February 16, 2021: Nichiren Daishonin Soka Gakkai Day

WHEREAS, February 16, 2021, marks 800 years since the birth of Nichiren Daishonin, according to the traditional Japanese way of counting, in which a person is counted as one year old on the day of their birth; and,

WHEREAS, Nichiren Daishonin is the founder of the Buddhism upon which the Soka Gakkai International (SGI) bases its activities for peace, culture, and education; and,

WHEREAS, Nichiren Daishonin's Buddhism upholds the dignity of life and teaches that all people have the potential to attain Buddhahood, or absolute happiness, during this lifetime; and,

WHEREAS, Nichiren Daishonin established the means for all people to achieve enlightenment, the ideal of the Lotus Sutra, by formulating the practice of chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, which allows anyone to activate their inherent Buddha nature and manifest it as the life state of Buddhahood, which is characterized by courage, compassion, wisdom, and life force; and,  

WHEREAS, the Soka Gakkai International led by its three founding Soka Gakkai presidents and perpetual mentors, Tsunesaburo Makiguchi, Josei Toda, and Daisaku Ikeda, is the sole organization that embodies the vast compassion of Nichiren Daishonin and is spreading Nichiren's humanistic teachings throughout the world amidst the challenging realities of the current times; and,

WHEREAS, on February 16, 2021, more than 12 million Soka Gakkai International members in 192 countries and territories, including 1,656 members in the State of Michigan, will celebrate Nichiren Daishonin's birthday and continue striving to realize the shared vow for world peace and the happiness of all humanity;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Gretchen Whitmer, governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim February 16, 2021, as Nichiren Daishonin Soka Gakkai Day in Michigan.