Experience

I Will Never Give Up!

Sanket Jain opens a bright future through participating in Soka Group.

Sanket Jain (front row, middle) stands proudly with his Soka Group brothers in front of the SGI-USA Oakland Buddhist Center, October 2018. Photo by Kingmond Young.


Sanket Jain
Oakland

Living Buddhism: Congratulations on a victorious Lions of Justice Festival in San Jose!

Sanket Jain: Thank you! Being a part of the 50K movement and supporting as Soka Group was the greatest opportunity to develop myself. My life has expanded, and I can see the tremendous fortune that I’ve developed in the process.

When I first started practicing Buddhism in 2004, at age 19, I couldn’t have imagined the life I have today. I was very sensitive, easily swayed by my environment, and my ego always got in the way of making the best decisions. I didn’t have dreams or a clear purpose in life. My Buddhist practice and the training I’ve received in the SGI have made me an individual who is composed, confident and caring.

What were some of the challenges you faced during the two years leading up to the festival?

Sanket: In mid-2016, my mother was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer and given just six months to live.

As the only person in my family who practices Nichiren Buddhism, I made a strong determination to win, even though my family resides in India and we are physically apart. I chanted Nam-myoho-renge-kyo for the best doctor, shared guidance from SGI President Ikeda every day with my mother and encouraged her to chant. We were able to find a great doctor and it even turned out that an SGI member worked in their office.

In 2017, her situation worsened. But I didn’t give up. I continued chanting abundantly and introducing others to Nichiren Buddhism to transform my family’s karma, and for my mother’s absolute victory.

Today, I’m so happy to share that my mother has recovered 100 percent from breast cancer. Not only did we make the impossible possible, but this challenge also brought our family closer. My family, who initially opposed my Buddhist practice, is now fully supportive, and my mother chants every day.

What a victory! While overseeing the 50K Soka Group movement in San Jose, you also took responsibility as the young men’s leader for Golden Gate Mentor and Disciple Zone. How did you foster young men to stand up?

Sanket: I was determined to win with everything. The only way to encourage other young men to stand up was to lead by example and build genuine friendships.

My zone is geographically spread out, but together with the local region young men’s leaders, we united on the weekends by chanting together and then jumping in a car to visit members and their friends. We also supported introduction-to-Buddhism meetings and did Soka Group shifts together. Through our united efforts, we developed a core group of young men that fight for kosen-rufu.

Then, in May, I was assigned to be in charge of the Soka Group movement for the San Jose venue.

How did you get started?

Sanket: At first, I was overwhelmed with work, family and my SGI leadership. But the life-or-death battle with my mother’s health taught me how to chant to overcome my doubts and to never give up.

The Soka Group members for our venue included young men from across Northern California and the Pacific Northwest, and communication was our biggest struggle. Because of these challenges, I desperately sought out President Ikeda’s guidance in the “Vigilant Safeguarding” chapter of volume 24 of The New Human Revolution, where he writes about the mission of the Soka Group, Byakuren and Gajokai to protect the members and our castles of kosen-rufu. I chanted every day to embody the behind-the-scenes spirit in my life.

Together with the other Soka Group members taking on key roles, we chanted, visited the venue multiple times and held late-night conference calls to prepare for our movement. Each guy took their responsibility very seriously, and because of that, we were fully united. I had complete trust in each of them.

On the day of the festival, we had a total of 85 Soka Group members, our highest to date, and there were no accidents!

Congratulations! How has this behind-the scenes training impacted your life?

Sanket: This training has enabled me to embrace and treasure whatever situation I am in. It taught me to appreciate the people around me, rather than judge them. My conviction in faith has deepened, and I’m no longer someone who gives up.

All of this has directly impacted my family and dreams. I recently became a father and have made great strides at my startup company. I’m convinced that my behind-the-scenes efforts for kosen-rufu developed tremendous fortune in my life.

What’s the main takeaway for you from this campaign?

Sanket: Before 2016, I feel my understanding of the oneness of mentor and disciple was superficial. The mentor-disciple relationship didn’t really click for me. Through each experience I had leading up to the festival, I kept saying to myself: This is for Sensei. I saw that fighting side by side with my mentor, President Ikeda, to widen the path for kosen-rufu leads to unlimited growth and advancement.

This experience also taught me how to take every problem immediately to the Gohonzon and chant for victory. I learned how to fight as a disciple, and gained the confidence that I could achieve anything in my life. I realized the only thing stopping me was my own doubt in my potential.

Any concluding thoughts?

I’m determined to become a great father and go all out for my dreams. Each day is a new struggle, but I vow to respond to Sensei. I will never give up!

(pp. 30-31)

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