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Transforming Hardship into Happiness and Joy

October 23, 2020

“Those who believe in the Lotus Sutra are as if in winter, but winter always turns to spring” (WND-1, 536), wrote Nichiren Daishonin.

Imprisoned during World War II, our founding president Tsunesaburo Makiguchi bore the full brunt of a bitter winter of persecution. Throughout, he demonstrated a sublime life state of overcoming adversity to savor joy. Proclaiming the truth that “winter always turns to spring,” he rang the bell of “transforming hardship into happiness and joy” for his disciples and successors.

In his personal copy of the Daishonin’s writings, Mr. Makiguchi, who laid down his life for his beliefs (on November 18, 1944), underlined the following passage: “[Those] who wish to defend the correct teaching should emulate this poor woman crossing the Ganges who sacrificed her life because of her love for her child” (cf. WND-1, 282).

These words, which the Daishonin quotes in “The Opening of the Eyes,” are from the Nirvana Sutra. They refer in part to a story about a poor woman who, after endless wandering—in which she is forced to endure illness, hunger, and cold—attempts to cross the Ganges River with her newborn child, only for them both to drown tragically. The sutra states that through the merit of her compassionate resolve to lovingly keep hold of her child in the swift current, the woman attained a state of boundless good fortune and benefit.

This story is a metaphor for the spirit of steadfastly protecting the correct teaching.

Nichiren Daishonin then goes on to declare: “Although I and my disciples may encounter various difficulties, if we do not harbor doubts in our hearts, we will as a matter of course attain Buddhahood” (WND-1, 283).

This great conviction of the Daishonin, to which Mr. Makiguchi held fast until the very end, was carried on by second Soka Gakkai president Josei Toda and later, above all, by our women’s division members. They are noble women who are practicing in accord with the Buddha’s teaching and dedicating their lives to kosen-rufu. With firm faith in the Mystic Law, they reach out to those around them, confidently asserting that all people equally possess the invincible life state of Buddhahood.

They forge ahead on the path of mentor and disciple without harboring any doubts in their hearts, dauntlessly facing the onslaughts of the three obstacles and four devils and the three powerful enemies, which the Daishonin warned would arise. They pray and strive to staunchly protect their beloved families, fellow members, precious friends, and the Soka Gakkai.

Please always remember that it is thanks in no small part to the genuine faith of our women’s division members that we can proudly and triumphantly celebrate our organization’s 90th anniversary.

Looking at our world today, the tears of mothers and children, including refugee families, still flow ceaselessly. That is why the culture of peace being built by the women of Soka, upholding the life-affirming philosophy of Nichiren Buddhism and taking action based on respect for all human beings, is more important than ever.

The gathering of Soka is a strong, wise, and warm network of “human flowers” (LSOC5, 142), each beautiful and unique. Overflowing with the compassionate resolve to leave no one behind, let’s keep working to bring smiles of radiant happiness and joy to the faces of women and children everywhere. Let’s do so as we impart the hope-filled message that the harshest winter will unfailingly turn into the happiest springtime. 

Let us dedicate

our laurels of victory

to the compassionate mothers of kosen-rufu

who sincerely pray and encourage us

never to be defeated.

 

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

Chinese Version

敲響母子的福光歡喜之鐘

 

「信奉法華經之人如冬。」(御書1305頁)

我們創立之父牧口先生,寧願一身扛起如嚴冬般的大難,也要為後繼弟子敲響「冬必為春」(同上頁)這象徵福光歡喜的鐘聲。

有一節這位殉教先師劃線珍惜的御書文段。

「欲護正法,如彼貧女,在於恆河,為愛念子,而捨身命。」(御書251頁)

這是大聖人於《開目抄》所引用的《涅槃經》經文。

經文是說,有一位悲慘的母親,在病中忍受著飢寒交迫,帶著幼兒四處流浪,最後慘遭恆河的激流吞噬。但是在最後那一刻,由於護兒緊抱不放的慈悲一念,而堂堂開啟了大福德的境界,顯示出護衛正法到底的榜樣。

日蓮大聖人透過這則佛經故事闡釋:「我及我弟子,雖有諸難,若無疑心,自然得至佛界。」(御書251頁)

與戶田先生一起傳承牧口先生賭命貫徹到底這巍巍精神的是創價婦人部。

她們相信妙法,敢於對人說:「你我都具有不會敗給一切的佛之生命」,是一心一意為廣宣流布奔波到底的尊貴「如說修行女性」。

即使遭遇如《御書》所言不斷來襲的三障四魔、三類強敵,仍然毅然秉持「無疑之心」於師弟之道勇往前進,誓必捍衛心愛的家人、同志、寶友以及學會到底而奮戰祈求。我們絕不能忘記,就是有我們婦人部這「真誠」的信心,才能譜寫出創立九十週年的榮耀凱歌。

現今世界上仍然可見難民家族等母子流不盡的淚水,所以創價女性標榜生命尊嚴哲理,透過敬人言行舉止所構築的「和平的文化」越來越重要。

「不讓任何人脫隊!」讓我們滿懷這份慈愛,以最強且賢明溫馨的「櫻梅桃李」人華網絡,來擴展母子福光歡喜滿盈的笑容,並為大家送上「最艱苦的冬天一定會迎來最幸福的春天」這道希望之光!

 

絕不能輸

對慈母這

祈求關愛

誓必獻上

勝利華冠