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Dispelling the Dark Clouds of Karma

Chan Huee Qup, Kuala Lumpur

Rather than wallow in self-pity, I made a vow to pray with great conviction and face my illness courageously.

The fear of not living past 50

Chan Huee QupI am an ordinary housewife who began practising Nichiren Buddhism in 1991 due to my mother’s illness. Over the years, members of my family succumbed to cancer one by one and did not live beyond 50. My mother suffered from brain cancer and passed away suddenly at 48, and my uncle left us due to liver cancer, also at 48. My elder and younger brothers died at the ages of 42 and 41 due to liver and nose cancer respectively. This horrific situation made me think all that time that this was what karma is all about.

On 2 June 2003, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Thinking that cancer would finally take me, I was devastated and bawled my eyes out at the hospital, feeling helpless and hopeless. At home, there was nothing I could do but chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo.

A Gosho passage from “The Opening of the Eyes” then emerged in my mind: “Although I and my disciples may encounter various difficulties, if we do not harbour doubts in our hearts, we will as a matter of course attain Buddhahood.” (WND 1, pg 282) Rather than wallow in self-pity, I made a vow to pray with great conviction and face my illness courageously.

On 19 June 2003, I underwent an operation and was scheduled for radiotherapy and chemotherapy. However, the whole process left me feeling uneasy, thinking, “Would I too be defeated by a similar fate?”

I heard undergoing radiation therapy and chemotherapy can be really tough, not to mention the various side-effects that could follow. Upon completing my first chemotherapy session, I went home and chanted immediately. Surprisingly, there were no signs of vomiting or other negative effects!

However, during the course of my treatment, my head became completely bald! Despite this, I persisted in participating in SGM activities and meetings while wearing a hat. I was greatly encouraged by other members, which boosted my energy and strengthened my life force.

My battle against cancer was no easy feat. Through chanting abundant daimoku (Nam-myoho-renge-kyo), I roused courage and challenged myself to overcome my fears, depression, frustrations, and other negative emotions while building my self-confidence along the way.

My husband witnessed my courageous struggle and the sincere care I received from SGM members. He was deeply moved and agreed to let me enshrine the Gohonzon on 21 December 2003.

Hence, I realised the importance of having a strong determination in my battle. Through powerful prayers, I overcame my weak and fearful self. I also arranged my daily routines and strove every day to the fullest while upholding correct perspectives on values and life. I made a vow to develop a healthy body so that I could advance intrepidly along the great path of kosen-rufu.

Chan Huee Qup
Huee Qup with fellow women’s division members


During my illness, my husband grew to appreciate our family more. I also felt that my three children had grown up a lot. Instead of being saddened by my illness, they cared more for each other, leading to a particularly warm, harmonious and cordial atmosphere at home.

Now I can proudly say that not only have I overcome my illness, but I have also reaped the great benefit of having a harmonious family in line with one of the eternal guidelines of faith set by the Soka Gakkai (Faith for a harmonious family). This truly is one of my greatest victories!

On 1 September 2010, I victoriously celebrated my 50th birthday along with my family members and comrades-in-faith.

Life after 50

After achieving the great goal of turning 50 years old, every day in my life feels like a bonus.

I chant earnestly and practice Buddhism with a spirit of gratitude, and with the great conviction that the Mystic Law is the best medicine that has the power to transform the worries of birth, ageing, sickness and death into the great benefits of eternity, happiness, true self and purity. This allowed me to grasp the wondrous fortune of “prolonging our lives through faith.”

Day by day, the steadfast actions will create small ripples that gradually grow and expand, creating unbelievable changes in our surroundings.

I resolved to apply what I learnt from our women’s division meetings to foster a warm atmosphere at home and to always express gratitude. Learning from Kaneko’s Story – A Conversation with Kaneko Ikeda, I started to learn how to manage my family budget, household documents and Buddhist study materials. One day while I was doing some filing, I unintentionally found an overdue medical card and renewed it successfully. This turned out to be another great benefit as the card helped to cover the entire cost for my husband’s dialysis treatment.

Chan Huee Qup
(Front row left) Huee Qup and her family


Besides that, I also received the benefit of seeing a change in my husband’s character. When I began to practise, he often criticised me for being superstitious and I would complain that he was a reckless spendthrift.

When my husband’s business went bust, I was his guarantor and we were both declared bankrupt and saddled with astronomical debt. How were we supposed to pay it off?

Though facing such an uncertain and fearful future, I changed my determination to transform this harsh reality through unshakeable faith and continued to advance courageously. Through the power of the Mystic Law, our family eventually overcame our financial difficulties. My children have also successfully completed their university education. In addition, we were able to purchase our own home, showing victorious proof of “Winter always turns to spring.” (WND-1, pg 536) As a result of never backing away from this struggle and winning over it through faith, my husband and I have developed a deeper mutual respect for one another. He is also very supportive of my SGM activities.

Illuminating myself and others

As the saying goes, life is never smooth-sailing, but after taking faith, I started to view things from all angles and perspectives.

In the past, I would have avoided my frustrations by “running away,” but now I confront challenges with optimism, overcoming feelings of powerlessness and moving forward with high spirits!

At the same time, embracing the mission to help others transform suffering into joy invigorates my resolve, inspiring me to contribute more meaningfully each day. I am committed to living like the sun, radiating rays of happiness that illuminate both myself and those in my sphere.

Adapted from June 2022 COSMIC

Siow Yoon Kee had a long-standing ambition to become a doctor since his secondary school days. However, his motivation to save lives had not taken deep root.

During his college years, he battled gastrointestinal diseases and sought medical treatment from numerous doctors but to no avail. Coupled with a demanding schedule, he experienced immense stress and despair, even contemplating ending his life. Eventually, through the power of chanting Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo (daimoku), he realised that his illness was a consequence of an irregular lifestyle, and acknowledged his own arrogance and negligence in his faith. This profound experience led to a shift in his perspective on the purpose of becoming a doctor.

After graduating, he was filled with joy and excitement on his first day of work, being addressed as a doctor. However, that excitement didn’t last. The overwhelming workload, long hours, and the constant fear of being reprimanded for mistakes quickly diminished his initial joy. As a result, the tough realities of the job made him less motivated and less excited about the work he had to do.

Yoon Kee reflected, “I would feel annoyed by patients, especially during night shifts when they complained of pain. I would question them with a skeptical tone. It seemed like I had become a terrible doctor, losing my passion for the job. During those unpleasant days, it was through repeatedly chanting the daimoku that I gradually reflected on my own attitude.”

“I recall a training session for the Beacon Group, a medical group within Soka Gakkai Malaysia, where our seniors encouraged us to face the Gohonzon with our most authentic selves. Inspired by their guidance, I wholeheartedly put it into practice and truly felt the profound joy that daimoku brings. Chanting the daimoku is indeed the greatest of all joys.”

Doctor Siow Yoon Kee

The power of daimoku awakened a profound sense of compassion in Yoon Kee, inspiring him to strive in his human revolution and towards becoming a doctor who could genuinely listen to his patients’ voices.

“After a change in mindset, it was incredible how I found myself wanting to treat patients like family and making an effort to truly listen to their words. My colleagues also noticed that I was more energetic and confident.”

However, transformation takes time and effort. Yoon Kee realised that the biggest hurdle for a doctor is their own sense of superiority. Therefore, his aim was to cultivate resilience and to serve selflessly without seeking personal gain. With the goal of becoming a skilled listener, step by step he made steady progress.

“Once, there was a patient in the final stages of cancer who told me he felt hungry and wanted something to eat. Although I was busy with work, I took a couple of minutes to feed the patient before tending to other patients and resuming my duties. Sadly, the patient passed away thirty minutes later. It was a moment that made me appreciate the power and significance of chanting daimoku, as it enabled me to be there at a crucial time and fulfill the patient’s last wish.

“On another occasion, there was a patient who complained to me, pointing out, “You see, my hands are still swollen, and the medication you prescribed is not effective!” In that moment, I patiently reassured the patient, emphasizing the importance of trusting in the medication’s effectiveness. I assured them that if they maintained their belief, they would experience improvement quickly. As a result, after a few days, the patient’s hand recovered, and the swelling subsided.”

Yoon Kee’s transformation became increasingly apparent over time. Through the practice of faith, he has been forged into becoming a doctor with a sense of mission who confronts the challenges of society with determination. While he humbly recognizes his own areas for growth, he consistently emphasises his resolute dedication to becoming a proficient listener and continuously improving himself.

Adapted from Cosmic May 2017