Lectures Delivered

Daisaku Ikeda has received invitations to lectures at many universities and academic institutes around the world, including Harvard University, L'Institute De France, Moscow State University, Peking University and the Brazilian Academy of Letters. In these lectures Mr. Ikeda addresses a wide diversity of themes, usually with particular reference to the history and cultural heritage of his audience. Examples include "Toward a World without War: Gandhism and the Modern World" at the National Museum, New Delhi, India (1992); "A New Silk Road from the Cradle of Civilization" at Ankara University, Turkey (1992); "Leonardo's Universal Vision and the Parliament of Humanity" at the University of Bologna, Italy (1994); and "Thoughts on Education for Global Citizenship" at Teachers College, Columbia University, U.S.A (1996). The full list of addresses is given below.

Mr. Ikeda says about these lectures, "There is nothing extraordinary about my knowledge or ability, but my Buddhist faith and my enduring wish for peace and a better world prevailed as I accepted each invitation to speak…I want to dedicate my life to bringing a true and generous message of encouragement, a prayer and an appeal to restore the future of humanity and let flow the bounty of the human spirit."

"A New Road to East-West Cultural Exchange"
Moscow State University, May 1975

"The fundamental nature of culture is accord and harmony. It is diametrically opposed to force, especially the force of arms. While military power threatens humanity and imposes controls from without, culture arises from within the human mind as a liberating force…The flowering of culture is the only way to liberation against military might and political power."

"Creative Life"
L'Institut de France, June 1989

"The creative life makes a new breakthrough, achieves self-renewal, every day, always attuned to the original rhythm of the universe, and by so doing it brings about a complete transformation."

"A Matter of the Heart"
Peking University, China, May 1990

"Political and economic exchange will be important, but the ties joining the hearts of the peoples of both countries are even more so….such bonds are made possible by the splendor of culture urging the human spirit toward eternity and universality. Education, meanwhile, opens up the infinite potential of the human soul and nurtures the bonds of equality and fellowship. Cultural and educational exchange will provide the basis for truly eternal ties between our two peoples."

"The Kemalist Revolution: A Model"
Ankara University, Turkey, June 1992

"Only those with farsighted open-mindedness can aspire to globalism. The ability to strike a balance between one's own interest and those of other nations-or, at a deeper level, between the individual and the universal-is the mark of the world citizen."

"A Garden of Imagination"
Brazilian Academy of Letters, February1993

"The universalism of modern science is not genuine universalism. In an abstract and self-defining world disconnected from values and meaning, a culture based on science and technology may be both pervasive and uniform, but is no more than the skin of the fruit. It does not touch the sum total of human life."

"Mahayana Buddhism and Twenty-first-Century Civilization"
Harvard University, U.S.A., September 1993

"The Greater self of Mahayana Buddhism is another way of expressing the openness and expansiveness of character that embraces the sufferings of all people as one's own. This self always seeks ways of alleviating the pain and augmenting the happiness of others, here, amid the realities of everyday life. Only the solidarity brought about by such natural human nobility will break down the isolation of the modern self and lead to the dawning of new hope for civilization."

"The Flight of Creativity"
University of Bologna, Italy, June 1994

"Leonardo's life itself captured the unique freedom and vigor of the Italian Renaissance. Perhaps what allowed Leonardo to achieve such freedom was his mastery of the self. He himself wrote, 'you can have neither a greater nor a lesser dominion than that over yourself.' This was his first principle, upon which all others were based. Self-mastery allowed him to respond flexibly to any reality."

"Thoughts on Education for Global Citizenship"
Teachers College, Columbia University, U.S.A, June 1996

"The endpoint in the development of knowledge isolated from human concerns is the weaponry of mass destruction. At the same time, it is knowledge also that has made society comfortable and convenient, bringing industry and wealth. The task of education must be fundamentally to ensure that knowledge serves to further the cause of human happiness and peace. Education must be the propelling force for an eternally unfolding humanitarian quest."

Lectures Delivered:

April 1, 1974

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) USA

Toward the Twenty-first Century

April May 1, 1975

Moscow State University, USSR

A New Path to East-West Cultural Exchange

April 1, 1980

Peking University, China

Toward a New Vision of "The People": Observations on China

March 1, 1981

University of Guadalajara, Mexico

On the Mexican Poetic Spirit

May 1, 1981

University of Sofia, Bulgaria

A Harmonious Fusion of the Cultures of East and West

June 1, 1983

University of Bucharest, Romania

Standing at the Crossroads of Civilizations

June 1, 1984

Peking University, China

The Great Path to Peace: A Personal Observation

June 1, 1984

Fudan University, China

People as the Protagonists of History

June 1, 1989

L' Institut de France, France

Art and Spirituality in East and West

March 1, 1990

University of Buenos Aires, Argentina

The Cosmopolitan Spirit in a Land of Cultural Fusion

May 1, 1990

Peking University, China

The Path of Education, the Bridge of Culture: A Personal Observation

January 1, 1991

University of Macau, Macau

A New Global Awareness

April 1, 1991

University of the Philippines, Philippines

Peace and Business: Toward a Universal Spirit of Fairness and Justice

September 1, 1991

Harvard University, USA

The Age of "Soft Power" and Inner-Motivated Philosophy

January 1, 1992

Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

The Chinese Humanist Tradition

February 1, 1992

Gandhi Smriti and Darshan Samiti, India

Toward a World without War: Gandhism and the Modern World

June 1, 1992

Ankara University, Turkey

A New Silk Road from the Cradle of Civilization

October 1, 1992

Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, China

The Twenty-First Century and East Asian Civilization

January 1, 1993

Claremont McKenna College, USA

In Search of New Principles of Integration

February 1, 1993

Brazilian Academy of Letters, Brazil

The Hopeful Dawn of a Humanistic Civilization

Sep 1, 1993

Harvard University, USA

Mahayana Buddhism and Twenty-first Century Civilization

January 1, 1994

Shenzhen University, China

The Infinite Horizons of Humanism

May 1, 1994

Moscow State University, Russia

The Human Being: A Magnificent Cosmos

June 1, 1994

University of Bologna, Italy

Leonardo's Universal Vision and the Parliament of Humanity

January 1, 1995

East-West Center, USA

Peace and Human Security: A Buddhist Perspective for the Twenty-first Century

June 1, 1995

Ateneo de Santander, Spain

Toward the Dawn of Twenty-first Century Civilization

November 1, 1995

Tribhuvan University, Nepal

Homage to the Sagarmatha (Everest) of Humanism: The Living Lessons of Gautama Buddha

June 1, 1996

Simon Wiesenthal Center, USA

Makiguchi's Lifelong Pursuit of Justice and Humane Values

June 1, 1996

Teachers College, Columbia University, USA

Thoughts on Education for Global Citizenship

June 1, 1996

University of Havana, Cuba

Building a Great Spiritual Bridge to the New Century

October 1, 1997

Rajiv Gandhi Institute for Contemporary Studies, India

A New Humanism for the Coming Century

March 23, 2007

Palermo University, Italy

From the Crossroads of Civilization: A New Flourishing of Humanistic Culture