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Ikeda Sensei

Illuminating the Places of Our Mission with the Treasure Light of Mentor and Disciple

Translated from the April 2, 2020, issue of the Seikyo Shimbun, the Soka Gakkai daily newspaper.

by Daisaku Ikeda

April 2, the anniversary of my mentor Josei Toda’s passing, has arrived again, graced by beautiful cherry blossoms, which he loved so dearly.

This is a day imbued with the vow of mentor and disciple. Since mentors and disciples are united eternally, transcending birth and death, it is an occasion for us to pay tribute to President Toda and renew our vow to realize kosen-rufu and the ideal of “establishing the correct teaching for the peace of the land.”

My mentor and I always took these words of Nichiren Daishonin to heart: “When the skies are clear, the ground is illuminated. Similarly, when one knows the Lotus Sutra, one understands the meaning of all worldly affairs” (“The Object of Devotion For Observing the Mind,” The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol 1, p. 376).

It is our mission as Bodhisattvas of the Earth to bravely confront the challenges of the world and, with the great light of the Buddhism of the Sun, illuminate the lives of those who are struggling and suffering.

In his prison cell, persecuted for his religious beliefs during World War II, Mr. Toda awakened to his noble identity as a Bodhisattva of the Earth. After the war, he stood up alone, overcame all obstacles and devilish functions, and built a vast network of people dedicated to the realization of kosen-rufu through compassionate propagation, just as the Daishonin taught.

Making Mr. Toda’s cherished wish to eliminate misery and suffering from the world our own, we refuse to retreat a single step in our struggle. We are absolutely committed to opening the great path of human revolution as the means to transforming the destiny of humankind.

I would like to express my most sincere and profound gratitude to all the physicians, nurses, and other healthcare workers, and indeed all those who are working tirelessly with a noble sense of purpose to save lives and support others amid the grave crisis of the coronavirus pandemic.

I pray that our hopeful, revitalizing philosophy of “changing poison into medicine” will continue to strengthen our indomitable network of global citizens who never let anything defeat them.

It is also extremely reassuring to see our Soka youth rising to the challenges being posed by the invisible adversary that is the coronavirus. They are demonstrating keen wisdom and insight, combined with deep empathy and perseverance, as they unite solidly together to create value.

I would like to present the youth with these words of the French scientist Louis Pasteur, a pioneer in the field of microbiology: “Great sufferings can give rise to great thoughts and great deeds.”[1]

A magnificent new facility, the Soka Treasure Light Reception Center, has been completed in Shinanomachi, Tokyo, standing on the same block as a site once slated to house the Soka Gakkai Headquarters many decades ago. With deepest gratitude to all who were involved in its construction, I recently took a photograph of the new building under sunny blue skies (on March 24).

In the Lotus Sutra, the god of the sun is referred to as “Jeweled Glow” (The Lotus Sutra and its Opening and Closing Sutras, p. 36), written with the same Chinese characters as “Treasure Light.” Explaining that such guardian deities—protective functions of the universe—will definitely safeguard those who have strong faith in the Mystic Law, the Daishonin declares: “Employ the strategy of the Lotus Sutra before any other” (“The Strategy of the Lotus Sutra, The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol 1, p 1001).

I am praying and waiting for the day when members from throughout Japan and the world, their smiling faces aglow with the joy of victory, can gather at the new Soka Treasure Light Reception Center, a “castle of the sun,” a symbol of good fortune and benefit.

Today again, let us courageously radiate the treasure light of mentor and disciple—the fearless hearts of lion kings—to illuminate the places where we have vowed to fulfill our mission!


  1. Translated from French. Louis Pasteur, Oeuvres de Pasteur (The Works of Pasteur), vol. 7, edited by Pasteur Vallery-Radot, (Paris: Libraires de l’Académie de Médecine, 1939), p. 310. ↩︎

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