Part 3: Kosen-rufu and World Peace
Chapter 31: The Great Path to World Peace [31.8]

31.8 A Realm of Boundless Inspiration

The Soka Gakkai has embraced the mission of fostering capable individuals in every sphere of human activity, enriching society through its contributions in the fields of peace, culture, and education and inspiring people to realize their full potential. In this excerpt from The Human Revolution, the novel’s protagonist Shin’ichi Yamamoto (whose character represents President Ikeda) describes a conversation between himself and his mentor, Josei Toda, about the social mission of the Soka Gakkai. It took place right after the Soka Gakkai’s great victory in the 1956 Osaka Campaign.1

“As kosen-rufu advances,” said Toda, “we will foster capable individuals in every area of society. There will be Soka Gakkai members sincerely striving for the prosperity of society and peace for humankind in every arena—politics, business, the academic world, the arts, education. Wherever you look, in whatever field, you will find someone who is a Soka Gakkai member. This, I think, is what an age in which kosen-rufu is being achieved will actually look like.

“I believe that the Soka Gakkai will have the mission to play a central role in promoting peace and culture for all humankind. Shin, the Soka Gakkai will become a magnificent educational movement fostering capable people for that purpose. Our focus must be on nurturing people. Shin, our movement for human revolution will spread around the world.”

As Toda was talking with Shin’ichi, he found himself sharing a vision for the future of kosen-rufu. Its outlines took shape as he spoke.

Gazing into the distance as if seeing that image unfolding before him, Shin’ichi said: “So the Soka Gakkai will nourish every aspect of society and become a magnificent source of inspiration for all people. That’s a grand vision, isn’t it? It promises that a bright new future will open before humanity’s eyes—though I guess it will be a long time coming.”

“You say a long time,” Toda replied, “but I don’t think it will take a hundred years. Of course, I don’t expect it to happen in my lifetime. It will be in yours, Shin. Toward the very end of your life, I imagine, that trend will have become quite evident.”

He continued: “I am certain that the Soka Gakkai will become the king of the religious world. The Daishonin writes: ‘[The Lotus Sutra] is superior to all other sutras. It is like the lion king, the monarch of all the creatures that run on the ground, and like the eagle, the king of all the creatures that fly in the sky’ (WND-1, 929–30). Nichiren Buddhism is clearly the monarch of all philosophies and systems of thought, and it is the Soka Gakkai that has arisen to spread this great Buddhism throughout the world.

“That’s why it is the mission of the Soka Gakkai to send truly excellent, capable individuals who embrace the Gohonzon into every area of society. Each person’s exemplary efforts at human revolution will contribute immensely to human society in the coming century.

“When observed over the long term, it is clear that political systems and governments change and evolve over time. We mustn’t allow ourselves to become preoccupied with such shifting realities. Unless we focus on people themselves, we will be unable to carry out the task of kosen-rufu, the transformation of our troubled society into a Land of Tranquil Light.2

“Today, the public may misapprehend our efforts. Not a single person may understand us. That’s fine. We have no need to be in the spotlight. But the time will certainly come when we will astonish everyone. Then, they will finally grasp the import of this great unprecedented undertaking of kosen-rufu and shower us with praise.”

From The Human Revolution, vol. 10, “Future Perspective” chapter.

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

  • *1Osaka Campaign: In May 1956, the Kansai members, uniting around a young Daisaku Ikeda, who had been dispatched by second Soka Gakkai president Josei Toda to support them, introduced 11,111 households to the practice of Nichiren Buddhism. In elections held two months later, the Soka Gakkai-backed candidate in Kansai won a seat in the Upper House, an accomplishment that was thought all but impossible at the time.
  • *2Land of Tranquil Light: Also, Land of Eternally Tranquil Light. The Buddha land, which is free from impermanence and impurity. In many sutras, the actual saha world in which human beings dwell is described as an impure land filled with delusions and sufferings, while the Buddha land is described as a pure land free from these and far removed from this saha world. In contrast, the Lotus Sutra reveals the saha world to be the Buddha land, or the Land of Eternally Tranquil Light, and explains that the nature of a land is determined by the minds of its inhabitants.