A member from India, who has been practicing Nichiren Buddhism for two years, is sharing with us how she gained four victories in her life since she took up faith. Besides overcoming the problems she went through, her strong faith and sincere practice also help her to achieved her own human revolution. Read on to see how she wins. The member has requested for her name to be kept confidential.
When I sat to write my experience to share at this discussion meeting, I didn’t know where to start, and got fairly overwhelmed with a lot of emotions and multiple thoughts.
My entire life in the past six months flashed in front of me and I broke into a smile. This smile was of peace and contentment and above all, victory, and that too, is not just one but multiple victories in all aspects of my life including finance, profession and relationships.
This experience is like “the before and after” advertisements that we very often see around, so my experience is like how me and my life were before, and it is right now after taking up faith.
There have been a lot of ups and downs in my life in the past few months, but I kept faith as the centre of my life.
Today, I can proudly say that owing to my solid faith, daily practice and superb and timely guidance by my leaders, I have emerged as a winning disciple of Ikeda sensei.
I think the entire crux of my practice and victory thereby has been because of the ‘shift’ that I have been able to bring about with the power of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. From an anxious person, I have now become an earnest person.
Nichiren Daishonin said, “Whatever trouble occurs, regard it as no more than a dream and think only of the lotus sutra.”
This Gosho has literally brought about a revolution in my life. I quote from the first part – YOU MUST GRIT YOUR TEETH AND NEVER SLACKEN IN YOUR FAITH!
These strong words have a strong impression on me. Grit my teeth I did, whenever I was faced with an issue or came upon a obstacle, I chanted fervent daimoku with a strong determination to overcome the problem.
My prayers have always been very focused and direct, with each daimoku, I would pray for being wiser, more courageous and more compassionate, the three traits of a Buddha.
With the sword of the Mystic Law, I attacked each and every devil of karma that was trying to defeat me.
Talking about issues and obstacles, there have been many till date. I have overcome them with stupendous faith and I’m sharing these victories with all my friends and comrades in faith.
Victory No. 1
I’ve had many maid issues. I realized that I had ‘servant karma’. My maid who was there with me in the latter stages of my pregnancy and after I’ve given birth decided to leave with no notice.
I was in ‘deep hell’ because I lost my mum a while back and we stay separately from our in-laws. I was under stress with looking after my baby, the house and my husband.
I was constantly angry. I felt very helpless and alone and took guidance, which I always take seriously and started to test the power of my faith.
I started chanting for a house helper who could just appear from nowhere and save me. This didn’t happen overnight but refusing to give up, I maintain steadfast faith and deepen my practice. I felt ‘lighter’ and a lot calmer.
In due course, I got a house helper who takes great care of the house and the baby too. This helper is always eager to take on responsibilities and is forever smiling.
Victory No. 2
I had to take a break of more than a year from my work – throughout the term of my pregnancy as I was not in good health and I also had to be at home with the baby after given birth. This meant that we were surviving on our savings. Our expenses were rising and there was no sign of any income to take care of the family.
Keeping faith, I decided to challenge this karma head-on.
As Nichiren Daishonin said, “No prayers made earnestly to the Gohonzon will go unanswered… chant to get water from parched land and to produce fire from wet timber.”
Soon enough, in the second quarter of 2010, my mother-in-law (can you imagine) and I decided to start a business enterprise together. That’s how our first shop came about.
It received great reviews and business is brisk. Within a short time, we were able to open another much bigger store. Money started coming in slowly and steadily and our finances improve.
This sounds great so far but there is more to come…
I was growing in my practice and just like one of the Goshos stated, “As practice progresses and understanding grows, the three obstacles and four devils emerge in confusing form, vying with one another to interfere…” Another karmic attack was waiting for me around the corner.
Victory No. 3
Since marriage and a little before that, I’ve not had a great relationship with my in-laws.
In fact, it’s been cordial and to the point. However, since we were doing business together, we had to interact almost on an hourly basis. This used to affect me no end as I would be constantly on guard and felt very edgy with them around us all the time.
I soon realized that I was begrudging my life and theirs and decided to change the way I felt.
After taking guidance from my senior in faith, I was told again and again that it’s my karma and the power to expiate it is within me – all the readings and guidance directed me to change myself.
I got awakened to this great realization that the power to change my environment was within me. I just had to tap it from inside me by chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo.
Since the practice teaches us to respect oneself and others, I prayed to elevate my in-laws’ and my life condition to reach the state of Buddhahood.
From that day, the situation has improved tremendously. I have seen drastic changes in their behavior towards me. I feel more accepted and respected and this is because I changed my environment.
Today, when I go work, I leave my baby under their care and supervision. This would be a next to impossible thought for me in the past.
Victory No. 4
Talking of work, I come to my fourth victory.
Even after the smooth setting up and success of our business, I was not happy.
I was very unhappy simply because I had changed my field of work. I have spent more than 10 years in the media and entertainment industry, and reached great heights and was drawing a five-figure salary.
One fine day, I found myself feeling lowly and degraded while trying to sell things to people at the store.
On one hand, I was taking pride in becoming a businesswoman and starting my own enterprise. However, I deeply and sorely missed my world of television. Internally, I was divided between the two and felt terrible.
I constantly kept feeling that I was written off and will not be able to find any decent work in television.
I came upon a line in a Gosho where Nichiren Daishonin said to “view our present struggles as an opportunity to build and strengthen our character so that we remain undaunted in the face of any hardship”…
I decided to face my karma smilingly and daringly and started to take onus and responsibility of the business.
But deep within my heart, I had a thief of doubt and anxiety hiding as I kept thinking my prayer to be able to work in television is just not getting answered.
I began to doubt my practice and felt that I was not doing something right. I went back to the Gohonzon, studies and my seniors with only one question, “WHY?”
A particular guidance given to me revealed how I have been practicing my faith so far – I was doing self-centred practice – pretty much only thinking of things that affected me and my life.
I was told to bring about a SHIFT in my prayers, to get awakened to my mission in life, to do kosen-rufu. Now, we have all heard this word many times. Every time I heard this word “kosen-rufu”, to me, it would mean attending meetings, going to members’ homes for chanting and sharing studies together.
Ikeda sensei decribes kosen-rufu as:
“Since the word myo means to open up, I decided to chant freely and address a lot more bigger issues in my prayer that covered my family, my surroundings, my society and even our very own district… I would pray for each and every member of the district to be strong and steadfast in their faith and be victorious…”
I realized that I just didn’t pray like, and changed how I pray.
Last month, I got a call from a key media company to join them as soon as possible. I could not believe my ears and the rest, as they say is history. I am working on an upcoming mega media event!!!
This is my determination moving forward:
Whatever trouble may occur, consider it as transitory as a dream and think only of the Lotus Sutra.