(The Celebration of Master Shinran’s Birth)
Gotan-e, the celebration of Master Shinran’s birth, was held at the Shinrankai Headquarters (Imizu City, Toyama) on the 17th and 18th of May. An unprecedented number of Shinran Followers attended the lecture. They came not only from all over Japan but also from North America, South America, Europe and also various Asian countries. The 2,000-Tatami-Mat Hall was completely filled with people. The lecture was on Master Shinran’s answer to “why we live”, which is what everyone wants to know.
There were many new people attending Gotan- e. They had met with the true teachings of Buddhism through Takamori-sensei’s books, such as You Were Born For A Reason, of which 830,000 copies have been sold in total, as well as through radio broadcasts of those books and the animated movies on the life of Master Shinran. Some of the new attendees had been supporting their temples for many generations, but they left their temples and started seeking the true teachings of Buddhism, and so they came one after another to the 2000-Tatami-Mat Hall.
During both days, there was a 30-minute video before Takamori-sensei’s lecture, which made it crystal clear that the correct ‘go-honzon’ (the solemn object of reverence) in Pure Land Buddhism is “Go-myo-go” (Namu- a-mi-da-butsu) and that we can clearly experience Amida Buddha’s salvation in this life. The video also left the impression that Shinrankai is different from the ten sects of the Pure Land Buddhism, including West and East Hongan-ji temples.
The Winner of the Speech Contest is Shuji Hattori
The winner of the speech contest, which is long-established as part of the finale of Gotan-e, was Mr. Shuji Hattori, who was the final contestant. The title of his speech was “Step by Step”. Shuji enthralled the audience with his story about how he went through a tough time when he was a temp staff and was treated like a disposable item, but he was still going towards the light during that time, distributing flyers for Buddhist lectures even until as late as midnight.
Source: The Buddhist Village Times #42 | 2014, An Unprecedented Number of Shinran Followers Fills The 2,000-Mat Hall at Gotan-e
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