Good to Know

How is Our Movement Making a Difference in Society?

Good to Know

Photo by PeopleImages/GettyImages.

A: Buddhism teaches the importance of squarely facing the realities of our lives and our society, and creating positive change.

From the Buddhist viewpoint, the quickest, most certain way to improve our world is by helping each person profoundly change the inner realm of their lives. It also teaches the importance of spreading the core Buddhist ideal of upholding respect for the dignity of life to all corners of society.

Nichiren Daishonin explains that unless we help individuals fundamentally resolve their suffering and transform their lives, there is no way to improve society as a whole. He states: “If the minds of living beings are impure, their land is also impure, but if their minds are pure, so is their land. There are not two lands, pure or impure in themselves. The difference lies solely in the good or evil of our minds” (“On Attaining Buddhahood in This Lifetime,” The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, p. 4).

The word land in this passage refers to our social and natural environment. Nichiren teaches that the key to changing our environment lies in transforming the hearts and minds of individuals. In other words, the inner transformation of each person is vital.

Part of this inner transformation consists of conquering our delusions about ourselves and others by defeating our negativity, self-centeredness and fundamental darkness—those things that prevent us from overcoming our suffering and deadlocks. It also consists of bringing forth our Buddhahood, or our fundamental enlightenment, as we hone our determination to win over our struggles, transform our karma and spread this Buddhism and its philosophy throughout society.

As one person after another learns how to overcome their fundamental delusion and ignorance, and reveals their true and inherent humanity, we will also see a transformation in our society and the world. This is the purpose of our kosen-rufu movement.

SGI President Ikeda says: “Kosen-rufu is a comprehensive revolution based on the revolution of the individual. It is the process of actualizing the Buddhist spirit of compassion and the philosophy of the sanctity of life in the realms of government, economics, education, art and every area of human endeavor.

The purpose of kosen-rufu is to build a society in which science, medicine, law and all other disciplines and systems created by human beings contribute to the happiness of humanity and produce genuine value. That is why, as Buddhists, we must never turn a blind eye to the reality of society” (The New Human Revolution, vol. 14, p. 20).

As we have one dialogue after another with our family, friends and acquaintances and demonstrate through our own actions the wonderful, life-affirming teachings of Buddhism, we are taking part in the most certain of revolutions to transform society.

(p. 6)

More in Good To Know

Go to the Good To Know Section »