Dharma Card for June


     No matter on what day I may die,

     my life until that time is to be a blessed one

     brightened by the Light of Amida Buddha.

             from Shigenobu Shirai’s Blue Lotus   



Shigenobu Shirai sensei was a professor emeritus of

Hiroshima University, who earnestly studied Prince Shotoku.

He reached the deep faith of Nembutsu under the guidance of

Rev. Joen Ashikaga, and he also was an expert waka poet.

   Of my son who lost his life in Siberia

   I dreamt and cried in a false expectation

   of his return alive.

In Blue Lotus there are a number of mourning poems for his

son, a Tokyo University graduate, who was summoned to the

war and died of a sickness while detained in Siberia. They

move me as I had a similar experience when waiting for my

father to return from the Philippines in vain.

   The above waka poem was composed by Shirai sensei when

he reached Kiju or seventy-seven years of age and it shows his

profound state of faith: he entrusts it to Amida Buddha when

he ends his life, which, though full of sorrow, will not be a life

of his own, but a brilliant life encompassed by the light of Amida

Buddha. Such a light is simply felt when you recite the nembutsu.

“The brilliant life in His Light” ought to be appreciated.