Trembling with Excitement

Gotan'e at the 2,000-Tatami-Mat Hall

On May 16 and 17 during the Gotan-e event, Takamori-sensei lectured on Master Shinran’s words in Hymns on the Three Ages, “Pondering the Vow of Amida Buddha,” and clarified the existence of the great ship of Amida’s inconceivable Vow, which saves one and all, as conveyed by Master Shinran and Master Rennyo. The great hall was awash with emotion.

A video commentary on the animated movies on Master Shinran was shown in the morning of the first day. The video included interview footage with Professor Alfred Bloom, an authority on Pure Land Buddhism.

“The wider dynamic and implication of [Master Shinran’s] faith are relevant for today. One can use Rev. Takamori’s text to explore these meanings and open a new world of insight,” Professor Bloom said.

This interview footage was greeted with rapturous applause from Shinran Followers. Ms. Keiko Fukaya* from Fukushima Prefecture (upper right picture) lost everything in an instant due to the Great East Japan Earthquake on March 11, 2011. While battling against unbearable isolation, she encountered Unlocking Tannisho. This encounter helped her bounce back and embark on the path toward the light.

More waves of applause rang out from the packed audience as they bore witness to the greatness of Amida Buddha’s Vow, which never abandons sentient beings in distress. The topic of the lecture was the following hymn by Master Shinran:

“Pondering the Vow of Amida, I realize that unable to abandon sentient beings in distress, Amida brought about the realization of great compassion with the sole purpose of bestowing it upon all.”

The only thing that Master Shinran taught throughout his life of 90 years was the Vow of Amida, and the sole purpose of holding Gotan-e and attending it is to come to know clearly what kind of promise this Vow is.

Everyone at the event resolved to move forward on the sole path of listening to Buddhism until the point where it will be revealed to them that “Amida Buddha’s inconceivable Vow is the great ship that in an ichinen saves us (to absolute happiness), who are 100% made of worldly passions, and carries us to the Pure Land.”

A speech contest was held as usual during the afternoon of the second day. Seven contestants from across the nation gave eloquent speeches, and Mr. Seiji Kitagawa, president of a company from Osaka Prefecture, won the pennant with a speech entitled “En” or “Ties.”

Source: The Buddhist Village Times #54 | 2015, Trembling with Excitement

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