I am a Bodhisattva in training and have been practicing Nichiren Daishonin’s Buddhism for over 2 months now. In 13th Century Japan, after extensive study of various Buddhist Sutras, Nichiren Daishonin concluded that the Lotus Sutra is the ultimate teaching of Shakyamuni Buddha (also known as Gautama Buddha). We in the practice chant Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo everyday. Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo is the law that permeates all life and the universe. It simply means that I devote my life to the Mystic Law of course and effect. Nichiren Daishonin regarded Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo as the Mystic Law, the natural principle governing the workings of life in the universe, the law to which all Buddhas are enlightened and the true aspect of our own life.
Once into the practice, we chant everyday and anytime of the day, which is a consistent practice. Apart from that we have monthly meetings, in which all the members come together of a particular area and chant and study more about the law, helping one another to understand the law better. The meetings are very interactive, if someone is facing a problem or has a question then our leaders and senior most members are willingly there to answer or help us out. We all encourage one another, pray and chant for one another’s happiness. We all have difficult situations to deal with in life, we all differ in personalities, habits and behaviors but during meetings we all have one common mind set and this is to propagate the law. I am the newest member in my group and still have to study a lot regarding the same. All the members are a part of an association called Soka Gakkai International (SGI) which has more than 12 million members present in 192 countries and territories worldwide.
In one of our meetings recently while we were having our study, we came on talking about the karma which at some point in our life we all start believing in it. Karma is the accumulation of effects from good and bad causes that we bring with us from our former lives, as well as from the good and bad causes we have made in this lifetime. It shapes both our present and future. There was a time when I wouldnt believe in it much the way I do now after the practice. The best example that was given, many of us never think before hurting someone, could be in anyway either by words or in actions, we just hurt people. But does one think that by doing so he/she is collecting bad karma. No. When a person is hurt, that person has faced whatever bad karma she/he had carried. But the person who managed to hurt the other person is collecting bad karma and has to face it at some point of time in his/her life, it could come through any means. I now believe in one thing, no one can escape karma, no matter how fast you try to run. One has to confront it, if not in this lifetime then maybe next lifetime in some form or other.
There are many things which slowly and steadily are becoming clear to me. Chanting will help me on my worst days by giving me strength to face them because after all I am human and won’t be spared by people, no one is.
I met one of my senior leader once, she asked me ‘Why will you practice once you have achieved what you came for, after that what ?’, something like that kind of question. All i said was ‘ I will chant for my family, friends, fellow member’s happiness’. But somewhere I knew this wasn’t the right answer. She gave me the answer ‘It’s wisdom.’ I had the answer in back of my mind but just didn’t say it aloud and didn’t know how to put it in words. On my way back home I thought about it again and again, that’s when I knew that yes its wisdom. Such a simple thing but not many of us are actually practicing it. We all somewhere lack wisdom, which can be achieved by changing yourself and in our practice to bring a change in yourself is called Human Revolution. When we change ourself and are happy automatically our surrounding will be the same, happy.
I would try and want to be wise and bring a change in me only for myself which will help me be a better person than what I was yesterday. It’s a daily fight and challenge. Nothing happens over night and for me nothing seems impossible. 🙂