Skip to main content

The Brilliant Path of Worldwide Kosen-rufu

Excerpts From Nichiren’s Writings in Volume 11

This installment, published in the September 18, 2019, issue of the Seikyo Shimbun, focuses on passages from Nichiren Daishonin’s writings that SGI President Ikeda discussed in volume 11 of The New Human Revolution.

Passage 1

“We awaken with the Buddha every morning and go to rest with the Buddha every night.” (see The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings, p. 83)

Chanting Is the Direct Path to Happiness

In March 1966, Shin’ichi Yamamoto made his first trip to Peru and in encouraging local SGI members, he shared that chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo is the key element for victory in life.

“The Gohonzon is the manifestation of the Buddha endowed with infinite compassion. We should therefore go ahead and chant about our desires, our problems and our aspirations, just as they are. When we’re suffering, feeling sad or experiencing hard times, we should just go to the Gohonzon with an open heart, like an infant who throws himself into the arms of his mother and clings to her. The Gohonzon will ‘listen’ to our every word, so we should chant abundantly as if we are carrying on a conversation, confiding our innermost thoughts. In time, even hellish sufferings will vanish like the morning dew and seem as but a dream.

“If, for instance, we recognize that we have been in error in some way, we should offer prayers of deep apology and correct that error. Then we should make a fresh determination never to repeat the same mistake again and set forth anew.

“Also, in crucial moments where victory or defeat will be decided, we should firmly resolve to win and chant with the power of a lion’s roar or the ferocity of an asura demon, as if to shake the entire universe.

“And, in the evening, after a happy day, we should chant to the Gohonzon with profound appreciation …”

■  ■  ■

Chanting transforms suffering into joy, and joy into supreme joy. This is why it is important to single-mindedly chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo no matter what, whether we are happy or sad, in good times or in bad. This is the direct path to happiness.” (The New Human Revolution, vol. 11, pp. 111–12)

Passage 2

“When the time comes to widely declare the sacred teachings of this country, the Japanese texts are sure to be translated and spread in India and China.” (“On Refuting the Five Priests,” Gosho zenshu, p. 1613)

Translation Is the Driving Force for Opening Up a New History

In the summer of 1966, amid Shin’ichi Yamamoto’s efforts to visit members throughout Japan and around the world, he began taking steps to translate Nichiren Daishonin’s writings into English for the sake of the future development of kosen-rufu.

It was Nichiren Daishonin’s will and mandate that the Mystic Law spread throughout the entire world. His successor, Nikko Shonin, stated: “When the time comes to widely declare the sacred teachings of this country, the Japanese texts are sure to be translated and spread in India and China” (Gosho zenshu, p. 1613). In other words, he was instructing that the Daishonin’s writings—the sacred teachings of this country—be translated and made available across the globe.

Shin’ichi was keenly aware of the importance of an English translation of Nichiren Daishonin’s writings as the foundation for translating them into other languages. This was not only because of the large number of English speakers in the world but also because of the accessibility of the English language.

■  ■  ■

Translation of frequently studied writings progressed, but the staff members in charge of this endeavor found themselves faced with one challenge after another. In order to convey the Daishonin’s teachings correctly, they had to first gain an accurate interpretation of the original text … The translators would therefore often spend several days consulting members of the Soka Gakkai Study Department and referring to President Yamamoto’s lectures as well as Buddhist dictionaries in order to arrive at a full and proper understanding of each passage.

It was also quite difficult to find ways to express Buddhist terminology that did not exist in English. At times the staff sat quietly struggling with their dictionaries, and at other times they would bounce opinions off of one another, sometimes engaging in heated debate …

■  ■  ■

“Translation is a painstaking endeavor that takes place away from the limelight, but it is crucial to the worldwide spread of kosen-rufu. Truly great achievements are carried out with quiet determination, without praise or acclamation” (NHR-11, “Ever-Victorious” chapter, pp. 181–83).

Calling Out for Peace During a Time of War

The “Ever-Victorious” chapter in volume 11 of The New Human Revolution describes how the deep desire for peace held by Soka Gakkai President Ikeda spurred him to action as he observed the horrors of the Vietnam War.

At the November 1966 Youth Division General Meeting, he proposed an immediate ceasefire and that a peacekeeping conference be held in Japan. The following year, at the August Student Division General Meeting, he offered additional proposals for ending the conflict, reiterating his appeal for its prompt resolution.

As bombings intensified, President Ikeda decided to write a letter to U.S. President Richard Nixon to urge him to quickly put a stop to the war, asserting that whether history praised him as a president of peace or condemned him as a person who betrayed the hopes of humankind hinged on his readiness to take action (see The New Human Revolution, vol. 11, p. 262). His letter amassed 38 pages in English, and it was delivered to U.S. National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger on January 1, 1973. Later that month, Mr. Kissinger met with Le Duc Tho, the head of the North Vietnamese delegation, and the Paris Peace Accords were signed, officially ending the Vietnam War on January 28, 1973.

President Ikeda writes, “No matter what high-sounding justifications are offered and no matter how cloaked in righteousness it is, war is the most barbaric and foolish of all acts perpetrated by the devilish forces that reside within the human heart” (NHR-11, 268).

Our efforts to carry out our own human revolution entails challenging and uprooting such “devilish forces” while helping all people establish indestructible castles of peace in their hearts.

Volume 11: Chapter Four—Dynamic Advancement

Q: There are so many self-care practices for dealing with stress. What does Buddhism teach about overcoming stress and staying healthy?