The Transformation of a Recluse’s Life

Five years ago, Jun Oguchi (24) began studying at the University of Tokyo. Due to the stress of dealing with people, Jun became ill. Therefore, he was forced to return to his parents’ home in Aichi to recover from his illness. For a year, he could not leave his house. He pondered the meaning of life as he realized that his life was just a repetition of eating and sleeping.

After searching for the answer on the Internet, finally he came across the true teachings of Master Shinran. He built up the courage to attend a lecture held by Shinrankai close to his house. In August of last year, he attended lectures at the 2,000-Tatami-Mat Hall as well.

He was raised in a family where everyone chanted The Hymn of True Faith each evening. Though he had even memorized the chant, he said, “I had no idea that just a single line, ‘Yo-IDai- To-Gyaku-San-Nin (Anyone can, no less than Queen Vaidehi, attain the three blessings)’ encapsulated the whole magnificent drama of The Tragedy at Osha Castle.”

Jun saw that he was no different to how Queen Vaidehi was when she was imprisoned. “As I learned that I can acquire San-Nin (the three blessings) just like the Queen, I gained new hope in life!” Now, his physical health is fully restored, he has reintegrated into society, and he is working in order to listen to Buddhism. “Every day, I chant together with my grandmother,” he said.


The Teaching of “Turning toward and Believing in Amida Alone”

Though there are many people in the world, they all can be divided into two categories: wise and foolish. I learned from the lecture that “wise” people are those who know about what will happen in the afterlife, while “foolish” people are those who do not know about what will happen in the afterlife. In both cases, the crucial word is “the afterlife.” The previous year is over. Time passes so quickly. Three months of this year are already gone. Day by day we are approaching the afterlife. Although the afterlife is a certain future for all people, we do not clearly know what will happen. Neither being praised by others nor having money and possessions will enlighten us about our most certain future. Genshin, who had received both, was reproached by his mother for this. Saddened by his actions, she wrote to him, “You must become a priest who is a bridge between all people and the afterlife.” Śākyamuni Buddha, Master Shinran and all true teachers of Buddhism taught that in order to become “wise” people, we must turn to and believe only in Amida Buddha. I must keep this in my mind in the morning and evening while I am chanting the line “Henki annyo kan’issai (偏帰安養勧一 切)” from the chant book.

Ilona Yakimenko, Russia

Source: The Buddhist Village Times #39 | 2014, The Transformation of a Recluse’s Life

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