About Soka Gakkai International (SGI)
Soka Gakkai International (SGI) is a worldwide network of lay Buddhists dedicated to a common vision of a better world through the empowerment of the individual and the promotion of peace, culture and education. It currently consists of 90 constituent organizations and has 12 million members in 192 countries and territories worldwide.
The SGI movement has its roots in 1930s Japan and the struggle against the thought-control of the Japanese militarist government of the time.
The Buddhism practiced by SGI members is based on the teachings of the 13th-century Japanese priest Nichiren and his interpretation of the Lotus Sutra.
On January 26, 1975 the SGI was founded in Guam, in response to the needs of an increasingly international membership, with Daisaku Ikeda as its first president.
Today, the SGI is an NGO registered with the United Nations (UN). The SGI has UN liaison offices in New York, Geneva and Vienna and works in partnership with like-minded NGOs and relevant UN organizations. The SGI, of which SGM is a part, has members in over 190 countries and territories.
Each SGI organization shares the same philosophy and basic practice but has the freedom to operate independently within the customs and laws of its own country. Respecting and celebrating individual and cultural differences is a tenet that the SGI upholds.
If a person is hungry, we should give them bread. When there is no bread, we can at least give words that nourish. To a person who looks ill or is physically frail, we can turn the conversation to some subject that will lift their spirits and fill them with the hope and determination to get better. Let us give something to each person we meet: joy, courage, hope, assurance, philosophy, wisdom, a vision for the future. Let us always give something.
Daisaku Ikeda, SGI President