Part 3: Kosen-rufu and World Peace
Conclusion: Toward the Future [5]

5 The Soka Gakkai Will Always Open a Way Forward

President Ikeda stresses the transformative power of Nichiren Buddhism, pointing to the Daishonin’s assurance that the most troubled age signals the arrival of a time of fresh hope when the correct teaching will flourish. He asserts that the Soka Gakkai, its members united in the spirit of oneness of mentor and disciple, will find a way forward through every obstacle or challenge.

A society’s growth and development depend upon the ideals and philosophies valued by the people who make up that society.

The society of Nichiren Daishonin’s day refused to recognize the truths he presented. It condoned slander of the Law, which brought suffering upon the people. In accepting the teachings of erroneous Buddhist schools that either ignored or made an empty pretense of working for people’s happiness, it could not hope to develop and prosper as it rightly should.

But the light of wisdom of the correct teaching of Buddhism shows its true worth in times of great confusion and turmoil. The Daishonin clearly believed that the darkest hour of night was but a prelude to a dawn of people’s awakening—an opportunity for change, a turning point. “Great evil portends the arrival of great good” (WND-1, 1122), he writes. He is saying in effect: “There’s no need for pessimism. I, Nichiren, possessing the sunlike wisdom of the Buddha, have appeared in response to this dark time. Great evil portends the arrival of the great good of kosen-rufu.” How inspired and heartened the Daishonin’s followers must have been by his resolute conviction.

The Daishonin also writes: “If all of Jambudvipa [the entire world] were to be thrown into chaos, there could be no doubt that [this Lotus Sutra would] ‘be widely propagated throughout Jambudvipa’ [cf. LSOC28, 363]” (WND-1, 1122). Of course, the Daishonin’s Buddhism does not by any means advocate a doomsday vision. Rather, its aim is to put an end to people’s suffering and enable them to attain happiness in the real world. Precisely because the Latter Day of the Law is a time of seemingly insoluble challenges, we can take action to transform things, overturning evils and outmoded customs of the past, reevaluating things from the ground up, and starting at the source to find solutions for change. Such thoroughgoing transformation will, quite naturally, meet with resistance, but it is the only way to open a new path forward. The Buddhism of Nichiren Daishonin is a teaching of unwavering commitment to the positive transformation of reality—a teaching that makes it possible for us to change this troubled saha world1 into a realm of peace and happiness.

From Learning from the Writings of Nichiren Daishonin: The Teachings for Victory, vol. 7, published in Japanese in August 2014.

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

  • *1Saha world: This world, which is full of suffering. Often translated as the world of endurance. In Sanskrit, saha means the earth; it derives from a root meaning “to bear” or “to endure.” For this reason, in the Chinese versions of Buddhist scriptures, saha is rendered as endurance. In this context, the saha world indicates a world in which people must endure suffering.