Dharma Card for February, 2007

 

This world is surely

Transient like a dewdrop;

However, in fact....

             by  Issa Kobayashi

 

(February 15 is the day of Nirvana of Shakyamuni.)

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 This haiku is on Issa's grief when he, married late in life, lost

his dearest daughter Sato at his age of 52.  "I know very well

how evanescent this world is like a dewdrop falling from the leaf,

but why my dearest...?"  His grief in reality can be read in the last

line of his haiku

     "The evanescence of this mortal world like a house on fire," "our

oneness with evil passions," “the evil world of five defilements,” etc.

---these teachings are absolutely indisputable; which ought to be

accepted as general truths. "He passed away very young," "How greedy

she is!" "Another homicide report!  How defiled this world is!" we say, and

that rightly.  However, those are all 'general' and objective' arguments turned

towards the outside world; they just belong to the sphere of knowledge.

   When that kind of general truth did happen to his own self, Issa realized the

true significance of the evanescence of life, which is expressed as "however." 

So saying, he must have been reciting Nembutsu, a token of Wisdom.

  

   Meeting is departing;

   However,... nay,

   Therefore...

                                 Guseki