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The Brilliant Path of Worldwide Kosen-rufu

Excerpts From Nichiren’s Writings in Volume 6

This installment, published in the March 20, 2019, issue of the Seikyo Shimbun, focuses on passages from Nichiren Daishonin’s writings that SGI President Ikeda discussed in volume 6 of The New Human Revolution.

Passage 1

“If the general were to lose heart, his soldiers would become cowards.” (“The Supremacy of the Law,” The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, p. 613)

The Organization Reflects the Leaders’ Determination

Illustration courtesy of Seikyo Press.

At the start of his third year as Soka Gakkai President, Shin’ichi Yamamoto traveled throughout Japan in May and June of 1962, determined to begin anew with fellow members.

To truly inspire others, leaders must first make their own lives burn with passion and conviction. To inspire others to take action, leaders must thoroughly engage themselves first. Nichiren Daishonin writes, “If the general loses heart, his soldiers will become cowards” (WND-1, 613). The organization, ultimately, is a reflection of its leaders’ determination.

Leaders must constantly ask themselves: “Am I really determined to win?” “Am I praying strongly enough?” Am I brimming with joy?” “Am I satisfied with everything I did today?” This was the art of leadership Shin’ichi had learned from [second Soka Gakkai President Josei] Toda.

Shin’ichi and the members exerted their maximum effort as summer unfolded, the trees gleaming with fresh foliage. At the Soka Gakkai Headquarters Leaders Meeting at the Tokyo Gymnasium on May 27, it was announced that more than 108,000 households had joined the Soka Gakkai that month. The total membership goal for 1962, the Year of Victory, had been set at 2.7 million households—they had easily exceeded this target and in just five months! They were in the midst of an exhilarating, lightning advance …

The participants’ spirits soared. They sensed the tide of kosen-rufu steadily rising, restoring life and vitality to the parched spiritual soil of Japan. And they savored the ineffable joy and excitement of playing a leading role in building a new society.

At the meeting’s end, Shin’ichi led the participants in a chorus of “Song of the New Century.” With a ceremonial fan in one hand, he moved with solemn dignity to the music, symbolic of his bold, majestic flight through the skies of kosen-rufu. (The New Human Revolution, vol. 6, pp. 190–91)

Passage 2

“One who understands the Law and shows oneself concerned for the welfare of the nation should by rights be most warmly welcomed. Due, however, to the slanderous reports and petitions of those who espouse false doctrines and false teachings, though I have for long cherished sentiments of the utmost loyalty, I have not as yet been able to achieve my meager hopes.” (“The Day Before Yesterday,” WND-2, 392)

Kosen-rufu Is a Battle of Dialogue

Illustration courtesy of Seikyo Press.

At the Chugoku Headquarters Leaders Meeting in June 1962, Shin’ichi Yamamoto ignited in the participants the courage to fight evil.

“We have worked earnestly to improve Japan, bring happiness to people and peace to the world. No other organization’s motives are so pure, honest and sincere” …

[Shin’ichi Yamamoto’s] voice resounded: “Certain elements of the mass media spread lies and demagoguery about the Soka Gakkai, calling this organization of sincere, concerned people a violent religion, or claiming that we plan to take over the Japanese government and impose our beliefs on the nation. Unfortunately, society unquestioningly accepts those lies as facts and rejects the Gakkai because of them. In this way, the Soka Gakkai is being directly attacked. And slander is the weapon of choice.

“The struggle to achieve kosen-rufu is, from one perspective, a struggle against slander and lies—a war of words in which our goal is to break through the web of lies, and let people know the truth about Buddhism and the Soka Gakkai, and thus win support and empathy for our cause. It is a battle we must fight with our humanity …

“Still, we cannot overlook the fact that no matter how absurd and outrageous a lie may be, it cannot be recognized as a lie unless the truth is also known. Even those who first doubt such a lie may come to accept it if it is repeated often enough and no one speaks out against it.

“There is a proverb: ‘Speech is silver, silence is golden.’ But that doesn’t mean we can afford to be silent … When the time comes to speak out one must do so, and fight for the truth. To not do so is simply cowardice.” (NHR-6, 206–08)

The Soka Gakkai’s Momentous Undertaking

The Japanese author Mimpei Sugiura is mentioned in the “Acceleration” chapter of The New Human Revolution, volume 6. He was a novelist and a scholar of Italian Renaissance literature, as well as a social activist who supported various social movements in an effort to liberate people from poverty, discrimination and suffering.

After World War II, Mr. Sugiura returned to his hometown in Aichi Prefecture, making concerted efforts to help those suffering from emotional, economic and physical distress, and struggling to live from day to day. However, he soon faced a deadlock. He realized that no matter what charitable efforts were made or how much money was given, it would be very difficult to foster independence and help people become self-sufficient.

While searching for a concrete way to liberate such people, he witnessed Soka Gakkai members completely transform their illnesses, poverty and harsh circumstances. And he saw how the Soka Gakkai movement empowered ordinary people to awaken to their mission to become protagonists of societal change.

In awe and in praise of the Soka Gakkai, Mr. Sugiura said: “The Soka Gakkai’s greatest achievement lies in unleashing the power of the people, of those at the very lowest strata of society, and in revitalizing their lives. This, actually, is something that I have also devoted great energy to” (NHR-6, 145).

He also said, “The Gakkai had embarked on a momentous undertaking—one that I could never hope to emulate” (NHR-6, 146).

Volume 6: Chapter Five—Young Eagles

Q: How do I help those closest to me see the value of my Buddhist practice?