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Constructing the New Era

Nothing Is Nobler Than Our Bonds as Bodhisattvas of the Earth

by SGI President Daisaku Ikeda

As the season changes from winter to spring and unpredictable weather continues, I am praying earnestly each day for the health and absolute safety of our “uncrowned heroes” who deliver the Soka Gakkai’s daily newspaper, the Seikyo Shimbun.

Nichiren Daishonin would surely praise the unsparing efforts that the members of our Soka family everywhere are making for the happiness of others.

Recently, several pioneering women’s division members from France, who have remained steadfast in their faith since the early days of our movement in that country, visited Japan. My wife, Kaneko, had a joyful reunion with them at the Soka International Women’s Center (on Feb. 27, 2019), where she warmly encouraged them.

Nothing is nobler or more beautiful than fellow members striving together and encouraging one another, sharing their struggles and victories, mirroring Nichiren’s call to “share as one a friend’s joys and sorrows” (“Reply to the Honorable Konichi,” The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 2, p. 964).

The visiting women’s division members from France have forged ahead with faith like ceaselessly flowing water. They have been guided by the conviction that a new era, a new page of history, can be opened through each of them working toward their goals they set for themselves and winning each day. United in spirit with members from the rest of Europe and around the world, they are chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo for the triumphant advance of kosen-rufu here in Japan, too, and cheering us on in our efforts.

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The Daishonin states, “Unlike most people, in the course of spreading these doctrines of mine I, Nichiren, have occasion to meet with a great many persons” (“Condolences on a Deceased Husband,” WND-2, 778).

Meeting with people and speaking with them—our efforts to create peaceful societies by spreading the humanistic principles of Nichiren Buddhism are in exact accord with Nichiren’s spirit and embody the heart of Buddhist practice. Those who strive toward that end will without fail bring forth the courage, wisdom and compassion of the Buddha.

In “On Establishing the Correct Teaching for the Peace of the Land,” Nichiren portrays the key ingredients for genuine dialogue. That is, starting with honestly confronting the issues of our world with our contemporaries and listening sincerely to their thoughts and opinions; exercising tolerance and remaining calm in the face of disagreement; and believing in the inherent Buddha nature of others while presenting our own beliefs in a polite and reasonable manner.

The “friendships of the orchid room”[1] (see WND-1, 23) that are born from such dialogues are a powerful force for creating peace and security in our communities and the world at large.

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March in the Soka Gakkai is the month of youth.

This March marks 10 years since the creation of the SGI Ikeda Kayo-kai song, proudly sung by young women’s division members. As beautiful flowers of kosen-rufu, flowers of hope and flowers of mission, they are vibrantly spreading the light of joy around the world.

Since the World Youth General Meeting held last year (on March 11, 2018), youthful Bodhisattvas of the Earth have been emerging with even greater momentum.

My mentor, second Soka Gakkai President Josei Toda, said that the strength and resilience of Soka youth will inject great revitalization into the world’s youth as a whole.

The members of the Young Men’s Division Academy have been very successful in their efforts to share Nichiren Buddhism with others. The members of the [behind-the-scenes youth training groups] Soka Group, Gajokai and Byakuren have a tremendous mission. And the activities of recent graduates of the youth division, now the younger members of the men’s division and women’s division, are also shining brilliantly.

In the Osaka Campaign,[2] the energy of new capable people made the impossible possible.

Let’s create another record of golden achievement in kosen-rufu together!

From the March 5, 2019, issue of the Seikyo Shimbun, the Soka Gakkai’s daily newspaper

References

  1. In “On Establishing the Correct Teaching for the Peace of the Land,” Nichiren Daishonin writes: “How gratifying! You have associated with a friend in the orchid room and have become as straight as mugwort growing among hemp” (The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, p. 23). ↩︎
  2. Osaka Campaign: In May 1956, the Kansai members, uniting around the young Daisaku Ikeda, who had been dispatched by second Soka Gakkai President Josei Toda to support them, introduced 11,111 households to the practice of Nichiren Buddhism. In elections held two months later, the Soka Gakkai–backed candidate in Kansai won a seat in the Upper House, an accomplishment that was thought all but impossible at the time. ↩︎

Faith, Practice and Study

Victorious Members of St. Lucia and Barbados