Inheriting the Noble Spirit of Kosen-rufu

SGS General Director’s March 2022 Editorial

March 16, Kosen-rufu Day, is here again. This year, we are commemorating March 16 for the third time in this pandemic. Although we are unable to have large gatherings, the spirit to refresh our determination on this day remains the same, and even stronger.

What does kosen-rufu mean to us in this time of the pandemic?

Kosen-rufu is the path to attaining universal peace and prosperity, which is in essence, the process of spreading the principles of Nichiren Buddhism throughout society for the lasting peace and happiness of all people. This word “kosen-rufu” is first found in the Lotus Sutra. It was Nichiren Daishonin who brought to light the practice of chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo to the Gohonzon and “establishing the correct teaching for the peace of the land” as the way to attain kosen-rufu. The Soka Gakkai has inherited this same mission as the Daishonin to “establish the correct teaching for the peace of the land”.

In the 2022 Peace Proposal to the United Nations on January 26, 2022, titled “Transforming Human History: The Light of Peace and Dignity”, Sensei wrote, “My mentor’s (President Toda) ideals had deep parallels with those of the UN Charter, for they had grown out of his burning desire to effect a fundamental transformation in human history by breaking the seemingly endless cycle of violence and war. Inspired by his spirit, the Soka Gakkai has continued to expand its global network of ordinary people awakened to a philosophy of peace and respect for the dignity of life.”

He continued that President Toda’s wish is not about the transformation of a single individual or a single nation, but that of the world. During his lifetime, more than 70 years ago, President Toda had this conviction that humankind is one (chikyu minzokushugi). This means “global citizenship”.

Our efforts in kosen-rufu empower all people to triumph with the human spirit, awakening to this truth that we are a part of this interconnected world, and we must be able to experience joy and prosperity together. This mission is more crucial as we go about our daily challenges in the current pandemic, inspiring others with hope and actual proof through our practice of faith.

Before his passing in April 1958, President Toda entrusted the mission of kosen-rufu, the “fundamental transformation in human history by breaking the seemingly endless cycle of violence and war” to his youthful disciples, led by then young Daisaku Ikeda at the gathering of 6000 youths on March 16. Those youths had since been dedicating themselves wholeheartedly to pioneering worldwide kosen-rufu, contributing to the tremendous growth of the Soka Gakkai. And today many of their successors are similarly following this path to bring peace and happiness to the world.

This year, as we commemorate March 16, let us make a fresh resolve to continue on this path of the shared vow for kosen-rufu with a stand-alone spirit. Let us be that one person, that one lion-hearted disciple, to be the catalyst in this great revolution for world peace.