May 3rd, 2021
So, Nichiren does an excellent job here at placing the order of teachings and the scholarship adjustments of Buddhist canon over time from the perspective of Japan's history and rulers/teachers or schools. And as important as all this is, the point, the pattern Nichiren is showing is this cyclical return to fundamentals and clear scholarship that persists throughout history of Buddhist propagation as the battleground of human avarice for power, control on the part of the leaders, both national and regional, and laziness of the common folk in doing whatever is asked of them without critical thought or questioning. To behave in either way is fundamentally a profound lack of respect for the source material. To claim allegiance to anything is to know it inside and out. This is "repaying the debt of gratitude" for the ultimate teaching that you have supposedly dedicated your life to. Changing your mind without analysis, without questioning or research of your own, well, there is no self-respect, let alone gratitude. This is the central idea. Your practice will become unshakable when you treat it with deep respect and gratitude.