Skip to main content

Daily Life

First, We Will Begin With Prayer

A prayer directed toward victory for ourselves and our communities.

Our sincere women’s division members have built the Soka Gakkai. Never forget that. The women are the most important. Daisaku, praise and protect these noble members.”[1] Second Soka Gakkai President Josei Toda spoke these words to the young Daisaku Ikeda. He sought to teach his youthful disciple that behind the Soka Gakkai’s pioneering efforts and the advancement of kosen-rufu is the women’s division.

American historian Vincent Harding, too, shared this same sentiment on the important role that women play in the context of the U.S. Civil Rights Movement, saying, “If women had not encouraged and inspired people to participate in the marches, there would have been no one to march.”[2]

Women have tremendous power—power to move the hearts of others, to bring harmony to and transform their families and communities, to move the world one step closer to peace. And this is clearly reflected in Ikeda Sensei’s five eternal guidelines for the women’s division:

1) Everything begins with prayer.
2) Advancing harmoniously with our families.
3) Fostering young successors.
4) Cherishing our communities and societies.
5) Joyfully sharing our experiences in faith.

On these eternal guidelines, Sensei elaborates:

When a women’s division member carries out her human revolution based on prayer to the Gohonzon, she becomes a sun of hope illuminating her family, her loved ones, her community and society.[3]

In our ongoing efforts to establish a more peaceful world starting with our communities, the SGI-USA women’s division will be focusing in February on conducting heart-to-heart dialogues and fostering relationships with young people in their environment toward the March Youth Peace Festivals.

Toward this milestone, let us reaffirm five key points from Sensei on the starting point and power source for absolute victory—prayer.

1. ‘We Will Achieve Our Goals Without Fail’

Prayer based on on the Mystic Law—chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo—means making a vow; it is the most powerful spiritual force. When such prayer fills our hearts, there is no room for any cowardice, resignation or complaint.

Prayer in Nichiren Buddhism means believing that we will achieve our goals without fail, and having the conviction that we will never be defeated. It breaks through the barrier of self-doubt that tells us we cannot succeed and gives us supreme courage to fight and win.[4]

2. Making Everything in the Universe Our Ally

Ultimately, faith is not asking the heavenly deities for their support but rather activating their protective functions within our own lives, which embody the Mystic Law.

Nichiren Daishonin cites a passage [from the Great Teacher Miao-lo of China]: “One’s body and mind at a single moment pervade the entire realm of phenomena” (“The Object of Devotion for Observing the Mind,” The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, p. 366). Indeed, our mind, our lives, can pervade the entire universe. In other words, we can make everything in the universe, even the most negative and hostile forces, our allies. Such is the infinite power of the Mystic Law.[5]

3. Persevering Until Our Prayers Are Answered

By chanting and dedicating ourselves to the Mystic Law, our lives merge with the wondrous rhythm of the universe. Prayer is the way the microcosm of our lives communes with the macrocosm of the universe. Through prayers based on the Mystic Law, we bring forth the supreme power, wisdom and compassion of the universe in our own lives.

That is why Nichiren constantly stresses to us, his disciples, the importance of one’s attitude in prayer. To fulfill our wishes, we need to continuously rouse courage and persevere in Buddhist practice until our prayers are answered.[6]

4. The Key to Our Individual Prayers Being Answered

The most important point is whether our faith is dedicated to actualizing kosen-rufu. The teaching of the Mystic Law is infused with the Buddha’s unchanging wish for the happiness of all people. That is why chanting earnestly for kosen-rufu and giving our all to each Soka Gakkai activity lead to our individual prayers being answered.

Carrying out the practice of human revolution—overcoming our own problems and achieving personal happiness—can be likened to the earth rotating on its axis, while advancing kosen-rufu and thereby contributing to the prosperity of society can be likened to the earth revolving around the sun. Just as these two movements of the earth are inseparable, Nichiren Buddhism teaches that individual happiness and social prosperity must be achieved in tandem. Our daily efforts for kosen-rufu, while protecting the Law and contributing to the well-being of society and others, at the same time enable us to achieve indestructible happiness for ourselves.[7]

5. The Greater the Hardships, the More Beautiful the Blossoms of Happiness

Josei Toda said: “When you practice Nichiren Buddhism, you will find that the length of painful times is shortened and the intensity of your suffering itself gradually diminishes, until finally it disappears completely. Therefore, please exert yourself wholeheartedly for kosen-rufu and become happy.”

He also said: “The deeper the mud, the more beautiful the flowers that bloom from its midst. The same is true of human beings. The greater the hardships, the more enormous and beautiful the blossoms of happiness that unfold.”[8]

Like the Worries of the Buddha

While the prayer of all practitioners of Nichiren Buddhism encompass both oneself and others, the prayer of the women’s division is a model for us all.

Sensei recalls his mentor’s words:

People worry about not having enough money. They worry about their health. They worry about their children’s grades. Moment after moment, worries are always arising in some area or another of our lives. This is life. Nevertheless, in addition to our own worries, we of the Soka Gakkai worry about how to spread the Daishonin’s teachings and help others become happy. Worries that arise from our efforts for the sake of the Law, the sake of others, the sake of the Soka Gakkai and the sake of kosen-rufu, based on faith in Nichiren Buddhism—these are the noblest worries of all.[9]

It is amid their busy schedules and various responsibilities at work, with their family, as caretakers, as movers and influencers, that the women’s division reach out to and care for others. Sensei writes that there is nothing more noble than this way of life:

The worries of Soka women are the worries of the Buddha. Based on the principle that “earthly desires are enlightenment,”[10] their worries become the wisdom and compassion of the Buddha, embracing and guiding all their efforts.[11]

With prayer as the starting point for everything, personal worries expand to those of others, transforming into the power to move the entire universe. And it’s this spiritual struggle that enables the women’s division to each be a bright sun of hope.

—Prepared by World Tribune staff

February Women’s Month: Orchid Room Dialogues

Let’s conduct wonderful heart-to-heart Orchid Room Dialogues with the women, young women and nonbinary friends, family and guests in our lives, and spread hope in our local communities. Let’s also invite them to our February district discussion meeting and (if they’re youth, including those in junior high and high school) to their March Youth Peace Festival to experience the friendship and warmth of our Soka family!

February 2, 2024, World Tribune, pp. 6-7


  1. November 2019 Living Buddhism, p. 51. ↩︎
  2. Shine Like the Morning Sun, p. 2. ↩︎
  3. November 2019 Living Buddhism, p. 54. ↩︎
  4.  Ibid., p. 52. ↩︎
  5. Ibid., p. 53. ↩︎
  6. Ibid., pp. 53–54. ↩︎
  7. Ibid., p. 54. ↩︎
  8. Ibid. ↩︎
  9. Ibid., p. 58. ↩︎
  10. “Earthly desires are enlightenment”: A Mahayana principle based on the view that earthly desires cannot exist independently on their own; therefore one can attain enlightenment without eliminating earthly desires. This contrasts with the Hinayana view that extinguishing earthly desires is a prerequisite for enlightenment. ↩︎
  11. November 2019 Living Buddhism, p. 58. ↩︎

No Compromise

Brimming With Courage Toward a Century of Life