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Ikeda Sensei

Make the Brilliant Light of Encouragement Shine


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

On October 2, 1960, I was en route to Hawaii for my first overseas trip. Placing my hand on the breast pocket of my jacket, in which I had tucked a photograph of my mentor, second Soka Gakkai President Josei Toda, I engraved in my life this passage from “The Selection of the Time”: “Can there be any doubt that … the great pure Law of the
Lotus Sutra [Nam-myoho-renge-kyo] will be spread far and wide [Jpn kosen-rufu] throughout Japan and all the other countries of Jambudvipa [the entire world]?” (The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, p. 550).

As my mentor’s representative, I felt that now was the time to actualize this great declaration of a global religious movement. My heart blazed with the determination to beckon forth Bodhisattvas of the Earth everywhere I went.

During that trip, I chanted as if to infuse the earth at each destination with Nam-myoho-renge-kyo and engaged in wholehearted dialogue with each member I met. Responding to my call to join me in working for the happiness and welfare of all humanity, they stood up as noble pioneers of kosen-rufu while grappling with their own hardships and struggles.

Nichiren Buddhism is a people-centered teaching that seeks to encourage each individual.

In a letter to Shijo Kingo, who was facing enormous difficulties, Nichiren Daishonin says, “I have been ceaselessly praying for your sake to the Lotus Sutra, Shakyamuni Buddha, and the god of the sun, for I am convinced that you are a person who can inherit the soul of the Lotus Sutra” (“The Hero of the World,” WND-1, 839).

The light of his profound compassion brightly illuminated the life of his disciple, awakening in his innermost being “the depths of the Dharma nature”—the awareness of a joyously emerging Bodhisattva of the Earth.

Inheriting Nichiren’s spirit, we chant for and encourage our fellow members, believing that each is “a person who can inherit the soul of the Lotus Sutra” and a Bodhisattva of the Earth. We are united by our bonds of shared purpose.

Having stood up in faith thanks to the prayers and encouragement of fellow members, we in turn strive to support others in the same way and to foster the next generation in a beautiful ripple effect of repaying gratitude and showing appreciation.

Almost 60 years have passed since I first set forth on my voyage for worldwide kosen-rufu. We have demonstrated that Bodhisattvas of the Earth are certain to emerge across the globe and that a solidarity of people dedicated to realizing peace through human revolution can be created.

It is wonderful to see vibrant new leaders steadily appearing and initiating fresh efforts for kosen-rufu in the places where they have vowed to fulfill their mission. The more we encourage others, the more our network of Bodhisattvas of the Earth will grow.

Linked by the ties of mentor and disciple, let’s make the brilliant light of encouragement shine again today!

As long as
Soka encouragement lives on,
capable, hope-filled individuals
will forever appear throughout the world
in accord with the principle of “emerging
from the earth.”

Joyfully Advancing in Our Human Revolution

A Great Struggle of Words