Skip to main content

The Brilliant Path of Worldwide Kosen-rufu

Volume 30: Chapter Four—Bells of Dawn (cont.)

Chapter Summary

Illustration courtesy of Seikyo Press.

On June 16, 1981, Shin’ichi Yamamoto continued his international trip, flying from France across the Atlantic Ocean to New York, where he visited the New York Community Center as well as the birthplace of Walt Whitman. Shin’ichi’s poem “To My Beloved Young American Friends—Youthful Bodhisattvas of the Earth” was presented at a U.S.-Japan friendship meeting held on June 20.

The following day, he departed for Toronto. He spoke at a general meeting commemorating the 20th anniversary of kosen-rufu activities in Canada, emphasizing the importance of each individual taking the initiative. During his stay, he participated in a friendship exchange and visited the Toronto Community Center and various other places before returning to the United States on June 25.

Three days later, in Chicago, Shin’ichi attended the First World Peace Culture Festival. And on July 1, when he was in Los Angeles, the World Academy of Arts and Culture awarded him the title of Poet Laureate.

On July 8, Shin’ichi returned to Japan. His persistent efforts had led, at last, to the bells of dawn tolling the arrival of an age of victory. The morning sun of a new chapter of worldwide kosen-rufu now began its majestic ascent.

Unforgettable Scene

The Spirit of Genuine Practitioners of Nichiren Buddhism

On June 16 and 17, 1981, while in New York, Shin’ichi Yamamoto met informally with local leaders and offered guidance with the goal of fostering a new generation of leaders for kosen-rufu in America.

“America is the land of freedom,” he said, “so it’s important to respect each person’s autonomy. As leaders, you mustn’t impose your opinions on others. Please be sure to discuss things fully, with frank exchanges of view, before taking a course of action.

“If you have a difference of opinion, never become emotional or hostile to one another. Always return to the starting points of the Gohonzon and kosen-rufu, and chant Nam-myoho- renge-kyo with unity of purpose.

“Nichiren Daishonin teaches us that ‘Buddhism is reason’ (“The Hero of the World,” The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, p. 839). When setting activity guidelines and the like, it’s essential to explain the intent so that everyone will be happy to support them. That is, always speak reasonably.

Reason has the power to convince people. That’s why I hope you will deepen your understanding of the Daishonin’s teachings.

“When each of you firmly base your lives on the writings of Nichiren Daishonin, you will be able to work together harmoniously, without disrespect, resentment, envy or hostility.

“These writings are a guide for us and a mirror reflecting the way we live. Before criticizing others, we should look at our own words, actions, and thoughts in the light of the writings. That is the spirit of genuine practitioners of Nichiren Buddhism.”

■  ■  ■

Shin’ichi also stressed the importance of uniting in spirit to advance worldwide kosen-rufu: “Members in the United States and in all countries need to conduct their activities harmoniously while observing and respecting the local customs and laws of the land as good citizens.

“The Daishonin teaches: ‘If the spirit of many in body but one in mind prevails among the people, they will achieve all their goals’ (“Many in Body, One in Mind,” WND-1, 618). It is important for members to unite in a shared commitment to accelerate the flow of worldwide kosen-rufu and ensure that it continues forever.

“The Soka Gakkai spirit of mentor and disciple is the driving force for kosen-rufu.

“As leaders, your aim is not to make members dependent on or loyal to you; it’s to guide everyone so that they can walk the great path of mentor and disciple together.

“To do that, you yourselves, as leaders, need to stay connected to the main current of Soka, the path of mentor and disciple, with a fresh seeking spirit. Being self-centered is like being a puddle separated from the pure main current that will eventually stagnate and dry up. If that happens, you will be unable to guide members to the great ocean of happiness and peace.

“You need to stay in sync with the movement of kosen-rufu, or you’ll stop moving forward. If you’re not in sync, even if you remain active, you’ll just end up spinning your wheels.

“That’s why it’s crucial to remain connected to the main current, to stay in sync and in tune. Make this your spirit as leaders of worldwide kosen-rufu.” (The New Human Revolution, vol. 30, pp. 411–12)

Key Passage

The more efforts we make in our Buddhist practice, the harder we work for kosen-rufu, the more we can transform our karma and become happy. (NHR-30, 418)

Commentary on Volume 30, Part 2

Volume 30: Chapter Five—Cheers of Victory