Part 3: Kosen-rufu and World Peace
Chapter 31: The Great Path to World Peace [31.20]

31.20 The Epitome of Human Harmony

President Ikeda introduces words of praise for the Soka Gakkai’s activities from Lokesh Chandra, an eminent Indian scholar and authority on the Lotus Sutra, and affirms that the Soka Gakkai’s humanistic network is a beacon of hope for humankind.

I have been engaged in a dialogue on the philosophies of the world with the Indian thinker Lokesh Chandra.

India is the birthplace of Buddhism and, likewise, the origin of the wisdom of the Lotus Sutra, making this exchange of ideas with one of India’s leading intellectuals especially significant for me. The serialization of our dialogue will soon come to a close.1

Toward the end of our dialogue, Dr. Chandra generously praised our Soka movement, saying that our contributions to humanity embody a passage in the “Life Span” chapter of the Lotus Sutra. He then recited the following lines, which are also part of our daily gongyo: “This, my land, remains safe and tranquil, / constantly filled with heavenly and human beings” (LSOC16, 272).

It appears as part of this longer portion of the verse section that reads:

“When living beings witness the end of a kalpa2
and all is consumed in a great fire,
this, my land, remains safe and tranquil,
constantly filled with heavenly and human beings.
The halls and pavilions in its gardens and groves
are adorned with various kinds of gems.
Jeweled trees abound in flowers and fruit
where living beings enjoy themselves at ease.
The gods strike heavenly drums,
constantly making many kinds of music.
Mandarava blossoms3 rain down,
scattering over the Buddha and the great assembly” (LSOC16, 272).

The eminent Indian philosopher concluded that our Soka movement proclaims the joy of human existence, promotes a spiritual flowering, and strives to expand cooperation for peace, in perfect accord with these lines from the verse section of the “Life Span” chapter, which is the heart of the Lotus Sutra. He also stated that the Soka Gakkai is “unique in the world of today in making values central to life.”4

Transcending national borders and ethnic differences, the Soka Gakkai is helping one person after another reveal the highest life state of Buddhahood and shine as a “treasure tower” brimming with the “greatest of all joys” (OTT, 212). Our Soka Gakkai centers and training centers are like “the halls and pavilions in [the] gardens and groves” described in the sutra, serving as great bastions of security and prosperity in each community where they stand.

At the same time, the Soka Gakkai overflows with the power of humanistic education. The flowers of youth bloom fragrantly, and the fruit of victory adorns the lives of those in their golden years.

The Fife and Drum Corps, Music Corps, and our many choral groups continually treat us to wonderful musical performances. Our organization abounds with the creative power of culture, led by the vibrant activities of our Arts Division members.

Just as beautiful “mandarava blossoms rain down” from the heavens in the sutra, people all around the world shower the Soka Gakkai with trust, praise, and support.

Our united gathering of Soka is the epitome of human harmony. It is a model of creative coexistence and embodies the ideal of a culture of peace.

As members of the Soka Gakkai, which faithfully carries on the Daishonin’s teachings, let us continue expanding, deepening, and fortifying our humanistic network—a beacon of hope for the new century—for the sake of world peace and the security of all humankind.

From a message sent to a nationwide prefecture leaders conference, November 13, 2001.

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

  • *1The dialogue was originally serialized in the Soka Gakkai study journal, the Daibyakurenge. It was published in English in book form in 2009, under the title Buddhism: A Way of Values.
  • *2Buddhist cosmology posits four kalpas or the four periods of time corresponding to the four stages in the cycle of formation, continuance, decline, and disintegration that a world is said to undergo. One complete cycle of the four kalpas is called a major kalpa.
  • *3Mandarava blossoms: A flower said to bloom in heaven. It is fragrant, and its beauty delights those who see it. In Buddhist sutras, mandaravas and other heavenly flowers rain down from the heavens when a Buddha preaches or when other wonderful events occur.
  • *4Lokesh Chandra and Daisaku Ikeda, Buddhism: A Way of Values (New Delhi: Eternal Ganges Press, 2009), p. 226.