Imagine yourself dreaming a dream very vividly and chanting hard for it every day – quite diligently, doing home visits and even reading the gosho day after day – only to realise that the outcome that you had in mind was completely different from what eventually happened.
Imagine that you had been chanting hard to save someone’s life and yet they pass away filling you up with guilt – did you not chant enough, should you have done something else, something more?
Witness yourself chanting hard for your child to do something you think is best for them, for your old parents or friends but coming to know that life had other plans for them
As we live, we witness such circumstances in our lives and when we do so we also allow a very dangerous devil to creep into our mind – DOUBT! This is why we need to understand the concept of absolute victory! Buddhism is grounded in the everyday realities of life. It is a life philosophy based on universal truths that we refer to as the Universal Law. Just as gravity is a law of physics that describes one small aspect of the universe, Buddhist philosophy teaches us about laws of the universe that apply to the behaviour of and interaction between human beings.
So what do Buddhist teachings have to do with absolute victory? The founder of Nichiren Buddhism wrote, “Buddhism primarily concerns itself with victory or defeat.” This was not meant within the context of competing against others but rather our own experience in life, overcoming our self-imposed limitations every day. Each day we face challenges. They could be challenges we choose or they could be problems that arise from what seems like out of no where. Even beyond clearly recognizable challenges and problems, everything we do ends with success or failure.
Another way of looking at it is that we are either moving forward in our lives or we are going backwards. There is no standing still. Therefore, Buddhism is all about raising our life condition, tapping into our inner wisdom to see the universal truth and the bigger picture and to be victorious over our weaknesses and constantly moving forward. We must not worry about the small battles that we face, our eyes should be set on winning the war. Thus, it is about striving to remain UNDEFEATED, unwavering and determined to progress towards the best possible versions of ourselves and our lives, it is an end in itself not just a means to an end that should be walked with courage, compassion and wisdom. It takes effort to think well, it takes efforts to forgive, it takes efforts to get up and walk again, it takes a lot of effort to remain afloat against the tide when sinking is just that much easier, when letting go seemingly brings peace.
As long as we have the desire to improve, append, enhance, expand – e are on the path of absolute victory, So Buddhism really is about victory and defeat in this life, in this moment against all odds. It is not contingent on outcomes of that moment but on how we are deciding to deal with those outcomes.
From a Buddhist perspective, how do we achieve victory in our lives? We chant daily to purify ourselves and our perceptions of the world around us. We chant to tap into our Buddha wisdom that we and everyone has within them. We chant to help others become happy. We chant for others to realize their Buddhahood. We chant for our family’s health and happiness. We chant about living life to the fullest with no regrets. We chant for absolute victory. We chant to have the courage to take action from a place of wisdom, not from a place of unchecked emotion. This is not a solo journey because this kind of mindset constantly requires inputs, guidance and perspective from other sources. So this requires us to believe in something more mystic and powerful like the law and it requires us to allow to be guided by a mentor who we know only wants us to excel and has no ulterior motive. Many in body, one in mind!
But success and failure on any given day or with any given challenge does not define us. Victory and happiness in life is what Buddhism is all about. It is about accepting responsibility for your own happiness no matter what the situation or environment around you. It is about victory over our self – imposed limitations and bringing out our buddhahood and the buddhahood of the people around us. That is victory in life and that is Buddhism.
I can sum up the state that can be defines by the path taken to absolute victory by this beautiful Gosho line from “Eight winds” – “Worthy people deserve to be called so bevause they are not carried away by the eight winds: prosperity, decline, disgrace, honour, praise, censure, suffering and pleasure”. They are all momentary, absolute victory lasts forever!