Advancing Joyfully with a Fresh Wave of Hope at Discussion Meetings

Each May brings us great joy and boundless hope for the future.

Each May 3 is a day for us to renew our determination to be courageous, to remain strong and undefeated in the advancement of kosen-rufu — the attainment of peace and happiness in this world — no matter how difficult the situations are.

Sensei has described May 3 as “a day to embark afresh on our struggle for world peace and the happiness of humanity”.

It was on May 3, 1951, that Toda Sensei assumed the role of second Soka Gakkai president with a vow to attain 750,000 household membership target in his lifetime.

And on May 3, 1960, Ikeda Sensei at his inauguration as third president of the Soka Gakkai, quoted Nichiren Daishonin and declared, “This I will state. Let the gods forsake me. Let all persecutions assail me. Still, I will give my life for the sake of the Law.” (WND-1, p. 280)

For all of us in Singapore, how do we share this same spirit as our mentors for kosen-rufu?

Although Singapore is an affluent society, there are still many people around us trapped in the depths of sufferings. Recent surveys have indicated the rise of mental health challenges, and the number of suicides, even amongst the young.

There is an urgent need for us to promote friendship, transforming anxiety into hope, mistrust into trust and resignation into courage. We can do more to expand this network of Bodhisattvas of the Earth by sharing the greatness of the Mystic Law with people around us, helping them form connections with Nichiren Buddhism, instilling a fresh wave of hope in them; and inspiring in them the courage of the Lion King to transform adversities into joy and happiness.

Our districts, in particular the discussion meetings, are where people from all walks of life, young and old, men and women, gather to encourage and discuss the means of attaining happiness with faith. Founding Soka Gakkai president Makiguchi once described discussion meetings as “offering experimental proof of the validity of the life of major good”.

It is at these discussion meetings that we meet and carry out humanistic dialogues of encouragement and expand this network of the greatest good. Let’s advance with great joy to share our faith experiences, inspire others and deepen our own conviction.

The Daishonin shared,

“Just as flowers open up and bear fruit, just as the moon appears and invariably grows full, just as a lamp becomes brighter when oil is added, and just as plants and trees flourish with rains, so will human beings never fail to prosper when they make good causes.” (WND-1, p. 1013)

All our efforts for kosen-rufu, reaching out to share with others about Buddhism, sending sincere prayers for the happiness of our friends, participating in activities like discussion meetings, are good causes we are planting in our lives.

Let’s actively participate in our discussion meetings with joy and conviction of faith. Each one of us has an important role to play in making our discussion meetings a success.