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Guidance for Leadership

Embarking Anew on Our Eternal Journey of Mentor and Disciple

2024 New Year’s Message

The Hall of the Great Vow for Kosen-rufu, Shinanomachi, Tokyo, Japan. Photo by Seikyo Press.

by Minoru Harada
Soka Gakkai President

To my fellow members around the world courageously setting forth into our Year of Fresh Departure for a Youthful Soka Gakkai Worldwide: As Ikeda Sensei’s direct disciples, whom he has entrusted with the spiritual baton of kosen-rufu, we have embarked anew on our eternal journey of mentor and disciple, our hearts burning with fresh determination.

Second Soka Gakkai President Josei Toda once said to Ikeda Sensei: “It’s a big, wide world. [In many countries,] people still weep in anguish and children cower in the crossfire of war. You must illuminate Asia and the entire world with the flame of the Mystic Law. You must do this in my place.”

Following his mentor’s instructions, Sensei sowed the seeds of the Mystic Law across the globe and fostered them into mighty trees, creating the magnificent, flourishing growth of worldwide kosen-rufu that we have achieved today.

In the final installment of his lecture on The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings, published before his passing last year [2023], Sensei expressed his profound sentiment: “Now, at this time of fresh departure for a youthful Soka Gakkai worldwide, I would like to impart my mentor’s words ‘You must do this in my place’ to our youthful Bodhisattvas of the Earth who share my spirit.”

It is now time for us, as proud disciples and extensions of our mentor, to stand up resolutely to illuminate people and society with the compassionate light of courage and hope and send out a revitalizing breeze of encouragement to all.

At the heart of the Soka mentor-disciple spirit is the cherished wish to rid the world of suffering and misery, and the eternal vow of the Buddha to realize worldwide kosen-rufu and world peace. Powerfully dedicating our lives to this cause, let us transform this world of conflict and division into a realm of peace and harmony, thus fulfilling our mission as Bodhisattvas of the Earth to change the destiny of humankind.

This year, with youth in the lead, let us continue our efforts to connect people through dialogue based on trust and friendship, and cause flowers of peace and happiness to bloom abundantly in every corner of our planet.

Next year [2025] marks the 50th anniversary of the Soka Gakkai International, and in seven years, in 2030, we will celebrate the Soka Gakkai’s centennial. At this important juncture, let us boldly pave the way for momentous victories in our lives and our movement for kosen-rufu, demonstrating our boundless gratitude to our mentor, Ikeda Sensei.

January 2, 2024, World Tribune, p. 40

Ikeda Sensei and the Youth of America

‘To Advance Kosen-rufu Is to Advance Peace’