By Raju Jagtiani
My name is Raju Jagtiani. I am of Indian origin. I have lived in Hong Kong all my life.
I was first introduced to this Buddhism 23 years ago in Bombay, India, by a very dear friend who had just returned from Japan after becoming a member herself. I had gone to India "to find myself" — I was in my late teens. I found that every time I was down or confused about anything, after chanting I could clearly focus on my goals. After spending a year in India, I kind of found myself and came back to Hong Kong as a more confident person ready to challenge many issues.
At that point in my life, I would only chant when I was down or when I wanted something. I also went to the occasional meeting. And each time it worked. In fact, when I met the man of my dreams — I chanted and he became mine (he still is — we have been married for 18 years). After marriage, my husband left India and settled in HK. This was a very difficult time for us, as we really had to work hard to make ends meet. At this point I was too tired to chant and attend meetings. Soon I completely lost touch with the few members I knew here.
It was 8 years later when I chanted Nam Myoho-renge-kyo again. When my second child Nikhil (Nikki) was born, there had been many complications during the delivery. He was very ill as an infant — he would often stop breathing and turn blue. We would have to take him to the hospital or doctor's office every other day. No one could tell us what was wrong. After three weeks, he was admitted to a children's hospital. When they took him away for a series of tests — leaving my husband and me to pace the corridor — I told my husband "Don't ask why — just chant Nam-Myoho-renge-kyo".
From that time on, I have not stopped chanting. I have been an active member of SGI HK since. My son hasn't recovered 100%, but he is alive and is a very happy child. He is now 11 years old. I call him my fortune baby — it was because of him that I practice this wonderful Buddhism and have come such a long way as a human being.
Raising a special needs child is very challenging, but what I have noticed is that ever since he was a baby, the right doctors, nurses, teachers, therapists appear at the right time when he needed them. In spite of having a speech problem, he's quite a social butterfly. He makes friends so easily and is liked by his peers.
On the other hand, my 13-year-old Tara is busy trying to shakabuku her father. He chants sometimes and comes to some meetings when we ask him to. He's a tough nut to crack.