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Ikeda Sensei

“Youth Are the ‘Great Ship’ of the People”

Tempe, Ariz. For us, “casting off the transient and revealing the true” is making kosen-rufu, the realization of happiness for all people, our highest purpose and mission in life and carrying out its courageous practice in our daily lives. Photo by George Nakamura.

SGI President Ikeda sent the following message for the July Youth Discussion Meetings, held across the SGI-USA.

To the youth of the SGI-USA, who, like the brilliant rising sun, are even more cheerfully and bravely spreading the humanistic teachings of Buddhism!

I offer heartfelt congratulations to you for generating fresh waves of victory with your Youth Discussion Meetings during July, which we celebrate as the significant month of youth and the month of the victory of mentor and disciple.

I am fully aware that as you strive to usher in a new era of our Buddhist movement in America, you are facing untold struggles, making countless efforts and encouraging one another to keep advancing.

The time of youth may seem to be a succession of setbacks and disappointments. Nevertheless, when you live based on the great desire to spread Buddhism, every uncertainty, worry and hardship becomes the necessary fuel for your growth and self-development. Everything turns into a source of good fortune. Each of you can bring into full bloom your uniquely beautiful flower of unlimited potential and live a life of no regrets.

Nichiren Daishonin, whose teachings we uphold, says: “Now, no matter what, strive in faith and be known as a votary of the Lotus Sutra, and remain my disciple for the rest of your life. If you are of the same mind as Nichiren, you must be a Bodhisattva of the Earth” (“The True Aspect of All Phenomena,” The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, p. 385).

The value of our lives is decided by the philosophy we uphold, the perspectives we develop and the kinds of efforts we make each day. You all study the world’s foremost philosophy of respect for the dignity of life. You put these ideals into practice. And you continue to courageously discuss and share the Buddhism of human revolution with one friend after another.

Without a doubt, all of you are the world’s most distinguished and respected young Bodhisattvas of the Earth. When you stand up with the same heart as Nichiren, you are guaranteed to bring forth the immeasurable wisdom and power of the Buddha.

I ask each of you to resoundingly chant the lion’s roar of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. And, while you bravely challenge and win over your hardships, please boldly and majestically walk along the grand path of spreading Nichiren Buddhism throughout the world.

My mentor, second Soka Gakkai President Josei Toda, once said, “Youth are the ‘great ship’ of the people.” Amid the raging waves of these times, the responsibility of youth must always be to fearlessly grip the rudder of this great ship, and steer it in the direction that will protect all people and guide them to peace and happiness.

As youth division members, please inherit the spirit of the three founding Soka Gakkai presidents. Please share the humanistic philosophy of Soka in your respective communities and throughout society. And please dedicate your lives to benefitting the people.

In addition, I hope that as you work hard together, you can openly discuss anything with your seniors and good friends in faith. Remain true to yourselves, and please create the most amazing history.

My wife and I are chanting for all of you every day.

Please live wisely each day, making good health and safety your top priority.

Cheers to my beloved and treasured youth of America! Cheers to the most remarkable youth!

Daisaku Ikeda
July 2019

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