President Ikeda said, “There are innumerable types of suffering. What we should realise is that the times when we suffer severely are also when we challenge and change our karma, and unlock the door to great good fortune. True happiness means to establish a condition in which we can gladly face even the greatest suffering and overcome it.” Read how Ayati Tandan, a WD from India, overcome her problems to lead a better life.
Good evening everyone my name is Ayati Tandan and have been practising Nichiren Buddhism for over a year.
I had been in a depression for over 20 years ever since i was a 12-year old as I thought my parents were against me because I was a difficult child and did not listen to them.
It started when I became friends with a girl a year younger than me in my neighbourhood. My mom, who is a good judge of character warned me to stay away from her as she would ruin me some day.
One day, this girl criticised and called me an ugly looking female who is laughed at by boys and should be ashamed off myself, save myself by committing suicide and had no right to live.
Since I was a shy and self conscious 12-year old, I developed a negative self image which led to many suicidal attempts. Since my depression was getting bad day by day, I was prescribed heavy doses of anti depressants and sedatives and was diagnosed to be suffering from body dysmorphic disorder, which is an ugliness syndrome.
With love and guidance from my parents, I completed school and college in a sedated state. To escape from my depressed situation, I started looking for a groom online who would marry me.
After a few months of courtship, we decided to marry, despite my parents’ reluctance. Initially, things were going smoothly but suddenly his widowed mother started demanding dowry, which was not acceptable. Hence the wedding was cancelled.
After this incident, my parents were mad at me and sent me to my aunt’s house in Delhi. Since I was unhappy, I tried contacting my parents to take me back but it was in vain.
As i was desperate to escape, I got the man I was initially supposed to marry to rescue me. After I ran away from my aunt’s home, my parents came to Delhi to look me up and asked me to come back with them.
In the midst of this, my aunt told my father I should marry the man as I had stayed at his house. Soon I married him in a temple in Delhi against his mother’s wishes. I didn’t know whether what I was doing was right or wrong but I was happy that a man was ready to marry me in spite of my BDD (ugliness syndrome) and might never get such a chance again in my life.
After some time, I requested him that I want a child of my own. And when I was pregnant, my parents were unhappy as they knew my mental state was not strong enough to have a baby and asked I could go for an abortion.
However, I proceeded to give birth but later realised that I was not immature enough to care for my son. A few months later, my husband and I started fighting over issues and blamed me for ruining his and his mother’s lives. This worsened my mental condition and I lost my will to live and stopped eating.
I was on the verge of death.
Soon, my parents brought my son and I back to their home.
After a few months, my parents got fed up of the constant tension between me and the troublesome maids in my house who used to instigate my parents to fight with me as they considered me evil. The maids tried very hard to get my parents to throw me out of their house.
I was eventually sent back to my husband’s home but my mother-in-law was not happy to see my son and I. She also abused my son.
I was extremely unhappy there as I had no place to go to get solace or anyone to share my pain with. My parents came to visit me a few months later as I was extremely miserable and not feeling well, like as if I was on my deathbed.
When I came back to my parents house for good in 2008, a close friend of my parents introduced me to Nichiren Buddhism and sowed the seeds of Buddhism in my mind then.
Then in 2012 when I was the verge of a nervous breakdown, I started practicing Nichiren Buddhism and was given guidance by my seniors in faith to chant for the happiness of the family to ‘”turn poison into medicine’’.
I received many benefits, such as the servants who were trying to create problems were replaced. Also, our old servant who had been serving my fathers family for 60 years was asked to leave the servant quarters in our house along with his family as they had forged the pension papers of my late grandfather after his death in Oct 2012. He was after my family’s wealth and property.
Thanks to the Mystic Law, the whole environment became pure and peaceful and also house of a troublesome neighbour got auctioned.
Now, we have no trouble makers in our lives and we are happy.
This year, my doctor weaned me of anti depressants and was happy that I was practising Buddhism, ensuring path to success.
My relationship with my parents has improved as I have stated valuing them as treasures and my anger has subsided. I am now more confident, active, calmer, rational, sensible, positive and also confident to work. I have also realised that one must associate with positive people who help one grow as an individual and get the best out of you.
You must love yourself for each of us is unique and special and we are all children of the Mystic Law. My relationship with my husband is good as we have become good friends and he also supports my practice along with my family.
Now, I can confidently meet people.
I am determined to introduce many people to this Buddhist practice and also pay my debt of gratitude to my parents, help my son develop good values and become a positive person and a Soka child.
I would dedicate my whole life to Nichiren Buddhism.