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Ikeda Sensei

Enfolding Our Planet in the Boundless Benefit of the Mystic Law

6th Soka Gakkai Headquarters Leaders Meeting

Pennsylvania Zone's October Kosen-Rufu Gongyo held at the Philadelphia Buddhist Center on October 3, 2021.
October Kosen-Rufu Gongyo held at the Philadelphia Buddhist Center on October 3, 2021. Photo by Jonathan Wilson

Ikeda Sensei sent this message to the Sixth Soka Gakkai Headquarters Leaders Meeting Toward Our Centennial, celebrating the start of the Year of Youth and Dynamic Progress, held on Jan. 8, 2022, at the Toda Memorial Auditorium in Sugamo, Tokyo. This message was originally published in the Jan. 9, 2022, issue of the Soka Gakkai’s daily newspaper, Seikyo Shimbun.

Our Soka family throughout Japan and the world has made an exuberant and energetic start to the new year! With our youthful Bodhisattvas of the Earth in the lead, our members everywhere have set forth to achieve fresh dynamic progress in our movement for “kosen-rufu through the compassionate propagation of the great Law”[1] for the happiness and peace of all humanity.

I am certain that Nichiren Daishonin, the Buddha of the Latter Day of the Law, is applauding and praising all of you in this landmark 770th anniversary year of the establishment of his teaching.[2]

I would like to share with you, my precious fellow members, some words of encouragement Nichiren sent to his youthful disciple Nanjo Tokimitsu at the start of the new year in 1280: “Just as flowers open up and bear fruit, just as the moon appears and invariably grows full, just as a lamp becomes brighter when oil is added, and just as plants and trees flourish with rain, so will human beings never fail to prosper when they make good causes” (“The Third Day of the New Year,” The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, p. 1013).

Congratulations to all our young friends in Japan celebrating Coming of Age Day (on Jan. 10 this year)! I am now preparing my 40th peace proposal for SGI Day, Jan. 26, focusing particularly on youth, women and the future of our children. As I will also touch on, the United Nations forecasts that by the end of the century our planet will be home to around 10.9 billion people.[3]

In “The Opening of the Eyes,” the Daishonin clarifies the great vow of all Buddhas to “insure the future propagation of the Lotus Sutra [Nam-myoho-renge-kyo] so that it can be made available to all the children of the Buddha in times to come” (WND-1, 286). We, the mentors and disciples of Soka, have embraced this vow as our own.

You, my young friends of the youth division and future division, are the lead runners in the unending relay of kosen-rufu, committed to justice and humane values. You will carry forward and pass on the batons of “establishing the correct teaching for the peace of the land” and “making certain the Law will long endure” (see The Lotus Sutra and Its Opening and Closing Sutras, p. 216) in the 21st and 22nd centuries. I hope you will be proud of your noble mission and run confidently with an invincible spirit!

In addition, our deceased fellow members and all those we have helped connect to Buddhism will emerge in a surging tide, brimming with the great life force of the Bodhisattvas of the Earth, to join our movement to create a world of peace and harmony for all. This is my unshakable conviction based on the Buddhist perspective of the eternity of life and Nichiren’s teaching that “Myo [of myoho, the Mystic Law] means to revive” (“The Daimoku of the Lotus Sutra,” WND-1, 149).

The eminent British historian Arnold J. Toynbee (1889–1975), with whom I engaged in a dialogue five decades ago (starting in May 1972), also focused his attention on the 21st century. He placed great hopes on our movement, saying that the Middle Way practiced by the Soka Gakkai is the path that humanity needs to follow in the 21st century.

There is a golden passage that both Soka Gakkai Presidents Tsunesaburo Makiguchi and Josei Toda underlined in their personal copies of the Daishonin’s writings. It is from “How Those Initially Aspiring to the Way Can Attain Buddhahood through the Lotus Sutra.” Addressing the lay nun Myoho, Nichiren writes: “When once we chant Myoho-renge-kyo,[4] with just that single sound we summon forth and manifest the Buddha nature of all … living beings. This blessing is immeasurable and boundless” (WND-1, 887).

The Mystic Law has the unfathomable power to call forth the Buddha nature in all living beings and all phenomena in the universe, past, present and future.

During the February Campaign[5] of 1952, seven decades ago, I strove wholeheartedly with my fellow members of Kamata Chapter to introduce others to Nichiren Buddhism as an expression of gratitude [for the Daishonin and Mr. Toda who share February as their birth month]. I often lifted my gaze to the cold night sky to look at the bright shining stars above. Aware of being part of the vast universe, I spoke with my comrades in faith—friends united by a vow from the distant past—about the great adventure of dedicating our lives to spreading the Mystic Law, which allows us to savor “the greatest of all joys” (The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings, p. 212).

It was also during that campaign that Mr. Toda, delighted by our valiant efforts, shared with us his grand vision of bringing all humankind together as one global family.

On a New Year’s Day many decades ago (in 1985), recalling Mr. Toda’s great life state, I inscribed a pair of calligraphies. I would like to present them to you today.

Unbound—On New Year’s Day, 1985, Ikeda Sensei inscribed this calligraphy “Vast Heart,” referring to an expansive, all-encompassing spirit or state of life. Photo courtesy of Seikyo Shimbun.
Blossom—Ikeda Sensei penned this calligraphy, “Great Cherry Tree,” in Japan, Jan. 1, 1985. Photo courtesy of Seikyo Shimbun.

The first is “Vast Heart” (Jpn daishin), meaning an expansive, all-encompassing spirit or state of life. The second is “Great Cherry Tree” (Jpn oo-zakura).

This year, together with our treasured fellow members everywhere, let us reach out to others with our “vast hearts,” striving even harder to enfold our communities, the lands where we live and our planet in the boundless benefit of the Mystic Law.

And with the firm conviction that “winter always turns to spring” (“Winter Always Turns to Spring,” WND-1, 536), let us resolve together to make our “great cherry trees” of kosen-rufu and life flower magnificently with brilliant benefit!


  1. One of the inscriptions in the margin of the Soka Gakkai Kosen-rufu Gohonzon, enshrined in the Hall of the Great Vow for Kosen-rufu, reads: “For the Fulfillment of the Great Vow for Kosen-rufu Through the Compassionate Propagation of the Great Law.” ↩︎
  2. According to the traditional Japanese way of counting. Nichiren Daishonin established his teaching on April 28, 1253. ↩︎
  3. “Population Facts,” United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, <accessed Jan. 11, 2022>. ↩︎
  4. Nichiren often uses Myoho-renge-kyo synonymously with Nam-myoho-renge-kyo in his writings. ↩︎
  5. February Campaign: In February 1952, the young Daisaku Ikeda, then an advisor to Tokyo’s Kamata Chapter, initiated a dynamic propagation campaign. Together with the Kamata members, he broke through the previous monthly record of some 100 new households by introducing Nichiren Buddhism to 201 new households. ↩︎

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