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
May 3 - Soka Gakkai Day
May 3 is the day that disciples set forth to fulfill the shared vow of mentor and disciple. It is known as ‘Soka Gakkai Day’ within SGI. It was on this significant day in 1951 that Mr. Toda was inaugurated as second President of Soka Gakkai. During his inauguration, President Toda announced the goal of expanding the organization to 750,000 member households. At that time, Soka Gakkai’s membership stood barely at around 3,000.
It was a target that many leaders found unattainable. Some just brushed it aside, while others were unable to take it seriously. They were completely baffled as to how such an ambitious target could possibly be attained. Only the young Ikeda stood up, among the ranks of President Toda’s disciple, to take on the vow to take concrete steps from that very moment towards realizing his mentor’s vision.
Mr. Toda said: “Kosen-rufu doesn’t advance through organizational power, but through the power of individuals with strong faith. That’s why all I need is one true disciple.”
[Celebrating the New Year of the Second Act of Kosen-rufu—Part 2, Jan 2008]
This is the way that President Ikeda has responded to his mentor without a moment of hesitation, with complete trust and determination to achieve his mentor’s vision. Herein lies the very essence of shared vow of mentor and disciple.
On the same day in 1960, President Ikeda, at the age of 32, was inaugurated as third president of Soka Gakkai. Engraving the spirit of his mentor in his heart, President Ikeda vowed to realize the goal of 3 million member households that his mentor had entrusted him. It is in the lifeblood of President Ikeda and President Toda that prime emphasis was placed on the widespread propagation of the Law. Both Presidents have made propagation the very core of the organization’s movement towards realizing worldwide kosen-rufu.
In addition, the very essence of the Soka Gakkai is the mentor-disciple spirit. The great path of mentor and disciple is the courageous practice of carrying out the struggle of selfless dedication that was passed on from first Soka Gakkai President Tsunesaburo Makiguchi to second President Josei Toda, and then to SGI President Ikeda. Like what the ex-Soka Gakkai President Akiya shared, “There is no struggle we cannot win when we unite in spirit with our mentor. That is the principle behind the Soka Gakkai’s great development.” [Soka Gakkai Day — Engraving the Mentor-Disciple Spirit in Our Hearts, Soka Gakkai President Akiya’s Guidance, May 2004]
The foundation of 750,000 member households laid by President Toda has set waves of groundswell propagation efforts in Japan and eventually laid the path for worldwide propagation. This is the spirit of the eternal prime point of May 3. It is a time for disciples to renew their vow and resolve for kosen-rufu by taking initiative to spread the Mystic Law, unafraid of any hardships or obstacles they may encounter along the way.
As long as this day of eternal commitment remains as its foundation, the Gakkai will brim with the inexhaustible and indefatigable life-force of the Buddha and continue to open the way to victory forever, unimpeded by any obstacle.
[May 3—The Soka Gakkai’s New Year’s Day, May 2006]
With the deepest appreciation for the inexhaustible commitment of women’s division members, President Ikeda has also designated May 3 as ‘Soka Gakkai Mother’s Day’.