On November 9, a Buddhist gathering with Takamori Sensei was held in the Shikoku Shinran Center (Shikoku is the name of a Japanese island), which was completed early this month. Forty years have passed since Takamori Sensei had his first lecture in Shikoku. The Shikoku Center, which is called “The Small 2000-Tatami-mat Hall” by Shikoku Shinran followers, is a gift from Amida Buddha, after the Noto Center (Ishikawa Prefecture) and the Oyabe Center (Toyama Prefecture). Around the new center, various dramas have been unfolding across Shikoku.
A massive phoenix (a kind of palm trees) standing in front of the building symbolizes the Shikoku Center, creating an atmosphere of a southern land. Entering the front door, you will see a large red-carpeted hall, well lighted, which provides an open feeling. In the altar room, with the aroma of fresh mats, there stands out a large framed calligraphy: “Nin Ju Fu Ke.”
The local Shinran followers could hardly wait for the Buddhist meeting and gathered at 7 o’clock in the morning. Followers from nearby prefectures were also attracted to the celebration and came to the Center one after another. They all admired the dignity of the Buddhist Center.
On his arriving, Takamori Sensei started the meeting 30 minutes earlier than the schedule. After the branch chief, Jun Kitamura, introduced how they had built the new center, Takamori Sensei immediately began the question-and-answer session by saying, “The purpose for which you have built this center is to learn Master Shinran’s teachings correctly and put them into practice. There is no other purpose of this gathering as well.” Then he meticulously taught the meaning of the words in the large frame:
“Nin Ju Fu Ke.” “Nin Ju Fu Ke” are Amida Buddha’s words taught in “the Larger Sutra of Infinite Life.” All human beings are so deeply stained with evil that none of the buddhas in the cosmos could save us. While we have been abandoned by all the buddhas in the ten directions of the universe, Amida Buddha alone vowed to “save us into absolute happiness without fail,” and created the Name, “Namu Amida Butsu” to fulfil his promise.
His words “Ke Rho Shin Shi, Sho Ku Doku Chu, Ga Gyo Sho Jin, Nin Ju Fu Ke” express how strong Amida’s determination to create the Name has been.
With these words, Amida Buddha vowed to accomplish his resolution without fail, “Even if I remain in the greatest pain, I will not give up my practice until the Name “Namu Amida Butsu,” which saves all human beings, is completed. I will endure all hardships and have no regrets.”
In this way, the excellent medicine “Namu Amida Butsu” was completed ten kalpas ago.
Source: The Buddhist Village Times #12 | 2011, The Shikoku Center Has Sailed Out
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Buddhist Village Times #12