30 Apr 2019 Raising High the Proud Banner of Soka Gakkai
SSA General Director’s May 2019 Editorial
Glorious May 3, Soka Gakkai Day, is a day where SGI members around the world set forth fresh determinations to advance kosen-rufu and challenge our human revolution. It is also a day we fondly termed as the SGI’s New Year’s Day.
Recounting the history of May 3 brings to mind the deep bonds between second Soka Gakkai president Toda and SGI President Ikeda that have propelled the organisation into what it is today. President Toda’s strong determination to enable 750,000 households to practise Nichiren Buddhism on the day of his inauguration on May 3, 1951, has set the momentum for the strong foundation to be laid in Japan. He achieved his goal, a huge leap from the original 3,000 households, six years after taking the presidency. In response to his mentor’s determination, the then young Ikeda too won decisive victories, turning the impossible to possible. This strong resolution was clearly evident even after he was inaugurated as the third Soka Gakkai President on May 3, 1960.
Based on the vow to relieve the world of sufferings and to free the world from war, President Ikeda has exerted himself in the last 59 years, taking upon himself the responsibilities as the president of Soka Gakkai, realising the vision of President Toda. We are truly indebted to President Ikeda for sowing the seeds of Nichiren Buddhism in Singapore in January 1961 while he was on his way to India to fulfil the prophecy of the westward transmission of Buddhism, and in nurturing and watching over the growth of SSA up till today.
What will delight our mentor most is our efforts in making fresh advances, continuing to move forward towards the future, contributing to the development of the organisation, fostering youthful successors and contributing to the happiness of the people in society.
Victory starts from our daily endeavour. With each little step we take on the great path of our human revolution, we would have slowly yet surely, transformed our lives and environment into gardens of good fortune and happiness. Nichiren Daishonin assures us in the following Gosho passage, “A blue fly, if it clings to the tail of a thoroughbred horse, can travel ten thousand miles, and the green ivy that twines around the tall pine can grow to a thousand feet.” (WND-1, p. 17) By practising the world’s foremost philosophy, we can definitely advance serenely, covering vast distances.
Happy Soka Gakkai Mothers Day!
May 3 is also fondly known as the Soka Gakkai Mothers Day. President Ikeda shared in an editorial in tribute to mothers and women in October 2015: “The Daishonin states that women open the gateway. (cf WND-2, p. 884) In accord with this infinitely expansive teaching, let us open the gateway to a profound transformation in the life state of all humanity, singing songs in praise of mothers and women everywhere.”
I would like to pay tribute to the wonderful Women Division members, the mothers of Soka who have taken on multiple roles in the organisation, in their work and family, supporting kosen-rufu in their quiet, unassuming ways.
Sharing this Hope-filled Philosophy of Happiness with Our Friends
In the past two months, SSA has held a series of dialogues, discussing on topics close to heart with our new friends and members— “Pursuit of Happiness”, “A Value Creative Life”, “Becoming a Pillar of Peace” and “Inner Transformation”. It was heartening to see our new friends and members relating to these topics explored from the viewpoint of Nichiren Buddhism, and we hope to continue such outreach to our friends in the spirit of treasuring every single individual as how our mentors did.
President Ikeda in one of his recent guidance writes: “Encouragement is incredibly powerful—sparking hope and igniting courage. As we approach another glorious May 3, Soka Gakkai Day, let us work together to make the flowers of good fortune and happiness bloom luxuriously!”
Besides encouraging our new friends and members, let us look into caring for one another and ensuring that each continue to advance cheerfully in our respective districts, whilst challenging our human revolution and problems in life. It is only when everyone advances with conviction on this path of faith that we can raise high the proud banner of the Soka Gakkai.