We normally pray in three ways:
- Prayer out of habit – this means not having clear determination and clear target.
- Prayer with delusion – this means, using methodology while praying. For example, wondering how the prayer will be answered and trying to figure out the logistics.
- Prayer with doubt – 99% of us practice with doubt.
While praying, it is not just enough to chant many hours or to complete a Daimoku target, we must remember that we pray because there is no way out. If we already have a solution, we will not pray. We must make impossible to possible. Prayer should be like putting fire to wet timber.
We must always have concrete prayer. What is concrete prayer? It is like – I want a cat. I want a white cat. I want a Persian cat and I want it within two weeks. This kind of prayer will produce results.
What is an experience? When the economy is going down, Gakkai members get very good jobs. This is proof of faith. In this, we can see that rationale and logic is not the determining factor. Normally while praying, one would think that if the economy is down, how can I get a good job. When we pray with this kind of mind, then we are using methodology.
What is faith? It is to have a big goal or a big dream. Then to pray that this dream turns into hope and to continue to pray so that hope becomes reality. We must have courage so that we can pray with 100% confidence in the power of Gohonzon. Courage can change everything, not intellect or money. Courage means power to make impossible to possible. Courage means ‘ I must do’ spirit and now how can I do. A coward cannot change history. Only a man of courage can. Courage cannot be obtained by money or by brain power but only by chanting.
The example of conviction can be found in Mahatma Gandhi’s life. He believed that non violence would win over the British armed forces. He did not have this belief based on historical proof of success on non violence. Nor was his belief affected by the fact that he had no weapons, arms or ammunitions. He was also not unnerved by many obstacles, persecution and imprisonments that he faced. For him, victory was decided in the beginning itself. He had 100% confidence. Though he never chanted, he actually practiced the essence of Buddhism. Therefore, pray with 100% confidence. Nothing is achieved when we have doubts. If we have doubts, our target begins to disappear or weaken.
We join the practice so that we can enjoy our life everyday. We did not join so that we become serious, tense and feel very pressurized. The main purpose of Sugarcane is to produce sugar, even though the squeezed sugarcane waste can e used for producing other things. The main purpose of practice is to become happy. Believe in Nam Myoho Renge Kyo, Gohonzon, Gosho and Sensei. Only Sensei is doing exactly what Gosho says. Therefore, he is our mentor. Believe in the Gohonzon. Challenge the impossible. Then joy will come from within. Gohonzon is in your own self and not outside. Belief in the Gohonzon is belief in yourself. This is the driving force that turns the impossible into possible. You will have the greatest joy when the impossible happens. When you see no way out, just chant with 100% confidence. Relying on money or intellect cannot bring happiness. You need to challenge the impossible. Chant to change and not for the sake of chanting. It is useless if you are doing lots of activities and there are no benefits.
There are three kinds of practice:
· When we chant a lot and do lots of activities but we have no clear targets, then it is like a car with in neutral gear. When you press the accelerator, the car makes a lot of noise and a lot of fuel is burnt out but the car remains stationery.
· When you do lots of daimoku and activities but your life is full of complaints, jealousy, contempt etc then it is like a car in reverse gear. The more you accelerate the more backward the car will go. In this case, the more you pray with a negative spirit, the worse it becomes.
· To put our practice into forward gear, make sure that you have concrete targets and no ill-feelings. Even if you are 100% correct and the other person is 100% wrong, if you have ill feelings, jealousy, grudges etc you are committing slander. There is nothing correct about slander. There is nothing like a correct slander!
Buddhism is not about correct or incorrect. Buddhism means win or lose. Since we are Sensei’s disciples, Sensei will not be happy if one wins and the other loses. We must both win. Pray for the people who are troubling you to win along with you. If you slander then all good fortune will collapse.
Your opinion and views, if it is not liked by others, pray first before talking. If your view is good for kosen rufu, pray with 100% confidence that your view be accepted. This will give you energy for self growth and to develop your faith. Therefore, appreciate those who trouble you. There is no use to fight. Both will go down in a fight. We must grow together. In Soka Gakkai everyone must be a winner.
There are two types of people. One who is always complaining and the other who is always optimistic, enjoying happiness even in adversity. Become a person who is optimistic and always cheerful. Good fortune will grow if you are cheerful.
From the history of Soka Gakkai, we understand the importance of standalone spirit and the courage of one person. Toda Sensei stood alone in 1945. He had with him only confidence in the Gohonzon. Today Soka Gakkai exists in 192 countries. Its members are overflowing with health happiness and good fortune. Fix a big target and develop your faith. Invisible faith will bring you real happiness.
It is foolish to chase after material benefits. Without suffering, we cannot strengthen faith. We need karma and suffering to build good fortune.
Pray for worldwide kosen rufu. This is the correct determination to have. Toda Sensei entrusted kosen rufu in Asia to the Youth. Kosen rufu in Japan is at great heights. India is the birth place of Buddhism. If as Indians we say Nichiren’s Buddhism is correct, people will definitely believe us. When we have big targets, smaller ones will automatically be achieved.
When we work for the poorest of the poor, then our life will be purified. Tagore and Gandhi were enlightened when they met the poor. Poverty is not a shame but not having any wisdom is a shame.