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Ikeda Sensei

Painting a Vision for Brilliant Victory in Our Communities

Photo by Daian Gan / Pexels.

Originally published in the January 2023 Daibyakurenge, the Soka Gakkai’s monthly study journal.

At the time when his businesses were in dire straits, my mentor, second Soka Gakkai President Josei Toda, and I read “On the Buddha’s Prophecy” together.

Amid the life-threatening challenges of exile on Sado Island, Nichiren Daishonin proclaimed in that letter his vision of the westward transmission of Buddhism and worldwide kosen-rufu. Mr. Toda vowed with an unshakable resolve that the Soka Gakkai would overcome every obstacle and make that vision a reality.

At the conclusion of that writing, the Daishonin declares that he has inherited the teachings of Shakyamuni, T’ien-t’ai and Dengyo [of India, China and Japan, respectively], asserting that together they should be known as “the four teachers of the three countries” (The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, p. 402). He also identifies as his birthplace not Japan but his home region, calling himself “I, Nichiren of Awa Province” (WND-1, 402).

In the same spirit, let us always treasure our hometowns and our local communities, to which we are all connected by profound karmic ties. Mr. Toda and I affirmed that compassionately spreading the Mystic Law throughout the world starts with caring deeply about the places where we live and helping those around us form connections to Nichiren Buddhism.

Our Buddhist faith provides the most fundamental answer to the question of why we live where we do in terms of our vow for kosen-rufu.

I began my travels around the world, with my mentor’s photo in my breast pocket, by speaking with and encouraging our members who had migrated to places like the United States and Brazil and were struggling to adapt to their new and unfamiliar homelands.

Thanking them for their efforts to pioneer our movement while struggling with indescribable hardships, I said: “You haven’t come here by chance; you have been called forth by Nichiren Daishonin as Bodhisattvas of the Earth to lead the people of this country to happiness and to create an eternal realm of happiness and peace here.”

When you dedicate your life to the Mystic Law with the firm conviction that where you are now is the place of your mission that the Daishonin has entrusted to you, that place is transformed into the magnificent stage for your human revolution. You can bring forth power surpassing that of the Buddhas and bodhisattvas of the ten directions and three existences and expand our network of “friends in the orchid room”[1] (see “On Establishing the Correct Teaching for the Peace of the Land,” WND-1, 23). A drama of revitalization begins that can eventually transform even the karma of the land itself.

Nichiren writes, “By observing a single flower in bloom, one can predict the advent of spring” (“The Opening of the Eyes,” WND-1, 268). Today, the human flowers of Soka blooming everywhere around the world, devoted to the happiness of others and serving their communities, are a source of hope for the advent of a great springtime of peace for the global family.

In the New Year, together with our precious comrades in faith from time without beginning, let us paint a brilliant vision of the future triumph of kosen-rufu and the ideal of “establishing the correct teaching for the peace of the land” in our communities. Let us create a fragrant garden of happiness and victory for all the world to see!

Triumph and
paint a golden vision of the future—
confident that the Land of Eternally Tranquil Light
we have vowed to create
is right here where we are!

From the February 2023 Living Buddhism


  1. In his treatise “On Establishing the Correct Teaching for the Peace of the Land,” Nichiren Daishonin writes: “How gratifying! You have associated with a friend in the orchid room and have become as straight as mugwort growing among hemp” (The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, p. 23). “A friend in the orchid room” indicates a person of virtue. The implication is that the company of a virtuous person works as a good influence, just as one is imbued with fragrance on entering a room filled with orchids. ↩︎

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