Please accept my warmest felicitations on this auspicious occasion of the opening of the Ikeda Centre for Value Creation. I am delighted and honoured beyond words that this remarkable facility should be named after me. For this Centre, founded here in this great spiritual land of India, will surely serve humanity in its quest for peace, forging bonds of solidarity far and wide so that we may build a truly humane world. As one who shares this lofty aspiration, allow me to salute this new and most worthy departure.
Epitomising the depths of Oriental wisdom, the Mahayana scriptures make clear that human life possesses deep within a treasure that is both unfathomable and insurpassed. That is the humanism that we seek and uphold – the tireless effort to continuously inspire virtue within ourselves, based on a profound respect for and conviction in the sanctity of human life.
Gandhi devoted his life to the arduous task of freeing the inner-motivated power of the human spirit. He toiled over this task with unwavering confidence, a labour of love founded on hope. As Gandhi would note himself, “not to believe in the possibility of permanent peace is to disbelieve in the Godliness of human nature.”
We, too must hold ourselves to the Gandhian mission, transforming mistrust into trust, hatred into friendship, choosing dialogue over division and confrontation.
Dr. Radhakrishnan, whom I hold in the highest esteem, has set the standard that all of us should emulate. He has delved into the principles and ideals of Mahatma Gandhi and put them into practice. Through him, the indomitable spirit of Gandhi lives on, as does Gandhi’s august struggle. Under Dr. Radhakrishnan’s peerless leadership, I fully expect the Ikeda Centre for Value Creation to prosper and stand a sentinel in this grand struggle of spirituality, a beacon of humanism casting its guiding light upon the majestic path which humanity shall follow in the Third Millennium.
I, too, pledge to make every effort, a modest as they may be, to advance our common cause, as a fellow champion of the human spirit.