Source: Photo album- In pursuit of peace, p.127

“There is a power in words,
an infinite power
to revive, restore
and make life blaze anew.

There is a life in poetry,
a limitless, eternal life,
that can stir and arouse
a society to new vibrancy.”

Daisaku Ikeda

Daisaku Ikeda is a prolific poet, and he has been fond of poetry since his teens. He writes in the traditional Japanese forms of haiku and waka and in a longer form blending poetry and a narrative structure. Many of his poems have been penned as encouragement to Soka Gakkai members around the world, while others are dedicated to his friends and noted cultural and intellectual figures with whom he has met. In 1981, Ikeda received the title of poet laureate from the World Academy of Arts and Culture. He is a nonresident member of the Brazilian Academy of Letters.

“I do not write for the critic… To me the sole purpose of poetry is to give courage. When I have in mind to encourage young people, words seem to well up endlessly from within.”

Daisaku Ikeda

Some of the poems penned by Ikeda include:

The Himalayas

This majestic view of The Himalayas, clicked by Ikeda. Kathmandu, Nepal, November 1995

Source :

Since olden times
it has been said
that birds approaching
the Himalayas turn
a golden hue!
these mountains
have been extolled
as the center of the Earth.
These supreme mountains
are one day silver,
in an instant crimson,
at other times gold.
Oh, youthful ones!
like these world monarchs
the Himalayas,
unite in confident solidarity,
serenely, nobly,
with solemn dignity!

Springing from the Earth

From whence do you come?
And where do you go?
The moon has set,
But the sun has not yet risen.
In the chaos of darkness before the dawn
Seeking the light,
I advance
To dispel the dark clouds from my mind
To find a great tree unbowed by the tempest
I emerge from the Earth.


Daisaku Ikeda with his mother

Source :

What rich, unfathomable
strength you possess.
Should this world
be deprived of your presence,
we would wonder forever
bereft of the great Earth
to which to return
in which to find shelter.
Perform for us
with your wisdom
And your thoughts
the strains of your peaceful song
over an Earth that
yearns for spring.
In that time
you shall live
as mother
to an era of humanity!

President Ikeda on the banks of the Ganges River in February 1979

Source :

Dawn of India

Full poem

New Delhi, February 1992

Source : Photo Album – The Golden Way, p.69

Fighting for Peace

The bright light of peace! All the world advancing in joyful harmony, a world lit by the bright cheer of peace! In such a world, our spirits grow and expand with each passing day, there is no lonely isolation. For you and for me, so powerless and alienated on our own, the dazzling allure of a life fully free from frustration and defeat. But in a world filled with lies genuine peace cannot be found. True happiness or peace can never exist where hearts merge in dark fusion. The creeping approach of devious authority, its bombast and strife, can never give rise to a sure and certain peace. In order to live true to your sincere convictions create a world where many share your earnest view of life. Here you will find a world of peace. Only by confronting, exposing, breaking open the pompous, poison-scented hearts of those who wield power– only in this way will genuine peace be given the chance to live and breathe, in seen and unseen ways. When people are ignorant of their purpose in life, the deadly disruptions of war continue without cease. Peace pledged in sad, grim treaties is empty and meaningless. There must be mutual understanding of the soul and bonds that link the heart. In the words of one statesman: Peace is not found in the interval between one war and the next. Where there is no peace, happiness is unthinkable. Thus Buddhism teaches the ideal that “This, my land, is safe and tranquil.” * * * We will struggle relentlessly against those who would destroy peace. We will struggle relentlessly against those who force their evil on others. We will struggle relentlessly against those who author secret wrongs, inflicting these with callous abandon. For such people are cowards. They reside in demonic gloom hissing venomous sighs as they undermine humanity and justice, turning all to nightmare and misery. Whatever lies and slander they may spread, we remain unmoved, secure in the knowledge of the justice of our cause. Doubtless they will leave this world crazed with anguish. Our flourishing and triumph shine with the brilliance of the sun. And we know we will adorn the final stages of this life as the setting sun paints the heavens a deep and perfect crimson. For their part, the inner outcome of cheap and superficial acts will be endless distress. Their hearts remain clouded in pitiable angst– desperately struggling to maintain their façade, they are tormented by the vanity of their minds. Savage brutes– the frail and fleeting nature of their inner being is plain for all to see. People who stain the honor of their own life suffer ultimate loss. They are fated to misery, pathetic and dangerous, never to know the friendly, welcoming gaze of others. Each time they catch a glimpse of their lives they find their ugly inner conflict mirrored straight back at them. Family background, for example, a source of constant boasting… One such friend takes endless pride in wealth. Another overbearing friend brags of position and rank. Yet another has been overtaken by the charms of rich attire and treads proudly toward misery’s depths. Others, caught up in rude amusements, wreak suffering on others even as they give over their abject souls to the daily process of decay. Ah, the stupidity that spews its sad and ugly spell over heaven and earth! Those constantly drunk on toxic draughts. Those ignorant of sane humanity who know only night. Directionless and flailing, they fall tripping into murky swamps, sinking into forms of fearsome bestiality from which all light has been denied. I raise my voice and call out to them: Do not lose yourself in the maze. Do not succumb to the allure of squander. Do not sink in bogs of destruction and vanity! Beware of all that warps your humanity! The purpose of living is happiness, an outcome only determined in the full and final measure of a person’s life. This is why I urge: Avoid blind belief! Do not be trapped by arrogance! Don’t end up a tragic figure! Live out your life as a person of justice! The Buddhist term kosen-rufu signifies lasting, eternal peace. It points to those dynamic realms where individual happiness and the flourishing of society come together in perfect accord; where all people, –the living, breathing whole of humankind– savor genuine happiness; where songs that praise and glorify life’s innermost essence are shared in conditions of security and contentment. * * * No matter how the call for vengeance may justify it, people must never kill their fellow human beings. For to do so is hellish and brutal, true tragedy forever without redemption. Where life is cherished, there peace is found. Where people are united in the richness of their hearts, there peace exists as a tangible reality. The advances of science have increased the convenience and ease of all aspects of life. And yet they have failed to realize humanity’s dream of happiness, absolute and indestructible. In its primordial essence life is precious and of infinite worth. Where all is viewed from the perspective of life’s precious dignity, where this is the basis for all actions and interactions, there arises and is proved the truth that guides our universe. The constant longing of humanity’s drumming heart is for unbroken peace, for peace without end, embraced by eternities of love and warm benevolence. It is for days filled with the joy of living, the pleasures of friendship and conversation. We long for lives of freshness, smiles and advancement, consistently extending over each event and facet of humanity’s long history– from the past to the present from the present into the future. It is up to those senior in life’s experience always to strive to ease and requite the sufferings of their juniors. It is up to those who wield power always to consider how best to respond to the fears and worries of the people. Every person’s heart is regal, yet also shares a common humanity. Into the precious, enduring heart of a mother who has never flinched or fled, a warm light begins to flood, cheering and revitalizing. Crowds gather in the morning mist hailing, calling out their praise for mothers and for peace. Shining eyes, directed at human happiness and at peace, filled with ageless wisdom. I offer my solemn tribute to you who have embraced so many desperate people, who have grown to become proud and gifted teachers of the soul’s eternal songs. In your life is inscribed a monument to wisdom, to victory and glory, which no angry wind can topple, no silted hostile torrent undermine. Ah, the power you possess as you resolutely rebuff whatever storm assails you! Your soul’s sublimity breaks open the dank and hate-filled heart where plots fester and schemes breed. We live in a society filled with plaintive attempts to escape responsibility. Armed with conviction you offer all people, equally and without distinction, your warm encouragement, inspiring them to elevate their lives to strive for beauty, for the noblest heights of the human spirit. * * * As Socrates declared: What is important is not simply to live, but to live well. As Victor Hugo cried: Young people, take heart. If there are those who would make the present difficult, our future will be beautiful. However much some may be showered in renown and receive the heated cheers of the multitude, this is of little concern. For the value and significance of a person’s life must be assessed in its entirety. We must ask: Has this been a life which brightly cast the light of conviction and justice over past, present and future– like a jewel whose facets mutually capture and reflect? No matter how those in positions of influence may seek to deceive, putting on the airs of great statesmen, we are not intimidated in the least. For there are many wise citizens who sense and respond acutely to such subtle and underhanded moves. Their skin crawls as if caterpillars were creeping over their bodies. My friend! Sharing a celebratory toast, let us envision the immense scale of our future, free from sorrowful sighs, lit by ten million sparkling points of light. My dear friend, in the midst of this demented era you advance boldly, youthfully, powerfully along the freshly open path of the new century, laughing grandly with your friends and fellows. Sounding the bell of conviction you gather strength and empower one another. There, the sun’s pleasant, lively light awaits. There line up the adornments of numberless stars. And there await friends passionately sharing our convictions, who peer with calm and easy smiles into the deepest reaches of our heart. Most noble and precious are such friends; changeless, undiminished friends, our eternal treasure. Even if, for the sake of truth, we are together forced to drain the bitter cup, the time will surely come when –now bathed in honor and having shed all failure or exhaustion– we will address to all humanity a proud acceptance speech for the victory that is ours. * * * Emperors are human. Ordinary citizens are human. So are the powerful. All people are. Our true human worth is determined by the state of our inner life. It is determined by what we achieve. And it is determined by the nobility of the goals toward which we strive. In life, there are those who are fortunate, those who are unlucky; there are the clever and sly, the simple and honest. Whatever one’s rank or standing, in an era of humanity, it is utterly irrelevant. Buddhism teaches that if you want to understand the causes made in the past, look at the results as they are manifest in the present. And if you want to know what results will be manifest in the future, look at the causes that exist in the present. Life is eternal. The workings of the law of cause and effect mean that the “you” of the past is strictly reflected in the actuality of your present. And the reality of your future self is forged by current action, in your behavior now. Each individual’s heart –various and extensive, capable of evil and of good– propagates and spreads its influence like ringlet waves overlapping on multiple dimensions. The result can be an era of peace or a world of conflict and war. My friend, my dear and treasured friend! Pay no heed to threats made by those whose hearts are fractured and split, who spin out words of insane fabrication. For you are in your dawning future, and have no need for mad and mercenary language. My friend! Upholding the dignity of life maintain the calm and confident manner of one eternally victorious, of one whose spirit sprints swiftly ahead. You who fight on in resolute triumph, never forget the vow made that day in the ancient depths of your being! Mouth and lips set like sculpted stone, together with gentle friends of firm faith let us cross the numberless crags that stand before us. With splendid effort let us win and gain the crown of inner victory! No matter what, please win! I also, am most assuredly determined to win. Salute this procession, this triumphant march toward peace! –June 2, 2001