Part 1: Happiness; Chapter 2:
Developing a Life State of Happiness [2.2]

2.2 The Key to Happiness Is Inner Transformation

Happiness is a function of our state of mind. This is why the Soka Gakkai movement, which embraces the philosophy that “It is the heart that is important” and seeks to transform our lives, is the fundamental path to happiness.

We may encounter all kinds of problems in the course of life. There will also undoubtedly be times when we are faced with circumstances beyond our control. But why is it that, in the same situation, one person advances vibrantly, while another sorrows and laments? It is because happiness is an internal condition, something we feel in our hearts.

If we can live our lives with joy, if we enjoy living, then we are winners. That’s why transforming our hearts and minds is so important. This is the essence of Nichiren Buddhism.

External appearances are not what matters. There are many people whose circumstances are the envy of others, but who are actually very unhappy. Those with strong, wise, resilient, and generous hearts remain upbeat and positive, no matter what happens.

“It is the heart that is important” (WND-1, 1000), writes the Daishonin. This is the foundation for happiness—a foundation we establish through the Mystic Law.

The Daishonin declares: “The wonderful means of truly putting an end to the physical and spiritual obstacles of all living beings is none other than Nam-myoho-renge-kyo” (WND-1, 842).

Happiness is not just a word. It is not found in objects, nor is it determined by wealth, social status, or celebrity.

The key, first of all, is to chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. When we do so, we will feel an upsurge of life force.

To feel joy in the depths of our lives, no matter what happens, to take delight in each moment of each day as we converse with friends and chant to our heart’s content—these are examples of genuine happiness.

Our Soka Gakkai movement teaches the fundamental way to achieve such happiness.

If we live out our lives based on faith in the Mystic Law, we will experience joy in both life and death. Let us serenely surmount every obstacle and keep moving forward with joy and high spirits.

From a speech at a joint training session, Nagano, August 6, 2005.

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