Skip to content


6 April 2015


Nichiren Daishonin states:
“ When truth and error stand shoulder to shoulder,
and dispute which is superior…. At such a time,
one must set aside all other affairs and devote one’s
attention to rebuking slander of the correct teaching.
This is the practice of shakubuku. ”

(The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, p. 126)
Published by SGI-USA
606 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica CA 90401
Cover and inside illustrations : Blair Thornley
Design: Stephanie Sydney,, Inc.
ISBN 978-1-935523-13-0
©2010 SGI-USA. All Rights Reserved
Printed in the USA
10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

A Revolution Dawns
A Brief History of sokA spirit
Three obstacles and four devils. Various obstacles and hindrances to the practice of
Buddhism. They are listed in the Nirvana Sutra and The Treatise on the Great Perfection of
Wisdom. The three obstacles are (1) the obstacle of earthly desires, or obstacles arising from the three poisons of greed, anger, and foolishness; (2) the obstacle of karma, obstacles due to bad karma created by committing any of the five cardinal sins or ten evil acts; and (3) the obstacle of retribution, obstacles caused by the negative karmic effects of actions in the three evil paths. In a letter addressed to the Ikegami brothers in 1275, Nichiren states, “The obstacle of earthly desires is the impediments to one’s practice that arise from greed, anger, foolishness, and the like; the obstacle of karma is the hindrances presented by one’s wife or children; and the obstacle of retribution is the hindrances caused by one’s sovereign or parents.” The four devils are (1) the hindrance of the five components, obstructions caused by one’s physical and mental functions; (2) the hindrance of earthly desires, obstructions arising from the three poi- sons; (3) the hindrance of death, meaning one’s own untimely death obstructing one’s practice of Buddhism, or the premature death of another practitioner causing one to doubt; and (4) the hindrance of the devil king, who is said to assume various forms or take possession of others in order to cause one to discard one’s Buddhist practice. This hindrance is regarded as the most difficult to overcome.

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: