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Ikeda Sensei

Revealing Our Buddhahood, Let’s Lead Lives Brimming With Benefit

Photo by Shea Rouda / Unsplash.

This monthly encouragement by SGI President Daisaku Ikeda was originally published
in the December 2018 issue of the
Daibyakurenge, the Soka Gakkai’s monthly study journal.

Though unseen, the Buddhas and bodhisattvas throughout the universe are solemnly watching all the efforts we are making in our Buddhist practice. That is why absolutely nothing that we do in the realm of faith is wasted.

Nichiren Daishonin writes, “It is when the rain pours, the wind rages, and people try to hold one back that one’s resolve comes to the fore” (“Acknowledging Various Offerings,” The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 2, p. 757).

In this year that has been marked by continuous natural disasters, our members have dedicated themselves to kosen-rufu with firm resolve, undefeated by any adversity. The Daishonin is surely praising you.

Year after year, we are creating a history of great struggle through which we are accumulating boundless and unfathomable benefits. This is just as the Daishonin assures us when he says, “A hundred years of practice in the Land of Perfect Bliss cannot compare to the benefit gained from one day’s practice in the impure world” (“On Repaying Debts of Gratitude,” WND-1, 736).

Recognizing and celebrating everyone’s efforts in and out of the limelight, let us make a fresh departure into the new year! The sincere spirit to praise others causes strength and joy to brim from their lives as well as our own. Praising others, the Daishonin tells us, increases our own blessings (see “The Blessings of the Lotus Sutra,” WND-1, 673).

Our hope-filled network has now spread all across the globe. In a letter of encouragement to a pioneering couple [in Kamakura, Myomitsu and his wife], Nichiren writes:

As first one person, then two persons, then a thousand, ten thousand, a hundred thousand, and then all the people throughout the country come to chant the daimoku [Nam-myoho-renge-kyo], before you know it, their blessings will accrue to you [individuals who propagate the Mystic Law]. Those blessings will be like the drops of dew that gather to form the great ocean, or the specks of dust that pile up to become Mount Sumeru. (“The Blessings of the Lotus Sutra,” WND-1, 672)

Just as hearing people’s experiences of practicing Nichiren Buddhism inspires others at discussion meetings, the great benefit of advancing worldwide kosen-rufu accumulates in the lives of all members of the Soka family, like drops forming the vast ocean or dust piling up to form Mount Sumeru.

That’s why second Soka Gakkai President Josei Toda urged: “Live out your lives together with the Soka Gakkai. All your problems will be transformed into benefits. With the joy you feel through doing your human revolution, devote yourself to bringing happiness and peace to humanity.”

Perhaps your efforts aren’t producing immediate results, or your ability to participate in activities is restricted by old age or illness. But as long as you stay connected to our network—where we are bound together by the Mystic Law and strive in the spirit of “many in body, one in mind”—you can forever travel the path of eternity, joy, true self and purity.

Writing to his youthful disciple Nanjo Tokimitsu, the Daishonin says: “In the course of all the many lifetimes and existences you have lived through, you have come to owe a debt of gratitude to all living beings. And since this is so, you should help all of them to attain Buddhahood” (“Four Virtues and Four Debts of Gratitude,” WND-2, 637).

In the coming year, let us engage in dialogue aimed at realizing kosen-rufu and Nichiren’s ideal of “establishing the correct teaching for the peace of the land,” based on prayers for everyone to reveal their Buddhahood.

Let us joyfully help as many people as possible form connections to Buddhism and bring into bloom wonderful flowers of benefit—the essence of which, the Daishonin explains, is extinguishing evil and bringing forth good (see The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings, p. 148).

Standing tall like jeweled trees
impervious to the elements,
my dear friends,
create a record of benefit and victory,
year after year.

Brightly Illuminate the World With the Light of Human Revolution