Feature

A Revolution in Buddhist Study

First online Introductory Exam across the country.

Photo by 751 / GETTY IMAGES.


In December, the SGI-USA will further solidify the foundation of study in America by holding its first online Introductory Exam across the country.

Faith in the Mystic Law is like a mighty sword that can sever even the heaviest chains of karma. For that reason, SGI President Ikeda has likened the study of Nichiren Daishonin’s writings to training in swordsmanship.

On Dec. 15 and 16, members and guests throughout the country can further solidify their “training in swordsmanship” by taking part in the SGI-USA’s first online Introductory Exam. The exam will be offered in English only.

Examinees can register on the SGI-USA Portal (portal.sgi-usa.org) and must bring a smart phone, tablet or laptop to take the exam. The exams will be held at designated SGI-USA locations and administered by proctors.

All exam questions are from An Introduction to Buddhism, which members receive upon joining the SGI-USA. The booklet can also be purchased at SGI-USA bookstores for $2 or downloaded for free at sgi-usa.org/introstudy.

Next year, with the aim of enabling new members to take the study exam closer to their joining date, the SGI-USA will offer the online Introductory Exam four times: March 31, June 30, Sept. 29 and Dec. 15.

For SGI members, the study exam is a fundamental aspect of Buddhist practice. In preparing for exams, we deepen our conviction in the empowering principles of Nichiren Buddhism and gain the courage to challenge and win over even the most daunting obstacles. On the deepest level, we confirm the spirit of the oneness of mentor and disciple to enable each person to awaken to his or her inherent dignity and to establish an indomitable self, thereby securing the foundations for lasting peace.

Online Exam Date:

2018: Dec. 15, 16

2019: March 31, June 30,
Sept. 29, Dec. 15

How to register: portal.sgi-usa.org


SGI President Ikeda’s Guidance

Why Do We Study?

Why do we study the teachings of Nichiren Buddhism? We do so to cultivate our humanity and reach out to those who are suffering; to gain the trust of the people around us; to create value out of every situation; and to live with a fighting spirit.

SGI President Ikeda writes of the SGI study movement:

Buddhism is a teaching for helping all living beings, and especially the people who are suffering the most. Therefore, study needs to be rooted in daily life and serve as a guide for action. Study becomes a revitalizing force when it provides assurance and self-confidence in the power to overcome life’s difficulties and tribulations. (The New Human Revolution, vol. 24, pp. 137–38)

President Ikeda stresses that the fundamental objective of study in the SGI is to help us win in our daily lives and to help others become happy. The important question is: “For what purpose do we acquire knowledge?” Herein lies the Soka Gakkai’s tradition—Buddhist study for the sake of practice.