The Cityscape of Singapore

The Cityscape of Singapore

The Cityscape of Singapore (Singapore, November 2000)

In November 2000, SGI President Ikeda travelled to Singapore. During that visit, he met with then Singapore President S R Nathan, who commended the positive contributions being made to society by the members of the Singapore Soka Association (SSA).

Taking to heart President Ikeda’s guideline to become exemplary citizens, the SSA members are showing admirable proof of their Buddhist practice in their workplaces and local communities.

Some of the diverse ways in which they are contributing to society include promoting activities to support the social and emotional well-being of the elderly, engaging in international humanitarian efforts, and conducting interfaith dialogue. SSA has also won wide renown throughout Singapore for its members’ inspiring performances each year in the National Day celebrations.

Having completed his many engagements during that visit in 2000, President Ikeda snapped the shutter at Singapore’s famous skyline. As if the heavens were rejoicing at the shared struggle of mentor and disciple in this city-state, a rainbow appeared.

Paths of Verdure in the Lion City—To My Dear Friends in Singapore (Excerpt)

Ah, my friends,
Living up to your own standard as “excellent citizens”,
Each of you has established guideposts for others
To contribute to society.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

And again,
You have polished and trained yourselves in many ways,
Shining brightly at your places of work,
In the communities,
And on the stage of your own daily lives,
Like a sky filled with glittering stars.

My friends,
This is the way to prove our faith,
For our Buddhism is not
Religion for religion’s sake,
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Let there be no doubt,
That ours is a religion for the human being,
And as such, we must show utmost concern for society.

Cultivating the motherland of humanity,
Which gives rise to everything;
Labouring together to create value,
You cause the trees to flourish,
Bearing the fruit of happiness within society.
It is you must take the lead,
To become the driving force behind this task.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Behold the sun,
King in his throne in the heavens.
With a brilliant smile, he embraces everyone and everything.
Even clouds which try to block his light,
Are also bathed in a golden glow.

Protecting and encouraging,
Embracing and caring
For this friend and that friend.
Thoroughly illuminate them
With the light of compassion you possess in your hearts,
Limitlessly tightening and expanding
Hearts-to-heart bonds of trust and respect.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Ah, young lions!
Gaze into the future,
Young lions!
Never forget that a strong person trains himself ceaselessly.
“Training” is to be found in “seriousness”.
It is said that the lion pays no heed
To the strength or weakness of its opponent,
Always attacking with full force.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Because this is true,
Pour your full effort into the task at hand!
Grapple wholeheartedly with your work today!
Thoroughly fulfill your immediate mission!
Herein lies your training,
Ensuring that your head will eventually be adorned
With a crown of eternal triumph.

(Excerpt of SGI President Ikeda’s Poem “Paths of Verdure in the Lion City— To My Dear Friends in Singapore” composed in February 1988.)

Published in Creative Life February 2013