They say that whatever you manifest or whenever you send signals to the universe, something or someone out there finds a way to reach out to you. You do not know how or in what form this happens, but when it happens..you just know.
As a person, i consider myself spiritual, in that i have a set of values which i believe in and stand for, and i also believe that there is some force out there that is invisible yet omnipresent and that guides the working of the universe.
For years, i was looking for a way or a path through which i could be spiritually fulfilled and seek inspiration and direction for my life. I was looking for something that would help quench my thirsty soul and help me reconnect with myself as an individual.
And so it happened, my friend at Toastmasters introduced me to Soka Gakkai International (SGI), a lay buddhist movement that has around 12 million members around the world.
One reason why was i drawn to this association and practice is that it changed my view of Buddhism from something that was reserved only for the wise and learned having esoteric knowledge, to something that even a common man from any part of the world can practice and benefit from.
This practice is something that related to me because its not only deals with personal growth, but growth on a very macro scale, in other words, a 'Human Revolution'. I believe, especially living in a city like Mumbai, that people these days lead very fast paced lives, where there is no clear line between work life and home life, where the constant thought of achievement, peer pressure and recognition, leads to degradation of our lives both spiritually and health wise. The level of compassion and genuine camaraderie among strangers, i have noticed, has gone down. I don't really blame the general public. The times are changing and with the increase in population so is the competition; Ultimately its all about survival.
After reading essays and stories about the challenges faced by SGI members during the World War II and the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, i was convinced that if they could come out winning after such a blow, then any society could evolve and progress using the same formula, so to speak.
Simplicity, was also something that appealed to me. The fact that the truth of the world or the greatest secret to awakening the deepest level of our existence, lies in just one sentence is almost magical.
'Nam Myoho Renge Kyo' is the japanese name for the Lotus Sutra and literally means 'I devote myself to the Lotus Sutra'. However, there are deeper levels of meanings attached to each element of the phrase.
According, to SGI and Nicheren Buddhism, by chanting the words 'Nam Myoho Renge Kyo' daily we awaken our true potential and ignite the fire within us to become what we have always planned to become.
I was introduced to Nichiren Buddhism and SGI quite recently, and every since i have felt a dramatic change in my overall confidence and resistance levels. I have met a few SGI members who regularly are in touch with me and are helping me learn, practice and get the most out of my experience.
I have a long way to go spiritually, but the thing i like about Buddhism and about SGI is that it encourages members to ask questions and never accept things that have been preached blindly. Buddha himself said once that-
- Do not accept anything on (mere) hearsay -- (i.e., thinking that thus have we heard it for a long time).
- Do not accept anything by mere tradition -- (i.e., thinking that it has thus been handed down through many generations).
- Do not accept anything on account of mere rumors -- (i.e., by believing what others say without any investigation).
- Do not accept anything just because it accords with your scriptures. Do not accept anything by mere suppositions.
- Do not accept anything by mere inference.
- Do not accept anything by merely considering the reasons.
- Do not accept anything merely because it agrees with your pre-conceived notions.
- Do not accept anything merely because it seems acceptable -- (i.e., thinking that as the speaker seems to be a good person his words should be accepted).
- Do not accept anything thinking that the ascetic is respected by us (therefore it is right to accept his word).
All i can say is that my journey towards self discovery and fulfillment has just a lot faster...
** Thanks a lot for reading this article. If you have any queries or questions, feel free to comment below, and i will reply at the earliest. Thanks in advance :) **