Brightly Illuminate the World With the Buddhism of the Sun

35th Headquarters Leaders Meeting

SGI members from Peru attend an exchange meeting in Chiba Prefecture, Japan, June 3. Photo by SEIKYO PRESS.

Photo: Seiko PressSGI President Ikeda sent the following message to the 35th Soka Gakkai Headquarters Leaders Meeting of the New Era of Worldwide Kosen-rufu, held on June 2, 2018, in conjunction with the Kanto Region General Meeting, at the Soka Gakkai Funabashi Ikeda Auditorium in Funabashi, Chiba Prefecture. Visiting SGI representatives from six countries and territories also attended the meeting. The message was originally published in the June 3, 2018, issue of the Seikyo Shimbun, the Soka Gakkai’s daily newspaper.

Shakyamuni Buddha was born as a prince in the foothills of the Himalayas, the world’s highest mountain range, and he set an example for all people of attaining the highest state of life that is at one with the ultimate Law of the universe.

Nichiren Daishonin, the Buddha of the Latter Day of the Law, was born as “the son of a commoner” (“Letter to the Lay Priest Nakaoki,” The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, p. 1006) on the shores of the Pacific Ocean, the world’s largest body of water. Inheriting Shakyamuni’s legacy, he broadly and boundlessly opened the way to happiness and peace for all humanity.

The British historian Arnold J. Toynbee (1889–1975) wrote in his kind foreword to the English edition of my novel The Human Revolution: “[Nichiren’s] horizon and his concern were not bounded by Japan’s coasts. Nichiren held that Buddhism, as he conceived it, was a means of salvation for his fellow human beings everywhere.” And he added: “In working for the human revolution, Soka Gakkai is carrying out Nichiren’s mandate.”

Chiba, and the Kanto area at large, is the proud place of origin of Nichiren’s Buddhism of the people—a teaching in which Dr. Toynbee took such a deep interest and which is now enriching the lives of people the world over.

Congratulations to the members of the Soka family of Kanto Region—Saitama, Chiba, Ibaraki, Gunma and Tochigi prefectures—on today’s triumphant general meeting! I applaud your magnificent success in welcoming many new members to our organization, your hearts blazing with a fighting spirit inherited directly from the Daishonin and a wonderful unity of purpose.

And how delighted Nichiren would be to see this headquarters leaders meeting, brimming with the vibrant spirit of striving for worldwide kosen-rufu and attended by precious members from countries and territories across the oceans!
Thank you to all our noble SGI leaders who have joined us here today!

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In the first summer after I became Soka Gakkai president (in 1960), I conducted training sessions with youth division representatives at Cape Inubosaki and Futtsu Beach in Chiba Prefecture. I have an indelible memory of the outdoor discussion meeting I held at that time with sincere members from nearby Choshi and singing the “Fisherman’s Feasting Song” together with them.

Now, my young friends of the youth division, who share my vow for kosen-rufu, are continuing to forge ahead and achieve great victories, expanding our network of Bodhisattvas of the Earth in Kanto, throughout Japan and around the world. I would like to praise them for their vigorous fighting spirit.

In the Latter Day of the Law, an age of conflict, be achieved without courage.

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Today, I wish to share my feelings with you in the form of four pieces of calligraphy I composed in 1982, the Year of Youth, for my young successors.

It was a year in which I launched a wave of fresh initiatives together with the youth, united in a shared commitment to truth and justice.
The first is “Young People—The Power of Orcas.” I presented this to our trailblazing student division members, with second Soka Gakkai President Josei Toda’s poem in mind:

How reassuring
to see young people
gathering for kosen-rufu,
like orcas
forging ahead through rough seas!

Orcas, the monarchs of the ocean, are known for their tremendous speed, their unmatched power and their highly developed ability to communicate with one another, as well as their capacity to work together.

These same qualities are exhibited by our bright, energetic student division members. This is why I have always shared my vision for peace, as far back as my call for the normalization of relations between Japan and China five decades ago (on Sept. 8, 1968), with student division members and entrusted its realization to them. I hope that they will continue, with even greater dynamism and the power of universal wisdom, on the epoch-making voyage to realize kosen-rufu, the key to world peace.

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The second calligraphy is one I presented to our hope-filled future division members: “The Brilliant Skies of Heavenly Emissaries.”

Those born into families practicing the Mystic Law have a profound karmic connection to Buddhism. The Lotus Sutra tells us that they are individuals of great accomplishments, who have made offerings to innumerable Buddhas in past existences and have a huge mission that will create unimaginable benefit and good fortune for the future.

That is why the growth of our future division members is a source of hope and joy for all humanity.

Let’s also express our deepest gratitude to the future division leaders, and continue to pray for and warmly encourage the future division members so that each of these precious, truehearted, heavenly emissaries can soar vigorously into the brilliant skies of the future.

I also wish to commend those members of the future division who are studying for the upcoming Study Department Introductory Exam (which was held on June 17 in Japan).

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To the young women’s division, I presented the calligraphy: “Song of Boundless Good Fortune.”

Under the old “line” organizational structure in the early days of our movement, Funabashi in Chiba was part of Tokyo’s Kamata Chapter, so when my wife was a young women’s division member, she often went to Funabashi and participated in Soka Gakkai activities with members there. Naturally, she is delighted to see Funabashi’s tremendous present growth.

Nichiren says that Nam-myoho-renge-kyo imparts limitless good fortune and wisdom to our own lives and our environment (see The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings, p. 218).[1]In The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings, Nichiren Daishonin writes: “The blessings and wisdom of the objective and subjective worlds are immeasurable. Nam-myoho-renge-kyo has these two elements of blessings and wisdom” (p. 218). The steady accumulation of small “treasures of the heart” eventually grows into infinite good fortune.

I hope that our young women’s division members will brightly and warmly support one another, and that, throughout the four seasons, they will create inspiring songs of youthful victory brimming with unsurpassed nobility and value.

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Finally, to the young lions of the young men’s division, I presented this calligraphy as an expression of my hopes and expectations for them: “The Shared Struggle of Champions.”

In early spring 1973, as the Soka Gakkai was making renewed efforts to contribute to society based on the principles and ideals of Nichiren Buddhism, the Kanto young men’s division and I engraved these words in our hearts: “Nichiren’s disciples cannot accomplish anything if they are cowardly” (“The Teaching, Practice, and Proof,” WND-1, 481).

In the Latter Day of the Law, an age of conflict, nothing can be achieved without courage. That is why I call on the young men of Soka to resolutely engage in our shared struggle as champions with the fearless spirit of lion kings.

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In closing, I would like to share this passage from “The Object of Devotion for Observing the Mind,” which the Daishonin addressed to Toki Jonin, a lay disciple who lived in what is now the Kanto region: “When the skies are clear, the ground is illuminated. Similarly, when one knows the Lotus Sutra, one understands the meaning of all worldly affairs” (WND-1, 376).

Let us illuminate our families and communities, our societies and the world, ever more brightly with the great light of Nichiren Daishonin’s Buddhism of the Sun!

(pp. 2-3)

Notes   [ + ]

1. In The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings, Nichiren Daishonin writes: “The blessings and wisdom of the objective and subjective worlds are immeasurable. Nam-myoho-renge-kyo has these two elements of blessings and wisdom” (p. 218).