Buddhism has a certain air of mystery to most people in the world. When you mention this religion, a lot of people will imagine bald monks in robes that meditate for the better part of a day. To some extent, this conception of Buddhism shows little of what the religion is all about. On the other hand, a variation of Buddhism exists and it is called Soka Gakkai.
Basically, Soka Gakkai means a Society for the Creation of Value. This variation of Buddhism was founded in 13th Century Japan by Nichiren Daishonin, a monk who believed that the basic tenets of Buddhism can be simplified into its basic core beliefs that add more to the lives of the people who adhere to it. As such, a huge number of people still confuse Soka Gakkai with Buddhism proper. To help you out, here are some unique qualities of Soka Gakai that’s different from Buddhism.
Soka Gakkai members still have a life of their own
Photo from Pinterest
Most people connect Buddhism to having a life devoid of any material possessions, hobbies, and interests. To some extent, this is quite true. On the other hand, members of Soka Gakkai are free to pursue their interests as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone. These people have normal jobs, a hobby to partake in, and still adhere to the pursuit of enlightenment. The conclusion here is that material things aren’t evil at all. It’s how we use them, as Soka Gakkai members all believe.
The word ‘Impossible’ doesn’t exist for Soka Gakkai members
When you tell a person that something can’t be done, a Soka Gakkai member would not agree with you. That’s because people who adhere to this form of Buddhism believe that anything can be done using an infinite amount of wisdom and compassion that lives inside of us. Furthermore, Soka Gakkai members can tap into this endless source of energy by performing the Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo chant on a regular basis. Sokai Gakkai members believe that the world will be a better place when we base all of our decisions on compassion and wisdom
Soka Gakkai members can be found all over the world
Photo from SGI Org
It might be your first time hearing about Soka Gakkai due to its obscurity in most parts of the world. The truth is, Soka Gakkai can be found in 192 countries and there are around 12 million people practicing it. In comparison , the United Nations has 193 member countries. That means you can find a Soka Gakkai community in every part of the world.
Soka Gakkai funerals are simplified and more relaxed than their Buddhist counterparts
Normally, Buddhist funeral services are very formal in nature. On the other hand, a funeral ceremony done by a Soka Gakkai community is far more relaxed but doesn’t lose the solemnity of this event. These particular funeral service still centers around various chants performed by a Soka Gakkai leader and several members but everyone can chime in. As a result, Soka funeral services are more modernized and simple than their Buddhist counterparts.