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Ikeda Sensei

Creating a Symphony of Renewal and Harmony

Yellow Dog Productions / Getty Images

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

We are the conductors of our own lives. We hold the baton, directing the flow of our precious life’s music through the days and years of our existence in this world.

Nichiren Daishonin revealed the teaching of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo and opened the way for all people to align their lives with the ultimate rhythm of the universe. He taught the means by which we can overcome the sufferings of birth, aging, sickness and death, and sing a joyous song of life imbued with the noble virtues of eternity, happiness, true self and purity.

It was our mentor, second Soka Gakkai President Josei Toda, who spread the hope-filled teachings of Nichiren Buddhism to one person after another amid the devastation of postwar Japan.

This year marks the momentous milestone of the 800th anniversary of Nichiren Daishonin’s birth[1] and the 70th anniversary of Mr. Toda’s inauguration as second Soka Gakkai president (on May 3, 1951).

As we enter the month of February, let us make fresh strides forward with the same courage, passion and unity demonstrated during the February Campaign.[2] In that great struggle, Kamata Chapter members and I made a breakthrough in our efforts to expand our movement for kosen-rufu driven by our determination to repay our debt of gratitude to our mentor and Nichiren Daishonin.

One of Nichiren’s writings that our young women’s division Kayo-kai members around the world are studying with a noble seeking spirit is “On Attaining Buddhahood in This Lifetime.” In it, the Daishonin discusses the principle of “three thousand realms in a single moment of life,” explaining: “Life at each moment encompasses the body and mind and the self and environment of all sentient beings in the Ten Worlds as well as all insentient beings in the three thousand realms, including plants, sky, earth, and even the minutest particles of dust. Life at each moment permeates the entire realm of phenomena and is revealed in all phenomena” (The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, p. 3).

How incredible is the power and potential we can bring forth when we chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo and work for kosen-rufu. By unlocking the highest potential of our lives, we can continue creating value, undefeated by even the most daunting real-life challenges. This is the path of putting faith into practice in daily life and Buddhism into action in society.

When we take action with the wish to repay our debt of gratitude to our mentor in a spirit of shared commitment, we can bring our lives in harmony with the great and wondrous rhythm of the Mystic Law, and experience the boundless joy of human revolution ourselves while helping others do the same.

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

During the Osaka Campaign,[3] 65 years ago (in 1956), the Kansai members and I sought to enable as many people as possible to join our movement to create a peaceful society based on the humanistic principles of Nichiren Buddhism and experience the benefit of faith. We chanted daimoku with that wish, engaged in dialogue and did our best to help people form a connection with Nichiren Buddhism.

Now once again, remembering the Daishonin’s call that “we should dance” (see “Great Evil and Great Good,” WND-1, 1119), let us lead the way joyously and dynamically as Bodhisattvas of the Earth to create a great symphony of renewal and harmony!

Let the rhythm of renewal
resound throughout
the entire world
to unlock the infinite potential
inherent in each person’s life.


  1. Nichiren Daishonin was born on February 16, 1222. According to the traditional Japanese way of counting, a person is counted as one year old on the day of their birth. ↩︎
  2. February Campaign: In February 1952, Ikeda Sensei, then an adviser to Tokyo’s Kamata Chapter, initiated a dynamic propagation campaign in which the Kamata members broke through the previous monthly record of some 100 new households by introducing Nichiren Buddhism to 201 new households. ↩︎
  3. Osaka Campaign: In May 1956, the Kansai members, uniting around a young Daisaku Ikeda, who had been dispatched by second Soka Gakkai President Josei Toda to support them, introduced 11,111 households to the practice of Nichiren Buddhism in a single month. ↩︎

이케다 가네코 SGI 명예여성부장 메시지

Ushering in a New Day of Hope (Part 2)