Encouragement

World Peace Through Human Revolution

SGI President Ikeda's Message.

SGI Youth Training Course participants from 55 countries attend the 27th Soka Gakkai Headquarters Leaders Meeting of the New Era of Worldwide Kosen-rufu in Kanagawa, Japan, September 2017. Photo: Seikyo Press.


SGI President Ikeda sent the following message to the 27th Soka Gakkai Headquarters Leaders Meeting of the New Era of Worldwide Kosen-rufu—held in conjunction with the SGI Youth Training Course and the Nationwide Student Division General Meeting—at the Soka Gakkai Kanagawa Ikeda Auditorium in Tsurumi Ward, Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture, on Sept. 2, 2017. Participants included 280 youth, hailing from 55 countries and territories, for the training course. This message was published in the Sept. 3, 2017, issue of the
Seikyo Shimbun, the Soka Gakkai’s daily newspaper.

Photo: Seikyo Press

Congratulations on this headquarters leaders meeting held in Kanagawa, a harbor of justice and peace stretching out into the world and into the boundless future!

Congratulations also on the holding of the SGI Youth Training Course and the Nationwide Student Division General Meeting!

The work of kosen-rufu is very down-to-earth and time-consuming, yet, at the same time, it is the most exciting adventure of spreading the grandest and most colossal dream of all.

For me, Yokohama and Kanagawa—especially the area of Tsurumi—are unforgettable places where the pioneer members and I joined together in the shared struggle of mentor and disciple in the early days of our movement.

In September 1951, 66 years ago, second Soka Gakkai President Josei Toda assigned me with the responsibility of giving lectures on Nichiren Daishonin’s writings to the members of Tsurumi Chapter’s Ichiba District.

I began visiting the area regularly from that time on. Many of the sincere members there were suffering from economic hardship, illness and other difficulties. I visited one member’s home after another. I would share with them such passages as “Regard both suffering and joy as facts of life, and continue chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, no matter what happens” (“Happiness in This World,” The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, p. 681). We would then energetically set out together to introduce others to Nichiren Buddhism.

To encourage ourselves, the Kanagawa members and I often told one another that, though we might be attacked and criticized now, eventually a steady stream of Bodhisattvas of the Earth from around the world would gather in Japan and astonish everyone. And that is exactly what is happening today!

While thinking of how happy this would make the many dear members, eternal comrades, who have passed away in the course of our shared struggle, I would like to extend the warmest welcome, together with members throughout Japan, to the youthful SGI leaders who have vibrantly gathered here today from 55 countries and territories!

I am filled with gratitude to you, my young friends, for making this trip to Japan for the sake of kosen-rufu, not letting yourselves be defeated by any obstacle along the way. Thank you so much!

• • •

In early September 1957, 60 years ago, Mr. Toda prepared for his Declaration for the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons, which he had decided to deliver in Kanagawa. At that time, he and I together studied this passage from Nichiren’s writings: “Great evil portends the arrival of great good. If all of Jambudvipa [the entire world] were to be thrown into chaos, there could be no doubt that [the Lotus Sutra would] ‘be widely propagated throughout Jambudvipa’ [The Lotus Sutra and Its Opening and Closing Sutras, p. 363]” (“The Kalpa of Decrease,” WND-1, 1122).

In other words, in this corrupt and evil age of the Latter Day of the Law, the three poisons of greed, anger and foolishness intensify in people’s hearts, while the force for good in people’s lives diminishes.

The teaching of the Mystic Law, however, holds the key to fundamentally overcoming the threat posed by such seemingly hopeless times. As such, we who embrace and propagate the Mystic Law have nothing to fear.

It is not enough to simply overcome great evil, or great misfortune. We can—and we must— transform it into great good, or great fortune.

Mr. Toda declared: “This passage represents the golden words with which Nichiren Daishonin, the Buddha of the Latter Day of the Law, called us of the Soka Gakkai to appear on this planet to carry out worldwide kosen-rufu.”

We live in the latter day, an age of “great evil,” when the world has become so disordered that it has led to the creation of nuclear weapons, the most hideous product of the devilish nature inherent in life. Precisely because of this, we of the SGI are calling forth Bodhisattvas of the Earth, one by one, from the solid ground of the ordinary people. We are determined to make the sun of our fundamentally enlightened nature shine forth in our own lives, while helping others do the same, to illuminate and dispel the innate darkness, or ignorance, that is the root cause of all suffering and misery.

Let us continue to resolutely open the way of “great good”— that is, the path of worldwide kosen-rufu, of world peace. This is the great vow shared by the mentors and disciples of Soka.

I wish to impart the aforementioned passage in Nichiren’s writings to the student division in Japan, which is making a fresh start with a new national leadership lineup, and to all our youth division members throughout the world.

Whatever obstacles or difficulties may arise in your youthful struggles in life or on the road to kosen-rufu, I hope you will always challenge them with dauntless courage, deeply believing in the Daishonin’s assurance that “great evil portends the arrival of great good” (“The Kalpa of Decrease,” WND-1, 1122).

• • •

It is not enough to simply overcome great evil, or great misfortune. We can—and we must— transform it into great good, or great fortune. Here, we find the dynamism, the transformative power, of the teachings of Nichiren Buddhism far exceeding that of any other philosophy or system of thought.

In this connection, the founder of our Soka movement, Tsunesaburo Makiguchi, encouraged his disciples, saying, “Faith in the Mystic Law, which has the power to change poison into medicine, enables us to not only cure illness, but also to become even healthier than we were before.”

Nothing surpasses concrete actual proof and real experience.

I am truly happy to see young people everywhere practicing Nichiren Buddhism, achieving remarkable growth, and carrying out their individual human revolution. Their inspiring efforts and examples give me incredible hope for the future.

“A great human revolution in just a single individual will help achieve a change in the destiny of a nation and, further, will enable a change in the destiny of all humankind”—I hope that each of you, my young successors, will embrace this credo of Soka mentors and disciples as your own. Please chant Nam-myoho-rengekyo, which is “the greatest of all joys” (The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings, p. 212), as you strive in the sphere of your chosen mission, and continue to show triumphant actual proof of your human revolution.

Having now entered the wondrous age of the propagation of the great Law, please create a vast current of happiness and peace throughout the world. Please do so through your unflagging efforts to realize kosen-rufu by compassionately sharing Nichiren Buddhism with others and calling forth as many new Bodhisattvas of the Earth as possible.

This is my fervent wish and prayer as I work each day on the final, 30th volume of my serialized novel The New Human Revolution. “Since we are Bodhisattvas of the Earth, we have a mission to fulfill in this world”[1]Lyrics from the Soka Gakkai song “Song of Human Revolution.”—with this proud conviction, let us confidently ring the clarion bell awakening people to the path of human revolution!

I am praying for the peace and prosperity of your families and the places where you live.

 

(pp. 2-3)

Notes   [ + ]

1. Lyrics from the Soka Gakkai song “Song of Human Revolution.”