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My Favorite Gosho

"In contrast, although Nichiren and his followers are few, because they are different in body, but united in mind, they will definitely accomplish their great mission of widely propagating the Lotus Sutra. "

Many in Body, One in Mind

Risong Tarkong, Palau

I was born and raised in the Republic of Palau, but because of my father's job, my family moved to Saipan in 1967 and then to Guam in 1977. I went to the United States and entered the University of California, Santa Barbara, to take a prelaw program in 1983. On campus I made friends with a student from India, who invited me to an SGI-USA discussion meeting; this was my first encounter with Nichiren Daishonin's Buddhism. I asked questions about peace, life and happiness that had concerned me for a long time. With great sincerity, the SGI members explained the philosophy of Buddhism to me, and all the answers I had sought were there. I was deeply moved; this was the philosophy I had been looking for, and I decided to join SGI.

After graduating from university, I went through various difficulties, which I overcame with my Buddhist practice, and in 2000 I returned to my native country of Palau. My previous experience in legislative government and paralegal work was recognized, and I was appointed as a special assistant in the Office of the President in 2001. Now, I am working with all my strength for the sake of the development and prosperity of my country.

Palau is composed of more than 200 islands scattered on the beautiful ocean. The country was once a battlefield during World War II, but is now widely known as a "paradise of the Pacific." SGI-Palau was chartered as a nonprofit religious corporation in 2003. More than half of our members are youth and are making active contributions to their respective communities. In accordance with the above passage from Nichiren Daishonin, SGI-Palau is moving forward with the unity of "many in body but one in mind."

[Courtesy of SGI Graphic, May 2009]

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