Ikeda Wisdom Academy

Unlock the Wisdom

Ikeda Wisdom Academy Exam II answers.

New York, N.Y. Photo: Yvonne Ng,

4-pillars-studyOn Jan. 29, over 1,200 district through national youth leaders took part in the Ikeda Wisdom Academy Exam II, marking the completion of the First Class of the advanced youth study program founded by SGI President Ikeda in 2013 on Jan. 26, SGI Day. Exam II covered volumes 4-6 of The Wisdom of the Lotus Sutra, President Ikeda’s discussion series on the Lotus Sutra.

1. In the “Emerging from the Earth” chapter, Shakyamuni refers to the appearance of the Bodhisattvas of the Earth, saying, “Ever since then I have been constantly in this saha world, preaching the Law, teaching, and converting” (The Lotus Sutra and Its Opening and Closing Sutras, p. 266). Thus, Shakyamuni discards his provisional status as the Buddha who attained enlightenment for the first time in his present existence and reveals his true identity as the Buddha enlightened since the remote past. What principle does this describe?

a) Three assemblies in two places
b) Casting off the transient and revealing the true
c) Earthly desires are enlightenment
d) Oneness of body and mind

2. Because this chapter of the Lotus Sutra reveals the essence of Buddhism and the true nature of the self, in “The Opening of the Eyes,” Nichiren Daishonin states, “If, among all the numerous sutras, this ‘________’ chapter should be lacking, it would be as though there were no sun or moon in the sky, no supreme ruler in the nation, no gems in the mountains and rivers, and no spirit in human beings” (The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, p. 256).

a) Introduction
b) Treasure Tower
c) Life Span
d) Universal Worthy

3. Shakyamuni revealed the path for human beings to attain enlightenment. What ultimately caused this path to disappear for a time after his death?

a) His disciples interpreted his teachings according to their capacities.
b) He was deified, thus closing off the path of mentor and disciple.
c) Devadatta’s school of Buddhism diluted Shakyamuni’s teachings.
d) Ananda practiced for a number of years but later created his own teachings.

4. In his teachings, Shakyamuni states, “Those who see the Law see me, those who see me see the Law.” What principle does this illustrate?

a) Oneness of life and its environment
b) Duality of life
c) Permanence of life
d) Oneness of the Person and the Law

5. In “The Opening of the Eyes,” Nichiren cites two flaws of the pre-Lotus Sutra teachings. What are these two flaws?

a) Three thousand realms exist in a single moment of life; the Buddha attained enlightenment countless kalpas ago.
b) The Ten Worlds are independent of one another; the Buddha attained enlightenment in the remote past.
c) The Ten Worlds are separate from one another; the Buddha attained enlightenment in this lifetime.
d) The mutual possession of the Ten Worlds; the Buddha reveals his original enlightenment since beginningless time.

6. Nichiren explains that the world of anger is characterized by ________, written with Chinese characters that mean “fawning” and “crooked.”

a) rage
b) perversity
c) dissatisfaction
d) greed

7. In “The Object of Devotion for Observing the Mind,” Nichiren writes, “That ordinary people born in the latter age can believe in the Lotus Sutra is due to the fact that the world of ________ is present in the human world” (WND-1, 358).

a) bodhisattva
b) Buddhahood
c) animality
d) hell

8. Regarding the world of heaven, what does one find at the summit of “the sixth heaven of the world of desire”?

a) Shakyamuni Buddha
b) Many Treasures Buddha
c) Bodhisattva Constant Exertion
d) The Devil King

9. Nichiren says, “For one who summons up one’s faith and chants Nam-myoho-renge-kyo with the profound insight that ________, the sutra proclaims: ‘When the lives of these persons come to an end, they will be received into the hands of a thousand Buddhas, who will free them from all fear and keep them from falling into the evil paths of existence’ ” (“The Heritage of the Ultimate Law of Life,” WND-1, 216).

a) the 82,000 teachings must be memorized
b) now is the last moment of one’s life
c) life and death are nite
d) the Ten Worlds are separate entities

10. In “Explaining the Causation of the Ten Worlds,” Nichiren describes people in a certain life state as “those who remain among the ordinary mortals of the six paths of existence, thinking little of their own lives but much of the lives of others, aiming always to take evil upon themselves and to dole out good to other beings” (WND-2, 201). What life state does this describe?

a) asuras
b) bodhisattva
c) cause-awakened ones
d) voice-hearers

11. The verse section of the “Life Span” chapter states:

When living beings have become truly faithful, honest and upright, gentle in intent, ________, not hesitating even if it costs them their lives, then I and the assembly of monks appear together on Holy Eagle Peak. (LSOC, 271)

a) constantly employing expedient means
b) enjoying themselves at ease
c) offering alms to statues
d) single-mindedly desiring to see the Buddha

12. Of the nine consciousnesses, the level of consciousness that refers to the life current of karmic energy is the:

a) sixth consciousness.
b) seventh consciousness.
c) eighth consciousness.
d) ninth consciousness.

13. In “The Parable of the Skilled Physician and His Sick Children,” the excellent physician represents ________; the highly effective medicine represents ________; and the children represent ________.

a) the Gohonzon; the Buddha; the people
b) the Gohonzon; the people; the Buddha
c) the Buddha; the Gohonzon; the people
d) the people; the Buddha; the Gohonzon

14. Nichiren describes the correct view of life and death in terms of enlightenment in the following passage: “To look on birth and death with repulsion and try to escape from them is termed delusion, or a viewpoint of ________. Seeing and understanding the originally inherent nature of birth and death is termed awakening, or ________” (The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings, p. 127).

a) acquired enlightenment; original enlightenment
b) annihilation; permanence
c) original enlightenment; acquired enlightenment
d) fundamental enlightenment; fundamental darkness

15. In the Lotus Sutra, those who hear of and believe in the unfathomable life span of the Buddha make the following pledge:

Our wish is that in future ages
we may use our long lives to save living beings.
Just as today the world-honored one,
king of the Shakyas,
roars like a lion in the place of enlightenment,
preaching the Law without fear.
(LSOC, 280)

The phrase “roars like a lion” refers to the:

a) sanctity of the natural environment.
b) volume of daimoku chanted.
c) oneness of mentor and disciple.
d) number of people chanting.

16. The Lotus Sutra states: “These persons, after hearing, respond with joy and they too set about spreading the teachings. One person, having heard, responds with joy and spreads the teachings, and the teachings in this way continue to be handed along from one to another . . . ” (LSOC, 286–87). This passage illustrates:

a) the benefit of the fiftieth person.
b) the conditions to create the Latter Day of the Law.
c) earthly desires are enlightenment.
d) the oneness of life and its environment.

17. In the “Benefits of the Teacher of the Law” chapter, “teacher of the Law” includes the aspects of both:

a) taking the Law as one’s teacher and teaching others about it.
b) seeking from priests and using their clarification to better understand the Law.
c) eradicating earthly desires rst, and then teaching the Law to others.
d) showing actual proof in one’s own life before teaching it to others.

18. In Buddhism, ________ refers to the merit achieved by wiping out evil and bringing about good. It also refers to the puri cation of the six senses, which in modern terms means to accomplish one’s human revolution.

a) gaining mystic powers
b) transmigration
c) benefit
d) treasures of the body

19. Regarding “The Bodhisattva Never Disparaging” chapter, Nichiren says: “What does Bodhisattva Never Disparaging’s profound respect for people signify? The purpose of the appearance in this world of Shakyamuni Buddha, the lord of teachings, lies in his ________” (WND-1, 852).

a) knowledge of the Lotus Sutra
b) supernatural powers
c) behavior as a human being
d) vanquishing of devilish functions

20. Bodhisattva Never Disparaging says: “I have profound reverence for you, I would never dare treat you with disparagement or arrogance. Why? Because you will all practice the bodhisattva way and will then be able to attain Buddhahood” (LSOC, 308). Choose the passage below from The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings that corresponds to this statement:

a) “Broadly speaking, ‘to respond’ may be regarded as another name for faith. To respond means simply to have the mind of faith” (p. 146).
b) “The number eighty-four thousand stands for the eighty-four thousand dust-like cares or delusions that beset us. But when we chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, these cares manifest themselves as eighty-four thousand gates to the Law” (p. 177).
c) “Forbearance is the Land of Eternally Tranquil Light. This mind of forbearance is called Shakyamuni Buddha. Saha means a world in which one must exercise forbearance and learn to endure” (p. 169).
d) “These twenty-four Chinese characters that make up this passage are different [in wording] from the five characters of Myoho-renge-kyo, but the meaning is the same. These twenty-four characters represent the Lotus Sutra in miniature” (p. 152).

21. Choose the sentence below that best describes the “Supernatural Powers of the Thus Come One” chapter of the Lotus Sutra.

a) The ceremony in the air comes to a conclusion and the assembly returns to Eagle Peak where the bodhisattvas perform their individual missions.
b) Shakyamuni transfers the essence of the sutra to the Bodhisattvas of the Earth, led by Bodhisattva Superior Practices.
c) The bodhisattvas of the theoretical teaching are entrusted with propagation of the Mystic Law by Many Treasures Buddha.
d) The bodhisattvas of the theoretical teaching are entrusted with propagation of the Mystic Law by Shakyamuni Buddha.

22. SGI President Ikeda states that, “While the Bodhisattvas of the Earth have the same state of life as the Buddha, their conduct is thoroughly that of bodhisattvas” (WLS-5, 127). Thus, Bodhisattvas of the Earth are also called:

a) bodhisattvas of the theoretical teachings
b) bodhisattva-Buddhas
c) pratyekabuddhas
d) provisional Buddhas

23. Regarding the “Supernatural Powers of the Thus Come One” chapter, Nichiren states: “Though it is thought that Shakyamuni Buddha possesses the three virtues of sovereign, teacher, and parent for the sake of all of us living beings, that is not so. On the contrary, it is common mortals who endow him with the three virtues . . . The ‘true Buddha’ here means ________, whereas ‘provisional Buddhas’ means ________” (WND-1, 384).

a) Buddhas; common mortals
b) common mortals; Buddhas
c) Shakyamuni; Many Treasures
d) Many Treasures; Shakyamuni

24. In the Lotus Sutra, the “supernatural powers of the Thus Come One” can be interpreted to mean the life force that is:

a) inherent in supernatural beings.
b) inherent in all living beings.
c) acquired by the Buddha to all living beings.
d) acquired by the Buddha to supernatural beings.

25. Nichiren says: “Shakyamuni’s practices and the virtues he consequently attained are all contained within the five characters of Myoho-renge-kyo. If we believe in these five characters, we will naturally be granted the same benefits as he was” (WND-1, 365). The “practices and the virtues he consequently attained” implies:

a) one’s enlightenment in the remote past.
b) acquiring Buddhahood lifetime after lifetime.
c) the simultaneity of cause and effect.
d) practicing lifetimes of bodhisattva austerities.

26. The three levels for reading and understanding the Lotus Sutra are: ________, ________, and ________.

a) documentary; actual; theoretical
b) faith; practice; study
c) provisional; true; essential
d) text; meaning; intent

27. In “Letter to Niike,” Nichiren says: “Becoming a Buddha is ________. If you chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo with your whole heart, you will naturally become endowed with the Buddha’s thirty-two features and eighty characteristics” (WND-1, 1030).

a) a journey of countless kalpas
b) nothing extraordinary
c) extremely difficult
d) a state achieved after innumerable lifetimes

28. Regarding propagation, second Soka Gakkai President Josei Toda once said: “Shakubuku means helping the other person overcome ________, and enabling them to live according to ________” (WLS-5, 248).

a) intellect that leads to bad action; action that doesn’t require intellect
b) the evil in their minds; the good in their minds
c) previous beliefs; non-Buddhist philosophy
d) their own ego; the life state of heavenly beings

29. “The Former Affairs of the Bodhisattva Medicine King” chapter says, “After I have passed into extinction, in the last five-hundred-year period you must spread it abroad widely throughout Jambudvipa and never allow it to be cut off” (LSOC, 330). This is the origin of the concept of:

a) changing poison into medicine
b) expedient means
c) the Latter Day of the Law
d) kosen-rufu

30. The ________ describes bodhisattvas moving from the nine worlds to the world of Buddhahood, and then back to the nine worlds where they show actual proof of the Mystic Law in their respective fields of endeavor, having been transformed from wanting to be saved to saving others.

a) three assemblies in two places
b) “Introduction” chapter
c) “Bodhisattva Universal Worthy” chapter
d) pre-Lotus Sutra teachings

31. The Lotus Sutra describes Bodhisattva Wonderful Sound as having acquired thirty-four physical forms. This bodhisattva uses these various physical forms to:

a) deceive people who persecute votaries of the Lotus Sutra.
b) lead people to enlightenment.
c) encourage primarily people in the arts.
d) please the people in his environment.

32. “The Universal Gateway of the Bodhisattva Perceiver of the World’s Sounds” chapter describes a bodhisattva who “can grant fearlessness to living beings” (LSOC, 340), referring to protective functions in the universe. From the Nichiren Buddhist perspective, what ultimately determines the protective functions in daily life?

a) natural functions of the universe
b) one’s faith and practice
c) other bodhisattvas
d) Buddhist deities

33. In the “Bodhisattva Medicine King” chapter, a bodhisattva named Constellation King Flower asks Shakyamuni why Bodhisattva Medicine King engages in difficult practices in the saha world. Choose the statement below that best describes the story that Shakyamuni shares in response.

a) Bodhisattva Gladly Seen by All Living Beings, realizing that he was able to attain enlightenment because of his mentor, burned his body as an offering to the Lotus Sutra. Resolved to be reborn with his mentor, he returned and burned his arms as a further offering for seventy-two thousand years.
b) Shakyamuni prophesies that the twelve hundred arhat disciples in the assembly will attain Buddhahood. He first bestows this prophecy on five hundred arhats, and then on the remaining seven hundred. All twelve hundred, he says, will become Buddhas.
c) Shariputra practiced the bodhisattva way for sixty kalpas when, upon request, he gave his own eye to a Brahman who dropped it on the ground and trampled it. Shariputra then decided to seek only his own liberation, withdrew from bodhisattva practice, and never attained enlightenment.
d) The eight-year-old dragon king’s daughter attained enlightenment upon hearing Bodhisattva Manjushri preach the Lotus Sutra in the dragon king’s palace. When other bodhisattvas doubted her enlightenment, she appeared in front of them and attained enlightenment again in front of their eyes.

34. In the name Bodhisattva Perceiver of the World’s Sounds, “perceiver” refers to hearing and:

a) pitying the suffering of people.
b) rebuking people’s tendency toward complaint.
c) responding to people’s suffering.
d) helping people recognize their flaws.

35. Nichiren says, “It could never come about that the prayers of the ________ of the Lotus Sutra would go unanswered” (“On Prayer,” WND-1, 345).

a) believer
b) follower
c) practitioner
d) transcriber

36. The “Dharani” chapter includes the following story: Through Shakyamuni’s encouragement, ________ have a change of heart and vow to protect practitioners of the Law. The Buddha, seeing their transformation, praises them, saying: “Excellent, excellent! If you can shield and guard those who accept and uphold the mere name of the Lotus Sutra, your merit will be immeasurable” (LSOC, 352). This chapter praises women and also teaches that negative functions can be transformed into allies.

a) the dragon king’s daughter and her father
b) Shakyamuni’s mother and aunt
c) the ten demon daughters and their mother
d) all of Shakyamuni’s female followers

37. The “Former Affairs of the King Wonderful Adornment” chapter tells the story of a king whose two children and wife lead him to take faith in Buddhism. What was key in his decision to take faith?

a) The Buddha visited him many times, showing compassion and care.
b) His wife and children threatened to leave if he did not take faith.
c) His wife and children spoke at length about the wonders of attaining Buddhahood.
d) His children showed actual proof of their human revolution.

38. According to Nichiren, “the foremost point that [the ‘Encouragements of the Bodhisattva Universal Worthy’] chapter wishes to convey to us” is found in the following passage: “Therefore, Universal Worthy, if you see a person who accepts and upholds this sutra, you should ________, showing him the same respect you would a Buddha” (LSOC, 365).

a) give him alms to gain good fortune
b) begin preaching right away
c) rise and greet him from afar
d) offer him the lion’s seat

39. In response to Bodhisattva Universal Worthy’s question about how people can “acquire” the Lotus Sutra, Shakyamuni explains four conditions: “First, they must be protected and kept in mind by the Buddhas. Second, they must plant the roots of virtue. Third, they must enter the stage where they are sure of reaching enlightenment. Fourth, they must conceive a determination to save all living beings” (LSOC, 361). These four conditions correspond to four elements of daily practice in the SGI which are: embracing the Gohonzon, chanting daimoku, maintaining the ________, and advancing kosen-rufu.

a) votary of the Lotus Sutra
b) harmonious body of practitioners
c) three assemblies in two places
d) group that adheres to Buddhist rituals

40. Nichiren Daishonin wrote “The Opening of the Eyes” to quell his disciples’ doubts that arose due to his many persecutions, writing: “This I will state. Let the gods forsake me. Let all persecutions assail me. Still I will give my life for the sake of the Law . . . All other troubles are no more to me than dust before the wind. I will be the pillar of Japan. I will be the eyes of Japan. I will be the great ship of Japan. This is my vow, and I will never forsake it!” (WND-1, 280–81). With these words, Nichiren declares himself to be:

a) a follower of Shakyamuni.
b) the reincarnation of the Great Teacher T’ien-t’ai.
c) a practitioner of the Nirvana Sutra.
d) the votary of the Lotus Sutra.



(pp. 10–11)