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Ikeda Sensei

Forging Our Lives on the Path of Mentor and Disciple (Part 2)


The following is an essay from SGI President Ikeda’s new series “Our Brilliant Human Revolution,” which originally appeared in the Aug. 23, 2019, issue of the Seikyo Shimbun, the Soka Gakkai’s daily newspaper. Part one was printed in the Sept. 13, 2019, World Tribune.

Aug. 17 marked the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the Soka Gakkai’s Writers Division, whose members are true champions in the struggle of words. As a writer, I have always considered myself a member of this group.

“I will be a proud Writers Division member as long as I live!”—this is the intrepid spirit of many Writers Division members. There are members who continue to write passionately and eloquently for truth and justice well into their 90s. There are members proudly affirming the infinite potential of human beings and the truth of Soka mentors and disciples through their writings. There are members who courageously refuse to be defeated by illness or physical disabilities, turning their challenges into precious stories of victory in life. And there are members who, cherishing the vows of their youth, persist with wisdom to compose works of timeless impact.

I deeply admire the members of the Writers Division, who strive proudly among the hardworking ordinary people. I have the highest hopes that each of them, as pioneers in the revival of the culture of the written word, will foster successors and keep the banner of the people’s victory flying high.

Aug. 24 is the day I joined the Soka Gakkai (in 1947). It also marks the starting point of the Seikyo Shimbun, the Soka Gakkai newspaper, and is celebrated as Men’s Division Day.

Recently, I received a wonderful report from a chapter leader in Brazil’s Amazon region sharing his personal experience.

He is a member of the group that looks after local Soka Gakkai facilities. He also delivers the organization’s weekly newspaper Brasil Seikyo, which he began doing at the encouragement of his wife soon after starting his Buddhist practice. Every week, he rides some 18.6 miles one way on his bicycle, stopping at homes along his route to deliver the paper, which he places in special vinyl bags to prevent them from getting wet in the frequent, sudden Amazon rains.

His tireless efforts to fulfill this mission, undaunted by mishaps such as flat tires, has contributed to a dramatic expansion in the readership of the Brasil Seikyo and the development of kosen-rufu throughout the country.

I am endlessly grateful to all our precious members who support the Seikyo Shimbun and its sister publications across the globe.

I am praying earnestly that with the upcoming completion of the Soka Gakkai World Seikyo Center (in Tokyo), the light of Seikyo will spread even more extensively throughout Japan and the world, just as my mentor envisioned.

Through discussion meetings grounded in our local communities and through the unifying power of the Seikyo Shimbun and its sister publications, we strengthen our ties to one another and are able to weave grand and magnificent tapestries of human revolution.

I have heard a deeply moving report of a 107-year-old “mother of kosen-rufu” attending a discussion meeting. Members at the meeting listened intently to each word of this great senior in life. As she reached the end of her talk, someone asked her about her hopes for young people.

Looking at a young women’s division member—who could easily have been one of her great grandchildren—seated directly in front of her, the elderly woman slowly stood up and bowed to her, once, twice and then a third time. She didn’t use words; she made her actions speak for her.

Youth possess limitless potential. They have the power to shoulder the future. We need to sincerely show our respect for their noble lives. This is the perspective of Buddhism and the fundamental spirit for fostering capable individuals.

Nichiren Daishonin says: “What does Bodhisattva Never Disparaging’s profound respect for people signify? The purpose of the appearance in this world of Shakyamuni Buddha, the lord of teachings, lies in his behavior as a human being” (“The Three Kinds of Treasure,” The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, p. 852).

I wish to proudly declare that our men’s and women’s division members are taking these words to heart and carrying out Bodhisattva Never Disparaging’s practice of showing profound respect to all.

Once again this year, summer training courses for future division members were held at Soka University in Hachioji, Tokyo (Aug. 5–8). Nothing brings me greater joy than to observe the growth and energy of our young successors who are sure to usher in a hope-filled future.

In Europe and the United States, too, world citizens of Soka united in shared purpose are holding training courses and studying the Daishonin’s teachings together.

In Japan, study examinations will be held for student division and youth division members from the end of August into September. Young Men’s Division Academy general meetings are also scheduled throughout the country.

Nichiren writes:

Believe in the Gohonzon, the supreme object of devotion in all of Jambudvipa [the entire world] … Exert yourself in the two ways of practice and study. Without practice and study, there can be no Buddhism. You must not only persevere yourself; you must also teach others. (“The True Aspect of All Phenomena,” WND-1, 386)

As [second Soka Gakkai President Josei] Toda taught me when I was just 19 years old, this is the correct way of life, the path to supreme happiness and victory.

Let us advance along this path in high spirits and share it confidently with one person after another!

“Chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo
and urge others to do the same.”[1]
Joyfully create
the most wonderful memories
in an ode to your youth.


  1. 1.“Embracing the Lotus Sutra,” The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, p. 64. ↩︎

A Great Struggle of Words

Our Life’s Journey Guided by the Compass of Nichiren Buddhism