03 Dec 2019 Towards 2020 Year of Advancement and Capable People
SSA General Director’s December 2019 Editorial
The Year of Soka Victory (2019) is fast coming to an end. It has been another fulfilling year for us: the successful bidding of a new land in Punggol for our new centre this April, the victorious performance by 600 youth division members and friends at the National Day Parade, and the holding of the Fifth Annual Ikeda Peace and Harmony Lecture with Dr Lawrence Edward Carter Sr, Dean of the Martin Lurther King Jr International Chapel of Morehouse College as the speaker.
We will also have some 735 members, believers and friends taking the SSA Buddhist Study Examination Entrance Level this December. All these would not have been possible without everyone’s dedicated efforts for the expansion of Singapore’s kosen-rufu; and the dedication of our leaders in reaching out, supporting and encouraging our members. What a wonderful victory for all SSA members in rounding up the Year of Soka Victory!
On behalf of SSA, I would like to express my deepest appreciation to one and all. It is also with deep gratitude that we are able to conclude the year with our mentor SGI President Ikeda and Mrs Ikeda in the best of health, as we advance towards 2020, Year of Advancement and Capable People.
At the 43rd Soka Gakkai Headquarters Leaders Meeting held in October, we learnt from Soka Gakkai President Harada that the Soka Gakkai’s theme for 1960, the year when President Ikeda took leadership as the third Soka Gakkai president, was “Year of Advancement”. Six decades have passed and we can clearly see the great development of Soka Gakkai. All these are due to SGI President Ikeda’s tireless efforts. It is definitely by no means a coincidence that next year is designated with a similar theme. The time has come for all of us, the disciples, to rise with the exact same conviction as President Ikeda. Worldwide kosen-rufu will not progress without our own advancement as individuals, and we must wage our struggle with equal if not greater vigour.
Second Soka Gakkai president Josei Toda once declared, “The Soka Gakkai must make our organisation a bastion of capable people! We must build a fortress of capable people no matter what it takes!” Soka Gakkai founding president Tsunesaburo Makiguchi had similarly emphasised, “Before anything else, our foremost priority should always be focused on gathering capable people among our membership.” Indeed, we can and must all become the capable people of kosen-rufu as what our three successive presidents have envisioned. In order to do so, we must make efforts to continue advancing in all aspects of our lives, particularly in our human revolution.
A passage from the Gosho, “On Persecutions Befalling the Sage” reads, “Strengthen your faith day by day and month after month. Should you slacken in your resolve even a bit, devils will take advantage.” (WND-1, p. 997) As the Daishonin taught, it is important that we constantly cherish a challenging spirit, strive to grow and develop ourselves day by day, and month after month. Indeed, faith is a constant struggle between our own inertia and self-imposed limitations. It can also be said to be a battle between the forces of the devilish functions and Buddhahood. As the saying goes, ‘Not advancing is regressing’. If we are not advancing and developing our lives daily, we can be said to show signs of regressing.
Next year, 2020 will also mark three important milestones for the Soka Gakkai—the 45th anniversary of the establishment of the SGI on January 26; the 60th anniversary of President Ikeda’s inauguration as third Soka Gakkai president on May 3; and the 90th anniversary of the Soka Gakkai Founding on November 18.
On the occasion of the SGI founding, President Ikeda said to pioneering SGI leaders from around the globe who attended the inaugural meeting in Guam: “What you do from this point on will determine our world’s future.”
For SSA, our slogan for 2020 is, “I will be that Lionhearted Disciple!”. This theme carries our response to President Ikeda’s call for us in volume 30 of The New Human Revolution, “Vow” chapter, where he urges all of us in Singapore to become ‘lionhearted champions’. At this significant juncture of the Soka Gakkai’s 90th anniversary, let us assure our mentor once again that we will take full responsibility with the determination that “I will be that Lionhearted Disciple!”. Let’s develop ourselves and others to become capable people, so that our victories will lay the cause for advancing worldwide kosen-rufu towards the Soka Gakkai’s 100th anniversary in year 2030.