Encouragement

Encouragement Brings a Springtime of Happiness

SGI President Ikeda's Monthly Message.


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

Photo: Seiko Press
Photo: Seikyo Press

We, the members of the Soka family, are the sowers of seeds. We sow the seeds of the Mystic Law, the supreme seeds of happiness and peace, spreading them far and wide.

Nichiren Daishonin, the Buddha of the Latter Day of the Law, writes: “All the Buddhas of the three existences and the ten directions have invariably attained Buddhahood through the seeds represented by the five characters of Myoho-renge-kyo”[1]Myoho-renge-kyo is written with five Chinese characters, while Nam-myoho-renge-kyo is written with seven. Nichiren Daishonin often uses Myoho-renge-kyo synonymously with Nam-myohorenge-kyo in his writings.(“Letter to Akimoto,” The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, p. 1015).

Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, which we chant and share with others, is the seed that enables everyone, without exception, to attain enlightenment. It is the fundamental seed that causes the lotus flower of the life state of Buddhahood to bloom luxuriously, pervading not just our planet but the entire universe.

Kosen-rufu means working tirelessly to sow the seeds of the Mystic Law in the mire of this corrupt and defiled age and create a flower garden of happiness and peace.

In a letter to one of his disciples struggling amid the harsh challenges of society, Nichiren expresses absolute confidence in his abilities and encourages him: “I entrust you with the propagation of Buddhism in your province. It is stated that ‘the seeds of Buddhahood sprout through causation’”(see “The Properties of Rice,” WND-1, 1117).

Buddhism does not exist somewhere apart from the place of our mission, the place where we are right now.

Those who are striving as leaders of our movement are giving their all in the place where they vowed to fulfill their mission to support and encourage their fellow members and others who are wrestling with many problems. They embody the true spirit of Bodhisattvas of the Earth.

We chant wholeheartedly to spread the Mystic Law in our communities, actively meet with others and bring forth wisdom to find ways to contribute to society. Our sincere and unflagging efforts to spread Nichiren Buddhism are sowing the seeds of Buddhahood in the hearts of members and nonmembers alike.
Interestingly, some seeds can remain viable for centuries or even millennia. In 1951, the year when my mentor, Josei Toda, was inaugurated as second Soka Gakkai president, lotus seeds were discovered at a 2,000-year-old archeological site in Chiba Prefecture, where Nichiren Daishonin was born. The following year (1952), a lotus grown from one of those seeds, known as the Oga Lotus, bloomed beautifully. That same year, a lotus grown from a seed tens of thousands of years old also blossomed in the United States.

Mr. Toda was overjoyed at this news, which he took as a sign that Nichiren Buddhism would flourish brilliantly.

As the Daishonin says: “If one can establish a relationship with even just one phrase of the Wonderful Law [the Mystic Law, or Nam-myoho-renge-kyo], that relationship will continue unbroken over a million kalpas” (The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings, p. 219). In other words, once the seeds of Buddhahood are sown, they will persist forever. Even if someone with whom you share Buddhism doesn’t immediately begin practicing, there’s no need to be disappointed. Just keep steadily nurturing the seeds you have sown, in a natural way.

Noble champions of Soka, including the members of our organization’s various local community groups, are shining as a bright presence everywhere, as they strive sincerely to contribute to their communities. Their efforts have earned them the trust of many people.

Undaunted by deeply entrenched prejudice and antagonism, especially in the early days of our movement, they have continued to help others form connections to Buddhism. When they themselves were suffering, they challenged themselves all the more to keep on encouraging others. They have demonstrated actual proof of victory, in accord with the Daishonin’s words: “When one who is able to show clearly visible proof in the present expounds the Lotus Sutra, there also will be persons who will [come to] believe [in the sutra]” (“Letter to Horen,” WND-1, 512).

Each day, inspired by the uplifting messages in the Seikyo Shimbun[2]The Soka Gakkai’s daily newspaper. delivered by our “uncrowned heroes,” we set forth again to expand our network of Bodhisattvas of the Earth.

Through our prayers, efforts, dialogues and behavior, let us joyfully and freely sow the seeds of Buddhahood and strive to enrich the hearts of people everywhere.

 

Encouragement
is the voice of happiness
connecting people to Buddhism.
With a dauntless smile,
sow the seeds for victory.

(pp. 4-5)

Notes   [ + ]

1. Myoho-renge-kyo is written with five Chinese characters, while Nam-myoho-renge-kyo is written with seven. Nichiren Daishonin often uses Myoho-renge-kyo synonymously with Nam-myohorenge-kyo in his writings.
2. The Soka Gakkai’s daily newspaper.

More in Encouragement

Go to the Encouragement Section »