With the aim of promoting Buddhist study, one of the three pillars of Nichiren Buddhism, SGM held the 2019 Entrance-Level Buddhist study examination on December 15, 2019 at 42 venues nationwide, with 4321 candidates sitting for this exam – the largest turnout in SGM’s history.
The syllabus for this year’s exam included topics such as faith, practice and study; the history of the Soka Gakkai; refuting the Nikken Sect and three Goshos titled “Happiness in This World”, “The Real Aspect of the Gohonzon” and “The Properties of Rice.”
To encourage the candidates, SGI President sent a message which was read before the exam began. In his message, he ensured them that Nichiren Daishonin would surely praise them for their seeking spirit. He also urged them to engrave Gosho passages into their hearts from then on. SGM General Director Koh Sia Feai, women’s division leader May Chan, youth division leader Andrew Looi and other senior leaders were present at various venues to encourage the candidates and working committee.
To help the candidates gain a better grasp of Buddhism, seniors-in-faith conducted revision sessions with them prior to the exam.
Young men’s division (YMD) member Kelvin Thong had summoned up courage to sit for the exam knowing that challenging the exam is far more important than getting marks. Through studying the principles, he has deepened his knowledge of Nichiren Buddhism and this will help him a lot in encouraging the junior members in the dance group under his care to deepen their faith and give better performance.
Thirteen-year-old Xavier Chan was happy and confident that he will pass the exam. More importantly, he will put into action the knowledge and principles he has learnt in his life, strengthen his faith, improve on his studies and build better relationships with his friends and schoolmates.
This exam was the first for 80-year-old women’s division (WD) member Chin Siew Lan. While feeling relieved after finishing the exam, she was happy that she sat for the exam and completed it, achieving a personal milestone for herself. She has learnt a lot about Nichiren Buddhism and was certain that she would be more convincing in advising her grandchildren on various matters.
Fifty-year-old WD member Yim Lee Yong accompanied her family members who were taking the exam, saying, “I am really happy that they are able to do so.”
Numerous members who sat for this exam have found joy in that their faith in Nichiren Buddhism has deepened or have garnered some useful Buddhist principles in helping them to overcome problems and lead victorious lives.