Part 3: Kosen-rufu and World Peace
Chapter 28: The Three Founding Presidents and the Path of Mentor and Disciple [28.9]

28.9 Describing My Mentor, Josei Toda

President Ikeda enumerates the characteristics of his beloved mentor, Josei Toda.

My mentor in life, second Soka Gakkai president Josei Toda, was a man of great character. I have received many letters from future division and student division members asking me what kind of person he was.

Earlier today, I jotted down my thoughts about my mentor as they came to me, and I would now like to share them with you in the hope that they might provide you with some insight into the kind of person Mr. Toda was.

He was strict.
He was a caring mentor in life.
He was astute and bold.
He was broad-minded.
He was passionate.
He was intelligent.
He was angered by injustice and arrogance.
He was easily moved to tears.
He clearly saw the essence of all things and events.
He was a gifted mathematician.
He was a man of rock-solid faith and conviction.
He loyally protected and defended the Law.
He had a character as stern as autumn frost.
He always had a smile as warm as a spring breeze.
He would smile and offer you a cup of sake.
He had a regal bearing.
He always had an air of excellence.
He was at all times an ally of the people.
He never forgot those struggling with the sufferings of life and death.
He always shared people’s problems and concerns.
He was both an optimist and a pessimist.
He fought for all he was worth against falsehood and evil.
He was able to discern a person’s essential nature and qualities.
He was an expert at helping people give highest expression to their true potential.
He spoke out courageously to realize the Daishonin’s ideal of “establishing the correct teaching for the peace of the land.”
He wept for the poor.
He was a man whose life, in one respect, was an unending series of bitter struggles.
He delighted in others’ happiness and joy.
He hated, more than anything, being called a kind of guru.
He was proud of being an ordinary person and a man of great faith.
He always loved the people.
He tried to understand the inner heart of each person.
He was meticulous and on the ball.
He was always bighearted and freewheeling.
He was rigorous in instructing his disciples.
He would give his life for his disciples.
He was a man of immense passion.
He always lived with genuine wisdom and intellect.

From a speech at a Tokyo No. 3 and No. 4 Areas general headquarters joint representatives conference, Tokyo, December 25, 1986.

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