Sunday, December 16, 2007

Extracts of Guidance Today Volume 5 -- By Dr Daisaku Ikeda

  1. Life passes by in an instant, which is why it is so important for us to keep striving and challenging ourselves. [GT5-15]

  1. A true struggle means making strenuous, painstaking efforts behind the scenes, always being the first to take action on all fronts, always thinking ahead and being well prepared in advance, in order to open a sure path to victory. [GT5-16]

  1. Some people spend their days pursuing idle amusements. Some live aimless lives, succumbing to indolence and apathy. But neither of these ways of living will ever lead to true fulfillment or happiness. [GT5-22]

  1. The only way to create a current of lasting peace is by forging heart-to-heart ties through wide-ranging exchange relating to culture and education. [GT5-26]

  1. At its most fundamental essence, religion is commitment to saving people from suffering. True religion strives to instill that commitment in people’s lives. Education, meanwhile, fosters people through widely accessible and universal knowledge. Without both religion and education, the correct path for humanity cannot be completed. [GT5-30]

  1. We are who we are. Our life is our own. It is important that we discard a cowardly animalistic way of life—where we are always worried about what others say or do or about how we might appear to others—and instead live with confidence and conviction. [GT5-41]

  1. In life and in art, such things as short-term popularity and fame are all petty considerations. While of course it is important to make one’s best effort, there is no reason to be disappointed if there are no immediate results. The important thing is to become a stronger person and to grow as a human being. [GT5-47]

  1. Victors are always sincere. The arrogant, who betrays others’ sincerity, always come to a fall in the end, even though it may seem for a time that they have gained the upper hand. The happy are always sincere and they possess inner strength. Such people shine as the ultimate victors. [GT5-48]

  1. In order for humanity in the 21st century to eliminate war and conflict and establish genuine peace, it is vital that we open our hearts, broaden our intellectual capacities and expand our states of life. [GT5-51]

  1. Until we firmly embrace a correct view of the universe, of life and a philosophy based on a cosmic perspective, we can never rectify the folly of endless feuding, hatred and killing taking place on this small planet of ours and make it a place where all can live in peace and happiness. [GT5-52]

  1. When energy surges forth, something new is born. … When everyone’s energy—starting with that of the leaders—burns brightly, new talented people appear and new development begins. A new horizon unfolds before us and we are able to create a new history of victory. What is that energy? It is courage to face a challenge. It is the ability to act on one’s own initiative. It is the compassion to protect others. [~GT5-53]

  1. By guiding another individual towards happiness, we guide ourselves towards happiness. Through such efforts to help others, we ourselves can grow immensely. This act that benefits both ourselves and others, is the formula for hope for humanity. [~GT5-60]

  1. Some lives are little more than the accumulation of years. Some people are young in age but old at heart. In contrast, there are people who are old in years but filled with a youthful spirit. How to attain a youthful spirit? It is none other than by working for the happiness for oneself and others. [~GT5-69]

  1. Unless we strive against evil and injustice, we cannot say we are working for good. [GT5-72]

  1. Do not stop striving until you achieve victory! Even if you are tired, never give up, never give in! Never forget your vow! This is the spirit of victors! [GT5-80]

  1. Who is a youth? It is not simply a question of age. A youth is someone who keeps progressing day after day. A person who advances is a youth in the truest sense. If we lack the spirit to advance, we are old at heart, no matter how young we may be in years. [GT5-81]

  1. If everything is smooth sailing right from the beginning, we cannot become people of substance and character. By surmounting painful setbacks and obstacles, we can create a brilliant history of triumph that will shine forever. That is what makes life so exciting and enjoyable. In any field of endeavour, those who overcome hardships and grow as human beings are advancing towards success and victory in life. [GT5-101]

  1. There is no need to lament when criticized for doing good. [~GT5-102]

  1. Because people are wise, they are maligned. Because people are just and upright, they are defamed. … Never let this surprise or intimidate you. [~GT5-105]

  1. Dialogue must be conducted in a spirit of equality, with the parties involved respecting each other as equals. It must be a mutual exchange where the paries speak the truth and actual fact, and not just spout one-sided propaganda. [~GT5-110]

  1. Everything in life is part of our training; it is for our own growth. [~GT5-116]

  1. Life is a struggle. Since that is true, let us make it a victorious one! Everything starts from here. This is the spirit of those who from the time of their youth have upheld philosophy and a bright, determined sense of mission. It is the spirit of those who embark on a profound, humanistic struggle for the happiness of their fellow human beings. [GT5-118]

  1. Gaining educational qualifications, titles, or position in society by no means constitute happiness in and of themselves. It is what we do, once we have acquired the status, to benefit our society and mankind that is the most important. [~GT5-124]

  1. Cowardly people are quick to rely on others, assuming that someone else will take care of things for them. They do not make any efforts themselves. On te contrary, they often engage in wrongdoing when no one is watching and cause trouble for their colleagues. Ultimately, they wind up in a situation where they can no longer remain in the same circle, prompting them to betray their friends and leave. [GT5-135]

  1. History is uncompromising in its judgment: justice and truth, error and lies are clearly revealed. It is crucial, therefore, that we develop into people of wisdom who can distinguish between good and evil, right and wrong, based on a broad historical perspective. [GT5-140]

  1. Those who do not stand up against wrongdoing and injustice are not just. They are not strong; they are devious and self-serving. [~GT5-143]

  1. People who are lax towards evil, people who do not fight against evil, no matter how good-natured they are or impressive they may appear on the surface, ultimately have no principles, no convictions. They have no real character, either. They are devious, self-serving individuals. [~GT5-143]

  1. You cannot build a foundation without effort and hard work. And without a solid foundation, you cannot become a person of genuine substance. Please make no mistake about this. Cunning people who shun hard work and seek to make it big overnight invariably come to a fall in the end. [GT5-144]

  1. Let us always make certain to remember, respect, and protect the people who are striving modestly and inconspicuously, with diligence and perseverance, in their communities. Let’s visit these people, bow in respect to them, and sincerely thank them for their admirable efforts. [~GT5-149]

  1. We need to rise into action right where we are, with the determination to do everything we can. That is crucial. True happiness is to be found in steadily and sincerely seeking true humanity and self-realization in daily life. This is the start of building a great life. [GT5-150]

  1. Out in society, there are many different kinds of people: malicious people who seek to undermine and deceive others; arrogant people who scorn and despise others. We study so that we can prevail over such people, succeed in all our endeavours and leading fulfilling lives. [GT5-155]

  1. Knowledge alone cannot guarantee happiness. We need to have wisdom if we are to live wisely. Knowledge is like a pump that draws up the water of wisdom. Cultivating wisdom is a shortcut to happiness. [GT5-156]

  1. We only live this precious life but once. Please make continual efforts, steadily overcoming life’s challenges one step at a time, until you ultimately achieve a life in which all of your wishes are realized. [GT5-167]

  1. Climbing over mountains and making our way through valleys is what makes hiking interesting. The walking may be challenging, but it allows us to experience wonderful vistas and arrive, in the end, at our destination. Simply flying to the spot in a plane would be boring. The same is true of life. [GT5-172]

  1. Where can we find the key for turning our lives in a positive direction? Absolutely vital in this question is the philosophy of human revolution. Human revolution offers the only certain path to happiness and victory in life. Human revolution means transforming our lives from unhappiness to happiness. [GT5-174]

  1. Please do not spend your youth avoiding hardship and taking the path of least resistance. Please seek out difficult challenges and work hard. And if you are going to take on hardships, let it be for the sake of high ideal. Do not stay closed up in your own tiny shell, pursue your studies with the high ideals of helping your friends and contributing to society and humanity. This is where the true significance of the pursuit of learning lies. [GT5-175]

  1. Humility means doing your best in your present circumstances and situation, working together harmoniously with those around you. Arrogance, on the other hand, is doing whatever you please, without thinking about anyone else. Arrogance is wrong and will bring one misfortune. [GT5-176]

  1. Life is making practical efforts. It is challenging ourselves. It is advancing. Your youth never comes again. Please leave behind some achievement; please create something, as a record of your existence in this world. [GT5-177]

  1. Learning is the individual’s inalienable right. As human beings, it is not only our right but also our duty. Please never lose the desire to continue learning throughout your lives!

  1. The Art of War by Sun-tzu, the ancient text contains this maxim: “A victoriouls army first wins and then seeks battle; a defeated army first battles and then seeks victory.” In other words, the victors have won through preparation and strategy before the actual battle begins. [GT5-180]

  1. Become the nucleus of efforts to form a truly global family of humanity that is dedicated to world peace. Please possess this spirit. The important thing is your determination to do so, here and now, just as you are. [~GT5-189]

  1. No one becomes great without a struggle. All of life is a struggle. Only those who have faced and triumphed over adversity possess genuine greatness; without this struggle, no matter how famous or celebrated one may be, any claim to greatness is merely an empty fa├žade. [GT5-195]

  1. Forge a solid self and develop within you the power to attract happiness to your life. Then you yourself will be happy and fulfilled, and you will be able to lead your family, your relatives and your friends to happiness, too. [GT5-196]

  1. What is the purpose of life? What is the purpose of learning? Without a profound philosophy that addresses these questions, our lives will be superficial and shallow. How can we deepen ourselves as individuals? How can we attain a rich, fulfilling view of what it means to be a human being? And how can we lead lives that make the most of our potential? These are the basic questions we face in life. [GT5-197]

  1. In life, struggles and challenges lead to growth; they add zest to life. When we stop challenging ourselves, we stop growing. Stagnation sets in. Life feels empty and meaningless. [~GT5-200]

  1. Tenacity and effort are what ensure victory—a formula for success that applies as equally to the individual as it does to organizations. Without these two qualities, every struggle is doomed to fail. [GT5-203]

  1. Youth who lose their courage can no longer be called youth. Youth are the ultimate champions of courage and peace. To be young in itself is to be a noble champion who possesses boundless treasure and hope. Do speak out with such conviction and power that others will be moved and inspired. [~GT5-206]

  1. Human society is a struggle between good and evil. The evil are easily united by shared self-interest. That is why it is so important for good people to unit and form alliances and networks to counter and combat those negative forces. If good people allow evil people to do as hey please, though they may regard themselves high above such people, they have in effect already capitulated to evil. [~GT5-213]

  1. What is the key to realizing victory in an age of great upheaval and tumultuous change? It is for leaders to move, to stand in the forefront and to take initiative. Do make steady efforts to meet with many people and create allies. Keeping yourselves informed, please take full responsibility and always be the first to act. [~GT5-215]

  1. Life is a battle. Unless one has an unbreakable steel-like spirit, one cannot accomplish momentous undertakings. When we look at historical figures, an in modern society as well, it is only those who have forged a spirit as strong as steel that are victorious or successful. There is no one who has achieved success by taking it easy. There is no ultimate victory to be found in such an approach. [GT5-231]