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Q: Can my human revolution really change the world?

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A: The straight and simple answer is, Yes!

Ikeda Sensei asserts, “A great human revolution in just a single individual will help achieve a change in the destiny of a nation and further, will enable a change in the destiny of all humankind.”[1]

Human revolution is another way to express bringing forth our Buddhahood. It is the process of purposefully broadening our awareness beyond our ordinary concerns and dedicating our lives to a higher, deeper and broader cause—the absolute happiness of humanity.

With the coronavirus pandemic, natural disasters, racial injustice, political division and much more, many feel that change is urgent. American philosopher Henry David Thoreau observed, “There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root.”[2]

Reforms in policies and social institutions may be necessary. Still, the root cause of all suffering and societal problems exists in our own hearts. To change the world, we must change ourselves.

Nichiren Daishonin says that the three poisons of greed, anger and foolishness are clear signs of the fundamental ignorance in our heart that causes us to suffer.[3] To free ourselves and others from suffering, then, we must uproot those negative tendencies, and develop and strengthen our positive qualities. That is the most direct way to improving our communities, society and the world. Because both good and evil exist in us all, we can combat evil by cultivating within ourselves the greatest good.

We do so by chanting Nammyoho- renge-kyo abundantly to the Gohonzon each day, based on the belief that everyone possesses Buddhahood and deserves utmost respect. By chanting, we raise our state of life, allowing us to win over our negativity, confidently tackle our challenges and develop ourselves to better support others.

While it may seem like a slow process, the only way to create lasting change is to awaken people to their inherent power and to unite with such awakened individuals to contribute to the peace and prosperity of all humanity.

Sensei says: “Kosen-rufu is a comprehensive revolution based on the revolution of the individual. It is the process of actualizing the Buddhist spirit of compassion and the philosophy of the sanctity of life in the realms of government, economics, education, art and every area of human endeavor. The purpose of kosen-rufu is to build a society in which science, medicine, law and all other disciplines and systems created by human beings contribute to the happiness of humanity and produce genuine value.”[4]

By sharing the empowering philosophy of Nichiren Buddhism, we are expanding our united Soka network of people who act as agents of change in their families, communities and society.

—Prepared by the SGI-USA Study Department


  1. The Human Revolution, p. viii. ↩︎
  2. Henry David Thoreau, Walden, 1971, Princeton University Press, p. 75. ↩︎
  3. See “King Rinda,” The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, p. 989. ↩︎
  4. The New Human Revolution, vol. 14, p. 20. ↩︎

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