Determined to be A Victor

Elgin Lim Jun Wei
Young Men Division

A junior college friend introduced me to Nichiren Buddhism and invited me to participate in the SGS item for the 2019 National Day Parade, where I slowly learned about Nichiren Buddhism. After the event, I continued to practise Nichiren Buddhism, finding it a very positive religion that teaches us to remain hopeful regardless of circumstances.

Since young, I have had a weak constitution and fall sick easily. Numerous visits to doctors resulted in the same diagnosis; I had poor health. I tire easily and I am frustrated and hopeless about my situation.

However, Nichiren Daishonin writes, “Nam-myoho-renge-kyo is like the roar of a lion. What sickness can therefore be an obstacle?” (WND-1, p. 412)

What a powerful hope-filled teaching! The Daishonin also says, “Those who believe in the Lotus Sutra are as if in winter, but winter always turns to spring. Never, from ancient times on, has anyone seen or heard of winter turning back to autumn. Nor have we ever heard of a believer in the Lotus Sutra who turned into an ordinary person. The sutra reads, ‘If there are those who hear the Law, then not a one will fail to attain Buddhahood.” (WND-1, p. 536)

Since then, chanting abundant daimoku of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, studying the Gosho and Ikeda Sensei’s guidance, and listening to members’ testimonies, have enabled my life condition to be elevated. Though I still have poor health, but with the practice of Nichiren Buddhism, I have become more positive and hopeful, mentally stronger. I am determined to transform my family’s health karma. 

My mother fell sick in 2014 and has not left home since. I hoped she would chant with me to improve her health. Thus, when my senior in faith encouraged me to enshrine the Gohonzon, I agreed without hesitation and faced a big challenge. 

My parents practised another religion and when I asked my father for permission to enshrine the Gohonzon in my room, he rejected me outright. However, my determination to enshrine the Gohonzon remained steadfast. I included in my prayers that my family would support my faith and chanted for their happiness while I started taking action to contribute to kosen-rufu.

I was approached to assist in the youth segment at discussion meetings. I was initially doubtful about my ability and lacked courage. However, one of Ikeda Sensei’s guidances greatly encouraged me. “Kosen-rufu is the Buddha’s intent and our great vow. But if we think someone else will accomplish it someday, nothing will ever happen. The wheels of kosen-rufu will start to turn only when we decide to stand up ourselves and move forward, even if only an inch or a step.”

This year, the same senior encouraged me once more and I plucked up the courage to ask my father again. To my surprise, he agreed. Later, I learnt that my mother had convinced my father to allow me to enshrine the Gohonzon. In my heart, knew that my sincere prayers for my mother’s health had moved her. I received my Gohonzon on October 9 and am determined to transform my family’s karma and advance kosen-rufu alongside my mentor Ikeda Sensei.

Towards 2030, I determine to share Nichiren Buddhism with five new friends and contribute more to advance kosen-rufu, achieving dynamic progress in faith with my district leaders and members, with this Sensei’s guidance in mind. “If you lose today, win tomorrow. In this never-ending spirit of challenge is found in the heart of a victor.” 

(Adapted from November 2022 issue of Soka Life)