On Establishing the Correct Teaching for the Peace of the Land

If you care anything about your personal security, you should first of all pray for order and tranquility throughout the four quarters of the land, should you not?

(Passage from “On Establishing the Correct Teaching for the Peace of the Land”, The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, p6-32)

“On Establishing the Correct Teaching for the Peace of the Land” was a leter of admonition submitted to Hojo Tokiyuri, the retired regent but the most influential member of the ruling Hojo clan. It was written on the seventh month of 1260. Nichiren Daishonin was 39 when he wrote this treatise in Kamakura, seven years after declaring the establishment of his teaching. The title, “On Establishing the Correct Teaching for the Peace of the Land”, means realising a peaceful world through human revolution – an inner transformation in the very depths of every individual.

Around the time this document was written, the people in Japan were experiencing enormous suffering as the nation was repeatedly plagued by natural disasters such as severe earthquakes, droughts, typhoons and epidemics which resulted in major famines. The Daishonin pointed out that the cause for the nation’s continual calamities lay in the people turning their backs on the correct Buddhist teaching and instead support erroneous doctrines. He urged Hojo Tokiyori to discard his adherence and support for such teachings and be awakened to the teachings of the Mystic Law.

Nichiren Daishonin knew his admonishment of Hojo Tokiyori would incur the wrath of not only the de factor leader of the nation but also numerous powerful people in the government and religious realm. But the Daishonin was fully prepared for the eventuality of being the target of severe persecutions. Just as the Daishonin expected, he encountered one life-threatening persecution after another since his submission of “On Establishing the Correct Teaching for the Peace of the Land”. It has been said that the Daishonin’s lifetime teachings began and end with the “On Establishing the Correct Teaching for the Peace of the Land”. The Daishonin lived true to his words, dedicating his entire life n pursuit of the realization of a powerful society based on this spirit.

The passage we are studying this month describes the social responsibility of a Buddhist practitioner. The host, which represents the Daishonin in this treatise says to his guest that if one is concerned at all for one’s “personal security”, that is, one’s own happiness, one must first “pray for order and tranquility throughout the four quarters of the land”, that is, the realization of a peaceful society.

If the world and society that we are living n is plagued with constant warfare, conflict or disasters, it will be impossible for us to enjoy personal happiness. In this sense, peace is the foundation of everything.

SGI President Ikeda once wrote that one can never enjoy genuine personal happiness selfishly for oneself alone. He asserted that true happiness can only be savoured when one becomes happy together with others and that in order to achieve this, it is important for the lives of each individual to be firmly rooted in the humanistic philosophy of Buddhism.

President Ikeda further asserted, “War is not only cruel, miserable and ugly, it is the manifestation of the most hideous and wretched functions of human life. It is a devilish act that strips people of the nobility and dignity of life that strips them of everything it is to be human.”

The members of Hiroshima, the land where the first atomic bomb exploded some 60 years ago, have savoured these words with their lives. They have courageously stood up to fight against this most hideous and wretched function of human life and to protect the sanctity of life.

Today, we live in a world where the spirit of “altruism” is scarce; where people are indifferent to the sufferings of others and some even pursue happiness at the expense of others, building their happiness on other’s sufferings. This can well be said to be the “one great evil” that destroy peace and create conflicts.

On the other hand, President Ikeda teaches us to always uphold the spirit of cherishing others as fellow human beings and to treasure our social network in our community. This, itself is the path towards lasting global peace.


Many fellow SGI members in Hiroshima cannot agree more with this. Mdm Kwok, a vice women division district leader in Hiroshima was an A-bomb victim. She was 17 when she was exposed to the bome. Although she got married, she suffered tremendously from the severe aftereffects of the A-bomb, spending most of the time being bedridden. In addition, her family had difficulty making ends meet. As if these were not enough, Mdm Kwok was a Korean residing in Japan and since young, she had continuously being discriminated against. Burdened with so many sufferings, she wished she was better off dead, but yet she could not die. On the other hand, life was simply too harsh for her to continue living.

In 1958, a neighbour introduced her to Nichiren Buddhism and she decided to take up faith. As she continued her practice, she began regaining her health and her husband’s career became more stabilised. At the same time, through participating in SGI activities, she could feel that something deep in her life began to change and she found that she could now live with pride as a human being, as a Korean residing in Japan.

In 1987, she was approached to share her experience as a Korean A-bomb victim in Japan with students who are visiting Hiroshima on school trips from all over the country. She courageously took up the challenge in the hope of contributing her part for the betterment of the society. Since then, for the past 20 years, she has been relating her experience and the message of peace to visiting students in Hiroshima. In 1996, Mdm Kwok was conferred the Prime Minister’s Award from Korea in recognition of her tremendous contribution.

Mdm Kowk never fails to tell the students on each occasion, “The prime point of peace is found in the act of spreading kindness to the people around you. In order to create a world that is filled with kindness, you must first cultivate yourself – both spiritually and physically.”

Mdm Kwok was once a woman who could only weep over her misfortunes and karma. But through her encounter with Buddhism, she is now a woman who not only prays but also acts for the sake of peace. She has found her unique path of mission. All of us, as individuals, may seem insignificant. However, when we are awakened to our mission through faith in the Mystic Law, we can even “move the entire world”. I believe this is what Mdm Kwok has taught us through her life experience.

Let us become individuals who not only pray but take courageous action for “order and tranquility throughout the four quarters of the land”.

Translated and adapted from an article written by Kimiko Tsuji, Women Division Study Chief for Chugoku Prefecture, published on August 2005 issue of The Daibyakurenge, the Soka Gakkai’s monthly study journal.