March 15, 2002
The Justice Chronicle, provided by Soka Gakkai International-USA, is a free monthly e-mail in support of the Soka Spirit movement. Soka Spirit is the SGI’s educational effort to create value and deepen our understanding of Nichiren Buddhism through increased awareness of issues surrounding the Nichiren Shoshu priesthood and the spiritual foundation of the SGI movement.
This series contains SGI President Ikeda’s 1991 message to commemorate March 16, Kosen-rufu Day, which originally appeared in the May 1991 issue of the Seikyo Times. It was written shortly after the Nichiren Shoshu priesthood began taking action against the Soka Gakkai at the end of 1990.
INDOMIDIBALITY OF THE SPIRIT
Youth the springtime of life has wings. It crosses stormy seas and soars high into the sky. The blue sky stretches to infinity. So, too, the energy of youth knows no bounds. The blue sky envelops the world. Even the world appears small before the vitality of youth.
Dark clouds may gather overhead, but high in the heavens eternal blue skies shine. We may be buffeted by strong winds in our campaign for kosen-rufu, but as long as we posses the wings of eternal youth, we can easily navigate through any turbulence and reach our destination.
The Soka Gakkai’s prime point of eternal youth: The day on which the will of the original Buddha, Nichiren Daishonin, for worldwide kosen-rufu is passed on from mentor to disciple, from life to life. This is March 16. On this day 33 years ago [in 1958], a preliminary ceremony for kosen-rufu was held under the leadership of our mentor, second Soka Gakki president Josei Toda. Six thousand youthful followers of the bodhisattvas of the Earth gathered together on that day, which we later named Kosen-rufu Day.
At the beginning of that year, my mentor said thoughtfully: There is nothing more that I want. All I hope for is capable people whom I can trust.
I now feel exactly the same. Now that our field of activity has expanded to include the entire world, there is a crucial need for capable people in far greater number than ever before.
Indeed, the key to opening an era of humanity lies in the power of culture. I mentioned this to Director-General Federico Mayor Zaragoza of UNESCO when we met the other day [March 5, 1991].
I have a book titled Birthright of Man here, which was compiled by UNESCO to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the 1948 signing of the U.N. Declaration of Human Rights. The book is a compilation of words dedicated to the struggle for the human rights by persons of both past and present, East and West.
This book quotes a passage from Nichiren Daishonin’s writings The Selection of the Time, which reads: Even if it seems that, because I was born in the ruler’s domain, I follow him in my actions, I will never follow him in my heart (The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, p. 579).
The Daishonin wrote these words after he had returned to Kamakura from his exile on Sado Island. It was a repudiation of Hei no Saemon, an influential political figure of the day.
To paraphrase, the Daishonin declares: You are a powerful person. You may have the authority of execute of exile me, or to pardon me and set me free. But you can never bind or restrain my heart and mind. I will never be a slave to you and your authority.
These words express in a nutshell an important aspect of the Daishonin’s life: He devoted his entire life to fighting those in authority who would stand for no opposition from others; his only weapons were the power of the spirit and the power of reason.
You may be a king in the realm of politics where you wield your authority, but I am a king of the spiritual realms. This conviction of the Daishonin is vividly conveyed in the above Gosho passage.
The passage reverberates in my heart with the proud declaration of Josei Toda, The Soka Gakkai is the king of all religious organizations, on that historic March 16.
This declaration inspired his disciples to stand up. His disciples fought non-stop day and night, causing the Daishonin’s words to brightly illuminate the entire world after more than 700 years.
In view of this, clever words and cunning designs appear empty and futile, like dew that vanishes under the sun’s rays.
One in a series.
The Nichiren Shoshu priesthood claims that physically seeing the Dai-Gohonzon is a fundamental practice of Nichiren Buddhism. This series contains guidance from SGI President Ikeda addressing these claims in light of Nichiren Daishonin’s true teachings.
UNPARALLELED FAITH CONSTITUTES BUDDHIST PRACTICE
Nichiu Shonin, the ninth high priest of the Head Temple Taiseki-ji, writes: The presence of Buddhist shrines and monasteries is not Buddhism. Nor do wisdom and intelligence constitute Buddhism. Large numbers of people do not make up Buddhism…. To practice Buddhism with unparalleled faith and without the least deviation is what constitutes Buddhist practice and kosen-rufu. Nichiu Shonin, who (along with Nichimoku Shonin) is known as one of the restorers of Nichiren Shoshu, here underlines the point that Buddhism is not formality but comes down to embracing single-minded faith that does not deviate in the least from the teaching set forth by Nichiren Daishonin.
It is the SGI that is promoting kosen-rufu throughout the entire world. Consequently, it can be said that the faith of the SGI members is profoundly connected to the Dai-Gohonzon that was bestowed upon the entire world. This is why we have received tremendous benefits. So long as we maintain this faith, it is utterly absurd to suppose that anyone could sever the bond between us and the Dai-Gohonzon. (Jan. 27, 1992, World Tribune, pp. 4-5)
One in a series.
SOKA SPIRIT IN THE PUBLICATIONS
This section highlights articles published in the World Tribune and Living Buddhism related to the Soka Spirit movement.
March 15 World Tribune page 4: In her Perspective titled Discovering Soka Spirit in My Own Life (which originally ran in Justice Chronicle 118), Eileen McGruder shares the personal growth and deepened understanding of Buddhism she experienced through incorporating Soka Spirit into her personal practice.