Part 2: Human Revolution
Chapter 15: “Faith for Overcoming Obstacles” [15.6]
15.6 Human Revolution Takes Place amid Our Struggles with Difficulties
We encounter obstacles precisely because we are practicing Buddhism correctly. When we dauntlessly tackle those obstacles, we can attain a vast life state of genuine peace and ease.
In The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings, the Daishonin comments on the “Peaceful Practices” (14th) chapter of the Lotus Sutra: “Concerning the ‘peaceful’ practices of the Lotus Sutra of the Wonderful Law and the practices carried out by Nichiren and his followers now in the Latter Day of the Law, you should understand that, when one practices the Lotus Sutra under such circumstances, difficulties will arise, and these are to be looked on as [peace and comfort]” (cf. OTT, 115).
“Peace and comfort” are not usually the words that come to mind when we encounter difficulties or suffering. Normally, we would think of “peace and comfort” as being found amid tranquil and secure circumstances. But that is not the source of true “peace and comfort.”
When we strive in Buddhist practice for the sake of the happiness of ourselves and others in the Latter Day of the Law, obstacles are certain to arise. True peace and comfort are attained by facing obstacles and challenging hardships head-on. Experiencing difficulties is proof that we are making great efforts to persevere in faith.
When a boat sets out on a long journey, it is bound to encounter fierce storms and powerful waves. But unless it weathers them and presses on, it cannot reach the “harbor” of its destination.
For us, the harbor we aim for is Buddhahood. If we fear the storms of hardship and the raging waves of difficulty we may encounter along the way, we cannot reach our goal of Buddhahood.
In short, faith is a battle between the Buddha and devilish functions, and the only way to realize true peace and comfort is to develop, through that struggle, a strong life state that will not be defeated by difficulties.
What I would like you to bear deeply in mind is that a state of absolute peace and comfort that no obstacle can destroy comes from establishing strong faith that can withstand any adversity.
In the long course of your lives, you may experience setbacks or failures. But I hope you will never allow yourselves to be discouraged or defeated. Live out your lives as lion kings! Faith means to have unflagging hope. May each of you always forge ahead with courage and wisdom as you strive to fulfill the great vow for kosen-rufu.
From a speech at a Hyogo Prefecture representative leaders meeting, Hyogo, April 18, 1987.
The Wisdom for Creating Happiness and Peace brings together selections from President Ikeda’s works on key themes.