Inheriting the Great Spirit of Kosen-rufu Day
March 16th Celebrations Across SGI-USA
In joyous Champions of the New Era youth gatherings and introductory Buddhist meetings held across the country in March, numerous bodhisattvas received the Gohonzon, while other new members shared their convictions in faith through relaying their own powerful experiences. These celebrations honored March 16, Kosen-rufu Day.
In a commemorative message to the youth, SGI President Ikeda declared: “The golden age of our kosen-rufu movement begins now. The Buddhism of the people, as a world religion, is finally shining its great light of hope throughout the globe” (see The Golden Age of Kosen-rufu Begins Now).
March 16 was the day in 1958 when second Soka Gakkai President Josei Toda gathered 6,000 Soka Gakkai youth at the foot of Mount Fuji for a “dress rehearsal” for kosen-rufu. Mr. Toda was fighting the limits of his own mortality and used the occasion to charge his young disciples with the mission and responsibility to achieve kosen-rufu—the movement, based on Nichiren Buddhism, to establish a society where people value the supreme dignity of life. Two weeks later, on April 2, having passed the baton of kosen-rufu to his youthful disciples, President Toda passed away peacefully.
Including the March 16 commemorative celebrations, the SGI-USA welcomed over 1,700 new members who received the Gohonzon since the start of 2016.
“What signifies receiving the baton better than introducing others to the practice?” said SGI-USA Youth Leader David Witkowski. “That’s the greatest way to celebrate Kosen-rufu Day, by helping others receive the Gohonzon so they can become happy. March 16 is not just a thing of the past; it’s about inheriting the great spirit of the three founding presidents and moving forward into a more prosperous, secure, peaceful future.”