The Human Revolution Vol. V
Readings for May, 2007
(Chapter titles and page numbers from the current edition are given for each excerpt)
“Blazing Sun” pp. 545-547
After overcoming tremendous obstacles in both his personal life and in support of the Gakkai’s growth, Toda is inaugurated as the second president on May 3, 1951. Here, Director Yoshizo Mishima introduces Toda’s acceptance speech.
“Our mission as the Bodhisattvas of the Earth is clear to us. But we require a strong leader to shoulder the presidency of the Soka Gakkai and to lead us in the execution of our task. Seven years have also passed since the Soka Gakkai began its reconstruction. Now, along with the 3,080 members who, with heartfelt delight and prayer, signed their names to The List of Supporters of President Toda, I call upon Mr. Josei Toda to accept the position of second president.”
Cheers shook the hall. The storm of applause continued for quite some time, speaking more eloquently than any words both of Toda’s acceptance of the presidency and the members’ joy. At this long-awaited moment of exuberant jubilation, the excitement and delight of the members filled the hall and shone like the brilliant burning sun of midsummer.
Mishima folded the manuscript of his speech and left the rostrum, a feeling of regret passing briefly through his mind: “Why didn’t we recommend him for president earlier? How we have wasted precious time! I feel sorry for the members. We must make up for lost time.”
At that moment, the ringing voice of the moderator, Harayama, resounded: “The resolution!”
Mishima rose again and took his place on the rostrum. He found the tall figure of Josei Toda already present on the platform. The faint hum of U.S. airplanes overhead drifted down. Toda and Mishima stood facing each other across the rostrum.
Mishima took out a sheet of fine Japanese paper on which the resolution had been written neatly. As Toda watched, his eyes shining behind his glasses, Mishima held the sheet at eye level. The paper trembled slightly in his hands, and a hush fell over the audience as the breathtaking moment approached.
“The great cause of kosen-rufu will ascend from this moment just as the sun mounts to the crest of the sky,” Mishima intoned. “From this memorable day onward, all members of the Soka Gakkai will follow the direction of our president, Josei Toda, thinking nothing of our own lives and regarding his leadership as an order of the Four Great Bodhisattvas.”
This was spoken in a dignified voice. Immediately there arose a whirlwind of applause. Still, Toda stood unmoving and calm, without the slightest change in his expression. Above his head hung the gilded canopy of the temple. Mishima returned stiffly to his seat. Toda, lightly touching the edge of the lectern, bowed to the cheering audience and gazed out over the hall with a stern and resolute expression.
“I may not be competent enough to succeed Mr. Makiguchi as Soka Gakkai president,” he said. “I must tell you that a mystic experience has made me decide to assume the presidency. Shortly after he established his teachings, Nichiren Daishonin wrote ‘On Establishing the Correct Teaching for the Peace of the Land.’ Now, seven hundred years later, the Chinese mainland has been overrun by the communists, and Korea has fallen victim to conflict among the superpowers.
“At this critical moment, if we remain idle onlookers, what punishment would we suffer upon our entry to Eagle Peak? Doubtless, we would be doomed to the hell of incessant suffering. Although I may be an unworthy disciple, I resolve to take the office of president with an absolute determination to dedicate my life to the Gohonzon, cherishing unflinching faith.”
Toda revealed an emotion-filled determination that he found extremely difficult to describe. The way he lived and acted from that moment on, throughout his life, sprang from his resolution at this particular moment.
The listeners hung on his words as he continued: “From around the spring of 1943, our late president used to say reproachfully, ‘The Soka Gakkai must reveal its true identity.’ We, unworthy of being called his disciples, only suffered embarrassment, however, not knowing what to do. In July 1945, it was my great honor to be able to leave prison with the conviction that ‘I am a Bodhisattva of the Earth.’ This confidence gradually came to be shared by you, but it was still a matter of individual members, far from the Soka Gakkai itself revealing its true identity and fulfilling its mission.”
His speech continued, sometimes in a deep, firm manner like that of a broad river and at other times steady and noble like a clear mountain stream.
“However,” he went on “the Soka Gakkai as a whole has come to sense its great mission and become active with a deep collective conviction. In our superficial understanding, or in our outward appearance, we are Bodhisattvas of the Earth, but from the viewpoint of our inner faith, we are kindred souls and disciples of Nichiren Daishonin. Whether we stand in the presence of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas or in the depths of hell, we still chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo and have one thing we can always be proud of in our hearts—the Gohonzon.
“We observe the Daishonin’s teachings and faithfully translate into practice the Lotus Sutra of seven characters both for our own sake and for the sake of others, refuting all misleading schools. In this way, we will inherit the will of our late president as delegates for kosen-rufu in the world, as well as in the Orient, and we will die, whenever the time may come, in front of the Gohonzon. This being our conviction, can this be anything other than the revelation of the complete and true identity of the Soka Gakkai?”
With tears in their eyes, his listeners could respond to Toda only with stormy applause. Among them there must have been some who were suffering from illness, some haggard from fighting poverty, some living in the depths of hell and others deep in the abyss of total suffering. This very moment, however, they realized that the path to overcoming their troubles lay in devoting their lives to faith.
“Since we will greet the 700th anniversary of Nichiren Daishonin’s Buddhism next year, I firmly believe that now is the perfect time for a nationwide propagation campaign. We should be prepared to devote our own lives to attain kosen-rufu, respectfully following the Buddha’s mandate. On this occasion, I wish to announce the unanimous desire of the Soka Gakkai to ask that High Priest Nissho bestow upon us a special Gohonzon inscribed for the attainment of the sublime goal—kosen-rufu.”
On this day, Josei Toda clearly defined the mission and character of the Soka Gakkai, both of which should be maintained in the future as well. It was also Toda’s day to reveal his true identity. The days preceding this, however, had been as difficult as walking along a precipitous cliff.
Only a few months before, he had sustained all the suffering and tribulations of a lifetime, waiting and praying for the coming of this very day. In secret, he had taken every precaution against any possible and sudden barrier. Thus, he resigned from the position of general director and intensified his education of Shin’ichi Yamamoto.
* * * * * * *
“Blazing Sun” pp. 549-551
As Toda’s business struggles on the brink of collapse, he encourages his demoralized employees to continue with firm conviction in the power of the Mystic Law. He assures them, as the Daishonin promises, that winter always turns to spring.
Toda could only too well read their minds, but since every method he employed to restore the company proved ineffective, he could do nothing to allay their frustrations. One day in early February, Toda gazed out the office window toward a corner of the neglected garden.
“Look. Look at that dry grass over there.”
The clerks suspiciously glanced to where Toda was pointing. Since no one had kept up the garden, it was in disarray with tawny weeds from the previous autumn. The employees thought they were being reproached for their negligence.
“Look carefully. There are green buds under the dry grass. ‘Winter always turn to spring’ (WND, 536). Such is the mystic power of life that nothing can suppress. It is the same power of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo that penetrates the universe. What power could there be within the dead grass to enable it to bring forth new buds? Yet this power truly exists.”
One of the young women went out and pushed aside the weeds. At the roots of the grass she saw little green buds growing here and there. She raised her voice: “Oh, they’re pretty.”
Toda spoke to those around him with a smile:
“In the eyes of the people, our company is something like dry grass. Even you yourselves believe this, don’t you? But it is a mistake to think so. In fact, we have endured a long winter, but spring is not far away. No doubt spring is just around the corner. We have pure faith and Nam-myoho- renge-kyo itself. People may scornfully say our company is like dead grass, but the time will definitely come when it will sprout new buds. If you believe in the Daishonin’s Buddhism, believe also in what I tell you. You have only to endure a little longer. Our sufferings may seem to last for a long time, but they cannot last forever. Let’s keep up with our work.”
Toda casually—yet from his heart—said all this to no one in particular. Nonetheless, it made a great impression in the hearts of all the clerks.
New buds had appeared in the southern part of the garden, but no one discovered them until Toda pointed them out. The scene vividly reminded one employee of a passage from the Gosho: “Those who believe in the Lotus Sutra are as if in winter, but winter always turns to spring. Never, from ancient times on, has anyone heard or seen of winter turning back to autumn. Nor have we ever heard of a believer in the Lotus Sutra who turned into an ordinary person” (WND, 536).
An unwavering conviction—or a rather calm countenance of determined struggle—returned to every face. They had seen before when Toda’s confident guidance exerted a positive influence upon negative situations. Now that Toda, who cared about his workers so much, had taken leadership in the forefront of their struggle, all his clerks felt they were truly in good hands.
* * * * * * *
“Blazing Sun” pp. 551-552
While under tremendous pressure from creditors because of his business failures, Toda experiences an unexpected and profound connection with the universe. Shortly thereafter, a dramatic transformation in his situation occurs.
It was around the same time that Toda experienced a mysterious happening, a moment of revelation, so to speak. One cold day in February, there was no wind, but the whiteness of one’s breath showed the bitterness of the day. Late in the afternoon, Toda left his office and walked briskly toward the station. The sky was bright with strange, red clouds— a sunset rarely seen in winter. His breath was white, but strangely enough, he felt no cold. The sky seemed unusually bright, almost like a summer evening.
Toda was evidently moved by a profound feeling. He gazed at the distant heavens, and at that moment, he felt as if his mind were expanding endlessly. Suddenly, he was enveloped by a world of majestic brilliance. His feet seemed to carry him forward steadily without any noticeable change, but he saw and remembered instantly that same moment of jubilation he had first experienced in prison when deep contemplation resulted in clear and complete awareness of the infinite profundity of life.
His mind continued to expand until it became as large as the universe, or rather it could have been that the unbounded universe had poured into his heart. He chanted Nam-myoho-renge-kyo in his mind and trembled with an irrepressible joy. With a complete sense of his own life, he easily felt the moment expanding into eternity.
At one point, he casually stopped and looked about him, only to once more find gray streets, lonely houses and pedestrians hunched over in the cold. He came to himself, but the sense of what he had just experienced with his entire being would not disappear. It continued to glow in the depths of his life. All the restraints of his mind were swept away as if in a flood. He did not speak but repeatedly thought to himself: “How thankful, how grateful, indeed! I am surely under the Gohonzon’s protection. My life could not exist without the Gohonzon.”
All this took place on a busy street at twilight. Night school students in groups rushed by him one after another. It was a few days later that an informal note was delivered to the credit association, then in the process of liquidation. It said that if the depositors of the association could reach an agreement among themselves, the association’s dissolution would be permitted and the authorities concerned would no longer hold Toda legally responsible.
The situation began to undergo a remarkable transformation. A thin but powerful ray of sunlight had appeared from behind the dark clouds.
The trying days since the end of last August—days buffeted by gusts of wind, raging waves and autumn frost—might have been but a nightmare. Legal prosecution of Toda had been absolutely inevitable, the situation being completely hopeless. His lawyers had earlier given up Toda’s case. What, then, had brought about such a fortunate situation? Toda was now able to understand it quite clearly.
The Immeasurable Meanings Sutra reads, “All meanings come from the One Law.” The supreme law of cause and effect is the Buddhist law. Toda alone grasped the most certain proof of the formula: “The Buddhist law is always greater than any man-made law.” The great Buddhism of Nichiren Daishonin saved Toda and simultaneously alerted him to his great mission.
Now that he had no more worries, he made a solid resolution to dedicate the rest of his life to the fulfillment of his mission. He would have to shun the slightest hint of hesitation, cowardice and pleasure-seeking. At this moment, the entire course of the remainder of his life was firmly established.
* * * * * * *
“Blazing Sun” pp. 561-562
In his inaugural address, Toda cautions members to beware of arrogant and aberrant priests.
The few months prior to May 3, 1951, when Toda was inaugurated as president, had been severe. Toda was forced to surmount a great many obstacles in a short period. Every day was the focus of his most careful arrangements, precise, minute considerations and bold planning and execution. He made the most exhaustive efforts to attain his earnest wishes.
Now as he made his inaugural resolution, he took a broad view of the future and vowed to deal immediately with all foreseeable obstructions. After announcing his request for the Gohonzon specially inscribed for the attainment of kosen-rufu, he voiced his sincere wish for the unity of clergy and laity.
“Needless to say, we resolve to strengthen the bond of unity between priests and lay believers even further from now on.
“Unfortunately, however, I hear there are some priests, though very few in number, who dampen the enthusiasm of believers for propagation, saying, ‘We cannot bestow the Gohonzon so easily.’ The Gohonzon is dedicated to all people and is not only for the possession of a few. Such an act should be regarded as contradictory to the Buddha’s will. Even if temples are built, what use are they if priests refuse to bestow the Gohonzon? In that case we would only be building shelters for priests. Kosen-rufu is not a program of building temples. In conclusion, as Nichiren Daishonin’s Buddhism spreads, Buddhist edifices as centers for propagation become necessary, therefore, temples are built.
“Again, it is our greatest regret as believers to hear that an evil priest, named Jiko Kasahara, remains in the priesthood of Nichiren Shoshu. During the war he tormented the high priest and invited persecution of the Soka Gakkai by asserting that the Buddha is nothing but the shadow of the Shinto god.”
Toda’s voice was so strict it sounded like a condemnation. He sincerely wanted the priests to comprehend how they should act in the days of trial and tribulation. Toda was forced to say this: If priests lack enthusiasm for attaining kosen-rufu, sincere believers will suffer and have no choice but to sacrifice themselves. The unity of priesthood and laity is an axiomatic principle to be definitely proclaimed in the light of the Daishonin’s teachings. Without this spirit, ours is in no way different from other schools— or even from erroneous schools of feudalistic ages. Unless the principle is fully realized, our religion cannot be called modern or last eternally.
Thus, he added:
“We will respect our good priests, but we will admonish and refute aberrant ones. At the same time, we will protect our clergy from all enemies. Thus I wish for us to attain the unity of priests and lay believers.
“I sincerely hope the priests will admire this conviction of the Soka Gakkai and that, with the spirit of our unity, the priests will cherish the believers, while the latter respect the former. There should not be any discontent on either part. In such unity, both should observe the Daishonin’s teachings. I heartily pray that the day will come when the Gohonzon will spread far and wide, from Japan to the rest of the Orient and then to the entire world.”
One year after Toda made this statement—in April, during the celebration of the 700th anniversary of the establishment of Nichiren Daishonin’s Buddhism—the regrettable “Kasahara incident” would occur. At that time, Toda would be deeply concerned that underlying this incident was the root cause that had yet to be eradicated, which might pose a threat to the future of the priesthood.
* * * * * * *
“Overwhelming Joy” p. 573
Following his inauguration on May 3, 1951, Toda engaged in exhaustive self-reflection about the Soka Gakkai’s capacity to fulfill its mission. Toda realized that without genuine faith as its axis, the organization could lose its pure focus on the happiness of all people.
“The organization must be alive in every aspect. We have to discard the simplistic idea that whenever people gather an organization can be formed. When each segment becomes a strong, polished cog in a wheel and then enmeshed with other cogs, the entire organization can begin to hum as a gigantic living entity and function for the happiness of the people and the prosperity of society. But something is lacking. What is this essential ingredient?” Toda pondered the subject for a long time.
From his vantage point as president, he carefully checked each of the cogs—the chapters, the Lecture Department, the women’s division, the young men’s and young women’s divisions as well as the newspaper. These cogs seemed like equally brilliant gems in his hand. Apparently, however, they were still rough and jagged stones. To make them jewels of splendor, he himself would have to strive to polish them as quickly as possible. He had, he thought, been making such efforts for the past seven years, but clearly something was lacking. What was this intrinsic something?
Toda cast aside every methodology, and after exhaustive self-reflection, his shrewd intuition led him to this conclusion: People become mentally preoccupied with formalities before they even realize it and are thus swayed by phenomena. Because ours is an organization based on the Mystic Law, the axis of the organization must be nothing but genuine faith.
At this point, he realized that what had been missing in the Gakkai was its own special Gohonzon. Without the enshrinement of its own special Gohonzon as its indestructible axis, the Soka Gakkai or the organization of the Mystic Law could not possess true life force. At the inaugural ceremony, he had already proposed a petition to ask for a special Gohonzon to be bestowed especially upon the Soka Gakkai. He hurriedly set about sincerely writing a petition:
* * * * * * *
“Overwhelming Joy” p. 587
Looking towards the Gakkai’s future development, in 1951 Toda began training a group of fourteen selected Youth Division.
In the previous autumn, when he had suffered the hardest time of his life with the collapse of his business, Toda began the special training of fourteen selected members of the youth division. He held meetings two or three times a month. It was always uncertain what would happen to him next, yet Toda never missed one of these meetings despite his extreme fatigue, physical and mental.
Many politicians take advantage of youths or even sacrifice them to maintain their own fame. But true leaders sacrifice only themselves for the future glory of youth, protecting them from behind the scenes. Toda’s strict discipline continued at these meetings. No one was allowed to be even a minute late for any reason whatsoever. Toda intended to consign all Gakkai matters to these fourteen after his death. He devoted himself with unusual vigor to their training, using the Gosho and illustrating his points with various examples from literature. His discipline was extremely serious. His guidance comprised his entire will for the objective of kosen-rufu.
In his heart, Toda was not able to count on the adult leaders any longer. During the wartime persecution, he had seen senior leaders recant, and during the postwar period of reconstruction, seemingly dependable fellow members who had shared with him joys and sorrows for many years had slipped away from the fold. Good-natured as he was, Toda had bitter experiences with these leaders who had betrayed his confidence. “Adults are unreliable. I must place my trust in young people.” His only hope was youth.
* * * * * * *
“Overwhelming Joy” p. 589
At the inauguration of the YMD on July 11, 1951, Toda surprises the audience with the pronouncement that the next president of the Soka Gakkai is within their midst.
Silence fell upon the audience, anxious eyes were fixed on Toda. Finally he stepped toward the lectern. Thunderous applause welcomed him, as everyone awaited his words. But Toda began to speak casually about something quite different from their expectations.
“The next president of the Soka Gakkai will without doubt appear from among those present here today. I believe he is here. I wish to express my heartfelt congratulations to him.”
Toda’s voice rang alternately high and low with genuine feeling. The young men unconsciously bristled, hearing such completely unexpected words. Some must have wondered, “He said the third president is here among us. Who on earth can he be?” It was a question far beyond their answering.
Toda glanced at Shin’ichi Yamamoto in the center of the hall but instantly diverted his eyes.
* * * * * * *
“Overwhelming Joy” p. 590
In January of 1951, at the lowest point in Toda’s business difficulties, he calls Shin’ichi to his home. Facing the possibility of imprisonment and ruin, he entrusts his young disciple with the responsibility for his family, his businesses and the Soka Gakkai.
“Shin’ichi, I have something to tell you. I want you to listen carefully. Now I must be prepared for the worst, and that is why I have been putting all my documents in order. I will report to the legal prosecutors on my own accord. This is an emergency measure. In case there are accusations, I don’t know what will become of me. Therefore, I would like to clarify what should be done if anything happens…”
As Toda spoke, Ikue burst into tears. She threw herself down as if to stop her sobbing. Toda, who watched her in surprise, spoke in an angry and gruff voice. “What a way to act! You weep when the general is at bay and is about to make his last stand.”
Toda’s grief pierced the hearts of Shin’ichi and Ikue. He quelled his anger, looked at Shin’ichi and spoke again: “You must not be mistaken about this. What should be done hereafter is important. Shin’ichi, should the worst happen, I entrust you with everything—the Soka Gakkai, the credit association and the Daito Commerce and Industry Company. Will you take charge of them and, if possible, my family as well? Listen, Ikue.”
Shin’ichi was instantly consumed by extraordinary emotions. The twenty-three-year-old youth had been thrown into astonishment and confusion, he was speechless.
“Shin’ichi, you may think I have left you singular bequests, but you share the mission that I was born into this world to achieve, as you know. Whatever may happen, brace yourself. If you and I devote our entire beings to this mission, the time will doubtless come when the Daishonin’s will shall be accomplished. Whatever people may say, forge ahead persistently and powerfully with me.”
Shin’ichi raised his wet eyes and, facing Toda squarely, said: “Sensei, please don’t worry. I have long been prepared to dedicate my entire life to you without any regrets. I will remain so for eternity.”
* * * * * * *
“Overwhelming Joy” p. 599
At the 1951 Summer General Meeting, Finance Department leader Izumida announces a profound change in the funding of Gakkai activities.
Unlike other occasions, Izumida spoke with passion clearly evident in his face. He spoke to the following effect:
“Until now, the Soka Gakkai has been financed solely by President Toda’s enterprises. But the times have passed this by, and now the financial operation of the Soka Gakkai should be joyfully shared by a corps of volunteer members. Otherwise, the future development of the organization will be thwarted.
“Once Japan was able to boast of its spiritual power, yet this still yielded to material power. The Soka Gakkai must not follow in these footsteps. For the nationwide propagation campaign, we must have financial power. There is but little time before the publication of the Gosho—an event commemorating the 700th anniversary of this religion. I believe that this project will surely prove successful through the members’ understanding and enthusiastic support of the Soka Gakkai. In the future, however, the Soka Gakkai must spread Nichiren Daishonin’s Buddhism to all of Asia and the entire world. This great objective requires a change in the conventional way of financing the Soka Gakkai. I hope all members will cooperate and support this plan to set the Finance Department on a firm foundation so that we need have no anxiety about the future.”
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“Three Steps Forward – One Step Back” pp. 608-609
Toda assures leaders with absolute confidence that propagation is the key to changing one’s destiny and establishing true happiness.
At a discussion meeting held that night at the Reception Hall, he said: “Some of you have come here with great delight, others with great troubles. In any case, I hope you make a fresh start today. A few years from now, you will find yourselves leading happy lives. This is comparable to the natural growth of trees. I state this with absolute confidence. Feel reassured and propagate this Buddhism. Whatever anyone may say, there is no error whatsoever in the Daishonin’s philosophy. If you do not propagate this Buddhism today, you will come to regret it later. Propagation is the only practice that can shatter your negative destiny and establish true happiness for you.
“Unlike earlier times, it is relatively easy to propagate today. The conditions are favorable, so now is the time to do it. The Soka Gakkai, after twenty years of study, has developed an indisputable theory thanks to the wisdom of the Daishonin. Now, let us fight together bravely! I will certainly look after your affairs for you should you somehow die halfway on the road to kosen-rufu.”
* * * * * * *
“Three Steps Forward –One Step Back” p. 610
In order to protect the Gakkai members from abuse by arrogant leaders, Toda clarifies the correct relationship based on faith.
“Since the Soka Gakkai is an organization,” he emphasized, “it requires leaders such as chapter leaders and corps leaders. It’s natural that the members will follow their guidance and instructions. However, our leaders are entirely different from what erroneous schools call the parents of converts. You must not confuse one with the other. According to the Gosho, a person who has helped convert you to this faith is called a good friend or zenchishiki. This is defined as neither a teacher nor a disciple. Everything is convincing and reasonable in the world of Nichiren Daishonin’s Buddhism.
“I hope you recognize this clearly, because if you use the term parents of converts and thus cherish the mistaken idea that you can use the members you have converted as you please, then I will immediately dismiss you from your position!”
He offered this warning to prevent the pure organization of the Soka Gakkai from being blemished by erroneous ideas.
“Exactly as a clock’s second-, minute- and hour-hands move in perfect harmony, even tiny details must never be neglected in an organization that aims for a great objective. There was a time when someone who pretended to be a magnanimous man was regarded as a leader, but such leaders are now outdated, or have fallen into ruin, almost without exception.”
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“Three Steps Forward –One Step Back” p. 613-616
In an effort to inspire hope and high spirits among the youth to whom he had entrusted
the future of the Soka Gakkai, Toda presents his powerful treatise “For Group Leaders,”
which later became widely known as “Precepts for Youth.”
A new century will be created by the passion and the power of youth.
Although we discuss neither politics or education, we follow the teachings of the true Buddha of the Latter Day of the Law, Nichiren Daishonin, the greatest philosopher the world has known and the savior of humankind. We sincerely desire, through the power of the highest religion, to achieve human revolution, to rescue humanity from suffering, to enable each individual to build a happy life and so create peace and prosperity in this world.
This task was shouldered in the past by Shakyamuni and his disciples, and later, Nichiren Daishonin and his followers fought valiantly for this cause. The central figures of Shakyamuni’s movement, such as Shariputra and Ananda, were all young students, and so were those disciples of the Daishonin who solidified the foundations of Nichiren Buddhism. Nikko Shonin was twenty-four years younger than Nichiren Daishonin, and Nichiro was twenty-three years younger. Youth carried the early teachings of Buddhism from west to east, and the Buddhism of Nichiren Daishonin, which shall spread from east to west, will also be established by youth.
We admire the past struggles of those groups of noble and youthful scholars. Today, following the supreme teaching just as they did, we, too, are striving to eradicate human suffering, establish a truly happy way of life and bring peace to a troubled world.
You must realize that you are traveling the same road, toward the same goal, as those gallant young students of the past. Your determination must not be less than theirs lest you disgrace your honorable name of Bodhisattvas of the Earth, and Shariputra and the Daishonin’s closest disciples will mockingly say, “The youth of the Latter Day are weaklings” when you sit with them at Eagle Peak.
Each of you, stand tall!
Each of you, join the battle with me!
Then, with whom do we fight? What kind of battle must we wage?
First, armed with the sharp sword of mercy and clad in the armor of perseverance, we must fight to teach people the eternity of life, to let people know of the Gohonzon’s absolute and unrivaled power and to awaken them to the fact that we are free to enjoy its boundless benefit.
Second, we must teach those who espouse mistaken beliefs the fundamental doctrine of “On Establishing the Correct Teaching for the Peace of the Land”: that false teachings and misleading ideologies are the original cause of all the anguish in the world; that because of these false teachings, the Buddhist deities abandon the people, wise people desert the land and the world is plunged into chaos. We must don the armor of wisdom, and raising the sword of dedication and courage, cut the barriers to freedom.
Third, we must fight with love for the public. Today, there are many youth who don’t even love their own parents, so how can they love others? Our struggle is for human revolution— to surmount our own egoism and develop in ourselves the mercy of the Buddha.
Furthermore, I have something to say about your conduct.
First, you must stand upon absolute faith and embrace the Gohonzon as the sovereign, teacher and parent of all humankind. Do not sway even the slightest, in faith or in practice. Be convinced that you, yourselves, are Bodhisattvas of the Earth, filled with gratitude at being together with Nichiren Daishonin.
Second, you must dedicate yourselves to both practice and study. Engrave the Gosho in your lives and master the Daishonin’s Buddhism. Understand the times in which we live, and with the same mind as Nichiren Daishonin, carry the last will of Nikko Shonin as though it has been given to you personally.
Third, you must act with sincerity. Never lash out at others but guide them with reason. You should have dignity and a broad mind but at the same time, be courageous enough not to yield an inch to misleading ideas, teachings or those who espouse them.
Fourth, you should listen to your immediate seniors, learn the Gakkai spirit and encourage your fellow members. Awaken to the fact that you yourselves have a strict mission for kosen-rufu.
The time of kosen-rufu is at hand. The time is ripe at last for the Gohonzon to spread. For that reason, the three powerful enemies will appear, and three obstacles and four devils will attack in full force. Outside our organization, the followers of false teachings will hate us, and slandering voices will be raised even within our own ranks. Don’t be afraid of these, for it is exactly as predicted by Nichiren Daishonin.
That’s why, each of you, unite together with one mind and overcome all obstacles. March on, unswayed by those who have renounced their faith, and live to be praised by Nichiren Daishonin as young leaders who, in this corrupt world of the Latter Day, are dedicating the springtime of your youth. It is a disgrace as a true disciple to be praised by fools, but to be praised by Nichiren Daishonin is the greatest honor in life.
Bear this in mind and dedicate your whole life to the Gohonzon.
Written on four-and-a-half sheets of manuscript paper, Toda’s precepts were immediately mimeographed and delivered to the members, both the young men and young women of the youth division. A gust of wind arose in the division and caused ripples of emotional impact.
Some members were strongly impressed, others deeply realized their own mission and talked with their friends far into the night. Still others recited the precepts and privately made personal vows.
The sentences contained in the precepts conveyed Toda’s spirit lucidly. Today, we may find in it an outdated tone, because it reflects the education he had received in his youth during the Meiji era, when such expression was common and natural. But nothing will ever surpass his pure and noble spirit as it is revealed in his sentences.
Toda himself was youthful. He maintained his youth throughout his life since he loved young people perhaps more than anyone else ever could. The precepts written by this youth naturally appealed strongly to the younger generation.
The spiritual foundation of the Soka Gakkai’s youth division was firmly established at this time, and it maintains this vigorous spirit to this day. The standards of the youth division’s energetic activities were set by these precepts.
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“Dashing Forward” p.634
At a guidance meeting for Chapter Leaders in January of 1952, Toda strictly encourages the leaders present to achieve true ability.
After a question-and-answer session concerning the organizational changes, Toda addressed the gathering. In stressing the significance of the year, he urged the chapter leaders to discard their conventional habits.
“From now on, you chapter leaders may no longer remain the way you used to be. You must be intelligent, outstanding and dignified. If your only responsibility were to give guidance in faith, then even an old man could replace you. Chapter leaders must have a distinguished appearance and dignity and possess the ability to solve any problem. The sight alone of a chapter leader should reassure his members in their practice of faith.
“Now dignity is completely different from haughtiness. If you become haughty under the pretense of dignity, I will never forgive you.”
“I must add, however, that it is useless if you are weak leaders who cannot correct your members’ practice. If you cannot be depended upon then no one will follow you. If this becomes the case, you will no longer be qualified to be a chapter leader.
“A firm attitude also is different from haughtiness. From now on, leaders need to achieve true ability. Those who merely brag of their long-term membership are no better than antiques. I cannot leave such bric-a-brac in their present positions. The Buddhist law of cause and effect is very strict. This strictness is the backbone of the Soka Gakkai organization.”
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“Dashing Forward” pp. 640-642
Toda’s deep insight led to the realization that all humanity shares a common destiny which transcends the existence of nations and states.
“Now let me state my own ideas. I uphold the concept of one-worldism.”
Toda mentioned one-worldism without any further explanation. It was the first time he had ever mentioned such a concept, and the word itself was unfamiliar. He must have planned that the next panel discussion would treat this most modern of ideas.
In a newspaper article a few years earlier, an influential cabinet member ridiculed this concept of one-worldism at a financiers’ conference. In a later example, however, as Apollo 11 landed on the surface of the moon, a famous Diet member proudly uttered the word as if he had coined it himself. Such people cloak themselves in their own authority in avid pursuit of money and fame.
Toda’s concept of one-worldism originated from the denial or rejection of the conventional views of the supremacy of the state. He foresaw the end of the era of the state, the seat of authority that issues supreme mandates that its nation’s people must follow. With penetrating insight, Toda discerned that the state itself was becoming somewhat of a phantom devoid of true substance. In the light of Buddhism, the extinction of the state is a natural consequence of the advancement of the human community.
This becomes obvious upon examining the historical development of the state. Tribes, which are primitive collective units, evolved into villages and towns. These in turn were combined into fiefs or kingdoms during feudal days. Throughout history, there was conflict and strife among all of these groups. However, the formation of the nation-state (now commonly known as country) ended all traces of war among fiefs.
Today, modern wars are waged between countries. People engage in war out of loyalty to their own state, and such states justify warfare by implanting in the minds of their people the ethical code of justice that proclaims—“for our state.” This supreme mandate of the state drives men to the battlefield. The state, after all, is the highest measure of ethical judgment.
Because of this ethical code of justice, during World War II, ten million youths of the world sacrificed their precious lives on the battlefield. There can be no change in the value judgment of war without a change in that of the state. From this perspective, we are led to the conclusion that without the state—as distinctly separate from nations—all the tragedies of the last world war would have been avoided.
Furthermore, the possibility of annihilation by nuclear weapons provides a premonition of the greatest catastrophe of all history. These weapons are in the possession of a handful of states. The continued existence of the state in its present form offers no guarantee whatsoever for the prevention of future warfare. Rather, it is obvious that the very root of war lies in the present form of the modern state.
Within this context, the greatest significance should be attached to Toda’s concept of one-worldism. Buddhism places priority on the principle of humanity instead of on the principle of the state. In contrast, conventional views of the state subordinates humanity to that state. Toda keenly realized the error of this perspective.
Rectifying this view will surely become one of the greatest issues to face the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. If it is neglected, the holocaust of war is unavoidable. If war is defined as a massacre between states, the state is then the incarnate of all evil from the perspective of a philosophy that regards murder as the greatest evil and crime. There is no reason why murder in the name of the state should be unconditionally permitted. Furthermore, to sacrifice one’s own life on the battlefield for the sake of the state is far from an ultimate cause. Rather, the ultimate cause should be dedication to humankind.
One must not jump to conclusions and presume that rejection of the concept of state would lead to anarchy. Rather, the point is that throughout the course of history, and from a global perspective on the twenty-first century, the states of our age are comparable to the fiefs of feudal times. States will continue to be necessary, but not in the same way as they are today. They should be changed into mere local or national self-governing bodies. The establishment of an international vehicle similar to a world federation and based on the concept of one-worldism will ensure extinction of the evils of the state—and the end of war.
Our ideal of kosen-rufu can be briefly defined as the realization, through absolute pacifism, of a world of enlightened people, based on the principle of humankind rather than the state. Given this definition, we must create, through kosen-rufu, an era in which, as Toda explained, the conventional views of the state will be replaced by one-worldism—the recognition that all humankind shares a common destiny
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“Dashing Forward” pp. 643
In the midst of feverish preparations for the publication of the Soka Gakkai’s compilation of Nichiren Daishonin’s Gosho, the police unexpectedly return a precious book confiscated from Mr. Makiguchi almost ten years earlier.
When the members set to work during a three-day period of proofreading at the end of the year, Makiguchi’s old book of Gosho was returned by the police. This edition had been published by the Reikonkaku Press. On July 6, 1943, Mr. Makiguchi was arrested during a trip in Shimoda. At this time, police detectives visited and searched his house in Tokyo, confiscating a number of papers including the Gosho. After a period of eight years, this precious book was finally returned.
Toda touched the Gosho with tender recollections of his master, saying, “Mr. Makiguchi, hearing of our publication of the Gosho, is present with us. Isn’t it he who is assisting us with the proofreading?” Thumbing through this Gosho, Toda found red underlining and copious notes on every page.
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“Preparations for the Future” pp. 658-659
Toda lectures on “The Opening of the Eyes” to declare the Soka Gakkai’s spirit to be
in total accord with the Daishonin’s conviction of declaring the validity of the Lotus Sutra
in the face of all persecutions.
“If we believe that all hardships are the products of our karma, then we can definitely say, ‘The heavens may forsake me, all difficulties may befall me.’ As for myself, I will consecrate my life, an impure one, to Nam-myoho- renge-kyo at any time.
“Shariputra’s excellent wisdom had no parallel in India. He once attempted the Bodhisattva’s practice, which he continued for an unimaginable time. When a Brahmin begged for one of his clear eyes, he gave one. But the eye smelled, according to the Brahmin, who threw it to the earth, spitting on it. At that moment, Shariputra became so furious that he decided to discontinue his practice of assisting others.
“Those who have been confined to hell for as long as numberless major world system dust particle kalpas and major world system dust particle kalpas had such an adverse destiny because they forsook the Gohonzon, influenced by erroneous priests and bad friends.
“Whether in a good or a bad situation, you will never fail to attain happiness so long as you believe in the Gohonzon. Continue in faith with great patience. I can proclaim from my life that you will become happy eventually.”
Toda poured all his passion into his lecture while the audience gazed at him without so much as blinking. They felt as if his speech had dispelled all their doubts. The twenty-six hundred listeners became even more attentive.
“Don’t yield to any temptation. If you become a believer in Pure Land, discarding the Gohonzon, you may have the honor of ascending to the throne. This is one of the greatest temptations. There are some members who come and seek my guidance. They say that their employers proposed higher salaries, making it a condition that they should quit their faith. What need is there for my guidance? They are foolish!
“If you refuse to chant the Pure Land mantra, your parents will be executed. This would have been the greatest threat to Nichiren Daishonin, who was a most dutiful son. The Daishonin believed himself to be the true Buddha and therefore he stated that he would not surrender, as long as his teachings were not refuted by another Buddha. If his philosophy were to be surpassed, he would fall into hell. This would be fatal. Compared with it, all other persecutions are nothing. He would never surrender to any persecution. Can you declare the same? This is the spirit of the Soka Gakkai. By sharing even a little of this great spirit of Nichiren Daishonin as the true Buddha of the three virtues, let us save all humankind!”