SGI Canada Newsletter, No. 93 - December 1, 2023
SGI Canada Newsletter
Issue no. 93
December 1, 2023
Welcome to the 93nd issue of the SGI Canada Newsletter, a bi-weekly summary of news, upcoming events and encouragement. If you are not subscribing to the SGI Canada Newsletter, you may do so by clicking on the button below. Subscriptions are free of charge, and the SGI Canada Newsletter will be emailed directly to you.
Soka Gakkai holds memorial service for SGI President Daisaku Ikeda
Soka Gakkai held a memorial service in Tokyo on November 23 to honour the life and unparalleled contributions to kosen-rufu of SGI President Daisaku Ikeda, who passed away on November 15 at the age of 95. Soka Gakkai Senior Vice President Hiromasa Ikeda, Soka Gakkai Women’s Leader Kimiko Nagaishi and Soka Gakkai President Minoru Harada all spoke at the service.
In her remarks, Mrs. Nagaishi spoke of her reactions upon learning of President Ikeda’s death:
I received the sudden news of Ikeda Sensei’s passing on November 17. I had just attended the gongyo ceremony at the Hall of the Great Vow for Kosen-rufu commemorating November 18.
My immediate feelings were of shock and profound grief, and then I received word asking me to participate in the funeral to be held by Sensei’s family members.
Together with Sensei’s wife and other members of the immediate family, we did gongyo and chanted daimoku, led by President Harada.
After we finished chanting, President Harada faced Ikeda Sensei and voiced the profound appreciation and determined vow we are all feeling. It was a deeply moving ceremony—solemn and dignified—as our mentor embarked upon his journey to Eagle Peak.
Mrs. Ikeda spoke to me warmly, embracing me with her words. I conveyed to her my limitless appreciation: “Thank you so very much. I will strive to do my utmost to respond to you and Sensei.”
Mrs. Ikeda responded: “I’m counting on you. Please be strong. Do your best.” Her guidance was at once kind and firm. As someone who has single-mindedly advanced along the path of mentor and disciple, always one in spirit with Ikeda Sensei, she was entrusting us with Sensei’s heart, and at that moment, I felt my resolve strengthen.
Then, trying to convey to her the sincere feelings of every one of us, I said: “Mrs. Ikeda, we will be earnestly chanting that you lead a long, long life,” to which she replied: “Thank you, I will!”
Before leaving the room, Mrs. Ikeda addressed Sensei, saying: “You really gave it your all, didn’t you?” At that moment, my heart was overcome with the profound appreciation of just how much Sensei and Mrs. Ikeda have prayed and wished for nothing but the happiness of each and every member, and that the Soka Gakkai is everything that it is today because of them.
President Harada spoke of President Ikeda’s great legacy to the world:
A flood of condolences has poured in from people in Japan, as well as leading world thinkers, government officials, and diplomats who treasured their acquaintance with Ikeda Sensei.
These sincere messages from noted figures in diverse fields around the globe eloquently attest that one of Sensei’s greatest achievements lies in forging bonds, bringing people together and connecting the inherent goodness in their hearts, transcending race, ideology, and religion. With every passing day, this realization is brought home to me with renewed force.
Our world today remains beset by conflict and war. At this very moment, people are living in suffering and misery. It is our mission, as Sensei’s disciples, to continue, come what may, to walk and further expand the great path of peace, culture, and education that Sensei blazed through his selfless efforts to change the karma, the destiny, of all humankind.
It is true that voices demeaning our movement are making baseless predictions that the Soka Gakkai will now lose its momentum. Rising up as an indomitable champion of truth against the devilish power of authoritarianism that led to Makiguchi Sensei’s death in prison, Toda Sensei waged and won his determined struggle to vindicate his mentor. Ikeda Sensei, too, fought throughout his life in the face of every obstacle and devilish function to realize all of Toda Sensei’s ideals and visions. In this way, he proved to the world the true greatness of his mentor.
Now it is up to us, the disciples of Ikeda Sensei, to become indomitable champions of truth, and to show society and the world Sensei’s true greatness through our own victories.
The full text of Mrs. Nagaishi’s and President Harada’s messages will be published in the January issue of New Century.
A video of the memorial service is now available in English and French through Soka Video Player. Please ask your local leaders about showing the video in your locality.
SGI Canada holds nationwide memorial gongyo meeting
SGI Canada held a nationwide online memorial gongyo meeting to honour President Ikeda on November 26. Gongyo and 30 minutes of daimoku were followed by a video statement from Soka Gakkai Senior Vice President Hiromasa Ikeda and President Minoru Harada, and remarks from SGI Canada Youth Leader Ryan Brouwer, Women’s Leader Helen Izumi-Choi and General Director Glenn Turner.
In his speech, Ryan Brouwer encouraged us to follow President Ikeda’s example:
Ikeda Sensei lived each and every day with his mentor, President Toda, in his heart, reporting victory after victory to him, and never forgetting his debt of gratitude. I feel profoundly that this is the example that we must follow from now, striving each and every day to repay our debt of gratitude to Ikeda Sensei, and reporting victory upon victory to him in our hearts until the very end!
Helen Izumi-Choi shared the vow she has made to President Ikeda:
Sensei, the strong bonds we share with you are eternal and indestructible. We, the members of SGI Canada, will strongly unite, many in body, one in mind, and respond to you by advancing kosen-rufu in Canada together with you in our hearts! I am determined to pray even more earnestly for Mrs. Ikeda’s health and long life together with you.
Glenn Turner pointed out the strong connections that SGI Canada has with President Ikeda and Mrs. Ikeda, and quoted from the poem “A Rainbow Over Niagara”, written for Canadian members:
Beyond the clouds, across the seas,
Transcending time and space,
And the minds of my Canadian friends
Are joined in a deep and solid bond
That, though invisible,
No one can ever break.
The memorial gongyo meeting concluded with a video overview of President Ikeda’s life.
Please note that messages and articles written by President Ikeda before November 15 will continue to be translated and published as they become available.
SGI President Daisaku Ikeda’s editorial: “Shining as the Foremost Beacons of Hope in All the World!”
In his December editorial in the Daibyakurenge study magazine, SGI President Ikeda writes of the importance of winning in daily life:
Nichiren Daishonin, the Buddha of the Latter Day of the Law, is aware of all our efforts. Our Soka family is advancing tirelessly for kosen-rufu undeterred by the fickle winds of public opinion. Without a doubt, he would highly praise each one of us as “the foremost ally of the Lotus Sutra in the entire world.”
No matter what adversity we may face, let us always press forward bravely with this pride and conviction. The heavenly deities, led by Brahma and Shakra, will never fail to protect us. Indeed, we must be determined to rouse them to action so that they will be driven by an irrepressible desire to defend our gathering of Buddhas.
And let us show actual proof in our lives and in society of the Daishonin’s teaching that “Buddhism means winning” through our invincible faith and humanistic behaviour, just like Shijo Kingo.
Our youthful Soka Gakkai worldwide is gearing up to make a fresh departure [with the start of the new year], as we put into practice the world’s foremost philosophy of respect for life and work to forge and expand the world’s foremost people’s movement.
With the ever-youthful life force of the Bodhisattvas of the Earth, let us shine as the foremost beacons of hope in all the world!
The complete message will be available in the January 2023 New Century.
SGI Canada online bookstore
The Online Bookstore will be closed from December 4 to January 2 for the annual inventory audit. If you are hoping to order books or other items before the end of the year, we encourage you to visit the bookstore immediately. You can visit the Online Bookstore at: https://sgicanada.myshopify.com/
We hope you found this newsletter beneficial. Please email your questions or comments to email@example.com. Please note that the next SGI Canada Newsletter will appear on December 15, 2023. See you then!