24 Oct 2020 The Brilliant Light of Nichiren Buddhism Illuminates My Life
Lay Poy Moy
Women Division Leader
In 1983, my mother’s life was hanging in the balance because of high blood pressure. My second sister, who had already begun to practise Nichiren Buddhism then, urged me to pray for our mother’s health. For my mother’s sake, I began to chant vigorously. Fortunately, my mother survived. Her actual proof strengthened our family’s conviction in faith. Subsequently, my mother and I actively participated in discussion meetings, study meetings and prayer meetings despite her having mobility difficulties.
As a result, I was able to deepen my understanding of Nichiren Buddhism. Seven of my mother’s nine children went on to receive the Gohonzon, and my mother extended her life by four years, leading a fulfilling life before passing away peacefully.
The Family Crisis
Before the negative karma in my life surfaced, I was basking in the love of my family and tender loving care of my husband. Never was I prepared myself for what lay ahead. My husband, whom I had trusted with all my heart, confessed to an affair. Hearing this, I was on the verge of collapse.
Consumed with anger, hatred and fear, I spent my days in tears. My leader gave me strict but warm guidance, encouraging me to bravely confront my karma with daimoku. She also told me to pray not just for my own happiness, but also the happiness of my husband. Although my children were very young and needed a lot of attention, I did my best to chant two to three hours a day.
Initially, the woman in the affair would harass me over the phone from time to time. With my leader’s encouragement, I prayed even more fervently to be able to triumph over this crisis. Through daimoku, I was able to face the issue with courage and composure, and no longer felt harassed.
At the same time, my husband’s friends and colleagues became my Buddhist gods, protecting and supporting me. Several months later, the woman decided to leave my husband.
Although my husband came back to me, more troubles still lay ahead. The global economy was in a bad shape and my husband lost his job. The family fell on hard times. My husband began to object to my Buddhist practice and participation in SSA activities, adamant that my practice was the cause of all our problems. I began to complain about how hard my life was despite my Buddhist practice.
Even though my faith was swayed, my siblings and leaders did not give up on me. They were always by my side, encouraging me to practise in greater earnest, elevate my life condition, reflect on myself and do my human revolution. I got up at 4 a.m. every day to chant while my husband was still asleep. I was working part-time then, and would seize every opportunity to attend SSA activities. Somehow, the more my husband objected to my Buddhist practice, the more my conviction in faith grew.
I was appointed a leader in 1988, but I did not take my responsibilities seriously. Again, with my seniors in faith’s strict guidance, I reflected upon myself and prayed earnestly to be able to bring forth compassion towards my members and sincerely care for them. Witnessing the growth and happiness of my members, I could truly feel the joy of practising for oneself and others. As I strive for kosen-rufu, our family problems were gradually resolved and my husband found a new job.
In 1995, my husband chalked up more than $200,000 in debt after going into a business with a friend. When I heard the news, I was aggrieved and wanted a divorce. The next day I calmed down and went to a senior in faith for personal guidance. The senior told me that complaining would not help, and that my misfortune was due to the negative causes in my own life. It was not inflicted by someone else. She encouraged me to have absolute conviction in the Gohonzon and to tackle this problem head- on by chanting abundant daimoku, do my human revolution and share Buddhism with others. She assured me that I would definitely be able to transform my karma. Eventually, we sold our house and moved in with my younger sister. My husband, who was afraid to bump into his creditors, did not dare to go to work.
However, I knew that no prayer would go unanswered. I chanted three to four hours of daimoku every day, continued to care for the family and my members, attend SSA activities and participate in White Phoenix Group activities. A week later, my husband received a call from his creditor, who berated him for not working. How was he supposed to support his family and pay off his debts if he was not working? The creditor recommended him for a job as a cement mixer truck driver. My husband worked hard and his serious attitude impressed his boss. A year later, his boss decided to leave the industry and gave him the truck. Thus, my husband was able to set up his own career. In 2001, we finally had our own house again. Having personally witnessed the power of the Gohonzon, he began to chant daimoku.
My Elder Son Returns to the Right Path
All the trials and tribulations we had gone through as a family in the past had a great impact on my elder son. When he was in secondary school, he became very rebellious, and fell into bad company. This plunged me into pain and fear. Aware that this was the opportunity to transform my karma, I resolved to chant one million daimoku within two months for a breakthrough. Shedding copious tears and filled with fear and dread, I prayed wholeheartedly for my children to become capable people, who can handle problems with wisdom.
One day, the bad company that my son was mixing with got into a serious fight. Fortunately, my son was not involved. One of them was seriously injured and hospitalised. My son saw the severity of his condition. Shock and frightened, he decided to leave them.
Since then, my son became serious in his studies and grew as a person. He met a compatible partner and was planning to get married in 2006.
During this time, yet another crisis struck. My husband had an unexpected windfall and thought that he had luck on his side. Even though he started chanting, he wasn’t serious in his practice and ultimately succumbed to his fundamental darkness of greed. He returned to gambling in the hope of using the windfall to win back all the money he had lost. Initially he did win a lot of money, but later he began to rack up more and more losses. Not only did he lose his business, he also got into huge debts.
Fortunately, our children have become sensible adults. We encouraged and supported one other based on faith, determined to transform our family karma with one million daimoku. Eventually, our elder son’s application for public housing was successful and we decided to move in with him. We then sold our house to pay off the debts.
Transforming All Tribulations into Source of Happiness
Although fate has dealt me many blows, I remain undefeated. Looking back on all these years of challenges and struggles, the winter in my life has turned to spring. I have nothing but gratitude towards the Gohonzon, SGI President Ikeda, and my comrades in faith. I am also thankful for my husband. Dealing with his challenges has helped me deepen my faith, forge an indomitable spirit and learn how to attain the life state of absolute happiness through faith. Moving forward, I am determined to ensure that the heritage of faith flows in the lives of our children and grandchildren. I will continue to pray for their growth and for them to be able to attain true happiness in life by inheriting the correct spirit of faith.
President Ikeda says, “When we chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, our problems and sufferings all turn into energy for our happiness, into fuel that enables us to keep moving forward in our lives.
“The wonderful thing about faith in Nichiren Buddhism is that it enables those who suffer the most to attain the greatest happiness and those who experience the most daunting problems to lead the most wonderful, meaningful lives.”
Engraving his words in my heart, I am determined to work for world peace for the rest of my life, so that the light of Nichiren Buddhism will not only illuminate my own life, but also the lives of many others.
(Adapted from SSA Times issue 615)