Part 3: Kosen-rufu and World Peace
Chapter 26: Leaders Who Guide Others to Happiness [26.2]

26.2 Have a Big Heart

President Ikeda notes that a defining feature of Soka Gakkai leaders is their noble spirit to value others, learn from them, and impart assurance and joy to all.

Bighearted people are happy. Our Buddhist practice enables us to become such individuals. I hope all of you will become people who are generous and broad-minded.

The vast ocean has boundless capacity, whereas the capacity of a small pond is very limited.

Nichiren Buddhism is as all-encompassing as the universe itself. Let us who practice it lead wonderful, expansive lives, treasuring those around us—family, friends, and fellow members—embracing everyone with our big hearts and enjoying life together.

Of course, we must fight firmly and unremittingly against inhumanity and injustice, but I hope you will always be generous toward your friends and fellow members, and have room in your hearts to think about the happiness of others.

Wishing to do whatever we can to support and encourage those facing illness or financial hardship; thinking about others, chanting for them, and taking action to help them—this is the spirit of practitioners of Nichiren Buddhism. Striving to bring happiness and joy to others, even though we may be struggling with problems ourselves, is the mark of bodhisattvas.

I’d like you to become people with big hearts—people who remain strong and unshaken no matter what happens, and who, rather than focusing on themselves, are concerned with helping and imparting hope to others. This is the purpose of our Buddhist practice. When we persevere in Buddhist practice, we will accumulate solid good fortune without fail.


Always be open to learning from others. If you see someone whose faith or family life inspires you, for instance, have the spirit to learn from them. You can learn something from anyone. Always being humble enough to learn from others is a measure of a person’s true greatness.

Leaders, in particular, are susceptible to becoming arrogant, believing their position in the organization makes them better than others. This is a common tendency. In such cases, a person acts with self-importance and looks down on those of outstanding character or achievement. But those who behave this way only alienate others and erase their own good fortune.

The higher a leader’s position in the organization, the stronger must be their willingness to learn from others. This is especially important because, from the perspective of Buddhism and the Law—from the perspective of faith—our members are all “Buddhas and heavenly deities.”

The role of leaders is to bring joy to others. That is the basic requirement of a leader.

In general, those who cause distress or pain to others, who try to dominate and control others, are not qualified to be leaders. This is all the more so in the realm of Nichiren Buddhism. Arrogant leaders who let their positions go to their heads will incur the dislike of others, and ultimately bring unhappiness upon themselves.

I’d like you to work hard to become the kind of leaders whom others regard as a source of reassurance, clarity, peace of mind, and courage—people who inspire confidence and hope. Never issue commands or orders from on high. Be kind and considerate leaders who warmly impart a sense of security to everyone. Be strict with yourselves and generous toward others. That’s the hallmark of people with strong faith.

From a speech at a meeting in Santa Monica, USA, September 18, 1993.

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