How do we deal with loved ones who don’t treat us well?
Human relationships can be quite difficult at times. Despite this reality, HBS members often have the best of human relationships. When we chant the Odaimoku and offer stupas for the repose of the other party’s ancestors’ soul, the help of the Buddha (the power of Namu Myōhō Renge Kyō) and the other party’s ancestors who are still alive somewhere in this universe come to our aid. Now you may ask, why exactly does this work? It is related to what the Buddha said in his true teaching, the Lotus Sutra:
- The Buddha’s true form is the Primordial Buddha, who was already enlightened in the distant past. He is not only the historical Shakyamuni Buddha whom we are all probably familiar with. In other words, Shakyamuni Buddhi, Amitabha Buddha, Medicine Master Buddha and all of the other Buddhas are merely provisional forms of the Primordial Buddha.)
- The Buddha’s life span is eternal, and He lives on in this universe
- This threefold world (the bottom six realms of ten realms; Hell, Preta, Animal, Asura, Human, and Deva realm) is all His domain, and the living beings in it are all His children.
- All sentient beings are alive within the body of the Primordial Buddha. (Everything that exists in this universe is a part of the Primordial Buddha).
- We are all the incarnations of the Primordial Buddha.
- When living beings witness the end of a kalpa and all is consumed in a great fire, His land remains safe and tranquil and is constantly filled with heavenly beings. (The Pure Land of Tranquil Light [Jakkō Jōdo] always exists in front of our eyes.)
- Ichinen Sanzen principle: three thousand realms exist in our single-thought moment (which means our single thought affects our entire universe).
This may be difficult for you to imagine and understand, so to grasp what He said, let’s take a look at the image above. What the Primordial Buddha wanted to tell us in the Lotus Sutra is Jitaichinyo—the Oneness of Oneself is also at one with others. Simply put, WE ARE ONE. This means that we are all connected with and affect each other as one body, as one universe, and as one Buddha.
Let’s imagine the universe itself is your body. Many organs exist inside of you, much like the planets exist in the universe. Each of your organs is made up of many cells, and each of us shares these. Each and every cell has your DNA, and all sentient beings have the same Buddha-nature. That is why the Primordial Buddha stated in the 2nd chapter of the Lotus Sutra:
The Buddhas, the World-Honored Ones, appear in the world for one, great reason alone. Shariputra, what does it mean to say that the Buddhas, the World-Honored Ones, appear in the world for one great reason alone? The Buddhas (the World-Honored Ones) wish to open the door of Buddha-wisdom to all living beings in order to allow them to attain purity. They appear in the world because they wish to show the Buddha wisdom to all living beings, causing them to awaken to their Buddha-wisdom. They wish to induce living beings to enter the path of Buddha wisdom, and therefore they appear in the world. Shariputra, this is the one great reason for which the Buddhas appear in the world.
The Primordial Buddha revealed that He preached the Lotus Sutra based on one important purpose, which was to lead all sentient beings to Buddhahood. He wanted to say that we are all able to attain Buddhahood if we carry out Buddhist practices according to the teachings of the Lotus Sutra. Of course, it is possible because we are all His children and have His DNA!
By the way, do you know what is happening while you are chanting Namu Myōhō Renge Kyō? When you chant the Odaimoku, the voice of your chanting awakens your “little Buddha (Buddha-nature)” deep inside your mind. The more you chant, the more your Buddha awakens and grows. When your Buddha is “activated” and manifests himself, he becomes connected with the universe and able to control the power running throughout it. Therefore, when you chant the Odaimoku and pray for something, your Buddha tries to gather all the possible energy from the universe in order to make your wish come true. That is why unexplained, mysterious phenomena (which are beyond human understanding) happen, and HBS members receive a wide range of benefits. For example, mental and physical disorders that doctors have already given up on are cured, you start showing incredible performance than usual in your job, in a sport, or at an exam, and you can even cure the suffering of someone who already passed away and is still living as a soul somewhere in the universe. You can make anything happen as if you were a real Buddha!
As for the question this time, if you have been suffering from family problems, chant the Odaimoku, and pray your loved ones’ character and attitude will improve. Also, pray that your sins will be eradicated. The reason why you suffer from many problems in your life is based on what you’ve done in the past (in your previous life). If you can find an HBS temple nearby, go and offer stupas everyday in addition to chanting. The attitude of your family members toward you will amazingly change. The recently posted blessing story Improved Human Relations by Jōichi Ochi (a member of Myōgenji temple in Okayama Pref., Japan) proves what I explained in this article.
To wrap up this Q and A, let’s take a look at a Nichiren Shonin’s and Kaidō Shōnin’s instruction:
When you worship and chant Namu Myōhō Renge Kyō inherent in our minds as Honzon (the object of worship), the Buddha nature in our minds is summoned forth by the voice. We call the manifestation “the Buddha.”
(Hokke Shoshin Jōbutsu Shō [A Treatise Attaining Enlightenment at the Initial Stage of Faith in the Lotus Sutra])
When you face the Gohonzon and chant Namu Myōhō Renge Kyō, we can manifest divine power and mysterious phenomena as if we were the Buddha Himself. This otherworldliness of the power of Odaimoku is as hard to believe as it is to see fire in a stone or flowers in a tree as Nichiren Shonin stated in his treatise, Kanjin Honzon Shō (A Treatise Revealing he the Spiritual Contemplation and the Most Venerable One). However, when a stone comes across a human hand and a steel, and a tree comes across fertile soil, sunlight and water, they both cause such phenomena. People soon believe the mechanism when they see the effect. Likewise, if mysterious phenomena occur when our Buddha nature meets the voice of Namu Myōhō Renge Kyō, people believe that we, human beings, have the Buddha-nature in our minds.
(The Complete Writings of Nissen Shōnin Vol. 15, p. 122)
Questioned by a HBS-member American man
Answered by Ryosetsu Ikemoto
Edited by Brandon Colbert (Member of Myōshōji Temple)