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Ikeda Sensei

A Magnificent Palace of Happiness Exists Within

2021 Message to the Women and Young Women From SGI Honorary Women’s Leader Kaneko Ikeda

Close-Up Of White Flowering Plant Photo Taken In Italy, San Donato In Fronzano
Olivier Tranchesi / Eyeem / Getty Images

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In this month of February, when we of the Soka family around the world celebrate the significant milestone of the 800th anniversary of Nichiren Daishonin’s birth,[1] I am most happy to share a brief message with all of you.

Nichiren writes, “In order to repay my debt to my mother, I have vowed to enable all women to chant the daimoku of this sutra [Nam-myoho-renge-kyo]” (“The Sutra of True Requital,” The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, p. 931). Citing this passage, my husband voiced his conviction that the Daishonin would praise, above all, the harmonious, optimistic advance of our women’s and young women’s division members, who are opening the way to happiness and peace for women everywhere in these trying times. He also said he could picture Tsunesaburo Makiguchi and Josei Toda, the first and second Soka Gakkai presidents, praising and applauding their efforts, as well.

Since last year, the world has been facing the unprecedented challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic. My husband and I are praying wholeheartedly each day for the eternal happiness of those who have lost their lives to this terrible disease. We are also praying earnestly for a quick end to the pandemic and for the safety, security, health and long life of all our precious members.

A leading Japanese publisher has just released a paperback edition of one of my husband’s books, titled Taho sho (Many Treasures Selection). It features a newly revised selection of his encouragement for those in the third and crowning stage of their lives.

In his preface to the new edition, my husband conveys his concern for the elderly, who face a higher risk of developing severe illness from the coronavirus. He then introduces some recent letters, brimming with an invincible spirit, that pioneering SGI-USA women’s division members have sent him. These members have been in close correspondence with my husband for over six decades, since his first visit to the United States in 1960, together sharing sufferings and joys throughout.

They wrote that the pandemic has enabled them to deepen supportive ties with their neighbors. They have also connected, through various online platforms, with friends they hadn’t been in touch with for a while or fellow members living far away, in this way building an even stronger network of encouragement and study. In addition, many young people have reached out to them for guidance and advice, so they have been busier than ever, they shared.

My husband extols our Many Treasures Group members as “unsung ordinary, yet incredibly noble, people,” who serve as a towering source of inspiration, their lives shining like precious jewels.

The palace of happiness does not exist somewhere outside us.

A passage from The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings that my generation has studied since we were young states: “One becomes aware of the Buddha vehicle within oneself and enters the palace of oneself. Chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo is what is meant by entering the palace of oneself ” (p. 209). It teaches that our life itself is an embodiment of the Mystic Law, and that a magnificent palace of happiness exists within our own hearts.

This does not mean that we will never experience problems or suffering. The palace of happiness refers to the state of life in which we courageously challenge all hardships and obstacles by chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. And we accumulate treasures of the heart and make the palace of our lives shine radiantly by persevering in our efforts to do our human revolution and transform our karma. Our women’s division members, the mothers of kosen-rufu, are teaching this to our successors in the youth and future divisions through their personal experiences of changing poison into medicine.

The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings also states “Both oneself and others together will take joy in their possession of wisdom and compassion” (p. 146). Faith in the Mystic Law enables us to bring forth from the palace of our lives the wisdom to break through any impasse. It is also the wellspring of compassion for our efforts to encourage one another and together revitalize our lives, believing in each person’s potential for Buddhahood.

We are currently facing a challenging time, when many are overwhelmed by anxiety and the loneliness of isolation. Because of this, our efforts to reach out with a smile and connect with others, forging joyful ties brimming with wisdom and compassion, are sure to be a source of limitless hope and inspiration.

In January 1968, my husband composed a poem for women, titled “To the Protectors of the Dignity of Life,” expressing his vision of the 21st century as a Century of Life. Celebrating women who from time immemorial have valued and nurtured life as priceless above all else, the poem concludes with these lines:

You, my friends who personally
protect the dignity of life
most consistently and swiftly,
united, happy and free!
Lasting peace and prosperity
reside nowhere but
in your pure, strong hearts.

We have launched this Year of Hope and Victory, aiming toward the Soka Gakkai’s 100th anniversary in 2030, with a fresh, all-out effort infused with our vow for kosen-rufu, and with our energetic successors, young global citizens, taking the lead.

Let us strengthen our network of value creation, based on a commitment to peace, culture and education and dedicated to bringing the world’s people closer together. And let us make the 21st century shine brilliantly as an age when the life of each person is respected, and everyone can live with dignity.

When we chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo for ourselves and others, “with just that single sound,” says the Daishonin, “we summon forth and manifest the Buddha nature of … all other living beings. This blessing is immeasurable and boundless” (“Those Initially Aspiring to the Way,” WND-1, 887).

My husband and I are chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo for each of you, praying that you and the land where you are carrying out your mission will be protected and blessed with boundless and immeasurable benefits.

Please stay safe and well every single day.

Kaneko Ikeda
SGI Honorary Women’s Leader


  1. Nichiren Daishonin was born on Feb. 16, 1222. According to Japanese tradition, a person is counted as 1 year old on the day of their birth. ↩︎


Ushering in a New Day of Hope (Part 1)