I have been asked to discuss on shitsu, the word for slander. I looked up the definition for slander and saw this. Vilify, defame, libel, defile, detract, depreciate disparage, belittle backbite, speak evil.
The Fourteen Slanders
In The Fourteen Slanders, Nichiren says there is no difference when a sage chants the Daimoku and the blessings we receive when we chant it. However, there is a difference if one chants the Daimoku while acting against the intent of the sutra.
As Daisaku Ikeda says in Faith into Action, p.165 ‘“There are cases when we wonder why merit doesn’t reveal itself in spite of our earnest and a high degree of faith. At such times, rather than suspecting you may entertain a doubt about the Gohonzon, it is better to ask yourself whether you are guilty of any slander. Because a person who is contemptuous, hating, jealous, or holds grudges will realize no benefit.” The first ten slanders on the following list reflect on ways we might be behaving toward the Law.
If you aren’t receiving benefits you might want to reflect on whether you are acting in any of these ways. Are you;
- being arrogant
- carrying wrong views of the self having a shallow understanding
- are you attached to earthly desires
- not understanding
- not believing
- scowling with knitted brows
- harboring doubts
- slandering Slander of the Law is to deny, oppose, disparage, or vilify the correct Buddhist teaching.
“Suppose there is a ship that sails on the open sea. Though the ship is stoutly built, if it is flooded by a leak, those on the ship are sure to drown together. Though the embankment between rice fields is firm, if there is an ant hole in it, then surely, in the long run, it will not remain full of water. Bail the seawater of slander and disbelief out of the ship of your life, and solidify the embankments of your faith.”WND, 74
Studying to resolve doubts and slander will strengthen your faith. But doubts can create a loss of
faith, so take them seriously.
The last four slanders concern attitudes towards people who believe in and practice the Law. Again self-reflect and ask yourself, Am I despising, hating, envying or bearing grudges against fellow members?
We don’t always agree with or get along with fellow members. But are we trying to work through the differences, or holding onto these attitudes. In the fourth volume of the Lotus Sutra “If anyone sees a person who accepts and upholds this sutra and tried to expose the faults or evils of that person, whether what he speaks is true or not, he will in his present existence be afflicted…. Take these teachings to heart and always remember that believers in the Lotus Sutra should absolutely be the last to abuse one another. Those who have faith in the Lotus Sutra are Buddhas and to slander, a Buddha is a grave offense.
As Bodhisattva Never Disparaging pointed out, All people have the Buddha nature and if they embrace the Lotus sutra they will never fail to attain Buddhahood. Then he pointed out that to slight a person is to slight a Buddha. So he made it his practice to revere all people.
Today we looked at less obvious reasons why one might not be receiving benefits from the practice.
This included 10 ways we might be slandering the Law. Then we looked at four ways we might be acting towards other people and particularly other practitioners.
I’m always interested in hearing your comments, questions and topics you’d like to hear about. Keep them coming. I’ll see you all on the first Thursday of February.