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Ikeda Sensei

Developing Our Movement With Warm, Open Hearts

Photo by Susan Forner.

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

I once shared the following words of Nichiren Daishonin with our dedicated statistics department members, whose careful and accurate behind-the-scenes efforts have been crucial to the development of kosen-rufu: “Though the 4,994,828 men and women in Japan have each a mother and father, when we examine the matter, we find that they are in fact the children of Shakyamuni Buddha, the lord of teachings” (“The Two Meanings Implied in the Nembutsu Leading to the Hell of Incessant Suffering,” The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 2, p. 302).

Nichiren had a firm grasp of the population of Japan in his day. With compassion for all people as the children of the Buddha, he prayed that everyone without exception would attain happiness and security through the Mystic Law. And he actively strove to awaken the highest positive potential—the Buddha nature—in one person after another.

In his treatise “On Establishing the Correct Teaching for the Peace of the Land,” presented in the form of a one-to-one dialogue on how to overcome the calamities that were causing people suffering, the Daishonin depicts the drama of a person’s inner transformation as he awakens to the correct teaching and pledges to work for truth and goodness.

Carrying on Nichiren’s profound wish to lead all people to enlightenment, we of the Soka Gakkai reach out in dialogue to those in our communities and society. Respecting each individual in the spirit of Bodhisattva Never Disparaging, we tirelessly seek to forge friendships and help others make a connection to Nichiren Buddhism.

But challenges, too, are never-ending. At times, we may encounter resistance and negativity, or suffer insult and scorn. My mentor, second Soka Gakkai President Josei Toda, however, calmly declared: “That is precisely why we can tap the great power of the Buddha. Because we fight on despite all obstacles, we can bring great good fortune and benefit to our families, friends and loved ones, and to our societies and lands. Our unflagging efforts are sure to call forth many fellow Bodhisattvas of the Earth.”

Our great pioneer men’s and women’s division members of the Many Treasures Group continue to take part in every activity and campaign with the spirit to make it a brilliant “memory of their present life in this human world” (see “Questions and Answers about Embracing the Lotus Sutra,” WND-1, 64). Their courageous, all-out efforts to expand our movement are contributing to a growing stream of new Bodhisattvas of the Earth emerging all around the globe.

The vibrant, joyous endeavors of our youth division members are also a source of incredible hope and reassurance.

The Daishonin writes, “Not even the wisdom of the Buddha can fathom the blessings that one will obtain … by becoming [Nichiren’s] disciple and lay supporter” (“The True Aspect of All Phenomena,” WND-1, 384).

In August 1955, I spoke with a group of new members who were beginning to open the way for kosen-rufu in Hokkaido. I told them to advance with the lofty pride of pioneers leading all humanity to the compassionate teachings of the Daishonin. Those sentiments remain unchanged today.

With warm, open hearts, let’s reach out to others in dialogue and further develop our movement for kosen-rufu!

United as mentor and disciple,
extending the realm of Bodhisattvas of the Earth
all around the world,
there is no greater pride than producing
an infinite stream of outstanding people!

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