Part 1: Happiness; Chapter 2:
Developing a Life State of Happiness [2.8]
2.8 You Are All Noble Buddhas
President Ikeda’s novels The Human Revolution and The New Human Revolution depict the true history of the Soka Gakkai spirit, their protagonist Shin’ichi Yamamoto representing President Ikeda himself. In this excerpt from The New Human Revolution, Shin’ichi as Soka Gakkai president gives guidance at an informal meeting with members during a visit to Mie Prefecture in April 1978. He stresses that each individual is a noble Buddha with an incredibly precious mission.
The Soka Gakkai is a realm of faith. It starts and ends with faith. The key is to look at everything through the eyes of faith.
What is faith? It is having absolute conviction that all things are part of your own life and being, that you embody the Mystic Law and are a Buddha. Nichiren Daishonin writes: “You must never think that any of the eighty thousand sacred teachings of Shakyamuni Buddha’s lifetime or any of the Buddhas and bodhisattvas of the ten directions and three existences are outside yourself” (WND-1, 3).
Believe that the boundless life state of Buddhahood resides within you, earnestly chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, and polish your life—this, the Daishonin teaches, is the only way to free ourselves from suffering and delusion. You are all originally Buddhas. Believe in yourself. There’s no need to compare yourself to others and let that determine your happiness.
The path to establishing an indestructible state of absolute happiness exists nowhere but in polishing your own life and bringing forth the Buddha nature inside you.
If you can’t believe you embody the Mystic Law, you’ll never have self-confidence in the truest sense of the word, and you’ll always be searching for the path to happiness outside yourself.
What happens then? You’ll end up being swayed by people’s opinions and other external circumstances, happy one minute and sad the next. You’ll compare yourself to others in all areas—social status or position, economic standing, personality, looks, and so on. When you think you’re a bit better than someone, you’ll feel superior. You’ll become conceited, unable to see yourself objectively. But the moment you think you’re lacking, you’ll feel depressed, worthless, and powerless.
Moreover, if you’re too concerned about what others think of you, you’ll be hurt and offended by even the most inconsequential words or actions. You’ll hate and resent these people for saying something “terrible” about you, not appreciating you, or showing no compassion.
Some people worry so much about others’ opinions that they’ll go to any lengths to win their favor.
The fundamental cause of resentment is being deluded about the true nature of your life. Unable, though you practice Nichiren Buddhism, to really believe you are a treasure tower and a Buddha, you seek happiness outside. This provides an opening for devilish influences.
You are all magnificent, noble Buddhas. You are people with an incredibly precious mission. Don’t compare yourselves to others. Value and accept yourselves for who you are and always strive to develop your own unique potential.
And just as each one of you is a Buddha, so is everyone else around you. That’s why it’s important to respect and treasure your fellow members to the utmost. That is the key to the unity of the Soka Gakkai.
From The New Human Revolution, volume 29, “Rikiso” (Sprinting Forward) chapter.
The Wisdom for Creating Happiness and Peace brings together selections from President Ikeda’s works under key themes.