Part 3: Kosen-rufu and World Peace
Chapter 21: A Life Dedicated to Kosen-rufu [21.3]

21.3 Transforming the Destiny of Humanity

Second Soka Gakkai president Josei Toda cherished the wish to rid the world of misery and believed that elevating the character of humankind was the key to doing so. President Ikeda says that the Soka Gakkai, inheriting Mr. Toda’s profound resolve, has the mission to realize the great objective of transforming the destiny of humanity.

Nichiren Buddhism exists to help each person become happy and attain Buddhahood. The only way to demonstrate the greatness and validity of the Daishonin’s teachings is through the inner transformations of those who embrace them.

My mentor, Josei Toda, said: “One of the fundamentals of Buddhism is to not inflict harm on anyone and to help free all people from suffering. Another is to bring joy to all people. This is the heart of the Buddha’s compassion.”1 When these essential aims are forgotten, Buddhism loses its purpose and substance.

Mr. Toda also stated:

“[The mission of Soka Gakkai members as emissaries of the Buddha] is to elevate all people to the life state of Buddhahood—in other words, elevate the character of humankind to the highest level. How can we accomplish this? That is a very difficult question. But unless we can find the answer, there will be no hope for true happiness on our planet. If all people were elevated to the life state of Buddhahood, revealing their highest character, war and famine would disappear, and epidemics and poverty would be eradicated. Helping all human beings become Buddhas—that is, express their highest character—is to carry out the ‘Thus Come One’s work’” (LSOC10, 200).2

Mr. Toda’s profound insight was that elevating the character of all humankind is the key to solving every problem humanity faces. His vision extended to our world today.

As long as the collective character of humankind remains at a low level and continues to be ruled by the base animal instincts of the six paths3 [the lower of the Ten Worlds], any policy or plan can end up leading in the wrong direction.

My mentor’s heartfelt wish was to eradicate misery and suffering from the world. The way to do that, he believed, is to help everyone bring forth their Buddhahood and reveal their highest humanity. This is our mission as Soka Gakkai members, he said.

Let us continue to base ourselves on Mr. Toda’s conviction and, while steadily strengthening our foundation, move together toward the fundamental goal of guiding humankind to enlightenment.

From a speech at an SGI-Germany general meeting commemorating the 30th anniversary of the kosen-rufu movement in Germany, June 8, 1991.

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

  • *1Translated from Japanese. Josei Toda, Toda Josei zenshu (Collected Writings of Josei Toda), vol. 1 (Tokyo: Seikyo Shimbunsha, 1981), p. 27.
  • *2Ibid., pp. 305–6.
  • *3Six paths: This refers to the lower six of the Ten Worlds—the worlds of life states or hell, hungry spirits, animals, asuras, human beings, and heavenly beings.