Good morning friends. I, Rounak Damani was introduced to this beautiful philosophy by my sister 4 months back. Unaware of my problems and visibly, unhappiness was written on my face, I was asked to give this practice a try. At that time, I was going through financial, career and relationship challenges.
Nichiren Daishonin taught that ‘It is the heart that is important’. When our own hearts shine like the sun, everything seems to shine brightly. Rather, we can make everything shine. When we ourselves become the sun, shadows disappear. With faith like the sun, we will be free from sadness, despair and unhappiness. We will be able to positively transform even seemingly unfortunate events into fuel for our human revolution. When our life state changes, the way things appear to us changes too. That is the teaching of Nichiren Daishonin.
My 7-year old relationship meltdown is the reason why I actually started chanting. What was the reason for this break up? Me and my attitude.
Instead of raging in the dark side, I decided to start chanting! With chanting, I could see my rage slowly turn into gratitude towards her because if she didn’t part ways, I wouldn’t embark on this beautiful spiritual journey. Often, our anger infuses the poison of hatred in our attitude but we are victorious when we turn this poison into the medicine of gratitude.
I started my journey by home visiting members and when I heard their experiences, it gave me goose bumps. Their determination, perseverance and faith had a major impact on my life.
One day I determined, that I’m also going to be victorious, no matter what.
When I decided to change my thoughts, I started seeing the effects in my environment. The little benefits that I received boosted my self-belief and morale. I started to study Buddhism seriously. Through study I started to self-reflect.
Why this? Why me? Why not me?
My questions helped me realize that I was working too hard to make just others happy and in that struggle, I forgot to respect myself. I finally started to rediscover myself.
Despite chanting, my old self keeps creeping into me time and again, but instead of losing hope, I make a new determination to overcome my obstacle each and every time.
When I fell, my members did not give up on me but egged me on to move forward. Even though I started practicing for my materialistic goals, I am thankful to the law for delaying visible benefits, else I would have just restricted myself to being materialistic and would have missed out on doing my human revolution.
In this process, I not only aspired myself to reach the finish line, but also reach out to others who need help warmth and support. More important than my end victory, has been this everyday journey of joy.
As Sensei said, “Someone who at first may seem to be a hopeless case can, by achieving major self-transformation through their Buddhist practice, become an inspiration to countless others. Also, times when you are suffering intensely, when you don’t know what to do or which way to turn, can become opportunities for making great strides in your human revolution. If you tend to be discouraged easily, just refresh your determination each time that happens. People who are resolved to see problems as opportunities and keep try again and again, forging ahead with unflagging optimism, will definitely succeed in their human revolution.”
On my career front, I had almost quitted my studies for good, because in every exam, I would miss out by a small margin and was getting frustrated with my results. I prayed earnestly to find a career path which best suited me and through chanting I finally did.
I received an invitation from one of the universities in Australia encouraging me to apply for the course that I was studying for in India. However, the university rejected my application because I didn’t have enough academic credentials for the course. But for some reason, the head of department re-considered my application and decided to have a personal interview for me.
I am happy to report that I am 1 of the only 12 students to be admitted into the university. I am earnestly chanting to overcome my financial challenge. And I am sure I will overturn this too with the power of Nam-myho-renge-kyo.
I conclude by quoting Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. “If you can’t fly, run; if you can’t run, walk; if you can’t walk, crawl, but by all means keep moving. As long as we live and persevere and never give up, there is hope. As long as we work hard and keep moving forward, a path will open for us”.
I am determined to :
- Lead by example and inspire the world
- Have 30 new member from the same building that I reside in and turn it into a district
- Add value to every meeting and home visit
- Understand the true meaning of kosen-rufu