01 Sep 2019 Sincere Offerings for Kosen-rufu Lead to Transformation of Lives
SSA General Director’s September 2019 Editorial
August had been a victorious month for SSA, particularly following our youth division’s dynamic performance in the National Day Parade. The months of trainings and efforts put in were definitely part of their sincere contributions to the expansion of the network of peace and happiness in our local community. The youthful passion emanated from them has also rejuvenated the entire organisation and brought great joy to our mentor. Well done to all our youth! I would also like to express our deep appreciation to everyone for your great support and daimoku throughout this journey.
As we welcome the last quarter of the year, let us also be determined to create victories in our districts and personal lives. This last quarter, the organisation will see changes implemented in relation to the new SSA membership card; the launch of the annual Members Contribution Fund and Subscription Event, and the holding of the SSA Buddhist Study Examination Entrance Level.
I would like to elaborate on the spirit of contribution from the viewpoint of Buddhism. If we recall, many of Nichiren Daishonin’s letters to his disciples begin with his appreciation for their sincere offerings, which had enabled him to spread his teachings especially amidst challenging times. In a letter Nichiren wrote some 700 years ago in appreciation of the sincere offerings made by a devout woman named Onichi-nyo, a passage reads: “A poor woman cut off her hair and sold it to buy oil [for the Buddha], and not even the winds sweeping down from Mount Sumeru could extinguish the flame of the lamp fed by this oil.” (WND-1, p. 1089)
Derived from a Buddhist scripture, this story is widely known as “The Poor Woman’s Lamp”. What it teaches us is the value of one’s sincerity above everything else. It is not the material worth of an offering but the spirit behind it that counts. The poor woman’s single lamp meant far more than the thousands of barrels of lamp oil offered by King Ajatashatru, the ruler of the country. It contained the sincerity of that poor woman.
Similarly, in the early days of our establishment, we heard of sincere Women Division members who would painstakingly cut their living expenses and save up to make financial contributions to the organisation annually, hoping to contribute to kosen-rufu in any ways they could. There were also those who set aside their savings in humble piggy banks and brought them to the SSA centres to contribute during the annual event. All of these members did so with sincerity and gratitude, deeply convinced that by practising faith diligently and making efforts for kosen-rufu, they were also transforming their own lives.
As most of us can attest to it, all our sincere financial contributions go a long way towards advancing kosen-rufu in Singapore. Since our humble beginnings in the 1960s, Bodhisattvas of the Earth have appeared steadily in the Lion City. To fuel our continual development and activities, financial resources are required. With expanding membership, we would also correspondingly need additional resources to support our members’ Buddhist practice and carry out the Buddha’s work.
SGI President Ikeda shares about the significance of making financial offerings and assures us of the good fortune and benefits we can accumulate in the novel The New Human Revolution, “The offering and financial contributions the organisation solicited were exclusively to accomplish the Daishonin’s mandate to widely propagate the Mystic Law. Offerings made towards this end were equivalent to offerings made to the Buddha of the Latter Day of the Law. There was, then, no greater offering, no greater good. Certainly, nothing could bring greater benefit.” and “The benefit that accrues from making contributions is clearly spelt out in the Gosho. If we were to contribute to kosen-rufu just as the Gosho teaches and then failed to receive actual proof, then Buddhism would be false… Confident of the good fortune we are attaining, let us continue to advance joyfully, harmoniously and in high spirits.”
Advancing together with our mentor, let us continue to create a powerful momentum for change by helping others forge their faith and transform their lives; and making sincere financial contributions for kosen-rufu. In our upcoming Members Contribution Fund and Subscription Event, let us share with one another confidently, especially our youth members, the joy of making sincere offerings and contributions for kosen-rufu!