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Peace, Culture and Education: Future Division—Part 4

Part 3: Kosen-rufu and World Peace—The Future Division: The Key to the Ongoing Development of Kosen-rufu

“The Wisdom for Creating Happiness and Peace” is a three-part series that features key selections from SGI President Ikeda’s collected works, which thus far have been compiled into 150 volumes in Japanese. These selections introduce core concepts expressing the wisdom and universal message of Nichiren Buddhism. Through this series, SGI members throughout the world are able to simultaneously study the SGI president’s thought and philosophy.

With the conclusion of this series, readers strongly requested that two key themes vital to advancing kosen-rufu be further explored: raising the future division and the importance of Buddhist study. Additional guidance from SGI President Ikeda on these themes will be covered in this and upcoming issues of Living Buddhism.

Toward the Soka Gakkai’s 200th Anniversary

SGI President Ikeda looks toward the year 2030, when today’s future division members will not only take the lead in celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Soka Gakkai, but also take the first steps toward the organization’s 200th anniversary. Adapted from the essay series “Our Brilliant Path to Victory,” published in Japanese in the Seikyo Shimbun, the Soka Gakkai’s daily newspaper, on July 27, 2011.

The future! This is a central theme of the Lotus Sutra.

The sutra describes Shakyamuni and Many Treasures, and the Buddhas of the ten directions who are emanations of Shakyamuni, as having gathered to enable all living beings of future ages to attain enlightenment.

Nichiren Daishonin writes in “The Opening of the Eyes”:

Shakyamuni, Many Treasures, and the other Buddhas intend to insure the future propagation of the Lotus Sutra so that it can be made available to all the children of the Buddha in times to come. We may surmise from this that their concern and compassion are even greater than those of a father and mother who see their only child inflicted with great suffering. (The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, pp. 286–87)

The Lotus Sutra pulses with the fervent wish of the Buddha to spread the Mystic Law so that all those of future ages may lead lives of genuine happiness. This same ardent desire underlies our ceaseless prayers and exhaustive, all-out efforts to foster the future division members.

Our sole desire is to help every young person become an outstanding individual who will contribute greatly to the development of kosen-rufu, and to support them as they flourish and grow in the garden of the Soka Gakkai. We seek nothing in return, simply striving to encourage them in any way we can, with the earnest wish that they will lead lives of great mission and achievement.

This spirit resonates with the very heart and essence of the Lotus Sutra, and it is also why young Bodhisattvas of the Earth are joyfully emerging in ever-growing numbers in response to our call.

• • •

Dedicated efforts sometimes produce immediate results, but sometimes they do not. And some dreams are so big and far-reaching that they cannot be achieved by one person in a single lifetime.

We of the Soka Gakkai, however, are able to exert ourselves fully today, confident that our movement for kosen-rufu will show wonderful development 30 or 50 years from now. Why? Because we have successors, our future division members. Because we have you, my young friends, who will carry on the momentous task of building a peaceful and humane world.

• • •

My dear future division members! My precious friends! You are destined to be the noble protagonists of our movement when the Soka Gakkai celebrates its glorious 100th anniversary in 2030.

At that time, you, our present boys and girls division members [in 2011], will have grown to be fine young adults, ranging in age from 25 to 31. When I was around that age, I traveled tirelessly all over Japan representing my mentor, second Soka Gakkai President Toda, and achieved one victory after another for kosen-rufu. I look back on that time of my youth with great pride.

In 2030, you, our present junior high school division members, will be around the same age I was when I succeeded Mr. Toda as Soka Gakkai president [at age 32] and traveled to countries around the world, embarking on my great struggle for peace.

And I am confident that, in 2030, you, today’s high school division members, will be active as “torchbearers of justice,” playing leading roles in every sphere of society.

I was 36 years old when I established the first of the divisions that now comprise the future division. I did so with the intent of building an indestructible bastion of Soka. It is truly exciting to think of all the doors you will open when you reach that age—doors to a wonderful new future. And I am sure you will joyously set out together from there on a journey toward the Soka Gakkai’s 200th anniversary (in 2130).

Mr. Toda stated with supreme confidence: “The struggle we are waging now is for the sake of 100 years, 200 years hence. Two centuries from now, history will show that we of the Soka Gakkai have been on the right path. Future generations will attest to it beyond doubt.”

Translated from the January 2018 issue of the Daibyakurenge, the Soka Gakkai’s monthly study journal.

With President Ikeda’s permission, some minor edits and revisions have been made to the original Japanese, and excerpts of remarks originally in dialogue format have been recast as monologues for ease of reading.

—Selected Excerpts Editorial Committee

Sharing Buddhism With Others

Peace, Culture and Education: The Purpose of Buddhist Study—Part 1