Move Forward With Nichiren and His Writings

SGI President Ikeda's Monthly Message.

This monthly encouragement by SGI President Daisaku Ikeda was originally published in the April 2018 issue of the Daibyakurenge, the Soka Gakkai’s monthly study journal.

Photo: Seiko Press
Photo: Seikyo Press

To open Nichiren Daishonin’s writings is to meet with him and to hear his deeply compassionate voice. When we read his writings, we witness the noble behavior of the Buddha of the Latter Day of the Law.

Nichiren Daishonin writes: “Can anything exceed the sun and moon in brightness? Can anything surpass the lotus flower in purity? . . . Nichiren, too, is like the sun and moon and the lotus flower” (“Easy Delivery of a Fortune Child,” The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, p. 186).

By chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo for the happiness of ourselves and others and devoting ourselves to the “two ways of practice and study” (“The True Aspect of All Phenomena,” WND-1, 386), we can fuse our lives with the vast life state of the Daishonin. We can shine brightly with the great light of courage and wisdom and, without fail, illuminate the darkness arising from the sufferings of birth, aging, sickness and death. We can bring beautiful lotus flowers of happiness and peace to bloom from the mire of hardship and suffering.

In “Letter to the Brothers,” the Daishonin writes: “You must grit your teeth and never slacken in your faith. Be as fearless as Nichiren when he acted and spoke out before Hei no Saemon-no-jo” (WND-1, 498).

Taking fearless action based on the writings of Nichiren Daishonin is the eternal pride and honor of the Soka Gakkai.

During World War II, the Nichiren Shoshu priesthood, driven by fear and cowardice, deleted important passages from the Daishonin’s writings. But Tsunesaburo Makiguchi and Josei Toda, the Soka Gakkai’s first two presidents, refused to be intimidated by persecution, as taught in the writings, and remained selflessly dedicated to propagating the Law.

On the momentous occasion of the 700th anniversary of the establishment of Nichiren’s teaching (April 1952), the Soka Gakkai edition of the Nichiren Daishonin gosho zenshu (Collected Writings of Nichiren Daishonin) was published at the initiative of President Toda.

Mr. Makiguchi and Mr. Toda embodied the essence of the Soka Gakkai spirit, as expressed by these words of the Daishonin: “So long as persons of wisdom do not prove my teachings to be false, I will never yield!” (“The Opening of the Eyes,” WND-1, 280).

Today, people all around the world are studying Nichiren’s writings. As they study together and are enveloped in Nichiren’s boundless life state, they strengthen the connections between people everywhere and elevate the life state of humanity as a whole.

I am endlessly grateful to those who, as “modern-day Kumarajivas,” have taken on the mission of translating and interpreting for our movement.

Nichiren’s encouragement, transcending differences of language, nationality and ethnicity, strikes deeply and directly into people’s hearts and awakens their innate Buddha nature.

He states, “When Nichiren chants Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, he is enabling all living beings to attain Buddhahood in the ten thousand years of the Latter Day of the Law” (The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings, p. 41). When we learn of this great vow, our hearts are moved, and we cannot remain still. Filled with joy, we are inspired to take action ourselves and embark on the struggle of the Bodhisattvas of the Earth.

Responding to a disciple who has asked about the principle of “attaining Buddhahood in one’s present form,” the Daishonin praises her and states that her question “is surely no ordinary thing. Has Shakyamuni Buddha, the lord of teachings, taken possession of you?” (“Buddhahood in Its Actual Aspect,” WND-2, 892).

In light of this passage, it is clear that all those who will take the introductory study department exams [this spring in Japan] and are now setting forth on their study of Nichiren Buddhism will gain immeasurable good fortune and benefit—as will the members who are studying with them and supporting their efforts.

Mr. Toda declared: “If you base yourself on Nichiren Daishonin’s writings, you will never be deadlocked. You will know how to solve all your problems.”

Even reading just one or two lines is fine—open the writings each day and expand your life state! Together with Nichiren, let us forge ahead on the great path to attaining Buddhahood in this lifetime and realize kosen-rufu.

With unflagging courage,
study and share with others
this precious scripture
for the happiness and victory
of humankind.

(pp. 4-5)

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