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Monthly Message

Engaging in Dialogue With Bright and Open Hearts

Frans Lanting, the former National Geographic photographer-inresidence, shows an intimate side of a family of Emperor penguins in Antarctica. Photo by FRANS LANTING.

This monthly encouragement by SGI President Daisaku Ikeda was originally published in the March 2019 issue of the Daibyakurenge, the Soka Gakkai’s monthly study journal.

Photo by Seikyo Press

Photo by Seikyo Press

During my unforgettable studies at “Toda University,” my mentor, second Soka Gakkai President Josei Toda, once remarked with a smile, “Nichiren Buddhism is truly generous and all-encompassing!”

We had just been reading a passage in which Nichiren Daishonin explained to the effect: “I speak out because I want to help people become happy. I feel great pity even for those who are hostile toward me. So it’s unthinkable that I would not cherish those who, even for a day, have shown sympathy or support for me” (see “Reply to the Lay Priest Takahashi,” The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, p. 608). It is from a letter addressed to the lay priest Takahashi Rokuro Hyoe and his wife, the lay nun Myoshin, practitioners of his teaching who lived in Fuji District of Suruga Province (present-day central Shizuoka Prefecture). Nichiren placed great trust in this couple, to whom he wrote in another letter, “I entrust you with the propagation of Buddhism in your province” (“The Properties of Rice,” WND-1, 1117).

We of the Soka Gakkai have inherited from the Daishonin the openheartedness to embrace everyone, no matter who they are, and the deep compassion to continue chanting for the happiness of each person with whom we share a connection.

Nichiren declared that both the diverse individual sufferings and shared common sufferings of all living beings are his own sufferings (see “On Reprimanding Hachiman,” WND-2, 934).

Carrying on the Daishonin’s spirit, we tirelessly go out and engage in dialogue with others in order to realize the ideal of “establishing the correct teaching for the peace of the land.”

We join with members and nonmembers alike—people coming from all walks of life—to confront both individual and larger challenges as fellow human beings living in the same era, and to create a humanistic network committed to building a better world. Through conversing and sharing our thoughts with conviction and passion, we bring out one another’s Buddha nature, our highest positive potential, and make it shine brightly.

Even if we sometimes encounter disagreement or opposition, we should greet it with a smile and keep the lines of communication open, like the Daishonin’s host in his treatise “On Establishing the Correct Teaching for the Peace of the Land” (see WND-1, 16). In this way, we can continue to sow in people’s hearts the seeds for happiness and enlightenment. Such efforts will give rise to countless new dramas of human revolution.

• • •

 

In “Former Affairs of King Wonderful Adornment,” the 27th chapter of the Lotus Sutra, we find the story of a king, a firm adherent of non-Buddhist teachings, who is guided to faith in the Buddha’s teaching by his wife and two sons. Upon awakening to the truth, the king rejoices and quickly reveals his great potential. He visits the Buddha, bringing along his vast retinue of ministers and attendants, and decides to devote himself together with them to expanding the realm of good and benefit for all (see The Lotus Sutra and Its Opening and Closing Sutras, pp. 356–57).

The courageous and dedicated efforts of our members in each group and district—the very front lines of the organization—are inspiring many new members to join our movement.

Through our grassroots diplomacy based on prayer and sincerity—reaching out to connect with others and form ties of trust and friendship—let us encourage one person after another and create growing waves of happiness and peace.

Everyone is a treasure tower!
Everyone is a potential Buddha!
Using our voices unsparingly to encourage others,
let’s proudly continue our efforts
to achieve victory for all.

 

 

(pp. 4-5)

Excerpts From Nichiren’s Writings in Volume 4