Dharma Card for September
“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
(*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.)