Below are some of the quotes of encouragement and guidance on faith, from the following you will find Ikeda Sensei quoting from various authors from different backgrounds and disciplines, I hope you enjoy them as much as I did:
Shin’ichi Yamamoto (Ikeda’s Pen name) came to submit his resume to President Toda; while waiting, he listened while President Toda tells a suffering man seeking guidance on how to solve a seemingly insoluble problem.
“Stand up with faith. You should lead a powerful life. There will be a solution beyond your wildest imagination. Chant until you see a clear result. You can change anything for the better. It will be just like changing poison into medicine.”
—- Human Revolution, vol. 3, Fruition Chapter, late autumn, 1948
“One’s voice when chanting the daimoku penetrates all of the lands in the ten directions. Although our voice may be small, when we put it into the great sound of the daimoku, there is no place in the major world system that it does not reach.”
—- Nichiren Daishonin (Gosho Zenshu, p 808) (Seikyo Times, 12/1995, p. 25)
“Prayer is the basis of faith and the foundation of Buddhism. One’s life-condition is not determined by appearances or position. What are we praying for? How are we praying? A person’s state of life is expressed in his or her prayer. Therefore, I would like you to become people who pray with a broad and deep resolve. To pray to accomplish kosen-rufu, to chant seriously for everyone’s happiness—such prayer encompasses one’s own happiness. Those who pray in this way will amass tremendous good fortune. A bodhisattva vows to save others before seeking to save himself. Foremost are prayers and action to save others from suffering. This is the practice of a bodhisattva. I always pray earnestly for the good health and happiness of all of the members around the world. Then, firmly determined to make this come true, I devote myself unstintingly to encourage them.”
—- (President Ikeda, Conversation with Youth #9, Nov. 1994, Seikyo Times, p.53)
As you crave food when hungry, seek water when thirsty, long to see a lover, beg for medicine when ill, or as a beautiful woman desires powder and rouge, so should you put your faith in the Lotus Sutra. If you do not, you will regret it later.
—- Nichiren Daishonin (WND-1, 965; Persecution by Sword and Staff)
Now, if you wish to attain Buddhahood, you have only to lower the banners of your arrogance, cast aside the staff of your anger, and devote yourself exclusively to the one vehicle of the Lotus Sutra. Worldly fame and profit are mere baubles of your present existence, and arrogance and prejudice are ties that will fetter you in a future one. Ah, you should be ashamed of them! And you should fear them, too!
—- Nichiren Daishonin (WND-1, 58,59; Questions and Answers on Embracing the Lotus Sutra)
“Lack of faith is the basic failing that causes a person to fall into hell.”
—- Nichiren Daishonin (WND-1, 60; Questions and Answers on Embracing the Lotus Sutra)
“Single-mindedly chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo and urge others to do the same; that will remain as the only memory of your present life in this human world. Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, Nam-myoho-renge-kyo.”
—- (WND-1, 60; Questions and Answers on Embracing the Lotus Sutra)
What is called faith is nothing unusual. Faith means putting one’s trust in the Lotus Sutra, Shakyamuni, Many Treasures, the Buddhas and bodhisattvas of the ten directions, and the heavenly gods and benevolent deities, and chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo as a woman cherishes her husband, as a man lays down his life for his wife, as parents refuse to abandon their children, or as a child refuses to leave its mother.
— Nichiren Daishonin (WND-1, 1036;The Meaning of Faith)
The prayers of one earnest person are enough to contain, subdue and drive away the devilish functions that run rampant in the land. Putting prayer first is just as important when we wish to change our own karma. We must pray with a determination that shakes the universe; we must pray with all our might. When we follow this fundamental path, our all-out efforts will bear magnificent fruit.
—- (President Ikeda, World Tribune Nov. 7, 1994, p. 5)
(SGI President Ikeda’s speech, April 3, 1998, World Tribune, page 10)
President Toda always said, “If I ask Daisaku then I know I don’t have to worry.” “When Daisaku’s involved, victory is certain.” This oneness of mentor and disciple is the essence of the Soka Gakkai.
Nichiren Daishonin and President Toda are constantly in my thoughts. The Gohonzon, President Toda, and sincerity are my “three treasures.” I have won through sincerity. Striving to lead the most upright life, while enduring the harshest criticism and abuse, I have won as a human being. From the standpoint of Buddhism, from the standpoint of the three existences of past, present, and future, I am confident that I am the greatest victor.
Buddhism is not about leading a self-centered existence. It we do not base lives on the Law, we are not practicing Buddhism. The great German writer Friedrich von Schiller writes, “The brave man thinks upon himself the last.” This is analogous to the spirit of not begrudging one’s life taught in the Lotus Sutra. This means treasuring the Law more highly than one’s life. The Law and kosen-rufu are central. The SGI, therefore, is extremely important. When you have the spirit of “I want to do something for kosen-rufu,” benefit is forthcoming. But if there are those who think, “I’m going to have the SGI do something for me,” they are abusing the world of faith. They are in the life-condition of Hell. This, indeed, was the mind-set of all who betrayed us in the past.
Three eternal principles of the Soka Gakkai (Why we practice and why we strive to help others practice)
1. Faith for a harmonious family
2. Faith to enable each person to become happy
3. Faith to surmount obstacles.
“Our aim is solely for each individual to actualize the three principles Mr. Toda left us, by achieving a harmonious family life, personal happiness and an indomitable self.
I ask all the leaders here today to always bear in mind why we practice the Daishonin’s Buddhism. I call on you to work hard to ensure that everyone receives great benefit through faith, that not a single person falls by the wayside. That is my greatest wish.”
The New Human Revolution, Vol-5 Chap-6 “Lion”
Significance of the SGI Colors (October 3, 1988 World Tribune)
• Red — Harmony, victory, the sun
• Yellow — Seeking, glory, and intellect
• Blue — Fortune, peace, and kosen-rufu
The following three traits summarize the character and mentality of the Bodhisattvas of the Earth:
• To be rigorously strict toward oneself, like a sharp autumn frost.
• To be warm and embracing towards others, like a soft spring breeze.
• To be uncompromising when confronting evil, like a lion monarch.
(1999 Peace Proposal, Faith Into Action (FIA), p. 92)
•Date: Tue, 16 Jan 2001 23:47:18 -0800
From: “Danny Nagashima” <email@example.com>
SGI General Director Wada attended a Southern California Zone Leaders meeting this evening, held at the Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center. The auditorium was over flowing with more than 1700 excited and happy members. Following the video, Mr. Wada shared final encouragement. He emphasized that religion is for the sake of the people, whereas in the past, people were servants of religion. President Ikeda has mentioned a number of occasions that in the 21st century, education, politics, religion, etc. should serve the people.
Mr. Wada also shared his experience of his days as a youth. He said that in 1955, he received guidance from President Ikeda. At that time, President Ikeda gave him two points:
1. Never leave the organization and
2. Find a great senior in faith.
The Secret to Success
(World Tribune, May 5, 2000, p. 1; part of President Ikeda’s March 24, 2000 speech at the 44th Soka Gakkai Headquarters Leaders Meeting, held at the Tokyo Makiguchi Hall, Hachioji, Japan)
Nothing is as strong or as deep as the prayers of our women’s division members. To pray until victory is achieved, to pray with all one’s might — this is the spirit of the women’s division. The shining crown of victory adorns all who have such faith.
To pray through every problem, to pray fully with all of your being — this is the secret of success. [emphasis added]
On the Path Toward Absolute Happiness (SGI President Ikeda’s guidance at a conference held April 29, 2000 in Tokyo with SGI representatives from around the world; World Tribune, 5-19-2000, p. 1)
Prayer can fundamentally transform your life [The Secret to Human Revolution]
Let me share some words of wisdom from some of the great thinkers of the world that might serve to spur our advance. Thomas Paine, whose work greatly influenced the American Revolution, writes in his famous treatise Common Sense, “It is not in numbers but in unity, that our great strength lies.”
Unity is strength. In the realm of faith, people who cannot join hands and cooperate with others undermine the harmonious unity of the community of believers. This is the most serious of offenses. Consequently, those who cause such disharmony will experience no benefit.
The German poet and dramatist Johann Wolfgang van Goethe writes in Faust, “With little men go little acts, / Among the great a small one grows.” We must take on big challenges. That is why I hope you will not seek to accumulate petty, minor benefit, but great benefit. I hope you will not restrict your focus to this little island-country of Japan, but allow your gaze to encompass the great, wide world.
Mahatma Gandhi says, “Those who will not do it, although they appreciate the truth, will deserve to be called cowards.” We must act on what we know to be right and true. We know the importance of discussion meetings, gongyo and the struggle for kosen-rufu. If we fail to carry them out, we are cowards. Gandhi also says that there is no greater crime than cowardice.
Let me introduce another remark by Thomas Paine. “My country is the world, and my religion is to do good.” Today, the world is our arena — the world is the stage upon which kosen-rufu is unfolding.
Abraham Lincoln says: “Let none falter, who thinks he is right, and we may succeed.” “I am a slow walker, but I never walk back.” We must stick to our ideals to the end. Let us say, for example, that you have a friend who just does not seem willing to accept Buddhism. He attended a discussion meeting with you, but he does not want to practice. That is fine. What matters is that you keep moving forward in your practice, letting nothing set you back.
Then, I always keep a copy of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s collected works close to my desk. Mr. Makiguchi and second Soka Gakkai president Josei Toda were both fond of the American writer. Emerson writes in “Spiritual Laws,” “Never was a sincere word utterly lost.”Sincere words, words filled with conviction — they are the key to victory. We do not need go exaggerate, plot or scheme.
Finally, let me share some more words by Lincoln: “We proposed to give all a chance; and we expected the weak to grow stronger, the ignorant, wiser; and all better, and happier together.” “For all to become happy together!” — let us advance with this spirit.
And let us meet again next month, in victory. I pray for your health and long life and for your success in all endeavors. I am sending you daimoku.
I hope you will pray, too.
Pray that instead of devils or negative, destructive forces infiltrating your being, Brahma (Jpn Bonten), Shakra (Jpn Taishaku), and the gods of the Sun and the Moon — the positive, protective forces of the universe — will enter your life! Pray that they will enter the lives of all members in your region and the entire membership of the SGI, as well. If you do this, your strength will multiply a hundredfold, a thousandfold. With such prayer, you will realize a fundamental transformation in the very depths of your life. This is the secret to achieving your human revolution. [emphasis added]
In one of his commentaries, 26th high priest Nichikan writes that the Daishonin’s life manifests in our lives. [In his “Commentary on ‘The Entity of the Mystic Law,’” Nichikan states, “Through the power of the Mystic Law, we manifest the life of the Daishonin within ourselves.”]
This is the ultimate truth of faith in the Mystic Law. Nichikan says that the life of the Daishonin manifests itself in the life of each of us. That is why we will never be defeated. Let us move forward with this invincible conviction.
Thank you for being here today.
Those Who Devote Themselves to Kosen-rufu Receive the “Benefit of Protection”
—- (Dialogue on the Lotus Sutra, #50, “Dharani (26th chapter), Living Buddhism, July 2000, p. 35)
The Unfathomable Power of Daimoku
Haruo Suda: He [Shakyamuni] says that by accepting and upholding even a single verse of the Lotus Sutra, we will gain the same benefit as we would by making offerings to an infinite number of Buddhas. When you stop to think about it, this is remarkable.
President Ikeda: How is this possible? In particular, it’s because the source of the enlightenment of all Buddhas is the implicit teaching of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. This daimoku is the sutra’s undiluted and pure essence. The Lotus Sutra is the source of enlightenment of all the infinite numbers of Buddhas.
Takanori Endo: The Daishonin’s Buddhism is truly incredible.
President Ikeda: Therefore, we mustn’t try to gauge the power of daimoku with our limited state of life, thinking, “This must be all there is.” The sutra says that the benefit of daimoku is beyond even the Buddha to fathom. For us to suppose that we understand its full scope is nothing short of arrogance. If we underestimate the infinite power of benefit of the Gohonzon owing to weak faith, then we will be only able to tap a minute portion of the Gohonzon’s power.
Speaking at Toshima Public Hall in Tokyo, second Soka Gakkai President Josei Toda would often say on numerous occasions: “If the benefit that I have received is as great as this hall, then the benefit that all of you have received is no more than the size of my little finger.”
Japan today is facing a difficult economic situation. For precisely that reason, I hope all of our members will acquire immense benefit now. I would like to see each one gain inexhaustible good fortune. When times are good, anyone can do well. It is when times get tough that we can see what we are made of. That is when our faith is put to the test. It is important that we patiently strive to create hope.
Dedication to Kosen-rufu Brings Forth Incredible Life Force (p.47-48)
President Ikeda: At any rate, there is a fundamental difference in someone who strives to protect the SGI for the sake of kosen-rufu and someone who tries to use it for personal gain.It’s incredible just how much energy, wisdom and compassion well forth from our lives and how much the Buddhist gods go to work for us when we truly stand up for kosen-rufu. … The important thing is to stand alone and chant daimoku with the pledge, “I will accomplish kosen-rufu without fail.” We need to pray to the Gohonzon, “Please allow me to fight with the intensity of a charging demon.” With such prayer, we cannot fail to manifest power. We cannot fail to win. No matter how difficult the circumstances, one who stands up in earnest for kosen-rufu will absolutely receive the protection of the Buddhist gods. It is the “Dharani” chapter that teaches such passionate confidence in faith. [emphasis added]
To End; I will like to include the following Q&A:
Never detach yourself from the SGI organization
How can one advance on the right path and fulfill one’s mission without any wasted effort? I want to devote my life to realizing the American ideal that you, President Ikeda, articulated for us in the new poem that you presented to us in the United States, “Soar—Into the Vast Skies of Freedom! Into the New Century!”
President Ikeda: Thank you very much. The bottom line, essentially, is never to detach yourself from the SGI organization. No matter what kind of leaders or members you may encounter there, it is important that you do activities in the organization throughout your life. Why? Because the core of the Daishonin’s Buddhism is kosen–rufu. And faith that is dedicated to kosen–rufu is found only in the SGI. The reason for your participating in training courses such as these is to build a self dedicated to kosen–rufu. Herein lies correct faith and correct action.
(From Discussion with SGI-USA Culture Department members, August 23-24, 2000, World Tribune 9-22-2000, p. 5)
Nam Myoho Renge Kyo.