By steadfastly enduring the adversities that arose in the wake of the Sado Exile, his followers achieved a genuine relationship of oneness of mentor and disciple.
The same is true in the history of the Soka Gakkai. When first Soka Gakkai president Tsunesaburo Makiguchi, an elementary school principal, suffered repeated transfers that were tantamount to demotions [owing to his refusal to kowtow to political leaders seeking to wield authority over education], Josei Toda, a fellow teacher, moved with him and continued to work beside him. As a result, they strengthened their bond as mentor and disciple. After they were imprisoned [during World War II for opposing the dictates of the militarist government], Mr. Toda alone vowed to carry on President Makiguchi’s sacred work.
This guidance is an abstract from 'The World of Nichiren Daishonin Writings' with universal value and application
The purpose of religion is to elevate people and make them stronger. We can gauge the true value of a religion by looking at its practitioners. As the Daishonin says, “Nothing is more certain than actual proof ” (WND, 478). Moreover, the real power of a religion becomes all the more apparent in times of adversity.
The benefit of the Gohonzon is infinite and inexhaustible. It is so boundless and immeasurable that the immense benefit you have already received thus far cannot possibly begin to compare. The supreme benefit of the Gohonzon is the change of destiny for all humankind, and it is the faith of the Soka Gakkai that is bringing forth this benefit.
As the Daishonin states in his conclusion to “The Object of Devotion for Observing the Mind,” the Gohonzon is the embodiment of the Buddha’s compassion. If we pray to the Gohonzon without taking any concrete action for kosen-rufu, however, the immense compassion of the original Buddha will not infuse our lives. It is when we are “of the same mind as Nichiren” and we become Nichiren Daishonin’s disciple — that is to say, when we stand up with the same determination as Nichiren Daishonin to accomplish kosen-rufu — that his immense compassion flows like a great river within us.
President Toda told me many times about that day. He shared with me the irrepressible joy he felt on that occasion. This was the point of departure for his unprecedented propagation of the Gohonzon, an accomplishment unrivaled in the seven hundred years since Nichiren Daishonin’s passing. Because of President Toda’s vow and his desire to lead people to happiness with this Gohonzon, the spirit of Nichiren Daishonin has now spread throughout the world.
In all of his efforts for kosen-rufu, President Toda started from the Gohonzon. That was the key to everything. The dawn of kosen-rufu occurred in the middle of the night on July 3, 1945, on the day of his release from prison. It started from my mentor’s modest room.
Depicted in the Gohonzon is not just Devadatta, the person who committed acts of the greatest treachery against Shakyamuni and was tormented by the most extreme suffering. Rather, in the Gohonzon we see a Devadatta illuminated by the light of the Mystic Law, who has become a votary of the Law and takes on the unique mission of harmonizing in the world of Hell. The Buddhahood of this one evil person, Devadatta, opens the way to Buddhahood for countless evil people.
Bodhisattva Never Disparaging continued his struggle and ultimately prevailed. If justice remains silent, evil will flourish. To persist in reproaching evil until people themselves awaken to a sense of regret is to act with compassion.
Shakyamuni thoroughly reproached Devadatta’s evil. There is no doubt about that. It is by denouncing evil that we can cause such people to open their eyes. That is because hearing voices resounding with the justice of the Mystic Law has the effect of activating the Buddha nature that lies dormant in an evil person’s heart. But because such a person’s heart is covered with a thick, rocklike crust of ignorance, a weak voice will not reach it. It takes a voice of censure, one that strictly takes evil to task, to break through this hard crust and illuminate the Buddha nature.
The Daishonin says: “In the final analysis, unless we succeed in demonstrating that this teaching is supreme, these disasters will continue unabated” (WND, 1114). Accordingly, in the struggle between the devilish nature and the Buddha nature, it is the mission of the Bodhisattvas of the Earth to be victorious, no matter what. If the Bodhisattvas of the Earth do not triumph over evil, the world will forever remain locked in a cycle of unremitting evil. When we win over evil, the Dharma nature manifests and a harmonious world of the oneness of good and evil is realized.
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