To Lead Victorious Lives is the Purpose of Buddhism

Absolute victory is the ultimate aim of our Buddhist practice and our lives.

In a discussion meeting that I attended, a member commented, “We, in the Soka Gakkai, who practise Nichiren Buddhism seem to keep emphasising winning in everything that we do. It seems that we are very ‘kiasu’ (afraid to lose).”

This leads me to share on “faith for absolute victory”, the fifth of the five eternal guidelines of faith in the Soka Gakkai.

Nichiren Daishonin writes, “Buddhism primarily concerns itself with victory or defeat.” (WND-1, p. 835). Second Soka Gakkai president Josei Toda explains, “Faith is a struggle against deadlock – for the individual, and for humanity. It is a struggle between the Buddha nature and devilish functions. That is the meaning of ‘Buddhism concerns itself with winning’.”

Life is a constant challenge between the positive side of our life, our Buddha nature and the negative side of our life, the devilish function.

When the negative side of our life dominates, we will be creating words, thoughts and actions of adverse value to our life and to the people that share the karmic bond. This leads to suffering.

On the other hand, through our faith and practice that enable us to manifest the Buddha state of life, we can chart a life dedicated to creating good and value that will benefit ourselves and others, positively impacting the place where we are.

In this lifelong battle, we are empowered to wield the “sharp sword” of faith when we chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo with a vow for kosen-rufu. We can cut through any negativity and doubts, any hopelessness and fear arising from the fundamental darkness in our life. The state of Buddhahood that is filled with joy and vitality will emerge, brimming with courage to rise up to meet every challenge. It rouses our inner fortitude and spirit to blaze a path for breakthroughs and growth.

One of the clear indicators showing that we are winning in life is the never defeated spirit we uphold daily. In our life, we are bound to meet with setbacks or failures. However, the fact that we are challenging ourselves is itself a victory. To win means to never succumb to self-defeat.

He also writes, “If you failed yesterday, strive to win today. If you were defeated today, strive to win tomorrow.”

As long as we keep striving with the never defeated spirit, our life will definitely be adorned with the brilliance of victory.

Another indicator is achieving human revolution in our life, showing actual proof of faith and practice wherever we are as we strive to become a trusted and reliable person, becoming someone who creates a positive impact based on the value creative teaching of Nichiren Daishonin.

Ultimately, this great transformative teaching of life we have embraced should lead us to become better, wiser and stronger as we practise for oneself and others, leading the most fulfilling life.

Just as Ikeda Sensei in his guidance says, “As we put into action the teachings of Nichiren Daishonin, the Buddha of the Latter Day of the Law, let us patiently continue climbing the mountain of victory and happiness day after day, our hearts brimming with hope and optimism. Our life’s purpose is to live, strive, and win not only for our own happiness, but also for the happiness of others and the noble cause of good.”