18 Sep 2021 Unseen Virtue Brings About Visible Rewards
Chui Kit Cheng
Back in the 70s, my husband’s salary was not much but living with my parents-in-law helped reduce expenses. My only worry was my daughter’s weak health and the frequent visits to the doctor. My husband being an army personnel, was entitled to free consultation at polyclinics for family members. However, as my daughter’s condition did not improve, we had no choice but to consult a private general practitioner (GP), thus, incurring expensive medical fees.
On the fourth visit to the GP, a nurse at the clinic introduced me to Nichiren Buddhism. She assured me that by chanting the daimoku of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, my daughter would be able to manifest a strong life force and would not need to see the doctor again.
Chanting Daimoku Works!
Although I did not expect what that nurse said to really come true, after chanting daimoku for a month I realised that my daughter did not fall ill that frequently. Unaware that the practice of Nichiren Buddhism is more than just the chanting of daimoku at home, I did not participate in any meetings or study. Thus, when I was pregnant with my second child I ignorantly believed that it was disrespectful for pregnant women to chant daimoku, and stopped chanting altogether.
At that time I was helping my parents-in-law at their food stall and often listened to grievances shared by stall holders. The more I heard about families losing spouses or children going wayward, the more uneasy I felt. I decided that I must find a religion to protect my family.
Around March 1977, I overheard a conversation among a group of ladies at the void deck of my HDB flat. When I heard one of them mention Nichiren Buddhism, I suddenly recalled that I had chanted Nam-myoho-renge-kyo a few years back. I quickly arranged to attend a discussion meeting with her and started to chant every morning and evening. In 1978, I received the Gohonzon and in 1980 I was appointed group leader. I offered my home for meetings with a heartfelt wish to provide a comfortable meeting place for members and new friends. With little education, I had no idea how to encourage members, but I would fry rice noodles and prepare finger food for the attendees at the meetings as a gesture of my support. Seeing the joyous faces of the members each time after the meeting as we ate and chatted, was truly fulfilling.
Learning about the importance of advancing kosen-rufu, I also strove to participate in the annual Member Financial Contribution. Without any earnings, I could only save 10 cents from my allowance to be able to contribute one share each year. Later I determined to increase my contribution each year to support the kosen-rufu activities of SSA. My contribution has increased manyfold over the years and I am very grateful to the Gohonzon for being able to continue doing so, just as Ikeda Sensei said: “Nam-myoho-renge-kyo has immeasurable beneficial power. My mentor, Toda Sensei described the infinite power of the Mystic Law as follows: ‘It is like lying sprawled on your back in a wide-open space looking up at the sky. All that you wish for immediately appears. No matter how much you may give away, there is always more. It is never exhausted. Try and see if you can attain this state of life.’”
Contributing to Kosen-rufu Without Financial Worries
My husband and I are childhood sweethearts. I married him at the age of 18 and have been a full-time homemaker. My husband, like any army personnel, was due to retire at age 45, thus we brainstormed hard and chanted earnestly for another job that would not compromise our time for kosen-rufu activities. It was great good fortune that in the end my husband’s retirement was postponed repeatedly, until he officially retired at 67. This is really unbelievable. The protective function of the Mystic Law allowed us to contribute wholeheartedly to kosen-rufu without having to worry about our finances.
As I have not been a salaried worker my whole life, I do not have any CPF savings. However, my husband had been making monthly contribution to my CPF account, which allows me to withdraw a monthly allowance when I reach age 65. I am truly grateful for my husband’s thoughtfulness towards our future. This is just as the Buddhist principle says, “unseen virtue brings about visible rewards”.
Accumulating Infinite Good Fortune And Benefit
I learnt at a study meeting that when we work hard for the well-being and happiness of others, and persevere and do not give up in the face of challenges, our suffering in the world will be relatively reduced.
Through carrying out my own human revolution after embracing Nichiren Buddhism, I managed to introduce this faith to my family and friends. I used to be a very hot-tempered person and got angry very easily, thus I had frequent disputes with the people around me, especially my parents-in-law, while working with them every day at the food stall. I determined to work very hard on my human revolution for my happiness and the happiness of others. A simple woman with no grand ambition, my only concern was to practise whatever I learnt in the Gosho and Sensei’s guidance. Thus, I was pleased to learn that my late father-in-law had praised my effort and the positive changes I made.
My efforts to contribute to kosen-rufu over the years have brought great good fortune to my family. My parents-in-law have been active members of SSA and my father-in-law just passed on peacefully in April due to old age. My daughter and son-in-law are leaders in the organisation. My son is also married with a 10-year-old daughter who represented Singapore at international table tennis competitions. Each time I upgrade to a bigger house to accommodate more people at meetings, I gain good fortune in other aspects.
Ikeda Sensei once said: “SGI gatherings are themselves noble ‘assemblies of the Lotus Sutra’. Families who open their homes for such gatherings are accumulating infinite good fortune and benefit. They are certain to be safeguarded by the protective forces of the universe, and their descendants will continue to flourish generation after generation.”
Moving ahead, I am chanting for the quick resolution to the current pandemic and to share Nichiren Buddhism with even more people, and to nurture capable young successors for the future.
(Adapted from October 2020 issue of Creative Life)