15 May 2021 Reaffirming Our Great Vow for Kosen-rufu
This year marks the 61st anniversary of Ikeda Sensei’s inauguration as the third Soka Gakkai president on May 3, 1960, as well as the 70th anniversary of Toda Sensei’s inauguration as second Soka Gakkai president on May 3, 1951.
Ikeda Sensei wrote, “May 3, Soka Gakkai Day, is the New Year’s Day of the Soka Gakkai. It is a day when we return to our vow from time without beginning and make a fresh commitment to work for kosen-rufu, our hearts blazing like the new born sun.”
In an essay Our Brilliant Human Revolution “Together on the Journey of Mentor and Disciple”, Ikeda Sensei wrote on the significance of the word “Vow”,
“A vow gives us wings. When we make a vow, the most proud and honourable flight of youth begins. A vow creates a path. When we pledge a vow together, a most beautiful human network unfolds. A vow is a source of hope and inspiration. When we strive to fulfil our vow, a glorious inner sun illuminates the future.
“My beloved disciples, united with me in spirit, I am praying with full confidence that each of you without exception will live out your life with an unwavering vow and attain supreme happiness and honour. I have not the slightest doubt that jubilant cheers of victory will resound in the lives of all who take part in the Soka journey of mentor and disciple united in the shared struggle for kosen-rufu.”
The eminent British historian Arnold J Toynbee wrote in the foreword of The Human Revolution published in 1972,
“Already Soka Gakkai is a world affair… [Nichiren’s] horizon and his concerns were not bounded by Japan’s coasts. Nichiren held that Buddhism, as he conceived it, was a means of salvation for his fellow human beings everywhere. In working for the human revolution, Soka Gakkai is carrying out Nichiren’s mandate…”
As we all know, the origin of the name “Soka Gakkai” can be traced back to a discussion between founding Soka Gakkai president Makiguchi Sensei and Toda Sensei. “Soka” means “value-creation”. Makiguchi Sensei once declared: “The purpose of life is to create supreme value and to attain the greatest possible happiness.”
Soka Gakkai means “a gathering of individuals who come together to study the philosophy of value-creation”. As suggested by its name, our solidarity serves as a platform where we earnestly study and freely discuss the life-affirming philosophy of Nichiren Buddhism and create immeasurable value together.
This immeasurable value is to achieve our human revolution — to bring forth the inherent Buddha nature in us and helping others do the same; thereby contributing to the peace and happiness in the world.
Though we may at this time be faced with an onset of urgent crises, however let us pledge afresh, taking this May 3 as a new departure. Cherishing the great vow of mentor and disciple in our hearts, let us carry out widespread propagation of the Mystic Law by reaching out to one more person and one more youth, expanding dialogue that will bring hope and encouragement to humanity!