Dharma Card for April, 2014

 

        Let those who realize shinjin that is Other Power,
        In order to repay the Buddha
s benevolence,

        Spread the two aspects of Amidas directing of virtue

        Throughout all the ten quarters.

                                  (Hymn of the Dharma-Ages)

Photo by Isamu Tsugo

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      We often sing,

Such is the benevolence of Amidas great compassion,

         That we must strive to return it, even to the breaking

              of our bodies;…”

      but what is the benevolence of Amidas great compassion?

      It is an outcry of joy that this hell-destined being is

      now saved by the inconceivable Original Vow and Name of

      the Tathagata and it is also a naturally springing wish

to repay the invaluable benevolence.

          How can we repay it, then?  Shinran Shonin points out

      two ways. Firstly, he defines, Solely saying the Tathagatas

      Name constantly, One should respond with gratitude to the

      universal Vow of great compassion. This constant nembutsu-saying

 

      internal life is the basic way to respond to His great compassion.

          At the same time, another outward viewpoint of his is seen in the

top hymn. Amida Buddha always directs his virtue to us in two aspects,

that is, He makes us karmic beings born in the Pure Land and then

lets us return to this saha world to save people, both by his

inconceivable eko power. If you have attained true shinjin, you should

spread this perfect saving of Amida openly to the world and it will

become a true repayment of your benevolence since it suits His will.

          May the coming Shinrans 750th Anniversary Service in my temple

      become such a Dharma spreading occasion!