Skip to main content

Ikeda Sensei

Making a Fresh Start Toward a Spring of Peace for All Humanity

Photo by the_burtons / Getty Images.

Ikeda Sensei sent the following message to the 13th Soka Gakkai Headquarters Leaders Meeting Toward Our Centennial held on May 3, 2023, at the Toda Memorial Auditorium in Sugamo, Tokyo. The meeting commemorated May 3, Soka Gakkai Day and the 35th anniversary of  Soka Gakkai Mothers Day. This message was originally published in the May 4, 2023, issue of the Soka Gakkai’s daily newspaper, Seikyo Shimbun. 

The inauguration of my mentor, Josei Toda, as second Soka Gakkai president took place on May 3, 1951, the skies, the land and the members’ hearts all bright and sunny. I fondly remember a scene from that day. 

Toward the end of the event, while Mr. Toda was leading a Soka Gakkai song with dignity and vigor, the water pitcher and glass on the podium were knocked together, shattering with a loud smash. Everyone jumped in surprise. But Mr. Toda responded with a smile. “There’s no point in the glass and pitcher blaming each other. It’s like our Buddhist practice. The important thing is to develop a strong self that no one can destroy. It’s not up to anyone else. Faith in Nichiren Buddhism enables us to transform any karma on our own.” 

Each year on May 3, we of the Soka Gakkai, united by the bonds of mentor and disciple, make a fresh start with the vibrant, sunlike energy of time without beginning. With optimism, joy and harmonious unity, we renew our efforts to turn everything in the direction of hope, progress and victory while working together to establish the vast and indestructible life state of Buddhahood within us.  

I would like to offer my heartfelt congratulations on this May 3 Headquarters Leaders Meeting held under sunny skies, with noble representatives from Europe and Oceania in attendance, and all members in Japan and around the world celebrating the triumph of mentor and disciple. 

Today, with deep appreciation for the wonderful, dedicated efforts of all our members, I would like to share three calligraphic works I inscribed in the past.

The first, to celebrate this year’s 35th anniversary of the establishment of Soka Gakkai Mothers Day, is “Melody of White Lilies.”[1]

Mr. Toda would often exclaim to the effect, “In a world full of spiteful, mean-spirited faces and envious gossip, just look at the smiling, fortune-filled faces of the women of Soka—their lives noble and fragrant like white lilies—and listen to their refreshing, compassionate voices!”

I am delighted that the “Melody of White Lilies”—the music so beautifully created by our dedicated women’s division members, the mothers of kosen-rufu—is also being inherited by our young women in Japan and around the world and now resounding spiritedly in their lives, too. 

In Europe, white lilies have long been a symbol of hope and purity. They have been described as “banners of justice” and “teachers of joy.” This is the perfect description of the dedicated women who are brimming with good fortune and wisdom from leading our movement to compassionately spread the Mystic Law. 

Let us all pray for and support the great success of this month’s young women’s “Kayo College” meetings and next month’s women’s general meetings [in Japan]. I would like to present this calligraphy “Melody of White Lilies” as a commemorative gift from my wife, Kaneko, and me to be displayed in the Soka International Women’s Center [near the Soka Gakkai Headquarters in Tokyo].  

The second calligraphic work is “Mountain of Mentor and Disciple.”

Nichiren Daishonin writes, “Like Mount Sumeru, which rises up out of the great earth and never sways, one whose presence pervades the realms of heaven, earth, and humanity and who does not waver in the slightest is called the ruler [or champion]” (“White Horses and White Swans,” The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, p. 1063). 

The first three Soka Gakkai presidents—united by the bonds of mentor and disciple, sharing the great vow for kosen-rufu and directly connected to Nichiren Daishonin—have remained unswayed by even the fiercest storms like the Himalaya Mountains that rise from the earth and soar high into the heavens. 

When we forge in our hearts an unshakable mountain of mentor and disciple committed to truth and justice, we will not fear or be swayed by anything. We will be able to bring forth the invincible power of the oneness of mentor and disciple. 

First Soka Gakkai President Tsunesaburo Makiguchi held that mountains are places that foster character and produce capable people. Now is the time for the eternal “Mountain of Mentor and Disciple” that is the Soka Gakkai to put even greater energy into fostering our youth division and future division members to become “bluer than the indigo.”[2] Let’s produce a surging stream of champions of humanity, champions of philosophy and champions of the people who will rise up and shoulder the hopes of the global family! 

he third and final calligraphic work is “Fellow Bodhisattvas of the Earth Emanating Spring Sunlight.” 

The Bodhisattvas of the Earth voluntarily emerge in an age of winter, a time of unprecedented challenges, emanating an inner radiance like spring sunlight. They joyously perform the indomitable dance of “Winter always turns to spring” (WND-1, 536)—the dance of human revolution, of changing karma and of making the world a better place through the life-affirming principles of Nichiren Buddhism. 

Commenting on the significance of the bodhisattvas “emerging from the earth,” the Daishonin says, “‘Earth’ refers to the earth of the heart of us human beings. ‘Emerging’ indicates that at the time of kosen-rufu people in the entire world will be practitioners of the Lotus Sutra”[3] (Gosho zenshu, new edition, p. 1161 [Gosho zenshu, p. 834]). 

Everyone—transcending differences of gender, ethnicity, culture and even religion—is inherently a Bodhisattva of the Earth. Everyone is waiting to encounter the Mystic Law, the supreme Law of the universe. 

The Lotus Sutra states that the Bodhisattvas of the Earth “emerged at the same instant” (The Lotus Sutra and Its Opening and Closing Sutras, p. 252). Today, kosen-rufu is unfolding simultaneously around the world, and the pages of the Seikyo Shimbun brim with exuberant accounts of the triumphs of richly diverse “human flowers,” each beautifully blooming in their own unique way like cherry, plum, peach and damson blossoms (see The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings, p. 200). No other newspaper is filled with such bright smiles born of mutual trust and encouragement. 

With even greater conviction that “The voice carries out the work of the Buddha” (OTT, 4), let us reach out courageously, sincerely and joyfully in dialogue. Let’s also deeply pledge together to make “the sound of the teacher and the disciples chanting in unison” (OTT, 111) enfold our planet with vast hearts and expand our circle of fellow Bodhisattvas of the Earth. In this way, let us bring a spring of good fortune and harmony to people’s lives, a spring of value creation to society and a spring of peace and coexistence to shine for humanity.

I am praying wholeheartedly that all of you, my precious fellow members everywhere, will enjoy long, healthy lives, safety and security, and immeasurable good fortune and benefit.

May 19, 2023, World Tribune, pp. 2–3


  1. White lilies are the symbol of the women’s division. ↩︎
  2. The expression derives from Chinese philosopher Hsün Tzu’s writings and is cited in T’ien-t’ai’s Great Concentration and Insight, indicating that when cloth is repeatedly dipped in blue dye produced from the indigo plant, the color is bluer than the original source. ↩︎
  3. “Oko kikigaki” (The Recorded Lectures); not translated in The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, volumes 1 or 2. ↩︎

SGI-USA Is Hiring