10 Essential Quotes from Buddhist Philosopher Daisaku Ikeda

(Photo above by Mio Ito / Unsplash)

Daisaku Ikeda used his life to give hope and encouragement to countless people. His words inspired many to overcome incredibly difficult situations, rise up to fulfill their dreams and awaken to a mission to support others.

Here are 10 essential quotes from Buddhist philosopher Daisaku Ikeda.


Those who have suffered the most deserve the greatest happiness. Those experiencing the harshest karma can embrace the noblest mission and fulfill it.

Daisaku Ikeda


When we care for others our own strength to live increases. When we help people expand their state of life, our lives also expand. ... Actions to benefit others are not separate from actions to benefit oneself.

Daisaku Ikeda


It takes courage to become happy―courage to remain true to one’s convictions, courage not to be defeated by one's weaknesses and negativity, courage to take swift action to help those who are suffering.

Daisaku Ikeda


Nothing is irredeemable in youth. Rather, the worst mistake you can make when young is to give up and not challenge yourselves for fear of failure. The past is the past and the future is the future. Keep moving forward with a steady eye on the future, telling yourselves: “I’ll start from today!”

Daisaku Ikeda, Discussions on Youth, p. 39


You are the playwright of your own victory. You are also the play’s hero. Shakespeare wrote, “All the world’s a stage, / And all the men and women merely players” (As You Like It, act II, scene vii, line 139). Buddhism teaches us that the individual writes and performs the script for [their] own life. Neither chance nor a divine being writes the script for us. We write it, and we are the actors who perform it.

Daisaku Ikeda, My Dear Friends in America, fourth edition, p. 267


Peace is a competition between despair and hope, between disempowerment and committed persistence. To the degree that powerlessness takes root in people's consciousness, there is a greater tendency to resort to force.

Daisaku Ikeda


When we change, the world changes. The key to all change is in our inner transformation―a change of our hearts and minds. This is human revolution. We all have the power to change. When we realize this truth, we can bring forth that power anywhere, anytime and in any situation.

Daisaku Ikeda


However, when viewed from the long perspective of a person’s whole life, such hardships are never wasted. Each of you is your own person; you don’t need to compare yourself to others. Just keep advancing, even if only by one or two steps, in a way that is true to you.

Daisaku Ikeda, Discussions on Youth, p. 47


You must respect your life. You will be unhappy if you allow yourselves to be swayed by society’s prejudices, passing trends and contradictions. Never forget to live true to your convictions.

Daisaku Ikeda, Discussions on Youth, p. 40


Happiness does not lie in outward appearances or in vanity. It is a matter of what we feel inside; it is a deep resonance in our lives.

Daisaku Ikeda, My Dear Friends in America, fourth edition, p. 484

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