“The Letters” of Our Time
The tablet for Shinran Followers enjoys popularity in diverse corners of the world
The Followers’ tablet (portable PC) for learning the teachings of Master Shinran has been well-received. Due to its portability, which enables users to learn the teachings anytime at their convenience, people from every corner of the world are jubilantly describing the tablet as “The Letters” of our time.
We can listen to lectures anytime and anywhere with a Followers’ tablet
Ms. Ayako Batani (71), who attended an entrance ceremony in November 2015, watches the animated movies on Master Shinran every day with her tablet. She had no interest in religion, but undertook the task of accounting for a temple three years ago because of a friend’s referral.
As she was chanting The Hymn of True Faith in various events, she took an immediate interest in what is taught in this Hymn. She recalled, “When I asked the monk of the temple for a line-by-line explanation of the Hymn, he did not explain the meaning of the Hymn. She decided to study by herself; however, right around that time, she found an opportunity to listen to a lecture on The Hymn of True Faith by a Buddhist teacher of Shinrankai.
“I never knew that Master Shinran expressed his delight at having been saved by Amida Buddha in the first two lines of the hymn,” Ayako said. Amazed at this, she continued listening to Buddhism. She learned that all true teachers of Buddhism consistently taught the Vow of Amida Buddha. Upon hearing this, she immediately applied to become a Shinran Follower.
Shirahama Town, where Ayako lives, is far from the northern part of prefecture, where there are more opportunities to listen to Buddhism. However, she doesn’t waste any time. “Because of the tablet, I can familiarize myself with the animated movies on Master Shinran. Wakanoura Bay in Wakayama Prefecture, as mentioned in Master Shinran’s last words, is noted in connection with Master Shinran. I feel as if Master Shinran visits us from the Pure Land to convey Buddhism to us, just like the waves off Wakanoura Bay that endlessly come and go.”
Absorbed in listening to Buddhism
“I wish I had met Buddhism at least 10 years ago,” said Shinji Katayama (87) who became a Shinran Follower in August 2015. In the spring of 2015, he saw an advertisement for a screening of the animated movies on Master Shinran. From then on, he continued attending various Buddhist lectures. Once he was introduced to a Followers’ tablet, he became rather fond of it. “I can listen to Buddhism anytime with this tablet. I would like to make up for lost time by learning Buddhism from this tablet.”
His family members used to invite Pure Land Buddhist teachers to give lectures at his family home. Many people would gather in their 40-tatami-mat hall. “However, I had no clue about the teachings of Buddhism at that time. I lost my wife three years ago. As I chanted The Hymn of True Faith, I needed more details about the meaning of the Hymn. I really appreciate the fact that I can listen to what this Hymn is teaching us at the 2,000 Tatami Mat Hall.”
He has been working as an executive assistant of the governor of his prefecture for the past 10 years and so has many responsibilities to his town, but he still puts priority on listening to Buddhism and chanting using his tablet.
I want my great-grandchild to watch this together with me
Suheo Yamagishi (98) said, “The tablet is so easy to use that even I can handle it.” During the interview, she showed us how to operate it by touching the tablet smoothly. “With this tablet, I can listen to Buddhism anytime. I want my great-grandchild to watch the lectures together with me.”
Always side-by-side from now on
“Recently it has been difficult to go to listen to Buddhism outside my house because I lack physical strength,” says Susumu Takahashi (88). He used to attend animated movie screenings, but he has not been able to attend them since half a year ago. However, as soon as he saw the Followers’ tablet, he put in an order for one. “Now I can listen to the lectures with Master Shinran always beside me,” said Takahashi, wiping his tears.
Source: The Buddhist Village Times #60 | 2016, “The Letters” of Our Time
Source image: Free Wix Images