Part 2: Human Revolution
Chapter 19: Making the Writings of Nichiren Daishonin Our Foundation [19.7]
19.7 Basing Our Lives on the Writings of Nichiren Daishonin
President Ikeda describes how the Soka Gakkai has prevailed over adversity by remaining firmly based on Nichiren Daishonin’s writings.
A vibrant seeking spirit to strive energetically in the two ways of practice and study has spread across the globe. People everywhere are studying and putting into action the great humanistic teachings of Nichiren Buddhism. The Daishonin’s vision is being realized by the Soka Gakkai, the organization faithfully carrying out the Buddha’s intent.
The Soka Gakkai will forever base itself on the Gosho, the writings of Nichiren Daishonin. They are writings of hope, proclaiming to humanity that “Winter always turns to spring” (WND-1, 536). They are writings imbued with respect for the dignity of life, affirming that “Life is the foremost of all treasures” (WND-1, 1125). They are writings of peace, opening the way for actualizing the ideal of “establishing the correct teaching for the peace of the land” (cf. WND-1, 6).
And they are writings of victory, demonstrating the triumph of reason over authority and of right over wrong.1
Nichiren Daishonin’s writings are a brilliant source of hope; studying them fills us with courage and wisdom. This is because doing so brings his indomitable spirit to life within us, igniting the bright flame of faith for overcoming obstacles.
My wife, Kaneko, has an indelible memory from her childhood of President Makiguchi attending a discussion meeting at her home and quoting from the writings of Nichiren Daishonin with absolute conviction—even as agents of the Special Higher Police, the so-called thought police who were monitoring the meeting, looked on. She also received direct training from President Toda who set forth the guideline “Young women, make study your foundation!” That is why she has always continued to read the Gosho in earnest, whatever the situation.
Even after becoming a women’s division member, she used any spare moment she could find to read even a few lines of the Daishonin’s writings. In the midst of the turmoil surrounding the Freedom of Speech Incident,2 a newspaper reporter came to our home to interview me. He happened to see my wife quietly reading the Gosho, and later said how surprised he was that she should be engaged in Buddhist study even at such a difficult time.
That’s how my wife has remained undefeated. It’s why the women’s division has stayed unshaken. Even in times of the greatest hardship, they have always remained calm and composed and continued to encourage members with a smile. Chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo and studying the Daishonin’s writings are the sources of their victory.
Mr. Toda spoke of the way to approach reading the Gosho, saying: “As you read each line, you should try to absorb it deeply, so that you can say ‘How true! It’s just as the Gosho states!’”
It’s important to read the Daishonin’s writings each day, even if only a few lines, and try to put them into practice. Please study earnestly, practice diligently, and create a brilliant example of winning in life based on Buddhism.
From a speech at a divisional representatives conference, Tokyo, December 26, 2008.
The Wisdom for Creating Happiness and Peace brings together selections from President Ikeda’s works on key themes.
- *1Nichiren Daishonin writes: “Buddhism is reason. Reason will win over your lord” (WND-1, 839); and “Though evils may be numerous, they cannot prevail over a single great truth” (WND-1, 618).
- *2Freedom of Speech Incident: The name given to a controversy that arose in 1970, when the Soka Gakkai defended itself against libelous claims. For further details, see the “Fierce Winds” chapter of The New Human Revolution, vol. 14.