Feature

India’s Great Expansion

From the 2017 Youth Training Course.

Performers at an India-Japan culture festival in New Delhi, India, November 2015. Photo: Seikyo Press.


The members of Bharat Soka Gakkai, the Indian affiliate of the SGI, are making monumental efforts toward November 18, 2018, to expand the youth membership, inspired by SGI President Ikeda’s call to “make the triumph of mentor and disciple resound into the eternal future of the Latter Day of the Law” (October 7, 2016, World Tribune, p. 3).

When President Ikeda visited India in February 1979, they had 40 members. True to his words that “The Ganges River also started with a single drop,” those 40 members have grown into a mighty river of more than 150,000 Bodhisattvas of the Earth in India.

SGI President Ikeda visits the banks of the
Ganges River in Patna, India, February 1979. Photo: Seikyo Press.

In just the past few years, Bharat Soka Gakkai has expanded their youth membership fivefold, as they draw nearer to the cherished goal of having 100,000 youth members by November 2017.

They look foward to even greater expansion by November 2018.

“I Am Shin’ichi Yamamoto!”

How were the members in India able to develop their wonderful momentum?

1. The members of all divisions are deeply united to widely share the philosophy of Buddhist humanism with young people, as they represent the nation’s future leaders. The members ask themselves: How many young people can I inspire to take Sensei as their mentor in life?

2. They created a campaign called “Shin’ichi District,” where each district strives to help three youth join each month. The districts that achieve this goal become a “Shin’ichi District.” (President Ikeda appears in The Human Revolution and The New Human Revolution as Shin’ichi Yamamoto).

3. They are inspiring each member to introduce their friends to Buddhism through home visits. In addition, the district leaders are raising the new members by going on home visits with them and teaching them firsthand how to encourage others based on faith.

The youth’s catchphrase is “I am Shin’ichi Yamamoto,” meaning that they are striving to fight for kosen-rufu with the same spirit and intensity as President Ikeda when he was a young man. Through their efforts, they have instilled each member with the joy of shakubuku, creating an unstoppable torrent of capable young people with a strong sense of mission to fight for the good of society.

 

(pp. 24-25)