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Encouragement

Rain Always Lifts: Keep the Sun Shining in Your Heart!

Rainbow in Olderdalen, with view of the Fjords, Norway
Busà Photography / Getty Images

The following is Ikeda Sensei’s photo essay series for the members of the elementary school division. This installment was originally published in the June 1, 2019, issue of Boys and Girls Hope News, the Soka Gakkai’s monthly newspaper for the elementary school division.

The rainy season has arrived in Japan. Some of you may not like the rain and like it even less when it rains on the day of a field trip or a school sports day.

There have been a number of occasions when it rained on days that the Soka Gakkai held big outdoor events. At such times, I would say to the disheartened event organizers: “Don’t worry. Let’s make this an even more memorable day than if the sun were shining.” And I would walk around encouraging the participants and event staff.

Even when things don’t turn out the way we hoped, we can transform the situation into something wonderful, depending on our attitude.

I once presented a poem to a dear friend in China, which read: “Friendship / is forever, / come rain or shine.”

Rain is often called a blessing. There is also a Japanese saying: “Rain is the mother and father of flowers.”

Rain makes plants and trees grow. It nurtures the rice, the wheat from which we make our bread and all the crops of vegetables that we eat.

When rain falls, it fills the rivers that eventually flow into the sea. It also falls directly into the ocean, where many fish live and swim.

Most of the water that we drink also comes from rain. That’s why, although too much rain can cause problems, without rain, we wouldn’t have water to drink or anything to eat. Rain, together with the light of the sun, supports all life on Earth.

If you change your perspective on the things you don’t like or find challenging, you’ll often come to realize that they are invaluable. For example, studying for school or practicing sports may seem arduous and dull while you’re doing them. But nothing compares to the great joy you feel when you finally achieve your goal after tenacious, repeated effort.

Nichiren Daishonin teaches, “It is when the rain pours, the wind rages, and people try to hold one back that one’s resolve comes to the fore” (“Acknowledging Various Offerings,” The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 2, p. 757).

In the long run, all of your hardships, even the suffering of illness, can become a source of personal growth and a precious treasure for your life.

Since my youth, I have cherished this conviction: “Rain always lifts; night always gives way to day; and winter always turns to spring.”

When we are suffering, we tend to think that the pain will last forever. However, that is simply not true. Rain stops falling eventually. And after the rain, the sun shines brighter than before and may even produce a beautiful rainbow.

Though troubles may fall on you one after another like rain, I know you will never give up—because each of you can make the sun rise in your heart, anytime and anywhere. Chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo enables you to do so.

When the sun rises, a new day begins. Even on rainy and stormy days, the sun shines brilliantly above the clouds.

Let’s make the sun rise and blue skies of hope shine in our hearts!

Believe in Your Own Potential!

Upholding a Grand Vision