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
Let it be anytime when I die, I will be living “His” life in the light of Amida
Rightly, “The more the ice, the more the water,
The more the obstructions, the more the virtues.”