Dear fellow beings! A lot has been written on Nichiren Buddhism in last few decades. There are Buddhist stories, people’s experiences about their personal development and challenges they had in their Buddhist practices, odes, poetry and prose. Learning and sharing our experiences make their integral part of this beautiful Buddhist practice of Nichiren Daishonin. We all are tied in an invisible fabric of Nam Myoho Renge Kyo like the warp and woof of our experiences. The warp being the foundation laid by the Nichiren Daishonin and Mentors Tsunesaburo Makiguchi, Josei Toda and Daisaku Ikeda and the woof being all of us in a close-knit world of sublime Buddhism. There was no dearth of their guidances and teachings but deep in my heart I had a lingering feeling of sharing my experiences and learnings of Nichiren Buddhism through to an easy-to- understand story comprehensible for all age groups and here lies its fruit in form of a short story.
It takes us back by few centuries to the prosperous kingdom of Siddhnagar which was ruled by Maharaja Harshvardhan who was not only a great king but along with his beautiful wife Sulochana looked after each and every citizen like parents. The story will be in 15 parts, each part being around 10 minutes read will be published every Friday evening on my my blog www.nichirenlotus.com. I would request all the readers to share it if you like it.
I take this opportunity to express my deepest gratitude to Sir Priyanshu Sharma for his constant support and encouragement. Without his generous guidance and help, this would not have been possible.
Once upon a time, there lived a very handsome yet noble king Harshvardhan Singh who was not just famous for his physical attributes but his glory had an outreach much beyond the realms of his vast kingdom owing to his extraordinary wisdom with his extreme concern for his subjects. He would leave no stone unturned in doing anything to ensure the welfare of his public.
Equally modest and mesmerizingly beautiful was his wife Sulochana with ravishing looks yet keenly inquisitive to know the true essence of life. They really made a magnificent couple to each other and concerned mentors to their citizens. The modest inquisition of the queen and the unparalleled wisdom of the king complemented each other as most of the time of their day they could be found delving into profound discussions relating to various spiritual and moral aspects of life unlike the other contemporary kings and queens who would be engrossed either in wars and bloodshed or whiling away their time in enjoying and indulging in the worldly luxuries of life.
It was just a matter of few years ago that Harshvardhan was also no less than a power hungry king, invading and acquiring many other kingdoms due to his military prowess. This kept Sulochana worried about well-being of her husband all the time but as they say the addiction of materialism and power spares no one, Harshvardhan’s lust for power could not be quenched. Sulochana had since always been very pious and humble by nature. She had secretly performed many prayers and yajnas so that Harshvardhan could be taught the right way to life but all in vain.
A turning point came in their life when one fine day her sister Subhadra visited her and told her about a Buddhist priest who had come from a foreign country on his spiritual visit to spread his knowledge about life philosophy of Nichiren Buddhism. She told her that how she herself became his disciple and on her insistence her husband also started chanting some sutra called the ‘Lotus sutra’. She told Sulochana that how just by following this practice regularly helped both of them to get rid of their marital discord and helped her husband abandon his bad habits like alcoholism and gambling miraculously in a very short duration of time. Sulochana asked Subhadra excitedly, “Could I have an opportunity to meet such a great priest if at all this could bring a sense of peace and harmony in Harshvardhan’s mind too. Coincidently, the priest was staying in a small village near ‘Siddhnagar’. Sulochana went to meet him with Subhadra the very next day. She had long discussions with him and got very convinced that the teaching he was imparting may be of great help to bring the desired transformation in her life just as her sister’s. She invited the priest for a small sojourn to their palace for few days. He initially refused but eventually, looking at Sulochana‘s commitment, he accepted the invitation.
To be continued………..