The SGI movement has its roots in the life-affirming philosophy of Nichiren, a Buddhist monk who lived in 13th century Japan. Nichiren’s teachings assert that each individual, regardless of race, gender, capacity or social standing, has the power to overcome life’s inevitable challenges, to develop a life of great value and creativity, and to positively influence their community, society and the world.
Nichiren’s philosophy originates in the teachings of Shakyamuni, the historical founder of Buddhism who lived in India some 2500 years ago. Nichiren discovered that the Lotus Sutra contains the heart of the Buddhist teachings and the truth to which Shakyamuni was awakened. This sutra reveals that a universal principle, called the Buddha nature, is inherent in all life. It affirms that all people are capable of attaining enlightenment.
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 stress 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.