I hope not to offend the SGI members who come here, but this is just odd. There's a traveling exhibition titled "Gandhi, King, Ikeda: A Legacy of Building Peace" currently parked at a high school in Ontario. The exhibition focuses on Mohandas Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Daisaku Ikeda to show how to work toward world peace. It's been traveling around for about a year, I take it, but I just stumbled into it today.
If you're struggling to place Daisaku Ikeda: He is the president of Soka Gakkai International (SGI), a lay Nichiren Buddhist organization. I'm sure he's a nice fella, and I'm aware that he has directed SGI into doing a lot of good work. But does he belong in the same league with Gandhi and King? I'd like to give SGI members a chance to explain why he does. Maybe there's something I'm overlooking.
I can see Aung San Suu Kyi, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, or Thich Nhat Hanh in the company of Gandhi and King. I could make an argument for Master Cheng Yen, the nun who founded the Tzu Chi Foundation. There are a great many Buddhists doing great work whose life stories are awesomely inspiring.
It's true that Ikeda has honors and awards by the truckload -- look him up on Wikipedia sometime. He has established lots of institutions and universities. A number of people in the exhibit online video testify that Ikeda is a great man. But after reviewing the astonishing lives of Gandhi and King, the Ikeda section of the video feels like a padded resume.
The exhibit is sponsored by the Martin Luther King, Jr. International Chapel at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia. It is the creation of Dr. Lawrence E. Carter Sr., dean of the chapel. I learned through some googling that Dr. Carter has ties to Soka Universityof California, one of the universities established by Ikeda and SGI. There's nothing wrong with that, of course. I assume Dr. Carter has met President Ikeda and genuinely admires him.