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Ikeda Sensei

Spreading the Light of Human Revolution to Change the Destiny of Humankind

Photo by Karolina Grabowska / Pexels.

Ikeda Sensei sent the following message to the 15th Soka Gakkai Headquarters Leaders Meeting Toward Our Centennial, which was held in conjunction with the SGI Youth Training Course, at the Toda Memorial Auditorium in Sugamo, Tokyo, on Sept. 2, 2023. Youth leaders from 44 countries and territories attended the meeting. This message is translated from the Sept. 3, 2023, issue of the Soka Gakkai’s daily newspaper, Seikyo Shimbun.

I am truly delighted to welcome all our noble young leaders of worldwide kosen-rufu gathered here today [as participants in the SGI Youth Training Course].

Nichiren Daishonin, the Buddha of the Latter Day of the Law, is surely aware of and applauding the tremendous efforts that you, my precious friends, have made in overcoming many hurdles and challenges to come all the way to Japan. 

I am certain he is also praising your families and fellow members who have supported you and sent you off with good wishes, declaring: “[Your sincerity] is firmer than the great earth, deeper than the great sea!” (“The Sutra of True Requital,” The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, p. 933). 

Let’s give a rousing round of applause for all our members—who are united in the spirit of “many in body, one in mind”—with our prayers for the development of kosen-rufu and the harmony, security, peace and prosperity of their countries and territories. 

Today, in commemoration of the upcoming 10th anniversary of the completion of the Hall of the Great Vow for Kosen-rufu [this November], I would like to encourage our global citizens of Soka, Bodhisattvas of the Earth, with three calligraphic works I composed containing the word great

The first is “Great Light.”

In March 1954, my mentor, second Soka Gakkai President Josei Toda, established a youth office for our organization and appointed me as its chief of staff. At that time, he entrusted me with this guidance: The youth of Soka, upholding the life philosophy of the oneness of our lives and the universe—the recognition that the sun, moon and stars exist within us—should strive to greatly expand their life states and become the driving force for planning and carrying out every aspect of kosen-rufu. 

My all-out efforts as a disciple, united as one with my mentor and determined to respond to the trust he placed in me, gave birth to the light of fresh value creation and accelerated our majestic movement to spread the Mystic Law.  

Next year will mark the 70th anniversary of that youthful appointment. I now call on all of you, my beloved young disciples throughout Japan and the world: My young friends, become the youth chiefs of staff of the new era!

I hope you will forge a magnificent, ever-growing network of like-minded people shining with the light of human revolution. With the passion and power of youth, please safeguard humanity’s right to life and brightly illuminate people’s lives and society! 

Next is the calligraphy reading “Great Compassion.” 

In “On Repaying Debts of Gratitude,” Nichiren Daishonin writes, “If Nichiren’s compassion is truly great and encompassing, Nam-myoho-renge-kyo will spread for ten thousand years and more, for all eternity” (“On Repaying Debts of Gratitude,” WND-1, 736). In The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings, he says, “‘Great compassion’ is like the mercy and compassion that a mother feels for her child. At present it is the mercy and compassion of Nichiren and his followers” (p. 43).

No one embodies this great compassion inherited from Nichiren more deeply or warmly than the women of Soka. Therefore, our movement for kosen-rufu through the compassionate propagation of the Mystic Law will forever flow on unimpeded. 

In our society where so many suffer the cold desolation of loneliness, let us follow the lead of our united women’s and young women’s division members in reaching out to others in dialogue with courage that is synonymous with compassion, based on compassionate prayer as the wellspring of wisdom. By doing so, let’s expand across the globe the Soka family’s bright and hope-filled realm that exemplifies a culture of peace. 

The last calligraphy is “Castle of Great Monarchs.”

In a letter to his young disciple Nanjo Tokimitsu, who had stood at the forefront to protect him and the community of practitioners during the Atsuhara Persecution, Nichiren recounted the story of Shakyamuni in a past existence when he was a great king named Golden Color. 

The kingdom was experiencing a long, severe drought, and to save the starving people, King Golden Color gave away everything he had, carefully parceling out the last measures of rice in his storehouse. Then he cried to the heavens that he would take all the people’s pain and suffering on himself and die in their stead. The heavenly deities heard his plea and sent down the sweet rain of immortality that revived the people (see “The Wealthy Man Sudatta,” WND-1, 1086). 

Nothing is stronger than the “heart of a lion king” (“Letter from Sado,” WND-1, 302), the spirit of one who upholds the Mystic Law and works with tireless, selfless devotion to kosen-rufu for the sake of people’s happiness and the sake of justice. 

We have the power to activate the protective functions of the universe, revitalize people’s lives and create a treasure realm embodying the Daishonin’s ideal of “establishing the correct teaching for the peace of the land.”

Let us resolutely protect the ever-victorious castle of Soka—of ordinary people dedicated to happiness and peace—built by our noble pioneer members with such strong, indestructible faith.

And together with all the Shin’ichi Yamamotos around the globe who are growing without bound, let us pledge to ensure the unending victory and prosperity of the Soka Gakkai’s golden “Castle of Great Monarchs” committed to changing the destiny of humankind.

September 15, 2023, World Tribune, pp. 2–3

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