President Makiguchi said: “We must clearly distinguish between believers and practitioners. While there is no dispute that those who believe [in the Mystic Law] will have their prayers answered and realize benefit, this alone does not qualify as bodhisattva practice. There is no such thing as a self-centered Buddha who simply accumulates benefit and does not work for the well-being of others.
“Unless we carry out bodhisattva practice, we cannot become a Buddha. In other words, a person of genuine faith is a practitioner who serves others with the spirit of a parent. When we carry out such a practice, however, devils will vie to obstruct us.... A person of minor good who lives only for himself definitely will not be attacked by devils. In contrast, when we lead the life of major good of dedication to the bodhisattva practice, devils will arise without fail. It is by the appearance of devils that we can tell that someone is a genuine practitioner.”
This guidance is an abstract from 'The World of Nichiren Daishonin Writings' with universal value and application
One person thought Mr. Toda perhaps meant to say 75,000! Another said he thought that President Toda intended to live for an extremely long time by extending his life through faith. Another person was seriously distraught, thinking that he could not possibly endure throwing President Toda’s remains into the sea off Shinagawa. Even the report in the Seikyo Shimbun newspaper on his inauguration speech didn’t once mention the figure of 750,000 households. There may well have been leaders who, instead of thinking about how they could prevent their mentor from ending up in the “sea off Shinagawa,” were intent on giving a speedy burial to his vow. I myself was filled with keen anticipation at the crucial struggle for kosen-rufu that was sure to commence. In any event, President Toda’s earnest feelings were conveyed to everyone. We all stood up to take action. As President Toda’s disciple, I took my place in the vanguard of the youth division and initiated a great campaign of propagation to actualize my mentor’s vow.
President Toda said: “If we wish to stand up at the present time with the same spirit as the Buddha and truly devote ourselves to working for the betterment of the world, our only course is to enable others to practice the Daishonin’s Buddhism. This is the best possible way to attain personal happiness, it is the most direct path to world peace, and it is the key to bringing prosperity to the nation. I therefore believe that propagating the Daishonin’s Buddhism is the highest form of Buddhist practice.
During his incarceration, which came about as a result of his struggle to protect the Law, Mr. Toda read the Lotus Sutra with his life and awakened to the truth that the Buddha is life itself. His expression of this reality in such clear and modern language revived the essence of Buddhism in the present age. That was the stage at which President Toda’s life opened to the ultimate truth of Buddhism.
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