Encouragement

Precious Young People, Shine Brilliantly!

SGI President Ikeda's monthly message.


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

Photo: Seikyo Press.

Kosen-rufu is a great movement for eternal victory, in which we strive to win in the present and continue winning into the future as well. Leading this movement, the Soka Gakkai is a realm of humanistic education in the truest sense, its members tirelessly dedicated to encouraging and fostering others.

During the Osaka Campaign of 1956, in which the pioneer Kansai members and I engaged in an unforgettable shared struggle, I met with countless young people, the successors of our movement.

Right after we achieved a resounding victory of the people in July that year, my mentor, second Soka Gakkai President Josei Toda, and I discussed the future development of our movement. We agreed on the need to deeply cultivate the spiritual soil of humanity to enable capable individuals, people who could contribute to human happiness and peace, to emerge one after another in every sphere of society.

Mr. Toda’s founding of the student division the following year, and my establishment of the future division after I became Soka Gakkai president, were both based on this great vow of mentor and disciple.

With those early future division members, I studied this passage from Nichiren Daishonin’s writing “The Heritage of the Ultimate Law of Life”: “My followers are now able to accept and uphold the Lotus Sutra [Nam-myoho-renge-kyo] because of the strong ties they formed with it in their past existences. They are certain to obtain the fruit of Buddhahood in the future” (The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, p. 217).

All our future division members are Bodhisattvas of the Earth with “great good fortune from past existences” (The Lotus Sutra and Its Opening and Closing Sutras, p. 356). They have the power to help others awaken to their Buddhahood.

“Former Affairs of King Wonderful Adornment,” the 27th chapter of the Lotus Sutra, relates the story of two brothers joining with their mother to help their father, who at first opposed their Buddhist practice, embrace faith in the Mystic Law. The father later praises his sons, calling them “my good friends”[1]In Buddhism, the term “good friends” means positive influences that direct people toward goodness and Buddhist practice. who were “born into my household” (see LSOC, 358).

Let us also warmly encourage our precious future division members, showing them our utmost respect and gratitude for being born into our families, our communities and our countries.

In the Soka Gakkai’s early days, our members in Yamagata Prefecture [in Tohoku, the northeastern region of Japan] struggled with numerous difficulties, including being ostracized for their faith by their communities where old customs and practices were deeply entrenched. When I announced the establishment of the future division, they expressed delight, convinced that now the Soka Gakkai would flourish victoriously forever. They joined together to encourage and support the children and youth of the Soka family, and instill them with the spirit to never be defeated.

The organization in Yamagata has built a tradition of fostering successors that is a model for the rest of Japan, producing a brilliant stream of capable individuals who were raised through the support and encouragement that they received at discussion meetings.

Soka Gakkai leaders everywhere have taken my spirit to heart and devoted themselves to fostering our young members whose lives are so precious. I would especially like to express my unending gratitude to the future division leaders, as well as the members of the men’s and women’s divisions, the Soka Gakkai Education Department and the student division, all of whom support the future division in so many ways.

Every child is an irreplaceable treasure; we must help them shine their brightest as people of great mission—this is the spirit of Soka education that we have inherited from our founding presidents Tsunesaburo Makiguchi and Josei Toda.

Society is rife with negative influences that can harm our young people. That’s why we must take every opportunity to speak with them and listen patiently to what they say. We need to trust them, pray for them and warmly watch over them. This power of humanistic education found in the Soka Gakkai is a truly invaluable source of hope for the community.

Let’s continue to take pride in encouraging and fostering the future division members, true champions of our movement, who have made their timely appearance in the new era of worldwide kosen-rufu!

  Be proud,
  Soka successors!
  Confidently
  apply yourselves to your studies
  and illuminate tomorrow’s world.

 

 

(pp. 4-5)

Notes   [ + ]

1. In Buddhism, the term “good friends” means positive influences that direct people toward goodness and Buddhist practice.