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Ikeda Sensei

Proudly Studying Nichiren Daishonin’s Teachings and Savoring the Joy of Human Revolution

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This monthly encouragement by SGI President Daisaku Ikeda was originally published in the April 2020 issue of the Daibyakurenge, the Soka Gakkai’s monthly study journal.

Learning is light—this is a conviction we have inherited from founding Soka Gakkai President Tsunesaburo Makiguchi, who continued to study in earnest even while in prison, where he ultimately died for his beliefs.

The light we gain from learning about Nichiren Daishonin’s Buddhism of the Sun is infinite, bright and warm, and powerful beyond measure.

In one of his letters, Nichiren praises the lay nun Myoho, who had asked him a question about the Lotus Sutra while caring for a seriously ill family member. He writes, “For you to inquire about the Lotus Sutra and ask its meaning is a rare source of good fortune” (“The One Essential Phrase,” The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, p. 922). Having the seeking spirit to keep studying the teachings of Buddhism, even amid adversity or hardship, is a source of tremendous good fortune and boundless hope.

The Daishonin also writes that “all the beings of the Ten Worlds can attain Buddhahood in their present form” (see WND-1, 923). Anyone, no matter their circumstances, can bring forth the brilliant inner life state of Buddhahood through the power of chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. He likens this to “a lantern lighting up a place that has been dark for a hundred, a thousand, or ten thousand years” (WND-1, 923). The Soka Gakkai’s Buddhist study movement has enabled countless sincere, ordinary people to illuminate their lives and those of others with the “lantern” of the Mystic Law.

Many of our pioneer members were unable to attend school or receive much education during World War II. Studying Nichiren’s writings and putting them into practice in their own lives, they were filled with the pride of learning and the joy of human revolution. And they went on themselves to become experts in Buddhist study, helping foster many capable Bodhisattvas of the Earth.

This pure stream of individual empowerment through Buddhist learning of unprecedented depth and breadth has now grown into a mighty river of peace education that explores the philosophy of respect for the dignity of life, enriching the lives of people all around the globe.

Today, an All Africa Buddhist Study Exam program is being implemented in over 30 countries across the African continent. Victorious smiles light the members’ faces after completing their exams, many of them having overcome numerous challenges along the way. How noble and inspiring they are!

Our members everywhere, while exerting themselves in the “two ways of practice and study” (“The True Aspect of All Phenomena,” WND-1, 386), are deepening their vow as Bodhisattvas of the Earth and forging ahead on the path to worldwide kosen-rufu in the united spirit of “many in body, one in mind.”

Nichiren Daishonin writes, “The wonderful means of truly putting an end to the physical and spiritual obstacles of all living beings is none other than Nam-myoho-renge-kyo” (“The Wonderful Means of Surmounting Obstacles,” WND-1, 842). Precisely because our world is filled with “physical and spiritual obstacles,” let us base ourselves on the writings of Nichiren Daishonin and make even greater efforts to share the Mystic Law with courage and sincerity.

“All phenomena that exist are manifestations of the Buddhist Law” (“The Unanimous Declaration by the Buddhas,” WND-2, 844), says Nichiren. Let us, therefore, shine with an open-minded spirit of learning, and also work to ensure that human intellect and wisdom are used toward realizing human happiness and world peace.

Buddhism is the light
for changing poison into medicine.
Indomitable champions of wisdom,
keep learning
and win through all!

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