Dharma Card for November, 2011


         Those who deeply entrust themselves

        To Amida’s Vow of great compassion

        Should all say Namu-amida-butsu constantly,

        Whether they are waking or sleeping.

                                  ---Hymn of the Dharma-Ages  

  Photo by Isamu Tsugo



    The Goshoki Ho’onko, when we are reminded of Shinran

Shonin’s great virtues, is drawing near towards the end of this month. His wasan

 (hymn) above rightly represents his whole life. During his young days in Mt.Hiei

he devoted himself to severe ascetic practices in order to attain enlightenment

only to find himself thoroughly defiled by evil passions that would chain him in Hell.

At this desperate crisis, he met Honen and was revived by his teaching,

    “Singly say the nembutsu, and you will be saved by Amida Buddha’s

vow to save all suffering beings like you.”

Thereafter he always kept on saying the nembutsu thinking of Amida’s vow throughout his life.

By way of having great insight into the defiled human nature and proving on

himself the surest way for such defiled beings to be saved by Amida, Shinran

certainly is the “great torch in the long night of ignorance,” our own state of being.

    Let us continue to say Namu-amida-butsu whether we are awake or asleep,

well and ill, reminded of the teaching of Shinran Shonin as our only leader.