Skip to main content

Ikeda Sensei

The Path of Soka Is the Runway to a Life of Triumph

Photo by Bobby Stevenson / Unsplash.

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

Over the past year, all of you, our dedicated members everywhere—not least the uncrowned heroes who deliver the Seikyo Shimbun each day—have advanced steadily in your tireless efforts for the sake of Buddhism, the happiness of others and the welfare of your communities, societies and the world. If we were to calculate the total distance you have traveled in your activities this year, it would be truly astronomical.

Nichiren Daishonin, the Buddha of the Latter Day of the Law, is surely praising you most highly for your dedication in faith. I am reminded of some words he wrote to Shijo Kingo and his wife, Nichigen-nyo: “I wonder if Bodhisattva Superior Practices has taken possession of your body in order to assist me along the way [lit. Nichiren’s path]. Or could it be the design of Shakyamuni Buddha, the lord of teachings?” (“A Warning against Begrudging One’s Fief,” The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, pp. 823–24)

Linked by the bonds of mentor and disciple, we as Bodhisattvas of the Earth are blazing the path of Soka—a path that follows on directly from “Nichiren’s path”—in the places we have chosen to fulfill our vow for kosen-rufu. It is the path of “attaining Buddhahood in this lifetime,” where we all challenge our human revolution, advancing together with Nichiren and the Mystic Law. It is the path of “establishing the correct teaching for the peace of the land,” where we devote ourselves to creating a secure and prosperous world for all. It is also the path of the “eternal transmission of the Law,” where we work to ensure that the lifeblood of kosen-rufu endures for all time. The honor of holding fast to this path of Soka, year after year, is higher than the heavens and deeper than the ocean.

Nichiren writes: “You [Nanjo Tokimitsu, in supporting Nichiren,] are extending the life of the Lotus Sutra, and thus making offerings to the Buddhas of the three existences [of past, present and future]. This means, I think, that your benefit is that of opening the eyes of all the living beings in the ten directions. No words can express how sublime [or noble] this is” (“Reply to Ueno,” WND-2, 590).

Our unseen efforts, day after day and month after month, to compassionately spread the Mystic Law may be too inconspicuous to draw people’s attention or recognition now, but all Buddhas and heavenly deities are certain to praise and protect our unsurpassed exertions on this most respectworthy path. Future generations will be astonished by our achievements, “opening their eyes” and inspiring them to seek the way and join our ranks in ever-growing numbers.

Soka Gakkai founding president Tsunesaburo Makiguchi said: “The Buddhism of Nichiren Daishonin is like the sun, warmly watching over our path through life.”[1]

Let us share the light and warmth of the path of Soka with those who are wandering helplessly in the darkness, hearts shivering with cold. For this is the hope-filled, sunlit path embodied by the Daishonin’s assurance that “winter always turns to spring” (“Winter Always Turns to Spring,” WND-1, 536). It is also the runway to soar to a life of triumph, in which we transform the sufferings of birth, aging, sickness and death into the virtues of eternity, happiness, true self and purity.

How noble
our youth throughout the world
following in the footsteps
of the men and women proudly
braving all trials and blizzards!


  1. Translated from Japanese. Hyoden Makiguchi Tsunesaburo (Biography of Tsunesaburo Makiguchi), (Tokyo: Daisanbunmei-sha, 2017), p. 290. ↩︎

Celebrating 30 Years of ‘The Sun of Jiyu Over a New Land’ With a New Pledge for Peace!

Sharing Our Mentor’s Commitment