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Ikeda Sensei

Empowering a ‘Health Revolution’ Around the Globe

Photo by Emma Simpson.

Originally published in the September 2022 Daibyakurenge, the Soka Gakkai’s monthly study journal.

When I was young and battling illness, I was struck by a passage in Nichiren Daishonin’s writings: “Through illness, [the Buddha taught] the power [of Buddhism]”[1] (“On Curing Karmic Disease,” The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, p. 631).

I realized that my painful illness had profound meaning. I resolved not to be defeated and to win over it without fail. My illness was a test to show the tremendous benefit of the Mystic Law and manifest the boundless life force of a Bodhisattva of the Earth in my life and help others do the same.

How powerfully the Daishonin encourages disciples afflicted by illness! I can’t help but be deeply moved by his words: “I am as concerned about the illness of your wife, the lay nun Toki, as though it were I myself who is ailing, and day and night I pray to the heavenly gods that she will recover. … I am beseeching the gods of the sun and moon that they will guard her life even at the cost of their own!” (“Prayer for the Lay Nun’s Recovery,” WND-2, 666).

Embraced in the Daishonin’s compassion, our precious members of Soka have challenged the devil of illness head-on, praying together and encouraging one another.

Nichiren Buddhism is a teaching of supreme reason. It offers concrete wisdom for both mental and physical health.

Let us reaffirm the importance of following the Soka Gakkai’s basic guidelines for a healthy life, such as: doing an invigorating gongyo, contributing to the welfare of others, leading a balanced and productive lifestyle that is aligned with the rhythm of the universe and eating wisely. In addition, particularly since we are striving busily each day to carry out our profound mission, let’s all make sure to get sufficient sleep.

It is also crucial to be attentive to changes in our health condition and seek prompt medical evaluation and treatment should any problem arise, so that we may protect the precious vessel of our life dedicated to kosen-rufu. As the Daishonin observes, “Early treatment by a skilled physician can cure even serious illnesses, not to mention minor ones” (“On Prolonging One’s Life Span,” WND-1, 954).

The wise physicians of our doctors’ division and the compassionate nurses of the Shirakaba-kai (nurses’ group) are there to support us in preserving our health. And the Soka Gakkai shines with the inspiring experiences of countless members who have recovered from illness.

As the world continues to grapple with the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and other emerging infectious disease threats, the wisdom, energy and unity to protect the dignity and preciousness of life are needed more than ever.

“When one gives [others] strength, one gives oneself strength too, when one prolongs [others’] lives, one prolongs one’s own life as well” (“On Clothing and Food,” WND-2, 1066). This is the unerring law of cause and effect.

As members of the Soka family embracing the great beneficial medicine of the Mystic Law, let us continue to take action with compassion for the well-being of others and impart the power for a “health revolution” to the global family of humankind.

Do not fear!
No sickness
can be an obstacle
for Buddhas chanting
the lion’s roar of daimoku.


  1. From T’ien-t’ai’s Great Concentration and Insight. ↩︎

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