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A Thirst for True Buddhism

August 11, 2018

 

The Japanese version of You Were Born For a Reason and its sequel have sold more than a million copies.

Why were we born? Why should we live even when life becomes painful? Why do we live? This is the question which all human beings have been and will be asking forever. The book Naze Ikiru (You Were Born for a Reason) by Takamori-sensei gives a clear answer to this question through Master Shinran’s words. Since the book was first published in 2001, it has sold over 920,000 copies, which means that combined with 80 thousand copies of the sequel Naze Ikiru 2 (You Were Born for a Reason 2), which was published in 2013, sales of the book series have finally passed the million volume mark. Nowadays more and more people have been losing their interest in Buddhism, but now this book series is bringing about a revolution. 

 

“There is no such a thing as a purpose to life.” “No, there’s a purpose to life but it is different from person to person.” “We can be happy when we have money, fame, talent or love.” 

 

Naze Ikiru (You Were Born For A Reason) argues that all kinds of prevalent visions of happiness are destined to come to nothing and teaches clearly through Master Shinran’s words that there exists one solitary great ship that carries us across life’s sea of suffering happily and cheerfully. 

 

 

Sudden injury or serious diseases can deprive us of our physical freedom. 

 

Once we retire, we might lose our motivation for living. 

 

After our children are all grown up and leave home, the joy of raising children vanishes and some might suffer from “empty-nest syndrome.” 


When we are forced to amend the view of life we had had until now, we cannot help asking “why we live.” 

“The former part of the book is easy to read. But gradually I am led to the core, and then in the latter part I enter the main theme, which is much deeper and heavier. It’s nothing short of brilliant.” Since the book was first published, the publishing company has received a lot of such comments from readers who are impressed and moved. 

 

It is said to be extremely rare in the publishing world that a book on life based on Buddhism would remain a long-selling book for more than 15 years, and that, combined with the sequel, the series would pass the million volume mark. That is probably the evidence which shows people’s thirst for an “easy book on Buddhism.” The book is written about the truth that permeates The Three Worlds and The Ten Directions, and that is the reason it is not a temporary fad but has been read for a long time. 

 

Tannisho wo Hiraku (Unlocking Tannisho), published in 2008, has also reached 260,000 copies and has been widely regarded as THE definitive guide to Tannisho.

 

Unlocking Tannisho (Japanese version) Has Also Sold 260,000 Copies

 

Source: The Buddhist Village Times #64 | 2016, A Thirst for True Buddhism

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