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Guidance for Leadership

Let’s Win Victory After Victory With Unity

Herndon District members hold a discussion meeting, Herndon, Va., November 2019.
Herndon District members hold a discussion meeting, Herndon, Va., November 2019. Photo by Hyun Lee.

This is an excerpt of Soka Gakkai President Minoru Harada’s speech on July 7, 2021, during the 4th Soka Gakkai Headquarters Leaders Meeting Toward Our Centennial and the Youth Division 70th Anniversary General Meeting, held conjointly at the Toda Memorial Auditorium in Sugamo, Tokyo. The text appeared in the July 14, 2021, issue of the Seikyo Shimbun, the Soka Gakkai’s daily newspaper.

Ikeda Sensei has taught us time and again that the purpose of our kosen-rufu movement is not simply to expand the ranks of Soka Gakkai members. Our efforts to advance kosen-rufu are also found in striving to rectify the corruption that exists in society and to create an era in which the people are the protagonists. In politics, education, the arts and all other fields, we are making headway in bringing to blossom the humanism of the Mystic Law. Steadily spreading this Law is itself kosen-rufu.

Our movement also entails engaging in the fierce battle between the Buddha and devilish functions. Devils are frantically plotting devious schemes to expand their realm, while we, the forces of the Buddha, are earnestly striving to establish the Buddha land. This tug-of-war battle is waged through our efforts to use the power of words, the power of dialogue, to establish the correct teaching for the peace of the land. …

What’s most important is that we engage in our own inner transformation, our human revolution. In other words, this means carrying out our fundamental Buddhist practice to expand our state of life by basing everything on prayer, thoroughly striving to believe in the Buddha nature of each person and transcending all differences to expand our circles of friendship. Challenging ourselves in this way, we will be able to help many others create connections with Buddhism and increase the number of those who understand and support the Soka Gakkai’s aims.

Now, in this vital decade that will determine the Soka Gakkai’s victory toward its 100th anniversary in 2030, let’s resolutely decide to win each successive battle to ensure the eternal future of the Soka Gakkai and the eternal flow of kosen-rufu.

Reaffirming the Vital Importance of Uniting

Society has been pulled in various directions due to the dizzying, ever-changing landscape of the coronavirus pandemic. Of course, this has largely affected how we live and how we carry out our Soka Gakkai activities.

However, as we continue ascending to greater heights, we will have to traverse treacherous paths. The higher we climb, the more menacing winds of devilish functions we will face—the likes of which we have never seen. This is precisely why we must reaffirm at this time the vital importance of uniting to achieve victory and to attain Buddhahood in this lifetime. In The New Human Revolution, volume 30, Sensei writes:

The most important thing to remember in conducting activities is not to become disheartened, or upset and resentful when your opinions are not accepted. That will not only damage your own faith but will act to undermine our movement for kosen-rufu as well. (March 1, 2019, World Tribune, insert, p. 4)

He also offers this key point:

Today, for the sake of the future, I’d like to share with you the most crucial principle for advancing kosen-rufu. And that is having the unshakable unity of “many in body, one in mind.” (March 1, 2019, World Tribune, insert, p. 4)

We should take this as the most important guidance not only for us today, but also as guidance to be passed on for posterity to all future disciples of Sensei. He also offers the following admonition about what causes people to stop practicing or turn against the Soka Gakkai:

When people become self-centered, they no longer refer to the writings of Nichiren Daishonin or the guidance of the Soka Gakkai, nor do they make the unity of many in body, one in mind a priority. They forget the key Buddhist attitude of self-examination and self-reflection.

Also, because they let their mind be their master, they lack self-control. Driven by greed and self-interest, they blindly pursue fame and wealth and do whatever suits their selfish ends. They cause trouble for others and create all sorts of serious problems. They lose everyone’s trust, and ultimately find it impossible to remain in the pure realm of the Soka Gakkai. That’s the common pattern of those who stop practicing and turn against the organization. (March 1, 2019, World Tribune, insert, pp. 5–6)

We have inherited from Nichiren Daishonin the vision to accomplish kosen-rufu and establish the correct teaching for the peace of the land. The three founding Soka Gakkai presidents, directly inheriting the Daishonin’s will, have given their lives to realize this vision. Standing up resolutely with the oneness of mentor and disciple, let’s strive to fulfill our shared mission of advancing kosen-rufu, courageously banishing the devilish nature of arrogance from our hearts each day and remaining unswayed by the harsh storms of obstacles.

With Sensei’s guidance in our hearts, let’s adorn our lives with victory and welcome the coming fall by winning in our efforts to establish the correct teaching for the peace of the land!

Humanistic Leaders With the ‘Vast Heart’ of Soka