Pres. Ikeda's message - May 3, 2001
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Pres. Ikeda's Poems - May 3, 2001

SGI President Ikeda composed the following short poems in celebration of May 3, Soka Gakkai Day, for all SGI members around the world:

It has come at last!
The sun shines
On the bright, smiling faces
Of fellow members
Ten million strong.

*****
Nichiren Daishonin teaches
That all who strive assiduously
With selfless devotion,
Will, without exception,
Attain Buddhahood.

*****

Together
We have prospered and triumphed --
Our lives,
Dedicated to fulfilling a lofty vow,
Are a paean to the human spirit.
---------------------------------

Our Brilliant May 3!

By Shin'ichi Yamamoto [the name President Ikeda uses for his character in
"The Human Revolution"]

Finally, we have won!
You and I have won!

Earnestly striving to achieve
A solidarity for humanism and peace
Ten million strong,
My beloved comrades in faith
Energetically celebrate
This day --
The first May 3 of the 21st century.

We have triumphed,
Amid cheers and jubilation,
We have triumphed,
Overcoming every obstacle and hardship.

May 3, 2001
Was a momentous target
For our movement,
The years to which
Were marked by continuous struggle
As we fought to surmount
Every criticism and slur.
Now finally we greet that day;
We have scaled that towering peak
And conquered it!

Thank you,
Each and every one of you, my dear friends!
Thank you,
My fellow members around the world!
We have won.

The mother
Wholeheartedly wishes
To celebrate the triumph
Of her beloved son
Whose greatest pride
Is working selflessly
For the happiness of those suffering,
Never ignoring their plight.

The father
Is proud
Of his daughter
Who speaks out fearlessly:
"Peace! We want peace!"

While many of her friends
Are off enjoying idle pleasures,
She, the admirable young woman she is,
Shines her brilliant,
Star-bright light on all around her.
With gentle eyes as luminous as the moon
And a smile as lovely as a flower,
She makes her way in the fresh air,
Exerting herself tirelessly
To encourage many friends
Who are racked by sadness and sorrow --
How noble she is!

The father
Prays that his wonderful daughter,
Shining with brilliant hope,
Will walk the golden way of happiness
Throughout life,
With joy, strength, and integrity.
He watches after her,
A broad smile on his face,
His happiness in full bloom.

Those others [traitors of the SGI]
Boast the rampant bad taste of the vulgar;
They brag of their wealth and prosperity,
Blind to the fact
That they are the laughingstock of all.
They do not know
That they emit a stench
More foul
Than stinkweed.

And so,
They lack that most important eye
For discerning the essence
Of a life of supreme good,
Of the most noble deeds,
Of excellence of character,
Of real truth and justice.

Those others!
Oblivious to the new age,
They constantly repeat old sins,
Over and over!

For us, however,
An age of peace and tranquillity
Is always waiting.
We always wear
Our jeweled crown
Of happiness.

Here,
Absolute, eternal happiness,
True, unsurpassed happiness,
Awaits us.

No matter how fierce
The storms of sorrow that may beset us,
We will never succumb.
No matter how others may inflict
Savage wounds on our hearts,
Their efforts will only backfire
And rage as storms of mental torment
In their own minds.
And, eventually,
These individuals,
Who are obsessed with title and status,
Power and fortune,
Will be tortured
By endless agony.

There is no force
That can alter our truth and justice.
Those who have tormented us
Will only suffer retribution
Inflicted by their own hand.

A cursed blood flows through the veins
Of such odious individuals
And they will end their days
Suffering for the offenses
Of their utterly corrupt beings
And cursing their own evil lives.

As for us,
We need no crown of authority;
We possess no dark ambitions;
We commit no offenses
That will give us cause for regret.
We will never become
The kind of people who pretend to goodness
But suffer the torments of hell inside.

No matter how many fabrications
People broadcast throughout society,
We fear nothing.
Such pitiful schemes
And the cold winds of malice
Are no more than the shadows of phantoms
To those who possess a state of life
As indomitable as a majestic palace,
To those who are strong and true.

We merely laugh
At the black-hearted,
Quivering,
Pitiful wretches
Who resemble petty thieves.

Our citadel of truth and justice
Remains completely unshaken
By the harsh blast of arctic winds,
By the storms of cruelty,
By the wild cacophony.

Oh May 3!
A day
When ambassadors of peace,
Emissaries of happiness,
Who have appeared all over the world,
Set forth with fresh energy and joy!

Oh world citadel of kosen-rufu!
Standing firm and unmoving
Against every underhanded
And vile attack --
At times, the persecution of authority,
At times, the treachery of priests,
At times, the violence of words!

We have laid the foundation
For global kosen-rufu --
Our organization is solid,
Our bases, sound,
Our network, strong.
There is no doubt
That the next thousand, ten thousand years
Will be our age.

My fellow members,
Comrades of shared mission,
Never be defeated!
We must win without fail.
To do so,
Advance, run --
Forward, ever forward!

The wise
Are always learning.
Let us,
You and I,
Striving each day
As people of outstanding wisdom,
Calmly meet the challenges
Of every new age
And win.

As we achieve
Victories that create value
And bring spiritual fulfillment --
The greatest desire of all human beings --
We will adorn our lives
As victors who have won honestly in society.

All of us
Must eventually experience death,
Which evokes feelings of darkness and sadness.
A great philosopher
Once described life as but a reprieve
Before that inevitable destination.

Therefore,
We who have unshakable belief
In the eternity of life
Know the boundless joy
Of devoting ourselves unceasingly
In the pursuit of unsurpassed value
Throughout our lives.

And we,
In our struggle toward our lofty goal,
Constantly seek to elevate ourselves.
Those others, however,
Toying as they do with petty goals,
Only lower themselves further.

Human beings
Must live
In the most human fashion.
But what does that mean?
This seems easy to answer,
But it is actually quite difficult.

It is Buddhism
And our faith in the Mystic Law
That provide
The ultimate, all-encompassing
Answer to that question.

Those who have earned the right to shout
"Hurrah for humanity!
Hurrah for myself!"
Are happy,
Are people who have won over themselves.
Those who have won over themselves
Enjoy day after day of happiness.

Such people
Traverse a realm of supreme happiness
And, as people of outstanding humanity,
Have built an indestructible fortress of character.

Even among our comrades,
There have been many who,
Though in the past
Burned with sense of justice,
Mission and commitment,
And worked earnestly for kosen-rufu,
Eventually grew arrogant,
Forgot the purpose of their faith,
Fell prisoner to baseness,
And left our gathering of kosen-rufu.

There have been foolish people
Who took lightly
The goodwill
And the pure, profound realm of faith
Of the SGI --
A realm of pure-hearted members
Dedicated to truth and justice --
And who caused trouble for others,
Acting in such a way
As to disrupt the harmony of believers.

We absolutely refuse
To compromise with evil.
We sever our ties with --
And, moreover, fight rigorously against --
Those who share the life-state
Of the treacherous and destructive Devadatta.

No matter what they may have achieved in the past,
Buddhism is concerned with the present and the future.
We cannot forgive those who,
While holding the highest leadership positions --
Just like the five senior priests
Who betrayed the Daishonin --
Behaved like degenerate madmen.

How immense must be
The Daishonin's anger,
And that of his successor,
Second high priest Nikko Shonin!
The anger of the SGI,
Which has inherited the Buddha's intent and decree,
Is no less.

We cannot forgive evil
If we are to protect the good!
We must drive out the corrupt
If we are to protect the SGI!
If we are to protect truth and justice!

How pitiful
Are these
Prisoners of delusion,
Without principle,
Without faith,
With vindictive eyes,
Their basest animal instincts exposed,
Howling wildly at the good and just!

Cringing before truth and justice,
The arrogant authorities
Try to flee, to escape its hands.
They, with their many celebrated titles,
Combining their personal interest and pleasure,
Unknowingly tread on a path that leads
Into a scorching, inhospitable desert.
Oh how futile
Are all their fine-sounding words!

We, in contrast, are living
Lives of integrity.
We have chosen the path leading to truth.
And
Without allowing a single person to fall victim
To the insidious schemes of the jealous and deceitful,
We will continue to advance
With invincible passion and energy.

May the lofty song
Of our chorus of peace
Take us from the discord
Of a world of dark envy,
To a world that rejects conflict and war!
Above all,
How joyous it is to forge
A world of unity that extols
The duet of justice and conviction!

Following the path of the wise,
We gaze down,
>From our lofty palace,
On the crazed
World of barbaric strife.
The foolish remain eternally
Ignorant of virtue,
Choosing intentionally the path of evil
And stupidly pursuing it
Until they arrive
At a place that is human hell.

Oh May 3!
Fighting together,
Working together,
>From times of suffering,
>From times of sadness,
>From times of frustration,
To a new age of certain victory
Of the spirit
Of the Bodhisattvas of the Earth!
Forever without confusion,
Without self-contradiction,
We gather
At that citadel
Of deep abiding respect,
Of the noblest heights of human existence,
Where the spirit shines with truth.

May 3!
May 3!
Oh our proud May 3!
This brilliant day
On which ordinary people,
Who have sincerely been seeking
The truth,
Awaken!

May is the fifth month:
It corresponds to the deeply profound
Five characters of Myoho-renge-kyo
As well as to the five guides for propagation
Set forth by the Daishonin --
The teaching, the people's capacity, the time, the country
And the sequence of propagation.
Oh the sacred undertaking of the SGI,
Which, in accord with these five guidelines,
Has propagated the great teaching of Buddhism
To the five continents of the world --
Asia,
Africa,
Europe,
The Americas,
And Oceania!

At the same time,
The "3" of May 3
Corresponds to past, present and future.
For, as the Daishonin writes:
"The heritage of the Lotus Sutra
Flows within the lives
Of those who never forsake it
In any lifetime whatsoever --
Whether in the past, the present, or the future" (The Writings of Nichiren
Daishonin, p. 217).

The bonds of mentor and disciple
In the dedicated pursuit of kosen-rufu --
Both across the three existences
And across three generations --
Are as indestructible as a diamond.

The 130th anniversary of the birth
Of our first president, Tsunesaburo Makiguchi!
The 50th anniversary of the inauguration
Of our second president, Josei Toda!
The great honor of the third president
On May 3 of this milestone year,
Who joyfully shares with all SGI members
And proudly dedicates to his mentors,
Mr. Makiguchi and Mr. Toda,
The more than 100
Honorary degrees and professorships
Received from five continents!

Oh my beloved comrades!
With the vast sky unfolding high above you
And your hearts, too, open wide to infinity,
You ride on a rhythm
Of cheers, applause and jubilation,
Together, always together
With the law of the universe!

We possess wings
With which to soar on high;
We possess a diamond-like spirit
That can endure all;
And
We possess compassionate hearts
That deeply and broadly embrace and shield
People throughout the world.

Our lofty dream
Will never succumb
To the bitter winds of adversity.
It is not a weak, fragile
Armchair conviction.

A state of life that strives ever higher
And yet higher again.
The more we fight,
The more we obtain
An absolutely invincible, everlasting strength.

Oh hearts
Gazing down serenely on all
From the skies of a lofty state of being,
Always shining with golden light
In times of prosperity
And on dark night roads alike!

Buddhism is a struggle to be victorious.
It is a struggle for truth and justice
For happiness,
For peace.

Buddhism without action
Is not the Daishonin's Buddhism.
It is only
An exploitation of Buddhism.
And Nichiren Shoshu today
Is the epitome of this.

People all around the world
Are seeking true Buddhism.
Therefore,
We must state the truth
With firm conviction.
The same action if carried out
In a weak, halfhearted manner
Will not serve the cause of justice.

A true pacifist
Shares the spirit
Of a genuine practitioner of Buddhism.
We both seek to transform
The tragedy of war
Into a lasting peace.
The foundation for this quest is humanity;
It is the human spirit.
That is why human revolution
Is absolutely necessary.

May 3!
Once again,
Let us, the eloquent,
The great unsung champions of kosen-rufu
Who shine with glory,
Fight and take the lead
In every situation, in every season,
As we, together with wonderful companions,
Rise above the uncaring and the indifferent,
And triumph over the cowardly
Spinning their unending lies.

Because you, my friends,
Know
That this struggle
Will bring you the eternal reward
Of a life of supreme value.

Now,
For great victory
In countless future undertakings,
Let us advance,
Our hearts brimming with excitement,
Aspiring for the distant golden horizon.

May 3!
A day on which
The skies are clear, the earth illuminated,
And our hearts are filled with joy!

May 3!
A day on which the spirit
Of fresh advance,
Of fresh determination,
Toward kosen-rufu
Burns bright!

NOTE: SGI President Ikeda is recognized throughout the world as a poet laureate.