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Ikeda Sensei

Making Good Causes Day After Day

Martin Ruegner / Getty Images.

These are excerpts from Ikeda Sensei’s speech at the 88th Soka Gakkai Headquarters Leaders Meeting, which was held at the Chubu Culture Center in Nagoya, on May 17, 1995. Video footage of the speech was broadcast during the most recent Soka Gakkai headquarters leaders meeting, on April 16, 2022. This was translated from the April 26, 2022, issue of the Soka Gakkai’s daily newspaper, Seikyo Shimbun.

The first point I wish to convey to you is “Please put your health first.” 

I hope you’ll use your wisdom and creativity to find ways to improve and maintain your health.

Our Buddhist faith and practice are the driving force for good health. But that doesn’t mean we should be complacent about our health. Precisely because we practice Buddhism, we should tap our wisdom and put it to use.

Those who are always lively and full of energy, those who keep growing and developing, healthy in body and spirit, bring a breath of fresh air to those around them.

Please work to stay vibrant and healthy each day for you, your family and your mission. I hope you’ll make this a personal commitment.

Nichiren Daishonin writes, “Birds that approach Mount Sumeru[1] turn golden-hued”[2] (“Offerings for the Object of Devotion,” The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 2, p. 671).  

The Soka Gakkai is a gathering of courageous Bodhisattvas of the Earth dedicated to spreading Buddhism and realizing kosen-rufu. It is the organization carrying out the Buddha’s intent. Those who advance together with the Soka Gakkai will, just as they are, suffuse their minds, their wisdom and their good fortune and benefit with a golden brilliance. They will be able to manifest the greatest possible value as human beings in their own unique way.

Truly admirable are those who forge ahead steadfastly on the path of their mission for kosen-rufu, even though it may not be glamorous. Everyone has an important mission that only they can fulfill. That is why in the realm of faith, in the realm of the Soka Gakkai, we treasure and shine a light on each person, so that everyone can give full play to their potential.

Together, let us climb the mountain of kosen-rufu with dignity and in the best way each of us can!

Buddha is a human being. Shakyamuni Buddha went out from early morning to walk many miles on foot. He eagerly went outside. This is how he started his day.

Back then, people generally went barefoot. Shakyamuni reportedly had very large feet. 

We must lead by taking action ourselves, not by ordering others around. By setting an example of personal initiative, we gain others’ trust and motivate them to take action.   

There is a story about Shakyamuni and a Brahman named Udaya.[3] In India at the time, the Brahmans occupied the highest rank in society. One morning, Shakyamuni walked to the home of Udaya, a nonbeliever. He was on his alms round—carrying a bowl to receive food offerings. Through this practice, he enabled others to form a connection with the Law. 

Likewise, our activities for kosen-rufu today as Soka Gakkai members also enable many people in society to form a connection with Buddhism. I have traveled throughout Japan and the world to expand this sphere of Buddhist connections in countless countries and among people from all walks of life.

Shakyamuni went to Udaya’s house again the next morning, and again the following day. On the third day, Udaya called Shakyamuni a pesky nuisance for visiting day after day. 

Shakyamuni responded to this rude remark by calmly explaining the importance of repetition, saying to the effect: “If a farmer continues to repeat the action of sowing seeds and cultivating his fields, then he will have a harvest. If rain falls from the heavens again and again, the earth will be nourished. And if a calf repeatedly suckles its mother’s milk, it will continue to grow.” This accords with reason. 

To do well in sports and in the arts, it is essential to repeatedly practice the basics. Through such repetition, one’s abilities are polished and honed.

In Buddhist practice, those who repeatedly make good causes will attain a magnificent life state filled with good fortune and benefit. Please be confident that you are accumulating immeasurable benefit and good fortune that will endure in lifetime after lifetime.

Shakyamuni further explained to Udaya that there are different kinds of repetition: “The ignorant repeat the cycle of birth and death filled with suffering and delusion. That is why it is important to develop the supreme wisdom necessary to break free of this cycle of rebirth into evil paths.” In other words, we need to move from a negative cycle to a positive cycle.  

Although Udaya had initially called Shakyamuni a nuisance, through their exchange he ultimately decided to become his follower. The Buddhist scriptures contain many such stories.

Day after day, today and again tomorrow, personally taking action, meeting with others, and engaging in dialogue—this is what Shakyamuni did. This is the path of right action as a human being and the path of true honor for a Buddhist. This also characterizes the rhythm of the Soka Gakkai’s progress. We are advancing in the exact same way as Shakyamuni and as Nichiren, the Buddha of the Latter Day of the Law. 

My wish above all is for everyone to become happy. I hope that you will play an active and fulfilling role in your respective spheres of kosen-rufu.

Thank you for today. My best to you all!


  1. Mount Sumeru: In ancient Indian cosmology, the mountain that stands at the center of the world. ↩︎
  2. According to The Treatise on the Great Perfection of Wisdom, living beings that approach Mount Sumeru lose their own colors and take on a golden hue. ↩︎
  3. See The Connected Discourses of the Buddha: A Translation of the Samyutta Nikaya, translated from Pali by Bhikkhu Bodhi (Boston: Wisdom Publications, 2000), pp. 268–69. ↩︎

Q: Recently retired on a fixed income, I’m more cautious with finances than I once was. How can I partake in SGI-USA contributions with a youthful, lionlike spirit in this new chapter of my life?

Let’s Challenge Ourselves Again Today!