Congratulations to everyone on the victorious November 18 meeting commemorating the 91st Anniversary of the founding of the Soka Gakkai. That meeting marked the culmination of various victories of all our members, especially our youth division, for their endeavours in our “One More Youth” movement. In addition, it marked another milestone where we officially changed our name to Soka Gakkai Singapore, henceforth proudly aligning ourselves to the global Soka Gakkai community.
The past year has been yet another tough year, but I’m heartened that every one of you stood up courageously with the indomitable spirit of the lion king, surmounting all challenges in life and helping to spread hope and courage to people around us. Thus, I would like to declare that we have concluded 2021 in great victory! We truly appreciate all your great efforts and support in all our endeavours this year.
Please be rest assured that Ikeda Sensei is fully aware of your struggles and how each one of you is striving to exert yourself. In a recent essay, he wrote on the courageous lion-hearted disciples in Singapore.
“In November 2000, I visited Singapore, known as the ‘Lion City’, and spoke about the lion king. Sharing the Daishonin’s words ‘Each of you should summon up the courage of a lion king and never succumb to threats from anyone’ (WND-1, p. 997), I called on the members to summon their courage, break through all fear and cowardice, and keep moving forward.
“Our members in Singapore and around the world have become lionhearted champions, surmounting all obstacles and broadening trust for our Soka movement in their societies.
“‘The heart of a lion king’ is the Soka spirit of mentor and disciple. By dedicating your lives to fulfilling the vow of mentor and disciple, you will be able to draw forth ‘the heart of a lion king’ that exists within you.”
In his third and final visit to Singapore 21 years ago in November 2000, Sensei encouraged all of us to advance with the “heart of the lion king”. Over the last two decades, and even during these most challenging times of the pandemic, every one of you have indeed lived up to this spirit with the heart of the lion king, remained undefeated and triumphed over each obstacle that came our way.
The year 2022 has been named Year of Youth and Dynamic Progress. I am looking forward to another victorious 2022 with our youth division in the lead, and everyone advancing cheerfully and dynamically in our respective arenas. As Nichiren Daishonin states,
“I entrust you with the propagation of Buddhism in your province. It is stated that ‘the seeds of Buddhahood sprout as a result of conditions, and for this reason they preach the single vehicle’.” (WND-1, p. 1117)
Let us persevere on with this courageous “heart of the lion king” on our journey to spread peace and happiness to humanity in the endemic phase of the pandemic, advancing fearlessly with the heart of the lion king, to scale another new mountain of kosen-rufu, and casting our sights on the successful opening of the new Soka centre in Punggol with further concrete victories in our “One More Youth” effort.
Wishing everyone and all your families, good health and happiness. Please take good care and stay safe.