On March 16 1958, an ailing Mr Toda passed the baton of kosen-rufu to a gathering of 6000 youths who braved the cold of late winter to rush to the Head Temple to respond to their mentor. Recalling a scene on 16 March 1958, Sensei described in the New Human Revolution Vol 4, Spring Storm Chapter,
“… After the ceremony and just before returning to his lodging, President Toda called out to us, ‘Let us fight!’ I think his words are profoundly meaningful. I feel certain he was referring to the whole spectrum of struggles we must grapple with: to help those suffering become happy, to challenge erroneous teachings, to fight against abuses and injustices committed by those in positions of power and out individual struggles against our own weaknesses… In any case, when I heard him call out, ‘Let us fight!’ his eyes sharp and radiant, his voice strong and vibrant despite his terrible gauntness – I was electrified. At that time, I resolved anew to fight intrepidly for kosen-rufu. Engraving our mentor’s words deeply in our hearts, let’s fight resolutely and unceasingly until the day we have finally achieved kosen-rufu.”
Why did Mr Toda choose this timing to entrust the youth with the future of kosen-rufu? Even if he knew he might not have much time left, would he be able to pass the baton confidently to the youth if Soka Gakkai had not been scoring clear and decisive victories? No doubt Mr Toda sensed the time was right largely because of the waves of great breakthroughs in propagation Gakkai has achieved in the past few years. The momentum really started in 1952 with the famous February Kamata Chapter campaign in which 201 households were converted in a single month, the Osaka Campaign in which 11, 111 households took faith within 5 months in 1956, culminating in the 750,000 households achieved in 1957. Mr Toda must have seen the tremendous growth of the youth division led by Mr Ikeda who was the Chief of Staff at that time.
March 16 is now viewed within the Soka Gakkai and the SGI as a day of new departures, "of eternal beginnings and perpetual hope." Mr. Ikeda has stated, "It is a time when people renew their profound resolution to accomplish kosen-rufu, a time when they put their minds together and make a fresh start."
In other words, March 16 is the day when genuine disciples who have been entrusted with carrying on the mission of kosen-rufu stand up resolutely and vow to shoulder full responsibility for that goal.
Buddhism is win or lose. To realize clear and decisive victory is the hallmark of a genuine disciple.
Are there any signs of genuine disciples in Singapore? Are there any clear and decisive victories shown recently?
The quiet enshrinement of the Gohonzon at the Soka Peace Centre was held on March 16 with the attendance of local senior leaders. Strangely, it rained heavily that day.
The World of Nichiren Daishonin's Writing, Vol.4 Pg.184 writes: "Nichiren Daishonin passed away at around 8.00am, during the hour of the dragon. Legend has it that the cherry trees were in bloom out of season at that time. The story no doubt arose because the Daishonin died on a warm, sunny, spring like day. Nichiren Buddhism is the 'Buddhism of the sun'. The sun was shining when the Daishonin first proclaimed his teaching and it shone when he left this world."
In other words, a sunny and fine weather signifies a great omen. That is why Nichiren Buddhism is known as the Buddhism of the Sun. So why did it rain on March 16 2014?
There were some laughable theories claiming that raining is good since Singapore had been experiencing severely hot and dry weather recently. The fact remains that it rained on Kosen-rufu day in Singapore.
It was a very sunny weather greeted us when the SGI leaders and representatives from South Asia attended the opening of the Soka Peace Centre a week later.
What does it say about SSA? What does it say about her top leaders who were present? It is clearly a defeat.
In addition, as far as we know, there were only less than 5 YMD applicants for Gohonzon as of March 16 this year. The target was 1 applicant per zone. The results was pathetic, to say the least. It is a decisive defeat. There didn’t seem to be any resolve from the senior YMD leadership to commemorate 3.16 with a victory. Either there was no resolve or no wisdom to do so. Or maybe it was both?!
News has it that the new YMD chief was the campaign chief of the above campaign which flopped miserably. Does it say about the future of YMDs in Singapore? The new youth chief was the former YMD chief who was ultimately responsible for the failure of the campaign. I couldn’t recall a single clear and decisive victory that the former YMD chief has scored. So what does it say about the future of the Youth Division of Singapore when they are going to be led by people who have no proven track record of scoring clear and decisive victories?
The Poem A Blue Deeper than Indigo Itself was written for Singapore by Ikeda Sensei on
9 March 1988. I quote part of poem:
“ Don’t ask
Whether or not this mighty flow of kosen-rufu
Will turn out to be a historical necessity.
Rather, always ask ourselves
Whether or not you carry the passion of heart
To make kosen-rufu inevitable,
Through your own sweat and toil.
The time has come around again
For us to observe Kosen-rufu Day.
This day signified the dawn of hope
For my dear disciples
Always push on,
Now is the time;
We should not go back even a step.
Sing the bright and brave song of youth
Proudly and Hopefully,
Continuing to challenge your daily efforts courageously;
In your pursuit of study and training.
With a golden unity that will never break down,
Give yourselves to accomplishing this,
Our Sacred Undertaking,
Bringing in a new day in the history of mankind.”
Where are the youthful genuine disciples of Singapore? These series of clear defeats are signs that the top youth leaders don’t seem to be ready to receive the baton of kosen-rufu from their Mentor yet. The ideal of SSA being an indomitable fortress is in my opinion still a faraway dream.
Results speak louder than words. Concrete actions backed by Buddha wisdom based on a great vow are what really matters.
Are the youths of SSA really engraving Sensei’s word in their hearts? Or are there merely following instructions from the top who may be none the wiser.
The time is ticking. Each defeat is delaying kosen-rufu in Singapore. A time of great defeat calls for a time of great reflection!