Enact a Drama of Brilliant Achievement Arising From Your Vow
Message From SGI Honorary Women’s Leader Kaneko Ikeda to the Women and Young Women of the SGI
I would like to first express my deep admiration and appreciation to all the women of Soka who are moving forward confidently in this Year of Brilliant Achievement in the New Era of Worldwide Kosen-rufu.
Allow me to begin by sharing some lines from one of my husband’s poems, titled “To Great Women Living With Optimism”:
Brilliance is born from women’s prayers.
Brilliance sparkles in women’s smiles.
And in our hearts, too,
the sun of time without beginning rises brilliantly.
It rises serenely—filling us with the strength to continue living,
the joy to live each day,
and the hope of living life to the fullest.
Let us make this a year of brilliant achievement for all, through the prayers and smiles of Soka women, who are as radiant as the sun.
Thanks to your daimoku [chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo], my husband celebrated his 90th birthday this Jan. 2 in fine spirits.
From his youth, his health was frail and his physician said he probably wouldn’t live to see his 30th birthday. I am profoundly grateful that he has shown actual proof of the Buddhist principle of “prolonging one’s life through faith.”
The year of my husband’s birth, 1928, was also the year when Tsunesaburo Makiguchi and Josei Toda—the first and second Soka Gakkai presidents—began practicing Nichiren Buddhism and made their vow to achieve kosen-rufu.
My husband was overjoyed to celebrate this milestone with members around the world. At the January Soka Gakkai Headquarters Leaders Meeting, he announced his plans to write the final chapter of volume 30 of his novel The New Human Revolution. The chapter will be titled “Seigan” (Vow; tentative translation).
Our prayers every morning and evening to do our human revolution and realize kosen-rufu constitute a vow. We then go out and give our all to fulfilling the vow that we have personally made. In so doing, we bring forth strength and wisdom that enable us to remain undaunted by any challenge or difficulty that appears.
Our women’s division and young women’s division members everywhere, throughout Japan and across the globe, are tirelessly chanting, taking action and engaging others in dialogue in accord with their vow. That is the primary reason the Soka family continues to advance steadily, like a flowing current. My husband is always expressing gratitude for your efforts in this way.
We both share the wish that all of you, our dear fellow members, precious Bodhisattvas of the Earth, will in tandem with the final chapters of The New Human Revolution, raise cheers of victory in realizing your personal human revolution and enact a drama of brilliant achievement arising from your vow.
As ordinary human beings, none of us can avoid the sufferings of birth, aging, sickness and death.
Fortunately, however, we embrace the Mystic Law, the teaching of changing poison into medicine. And because we dedicate ourselves to realizing the great vow for kosen-rufu, we are able to fearlessly face and challenge even the harshest karma.
Through the support and care of our fellow members, we can overcome each of our problems, and transform them into the mission of helping and encouraging others.
Nichiren Daishonin wrote a letter to the lay nun Toki, who was caring for her ailing mother-in-law while enduring her own long battle with illness. Giving her concrete advice to seek good medical treatment, he went on to say:
You also are a practitioner of the Lotus Sutra [Nam-myoho-renge-kyo], and your faith is like the waxing moon or the rising tide. Be deeply convinced, then, that your illness cannot possibly persist, and that your life cannot fail to be extended! Take care of yourself, and do not burden your mind with grief. (“The Bow and Arrow,” The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, p. 656)
Citing this passage in one of his lectures, my husband found it to contain three guidelines for leading a long and healthy life.
The first is “Be deeply convinced.” This means having absolute conviction in the boundless and immeasurable power of the Mystic Law and courageously facing illness based on that conviction.
The second is “Take care of yourself.” This means exercising self-discipline and maintaining a regular and healthy rhythm in daily life.
The third is “Do not burden your mind with grief.” It’s important to move through life with an upbeat, positive attitude, rather than be burdened with negativity and worry.
We of the Soka family have the lion’s roar of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, so, as Nichiren says, “What sickness can therefore be an obstacle?” (“Reply to Kyo’o,” WND-1, 412).
“No matter what hardships I encounter, I will dauntlessly surmount them and impart hope and courage to others”—with prayer based on that most noble and powerful vow, let us enthusiastically spread a fragrant breeze of eternity, joy, true self and purity.
In a letter to the elderly lay nun of Ko, who lived far away from him, the Daishonin writes:
If you find that you miss me, always look at the sun that rises [in the morning] and the moon that rises in the evening. Whatever the time, I will be reflected in the sun and the moon. And in our next life, let us meet in the pure land of Eagle Peak. (“Letter to the Lay Nun of Ko,” WND-1, 596)
We have entered an age when our Soka network, illuminated by the great compassion of the Buddha
of the Latter Day of the Law and freely making allies of the sun and the moon, encompasses the entire globe.
Last year, my husband and I had a heartwarming reunion with past SGI-USA women’s leaders, with whom we share many fond memories. They each still burned brightly with the vow that they had made in their youth.
“No matter what hardships I encounter, I will dauntlessly surmount them and impart hope and courage to others.”
My husband was happy to see them and expressed his amazement at how perfectly they embodied Nichiren’s words “You will grow younger, and your good fortune will accumulate” (“The Unity of Husband and Wife,” WND-1, 464).
It was especially wonderful that members everywhere shared in the joy of this encounter, as news of it immediately spread around the world.
Whether we can meet in person or not, our hearts are linked by our prayer based on our vow.
This vow is also being passed down from mother to daughter, from older members to younger, and a steady stream of youthful Bodhisattvas of the Earth continues to vigorously emerge.
In one of the young women’s division songs, for which my husband wrote the lyrics, are the lines: “Eventually on this path / young women will soar out into the world . . . ”
And now, just as the song says, the women of Soka are soaring on the wings of their mission throughout the world, by transcending all national, ethnic and religious differences, and energetically expanding our movement for peace, culture and education.
I am excited every day to learn of your noble activities.
At the start of this year, we received a letter from a women’s division leader in Norway, a country of
long and harsh winters. In it, she expressed her inspiring determination on the 30th anniversary of her Buddhist practice.
My husband praised her efforts wholeheartedly and, with prayers for the happiness of her family, sent her a personal message: “Please move forward step by step with the determination to achieve even a little greater development in kosen-rufu in your country.”
On Jan. 2 this year, a supermoon was visible, and we received photographs of the smiling full moon from members around the world.
Nichiren wrote that for “those who have profound faith [in the Mystic Law], it is as though a full moon were illuminating the night” (“The Essence of the Medicine King Chapter,” WND-1, 94).
I pray sincerely that all the members of our Soka family across the globe will enjoy good health, long life, safety and security, and attain
a state of absolute fulfillment as bright and perfect as the full moon.
SGI Honorary Women’s Leader