How can one person end misery through Nichiren Buddhism?

Jun 11, 2021

Nichiren, a Buddhist monk who lived during a time of great conflict in 13th-century Japan, empathized greatly with the suffering of the people and searched for a way to overcome challenges. 

Strongly determined to bring his imagination of a harmonious society into reality, Nichiren worked to establish true happiness and dignity for humanity. Although he suffered great persecution from those in power, Nichiren risked his life to encourage and revitalize the people. Further, he established the practice of chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, inscribing as the object of devotion a mandala known as the Gohonzon. Nichiren established a powerful practice for attaining Buddhahood based on the fundamental teaching of the Lotus Sutra. 

Nichiren’s guiding principle during his life was to brace human dignity as a spiritual backbone for human society toward the creation of a peaceful world where people can enjoy fulfilling lives. For Nichiren, enlightenment is not achieved through selfish practice but it is something that is achieved when we start putting efforts for the betterment of the land and, toward the realization of an ideal society.”

As a practitioner of Nichiren Buddhism, I see a parallel to coaching, which I’d like to share with the Coacharya community.  

Towards a New Age in the World

Who said one can’t change the world alone? In Nichiren Buddhism, practitioners hold dialogue with one another in order to understand the challenges one is going through. They hold dialogue with each person they encounter with the aim to spread Buddhism so that people enjoy happy lives. This is the age where genuine human connections are getting lost, youth is longing for a place where they can open up and feel like they exist. Buddhism gives hope to the youth struggling in silence, knowing there are people who care, and people who can encourage them could completely change their lives.

Daisaku Ikeda writes: “One ripple can produce countless others. In this way, the ripple created by your efforts to visit one member and engage sincerely with them will give rise to untold more.”

Everything starts with a determination

Daisaku Ikeda elaborates: “When we chant to the Gohonzon, our lives fall in rhythm with the fundamental Law of the universe, enabling us to manifest tremendous life force and putting us on a sure course to happiness.” When we chant, the treasure tower of our life opens up and boundless courage, wisdom, and compassion come forth. If one doesn’t have determination, one would never get breakthroughs in life. When our prayer is aligned with the compassionate heart of the Buddha, courage flow within us. Determination is the key to all victories.

To bring the highest life state of all people is a never-ending struggle. The practice of Buddhism teaches us to get up, determine, and take small steps to bring inner change and to create a peaceful society.

How can one change poison into medicine?

Changing poison into medicine means that we have the power to transform suffering into joy. Unfavorable circumstances are bound to arise. After all, we can’t always drink apple juice. Sometimes you have to try other juices to get the taste of it. In the same way, one can’t always experience good things in life. Bad phases are a part of life and one can truly unleash the power within oneself through Buddhism. When one remains undeterred, one even rejoices the unfortunate times and moves forward with the goal to remain undefeated in life.

Buddhism is beautiful just like coaching. It guides us to look at what current reality is and what the future can be. Through that, it helps us bridge a gap and work through options to help reach that highest state of life – absolute happiness.

Isha Adlakha
Isha Adlakha


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