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Ikeda Sensei

Making the Joyous Song of Bodhisattvas of the Earth Resound!

The SGI-USA fife and drum corps perform for May 3, Soka Gakkai Day.

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

My mentor, second Soka Gakkai President Josei Toda, declared: “The reason for our appearance in this world is to hold high the great banner of kosen-rufu.” These were the closing words of his article titled “What Is Conviction?” carried in the inaugural issue of the Seikyo Shimbun [on April 20, 1951].

Believing in the potential of young people, Mr. Toda entrusted the youth with upholding this great banner of supreme conviction. He called out: “We are Bodhisattvas of the Earth. We have appeared in this world to raise the victory banner of kosen-rufu in the places we have chosen to fulfill our mission in accord with our vow. With that conviction, we can cause the power of the Buddha to surge forth from within our lives.”

When we chant and spread the Mystic Law with firm belief in our mission as Bodhisattvas of the Earth, we can transform even the most disappointing circumstances into a drama of human revolution. Whatever challenges or hardships we face, we can surmount them like the wonderful performance of a brilliant actor.

The areas where you are working for kosen-rufu are places you have chosen as a result of deep karmic connections from the infinite past. They are the stages for carrying out your mission based on your vow.

Therefore, I hope you will make each scene and act in your life part of an unfolding drama of victory, imparting hope and courage to those who are suffering and transforming karma into mission.

Nichiren Daishonin treasured the places to which he had a connection, and he cared about the people there and warmly embraced them.

In a letter to a disciple in his home province of Awa (present-day southern Chiba Prefecture), Nichiren fondly recalls those he knows there, writing: “I never think lightly of the people from my native province, nor do I cease to care about what happens to them, even if they have caused me sorrow or treated me cruelly” (“Letter to Konichi-bo,” The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, p. 661).

Inheriting this vast, all-encompassing spirit of Nichiren Daishonin and cherishing a deep love for their communities, the mentors and disciples of Soka have made the place where they are the starting point of their sincere, persevering efforts to realize Nichiren’s ideal of “establishing the correct teaching for the peace of the land.”

By steadfastly chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo and engaging in dialogue with a deep wish for others’ happiness and a peaceful world for all, we are creating safe havens of hope, renewal and good fortune.

Nichiren writes, “Wherever we dwell and practice the single vehicle [Nam-myoho-renge-kyo], that place will be the Capital of Eternally Tranquil Light” (“Reply to Sairen-bo,” WND-1, 313). Please note his emphasis on “wherever we dwell.”

Together with our inspiring fellow members, let’s continue advancing joyfully, our hearts shining with our vow from time without beginning.

Sowing the seeds of peace of the Mystic Law in our communities and helping others form a connection to Buddhism for their happiness, let’s make the joyous song of the Bodhisattvas of the Earth resound!

Strive energetically
and joyfully triumph,
for you have that power!
Build an invincible solidarity
in the chosen place of your mission.

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