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The Brilliant Path of Worldwide Kosen-rufu

Volume 6: Chapter Five—Young Eagles

Chapter Summary

Illustration courtesy of Seikyo Press.

Shin’ichi actively fostered the members of the student division. In the April 1962 issue of the Daibyakurenge study magazine, in an editorial addressed to student division members, he clarified their mission to serve as trailblazers for kosen-rufu. He also began lecturing on Nichiren’s writings to student division representatives to help them become people who could shoulder the future.

In July, at the 5th Student Division General Meeting, he challenged the participants to thoroughly compare Nichiren Buddhism with other philosophies and systems of thought. He urged his audience, “If through your research you conclude that this Buddhism is indeed the greatest of all philosophies and the only true means for leading humanity out of misery and toward happiness, then I ask you to put that conviction into action” (The New Human Revolution, vol. 6, p. 272)

On August 31, he gave his first lecture on The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings to student division representatives. In the lectures, he focused on presenting the greatness of Nichiren Buddhist philosophy to these future leaders on behalf of his mentor, second Soka Gakkai President Josei Toda.

For these students, the lectures were like a forge where their lives merged and fused with Shin’ichi’s life. He was certain that these youth would bring about the dawn of worldwide kosen-rufu. In fact, these young eagles spread their wings and soared high into the skies of a new era.

Unforgettable Scene

Illustration courtesy of Seikyo Press.

The Mentor Provides the Principles, the Disciple Puts Them Into Practice

On August 31, 1962, Shin’ichi Yamamoto began his lectures on The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings for student division representatives.

Shin’ichi often told the members: “For ten years, I thoroughly studied and learned the principles of kosen-rufu under [second Soka Gakkai President Josei] Toda’s tutelage. The mentor provides the principles, and the disciple puts them into practice.

“In the future, I want you to make enormous progress in kosen-rufu, building tens and hundreds of times on the foundation that I have established. I am a stepping-stone for you. Our goal is the happiness of all people and world peace.”

Shin’ichi always saw to it that there were snacks or a meal for the students after the lectures, and he never forgot to set aside time to warmly interact with them, offering words of personal encouragement. Sometimes he sternly rebuked them, but that, too, was an expression of his deep compassion. He would at times stand before the shoe rack at the entrance, and when he noticed a pair of shoes with worn-out soles would later purchase and present the owner with a new pair.

The lectures allowed the members to know their young Buddhist leader as a human being. They also became acquainted with the brilliance of humanity that emanates from the life of one who lives and breathes the principles of Buddhism.

Shin’ichi was a model to them, and a clear image of him as a mentor in life gradually formed within them. This relationship between mentor and disciples, working together for the highest, grandest goal of all, kosen-rufu, was founded on a spirit of warm sharing and mutual inspiration.

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Shin’ichi gave top priority to these student division lectures despite his incredibly busy schedule during these years, because he believed that fostering the younger generation was the Soka Gakkai’s most pressing imperative if it were to realize its grand vision for kosen-rufu. (NHR-6, 307–09)

The chapter summary was originally published in the March 6, 2019, Seikyo Shimbun, while the “Unforgettable Scene” was originally published in the March 13, 2019, issue.

Key Passage

A mighty river that flows for eternity—kosen-rufu is like this. Just as tens and hundreds of tributaries join to form a great river, a convergence of people of diverse talents is needed to achieve kosen-rufu. And no matter how broad the river becomes, or how gentle and steady its flow, it must remain clear and fresh, never stopping, never stagnating. (NHR-6, 309)

Volume 6: Chapter Four—Rough Seas

Excerpts From Nichiren’s Writings in Volume 6