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Seeking Spirit

The New Human Revolution, “Seeking Spirit” Chapter, Installment 15

Volume 27, Chapter 4

By Daisaku Ikeda

Shin’ichi Yamamoto had observed the Tohoku members since the movement’s early days. So he knew that they never complained, no matter what difficulties they encountered.

Tohoku members had suffered through many natural disasters, including crop damage from cold weather and the 1960 tsunami triggered by a Chilean earthquake. But each time, their fighting spirit burned only brighter. They told themselves: “That’s precisely why we have the Gohonzon!” “That’s why we are here, to encourage people in our community!” “That’s why we must stand up for kosen-rufu!”

Their bravely getting back on their feet after being knocked down by the harsh winds of adversity had broadened the circle of understanding and support for the Soka Gakkai.

These noble members showed the most wonderful actual proof of faith. They did not do so through the “treasures of the storehouse,” through fulfilling worldly desires. Rather, they showed the true power of Nichiren Buddhism through the “treasures of the heart”—the brilliance of their humanity, exemplified by amazing inner strength and tremendous concern for others.

Nichiren Daishonin writes: “The purpose of the appearance in this world of Shakyamuni Buddha, the lord of teachings, lies in his behavior as a human being” (“The Three Kinds of Treasure,” The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, p. 852). We demonstrate the supreme teaching of Buddhism through our actions, through how we live our lives.

When Shin’ichi thought of these members, he was sure that the momentum of kosen-rufu in Tohoku would increase and the region become a model of kosen-rufu.

He said to the leaders: “Looking toward the next decade, let’s ascend the summit of kosen-rufu together. Fresh progress gives rise to fresh hope.

“There will doubtless be days when blizzards rage along the way. The Daishonin says: ‘The greater the hardships befalling him [the votary of the Lotus Sutra], the greater the delight he feels, because of his strong faith’ (“A Ship to Cross the Sea of Suffering,” WND-1, 33). Facing great difficulties is a test of faith. The Daishonin also says: ‘Without tribulation there would be no votary of the Lotus Sutra’ (WND-1, 33). Those who walk the path of justice are destined to battle great obstacles. Never let that intimidate you.”

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