“discard, close, ignore, and abandon” ［捨閉閣抛］ ( sha-hei-kaku-hō): The assertion of Hōnen (1133–1212), the founder of the Japanese Pure Land (Jōdo) school, that one should discard, close, ignore, and abandon all teachings and practices other than those relating to Amida Buddha and his Pure Land, and that one should rely entirely on the Nembutsu, that is, chant only the name of the Buddha Amida. Hōnen set this forth in his work The Nembutsu Chosen above All, though he did not use these four words in this particular form. He asserted that the practice of the Lotus Sutra and the various other sutras belongs to the category of sundry practices, while the practice of the Pure Land teachings belongs to the category of correct practices, and hence that the former should be discarded, closed, ignored, and abandoned.
For instance, in the concluding passage of The Nembutsu Chosen above All, Hōnen states: “If one wishes to escape quickly from the sufferings of birth and death, one should confront these two superior teachings and then proceed to put aside the teachings of the Sacred Way and choose those of the Pure Land. And if one wishes to follow the teachings of the Pure Land, one should confront the correct and sundry practices and then proceed to abandon all of the sundry and devote one’s entire attention to the correct.”
In his treatise On Establishing the Correct Teaching for the Peace of the Land, Nichiren criticizes Hōnen for encouraging people to abandon the Lotus Sutra in particular, saying: “In doing so, he [Hōnen] turns his back on the passage in the three Pure Land sutras, the sutras of his own school, which contains Amida’s vow to save the people ‘excepting only those who commit the five cardinal sins and those who slander the correct teaching.’ More fundamentally, he shows that he fails to understand the warning contained in the second volume of the Lotus Sutra, the heart and core of the entire body of teachings the Buddha expounded in the five periods of his preaching life, which reads, ‘If a person fails to have faith but instead slanders this [Lotus] sutra . . . When his life comes to an end he will enter the Avīchi hell’” (14). Nichiren used the four-word phrase “discard, close, ignore, and abandon” to summarize Hōnen’s assertions about all Buddhist teachings other than those of Pure Land. See also eighteenth vow.