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April 2020

In This Issue

From SGM General Director

Creating a New Age of Shared Existence and Prosperity through Fighting COVID-19
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.

Mencipta Zaman Baharu Kewujudan dan Kemakmuran Bersama melalui Usaha Menentang COVID-19
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

Proudly Studying the Daishonin’s Teachings and Savouring the Joy of Human Revolution by SGI President Daisaku Ikeda

Feature

“Become Pioneers of a Better Age” by SGI President Daisaku Ikeda

President Ikeda’s Guidance on Good Health by SGI President Daisaku Ikeda

The Brilliant Path of Worldwide Kosen-rufu: Learning from The New Human Revolution Commentary on Volume 14 by SGI Vice-President Hiromasa Ikeda

Chapter Summary for Volume 14 of The New Human Revolution from the Seikyo Shimbun

“Unforgettable Scenes” – Key Episodes from Volume 14 from the Seikyo Shimbun

Excerpts from Nichiren’s Writings of Volume 14 from the Seikyo Shimbun

Special Feature

Learning About the TPNW by COSMIC Editorial Board

The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by COSMIC Editorial Board

Building Support for the TPNW (2020 Peace Proposal excerpt) by SGI President Daisaku Ikeda

Winter Always Turns to Spring by SGI President Daisaku Ikeda

Halaman Kanak-Kanak

Raja yang Menyelamatkan Burung Merpati

Experience

Rising Up with Positivity Horacio Pulido, Argentina

Art

Remembering a Master: Tew Nai Tong by Leong Tuck Yee

News

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Mentor and Disciple

Win the Love and Trust of Many People by SGI President Daisaku Ikeda

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 start of 2020 saw the whole world being caught up in the COVID-19 (coronavirus disease) maelstrom.

COVID-19 has swept through the whole world with alarming speed. As of mid-March (March 15), 146 countries and territories have been affected, with over 150,000 cases and over 5,700 deaths recorded.

In Malaysia, the number of cases is also increasing and has breached 400.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared COVID-19 a pandemic, also stating that the threat posed by this disease is very real.

This pandemic has not only disrupted the economies of countries worldwide and the lives of people, it has also caused schools to be closed and classes cancelled. The tourism and aviation industries were the first to be hit, and now pretty much all industries and all aspects of life are affected. Even SGM’s kosen-rufu activities had now been suspended.

In the face of such a severe and trying situation, what can we do?

First of all, we must first carry out fundamental personal prevention steps, such as diligently washing our hands, gargling and wearing masks.

We must also be disciplined and take good care of our bodies. Ensure that we have adequate nutrition and sleep, and get sufficient exercise to strengthen our immune system.

Other than our personal hygiene, we must also be socially-responsible. For example, if we have recently been to countries that are experiencing serious outbreaks, we should quarantine ourselves and avoid crowded places and social activities.

In summary, each person needs to be more alert and aware of this crisis. We cannot adopt the attitude of “Since I’m not infected, it’s not my problem.” Conversely, we must ensure, to the best of our abilities, that no one gets infected and resolutely fight to curb the spread of this pandemic.

SGI President Daisaku Ikeda said: “… it’s important to always be alert and be firmly-resolved to take precautions against illness or injury.”(1)

Nichiren once showed his concern towards a follower with these words: “I am as concerned about the illness of your wife, the lay nun Toki, as though it were I myself who is ailing, and day and night I pray to the heavenly gods that she will recover.” (WND-2, pg 666) We should also take the suffering of those who have been infected by COVID-19 as our own concern. We must do our utmost to prevent the spread of the disease. This is the spirit of compassion found in Buddhism and the Soka Gakkai spirit.

On encountering disasters, Nichiren Daishonin said thus, firmly believing: “…the poison is changed into medicine. Though calamities may come, they can be changed into good fortune.” (WND-2, pg 669)

Nichiren Buddhism has the power to revitalise. Though we are confronting this pandemic, as long we have firm faith in the Mystic Law, chant powerful daimoku and uphold faith, we will definitely overcome this adversity and be revitalised, building a victorious life. It is with this belief that we should ignite hope in and encourage our comrades and people around us who have been affected.

COVID-19 is our common enemy. Thus, we all have the responsibility to fight it. This includes the government, businesses, the community, families and each individual.

This pandemic is the problem of every country in the world. It tells us something important: the global community must unite in fighting it. We must stand united and not only just fend off this headwind, but transform crisis into opportunity and open up a new age of shared existence and prosperity for the global family!

(1) Daisaku Ikeda, On Health and Long Life: A Conversation, (USA: World Tribune Press, 2016), pg 37.

Permulaan 2020 menyaksikan seluruh dunia terjerumus dalam pergolakan COVID-19 (penyakit koronavirus).

COVID-19 telah melanda seluruh dunia dengan kelajuan yang amat membimbangkan. Sehingga pertengahan Mac (15 Mac), sebanyak 146 negara dan wilayah telah terjejas, dengan melebihi 150,000 kes dan lebih 5,700 kematian dicatatkan.

Di Malaysia, bilangan kes juga turut meningkat sehingga mencecah 400.

Pertubuhan Kesihatan Sedunia (WHO) telah mengisytiharkan COVID-19 sebagai suatu pandemik, juga menyatakan bahawa ancaman yang diakibatkan oleh penyakit ini juga “sangat benar.”

Pandemik ini bukan sahaja menggugat ekonomi negara-negara di seluruh dunia tetapi juga kehidupan orang ramai, mengakibatkan sekolah ditutup dan kelas dibatalkan, industri pelancongan dan penerbangan adalah yang pertama menerima tamparan, dan kini banyak industri dan semua aspek kehidupan terjejas. Malah aktiviti kosen-rufu SGM terpaksa dihentikan buat sementara.

Berdepan dengan situasi yang teruk dan mencabar ini, apakah yang boleh kita lakukan?

Pertama sekali, kita hendaklah terlebih dahulu mengamalkan langkah-langkah pencegahan asas peribadi, seperti rajin membasuh tangan, berkumur dan memakai topeng muka.

Kita juga hendaklah berdisiplin dan menjaga tubuh badan kita dengan baik. Pastikan kita mempunyai khasiat pemakanan dan tidur yang mencukupi, di samping melakukan senaman untuk menguatkan sistem kekebalan imuniti kita.

Selain daripada kebersihan peribadi kita, kita juga haruslah bersikap mempunyai tanggungjawab sosial. Sebagai contoh, sekiranya baru-baru ini kita pernah melawat negara-negara yang dilanda wabak yang serius, kita haruslah mengkuarantin diri kita sendiri dan mengelak daripada tempat-tempat yang ramai orang dan terlibat dalam aktiviti sosial.

Secara ringkasnya, setiap orang perlu bersikap lebih berhati-hati dan sedar tentang krisis ini. Kita tidak boleh bersikap seperti “Oleh kerana saya tidak dijangkiti, maka bukan masalah saya.” Sebaliknya, kita hendaklah memastikan dengan sedaya-upaya mengikut kemampuan kita memastikan tiada seorang pun yang dijangkiti dan bertekad bekerja keras untuk mencegah penyebaran pandemik tersebut.

Presiden SGI, Encik Daisaku Ikeda berkata: “…memanglah penting untuk sentiasa berjaga-jaga dan bersikap tegas untuk mengambil langkah berhati-hati terhadap penyakit atau kecederaan.”

Nichiren pernah menunjukkan keprihatinannya terhadap seorang pengikutnya dengan kata-kata berikut: “Saya mengambil berat mengenai penyakit isteri anda, biarawati Toki, seolah-olah saya sendiri yang sakit, siang dan malam saya berdoa pada tuan-tuan syurga semoga dia akan sembuh.” (WND-2, hlm. 666) Kita juga harus menganggap penderitaan orang yang dijangkiti oleh COVID-19 sebagai keprihatinan kita sendiri. Kita hendaklah melakukan yang terbaik untuk mencegah penyebaran penyakit ini. Inilah semangat berbelas kasihan yang terdapat dalam agama Buddha dan juga semangat Soka Gakkai.

Berkenaan dengan menghadapi bencana, Nichiren Daishonin berkata demikian dengan penuh yakin: “…racun bertukar menjadi ubat. Walaupun dilanda malapetaka, malapetaka ini boleh diubah menjadi rezeki.” (WND-2, hlm. 669)

Agama Buddha Nichiren mempunyai kuasa untuk menghidupkan semula. Walaupun kita berdepan dengan pandemik ini, selagi kita mempunyai kepercayaan yang tidak goyah dalam Hukum Mistik, berdoa dengan meratib daimoku yang kuat, selagi itulah kita pasti akan berjaya mengatasi keadaan yang tidak memihak kepada kita ini, mencergaskan semula kehidupan dan seterusnya membina kehidupan yang berjaya.

Berdasarkan kepercayaan ini, kita haruslah memberi harapan dan menggalakkan rakan-rakan seperjuangan kita dan juga orang yang berada di sekeliling kita yang telah terjejas.

COVID-19 adalah musuh kita bersama. Oleh yang demikian, kita mempunyai tanggungjawab untuk menentangnya. Ini termasuklah pihak kerajaaan, perniagaan, komuniti, keluarga dan setiap individu.

Pandemik ini adalah masalah setiap negara di dunia. Pandemik ini memberitahu kita sesuatu yang penting; komuniti global haruslah bersatu dalam memeranginya. Kita hendaklah bersatu hati dan bukan hanya bertindak untuk mengurangkan risiko, tetapi haruslah mengubah krisis menjadi peluang dan membuka zaman baharu untuk kewujudan dan kemakmuran bersama demi masyarakat sedunia!

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