COSMIC 2018 May: From SGM General Director

May the Mothers of the World Be Full of Smiles ◄ Back to COSMIC 2018 May

The compassionate love
of mothers
cannot be restrained
by the fetters
of language,
by the icy walls
of nationality,
or by the conflicts and
struggles of ideology.
The love of mothers,
like a straight-line path
between rice fields,
is the one emotion shared
by all people everywhere.

The lines above come from a poem President Ikeda wrote for mothers all over the world as a paean of praise.

In May, we celebrate Soka Gakkai Mothers’ Day, and naturally everyone in the Soka Gakkai will think of our mothers. I am sure we all believe that the greatness of our mothers is taller than mountains and deeper than the sea. A mother’s love is recognised as the greatest and most selfless love of all.

From the time we are born, our mothers nurtured us, cultivated our humanity. How much effort has she expended in her endeavours! How much love has she devoted to us! The great writer Dante Alighieri once likened a mother’s efforts – which only mothers can understand – to the gentle rain that falls on a spring night, unbeknownst to anyone.

Therefore, as children, we must be grateful towards and be filial to our mothers. This is the basic duty and ethics that human beings should possess. President Ikeda said, “To lose one’s sense of gratitude is to lose the most important part of one’s humanity.”(2)

Even in nature, plants and animals understand how to respond and show appreciation. Therefore, if we as human beings are not filial to our mother who raised us, we are no better than plants and animals.

In his “Precepts for Youth”, second Soka Gakkai president Josei Toda reminded the youth: “Nowadays, there are many young people who don’t even love their parents, so how can they love others?”

Society today takes a diminishing view regarding filial piety. Many children abandon their parents while some indulge in behaviour that causes great worry to their parents. We must prevent such a state of matters from spreading. Let us teach the great path of filial piety and build a happy and harmonious family, making the Mystic Law as our basis.

How can we actualise filial piety?

There are times when it is not money or material possessions that make parents happy. A bright smile or saying “Thank you” to our parents as a token of gratitude or helping our mothers with household chores and thereby lessening their burden – even a telephone call showing our concern and appreciation – are ways which will make our parents feel really happy.

In “The Four Virtues and the Four Debts of Gratitude”, Nichiren Daishonin teaches: “Therefore a person who upholds the Lotus Sutra is repaying the debt of gratitude owed to father and mother.” (WND-2, p. 638) This means that upholding the Mystic Law and striving for kosen-rufu is indeed the path of supreme filial piety. If our parents have yet to practise, then the highest form of filial piety that we can show towards our parents is to enable them to practise Nichiren Buddhism, as this will enable them to attain the supreme life-state of Buddhahood throughout the three existences.

Let’s make our mothers happy; let them be full of smiles – the world will then become a more beautiful place!

(1) Daisaku Ikeda, The New Human Revolution, book 93 “Ode to Mothers” (Soka Gakkai Malaysia, 2011), p. 59.
(2) Ibid., p. 49.


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