Part 3: Kosen-rufu and World Peace
Chapter 26: Leaders Who Guide Others to Happiness [26.7]

26.7 Living with Energy and Vigor

President Ikeda discusses the requirements and qualities needed by leaders in the Soka Gakkai.

Mr. Toda was always in complete earnest in the struggle for kosen-rufu. When the leaders are truly serious, the members will be, too. In such an organization, no matter how intense the struggle, everyone will share a warm spirit of mutual trust.

The central leaders’ commitment and actions are paramount. In accord with the principle of “consistency from beginning to end,” they determine the success or failure of that particular organizational unit as a whole.

Buddhism is strict. Our commitment in faith must be firm and true.

Self-centeredness and arrogance not only destroy one’s own faith, but also that of others. Arrogance is a devilish function that destroys faith. Only by banishing arrogance can we achieve new growth and development in kosen-rufu. Please deeply engrave this in your hearts.

In particular, men need to value and respect women. Also, seniors must support their juniors and help them grow.

The higher your organizational position, the more humble and courteous you should be to others. That is what makes a person truly admirable.

The important thing is to live with energy and vigor, because that proves the benefit of our Buddhist practice. As the Daishonin indicates, “You will grow younger, and your good fortune will accumulate” (WND-1, 464).

Buddhism teaches the principle that “earthly desires lead to enlightenment.” Chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo with fierce determination, we blast away all problems and worries!

We are living in a time of turbulent change. Everything moves at a rapid pace. The more this intensifies, the more youthful our leaders must be. Those who are passive, timid, and don’t fight for kosen-rufu will quickly grow old. Strive, take action, and put your mind to work for the happiness of the members. Bravely take on challenges. That will keep you young and living longer, and it will fill your life with joy.

Winning leaders move forward confidently, with a refreshing, exuberant spirit. They speak convincingly. Their faces shine and their lives brim with vitality.

Leadership positions in the Soka Gakkai are supremely noble assignments in the struggle for kosen-rufu. The greater your responsibility, the greater the challenges you will face but also the greater the benefit you will gain. You will achieve victory as a human being, and shine and succeed in society. The experience will add something positive to your life.

Some of you have vice leadership positions. If you fail to clearly establish what your responsibilities are and don’t put any real effort into fulfilling them, you will receive no benefit. What matters is whether you burn with a genuine fighting spirit for kosen-rufu. “It is the heart that is important” (WND-1, 949; 1000).

If you devote yourself to faith with a pure heart, you can polish the mirror of your life so that it shines eternally.

Please continue to forge ahead on the path of kosen-rufu and leave a record of victory and success on the stage of your mission.

From a speech at a representative leaders gongyo meeting, Tokyo, September 11, 2004.

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