Transforming Our Communities Into Lands of Eternally Tranquil Light
SGI President Ikeda's Monthly Message.
This monthly encouragement by SGI President Daisaku Ikeda was originally published in the October 2017 issue of the Daibyakurenge, the Soka Gakkai’s monthly study journal.
What deep prayer and untold effort go into taking a step forward in kosen-rufu in our communities! But everything begins from that noble step. It powerfully contributes to realizing peace in the land through establishing the correct teaching of Buddhism, and to advancing world peace.
Six decades ago, on September 8, 1957, my mentor, second Soka Gakkai President Josei Toda, made a passionate declaration calling for the abolition of nuclear weapons. With that act, he set in motion a momentous and far-reaching current for peace.
Around the same time, he also took the important step of reinforcing the groups, the organizational unit closest to the communities where members actually live.
Newly appointed as the first greater block (present-day ward) leader of Tokyo’s Katsushika Ward, I set forth energetically with my dear fellow members there to create a model of a genuinely happy community. Our first goal was to help everyone in our local organization establish a solid practice of gongyo and chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. For this is the most basic practice for becoming happy and the driving force for carrying out our human revolution and transforming our karma.
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In The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings, Nichiren Daishonin clearly states: The place where the person upholds and honors the Lotus Sutra is the “place of practice” to which the person proceeds. It is not that he leaves his present place and goes to some other place. The “place of practice” is the place where the living beings of the Ten Worlds reside. And now the place where Nichiren and his followers chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, “whether . . . in mountain valleys or the wide wilderness” [ The Lotus Sutra and Its Opening and Closing Sutras, p. 316], these places are all the Land of Eternally Tranquil Light. This is what is meant by “the place of practice.” (p. 192)
Hence, we of the Soka family—vibrantly chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo as the Bodhisattvas of the Earth—continue to share Nichiren Buddhism with one person after another, and to home visit each member in our effort to transform our community into a Land of Eternally Tranquil Light. We never give up, even in the most challenging places; we refuse to be defeated, even by the most daunting calamity.
“How can I encourage this member to make a fresh determination in faith?” “How can I help this family form a connection with Nichiren Buddhism?” “How can I increase the ranks of those dedicated to happiness and justice in my community?” Such earnest concerns as leaders of our movement are practical and down-to-earth. Above all, they are the noble concerns of a Buddha.
That is why the wisdom and power of the life state of Buddhahood well forth within us.
That is why, through awakening to our Buddha nature and helping others do the same, we are able to build and spread a network of trust and respect where everyone supports and encourages one another in the midst of the challenges of these troubled times.
I am happy to see the members of various local community groups within our organization—uniting with the group, district and chapter leaders whose proud responsibility is to work for everyone’s happiness—shining as beacons of bright hope in their precious communities.
Nichiren Daishonin writes: “Think of a small tree under a large one, or grass by a great river. Though they do not receive rain or water directly, they nonetheless thrive, partaking of dew from the large tree or drawing moisture from the river” (“The Three Kinds of Treasure,” The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, p. 848).
Chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo for the happiness of themselves and others, Soka Gakkai members are like great trees of happiness in their families, workplaces and communities. All those connected to them, whether they practice Nichiren Buddhism or not, will come to share in the happiness and fortune that flows forth from faith in the Mystic Law.
Let’s make each of our treasured communities that has been entrusted to us by Nichiren Daishonin, the Buddha of the Latter Day of the Law, thrive and flourish as a magnificent Land of Eternally Tranquil Light.
And joining together with our members around the globe, let’s make the lion’s roar of Nam-myohorenge-kyo resound far and wide, and create a great river of peace that flows majestically throughout our planet Earth!
Appearing in this place
due to your vow
from the distant past,
may you transform it into a treasure land
together with joyful comrades.