Jul 31, 2016

Peace – The Foundation for Lasting Human Happiness
Poem by Daisaku Ikeda

“To lead hope-filled lives, we need peace.
To lead happy lives, we must prevent war at all costs.
The purpose of life is to become happy.
The purpose of life is to fight against
and triumph over the darkness of misery.
Those who inflict pain and suffering on other
are wretched inside. Those who
win over themselves are happy.
I, too, advance with hope in my heart.
I advance with joy and vigor.
I will not be defeated!
I will not give up!
There is something vaster
than the wide open sky –
and that is, my life.
There is something deeper
than the fathomless sea –
and that is, your life.

There is something more precious
than all the treasures of the
universe –and that is, our lives.
That is why we must not condone
unscrupulous actions that harm
life;we must fight resolutely against
the devilish forces that seek
to destroy life.
Nothing is more barbarous than war
Nothing is more cruel.
How many tears
have mothers had to weep?
How many precious seasons of
youth have been ruined?
How much happy laughter of
children has been stifled?
Change history! Move the age!
Bring the world together!
If winter comes, can spring be far behind?
Now is the time to vigorously sing
a song of the springtime of peace.
The deeper the darkness,
the closer the dawn.

Now is the time to sound the bell
heralding the dawn of peace with all our might.
There is a path that birds follow
as they fly through the sky.
There is a path that fish follow
as they swim through the sea.
There is a path that the stars follow
as they travels the heavens.
And there is a path of principle
that human beings should follow.
This is none other than the path of peace.
Let’s begin with what we can do.
Let’s move forward, even if just an inch.
Let’s climb that mountain,
and cross this river!
Let’s dash over those fields
and traverse that hill!
Let’s race to that town
and talk with our friends!
We are ever filled with bring confidence
that wonderful like-minded friends
will someday follow in our footsteps!
If you have no hope, create some.
If the world around you is dark
be the sun that illuminates all.

Happiness is not something we attain
by chasing after it.
Happiness comes to those who live with
courage and tenacity.
Similarly, peace will come to human beings
when they lead lives
of wisdom and principle.
Peace is not something far away.
Peace is caring for and valuing
a single individual.
It is bringing joy, not suffering,
to our mother. It is reaching out
to those who are different from
us.It is having the wisdom
to reconcile after an argument.
And it is protecting our beautiful natural world.
It is fostering a rich culture.
It is refusing to build our happiness
on the misfortune of other.
It is sharing others’ joys and sufferings.

Those who can bring happiness to their friends
are experts in the art of happiness.
Those who can bring peace to their society
are emissaries of peace.
Refusing to tolerate bullying is part of the struggle for peace.
Refusing to tolerate discrimination
is part of the struggle for peace.
Refusing to tolerate lies and slanders
is part of the struggle for peace.
Refusing to tolerate the arrogance
of the powerful is part of the struggle for peace.
Absolutely and utterly refusing to
tolerate violence in any form –
that is the essence of the struggle for peace.
Do no remain silent.
Speak out courageously.
Peace spreads where voices resound in song.
Peace depends through friendly dialogue .
Peace endures when we are willing to learn
from each other. The struggle between happiness
and unhappiness is the story of human existence.

The struggle between peace and
war is the story of the human race.
And the power of truth and
justice for eternal victory
resides within us.
A wise person once said:
“When in doubt, choose the more challenging course!”
Hardships makes us strong.
Problems give birth to wisdom.
Sorrows cultivate compassion for others.
Those who suffering the most
can become the happiest.
The flowers are smiling.
Gentle breezes are singing.
The moon is watching over us.
The vibrant energy of a strong,
true spirit befriends the entire universe,
transforming everything into an ally.
Children of the world!
The world is one.
We are all brothers and sisters
in a single family; let’s live together
harmoniously and in peace.

Come, let’s make our way towards the future.
Let’s share the hand of the person
next to us. Let’s look into their eyes and share
honest dialogue. Let’s sing a joyous song together.
That’s the first great step towards
peace. Let’s build a land of peace.
Let’s connect with others
who love peace.
is the brilliant light that humanity seeks.
Peace is the sure path to a life of true humanity
and dignity.
Peace! here we find the foundation
for lasting human happiness
and the joy of true human victory.”

Jul 14, 2016

The Parable of the Impoverished Son

Lotus Sutra Chapter 4, 
Belief and Understanding

Once a boy ran away from home and wandered for many years becoming more and more poor and confused.
The boy’s father loved his son very much, but had no idea where to find him. As time went on, the father became very rich.

Fifty years passed. One day, the son showed up at his father's estate. He did not know whose grand home this was, but wondered if he could find a job there. The father recognized his son, and set messengers to greet him. The father was overjoyed that his son had returned. 
But the son misunderstood. He thought the messengers were trying to arrest him for doing something wrong.
The father saw his son’s fear and confusion. He realized his son was not ready to accept the truth, so he told the messengers to leave his son alone.
Later the father had some of his servants dress in rags. He had these servants go to his son and offer him a job shoveling excrement. The son had been living so poorly for so long, he saw this job as a wonderful opportunity. 
Over the years, the father showed an interest in his son. He praised him, increasing his pay, and gave him better jobs. But he never told him his true identity. 
After twenty years, the father was old and near death. By then the son was in charge of all of the wealthy man’s business. The son had become a responsible but humble man. 
Finally, just before his death, the father gathered all of his friends and all the powerful people of the city to his bedside.  He revealed then the true identity of his son. The son inherited all of the fortune.