Encouragement

Your Growth Will Determine the SGI’s Future

the following is part 1 of 2 of the series “A Blue Deeper Than Indigo Itself—Study for March 16,” featuring excerpts of SGI President Ikeda’s guidance.

Phoenix Kosen-rufu Gongyo. Photo by George Nakamura.


In commemoration of the 60th anniversary of March 16, Kosen-rufu Day,[1]On March 16, 1958, second Soka Gakkai President Josei Toda, fighting the limits of his own mortality, gathered 6,000 Soka Gakkai youth for a “dress rehearsal” for kosen-rufu. He entrusted them with the responsibility for the future of the Soka Gakkai and its efforts to establish a society where people respect and value the dignity of all human life. President Toda passed away peacefully two weeks later. the following is part 1 of 2 of the series “A Blue Deeper Than Indigo Itself—Study for March 16,” featuring excerpts of SGI President Ikeda’s guidance. This was published in the Feb. 21, 2018, Seikyo Shimbun, the Soka Gakkai’s daily newspaper.

Carrying on the Fighting Spirit

March 16 is the day of carrying on the fighting spirit to achieve kosen-rufu; the day of rising up valiantly with the pride of champions of justice; the day of setting forth toward total victory in the shared struggle of mentor and disciple.

On March 16, 1958, second Soka Gakkai President Josei Toda cried out passionately: “The Soka Gakkai is the king of the religious world!” It was our great mentor’s resounding declaration of victory on having realized his cherished dream of propagating the Mystic Law to 750,000 households.

As Nichiren Daishonin writes, “One whose presence pervades the realms of heaven, earth, and humanity and who does not waver in the slightest is called the ruler” (“White Horses and White Swans,” The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, p. 1063). On this day, the royal crown of the king, indomitable like majestic Mount Fuji and fearlessly dedicated to the grand endeavor of kosen-rufu, was bestowed on the disciples. (March 9, 2007, World Tribune, p. 7)

The true significance of March 16 lies in each of you standing up, taking action, praying and speaking out as a torchbearer in your own right.

The World Resonates With the SGI

At the beginning of March, the Japanese prime minister notified Mr. Toda that he wanted to visit the head temple on the 16th. Mr. Toda then said to me, “Let’s conduct a ceremony [on that day] that will serve as a trial run—a dress rehearsal—for kosen-rufu, in preparation for the future.”

Mr. Toda wanted to give the youth a glimpse of what it would be like when the ideals and philosophy of Nichiren Buddhism had spread widely throughout society and the world. At that time, Nichiren says, “The great heavenly kings Brahma and Shakra will descend to take part in the ceremony” (“Receiving of the Three Great Secret Laws,” WND-2, 987). In a ceremony held in conjunction with the prime minister’s visit, Mr. Toda sought to demonstrate this foresight that one day even society’s top leaders, who embody the function of such protective forces as Brahma and Shakra, would respect—and even eventually come to embrace faith in—the Gohonzon.

This vision can also be interpreted as leaders from all around the world, sympathetic to Buddhist humanism, gathering together, forging strong ties of friendship, and pledging to achieve peace and happiness for all humanity.

Today, this is happening. Leaders around the world from all spheres, including politics, business, education, culture and the arts—transcending differences of race and nation—are supporting and praising the ideals and activities of the SGI. They visit us to acknowledge and honor the achievements of our organization, which is striving in accord with the Buddha’s will.

Each and every ceremony conferring recognition or honor upon us embodies the spirit of the ceremony of March 16. (April 14, 2000, World Tribune, p. 8)

King of the Religious World

“King of the religious world” means king of the realms of thought and philosophy. The Chinese character for “king” is written with three horizontal strokes, one above the other, intersected by one vertical stroke. Here are the “three” of the third month, March, and the “one” of 16. Where is the six? It is represented by the 6,000 young men and women assembled for the ceremony, and the fellow members—Bodhisattvas of the Earth—as numerous as the sands of 60,000 Ganges rivers who would follow in their wake. For us, the great ceremony on March 16 showed clear proof that “the assembly on Holy Eagle Peak which continues in solemn state and has not yet disbanded” (The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings, p. 135). (March 27, 1998, World Tribune, p. 10)

The Bond With Our Mentor

With the world as your stage and your gaze fixed on the eternal universe, youth, live boldly, rising above the insignificant vicissitudes of the world. Let us proceed with composure, afraid of nothing. Let us resolutely proclaim the truth.

Unless you young people are fired up with energy, we will not be able to burn away the darkness of life that overshadows the times. Unless you advance, the flames of justice will not reach the people’s lives. The true significance of March 16 lies in each of you standing up, taking action, praying and speaking out as a torchbearer in your own right.

At the end of your energetic advance will come the time when the mountain ranges and cities of the people’s glory and triumph will emerge. That is the time when the ceremony of our “Eternal March 16” will come vividly to life in your hearts and begin to shine with a new and inextinguishable light.

At that time, the true bonds between us will be consolidated. I wait and pray for that day. I wait with confidence. I wait as I continue my lone struggle. (April 1, 1991, World Tribune, p. 7)

Create Your Personal History

This is the century of youth. I want you to stand up and take full responsibility for kosen-rufu, struggling with all your might to construct your own golden tower of victory. Now is your chance.

Any area you choose is fine, but somehow create a history. Such efforts will bring you tremendous gain.
Even if no one is watching, the Gohonzon sees everything. And I am watching over you. Rack your mind, take bold action and tirelessly speak out for justice—10, 100 times more vigorously.

I hope you will seek out difficult struggles, train and polish yourselves, and grow with ever-increasing speed. That is the most impor-tant thing. Your growth will determine the SGI’s future. (May 3, 2001, World Tribune, p. 11)

Sharing the Mentor’s Vow

As long as disciples remain focused solely on their limited personal desires and wishes, they cannot be fully united with their mentor in the lofty goal of kosen-rufu. They will always be confined to their small, narrow self. A great vow means making the same vow for kosen-rufu as the mentor. It means sharing the same purpose and acting in the same spirit as the mentor, the votary of the Lotus Sutra. When we do that, like a drop of dew flowing into the vast sea or a speck of dust mingling with the vast earth, we will attain an immeasurably vast and expansive state of being.

I made the great vow to accomplish worldwide kosen-rufu my own, in the same spirit as President Toda, and I have triumphed in every endeavor along the way toward its attainment. I have lived the last five decades as a great, unfolding drama, renewing my pledge and making a fresh departure toward victory on each March 16. (April 25, 2008, World Tribune, p. 2)

Notes   [ + ]

1. On March 16, 1958, second Soka Gakkai President Josei Toda, fighting the limits of his own mortality, gathered 6,000 Soka Gakkai youth for a “dress rehearsal” for kosen-rufu. He entrusted them with the responsibility for the future of the Soka Gakkai and its efforts to establish a society where people respect and value the dignity of all human life. President Toda passed away peacefully two weeks later.