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Together, Let’s Scale a New Mountain of Kosen-rufu!

August 27, 2021

Four decades have passed since I called out “Youth, scale the mountain of kosen-rufu of the 21st century!” in a poem of that same title I composed in Oita, Kyushu, a place so close to my heart.[1]

            Since then, we have conquered numerous mountains of challenge and adversity, rising high above the clouds, and now our vision of worldwide kosen-rufu and “establishing the correct teaching for the peace of the land” unfolds before us in the distance, as far as the eye can see.

            The golden achievements of each of our noble members who have striven with steadfast dedication alongside me on our ascent are vividly present in my mind. These dear members have surmounted youth’s daunting hurdles, as practitioners who “embrace this magnificent Buddhism of the sun” [2] and are always “communicating warmly” with others.[3] I would like nothing more than to celebrate each of their brilliant victories in human revolution. That is my most heartfelt wish.

            To climb the mountain of kosen-rufu is to engage in “joyous and infinitely satisfying struggle on behalf of the Buddhist Law” and savor that “there is no higher path in life than this.” [4]

            Nichiren Daishonin declares that he was able to overcome the numerous life-threatening persecutions he experienced because he recited passages from the Lotus Sutra daily and held fast to the vow he had made to the Buddhas and heavenly deities:[5] 

So long as a practitioner of the Lotus Sutra remains unwavering in faith, free of all false alliances, entrusting himself wholeheartedly to the Lotus Sutra and practising in accordance with the Buddha’s golden words, he will without fail be able to prevent disaster and prolong his life in this present existence, to say nothing of in the life to come. Splendid recompense will be his, and he will fulfill his great vow to broadly proclaim and propagate the Lotus Sutra [the great vow for kosen-rufu]. (WND-2, 460)  

            Since the time of our first and second presidents, Tsunesaburo Makiguchi and Josei Toda, the mentors and disciples of Soka have striven with “unwavering faith, free of all false alliances,” in exact accord with this passage and just as the Buddha teaches. And today, our members everywhere continue to show proof of good fortune and benefit in their daily lives and enjoy the “splendid recompense” of inner victory.

            This is unquestionably the path of “faith for absolute victory,” borne out, above all, by each of our member’s personal experiences of gaining benefit through their practice of Nichiren Buddhism.

            The great vow for kosen-rufu, as Mr. Toda said, is the challenge to elevate the life state of all humankind to the highest life state of Buddhahood.

            Let us, the members of the Soka family of all ages, our hearts blazing with the youthful passion of Bodhisattvas of the Earth, invite our friends and others to join us in our great movement of hope, fulfillment, and happiness. Together, once again, let’s scale a new mountain of kosen-rufu—“to ring the bell of peace in the world and raise the flag of justice in society.”[6]  

Triumphantly scale

a new mountain of kosen-rufu—

bringing countless “human flowers”

of the Bodhisattvas of the Earth

into glorious bloom.

Translated from the September 2021 issue of the Daibyakurenge, the Soka Gakkai monthly study journal


[1] President Ikeda presented the poem on December 10, 1981. The translation used in this essay is from the following source: Daisaku Ikeda, Journey of Life: Selected Poems of Daisaku Ikeda (London: I. B. Tauris, 2014), pp. 62–76.

[2] The full verse reads: “To lead a life richly meaningful / we require a profound philosophy / in which to place faith. / There is no greater glory / than to embrace this magnificent / Buddhism of the sun / as you live out your youth / with passion and joy! / Here is found / the very essence of youth!  

[3] The full verse reads: “My young friends, / I hope each of you / as youthful leaders of the new century / will remain engaged with the people / day in and day out, / living among them, / communicating warmly, / resonantly sharing their concerns, / always breathing / in rhythm with their lives.”

[4] The full verse reads: “When you reach the summit, / all the world / that unfolds before you / will be yours. / There is no higher path in life / than this—of a youth devoted / to joyous and / infinitely satisfying struggle / on behalf of the Buddhist Law. / Knowing this, / I entrust everything to you!”

[5] In the passage immediately preceding the quote cited next, the Daishonin writes: “I myself, since the day I first took faith [in the Lotus Sutra], have recited these passages every day, making a vow and praying to the Buddhas and the gods, and although I have encountered great difficulties of various kinds, because of the profound influence of the benefits bestowed by the Lotus Sutra and the golden words of Shakyamuni Buddha, I have managed to survive until today” (WND-2, 460). 

[6] The full verse reads: “Young people who are my disciples! / Live on— / for the cause of the Great Law / that is eternal, absolute and indestructible! / Live on— / to accomplish the noble mission  / for which you were born! / Live on— / to ring the bell of peace in the world  / and raise the flag of justice in society, / the goals which are our creed!”