Expanding the Solidarity of Peace through Trust in Society

Our heartiest congratulations to the Women Division for your marvellous performance at the recent National Day Parade (NDP)!

This is SGS’s 38th year of participation at NDP and I wish to extend our heartfelt appreciation to the SGS NDP Committee, participants and all involved, for your dedication during trainings and preparation the past few months. I also wish to extend my appreciation to all SGS members for your support and prayers for a successful performance.

58 years ago on August 9, 1965, Singapore gained independence and faced a very uncertain future. During Ikeda Sensei’s first visit to Singapore 35 years ago in February 1988, he met with then Prime Minister, Mr Lee Kuan Yew, on February 9 at the Istana.

On that occasion, he asked Prime Minister Lee what had been the greatest difficulty he faced as Prime Minister of Singapore. Mr Lee replied that it was the survival of the people of Singapore. We had about 2 million people then, from different ethnic, racial, and religious backgrounds. We have no natural resources, and even had to depend externally for water supply. It was a most daunting challenge to ensure the survival of our people.

Today, Singapore is a thriving, global city. But the path to nationhood and becoming a prosperous country was not easy. We must be appreciative of all the hard work and sacrifices of our pioneers, and the sterling leadership of our government for what we have today. Let’s not take this for granted and strive on with the same pioneering spirit for a better future for Singapore.

On November 23, 2000, during his third visit to Singapore, Ikeda Sensei met with Singapore’s President S. R. Nathan. In response to Sensei’s request for a message to the youth, President Nathan said, “I have seen the performances of Singapore Soka Association several times in National Day parades here, and they are truly wonderful… They are all beautifully coordinated and disciplined, and truly captivating. I am always surprised and ask myself how they can put on such wonderful performances.

“And these young people are participating voluntarily, under their own direction. Their performances embody the teachings of Buddhism. In Singaporean society, too, the qualities of human character are becoming even more important. In that sense as well, the Soka Gakkai is making a wonderful contribution to our society and nation.” (Excerpts from The New Human Revolution, Volume 30, “Vow” chapter)

Our mentor, Ikeda Sensei, must be most delighted to know that while striving in our Buddhist practice, we are also contributing as good citizens to establish the correct teaching for the peace and happiness of the land. This joy and hope in the victory of the disciples is the heart of the mentor and the true path of mentor-disciple relationship.

This August marks 76 years since Ikeda Sensei took faith. Just like how Sensei has continuously lived up to the expectations of his mentor, Toda Sensei the past seven decades, let us also emulate Ikeda Sensei’s spirit and continue to expand the solidarity of peace through trust in society.