On December 16, 2018, SGM held the 2018 Entrance-Level Buddhist study examination at 35 venues around the country, with some 2,500 candidates sitting for the exam.
This year, the syllabus included the basics of Nichiren Buddhism; faith, practice and study; the history of the Soka Gakkai; on refuting the Nikken Sect and three Goshos titled “How Those Initially Aspiring to the Way can Attain Buddhahood through the Lotus Sutra”, “The Embankments of Faith” and “A Comparison of the Lotus and Other Sutras.”
When interviewed, Chang Se Lin, who was at the SGM Culture Centre, said she felt happy helping other candidates in her district to prepare for the exam. Harmonious scenes of fellow members helping each other prepare for the exam were seen in many places, in accordance with President Ikeda’s words: “The merits of both those who speak about and teach Buddhism, and those who listed and learn are equally great. They will enjoy great joy and immense merit.”
When asked why he took the exam, 13-year-old Toh Chun Shen said he wanted to learn more about Nichiren Buddhism, while youth division member Chan Eng Kei said she wanted to challenge herself in this area. Of note is a 66-year old women’s division member’s decision to take the exam after partially losing her memory due to illness. She wished to relearn Buddhist philosophy and find the driving force for advancement. People with visual disabilities also took the exam with aid from members who read the questions and answer choices out to them.
The SGM Buddhist study exam served as a platform for members to strengthen their own human revolution.