We all are on board a ship heading for life’s waterfall into the basin of death. The future of all human beings is the waterfall basin. Either joy or sorrow, all things happen in the ship that is headed for the waterfall basin; this is a fact that nobody can deny. At the moment of plunging down into the basin of the afterlife, whether one is laughing or crying, as they are they will plunge into the basin of the waterfall called the afterlife.
People say, “Protect yourself by yourself,” but actually it is impossible to protect your life forever. I have realized that we will never be able to escape from the crucial matter of the afterlife. We listen to Buddhism in order to change ships: from the ship headed for the waterfall basin to the great ship headed for the Pure Land. That is exactly the purpose of why we were born as humans. For all humanity at anytime and anywhere, the only way to salvation is the great ship which carries us across the painful sea of life and death. I was very moved by the ship drawn big on the blackboard.
The great ship represents the Primal Vow of Amida Buddha. The introduction to Teaching, Practice, Faith, Enlightenment, Master Shinran’s most important work, begins with this assertion: “Amida’s inconceivable Vow is a great ship that carries us across the sea that is difficult to cross.” Now I know how precious these words are to us and they definitely are the light of all humanity. What a wonderful assertion!
Keita Sugimoto, Missionary
Source: The Buddhist Village Times #36 | 2014, Nobody Can Protect His or Her Life Forever
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