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Q: Will there ever be an end point to our efforts to “establish the correct teaching for the peace of the land”?

A: The concise answer to this question is: No. This is because our efforts to establish happiness and peace throughout the world come down to an ongoing struggle to transform the hearts and minds of all people, to help them win over their negative tendencies and to bring forth their inherent goodness.

Nichiren Daishonin outlined the purpose of our kosen-rufu movement in his treatise “On Establishing the Correct Teaching for the Peace of the Land” (see The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, pp. 6–32), which he submitted 760 years ago on July 16, 1260, to the ruling authorities of Japan.

In this treatise, he sought to bring salvation to the people, who were suffering from an onslaught of earthquakes, floods, famines and epidemics. He knew that the most effective way to do so was to propagate the philosophy of Buddhism, which places utmost importance on the happiness of all people.

He writes: “When a nation becomes disordered, it is the spirits that first show signs of rampancy. Because the spirits become rampant, all the people of the nation become disordered” (WND-1, 24).

He teaches that the direction of a nation is decided by its people, and people are governed by their beliefs. Therefore, the beliefs that guide people’s actions will decide the course of society. The basis of society, he emphasized, does not lie in its political structure, but in the beliefs people hold in their hearts.

“Establishing the correct teaching” means ingraining in our hearts the core tenets taught in the Lotus Sutra—the sanctity of life and respect for human dignity—and to establish them as guiding principles in society.

The tenets of Buddhism can guide us toward the goal of achieving the “peace of the land,” which Ikeda Sensei has described as “the realization of humanity’s dream, the most cherished wish of peace” (Youth and the Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, p. 72).

To bring about this fundamental transformation, we must first begin by challenging our own human revolution. By chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, we can bring forth the wisdom, compassion and courage needed to transform, for instance, our self-centeredness into concern for others, our negative and destructive tendencies into constructiveness and creativity, and our disbelief in ourselves into belief in our limitless potential.

On a practical level, Ikeda Sensei says, “Trying to talk to people about Nichiren Buddhism in itself represents a noble effort to ‘establish the correct teaching for the peace of the land’” (Youth and the Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, p. 65).

The current youth initiative “One Youth. Infinite Hope.” offers a clear focus for sharing Buddhism with the aim to establish the correct teaching for the peace of the land.

As we continue to expand our network of friends, especially youth who are committed to engaging in human revolution, we can transform society at its root and bring about lasting peace and happiness throughout the world. 

Excerpts From Nichiren’s Writings in Volume 18

The Founding of the Young Men’s and Young Women’s Divisions