Part 2: Human Revolution
Chapter 19: Making the Writings of Nichiren Daishonin Our Foundation [19.5]

19.5 Engaging in Buddhist Study Is Itself a Victory

The Soka Gakkai held intermediate study exams throughout Japan in September 2002, and President Ikeda visited an examination site to warmly encourage participants before the start of the exam.

Thank you all for coming here today, on the weekend, to take this study exam.

Nichiren Buddhism is humanity’s supreme philosophy, revealing the fundamental source of all things in the universe. It is a universal and enduring philosophy beyond compare.

Nichiren Daishonin writes: “Exert yourself in the two ways of practice and study. Without practice and study, there can be no Buddhism. You must not only persevere yourself; you must also teach others. Both practice and study arise from faith” (WND-1, 386). Without the two ways of practice and study, Buddhism would cease to exist, and no one could attain Buddhahood.

I’m sure some of you have traveled long distances today, and some of you may be quite tired. Yet in spite of that, you’ve gathered here out of your determination to study Buddhism. All of your efforts will bring you benefit and are the way to accumulate immense good fortune. In lifetime after lifetime, you will be people who are admired as great philosophers who surpass even the most learned scholars.

The important thing is to chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. Don’t worry about whether or not you’re able to answer all the exam questions: simply try your hardest and know that the efforts you have made to challenge yourself for the sake of kosen-rufu will become a source of eternal good fortune and remain as cherished memories in your lives.

The Daishonin, more than anyone, is surely praising you most highly for exerting yourselves in the two ways of practice and study.

The Daishonin alone awakened to the ultimate Law of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. None of the powerful or famous were aware of the correct teaching of Buddhism.

The Buddhist Law is the eternal principle that pervades the universe and all life. It is the key for building a happy life. Neither happiness nor peace will ever be attainable if we disparage or turn our backs on the correct teaching of Buddhism.

On the vast stage of human history, you are all noble pioneers in the great undertaking of spreading Nichiren Buddhism. Please take the exam with strong confidence in yourselves. The fact that you have gathered for this occasion to study Buddhism is itself a victory and an achievement. It will become a powerful driving force for your faith all your life. Thank you for your dedicated efforts!

Words of encouragement to intermediate study exam participants, Tokyo, September 29, 2002.

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