Fundamentals

Kosen-rufu Starts From Actions in Daily Life

Fundamentals

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The French philosopher Voltaire wrote of happiness: “Be wise for your own sake. Be compassionate toward your fellow men. Build your happiness through the happiness of others.”

“Build your happiness through the happiness of others”—these are profound words, words that resonate with our Buddhist practice of striving for the happiness of both ourselves and others. True happiness cannot be found in the egoism of pursuing one’s own happiness alone. Only in sincere practice motivated by the wish for the happiness of others can we attain our own happiness, which is why such action is the wisest course for ourselves as well.
Nothing is more important than our everyday efforts and conduct. This is where our true humanity shines.

And Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Voltaire’s contemporary, said, “Distrust those cosmopolitans who search out remote duties in their books and neglect those that lie nearest.”

Deep philosophical discussions are fine, and high ideals are important. Inspiring lectures on Nichiren Daishonin’s writings certainly have their role. But we must never become hollow ideologues who make fine speeches about love for humanity while failing to cherish those around us. People who shirk hard work and are intoxicated by their own lofty rhetoric may have a high opinion of themselves, but they are, in fact, far from admirable.

It is easy to be attracted to abstract ideals, but difficult to challenge the realities of daily life. I hope that while upholding the magnificent ideal of kosen-rufu, you will spend your days in the actual practice of encouraging and motivating one person and then another and another to contribute to kosen-rufu. This is the practice, the hard work, of propagating the Mystic Law in the real world.

(p. 7)