I have been on the spiritual path since my birth and I have had the blessings of many divine souls and personalities–both living and non-living. Deeply influenced by Hindu gods and after a brief stint with atheism during my college days in the 1970s I discovered The Mystical Christ as my personal saviour. But soon thereafter I discovered Sri Aurobindo through his writings in the library of St. Stephen’s College, New Delhi. I also came in touch with The Divine Mother of Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Puducherry. I regard myself as an exponent of Sri Aurobindo’s Integral Yoga believing in the maxim “All life is Yoga.”
In my long journey of ups and downs in life, I also experienced the grace and blessings of Sai Baba of Shirdi. However, the turning point came in 2007 when a friend introduced me to the mantra “Nam Myoho Renge Kyo” and asked me to chant it along with determinations about my goals. I did not ask him for the meaning of the mantra and just went on chanting it. Soon I experienced many benefits relating to finances, health and relationships.
My friend told me that Nam Myoho Renge Kyo was revealed by a Japanese Buddhist monk Nichiren Daishonin who lived in the 13th century. Nichiren intensively studied the Buddhist scriptures and came to the conclusion that the Lotus Sutra was the panacea for transforming the people’s suffering and leading them to the state of absolute happiness. He further affirmed that all human beings possessed the Buddha nature and could attain Buddhahood. Chanting of Nam Myoho Renge Kyo, the title of the Lotus Sutra, alone will enable people to attain Buddhahood and have the strength and wisdom to challenge and overcome all challenges. Nichiren established that the practice of Nam Myoho Renge Kyo was capable of awakening our and others’ happiness.
Whenever I was under stress or I faced adverse situations in life, I used to chant Nam Myoho Renge Kyo till I saw breakthroughs.
The period between 2012 and 2015 was of intense struggle. I seriously started chanting Nam Myoho Renge Kyo in mid-2014 and I am happy to say that I became a member of the Bharat Soka Gakkai (BSG)–the Indian offshoot of the Soka Gakkai International (SGI) in January 2015. There are several sects that are adherents of Nichiren Buddhism—the main being Nichiren Shoshu and the Soka Gakkai.
I have been regularly attending monthly discussion meetings which are held in the districts where members participate in several Gakkai activities, recite Gongyo and chant Daimoku (Nam Myoho Renge Kyo) and share experiences. Guests are welcome to attend these meetings. I regularly read the Goshos—the writings of Nichiren Daishonin. It is rather uncanny that the Goshos written centuries ago have relevance even now. Senior leaders in faith also recommend reading the words of SGI President Daisaku Ikeda available through his large number of books. We regard Mr. Ikeda, now in his eighties, as our Sensei and strive to forge a mentor-disciple relationship based on faith, practice and study.