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Updated: Nov 20, 2022

The annual memorial day for my late mother is June 22, and I observe a monthly memorial day on the 22nd of each month for both her and the Niwano family ancestors. When I was doing dissemination work while still holding down my job selling milk for the dairy store, every 22nd of the month, I would say to myself, “Today I’ll do an especially good job of reciting the sutra to transfer merit.” But on this day of all days, I would always receive calls from this or that member and end up running around visiting members’ homes until the middle of the night.

When I told my teacher, Sukenobu Arai, about this, he said,

“Niwano, transferring merit is not limited to just reciting the sutra—transferring merit by running around the city bringing relief to suffering people is even more precious. How much peace and joy this must bring your mother and ancestors!”

With these words, my teacher taught me that relieving the suffering of others is transferring merit by reciting the Lotus Sutra through one’s actions. After hearing this, I felt like I could see my mother’s smiling face appearing before me every day as I happily ran around working for the benefit of others.

Nikkyo Niwano, Kaiso zuikan 9 (Kosei Publishing, 1997), pp. 224–225

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