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Ikeda Sensei

Soka Districts Are Beacons of Happiness

This monthly encouragement by Ikeda Sensei was originally published in the October 2020 issue of the Daibyakurenge, the Soka Gakkai’s monthly study journal.

Soka Gakkai districts are beacons of happiness in our communities.

The more painful the sufferings of karma afflicting our members and the fiercer the waves of adversity assailing society, the brighter Soka districts shine with the light of boundless hope and courage. They enable everyone to navigate their way through life toward happiness and security.

I press my palms together in deepest reverence and earnestly chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo for all our dedicated leaders working tirelessly on the front lines of our organization, especially our men’s and women’s district leaders who are resolutely protecting and keeping the light of those precious beacons shining day after day.

Amid the present coronavirus pandemic, they are no doubt facing many new challenges. I am reminded of the time when my mentor, second Soka Gakkai President Josei Toda, thanked and praised our pioneering district leaders for their patient, painstaking efforts, saying that they exemplified the true spirit of Buddhist practice expressed in the Lotus Sutra as donning the “armor of perseverance” (The Lotus Sutra and Its Opening and Closing Sutras, p. 233).

Nichiren Daishonin clarified three key points in ensuring that the heritage of the ultimate Law of life and death continues to flow in the community of practitioners.

First is unshakable conviction in faith that the Buddha, the Mystic Law and we ordinary human beings “are in no way different or separate from one another” (“The Heritage of the Ultimate Law of Life,” The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, p. 216).

Second is steadfast faith that never “forsakes the Lotus Sutra in any lifetime whatsoever throughout eternity” (see WND-1, 217).

And third is advancing with united faith toward realizing the great vow for kosen-rufu as fellow practitioners one in purpose, “transcending all differences among themselves to become as inseparable as fish and the water in which they swim” (WND-1, 217).

Our Soka Gakkai districts have been built based on these essential points of faith. Therefore, the heritage of the ultimate Law of life and death brims vibrantly throughout them. Our districts are absolute safe places imbued with the noble virtues of eternity, joy, true self and purity, where members can encourage and support one another and strive together on their journey across the sea of the sufferings of birth, aging, sickness and death to attain Buddhahood in this lifetime.

Today, when division and isolation are rife in the world, members in our districts, despite various hardships, continue to stay in touch with one another, deepen their unity and wisely persevere in creating value toward the ideal of “establishing the correct teaching for the peace of the land” in their communities. By weathering this challenging time, our districts, beacons of revitalization, of human harmony, are certain to shine all the brighter and even illuminate global society.

Starting from our districts, the places entrusted to us by Nichiren Daishonin and where we are striving to fulfill our vow for kosen-rufu, let’s send forth the great light that will lead our friends and neighbors and all around us to the harbor of victory and honor!

Encouragement, the jeweled light
illuminating a tiny corner of the world,
will ensure
the spirit of the Bodhisattvas of the Earth
endures into the eternal future.

To My Beloved Young American Friends—Youthful Bodhisattvas of the Earth

Illuminate the World With the Sun of Your Youthful Vow