Kenny and Jason were sipping coffee at Plan B in Mid Valley. Kenny is still a YMD leader despite being aware of the abuse of power and mismanagement of funds among the top leaders in the organisation. Kenny disagree with Jason’s decision to resign, though he respect his decision and they remain good buddies. They were debating on the topic of good fortune.
Kenny: We announced the achievement of 20,000 POH (professor of Happiness). Unprecedented. New history. While you can say all you want about the validity of the figure and the various means used to achieve it, you cannot deny that there are real cases of shakubuku. And shakubuku will certainly accumulate good fortune.
What are you doing here? You only focus on the wrongs and the injustice that was done to you, the evils of the top leaders. It doesn’t create any real value. I think you are losing out in terms of good fortune.
Jason: What exacttly is the meaning of good fortune? We attract people to this practice by telling them to pray for material things, like a job, a relationship, overcoming financial problem, successful business. When they get their prayers answered, conspicuous benefit, we say that is because they have accumulated good fortune.
While it is not wrong to describe good fortune as material well-being, but it is certainly not the whole picture. It is only a small part of what constitute good fortune that we derive from our practice in Nichiren’s Buddhism.
Also, when members got into trouble, we say that they have run out of their good fortune, and the solution is to chant more daimoku, do more kofu activities and contribute more money to accumulate good fortune. Perhaps, this has slowly been indoctrinated, or brainwashing, the members into thinking that this Buddhism is good because it brings a lot of ‘good fortune’, in the material sense per se.
But that is not the purpose of our practice, are they? Material benefits are good in showing actual proof of the validity of this practice, especially in a materistic society like us. But what is the true meaning of ‘good fortune’?
As the Buddhist teacher Nichiren states: “More valuable than treasures in a storehouse are the treasures of the body, and the treasures of the heart are the most valuable of all.” “Treasures of the storehouse” refer to money and other forms of material wealth. “Treasures of the body” are skills and abilities, as well as physical health. “Treasures of the heart” are the riches that we build within our lives. This indicates the kind of inner strength that cannot be defeated by any tribulation. It refers to the power to live out our lives in a creative way, with constant joy, fulfillment and vitality.
Daisaku Ikeda (here)
In other words, it is a life that is full of courage, wisdom, hope, and life force.
Kenny: Never really thought of that before. One question, how is good fortune accumulated then?
Jason: We may draw some hints from Nichiren Daishonin’s words here.
Misfortune comes from one’s mouth and ruins one, but fortune comes from one’s heart and makes one worthy of respect. (New Year’s Gosho)
In the end, whatever we do, if it is out of sincerity, and expecting nothing in return (example good fortune), then, we will certainly develop that inner strength that Mr Ikeda is talking about in the quote above.
This is how you CANNOT have good fortune:
- Doing shakubuku with the sole intention of accumulating good fortune for oneself.
- Doing shakubuku with the main intention to get people to sign the stupid form 18 so that you have some ‘victory’ to report. Never mind what happen after that. Must hit the number. That’s all important.
- Achieving grand shakubuku target for the sake of sticking it up to the ‘trouble makers’ of the Johore and some KL leaders. And whoever who oppose the General Director.
This is how you CAN have good fortune.
- Introducing Buddhism to a friend because we sincerely wants that person to be happy.
- Encouraging and taking care of existing members and friends, ensuring that they are practising correctly and sharing all their joys and pains.
These are noble actions of a Bodhisattva because it comes from the heart.
Kenny: The heart is what matters most.
3 thoughts on “Life after resignation – part 3 (Professor of Happiness)”
Regarding the benefits of faith in the Gohonzon, Nichiren Daishonin states, “kudoku (benefit) means the reward of purifying the six sense organs. I, Nichiren, and my disciples who chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, are ultimately purifying our six sense organs. Ku of kudoku means happiness. Ku also means dispel evil. Toku (of which doku is transliteration) means to bring about goodness. Kudoku indicates attaining Buddhahood in one’s present form as well as purifying the six sense organs ” (Gosho Zenshu pg 761)
All in all, when we believe in and chant daimoku to the Gohonzon, our six sense organs — eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body and mind, in other words, life’s basic functions — become purified and we are able to rid ourselves of unhappiness and replace it with happiness. To establish an indestructible condition of happiness without changing our basic nature identity, is to “attain Buddhahood as we are. This is the main objective of our faith and our practice to the Gohonzon.
(Extracted from SGM FLOW 99 – Ridding Oneself of Unhappiness Leads to Happiness)
SGI President Ikeda says: “The purification of the senses . . . is itself the purification of one’s life. In other words, benefit means doing our human revolution and transforming our destiny . . . Attaining Buddhahood, that is to say, doing one’s human revolution, is the supreme benefit. All the so-called worldly benefits manifest as concrete proof of happiness to the extent that we have purified our lives” (The Wisdom of the Lotus Sutra, vol .5, p. 4).
He also points out that though we often speak of “receiving” a benefit, “Benefit is definitely not something that comes to us from the outside; rather, it wells forth from within our lives, manifested through our own actions. It gushes out like water rising from a spring” (Ibid). By making Nam-myoho-renge-kyo the foundation of our lives and taking action for the happiness of those around us, we bring forth immense courage, strength and wisdom from within our lives, allowing us to transform even the most painful suffering into the greatest benefit and joy
Thank you Ananda for sharing.
I believe many in the organisation has forgotten that the essence of practising Nichiren Buddhism lies in Treasure of the Heart. The emphasis on money and material wealth doesn’t seem to match with Daishonin’s teaching. There are not many Gosho that Daishonin wrote about accumulating treasures of the storehouse. The closest that we can find relates to those that were written to Shijo Kingo.
It’s a cycle. If members are not encouraged to pray for money (just to put it simply) , then how would the organisation receive Gokuyo in large amount. If members doesn’t have the mindset of accumulating wealth / continue to be poor , then the organisation’s piggy bank will be much lesser and it’s a BIG No No for them.
Hence , over the decades , we’ve been taught that Gokuyo is essential and it is one of the surest way to change our karma. Give More.
Giving money is easy. Doing our Human Revolution is difficult. But remember “Buddhahood lies in continuing faith” – Nichiren.
Continue your dialogue ; you’re doing great!