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Ikeda Sensei

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

1980s Guidance

In June 1981, Ikeda Sensei makes his first visit to New York in six years. It is here that he crystallizes his hopes for the SGI-USA youth in the form of a poem read at a U.S.–Japan Goodwill Exchange Meeting. In the poem, he encourages the youth to become the very essence of conviction as they work for the sake of the Mystic Law and for the happiness of people, defining the power source for accomplishing this mission with the single word faith. This poem can be found in The Sun of Youth, pp. 65–75.

The world today is ailing.
This continental land, America,
is also faltering, about to succumb
to the same illness.

In the past, the land of America,
was a symbol of freedom and
fresh new focus of the world’s hopes.

You! Young people
who uphold the Mystic Law!
You! Youthful Bodhisattvas of the Earth,
dedicated to the attainment
of kosen-rufu!

You have chosen this time
to stand resolutely
on this grand stage
as the curtain majestically lifts,
as we strive to transform
a century verging on barrenness
into a new era of life—
the twenty-first century!

You, more than anyone,
are the noble emissaries of the Buddha.
Cherishing the values
of compassion, wisdom and justice,
you are endowed with the mission
to lead lives of eloquence, poetry,
culture and philosophy,
to dance and stride unfettered
with vigor and with grace.

Those who have awakened
to their mission are strong.
Your mission is to show to all
the goal of kosen-rufu,
the clear and certain means
to realize peace and happiness
for humankind;
to construct within your hearts
palaces of human dignity.
This is the mission of those
who have embraced truth
eternal and universal.

The mission you possess
is vast and noble—
You who have awakened to the
Mystic Law,
this infinitely precious, indestructible,
eternal and boundless Law.

You! Youth of America
who have begun the
steady advance
of your daily lives,
as you take up the challenge
to work toward kosen-rufu.

With a roar,
valiant and ceaseless,
proclaim to society
the absolute values
of peace and culture,
as you advance
step by step,
as you progress
stage by stage.

Now is the time
once more to construct
a land of unshakable joy and prosperity,
fresh with the love of humanity,
here in America,
this beloved land of freedom,
where people have gathered
from throughout the world
seeking the fulfillment of their dreams.

Champions who struggle courageously
for the sake of the Mystic Law,
yours is the responsibility
to guide the entire world
to the flower garden
of safety and tranquility.
Chanting the Mystic Law
with resonant, resounding voices,
plant your feet on the earth of society;
sink in your roots,
bring forth flowers and blossoms,
as you continue to speak,
to converse, to call from the heart,
to move and meet—
for this friend here
for that friend there
for the people of this city,
for friends far away.

Singing with joy
you gather under the banner
of the Great Law,
of teachings correct and true.
Create and complete
for yourself and with others
wondrous lives
of eternity, happiness, true self and purity.

America, this land uniting nations,
where people from everywhere
have gathered in harmony,
a miniature of the entire world.
Only in the unity and solidarity of
so many diverse peoples
is to be found the principle and formula
for global peace.

You whom I trust and love,
grounding yourselves on the fundament of the Mystic Law,
hold aloft once more
the symbol and significance of
those stars and stripes as they
stream and ripple in the wind.
Never forget your vow,
made in the infinite past,
to love this homeland,
to stand alone against injustice
as vibrant youth of high ideals,
undertaking the adventure
and battle for human advancement.

Wise and passionate youth
who know deeply,
and share with others
the true purpose of life,
life’s true aspect—
the three thousand realms
contained in a single life moment.
As you live out your lives,
never forget the infinite dignity
of your mission as pioneers
of the movement for kosen-rufu,
to create an enduring and perfect peace.

Compassionate and committed,
your faith flows ceaselessly like water
pure and powerful—
strong, yet gentle.
Over the long course of history,
your lives are destined to shine
with victory, the grateful praise
of future generations.
Now is the time
for us to join together
—you and I, and our friends—
to enjoy the beautiful, precious bonds,
the deepest dimension of our shared
to expand this golden circle
into the coming century.

You! Young people
living now and into the future!
You who advance,
who never lose sight
of the single point
of our clear and certain goal,
however opinions may differ.

Today again study!
Today again take action!
Today again strive!
Pace today’s meaningful progress,
tomorrow, advance another cheerful step.
Each day fusing your life
with the sublime Mystic Law,
wipe the sweat from your brow
as you ascend the hill of completion
toward the summit of priceless
Be as the lotus flower
blooming pure amidst the
muddied realities of society.

Faith is—
to fear nothing
to stand unswayed
the power to surmount any obstacle.
Faith is the source from which
all solutions flow.
Faith is the engine that propels us
in the thrilling voyage of life,
a life victorious and transcendent.

You who shoulder America’s future!
Recalling, learning from
the assaults borne by the Daishonin,
never fear the persecutions that will
inevitably arise as kosen-rufu unfolds.
Never become base or cowardly!
Never be taken in by the false
and cunning words
of those who have betrayed
their faith.

Working for the sake of the Law
for the happiness of people
become the very essence of conviction,
bring new light to
the hearts and lives of many.

You! Successors to the task of kosen-rufu!
The twenty-first century is at hand.
Correctly develop
your remarkable abilities and powers—
for the sake of the American continent,
for the sake of this troubled, unstable world.
First, you yourself
must realize all
your dreams and desires;
savor a profound and satisfying life,
free from all regret;
advance again with exalted step;
with unshakable confidence, create
a golden history of cause and effect.

Youthful friends and comrades
swirling out onto the grand stage
of the twenty-first century!
Not a single one of you
should fall behind.
When you who have gathered now
take your places on society’s stage
the waves of kosen-rufu
will further rise and further swell.
In my ears resounds
the applause of trust and respect
as I picture my friends
—the members of SGI-USA—
joining hands,
turning smiling faces
toward one another.

With complete faith in you
as successors,
I entrust to you
the entire endeavor of kosen-rufu
and can
therefore proceed
to every corner of the earth!

Confident that
from this yet narrow path
you will forge a grand passage
into the future,
I am happy and filled with joy.

New York
June 20, 1981

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