Part 3: Kosen-rufu and World Peace
Chapter 25: The Unity of “Many in Body, One in Mind” [25.9]

25.9 The Fundamental Spirit of the Soka Gakkai

President Ikeda stresses that the beautiful unity of “many in body, one in mind” is the unchanging rule for the development of kosen-rufu and reaffirms the eternal fundamental spirit of the Soka Gakkai, which he shared on the occasion of the SGI’s founding.

Kosen-rufu is a long journey, extending into the distant future. There is no need to rush or be impatient. The important thing now is to foster capable individuals one by one and build an unshakable foundation.

That said, when we look at the development of kosen-rufu in various countries, one thing is clearly evident: those places where remarkable growth has been achieved are places where the leaders work together in harmony and unity. Nichiren Daishonin writes: “If the spirit of many in body but one in mind prevails among the people, they will achieve all their goals” (WND-1, 618).

From a certain perspective, Buddhism is the study of human nature and life. How should human beings behave? What results from their actions? Buddhist teachings are based on a keen and penetrating observation of humanity.

To achieve anything, we must have the united spirit of “many in body, one in mind.” This is the unvarying rule of kosen-rufu. In contrast, the Daishonin warns that if we display the disunity of “many in body, different in mind,” we would be “like warriors who destroy their own castle from within” (WND-1, 217).

There is a saying “The fish rots from the head.” The higher your leadership positions, the more you must unite and work together. Those who have undergone suffering themselves can understand and empathize with the suffering of others. Those who have worked hard themselves can appreciate the value of others’ hard work and effort.


We are now conducting our SGI activities bearing in mind such specific guidelines as maintaining a harmonious organization through discussion and consensus, valuing young people and fostering successors, and respecting the opinions of women while promoting unity among the four divisions [the men’s, women’s, young men’s, and young women’s divisions]. Let us strengthen and deepen our efforts in this regard, for they exemplify the ideal organization that accords with the Daishonin’s teaching of “many in body, one in mind.”

In the realm of Buddhism, we are all equal, and we are all worthy of respect. We all have a mission, and we are all direct disciples of Nichiren Daishonin. It is extremely important, therefore, to create an atmosphere within our organization where we can all voice our opinions, be willing to listen to what others have to say, and discuss things freely. This is in fact the practice followed at the Soka Gakkai Headquarters.

When the SGI was established on Guam [on January 26, 1975], I said to the assembled members: “Rather than seeking after your own praise or glory, I hope that you will dedicate your noble lives to sowing the seeds of peace of the Mystic Law throughout the entire world. I shall do the same.” I have done as I promised that day, traveling the globe in my efforts for kosen-rufu, and you, too, have dedicated yourselves to your noble missions as Bodhisattvas of the Earth.1

The seeds we planted have now sprouted and sent forth branches and bountiful leaves, and flowers of hope, happiness, and peace are beginning to bloom around the world.

From a speech at an SGI executive conference, Tokyo, November 15, 2002.

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

  • *1Bodhisattvas 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.