Reaffirming Our Identity as Bodhisattvas of the Earth

Reaffirming Our Identity as Bodhisattvas of the Earth

Arising from a discussion between first Soka Gakkai president Makiguchi and second President Josei Toda, the Soka Kyoiku Gakkai (forerunner of Soka Gakkai) was established on November 18, 1930.

In 1946, President Toda renamed the organisation the Soka Gakkai, reflecting a broader commitment to kosen-rufu, the propagation of Nichiren Buddhism throughout the society for the lasting peace and happiness of all people.

In May 1951, after President Toda had overcome his business difficulties and been inaugurated as the second president of the Soka Gakkai, he proclaimed: “The Soka Gakkai has ‘cast off the transient and revealed the true’!” Mr Toda explained by saying that the Soka Gakkai membership as a whole had gained a deep awareness of their identity as Bodhisattvas of the Earth and had stood up to take part in the struggle for kosen-rufu.

This September marks the 750th anniversary of Nichiren Daishonin’s triumph at the Tatsunokuchi Persecution, his near execution on September 12, 1271. This event is now known as one where Nichiren Daishonin “cast off the transient and reveal the true”.

From the perspective of Nichiren Buddhism, we can interpret that Nichiren Daishonin, as an ordinary person burdened with karma and sufferings and, while remaining a mortal person, had revealed his true identity as the Buddha of time without beginning, embodying a state of complete freedom as one with the eternal Mystic Law.

At the 4th Headquarters Leaders Meeting held in July 2021, Ikeda Sensei in his message shared how this could equally apply to us in our daily lives, and we too can achieve this state of “casting off the transient and revealing our true self as the Bodhisattva of the earth”. He said,

“Directly connected to Nichiren Daishonin, the Buddha of the Latter Day of the Law, we are hard at work in society, fearlessly engaging in dialogue and taking action aimed at ‘establishing the correct teaching for the peace of the land’. We strive tirelessly for kosen-rufu, breaking down barriers in our own and others’ hearts, overcoming all obstacles and setbacks, and expanding our life state through human revolution. We are building treasure lands of happiness and peace in the places where we are challenging ourselves right now. That is our ‘casting off the transient and revealing the true’.”

In this significant month of September and on to the 750th anniversary of the Tatsunokuchi Persecution, let us all renew our determination to contribute in building the treasure land of happiness in Singapore, by challenging ourselves right now in our true identity as the Bodhisattvas of the Earth.

In this difficult and challenging times of the pandemic let us continue to strive with unwavering faith,
chant abundant daimoku for the early resolution of the pandemic and the return to normalcy, reach out to more friends to share with them the great benefit in embracing the Mystic Law; while mutually encouraging and supporting each other in our one more daimoku, one more dialogue and one more shakubuku effort!