Caveat: This is NOT intended to encourage, or to persuade, the current leaders in SGM to resign.
The opinion of the authors here has been, and still is, that carrying out a leader’s reponsibility in SGM is a proud and noble thing. Encouraging members and guiding others to absolute happiness forms the core of being a SGM leader. And there are certainly a lot of truly good and sincere leaders in SGM today. We totally respect that.
The intention is to debunk some points that are being put forth by certain individuals, targeting those resigned leaders, at the grassroot. Pushing them further away from SGM. We find these points to be illogical and lacking in common sense.
Resigning as a leader means you…
- have no mentor and disciple spirit. You are not a true disciple of Sensei.
- are going against the General Director and SGM. The General Director was appointed by none other than Sensei himself. Thus, going against SGM means going against Sensei also.
- are affecting other leaders and may cause them to resign also. You are a bad influence, working for the devils and causing problem in SGM.
- are getting off the grand ship of 10,000 professor of happiness. You will not be able to reach the land of true happiness and all your good fortune will be erased.
- committing grave slander and causing disharmony in this organisation. This is a serious offence and you will eventually suffer misfortune.
There are many other similar accusations levelled against those who resigned. Not every leader, fortunately, in SGM speaks or thinks like this. Some, unfortunately, do. It is important for us to remember a few basic concepts in Buddhism. If we are clear on this, we will be able to refute and not be disturbed by such attacks.
- The spirit of mentor and disciple is decided by the disciple. No one can say whether you posssses the spirit or not. It is a matter of the heart. One’s heart will determine. It is also foolish to tell others whether one has a strong mentor and disciple spirit or not. It is outrageous and arrogant if one were to go around and judge others by stating that you have no mentor and disciple spirit. It is a reflection of the weak life condition, or his angry and hateful state of mind, of the person who say these things.
- Turning poison into medicine, we can reflect and ponder about this matter. Buddhism views everything and anything positively. Be grateful and thank the person who tells you that you have no mentor and disciple spirit. [Yes, we know it is hard to do this. Our challenge in human revolution. Our refusal to hate.]
- What IS, and what is NOT, the mentor and disciple spirit? How can I tell if I have this spirit or not? Why do Sensei always stress on the mentor and disciple spirit? How can this spirit strengthen my faith? [Will need another article to adequately answer these questions. Or perhaps, you [the reader] can help us by telling us what you understand of the mentor and disciple spirit.]
- There is a serious misconception or incorrect understanding, bordering on superstition, of the concept of good fortune in SGM presently. The misconception goes something like this – By taking up a leader position, great good fortune will be earned. The higher the position, the greater the good fortune. The reverse, naturally, is also true. This creates fear. And it’s wrong.
- This is wrong. We can only accumulate good fortune if we take actions and work earnestly for the sake of kosen-rufu and for the sake of happiness of our friends and members. Being a leader in itself does not mean that one can earn good fortune automatically or passively. Even without position, if one continue to care for our friends, sharing their sufferings, chanting for them, and continuing to deepen our study and understanding of this Buddhism, we will naturally accumulate good fortune. Of course, it goes without saying that we must carry out our own human revolution. Otherwise, our practice is futile.
- To paraphrase Batman, It is not who I am underneath, but what I do that defines me. Similarly, it is not the position that we are in that matters. It is what we do. Likewise, the meaning of ‘priest’ in Buddhism in the true sense is one who protects the purity of the teaching and propagate it. It is not about the robe, the shinning shaven heads, or the dots on the forehead. Not position definitely.
In other words, the true path of a monk lies in Buddhist practice. It is not a matter of ceremonies or formalities, but rather is found in diving into the midst of the people and taking on their sufferings as one’s own. The qualifications of a true Buddhist practitioner depends on what they have done and will do to help others. – The New Human Revolution 94, Vigilant Safeguard.
- Some leaders are afraid that one’s good fortune will be lost if one were to resign. No worry here. The core principle of the Nichiren Daishonin’s Buddhism is the strict Law of Causality, or more commonly known as Cause and Effect. We plant the seeds today, we reap tomorrow. Position or not is of no relevance. Positions are mainly for ease of organisation and responsibilities, not power.
- There are, however, some setback if we resigned as a leader. It is easy to backslide in faith without formal responsibility of taking care of members. Thus, it is our opinion that we must continue to earnestly study the Gosho and Sensei’s guidance, take actions for our friends, build trust in our work place and chant earnestly, renewing our vow. Strengthen our faith day after day, and month after month.
- Resigning does not necessary means leaving SGM. Some just want to practice this Buddhism as an ordinary member. They cannot stand the baseless and angry bashing towards anti-Gakkai factions. Is that wrong?
- Resigning does not necessarily mean against SGM. Some resigned because they cannot agree with the SGM’s top executives decisions in not conducting a forensic audit on the issue of mishandling of funds, terminating senior leaders who spoke up and silencing those who ask question by labelling them as trouble makers, anti-Gakkai and Devil King of the Sixth Heaven, and not answering their questions honestly.
After all is said and done, it comes down to one’s heart. Not the words or behaviour of others, but how much we can continue to forge ahead no matter what. Let us engrave this guidance of Mr Ikeda in our hearts and resolve to win.
You must be strong. There is no hope of winning in this chaotic world if you are weak. No matter what others do or say, it is important to develop your ability and then put that ability to use. Strong faith, of course, is the best means for drawing out one’s inner strength. You each have a very important mission, and I hope you will awaken to and be proud of that mission. – Daisaku Ikeda (Words of wisdon)