Bharat Soka Gakkai Men and Women Study at Soka Bodhi Tree Garden
On April 14, 2007, some 300 Bharat (India) Soka Gakkai (BSG) men's and women's division members met at the Soka Bodhi Tree Garden in the outskirts of New Delhi, India, for a study session on Nichiren Buddhism and the history of the SGI. Following lectures on Nichiren's writings and The New Human Revolution, SGI President Daisaku Ikeda's novelized account of the Soka Gakkai's history, several members shared their personal experiences of practicing Nichiren Buddhism. Prema Chennai recounted how she overcame financial, physical and mental crises resulting from the untimely death of her husband. With the support of her fellow BSG members, her study of Nichiren's writings and her own personal practice, she gained a deeper perspective on the meaning of life and death and fundamentally transformed her attitude. She now leads a meaningful life and is financially independent, earning more than what she and her husband had earned together.
Pramod Kataria described his life prior to his practice, "My life... was one of laziness, gambling, drinking and smoking. It was a hellish drag for all of us, where I avoided family and social responsibilities. I faced the suicide of my elder brother in 1979, followed by the deaths of my mother in 1985 and father in 1999 and my 19-year-old only son in 2001 in a train accident, which finally shattered me and I felt hopeless, depressed, not wanting to live." Once he encountered Nichiren Buddhism, he enthusiastically began chanting and attending BSG activities. He reported that now he is a calm and composed man able to face all problems and crises, confident that he will be victorious.
National BSG men's leader Hardyal Sharma reiterated that the establishment of a peaceful society begins with each person building trust in their community and stressed that it is the responsibility of the older generation to treasure and foster the youth, who will shoulder the future of India.
[Adapted from a report from Bharat Soka Gakkai and an article in the April 23, 2007 issue of the Seikyo Shimbun, Soka Gakkai, Japan]