Buddhism and Nichiren Shoshu Buddhism

By: Dr. John Ankerberg / Dr. John Weldon; ©2000
A brief look at the history and doctrines of Buddhism and Nichiren Shoshu Buddhism.


Buddhism and Nichiren Shoshu Buddhism

(from Encyclopedia of Cults and New Religions, Harvest House, 1999)

Info at a Glance

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.

Sin: Ignorance.

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.

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