Dharma Card for November
As a foolish being, I feel
all the more gratitude;
To think I will be tied up
with the Original Vow
---by Rev. Ryokan
I wonder why great Buddhists call
themselves “foolish” as above?
“We ignorant beings”; Rev. Saicho or
Dengyo Daishi who initiated the Hiei
Buddhism labeled himself as “the most
foolish of all the foolish” ; Rev.Genshin,
the author of the Ojoyoshu (The Essential
Collection Concerning Birth), defined
himself as “such a foolish man as I am”;
Honen Shonin named himself as “Honenbo
of Ignorance; and lastly Shinran Shonin
designated himself as “Gutoku (Foolish
and stubble-haired) Shinran.” Why is it
that all of them sternly realized that they
are certainly “foolish”?
Presumably, finding oneself foolish is
the conclusion of one’s sincere treading of
you would think of yourself as being clever and
wise, but if you encounter the light of Buddhism,
you would come to realize the fact about yourself—
“How foolish I have been!” Rev. Ryokan sharply
remarks: My foolishness truly cannot be compared.
Bowing one’s haughty head down like this must be an
evidence that one has been immersed in the light of the
The wise man turns out to be a foolish man in the Light
of the Buddha’s Wisdom as Honen Shonin states:.
“Persons of the