Part 2: Human Revolution
Chapter 20: Encouragement for Youth [20.13]
20.13 Work and Faith Are One and Inseparable
President Ikeda discusses the attitude with which young people should apply themselves at work as practitioners of Nichiren Buddhism.
Nichiren Daishonin writes: “Regard your service to your lord as the practice of the Lotus Sutra. This is what is meant by ‘No worldly affairs of life or work are ever contrary to the true reality’”1 (WND-1, 905). In other words, we should treat our work as part of our Buddhist practice and recognize that all human affairs are manifestations of the Mystic Law.
Whatever your job, whatever your position, it is important that you, as a person who chants Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, bring forth wisdom and sincerely do your best to create value for the happiness of others and the welfare of society. All such efforts are part of your Buddhist practice to accumulate “treasures of the heart” (WND-1, 851). Your work and your Buddhist practice are not separate. Rather, your Buddhist practice and Soka Gakkai activities are the power source for making your work the most valuable and meaningful.
Challenging and polishing ourselves in accord with this passage from the Daishonin’s writings is a proud Soka Gakkai tradition.
Many members in the early days of our movement faced harsh opposition to their Buddhist practice in the workplace. But taking to heart [Mr. Toda’s guidance]—“In faith, do the work of one; in your job, do the work of three”—they strove to do their best both at work and in their Buddhist practice. Determined to show actual proof on the job, they chanted earnestly and made all-out efforts. Facing their difficulties head-on, they chanted daimoku with firm resolve, applied themselves with integrity, and worked harder than anyone.
A person’s attitude toward work reflects their attitude toward life and other people; it reflects their beliefs about their purpose in living. The most profound, powerful, and sound philosophy for living is faith in Nichiren Buddhism.
Each of you has the supreme and unparalleled life purpose of realizing kosen-rufu, of creating world peace and happiness for all humanity. To do your best each day at work based on the great vow for kosen-rufu is the spirit to “regard your service to your lord as the practice of the Lotus Sutra” (WND-1, 905). As a young person striving to achieve this, the world’s greatest vow, please chant with a strong and grand determination to become the best person in the world at your job and to make your workplace or your company the best in the world!
Faith is shown in your strength and ability as an individual. Therefore, please chant earnestly, study hard, exert yourself, be creative and enterprising, and throw all your youthful energy into your work. Doing so will bring you wonderful results. Even if things don’t go the way you’d hoped, chant more daimoku, try again, and open up new horizons. That is exactly what I have done.
Knowing that I had received instruction and training from the best mentor in the world, I was resolved to be the best in the world at whatever job I did. And I chanted and exerted myself to demonstrate Mr. Toda’s greatness through my work.
Remember that whether you win or lose in work and life doesn’t depend upon the size of your company or the work environment. It all depends on you. It depends on your determination, your attitude.
From “To My Young Friends—Leaders of a New Age,” published in Japanese in the Seikyo Shimbun, May 22, 2012.
The Wisdom for Creating Happiness and Peace brings together selections from President Ikeda’s works on key themes.
- *1From T’ien-t’ai’s Profound Meaning of the Lotus Sutra.