Part 3: Kosen-rufu and World Peace
Chapter 23: Valuing Each Individual [23.12]

23.12 The Tradition of the Soka Gakkai

Focusing on the individual, creating a ripple effect through dialogue and encouragement that spreads from one person to another, is the formula for the eternal expansion of kosen-rufu.

Nichiren Daishonin writes: “The popular proverb says that ‘one is the mother of ten thousand’” (WND-1, 131).

One person may seem small and unimportant, but one person is the “mother,” or source, that can empower countless multitudes.

The Daishonin also says: “One drop of the great ocean contains within it the waters of all the various rivers that flow into the ocean” (WND-1, 146).

A single individual who encounters and awakens to the true, great Law goes on to courageously engage in altruistic action, meeting with another and telling them about Buddhism. Never forget that this ripple effect from one person to another is the source of the limitless expansion of kosen-rufu, and that through such steady efforts, the history of kosen-rufu will continue to unfold without end.

Valuing each individual—this is an unbroken tradition of the Soka Gakkai. We focus on one suffering person, wholeheartedly engage them in dialogue and do everything we can to encourage them. You, our young people, especially, must not lose sight of this tradition.

Leaders who only make fine speeches before large gatherings but fail to apply themselves in more down-to-earth efforts, such as giving individual guidance and encouragement, are not real leaders, nor can they ever be real leaders as long as they follow that pattern. If that kind of leader comes to predominate in our organization, the Soka Gakkai spirit will perish.

We must ensure that authoritarianism and scheming do not become the trend in our organization. I want you to bear deeply in mind that without wholehearted guidance and efforts to support people on the individual level, there can be no genuine Buddhist practice.

The formula for the eternal expansion of kosen-rufu is found in ceaseless, steady efforts to benefit others and engage in dialogue, efforts that spread from one person to another.

From a speech at a Tokyo No. 2 Area chapter leaders meeting, Tokyo, October 11, 1987.

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