Power of Daimoku
By Anujit Ghosh
I am Anujit and I have practiced Buddhism for more than 2 years. When I look back and compare myself with what I was 2 years ago, I can see an incredibly positive change in me.
I joined the practice because the compassion of the members moved me. I was introduced to Buddhism in India by my flatmate. He had returned from UK with severe depression. The SGI leaders visited him frequently and did Gongyo and Daimoku with him. Their compassion and words of encouragement touched me also and I could see my flatmate recuperate from his depression quickly.
Within 2 months, he resumed work and we discussed this practice. I was interested, probably because I had nothing else to do to keep myself busy. One of the leaders visited me every week. She was so encouraging that I looked forward to her visit. I started taking active part in kosen-rufu (world peace) activities. Activities are always fun and I enjoy them. My faith strengthened, and I learned that giving priority to kosen-rufu activities helps other things fall into place.
Last year I attended the 3rd All India Young Men's Division (YMD) General meeting. It was a turning point in my life and an eye opener for me.
Meeting members from all over the country and learning about their struggles charged me up and also created a deep sense of responsibility within me. As a result, I took more responsibilities in the organisation. Everything seemed harmonious and I was happy working and doing Buddhist activities. Then, out of the blue, a problem occurred at work.
I was told to join a training course to prepare for Microsoft certification and, being unaware of the conditions and having just 5 minutes to decide, I joined at the request of my project manager. Soon after, I was shocked to find out that the management wanted us to sign a bond for a year and the bondage amount is one lakh rupees. I prayed for wisdom, and I became confident that I could get the certification on my own. I did not want to sign a bond just for that. Others who were opposed to particpating in the course were forced to resume. I chanted a lot to be able to leave the training, and amazingly I was allowed. After almost a week, I was told to meet with the VP for human resources. I felt worried. Every day I chanted for a solution to my situation; also for the happiness of each individual at the company and the well being of the company.
I believed I was following the strategy of the Lotus Sutra. I gained courage from inside and wanted to give chanting a try before doing as the management wanted. I expressed my thoughts and worries to the VP-HR. She agreed with me and considered that to be the end of the issue.
I resumed my previous project. But after a fortnight, I was shocked to find that I hadn't been allocated any project officially. I felt depressed and once again started reflecting on this while chanting. I requested my project manager to look into the matter. It seemed to be the decision of the management to play foul with me as a punishment for quitting the training, and they even ignored my project manager's request several times, before finally allocating me officially after about 2 months. My project manager initiated a dialogue with HR. I would never have known all this, had it not been for my projectmate who heard my boss praising me. I felt very happy and confident at the same time. I realised that it would have been so easy for me to succumb to these negative circumstances but the YMD training in Delhi gave me the courage, conviction, and strength to fight — that way I could see for myself the great power of the Gohonzon. In fact, I am the only person who has been able to get out of the training without facing any negative impact on my career.
I continued doing lots of kosen-rufu activities and spent my spare moments in chanting daimoku, studying, doing home visits, and helping members to strengthen their faith. And so, this time, the greatest benefits poured into my life.
I learned that our resource department was looking for a person with my skills for a foreign assignment. So many people are anxious to get overseas assignments! I thought I could get the opportunity with strong faith. The previous incidence haunted my thoughts and I felt that the company would never consider me, but mystically I was selected for the assignment and later learned that my project manager recommended me without me even asking.
I came to the U.K. in January this year on a three-month assignment. The SGI-UK members of Reading district gave me a warm welcome and made me feel very comfortable. I didn't feel like I was sitting on a distant island away from home, rather I felt like I was with my family among the members. Soon I took an active part in the district. Being in Reading was an added advantage as the SGI-UK Headquarters, Taplow Court, is very near and I attended activities there also. Soon I was attending around 12 meetings a month and, rather than feeling tired, I felt more energetic and became enthusiastic to fight hard.
I made a goal of 1 hour of Daimoku each day for 100 days. I am happy to declare that today I am on the 82nd day.
I applied for the Gohonzon bestowal and was confirmed in April. The Gohonzon bestowal was to be on May 13, while my contract would end on April 20. I was paralysed with the idea that I wouldn't be able to receive the Gohonzon since termination of contract means I would to go back to India.
I set up an altar for the Gohonzon in my room and stepped up my Daimoku to 2 hours on weekdays and 3 hours 20 minutes on weekends. Daisaku Ikeda's guidance says:
"Not Strategy. Only Daimoku does it. When you are convinced of that, this very moment is the opportunity to change your state of life".Mystically, my district leader from India came to visit UK during those prime moments on her way to U.S. She encouraged me not to strategize but instead to direct my prayer to receiving the Gohonzon. Once my contract ended, I was asked to stay for an extra week. I was feeling a bit nervous but wonderful things were happening around me. One of the YMD members offered me his house to stay free of cost till the Gohonzon bestowment ceremony and another WD member came over with her Gohonzon. We chanted for hours in my small room. There were plenty of members supporting and encouraging me and they became close friends. I am really thankful to Gohonzon for letting me have such wonderful people around me. Finally just before leaving for India a client called for an interview and I was selected, so I stayed in U.K.
On 13th of May I received my Gohonzon. My joy knew no bounds when I finally had the Gohonzon with me. The many hardships in my life have helped me establish a firm conviction in the power of the Gohonzon. It is exactly as stated in the Gosho:
"Although I and my disciples may encounter various difficulties, if we do not harbour doubts in our hearts, we will as a matter of cause attain Buddhahood. Do not have doubt simply because heaven does not lend you protection. Do not be discouraged because you do not enjoy an easy and secure existence in this life."The contract I have now is superior to what I was praying for initially and that left me surprised. So I could see that Daimoku is the key to success and a happy life.
Not only did I get this opportunity but also I emerged as a stronger, more confident and focused person. As Daisaku Ikeda teaches:
"The English thinker Walter Pater wrote: 'To burn always with this hard and gemlike flame, to maintain this ecstasy, is success in life.' The person, who lives life fully, glowing with life's energy, is the person who lives a successful life. In the SGI, we would call this the glow of faith, the passion for Kosen-rufu."I am determined to exert my best for Kosen rufu, not only for my own sake, but also for the sake of the Daishonin's Buddhism and for this wonderful organisation. I also determine to single-mindedly chant Nam Myoho Renge Kyo and urge others to do the same. I would like to exert myself to bring the joy of practising the Mystic Law to as many people as possible.
26 May 2000