October 2004 Study Material

SGI-USA Men's Division Monthly Meetings
Suggested study material for October 2004

Opening a Powerful Path to Peace from Within:
Changing Karma into Mission

The suggested material for the men’s meetings in October comes from a poem by SGI President Ikeda, which he presented to SGI members in September of 1999. As we move into the last few months of 2004, the Year of Total Soka Victory, many members have reflected on the necessity of courage and strength in order to attain victory themselves. Suggested discussion questions follow the excerpted material.

Become Strong!

— Daisaku Ikeda


Become strong!
Become strong!
Become strong without fail!
We need strength to be happy,
To be victorious.
The strong can help others
Transform their lives
Into lives of value,
Dedicated to truth,
Leading to happiness and peace.

Weakness is a source of misery –
Weakness
Is to live in fear;
Weakness incurs people’s scorn
And abuse;
It has no power to fight back.

Weakness is a source of unhappiness –
It will make you a loser
And a coward.
The weak are bereft of good fortune;
The prayers of cowards are not answered.

What transforms such weakness
Into strength
Is faith,
Buddhist practice,
And struggle.

Cowards
Burn with jealousy,
Often resenting others’ happiness,
Maligning and attacking excellence.
They are losers in life,
Pathetic and base,
Possessing neither faith nor character.

Courageous people of justice and truth
Look down upon
The likes of such treacherous cowards;
They pay them no heed,
Advancing serenely
Toward the future,
As lions.

The brave-hearted
Rejoice in struggles,
Welcoming them with pleasure and joy.
The cowardly
Lose in every battle;
They are gloomy, cheerless
And pathetic.

Fear is hell;
Courage is joy.

Never forget
That devotion to faith,
Without begrudging our lives,
Forges, in the depths of our beings,
The heart of an indomitable hero,
The supreme state of life.

With an intrepid spirit
We solemnly adorn this existence
With justice, courage and triumph!



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Suggested questions for discussion:

1. Do you struggle with weaknesses? Can you share some of these struggles?

2. President Ikeda writes that “faith, Buddhist practice, and struggle” transform weakness into strength. Have you experienced this, to whatever extent? How do you think each of these three components help us to achieve this transformation?

3. Reflecting back to our theme of “changing karma into mission,” why do you think “becoming strong” is important to fulfilling your mission?