Part 2: Human Revolution
Chapter 20: Encouragement for Youth [20.17]

20.17 Guidance on Marriage

In The New Human Revolution, Shin’ichi Yamamoto (whose character represents President Ikeda) engages in a discussion with young people during a visit to Italy in June 1981 and shares some thoughts on the subject of marriage.

“Naturally, marriage is a personal choice,” Shin’ichi said, “but it cannot be denied that young people often lack life experience and a certain degree of maturity. That’s why it’s important to seek advice from your parents and older people you know, so that when you finally marry, those who care about you will celebrate your decision.

“Marriage is a lifelong commitment to share each other’s joys and sorrows. We never know what kind of destiny we may confront or what challenges lie ahead. For couples to overcome such obstacles, it is of course important for them to love and care for one another; but it is also important for them to advance with a common purpose based on a foundation of shared philosophy and core beliefs.

“When both partners practice Nichiren Buddhism, I hope they will strive to build a relationship of mutual support and inspiration in which both can polish their faith and character.

“If you get into a relationship that causes you to grow distant from the organization, lose your joy in faith, and stop growing and improving, only you will suffer.”

Nichiren Buddhism gives us the power to ride out life’s rough waves. The path to building indestructible happiness is found on the front lines of Soka Gakkai activities. Our dedicated efforts for kosen-rufu bring us precious good fortune, each step we take along the way enabling us to transform our karma and open the way to a life of happiness and joy. That’s why Shin’ichi stressed to the youth that they must never allow the flame of their faith to go out.

“In recent years,” Shin’ichi continued, “there seems to be a global trend toward marriages ending quickly in divorce.

“But when someone who is practicing Nichiren Buddhism faces marital problems, I believe that, if they keep exerting themselves strongly in their practice, make a fresh determination in faith, and try hard to find a solution with their partner, they can, in many cases, wisely overcome their difficulties. The key, at any rate, is to have firm faith.

“The purpose of our Buddhist practice is to lead good lives, become happy, and illuminate society with the light of hope.

“To that end, please nurture loving relationships as couples, create fine families, win the trust and respect of those around you, and be people who demonstrate the greatness of Nichiren Buddhism.”

From The New Human Revolution, vol. 30, “Bells of Dawn” chapter.

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