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The Brilliant Path of Worldwide Kosen-rufu

Volume 11: Chapter Two—Pioneering New Frontiers

Chapter Summary

Illustration courtesy of Seikyo Press.

Shin’ichi Yamamoto and his colleagues departed from São Paulo, Brazil, for their next destination, Peru.

When they arrived on March 15 in the capital, Lima, Shin’ichi was scheduled to attend a meeting at the Metropolitan Theater. In Peru, too, however, it was clear that the authorities kept close surveillance on the organization due to their misconceptions. Amid this reality, Shin’ichi decided that in order to protect the Peruvian members, he would not attend the meeting, but watch over its success remotely. The hotel room where he stayed during this trip became the place from which he would open a bright future by encouraging the local members. Hearing the stories of these pioneers of kosen-rufu in Peru who gathered in his hotel room, Shin’ichi was filled with respect and affection for them.

Shin’ichi gave guidance to the Peruvian members, outlining three necessary elements to becoming victors in life. The first was chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. Chanting is the source that enables us to limitlessly tap our life force. Those who base themselves on chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo are never deadlocked. The second key element was to make steady efforts to read The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin and apply these writings to our lives. This is the true meaning of studying the Daishonin’s writings. It is practical Buddhist study that we can apply to our daily lives. The third key element was persevering in one’s faith without ever giving up until the very end.

The next day, Shin’ichi took a walk through Lima’s main business district. There, he came upon the statue of the hero of Latin American liberation, José de San Martín, and discussed the significance of his life.

During this same month that Shin’ichi visited Brazil and Peru, Soka Gakkai leaders from Japan visited other countries in Central and South America to encourage the members. In those countries as well, the members experienced painful, arduous struggles in their efforts to advance kosen-rufu, but they triumphed admirably over all obstacles.

Unforgettable Scene

Illustration courtesy of Seikyo Press.

Faith Is Not Determined By Status or Position

In March 1966, Shin’ichi Yamamoto traveled to North and South America. He also dispatched leaders to various countries throughout Central and South America to encourage struggling pioneer members in each locale.

[Katsu] Kiyohara and the other leaders poured their entire beings into responding to each question, wholeheartedly affirming the beneficial power of the Gohonzon and declaring their great conviction in faith. They sought to conquer the members’ wavering spirit with the force of their conviction.

An elderly woman holding a boy of about three asked a question. “This is my grandson who was born blind. If I practice this faith in earnest, will he see one day?”

This woman and her family had been actively making efforts to spread Nichiren Daishonin’s teachings and share the greatness of Buddhism with the people in their community. But when the boy was born sightless, their neighbors heaped criticism on them, questioning why this should happen to Soka Gakkai members …

Feeling overcome with despair, the elderly woman had asked her question.

A hush fell over the room as the members awaited Kiyohara’s response.

“There is one certainty,” Kiyohara said with total confidence. “That is, those who continue to strive sincerely in faith can become happy without fail.

“Please raise this child so that he will uphold faith throughout his life. No child born into the practice is without a mission. If he awakens to his own unique mission, he will absolutely be able to lead the greatest of lives.”

These words pierced through the darkness that had been shrouding the hearts of the members of this family who, feeling small in the eyes of their community, had begun harboring some doubt in the practice.

After receiving this guidance from Kiyohara, the elderly woman came to regard her blind grandson as her family’s treasure. The family became strongly united as each member prayed for the child’s happiness and exerted themselves fully in their practice.

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As the microbus lurched along the densely treelined road, they thought to themselves: If I were living in this environment, all by myself, would I really be able to sustain my practice? Although I offered guidance to the members, it’s actually I who should be learning from them.

Faith is not determined by status or organizational position, but rather by the initiatives we have taken, and what we have actually accomplished, for the sake of kosen-rufu. (The New Human Revolution, vol. 11, pp. 148–50)

Key Passages

Both consideration and friendship start from prayer. Prayer has the power to connect one human being to another. (NHR-11, 116)

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The sublime and noble work of worldwide kosen-rufu begins from a single individual living in each particular country. It is therefore of utmost importance that we encourage and support such people with all of our energy and being. (NHR-11, 130)

Volume 11: Chapter One—Light of Dawn

Volume 11: Chapter Three—Ever-Victorious