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Ikeda Sensei

The Boundless Power of Faith

Photo by Hosea McBain

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

Faith is the deepest, noblest and most powerful conviction—unshakable, inviolable and unyielding.

The starting point of his great struggle to spread the Mystic Law, Nichiren Daishonin says, was his “resolve to withstand the harshest trials” (see “Letter to Misawa,” The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, p. 895). Inheriting this spirit and forging ahead bravely and vigorously in Buddhist faith and practice has been the pride of Soka mentors and disciples since the time of our first and second presidents, Tsunesaburo Makiguchi and Josei Toda.

These past two years, the outbreak of the global coronavirus pandemic and the various related restrictions on social activities, have represented a real test for our kosen-rufu movement—one that could have meant stagnation or decline. But in each country and territory throughout the world, our members’ commitment to faith never faltered or wavered. Unable to hold in-person meetings, they used their wisdom and creativity to find ways to stay in touch and support one another, deepening their unity of purpose and advancing with determination.

Praying for people’s safety and the welfare of society, our members sent forth the light of “changing poison into medicine” and shone as beacons of hope and victory[1] in paving the way to a more humane and peaceful world. Nichiren Daishonin would surely praise their sincere efforts.

During a similar two-year period when an epidemic raged in Japan, Nanjo Tokimitsu continued to support the Daishonin with unchanging devotion and to take the lead in confronting powerful opposition. In a letter to him, Nichiren writes, “In provinces to the north, provinces to the east, provinces to the west, and provinces to the south, everywhere alike we hear the cries of those suffering from sickness. How thankful we must be that, in a world such as this, there are those who, because of some good karma accumulated in the past, are willing to support the votaries [practitioners] of the Lotus Sutra! How thankful we must be!” (“On the Three Calamities,” WND-2, 802).

In other writings, Nichiren also teaches Tokimitsu that accumulating benefit through supporting the practitioners of the Lotus Sutra is the best possible way to transfer merit to his deceased loved ones. Moreover, he says, such benefit will adorn not only Tokimitsu’s life, but positively impact all those around him. This also applies to all our members, who are making dedicated efforts for kosen-rufu in this time of crisis, putting their faith into practice on their own initiative.

The mind of faith is free and boundless in expression, far-reaching and eternal. The Daishonin writes, “From this single element of mind spring all the various lands and environmental conditions” (“The Unanimous Declaration by the Buddhas,” WND-2, 843). Taking these words to heart, let’s continue advancing with bright confidence into the new year, united in spirit with the Daishonin and in rhythm with the Mystic Law, our sights set on establishing the correct teaching for the peace of the land, realizing worldwide kosen-rufu and ensuring the eternal transmission of the Mystic Law!

Let’s steadily illuminate humanity, the Earth and the entire universe with the sun of time without beginning—the radiant light of innate Buddhahood—and enact a brilliant drama of youth and dynamic progress![2]

Win over all trials,
forging yourself
into pure gold,
and ensure that our great river flows
unimpeded for all time.


  1. The Soka Gakkai theme for 2021 was the Year of Hope and Victory. ↩︎
  2. The Soka Gakkai theme for 2022 is the Year of Youth and Dynamic Progress. ↩︎

Hearts Ever Youthful and Filled With Limitless Hope

Create a Symphony of Great Joy!