Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Eternal March 16

Excerpt paraphrased from July 2013 Value creation "Eternal March 16" By Shin'ichi Yamamoto

On the morning of 15 march 2013, Sensei received the happy news that two blossoms on the Youth Cherry Tree in front of the Soka Gakkai Visitors Centre flowered. "Undefeated by the trials of winter, the Youth Cherry Tree exudes a spirit of eternal youth. year after year, as if coming out to warmly greet neighbourhood residents and visitors, it blooms with all its might." Sensei likens the Tree to the youth division members contributing to their communities and society through dialogue.
"To be full of energy is the distinguishing characteristic of youth. Youth are the future; they are the embodiment of hope. They are challengers, pioneers, and builders."
March 16 1958, a 'dress rehearsal' for kosen-rufu. Sensei likened it with the same significance as the ceremony in the air, where Shakyamuni entrusted the law to his disciples as depicted in the Lotus Sutra. March 16 was a ceremony of entrustment from mentor to disciple as well as youth who rose up to respond to their mentor.
How best can youth respond to the mentor, how can they reassure their mentor? By "diligently seeking the buddha way." Diligently means to constantly make an effort to achieve something.
Our daily practice of Gongyo and chanting daimoku also has a significance linked to the Ceremony in the Air. The Daishonin writes: This mandala (the Gohonzon) is in no way my invention. It is the object of devotion that depicts Shakyamuni Buddha, the World-Honored One, seated in the treasure tower of Many Treasures Buddha, and the Buddhas who were Shakyamuni's emanations as perfectly as a print matches its woodblock."
As this passage indicates, the Gohonzon is a depiction of the Ceremony in the Air.
Through chanting earnestly before the Gohonzon, we make a vow for kosen-rufu and then take action in society. Because of that vow, limitless power wells forth within us as Bodhisattvas of the Earth, filling us with courage and wisdom.
"I will open the way for Kosen-rufu! I will challenge this task today! I will lead the way to victory!" - whenever I sit before the Gohonzon, I (Shin'ichi) deepen my pledge to Nichiren Daishonin and my mentor Josei Toda, who called forth vast numbers of Bodhisattvas of the Earth in the present age.

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