Skip to main content

Gosho Study

Our Human Revolution

Photo by Eugene Deshko / Unsplash.

You must quickly reform the tenets that you hold in your heart and embrace the one true vehicle, the single good doctrine [of the Lotus Sutra]. If you do so, then the threefold world will become the Buddha land, and how could a Buddha land ever decline?  

“On Establishing the Correct Teaching for the Peace of the Land,”
The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin
, vol. 1, p. 25

On July 16, 1260, amid a series of floods, epidemics, famine and unprecedented disasters, Nichiren Daishonin submitted “On Establishing the Correct Teaching for the Peace of the Land” to Hojo Tokiyori, the most influential political figure in Japan. In this treatise, he draws a connection between the widespread calamities and people’s misguided beliefs and rejection of the Lotus Sutra. He admonishes those in power to discard erroneous teachings and instead embrace the Lotus Sutra, which teaches respect for the dignity and equality of all people.

A true revolution starts from the inner change of one person—this is the message of the passage above. Nichiren urges us to change the misguided beliefs and assumptions that keep us from valuing the dignity of our own life or that of others. To embrace the “single good doctrine [of the Lotus Sutra]” means believing that we all have the Buddha nature and realizing absolute happiness for ourselves while helping others do the same.

—Prepared by the SGI-USA Study Department 

Ikeda Sensei’s Encouragement

1. ‘Peace of the Land’ Begins With One Person

What is the surest way to bring peace to the land, to transform a society that is weighed down with misfortune and suffering? Nichiren stresses that it begins with one person establishing the truth in his or her heart. The “one true vehicle, the single good doctrine” of which he speaks is the Lotus Sutra, the correct Mahayana teaching that espouses life’s supreme worth and dignity and instructs that all living beings are essentially Buddhas. When each individual awakens to and reveals [their] inherent Buddhahood in accord with this Mystic Law, the place that person lives becomes a shimmering Buddha land. …

Moreover, as we bring forth our inherent Buddha nature, we develop compassion for others. “Embracing the one true vehicle, the single good doctrine [of the Lotus Sutra]” means, in one sense, abandoning all prejudiced and partial views of life and humanity and returning to a respect for the supreme dignity of life. It means doing away with egoism and living by the rule of compassion, basing ourselves on true humanism. Here we find the universal principle that provides the key to humankind’s prosperity and peace on Earth. (The New Human Revolution, vol. 4, revised edition, pp. 247–48)

2. Reforming the Tenets in Our Hearts 

The Daishonin confidently teaches the way by which people can free themselves from the chains of misfortune and bring peace and security to society. It requires a transformation of the “tenets that we hold in our heart,” he says, a fundamental revolution of our innermost state of mind.

What we have faith in indicates what we hold most precious, what values we cherish. It establishes our fundamental purpose and direction in life.

In other words, are we driven by egoism that seeks personal happiness at the exclusion and expense of others, or by compassion that is concerned with both our own and others’ welfare, refusing to build our happiness on the misfortune of others? The focus is on the transformation of our minds, our hearts, our values. It is the human revolution in a single individual. Without that, “establishing the correct teaching for the peace of the land” cannot be achieved. …

The name Soka, which emerged from discussions between [founding Soka Gakkai President Tsunesaburo Makiguchi and his disciple Josei Toda], means “value creation.” What kind of value, then, are we committed to creating?

I believe it can be summed up as empowering suffering individuals we encounter by encouraging them to base their lives on the sound philosophy of the Mystic Law in order to realize peace and security for all people and the world. Both the practice of “establishing the correct teaching” and the mission of actualizing the “peace of the land” are encompassed in this spirit of Soka, or value creation—a spirit that treasures each individual and is dedicated to one-to-one dialogue. (The Teachings for Victory, vol. 7, pp. 161–63) 

‘Make Exemplary Progress in Advancing Worldwide Kosen-rufu!’

Steptoe Butte State Park, Washington