“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.

Practise Faith to Overcome Life’s Ups and Downs

We constantly face many high and low moments in our lives.  The best way to overcome the numerous challenges we encounter is to practise Nichiren Buddhism, participate in Soka activities and chant daimoku. As shown by Victor Leong’s (a MD from Singapore) testimonial, life will turn out to be better than we could imagine with strong faith and practice.

I am in the accounting profession and like other professions, I face up and downs in my career too.

When I was at a lost as to what I should do with all the unhappiness in my daily existence, my sister asked senior Soka leader, Mr. Michael Tan to talk to me sometime in 2002.

He sat down with me for four straight hours at a coffee shop near my house and told me about his life experience. He also spent a lot of effort explaining his Buddhist practice and how he overcame his life struggles in the past 20 years of his practice.

He told me to chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo and visit the Singapore Soka Association (SSA) kaikans (centres).

I asked Michael if I need to pay money to visit the kaikan and he told me it is free.

Michael also took pains to explain Buddhist concepts to me and told me I can read up about Buddhist practice through Soka publications, Creative Life and SSA Times.

He also told me that the Soka practice has spread to almost 200 countries in the world.

Although I am not totally convinced then, I can see that Michael was sincere in wanting me to improve my life condition and overcome my struggles.

After this first meeting with him, I decided to take up practice and started to chant daimoku.

I also learnt Gongyo easily and started to visit SSA kaikans for meetings and funeral rites. I also received Gohonzon in October 2002.

However, my life did not improve dramatically at the start.

I quit my job in 2004 after facing some difficulties with colleagues. I then sold books on the street and went cold calling, facing frequent rejections. I then joined the teaching profession for one year in 2005 but found that it is really not my cup of tea.

I then joined a small local trading company in Sin Ming as an accountant. With the switch from my previous teaching job to accounting, I face a steep pay cut.

However, recalling the years of struggle, I was not really poor and I still managed to put food on the table.

Sometime in early 2006, I was working as an accountant when one day, I received an overseas call out of the blue to meet the CEO of an airline company, Papua New Guinea Airline, for an interview.

I have sent my resume out some months back and forgotten about it.

I decided to go for the interview with the CEO, who is a Sri Lankan, at the Singapore Office at United Square.  After the interview, I forgot about it and was again absorbed into my accounting work.

One month later, I received another overseas call from the airline to go to Sydney for an interview with the board directors two days later, which means I have to fly the next day.

As I was too absorbed with my work, I told the person that I was not free.

Two days later, the same overseas caller called me again and asked me to fly to Papua New Guinea to meet the board of directors.

I agreed and flew over. When I arrived in Port Moresby, the capital city of Papua New Guinea, I was checked into a hotel near the airline office, in which I have been working with till date.

I met the board directors on the following Monday and the interview went smoothly.

I flew back Singapore on the same day and again almost forgot the whole event till the CEO called me another month later to offer me an expatriate position with housing and car provided.

The pay offered was better than all the Singapore jobs that I held. I decided to take it up and three months later, I resigned from my Singapore accounting job and left for Port Moresby.

When I arrived, I was pleasantly surprised to be placed into a two-bedroom hotel residential apartment facing the airport.

I did not need to pay the rental and utility bills. I was also given a car and free petrol to move around.

Six months later, my wife and three daughters then 7, 11 and 12 years old left Singapore to join me in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea in Jan 2007.

I also brought my Gohonzon to Port Moresby and continued to chant, i.e. I continued my practice even after I left Singapore.

It is different and challenging practising without the monthly Soka support. I did not have any Chapter or Zone meetings, no funeral wakes and no discussion meetings to attend.

I only have Creative Life and SSA Times to refer to. Even so, sometimes chanting daimoku can be monotonous. But I persisted with my Buddhist practice.

My three daughters applied for leave from their school in Singapore since Jan 2007 and continued to study in International Schools in Papua New Guinea.

The school fees for the International Schools in Papua New Guinea are more expensive than Singapore university tuition fees.

I am indeed fortunate to have the school fees for my three daughters being paid by my company. Although my daughters studied full time in Papua New Guinea, they set aside time every night to cover their Singapore schoolwork on their own.

As I work for the National Airline of Papua New Guinea, my children can fly back to Singapore during Papua New Guinea school holidays to attend Singapore school. My three daughters, Leong Jia Min, Leong Jia Qin and Leong Jia Yun Fiona attended a total of four years of full time international school education in Papua New Guinea.

It was a good fortune that the three girls cleared their Singapore Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) without much fuss and went on to be awarded a position in Kuo Chuan Presbytarian school in Singapore.

Jia Min, the eldest girl, who is 17 years old this year, became the top student in Port Moresby International School for two consecutive years in 2009 and 2010, even after she jumped one grade from the seventh to ninth grade in 2009.

In 2010, Jia Min scored As for all her subjects in the IGCSE (International) exams in Port Moresby.

My three daughters and wife, Jennifer then left Papua New Guinea in Jan 2011 so that my eldest daughter can prepare for her GCE ‘O’ levels at the end of the year.

While they were back in Singapore, I continue to remain in Port Moresby.

In Jan 2012, Jia Min received her ‘O’ level results, scoring eight straight As (4A1s and 4 A2s).

The results were remarkable, considering the fact that she was away from Singapore for four years, and she missed three years of secondary school education in Singapore.

My youngest daughter, Fiona also scored well enough in her PSLE results to get into Ang Mo Kio Secondary School in 2012.

My second daughter, Jia Qin did well enough to become the top student in Port Moresby International School in 2010 (Grade Nine). After Jia Qin returned Singapore in 2011, she also did well enough to be among the top few students in her secondary three class in Kuo Chuan Secondary School despite also being away for four years.

While my three daughters became Soka Future Division members and participated in the recent Chingay parade in 2012, my wife Jennifer is now busy with the her Sunshine aunty role.

My three daughters also chant regularly everyday and strongly feel that the daimoku help them overcome the problems they faced in their schoolwork.

My work in the national airlines of Papua New Guinea, as usual, went through ups and downs.

Despite the difficulties, my contract with the airline was renewed for another 3 years from 2009 as the board of directors were very happy with my work.

In the past 5 years, my family and I visited Sydney, Brisbane, Cairns, Hong Kong, Taiwan, China and recently, Tokyo.

My expatriate contract enables me to fly with the airline at a very low fare. As such, my family and I can fly back and forth from Papua New Guinea and Singapore every two to three months.

In the latest trip to Tokyo, I did not have to pay for my family and my air tickets. We visited Toda Sensei Kaikan in Shinjuku and received a warm reception from the Japanese leaders.

We also visited Min On Cultural Centre and listened to a piano recital by a very sweet young Japanese lady. We then visited the Soka bookstore further down the street before ending up at the Shinjuku Kaikan and did evening Gongyo there.

Although we did not understand the Japanese lecture, we could feel the sincerity as the Japanese members as the speech went on.

Although I wanted to bring my children to Tokyo Disneyland, they told me they would rather visit Soka University, which is a good one-hour away by train from Shinjuku, Tokyo.

We went to the university a day before we left Tokyo and were glad the weather was perfect.

We walked around the huge campus compound and my daughters were impressed with the facilities.  The scenery was great and we all love it.

At the university exchange program centre, we met a Nanyang Technological University (NTU) Singaporean exchange program student, who advised us on the enrolment in Soka University.

Owing to language barrier, my daughters will have to study Japanese full time for another year before they can be enrolled into the university and as such, we will need to give a serious thought to the university program in the near future.

I must say that life is full of twist and turns and many people suffer untold misery.

For me, I received many good benefits during my 10 years of practicing Nichiren Buddhism.

The biggest benefit is actually not the material possessions that I acquired over these past 10 years of consistent practice.

In fact, the greatest benefit is that my family members are healthy and my children studied well.

For myself, the biggest benefit I got these past 10 years is to be able to wake up every morning and find peace with myself internally and with universe.

I have striven to improve my human relations skills through human revolution and must say I can still improve further.

I must thank my senior leader, Mr Michael Tan who introduced me to my Soka Buddhist practice.

I would also like to thank Mr Phua Thye  Juat, Serangoon South Men Division Leader, who has not stop encouraging me all these years through my practice.

In addition, I want to express my deepest gratitude to SGI President Ikeda Sensei who provided us with the opportunity to practise this Nichiren Buddhism.

Last but not least, I would like to thank all Singapore Soka leaders who have guided Singapore Soka Association and all the members and believers to what it is today.

I will continue to practise Nichiren Buddhism the Soka way and find opportunity to share my experience with others so that they can benefit from good fortunes too.

Victor Leong
Men Division Member
Serangoon South Chapter, District 4, Whampoa Zone

From left: Victor Leong (me), Jennifer Lim (my wife), Leong Jia Qin (second daughter), Fiona Leong Jia Yun (youngest daughter), Leong Jia Min (eldest daughter)

Front row from left: Jennifer Lim (my wife), Leong Jia Min (eldest daughter), Fiona Leong Jia Yun (youngest daughter), Leong Jia Qin (second daughter). Second from right (standing): Victor Leong (me)

Daimoku & Gongyo Daily to Have Prayers Answered

Daimoku and gongyo are the two fundamental practice of Nichiren Buddhism and we, as practitioners of the Lotus Sutra, should not neglect them if we want our prayers to be answered. Following the advice from her mother, Kayna, an 8 years old Cubs Division member from Delhi, India chanted daily to overcome a challenge.  She has also learned gongyo and she is doing it everyday before she leaves for school and in the evening with her mother.  Kayna continues in her practice and is praying for her loved ones’ happiness and good health.

Hello Everyone,

My name is Kayna Gandhi and I am 8 years old. I was introduced to this practice by my masi (Aunt).

She used to chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo and she also taught me and I used to chant sometimes.

Then after seeing me, my mother also started chanting. Then my mother told me that if I chant regularly, I will be protected and all my wishes will come true and told me to write my list of wishes in my diary.

The first on my wish list was to visit Disneyland. So I prayed for it but the problem was that my passport had expired and it could not be renewed due to change of address.

All the agents had said no. So my mom told me to chant for my passport. She said that children have pure hearts and our prayers are answered very fast.

So I chanted everyday for 5 minutes and after one week, my mom told me that my passport problem has been solved.

In a week’s time, I got my passport. Then I chanted for my joyful visit to Disneyland and I am very happy to share that we went for a Disney vacation and had a great time.

My mom says that for every small and big thing, I must do daimoku. In every situation, happy or sad we should chant.

I have learnt to do gongyo and do it before leaving for my school and try to do evening gongyo also with my mom.

I also pray for the happiness of my parents and grandparents, my nanu’s (grandfather) sugar problem to be cured, my nani’s (grandmother) thyroid to be cured, my 4 years old cousin, Shiny’s sugar problem to be cured and also to get a puppy, a golden retriever on my birthday.

I am determined to do daimoku and gongyo everyday.

Thank you,

Kayna Gandhi
Cubs Division
Chapter-Dilshad Garden
Area- Ghaziabad
Delhi, India

“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.

“Press on with even stronger faith and conviction”

Ikeda Sensei said in one of his guidance: “When we encounter obstacles and persecution, it is all the more crucial that we exert ourselves with even greater determination. The more tempestuous the wind that buffets us, the more we must press on with even stronger faith and conviction. This is the behaviour of a true disciple of Nichiren Daishonin.” In overcoming her karma, this YWD from the Philippines faced many challenges, including a chronic depression due to an unfortunate incident in the past. Despite the hardships she encountered, the YWD continues to chant and move forward in her faith.  This is an open letter she wrote to President Ikeda, which she would like to share with everyone.

Dear Sensei,

I can’t thank you enough for propagating the Mystic Law to the rest of the world. I am a Young Women’s Division member from Cebu, Philippines. I started chanting five years ago.

I remember that when I came to the SGI center in Cebu, I was depressed, alone, and unhappy and you can even say that I was dying.

I had suffered chronic depression as long as I could remember.

In 2007, a few months before I started chanting, I suffered a nervous breakdown when something happened that would remind me of my childhood. You see, when I was four years old, a mentally challenged relative molested me.

What made things worse was the fact that my parents eventually found out. Probably because of shame or because of guilt, they pretended that nothing happened. I was kept as a dirty family secret.

For years I lived in shame, guilt, sadness and unhappiness. I grew up introverted, depressed, unhappy, and alone and you can say suicidal.

Although I never attempted to kill myself, I constantly thought about dying. In fact, I prayed constantly that I would die.

My life was miserable.

My entire existence was filled with suffering and pain. It is not an exaggeration to say that I never experienced happiness until I started chanting.

Of course, it would be many years of chanting, before I would be able to really smile and be happy.

Just one month before I was introduced to Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, I found myself in the psychiatrist’s office. She saw that I was shivering uncontrollably and crying.

I told her that a relative of mine had tried to court me. What made it so unbearable for me was the fact that what was taking place reminded me of what happened to me when I was four years old.

I was 29 years old at that time but the pain of being molested was still fresh on my mind.

You can call it mystic or perhaps it was really my destiny to chant, but believe it or not, the psychiatrist mentioned unfamiliar Buddhist terms to me.

She said, “In Buddhism, they call this repeated pattern, ‘karma’. It is your karma to be molested as a child and it is happening again with your other cousin. Your karma is to have your relatives be sexually attracted to you. What you need to do is to have your family karma cleansed so that the next generation will not suffer the same fate.”

I was a product of almost 15 years of Catholic upbringing and education. Although I had heard of the word ‘karma’, it was the first time that someone explained to me the concept.

What was so strange was that my own psychiatrist was telling me something about Buddhism. This was not the first time that this happened. My sister introduced me to concepts of Buddhism in early 2000 but she studied Hinayana Buddhism.

In 2005, one of my patients (I used to be a Physical therapist volunteer at a hospital) told me about Buddhism. She practiced Pure Land Buddhism though but I remember I read the books that she gave me. I also remember buying a book about Shakyamuni Buddha in the year 2003.

When my psychiatrist mentioned Buddhism, I really couldn’t understand how it was relevant to my condition. She told me that I might need to take anti-psychotic or anti-depressant pills.

She warned me however that I may become suicidal and may even attempt to take my own life. She told me that I would have to take it for two years but would have to be monitored because I may kill myself within those two years.

I thought about taking the pills but I knew in my heart that taking anti-depressants was not the solution.

I had seen one of my relatives spiral into depression when she started taking anti-depressants.  I just took the sleeping pills and brain vitamins that she prescribed to me. After two or three sessions, I stopped going to her.

One month later in March 2007, I would be introduced to Nam-myoho-renge-kyo through my female cousin.

Her husband who is half-Filipino, half-Japanese was introduced to Nam-myoho-renge-kyo by a Japanese member who was visiting the Philippines at that time.

When my cousin told me to chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo so that my wishes would come true, I didn’t hesitate. I started chanting almost immediately. Never did I imagine that chanting would totally change the entire course of my life.

Unfortunately, change didn’t happen overnight. I was one of the ‘lucky’ members who would experience great problems the moment they started chanting.

I can laugh about it now when I look back.

The obstacles and negativity that started coming out were relentless and lasted for years. As I am now approaching my fifth year of practice, I am able to see that it was for the best.

The first years of my practice allowed me to chant like no other member has chanted before. I was exhausted from work but still found the time to chant for two hours.

There were times that I would sleep on the floor due to exhaustion.

I chanted, chanted and chanted.

I had no other recourse because symptoms of my depression became stronger and stronger.

I could only rely on your words of encouragement to get me through the day. I would read your guidance and encouragement before and after I chanted.

Your guidance and the guidance of other members have encouraged me to never give up on chanting.

One member in particular is the SGI member who I will always be indebted for the rest of my life. She is an Indian Member and is a member of the Bharat Soka Gakkai in Mumbai.

She told me to work on the technical aspects of my chanting and gongyo. Call it mystic, but she was never meant to stay in the Philippines for three years.

For some strange reason, her studies were extended. She shared to me everything that she knew in the three years that she was here.

She left in early 2011 as I was in the process of finally overcoming my battle with depression.

I am so deeply grateful for that SGI member. I am also deeply grateful for you, Sensei.

If you had not created this organization, I would never have met a wonderful person such as that Indian SGI member who never gave up on me.

One of my wishes was to be able to feel gratitude. This wish has come true as I approach the fifth year of my practice.

Growing up, the concept of gratitude was alien to me. I could never be grateful for the life I was given.

For me to feel gratitude not just for my life, but also for my mentors in this practice, is such a big deal for me. I know that I am alive today, only because I chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo.

I have already started to chant to lead a life full of value. I have already chanted that people who need Nam-myoho-renge-kyo would seek me and I would find them as well.

I have introduced Nam-myoho-renge-kyo to all of my friends, officemates and relatives.

Some of them have already started chanting. Two relatives received their own Gohonzon. One office mate also received a Gohonzon in 2011 after three years of chanting.

I still can’t see the complete picture yet. I haven’t achieved everything I had set out to do.

Unlike before, I am more hopeful for the future. My greatest benefit is the inconspicuous kind, the kind of benefit that I had lamented when I started chanting.

In fact, I openly complained about it. I would say, “Why are most of my benefits the inconspicuous kind? Why can’t I be like the other members who have visible benefits? Why can’t I see my benefits with my own eyes?”

I realize now that having strength, courage, compassion, determination, perseverance and patience should be the benefits that ALL members should chant for.

They are the best kind. Although you can’t see these benefits, you can certainly feel them.

I can’t see my benefits but I feel them. I feel that I am a more confident person. I feel happier and more determined.

What I can see though is that I have started changing the course of my life from one filled with misery and from one filled with hope.

During the first years of my practice, I would always repeat the Gosho passage and the passage that you would always emphasize in your Buddhist encouragement.

The passage goes something like this: “Winter always turns into Spring.”

For someone like me who has experienced Winter all her life, I am hopeful for when my life will turn into Spring.

Words can’t express my gratitude.

That is why as an act of gratitude, I always do my part in spreading the Mystic Law to everyone that I meet.

Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, Nam-myoho-renge-kyo.

“Finding my faith”

President Ikeda said in one of his daily guidance: “Steady efforts are important. Through our own persistent efforts in our practice of faith, we can create an indomitable condition of eternal happiness in our lives. Advancing a little further and accumulating a little more benefit day by day is the key to finding unshakeable happiness. This principle holds true in other fields of human endeavour as well.” A member from India, Diksha, despite suffering from acute depression, never gave up and continue to practice and advancing steadily in faith, and is seeing the fruits of the persistent efforts put in.

Hello everybody and thank you for giving me the opportunity for sharing my experience of practicing Nichiren Buddhism with you.

My grandmother in Delhi introduced me to this practice at the age of one when she began chanting after my mother’s divorce and after I started to suffer from schizophrenia.

I started chanting in earnest three years back and consider it a new beginning of my life.

Five months back, I shifted to Pune to earn my BBA from Symbiosis International University after an intense struggle with my admission process after 12th grade.

It was extremely difficult for me to gain admission anywhere because of a poor score in my Board Exams as I was dealing with a severe clinical depression.

Yet, I am here due to the working of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo in my life. It was a very hard move from Delhi to Pune for me since I was extremely reluctant to move out of home in the first place.

So, though I was happy to have secured admission, I was very anxious about having to start out all alone in a new city.

However, I held on to faith for support, at every junction in this process and I have gradually begun to like it here especially after connecting with Pune BSG members and the meetings always uplifts my spirit.

So, in deep appreciation to the Gohonzon, I would like to report that I could feel a marked difference in my attitude towards life and in my life condition.

It is in the form of small but significant steps, everyday towards an optimistic mindset from a previously completely negative outlook towards everything.

I am sure now, that the day is not far when I will say with complete confidence that I am 100% cured of depression and enjoy a very cheerful life state all the time.

This experience, on the whole has matured me into becoming a far better human being than I ever was and made me capable of empathizing with other people’s suffering too.

Last week, I read a poem of Ikeda Sensei’s titled “Human Revolution” and shared it with fellow members.

Mystically, the next day itself, I myself wrote a poem titled “finding my faith”.

I want to share with everybody that I did not consider myself a poet prior to this episode. I could bring forth the potential to actually write a poem only because I sincerely applied Sensei’s guidance describing “the joys of reading” and read several good books, just as he teaches.

Also, I had been praying for a very harmonious family since a long time now. Recently, I could sense that relations between my family members are beginning to improve already.

I am determined that by today, the victory meeting, I would share an experience and introduce one person to this organization and have fulfilled both these determinations.

I know all this has been possible only due to an earnest spirit of dedication to the three pillars of Buddhism – faith, practice and study.

I want to thank each and every member in this district as you all have helped me grow into a more capable person. I am determined that by next year, I will

  1. Overcome depression completely.
  2. Always be joyful.
  3. Study very hard and awaken to my mission for contributing to kosen-rufu.
  4. Make lots of good friends and be a good friend myself.
  5. Introduce my uncle to the organization.
  6. Have a very healthy and harmonious family.

I am determined to be steadfast in my faith, practice and study and to regularly report lots and lots of victories to you all and to Sensei.

Do your human revolution and winter will turn to spring

There is always a tendency to blame others for the problems we faced, rather than examining if these problems were actually caused by our actions/behaviours, directly or indirectly. Instead of having this attitude when facing the possibility of a divorce, this member did her human revolution, deepen her faith, chanted stronger daimoku and participated in kosen-rufu. Eventually, she saved her marriage. You can also read her first testimonial by clicking here.

I started chanting in June 2011, daily for at least 1 to 2 hours, sometime even more than 2 hours. I took up faith with Nichiren Buddhism because of the relationship with my husband.

I have been sincerely practicing daimoku with precise prayer. 6 months ago, I was suffering from a broken relationship with my husband.

I was very sad, as I do not wish to have such broken family/relationship and I always wish to give my children a very harmonious family.

When I was almost about to give up the relationship, a Soka Gakai member gave me a lot of support, sharing her experience on how she overcame and rescued her marriage through Nichiren Buddhism.

The problem that I faced was not a simple one. It was the results of family and relationship issues, personality and job pressure from both parties.

All these created the reasons for divorce.

I took up faith in Nichiren Buddhism and made the decision to take up the challenge to rescue marriage life.

A week after I started chanting sincerely, my husband sent me a message telling me “he need more time to do the best on family, and hope to have my understanding on him”.

It was a miracle from daimoku to the Gohonzon. The divorce did not proceed. Thus, I continued to increase daimoku daily to clear my karma.

I know this was my karma, which caused my husband to be under depression in a “world of darkness”. I vow to change my karma; to turn winter into spring; to change poison to medicine.

Through the chanting, I know everything happened with a reason.

It seemed like my life took the path to take up faith in Nichiren Buddhism because of this marriage issue. Through the chanting, my relationship with my in-law also improve and we become closer day-by-day.

Chanting to the Gohonzon is like a mirror reflecting ourselves; we become aware of our weaknesses.  I started to change my weakness and do my human revolution to build a better relationship with my husband.

Even though the divorce is out of the way at this moment, the problem between us could not be simply resolved overnight.

However, I never give up every bad thing that happened in my life. I continue with my strong prayer, attend weekly meeting and do kosen-rufu.

I believe deeply in the Gohonzon that I will turn my life to spring in one day soon.

“The process of changing poison into medicine begins when we approach difficult experiences as an opportunity to reflect on ourselves and to strengthen and develop our courage and compassion. Suffering can thus serve as a springboard for a deeper experience of happiness. From the perspective of Buddhism, inherent in all negative experiences is this profound positive potential.”

Whenever bad/worst thing happened, I would chant to the Gohonzon with a precise prayer.

“Apologize to the Gohonzon whatever I did wrong in previous time and current time, I must turn the poison into medicine.”

As a result of this unwavering faith, all bad circumstances improve for the better without any expectation.

Through chanting, I started to change my personality, thinking and attitude. Before I took up faith with Nichiren Buddism, I like to nag my family members and at my husband for not helping with the housework even he was back from work and was very tired and feeling down.

After chanting, I now have a positive thinking.

Before, I like to compare others’ husbands with mine but after chanting daimoku, I learned that nobody is perfect. I have to accommodate the weakness of my partner, cherish the life that he has given me – this is a true love towards my husband.

I know that I need more daimoku to get my husband out from a “dark” situation.

Even though I know he was very close with a married woman (she was going through a divorce with her husband), I never give up our marriage.

I continue chanting to and have deep faith in the Gohonzon. I will turn winter to spring soon. I chanted sincerely to the Gohonzon that my hubby will be able to apprehend the situation clearly and correctly.

With precise and strong daimoku for a few months, he did not contact that woman anymore.

I am really thankful to the Gohonzon and the faith in Nichiren Buddhism. Nowadays, our relationship become better day-by-day, and we are planning for our new baby soon.

I am sending a lot of daimoku to my husband everyday whenever I am chanting. I pray to the Gohonzon that I want my husband to be a capable leader and contribute to kosen-rufu.

Nichiren Daishonin stated, “If both of you unite in encouraging their [your husbands’] faith, you will follow the path of the Dragon King’s daughter and become the model for women attaining enlightenment in the evil latter Day of the Law” (MW-1, 146).

My first testimonial was published on this blog on 12 Nov 2011. I would like to share more with all the members and wish that my testimonial could help everyone to handle their relationship problem with their family/husband.

I wish everyone would have great wisdom from chanting daimoku.

Remember – Do not give up even we are facing any problem/obstacles during our daimoku to the Gohonzon.

The problems that happen in our life are our negative karma and we have to chant strong daimoku whether we are sad or happy.

For those Soka members who need my help and advice, you can probably give me your email, contact number in the post, I will try my best to contact you.

Note from the Editor – For those of you who wish to contact the member who contributed this testimonial, please send your email/contact details to actualproof[at]yahoo.com {[at] = @} and we will forward it to her, so that your contact details are kept confidential.