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The Brilliant Path of Worldwide Kosen-rufu

Volume 16: Chapter Three—Soaring

Chapter Summary

Illustration courtesy of Seikyo Press.

After returning from Europe and North America, Shin’ichi Yamamoto traveled to the Kansai and Shikoku regions, and then to Hokkaido. In July, he headed to the Tohoku region, which had suffered heavy damage from torrential rains.

When Shin’ichi arrived in Sendai on July 9, he promptly canceled the commemorative photo session that was scheduled with the members of Akita, an area where the destruction had been especially great. He quickly took steps to ensure that members living in storm-impacted areas received encouragement. The following day, he traveled to Yamagata to participate in a group photo session. Then, on July 11, he journeyed to Akita to embolden friends to win over their difficulties.

The Soka Gakkai established relief command centers in the Chugoku region, as well as all other affected areas. When the com-munity witnessed how members, many of whom were impacted by the storm themselves, endeavored mightily to offer assistance, their appreciation and trust for Soka Gakkai members grew.

In October, the Grand Main Temple, which Nichiren Daishonin had decreed and Shin’ichi had initiated and built, was donated to the head temple. It was a great edifice at which people would gather to pray for the peace and prosperity of humankind. Friends from around the world gathered to take part in a grand ceremony to mark the occasion.

However, in 1998, Nikken, the so-called high priest, demolished the Grand Main Temple out of a desire to destroy the unity of mentor and disciple that existed in the Soka Gakkai. It was an atrocious act of destruction that trampled on the sincere donations of 8 million practitioners. The Soka Gakkai, meanwhile, triumphed over the barbaric attacks of the priesthood, soaring high into the skies of the 21st century as a humanistic world religion.

Unforgettable Scene

Illustration courtesy of Seikyo Press.

Burning With Hope for the Future

“The Great Rains of July 1972” caused serious damage throughout Japan, which led to the subsequent cancellation of a commemorative photo session to be held with Shin’ichi Yamamoto in Akita. On July 11, Shin’ichi visited Akita to join disaster relief efforts and encourage the members there through informal discussions.

A young man asked: “The Akita group photo sessions had to be canceled because of the flooding. Does that mean there is something wrong with our faith?”

All the Akita members had chanted earnestly for good weather on the day of the photo sessions. The terrible conditions therefore troubled them.

Shin’ichi replied promptly: “Weather is a natural phenomenon. Sometimes there are heavy rains. No matter how strong our faith is, we will still experience things like typhoons or heavy snowfall, like you do here in Akita. There’s no need, however, to blame such events on your faith and worry about it from that perspective.”

Shin’ichi wanted to communicate the message that Buddhism is a philosophy of hope and a source of courage. He then said: “Of course, given that ‘one’s body and mind at a single moment pervade the entire realm of phenomena’ (“The Object of Devotion for Observing the Mind,” WND-1, 366), our chanting does affect the universe. But if you allow yourself to lose heart because heavy rains fall, there is no point in having faith. Nichiren Buddhism is concerned with the present and the future. The important thing is to rouse your courage and move powerfully ahead toward the future, determined to make your community into a ‘Land of Eternally Tranquil Light.’ …

“Buddhism is the way to transform everything into hope and the energy to advance.

“For example, if your group photo session is canceled because of bad weather, you can take it as an opportunity to freshly resolve that the next session will be a tremendous success. Or, if you experience a natural disaster, you can say to yourself: ‘All right, this is the crucial moment! I will win! I’m going to change poison into medicine and demonstrate the greatness of my faith.’ With such an undaunted spirit, you can boldly set forth anew. If you continue to move powerfully toward the future with brilliant hope no matter what happens, that itself will be your victory. That is the proof of your faith.” (The New Human Revolution, vol. 16, pp. 203–05)

The chapter summaries were originally published in the February 5, 2020, Seikyo Shimbun, while the “Unforgettable Scenes” were originally published in the February 12, 2020, issue.

Key Passage

Any great accomplishment is the sum total of innumerable, well thought-out, tried and tested steps, each executed to perfection. (NHR-16, 245)

Volume 16: Chapter Two—Dialogue

Excerpts From Nichiren’s Writings in Volume 16