How Should I Chant to Change Another’s Behavior?


I have received a number of questions in this last month which have had to do with changing another person. The other person isn’t changing in some way and the questioner is wondering why chanting isn’t working.

Oneness of  Life and Its Environment

This question relates directly to the Buddhist concept of oneness of life and its environment. So how does it apply to this question? What oneness of self and the environment is saying is that our circumstances all come from within us to manifest in the outer world. In the World Tribune, November 21, 2003,

“Rather than their being one static environment what we living beings are born into, every environment is uniquely customized tailored to suit each of us according to the state of our inner lives. So in a sense we are all going around with our personal universe, one that extends from the inner depths of our hearts outward to all, the phenomena of our surroundings.”

This means that our subjective self and our objective surroundings may seem to be two independent realities, but they are actually two dimensions of a single reality and arise in relationship with one another.

We are part of any situation we are facing even if, on the surface, the problem appears to be that of the other person. If you are suffering then, due to some past causes you have made, you have created the destiny to suffer in this kind
of situation. The other person has a karma that fits with yours and this time is right for it to appear. The other person has appeared as an effect. The other person has their own karma and will need to chant to handle their own situation. If this is the case, then you want to chant to chant to change your destiny to suffer in this kind of situation.

The Gohonzon Has the Power to Change Us

When we chant in front of the Gohonzon, the Gohonzon has great power to change us, not to change someone else. That person needs to chant to change their own karma. When you change your own destiny, the other person will change of themselves. This is how we can shift a negative situation into a positive one. A resolution always comes from inside us to manifest in the outer world.

So chant wholeheartedly to the Gohonzon regretting any slanders and offenses you may have committed in any lifetime. Then, when ideas of what to do come to you, take action.

You May Not Know the Cause of Someone’s Unhappiness

If you are chanting for someone’s happiness you may not know about the cause of their unhappiness. Sometimes things have to get worse before they get better, Perhaps circumstances unknown to you have to be resolved before that person can be happy. For example I remember the story of a young man who chanted for the happiness of a very negative boss. It turned out the boss had been embezzeling from the company for twenty years and once that came out and he was made to step down, he became happy. The guilt had been driving his unhappiness and negativity.

It’s important to know that when you are chanting about a situation and it doesn‘t seem to be getting better, to trust that the Mystic Law is working for the good.

I had an experience of chanting about a bad situation next door and chanting that something positive could happen there. It took the whole situation to blow up, everyone to disperse, and for the landlord to face his negligence, before it could be resolved. But there was a positive ending that took many months to come to resolution.

Sometimes many things have to come together for a situation to be resolved. Again, be patient and trust that the Mystic Law is at work.

It could be that something inside of you needs to change before the circumstance about which you chanting comes to resolution. For example I know someone that chanted for a year and a half for a career level job. He had many changes to make before he could qualify as he was a recovering alcoholic, who had been quite marginal.

A refusal to make any changes can hold up a resolution to a situation indefinitely.

Problems which really challenge us have an enlightened function. They stimulate our faith, which in turn leads to our inner growth and our happiness.


1. Change yourself to change your environment
2. You may need to chant to change your destiny to suffer in this situation.
3. When you change your destiny, the situation will change.
4. The gohonzon has great power to change us, not someone else.
5. Reasons why nothing seems to be changing.
6. A. May be a complicated situation where a number of factors need to come together.
7. B. The person chanting may need to make changes of their own


Did You Know That Your Life is Your Curriculum?
Know How to Lessen Karmic Retribution?
Do You Know Why You Should be Grateful for Adversity?

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  • Rashmi Chaudhury says:

    Hi Margaret. A big fan of your writings. Very helpful! I want to know is it really helpful to chant for someone’s recovery from sickness, to get married etc etc. Don’t they have their own karma and how can my chanting improve their situation? I can chant for myself to change but is it possible to chant for someone who is sick and ask for recovery etc..Kindly help

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