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Daily Life

Be Earnest, Hardworking and Sincere

Illustration by Hakule and Pavel Konnikov / Getty Images.

In volume 24 of  The New Human Revolution, “Vigilant Safeguarding” chapter, Ikeda Sensei encourages members of the Byakuren Group, one of the SGI’s youth training groups. 

Many think that happiness is taking it easy, never working hard and enjoying wealth and social status, recognition and success, without any special effort. Some flatter and cozy up to the rich and powerful in hopes of achieving these things. Others adopt a policy of expedience and will do anything to get ahead. Still others envy and resent those who have established themselves in the world and scheme to bring about the downfall of those whom they perceive to be more successful than they are. All these patterns of behavior are based on the delusion that happiness resides in the external world, outside of us.

Nichiren Daishonin states: “If you seek enlightenment outside yourself, then your performing even ten thousand practices and ten thousand good deeds will be in vain. It is like the case of a poor man who spends night and day counting his neighbor’s wealth but gains not even half a coin” (“On Attaining Buddhahood in This Lifetime,” The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, p. 3).

The path to happiness and attaining Buddhahood in this lifetime lies, fundamentally, in polishing one’s character and manifesting the life condition of the Buddha and bodhisattva from within. It’s vital to build a strong, stalwart, unshakable self, like a towering mountain.

The Daishonin also writes: “Arouse deep faith, and diligently polish your mirror day and night. How should you polish it? Only by chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo” (“On Attaining Buddhahood in This Lifetime,” WND- 1, 4). Chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo is the path to attaining Buddhahood in this lifetime. It is attained by practicing for oneself and others based on chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. This means not only chanting but also dedicating ourselves to kosen-rufu. Whether we can establish a truly indestructible life state of happiness depends upon how earnestly we chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo and exert ourselves for the sake of kosen-rufu.

It may be possible to deceive other people, but it’s impossible to deceive the Buddhist law. We can build a magnificent state of life to the degree we pray for kosen-rufu, devote ourselves and strive tirelessly. From the perspective of the Buddhist law of cause and effect, there is no path to victory other than being earnest, hardworking and sincere. (pp. 122–23)

July 21, 2023, World Tribune, p. 10

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