Author(s): Richard Causton
Nichiren Daishonin Buddhism encourages the belief that, through its faith and practices, spiritual and material blessings and benefits can be available to everyone in this life. needs can be met, and success achieved, not merely for oneself but for others (and for the world) through dedication to the Lotus Sutra, a central teaching of Buddhism. It combines these personal objectives with the committment to world peace, ecology and the easing of suffering, especially AIDS. Attracting such well known followers as Jeff Banks, Sandie Shaw, Tina Turner and Roberto Baggio, Nichiren Daishonin Buddhism is rooted in a Buddhist tradition going back to the teachings of Nichiren in the 13th century, and is part of an international movement based in Japan.
Aged twenty-five, and after three years of active service in Burma, Richard Causton returned to England in 1945 with the realization that the world of his early youth had gone forever. The principles and beliefs on which he had been brought up, even the very existence of a loving and all-merciful God - all were in doubt. In 1958 he seized the chance of early retirement from the army, where, in his last post in the War Office, he was compelled to face for the first time the use of nuclear weapons and their appalling potential. At thirty-eight he began a fresh career in business. In the 1960s, his business travels took him back to the Far East, where he encountered the Buddhism of Nichiren Daishonin in Japan. He describes it as an electrifying experience. All that he heard and read seemed exactly to match the beliefs and conclusions towards which he had already been moving. He began to practice and in 1971, aged fifty-one, he made his final commitment to the Buddhism of Nichiren Daishonin. In 1974 he returned to England to join the 200 or so pioneer members practicing here at the time. Three years later he gave up business to become the first permanent staff member of what was then called Nichiren Shoshu of the United Kingdom (NSUK) and is now known by the name Soka Gakkai International of the United Kingdom (SGI-UK). He was head of SGI-UK between 1975 and 1995 and a vice chairman of both the worldwide lay society, Soka Gakkai International, and its European arm, SGI-Europe until his death on 13 January 1995.