Dr Daisaku Ikeda-People Who Have Inspired Me V
“As human beings we clearly remember what we have done for others, but we tend to forget easily what others have done for us. When you try to become the kind of person who never forgets the favors extended to you by others you will deepen and expand your capacity as a human being.”
Dr Daisaku Ikeda
We all are struggling and suffering in our unique ways, though we can always look at them as opportunities for learning and growth. Thanks to Sensei (teacher) Ikeda my attitude towards suffering has changed. He says, “No matter where we go, we cannot escape from the sufferings that are part and parcel of life. If we cannot avoid these sufferings, then our only choice is to overcome them. And since we have no choice but to overcome them, then we might as well live joyfully and vigorously while doing so.”
2007 was a landmark year in my life as I was introduced to Nichiren Daishonin Buddhism and found my mentor Dr Daisaku Ikeda, Soka Gakkai International, Japan The foundation of permanent peace in my life was laid and my life has been full of almost miraculous changes since then. I express my deep gratitude to Sensei Ikeda and seniors/members of Soka Gakkai for their encouragement and support in challenging times.
Dr Daisaku Ikeda is affectionately called Sensei (or Teacher in Japanese). He has been my role model in every way possible. The three pillars of ND Buddhism are faith, study and practice. Under Dr Ikeda’s guidance, I have developed faith in the divine (Buddhahood) within us, I try to read (study) his writings on a regular basis to get my dose of inspiration and I always make an attempt to practice by attempting to become a better and better human being.
Dr Ikeda says, “There may be times when life seems gloomy and dull. When we feel stuck in some situation or other, when we are negative toward everything, when we feel lost and bewildered, not sure which way to turn – at such times we must transform our passive mind-set and determine, "I will proceed along this path," ‘I will pursue my mission today.’ When we do so a genuine springtime arrives in our hearts, and flowers start to blossom. ”
Here are few ways in which my life and my thinking patterns have changed under the mentoring of Sensei Ikeda.
From blame game to acceptance-The first and most important thing Buddhism taught me was to stop blaming others for my problems and start accepting things as a manifestation of my own cause and effect. Many people may doubt this theory but it gave me peace of mind.
From cynicism to maturity-I used to believe that it is not possible to keep everyone happy; so to be good in few relationships you had to ignore some relationships. Inspired by Dr Ikeda, I have changed this thinking. Now I believe, “Though it may be difficult to meet expectations in relationships all the time, but you have to try doing your duty in all your relationships.”
From defeatism to winning-Buddhism is all about winning as Sensei says. I have become a positive and optimistic person and put in my best to win in every situation.
From karma to prayer-I used to respect work as worship and had low respect for prayer. But I realized it only meant that I had more faith in my own efforts and lacked faith in the higher power. Now I believe prayer must be backed by action and action must be backed by prayer, as both are necessary for wise actions.
There will always be scope for growth and improvement throughout our lives. I am filled with hope and whenever I go through challenging moments, I remind myself of this quote of Dr Daisaku Ikeda, “Those who wake up each morning with work to accomplish and a mission to fulfill are the happiest people of all. Please exert yourselves vigorously with the determination to live each day to the fullest so that you may compose a golden diary of life.”
"I Change, Everything Changes", a lesson learnt from my mentor & Bharat Soka Gakkai
Extremely Inspiring Quotes from Dr Daisaku Ikeda
“To lead a life in which we are inspired and can inspire others, our hearts have to be alive; they have to be filled with passion and enthusiasm. To achieve that, we need the courage to live true to ourselves. And to live true to ourselves, we need the strength of mind not to be swayed by our environment or be obsessed with vanity and superficial appearances.”
"When your determination changes, everything will begin to move in the direction you desire. The moment you resolve to be victorious, every nerve and fiber in your being will immediately orient itself toward your success. On the other hand, if you think, "This is never going to work out," then at that instant every cell in your being will be deflated and give up the fight. Everything will then really move in the direction of failure.”
v“In Japan, the mountain potatoes known as taros are rough and dirty when harvested, but when they are placed in a basin of running water together and rolled against each other, the skin peels away, leaving the potatoes shining clean and ready for cooking. Similarly, the only way for us to hone and polish our character is through our interactions with others.”
v“You should become the kind of individual who is sought after by everyone. People should say of you, 'There is certain brightness about him. He makes me feel at ease, inspiring me and giving me a new sense of courage.”
v“Beethoven is called a genius. But we need to be ware that his genius was based on incredibly strenuous effort… Beethoven's motto was, 'No day without a line.' Every day without fail he wrote music. He would not let even a single day pass without working assiduously.”
v“Let us give something to each person we meet: joy, courage, hope, assurance, philosophy, wisdom, a vision for the future. Let us always give something.”
v“There is no need to seek impatiently for greatness, fame or wealth. The Earth and the Sun do not hurry; they follow their own path at their own pace. If the Earth were to accelerate and complete one rotation in three hours instead of twenty four, we would be in big trouble! The most important thing in life, too, is to find a sure and certain path and confidently advance along it.”
I bow down once again to express my deep gratitude to Sensei Ikeda. Here is a link to a free e-book, "Spiritual Tools for Material Success", which I have dedicated to him (Sensei Ikeda emphasises that desires lead to enlightenment, if we channelise the desires correctly).
Dr Amit Nagpal