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The Brilliant Path of Worldwide Kosen-rufu

Volume 9: Chapter Three—Brilliant Light

Chapter Summary

Illustration courtesy of Seikyo Press.

The youth are the ones who will take the lead in the “essential era” of kosen-rufu. In June 1964, the young women’s division achieved a membership of one million, while the student division reached fifty thousand by June 30, the date of their Student Division general meeting. During this meeting, Shin’ichi Yamamoto announced the establishment of the long-awaited Soka University.

In July, at the young men’s leaders meeting, it was announced that they had already achieved their goal for the year of 1.5 million young men.

In October, Shin’ichi departed on a trip to Southeast Asia, the Middle East and Europe. In each country he visited, Shin’ichi gave his all in encouraging the members, each of whom was a treasure to him.

On October 10, Shin’ichi and his party left Paris and headed for Prague, Czechoslovakia (now Czech Republic). With Czechoslovakia being a communist nation at the time, this was the first time Shin’ichi stepped foot in a communist state. The next morning, Shin’ichi viewed Wenceslas Square, and before noon, he was on a flight headed for Budapest, Hungary. He was reminded of the clash in 1956 between the Hungarian people and the Soviet Union, known as the Hungarian Revolution. Recalling how his mentor, Josei Toda, had been deeply pained by these events, Shin’ichi thought about how social systems can suppress people when ideologies lose sight of humanity.

On October 14, Shin’ichi and his party returned to Paris, and from there flew to Oslo, Norway. There, he encouraged the district leader and his wife, who were waging a solitary struggle for kosen-rufu. During his flight back to Japan, Shin’ichi renewed his determination to continue carrying out dialogues to open a new era in which the “brilliant light” of each person fully shines.

Unforgettable Scene

Illustration courtesy of Seikyo Press.

Gratitude Is the Source of Happiness

During Shin’ichi Yamamoto’s visit to Oslo, Norway, on October 16, 1964, a local district leader named Koji Hashimoto expressed his deep gratitude to him.

[Koji] Hashimoto began to speak to Shin’ichi in a formal manner: “When we met at the airport in Paris in January of last year, I invited you to come to Norway, and you said that you would. I am so moved that you kept your promise. I have nothing to give you in return. Yet still you’ve traveled all this way to see me. Words cannot express my gratitude to you. Thank you so much.”

Hashimoto’s voice was choked with tears of joy.

Shin’ichi said to Hashimoto: “No, I’m the one who should be grateful. I know how hard you’ve been working.”

“But even so,” Shin’ichi continued, “the spirit of gratitude is very important. When we are grateful, we feel joy. When we are joyful, we also feel courageous. That leads us to want to do our utmost to show our appreciation to others. Having met with many people all over the world, I have reached the conclusion that people who are able to feel gratitude are happy.

“It is also true that those who betray others do not have this spirit of gratitude. Such people just expect others to do things for them. They come to depend on others and to rely heavily on their goodwill. Therefore, when other people don’t do as they expect, they feel cheated and disappointed, and start to complain incessantly. The slightest setback causes them to sulk and sends them into depression. But they are really just making themselves miserable, and they end up wandering through a self-created maze of unhappiness.

“The Gosho says: ‘Even though you chant and believe in Myoho-renge-kyo, if you think the Law is outside yourself, you are embracing not the Mystic Law but an inferior teaching’ (“On Attaining Buddhahood in This Lifetime,” The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, p. 3). Concerning yourself with what others are doing and complaining when they don’t live up to your expectations is looking for the Law outside yourself. Such thinking ultimately comes down to spiritual weakness. It results from the lack of a philosophy of independence; a philosophy that teaches that everything starts with us and what we do. That philosophy is none other than Buddhism.” (The New Human Revolution, vol. 9, pp. 250–51)

Key Passages

The transmission of faith from generation to generation is what ensures the eternal flow of kosen-rufu and is the foundation of a family’s everlasting prosperity. Family unity based on faith is the key to this. (NHR-9, 196)

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All of our struggles to promote Buddhism become our great good fortune and benefit. Therefore, when we encounter a difficult situation, we should think, “I’ve acquired more good fortune,” or “I’ve made a cause for more wonderful benefit.” (NHR-9, 200)

Volume 9: Chapter Two—Young Phoenixes

Volume 9: Chapter Four—Hope of the People