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June 2020

In This Issue

From SGM General Director

Precautions During the Recovery Period
After a hard-fought battle against the COVID-19 pandemic over the last few months, our country has finally stopped the outbreak from worsening.

Langkah Berjaga-jaga dalam Tempoh Pemulihan
Setelah beberapa bulan bekerja keras menentang pandemik COVID-19, negara kita akhirnya berjaya mencegah wabak itu daripada menjadi lebih buruk.

From SGI President

The Unwavering Commitment of Bodhisattvas of the Earth by SGI President Daisaku Ikeda

Feature

The Brilliant Path of Worldwide Kosen-rufu: Learning from The New Human Revolution Commentary on Volume 16 by SGI Vice-President Hiromasa Ikeda

Chapter Summary for Volume 16 of The New Human Revolution from the Seikyo Shimbun

“Unforgettable Scenes” – Key Episodes from Volume 16 from the Seikyo Shimbun

Excerpts from Nichiren’s Writings of Volume 16 from the Seikyo Shimbun

Special Feature

Holding High the Torch of Soka Education in Malaysia by Dinesh Chandren

Makiguchi’s Lifelong Pursuit of Justice and HumaneValues (Simon Wiesenthal Centre, 1996) by SGI President Daisaku Ikeda

Striving for the Sake of their Students by SGM Educators Group members

Bringing the Light of Education to the World – An Ode to Peace and Fellowship by Shin’ichi Yamamoto

Striving on the Frontlines against COVID-19 by Dr Seet Jia Sheng, Penang

Halaman Kanak-Kanak

Raja Pemilik Sifat Baik yang Berjuang Demi Keadilan

Experience

From Trauma to Drama Gerrit Versteeg, Netherlands

Art

EliasYamani Ismail – An Artist of the People by Leong Tuck Yee

News

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Mentor and Disciple

Speak with Conviction 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.

After a hard-fought battle against the COVID-19 pandemic over the last few months, our country has finally stopped the outbreak from worsening. The Prime Minister announced the end of the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) and that we now enter the Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO) that is in effect from June 10 to August 31.

The government has also announced a great deal of relaxation. Other than many people crossing state borders, nearly all sectors have resumed operations in stages.

For the people, this is good news as they now have more freedom. However, as industries and other sectors, including business markets, open, contact and travelling among people will increase. The risk of the pandemic spreading again will also increase. Therefore, what matters most is being cautious and take precautions against a second and a third wave of the pandemic.

Other than taking care of ourselves, looking after others is also key – meaning, other than ensuring we do not catch the disease, we must also help to ensure it does not spread to others as well.

As an organisation, SGM will resume all kosen-rufu activities step-by-step, and take stringent measures to ensure our activities venues or centres do not become infection clusters.

On the personal side, we cannot be careless in observing personal hygiene measures, such as regularly washing our hands, wearing masks, observe social distancing, avoid touching our eyes, nose and mouth, avoiding crowded places and observe standard operating procedures (SOPs) put in place by the Ministry of Health.

Becoming numb or paying little heed to these often- mentioned preventive measures is our great enemy, so we need to be cautious.

Other than this, SGI President Daisaku Ikeda also reminds us that mitigating our stress will boost our immunity, and we should get enough sleep, eat balanced meals and exercise regularly, closely ensuring that we have a good daily rhythm.

In summation, our lives, safety and good health must be the number one priority. Therefore, preventing the outbreaks of diseases must be regarded as the most important task at hand.

On the other hand, the aftermath of the pandemic has brought problems such as job losses, company closures and financial crisis. Many people are deeply-troubled by these issues and worried about their daily lives and outlook for the future.

We have to show concern to these suffering people, empathise with them, impart encouragement and hope, thereby rousing their fighting spirit to challenge and overcome their difficulties with unyielding faith and achieve victory.

No matter how bad things get, as along as we base ourselves on the rejuvenating power of the Mystic Law, we can definitely overcome all troubles and open up a new path.

This pandemic has caused more people to be bogged down by suffering. Many have been retrenched, lost their jobs, had their salaries cut, or saw their businesses go bankrupt, landing them in serious financial difficulties.

This signals to us a good opportunity for shakubuku. We must seize this opportunity to share Nichiren Buddhism with these suffering people, enabling them to form karmic bonds with Buddhism and transform their misfortune into good fortune.

President Ikeda points out that the Soka Gakkai spirit means that no matter what happens on the path of kosen-rufu, no matter how circumstances change, we must advance steadily towards kosen-rufu and realise our resolve for kosen-rufu.

Though this pandemic is a serious blow and obstacle, we must, as President Ikeda points out, “apply our ingenuity so that we can keep making fresh progress and move in the direction of hope, victory and a new tomorrow.”(1)

We must embrace this determination wholeheartedly and swim against the tide of this pandemic and the difficulties it caused, opening up the path to victory.

(1) Daisaku Ikeda, The New Human Revolution, vol. 30, “Awaiting the Time” chapter. SGM booklet no. 118 (2019), pg 131–32.

Setelah beberapa bulan bekerja keras menentang pandemik COVID-19, negara kita akhirnya berjaya mencegah wabak itu daripada menjadi lebih buruk. Perdana Menteri mengumumkan berakhirnya Perintah Kawalan Pergerakan Bersyarat (PKPB) dan kita sekarang berada dalam tempoh Perintah Kawalan Pergerakan Pemulihan (PKPP) yang berkuat kuasa dari 10 Jun hingga 31 Ogos.

Kerajaan juga turut mengumumkan kelonggaran. Selain membenarkan rakyat merentasi sempadan negeri, hampir kesemua sektor mula beroperasi semula secara berperingkat-peringkat.

Bagi rakyat, ini adalah berita baik sebab mereka sekarang mempunyai lebih banyak kebebasan. Walau bagaimanapun, apabila industri dan sektor lain, termasuk pasaran perniagaan dibuka, hubungan dan perjalanan dalam kalangan orang ramai akan bertambah. Risiko penyebaran pandemik akan turut meningkat semula. Oleh itu, perkara yang penting ialah kita haruslah berhati-hati dan bersikap berjaga-jaga terhadap gelombang kedua dan ketiga pandemik tersebut.

Selain menjaga diri kita sendiri dengan baik, menjaga orang lain juga penting – ini bermakna selain daripada memastikan kita tidak dijangkiti penyakit tersebut, kita juga harus membantu untuk memastikan penyakit itu tidak tersebar kepada orang lain.

Sebagai sebuah organisasi, SGM akan meneruskan semula semua aktiviti kosen-rufu secara berperingkat, dan mengambil langkah-langkah ketat untuk memastikan tempat atau pusat aktiviti kami tidak menjadi kelompok jangkitan.

Dari segi peribadi, kita janganlah cuai dalam langkah-langkah menjaga kebersihan diri, seperti kerap membersihkan tangan, memakai pelitup muka, memberi perhatian terhadap penjarakan sosial, mengelak daripada menyentuh mata, hidung dan mulut kita, menjauhkan diri daripada tempat-tempat yang sesak dan mematuhi prosedur operasi standard (SOP) yang ditetapkan oleh Kementerian Kesihatan.

Menjadi lali atau kurang memberi perhatian kepada langkah- langkah pencegahan yang selalu disebut merupakan musuh utama kita. Oleh itu, kita hendaklah berjaga-jaga.

Selain itu, Presiden SGI, Encik Daisaku Ikeda juga mengingatkan kita bahawa usaha mengurangkan tekanan kita akan meningkatkan daya tahan tubuh kita, dan kita haruslah mendapat tidur yang secukupnya, makan sarapan yang seimbang dan kerap bersenaman, memastikan kita mempunyai rentak kehidupan harian yang baik.

Sebagai rumusannya, nyawa, keselamatan dan kesihatan kita menjadi keutamaan nombor satu. Oleh itu, usaha mencegah wabak penyakit tersebut haruslah dianggap sebagai tugas yang paling penting.

Di samping itu, pandemik ini telah mengakibatkan wujudnya masalah seperti kehilangan pekerjaan, penutupan syarikat dan krisis kewangan. Banyak orang yang sangat risau dengan masalah- masalah ini dan bimbang tentang kehidupan seharian serta masa hadapan mereka.

Kita hendaklah menunjukkan keprihatinan kita terhadap orang yang menderita, berempati dengan mereka, memberi dorongan dan harapan, dengan itu akan membangkitkan semangat juang mereka untuk mencabar dan mengatasi kesusahan mereka dengan kepercayaan dalam agama yang tidak goyah dan seterusnya mencapai kejayaan.

Tidak kira betapa buruknya keadaan, selagi kita menjadikan kuasa penjanaan semula Hukum Mistik sebagai asas untuk diri kita, selagi itulah kita pasti akan mengatasi semua masalah dan menerokai jalan yang baharu.

Pandemik ini menyebabkan lebih ramai orang yang dilanda penderitaan. Ramai orang yang diberhentikan kerja, kehilangan pekerjaan, gaji mereka dipotong, perniagaan mereka muflis, menyebabkan mereka mengalami masalah kewangan yang teruk.

Keadaan ini memberi kita peluang yang baik untuk shakubuku. Kita hendaklah merebut peluang ini untuk berkongsi Buddhisme Nichiren dengan orang yang sedang menderita ini, membolehkan mereka menjalinkan ikatan karma dengan Buddhisme dan mengubah nasib malang menjadi rezeki.

Presiden Ikeda berkata bahawa semangat Soka Gakkai bermakna tidak kira apa yang berlaku dalam laluan kosen-rufu, tidak kira bagaimana keadaan berubah, kita hendaklah mara dengan mantap ke arah kosen-rufu dan sedar akan tekad kita untuk kosen-rufu.

Walau pun pandemik ini merupakan pukulan dan rintangan yang serius, kita haruslah, seperti kata Presiden Ikeda, “gunakanlah kepintaran kita supaya kita berupaya terus menghasilkan kemajuan baharu dan bergerak menuju ke arah harapan, kejayaan dan hari esok yang baharu.”(1)

Kita haruslah bulatkan tekad dengan sepenuh hati untuk menentang arus pandemik ini dan juga kesusahan yang diakibatkannya, seterusnya menerokai jalan menuju kejayaan.

(1) Daisaku Ikeda, The New Human Revolution, vol. 30, bab “Awaiting the Time.” Buku kecil terbitan SGM ber- nombor 118 (2019), hlm. 131–32.

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