Daisaku Ikeda has delivered lectures on topics relevant to education and civilization at over 30 universities and academic institutions around the world, starting with the University of California at Los Angeles in April 1974, and spanning 18 countries from the U.S.A. to Italy, China, Russia, Cuba and Turkey.

Selected Universities Lectures

Date Country Institution Title
Apr. 1, 1974 USA University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Toward the Twenty-First Century
May 27, 1975 USSR Moscow State University A New Path to East-West Cultural Exchange
Apr. 22, 1980 China Peking University Toward a New Vision of “The People”: Observations on China
Mar. 5, 1981 Mexico University of Guadalajara On the Mexican Poetic Spirit
May 21,
Bulgaria University of Sofia A Harmonious Fusion of the
Cultures of East and West
June 7,
Romania University of Bucharest Standing at the Crossroads of
June 5,
China Peking University The Great Path to Peace: A
Personal Observation
June 9,
China Fudan University People as the Protagonists of
June 14,
France L’Institut de France Art and Spirituality in East and
Mar. 1, 1990 Argentina University of Buenos Aires The Cosmopolitan Spirit in a Land of Cultural Fusion
May 28,
China Peking University The Path of Education, the Bridge
of Culture: A Personal
Jan. 30,
Macau University of Macau A New Global Awareness
Apr. 10,
Philippines University of the Philippines Peace and Business: Toward a
Universal Spirit of Fairness and
Sept. 26,
USA Harvard University The Age of “Soft Power” and
Inner-Motivated Philosophy
Jan. 30,
Hong Kong Chinese University of Hong
The Chinese Humanist Tradition
Feb. 11,
India Gandhi Smriti and Darshan
Toward a World without War:
Gandhism and the Modern World
June 24,
Turkey Ankara University A New Silk Road from the Cradle
of Civilization
Oct. 14,
China Chinese Academy of Social
The Twenty-First Century and
East Asian Civilization
Jan. 29,
USA Claremont McKenna College In Search of New Principles of
Feb. 12,
Brazil Brazilian Academy of Letters The Hopeful Dawn of a
Humanistic Civilization
Sept. 24,
USA Harvard University Mahayana Buddhism and
Twenty-First Century Civilization
Jan. 31,
China Shenzhen University The Infinite Horizons of
May 17,
Russia Moscow State University The Human Being: A Magnificent
June 1,
Italy University of Bologna Leonardo’s Universal Vision and
the Parliament of Humanity
Jan. 26,
USA East-West Center, University
of Hawai’i
Peace and Human Security: A
Buddhist Perspective for the
Twenty-First Century
June 26,
Spain Ateneo de Santander Toward the Dawn of Twenty-First
Century Civilization*
Nov. 2,
Nepal Tribhuvan University Homage to the Sagarmatha
(Everest) of Humanism: The
Living Lessons of Gautama
Jun. 4, 1996 USA Simon Wiesenthal Center Makiguchi’s Lifelong Pursuit of Justice and Humane Values
June 13,
USA Teachers College, Columbia
Thoughts on Education for Global
June 25,
Cuba University of Havana Building a Great Spiritual Bridge
to the New Century
Oct. 21,
India Rajiv Gandhi Institute for
Contemporary Studies
A New Humanism for the Coming
Mar. 23,
Italy University of Palermo From the Crossroads of
Civilization: A New Flourishing of
Humanistic Culture*

*Lecture delivered by proxy.

Selected Quotes from Lectures

University of Havana – “Building a Great Spiritual Bridge to the New Century” 1996

The transformation in the inner awareness or state of life of an individual is intrinsically connected to the flowering of the poetic spirit. An expansion in this inner realm of life encourages empathy for others and strengthens the desire to contribute to society; it brings forth the “sun” of wisdom and compassion from within the depths of one’s life.
. . . This process of “human revolution”—bringing forth the light of an inner sun—has the potential to strengthen human solidarity and bring about the flourishing of society. It can serve as the certain basis for creating a world of peace.

Moscow State University – “The Human Being: A Magnificent Cosmos” 1994

I am one who believes that absolute and indestructible happiness in life lies only in working selflessly for others, while expanding one’s inner realm from the “lesser self” caught up in the snares of egotism to the “greater self” fused with universal life.

University of Bologna – “Leonardo’s Universal Vision and the Parliament of Humanity” 1994

“The great man is. . . a man without whom the world would seem to us incomplete.” This aptly describes Leonardo da Vinci, who illuminates the Italian Renaissance with undying light. As we stand amid the chaos of the fin de siècle, I can think of no other period of time more in need of people as lofty and independent as Leonardo than today. The creation of a new world order, centered on the United Nations, will depend finally on how many such true cosmopolitans we can summon to carry out that daunting task.

Harvard University – “Mahayana Buddhism and Twenty-First Century Civilization” 1993

If the tragedies of this century of war and revolution have taught us anything, it is the folly of viewing the reform of external factors, such as social systems, as the sole determinant of human happiness. I am convinced that in the coming century, foremost importance must and will be placed on an inward-directed reformation, inspired by a new understanding of life and death.

Gandhi Smriti and Darshan Samiti – “Toward a World Without War: Gandhism and the Modern World” 1992

Gandhi’s optimism was absolute and not relative. It was never contingent on his analysis of objective conditions. . . . His belief in nonviolence and justice grew out of his absolute trust in humanity. This was an unconditional faith which he came to through a rigorous process of introspection, probing the very depths of his being. The indestructible conviction which he thus gained was something which not even death could take from him.

Ankara University – “A New Silk Road from the Cradle of Civilization” 1992

Only those with farsighted open-mindedness can aspire to globalism. The ability to strike a balance between one’s own interests and those of other nations—or, at a deeper level, between the individual and the universal—is the mark of the world citizen

Harvard University – “The Age of ‘Soft Power’ and Inner-Motivated Philosophy” 1991

We must seek harmony on a deeper level―a level where it is truly possible to “kill the will to kill.” More than objective awareness, we must achieve a state of compassion transcending distinctions between self and other. We need to feel the compassionate energy that beats within the depths of all people’s subjective lives where the individual and the universal are merged.

L’Institut de France – “Art and Spirituality in East and West” 1989

The creative life makes a new breakthrough, achieves self-renewal, every day, always attuned to the original rhythm of the universe, and by so doing it brings about a complete transformation.

University of Sofia – “A Harmonious Fusion of the Cultures of East and West” 1981

What I’d like to point out now is that politics and religion should try to commit themselves jointly to a common concern, and that concern is none other than the human being. Needless to say, both politics and religion can fulfill their own original purposes only when they stick to the cause of the human being, not to their own causes.