Amida’s Vow is True and Real! (Part 3)

(Read Previous Part HERE)

Faith that Causes Amida to Weep Tomohisa Sato

Over and over, through the words “How genuine, the true words of Amida that embrace us and never forsake us,” I was taught the truth of Amida’s Vow. The teaching of Śākyamuni that all things are transitory, and the uncompromising words of Master Shinran that “all is empty and foolish, without a grain of truth” are both grounded in the truth of Amida’s Vow. This was made perfectly clear. “Amida’s Vow is true, so the teachings of Śākyamuni, who devoted his life to teaching Amida’s Vow, can also be said to be true.” That statement is the exact reverse of the self-power faith that reasons, “It must be so since that’s what the greatest man who ever lived, Śākyamuni Buddha, taught.” Master Shinran’s words are the expression of other-power faith, which takes Amida’s Vow as ultimate truth and does not budge even if Śākyamuni should waver, I realized to my astonishment. Everything is turned on its head. How should I listen and hear in order to be saved? The mind that believes it is capable of listening intently in this manner continues to linger, but Amida Buddha comes after all who seek any pretext to escape him, seeking to bring us aboard the Vow-ship of his salvation just as we are, with the three poisonous blind passions and upside-down, deluded thoughts. When I heard of this great compassion, I realized what tears my conceit and arrogance cost Amida. Grateful for the tremendous Vow-power that has dragged me to The Two-thousand-Mat Hall, I can only go forward into the light. (Dr. C) Gifu (Anime lecturer)

The Cry that Separates the True and the Provisional Takeshi Okada

People seek happiness in politics and economics, but such things bring no fundamental change to the darkness of human life. People turn to the “logs” of hobbies and things that give spark to life. I can’t help thinking that the entire human race is following in the footsteps of Tokugawa Ieyasu, who said life was “traveling a long road, laden with a heavy burden.” “I can get along without hearing the purpose of life.” “Life is good now, and that’s all that counts.” Though people may not say these things in so many words, in essence they are no different from Ieyasu. As I turn my back on Amida’s great ship and swim toward logs, seizing any pretext to escape, it is Shinran who tries somehow to convey to me the truth of Amida’s Vow. The cry “How genuine!” that divides the real from the provisional comes to me across eight centuries to destroy my doubts. It was revealed to me that for ordinary people fraught with delusion, the dividing line between the real and the provisional is supremely difficult to discern, but that for those who are saved by Amida’s Primal Vow, it is supremely unshakable. (Dr. C) Aichi Prefecture

Amida’s Vow was Made Clearer to Me Teruko Omori

Thank you for giving us the great opportunity of Ho’on’ko. Now I understand that the quote from Master Shinran, “How genuine, the true words of Amida that embrace us and never forsake us” means Amida Buddha not only chases us who are running away from him, but also embraces us and will never abandon us. That’s why we can attain happiness that never changes even when we face death. Being saved by Amida himself, Master Shinran said “Amida’s words were true, they were true.” Hearing this, I realized, for the first time that Amida Buddha will save all sentient beings into absolute happiness without fail. It is such an unimaginable Vow because Amida’s compassion is beyond our wisdom. This comparison may not be appropriate but just as the saying goes that “children don’t know parental feelings,” I am sorry I didn’t know Amida’s mind. I don’t think there is anyone else who is praying for our happiness as much as Amida is. And I must say it is a rare blessing to have met such a teacher who teaches us Amida’s salvation. Now that I am encountering this rare opportunity that I would never meet again in millions of aeons of years, I must not waste even a second. I will do my best to go forward until I achieve the purpose of life. Los Angeles

(To be continued...)

Source: The Buddhist Village Times #23 | 2013, Amida's Vow is True and Real! (Part 3)

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