Part 3: Kosen-rufu and World Peace
Chapter 28: The Three Founding Presidents and the Path of Mentor and Disciple [28.13]

28.13 The Oneness of Mentor and Disciple Is the Life of Nichiren Buddhism

When the disciples share the same spirit as their mentor, the mentor’s true intent and purpose are passed on to them, and Buddhism remains alive and vital.

What really defined Mr. Toda? In the final analysis, it was utter dedication to kosen-rufu, and nothing else. It was his building and protecting the Soka Gakkai so that it could advance kosen-rufu.

All of Mr. Toda’s thoughts and actions were guided, from beginning to end, by his fervent wish to help each precious member become happy, without exception.

At times, he fiercely denounced corruption and injustice, and at others, he warmly embraced the members with a compassion as vast as the ocean. He shouldered full responsibility for the development of kosen-rufu, all alone, like the giant Atlas in Greek mythology, who held up the sky.


I first met Mr. Toda in the summer when I was 19 years old. A little more than a year later, at the age of 21, I began to work directly at his side [becoming an employee at one of his companies]. I served and supported him eagerly, 365 days a year, from early morning to late at night.

He once suddenly called me to come to meet him at 4:00 in the morning. Unlike today, it was difficult to find a taxi at that hour, but by some stroke of luck, I managed to hail one and was able to rush to his side. Every day was filled with rigorous training like this.

A person’s true worth is revealed in times of adversity. I had a firsthand opportunity to observe every aspect of Mr. Toda. I engraved his truth deep in my being. I vowed to follow him wherever he might go, to strive alongside him, and to give my life to achieving his goals. As his disciple, I vowed to carry on his vision and take full responsibility for kosen-rufu.

From that moment on, I began to clearly understand Mr. Toda’s thoughts and feelings. I was able to deeply impress upon my life his true greatness and brilliance. And I became confident that every effort I made was in rhythm with my mentor’s aim and intent.

Everything I say and do is based on his spirit. Buddhism only comes to life when the hearts of mentor and disciple are united as one.

Upholding the mentor’s teachings is the mark of a genuine disciple. This is the heart of the mentor-disciple relationship.

From a speech at a Kansai general meeting, Hyogo, October 16, 1991.

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