Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Experience by Ritikaa Khunnah

Good morning friends!

I am Ritikaa and I have been practicing this life philosophy for the past 8 years. Today I wish to share a recent experience of mine, which again has reiterated the power of Gohonzon. I have experienced immense benefits from the Gohonzon in these 8 years ranging from Financial to Career to Family Karmas. But this time, I had a very different experience, which I want to share with you, something not related to individual problems but which was addressing a lager issue, an issue of the expansion of my life and creating value from it.

I left my full time job in April 2007. The following month was enjoyable as I loved the time off after continuously working for 8 years. But soon I started feeling bored and a sense of ‘not contributing’ started nagging me. I felt I was wasting my time and my potential. At the same time, other obstacles and devils also started attacking. My husband’s appraisal got stuck and his boss was so unhappy with him that we feared he may loose his job. Other financial expenses also suddenly sprung up as though devils were waiting to attack. I realized that my diamoku in this period was not regular and I was taking my practice easy. As the Gosho lines say: “Strengthen your faith day by day, month after month. Should you slacken even a bit, devils will attack.”

I decided to dedicate this time of my life to kosen-rufu for deep within I knew it was the right time to change something within and around me. I also took out my wish list I had made at the beginning of the year to see what has been achieved and what remains. I realized that some key things were still left to be done. Therefore, decided it was opportune moment to plunge into kosen-rufu activities and show actual proof in my life. It was at this time that I plunged myself in Gakkai activities, chanted for 3 hours 20 minutes regular diamoku and home visited and encouraged members with my life. It was as if kosen-rufu became my full time job. I decided that I needed to concentrate my daimoku towards my targets, and needed to entirely change my style of gongyo and chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. I wrote down all my goals very clearly, defining and visualizing everything to the last detail. I then chanted very specifically for these goals. I also divided my chanting into 10 minutes of apology for all the negative causes that I may have created, 10 minutes of appreciation for all the Buddhist God’s protection through my life, and the rest was focused daimoku on achieving Gakkai members and my targets. Nichiren Daishonin’s Budhhism stresses on practicing for oneself and for others. Keeping this philosophy in mind, I set up 2 kinds of target lists, one for my own personal challenges and the other for those of my district members. I used to chant for these 2 target lists on alternate days. I attended all study meetings, worked for the district general meeting and volunteered for being the MC for the chapter women division meeting. This gave me an opportunity to do abundant diamoku and really develop compassion towards members.

During one of the Zadankai’s, a few members had shared the correct ways of doing gongyo and daimoku. I applied these to my Gongyo too, stressing on the correct posture during chanting, placing a fresh cup-full of water near the Gohonzon before every Gongyo, using the Liturgy during all Prayers, correcting my pronunciation wherever possible, and doing focused Daimoku all the time.

As Sensei says, no effort in Gakkai goes wasted. My prayers were answered. I first got a consultancy job just near my house, in Suncity itself, which gave me the flexibility of having leisure time for myself and yet earn a decent monthly income. But this job required me to travel and soon I realized that the nature of trainings were not so enjoyable for me. The target group was corporate and since I have been working in the development sector, I wanted to contribute to that sector itself. I chanted more and more that the right job should come to me because there were quite a few demands that I had put. For example I wanted a job which does not require my full time services 6 days a week yet pays me decently. Also it needs to be for the development sector at a good designation, and one which did not require me to travel frequently. I put a target coinciding with Gakkai campaign but unfortunate the date went past and I did not get what I wanted. Perseverance in faith is important and I decided to not give up and set another target date. I researched a lot on various websites, trying to find the right job for myself. I also gave a few interviews, trying to experiment with various sectors for the sake of finding a job, but none of them offered the exact role I was looking for. However, instead of losing hope, I decided to continue my struggle in practice and action, base my challenges on Faith and vigorously immerse myself in my efforts for achieving victory. My guiding light in my struggle were the lines in the New Human Revolution Volume 8, Page 83 – “If you are complaining that these circumstances are not what you expected, that they are more than you bargained for, the you are not yet demonstrating the real essence of your mission. Only when you have a firm awareness of your mission to accomplish Kosen-Rufu are you a true Bodhisattva of the Earth. Then, as you strive to fulfill your mission, your eternal self will take over and boundless strength and wisdom will well forth, enabling you to surmount all obstacles”.

I am happy to report that I was able to achieve victory in all quarters. I have joined my new job, which requires me to go 3 days a week only and it pays me almost the same as when I was doing a full time job. Additionally it is in the business of providing high quality education, something that interests me. They have offered me a consultant position which would be upgraded to Assistant Vice President after 3 months. My husband also got a fantastic appraisal and had shared his experience with you.

After joining the office, the only problem I faced was commuting to Nehru Place where my new office is located. I chanted to get a solution to this problem. Also the Gakkai introductory study exam date was approaching. I decided this is a good opportunity to challenge myself, study hard and overcome this obstacle. I decided to use whatever time I could find to completely prepare myself for the exam. I used to chant and study while commuting to and fro from office. For one week before the exam, my husband and I spent every evening preparing for the exam, although we could hardly find any energy or time due to family commitments and busy office schedule. I also did study discussions with members to encourage them to study as much as possible for the exam. I am happy to report that I have not only got a driver at the rate we can afford to help me in commuting; but studying for the exam was truly an enriching experience. Concepts that were not clear in my 8 years of practice are crystal clear now and I can feel a change in my life-condition.

I wish to thank the Gohonzon for all the protection and determine to struggle even harder for kosen-rufu. I also determine to share another experience with you in the next Zadankai as I am determined to meet all my targets for this year by the year end. I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the Gohonzon for continuously guiding me to take up goals and challenges, and achieving one victory after another in life. I also aim to help members fight for their own goals and challenges, and will try to make my district and area a joyful and happy place.

Thank you.