Special memorial services will be held to remember the virtue of Master Shinran, who founded Pure Land Shin Buddhism, and Master Rennyo, who played a critical role in the restoration of Pure Land Shin Buddhism.
We celebrate the birth of Master Shinran at Gotan’e every year. However, this year is different. 600 years have passed since the birth of Master Rennyo, who is respected as the master who restored Pure Land Shin Buddhism. To celebrate the births of these two masters, Gotan’e will be held on May 16 and May 17 at the 2,000-Tatami-Mat Hall.
Master Rennyo transformed Pure Land Shin Buddhism, which was at one point on the verge of extinction, by going door-to-door all throughout Japan. As a result, Pure Land Shin Buddhism spread and became the largest Buddhist group in Japan.
How is it possible for Shinrankai to make rapid but steady progress while others grow sluggish? The reason is pretty simple. We at Shinrankai learned from a great role model, Master Rennyo, and followed the fundamental path of Shinran Followers. The concluding statement of Buddhism is “Turn to and believe in the Buddha of Immeasurable Life alone.”
The phrase, “Turn to and believe in the Buddha of Immeasurable Life alone” is Shakyamuni Buddha urging us to be saved by Amida Buddha (the Supreme Buddha), who is the only one with the power to solve our great problem of the afterlife. Master Shinran, the founder of Pure Land Shin Buddhism, thoroughly believed in the teachings himself and conveyed the teachings to others as well.
The sole reason why the teachings of Master Shinran, the founder, spread all over Japan is thanks to Master Rennyo’s dedicated mission to spread the teachings 200 years later.
Just as Master Rennyo showed us the meaning of the future. Despite society’s insistence on the importance of rationality, this is the reason why so many people turn to fortune-telling: they are worried about what tomorrow will bring, wondering if they might fall ill or be involved in an accident.
What is going to happen to us after death? What should we do in order to know the results we will reap in the future? Sakyamuni’s answer is this: “If you desire to know the results of the future, look at the seeds of the present.” Seeds sown will never fail to grow. If you look at the seeds you are planting in your present life, you will know what kind of results you will receive in the future.
There are those who do not acknowledge the existence of future lives and think, “It doesn’t matter how many people I kill, because I’m going to be given the death penalty anyway.” They then allow themselves to commit as many heinous acts as they wish. Such people must think that it won’t make a difference whether they kill one person or ten people. The matter will be over and done with, they think, when they receive the death penalty once in this life. One might shrug, “Well, that can’t be helped.” If one can accept this, however, one must also say, “It can’t be helped” when one receives one day’s pay despite working for ten days.
To think it fine that the result of ten acts of killing could be the same result that would come from one act of killing while also believing that someone who works ten days should receive ten times the salary of someone who works one day goes completely against the Law of Cause and Effect. The assertion that there is no future life is based on one’s own convenience, which is not in accordance with the truth.
“Due to the Law of Cause and Effect, there is no denying the existence of an afterlife.” (Sakyamuni Buddha) Seeds sown will grow without fail, so even if the results of the seeds you plant in your present life do not appear to you within this lifetime, they will beyond any doubt appear to you in a future life. Those who believe this solemn Law of Cause and Effect of the Three Worlds are true Buddhists.
Source: The Buddhist Village Times #51 | 2015, elebration of the Births of Two Masters at the 2,000-Tatami-Mat Hall
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