Articles of the Various Lotus Sect Lineages Concerning the Refusal of Offerings From Those Who Slander the Dharma by Busshoin Nichio

Translated by Jeffrey Hunter, Ph.D.

1. The prohibition against accepting offerings from those who slander the Dharma by the head monks of Mount Minobu, from the time of Nichiren through the ages.
The elder Niko received a transmission of our sect's prohibition against accepting such offerings containing specific scriptural passages and other teachings on the subject. These have been the most secret of our sect's teachings.

In the time of the seventh abbot of Minobu, Nichiei, Nikkai of Mobarra erred and accepted offerings from those who slander the Dharma, which resulted in his rebuke by Nichiei. And Nikkai immediately made a pilgrimage to Minobu and confessed his error. This incident is clearly described in one of the writings of Minobu.

The eleventh abbott of Minobu, Nitcho, was a man of great brillance and broad learning, renowned throughout the realm. He is known as the great reviver of our sect, and even called the reincarnation of our elevated founder, Nichiren. He composed many writings, and among them in one particular work his rebukes of those who accpet offerings from Dharma slanderers are especially severe. Within a single section of that work, he make those rebukes on not one or two but six occassions. On one of those occassions he says, "If you hear slander of the Dharma you should wash your ears out; if you unknowingly partake of food offerings from those who slander the Dharma you should clean your teeth." On another occassion he says, "All of the Lotus sect should understand that they must rebuke anyone who accepts offerings from those who slander the Dharma. Chao Fu not only refused to drink the water in which Xu You had washed his ears after hearing Yao's unethical proposition, but he refused to let his ox drink it. Is it accpetable, then, to simply refuse to receive offerings yourself, and say nothing publicly?" There is much more in this vein, which I omit here. The person who has held the post of abbot of Mount Minobu has always rebuked those who accepted offerings from Dharma slanders, just as Nichiei and Nitcho did? Why does Nichiken dare to defy the truths held dear by the teachers of the past, in generation after generation? When those superior to him have determined that this practice is to be rebuked, how does he dare to accept the offerings of Dharma slanderers and, further, fail to confess his fault? How sad that Mount Minobu, which is as holy as the famous Vulture Peak in India, should be reduced to a realm of Dharma slanderers under Nichiken's reign as abbot. Who of faith, both clerics and laity, could fail to beat his breast at this misfortune?
2. The Ikegami Hommonji and offerings from those who slander the Dharma.
Among the leaders of Ikegami, Nichigen shone with special brillance, standing out above all other masters of city and country. Nichigen composed a work entitled Jo Ken Sho, in twenty-nine volumes. In that work he stated in great detail that the offerings of those who slander the Dharma should not be accepted, and we must give consideration to this. Nichigen was followed by Nissei. At this time, the services before the Great Buddha began in Kyoto. Nissei keenly lamented the fact that our sect vainly accepted the slanderous offerings of the ceremony of the Great Buddha, and composed the Moku An in one volume, traveling to the capital to present it to the late military leader Hideyoshi as a rebuke. In the Moku An he describes in detail our sect's policy of refusing to accept offerings from those who slander the Dharma. Several of his letters also attest to his convictions.
3. The Nakayama lineage and offerings from those who slander the Dharma.
In the Nakayama lineage there is an important body of teachings transmitted concerning refusing to accept offerings from those who slander the Dharma, citing both specific scriptural passages and passages from Nichiren's writings. It is transmitted from master to disciple, at the disciple's official request. Hompoji of Kyoto belongs to the Nakayama lineage, and everyone knows how its founder, Nisshin, stood up for the principle of refusing offerings from those who slander the Dharma even at the risk of his life during the reign of Lord Fukoin [Ashikaga Yoshinori].
4. The Fuji lineage and offerings from those who slander the Dharma.
The founder of the Fuji lineage, Nikko, established a code of twenty-six regulations for his disciples. Among these twenty-six, several specifically prohibit accepting offerings from those who slander the Dharma. One regulation states: "You must not participate in religious rites jointly with monks of other sects, for fear of committing the offense of complicity." Another says, "Nor may you seek offerings from those who slander the Dharma." This is the general import of the regulations. Within the regulations is a provision that anyone who violates them may not remain among Nikko's followers. This applies, of course, to violations of any of the regulations.
5. The Nichizo lineage and offerings from those who slander the Dharma.
In the Nichizo lineage, the first to establish a temple in the flourishing capital of Kyoto, there is a code of regulations with nine articles. Among those articles there is one that states: "The acceptance of offerings from those who slander the Dharma is unilaterally forbidden, even in cases where it might be a skillful means to attract new believers to the fold." Another states: "Monks must discard all offerings of money made by those who slander the Dharma, without exception."

These regulations are not, then, new teachings of doctrines that have evolved at a later time. They are the form of our sect's teaching from the time of Nichiren. Who would dare to disobey them, and what justification could there be for violating them?
6. The Rokujo lineage and offerings from those who slander the Dharma.
Though there have been many scholar-monks from the Rokujo lineage, there is no one to compare with Nitcho Hoin of Nirayama, Nitcho composed the Keium Sho. Not only is this work a secret text of the Rokujo lineage, but it is a great treasure of all the groups in our sect. All scholars of our sect rely on it without discrimination, in city and country alike. Scripture passages that attest to the correctness of the principle of not accepting offerings from those who slander the Dharma appear not in one or two occassions in this work, but five occassions in all. We must give sufficient consideration to this fact.
7. Nichiren's prohibition to his six elder disciples against offerings from those who slander the Dharma.
Have the scholar-monks of our world today considered these? If they would only overcome their arrogance and study this matter, how could they remain ignorant?
8. Concerning the Niike Gosho.
The scholar-monks of today who accept the offerings of those who slander the Dharma twist the sentences of this writing of Nichiren and call it a forgery. This is such a perverse delusion that it defies description.

All the brillant and learned men of our sect from the time of Nichiren forward have regarded this as a genuine writing of our founder. It is quoted in many of their works, such as the Shi Shu Mondo Sho, Honzon Soden Sho, Rokunai Kembun, Shinto Sho Hosshiki, and the Shushi Meimoku Sho. These works are the writings of the most learned and brillant men of our sect. All of them treat the Niike Gosho as an authentic work of Nichiren. How tragic it is that certain scholar-monks today should destroy the teachings of our founder and his successors through the ages in an attempt to hide their own faults in this life. Because they willfully propound heretical teachings, they increase the multitudes of those bound for Avichi Hell, and in the future they will spend an eternity in its sufferings. How sad and pitiful.

Written by Nichio in the early 1600s. For more on this subject, you can obtain Dr. Hunter's doctoral dissertation:
The Fuju Fuse Contraversy in Nichiren Buddhism: the Debate Between Busshoin Nichio and Jakushoin Nichiken. by Jeffrey Robert Hunter, pages 316-325. University of Wisconsin: Madison. 1989. Available thru UMI Dissertation Services for loose-leaf copies; or call 1-800-521-0600 to obtain a soft- or hard-bound volume: Order #9105837.

The Fuju Fuse Debate Ryuei
Myokakuji Regulations 1413
Myomanji Regulations 1451
The Kansho Accord 1466
Refuting Nichio and the Niike Gosho 1629

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