One Life, One Task (Part 2)

(Read Part 1 HERE)

A Teaching not based on Cause and effect

Recently the founder of the Unification church, also known as the Moonies, Rev. Sun Myung Moon died. I paid notice to this story because when I was growing up in Ireland I would hear mysterious stories how the Moonies persuaded young people to join their church and then apparently brainwashed them, making it difficult for them to leave. The group was accused of breaking up families and profiteering. The basis of the group's belief was Rev. Moon's claim that he was the messiah, the born-again Jesus, and his birth on earth was the Second Coming. He claimed that he and his wife are the True Parents of the world, here to guide all mankind. The group spread around the world and is reported to have anything from 100,000 to several million followers, many of whom are in the USA.

What surprises me is why people are willing to fall into new, cult teachings. Perhaps it's a sign of desperation of people who are suffering and looking for some form of hope. Such teachings can garner followers, but are far removed from the truth of Master Shinran's teachings. People are all too willing to believe in an easy teaching that requires one simply to believe to be saved. Compared to this, the foundation of Buddhism is based on the Law of Cause & Effect. Buddha taught Buddhism based on this Law. Buddha did not create this Law; it has always existed. Sakyamuni understood it and taught it.

Without this Law, Buddhism would not exist. Because this Law is logical, the Buddhist teaching is logical and can be understood. In Buddhism there is no need to try to believe, nor are we told to believe. The depth of one's belief comes from the depth of one's understanding of the teaching. And unlike other religions where believing is a requirement for salvation, salvation in Buddhism does not come from choosing to believe in Sakyamuni Buddha or his teachings, but rather salvation comes when we are revealed of the truth of Amida 's Vow in a split second of time (ichinen) and the uncertainty about why we live is vanquished once and for all.

Frank Costelloe, U.S.A

Source: The Buddhist Village Times #21 | 2012, One Life, One Task (Part 2)

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