This is an inspiring testimonial by Ms Pooja Bajaj from India, who took up faith in Nichiren Buddhism and started chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo from 3 May 2009. Not only has she surmounted the challenges she faced after her divorce, Pooja also escaped serious harm in an accident. We hope her experience will encourage those members who are facing similar problems as those that Pooja has overcome.
Good evening. I am Pooja Bajaj and working as a Training Manager in an online media company. I want to thank all of you for giving me the opportunity to share my mystical journey in faith. I have been sincerely practicing this philosophy from 3 May 2009.
Even before joining the practice I have always believed in the theory of karma, that we create our own karma and thus create our own lives.
When I was introduced to this life transforming philosophy, I was going through the worst phase of my life. I was suffering from a broken relationship as I had just got divorced from my husband whom I loved the most in my life. Getting married to him was a dream come true.
Being with him I always considered myself as the happiest person on earth, but everything shattered…
Immediately after our marriage he totally stopped working, as he believed that the stars were not in his favor and totally stayed at home. He also made me quit my job because his ego did not allow him to see his wife working and being independent.
After we had our daughter in 2004, the situation got worst as by then, he became a complete alcoholic and even used to get violent and physically abuse me. As situation were getting worst for everyone in the family, my parents decided to take me and my daughter with them. We finally divorced in just within four months of filing the procedure.
I found myself fighting to adjust to the never expected situation with my one and a half year-old daughter. I moved to Nainital for one year and started working with a hotel. It was then in 2006 when one day one of my clients told me about chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, and asked me to attend the meeting in their house.
Though I went to attend the meeting and also chanted with them, I doubted that how few words of which I don’t even know the meaning can bring change in my life. Though I used to attend the meetings but I was not chanting, as I was somehow not feeling connected!
In 2007, my daughter and I came back to Delhi and I took up a job with a company, as it was extremely essential for the survival of my family and me. Being in the same city and same colony as my ex-husband, we used to cross paths time and again and I would get really disturbed and upset.
I was handling all the hardships of taking care of my daughter and my family along with a new and demanding job. I have to struggle through the emotional turbulence, whether I should patch up again with my husband for the sake of our daughter’s life or not.
I was going through these problems alone. I never shared these feelings with my parents because I did not want them to suffer on my account.
In spite of being a very strong person, I use to continuously feel a sense of hopelessness and unhappiness in my life. It was then that in 2009, one of my friends spoke to me about the practice and invited me for the 3 May meeting. I readily accepted the invitation. In the meeting I got really inspired by listening to some of the wonderful experiences which I could relate to and felt a sense of peace in my heart.
After attending the 3 May meeting, I started chanting regularly, attend meetings and read books and articles on this Nichiren Buddhist philosophy. Then I met a senior in faith who gave me lot of confidence in the practice and told me to resolve as the SUN of the family.
She also told me that chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo would change the life condition in the family and in addition, these benefits will go on to the next seven generations.
I started receiving a lot of benefits through chanting daimoku. Most of them were inconspicuous as I could see my attitude changing. I am now more composed, calm and balanced while handling difficult situations. I also have become more patient.
Earlier I used to sometimes doubt my own decision of walking out of my husband’s house and would feel shattered and broken. I also would always blame my ex-husband for ruining my daughter’s life and mine.
However, after regular chanting, I started getting clarity and realized that whatever I decided and did was right. I honestly feel gratitude towards him because it is actually not his fault but just our karmas. In fact, now I pray for his happiness, good health and wisdom.
On my job front, at this time of recession, I was at a great risk of loosing my job. I am working with a sales oriented company as a HR Trainer. Mystically at a time when everyone’s job security was at risk, I was given added and multiple responsibilities, as well as many recognition from my company.
With my new profile, I have the good fortune to meet many influential and positive-thinking people. I received a lot of appreciation from my senior management for accomplishing successful counseling and training sessions with the existing employees. I realized my own capabilities and grow in confidence.
I also made a determination in the beginning of this year to buy a house for my daughter and me before 2011. I started chanting earnestly and participate in the discussions and songs during Gakkai meetings. I began to work hard on the planning and arranging funds to buy the property.
When everything was falling in place, suddenly after two years, my current organization changed their policy from five to six working days.
I was not able to accept this change because of the personal challenges I face and have to manage them of managing lot of things alone, and need to spend time with my daughter and participate in Gakkai meetings.
I became upset and depressed.
But immediately I could recall a guidance from one of my senior in faith – rather than just feeling worried, we should chant in front of Gohonzon to seek guidance whenever we face a problem.
I started exerting myself more in Gakkai meetings with the determination not to miss my gongyo and daimoku in any situation. I began to pray for a five-day workweek and improvement in my financial situation to meet daily necessities as well as increasing expenses of the expected loan to buy the house.
My prayers were answered when, to my surprise, I got a wonderful job offer with almost 25% increase in pay and a better designation. Moreover, even though this company works six days a week, they agreed to my request to work only five days, excluding Saturdays and Sundays.
But still I was apprehensive about this new company. A Gakkai senior advised me to do abundant daimoku to pray for Buddhist gods to reveal the answers by entering into the lives of people around me.
I joyfully increased my chanting duration from 20 minutes to one hour. I am happy to report that I joined this organization last month and am quite satisfied with the position and exposure.
I would like to share one more recent life saving experience. Because of the protective powers of Gohonzon, I escaped death mystically.
On 17 April, I woke up as usual in the morning to prepare milk for my daughter in the kitchen. I was not aware that the gas pipe was damaged with gas leaking the whole night. The moment I lighted the burner with gas lighter, I could see only huge flames around me.
Immediately, my whole body – my face, neck, arms and legs were engulfed in flames.
I suddenly got the wisdom to handle the situation, and instead of getting confused and started to panic, I remained calm and immediately switched off the burner and tried to control the fire on me.
With all the good fortune of chanting daimoku and protection from Gohonzon, I did not have any burnt/rashes; I only suffered a little burning of my eye lashes.
I am really happy to share these victories with you. I realize that though there are lot more things to be managed, and in spite of all the hardships, what matters most is the end result. This is the feeling of courage, wisdom and peace.
As Ikeda sensei says, “Most important than winning is not to be defeated. It is not important that you always win, what is important is that you don’t loose.”
I realize that all the problems that come my way actually help me to polish my life and help me to exert in faith.
I am determined in my heart that I would not allow myself to be defeated by my worries and problems, and to emerge victorious while handling all my responsibilities as a single parent, as a daughter and at work.
Today I make a strong determination in my heart that I’ll keep on growing in this practice of faith, that I will have control over my emotional disturbances which I still encounter at times, to face and fight all the challenges of life with full faith and courage.
I will report more victories and will face and fight all the challenges of life with strong faith and courage.