Triumphing Over Death with Daimoku

By Alex Ripetti, Miami, FL
Translation by María Antonia Bardino

I received my Gohonzon about 16 years ago. Throughout this time, I have developed many facets that have altered the course of my life.

Since I was a small child, I have always asked myself, "What is the reality of life?" "From where do we come, and where are we going?" And when I encountered the Buddhism of Nichiren Daishonin, I understood at that very moment that it held the truth that I had longed for from the very depths of my being.

The Mystic Law of Cause and Effect opened my eyes, and I could firmly believe in all its teachings. Sincerely chanting Daimoku to the Gohonzon, I understood that I must always move forward in my life.

Up until around five years ago, my practice was very inconsistent. I had always been a person who was easily depressed, and after several years of practice, I tumbled into the lower worlds of sex, drugs, and alcohol. I constantly asked myself, why did I involve myself in such activities when I had the power to come out of this hell and transform my life?

Despite all of this, I never abandoned my Gohonzon. I always kept my altar clean, and, from time to time, I chanted Daimoku. During this time, many of my friends died from the horrible disease known as AIDS. In my prayers, I would always ask for the enlightenment of the doctors and scientists involved in the research to find a cure for this virus.

At one point, I found myself going to the doctor's for some spots that had appeared on my left arm. I was diagnosed with Kaposi's sarcoma, a rare form of skin cancer that develops in individuals who have been infected with the AIDS virus. The doctor told me that, at this time, there was no known cure for this type of cancer.

It was also during this time that my mother telephoned from Chile to inform me that my father was in a diabetic coma. By the time I arrived at the hospital in Chile the following day, my father had died. At this point, my most profound grief was over my mother. The man whom she had loved all of her life had just died and I, her son, was destined to die very soon as well. By witnessing the effects of my upcoming death and the sufferings of my mother so closely, I decided to extend my life so as not to cause her any more grief.

Upon returning to the United States, I met a doctor who informed me that some new drugs were on the market to combat my disease ... and that these drugs seemed quite promising.

The doctor put me on an aggressive treatment, and, in one year, my cancer was under control through chemotherapy, radiation and much Daimoku. For two years now, the virus has been undetectable in my bloodstream, and my T-4 count has shot up from 113 to 500. 

A year ago, I also decided to study for a career that I could conduct from my home. Since then, I have graduated as a medical transcriber. Today, I have a fully equipped office in my home, and am ready to embark on my new adventure. 

I can happily say that I can always count on the loving support of my partner, my sisters, and my mother, who is in Chile right now, but will soon be moving to the United States.

I have decided to share these facts about my life with all of you, in order to provide incentive to those many people who doubt this marvelous practice, and say to all of you that the Mystic Law of Cause and Effect works perfectly and is found within our very own lives.