Breaking Through Limitations Is a Hallmark of Youth

From the series Creating the New Era by SGI President Ikeda.

Photo: iStockphoto / vernonwiley.

by SGI President Daisaku Ikeda

Recently, I visited Tokyo’s Bunkyo Ward, a place that holds many fond memories from my youthful struggles for kosen-rufu. I also stopped by the Soka Gakkai Bunkyo Culture Center. I was delighted to hear that our vibrantly growing future division members were holding a concert in Bunkyo Ward that same day. Our future depends on young people. Second Soka Gakkai President Josei Toda declared: “Science, culture, education, government and economics must all be returned to the people and utilized as means to contribute to and support the pursuit of human happiness and peace. This is the Soka Gakkai’s mission and the heart of Buddhist social action.”

In accord with this spirit, our youth division members are expanding circles of friendship throughout Japan and all around the world. They are truly a reassuring presence.

It is always the passion and power of the youth that shape the times.

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In youth, even mistakes and hardships are valuable lessons and treasures. Don’t worry if you don’t succeed at first. You can always try again. Adopting the spirit “Nothing ventured, nothing gained,” be brave and challenge yourself without fear. Whatever it may be you seek to do, take a chance and try it. Beginners become experts through steady application and experience. You will savor joy and fulfillment in the process. Breaking through limitations is the hallmark of youth.

We practice Nichiren Buddhism, which enables us to transform poison into medicine. We can create value even from hardships. By sparing no effort for kosen-rufu, we can accumulate immense benefit and develop an expansive state of life.

Nichiren Daishonin writes, “The benefits to be gained by reciting the five characters of Myoho-renge-kyo are great indeed” (On Reciting the Daimoku of the Lotus Sutra,” The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 2, p. 229). The benefit of chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo even a single time is boundless and immeasurable. Chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo is the key to victory in all things. I hope you will chant abundantly and strive joyfully in your endeavors.

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Every single youth division member is a Bodhisattva of the Earth! With this conviction, I blazed pathways for world peace where none had existed before, together with our dynamic gathering of youth. I devoted myself wholeheartedly. If there were members struggling valiantly somewhere, I would go visit them, no matter the distance. I never delayed but always seized the moment, knowing that the opportunity might never come again.

Our men’s and women’s division members everywhere are supporting and encouraging members of the youth division as if they were their own children or younger siblings. It is through our interactions with the youth—meeting and chanting with them, engaging in dialogue and doing activities for kosen-rufu with them—that enables them to develop and take active leadership for our movement.

A spring of expanding dialogue has arrived. Let’s set forth energetically with a youthful spirit, together with the youth. Let’s open a path of glorious victory for Soka that will endure for all time.

From the March 26, 2016, issue of the Seikyo Shimbun, the Soka Gakkai’s daily newspaper

(p. 9)