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Sending Forth the Brilliant Light of “Establishing the Correct Teaching for the Peace of the Land”

July 3, 2020

My journey of mentor and disciple began with Nichiren Daishonin’s treatise “On Establishing the Correct Teaching for the Peace of the Land.”

            At a discussion meeting two years after the close of the Second World War (in August 1947), I first met my mentor, Josei Toda. He was giving a lecture on “On Establishing the Correct Teaching for the Peace of the Land,” and said to those present: “Once we embrace faith in the Gohonzon, it will be no problem for us to attain Buddhahood ourselves. But when I think about our families, our country, and our turbulent world in the 20th century, I wish to rid the earth of all suffering and misery. This is what kosen-rufu is all about. Won’t you join me?”

            And together with Mr. Toda, we the youth resolutely raised the banner of “establishing the correct teaching for the peace of the land,” the essence of Nichiren Buddhism, amid the ruin and devastation of postwar Japan.

            The treatise takes the form of a dialogue between a host and his guest who were both distressed by the “unusual disturbances in the heavens, strange occurrences on earth, famine and pestilence” (WND-1, 6) taking place at the time. In other words, it starts from their shared concern about how to overcome the real-life sufferings of the people.

            At one point in the discussion, the guest, adopting an air of authority, becomes angry and threatens to leave; at another, he takes offence and arrogantly criticizes the host as “a person of humble position” (WND-1, 17).

            But the host responds with a tolerant smile and, with the confidence of those who study the Lotus Sutra (cf. WND-1, 17), calmly continues, delving deeper into the issues. He is neither overcome by anger nor prejudice, nor does he allow himself to feel resigned or powerless. Transcending divisiveness and negativity, he explores with his guest the life-affirming principles of the Lotus Sutra and leads him to join in making a vow to pray and take action for “order and tranquillity throughout the four quarters of the land” (WND-1, 24).

            Discussing his rationale for writing “On Establishing the Correct Teaching for the Peace of the Land,” the Daishonin declares: “I say all this solely for the sake of the nation, for the sake of the Law, for the sake of others, not for my own sake” (WND-1, 164). 

            Because we are committed to carrying on this great struggle, the Soka Gakkai has persevered in dialogue with the same spirit the Daishonin taught in his treatise, no matter how challenging the times. Believing in each person’s Buddha nature, we have risen above all differences to forge countless wonderful ties as “friends in the orchid room”[1]  (cf. WND-1, 23), expanding our network for peace, culture and education around the world.

            The banner of “establishing the correct teaching for the peace of the land” entrusted to us by Nichiren Daishonin, the Buddha of the Latter Day of the Law, is being carried on by the youthful world citizens of Soka, each with a noble mission as a Bodhisattva of the Earth. I am confident that they will usher in a renaissance of life in the 21st century, responding to the unprecedented challenges confronting global society by bringing together the wisdom of people around the world.

            The Daishonin writes that the example of one individual revealing their Buddhahood applies equally to all living beings (cf. WND-2, 844). The human revolution of each one of our Soka youth is a source of limitless hope.

            Let us press forward again today on our grand and lofty journey of mentor and disciple! 

The treasure land of Soka

shines with the brilliant light of courage

because we have young people

who uphold the banner of the Mystic Law

undaunted by any adversity.

 

Translated from the July 2020 issue of the Daibyakurenge, the Soka Gakkai monthly study journal

 

[1] In his treatise “On Establishing the Correct Teaching for the Peace of the Land,” the Daishonin writes: “How gratifying! You have associated with a friend in the orchid room and have become as straight as mugwort growing among hemp” (WND-1, 23). “A friend in the orchid room” indicates a person of virtue. The implication is that the company of a virtuous person works as a good influence, just as one is imbued with fragrance on entering a room filled with orchids.