Evaporated Like Dew in the Morning Sun
By Surender Taneja
I joined this wonderful life philosophy in February 1999. Since that day, I have been able to turn around many negative tendencies and polish my life for my own happiness and those around me.
It all started with stagnation in my job. The frustration I felt began manifesting itself in other areas of my life and I felt deadlocked. Then I got an opportunity to work in Kuala Lumpur, where I found my colleagues more efficient, more professional, and better human beings. I returned to Delhi with a desire to become a better human being myself.
The idea that “the teacher will appear when the pupil is ready” came true for me. I came across a vibrant and joyful colleague in my office, who had transformed herself within very short span of time. She shared with me how Nichiren Daishonin’s Buddhism and activities in Bharat Soka Gakkai have helped her achieve this change. This motivated me to take up faith and I discovered that I indeed had many negative tendencies. I often used to have doubts in my mind while praying. I sought guidance and was told to strengthen my study and to chant lots of daimoku. Studying Wisdom of the Lotus Sutra helped me to practice free of any doubt and I began feeling lighter and happier. And a strong conviction welled up in my life.
This experience underlined the importance of study to me. I decided to apply faith to overcome my relationship problem: my relationship with my wife was strained. Instead of taking responsibility and building a harmonious relationship, I would avoid confrontation with her by coming home very late and even going to the office on holidays. I was full of grudges against her. In turn, she did not appreciate my practice and objected to members who came for home visits.
I sought guidance and was told “Your wife is not the problem — you are. First, you must become an admirable human being. As long as you are complaining about your wife, you are not practicing correct faith. When you can show your wife the appreciation you would show to the Buddha, she will have nothing to object to.”
It was a challenge to understand and apply this guidance. Through assiduous practice I slowly began to show results. Negative feelings towards my wife, like hatred, grudges, and complaints, became like dewdrops evaporating from the tips of grass. I took complete responsibility to change this poison into medicine and I started appreciating all the support my wife gave me. As the Gosho says, “It could never come about that the prayers of the practitioner of the Lotus Sutra would go unanswered.”
I am so happy to report that my wife joined BSG and we now do our Gongyo together. This has brought benefits into her own life. She overcame severe health problems: obsessive-compulsive disorder and a fibrous growth in her uterus which just disappeared without any surgery. For this I deeply thank the Gohonzon.
These experiences motivated me to step up my own Buddhist activities, now with my wife’s complete support. Soon my prayer to strengthen my study was answered when I was selected into the MD Pillar Study Group. Sensei once wrote, "Study deepens faith … and spurs our human revolution. When we take action in accord with the Gosho, only then can we say that we have grasped the teachings of the Daishonin’s Buddhism.”
In Pillar Study Group, we studied Basics of Buddhism, New Human Revolution, and The World of the Gosho. Finding time for regular study was always a big struggle for me; due to my hectic office schedule and my other activities, I would often study after 11 at night. All this has given me the strong conviction that only by practicing this philosophy under the Soka Gakkai, can one actually change karma.
As I made determinations to work harder in Gakkai, my obstacles also increased. My responsibilities at work increased, demanding me to work seven days a week, each night until 9:00 PM. Now I could not attend any Gakkai meetings and my home visitations almost stopped.
Suddenly, disharmony appeared at home; first between my brothers and then involving the whole family. A gentle reminder from a senior leader woke me up, and Iknew I had to take complete responsibility. I began to do three activities each week, no matter what, along with taking care of the Future Division. These challenges provided me an opportunity to respect and encourage my daughters and other kids at home. I began respecting my juniors and colleagues at work as if they were Gakkai members.
Again benefits flowed in my life. My juniors started taking more responsibilities and my seniors showered appreciation. The situation at home started to improve. Soon both my younger brothers joined this faith. My daughters also began practicing sincerely and showed remarkable improvement in their academics and behavior.
I was given responsibility as a district chief; soon I faced the biggest challenge to my life. I developed acute appendicitis, which had already burst. Doctors told me that even one day’s delay could have proved fatal. With lots of gratitude for being alive, I pledged never to take my health for granted.
As if this was not enough, after my operation, major complications (like jaundice with infection of liver and pus collection in the operation site) occurred one after another. No treatment worked consistently and my condition became better one day and worst next day. On fourth day, when I started feeling completely exhausted and drained, I remembered Sensei’s guidance, “Anyone would think that victory is impossible and that’s probably how you feel right now. Don’t forget this marvelous Gohonzon. We have the power to transform something you would normally think impossible into something possible. Those who give up before they try, don’t really know the power of the Mystic Law....”
With deep apology and strong ichinen, I began to pray from the hospital bed to become healthy for kosen-rufu. I recovered completely after 15 days. During this illness, I became very close to my family and deeply learned the power of the Gohonzon. My company bore all the expenses for the costly medical treatment. My benefit is not only in regaining perfect health but also developing deep appreciation and understanding of the value of my family, my excellent workplace, and my Soka Family.
Before joining the BSG, I could hardly
write a few sentences confidently. It gives me immense pleasure to share
my experience with you. I determine to live out my life for kosen-rufu
and apply all that I learn in the BSG and share with others. I pledge to
advance ceaselessly to form deeper bonds with my mentor.