Encouragement

Prayer Is the Key to 50K Victory

"Our Buddhist practice is the engine for victory in all things."

Photo by DAVID GOODMAN.


The Wellspring of Life Force

[Second Soka Gakkai President] Josei Toda said with great conviction: “[The benefit of the Gohonzon] is that it supercharges our life force. Such powerfully charged life force transforms a state of mind in which we grumble and complain about our problems, suffering, poverty and other misfortunes into a state of mind filled with light and joy.” He also said: “The power of chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo is colossal. It can transform a life imbued with painful karma into one that is like strolling in a beautiful garden, or like a pleasant dream.”

When you are suffering, chant. When you are stuck, chant. If you do, life force and courage will emerge, and you will be able to change your situation. Our Buddhist practice is the engine for victory in all things. (The Wisdom for Creating Happiness and Peace, part 2, pp. 108–09)

Inner Transformation at the Deepest Level

Changing our heart is not a matter of doing something that will only temporarily lift our mood or make us feel better, without changing our reality. A true change in our heart is more profound; genuine inner change produces actual change in our lives. Deepening our “heart”—our life state—is the essence of our religion of human revolution. When we speak of obtaining benefit through our Buddhist practice, we are ultimately referring to our inner transformation at the deepest level.

That’s why we need to have a serious attitude in faith. If we allow ourselves to be defeated by negative functions and give in to complaint, our hearts will lose their vibrancy. The subtlest difference in our hearts can produce dramatically different results.

When you are suffering, chant. When you are stuck, chant. If you do, life force and courage will emerge, and you will be able to change your situation. Our Buddhist practice is the engine for victory in all things.

Nichiren Daishonin describes the workings of our heart, or life, as being “strict,” adding that every one of the three thousand realms exists in our lives (see The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings, p. 22). Our heart determines whether or not we attain Buddhahood. That’s why “it is the heart that is important.” (September 2018 Living Buddhism, p. 52)

Change Starts From Prayer

Prayer is the driving force for maintaining a correct practice and tenacious action. Nothing is as insubstantial as action without prayer. For those who neglect prayer, things may appear to go quite smoothly for a while. They may even seem very upbeat. But once faced with adversity, they tend to fall into despair, their lives as fragile as a withered tree. Lacking self-mastery, they are tossed about like leaves on the turbulent waters of society.

The path up the hill of life doesn’t follow a straight line. There are successes and mistakes. Sometimes we win and sometimes we lose. With each step on our way, with every curve and corner we navigate, we grow a little bit more. In this process, prayer functions as a powerful force preventing us from becoming arrogant in victory or devastated by defeat.

That’s why none are stronger than those who base themselves on prayer. (The Wisdom for Creating Happiness and Peace, part 1, p. 60)

Difficulties Arise Because Our Practice Is Correct

The Soka Gakkai has advanced kosen-rufu just as Nichiren Daishonin instructs in his writings, battling the three obstacles and four devils and the three powerful enemies in the process.

Difficulties arise because our practice is correct. As the Daishonin’s words “The wise will rejoice while the foolish will retreat” (“The Three Obstacles and Four Devils,” The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, p. 637) indicate, the important thing is whether we courageously stand up to the challenges that arise in our path or shrink back in fear and run away from them. What matters is our attitude in faith at a crucial moment.

As we practice this Buddhism, things may happen that make us question or doubt the power of faith. But events that we cannot understand merely on an intellectual level can reveal important truths about our lives when viewed with the eye of the Buddha. From that perspective, life’s various difficulties always have a profound significance. (March 2018 Living Buddhism, p. 41)

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