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Back to listJan 1, 2005

Happy New Year 2005, "Year of Youth and Development"! 2005 New Year's Message (abridged) from Soka Gakkai President Einosuke Akiya

Einosuke Akiya President, Soka Gakkai

A very Happy New Year to Soka Gakkai (Japan) and Soka Gakkai International members throughout the world!

The "Year of Youth and Development-2005" is spiritedly underway, as we aim for the 80th anniversary of Soka Gakkai's founding (in 2010).

This year [also] marks the 30th anniversary of Soka Gakkai International (SGI). Through SGI President Daisaku Ikeda's leadership, the great path to world peace that Nichiren discovered has opened, and the SGI family has expanded to 190 countries and regions throughout the world. Nichiren wrote, "If we inquire into the origin of Mount Sumeru, we find that it began with a single speck of dust; and likewise, the great ocean began with a single drop of dew."(1) I hope that we can embark on a "new half century" with a pioneering spirit.

Speaking of his times, Nichiren said, "We live today in a time of trouble, when there is little that ordinary people can do."(2) The present age is also showing signs of chaos, and "There is little that ordinary people can do." That is, many people, at the mercy of loneliness and dead ends, feel helpless and have resigned themselves to their fate. Ultimately, their life force is enfeebled.

Where does the fundamental cause of such enfeeblement lie?

As Nichiren quoted from a sutra, "'When a nation becomes disordered, it is the spirits that first show signs of rampancy.'"(3) The cause lies in confused ideology and deprivation in one's view of life. In other words, it is confusion that arises from losing sight of how to live.

This is why Nichiren elucidated a spiritual foundation, and Soka Gakkai, which follows a solid philosophy based on his orthodox teachings, is a ray of hope that shines upon humanity's future.

"Youth" is concerned not only with age, but is another expression for "reformation," "challenge" and "progress," for which the quintessential ingredient is "courage." As long as the spirit of youth burns powerfully, people or organizations will not be deadlocked. Instead, they can tap unlimited potential and expand a solidarity of happiness and righteousness.

When one person expands his or her state of life with courage, this creates a wave that calls forth tens of thousands of other waves, expanding hope and happiness.

Let's together open the door to the new age and intrepidly advance.

Einosuke Akiya
President, Soka Gakkai

(1) "The Blessings of the Lotus Sutra," The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, p. 667.
(2) "The Bodies and Minds of Ordinary Beings," ibid, p. 1134.
(3) "On Establishing the Correct Teaching for the Peace of the Land," ibid, p. 8