The Gosho (Nichiren Daishonin writings) reads: "only Buddhas know the “True entity of all phenomena.. the nature form true entity….. In common everyday lay terms “The phenomena of Elvis Presley” can be explained from the stand point of karma. Karma is cause and effect .
Greetings to those of you who read my lecture "Buddhism & Elvis Presley. I wrote this lecture to take on a phenomena in the Buddhist world called Asian Ethnocentrism. Ethnocentrism is a way of viewing the world via your own culture and believing that your culture is better or superior to the culture of other people. In essence Ethnocentrism borders racism. While as a student in high school in the 1970's I began to study martial arts and the Buddhist philosophy. My first introduction to Buddhism was the study of "Zen Buddhism" as I got off into Zen and Meditation as a high school student in 1970. In 1974 I joined an organization called NSA or Nichiren Shoshu of America where I learned the Buddhist Teachings of Nichiren Daishonin.
Speaking of the word Ethnocentrism Elvis Presley in relationship to African American people Elvis Presley represents the ultimate Ethnocentric or White dominate culture in America. In many ways when you bring up the name Elvis Presley to many African American people there is a story and strong emotions. On yesterday when I told my Buddhist friend Shaka Khalphani that I was going to write a Buddhist lecture Shaka countered " I got a problem with Elvis Presley." Shaka mentioned that Beatle John Lennon was quoted as saying "before Elvis there was nothing. Such statements are like taking a knife and rubbing it into an open wound. Many people all over the world almost worship Elvis Presley, however for many of us African Americans the name and thought of Elvis Presley brings thoughts of racism and anxiety.
L et me move this lecture back to Elvis and Buddhism and back to the word "Asian Ethnocentrism." In the 1980's Japanese SGI Buddhist leader Daisaku Ikeda after the great Buddhist meeting in Chicago called "Capture the Spirit" I think in 1982 sent a Japanese Buddhist leader to Memphis, Tennessee called George Kusaba. After George Kusaba got through with us African American people he had African Americans speaking with Japanese accents and running around acting like we were Japanese people. In March of 1991 I could not take it any more in that I had to maintain my dignity and self pride as an African American I departed the SGI Buddhist organization. For those who are interested I wrote this letter in March of 1991 to NSA friends. (Click Here.)
We move now to the Buddhist organization called NST or Nichiren Shoshu Temple whereas Japanese Priest come to Memphis, Tennessee and they totally annihilate African American culture in Buddhism in Memphis, Tennessee. I said to myself here we go again with Japanese domination. Rev. Murata who serves at the time of this lecture as the Chief Priest in the Washington D.C. area implemented a ploy that eviscerated African American culture of Buddhism in Memphis. When you go to Buddhist meetings in Memphis, Tennessee it was as if you are in Japan. Imagine coming to Memphis, Tennessee of all places in the world and finding how Japanese people introduce not Buddhism to Memphis, but they give African Americans, not Buddhist teaching but a strong dose of Japanese Culture. Those learning Buddhism can not delineate Buddhism from Japanese culture.
The culture of Japanese is so strong among African American Buddhist that I had to write a Buddhist lecture on Elvis and Buddhism to remind Japanese and African American Buddhist they were in Memphis, Tennessee "The Soul of America." We are the home of Elvis Presley.
We in this lecture are in no way implying that Elvis Presley practiced the Buddhist faith. Our lecture Elvis and Buddhism shows that the Buddhist Religion is a faith that deals with life and phenomena. Buddhism explains life in relationship to the law life and the law of cause and effect. Buddhism in the west is confused with Asian culture. In this lecture we take Buddhism out of the realm of Asian culture and we use Elvis Aaron Presley to explain the complicated Nichiren Buddhist Theory of Ichinen Sanzen and the "Lotus Sutra" as 1st taught by the Buddha Shakymuni of India over 3000 years ago.
Through out this lecture we focus on one word known in Japanese as "Shoho-Jisso." The SGI Buddhist dictionary explains the meaning.
The ultimate truth or reality that permeates all phenomena and is in no way separate from them. A principle expressed in the "Expedient Means" (second) chapter of the Lotus Sutra. The chapter states: "The true aspect of all phenomena can only be understood and shared between Buddhas. This reality consists of the appearance, nature, entity, power, influence, internal cause, relation, latent effect, manifest effect, and their consistency from beginning to end." The "Expedient Means" chapter defines the true aspect of all phenomena as the ten factors of life from "appearance" through "their consistency from beginning to end," which describe the unchanging aspect of life common to all phenomena. Since the ten factors exist in any being of the Ten Worlds, there can be no fundamental distinction between a Buddha and an ordinary person. This revelation of the ten factors of life thus establishes a theoretical basis for the universal attainment of Buddhahood. Based on this passage of the "Expedient Means" chapter, T'ient'ai (538-597) established the philosophical system of three thousand realms in a single moment of life. In his 1273 work titled The True Aspect of All Phenomena, Nichiren defined "all phenomena" as all living beings and their environments in the Ten Worlds, and "the true aspect" as the Law of Myoho-renge-kyo, the ultimate reality permeating all living beings and their environments in any of the Ten Worlds.All phenomena, he stated, are manifestations of this universal Law; phenomena and the ultimate truth are inseparable and non-dual.
For a beginner or those who have studied Buddhism for decades, "Shoho Jissho" is a lot to chew on. We simply break things down in a common language and spirit that you can understand.