Stand Up Boldly to Fulfill Your Great Vow!

Forging Ahead in the New Era

Forging Ahead in the New Era. Photo by Byron cohen.

Today (Feb. 16, 2018), we celebrate Nichiren Daishonin’s birthday amid energetic efforts to expand our network of Bodhisattvas of the Earth, with the youth division in the lead.

My mentor, second Soka Gakkai President Josei Toda, was also born in February (on Feb. 11). He often referred to this commentary passage, “Through the power of the Mystic Law, we manifest the life of the Daishonin within ourselves.”[1] From Nichikan Shonin’s commentary on Nichiren Daishonin’s writing “The Entity of the Mystic Law.”
On one occasion, he cited it and said: “Be confident that there is no distinction between the Gohonzon, the Daishonin and yourself, and with gratitude chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo infused with a vow for kosen-rufu. When you do so, the rhythm of your life aligns itself with the rhythm of the universe, thereby enabling you to bring forth immense life force.”

Those who chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo and strive for kosen-rufu brim with incredible strength and wisdom. They can make a brilliant sun of hope rise in their hearts from this very moment. They are able to transform even the harshest winter of adversity, changing poison into medicine, to triumphantly usher in a joyful spring of happiness.

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On Mr. Toda’s birthday, I visited the Soka Gakkai Mentors Hall in Shinanomachi, Tokyo, and did gongyo and chanted in my mentor’s memory.

Mr. Toda declared that the true purpose of Buddhism is to achieve happiness and peace for all humanity. He encouraged me to go out into the world in his stead, to propagate the Mystic Law and call forth Bodhisattvas of the Earth everywhere.

This was the mission he entrusted to me, his direct disciple.

Sixty years have passed since then.

On display at the Mentors Hall is a record of the 800 honorary citizenships I have received from cities around the world together with our members who are one with me in spirit.

Looking at the display, my wife smiled and said how happy Mr. Toda would surely have been to see it.
These are all honors that I dedicate to my mentor. They are nothing other than accolades of trust that have been bestowed upon our entire Soka family. In the light of the Buddhist law of cause and effect, please be assured that this good fortune and benefit will flow on to your descendants.

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A calligraphy I once inscribed with the word Dairitsu, meaning “stand up with a great vow”—a phrase Mr. Toda was very fond of—was also on display at the Mentors Hall. Underneath it, I had written, “With my prayers that you will make a profound determination.”

When young people stand up to carry out a great vow, they can expand and strengthen their lives infinitely.

My successors of the youth division, who are my greatest pride, make a great vow! Stand up boldly to fulfill it!

Forging a great, vast solidarity with members around the world, advance with courage and optimism!

From the Feb. 16, 2018, issue of the Seikyo Shimbun, the Soka Gakkai’s daily newspaper.

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Notes   [ + ]

1. From Nichikan Shonin’s commentary on Nichiren Daishonin’s writing “The Entity of the Mystic Law.”