March 16th - A Brief History
March 16 is a symbolic day for Soka Gakkai and SGI members, commemorating the occasion on March 16, 1958, when Josei Toda, second president of the Soka Gakkai, then in frail health, made an impassioned speech to 6,000 Soka Gakkai youth, entrusting them with the responsibility for the future of the Soka Gakkai and its efforts to contribute to the creation of a peaceful world and promote understanding of the humanistic philosophy of Nichiren Buddhism. In particular, Toda's closest follower, Daisaku Ikeda (current SGI President), took on this responsibility, eventually becoming the third president of the Soka Gakkai in 1960 at the age of 32 and helping to develop the Soka Gakkai as a movement promoting peace, culture and education.
Toda passed away on April 2, 1958, just two weeks after the March 16 gathering, confident that his efforts would be continued by the youth in whom he had great trust. The previous year, on September 8, 1957, he had issued a Declaration Calling for the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons at a meeting of 50,000 Soka Gakkai youth at Mitsuzawa Stadium in Yokohama, calling on those present to take responsibility for carrying on the struggle against these inhumane weapons which he termed a threat to humanity's right to live.
March 16 is now viewed within the Soka Gakkai and the SGI as a day of new departures, "of eternal beginnings and perpetual hope." It is also an occasion for focusing on fostering capable youth.
Mr. Ikeda has stated, "It is a time when people renew their profound resolution to accomplish kosen-rufu, a time when they put their minds together and make a fresh start." The Japanese phrase kosen-rufu is often interpreted as "world peace through individual happiness." It signifies a vision of social peace brought about by the widespread acceptance of core values such as unfailing respect for the dignity of human life. On an individual level, it involves the construction of a state of life of indestructible happiness through a process of "human revolution" or inner-motivated change. On a broader societal level, it means building a peaceful society through contribution to their families and local communities made by individuals who are actively transforming their own lives.
Around the world, SGI members celebrate March 16 by holding commemorative meetings led by youth members. The spirit of March 16 is embodied in the various peace-related initiatives of carried out by SGI youth members throughout the year. The following links show a selection of such activities:
SGI-Europe Youth "True Friends" Campaign
Soka Gakkai Youth Launch Global Peace Campaign
SGI Youth Adopt Peace Declaration at Hiroshima Conference
Taiwan Soka Association and Peking University Youth Hold Exchange
Soka Gakkai Youth Visit US for Exchange Meetings
This is a wonderful explanation of Nam Myoho Renge Kyo and summary of Nichiren Buddhism! This is also a great image for sharing!
Nichiren Buddhism teaches that we can bounce to and from all of the ten worlds at any given time. We therefore have the power to acknowledge and choose which one we then reside in. Which one are you right now?
#tenworlds #truth #happiness #NMRK #nammyohorengekyo
#SGI #SGIUSA #kosenrufu #sokagakkai #sokaspirit
Sometimes the simplest explanations are the most profound. Chant Nam Myoho Renge Kyo to change your karma and your character.
"Nobel Peace Prize 2015: Likely contenders"
A recent article by CNN - follow link for full article:
Here is a wonderful little Nichiren Buddhism 101 video that is perfect to share with others! Great for Shakabuku and seeking spirits!
I recently watched an episode of PBS's NOVA celebrating the 25th Anniversary of the Hubble Space Telescope, and it is truly amazing the discoveries that this technology has brought us regarding the wonders (and size!) of the Universe!
Watching the episode made me feel so small in comparison to the vast expanse of our Universe, yet so significant knowing that I was born human and am experiencing life - such a rare opportunity!
LIFE! In a Universe where we have yet to find other life outside of our tiny planet, we all were born human - the slim chances of that happening are absolutely unfathomable...
This train of thought also reminded me of the writing of Nichiren Daishonin:
"It is rare to be born a human being. The number of those endowed with human life is as small as the amount of earth one can place on a fingernail."
This episode of NOVA has reminded me of the miracle of life, and renewed my appreciation for how wonderful life is, so I thought I'd share it. I also am sharing a link to an article from the SGI website regarding the miracle of being born human.
I would recommend reading the short article and then watching the video - Enjoy!
SGI President Ikeda’s Message for May 3, 2015
To my beloved fellow members of SGI-USA, congratulations on another glorious May 3, Soka Gakkai Day!
As this day also marks the special occasion of Soka Gakkai Mothers Day, my wife and I would like to convey our deepest appreciation for the dedicated efforts of our outstanding women’s division members—the mothers of kosen-rufu.
Let’s rejoice together as we celebrate May 3 with members around the world, amid brilliant victories and unprecedented dynamic development, in this year of the SGI’s 40th anniversary and the Soka Gakkai’s 85th anniversary.
For us, as members of the Soka family, May 3 signals a day when we make a fresh departure with a renewed vitality and commitment, reaffirming and strengthening our vow for kosen-rufu.
The accomplishment of kosen-rufu—the realization of happiness for all humankind and world peace—was the great wish and vow of Nichiren Daishonin.
In his treatise titled “On Establishing the Correct Teaching for the Peace of the Land,” the Daishonin writes: “If you care anything about your personal security, you should first of all pray for order and tranquillity throughout the four quarters of the land, should you not?” (WND-1, 24).
And in another writing, he states: “From the time that I was born until today, I have never known a moment’s ease; I have thought only of propagating the daimoku of the Lotus Sutra [that is, Nam-myoho-renge-kyo]” (WND-1, 965).
It was the Soka Gakkai’s first and second presidents, Tsunesaburo Makiguchi and Josei Toda, who, in modern times, striving in exact accord with the Daishonin’s spirit, boldly opened up the path of kosen-rufu for the sake of peace and the happiness of ordinary people. Their struggle for peace and human rights is the starting point of the SGI’s movement for peace, culture, and education that today encompasses 192 countries and territories.
The global spread of Nichiren Buddhism has been actualized through the selfless struggles of the founding presidents, united as mentor and disciple, and through the noble efforts of the Bodhisattvas of the Earth who have emerged in each country with the same commitment.
The karmic causes that have led to the appearance of the Soka Gakkai in order to realize kosen-rufu, the Buddha’s intent and decree, are infinitely profound and unfathomable.
Worldwide kosen-rufu is a great journey, aiming for the enlightenment of humanity into the eternal future of the Latter Day of the Law. Viewed in that light, the SGI, though now 40 years old, is still only in its early, pioneering days.
In a letter to the Ikegami brothers, who united together with their wives to overcome a difficult situation through faith, the Daishonin praised and encouraged them, writing: “Could there ever be a more wonderful story than your own [that will be recounted by future generations]?” (WND-1, 499).
All of you are pioneers who are blazing the great path of kosen-rufu at this significant time in accord with a vow you made in the remote past. You are precious individuals who are certain to become eternal models of the Soka Gakkai spirit, your stories inspiring countless generations to come.
The new era of worldwide kosen-rufu has dawned. May each one of you, shining as brightly as the morning sun in the place of your mission, join me in striving with courage, hope, and perseverance to encourage, warmly support, and foster fellow members. With wisdom and sincerity, may you also build a network of trust and friendship in society.
Let’s further promote and expand our great humanistic SGI movement for peace, culture, and education!
The future of kosen-rufu depends upon people. It depends upon you who share my heart and spirit. As the Daishonin writes: “The Law does not spread by itself: because people propagate it, both people and the Law are respectworthy” (Nichiren Daishonin Gosho Zenshu, p. 856).
I am praying with all my heart that you, my most dear and precious fellow members around the world, will enjoy good health, happiness, and long, fulfilling lives.
May 3, 2015 Daisaku Ikeda President, Soka Gakkai International