Part 2: Human Revolution
Chapter 16: Buddhism Is about Winning [16.7]

16.7 Winning Means Refusing to Be Defeated

President Ikeda calls on young women’s division members to live their lives with an invincible spirit.

“Never be defeated!
Happiness resides
in strong hearts.”

Faith equals daily life, and Buddhism is manifested in society. It is inconceivable, therefore, that our Buddhist practice and the teachings of Buddhism would fail to help us win in our daily lives and society or become happy.

Faith, practice, and study are the key. As we put into action the teachings of Nichiren Daishonin, the Buddha of the Latter Day of the Law, let us patiently continue climbing the mountain of victory and happiness day after day, our hearts brimming with hope and optimism. Our life’s purpose is to live, strive, and win not only for our own happiness, but also for the happiness of others and the noble cause of good.

We all experience problems, sadness, and suffering. But sufferings arising from earthly desires are the springboard to enlightenment. The more we suffer, the more our life state expands. This is the essential principle of the Mystic Law.

Though we may, for example, be facing a situation as painful as the fires of hell, we can transform it without fail into the happiness of the Land of Tranquil Light.1

The absence of problems and suffering is not happiness. Refusing to be defeated, being able to endure whatever comes our way—that is happiness.

Even if we’re facing many pressures, prompting people in our lives to comment on how hard our circumstances are, we need to just calmly and steadily press ahead on the path of our mission. That’s the way to make the powerful life force of the Buddha—who is also known as “One Who Can Endure”—well up in our lives.

Those who experience the greatest suffering will come to attain the greatest happiness. Never forget that happiness is a flower that blossoms from the earth of patient endurance.

One of the youthful mottoes of my wife, Kaneko, a member of the first class of the young women’s division, was:

“Today again don’t be defeated,
today again bring forth courage,
as you make your way
on the path of your vow,
on the path of victory.”

Those who don’t let anything defeat them are victors. In particular, those who lead undefeated lives, following through on the beliefs that they vowed to uphold in their youth, are the strongest and most admirable of all.

People who can make others happy know genuine happiness.

True victory is becoming a sunlike presence that brightens the lives of everyone around you. In such a person’s heart will fly a banner of happiness proudly emblazoned with a spirit of self-reliance and self-esteem.

No banner of victory adorns a life of inaction. No banner of happiness will fly where faith is not accompanied by action.

In this noble and meaningful period of your youth and on throughout your lives, please overcome every obstacle without being defeated, forging ahead on your chosen path with the brilliant light of victory shining in your hearts like the morning sun. That is the most truly human way to live. This is the spirit of Nichiren Buddhism. This is the essence of our Buddhist practice.

“Difficulties will arise, and these are to be looked on as [peace and comfort]” (cf. OTT, 115)—let us always remember these profound words of the Daishonin.

From an essay series “The Light of the Century of Humanity,” published in Japanese in the Seikyo Shimbun, November 13, 2004.

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

  • *1Land of Tranquil Light: Also, Land of Eternally Tranquil Light. The Buddha land, which is free from impermanence and impurity. In many sutras, the actual saha world in which human beings dwell is described as an impure land filled with delusions and sufferings, while the Buddha land is described as a pure land free from these and far removed from this saha world. In contrast, the Lotus Sutra reveals the saha world to be the Buddha land, or the Land of Eternally Tranquil Light, and explains that the nature of a land is determined by the minds of its inhabitants.