A Gift of Rice - One Who Dedicates Oneself to Kosen-Rufu Will Receive Protection Without Fail

In a time of famine, offering the food that is the only means for sustaining one’s life that day to the Buddha is offering one’s life to the Buddha.

(Passage from “The Three Kinds of Treasure”, The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin-1, 1,125)


The addressee and the date of the composition of this letter are unknown. The title, “The Gift of Rice”, derived from the opening passage of the letter, in which Nichiren Daishonin gave thanks for the offerings made. 


 In this passage we are studying this month, the Daishonin stated that giving what sustains or is of value to one’s life is equivalent to offering one’s life to the Buddha. In this way, the Daishonin extended his highest praise to the sincere offerings made by his disciple. Thereafter, the Daishonin said in the same letter that “earnest resolve” is the key for ordinary beings to attain Buddhahood. 

 SGI President once said in his guidance: “One cannot fathom how noble it is to sincerely devote oneself to the Mystic Law and the realization of kosen-rufu. The benefit such an individual enjoys is truly immeasurable. Such an individual will be protected at the crucial and the family will prosper. Such an individual is able to realize his or her human revolution. The children, grandchildren and future generations will all be embraced in abundant good fortune. There is no doubt about this. Such an individual will enjoy a life state of the world’s foremost champion.” 


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My family took up faith in 1955. We belonged to the Adachi chapter and offered our home in Ibaragi Prefecture as a venue for Soka Gakkai activities. However, when I was in primary 4, my father was left with a huge debt when he became a loan guarantor to his friend. Eventually, we had to let go of our house. On the day that we moved out of our house, I heard our neighbors whispering: “It must have been due to that dubious religion they are practicing.” I was greatly upset and clenched my fist in vexation. 

When I was in the first year of high school, my father died of heart attack. On that occasion again, I heard my relatives and neighbors talking amongst themselves: “All who become members of the Soka Gakkai will suffer misfortune.” 

 I was left with my mother and younger sister. Although my mother was weak in health and often fell sick, she worked hard to raise us and exerted herself in Gakkai activities at the same time. Though I was poor, I had great pride in being a member of the High School Division. I challenged and engaged myself joyfully in activities. 

As I did not have enough money to take the bus, I rode my bicycle over uneven paths to visit members of the High School Division and encouraged them as best as I could. Three months after my father’s passing, I became a member of the second batch of the Tokyo Hosu Group (a special training group in the High School Division established by President Ikeda). My mother worked hard to save enough money for me to travel to Tokyo from Ibaragi twice a month to attend the Hosu Group Meeting at the Soka Gakkai Headquarters. 

 At the Hosu Group Meeting, President Ikeda told us, “There will come a day when you are in your 50s and 60s and tell yourselves that you are indeed so glad that you have striven in the Soka Gakkai. Therefore, you must continue to hold up high the banner as a Soka Gakkai member and never bring it down.” 

 Through my encounters with President Ikeda, I consolidated my vow to live out my life together with the Soka Gakkai and my mentor till the very end. After my marriage, I brought along my two young children to all the Gakkai activities that I attended. I have never stopped nor looked back till today. 

Now, I drive around the whole of Ibaragi Prefecture in my car, attending meetings and giving personal guidance. I travel an average of 100 km a day. At times, I travel more than 150 km in a day. Over these decades, I have literally devoted myself to kosen-rufu without begrudging my time or money with the resolve to offer my life to the Law. 

 Today, my husband is now the president of our town council, having received nominations from 1250 families in this area. He is striving to his utmost to expand the circle of friendship and understanding towards the Soka Gakkai. I also joyfully participate in various community activities, by cooking food for the participants, organizing performances and songs to enable all participants to enjoy themselves. 

Through our sincere efforts, I have been able to earn the trust of the people in my community. They say, “We feel assured whenever Mrs Asano is around,” and come to me to discuss various issues that they are facing in life and the community. 

 Just as President Ikeda said, I now enjoy the luxury of being able to lead a life that is completely dedicated to the betterment of others without having to worry about anything else. I am truly indebted to my mentor and fellow members. 


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Mrs Okazaki, a fellow WD member living in Shimotsuma city in Ibaragi, also lived out her life in accord with the Gosho passage we are studying this month. 

Together with her husband who was transferred to Ibaragi by his company, Mrs Okazaki moved to the city, a completely strange land. Her only source of hope and trust was fellow Soka Gakkai members. 

Bringing along her three young children, she exerted herself in Gakkai activities without retreating a single step. She continued striving as a district leader, then as a chapter leader and later as a zone leader, single-mindedly working for the happiness of fellow members. 

Mrs Okazaki’s greatest concern was the future of her eldest son, who had speech impairment. 

Her house was one of the three houses in Ibaragi affected by ground liquefaction due to the 11 March Great Eastern Japan Earthquake. Half of her house was destroyed and no longer livable. “Why is this happening to me even though I am practicing faith?” For a split second, this thought crossed her mind. 

However, she recalled President Ikeda’s guidance: “Your karma is actually your mission.” 

With this guidance, she blew away all negative thoughts and renewed her vow to devote her life to kosen-rufu. With intense and powerful prayers, Mrs Okazaki visited every family who were victims of the earthquake, one by one, to offer wholehearted encouragement. 

Two months after the disaster, she was able to buy over a house that was about 10 years old and unaffected by the earthquake at a bargain. The new house was 2.5 times larger than her previous house. She decided to use the first floor of her home and as a venue for Gakkai activities and rent out the second floor. 

With this arrangement, she would have a regular income and no longer had to worry about the future livelihood of her eldest son. 

Furthermore, her eldest son volunteered to take over his parents’ task of delivering the Seikyo Shimbun. His parents had been delivering the paper for 20 years. Her prayers that her eldest son would grow into a person who can contribute to kosen-rufu were also answered. 

Having practiced President Ikeda’s guidance and advanced together with the Soka Gakkai both in good and bad times, Mrs Okazaki prevailed over her karma and now enjoys a remarkable life state. 

 We have now entered into a new era of kosen-rufu. 

Let us be deeply grateful for having the great good fortune to be able to live in this wonderful age and continue to strive to our utmost best and live a victorious life. 

Written by Hideko Asano, General WD Prefectural Chief of Ibaragi. Translated and adapted from the October 2013 issue of The Daibyakurange, the Soka Gakkai’s monthly study journal.

The Three Kinds of Treasure - The Essence of Buddhist Practice is to Respect All People


The heart of the Buddha’s lifetime of teachings is the Lotus Sutra, and the heart of the practice of the Lotus Sutra is found in the “Never Disparaging” chapter. What does Bodhisattva Never Disparaging’s profound respect for people signify? The purpose of the appearance in this world of Shakyamuni Buddha, the lord of teachings, lies in his behaviour as human being. The wise may be called human, but the thoughtless are more than animals.

(Passage from “The Three Kinds of Treasure”, The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, p851-2)


Background
This letter was written on the eleventh day of the ninth month of the year 1277 to Shijo Kingo.

In the sixth month of the same year, Kingo happened to be an observer at a debate during which the Tendau priest Ryuzo-bo (who had the patronage of Ryokan, the chief priest of Gokuraku-ji temple) was bested by the Daishonin’s disciple Sammi-bo (Kuwagayatsu Debate). After the debate, Ryuzo-bo’s group filed a report to Kingo’s lord, Ema, falsely accusing Kingo of fomenting trouble at the debate by using his weapon to threaten Ryuzo-bo.

Upon receiving this report, Ema threathened to banish Kingo from the Ema residence unless he abandon faith in the Lotus Sutra. However, not long later, Ema fell critically ill and it was Kingo, a skilled physician, who helped to cure him. Through this, Ema’s trust in Kingo was restored. However, because of this, Kingo incurred further jealousy from his fellow colleagues and his life was in grave danger. In this letter, Nichiren Daishonin cautioned Shijo Kingo and instructed him on the most appropriate behaviour in his trying circumstances.

Explanation
When he received this letter from Nichiren Daishonin in 1277, Shijo Kingo was in grave danger of being killed by his jealous colleagues. The Daishonin urged Kingo to be careful of his words and to conduct himself wisely to overcome the crisis.

In this passage, the Daishonin taught that “the heart of the Buddha’s lifetime of teachings is the Lotus Sutra and the heart of the practice of the Lotus Sutra is found in the ‘Never Disparaging’ chapter”. This chapter described how Bodhisattva Never Disparaging, who is Shakyamuni Buddha in a previous life, spread the Lotus Sutra despite encountering “curses and abuses” from people, some of whom “would take sticks of wood or tiles and stones and beat and pelt him”. (The Lotus Sutra, p267)

The practice of Bodhisattva Never Disparaging was to “bow in obeisance” to all people whom he encountered, and to preach that all of them could attain Buddhahood. (cf, The Lotus Sutra, p266) His actions signified that because all people possess the Buddha nature, the utmost respect should be accorded to them. The significance of Bodhisattva Never Disparaging’s practice of revering all living beings is, as the Daishonin explained, synonymous with the revelation that the purpose of Shakyamuni Buddha’s appearance in this world lies in his behaviour as a human being.

The Buddha’s essential purpose in this world is to lead all people to awaken their innate Buddhahood. This universality of Buddhahood is the teaching of the Lotus Sutra. Bodhisattva Never Disparaging’s actions were an expression of the Buddha’s intent. To act humanely in the midst of reality is the reason we practice Buddhism, and the essence of Buddhist practice is to respect all people.

The Daishonin wrote, “The wise may be called human, but the thoughtless are no more than animals.” Here he stressed the importance of conducting oneself wisely. Self-control through reason and value creation through wisdom – these are proofs of humanity. It is foolish to be at the mercy of immediate interests or transient emotions, and such a tendency is akin to the stage of Animality.

SGI President Ikeda said in his guidance, “However we choose to live, we have one life. If we are to live, therefore, why not leave behind a history of our lives? Animals are not capable of creating a history of their moral existences… People who are creating a history of their virtuous lives are truly living as humans; they are genuine sages and victors.”

Let us continue to win the trust of others in our community by conducting ourselves wisely and achieve victory with our exemplary behaviour.

The Good Medicine for All People


Moreover, the Lotus Sutra states that it is “good medicine for the ills of the people of Jambudvipa.” The people of this world of Jambudvipa are suffering from illness, but they have the medicine of the Lotus Sutra. Now in your case, the three requirements are already present, so how could you fail to recover? But if you have doubts, I am powerless to help you.

(Passage from “Reply to the Lay Priest Takahashi”, The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, p610)


Background
Nichiren Daishonin wrote this letter in 1275 at Minobu to the lay priest Takahashi Rokuro Hyoe, who lived in Kajima, in Fuji District of Suruga Province. Takahashi’s wife was the aunt of Nikko Shonin, and it was through this connection that he converted to the Daishonin’s teaching. He appeared to have been a leading figure among the lay believers in the Fuji area. It is said that Nikko Shonin stayed at his residence when Nikko Shonin waged the propagation movement in the Fuji area, using it as a central base for this movement.

At the beginning of 1275, the year that this letter was written, Takahashi fell seriously ill. This letter was written by Nichiren Daishonin in response to news of Takahashi’s illness and was entrusted to Nikki Shonin to be delivered to Takahashi.

The Daishonin taught in this Gosho that the “good medicine” in the Latter Day of the Law is none other than the teaching of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. In the concluding portion, the Daishonin encouraged Takahashi by citing examples of King Ajatashatru who overcame his illness through the good medicine of the Lotus Sutra. Shortly after receiving this letter from the Daishonin, Takahashi fully recovered from his illness.

Explanation
In the passage, Nichiren Daishonin offered warm encouragement to the lay priest Takahashi, who was suffering from a grave illness.

Quoting a passage from the “Former Affairs of the Bodhisattva Medicine King” (23rd) Chapter of the Lotus Sutra which states “… this sutra provides good medicine for the ills of the people of Jambudvipa” (The Lotus Sutra, p288), the Daishonin taught that the Lotus Sutra, specifically, the teachings of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo is the good medicine for the ills of all people in the world.

By stating that “the people of this world of Jambudvipa are suffering from illness”, the Daishonin was speaking in both literal and figurative sense. Not only was he referring to physical sickness of which the recipient of this letter, Takahashi, was suffering, but also of people’s delusions, which Buddhism describes as the three poisons of greed, anger and foolishness.

The Daishonin then explained that the great Law of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo is the good medicine that will cure the ills of the body and mind.

By saying that “the three requirements are already present”, the Daishonin was referring to the three elements necessary for the fulfillment of one’s prayers, namely, the sutra, the Buddha and the practitioner.

The sutra that Takahashi is embracing is the teaching of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, the fundamental seed of Buddhahood while the Buddha is none other than Nichiren Daishonin, the original Buddha of the Latter Day of the Law. Furthermore, Takahashi himself was sincerely dedicated to Buddhism and had contributed tremendously to kosen-rufu. Thus, Takahashi possessed all that he needed to become well. For this reason, the Daishonin encouraged him that with all three requirements fulfilled, he will overcome his illness without fail.

After Takahashi received his guidance, he did in fact overcome his illness. We can imagine that he must have struggled earnestly through faith and prayer to get well. In the final analysis, it all boils down to one’s determination. No matter how much encouragement we receive, if we have doubt or are weak in faith, our prayers will not be answered.

In the course of our journey in life, there will be times when we experience illness or painful difficulties. However, if we continue to practice sincere faith without harbouring any doubts during such adversities, our lives will never fail to move in the direction of happiness.

SGI President Ikeda said in his guidance, “It is in the midst of adversity that we should arouse a profound and strong ichinen of faith. Only then will we be able to elevate and expand our state of life to be as vast as the great ocean. The resolute ichinen of faith brings about happiness and victory in life.”

Let us always remember that with any struggle, standing up in faith based on firm determination and elevating our life condition is the powerful means to achieving a magnificent victory.

On Prolonging One’s Life Span


If you are unwilling to make efforts to heal yourself, it will be very difficult to cure your illness. One day of life is more valuable than all the treasures of the major world system, so first you must muster sincere faith. This is the meaning of the passage in the seventh volume of the Lotus Sutra that states that burning a finger is an offering to the Buddha and the Lotus Sutra is better than donating all the treasures of the major world system. A single life is worth more than the major world system. You still have many years ahead of you, and moreover you have encountered the Lotus Sutra. If you live even one day longer, you can accumulate that much more benefit. How truly precious your life is!

(Passage from “On Prolonging One’s Life Span”, The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, p955)


Background
Nichiren Daishonin sent this letter in 1279 to the lay nun, Toki, the wife of Toki Jonin. Toki Jonin was one of Nichiren Daishonin’s earliest disciples who maintained strong faith throughout his life, exerting himself in protecting the Daishonin through all ordeals. He received many important Gosho from the Daishonin, including “The Object of Devotion for Observing the Mind”. His wife, Toki, supported him throughout and maintained pure faith till the end.

When this letter was written, Toki was suffering from an illness. Upon receiving report on her illness, Nichiren Daishonin encouraged her in this letter by stating that the power of the Mystic Law can transform even fixed karma and prolong one’s life.

Explanation
Nichiren Daishonin taught the preciousness of life in the light of Buddhism, that even a single day of life surpasses all the treasures in the entire universe. The Lotus Sutra explains that because life is a treasure surpassing all others, dedicating one’s life for the good of others is a cause for creating one’s eternal good fortune. Since life is that precious, the Daishonin encouraged us to try to live even one day longer.

Lay nun, Toki, recipient of this letter, had been suffering from illness. Upon hearing this, the Daishonin penned this letter, encouraging her to first and foremost summon up courage and take action to confront her illness.

People tend to resign themselves to their circumstances, especially when faced with pain and suffering. The Daishonin urged us to challenge such a passive mindset and sense of resignation. He told Toki to keep fighting her illness with profound conviction in the words of the Lotus Sutra that expounds that “one’s life can be prolonged”.

He went on to tell Toki that because she encountered the Lotus Sutra (Nichiren Daishonin’s Buddhism) in her present lifetime, she could accumulate that much more benefit. Upholding this teaching is itself accumulating good fortune. Furthermore, despite their adverse circumstances, those who uphold the Mystic Law of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo are already teaching others through their lives, the greatness of the Law.

Therefore, the Daishonin was encouraging Toki, “You must never be defeated by your illness. You must live out your life to the fullest by dedicating it to the happiness of others and to the Mystic Law.”

SGI President Ikeda once said, “So long as we live, while ceaselessly chanting the daimoku of the Mystic Law, let us continually blaze with passionate determination and take action for kosen-rufu. The strong mind of faith forged thereby is the sole driving force which can enable us to confidently overcome the sufferings of birth and death.”

With passionate faith devoted to kosen-rufu, let us forge ahead with power and strength.

The Farther the Source, the Longer the Stream


Then how does one recognise the sage of the Lotus Sutra in this latter age? The sutra states that one who “can preach this sutra” or who “uphold this sutra” is “the envoy of the Thus Come One”. In other words, one who embraces the eight volumes, or a single volume, chapter, or verse of the Lotus Sutra, or who chants the daimoku, is the Thus Come One’s emissary. Also, one who perseveres through great persecutions and embraces the sutra from beginning to the end is the Thus Come One’s emissary.

(Passage from “The Farther the Source, the Longer the Stream”, The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, p942)


Background
This letter was written on the fifteenth day of the ninth month in the year 1278 to Shinjo Kingo.

When Kingo tried to convert his lord, Ema, in September 1274, he incurred the lord’s wrath. False accusations made against Kingo by jealous colleagues aggravated the situation and brought great agony to him. In June 1277, Lord Ema ordered Kingo to abandon his faith in the Daishonin’s teachings or face the consequence of having his service to the Ema family terminated.

However, Kingo continued to struggle based on faith in exact accordance with the Daishonin’s guidance. As a result, Kingo achieved great victory at the end. Eventually, Ema could clearly perceive Kingo’s sincere and dedicated service and renewed his trust in him. Ema bestowed upon Kingo a fief far larger than the one he already has. He reported this news to the Daishonin immediately. This letter was written in response to Kingo’s report.

Explanation
In this passage, Nichiren Daishonin quoted from the Lotus Sutra to explain in simple terms what “a sage of the Lotus Sutra is, in the Latter Day of the Law.

The Lotus Sutra explains that “a sage of the Lotus Sutra” is an envoy of the Thus Come One, the Buddha and is a person who can preach the Lotus Sutra and also uphold it.

In the present day context, “one who embraces the eight volumes, or a single volume, chapter, or verse of the Lotus Sutra, or who chants the daimoku” refers to anyone who upholds faith in the Gohonzon and shares the benefits of practising the Daishonin’s Buddhism.

The Daishonin also stated, “One who perseveres through great persecutions and embraces the sutra from beginning to the end is the Thus Come One’s emissary.” The true envoys of the Buddha are those who maintain their faith no matter what sort of hardships they encounter.

In light of this passage, SGI members – who embrace the Daishonin’s correct teachings and exert themselves for the sake of others – are the noble envoys of the Buddha.

Social position and wealth do not determine how noble we are. True nobility is determined by the philosophy we choose to uphold, the kind of action we take and by how we live our lives. People who uphold the Mystic Law and strive earnestly in the frontlines of kosen-rufu activities are worthy of the greatest respect.

It is essential, therefore, that we have heartfelt respect for one another and treat one another with utmost kindness and care. By cherishing our fellow members, we are also raising our own state of life and accumulating good fortune.

SGI President Ikeda explained this point in his guidance, “SGI members who are earnestly striving for the realisation of kosen-rufu are the Daishonin’s envoys and the Buddha’s heirs. By praising the members, one accumulates benefits for oneself and strengthens one’s Buddhahood. In fact, though one is praising the other person, one is, in effect, praising one’s own Buddhahood. This is the Buddhist principle of the oneness of oneself and others – that we and others are one and indivisible.”

Let us forge ahead together in the spirit if mutual respect and harmony for the attainment of kosen-rufu.

Questions and Answers about Embracing the Lotus Sutra


All the various teachings of the Buddha are spread by persons. As T’ien-t’ai said: “Even during the Buddha’s lifetime, the Law was revealed by people. How, then, in the latter age, can one say that the Law is worthy of respect, but that the person who upholds it is to be despised?” Hence, if the Law that one embraces is supreme, then the person who embraces it must accordingly be foremost among all others.

(Passage from “Questions and Answers about Embracing the Lotus Sutra”, The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, p61)

Background
Although there are different opinions concerning the date of this letter, it is generally accepted that Nichiren Daishonin wrote it in the third month of the year 1263, shortly after he had been pardoned from exile on the Izu Peninsular and had returned to Kamakura. The recipient is not known.

As the title indicates, this work discusses the significance of embracing the Lotus Sutra and is written in the form of questions and answers.

Explanation
Nichiren Buddhism, no matter how wonderful its teaching may be, cannot be spread by itself. Nor can it reveal its greatness without practitioners who embrace and spread it widely in society. The future of Nichiren Buddhism is, therefore, determined by its practitioners.

In other words, no matter which era, the people who practice and spread Nichiren Daishonin’s teachings are most essential. So it is important to strengthen our resolve and capacity for the widespread of Buddhism and at the same time, to help others develop themselves into able successors in our community of faith.

Because the Buddhist teaching is important in bringing peace and happiness, the people who uphold and spread it become worthy of respect. This is precisely why T’ien-t’ai expounded that it is erroneous to esteem the Mystic Law while despising its practitioners. He taught that if one finds the Law worthy of respect, one must also respect those who embrace the Law.

As Nichiren Daishonin wrote, “if the Law that one embraces is supreme, then the person who embraces it, must accordingly be foremost among all others”, those who uphold and spread the Mystic Law are worthy of utmost respect, regardless of their social status or secular circumstances.

Because it is the people who spread Buddhism, cherishing each person dedicated to the spread of Buddhism amounts to valuing Buddhism itself. Conversely, despising or slandering the people who uphold Buddhism is equivalent to despising or slandering Buddhism.

In this sense, it is absolutely vital to cherish and encourage one another as fellow members who are practicing Nichiren Buddhism. Protecting and encouraging one person leads to the advancement of all.

Only with unity and solidarity forged through mutual respect and encouragement can the movement of kosen-rufu be advanced. SGI President Ikeda said in his guidance, “Cherishing every person – this is the tradition of the Soka Gakkai spirit passed down through generations. Extending ourselves to those who are suffering and encouraging them wholeheartedly through dialogue – we must never forget this tradition. There can be no genuine Buddhist practice without wholeheartedly encouraging each person, without taking action for the sake of each person.”

Let us extend mutual respect and encouragement to our fellow members as we continue to advance kosen-rufu with courage and fervour.

Sowing the Seed of the Law


Shakyamuni Buddha is the original teacher for all people, and moreover, he is endowed with the virtues of sovereign and parent. Because I have expounded this teaching, I have been exiled and almost killed. As the saying goes, “Good advice grates on the ear.” But still I am not discouraged. The Lotus Sutra is like the seed, the Buddha like the shower, and the people like the field.

(Passage from “The Essentials for Attaining Buddhahood”, The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, p748)

Background
This letter was written in the right month of 1276 at Minobu. It is addressed to Soya, a lay follower who lived in Soya Village in Shimosa Province. His full name and title were Soya Jiro Hyoe-no-jo Kyoshin, and he is thought to have been a samurai who governed this province.

He was converted to Nichiren Daishonin’s teaching around 1260 and became one of the leading believers in the area, together with Akimoto Taro and Ota Jomyo. Soya had social standing and most comparatively more affluent. The fact that most letters addressed to Soya by Nichiren Daishonin were written in classical Chinese indicates that he was also well-educated.

Explanation
In this passage, Nichiren Daishonin made the point that people should understand who their fundamental teacher is. The word, “Shakyamuni”, here indicates that people should revere Shakyamuni Buddha as their teacher, as opposed to other Buddhas like Amida. The Japanese people during the Daishonin’s time had to an extent “lost sight” of Shakyamuni Buddha and his most important teaching, the Lotus Sutra. Here, the Daishonin tried to establish the importance of following the original teacher, Shakyamuni Buddha in the hope of leading people to the Lotus Sutra and ultimately to his teachings of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo.

From the viewpoint of Nichiren Buddhism however, the Daishonin himself is the fundamental teacher who taught that the source of enlightenment is Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. Because the Daishonin dedicated his life to the spread of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, he faced a series of life-threatening persecutions. He was exiled to Izu and Sado, he was attacked with a sword at Komatsubara, and he was nearly beheaded at Tatsunokuchi.

In the face of all this, the Daishonin said, “Still I am not discouraged.” He courageously expressed he determination to never stop – to always propagate the great Law and lead people to happiness – no matter how great the difficulty.

As SGI members, it is our challenge to maintain the determination to practice faith and strive for kosen-rufu no matter what obstacles we may face. However, if we become stagnant and backslide in faith, we will be going against the teachings of the Daishonin.

An important point of the determination to practice as the Daishonin intended involves telling others about the Law. The Daishonin taught in this passage, “The Lotus Sutra is like the seed, the Buddha like the shower, and the people like the field.” Nam-myoho-renge-kyo is the fundamental seed of Buddhahood that allows people to attain limitless happiness and joy. Naturally, we should direct the lives of our friends and family towards enlightenment by “sowing the seed” of Buddhahood. Simply sharing Buddhism with others, regardless of whether they choose to practice or not, implants benefit in their lives.

Because we are calling forth the Buddha nature of others when we share the Mystic Law with them, it is important to talk about Buddhism with sincerity.

President Ikeda said, “Nichiren Buddhism is the Buddhism of sowing. By sharing the teachings of the Daishonin, we are advancing kosen-rufu. For this reason, such actions accrue boundless benefits and good fortune. Such actions constitute upholding justice and the eternal posterity of the true Law.”

Strengthening our Buddhist practice and sharing it with others promotes the advancement of our kosen-rufu movement. Good fortune and virtue lie in our efforts to spread Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. This is the correct way to sow the seed of happiness in people’s lives.