Dharma Card for February
Let the karmic body
flow down the Ganges,
water to eternity.
Tenko is the haiku name of Ven.Zenge, twenty-fourth
chief abbot of Goshoji Main Temple, Izumoji Sect of
Shin Buddhism. The above haiku was composed when he
visited Agra on his Buddhist tour in India and heard
this sad story. Shah Jahan, the fifth emperor of the
Mughal Empire constructed the Taj Mahal for his wife who
died in her thirties, but later he was imprisoned in Agra
Fort by his son Aurangzeb and, looking down the reflection
of the Taj Mahal on the Jamuna River, he died in agony.
Perhaps Ven.Tenko referred to Shah Jahan in his haiku,
but as his attendant, I felt he might allude to himself as a
karmic being. One may wonder how a distinguished character
can be karmic, but Shinran Shonin himself said, “When I have
closed my eyes, let my body be thrown into the Kamo River as
food for the fish.” Aren’t they in the same line?
Human beings are all karmic regardless of rank and position.
Though karma may appear in various forms, all human karmic evils
are to flow into the ocean of the Original Vow to become the
single taste. There is no other way of salvation.