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Ikeda Sensei

People Who Embrace and Transmit the Teachings Are the Hope of the Universe

Evgeni Tcherkasski / Unsplash

In a crucial passage from “On the Buddha’s Prophecy,” in which he boldly proclaimed his vision of worldwide kosen-rufu, Nichiren Daishonin stresses the importance of people who embrace and transmit the teachings (see The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, p. 401).

My mentor, second Soka Gakkai President Josei Toda, sternly instructed me: “Without people to embrace and transmit the teachings, the lifeblood of Buddhism will perish. Continuing to foster such people is vital for kosen-rufu and the eternal transmission of the Law. Never forget this!”

Our future division members are just such successors. By embracing and transmitting the teachings, they will contribute to making the Buddha’s prophecy a reality.

In a letter to the 18-year-old[1] Nanjo Tokimitsu, Nichiren writes:

Referring to the Lotus Sutra, the Buddha himself declares there, “The World-Honored One [has long expounded his doctrines and] now must reveal the truth” [The Lotus Sutra and Its Opening and Closing Sutras, p. 59], and furthermore, it was expounded at the assembly where Many Treasures Buddha and the Buddhas of the ten directions had gathered as if the sun, the moon, and countless stars were ranged side by side. (“Good Fortune in This Life,” WND-1, 654)

The Mystic Law, Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, is the ultimate truth that we will never regret having faith in. It enables us to fuse our lives with the world of Buddhahood of the universe, a wellspring of supreme good. We can make allies of everyone and everything in our environment—even the sun, moon and stars—to create many wonderful, inspiring assemblies of happiness and peace in the real world.

The Daishonin offered a magnificent path for young people to follow. Nanjo Tokimitsu is a model of someone who embraces and transmits the teachings and a forerunner of our future division members. His example shows how, by practicing Nichiren Buddhism, we can overcome life’s sufferings—including the death of loved ones, economic hardship and illness—and repay our debt of gratitude to our parents in the best possible way while bringing harmony and happiness to our families.

Nichiren also assures us that even if we may encounter hardships and obstacles because of our faith in the correct teaching, we can absolutely develop the undefeated life state of spiritual champions who declare, “Though we may suffer for a while, ultimately delight awaits us” (“Protecting the Atsuhara Believers,” WND-2, 882).

Future division members and graduates are proud Soka “torchbearers of justice” who embrace and transmit the Daishonin’s Buddhism of the Sun. By forging networks dedicated to promoting peace, culture and education, they are brightly illuminating the global family of humankind.

In another letter to Tokimitsu, the Daishonin writes: “In the course of all the many lifetimes and existences you have lived through, you have come to owe a debt of gratitude to all living beings. And since this is so, you should help all of them to attain Buddhahood” (“The Four Virtues and the Four Debts of Gratitude,” WND-2, 637). These words perfectly describe our Soka family, a miraculous realm of trust and encouragement whose members share the most profound life-to-life ties enduring throughout past, present and future.

From the Soka Gakkai’s nurturing earth of compassion, under the smiling gaze of the Daishonin, let us warmly foster one treasure of the universe after another who embraces and transmits the teachings!

At the upcoming “Discussion Meetings for the Future”[2] [that will be held throughout Japan this summer], let us join together and shine with the great light of hope and growth!

We are all family
linked by a vow
from time without beginning
to bring happy harmony to the world
and give courage to future generations.

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

From the August 2023 Living Buddhism


  1. According to the traditional Japanese way of counting. ↩︎
  2. Discussion meetings in Japan scheduled to be held in July or August, depending on the area, under the banner “Discussion Meetings for the Future,” will shine a spotlight on future division members and the development of kosen-rufu. ↩︎

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