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Ikeda Sensei

Let Us Continue on Our Journey to Guide Humanity to Peace and Happiness

Photo by Casey Horner / Unsplash.

Ikeda Sensei sent this message to the Ninth Soka Gakkai Headquarters Leaders Meeting Toward Our Centennial—commemorating May 3, Soka Gakkai Day and Soka Gakkai Mother’s Day—at the Toda Memorial Auditorium in Sugamo, Tokyo, on April 16, 2022. This message was originally published in the April 17, 2022, issue of the Soka Gakkai’s daily newspaper, Seikyo Shimbun.

First, allow me to congratulate the new women’s division[1] in Japan on the great success of their first district-level general meetings being held this month. Tonight will be a full moon. Whether or not it is visible, I hope you will applaud and commend one another with smiles as bright as the beaming moon. 

As May 3 approaches, the morning star Venus and Earth’s other sibling planets Mars, Jupiter and Saturn can be seen shining in the sky in the predawn hours. To me, they are a luminous presence watching over the health, safety and happiness of our “uncrowned heroes” who deliver the Seikyo Shimbun and all the members of our Soka family throughout Japan and the world.

Also, just recently, astronomers detected a new star 12.9 billion light years away and millions of times brighter than our sun. It has been named Earendel, which means “morning star” or “rising light” [in Old English]. 

I am reminded of what second Soka Gakkai President Josei Toda said to me in a lecture on astronomy at what I fondly refer to as “Toda University”: “Learn from the universe! Be in tune with the universe! Love this planet that teems with precious life, work for peace and elevate the life state of all humanity.”

Soka Gakkai Mother’s Day, which will soon be here, is also a day to reach out to those who are struggling and impart the light of hope embodied by Nichiren Daishonin’s words “Winter always turns to spring” (“Winter Always Turns to Spring,” The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, p. 536). To mark this special day, I would like to share some words of encouragement Nichiren sent to the lay nun Ueno, the mother of Nanjo Tokimitsu, who had endured life’s hardships and prayed through many painful sorrows. He writes:

The Buddhas of the ten directions will all assemble in throngs and fill in the lands to the east, west, north, and south, in the eight directions, the major world system, and all the four hundred ten thousand million nayutas[2] of lands. They will be seated side by side like the stars in the heavens, or the rows of rice and hemp plants on the earth, and will guard and protect the votaries [practitioners] of the Lotus Sutra just as the various ministers and subjects guard and protect the heir of a great ruler. (“Reply to the Mother of Ueno,” WND-1, 1074)

“Learn from the universe! Be in tune with the universe! Love this planet that teems with precious life, work for peace and elevate the life state of all humanity.”

All of you, who chant and spread the Mystic Law, the fundamental law of the universe, are noble beyond measure. Uncountable multitudes of Buddhas and heavenly deities throughout the universe will staunchly protect each one of you, as if “enfolding you in their robes” (see “The True Aspect of All Phenomena,” WND-1, 385). The Daishonin assures that you will be safeguarded without fail. You possess within a truly great and magnificent state of life.

It is also equally certain that your deceased family members, relatives, friends, loved ones and others with whom you share a deep karmic connection, embraced in your chanting of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo for yourself and others, will forever proceed on the path of eternity, happiness, true self and purity. 

In this vast universe, our Soka Gakkai, united with the spirit of the Buddhas of the ten directions, is a wondrous, harmonious organization, a living entity of compassion, carrying out kosen-rufu and establishing the correct teaching for the peace of the land. 

Our founding president, Tsunesaburo Makiguchi, was persecuted for his Buddhist beliefs during World War II and died in 1944 in the Tokyo Detention Center here in Sugamo, striving selflessly to propagate Nichiren Buddhism until the very end. Our second president, Josei Toda, likewise engaged in an unsparing struggle in prison, where he gained the profound realization that the Buddha is life itself and awakened to his identity as a Bodhisattva of the Earth. 

Seventy-eight years have passed since then. Over that time, we Soka mentors and disciples, as Bodhisattvas of the Earth with a shared vow from time without beginning, have risen to action with the conviction that “we have a mission to fulfill in this world”[3] and widely spread throughout our communities and societies our grassroots movement to eliminate all misery and misfortune from this saha realm.

We each engage in the lively dance of human revolution and strive to enact brilliant dramas of victory through putting faith into practice in daily life and Buddhism into action in society. We seek to strongly manifest and firmly establish the life states of bodhisattva and Buddha in our own and others’ lives on this planet Earth. This is our great challenge as global citizens of Soka.

“The mission of the Bodhisattvas of the Earth is dialogue!” declared Mr. Toda. Responding to his courageous lion’s roar, let us enthusiastically set forth on our mission of dialogue with the vibrant, powerful life state of Bodhisattvas of the Earth, sow in people’s lives “the seeds of Buddhahood that will endure into the future” (see “Reply to the Lay Priest Misawa,” WND-2, 534) and work even harder to create value based on respect for the dignity of life.

Today, as an expression of my gratitude to you, my dear and precious fellow members, I would like to present three calligraphic works that I inscribed 40 years ago [in 1982].

The first is “Vow of Establishing the Correct Teaching.” As the “pillar of peace,” the “eyes of education” and the “great ship of culture,” the Soka Gakkai has and will continue to steadfastly engage in efforts to establish the correct teaching for the peace of the land in the Daishonin’s spirit of “This is my vow, and I will never forsake it!” (“The Opening of the Eyes,” WND-1, 281).

“The mission of the Bodhisattvas of the Earth is dialogue!”

The next calligraphic work is “Melody of Moonlight and Fragrant Breezes,” which I inscribed to commemorate the July anniversary of the young women’s division’s founding. It expresses my hope that the women of Soka will joyfully help others form connections to Nichiren Buddhism, planting the seeds of happiness, with a spirit that is strong yet as gentle as the moonlight and create a melody of joy and harmony as delightful as a refreshing breeze.

Lastly is the calligraphy “Journey on the Great Path of Kosen-rufu” to commemorate the July anniversary of the young men’s division’s founding. I presented it in Hyogo Prefecture to the members of Ever-Victorious Kansai and all members who shared my spirit. 

A passage in the Lotus Sutra states, “Now you must press forward diligently so that together you may reach the place where the treasure is” (The Lotus Sutra and Its Opening and Closing Sutras, p. 180). Let us renew our determination to keep forging ahead, always with Nichiren and the Mystic Law, making all Buddhas and heavenly deities our allies, united in the shared commitment of mentor and disciple and the spirit of “many in body, one in mind.” Let us vow afresh to continue our journey on the great path of kosen-rufu to guide the global family of humankind to the treasure realm of peace and happiness, a realm imbued with the noble life state of Buddhahood. 


  1. In 2021, the women’s division and young women’s division in Japan made a fresh start by joining together in a new women’s division (Jpn josei-bu). From May 3, 2021, the Japanese name for the women’s division changed from fujin-bu to josei-bu [with the English translation remaining unchanged]. Then, from Nov. 18, 2021, the young women’s division officially joined with the new women’s division. ↩︎
  2. Nayuta: An Indian numerical unit. Explanations differ according to the source. According to one account, it is 100 billion, and to another account, 10 million. ↩︎
  3.  A line from the Soka Gakkai song “Song of Human Revolution,” the lyrics of which were composed by Ikeda Sensei. ↩︎

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