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Becoming ‘a Person of Courage’

Photo by Yin Thin Low.

The Great Teacher Dengyo says: “Shakyamuni taught that the shallow is easy to embrace, but the profound is difficult. To discard the shallow and seek the profound is the way of a person of courage.” 

“On the Buddha’s Prophecy,”
The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin
, vol. 1, p. 402

Ikeda Sensei’s Encouragement

1. Courage Comes From Defeating Our Inner Weakness

“To seek the profound” refers to our challenge in bravely standing as protagonists of kosen-rufu. We of the SGI have steadfastly taken on this most difficult challenge in the present age. … In these compassionless and self-centered times, where people are only concerned about themselves and give little thought to others, we of the SGI have chanted for the happiness of our friends, prayed for the prosperity of our local communities and society, and wholeheartedly exerted ourselves for kosen-rufu. … 

Viewed in terms of human life, “shallow” means inertia, idleness and cowardice. Bravely defeating such inner weakness and seeking deep conviction and profound human greatness is “the way of a person of courage.” To seek the shallow or the profound—this inner battle takes place in our hearts many times each day. 

Life, too, is a struggle. We need to defeat our weaknesses and courageously stand up, based on faith, with the resolve to continue growing in our lives, to keep moving forward and to be victorious in the challenges we encounter. When we live with such depth and meaning, we can become true winners in life. That is the purpose of our daily practice of faith and our SGI activities. (The Opening of the Eyes: SGI President Ikeda’s Lecture Series, p. 83)

2. ‘Faith Is the Ultimate Form of Courage’

During his exile on Sado Island, which followed the Tatsunokuchi Persecution, Nichiren Daishonin wrote “On the Buddha’s Prophecy,” proclaiming his vision of worldwide kosen-rufu. In it, he quoted a passage from the Great Teacher Dengyo of Japan: “To discard the shallow and seek the profound is the way [or heart] of a person of courage” (WND-1, 402). This is the essence of the Soka Gakkai spirit. …

What is the common trait of all great people who have lived truly noble and meaningful lives, whether celebrated or unheralded? It is the quality of courage, of the spirit that dares to take on difficulties, that seeks, chooses and is committed to leading a more profound life.

Faith is the ultimate form of courage.

Nichiren Buddhism, faith in the Mystic Law, is the most profound philosophy of respect for the dignity of life. Our vow for kosen-rufu means making the most profound contribution to peace and the welfare of humanity. And the unity of the Soka Gakkai is built on the most profound bonds of trust among fellow human beings.

May each of our members of the young men’s and young women’s divisions and the student division and future division have “the heart of a person of courage,” regarding hardships as an honor and embodying the spirit of the oneness of mentor and disciple. I hope you will enjoy a wonderful youth of great joy and victory, and that you will pool your wisdom and strength as youthful Bodhisattvas of the Earth so that you can lead the way with optimism and resilience to a new decade of fresh value creation for the global family of humankind. (Aug. 6, 2021, World Tribune, p. 3)

Exert Ourselves Joyfully to Enrich Our Districts

Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, Michigan