Swinging between Feelings of Joy and Despair, We Head for the Crucial Matter of the Afterlife
All of us are on a ship destined to fall into the waterfall of death. Within such a dreadful ship, we human beings cling to money, fortune, status and honor, and suffer because of these things. I acutely realized how foolish we are. One of the cases I have handled [in my work] was about a family discord. Brothers became on very bad terms over the million dollars of inheritance, and family ties were severed. Sobbing, the mother said, “They were on good terms in old days. I just want them to get along well with each other.” Though we make a lot of effort to build a fortune, we must leave everything. Moreover, it causes quarrels among children. We win in a competition and become happy, or lose and become unhappy. While repeating these things, the ship of life is surely approaching the crucial matter of the afterlife; we must fall into the world of suffering. It is quite foolish, but I realized what I’m doing everyday is not essentially different from others, though it is different in detail. Amida Buddha has already known what all human beings are. He has made the promise that he would never let us go; never forsake us. He will pursue us and grant us salvation. I cannot help but to admire Amida Buddha’s great compassion.
Professionals Chapter (lawyer), Shinichi Morioka
Enter The Great Sea Of Wisdom Of Amida’s Vow
What I have learned from the lecture is this: We are now on board a ship heading for life’s waterfall into the basin of death, but we can switch to the great ship bound for Paradise right now, in this life. However, on hearing this, we all think, “Is that really true?” Such doubt on the truth of the “true words of Amida that embrace us and never forsake us” (Amida’s Vow) is called the “mind of darkness”. This doubting mind is dispelled in an instant, called ichinen in Buddhism. Also, now I understand that both the “Name (myogo)”, which is likened to the great ship, and the “light (komyo)”, the power that makes us change ships, are both prepared by Amida Buddha. And according to the cause and the condition, we can gain “other-power faith”; in other words, we can be saved. Moreover, I heard that Shan-tao taught by the phrase “kainyu hongan daichikai” that receiving the “Name (myogo)” is the experience of “entering the great sea of wisdom of the Name ‘Namu Amida Butsu’.” The phrase just startles me because it expresses inexpressible ichinen salvation. The more I listen to Buddhism, the more I understand the gravity of my mission as a Shinran follower who conveys the wonderfulness of Amida’s salvation to all human begins.
Tokyo, Koichi Tsukiyama
Source: The Buddhist Village Times #27 | 2013, Swinging between Feelings of Joy and Despair, We Head for the Crucial Matter of the Afterlife
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