|By: Dr. John Ankerberg / Dr. John Weldon; ©2000|
|A brief look at the history and doctrines of Buddhism and Nichiren Shoshu Buddhism.|
(from Encyclopedia of Cults and New Religions, Harvest House, 1999)
Name: Buddhism (B); Nichiren Shoshu Buddhism or Nichiren Shoshu of America (NS).
Purpose: (B) To eradicate suffering and attain enlightenment; (NS) to receive material benefits and find happiness.
Founder: (B) Gautama Siddhartha (ca. 563-483 B.C.); (NS) Nichiren Daishonin (1222-1282 A.D.)
Source of authority: (B) The Pali canon and other Buddhist Scripture, personal experience; (NS) The Lotus Sutra and Nichiren Daishonin’s writings (Gosho), personal experience.
Claim: (B) Through the Buddha’s teachings, one can attain true enlightenment and find contentment; (NS) to represent the only true Buddhism.
Revealed teachings: (B) No (early Buddhism), Yes (later Buddhism); (NS) Yes
Theology: (B) Nontheistic or atheistic (early Buddhism), polytheistic (later Buddhism); (NS) polytheistic.
Occult dynamics: (B & NS) Altered states of consciousness, ritual, psychic powers, spiritism.
Key literature: (B) The Pali Canon, various other scriptures; (NS) The Lotus Sutra, the writings of Nichiren Daishonin, Daisku Ikeda and principal periodicals: The Seikyo Times, The World Tribune NSA Quarterly (defunct).
Attitude toward Christianity: Rejecting.
Note: In America today, there are an estimated 1,000 plus Buddhist centers and millions of practicing Buddhists. “Later,” or Mahayana Buddhism, is predominate in the West, and this includes Zen, Tibetan/Tantric and Nichiren schools of Buddhism.
God: Ultimate reality is a condition of “existence” called nirvana; no supreme God exists. In NS, the equivalent is an impersonal life essence “incarnated” in the Lotus Sutra and Ghonzon.
Jesus: A wise sage (perhaps enlightened), whose teachings were distorted by Christian myths.
Salvation: Through occult meditation and ritual to attain enlightenment or true understanding of and control over “reality.”
Man: In his true essence and enlightenment, one with the Buddha.
Satan: An impersonal force within Nature, personification of “evil.”
Bible: Generally, a scripture containing true and false teachings.
Death: Reincarnation into nirvana.
Heaven and Hell: Temporary states of mind or places.