SGI Significant Dates
The Establishment of Nichiren Buddhism
Soka Gakkai Day
Celebrating the History of Soka Gakkai's Antinuclear Movement
SGI World Peace Day
Inscription of the Dai-Gohonzon
Soka Gakkai Founding Day
April 28 - The Establishment of Nichiren Buddhism
On April 28 1253, at the Seicho-ji temple in Awa, Nichiren Daishonin first invoked the chant “Nam-myoho-renge-kyo”, revealing this great teaching to enable people to manifest the Buddha nature in this lifetime. He was challenging the fundamental mindset that ordinary people were powerless to effect changes in life.
On this very day, Nichiren Daishonin proclaimed his teaching in a hall of his teacher, Dozen-bo’s quarters at Seicho-ji temple. He chose this place to expound his teaching out of his profound sense of gratitude to Dozen-bo. On this occasion, he sternly criticized other Buddhist schools for relying on state patronage and serving the interests of the powerful while encouraging passivity in the suffering masses. President Ikeda emphasized that his spirit of refuting the erroneous and revealing the true is the essence of Nichiren Daishonin’s Buddhism.
At this important event, Daishonin changed his priesthood name from Zesho-bo Rencho to Nichiren which was written with the Chinese characters for “sun” and “lotus.” The sun illuminates the world and the lotus brings forth beautiful blossoms unsullied by the muddy water in which it grows.
Daishonin's declaration of his teaching was just the starting point of kosen-rufu. It was the start of his propagation effort of the Mystic Law. Daishonin described that when he first chanted the daimoku, there was a strong feeling of hostility by the people towards him. Since that day, he faced a series of harsh persecutions that nearly caused his death. Daishonin knew that he would meet with persecutions if he dared to publicly state this truth, but he also knew that if he did not say anything, he would be lacking in compassion and guilty of turning his back on people’s suffering.
I will be the pillar of Japan. I will be the eyes of Japan. I will be the great ship of Japan. This is my vow, and I will never forsake it!
[WND 1, p.280-281]
Despite all the persecutions that Nichiren Daishonin faced, he declared that no matter what storms of obstacles and devilish forces had assailed him, nothing had ever shaken his unwavering spirit. Even the furious onslaughts of the devil king of the sixth heaven could not extinguish the flame for kosen-rufu that blazed in his heart. On the contrary, they only made his inner flame burn even brighter. He even declared that he will never break the vow he made in all eternity.
President Ikeda teaches that if the Buddha kept his enlightenment to himself, the Buddhist Law would still remain distant from people’s lives. Spreading the Buddha’s teaching is a noble undertaking that illuminates both the person and the Law.
The Law does not spread by itself. Because people propagate it, both the people and the Law are respectworthy.
[Gosho Zenshu, p. 856]
Commemorating 700th anniversary of the founding of Nichiren Buddhism, on April 28, 1952 Soka Gakkai published the Gosho Zenshu, the Writing of Nichiren Daishonin. This accurate and complete collection of Nichiren Daishonin's writings enables all ordinary people around the world to have direct access to the words of Nichiren Daishonin.
In accordance with the Daishonin’s spirit and determination, SGI members have boldly spread his teaching to 192 countries and territories around the world, igniting the flame of courage in the hearts of countless individuals. Through the tremendous struggles of the first three Soka Gakkai presidents and the strenuous efforts of all fellow members who continue their battle, kosen-rufu has developed into an immense global current of courage and unity. This dauntless spirit of those who are advancing this movement is the key to accumulating benefit and securing happiness.