by Olivia Saito, Maya Gunaseharan and Ryo Kuroki
SGI-USA Youth Leaders
On behalf of the national team, thank you so much for all of your seen and unseen efforts in this Year of Hope and Victory.
This month marks one year since the beginning of the COVID-19 stay-at-home orders. True to the spirit of Soka youth, SGI-USA youth members have redoubled their efforts to spread hope through sharing Buddhism with friends, family and people in their communities. As is evident through the many stories we hear, one person after another is breaking through feelings of powerlessness by making causes to awaken others to the inherent dignity of their lives.
Ikeda Sensei teaches that it is precisely in the most challenging times that we have the opportunity to create a surge of hope and victory for ourselves and in the lives of countless others. And it is up to us as youth to take the lead in this endeavor.
On March 16, 1958, second Soka Gakkai President Josei Toda entrusted the youth division of the Soka Gakkai with the mission of leading the kosen-rufu movement to transform society at its core. As a youth and President Toda’s disciple, Sensei accepted this mission and has since dedicated his life to fulfilling it. He writes:
Truly, March 16 was the coronation ceremony of the youth, when they received their royal crowns and royal swords. As disciples, we must never forget the profound significance of that day.
Today I would like to place a crown on the head of each noble member of the youth division, my young disciples, who are striving so hard to achieve kosen-rufu.
It is only by triumphing in various struggles, however, that one earns the right to receive that glorious successor’s crown. (March Living Buddhism, p. 25)
March 16 is now celebrated around the world as Kosen-rufu Day. Responding to our mentor’s clarion call for peace and launching a counteroffensive against the suffering plaguing society, we will hold March Youth General Meetings throughout the nation.
In commemoration of Kosen-rufu Day, these meetings will be an opportunity to extend our hand to young people around us who may be struggling to feel hope and give them the chance to experience the warmth of the Soka Gakkai. A major aspect of these gatherings will be discussion spaces, where we can welcome guests and meet them where they are while sharing with them the life-empowering philosophy of Nichiren Buddhism.
Advancing toward the March Youth General Meetings, let’s ignite courage in our own lives and in the lives of those who desperately need it. We are each the protagonist of kosen-rufu who will inherit the “glorious successor’s crown” of March 16.
What you need to know
Q: Where and when will the March Youth General Meetings take place?
A: The meetings will be held virtually on the zone level March 20–31. Please check with your local youth leaders for more details.
Q: Who can attend?
A: Youth members and guests from junior high school age to 35 years old.