Bharat (India) Soka Gakkai Unveils World Peace Monument
Commemorating the 50th anniversary of SGI President Daisaku Ikeda's first visit to India, some 1,000 Bharat (India) Soka Gakkai members from throughout India unveiled a World Peace Monument at the Soka Bodhi Tree Garden in New Delhi.
SGI General Director Yoshitaka Oba and SGI Women's Leader Kayoko Asano attended the unveiling festivities on January 16, which included a commemorative meeting at the main auditorium of the Soka Bodhi Tree Garden.
In a message, Mr. Ikeda encouraged everyone to overcome obstacles through persevering with strong faith, thereby manifesting their inherent wisdom and Buddha nature from within. He also asked BSG members to advance with a spirit of creating harmonious unity.
On January 1961, Mr. Ikeda visited India for the first time. At the time of his visit, there were no SGI members in India. As a result of his repeated visits to India and his efforts to encourage those who began practicing Nichiren Buddhism, the membership in India is now over 50,000.
To date, Mr. Ikeda has had dialogues and created lasting friendships with former President K. R. Narayanan and former Prime Minister Rajiv Ratna Gandhi. Mr. Ikeda has received more than 10 honorary academic honors from educational institutions in India. The University of Delhi and the Tagore International Institution are among those which conferred the awards.
[Adapted from an article in the January 22, 2011, issue of the Seikyo Shimbun, Soka Gakkai, Japan; photos courtesy of Seikyo Shimbun]