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Ikeda Sensei

Sending Forth a Spring Breeze of Encouragement


From the March 25, 2019, issue of the Seikyo Shimbun, the Soka Gakkai’s daily newspaper.

The spring of Soka cherry trees has arrived! The Youth Cherry Tree long adorning the Soka Gakkai Headquarters complex in Shinanomachi, Tokyo, is also in bloom, thanks to the careful tending by master gardeners over the years.

Nichiren Daishonin also loved cherry trees, using the metaphor of “flowers within a tree” (“The Object of Devotion for Observing the Mind,” The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, p. 359) to explain the mutual possession of the Ten Worlds. We cannot see the flowers latent within a tree in winter, but when spring comes, they burst forth in fragrant bloom. This is similar to the way the world of Buddhahood emerges from within our lives.

In accord with that principle, the Soka family has realized a brilliant flowering of actual proof of changing karma. No matter what happens, our members will persevere with strong prayer and determined effort, tapping the limitless power of the Mystic Law to make the impossible possible.

As we walk the cherry tree path of Soka, we are always together with the Daishonin.

In The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings, he says: “Nichiren and his followers, those who chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, one and all will ‘together reach the place where the treasure is.’[1] This one word ‘together’ means that, as long as they are together with Nichiren, they will reach the treasure land” (pp. 77–78).

Nothing can stand in the way of our progress when we strive and challenge ourselves to advance kosen-rufu together with the Daishonin, aligned with the Mystic Law. The protective functions of the universe will move into action, and a way forward will definitely open up.

None of our hard work and effort for kosen-rufu is ever wasted. When we look back, we will see that the most difficult times were the times that we made the greatest progress in our human revolution and that now shine as precious “memories of our present life in this human world” (see “Embracing the Lotus Sutra,” WND-1, 64).

Second Soka Gakkai President Josei Toda declared that to be genuine disciples of Nichiren, we have to put Buddhism into practice in society and strive as hard as we can for the welfare of others, our country and the world.

It is through joining in that journey of shared struggle that a steady stream of new capable individuals is fostered. And by helping those around us develop deeper connections to Nichiren Buddhism, we can make even more friends with whom we can walk together to the “treasure land,” a realm pervaded by happiness and peace.

In Buddhism, the Latter Day of the Law is described as an age of quarrels and dispute, a time of endless conflict and troubles. Everywhere in our society is the potential for division of the kind cited by the Daishonin as “revolt within one’s own domain” or “internal strife.”

Nichiren’s ideal of “establishing the correct teaching for the peace of the land” means working to fundamentally transform this divisive tendency through the power of the Mystic Law. Its essential aim, thereby, is to build a beautiful realm of human harmony where people can live together happily and peacefully, and reveal their unique talents and potential in accord with the principle of “cherry, plum, peach and damson” (see OTT, 200).

Today, our wonderful unity in diversity shines with the brilliant light of peace, representing a solidarity that transcends all differences. It rallies the youth, and brings together people of all ages and walks of life.

The Daishonin writes, “The more one praises the blessings of the Lotus Sutra, the more one’s own blessings will increase” (“The Blessings of the Lotus Sutra,” WND-1, 673).

Encouragement is incredibly powerful—sparking hope and igniting courage.

Spring is the season of new beginnings in Japan—a new school year, starting new jobs and moving to new places. Let us cheerfully and warmly invigorate our fellow members and others in our communities with a spring breeze of encouragement!

And as we approach another glorious May 3, Soka Gakkai Day, let us work together to make the flowers of good fortune and happiness bloom luxuriously!


  1. The Lotus Sutra and Its Opening and Closing Sutras, p. 180. ↩︎

A Bright and Sunny May 3

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