Dharma Card for September

 

  “All matters without exception

  are empty and false,” He remarked.

  His insight penetrates me deep this very night.

                 ---Takeko Kujo

 

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   Born of the Honqanji family, Mrs. Takeko Kujo narrowly escaped

from the severest Kanto Earthquake of 1923 in Tokyo. In spite of

the disaster, she endeavored to rescue the sufferers and orphans

from the quake and restore the collapsed Tsukiji Honganji Temple.

It is said that on that night she keenly appreciated Shinran Shonin’s

realization:

“But with a foolish being full of blind passions, in this fleeting

world---this burning house---all matters without exception are 

empty and false, totally without truth and sincerity. The nembutsu

alone is true and real.” 

 Japan is a country of earthquakes; a number of big earthquakes have

hit her and her future is full of anxiety. As this is a saha world of suffering,

the ‘burning house’ and the ‘defiled age’ are inevitable. We can hardly expect

the extinction of such calamities, to our regret. The power to go through such

sufferings simply comes from the nembutsu that praises Amida Buddha who

protects and guides us.

This is what Takeko Kujo wanted to express in her tanka poem.