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Gosho Study

The Beginning of All Things

Mountain View Discussion Meeting. Photo by Kiyoko Okayasu.

In this entire country of Japan, I am the only one who has been chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. I am like the single speck of dust that marks the beginning of Mount Sumeru or the single drop of dew that spells the start of the great ocean. Probably two people, three people, ten people, a hundred people will join in chanting it, until it spreads to one province, two provinces, and all the sixty-six provinces of Japan, and reaches even to the two islands of Iki and Tsushima. Those persons who have spoken slanderously of me will in time chant in the same way; and everyone from the ruler on down to the multitude of common people will, as described in the  “Supernatural Powers” chapter of the Lotus Sutra, chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo with a single voice. Though the trees may desire to be still, the wind will not cease to blow; though we may wish for spring to linger, it must give way to summer. (“The Blessings of the Lotus Sutra,” The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, p. 672)

Ikeda Sensei’s Guidance

An important lesson of this writing is the fact that kosen-rufu is realized through one person reaching out and sharing the correct teaching with another—as indicated by the passage “two people, three people, ten people, a hundred people will join in chanting [Nam-myoho-renge-kyo].” This is because kosen-rufu is a movement to awaken the lives of one person after another.

In exact accord with Nichiren Daishonin’s words, we of the Soka Gakkai have spread the correct teaching by talking with others and telling them about our Buddhist practice. The cornerstones of our movement are one-to-one dialogue and discussion meetings.

It was first Soka Gakkai President Tsunesaburo Makiguchi who began this tradition of dialogue and discussion meetings. To a youth who suggested that holding large-scale lectures might be more effective than discussion meetings, Mr. Makiguchi said with keen insight: “No, it wouldn’t. Dialogue is the only way to communicate with another about life’s problems. At a lecture, listeners inevitably feel uninvolved. Even Nichiren Daishonin’s treatise ‘On Establishing the Correct Teaching for the Peace of the Land’ was written in the form of a dialogue, you know.”

Second Soka Gakkai President Josei Toda often said, “Kosen-rufu will be realized through one-to-one, face-to-face dialogue.” With this same conviction, I have made constant efforts to engage in one-to-one dialogue.

The important thing is encouraging each person one to one with genuine warmth and humanity and inspiring them in faith. As long as this tradition stays alive, the Soka Gakkai’s continued development is assured. (Learning From Nichiren’s Writings: The Teachings for Victory, vol. 2, pp. 98–99)

Peace, Culture and Education: The Purpose of Buddhist Study—Part 2

The Youth Division—Break Through Limitations as the Flag Bearers of Fresh Development!