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Ikeda Sensei

A Network of ‘Human Flowers’ Embodying Harmony in Diversity

Photo by Angelo Casto.

This monthly encouragement by Ikeda Sensei was originally published in the November 2021 Daibyakurenge, the Soka Gakkai’s monthly study journal.

In this month of the anniversary of our founding [November], let us once again join in expressing our gratitude to Soka women around the world, the shining suns of kosen-rufu.

I am reminded of a passage from the “Bodhisattva Medicine King” chapter of the Lotus Sutra that Nichiren Daishonin sent to Nichigen-nyo: “One who can accept and uphold this sutra is likewise foremost among all living beings” (The Lotus Sutra and Its Opening and Closing Sutras, p. 327). Declaring that these words are “the heart of the entire sutra,” he praises Nichigen-nyo by affirming that they refer to her, too, as a woman who upholds the Mystic Law (see “The Unity of Husband and Wife,” The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, p. 463).

The “Bodhisattva Medicine King” chapter also extols the power of the Mystic Law, proclaiming that it “can save all living beings,” “can cause all living beings to free themselves from suffering and anguish” and “can bring great benefits to all living beings and fulfill their desires” (LSOC, 327–28).

The women of our movement—Bodhisattvas of the Earth possessing this great beneficial medicine of the Mystic Law—are carrying out the Buddha’s work on the Buddha’s behalf, day after day, with tireless devotion.

Who are truly admirable? The time has passed for being dazzled by outward trappings such as status, celebrity, power and wealth. What matters is embracing a sound philosophy and working hard for others’ happiness and the betterment of society. Such substance of character and action are inspiring.

That is what makes Soka women who are dedicated to kosen-rufu truly admirable. Upholding the life-affirming principles of Nichiren Buddhism, they strive out of the limelight, warmly supporting friends who are suffering. With unwavering faith, they continue sincerely and steadily to build an ever-growing network of people working for a more humane world.

Let us pay tribute to these unsung heroes—cheerful and smiling, free of pretense or arrogance—as foremost exemplars of humanity, just as the Daishonin surely would. Let us always respect and learn from them, proudly applaud and honor them as champions of happiness and victory.

Though their activities may not be exciting or glamorous, the women of Soka set a benchmark for the human qualities needed to help people realize their potential and are a cornerstone for peace that will bring humanity together as one global family.

In particular, our solidly united women—blossoming together as “human flowers” in their own unique way like the “cherry, plum, peach, and damson” (see The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings, p. 200)—offer a model for harmony in diversity, which the world so desperately seeks.

Nichiren said, “‘Great compassion’ is like the mercy and compassion that a mother feels for her child” (OTT, 43). Uniting with the youth, let’s work even harder to illuminate the future with the bright wisdom that arises from compassion.

As members of the most positive, inspiring movement in all the world, let’s advance joyfully toward our centennial!

Fulfilling the wish of our founder
who died for his beliefs,
let us create an age of humanity
where the happy smiles
of women shine.

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