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Constructing the New Era

Leading Lives Filled With the Boundless Joy of the Law

MILENA PIGDANOWICZ-FIDERA / GETTY IMAGES

by SGI President Daisaku Ikeda

I am delighted to have celebrated another glorious May 3, Soka Gakkai Day, together with my beloved fellow members everywhere, and once more make a fresh departure with you in this new era.

I received many congratulatory messages from people in various fields throughout Japan, as well as awards and commendations from countries around the world—all honors that I proudly dedicate to my predecessors, the first and second Soka Gakkai presidents, Tsunesaburo Makiguchi and Josei Toda.

Such recognition is a testament to the trust that all of you, my dear fellow members, have built through your sincere, steadfast efforts in your respective communities and societies—the places where you have vowed to fulfill your mission. The tireless contributions made by our wise and cheerful women’s division members, the mothers of kosen-rufu, have been especially significant.

SGI President Ikeda takes a photograph of the summit of Mount Fuji, adrift in the clouds, during a flight over Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan, May 1998. Photo by Daisaku Ikeda.

I am reminded of a poem that I engraved in my heart when I was young. I shared it with members in Hyogo and other parts of the Kansai region, as I felt it contained a very important message:

Trampled
and trampled again
still it blooms—
the smiling dandelion.[1]

Dandelions are strong because they put down deep roots into the earth. They are just like our bright, dauntless, ever-victorious women’s division members, who overcome all difficulties and hardships.

■  ■  ■

On Soka Gakkai Successors Day (May 5), I visited the Soka Gakkai Mentors Hall (in Shinanomachi, Tokyo) with my wife, Kaneko.

There were articles on display showing my shared struggle with the youth, successors who embody the principle “from the indigo, an even deeper blue” (see “Offerings in the Snow,” The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 2, p. 809). Among them was a picture of me saluting and encouraging some young members of the future division at Kirishima, Kyushu (the southernmost of Japan’s four main islands), which brought back many memories.

How reassuring it is to know that the members I fostered wholeheartedly at that time have today grown into fine leaders!

During the pioneering days of our movement, when I was youth division chief of staff, I remember there was an amazing chapter leader. He was the leader of Tokyo’s Adachi Chapter and was renowned for walking around tirelessly in straw sandals, sharing Nichiren Buddhism with others and always taking younger members along with him. I fondly recall this leader telling me: “I will do anything for our youth. And I am determined that if anything should happen, I will protect them with my life.”

Responding to the prayers and encouragement of such noble men and women, champions of the ordinary people, let us produce even greater numbers of capable Bodhisattvas of the Earth, who will contribute to the welfare of others and society.

■  ■  ■

The deliverers of the Seikyo Shimbun [the Soka Gakkai’s daily newspaper] continued their rounds even during the recent extended Golden Week holiday in Japan.[2]

Those who carry out the lofty endeavor of advancing kosen-rufu, imparting hope and courage to others, are sure to accumulate immeasurable good fortune and benefit.

My wife and I are earnestly chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo for the continued good health and absolute safety of our “uncrowned heroes,” the Seikyo Shimbun deliverers, and the happiness of their families.

■  ■  ■

In a letter to his disciples Shijo Kingo and his wife, Nichigen-nyo—forerunners of our members in Kanagawa Prefecture—Nichiren Daishonin writes: “Suffer what there is to suffer, enjoy what there is to enjoy. Regard both suffering and joy as facts of life, and continue chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, no matter what happens. How could this be anything other than the boundless joy of the Law? Strengthen your power of faith more than ever” (“Happiness in This World,” WND-1, 681).

Whatever happens, let us continue chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo and taking action for the sake of the Law, the happiness of others, the betterment of society and the realization of Nichiren’s ideal of “establishing the correct teaching for the peace of the land.” When we do so, we will attain a life state of genuine happiness brimming with the “boundless joy of the Law.”

Together, let us lead vibrant lives of unsurpassed purpose, fulfillment and great good fortune. WT

From the May 8, 2019, issue of the Seikyo Shimbun, the Soka Gakkai’s daily newspaper.

References

  1. A well-known Japanese verse; author unknown. ↩︎
  2. Due to events surrounding the Imperial succession, the Japanese government passed a bill to extend the annual Golden Week holiday period—which usually begins in late April and lasts until early May—to an unprecedented 10 days this year. ↩︎

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