is not pro-goodness or pro-badness. No matter how good a person may be, he/she possesses the souls of Hell, Animals and Asuras. And, within a person who is labeled as an atrociously bad person, dwells the souls of Bodhisattva and Buddha. This is the fundamental position of Shakyamuni Buddha regarding humanism.

A human being is like a thermostat. Depending on its environmental positioning, it can rise to the World of Buddha or fall into the Worlds of Hell or Hungry Spirits.

It is easy for us, commoners, to place them in a bad environment. Thus, it is difficult to rise but easy to lower oneself.

To claim that this world is full of evil or suffering stems from an individual's mind. Therefore, to make this world a peaceful and better place to live in, Shakyamuni Buddha cited the “Eight-fold Noble Path" (Hasshodo). Those paths are: I) Correct view, which refers to a correct understanding of the basic concept in Buddhism that explains the cause of suffering.Ⅱ) Correct thinking.Ⅲ) Correct speech, i.e. false statement.Ⅳ) Correct action.Ⅴ) Correct livelihood.Ⅵ) Correct endeavor.Ⅶ) Correct memory i.e. memory of things beneficial to enlightenment.Ⅷ) Correct meditation.

To understand oneself:

When analyzing one's soul, it is important to remember the Six Worlds in which the souls of living beings transmigrate from one to another. Most people do not want to admit that the Worlds of hell, animals, and hungry spirits are possessed in one's soul. However, it is important to gaze, with courage, deep into our soul where the concealed evil spirits lie. In this world, feelings of greed and hatred are prevalent among men. To be aware of them is the true starting point for a person to enter into religion of the Lotus Sutra.

Shakyamuni Buddha's teachings are like the rays that shine in the many worlds hidden within our soul. It is often said that religion is to secure a soul of environmental spiritual peace. But, unless one is able to understand that men are full of sins and far from being a Bodhisattva or Buddha, entering a religion is difficult.

People should become aware of the Six Worlds and realize that they are sinful people by nature. Without a sense of penance by listening to Buddha's teachings, true salvation cannot be attained.

To engage in the true religion of HBS, let us not be “A fool who ise unaware of oneself", but “A wise one who knows oneself".