Dharma Card for September


   “Thank you.”

   “I beg your pardon.”


   A world which lacks these words is

   called Hell, the realm of hungry spirits,

   and the realm of animals.

             ---by Rev. Shizuka Miyagi


The worldly renowned critic Ms.Michiko Inukai remarks

that if you want to make human contact with people anywhere

in the world, you should be accustomed to use the three phrases

above; even in your family they are requisite lubrications.

   “Thank you” comes from feeling grateful for the benefit you

receive. However, in the realm of hungry ghosts, they have nothing

but greedy hunger and thirst, far away from being satiated. ‘Uzaigaki*’

or a rich hungry spirit wants to take all the more because he/she owns

a lot. In the realm of hungry spirits there is neither satisfaction nor gratitude.

   “I beg your pardon” is uttered when you admit your fault and feel

like bowing your head. However, in Hell, the prisoners only assert

themselves and attack the others, injuring each other all the time without

a hint of self-negation.

   “Please” originally meant “if it pleases you,” which is an expression of

respect to the other’s situation when you ask him/her a favor. Rev. Miyagi

admonishes: "If you are involved with your own selves all the time, without

respect to others, you live in the realm of animals.


  Now, “Namuamidabutsu” is a sacred word full of gratitude, repentance

and respect.


(*Note: There are two types of hungry spirits, it is said, Muzai gaki and

       Uzai gaki.  Muzai means no riches, and Uzai means having riches.)