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Gosho Study

Shakubuku: A Lion’s Roar of Great Compassion

Laurent Lorenzo Schiratti

If someone is about to kill your father and mother, shouldn’t you try to warn them? If a bad son who is insane with drink is threatening to kill his father and mother, shouldn’t you try to stop him? If some evil person is about to set fire to the temples and pagodas, shouldn’t you try to stop him? If your only child is gravely ill, shouldn’t you try to cure him or her with moxibustion treatment? To fail to do so is to act like those people who see but do not try to put a stop to the Zen and Nembutsu followers in Japan. [As Chang-an says,] “If one befriends another person but lacks the mercy to correct him, one is in fact his enemy.” (“The Opening of the Eyes,” The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, p. 287)

Ikeda Sensei’s Guidance

Hypocrisy is the exact opposite of compassion—especially, the hypocrisy of knowing when wrong is being committed in the realm of Buddhism but doing nothing to address it. If such hypocrisy prevails, lies and pretense will become the norm, and no one will speak the truth. This will ultimately lead to the spiritual and moral decay of society. Without a sound spiritual underpinning like that provided by a humanistic religion, the fabric of society will crumble. If erroneous teachings spread to where they enslave and exploit people, they will exert a harmful and poisonous effect on people’s hearts and minds. …

Shakubuku, an act of supreme compassion, is a lion’s roar directed toward the goal of reviving the goodness in people’s hearts and bringing dynamic vitality and creativity to society for the benefit of all. It is a spiritual struggle of the loftiest dimension, one that seeks to conquer devilish functions, break through darkness and delusion, and actualize true, lasting happiness for humankind. And it is powered by a fighting spirit that resembles that of a fearless lion king. This struggle enables us to forge an indestructible, diamondlike state of life. …

By embarking on this compassionate struggle, we can rid our own lives of the rust of inertia, carelessness and cowardice—the dull patina that prevents our true brilliance from shining forth. Those who tap the depths of their wisdom and persevere in their efforts to lead even one person to happiness can break through the binding chains of all kinds of preconceived ideas and prejudices, and defeat the alienating ignorance of disbelief and disrespect. Those who battle negativity and delusions can cleanse and polish their lives with a purifying stream that washes away spiritual decay; they can develop an infinitely vast and expansive state of life that desires the happiness of all humanity. Moreover, those who remain committed to this cause can create the most wonderful and everlasting memories of their lives in this human world. (The Opening of the Eyes: SGI President Ikeda’s Lecture Series, p. 160)

Peace, Culture and Education: The Purpose of Buddhist Study—Part 6

Accumulating Treasures of the Heart—Wisely Creating Value Each Day