The Human Revolution

Employing the Strategy of the Lotus Sutra

Learning from SGI President Ikeda on how to win in a campaign towards 50K Lions of Justice Festival!

Photo: © iStockphoto / Saiva


The following are excerpts from The Human Revolution, in which President Ikeda conveys key lessons during the Osaka Campaign of 1956. [1]The 28-year-old Daisaku Ikeda, determined to fulfill his mentor’s vow to rid the world of suffering, led intensive efforts to introduce others to Buddhism, culminating in 11,111 families joining the Soka Gakkai in Osaka Chapter in May 1956. Even today, this achievement remains unprecedented in the annals of kosen-rufu and serves as the blueprint in faith for making the impossible possible.President Ikeda appears under his pen name, Shin’ichi Yamamoto.

When Shin’ichi heard what [second Soka Gakkai President Josei] Toda expected of him in the forthcoming Kansai campaign, he responded to his teacher’s call without a moment’s hesitation. However, even at that moment he was all too painfully aware of the wide gap that lay between reality and the goal.

The key to victory did not necessarily lie in numerical strength but in the indestructible unity of even a few people and clearly revealed that the power of faith was unlimited.

At first Shin’ichi sank into despair. Although he told no one, he was in constant torment, day in and day out, with the baffling problem of how to unfold the campaign. In the midst of his painful search for a solution he was about to scream out in agony, when one after another, like rising clouds, passages from the Gosho appeared in his mind. These passages sharply pointed out to him how to turn the impossible into the possible. They told him that the key to victory did not necessarily lie in numerical strength but in the indestructible unity of even a few people and clearly revealed that the power of faith was unlimited. After all, wasn’t he a believer of Nichiren Daishonin’s Buddhism in the Latter Day? If the Daishonin’s teachings were true, then there was no way that he could fail to prove them. Did not the Gosho state, “Employ the strategy of the Lotus Sutra before any other” (“The Strategy of the Lotus Sutra,” The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, p. 1001)? Shin’ichi now thoroughly realized that the only thing he could count on were the Gohonzon and the Gosho.

Shin’ichi began by determining to win the victory and then traced the process backwards to decide on the first step to be taken in the campaign. To achieve the goal, it was essential to at least double the present membership. If this were realized, victory waited at the end of the road, no matter how severe it might be along the way. Very well, Shin’ichi thought. In order to double the current strength, the members would have to be participating happily in their movement to spread Buddhism. This, in turn, demanded that they be sufficiently inspired and encouraged to increase their power of faith and strengthen their prayers to the Gohonzon. They had been practicing for only a short time. They must first of all be deeply convinced of how truly great and valid Nichiren Daishonin’s Buddhism was. They must realize the righteousness of his teaching through documentary, theoretical and actual proof so that a whirlpool of joy—the joy of faith—would emerge. (p. 1311)

(p. 10)

Notes   [ + ]

1. The 28-year-old Daisaku Ikeda, determined to fulfill his mentor’s vow to rid the world of suffering, led intensive efforts to introduce others to Buddhism, culminating in 11,111 families joining the Soka Gakkai in Osaka Chapter in May 1956. Even today, this achievement remains unprecedented in the annals of kosen-rufu and serves as the blueprint in faith for making the impossible possible.President Ikeda appears under his pen name, Shin’ichi Yamamoto.