SGI PRESIDENT IKEDAS NEW YEARS MESSAGE
|Extending the Soka Path of
Human Triumph throughout the World
I wish everyone a most meaningful and hope-filled Year of Youth and Dynamic Growth!
Today, the firmament of the Century of Soka sparkles with the bright constellations of our organizations in 190 countries and territories, enfolding the world in the light of humanism dedicated to the promotion of peace, culture, and education. I sincerely thank all of you, my noble and cherished comrades, for you have been the driving force behind this phenomenal development that is unprecedented in the history of Buddhism.
The respected American economist John Kenneth Galbraith, known for his keen perceptions and insights, asserts that the empowerment of the people holds an important key to transforming the direction of history. I share the same view. In places around the globe, our members are enthusiastically and energetically carrying out various activities for the benefit and welfare of others. Their efforts have brought fresh recognition to the immense potential of ordinary people. They are injecting vitality and hope into their local communities and bringing people together by cultivating friendship and trust. Our SGI movement serves as a great force for moving society in a new peaceful direction, and more and more people around the world are coming to applaud our initiatives.
The German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche (1844- 1900) observes: The greatest events- they are not our noisiest but our stillest hours. The world revolves, not around the inventors of new noises, but around the inventors of new values The world today truly needs a set of new values on a global scale in order to transform the intractable deadlocks that prevail on so many fronts.
Nichiren Daishonin writes: Famine occurs as a result of greed, pestilence as a result of foolishness, and warfare as a result of anger. (WND, 989). The root cause of all sufferings and strives in our world lies in a fundamental distortion in the depths of peoples lives. Consequently, the only way forward is to change the hearts and minds of people themselves. Although it may seem a long and time consuming course, it is the ultimate path genuine lasting peace.
In this respect, Buddhism, a teaching founded on equality, compassion and respect for the dignity of all life, offers a veritable treasure trove of the values needed so urgently by humankind today.
In our troubled world, where strife and conflict continue unabated, the members of the SGI are actively working to create value in the spheres of peace, culture and education. Where else can we find an organization of such human diversity, where members unite Together, harmoniously transcending differences of nationality, ethnicity and culture? Where else can we find a gathering of such sincere people who pray together so earnestly for the peace and happiness of humankind, and so energetically pursue dialogue and action toward that end?
The Daishonin writes: If you care anything about your personal security, you should first of all pray for order and tranquility throughout the four quarters of the land,should you not? (WND,24). This spirit of striving to realize peace by firmly establishing the humanistic ideals and principles expounded in Buddhism - the spirit of rissho ankoku-embodies a practical, universal philosophy of global citizenship for all humankind. Global citizenship is not something that exists in any way apart from our immediate daily reality and the community in which we live.
The great philosopher Immanuel Kant (1724 - 1804) lived virtually his entire life in the small town of Konigsberg in East Prussia, where he was born and raised. Yet from that tiny microcosm of his beloved home community, he launched his momentous intellectual odyssey, spreading wide the wings of his thought and soaring boundlessly into the macrocosm of the world and the infinite universe. And he went on to give birth to a unique system of philosophical thought.
The Soka Gakkais founding president Tsunesaburo Makiguchi (1871-1944) was a firm proponent of a global outlook rooted in the local community. The place where we are right now is the arena for our activities as global citizens. Good citizens who contribute to their local communities are simultaneously good citizens of the global community. Praying and working for the welfare and happiness of individuals in our immediate environment is directly connected to the happiness of all humankind.
The Daishonin writes: The three obstacles and four devils will invariably appear, and the wise will rejoice while the foolish will retreat. (WND, 637). In every age, humanistic movements that have actually made a difference have encountered opposition driven by jealousy.
The French philosopher Blaise Pascal (1623-62) who fought dauntlessly against criticism and malicious attacks writes: It is a strange and tedious war when violence attempts to vanquish truth. All the efforts of violence cannot weaken truth, and only serve to give it fresh vigor. Another famous French philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-78), who waged a similar struggle, writes that slanderers succeed only in deceiving those who want to be deceived. Nothing can hold a candle to the truth, and we must make certain that truth prevails.
With the strategy of the Lotus Sutra we can triumph over all hardships. I especially ask you of the youth division, the successors of our movement, to be people of challenging spirit who refuse to be deterred by any obstacle and continually strive to give full play to your immense potential. Id also like every one of you to be victors who are trusted in your communities and workplaces, as you bring your wisdom and humanity to shine and do your best to win each day.
Lets make this Year of Youth and Dynamic Growth one in which each of us sets forth with a vibrant, youthful spirit, brimming with energy and hope, to make fresh strides in all our endeavors.
I sincerely pray that all of you - members of the SGI family and precious treasures of the world-- will enjoy good health and infinite fortune, and lead lives of profound victory and fulfillment.
Daisaku Ikeda President, Soka Gakkai International
SGI PRESIDENT IKEDAS MESSAGE COMMEMORATING
THE 30TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE SGIS FOUNDING
|My beloved fellow SGI members
in 190 countries and territories around the world! Congratulations on this joyous,
high-spirited meeting you are holding today to celebrate the 30th anniversary
of the SGIs founding.
On January 26, 30 years ago, members from 51 countries and
territories, sharing a profound bond, gathered in Guam to fulfill their vow from the
remote past. That marked the start of the SGI. The events of that say will forever remain
in my heart as the fondest of memories. At that inaugural meeting, I said: I hope
that you will dedicate your whole lives to sowing the seeds of the Mystic Law for the sake
of peace throughout the entire world, I shall do the same. In response to my call
and personal resolve, members across the globe stood up admirably and launched themselves
into the great journey to realize worldwide kosen-rufu, advancing with selfless
Nichiren Daishonin predicted that The time will come when
the Mystic Law
alone will flourish throughout the land (WND, 392). Now, three decades on from the
SGIs founding, we have unmistakably entered an age in which the Daishonins
Buddhism of the sun brightly illuminates the entire planet, offering humanity a
fundamental means of liberating itself from suffering. The phenomenal development the SGI
enjoys today has been realized through the untold devotion and hard work of you, my most
beloved fellow members, and through thecountless inspiring examples of personal
transformation that you have joyously won through faith.
As weprepare to set forth toward the next 30 years, let us together, you and I, continue our unceasing efforts to sow the seeds of the Mystic Law for the sake of peace throughout the world, and do out utmost to cultivate great tress of peace and gardens of happiness.
Though the 21st century has dawned, humanity remains stuck on its shortsighted, aberrant course, unable to find its way to coexistence and peace. People everywhere live under a cloud of anxiety and uncertainty, as they witness a seemingly endless series of natural disasters. We are indeed living in times like those described in the Daishonins treatise On Establishing the Correct Teaching for the Peace of the Land.
In another of his writings, the Daishonin states: Great evil portends the arrival of great good. If all of Jambudvipa (the entire world ) were to be thrown into chaos, there could be no doubt that (the Lotus Sutra would) be widely propagated throughout Jambudvipa (the entire world) WND, 1122). We have now come to a crucial juncture in our struggle to advance kosen-rufu. The true spirit and way of life of a Buddhist is to deeply empathize with those who are suffering, to encourage them, to stand up together with, and to help them overcome their hardships.
Victor Hugo declared: Great sufferings swell the soul to gigantic
Toward the end, I hope you will advance in harmonious unity with many in body, one in mind as your motto. I also hope that you will treasure and respect the youth and devote yourselves to their development and growth. Everything depends on people. It is crucial that we foster people. To foster new people is to create hope for the world.
Please be confident that our victories in the coming year will decide the course of the next 30 and 50 years. I am praying with all my heart that you will enjoy good health and longevity, and that you will adorn your noble lives with brilliant triumph.
January 26, 2005