ikeda sensei

My Relationship With My Mentor, Ikeda Sensei

As a young woman, I am absolutely charmed by the idea of being in love with someone who feels right and have had my share of attempts on that. But that’s a story for another day.

Today, I want to talk about another relationship. It’s the purest, most honorary relationship you can ever find. It’s my relationship with my eternal mentor, Dr. Daisaku Ikeda.

I’d like to introduce my mentor to those who don’t know much about him. Dr. Daisaku Ikeda, fondly referred to as ‘Sensei’ or 'teacher’ in Japanese, is a global peace philosopher, who has devoted his entire life for the happiness of humankind, by propagating the world’s greatest philosophy of Nicherin Daishonin’s Buddhism.

In his 62 years of practicing this philosophy, he has exerted millions of kalpas of effort, setting a strong foundation for the 'Soka Gakkai International’, a Buddhist movement rooted in respect & positive  transformation of each individual, so as to create a beautiful world. From Japan, the westward transmission of this philosophy has led to emergence of bodhisattvas from 192 countries and territories across the world, including 70,000+ in India. All this was possible because of a deep determination that he took early in his life to realize world peace and happiness of humanity in his lifetime.

So why is he the world’s greatest mentor? Firstly, Sensei has taught us the correct way to behave as a human being, not just in words, but by showing actual proof through actions.

Born during a terrible time of world war, and infected with a deadly disease (tuberculosis), he wouldn’t have been able to live beyond 30 years of age. But a larger mission lay ahead of him, a mission to achieve kosen-rufu (world peace). As a result, he was able to defeat the devil of illness from his life and advance forward.

Perhaps the most important thing I have learnt from his life, is to live true to yourself and always advance in the most confident and positive way, no matter how you are feeling from inside. He has always imbibed the spirit of never being defeated in his life, which is why, at 86 years of age, we are grateful to have a healthy him with us.

Another important thing that Sensei has taught me through his life is the importance of encouraging another individual. There have been countless times when a disheartened, disappointed and lackluster me, has found comfort and solace in his reassuring words. He has encouraged me and countless members through this writings. Each word written by him is a testimony to his compassion and wisdom. Each word is encouraging.

He says, “Don’t compare yourselves with others. Be true to who you are, and continue to learn with all your might. Even if you’re ridiculed, even if you suffer disappointments and setbacks, continue to advance and don’t be defeated. If you have such a strong determination in your heart, you’re halfway to victory. When you hold fast to your beliefs and live true to yourself, your true value as a human being shines through. Buddhism teaches the concept of realizing one’s inherent potential. In other words, to manifest your true entity, your innate self, to reveal it and bring it to shine, illuminating all around you. If refers to your most refined individuality and uniqueness.” (Discussions on Youth, Vol-1, Page 6 & 7)

Sensei always inspires me to pursue my dream of writing something that brings immense happiness and hope in the life of the person reading it. His mentor, Josei Toda used to say, “Young people should have dreams that seem almost too big to realize” (SGI NL 9040). It’s true because if we initially aim for the stars, we land at the moon. But if you aim for the ground, you may hardly be able to even walk.

I have many dreams, some of them include traveling to as many places as I can and be known as one of world’s better literary writers. Sensei writes, “When you look at where your goal is and where you stand now, the distance between the two may seem far apart as the Earth and the end of the universe. But please remember, you all have an amazing rocket - the rocket of life called "effort”. This rocket will help you reach your dream. Everything including your daily efforts, will serve as a fuel to propel this rocket.“ - (SGI NL 9040)

My mentor is the greatest mentor because he inspires me everyday, encouraging me to give my best wherever I am. Even though I have never met him, but I feel his spirit pulsating in my life. But I need to exert millions of kalpas of effort, just like him, and be his sword at all times.

I really hope and believe that I will become his foremost disciple by challenging all the weak areas in my life and inspire the world through my massively positive self-transformation.

One world with Sensei!