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Ikeda Sensei

Let’s Start Anew With a Fresh Spirit, Based on Nichiren Daishonin’s Writings!

Photo by Joel Muniz / Unsplash.

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

“Start anew with a fresh spirit!”—that’s the message I imparted to our Soka Gakkai Sports Division members. Whatever your present condition, the key is to always start anew and tackle the next challenge with a fresh spirit.

We have the writings of Nichiren Daishonin, who teaches that it is our heart or spirit that is important (see “The Drum at the Gate of Thunder,” The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, p. 949). Each time we open his writings, our hearts are flooded with fresh and revitalizing light and warmth, as if we are gazing up at the morning sun.

In “Unseen Virtue and Visible Reward,” a well-known letter addressed to his disciple Shijo Kingo, Nichiren says, “If you simply conduct yourself as I have advised, your lands will be increased still further and people’s trust in you will be restored” (WND-1, 907). No matter how adverse your situation, if you practice just as Nichiren teaches, you are guaranteed to open the way to a life filled with good fortune, benefit and trust.

Both Presidents Tsunesaburo Makiguchi and Josei Toda read Nichiren’s writings in the spirit that they were “a day-to-day record of one’s own existence” (“The Unanimous Declaration by the Buddhas,” WND-2, 843), and put them into practice by working to realize the great vow for kosen-rufu and the ideal of “establishing the correct teaching for the peace of the land.”

Let us, too, regard each word and passage of Nichiren’s writings as encouragement personally directed to each one of us. Making the Daishonin’s heart our own, let us treasure each person we encounter and continue to reach out to them in courageous and confident dialogue. That is the way to bring forth the vibrant life force to continually start anew with a fresh spirit, propelling us toward attaining Buddhahood in this lifetime and helping others do the same.

Dr. Dennis Gira, the supervising editor of the French translation of Nichiren Daishonin’s writings, described Nichiren Buddhism as a teaching that gives hope at a time when we face threats on a global scale. He praised the profound commitment of Soka youth and their genuine solidarity across the world as a force to help vanquish the fear that reigns in so many hearts today.[1]

Mr. Toda declared: “The Soka Gakkai will always be the Soka Gakkai! It is a proud gathering of the lionhearted, based on the writings of Nichiren Daishonin. Never forget that!” In accord with his words, let us pray and study, go out and talk with others and work to promote our movement—with Nichiren’s writings as our strength and inspiration and adopting his unflagging spirit of “Still I am not discouraged” (“The Essentials for Attaining Buddhahood,” WND-1, 748)!

I also hope you will spread the positive attitude of always starting anew with a fresh spirit to your families and friends, communities and societies, the world and the global family, like a pleasant May breeze.

Bring forth the power 
of the Mystic Law
embodying in your lives
the Daishonin’s teachings for victory.


  1. From an interview article in the Soka Gakkai’s daily newspaper, Seikyo Shimbun, May 8, 2021 issue. ↩︎

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