Part 2: Human Revolution
Chapter 11: What Is Human Revolution? [11.1]

11.1 The Theme of The Human Revolution and The New Human Revolution

Human revolution—this seemingly simple phrase encapsulates the thought and philosophy of President Ikeda.

Part 2 of this series of selected excerpts opens with the chapter, “What Is Human Revolution?” featuring a selection of excerpts in which President Ikeda delves into the meaning of human revolution from various perspectives. Subsequent chapters will present excerpts offering more concrete encouragement for leading a life of human revolution.

Today, August 6, is the anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima [in 1945]. On this date last year [1993], I began writing my novel The New Human Revolution here at the Nagano Training Center. It is grounded on the theme: “A great human revolution in just a single individual will help achieve a change in the destiny of a nation and, further, will enable a change in the destiny of all humankind.” This expresses in contemporary terms the Buddhist principle of “three thousand realms in a single moment of life.”1

A transformation in our fundamental mind-set transforms the three realms of existences—that is, the realm of the five components [form, perception, conception, volition, and consciousness, which are said to merge to form an individual being], the realm of living beings, and the realm of the environment. In other words, a change in our attitude or determination first effects a change in our own life. It can positively impact our health and vigor and allow us to bring forth limitless wisdom. Those who have transformed their lives in this way can guide others in the direction of happiness. They can also change society and the natural environment, transforming the world into a wonderful realm of peace and plenty.

Such are the workings of the principle of “three thousand realms in a single moment of life,” the zenith of Buddhist philosophy.

From a speech at a Nagano Prefecture general meeting, Nagano, August 6, 1994.

The Wisdom for Creating Happiness and Peace brings together selections from President Ikeda’s works on key themes.

  • *1Three thousand realms in a single moment of life: A philosophical system established by the Great Teacher T’ien-t’ai of China based on the Lotus Sutra. The “three thousand realms” indicates the varying aspects that life assumes at each moment. At each moment, life manifests one of the Ten Worlds. Each of these worlds possesses the potential for all ten within itself, thus making one hundred possible worlds. Each of these hundred worlds possesses the ten factors and operates within each of the three realms of existence, thus making three thousand realms. In other words, all phenomena are contained within a single moment of life, and a single moment of life permeates the three thousand realms of existence, or the entire phenomenal world.