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May 2020

In This Issue

From SGM General Director

Calamities Can be Changed into Good Fortune
The COVID-19 outbreak that began last year has now become a global pandemic that has spread to over 200 countries and territories worldwide. It has transformed into a great global calamity.

Malapetaka Boleh Bertukar Menjadi Rezeki
Wabak COVID-19 yang bermula tahun lalu kini telah menjadi pandemik sedunia yang telah merebak ke lebih daripada 200 negara dan wilayah di seluruh dunia. Wabak ini telah berubah menjadi malapetaka global yang hebat.

From SGI President

The Invincible Treasure Towers of Life by SGI President Daisaku Ikeda

Feature

The Brilliant Path of Worldwide Kosen-rufu: Learning from The New Human Revolution Commentary on Volume 15 by SGI Vice-President Hiromasa Ikeda

Chapter Summary for Volume 15 of The New Human Revolution from the Seikyo Shimbun

“Unforgettable Scenes” – Key Episodes from Volume 15 from the Seikyo Shimbun

Excerpts from Nichiren’s Writings of Volume 15 from the Seikyo Shimbun

Special Feature

A Bastion of Life-Affirming Journalism by SGI President Daisaku Ikeda

Impressions on the 60th Anniversary of May 3, 1960 by SGM senior leaders

Excerpts from On Health and Long Life by SGI President Daisaku Ikeda

Halaman Kanak-Kanak

Kura-kura Putih Membalas Budi

Experience

CreateVictories with Firm Faith Lee Hooi Min, Selangor

Art

How Do Malaysian Artists Create Art? by Leong Tuck Yee

News

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In his 39th Peace Proposal issued on January 26, Value Creation in a Time of Crisis, SGI President Daisaku Ikeda addressed major issues such as the COVID-19 pandemic, building a global culture of harmony and human rights, the need to get rid of nuclear weapons and the climate crisis. He proposed solutions for overcoming these challenges and called on the global community to together build a society realising “happiness for both oneself and others through bringing into full play the human capacity to create value.” [1]

When we look at the world today, people are only concerned about their own interests. Most people only care about themselves and their own families, placing their personal concerns above all else. People even resort to unethical methods, even damaging and sacrificing the needs of others in order to fulfil their own interests.

Looking at our pandemic-stricken society as an example, we can see that many people have had their spirits crushed and livelihoods destroyed – they are in dire straits. But the cruel reality is that they are ignored or discriminated against, – even excluded – leaving them isolated and helpless.

Even where the supply of vaccines is concerned, we see that countries only take care of their own needs and turn a blind eye to the needs of other countries.

On this, President Ikeda stressed that we must have the determination to never leave behind those struggling in the depths of adversity, lending them a helping hand, and shine the warm glow of concern in their lives. We must enable them to bring forth the strength to live with dignity and strive to build the foundations for a society where the word “misery” is eradicated.

In “The Three Virtues of Food,” Nichiren Daishonin writes: “If one gives food to others, one will improve one’s own lot, just as, for example, if one lights a fire for others, one will brighten one’s own way.” (WND-2, pg 1060) This teaches us that when we contribute to the wellbeing of others, we ourselves will receive benefit too.

The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings states: “‘Joy’ means that oneself and others together experience joy.” (OTT, pg 146) True joy is when we and others enjoy happiness.

On this, President Ikeda says: “Happiness is something that we must each achieve for ourselves and experience in our own lives. But at the same time, one’s own happiness to the exclusion of others is not true happiness. Just being content with one’s own welfare with no concern for others is selfish. By the same token, brushing aside one’s own happiness and caring only about the happiness of others is not sufficient either. True happiness is a condition when both we ourselves and others are happy.” [2]

He also points out: “We cannot steal happiness from someone or attain it by sacrificing others for our own gain. It is something that must be shared – which is why I have always insisted that our happiness must not be built upon the misfortune of others.” [3]

We cannot live alone and isolated. Humankind has always been a community where we share joy and sorrow together. The thinking that helping others will only hurt our interests is the main reason for the terrible state that society is in today.

There is no life more noble than one dedicated to caring for and helping others, and enabling people to become happy.

Let us learn from this pandemic and transform this crisis into opportunity, and together build a society that realises happiness for both oneself and others!

[1] Pg 42 of this issue.
[2] FLOW No. 661 (01.10.2017), pg13–14.
[3] Ibid., pg 14.

The COVID-19 outbreak that began last year has now become a global pandemic that has spread to over 200 countries and territories worldwide. It has transformed into a great global calamity.

This disease has become the common enemy of humanity the world over. Not only has it taken away precious human lives, it has affected the economies of countries worldwide and the livelihoods of numerous people. But at the same time, this pandemic has raised several questions that people all over the world are forced to urgently ponder.

First of all, through this experience, we must create an age where life has the highest value of all.

It is predicted that tens of thousands of people will lose their lives in this pandemic, which is comparable to the number of lives lost in a war.

One of the reasons for this is because the leadership of some countries did not make protecting people’s lives their priority and caused the outbreak to spin out of control.

Buddhism regards the life of each person as a “treasure tower” that possesses the incomparably precious Buddha nature. Once this Buddha nature is manifested, it can reveal the unlimited potential in our lives, thereby creating boundless value. This becomes the key to determining whether we live a happy life.

Each person’s life has boundless dignity; therefore, we cannot allow lives to be destroyed.

From now on, we must strive hard in awakening society to the dignity of life and create an age where life has the highest value.

Secondly, we must put an end to foolishness and egoism.

Egoism and selfish behaviour have exposed the ugly side of human nature and created confusion, destroyed the environment, divided society and even harmed and destroyed life.

Nichiren Daishonin teaches us the philosophy of coexistence and caring for other people. The Gosho teaches: “If one lights a fire for others, one will brighten one’s own way.” (WND-2, pg 1060)

When we are concerned for other people, we and others become happy. This is what true happiness means.

SGI President Daisaku Ikeda often reminds us that we cannot build our happiness upon the suffering of others.

In this pandemic, we see how medical personnel all over the world are exerting their utmost at the frontlines to save lives, manifesting the spirit of compassion and the greater self. There are also the volunteers and people developing vaccines for COVID-19, among others, who are saving lives all day and night. They have displayed the altruistic spirit and actions that we must strive hard to promote in the future.

Thirdly, we must promote the ideal of global citizenship.

COVID-19 has spread to every corner of the Earth. This tells us that we live in a borderless world and that humanity must transcend the boundaries of ethnicity, countries’ borders and all other differences, opening up a path of shared existence and prosperity based on the consciousness that we are one global family, one human family.

Buddhism speaks of dependent origination, which teaches that we do not exist simply on our own, but in relation with other phenomena. Each country is not a solitary island but exists interdependently with others. Human beings must care for and help each other, and thereby exist together.

We all place importance on the spirit of service and contribution. Through this, we build a society that serves others and is rich in humanism.

Second Soka Gakkai president Josei Toda promoted the idea of global citizenship in the previous century, and President Ikeda stressed that our lives must be as expansive as the universe and we must transform this Earth, our only home, into a borderless oasis and Buddha land.

Let us use the opportunity afforded by this great disaster and rejuvenate the spirit of humanity through the wisdom of Buddhism, and change calamities into good fortune like the Gosho teaches.

Wabak COVID-19 yang bermula tahun lalu kini telah menjadi pandemik sedunia yang telah merebak ke lebih daripada 200 negara dan wilayah di seluruh dunia. Wabak ini telah berubah menjadi malapetaka global yang hebat.

Penyakit ini telah menjadi seteru umum manusia di seluruh dunia. Penyakit ini bukan sahaja telah meragut banyak nyawa manusia yang berharga tetapi juga telah menjejaskan ekonomi di negara-negara di seluruh dunia dan juga kehidupan banyak orang. Tetapi pada masa yang sama, pandemik ini telah menimbulkan beberapa persoalan yang manusia di seluruh dunia terpaksa merenung segera.

Pertama sekali, melalui pengalaman ini, kita haruslah mencipta satu era di mana nyawa mempunyai nilai yang tertinggi daripada segalanya.

Memang diramalkan bahawa puluhan ribu manusia akan kehilangan nyawa dalam pandemik ini, bilangan nyawa yang hilang ini setanding dengan jumlah yang hilang dalam peperangan.

Satu daripada sebabnya adalah kerana kepemimpinan di sesetengah negara tidak menjadikan usaha melindungi nyawa rakyatnya sebagai keutamaan mereka dan menyebabkan wabak ini menjadi tidak terkawal.

Agama Buddha menganggap nyawa setiap orang sebagai “menara khazanah” yang memiliki sifat Buddha yang sangat bernilai dan tiada bandingan. Sekali sifat Buddha ini dimanifestasikan, potensi yang tidak terbatas akan menyerlah dalam hidup kita, dan mencipta nilai yang tidak terbatas. Keadaan ini akan menjadi kunci untuk menentukan sama ada kita menempuhi kehidupan yang bahagia.

Nyawa setiap orang mempunyai maruah yang tidak terbatas; oleh yang demikian, kita tidak boleh membiarkan nyawa dibinasakan.

Mulai sekarang, kita hendaklah berusaha lebih gigih lagi untuk menyedarkan masyarakat mengenai maruah kehidupan dan mencipta satu era yang mana nyawa mempunyai nilai yang tertinggi.

Kedua, kita haruslah menamatkan kebodohan dan egoisme.

Tingkah laku yang bersifat egoisme dan mementingkan diri sendiri telah mendedahkan sisi buruk sifat manusia dan menimbulkan kekeliruan, memusnahkan alam sekitar, memecah-belahkan masyarakat, malah memudaratkan dan membinasakan nyawa.

Nichiren Daishonin mengajar kita berkenaan dengan falsafah kewujudan bersama dan mengambil berat tentang orang lain. Gosho ada mengajar: “Jika seseorang menyalakan api untuk orang lain, orang itu akan mencerahkan jalannya sendiri.” (WND-2, hlm. 1060)

Apabila kita prihatin terhadap orang lain, kita dan orang lain akan hidup bahagia. Inilah kebahagiaan yang sebenarnya.

Presiden SGI, Encik Daisaku Ikeda selalu mengingatkan kita bahawa janganlah kita membina kebahagiaan kita atas penderitaan orang lain.

Dalam pandemik ini, kita saksikan bagaimana ahli bidang perubatan di seluruh dunia berusaha dengan sedaya upaya mereka di baris depan untuk menyelamatkan nyawa, memperlihatkkan semangat belas kasihan dan yang bersikap prihatin terhadap orang lain dan tidak mementingkan diri sendiri sahara (greater self). Ada juga para sukarelawan dan orang yang menghasilkan vaksin untuk COVID-19, antaranya, mereka menyelamatkan nyawa siang dan malam. Mereka telah mempamerkan semangat altruistik dan tindakan yang kita harus bekerja keras untuk mengembangkannya pada masa hadapan.

Ketiga, kita hendaklah menggalakkan ideal kewarganegaraan global.

COVID-19 telah merebak ke seluruh pelosok Bumi. Keadaan ini memberitahu kita bahawa kita menghuni di dunia yang tanpa sempadan dan manusia haruslah melangkaui batasan sempadan perkauman, negara dan semua perbezaan yang lain, membuka jalan untuk kewujudan dan kemakmuran bersama berdasarkan kesedaran bahawa kita adalah satu keluarga sedunia, satu keluarga manusia.

Agama Buddha menyentuh tentang kesalingbergantungan (dependent origination), yang mengajar bahawa kita tidak wujud semata-mata dengan diri kita tetapi bersaling kait dengan fenomena lain. Setiap negara bukanlah sebuah pulau yang berasingan tetapi wujud saling bergantung dengan yang lain. Manusia haruslah mengambil berat dan membantu di antara satu sama lain, dan dengan itu wujud bersama.

Kita semua memberi tumpuan pada semangat untuk berkhidmat dan memberi sumbangan. Melalui usaha ini, kita membina sebuah masyarakat yang berbakti pada orang lain dan kaya dengan kemanusiaan.

Presiden kedua Soka Gakkai, Encik Josei Toda menggalakan idea kewarganegaraan global dalam abad yang lalu, dan Presiden Ikeda menekankan kehidupan kita hendaklah seluas alam sejagat dan kita hendaklah mengubah Bumi ini, satu-satunya tempat tinggal kita menjadi oasis yang tanpa sempadan dan tanah Buddha.

Marilah kita menggunakan kesempatan yang diakibatkan oleh bencana besar ini dan memberi nafas baharu kepada semangat kemanusiaan melalui kearifan agama Buddha, seterusnya mengubah malapetaka menjadi rezeki seperti yang diajar dalam Gosho.

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