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Ikeda Sensei

Creating a Brilliant Galaxy of Capable People


The following are excerpts from SGI President Ikeda’s speech at the Soka Gakkai Headquarters Leaders Meeting held on Sept. 5, 2001. These excerpts were featured in a video of the speech that was shown during the 45th Soka Gakkai Headquarters Leaders Meeting of the New Era of Worldwide Kosen-rufu, held on Jan. 11 in Tokyo. The excerpted text appeared in the Jan. 21 issue of the Seikyo Shimbun, the Soka Gakkai’s daily newspaper.

Thoughtful, intelligent people around the world are placing great faith in our youth division members, calling them the hope of the future. Some have written this to us in letters, and others state it in their books and speeches.

Dr. David Krieger, president of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, with whom I published the dialogue Choose Hope: Your Role in Waging Peace in the Nuclear Age, expressed this sentiment, and I quote him verbatim:

I’ve met with several different youth groups from the Soka Gakkai, and I’ve always been impressed with their spirit.

They have very bright eyes and very wide smiles. What that represents to me is their eagerness to learn . . . I feel that they’re young people who are searching for a way to do something worthwhile and something that’s really positive in their lives, which is a very different approach from a lot of young people who are alienated and who are looking for ways to rebel against society.

I assert that this is absolutely true. To all the members of the youth division, I say, “I entrust the future of the Soka Gakkai to you!” Please proudly continue your dedicated efforts. And please never forget that expanding the ranks of the youth division is expanding the hope of all humanity.

Nichiren Daishonin writes, “It is the power of the Buddhist Law that enables the deities of the sun and moon to make their rounds of the four continents” (“Consecrating an Image of Shakyamuni Buddha,” The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, p. 685). The entire universe moves ceaselessly in rhythm with the Mystic Law.

The more scientific research advances, the more closely it accords with the wisdom of Buddhism.

While resonantly chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, the fundamental rhythm of the universe, we work, speak and act for the development of society, world peace and the happiness of humanity. There is no nobler life than this.

On Aug. 16, NASA released photographs taken by the Hubble Space Telescope of a galaxy some 50 million light-years[1] from Earth.

The photos released by NASA are of galaxy NGC 3079 in the Ursa Major constellation. They show the activity in the center of the galaxy’s disk where a bubble of hot gas rises from a veritable swirling cauldron.[2] The bubble is more than 2,000 light-years in height and has a number of towering red columns of gaseous filaments. We are talking of a phenomenon of incredible scale! The filaments whirl in a vortex and are expelled into space. Astronomers speculate that “eventually this gas will rain down upon the galaxy’s disk where it may collide with gas clouds, compress them and form a new generation of stars.”[3] Our own Sun was also born from such a grand drama of the universe, as was Earth.

The Lotus Sutra teaches a cosmology of staggering dimension.

At every level of existence, when energy surges forth, something new is born. The same is true of our organization for kosen-rufu. When everyone’s energy—starting with that of the leaders—burns brightly, new capable people appear and new development begins. A new horizon unfolds before us, and we are able to create a new history of victory.

What is that energy? It is the courage to face a challenge. It is the ability to act on one’s own initiative. It is the compassion to protect others.

From a certain perspective, the sun, the moon and even the universe itself, are entities that overflow with life-nurturing compassion.

The energy of which I speak is also the tenacious commitment to win without fail. It is the determination to achieve kosen-rufu in the place of one’s mission—a determination like the fiery red columns expelled from the center of the galaxy that I just mentioned. Where such determination exists, “shining stars” of capable people will appear and give rise to a beautiful unity and harmony that resembles a magnificent galaxy.

Nichiren Buddhism views the world from a truly cosmic dimension. The Daishonin does not merely look ahead one or two millennia; he speaks in terms of the “ten thousand years and more of the Latter Day of the Law,” of the infinite future.

For example, in his famous writing “On Repaying Debts of Gratitude,” the Daishonin says, “If Nichiren’s compassion is truly great and encompassing, Nam-myoho-renge-kyo will spread for ten thousand years and more, for all eternity” (WND-1, 736). And in The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings, he says, “Now when Nichiren chants Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, he is enabling all living beings to attain Buddhahood in the ten thousand years of the Latter Day of the Law” (p. 41).

From the perspective of widely spreading the Mystic Law into the boundless future of the Latter Day, our struggle has just begun. Let us advance with that towering determination. And let us live out our lives with an eternally youthful spirit.

Thank you for traveling such a long way to join us here today! Thank you!


  1. A light-year is the distance that light travels in one year in a vacuum, approximately 5.88 trillion miles. ↩︎
  2. “Burst of Star Formation Drives Galactic Bubble” (Press Release), Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Aug. 16, 2001, (Jan. 22, 2020). ↩︎
  3. Ibid. ↩︎

The 120th Anniversary of My Mentor’s Birth

“To the Bright Suns of Kosen-rufu”