Encouragement

An Invincible Gathering of Great Good

SGI President Ikeda's monthly message.


This monthly encouragement by SGI President Daisaku Ikeda was originally published in the July 2017 issue of the Daibyakurenge, the Soka Gakkai’s monthly study journal.

Nichiren Daishonin declares: “Though evils may be numerous, they cannot prevail over a single great [good], just as many raging fires are quenched by a single shower of rain. This principle also holds true with Nichiren and his followers” (“Many in Body, One in Mind,” The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, p. 618). This is a passage that I have engraved deeply in my heart while striving alongside my mentor, second Soka Gakkai President Josei Toda, and working with my beloved fellow members all around the world.

A gathering of people united by faith in the Mystic Law and a shared commitment for kosen-rufu, even if their numbers are small, represents “a single great good” to which nothing can compare. Because of that, no evil or adversity can defeat them. This was Nichiren Daishonin’s powerful message in the midst of the Atsuhara Persecution.

Taking his words to heart, the three martyrs and other noble farmer disciples of Nichiren in Atsuhara, who refused to discard their faith, achieved a towering victory of the Buddhism of the people that lives on to this day. It can be said that, with this event, Nichiren Daishonin fulfilled the purpose of his appearance in this world.

We, the mentors and disciples of Soka, have been entrusted with continuing and expanding the network of great good of the Mystic Law to pave the way for the realization of worldwide kosen-rufu and Nichiren Daishonin’s ideal of “establishing the correct teaching for the peace of the land” into the eternal future of the Latter Day of the Law.

For that reason, we are certain to encounter difficulties. But we are ready to face and overcome whatever trials and challenges may arise.

It was 60 years ago, in the summer of 1957, that the Yubari Coal Miners Incident occurred, followed a short time later by the Osaka Incident [in which I was arrested on trumped-up charges]. During this tumultuous period, the Soka Gakkai strengthened its unity under Mr. Toda’s leadership.

Nichiren Daishonin declares: “Though evils may be numerous, they cannot prevail over a single great [good], just as many raging fires are quenched by a single shower of rain. This principle also holds true with Nichiren and his followers” (“Many in Body, One in Mind,” The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, p. 618). This is a passage that I have engraved deeply in my heart while striving alongside my mentor, second Soka Gakkai President Josei Toda, and working with my beloved fellow members all around the world.

Our members gathered in high spirits for a series of events at that time—including the inaugural meeting of the student division (on June 30), the Sapporo and Yubari rallies in Hokkaido (on July 1 and 2, respectively), the Tokyo Rally (on July 12) and the Osaka Rally (on July 17). They fearlessly faced the obstacles confronting our movement.

At the Tokyo Rally held at the National Sports Arena in Kuramae [in Taito Ward], before some 40,000 members gathered inside and outside the arena, Mr. Toda responded to questions from the audience as if engaging in a one-to-one dialogue, uniting everyone’s hearts.

Reminding them that the Soka Gakkai had staunchly protected and upheld Nichiren Daishonin’s spirit during harsh wartime persecution, he declared to the effect: “Nichiren Daishonin called forth the Soka Gakkai. The faith of the Soka Gakkai alone accords with the spirit of the Daishonin; it alone can bring forth the true benefit of the Gohonzon. Buddhism is about winning.”

Mr. Toda’s lionhearted spirit inspired his disciples to rise into action. Among them was my wife, Kaneko, who, on that day of the Tokyo Rally, July 12, celebrated her 16th anniversary of Buddhist practice.

The Osaka Rally was held at the Nakanoshima Civic Hall on the evening of July 17, right after my release from prison, where I had been detained on false charges. Addressing the 20,000 members from Kansai and other areas who had assembled, comrades with whom I had shared joys and hardships, I proclaimed that the correct teaching of Nichiren Buddhism would definitely prevail.

In that struggle 60 years ago, the members of the Soka family showed their true mettle.

First, at this crucial time, everyone stood up courageously together, embodying Nichiren’s words, “You must not falter in the least” (“Kamatari Suggests the Fashioning of a Buddha Image,” WND-2, 597).

Second, they confidently spoke with others to set the record straight, proving that “the voice carries out the work of the Buddha” (The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings, p. 4). Third, they triumphed over everything by uniting together solidly, demonstrating the truth of Nichiren’s words, “If the spirit of many in body but one in mind prevails among the people, they will achieve all their goals” (“Many in Body, One in Mind,” WND-1, 618).

Each day, my wife and I chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo for the happiness of our inspiring fellow members—who, then and now, continue striving together with us to fulfill the great vow from time without beginning. We also pray that their family, loved ones and friends will enjoy immeasurable good fortune.

Working together in ever greater unity, let’s make a victory song of the new era of worldwide kosen-rufu ring out into the endless future! Remember, “Though evils may be numerous, they cannot prevail over a single great [good]” (“Many in Body, One in Mind,” WND-1, 618).

Fearlessly forge ahead,
our Soka gathering of great good,
striving together and triumphing together.
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(p. 4)