Skip to main content

Ikeda Sensei

Let’s Change the Destiny of All Humankind!

Photo by pixabay / Pexels

Ikeda Sensei sent the following message to the 16th Soka Gakkai Headquarters Leaders Meeting Toward Our Centennial, which was held at the Hall of the Great Vow for Kosen-rufu on Nov. 1, 2023. The meeting celebrated Soka Gakkai Founding  Day (Nov. 18), the 10th anniversary of the Hall of the Great Vow for Kosen-rufu and the kickoff toward 2024—the Year of Fresh Departure for a Youthful Soka Gakkai Worldwide. This message is translated from the Nov. 2, 2023, issue of the Soka Gakkai’s daily newspaper, Seikyo Shimbun.

I wish to express my deepest gratitude to all of you, my precious fellow members, for your noble, brave and unflagging efforts, which have made it possible for us to proudly celebrate the 10th anniversary of the opening of the Hall of the Great Vow for Kosen-rufu in this month of the Soka Gakkai’s founding and the anniversary of our first Soka Gakkai President Tsunesaburo Makiguchi’s death in prison. 

To mark the kickoff toward 2024—the Year of Fresh Departure for a Youthful Soka Gakkai Worldwide—and as an expression of my profound appreciation and hopes, I would like to present you with three framed calligraphies.

The first one reads “Fellow Members Around the World.” 

Over the past decade since the completion of the Hall of the Great Vow for Kosen-rufu, our movement for peace, culture and education has made truly remarkable strides. This is thanks to our global citizens of Soka in 192 countries and territories uniting in prayer with a shared vow for kosen-rufu and striving in the spirit of “many in body, one in mind.” Notably, our membership around the world, outside of Japan, has grown from 1.75 million in 2013 to almost 3 million members today.   

Looking back, 3 million was also the number of households my mentor, second Soka Gakkai President Josei Toda, entrusted me with achieving as the next grand milestone for our kosen-rufu movement in Japan after we had reached his lifetime dream of 750,000 households [at the end of 1957]. 

He said to me, “Daisaku, do you think you can accomplish a membership of 3 million households in the next seven years?” I promised him I would, saying: “I feel even more determined. I will definitely realize this goal.”[1] Through the united efforts of all his disciples, we achieved that goal in five, not seven, years. 

Now we have created a magnificent forest of treasure towers—“Fellow Members Around the World,” close to 3 million strong, who are challenging their human revolution. I would like to report this achievement with great pride today to Nichiren Daishonin, the Buddha of the Latter Day of the Law, and to presidents Makiguchi and Toda, before the Soka Gakkai Kosen-rufu Gohonzon that bears the inscription “For the Fulfillment of the Great Vow for Kosen-rufu through the Compassionate Propagation of the Great Law.”

The next calligraphy is “World Peace.” 

Seven hundred and fifty years ago [in 1273], amid his harrowing ordeal of exile on Sado Island, Nichiren Daishonin wrote in “On Practicing the Buddha’s Teachings”:  

When the people all chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, the wind will no longer buffet the branches, and the rain will no longer break the clods of soil. The world will become as it was in the ages of Fu Hsi and Shen Nung.[2] In their present existence the people will be freed from misfortune and disasters and learn the art of living long. Realize that the time will come when the truth will be revealed that both the person and the Law are unaging and eternal. (The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, p. 392) 

Our chanting of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo is the ultimate sound of respect for the dignity of life and universal harmony. It is the fundamental driving force for achieving the security of the land and world peace. 

Looking toward the eternal future of the Latter Day, Nichiren taught us the great path of dialogue for realizing true peace and prosperity everywhere based on the life-affirming principles of Buddhism. The first three Soka Gakkai presidents and their disciples have followed this path with the hearts of lion kings.  

Now our youthful Soka Gakkai worldwide is a great movement to change the destiny of all humankind. Our members brim with the boundless life force of the sun of time without beginning, uphold the transformative principle of “three thousand realms in a single moment of life,” and are unwavering in their conviction that “When great evil occurs, great good follows” (“Great Evil and Great Good,” WND-1, 1119). 

How wondrous that you, the youth of Soka who share my spirit and are connected by profound karmic ties, have chosen to be here at this time of fresh departure. I pray and am confident that, without fail, you will sound the bells of hope for the triumph of peace now and into the future. 

The third calligraphy is “We Are Friends in the Castle of Happiness.” It is a calligraphy that I originally presented to members in Tokyo’s Shinjuku Ward, the main bastion where our headquarters is located. It has now been newly mounted and framed. 

The Lotus Sutra states that we, the Bodhisattvas of the Earth, each have “a retinue equal to the sands of sixty thousand Ganges Rivers” (The Lotus Sutra and Its Opening and Closing Sutras, p. 252). Since we are Bodhisattvas of the Earth, we will bring forth many like-minded friends in this world.[3]

The Lotus Sutra also says that “the seeds of Buddhahood sprout through causation [or external causes and connections]” (see LSOC, 75; “The Properties of Rice,” WND-1, 1117). In the seven years leading to our centennial [in 2030], let us tap even greater wisdom to help people form a connection with Nichiren Buddhism. Let us awaken even greater numbers of people around the world to their Buddha nature. And let us joyfully and courageously bring many new friends to join us in the castle of happiness, where we can together shine with wisdom and compassion.

“Life is limited; we must not begrudge it. What we should ultimately aspire to is the Buddha land” (“Aspiration for the Buddha Land,” WND-1, 214). Reading those latter words as “What we should ultimately aspire to is kosen-rufu and world peace,” let us deeply and powerfully engrave this message of the Daishonin in our hearts!

November 18, 2023, World Tribune, pp. 2–3


  1. This exchange took place on Feb. 10, 1958, and is described in “Vanguard” chapter in volume two of The New Human
    . ↩︎
  2. Fu Hsi and Shen Nung were legendary kings who reigned over ideal societies in ancient China. ↩︎
  3. This is a play on the lines from “Song of Human Revolution”: “Since we are Bodhisattvas of the Earth, / we have a mission to fulfill in this world.” ↩︎

SGI-USA Is Hiring