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President Ikeda Message 11.18
Transcript of President Ikeda Message 11.18
Nichiren Daishonin declares: “Buddhism primarily concerns itself with victory or defeat”
(WND-1, 835); and “Buddhism is reason. Reason will win over your lord” (WND-1, 839). He also writes: “Though evils may be numerous, they cannot prevail over a single great truth [or good]” (WND-1, 618).
The Daishonin taught humanity a way of Buddhist faith and practice for attaining absolute victory. He revealed a teaching to enable people to surmount any form of karma, to triumph over the devilish nature of authority, to remain unshaken in the face of any trial or disaster. He taught a Buddhism that empowered each individual to do their human revolution and realize happiness for themselves and others, while uniting together with people all around the world and extolling the dignity of life, the triumph of justice, and the infinite joy of peace.
In the 84 years since its establishment (in 1930), the Soka Gakkai has followed the path true to the very essence of Nichiren Buddhism. This Tokyo Toda Memorial Auditorium is located in Sugamo, where Mr. Makiguchi and Mr. Toda were imprisoned for resisting the demands of Japan’s wartime militarist government and waged their immortal spiritual struggle.
In his final letter to his family from prison, where he died, Mr. Makiguchi wrote that he was surprised in spite of himself at having succeeded in producing a theory of value creation that no other scholar had been able to devise, and at having enabled several thousand people to realize actual proof through faith in the Lotus Sutra [in other words, the teaching of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo].
Even in the midst of this life-threatening persecution, an invincible victory cry reverberated in the depths of his being, arising from a state of life that nothing could vanquish or destroy. His words were a declaration of his noble life’s towering triumph, resonating with complete fulfillment and satisfaction.
In the same letter, Mr. Makiguchi noted that in view of the positive efforts he had made for the sake of kosen-rufu, “it is only natural that the three obstacles and four devils should have assailed me; it is just as the sutra states.” This was a declaration of eternal struggle that he passed on to us, his disciples—the resolve to forever continue fighting against the devilish functions that inflict suffering and misery, enslave the people, and divide the world.
In the past year, our successors in the youth division have achieved inspiring growth, making wonderful strides in welcoming new members and fostering capable individuals. Well done! Thank you!
I would also like to express my appreciation to the women’s division members, our bright suns, and the men’s division members, our golden pillars, for sincerely encouraging and supporting the youth and chanting and studying together with them.
I, too, am determined to keep exerting myself to the fullest. I have begun writing volume 28 of The New Human Revolution, which will resume serial publication in the Seikyo Shimbun on November 18, the anniversary of the Soka Gakkai’s founding.
The title of the first chapter is “Songs of Kosen-rufu” (tentative title). It starts with the debut of the Gakkai song “Onward to Kosen-rufu” in June 1978, and is a chronicle of the shared struggle for kosen-rufu that I engaged in with members throughout Japan, proudly singing Gakkai songs, as we prepared to face a growing storm of obstacles.
It was in July of the same year that I presented the song “Torchbearers of Justice” to the future division members, who would be the leaders of our movement in the 21st century. The second verse of that song goes:
You and I must not give in, we will not give in
As we vowed together in the past, on this noble path Through blizzards and raging storms, let’s boldly press on Oh, herein lies the pride of champions of life . . . .
We will never betray our comrades, never abandon our vow. As proud champions of Soka, let us strive resolutely to the very end for the happiness of all, for Buddhism, and for the sake of our communities, society, and world peace.
I continue to chant daimoku for our dedicated members everywhere, in the spirit of crowning each one with a laurel wreath of victory and honor.
Next year marks the 40th anniversary of the founding of the Soka Gakkai International (SGI). Let us set forth from today toward realizing dynamic development in our movement for kosen-rufu and in our lives, striving together joyfully, harmoniously, and energetically with members of our Soka family around the world.
Let’s take care not to catch cold [in this chilly weather]. Let’s each advance victoriously with the powerful life force of a charging lion!
Happy Soka Gakkai Founding Day!
This year marks seven decades since Mr. Makiguchi died for his beliefs. Let us, the great gathering of Bodhisattvas of the Earth that he called forth, take this opportunity to firmly pledge to one another to eternally pass on the honorable spiritual baton of the justice and victory of Soka.