Part 2: Human Revolution
Chapter 20: Encouragement for Youth [20.22]

20.22 Youth, I’m Counting on You!

President Ikeda concludes his novel The New Human Revolution by sharing his ardent hopes and expectations for the youth who will carry on the mission of kosen-rufu. This is portrayed by Shin’ichi Yamamoto (whose character represents President Ikeda) delivering a speech in November 2001 at a Soka Gakkai Headquarters leaders meeting commemorating the anniversary of the organization’s founding.

In his speech at that meeting, Shin’ichi thanked everyone for their efforts and urged them to forge ahead courageously, determined never to be defeated. He asked that they always base themselves on faith and keep moving forward, no matter what happens in life. That, he said, is the spirit of practitioners of Nichiren Buddhism. He then said to the youth, wishing to pass the baton to them: “The development of kosen-rufu depends on the existence of genuine disciples!”

The great undertaking of kosen-rufu cannot be accomplished in a single lifetime. It can only be achieved when that mission is passed on from the mentor to the disciples, who in turn pass it on to the disciples of future generations.

Shin’ichi’s voice rang with resolve: “I will never forget what Mr. Toda said at a meeting of the young men’s division Suiko-kai:1 ‘As long as there is a core of youth—no, even a single true disciple—we will achieve kosen-rufu.’

“Who has been that one disciple? Who has given his life to spreading Nichiren Buddhism around the world, just as Mr. Toda taught? I am proud and confident to say that I am that one disciple.

“I would like you, my young friends of the youth division, to staunchly carry on the solemn spirit of the first three Soka Gakkai presidents, who are eternally linked by the bonds of mentor and disciple. Those who do so will be the ultimate victors. This is also the fundamental path for the Soka Gakkai’s ongoing success in the 21st century. It is the way for us to fulfill the great vow for kosen-rufu and create lasting world peace.

“I’m counting on you, the members of the young men’s division, young women’s division, and student division! I’m counting on all Soka youth around the world!”

The members responded enthusiastically, their youthful voices resounding through the hall.

Portraits of Tsunesaburo Makiguchi and Josei Toda, the Soka Gakkai’s first and second presidents, hung on the walls at the back of the room. To Shin’ichi, it seemed that both were smiling and nodding in approval, warmly watching over the youth and everyone present, enfolding them in their compassionate gaze.

In his heart, he called out to the youth: “Let’s set forth together! As long as we live, let’s fight! Let’s advance with confidence and vigor as we vibrantly ring in the second series of Seven Bells!”

In his mind’s eye, Shin’ichi had an uplifting vision of the youth of Soka as majestic young eagles bathed in the dawning light of the third millennium. He saw them soaring, in an unending stream, into the vast skies of the world.

They were the countless multitudes of the Bodhisattvas of the Earth,2 forever dedicated to fulfilling the great vow for kosen-rufu.

From The New Human Revolution, vol. 30, “Vow” chapter.

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

  • *1Suiko-kai: The Suiko-kai (Water Margin Group) was a young men’s division training group formed by second Soka Gakkai president Josei Toda. It was named after the ancient Chinese epic novel The Water Margin, which the group studied.
  • *2Bodhisattvas of the Earth: An innumerable host of bodhisattvas who emerge from beneath the earth and to whom Shakyamuni Buddha entrusts the propagation of the Mystic Law, or the essence of the Lotus Sutra, in the Latter Day of the Law.