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2014 SGI President Daisaku Ikeda’s May 3 Message
Transcript of 2014 SGI President Daisaku Ikeda’s May 3 Message
by SGI President Daisaku Ikeda
I am delighted to celebrate a resoundingly victorious May 3, Soka Gakkai Day, together with fellow members of the Soka family throughout Japan and around the world.
I am certain that both our first and second presidents, Tsunesaburo Makiguchi and Josei Toda, would be overjoyed to witness our members’ earnest and committed efforts for kosen-rufu.
I would like to extend my warmest welcome to the SGI leaders who are visiting Japan from 60 countries and territories around the globe [to participate in the 2014 SGI Spring Training Course]. All of you are linked together by profound karmic ties and are the driving force for the new era of worldwide kosen-rufu. Please know that I have placed the attendance book containing all of your signatures before the Gohonzon and chanted Nam-myoho-renge-kyo for you.
Let us welcome our visiting SGI representatives with another warm round of applause!
I would also like to offer my unending thanks to our uncrowned heroes who brave wind and rain to deliver our humanistic newspaper, the Seikyo Shimbun, day in and day out, thereby making invaluable behind-the-scenes contributions to our movement. Let us take this opportunity to once again show them our heartfelt appreciation.
There is one simple message I wish to convey to you today: Global citizens of Soka, make a triumphant ode to the joy of life resound!
What is real joy, the ultimate joy of life? In The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings, Nichiren Daishonin says that joy means both oneself and others possessing wisdom and compassion (see p. 146), adding: “Now, when Nichiren and his followers chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, they are expressing joy in the fact that they will inevitably become Buddhas eternally endowed with the three bodies” (p. 146).
From the perspective of the vast and boundless life state we are able to attain through practicing Nichiren Buddhism, the joy derived from the fulfillment of self-centered desires such as fame and fortune is trivial and ephemeral.
As SGI members, we chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, refusing to be defeated or daunted by any painful trial or harsh karma. We rise above all sadness and grief. And while warmly encouraging and supporting those who are struggling or suffering, we seek to build and spread a realm of wisdom and compassion. This is our network of boundless and endless joy.
May 3, Soka Gakkai Day, is the eternal starting point for making our lives and those of others shine even more brightly—like the sun of time without beginning—radiant with “the greatest of all joys” (OTT, 212).
The Soka Gakkai General Meeting held on May 3, 1954, six decades ago, took place at an auditorium that is now the site of Tokyo’s Ryogoku Kokugikan (Ryogoku Sumo Hall) [where the Tokyo Region youth division will hold its Soka Youth Festivals in July]. At that time, President Toda declared that the essence of the Soka Gakkai spirit is “to return to the time of the Daishonin.” What he meant by this, he said, is for each of us to take the Daishonin’s spirit as our own and strive to help others embrace faith in the Mystic Law and realize genuine happiness.
Let us ensure that this vow of May 3—embodying the Soka Gakkai spirit and directly connected to the spirit of the Daishonin—is transmitted to the future and endures for all eternity.
I am truly looking forward to the Soka Youth Festivals that will be held soon throughout Japan.
Actually, that May, six decades ago, also marked the debut of the Music Corps, a group of spirited musicians for kosen-rufu, which I helped foster. In the beginning, there were only 16 members. Today, the Music Corps in Japan has grown into the country’s foremost brass band community.
Life is an endless struggle against deadlock. Nichiren writes, “The greater the hardships befalling him, the greater the delight he feels, because of his strong faith” (“A Ship to Cross the Sea of Suffering,” The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, p. 33). When we encounter hardships and obstacles, we summon forth even stronger faith and rise to the challenge. With courage and joy, we break through each deadlock and, step by step, persevere in attaining the life state of Buddhahood. This is the process of “casting off the transient and revealing the true” in our own lives.
Our movement for worldwide kosen-rufu will never stop. Why? Because people are waiting—people who are seeking happiness and longing for peace; because people all over the world are thirsting for the life-affirming philosophy of Nichiren Buddhism.
As proud global citizens of Soka, sincerely encouraging one person after another, let’s make our triumphant ode to the joy of life ring out with vibrant courage in our communities, our societies and all over our planet.
In closing, to celebrate Soka Gakkai Mothers Day (May 3), I would like to express my deepest appreciation to our admirable women’s division members in Japan and around the world. I am praying wholeheartedly that all our dedicated mothers of kosen-rufu—the suns of humankind—will enjoy good health and long, fulfilling lives imbued with the four noble virtues of eternity, happiness, true self and purity.
Everyone, please take good care of yourselves!
Three cheers for the Soka family as we celebrate another brilliant May 3!
Together with Fife and Drum Corps, whose members are emissaries of peace, Music Corps have also been formed in many SGI organizations around the globe, and are imparting hope and courage with their wonderful sounds. Thank you so much for your efforts!
Happy Soka Gakkai Day!
Happy Soka Gakkai Mothers Day!