“Strengthen your faith day by day and month after month”

No matter how difficult the situation we are in, and at times we may slacken in our faith because of negative thoughts, we must never give up. We should go back to the Gohonzon and chant with he resolve that we will win in the end. When we strengthen our faith, benefits will come to us in various forms. This is a testimonial from Heeru, a member from India.

“The impermanence of life is an inescapable fact. Yet while it is one thing to know, in theory, that each moment of your life may be the last, it’s much harder to actually live and act, on a practical level, based on that belief. Most of us tend to imagine that there will always be another chance to meet and talk with our friends or relatives again, so it doesn’t matter if a few things go unsaid,” Ikeda Sensei.

Hello everyone, I am Heeru and I have been practicing since past 2 years. The experience I will be sharing today is not particularly about a victorious moment or a conspicuous benefit, but is more about the power, the inner strength and the inconspicuous benefit.

You would have heard about Nichiren Daishonin’s thoughts about the manifestation of conspicuous, inconspicuous benefits particularly, when the difficult times hit you.

Well, last year in October, my wedding was formalized to be held in April 2012. My family was overjoyed; each day was full to thrill, excitement, enthusiasm of a cross-cultural wedding. Including everyone, I was also was excited to step into the new life.

At that time, each of my family members wanted to contribute with their utmost participation. Since I was a firm practitioner, I started to pray towards my wedding to be a kosen-rufu wedding.

I prayed to have a wedding full of joy and happiness; each and everyone attending my wedding to forget all negativities of life or towards my family and be awakened to their true Buddha nature.

I was well aware of the financial constraints such a wedding would bring on my family.

Hence, I started praying for an ancestral property to be sold at a best price, so that my parents do not face any financial obstacle due to my wedding.

I used to chant against all odds. My struggle became complex with each passing day. No victories as per the target dates, continuous efforts of participating in all the meetings, balancing a stressful work environment while trying to do maximum number of home visits and accumulating good karmas.

Sometimes, I used to chant for 5-6 hours continuously without feeling tired.

While each passing target date brought no victory, with each passing target date, my determination kept strengthening.

The wedding day was coming closer. Meanwhile, I was quite worried about my work after marriage, as there were not many job opportunities in Pune for me.

A transfer option in my office had bleak chances given I have no team working out of Pune.

Fortunately, my transfer request was approved from the department to be able to work independently out of Pune.

With a happy feeling, I bid goodbye to Mumbai. I went to Jaipur and continued to attend meetings for whatever time I was there.

Everything was going as per plan, except for the house sale. Though, somehow the finances were being taken care of, something in my heart kept pushing me to keep chanting for my victory.

During one of the times, I was very upset about my victory not getting achieved even after dedicated efforts, I spoke to a friend of mine who is practicing in US.

She told me that I should simply forget about every problem and chant only for a joyous kosen-rufu wedding.

So I started…

Ikeda Sensei said: “Reality is harsh. It can be cruel and ugly. Yet no matter how much we grieve over our environment and circumstances nothing will change. What is important is not to be defeated, to forge ahead bravely. If we do this, a path will open before us.”

Well exactly 12 days before my wedding, my sister’s husband my brother-in-law had a heart attack and we lost him. That devastated me. Nothing on this earth can explain or would be able to convince me about that.

It was devastating for my family. My sister, her children, my parents and yes, for me…

It shook me so deep, that doubting my faith was evident. I would not refrain from saying that the moments led to question the practice to an extent of hating myself and my practice, I almost took it on myself especially when I recalled words like “devil’s attack”.

I almost quit the practice and stop believing in the concept of victory. I started to dread my practice eventually thinking that I was the cause of this.

While my wedding date was decided to proceed as planned, without much of a noise from our side, my parents and my sister, along with the kids could not attend the wedding.

The wedding happened as scheduled with whoever could attend.  My wedding was joyous, beautiful and a lovely day marking the threshold of a new life albeit sans my entire family.

I would like to share a guidance by Ikeda Sensei: “The experience of losing a loved one impels us toward a deeper understanding of life. Everyone fears and is saddened by death. That is natural. But by struggling to overcome the pain and sadness that accompanies death, we become sharply aware of the dignity and preciousness of life and develop the compassion to share the sufferings of others as our own.”

At that time, I was in touch with only one member. It was quite a shock for my district members since I was connected to them at a very personal level.

It was my extended family. That member understood that I am not in a position to speak to too many members. She was always compassionate towards me and always understood me. She never preached or tried to provide guidance that was illogical at that time.

But what she did do is to guide me to the right kind of prayers. She told me to pray for justice, righteousness to prevail in my sister’s life. She told me to pray for my brother-in-law to be reborn in a kosen-rufu family since an early death in his life has possibly expiated him from further bad karma and sufferings.

It gave me a lot of strength to continue though not with the same vigor but at least to continue.

That was probably the least one can do.

I took the sufferings of my sister as my own. She decided to shift to Pune as she found no emotional support amongst her in-laws. We all supported her. It was a big challenge for all of us.

The immediate issue that needed attention was to admit her 3 kids in a school in Pune.

She came to Pune along with my elder sister and kids for 2 days only to focus on admissions. We were confident that the admissions would be granted on compassionate terms but it was not as what we expected.

Some of the renowned schools turned us down by saying condescending statements that further aggravated our grief. My sister was left only with one school’s admission, which is known to demand an exorbitant fee.

My eldest nephew was granted admission in a grade lesser than his, which meant repeating one entire year. Well, we had no choice.

They all went back disappointed. She kept hearing horrible remarks from my brother-in-law’s family about being unsuccessful and making wrong decisions.

They never favored her anyway.

Meanwhile, we made constant attempts to various schools, be it emails, contacts, personal meetings, we didn’t leave any stone unturned, especially for my eldest nephew.

I was trying to put myself back into the practice, test my faith and determined to prove the validity of the law. My practice wasn’t as rigorous but I never missed my gongyo. It was also important that my ichinen is strong.

For some strange reasons, each time I go to a school that offered us admission, it always ended unsuccessfully because of one document or the other.

I was to visit Malaysia for an official trip. It was 7 days to my sister’s shift to Pune and I received a mail from a renowned school while I was abroad as they were unable to contact me.

I took immediate action and told my sister here to get in touch. To our surprise, they offered to admit my eldest nephew if he pass the entrance test at the school on the test date.

But as they were in Gwalior at that time, it was not possible to go to the school on time. So my sister requested if it can be postponed to the following Monday. To which, the response was to wait while they get back with a confirmation.

When I came back from Kuala Lumpur, I called up the lady handling the admission and requested for places for all my 3 nephews.

She told me that they might not have the vacancies since the lower classes are totally full. We were offered admission only for the eldest one since the school only had one vacancy that too, might be filled up by someone else because we were not able to go tot school for the test on the required date.

I was disappointed but determined. The following day, which was a Saturday (usually a non-working day), the school called up my sister only to tell her that all the 3 kids have to appear for entrance test.  This was a surprise since the lady mentioned there were not enough places for all 3.

On Monday morning, all 3 appeared for the exam without any preparations while I was confident of their admissions.

We were only afraid that the kids would fail the science test but another surprise was given as this subject was dropped from the test.

After 2 days, we received the call that they can join the school the next day and even though my eldest nephew had low scores, admission was still granted.

My sister has shifted to Pune; it wasn’t exactly a smooth transition but it could have been worst. Her kids are in a renowned convent school. She also chants along with my nephews and she and her kids are settling down well.

While, our struggles still continue, the daimoku I chant is getting manifested in my environment as conspicuous and inconspicuous benefits in my daily life.

I would like to share another quote from Ikeda Sensei, “A person who meets with a great tragedy will quite naturally be at a loss as to what to do with their life. I believe one has to decide whether to keep up one’s spirits and go on living with all one’s might or let oneself be broken by disappointment”

The Gosho stated: “Strengthen your faith day by day and month after month.” I am probably living that line each day in my life.

While I am determined to change poison into medicine, I am also determined to achieve the unfulfilled pending victories and somewhere in my heart, I know that nothing can take away from me the true joy of leading a kosen-rufu life.

As long as we are alive, we cannot be free of difficulties nor spared from problems. The question is how to overcome and resolve them through our faith in the Gohonzon to confront and challenge life’s trials head on.

“Spare no effort in offering prayers with firm faith”

“Life is a struggle. Since that is true, let us make it a victorious one. Everything starts from here.” This is a guidance from President Ikeda. No matter what difficulty we face, what challenges lie in front of us, overcome and change your life through strong faith, daimoku and participation in kosen-rufu activities. With renewed faith and determination, Aarti Gupta from India achieved victory.

My name is Aarti Gupta and I have been practicing Nichiren Daishonin Buddhism since 2004. From the time I embraced this practice I experienced numerous benefits and to this day, I continue to stay amazed at the power of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. The experience I am sharing today is very profound to me because it challenged and changed me as a person – it is what I call my human revolution.

The year 2010-2011 bought a series of challenges – all related to my father’s health.

My father was a high blood pressure patient and few years ago, was diagnosed with chronic renal failure. Last year, his kidney function deteriorated and to continue to live, he required regular dialysis.

It was heartbreaking for my father to accept this life-altering event but he started adjusting to this change that required routine hospital visits.

However, with each visit, he would come back more drained with a series of complications and side effects of dialysis and his health started to decline rapidly.

To say that this time was trying for the family is putting it mildly. Every day was a battle. I worried for my father; and I worried for my mom’s health too.

Those who have battled long-term illnesses know how difficult it is to see their loved one go through pain and continue to provide care under tremendous emotional and physical stress.

For me, there was an added layer of worry – I worried about long-term care, as both my brother and I are staying overseas.

In the short-term, I temporarily relocated to India till things stabilized. When things stabilized; I returned to US though continued to stress about the situation. I hoped that the worst was over. But I was wrong. As Sensei says, “Struggle is the unchanging reality of life and of the universe.”

In March 2011, 4 months into the treatment, my father was taken to the ICU under serious condition. He had a collapsed lung, hypertension; hyperthyroidism; advanced Parkinson-ism; loss of speech and his kidneys were not functioning.

He now needed a ventilator and dialysis to stay alive. His prognosis was grim.

The first few weeks, I cried, I felt helpless and it pained me beyond words to see my father like that. To not be able to understand what he was saying was the worst of all and some days he would not remember his family at all.

It was heart breaking.

By now, it was 3 month since he was in ICU. While I was coming to terms with this change, the worry mounted – the hospital bill was running at an incessant pace and the amount was non-reimbursable. Also, there was increasing pressure from the hospital administration to move my father into a ward for patients with low life expectancy.

When my family doctor asked me if I wanted to consider this, I broke down. My only question was – will he get better and come home? I asked knowing the answer but maybe I just wasn’t ready to accept yet.

With so much going on, it was a challenge to stay positive. But amidst this despair lies my benefit.

For the last couple of years, my practice had slackened. I was attending meetings sporadically; and was chanting irregularly.

But in the summer of 2011, I renewed my faith and for this, I thank my father from the bottom of my heart. In the past, when I had setbacks, I would be assailed by doubts. But this time, as I renewed my efforts, I did not despair.

This time I resolved, to chant for total victory for my dad and for my family.

There is a famous Gosho passage that reads, “Suffer what there is to suffer and enjoy what there is to enjoy. Regard both suffering and joy as facts of life and continue chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, no matter what happens. Strengthen your power of faith more than ever.”

For the first time in my practice, I understood what this meant. I prayed from the bottom of my heart for the grace, courage and wisdom to triumph over my current circumstances – it was my challenge to show proof of faith – to not be defeated.

As Sensei said, “Life is a struggle. Since that is true, let us make it a victorious one. Everything starts from here.”

I started chanting again; re-subscribed to the World Tribune, the Buddhist paper in US and made a determination to share my experience.

I also started chanting for members to be victorious over their struggles. Whilst this seems easy, but it was hard to put it in practice when I was going through so much.

However, just summoning compassion to chant for others challenged me on so many levels.

How can you tell others with conviction that you can overcome this if you don’t apply it to your own situation?

As I started chanting for others, I felt energized; positive and each day my resolve to triumph over my own challenge strengthened.

I felt every cell in my body resonating with daimoku and the chant – You can do it.

As the Gosho reads, “Spare no effort in offering prayers with firm faith. It is not that my resolve (to save you) is weak. Rather, it depends on the strength of each person’s faith.”

With such inspiring words, how can I but not succeed.

My prayer was resolute: (1) For my father – Healthy body. Healthy Mind. Dignity of life. No pain. No suffering. (2) To continue to provide the best of care at the best facility. (3) Emerge stronger from this experience and deal with my present trial with courage and grace.

After an intense battle over his illness and 4 months of ICU stay, the doctors gave us the final prognosis – It was time to let go.

I went home and I cried in front of the Gohonozon for hours. But there was not an iota of doubt in my mind – Yes, it was time to let go.

My father had been through enough with all treatment options exhausted. It was time for him to move on to a healthier body and find his peace.

Yes, there was heaviness in my heart but at the same time profound peace and gratitude – gratitude that I got advance notice to say goodbye, that I could spend so much time with my dad, bond with him in my own way, and be there with him till the last, every inch of the way. But above all, I was at peace knowing that no effort was spared.

My father passed away on 10 July 2011. It took me a year to write this experience – Happy Father’s Day dad, wherever you are; I know you are in a better place. Thank you for everything. I miss you and I will always love you.

As I look back, I count my blessings – all my prayers were answered.

My father’s battle could have been prolonged but it was not. It was my heart felt prayer to not move my dad out of his present care due to financial constraints, and I did not – he continued to receive the best care in the private hospital till his last.

And we got reimbursed up to 60 % of the total hospital bill. From expecting nothing to eventually paying less than 50% of the total bill – it was a benefit I never even imagined.

And while coping with this life event, I did not have to quit my job to and received tremendous support from my company.

My heart-felt thank you to my SGI family, my mentor – Ikeda Sensei, my loving friends and family and my work colleagues. I could not have done this without all of your support.

I would like to end by sharing what I have learned and continue to learn through my Buddhist practice:

  1. Buddhism is win or lose, and win you must because that is the only way. And sometimes winning is in trying. Sometimes winning is knowing that while you can’t control the outcome, you can control how you respond to the occasion and give it more than your best. And if you stumble, get up, dust up and keep going.
  2. YOU can change your karma NOW, right at this very moment and reap the joy of good fortune now and not in some distant lifetime.
  3. All prayers are answered and sometimes the answer is in looking deeper; it is in the intangible. It is in that ‘absolute’ happiness.
  4. Fill your heart with compassion. And remember this at all times – good and bad. Just because you are suffering, don’t forget to pray for others. Rise above your own sufferings.
  5. Life is full of limitless possibilities – all you need to do is tap into yours and do abundant daimoku. With this practice nothing, absolutely nothing is insurmountable. The only thing holding you back from whatever you want is you yourself.
  6. And above all as the Gosho teaches have faith not like fire but like flowing water- steady, strong, CONSTANT.

Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to share my experience.

Be responsible for your karma

Things in our lives usually happen for a reason and as practitioner of Nichiren Buddhism, we should take such opportunities to deepen our faith and overcome our karma, as well as do human revolution. Deepika Khorana did that and eventually achieved victories.

Today is another opportunity for me to share my victory with you all. This practice has really helped me to grow as a person in totality. It has also given me the opportunity to clearly reflect on my inner self and change from within.

After I was appointed as block chief, I can feel the difference in attitude towards my prayers.

Recently, I got an opportunity to go to US. This news made me happy, as well as sad.

Sad, as I was worried about my mom for I never stayed away from her.

I took the guidance and chanted a lot to be able to go ahead in the visa process and take this opportunity as a challenge. But my visa got rejected.

Again, I was happy and sad.  I would be with Mom but the visa rejection would hinder my growth in office.

However, I took it in my stride without getting frustrated and dejected.

I sat in front of the Gohonzon and chant to have a clearer picture in front of me. I was sure that my staying back was an arrangement of the Gohonzon.

After a few days, I met with an accident, which caused ligament fracture, and I was not able to walk for 10 days.

My hemoglobin (HB) was also very low which made me more worried to overcome this problem.

The moment the accident happened, the first thing that came to my mind was that what a great protection for me.

This is because if this happened in a new country, then there would have been a big problem.

I asked for 2 days leave from office and also asked for the permission to work from home for the next 15 days.

As a result to my earnest prayers, I got permission to work from home.

During these 15 days, I did a lot of appreciation daimoku, filled with deep gratitude to get such a kosen-rufu job. Also, I studied Sensei’s guidance and the Gosho.

After my leg recovered, I took the challenge to go to Chennai to encourage my member that I had shakubuku.

Despite my low HB, I never felt weak and never took a single leave from office because of this. I was able to balance my office, home and Gakkai activities.

I was a person full of grudges but this practice has taught me to accept whatever that comes my way and to become confident.

I started taking responsibility of my karma and prayed very earnestly for my own growth as a capable disciple of Sensei.

In Dec, I again got the opportunity to apply for the visa again and this time, I am happy to report that I got the visa.

My next challenge was to travel alone and to stay alone tin the US as my colleague did not get the visa.

This time I was more confident because I had full faith in the Gohonzon and I know I have the master key with me that will help me to handle all challenging situations.

The US trip was amazing as I visited gaikan there and was very happy to meet with the US members and got the opportunity to know about their experiences.

In my company’s office there, I received a very warm welcome and that made my stay very comfortable and enjoyable. I also got the opportunity to visit New York and Niagara Falls, which is such a beautiful natural falls.

I got to know about my hidden capabilities in the US and life has changed in many beautiful ways.

I cooked myself and took care for my health and came back with good memories.

Today, I can see a bright future ahead in front of me with lots of opportunities.

Now, I chant daily in spite of my busy working hours, studied VC and the Gosho, undertake various Gakkai activities and attend all the meetings. I never miss a single chance to encourage my members through the phone, home visit and online.

Now, I am determined to start working as a youth of Sensei’s vision, a youth who is never defeated. I am also determined to dedicate my entire life to walk the path of kosen–rufu as shown by my mentor.

“Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo is the finest of all varieties of medicine”

No matter what circumstances we face, regardless of how hopeless the situations may seem, we should continue to have absolute faith in the Gohonzon and chant strong daimoku. This is what Lucy Fong, a WD did, when faced with a life-threatening illness and together with her husband’s support, she finally overcame this negative karma.

Nichikan Shonin stated: “Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo is the finest of all varieties of medicine. In other words, through our faith, each of us can individually exceed the limitations of all conventional and contemporary medicine and through the battle against any illness, we can grow as human beings overcome this illness and strive in body and mind for a transformation in our personal lives.

The power of Daimoku is enormous!

We don’t have to grieve about anything as we bring forth a courageous, valiant spirit becoming people with a core of unbending steel as we change the devil king into the shoten zenjin ( protective forces ) who protect the Mystic Law.

Your faith is like the waxing moon or the rising tide. Be deeply convinced, then, that your illness cannot possibly persist and that your life cannot fail to be extended! Take care of yourself and do not burden your mind with grief.”

I took up faith in 1983, 29 years ago. All these while being a selfish person; I have been practising solely for the benefit of my immediate family; whereby the Daishonin taught that we must practice for oneself and for others, and to have faith, practice and study.

My husband used to explain Buddhism to me, on how we can live a happy and meaningful life, but it always fall on deaf ears.

He said l will only be awakened if l myself encounter a big problem or when he is no longer in this world. This was really true. I was awakened after I was diagnosed with breast cancer 6 years ago.

In 2006, my husband suffered a terrible back pain which led him to go for a medical check-up.

At the hospital, there was this breast cancer awareness campaign. My husband insisted that l sign up for this check-up, as he knew l have been avoiding this for the past 2 years, due to my fear of having such sickness.

This is all the more so when I have already experienced a lump in my breast at an early stage. I realised that I have developed a phobia for sickness and death after l saw how my friend’s daughter died of cancer at the age of 19.

Due to the treatment, she is bald with certain part of her body rotten and the cancer developed to a cauliflower-look. From there, l always avoids every news or article about cancer.

So on 10 November 2006, my husband accompanied me to do a mammogram followed by a scan.

The results were unfavourable. The scan showed white spots in my breast and l was then referred to a surgeon to do a biopsy on me.

The results came back was negative. As the lump in my breast was very obvious at that time, the doctor suggested having the lump removed for further examination.

On the 13 November 2006, l underwent an operation to remove the lump which lasted for an hour and during the whole time, my husband was chanting for me outside the OT room.

The next day, the result confirmed that I was positive with breast cancer. The doctor advised me that it was better to remove the whole breast and lymph nodes as soon as possible.

I was shock!

I almost lost my mind, but with the calm manner from my husband, I somehow managed to pull myself together.

He later congratulated me and quoted a passage from the Gosho: ” If one’s heavy karma from the past is not expiated within this lifetime, one must undergo the sufferings of hell in the future, but if one experiences extreme hardship in this life ( because of the Lotus Sutra ), the sufferings of hell will vanish instantly.”

Life for everyone is a struggle against the sufferings of birth, old age, sickness, and death. Happiness is not in the absence of problems or worries; it is most important for us not to be defeated, no matter what obstacle we may face.

From here on, there was no looking back but with strong, earnest resolved daimoku in every breath of my life for a concrete decision.

Thanks to my husband’s hours of strong daimoku with me, which never stop giving me hope and encouragement, day and night and never leave me out of his sight for a moment.

He quoted this guidance from Ikeda Sensei to me on health and illness: “Sickness and death are unavoidable in life. To experience illness is not itself misfortune, but to be defeated by illness is misfortune. A critical illness gives one a chance to think of one’s death and reflect on one’s life. One can use the suffering of illness to face these deepest issues of life and death.

While it is absurd to reject medical science, the principal factor in overcoming illness is the patient and his or her “life force.” In medical terms, it is our capacity to heal ourselves. Life force is a mystic phenomenon that transcends human understanding. It is precisely because we battle with sickness that we are able to experience first-hand the best and worst in life, allowing us to forge the strength within ourselves that will never succumb. That time of struggle enables one to empathize with the suffering of the sick.”

Finally, I was strong enough.

Filled with the greatest courage of my life, I made up my mind, and with my husband, his doctor’s friend and leaders strong encouragement, l agreed to have the operation done without begrudging my life.

Through my understanding of Buddhism, this is my bad karma and I am very fortunate to meet the Gohonzon in this life to change all this poison into medicine.

On the 15 November, l had my second operation to remove the whole breast and lymph nodes. Before the operation, my husband was thinking how to convey this event to our children and if they will doubt the Gohonzon.

I called my children, and to our surprised, the first thing my daughter said was, “Mum, now 4 of us can walk together for kosen-rufu.”

At that time, she was studying in the UK. She gave me a lot of Sensei’s guidance, encouragements and actual proofs.

She said the only way to guarantee my safety and speedy recovery is for her to be more active in SGI-UK activities and to chant abundant daimoku for me.

My son (who was studying in KL) reminded me not to worry and that since Nam-myoho-renge-kyo is like the lion’s roar, what sickness can therefore be an obstacle?

After hearing that, I was very touched by my children’s encouragement because they have grown as a person and in their faith.

My husband and l were truly happy from the depth of our heart.

During this operation, which lasted 3 hours, my husband was chanting for me outside operation room. When the doctor came out, he showed him the lymph nodes and told him to keep his fingers crossed and prayed that the cancerous cells have not spread to other organs because if that happened, it would be life-threatening.

When l was awake after the operation, l felt a sense of joy and a surge of great life force from within me and I was extremely happy.

Members came to visit me at the hospital and I was still able to laugh and joke around with them.

Besides that, I was able to bring myself to the toilet without any assistance. Before I was being discharged, I had a party to celebrate my 42nd birthday at the hospital and the doctor was shock at how we were so joyous.

Within a few days, without a single dose of pain killer, I was back on my feet and able to do routine works. The power of daimoku is truly unbelievable; it gave me the strong life-force and high life condition that even at this sickest time, I am still so happy and lively.

Two weeks later, I went back for a medical review, which would then determine what kind of post-cancer treatment l would have to undergo, e.g. whether do I need to go for chemotherapy or other treatments.

During the time leading up to this review, my husband and I chanted abundant daimoku for the doctor to have the greatest wisdom and compassion to prescribe me the appropriate treatment.

However, on the day of my review, the doctor was whistling while he was examining me. He was in a very cheerful mood.

After that, he read my medical report and concluded that l did not have to undergo any treatment and just put me on oral medication for 5 years.  Under “normal” circumstances, he should sent me to an oncologist.

And to be double sure of his decision, he even consulted a top doctor in KL who specialised in breast cancer. He made that consultation immediately in our presence. I was overjoyed when the doctor in KL agreed to his decision that l do not have to undergo any further treatment, apart from taking oral medication.

This was truly my prayers being answered because I feared the most that I might have to go through chemotherapy treatment.

I was really out of words to express the joy I felt at that moment! By right, the usual procedure would be to have an oncologist to prescribe the treatment.

“Never does winter fail to turn to spring.” We must never lose sight of the Daishonin’s golden words and advance with a greater vow, an earnest resolve, to change all our bad karma into a great mission to prove the power of this Mystic Law and strive for kosen rufu, regardless of what difficulties we may encounter.

I truly have received the protection of the Shoten Zenjin and l believe this is all a result of our strong daimoku, my earnest resolved and vowed to the Gohonzon that l must change this bad karma into a great mission in my life and to propagate this Buddhism for kosen-rufu.

With my actual proof and vow l have made, l was able to shakubuku my mother, my two sisters to this wonderful power of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo and one of them have received the Gohonzon recently. And even more fortunate, I was able to share my experience with my husband in Sarawak, Kuala Lumpur and Klang kaikan.

Finally, l believed, with our absolute faith in the Gohonzon and strives with the spirit of our Mentor, for the happiness of all humanity, we are able to transform all our karma into a mission, and our lives can be prolonged to achieve a total victory in this life for kosen-rufu.

Thank you very much.

Slow and steady wins the race

Sometimes it is not because our prayers are not answered; we are impatient and expect to see the results immediately when more time is needed. As what Satya Srinivasan (who contributed this testimonial) said, instead of expecting instant results, we have to continously chant daimoku and do gongyo with true conviction and perseverance in order to win over our toughest obstacles.

My name is Satya Srinivasan from Delhi, India. I was introduced to Nichiren Buddhism by my bother and started practising it in June 2011.

At that time, I was going through a very tough phase of my life as I lost my husband in August 2010 due to cancer. And now I have a sole responsibility of my daughter who is very young.

Other than my brother, I don’t have many relatives to look for support. He was also struggling with nose cancer which was a shock for my entire family, friends and dear ones.

The members at my brother’s place encouraged me to start practising this Buddhism. They assured me that my prayers would be heard and answered.

They transferred me to my block (Dilshad Garden), so that I am able to practice regularly. From August 2011, I started attending the meetings at Dilshad Garden district.

As usual, I was impressed by hearing the victories of other members. I started chanting for one hour daily mainly for my brother’s recovery along with my other wishes, which are equally important to me and my child’s happiness.

However, doubts started appearing in me three months after I started.

I was getting morally down why my prayers were not being heard. My brother’s health also got deteriorated due to chemotherapy and radio therapy.

Seeing his side effects, I got so demoralized that I even started to miss my gongyo and daimoku.

At this stage, I got guidance from a senior leader who asked me to practice sincerely and earnestly for at least one year. She also asked me to have persistence and perseverance.

I worked hard as per guidance and continued my practice further. I attended all discussion and Gosho meetings, which helped me to understand the Buddhist concept.

My daughter also attended these meetings and she is an active member of Cubs Division, which she is enjoying.

I am happy to report that I have strengthened my faith and my prayers were answered when my brother’s MRI and endoscope showed that there is no sign of his ailment.

I thanked the Gohonzon and pray with gratitude. It gave me courage and the confidence to continue with my prayers.

Today, I am determined to introduce Nichiren Buddhism to my friends and relatives who are suffering from similar deep karmas.

I am also determined to continue with my prayers and practice.

I take time out of my busy schedules to attend the Gakkai meetings and though I still have many challenges, I take myself as the story of Karp who kept on trying to achieve victories.

I have a strong conviction and faith that I shall surely win over my problems and become victorious. I am praying hard so that I can share my next victory by 3 May.

I started reading human revolution and the daily guidance of Ikeda Sensei.

Thank you.

“Complaints erase good fortune, grateful prayers build happiness throughout eternity”

Rather than complain about life and the difficulties that befall on our lives, we should chant with determination and strong faith in the Gohonzon and strive on in our Nichiren Buddhism practice. Only then can we emerge victorious and win.  Despite being a single parent and facing the possibility of unemployment, Pooja, a WD from India, strives on with her faith and overcame the challenges she faced.  You can also read her first testimonial by clicking here.

“Complaints erase good fortune, grateful prayers build happiness throughout eternity”.

This is the first line which I read in Kaineko’s story and it has always been with me from the year of my joining BSG in 2009.

Good morning everybody, I am Pooja Bajaj.  After separating from my husband whom I loved the most in 2006, I was left with my little daughter, a lot of uncertainties and questions.

I used to always blame him for ruining our lives.  Joining SGI, chanting daimoku, meeting people who have the selfless mission of spreading joy and happiness in everyone’s life gave me the wisdom to the concept of cause and effect.

I courageously and happily took the whole responsibility of my situation, determined to fight the challenges of a single mother and achieve victory.

I stopped blaming my husband for my situation and developed true compassion for him and started chanting honestly for his happiness.

I also got good job as a training manager in an online search engine company with very good salary that caters to my family and daughter’s livelihood.

Things were going well till last year when suddenly in Nov 2010, I came to know that the company was winding up its office in Delhi and I have to search for a new job.

I was tensed but was not broken. I had my faith in the Gohonzon to fall back on.  I remembered the concept which I once studied that I have the power to change poison into medicine.

I was really disturbed but I focused on my chanting for a kosen-rofu and stable job. I took this problem as an opportunity to practice more sincerely, remembering that no matter what, keep chanting.

I started exerting myself to participate in Gakkai activities especially, for Cubs Division meetings.

Around Christmas, I got a call from one of the best school of Delhi for an interview.  I was selected and accepted the job offer as this school is well-known, in spite of a lower salary and lesser job profile.

I joined the administration department of the school but at the same time I was determined to upgrade myself for a teacher’s job. I also participated in nursery teacher training for the same reason.

After joining the NTT training course, I found it very tough to cope up with managing long working hours, my daughter’s studies, lengthy assignments and Gakkai activities.

Ikeda Sensei said, “If everything is smooth sailing right from the beginning, we cannot become people of substance and character. By surmounting paining setbacks and obstacles, we can create a brilliant history of triumph that will shine forever. That is what makes life so exciting and enjoyable. In any field of endeavor, those who overcome hardships and grow as human beings are advancing towards success and victory in life.”

I started writing my assignments late till night, and used the evenings for my Gakkai activities and my daughter’s studies.

Also, I started to wake up at 4 in the morning to chant as I realized that in evening, I could not chant for more than 10 to 20 minutes.

I encouraged my daughter to actively take part in Cubs Division meeting where she became emcee twice with ultra-joy and happiness.

I was overwhelmed to hear her determinations which she wrote during the New Year’s meeting of Jan 2012.

I also made a point to call all the members in my block to encourage and talk to them even if I am not able to visit them personally.

As our mentor guide us by saying that, “While it is important to win, it’s even more important to remain undefeated no matter what happens.”

Today, I am happy to report that I completed my NTT course successfully with an A grade in Nov last year.

I was determined to upgrade myself from my current profile, so I started applying in different schools.

I went for interviews in almost all the schools I was targeting. I was even called for the second rounds at a few schools that happened very successfully.  However, none were reaching the final results with a positive outcome.

My seniors and fellow members in faith told me to pray for specific targets with dates and to increase my duration of daimoku.

I also took the initiative to encourage the Women Division members in my block to buy the New Human Revolution publications and attend study meetings on it, which happened in Jan.

Also I got an opportunity to do invigilation duty for BSG examination, which I did with great joy and happiness.

I am happy to report that just after a day of this examination, I got the confirmation from a school to join immediately as an administrative officer and counsellor from 9 Feb.

Today, I am determined to practice till the last moment of my life, walking the path of mentor and disciple with Ikeda Sensei.

I am also determined to live by the Soka values throughout my life.

“Our every effort turns into an ocean of benefit, an earth of good fortune”

All the efforts we put in for kosen-rufu and Gakkai activities will reap good fortune and contribute to our prayers being answered.  Annie, a YWD fought hard and did her best, together with studying the Gosho, and eventually achieved a surprise victory.

Good morning everyone. I have been practicing this life philosophy for 7 years during which I have got tremendous benefits of all sorts – material, relationships, and most important, the change in myself, what we call in Buddhism, human revolution.

I am happy to share with you today, my recent experience in faith. Last year I got an opportunity to go to California for a three-month long project.

I was very excited till I heard the news that the duration may be cut down to one month. Apart from loss of time to see a new place, it also meant being financially less comfortable as we were getting paid a daily allowance/per-diem basis there.

At the same time, I found that the Soka University of America (SUA), a university founded by our mentor, Dr. Daisaku Ikeda, was in California as well. I was deeply determined to visit the university no matter how much time or money I had.

My first victory came when, due to my mother’s firm prayers and long hours of daimoku, my trip kept getting extended and my roommate too started chanting with me.

After many obstacles, I finally booked my tickets for SUA. Mom got to know of someone from our chapter studying in the university – a kind and sincere YWD, who invited me to stay with her.

Through her, I met other students who were a refreshing lot – youth with a mission, to excel in their chosen fields and contribute to other’s happiness. She encouraged me to visit the World Peace Centre in Santa Monica the next day.

I faced many obstacles during the trip, such as ending up in a different city while travelling to the World Peace Centre, missing my flight back home the next day and spending a lot of money.

Ikeda Sensei said, “Encountering obstacles for the sake of Buddhism in this lifetime guarantees that we will achieve enlightenment.”

Thus, taking these devilish functions as an indicator that I am on the right path, I persevered in my activities. My trip lasted a good two and a half months, full of great memories and friends for life.

On coming back to India, my next challenge was financial as after some calculation, I found that I had overspent my allowance and would have to pay the company at least two months of my salary.

I told my mom about this and she was touched and started praying very strongly that I should not have to pay anything.

My prayer about this was more of a strategy that I should be done paying XYZ amount as knowledge of the company policy, the fact that we were in a recession and that the amount was not small, kept entering my rational mind.

All my friends had their finances settled within the first two months, i.e. in November and December. My case, however, kept getting delayed. All the while, my mom maintained her firm prayer that I should not have to pay anything.

During this time, we had the contribution meeting.

Every year, I keep a target of contribution. This year, the target could have been affected by the anticipated heavy expenditure.

But I was determined to fight harder and not adjust my targeted amount. I am happy to report that I was able to contribute the set amount.

I fought hard, campaign after campaign, zadankai after zadankai. I chanted daimoku, studied the Gosho, and participated in every meeting in some way or other along with my job and other responsibilities.

Ikeda Sensei said, “When we base our lives on the great wish for Kosen-rufu, regarding each effort like dew entering the ocean, or soil being added to the earth, then our petty lesser selves give way to the greater self that shines with eternal victory. Our every effort turns into an ocean of benefit, an earth of good fortune.”

I felt these words manifest in my life when last month finally, the finance team contacted me about my trip’s financial status.

I am happy to report that I was informed that not only did I not have to pay a single penny out of my pocket, but that the company owed me money. That too an amount worth two months of my salary!

This was truly mystic as that was the amount I had anticipated I would have to pay.  The amount was credited in my account a day before 3 July, Mentor-Disciple day.

I would like to close with this Sensei’s guidance, “Nothing is wasted in faith. One never loses out. Please be confident that all your efforts to help others and promote Buddhism are accumulating immense treasures of good fortune in our lives.”

I have learnt from this experience the power of strong prayer, the way my mother prayed, and the power of making an offering unbegrudginly.

I am determined to have strong prayers, and not compromise on my targets.

I am determined to make each offering joyfully, be it of time, effort, or money to kosen-rufu and chant daimoku with joy at being able to practice with my mentor.

Lastly, I am determined to achieve my academic and family targets by September and share my victory with my mentor and my comrades in faith.