Our True Nature from Countless Lives in Aeons Past

The saying “There is no carpenter who built your burning your cart. You have built it yourself and you are now riding on it” dwells in my heart. Each one of us starts to look for somebody to blame when things are difficult. When I am on a burning cart and going through unbearable suffering, I naturally find myself trying to point the finger at someone else for it.

Our lives are filled with bitterness and resentment, as we blame our misfortune on God, our ancestors, evil spirits, our country or society, our educational institutions, our parents or children, etc. I also learned about the saying, “There is a thief who holds grudge against the rope that binds him.” When a thief is in a painful situation, the only thing he can see is the rope that binds him.

So he blames his misfortune on the rope. It is easy to give a mocking laugh to such a thief. Nevertheless, after a careful observation, we find ourselves doing the exact same thing as the thief did. We are just the way that Buddhism teaches we are: exceedingly evil people who have never done even a single good deed. Bound by the rope of an infinite number of bad deeds, a sense of relief has eluded us throughout all our countless lifetimes in aeons past. We also end up falling down to the world of ceaseless suffering due to our own deeds. Buddhism teaches us solemnly, “What one sows, one must reap.” Although this is such a grave truth, it makes me want to cover my ears. I am going to head toward the light through careful reflection on my true nature.

Koji Yamamoto, Tokyo

Source: The Buddhist Village Times #45 | 2014, Our True Nature from Countless Lives in Aeons Past

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