Part 2: Human Revolution
Chapter 12: Transforming Karma into Mission [12.6]
12.6 Our Personal Experiences of Changing Karma Give Hope to Others
Referring to the many hardships and persecutions that befell Shakyamuni Buddha during his lifetime, President Ikeda explains that our experiences of overcoming various difficulties serve as sources of hope and encouragement to those who will follow in our footsteps on the path of faith.
Why was it that a Buddha such as Shakyamuni had to suffer groundless slander and abuse? In one Buddhist scripture, he states that it was all for the sake of future practitioners of Buddhism.
In other words, Shakyamuni says, he called forth such hardships as expedient means, so that when others practice Buddhism and face unpleasant criticism, feeling they want to quit their Buddhist practice, they will remind themselves that even he was unjustly maligned, and encourage themselves to press on with fresh resolve.
To personally undergo difficulties in order to prevent practitioners in future ages from giving up is an expression of the Buddha’s compassion.
In one respect, all the challenges and hardships we of the Soka Gakkai experience today are for the sake of the eternal future of kosen-rufu. They will serve as a reference point for distant ages hence, a model and blueprint of kosen-rufu for future generations.
No doubt our fellow members of ages to come will look back and say, “So that’s what happened then. Such difficulties arising is a timeless and unchanging pattern, so we mustn’t allow ourselves to be defeated when we encounter them. We can overcome everything through our Buddhist practice. Let’s fight on!” The record of our struggles will be a source from which they can draw limitless courage, hope, and inspiration.
In that sense, our struggles with the many hardships that arise in the course of our Buddhist practice are part of a grand drama, a towering epic, that we are performing on the stage of this brief lifetime to achieve magnificent and everlasting victories in our lives and in kosen-rufu.
By extension, the personal problems we face even as leaders—be it illness or some family misfortune—can also serve as sources of tremendous encouragement to others who are suffering from similar problems, spurring them to do their best and remain undefeated.
Based on the Daishonin’s writings, we can be assured that courageous individuals who challenge difficulties and energetically spread the Mystic Law will definitely enjoy the protection of all Buddhas. It is the heart of Shakyamuni and the compassionate spirit of Nichiren Daishonin to resolutely safeguard all dedicated practitioners of Buddhism who are striving for kosen-rufu.
Please be confident that your strong prayers will activate the power of the world of Buddhahood inherent in the universe itself, and further resonate with the workings of the worlds of bodhisattvas, voice-hearers, and cause-awakened ones1 as well as the protective functions of all heavenly deities, enabling you to open the way to a life of great victory and complete fulfillment.
From a speech at a Chubu Region general meeting, Aichi, January 29, 1989.
The Wisdom for Creating Happiness and Peace brings together selections from President Ikeda’s works on key themes.
- *1The worlds of voice-hearers, cause-awakened ones, and bodhisattvas together with the world of Buddhahood form the four noble worlds—the highest four of the Ten Worlds. They are also known as the life states of learning, realization, bodhisattva, and Buddhahood.