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Ikeda Sensei

‘Rise Up Courageously With a Stand-Alone Spirit’

Bodhisattvas of the Earth—Participants erupt with joy at “EMERGE,” the Southern California youth meeting in Santa Monica, Calif., Jan. 29, 2023. Masks were removed for the commemorative photo. Photo by Ren Kwon.

The following is Ikeda Sensei’s message to “EMERGE,” the Southern California youth meeting commemorating 30 years since Sensei dedicated the poem “The Sun of Jiyu Over a New Land” to the members of  Los Angeles, held on Jan. 29, 2023, at the SGI-USA World Culture Center in Santa Monica, California. 

To my most cherished members of the SGI-USA Youth Division: Congratulations on this gathering commemorating the 30th anniversary of the poem “The Sun of Jiyu Over a New Land”! 

How noble that, in the prime of your youth, you are advancing kosen-rufu and upholding the unparalleled philosophy of respect for the dignity of life. My wife, Kaneko, and I feel as though we are attending this meeting with all of you. 

The Lotus Sutra reads, “As the light of the sun and moon can banish all obscurity and gloom, so this person as he advances through the world can wipe out the darkness of living beings” (The Lotus Sutra and Its Opening and Closing Sutras, p. 318). 

Nichiren Daishonin tells us to “consider carefully what this passage signifies” (“Letter to Jakunichi-bo,” The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, p. 993). 

No matter how dismal the times may be, if you rise up courageously with a stand-alone spirit and shine brightly as a “sun of jiyu” in the place where you are now, a strong alliance of courage and hope is sure to spread. The mission you all possess is more important than ever. 

My mentor, second Soka Gakkai President Josei Toda, once said: “Faith means to carry things through to the end, one after another. Striving in this way enables you to gain an expansive state of life and achieve tremendous victories in kosen-rufu and in your lives.” 

The mission you all possess is more important than ever.

Toward the 100th anniversary of the Soka Gakkai’s founding in 2030, I ask that you, as youth, generate “new winds” of fresh ideas. And please joyfully persevere in planting seeds of the Mystic Law, discussing Buddhism with your friends inside and outside our Buddhist community and bringing fragrant flowers of peace and happiness to bloom. 

Furthermore, please exemplify what it means to create value based on the principle of cherry, plum, peach and damson, appreciating the uniqueness and diversity of each person as you triumph in your youth, in raising capable people and in advancing kosen-rufu. 

My wife and I are praying for the happiness of your families and for all of you—who are precious beyond measure—to enjoy even greater health and success. Please give my best regards to your fellow members and family who could not attend today. 

Daisaku Ikeda 
SGI President 
Jan. 29, 2023

Feb. 17, 2023, World Tribune, p.2

Writing a New Brilliant Page of History With Wisdom and a Pioneering Spirit!