“The sweat of your efforts for kosen-rufu will become precious gems of good fortune, brilliantly dignifying your life forever. Please become the
happiest person in Brazil!”The New Human Revolution, vol. 1, pp. 274–75. —SGI President Ikeda
Brazil, rich in culture and natural beauty, is South America’s largest country. It is also home to the Iguazu Falls, one of the largest waterfall systems in the world and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A photo graces this month’s cover.
On October 18, 1960, Soka Gakkai President Ikeda made his first trip to Brazil, despite his ailing health. His only thought was how to advance kosen-rufu there. The country at the time consisted of approximately 100 Soka Gakkai households, with many of the earliest members immigrant farmers from Japan. Today, SGI Brazil has developed into an impressive
organization with a network of Soka schools, all committed to advancing peace in their country.
Karma Is Another Name for Mission
In volume 1 of The New Human Revolution, Soka Gakkai President Ikeda visits São Paulo, Brazil. During his visit, he encourages a woman who had just lost her husband. President Ikeda appears in the novel as Shin’ichi Yamamoto.
Shin’ichi Yamamoto smiled at her and said: “Please don’t worry. As long as you’re practicing this faith, you can definitely become happy. That’s what Buddhism is for. Also, your current suffering and misfortune exist so that you may fulfill your own unique and noble mission. Everything will turn to defeat if all you do is worry about your karma and let it make you miserable . . .
“Buddhism teaches that its practitioners ‘voluntarily choose to be born in evil circumstances so they may help others.’ This means that although we have accumulated the benefit through Buddhist practice to be born in favorable circumstances, we have purposely chosen to be born in the midst of suffering people and there propagate the Mystic Law . . .
“Similarly, if you, a woman who has been left widowed in a foreign land where she does not speak the language, become happy and raise your children to be fine adults, you’ll be a shining example for all women who have lost their husbands. Even those who don’t practice faith will admire you and come to seek your advice. So you see, the deeper and greater the suffering, the more magnificently one can show proof of the powerful benefit of Buddhism. You could say that karma is another name for mission.”Ibid., pp. 271–73.