Striving With Our Eternal Vow to Transform the Destiny of Humankind

SGI President Ikeda’s message to the 30th Soka Gakkai Headquarters Leaders Meeting

Magnificent sounds—The Brazil-SGI Ikeda Humanism Philharmonic Orchestra performs at the 30th Soka Gakkai Headquarters Leaders Meeting of the New Era of Worldwide Kosen-rufu, held at the Tokyo Makiguchi Memorial Hall in Hachioji, Tokyo, on Jan. 7. SGI President Ikeda founded the youth orchestra in 1993 as a means to spread the ideals of peace, culture and education in society through the power of music. Photos by Seikyo Press.

SGI President Ikeda sent the following message to the 30th Soka Gakkai Headquarters Leaders Meeting of the New Era of Worldwide Kosen-rufu, held at the Tokyo Makiguchi Memorial Hall in Hachioji, Tokyo, on Jan. 7. Among those present were SGI representatives from 12 countries visiting Japan for training sessions. The text was published in the Jan. 8, issue of the Seikyo Shimbun, the Soka Gakkai’s daily newspaper.

Congratulations on this lively and exuberant New Year’s Headquarters Leaders Meeting of our Soka family, which is dedicated to bringing the world together.

A warm welcome also to our members from the United States and Mexico, from Europe—the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, Spain and Switzerland—and from Thailand, Cambodia, South Korea and Brazil, who have eagerly gathered with a passionate seeking spirit here in wintry Japan during this busy period at the start of the new year.

Nichiren Daishonin, the Buddha of the Latter Day of the Law, is surely praising your profound and noble sincerity in faith, declaring: “The great distances these persons traveled are indicative of their devotion” (“Letter to the Mother of Oto,” The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 2, p. 1030).

The benefit you are accumulating is truly immeasurable. Thank you so much for joining us here today! This is the first time in many years that a Soka Gakkai Headquarters Leaders Meeting has been held at the Tokyo Makiguchi Memorial Hall.

Founding Soka Gakkai President Tsunesaburo Makiguchi and his youthful disciple, Josei Toda, embraced faith in Nichiren Buddhism in 1928, exactly 90 years ago this year. That marks the eternal starting point from which the mentors and disciples of Soka fully inherited from the Daishonin the vow of the Bodhisattvas of the Earth—namely, the vow for kosen-rufu—which lies at the very heart of the Lotus Sutra.

In his personal copy of Nichiren Daishonin’s writings, Mr. Makiguchi marked several passages in “The Opening of the Eyes,” where Nichiren makes his great vow:

This I will state. Let the gods forsake me. Let all persecutions assail me. Still I will give my life for the sake of the Law . . . Here I will make a great vow . . . [W]hatever obstacles I might encounter, so long as persons of wisdom do not prove my teachings to be false, I will never yield! All other troubles are no more to me than dust before the wind. I will be the pillar of Japan. I will be the eyes of Japan. I will be the great ship of Japan. This is my vow, and I will never forsake it! (WND-1, 280–81)

He double underlined as particularly important the words “Here I will make a great vow.” We of the Soka Gakkai have stood up in exact accord with this great vow.

In an age even further into the Latter Day of the Law than the Daishonin’s time, with everclearer signs of the truth of Shakyamuni’s predictions that his teachings would fall into decline and quarrel and disputes would prevail, the mentors and disciples of Soka have courageously continued to chant Nam-myohorenge-kyo and teach others to do the same. Brushing aside harsh persecutions as “dust before the wind,” we have devoted ourselves single-mindedly to fulfilling our vow to realize kosen-rufu, actualize the ideal of “establishing the correct teaching for the peace of the land” and secure the eternal perpetuation of the Law.

“I will begin writing the sixth and final chapter [of The New Human Revolution], ‘Seigan’ (Vow; tentative translation).” This will conclude the 30-volume series.

As Mr. Toda’s direct disciple, I have composed a great epic chronicling the brilliant achievements accomplished by the ordinary men and women of the Soka Gakkai in promoting peace, culture and education. I have done so in the 12 volumes of The Human Revolution and the 30 volumes of The New Human Revolution, which I am now working on to bring to completion. I am endlessly grateful to all our members for their readership and their warm support of my endeavor.

Today, I would like to make an announcement concerning The New Human Revolution. After I have completed the fifth chapter of volume 30, “Kachidoki” (Cheers of Victory; tentative translation), which is presently being serialized in the Seikyo Shimbun, I will begin writing the sixth and final chapter, “Seigan” (Vow; tentative translation).

In that final chapter, I will recount the story of the Soka Gakkai’s triumph over persecution by “arrogant false sages,” the third of the three powerful enemies, and its exhilarating spiritual liberation; its subsequent amazing growth and emergence as a global Buddhist movement illuminating our planet; as well as its vision for the future.

I hope you will look forward to this final chapter. I will continue writing to the limits of my strength as if engaging in conversation and heart-to-heart exchange with my precious fellow members throughout the world.

• • •

A life dedicated to realizing the vow of the Bodhisattvas of the Earth is a drama of human revolution that is incomparably noble, empowering and positive. It does not seek salvation from some external power or depend on someone else for happiness. Embodying the Mystic Law, we unite with our mentor to make a vow, chant, take action and accomplish one great goal after another. We strive to build a realm of true peace and happiness in the place where we have voluntarily chosen to appear and fulfill our mission.

Our vow is the source of courage that enables us to bring forth the wisdom and power of the Buddha inherent in our lives.

Our vow is the banner of unending victory that causes cheers of jubilation to reverberate as we change karma into mission.

Our vow is the light of hope that expands our network of “many in body, one in mind,” transcending all differences.

And through our vow, mentor and disciple are eternally one and united, across time and space.

Now, at the start of the Year of Brilliant Achievement, let us return to our original vow of time without beginning and, with a thoroughly revitalized life force, forge ahead bravely and vigorously to pave the way to happiness and security for all, a peaceful and harmonious world, and a transformation in the destiny of humankind.

Looking forward to the World Youth General Meeting that will be held in March (to commemorate the 60th anniversary of Kosen-rufu Day on March 16, 1958), I would like to present our youthful successors with this passage from the Daishonin’s writings: “Those who become Nichiren’s disciples and lay believers should realize the profound karmic relationship they share with him and spread the Lotus Sutra [Nam-myoho-renge-kyo] as he does” (“Letter to Jakunichi-bo,” WND-1, 994).

Wishing you all a year filled with health and vitality, along with boundless good fortune and benefit!

(p. 2-3)