Part 3: Kosen-rufu and World Peace
Chapter 24: The Organization for Kosen-rufu [24.8]

24.8 The Beautiful Realm of the Soka Family

President Ikeda says that the Soka Gakkai is a family linked together by the Mystic Law, a beautiful realm of harmony and camaraderie, filled with compassion, comfort, and encouragement.

I would like to confirm some basic points about our realm of Buddhist practice. We are a family linked by the Mystic Law. Our organization for kosen-rufu is a home that brings peace and contentment. I hope we will always be a gathering, illuminated by the Gohonzon, where everyone can feel secure, relaxed, happy, and energized.

When finally arriving back home after a hard day of work or studying, no one likes to be greeted with the angry rebuke: “You’re late! Where have you been!” That will only make you want to avoid coming home altogether. Likewise, there are times when members can’t help being late for meetings or are unable to attend at all. No one has the right to scold them for this.

A true home, a true family, warmly welcomes and praises its members when they finally return.

The point of sharing Nichiren Buddhism and participating in SGI activities is so the individual engaged in those efforts receives benefit and becomes happy. It’s not for the sake of the organization or its leaders. Anyone who scolds or reprimands members who are doing their best is despising practitioners of the Lotus Sutra, which the Buddha deemed a grave offense.


We share the Mystic Law with others as part of our Buddhist practice because the Daishonin instructs us to do so. But whether the people we talk to about Buddhism decide to practice is fundamentally up to them, depending on their capacity to understand the teachings and other factors. The benefit we gain is the same, whether they begin practicing right away or just listen to what we say but don’t immediately start. The fact that we spread the Mystic Law means that we are envoys of the Buddha and, as such, are worthy of supreme respect. We should praise and rejoice with one another, like brothers and sisters, for the efforts we make to sow the seed of Buddhahood. Through encountering this joyful family, many more people are certain to join us and seek to learn about the correct teaching of Nichiren Buddhism. Warm care and comfort are the defining characteristics of a home.

Our harsh society is filled with endless competition and stress. There are constant clashes of egos. But it is the role of leaders in our organization to ensure that when our members return to the “home” of the SGI, they can relax, smile, gain fresh inspiration, and recharge themselves so that they can set out into the world again the next day.

Some people have to work at night or at irregular hours. Others might be extra busy at certain times because of work demands or having to study for exams. They may not be able to attend meetings for a while, but with faith burning brightly in their hearts, they are valiantly rising to the challenges in their lives and striving to demonstrate actual proof of their Buddhist practice. As leaders, I hope you will put yourselves in their shoes and be understanding and supportive.

Let’s make our meetings everywhere enjoyable, relaxing, interesting, and meaningful, filled with bright smiles and laughter.

The Buddhas and bodhisattvas of the universe are watching over these harmonious gatherings of children of the Buddha, the noblest assemblies in all the world.

In our Soka family, everyone is equal. Each member has their own role, but they are all children of the Buddha, with equal rights. Being a leader doesn’t make one superior. Rather, the higher one’s leadership position, the greater one’s responsibility.

Nichiren Daishonin said with infinitely warm compassion to a mother and young daughter who both embraced his teaching: “If [the Mongol forces should invade Japan and] anything at all happens, please come over here [to Mount Minobu]. I will welcome you. [If worst comes to worst] let us die of starvation together among the mountains” (WND-1, 616).

We share everything, our sufferings and our joys. That’s what makes us a family. As a result, our sufferings are more than halved and our joys more than doubled. Families are not held together by orders or commands, by authority or domination. They are held together by love, by harmony, by caring and consideration.

A single unhappy person in a family makes the entire family unhappy. That’s why we need to chant sincerely and support one another, so that no one is unhappy, no one stops practicing, and everyone finds true joy and satisfaction together. These human ties will give rise to real unity. Organizations based on authority and control, forcing people to do things in a military-like fashion, are always weak in a crisis.

The aim of Buddhism is the happiness of the individual. It is the same with our organization for kosen-rufu. People do not exist for the sake of the organization; the organization exists to benefit people. The goal of our organization is to embrace each individual and support them in their advance toward happiness and attaining Buddhahood.

From a speech at an SGI-USA youth training session, USA, February 25, 1990.

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