Read our "Founding Lecture"

On September 24, 1993, Daisaku Ikeda lectured at Harvard University on the topic, "Mahayana Buddhism and 21st Century Civilization." Speaking at the invitation of eminent Harvard faculty Harvey Cox, John Kenneth Galbraith, and Nur Yalman, Mr. Ikeda outlined many of the themes that would inspire the founding of the Center later that year. These themes include: the wisdom of recognizing the cyclical continuity of life and death, providing a more balanced vision of existence; the necessity of ending our excessive focuses on our differences as humans; the benefit of judging religious practices in terms of how wise, strong, and happy they make people; the need for civilization to develop a "third path, a new balance between faith in our own power and recognition of that which lies beyond us"; and the truth of the interdependence of all life.

Mr. Ikeda's talk begins with a meditation on the ever-changing nature of life:

It was the Greek philosopher Heraclitus who, with his famous panta rhe, declared that all things are in flux and that change is the essential nature of reality. Indeed, everything, whether in the realm of natural phenomena or of human affairs, changes continuously, moment to moment. Nothing maintains the exact same state for even the briefest instant; even the most solid-seeming rocks and minerals are subject to the erosive effects of time. In the realm of human affairs, through the course of this century of war and revolution, we have been witness to the most extraordinary panorama of societal transformation.

Read the full lecture



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