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Write A ‘Wonderful Story’ That Will Endure For All Time!

Let’s bring forth a strong life force and together make this a historic year.

Kingmond Young

The following is an excerpt of Ikeda Sensei’s essay from Jan. 11, 2014, which was previously published in full in the Jan. 31, 2014, World Tribune.

There are three passages from Nichiren Daishonin that I have always engraved in my heart at the start of the new year since the days of my youth, along with a fresh personal determination.

The first is “You must not spend your lives in vain and regret it for ten thousand years to come” (“The Problem to Be Pondered Night and Day,” The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, p. 622).

The second is “Life is limited; we must not begrudge it. What we should ultimately aspire to is the Buddha land” (“Aspiration for the Buddha Land,” WND-1, 214).

Our lives are finite. Our time in this world passes by before we know it, one year quickly following another. That is why I have been determined to strive to the fullest each year, day after day, wholeheartedly devoting my life to realizing the great vow for kosen-rufu—together with the eternal and indestructible Mystic Law and my mentor, second Soka Gakkai President Josei Toda, who was selflessly committed to spreading the correct teaching. That has been my resolve from my youth, a resolve that remains unchanged to this day.

The third passage from Nichiren that I have engraved in my heart each new year is a passage from “Letter to the Brothers”: “Could there ever be a more wonderful story [in all future time] than your own?” (WND-1, 499). These were words of praise for the Ikegami brothers who, by uniting together with courageous faith, had persevered steadfastly in their Buddhist practice, even when the elder brother was disowned by their father, who had allowed himself to fall under the influence of scheming priests hostile to Nichiren.

In this way, the Daishonin assures and encourages us that all our present challenges, hardships, efforts, victories and our sense of fellowship as SGI members, will never fade—all shining on gloriously forever as “wonderful stories” of our own lives.

Why do obstacles arise in the course of our struggle to fulfill our vow for kosen-rufu? Why are our lives, dedicated to our mission, assailed by various trials? Obstacles and trials exist so that we can positively transform them, one after another, based on the Buddhist principle of changing poison into medicine, and thereby attain the boundless and eternally indestructible life state of Buddhahood.

They also enable us to demonstrate, not only to those living in the present but also to those yet to come, the resounding victories over all adversity—whether in the form of hardship, persecution or negative karma—that can unfailingly be achieved by courageous individuals who uphold the Mystic Law and dedicate their lives to the noble cause of kosen-rufu.

In addition, they enable us to continue imparting limitless courage and hope to the world far into the distant future.

No matter how powerful or wealthy a person may be, one cannot avoid the ever-changing impermanence of this life. No matter how learned or intelligent a person may be, one cannot know what lies ahead or predict the future with certainty. Nor can one escape the fundamental sufferings of birth, aging, illness and death.

How infinitely profound, therefore, are the karmic ties that we of the SGI share as fellow members who uphold the great vow for kosen-rufu from time without beginning and confidently show people the world over the path of life that is imbued with eternity, happiness, true self and purity throughout the three existences of past, present and future.

My mentor, President Toda, envisioned that in the Buddhist scriptures of the future, our organization would be described as the Soka Gakkai Buddha.

From the perspective of our momentous endeavor that will continue on into the eternal future of the Latter Day of the Law, it is no exaggeration to say that we are still in the early, pioneering days of worldwide kosen-rufu.

Having the courage to share the Mystic Law with one person today, teaching them about Nichiren Buddhism to the best of our ability, will produce numberless multitudes of fellow Bodhisattvas of the Earth in the future.

Having the unwavering perseverance to remain steadfast in faith today, undefeated by even the most inexpressible calamity, will brightly illuminate a way forward for society in the future.

Being solidly united in purpose today, as we forge ahead with fellow members of rich diversity, encouraging and supporting one another, will build a realm of true human harmony in the future.

And spending one’s youth working with dedication and pride in accord with one’s beliefs today will open the way to success and victory in life for millions of young people in the future.

Chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo resonantly like “the sound of white horses neighing” (see “King Rinda,” WND-1, 985–86), let’s bring forth a strong and vigorous life force and together make this a historic year—writing a “wonderful story” that will be passed on and endure for all time!

May you all be healthy through- out the four seasons! Please take care not to catch cold.

3 passages from Nichiren Daishonin for the new year:

1. “You must not spend your lives in vain and regret it for ten thousand years to come.” (WND-1, 622)

2. “Life is limited; we must not begrudge it. What we should ultimately aspire to is the Buddha land.” (WND-1, 214)

3. “Could there ever be a more wonderful story [in all future time] than your own?” (WND-1, 499)

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