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Joyfully Moving World Peace Forward

By Dwight Rudisuela, Ottawa

Toronto East Area and York Simcoe Northern Ontario AreaToronto East Area and York Simcoe Northern Ontario Area

SGI Canada commemorated May 3 - Soka Gakkai Day and Soka Gakkai Mothers Day in cheerfulness and high spirits. 

On May 3, 1951, Second Soka Gakkai President Josei Toda announced his goal of achieving a membership of 750,000 households during his lifetime. Toda's passionate efforts to realize this vision inspired hundreds of thousands of people throughout Japan to join Soka Gakkai over the next few years and eventually laid the path for Nichiren Buddhism to gain a following around the world. 

SGI President Daisaku Ikeda has continued to dedicate himself to fulfilling Toda's dreams by developing initiatives in the areas of peace, culture and education. He has described May 3 as "a day to embark afresh on our struggle for world peace and the happiness of humanity." 

Since President Ikeda proposed it in 1988, May 3 has also been designated "Soka Gakkai Mothers Day" in the spirit of appreciation for the sincere efforts of the women members.* It has become a tradition in SGI Canada to sing the song “Mother” (Ha Ha in Japanese) to honour them. 

Depending on the location, this important occasion was marked on April 30 and May 7 at SGI Canada Culture Centres, Community Centres and people's homes. 

Above: Victoria (left) and Vancouver (right)

 

Above: Ottawa (left) and Halifax (right)

At many locations there were festive decorations and cultural performances but the predominance of youth in organizing and leading the meetings was particularly noticeable this year. Young people shared their experiences in overcoming obstacles using their practice of Buddhism. They also shared their determination to expand the membership of SGI in Canada. 

Above: Winnipeg (left) and Edmonton (right)

There were many new people officially joining SGI Canada at this time as well. They expressed their gratitude to those who introduced them to the practice which has allowed them to improve their lives. 

New leaders were appointed and the benefits of participating in the Special SGI Canada fund was explained. 

Above: New Brunswick (left) and Calgary (right)

In his message to SGI Canada, President Ikeda encouraged everyone to make May 3 a fresh departure and that the peerless teaching of Nichiren Daishonin’s Buddhism of the sun has the power to sweep away the darkness of human misery and to illuminate people’s hearts with the light of hope. 

In Canada we are taking this message to heart as we joyfully move the goal of world peace forward. 

* http://www.sgi.org/resources/study-materials/the-significance-of-may-3.html