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Ikeda Sensei’s Lectures

Fulfilling the Great Vow for Kosen-rufu Is the Essential Spirit of Soka Mentors and Disciples

Creating a Century of Humanism in Which All Can Shine—Part 5 [61]

The thunderstorms of the night before had cleared, and a magnificent rainbow stretched across the blue May sky. It was as if the heavenly deities were celebrating the start of this fresh chapter in our journey for kosen-rufu.

Before leaving home that day, I composed a poem:

“Don’t be defeated!”
“Resolutely take the lead!”—
my mentor’s voice
still resounds powerfully
in the depths of my being.

On that May 3, 1960, I was inaugurated as the third president of the Soka Gakkai at the spring general meeting held in the Nihon University Auditorium.[1] It was nine years to the day after my mentor, Josei Toda, had become the second president.

“Casting Off the Transient and Revealing the True”

At noon, I made my way from the rear of the auditorium to the front stage as members sang and clapped along to a Soka Gakkai song, their energy shaking the steel-roofed hall. My gaze rose to the large portrait of my mentor hanging high above.

I felt as if I could hear his voice urging me: “Fulfill the great vow for kosen-rufu! Resolutely take the lead! Don’t be defeated!”

Shortly after becoming president himself, Mr. Toda declared that the Soka Gakkai had “cast off the transient and revealed the true.” It was an affirmation that an awareness of being Bodhisattvas of the Earth,[2] committed to realizing the vow for kosen-rufu alongside their mentor, had spread throughout the members and spurred them to take resolute action.[3]

Standing Up to Fulfill the Mission of the Bodhisattvas of the Earth

Josei Toda entrusted us with actualizing the great vow for kosen-rufu and the noble mission of the Bodhisattvas of the Earth. In the little more than 10 years I spent by his side, I learned and instilled in my life the courage, wisdom, faith and action I would need to advance kosen-rufu.

They were days of unrelenting struggle. In the midst of a particularly intense and challenging battle we waged together as mentor and disciple, he said to me: “You must live—live out your life to the fullest! I will give you my life so that you may do so.” The training I received from my mentor has been the foundation for everything in my life up to the present moment, and my gratitude to him knows no bounds.

Taking Leadership and Advancing Another Step Forward

On that May 3 when I became president, I stood at the podium as Josei Toda’s faithful disciple and said: “Though I am young, from this day I will take leadership as a representative of President Toda’s disciples and advance with you another step toward the substantive realization of kosen-rufu.”[4]

I was 32 years old. When I spoke as president for the first time, I was filled with the determination to carry out a selfless struggle for kosen-rufu. I knew that, in light of Nichiren Daishonin’s writings, efforts to spread the Mystic Law in this corrupt and evil latter age were certain to meet with great difficulties. Because the Soka Gakkai is the harmonious community of practitioners dedicated to realizing kosen-rufu in exact accord with the Buddha’s intent, we must continue to proudly follow the path set forth by Nichiren—the path of selfless devotion to propagating the Law and persevering amid hardships to do so.

In “The Opening of the Eyes,” the Daishonin declares: “This I will state. Let the gods forsake me. Let all persecutions assail me. Still I will give my life for the sake of the Law” (The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, p. 280). I have taken these words as my personal vow, cherishing them in my heart since the day I resolved to “begin my lifetime battle to spread the Law, transcending life and death.”[5]

A Fundamental Transformation of One’s View of Religion and Faith

This I will state. Let the gods forsake me. Let all persecutions assail me. Still I will give my life for the sake of the Law. (“The Opening of the Eyes,” The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, p. 280)[6]

This passage is one of the most famous in “The Opening of the Eyes,” the writing in which Nichiren Daishonin states that he is the votary of the Lotus Sutra. Both our first and second presidents, Tsunesaburo Makiguchi and Josei Toda, underlined it in their personal copies of Nichiren Daishonin’s writings and lived true to this conviction.

Once referring to this passage, Mr. Toda declared that he was “prepared to give his life for the sake of the great vow for kosen-rufu.” And he expressed his wish to connect with Nichiren’s immense compassion, his towering conviction, his ardent spirit to aid and protect people, and his solemn and unswerving commitment to kosen-rufu.[7]

Why, if the Daishonin was a votary, or practitioner, of the Lotus Sutra, didn’t he receive the protection of the heavenly deities? Why was he the target of great persecution? In the passage preceding this section we are studying, he thoroughly clarifies these doubts people had about him through both reason and documentary proof.

The Lotus Sutra does indeed teach that its practitioners will enjoy “peace and security in their present existence and good circumstances in future existences” (The Lotus Sutra and Its Opening and Closing Sutras, p. 136)[8] as well as the protection of the heavenly deities, the positive functions of the universe. Still, Nichiren Buddhism is not a teaching of longing for or simply relying upon heavenly protection. Nor is it a “dependent faith,” seeking salvation from a supernatural power or being.

Rather, it teaches us to have unwavering faith in the Lotus Sutra, the teaching of universal enlightenment; to dedicate our lives to the vow to spread the Mystic Law; and to confront and come to terms with even the harshest and most trying circumstances. Such a life resounds with the triumphant cheers of the human spirit, the spirit to confidently stand alone, aligned with the ultimate Law of the universe. And it is this attitude and commitment that activate the protective functions and enable us to achieve true “peace and security” in this existence as promised in the Lotus Sutra. This represents a fundamental transformation of past views of religion and religious faith.

Some religions teach that there is essentially very little people can do when faced with great difficulty, resulting in a sense of helplessness and a desire to escape reality. Nichiren Buddhism, however, encourages us to see even the most painful hardship as an opportunity to grow stronger, and that struggling with difficulties, in fact, enables us to unlock our limitless potential.

“This I will state. Let the gods forsake me”—the lion’s roar of the votary of the Lotus Sutra—is a declaration of the supreme power of the human spirit.

Humanity Must Choose Life

I am reminded of the eminent British historian Arnold J. Toynbee (1889–1975), who, in our wide-ranging discussions of the issues confronting humanity, expressed uncertainty about the future of Western civilization.

He suggested that we adopt Choose Life as the title of the English translation of our dialogue, which he said he had taken from the Book of Deuteronomy (30:19) of the Old Testament of the Bible.

Dr. Toynbee discerned that major civilizations and religions are products of the human response to severe challenges. In our dialogue, he offered his thoughts on religion in the future, saying, “A future religion that is to bring into being, and to keep in being, a new civilization will have to be one that will enable mankind to contend with, and to overcome, the evils that are serious present threats to human survival.”[9]

I believe that, in suggesting Choose Life as the title of our dialogue, Dr. Toynbee was expressing his solemn wish that no matter how filled with suffering our world may be, human beings will choose life, summon all their courage and wisdom, and surely survive. This is also the message of hope that the Soka Gakkai seeks to impart to people everywhere.

Dr. Toynbee contributed a foreword to the English edition of my novel The Human Revolution, in which he said that the Soka Gakkai was a “world affair” and that, “In working for the human revolution, Soka Gakkai is carrying out Nichiren’s mandate.”[10] This mandate is nothing other than kosen-rufu, which is synonymous with world peace.

Pressing Forward Undaunted by the Fiercest Challenges

This poem by my mentor was displayed on a banner during my inauguration ceremony:

Now, let us set out on a journey,
our hearts emboldened
to spread the Mystic Law
to the farthest reaches
of India.

Cherishing these words in my heart, I made my way around the world. Today, as you know, our movement for kosen-rufu has developed on a truly global scale, but our journey to get here was by no means smooth or easy. Constantly battling fierce gales and headwinds, we pressed forward tenaciously, aiming each year for May 3, Soka Gakkai Day. We charged boldly ahead, undeterred by attacks from the three powerful enemies[11] and storms of slander and abuse that Nichiren Daishonin predicted in accord with the Lotus Sutra passage: “Since hatred and jealousy toward this sutra abound even when the Thus Come One [Shakyamuni Buddha] is in the world, how much more will this be so after his passing?” (LSOC, 203). No organization or individual was ever so deluged with groundless criticism and malicious insults. At the same time, the actions of hostile priests intent on disrupting the harmonious community of practitioners led to problems with the Nichiren Shoshu priesthood.

But difficulties are a badge of honor.

Nichiren’s words “This I will state. Let the gods forsake me. Let all persecutions assail me. Still I will give my life for the sake of the Law” (“The Opening of the Eyes,” WND-1, 280) ring with absolute conviction. Inspired by that conviction, Soka mentors and disciples have given their all to realize the great vow for kosen-rufu, with the fearless, unwavering spirit of the lion king. That is why we have been able to tap the limitless power of the Mystic Law and build a solid foundation for kosen-rufu. Now, propelled by the courage and wisdom of the dedicated members in 192 countries and territories, the Soka Gakkai is making ever greater strides in its development as a truly global religious movement.

As the passage beginning with the words “This I will state” affirms, our vow is the starting point for transforming every situation.

In “The Opening of the Eyes,” the Daishonin proclaims his vow in initiating his great personal struggle to propagate the Mystic Law: “I will be the pillar of Japan. I will be the eyes of Japan. I will be the great ship of Japan. This is my vow, and I will never forsake it!” (WND-1, 280–81). This vow for kosen-rufu is undeniable proof that the Daishonin is the votary of the Lotus Sutra. It is the epitome of his spirit, undaunted by any opposition or difficulty, to enable all people to realize true happiness in the Latter Day of the Law.

Choosing to Be Born in an Evil Age

Point Two, on the persons who “have fulfilled their great vow, … because they pity living beings, they are born in this evil world so they may broadly expound this sutra” [LSOC, 200].

The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings says: The “great vow” refers to the propagation of the Lotus Sutra. “Because they pity living beings” refers to all the living beings in the country of Japan. The persons who “are born in this evil world” are Nichiren and his followers. “Broadly” means to expound the sutra throughout the southern continent of Jambudvipa [the entire world]. “This sutra” refers to the daimoku. Now the above passage refers to Nichiren and his followers, who chant the daimoku, Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. (From The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings, p. 82)[12]

“The Teacher of the Law,” the 10th chapter of the Lotus Sutra states that those who propagate the Lotus Sutra after Shakyamuni’s passing are in fact great bodhisattvas who have chosen to be born in an evil age in accord with their vow.

What is this great vow they have made? The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings says: “The ‘great vow’ refers to the propagation of the Lotus Sutra” (OTT, 82). In other words, they are born into this corrupt world in order to realize the great vow for kosen-rufu.

The word “pity” in the phrase “Because they pity living beings” (OTT, 82) means having deep compassion for others. It is putting oneself in others’ shoes and feeling their pain as one’s own. There is no trace of superiority or condescension in it; it is to empathize with and share another’s hardships. It means supporting, understanding and encouraging one another as fellow human beings.

And the place where these bodhisattvas are born to “broadly expound” the Mystic Law, the essence of the Lotus Sutra, is “the southern continent of Jambudvipa”[13]—the entire world in ancient Buddhist cosmology—in other words, this troubled saha world[14] in which we dwell.

The Great Teacher Miao-lo[15] articulated the principle of “voluntarily assuming the appropriate karma”[16] based on passages in this chapter of the Lotus Sutra. “Karma” here refers to causes made in past lifetimes that lead us to be born in a particular place and “voluntarily” indicates our vow as bodhisattvas to be born in an evil age to relieve the suffering of all living beings.

The Lotus Sutra teaches that, rather than being bound by our karma from past lifetimes, we should dedicate ourselves to fulfilling our purpose in this world according to our vow.

Instead of being fatalistic about our circumstances or apathetically regarding everything as mere chance, we need to grasp at the deepest level that we are here by choice in order to carry out our mission.

Nichiren Daishonin reveals his personal resolve to fulfill the role of Bodhisattva Superior Practices[17] who, like the sun, illuminates the darkness shrouding people’s lives in the Latter Day of the Law. And he says: “Those who become Nichiren’s disciples and lay believers should realize the profound karmic relationship they share with him and spread the Lotus Sutra as he does. Being known as a votary [or practitioner] of the Lotus Sutra is a bitter, yet unavoidable, destiny” (“Letter to Jakunichi-bo,” WND-1, 994).

Awakened to the profound karmic ties of mentor and disciple, we dedicate our lives to the vow for kosen-rufu with the wish to repay our debt of gratitude to our mentor. No matter how adverse our circumstances, we live with true strength and fortitude, transforming karma into mission. There is surely no nobler way of life than this.

A Network of Global Citizens Embracing the Planet

Six decades have passed since I officially took the lead for worldwide kosen-rufu on becoming the third Soka Gakkai president (on May 3, 1960). Today, in accord with the principle of “emerging from the earth” (“The True Aspect of All Phenomena,” WND-1, 385),[18] a steady stream of members dedicated to fulfilling their noble mission are springing into action one after another.

No one in this world is immune to the sufferings of birth, aging, sickness and death. We experience natural disasters and accidents, illness and financial difficulties, and family and relationship problems. Some of us face the injustices of discrimination, or the pain of bullying.

But Nichiren Buddhism teaches that the greater our suffering, the greater our mission. Adversity represents an opportunity for changing our karma. By elevating our life state through earnestly battling karmic challenges, we can develop ourselves and become deeply compassionate people who understand the sufferings of others and are able to encourage them. We can enact a drama of winning against all odds, demonstrating that those who suffer the most can become the happiest.

Many of our members across the globe have stood up with powerful vows. Some have pledged to work for the peace of homelands ravaged by war and strife. Others have vowed to help alleviate the hardship and suffering of their fellow citizens, or to contribute to the revitalization of their communities and society. They are all ordinary citizens, ordinary people. While imparting hope and courage to those around them through their own human revolution, they are also taking action out of a profound wish to transform the destiny of their nation and the destiny of all humankind. How noble is their spirit!

The sound of members chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo now envelops our entire planet, the home of all humanity. Capable individuals upholding the Mystic Law are active in every field, striving wholeheartedly for the happiness of others, the prosperity and security of society and world peace.

This great development of kosen-rufu could only have been achieved by the Bodhisattvas of the Earth called forth because of their mission from time without beginning.

As Nichiren Daishonin says: “These bodhisattvas are the ones who had thoroughly forged their resolve” (“General Stone Tiger,” WND-1, 953). The Bodhisattvas of the Earth have an invincible spirit, unflinching in the face of any obstacle or difficulty. They persevere through all. They have trained and forged themselves to do so. And no matter how challenging and confusing the times, they stay strong and determined to live with purpose day after day wherever they are.

Dr. N. Radhakrishnan, an Indian scholar and philosopher who has carried on the nonviolent spirit of Mahatma Gandhi (1869–1948), once said: “You, the members of the SGI, have braved many trials and tribulations. That is why you endure. Undergoing various tests and challenges is proof that you are growing and becoming even stronger.”

Eliminating Misery From the World

During an interrogation while in prison in wartime Japan, Tsunesaburo Makiguchi was asked about the meaning of kosen-rufu, to which he boldly replied that it is the process of purifying the negative ideas and thinking that prevail in the Latter Day of the Law, a corrupt age like the present, with the truth of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. He also declared that kosen-rufu is the ultimate expression of hope, for by putting the teaching of the Mystic Law into practice in society, calamities such as war, famine and epidemics would be eradicated, and people would be able to enjoy happy and secure lives.[19]

Josei Toda inherited this vision of his mentor. With deep sympathy for people around the world suffering amid the ongoing conflicts and wars of the postwar era, he declared his profound wish to eliminate all misery from the face of the earth as quickly as possible, so that the very word “misery” would no longer be used to portray the condition of individuals, nations or the world.[20]

Mr. Toda often described kosen-rufu as a state in which individual happiness and social prosperity go hand in hand, insisting that the individual should never be sacrificed for a prosperous society.[21] He taught us youth that kosen-rufu means improving society for the sake of people’s happiness and welfare.

Both Presidents Makiguchi and Toda were utterly focused on relieving people’s suffering, enabling everyone without exception to become happy and bringing peace to the world.

From the time I became Soka Gakkai president, I, too, have been determined to always work for the happiness and welfare of others—always together with the people, ordinary, hardworking individuals, my fellow members and the youth. I have dedicated my life to striving with and for the people.

This is the cherished ideal and the great mission of the Soka Gakkai, the organization for kosen-rufu and the compassionate movement for realizing happiness for all. That is why Mr. Toda said that in future Buddhist scriptures, the Soka Gakkai would without doubt be named as “Soka Gakkai Buddha.”

Creating a Grassroots Movement for Peace, Culture and Education

I declared 60 years ago as Josei Toda’s disciple that I would take leadership in advancing our movement “another step toward the substantive realization of kosen-rufu.” I prayed with an intensity tantamount to “exhausting the pains and trials of millions of kalpas” (see OTT, 214)[22] and worked tirelessly to realize the vision entrusted to me by my mentor. This eventually took substantive shape—as concrete development of our movement in society and capable individuals becoming active in every arena.

On April 5, 1960, shortly before my inauguration, I visited Kodaira in the Musashino area of Tokyo to view the plot of land that would later become the site of the Tokyo Soka schools (the Tokyo Soka Elementary School and the Tokyo Soka Junior and Senior High Schools). Hachioji, also part of the Musashino area, subsequently became the home of Soka University.

After becoming president, I traveled to Okinawa on July 16, while it was still under U.S. occupation. There, I made a vow with my fellow members to ensure that war would never happen again. Then in October that year, I opened the door to worldwide kosen-rufu with a trip to three countries in North and South America.

The following year, 1961, while visiting India, the birthplace of Buddhism, and other Asian countries, I envisioned establishing what would later become the Institute of Oriental Philosophy and the Min-On Concert Association. While traveling through Europe that same year, I began to cherish the dream of founding an art museum. It was during that trip that I stood in front of the Berlin Wall, a symbol of the division between East and West, and shared my vision of a peaceful, united Germany. All of those ideas and dreams led to the creation of our grassroots activities to promote peace, culture and education that our members are undertaking in each country today.

Be the Pillar, the Eyes and the Great Ship for World Peace

The eternal vow of the Soka Gakkai is:

—To be the pillar of human harmony, praying for people’s security and happiness, and working to realize Nichiren Daishonin’s ideal of “establishing the correct teaching for the peace of the land,” the starting point for world peace.

—To be the eyes of hope, penetrating and illuminating the darkness and confusion of an age lacking a solid life philosophy and showing people the way to joy in life and lasting happiness for both themselves and others.

—To be the great ship of assurance, championing the principles of respect for life and human dignity, valuing each individual and leaving no one behind.

The Indestructible Vow of the Bodhisattvas of the Earth

With the coronavirus pandemic, our world today is facing its greatest test since World War II. That is precisely why humanity must choose the path of life. This is the time for an invincible network of global citizens to come together and summon all their wisdom to overcome this unprecedented crisis that threatens to keep us disconnected from one another.

Even though we may temporarily be unable to meet our fellow members in person or assemble in groups, nothing can destroy our vow as Bodhisattvas of the Earth. Nothing can break our united spirit or the solidarity of our harmonious community of fellow members. Unity forged through prayer is unshakable.

As Nichiren Daishonin states, “The voice of chanting daimoku [Nam-myoho-renge-kyo] cannot fail to reach all the worlds in the ten directions” (Gosho zenshu, p. 808).[23]

New Challenges for Realizing a Century of Life

Now, more than ever, let us cause the sun of our vow for kosen-rufu to rise in our hearts as we keep moving forward with optimism, wisdom and courage on our path of human revolution and our eternal voyage of mentor and disciple!

Surmounting all obstacles and challenges, let’s make the 21st century a century of life and create a world where all can shine!

Translated from the May 2020 issue of the Daibyakurenge, the Soka Gakkai’s monthly study journal.


  1. Nihon University Auditorium was a domed hall located in Ryogoku, Tokyo, where the Soka Gakkai held some 280 meetings from its 10th Headquarters General Meeting on May 3, 1954, through 1977. Both Ikeda Sensei’s inauguration as third president and the 11th Student Division General Meeting, at which he called for the normalization of Japan’s diplomatic relations with China (on September 8, 1968), took place there. ↩︎
  2. Bodhisattvas of the Earth: The innumerable bodhisattvas who appear in “Emerging from the Earth,” the 15th chapter of the Lotus Sutra, and are entrusted by Shakyamuni with the task of propagating the Law after his passing. In “Supernatural Powers,” the 21st chapter, Shakyamuni entrusts Bodhisattva Superior Practices, the leader of the Bodhisattvas of the Earth, with spreading the Law in the saha world in the evil age of the Latter Day of the Law. ↩︎
  3. Translated from Japanese. See Josei Toda, “Soka Gakkai no rekishi to kakushin” (The History and Conviction of the Soka Gakkai), in Toda Josei zenshu (Collected Writings of Josei Toda), vol. 3 (Tokyo: Seikyo Shimbunsha, 1983), pp. 119–20. ↩︎
  4. The substantive realization of kosen-rufu: This refers to propagating Nichiren Daishonin’s teaching of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo of the Three Great Secret Laws in society. In other words, it is establishing happiness, peace and security in the real world based on the Mystic Law, through each individual carrying out their personal mission as a Bodhisattva of the Earth. ↩︎
  5. Daisaku Ikeda, A Youthful Diary: One Man’s Journey from the Beginning of Faith to Worldwide Leadership for Peace (Santa Monica, California: World Tribune Press, 2000), p. 502. ↩︎
  6. Island in February 1272 and addressed to all his disciples. It reveals that the Daishonin possesses the three virtues of sovereign, teacher and parent in the Latter Day of the Law. ↩︎
  7. Translated from Japanese. See Josei Toda, Toda Josei zenshu (The Collected Writings of Josei Toda), vol. 3 (Tokyo: Seikyo Shimbunsha, 1983), pp. 179–80. ↩︎
  8. “The Parable of the Medicinal Herbs,” the 5th chapter of the Lotus Sutra, states: “Once these living beings have heard the Law, they will enjoy peace and security in their present existence and good circumstances in future existences” (The Lotus Sutra and Its Opening and Closing Sutras, p. 136). ↩︎
  9. Arnold Toynbee and Daisaku Ikeda, Choose Life: A Dialogue, edited by Richard L. Gage (London: I. B. Tauris and Co., Ltd., 2007), p. 293. ↩︎
  10. Daisaku Ikeda, The Human Revolution, vol. 1 (Tokyo: Weatherhill, Inc., 1972), pp. xi–xii (Foreword by Arnold J. Toynbee). ↩︎
  11. The three powerful enemies: Three types of arrogant people who persecute those who propagate the Lotus Sutra in the evil age after Shakyamuni Buddha’s death, described in the concluding verse section of “Encouraging Devotion,” the 13th chapter of the Lotus Sutra. The Great Teacher Miao-lo of China summarizes them as arrogant lay people, arrogant priests and arrogant false sages. ↩︎
  12. The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings is a two-volume record of lectures that Nichiren Daishonin gave on certain key passages of the Lotus Sutra while he was residing on Mount Minobu. It was recorded by Nikko Shonin. This passage is the second point from the section “Chapter Ten: The Teacher of the Law, Sixteen important points.” ↩︎
  13. Southern continent of Jambudvipa: Also, Jambudvipa. According to the ancient Indian worldview, Mount Sumeru stood in the center of the world and was surrounded by four continents, one in each direction Purvavideha in the east, Aparagodaniya in the west, Uttarakuru in the north and Jambudvipa in the south. Jambudvipa is the only continent where Buddhism arose and came to represent our world in its entirety. ↩︎
  14. Saha world: This world, which is full of suffering. Often translated as the world of endurance. In Sanskrit, saha means the earth; it derives from a root meaning “to bear” or “to endure.” For this reason, in the Chinese versions of Buddhist scriptures, saha is rendered as endurance. In this context, the saha world indicates a world in which people must endure suffering. ↩︎
  15. Miao-lo (711–82): Also known as the Great Teacher Ching-hsi, after his birthplace. A patriarch of the T’ien-t’ai school in China. He is revered as the school’s restorer. His commentaries on T’ien-t’ai’s three major works are titled The Annotations on “The Profound Meaning of the Lotus Sutra,” The Annotations on “The Words and Phrases of the Lotus Sutra” and The Annotations on “Great Concentration and Insight.” ↩︎
  16. Voluntarily assuming the appropriate karma: This refers to bodhisattvas who, though qualified to receive the pure rewards of Buddhist practice, relinquish them and make a vow to be reborn in an impure world in order to save living beings. They spread the Mystic Law, while undergoing the same sufferings as those born in the evil world due to karma. This term derives from Miao-lo’s interpretation of relevant passages in “The Teacher of the Law,” the 10th chapter of the Lotus Sutra: “Medicine King, you should understand that these people voluntarily relinquish the reward due them for their pure deeds and, in the time after I have passed into extinction, because they pity living beings, they are born in this evil world so they may broadly expound this sutra” (LSOC, 200). ↩︎
  17. Bodhisattva Superior Practices: The leader of the Bodhisattvas of the Earth who appear in “Emerging from the Earth,” the 15th chapter of the Lotus Sutra. In “Supernatural Powers,” the 21st chapter, Shakyamuni entrusts Superior Practices with propagating the Lotus Sutra during the evil age of the Latter Day of the Law. ↩︎
  18. In “The True Aspect of All Phenomena,” Nichiren Daishonin writes: “At first only Nichiren chanted Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, but then two, three, and a hundred followed, chanting and teaching others. Propagation will unfold this way in the future as well. Does this not signify ‘emerging from the earth’?” (The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, p. 385). ↩︎
  19. Translated from Japanese. See Tsunesaburo Makiguchi, Makiguchi Tsunesaburo zenshu (Collected Writings of Tsunesaburo Makiguchi), vol. 10 (Tokyo: Daisanbunmei-sha, 1987), pp. 199–202. ↩︎
  20. Translated from Japanese. Josei Toda, Toda Josei zenshu (Collected Writings of Josei Toda), vol. 3 (Tokyo: Seikyo Shimbunsha, 1983), pp. 289–90. ↩︎
  21. Translated from Japanese. Josei Toda, Toda Josei zenshu (Collected Writings of Josei Toda), vol. 4 (Tokyo: Seikyo Shimbunsha, 1984), p. 529. ↩︎
  22. This phrase from The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings appears in a passage that says: “If in a single moment of life we exhaust the pains and trials of millions of kalpas, then instant after instant there will arise in us the three Buddha bodies with which we are eternally endowed” (OTT, 214). It is often used in a broader sense to refer to intense, arduous efforts. The “three Buddha bodies” refers to three aspects of the Buddha’s life—the Dharma body or body of the Law (the ultimate truth), the reward body (wisdom) and the manifested body (compassion). ↩︎
  23. “Oko kikigaki” (The Recorded Lectures); not officially translated in English. ↩︎

Striving in the Two Ways of Practice and Study

Creating the Culture of Peace