Soka Gakkai International (SGI) members put into practice the teachings of Nichiren Buddhism, a dynamic philosophy grounded in the realities of daily life.
Nichiren, a 13th-century Buddhist monk centered his philosophy on the Lotus Sutra, one of the last teachings of the first historically recorded Buddha, Shakyamuni or Siddhartha Gautama, who lived some 2,500 years ago.
Nichiren showed that the core message of the Lotus Sutra is the dignity of all life. According to this sutra, all people possess and can manifest the Buddha nature – an unlimited, inherent capacity for wisdom, courage, and compassion which enables them to create value out of any situation.
Nichiren felt passionately that Buddhism should enable people living in the real world and facing real problems to become empowered and change their lives for the better. Nichiren Buddhism stresses the profound connection between one’s own happiness and the happiness of others. The greatest personal satisfaction and fulfillment in life is realized by working for the happiness of others.
The core philosophy of the SGI can be summed up by the concept of “human revolution.” This is the idea that the self-motivated inner change of even a single individual positively affects the larger web of life.
Human revolution is about awakening to the responsibility we have for our own circumstances. This is a dynamic process of self-reformation – from fear to confidence, from destruction to creativity, from hatred to compassion – and ultimately from a life bound by self-concern and the ego to one characterized by altruism and the wisdom that accompanies genuine concern for others.