Based on our united efforts to strengthen the 4 Pillars of Kosen-rufu, 50,000 determined youth will gather in 2018 to respond to our mentor’s call and take a stand for the dignity of life.
In September, 18 SGI-USA youth took part in the 2016 SGI Youth Training Course in Japan. It was there that SGI President Ikeda shared the next major milestone for the development of the SGI—Nov. 18, 2018, which marks the fifth anniversary of the opening of the Hall of the Great Vow for Kosen-rufu.
In his Headquarters Leaders Meeting message, President Ikeda called on SGI members around the world:
Please promise with me to work hard over the next two years with our fellow members around the world to expand our network of Bodhisattvas of the Earth, and forge ahead with energy, wisdom and good cheer to make the triumph of mentor and disciple resound into the eternal future of the Latter Day of the Law.
Based on this message, Soka Gakkai President Minoru Harada explained that President Ikeda is putting the finishing touches on his life’s work to eternalize the Soka Gakkai, which is illuminating every corner of the globe with the great light of the humanism of the Lotus Sutra. To do so, he shared that, toward Nov. 18, 2018, it’s vital to increase both the number of Bodhisattvas of the Earth and those who practice faith based on the oneness of mentor and disciple—the shared vow to enable each person to become a Buddha.
Given the current state of American society, where hatred and discrimination continue unabated and senseless killings occur daily, the SGI-USA youth are determined to make an unequivocal statement for peace and the dignity of life in American society, based on Sensei’s philosophy of humanism and respect for the dignity of life.
Just as 50,000 youth gathered at Mitsuzawa Stadium on Sept. 8, 1957, under the banner of second Soka Gakkai President Josei Toda’s vision to abolish nuclear weapons, the SGI-USA is determined to:
Gather 50,000 American youth in 2018 under the banner of President Ikeda’s philosophy of humanism and respect for the dignity of life, with the undying hope that world peace is possible!
During the Central Executive Committee and Executive Council Meeting, SGI-USA General Director Adin Strauss stressed that this goal is not an endpoint in and of itself, but rather the process of solidifying the kosen-rufu movement in America through strengthening the 4 Pillars of Kosen-rufu. “What is going to determine victory or defeat is what we do leading up to this event,” Mr. Strauss said. “How many members can we treasure? How many people can we visit? How many youth can we inspire?”
Sensei writes of this process:
Now let me share words by [Leo] Tolstoy: “The effort of striving for goodness, the process itself, justifies our lives.”
As Tolstoy says, the entire process is meaningful, not just the goal. (Oct. 24, 2008, World Tribune, p. 5)
He also says:
“The flow of kosen-rufu—of wide-spread propagation—goes on endlessly, never ceasing. Kosen-rufu is not the end point of the flow; it is the flow itself, the vibrant coursing of this living Buddhism throughout society and the world.” (September 2016 Living Buddhism, p. 51).
SGI-USA Youth Leader David Witkowski said that the spiritual goal is to eternalize Sensei’s leadership, with Nov. 18, 2018, as the SGI’s next milestone. The process of strengthening the 4 Pillars of Kosen-rufu is of utmost importance, he said. “I hope that the youth can mesh our lives with Sensei’s vast compassion and break through our limitations by gathering 50,000 youthful disciples.”
The 4 Pillars of Kosen-rufu
Discussion meetings, study of Nichiren’s teachings, introducing others to the practice and personal guidance are the four pillars, the main components of the kosen-rufu movement.”
—SGI President Ikeda,
The New Human Revolution, vol. 18, p. 252
The starting point of kosen-rufu and
the source of absolute victory.
The monthly district study meeting will shift to an introductory meeting, with the purpose of attracting more youth and guests to the districts.
To support the development of district leaders:
1) The World Tribune will begin a new series, “Insights from Adin,” offering helpful tools for great discussion meetings, published the first Friday of each month.
2) Each region will hold district leaders training seminars in 2017.
Have 7,000 youth join the SGI-USA in 2017
to celebrate the 70th anniversary of SGI
President Ikeda joining the Soka Gakkai.
SGI President Ikeda writes, “The most distinguishing characteristic of Nichiren Buddhism is its emphasis on kosen-rufu—the widespread propagation of the Mystic Law” (September 2016 Living Buddhism, p. 51).
Spreading Buddhism is our eternal mission as Bodhisattvas of the Earth. Toward the 2018 vision to gather 50,000 youth, we will introduce 7,000 young people across the SGI-USA in 2017, which also marks 70 years since SGI President Ikeda joined the Soka Gakkai at age 19.
Engrave in our lives Nichiren Daishonin’s writings,
the teachings for achieving everlasting victory.
Encourage all eligible members and guests to take the Introductory Exam in October and continue the dynamic rhythm of study at the monthly region-led study lectures, which are based on SGI President Ikeda’s lecture series “The Buddhism of the Sun—Illuminating the World.” In order to develop youthful successors, ensure that youth team up with men’s or women’s leaders to present the lectures.
Strive to awaken each person to their limitless potential
and mission as a Bodhisattva of the Earth.
Personal guidance and encouragement in faith is the shining tradition of the SGI and its source of strength. By caring for each member, especially new and inactive members, we can give them confidence that their Buddhist practice for self and others will ensure their absolute victory.
We will strengthen this core activity by:
1) Continuing the tradition of district through national leaders challenging an average of one home visit per week.
2) Having region leaders each month make a “welcome call” to every new member who joined the SGI that month, plus make a follow-up call the following month.
3) Offering periodic new members’ meetings at the chapter or region level that include having new members plan and present at these meetings.