Encouragement

Youth Is a Time for Discovery, Challenge and Solidarity

SGI President Ikeda's Monthly Message.

Photo by OOYOO / GETTY IMAGES.


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

Photo: Seiko Press

The passionate seeking spirit of youth is found in the Soka Gakkai.

As a young man, Shakyamuni set forth on a great journey to seek the solution to the fundamental sufferings of birth, aging, sickness and death. The youth of Soka have proudly inherited that immense passion that is the starting point of Buddhism.

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The great joy of discovery found in youth exists in the Soka Gakkai.

The Lotus Sutra contains the Parable of the Jewel in the Robe. A wealthy man concerned about his impoverished friend sews a priceless jewel into the lining of the latter’s robe while he is sleeping. When the poor man wakes up, he is unaware of the jewel hidden in his robe and continues his wandering life of poverty. Some time later, the two men are reunited and the wealthy man tells his friend about the jewel he had sewn into the lining of his robe. The poor man is overjoyed at this discovery.

Becoming “bluer than the indigo” means challenging ourselves with courage.

Discussing the profound significance of this parable, Nichiren Daishonin says: “Great joy [is what] one experiences when one understands for the first time that one’s mind from the very beginning has been a Buddha. Nam-myoho-renge-kyo is the greatest of all joys” (The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings, pp. 211–12).

This discovery is a source of joy unlike any other.

Every young person possesses within their lives the unsurpassed jewel that is their Buddha nature. Our youth division members have continuously reached out to their fellow youth, calling on them to discover their inner jewel, polish it and make it shine with infinite brilliance.

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The challenging spirit of youth to become “bluer than the indigo” is found in the Soka Gakkai.

Nichiren Daishonin writes, “The Lotus Sutra is like the indigo, and the strength of one’s practice is like the deepening blue” (“Hell Is the Land of Tranquil Light,” The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, p. 457).

Becoming “bluer than the indigo” means challenging ourselves with courage. It is the courageous challenge to keep breaking through our limitations and creating new value in our lives and in society. It is a demanding, difficult undertaking, but it will lead to a wonderful drama of human revolution, brimming with limitless fulfillment and growth.

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The solidarity of youth that can change the world is found in the Soka Gakkai.

Shin’ichi Yamamoto—the protagonist of The New Human Revolution—met his mentor at the age of 19 and from then on strove to fulfill his vow for kosen-rufu. Our noble young Bodhisattvas of the Earth around the world—not least the members of the Soka Group, Gajokai, Young Men’s Division Academy[1]1. Young Men’s Division Academy: Established in 2018 as a training group for members of the Soka Gakkai young men’s division in Japan. and Byakuren Group—have inherited this vow. Their solidarity is the hope of the 21st century.

Please dynamically construct youthful lives abounding with happiness and brilliant achievements that will inspire young people of generations to come.

May your youth radiate
with the bright light
of human revolution.
Strive as champions of optimism,
transforming adversity into mission.

 

 

(pp. 4-5)

 

Notes   [ + ]

1. 1. Young Men’s Division Academy: Established in 2018 as a training group for members of the Soka Gakkai young men’s division in Japan.