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Monthly Message

A Drama of Transforming Adversity Into Triumph

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This monthly encouragement by Ikeda Sensei was originally published in the August 2020 issue of the Daibyakurenge, the Soka Gakkai’s monthly study journal.

Nichiren Daishonin, the Buddha of the Latter Day of the Law, affirms the great beneficial power of the Mystic Law, which can “change poison into medicine.” He writes: “Though calamities may come, they can be changed into good fortune” (“How the Gods Protect the Place of Practice,” The Writings of Nichiren Daishonoin, vol. 2, p. 669).

To undauntedly create value in even the most dire circumstances—this is the drama of transforming adversity into triumph enacted by the mentors and disciples of Soka committed to the vow for kosen-rufu. The birth of the Seikyo Shimbun, the Soka Gakkai’s daily newspaper, is itself symbolic of this drama.

Seventy years ago, on August 24, 1950, when Josei Toda’s businesses were in serious crisis, my mentor and I met with a newspaper journalist and responded with complete sincerity to queries regarding his business troubles.

After this meeting, sharing his insights on the power that newspapers can have, Mr. Toda instructed me to map out a plan for founding our own paper. Subsequently, on April 20, 1951, the following year, ahead of his inauguration as second Soka Gakkai president (on May 3), the first issue of the Seikyo Shimbun was published. That day marked the start of a newspaper that would inspire hope for absolute victory in the hearts of people even in the deepest depths of suffering.

Nichiren Daishonin writes: “The Lotus Sutra is a manifestation in writing of the Thus Come One Shakyamuni’s intent; it is his voice set down in written words. Thus the Buddha’s heart is embodied in these written words” (“The Pure and Far-Reaching Voice,” WND-1, 333).

To undauntedly create value in even the most dire circumstances—this is the drama of transforming adversity into triumph enacted by the mentors and disciples of Soka committed to the vow for kosen-rufu.

Similarly, I am confident that each word in the pages of the Seikyo Shimbun, a publication based on the supremely compassionate principles of the Lotus Sutra, is infused with the Daishonin’s wish to enable all people to attain happiness.

During the assembly of the Lotus Sutra, Many Treasures Buddha appears and attests to the truth of the Mystic Law, a teaching of great impartial wisdom, declaring: “Excellent, excellent! … All that you [Shakyamuni] have expounded is the truth!” (The Lotus Sutra and Its Opening and Closing Sutras, pp. 209–10).

And today, it is the noble members of the Many Treasures Group, with their radiant smiles, who are affirming the truth of the words of the Seikyo Shimbun through their wonderful example of transforming all kinds of karma and leading triumphant lives.

A women’s division member and former deliverer of the newspaper, who had been deprived of the chance to go to school because of World War II, says that the Seikyo Shimbun played a big part in helping her learn to read and write. “I was raised and educated by the Seikyo Shimbun and the Soka Gakkai!” she declares.

In the Buddhist sutras, the term lion’s roar signifies the Buddha’s preaching, the central message of which is that all living beings possess the Buddha nature. The lion’s roar of the Buddha also has the power to dispel fear, expose falsehood, increase everyone’s dignity and strength, and guide and foster the younger generation.

In this world that is fraught with uncertainty and division, the united lion’s roar of the Seikyo Shimbun and its sister publications across the globe is linking and elevating the wisdom and awareness of people everywhere.

Together with our Many Treasures Group members, who embody the very spirit of the Seikyo Shimbun, let’s continue again today to write our exhilarating drama of shared struggle, of winning over challenges—that is human revolution!

Triumphantly creating
an epic of joint struggle
together with the Seikyo Shimbun
the smiles of our Many Treasures Group members
are the smiles of Buddhas.

Daisaku Ikeda

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