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Ikeda Sensei

Radiant as the Sun, Fearless as the Lion


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

Every realm of human activity requires practice. Those who engage earnestly in that practice and gain mastery in their chosen field are fulfilled and vibrant.

“The heart of the practice of the Lotus Sutra,” Nichiren Daishonin clearly explains, lies in respecting people just as Bodhisattva Never Disparaging did and being exemplary in our behavior as human beings (see “The Three Kinds of Treasure,” The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, p. 852).

This practice starts with reaching out to people, believing in their Buddha nature, and treating them with genuine courtesy and consideration. Though some may not respond positively to our sincere efforts, our profound respect for them is certain to touch their inherent Buddha nature. At the same time, we need to fight—with courage, wisdom and tenacity—against devilish functions that devalue people and bring misery and misfortune.

Nichiren observes, “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). In other words, he tirelessly shared his teachings with others, in the process meeting far more people than the average person of his day was ever likely to meet. He did so with immense compassion for their happiness, but there were few, he noted honestly, who were open and receptive to his message (see WND-2, 778). He is most certainly aware of our incredible efforts to spread his teachings in this troubled age of the Latter Day of the Law.

Dialogue dedicated to realizing the ideal of “establishing the correct teaching for the peace of the land” is one aspect of our Buddhist practice that can be extremely challenging. But that is also why it is a source of such enormous benefit. Not only does it enable us to open up our own lives and do our human revolution, but also to accumulate great good fortune that flows to our families, loved ones and communities, and to transform the destiny of the land in which we dwell.

In Kansai (in July 1957), my mentor, second Soka Gakkai President Josei Toda, said to me, “The practice of Buddhism lies in the struggle to eliminate misery and suffering from the world, to defend human rights and human dignity, and to build a peaceful society.”

Our efforts in dialogue are part of our Buddhist practice to help all people become happy. Each step we take is one step forward on the path to attaining Buddhahood.

Nichiren writes, “The votary [or practitioner] of the Lotus Sutra is like the sun or the lion” (“The Supremacy of the Law,” WND-1, 613).

Bright and all-embracing like the sun, let us illuminate each person’s heart, help them form a connection to Buddhism and expand our network of hope!

Strong and dauntless like the lion, let us speak out for the sake of truth and justice as we raise the victory banner of Buddhist humanism, exemplified by our behavior as human beings!

radiant as the sun
fearless as the lion
shine, speak out
and triumph brilliantly.

A Life Dedicated to the Great Vow for Kosen-rufu

Forge Ahead With Hearts Bright Like the Sun!