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July 2021

In This Issue

From SGM General Director

Constructing a New Era with the Passion and Power of Youth
This July, we welcome the 70th anniversary of the young men’s division and young women’s division.

Membina Era Baharu dengan Semangat dan Kuasa Belia
Bulan Julai ini, kita meraikan ulang tahun ke-70 penubuhan bahagian belia lelaki dan bahagian belia wanita.

From SGI President

Shine Brightly as Youthful Treasure Towers! by SGI President Daisaku Ikeda

Feature

The Brilliant Path of Worldwide Kosen-rufu: Learning from The New Human Revolution Commentary on Volume 27 by SGI Vice-President Hiromasa Ikeda

Chapter Summary for Volume 27 of The New Human Revolution from the Seikyo Shimbun

“Unforgettable Scenes” – Key Episodes from Volume 27 from the Seikyo Shimbun

Excerpts from Nichiren’s Writings Found in Volume 27 from the Seikyo Shimbun

Making a Fresh Advance from the 70th Anniversary by Dinesh Chandren

Develop a State of Life As Vast As the Universe by SGI President Daisaku Ikeda

Shining a Light in the Darkness – The SGM Beacon Group Interview with Prof Dr Christopher Boey

Ten Questions about Coronaviruses and COVID-19 Compiled by Dr Bee Boon Peng and SGM Beacon Group

From Our Readers

My Personal Role in Stemming the COVID-19 Pandemic by Dennis Tan

Culturewatch

Little Women (film, 2019) by Irani Basu

Halaman Kanak-Kanak

Panglima Su Wu yang Kuat Tekadnya

Experience

Walking the Victorious Path of Mentor and Disciple Jimmy Tam Kok Chian, Kuala Lumpur

Art

A Walk on Both Sides of the Fence by Andrew Pok Chong Boon

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.

This July, we welcome the 70th anniversary of the young men’s division and young women’s division. The month of youth shines with great brilliance.

SGI President Daisaku Ikeda regards young men and women as “treasures of the nation” and precious assets of the world. He deeply cherishes the youth and places high hopes on them.

He also believes that the youth of the Soka Gakkai are the hope of humanity. Not only does he trust the youth, he has also entrusted the most noble endeavour of kosen-rufu to them.

The youth shoulder great responsibility; thus, they must be true to and be strict with themselves, and fully hone and foster themselves. Only then can they rise up and fulfil their responsibility.

The first thing they need is to make a great vow for their own lives, as described by Nichiren Daishonin: “Here I will make a great vow,” (WND-1, pg 280) and “…make a great vow.” (WND-1, pg 1003)

Second Soka Gakkai president Josei Toda once said, “‘Too big’ is just about the right size for young people’s dreams. What we can achieve in a lifetime is always but a fraction of what we would set out to achieve. So if you start out with expectations that are too low, you’ll end up not being able to accomplish anything at all.”(1) Therefore, we hope that our youth will embrace great dreams, strive towards long-ranging goals and ceaselessly build oneself.

Further, Nichiren Daishonin wrote: “The ‘great vow’ refers to the propagation of the Lotus Sutra.” (OTT, pg 82) The greatest, most lofty goal of all is none other than kosen-rufu, the great endeavour of building human happiness and world peace.

If youth can dedicate their lives to striving tirelessly for the sake of realising the great endeavour of kosen-rufu, they will definitely create the greatest meaning and value for their lives, and live noble lives.

In order to shoulder the great endeavour of kosen-rufu, youth must strive tirelessly, as it is through hardship that they are forged.

Nichiren Daishonin further states in the Gosho: “Iron, when heated in the flames and pounded, becomes a fine sword.” (WND-1, pg 303) Similarly, people must be tempered by hardship before making something of themselves. Through such training, they develop firm determination and become people who can withstand the harsh trials of fate.

Youth must strive to study hard and grow through such efforts. Having the desire to learn and grow is the mission and characteristic of youth.

These efforts include studying the Gosho, and the guidance and works of President Ikeda. In these works, we find the greatest philosophy for humanity that will become the guidepost for our lives.

The Daishonin states, “Without practice and study, there can be no Buddhism.” (WND-1, pg 386) Continue to learn and take action, while upholding Buddhist practice and study – this will become the core of a victorious life for youth. What they learn will also become the driving force for victory in life and society.

Our world is full of intricate and complex problems. Other than the current pandemic, there are issues such as climate change, nuclear weapons, war, environmental issues, poverty and racial discrimination. These are all grave issues that must be solved through the power of youth.

Dear youth! Take your place on the stage of this century, and construct a new era for humanity with your passion and power!

(1) https://www.joseitoda.org/quotations/messages.html

Bulan Julai ini, kita meraikan ulang tahun ke-70 penubuhan bahagian belia lelaki dan bahagian belia wanita. Bulan belia ini bersinar dengan cemerlang.

Presiden SGI, Encik Daisaku Ikeda menganggap belia lelaki dan wanita sebagai “khazanah negara” dan harta yang bernilai di dunia. Beliau menghargai belia dan meletakkan harapan yang tinggi terhadap mereka.

Beliau turut percaya bahawa belia Soka Gakkai adalah harapan umat manusia. Beliau bukan sahaja mempercayai belia tetapi juga telah mengamanahkan kebanyakan daripada usaha kosen-rufu yang paling luhur kepada mereka.

Belia memikul tanggungjawab yang besar. Oleh yang demikian, mereka haruslah bersikap benar dan tegas terhadap diri mereka sendiri, mengasah dan memupuk diri mereka dengan sepenuhnya. Dengan cara ini, barulah mereka mampu bangkit dan dan menunaikan tanggungjawab mereka.

Perkara pertama yang belia perlu lakukan ialah mempunyai ikrar yang kuat untuk kehidupan mereka, seperti yang dijelaskan oleh Nichiren Daishonin: “Di sini, saya ingin melafazkan ikrar yang besar,” (WND-1, hlm. 280) dan “… melafazkan ikrar yang besar.” (WND-1, hlm. 1003)

Presiden kedua Soka Gakkai, Encik Josei Toda pernah berkata bahawa, “’Terlalu besar’ adalah ukuran yang tepat untuk impian anak muda. Apa yang kita boleh capai dalam seumur hidup ini selalunya merupakan apa yang telah kita tetapkan untuk mencapainya. Oleh itu, sekiranya anda mula dengan menetapkan harapan yang terlalu rendah, anda akhirnya tidak akan berjaya mencapai apa-apa.”(1) Oleh yang demikian, kita berharap agar belia kita akan mencapai impian yang besar, berusaha gigih ke arah matlamat jangka panjang dan tidak henti-henti membina diri.

Selanjutnya, Nichiren Daishonin menulis: “‘Ikrar yang besar’ itu merujuk kepada penyebaran Sutra Teratai.” (OTT, hlm. 82) Matlamat yang paling mulia dan luhur, tidak lain dan tidak bukan ialah kosen-rufu, usaha yang mulia untuk membina kebahagiaan manusia dan keamanan dunia.

Sekiranya belia sanggup mendedikasikan kehidupan mereka untuk berusaha dengan tidak mengenal penat lelah demi merealisasikan usaha mulia kosen-rufu, mereka pasti akan mencipta makna dan nilai yang paling besar untuk kehidupan mereka, seterusnya akan menempuhi kehidupan yang luhur.

Untuk memikul usaha mulia kosen-rufu, belia hendaklah berusaha dengan gigih, tidak mengira jerih perih, kerana mereka ditempa melalui kesusahan.

Nichiren Daishonin seterusnya berkata di dalam Gosho: “Besi, apabila dipanaskan dalam nyalaan api dan diketuk, akan menjadi pedang yang baik.” (WND-1, hlm. 303) Begitu juga, manusia haruslah menghadapi kesusahan sebelum membuat sesuatu dari diri mereka sendiri. Melalui latihan yang begini, mereka akan membina tekad yang kuat dan menjadi manusia yang sanggup menghadapi dugaan nasib yang getir.

Belia hendaklah berusaha untuk belajar dengan rajin dan berkembang maju melalui usaha-usaha ini. Mempunyai keinginan untuk belajar dan berkembang maju adalah misi dan ciri-ciri belia.

Usaha-usaha yang dimaksudkan termasuklah membelajari Gosho, bimbingan dan karya-karya Presiden SGI, Encik Daisaku Ikeda. Daripada karya-karya ini, kita akan temui falsafah yang teragung untuk umat manusia yang akan menjadi panduan untuk kehidupan kita.

Daishonin berkata, “Tanpa amalan dan pembelajaran, maka tidak wujudlah Buddhisme.” (WND-1, hlm. 386) Terus belajar dan mengambil tindakan, sambil menegakkan amalan dan pembelajaran Buddhisme – ini akan menjadi inti pati kehidupan yang berjaya untuk belia. Apa yang dibelajari oleh mereka akan menjadi daya penggerak untuk kemenangan dalam kehidupan dan masyarakat.

Dunia kita penuh dengan masalah yang rumit dan kompleks. Selain daripada pandemik yang dihadapi sekarang, terdapat juga masalah seperti perubahan cuaca, senjata nuklear, peperangan, alam sekitar, kemiskinan dan diskriminasi perkauman. Semua masalah genting ini perlu diselesaikan dengan kuasa belia.

Wahai belia yang dikasihi, ambillah tempat anda di pentas abad ini dan binalah satu era baharu untuk umat manusia dengan semangat dan kuasa anda!

(1) https://www.joseitoda.org/quotations/messages.html

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