Dharma Card for November

 

              How fathomless my greed and anger are!

How boundless my ignorance and arrogance are!

What a deplorable person I am!

                                  by Prof. Shigenobu Shirai

                 ******************************

How impressive it is that Shirai Sensei, a graduate of Tokyo

University and professor emeritus of ethics of Hiroshima

University, should have had such a severe self-insight!  In

comparison, I don’t know what to say about myself.  Somehow

Shinran Shonin’s words come ringing in my ear:

    I know truly how grievous it is that I, Gutoku Shinran, am sinking

    in an immense ocean of desires and attachments and am lost in

    vast mountains of fame and advantage, so that I rejoice not at

    all at entering the stage of the truly settled, and feel no happiness

    at coming nearer to the realization of true enlightenment. How ugly

    it is!  How wretched!

However, such a deep self-criticism must be a proof that he has found

himself illuminated by the Buddha’s compassionate light.  In a similar way

             Shirai Sensei manifested his deep shinjin in other Tanka poems:

 

                Had it not been for the Buddha’s compassionate whip, I would never

                    have realized my arrogance.

The Original Vow has never ceased to be with me, this arrogant and

lazy betrayer.

               Let it be anytime when I die, I will be living “His” life in the light of Amida

                   Buddha.

 

           Rightly, “The more the ice, the more the water,

                        The more the obstructions, the more the virtues.”