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June 2021

In This Issue

From SGM General Director

Changing Misfortune into Fortune through Resolute Prayer
Though it has been over a year, not only has the COVID-19 pandemic not subsided, it has instead worsened.

Ubah Musibah Menjadi Rezeki melalui Doa yang Kuat
Meskipun sudah melebihi satu tahun, pandemik COVID-19 bukan sahaja tidak reda, malah menjadi semakin buruk.

From SGI President

Victory Is Certain! by SGI President Daisaku Ikeda

Feature

The Founder at 150 – Makiguchi’s Legacy by Dinesh Chandren

Thoughts on Education for Global Citizenship by SGI President Daisaku Ikeda

Staying True to the Ideals of the Founder by SGI President Daisaku Ikeda

The Brilliance of Soka Education Compiled by Cosmic Editorial Board

Quotes on Education Compiled by Cosmic Editorial Board

Culturewatch

Waterschool (film, 2018) by Irani Basu

The Great Debaters (film, 2007) by Dinesh Chandren

Halaman Kanak-Kanak

Kishimojin yang Mengubah Sikap

Experience

The Vow for Kosen-rufu and the Mission of the Bodhisattvas of the Earth are Inseparable Connie Goh Bee Hoon, Singapore

Shine in My Own Unique Way Priscilla Yip Yan Kheng, Singapore

Art

Kuo Ju Ping – True Self less Pioneering Spirit by Leong Tuck Yee

News

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Editor’s Note

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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.

Though it has been over a year, not only has the COVID-19 pandemic not subsided, it has instead worsened. The government has since called for the Movement Control Order (MCO) 3.0. (Editor’s note: Malaysia has since gone into a full lockdown similar to MCO 1.0)

Further, this new wave of the pandemic is even more serious, with mutant variants that have higher transmission and fatality rates. Furthermore, most people infected are asymptomatic and moving around freely. This is a truly worrying situation.

This means COVID-19 is all around us; it is always beside us. If we are even a little careless, we will be infected.

Therefore, we cannot take things lightly, and engrave in our hearts Nichiren Daishonin’s admonition: “Determine to take every possible precaution.” (WND-1, pg 461) We have to take all possible precautions.

In terms of fighting the pandemic, we must learn from the past as well. The key is to begin with ourselves. Each person must strengthen our awareness of the pandemic and maintain high self-discipline, taking good care of ourselves and others.

We must also show concern to others in our pandemic-stricken communities, and reach out to those who are feeling anxious, or can see no hope for the days ahead.

With regards to those who are suffering, SGI President Daisaku Ikeda pointed out in his 2021 Peace Proposal that we must determine “never to leave behind those struggling in the depths of adversity.”(1) We must instead reach out a helping hand, make an “active commitment to protect the large numbers of unseen people whose plight risks being overlooked,” “prioritise efforts to alleviate their pain and claustrophobic sense of danger,”(2) and “illuminate a society darkened by chaos and confusion with the light of hope”(3) through concern and encouragement.

What is most important in this battle against the pandemic is to put lives first above all, and do all that we can to protect and save lives.

The most precious thing in this world is life. Protecting lives must come above everything else.

According to the World Health Organisation, vaccination is currently the only way out of the COVID-19 pandemic. Thus, getting vaccinated must be regarded as a social responsibility that everyone must undertake, so that we can protect ourselves and others.

This pandemic is the common enemy of people the world over. It does not recognise national or ethnic boundaries. The global community must realise that as long as there’s one country that has not controlled the pandemic, then this battle will not end.

Thus, every country in the world must unite, based on a spirit of mutual assistance, and put aside racism, discrimination, self-interest and inequality. Only through helping one another, working together and strengthening international cooperation – whether it’s in vaccine research, development and supply, sharing knowledge and technology, or global public health and safety – can humanity win over this pandemic and welcome a bright tomorrow of shared existence and prosperity.

In facing the severe test posed by this pandemic, we must strengthen our faith and chant daimoku more earnestly. We must pray with a resolute spirit such that “misfortune will change into fortune.” (WND-1, pg 412)

President Ikeda says: “The power of the Mystic Law is boundless and immeasurable. No hardship can ever destroy the great inner palace of faith. Every adversity we face is a trial we undergo in order to attain eternal happiness.”(4)

There is no disaster that we cannot overcome through faith. This is also true of the COVID-19 pandemic.

(1) COSMIC, April 2021, pg 20.
(2) Ibid., pg 22.
(3) Ibid., pg 24.
(4) SGI Newsletter No. 10316 dated 16.10.2019. “Engraving the Daishonin’s Words in Our Hearts: Words of Encouragement from President Ikeda” (5) – Changing Poison into Medicin through Resolute Prayer.

Meskipun sudah melebihi satu tahun, pandemik COVID-19 bukan sahaja tidak reda, malah menjadi semakin buruk. Kerajaan telah pun melaksanakan Perintah Kawalan Pergerakan (PKP) 3.0. (Note editor: Kini Malaysia berada dalam “full lockdown” seperti PKP 1.0)

Selanjutnya, gelombang baharu pandemik ini lebih serius, dengan varian mutan yang mempunyai kadar penyebaran dan kematian yang lebih tinggi. Tambahan pula, kebanyakan orang yang dijangkiti tidak menunjukkan sebarang gejala dan bebas bergerak. Keadaan ini benar-benar membimbangkan.

Ini bermakna bahawa COVID-19 berada di sekeliling kita, sentiasa berada di sisi kita. Sekiranya kita lalai sedikit, kita akan dijangkiti.

Oleh yang demikian, kita jangan memandang enteng terhadap perkara ini, kita hendaklah mengukir di hati kita kata-kata nasihat Nichiren Daishonin: “Bertekad mengamalkan segala langkah berjaga-jaga yang mungkin.” (WND-1, hlm. 461) Kita harus mengambil semua langkah pencegahan yang mungkin.

Dari segi memerangi pandemik, kita haruslah belajar daripada masa lalu. Kuncinya bermula daripada diri kita sendiri. Setiap orang hendaklah meningkatkan kesedaran mengenai pandemik dan mempunyai disiplin diri yang tinggi, menjaga diri kita sendiri dan juga orang lain dengan baik.

Kita mestilah menunjukkan keprihatinan kita terhadap orang lain dalam komuniti kita yang dilanda pandemik, dan dampingilah mereka yang berasa cemas, atau tidak melihat adanya harapan pada hari-hari yang mendatang.

Berkenaan dengan golongan yang menderita, Presiden SGI, Encik Daisaku Ikeda menyebut dalam Saranan Keamanan 2021nya bahawa kita hendaklah berazam “jangan sekali-kali meninggalkan golongan sedang bergelut dalam kesusahan.”(1) Sebaliknya kita hendaklah menghulurkan bantuan kepada mereka, membuat suatu “komitmen aktif untuk melindungi sebilangan besar manusia yang tidak kelihatan, di mana ada risiko keadaan buruk mereka terlepas pandang,” “memberi keutamaan kepada usaha untuk meringankan penderitaan mereka dan perasaan takut luar biasa yang bahaya,”(2) dan “Terangilah masyarakat yang digelapkan oleh kekacauan dan kekeliruan dengan cahaya harapan”(3) melalui keprihatinan dan rangsangan.

Perkara yang paling penting dalam perjuangan menentang pandemik ini ialah mengutamakan nyawa mengatasi segalanya, dan berusaha bersungguh-sungguh untuk melindungi dan menyelamatkan nyawa.

Benda yang paling bernilai di dunia ini ialah nyawa. Melindungi nyawa haruslah mengatasi segalanya.

Menurut Pertubuhan Kesihatan Sedunia (WHO), pada masa ini, vaksinasi merupakan satu-satunya jalan keluar daripada pandemik COVID-19. Oleh itu, mendapatkan vaksin haruslah dianggap sebagai satu tanggungjawab sosial yang harus dilakukan oleh setiap orang, supaya kita dapat melindungi diri kita sendiri dan juga orang lain. Pandemik ini merupakan musuh umum kepada manusia di seluruh dunia. Pandemik ini tidak mengenal sempadan negara atau etnik. Komuniti global haruslah sedar bahawa selagi adanya satu negara yang tidak dapat mengawal pandemik, maka selagi itulah perjuangan tersebut belum lagi berakhir.

Oleh itu, setiap negara haruslah bersatu-padu, berasaskan semangat saling membantu, dan mengetepikan soal perkauman, diskriminasi, kepentingan diri dan ketidaksamarataan. Hanya dengan membantu antara satu sama lain, bekerjasama dan memperkukuhkan kerjasama antarabangsa – sama ada melibatkan penyelidikan, pembangunan dan pembekalan vaksin, berkongsi pengetahun dan teknologi atau kesihatan dan keselamatan umum global – akan membolehkan manusia mengatasi pandemik ini dan menghadapi hari esok yang cerah atas nama kewujudan dan kemakmuran bersama.

Dalam menghadapi dugaan perit yang diakibatkan oleh pandemik ini, kita haruslah mengukuhkan amalan kepercayaan agama kita dan meratib daimoku dengan bersungguh-sungguh. Kita hendaklah berdoa dengan semangat yang kuat agar “musibah akan bertukar menjadi rezeki.” (WND-1, hlm. 412)

Presiden Ikeda berkata: “Kuasa Hukum Mistik adalah tidak terbatas dan tidak terukur. Tidak ada kesusahan yang mampu membinasakan mahligai kepercayaan agama dalaman yang hebat. Setiap kesusahan yang kita hadapi adalah dugaan yang harus kita tempuhi untuk mencapai kebahagiaan yang abadi.”(4)

Tidak ada malapetaka yang kita tidak mampu atasi melalui amalan kepercayaan agama. Begitu jugalah dengan pandemik COVID-19.

(1) COSMIC, naskhah April 2021, hlm. 20.
(2) Ibid., hlm. 22.
(3) Ibid., hlm. 24.
(4) SGI Newsletter bernombor 10316 bertarikh 16.10.2019. “Engraving the Daishonin’s Words in Our Hearts: Words of Encouragement from President Ikeda” (5) – Changing Poison into Medicine through Resolute Prayer.

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