Leading Lives We Can Be Proud Of

SGI President Ikeda's Monthly Message.

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

Photo: Seiko Press
Photo: Seikyo Press

I once asked my mentor, second Soka Gakkai President Josei Toda, how he was able to remain so strong and resolute in the face of continuous adversity.

He laughed and said, “Rest assured that I have problems and worries that keep me up at night.” Then, in answer to my question, he replied: “It’s because I realized what my mission was when I was in prison. I found the path I could dedicate my life to without regret. That makes a person strong. All fear and uncertainty disappear.”

Mr. Toda awakened to his great mission to spread the Mystic Law shortly before he turned 45, while he was imprisoned for his beliefs during World War II. From that time on, he strove tirelessly with the spirit of the Bodhisattvas of the Earth, whom Nichiren Daishonin described as “Solemn, dignified . . . beings of great and lofty stature” (“The Opening ofthe Eyes,” The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, p. 253).

Mr. Toda always provided heartfelt encouragement to men who were battling all manner of hardships, from serious illness to natural disasters to bankruptcy. He embraced them as close friends and comrades in faith. He would tell them that, if we make up our mind, we can dramatically bring forth our power and ability.

Though you, the men’s division members, may face an unending series of indescribable problems, by chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, which enables us to turn earthly desires into enlightenment, you can transform all adversity into a radiant light that will make you shine ever brighter as the golden pillars of kosen-rufu.

The mission of our men’s division members is to create the greatest possible value at the most challenging times.

Nichiren states: “The currents of hardship pour into the sea of the Lotus Sutra and rush against its votary. The river is not rejected by the ocean; nor does the votary reject suffering. Were it not for the flowing rivers, there would be no sea” (“A Ship to Cross the Sea of Suffering,” WND-1, 33).

Bring it on! Our men’s division members, like the great ocean, calmly dedicate their lives to fulfilling their vow to realize kosen-rufu and Nichiren’s ideal of “establishing the correct teaching for the peace of the land.”

If, like Shijo Kingo, we continue to do our best to support our fellow members, we will be able to demonstrate the essence of “the strategy of the Lotus Sutra” (“The Strategy of the Lotus Sutra,” WND-1, 1001). Even if no one praises us, it is enough for us to proudly report on our efforts to our mentor.

In one of his writings, Nichiren also tells the short-tempered Shijo Kingo that a person of wisdom treats women with respect and warmly supports them (see “Nine Thoughts to One Word,” WND-2, 731). I hope you will always remember that it is the trust of our outstanding women’s division members, the bright suns of kosen-rufu, that makes you shine as outstanding men.

August 24 is Men’s Division Day. I chose this day with the wish that men’s division members will continue to encourage and foster the youth, who are our successors, just as my mentor began to guide me the summer I was 19 years old, 71 years ago (in 1947).

August 24 is also the starting point of the Seikyo Shimbun. It is the date on which my mentor first spoke of establishing a news-
paper for our organization in 1950, amid a time of terrible crisis. The mission of our men’s division members is to create the greatest possible value at the most challenging times.

With that spirit, let’s lead lives we can be proud of as we forge ahead on this wonderful path leading to victory!

Having the heart
of a champion of humanity,
you will be loved by all
and sing a triumphant song
of mentor and disciple.

(pp. 4-5)

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