Sacred spirits to be awed and respected


Now that we are living in peace in the present age, we are apt to think that in shrines or remains of huge stones, there must be gentle gods who make our wishes come true . Is it true? When we look back in history, we find in all civilizations of the world  some customs having existed for a long time of sacrificing humans,animals or body parts to gods, and some remains of rituals of victimizing humans in building huge structures. Are these understandable just because the early humans were just ignorant and immature in development?

  • now that S+V 今やSはVするので
  • in peace 平和に
  • be apt to~ 〜しがちである
  • shrine 神社
  • remain 遺跡
  • there must be A Aがいるにちがいない
  • come true  実現する
  • look back 振り返る
  • civilization 文明
  • custom 慣習
  • sacrifice 生け贄にする
  • ritual 儀式
  • victimize 生け贄にする
  • structure 建造物
  • ignorant 無知な
  • immature 未熟な
  • development 発達

Kukai(空海), a famous Japanese Buddhist monk(774-835),built many shrines all over Japan, many of which were built in order to confine wicked spiritual beings tormenting the local people on condition that people worship them as gods. We , not knowing the fact, visit shrines and toward such being:

・ring the bell (Hey, wake up!)

・throw some money into an offertory box(Make my dream come true in return for this change!)

and pray for wishes before the altar.

  • Buddhist monk 僧侶
  • in order to~ 〜するために
  • cofine 封じ込める
  • wicked 邪悪な
  • torment 苦しめる
  • local 地元の
  • on condition that… …という条件で
  • worship 崇拝する
  • wake up 目を覚ます
  • throw A into B AをBに投げ入れる
  • offertory box 賽銭箱
  • in return for A Aのお返しに
  • change 小銭
  • pray for A Aを祈る
  • altar 祭壇

When I visited a big shrine as a kindergarten child, I would often wonder why people were throwing money at a monster with many fangs. It is like a man visits an office of a gang group, ring the doorbell over and over, throw money at one of the gangsters who came out and request him to realize his desires with a cool face. If the client is thought of rich, they’ll help to make his wishes come true with a smile. But, you won’t get away with it.

  • kindergarten child 幼稚園児
  • would~ 〜したものだった
  • wonder 〜かしらと思う
  • monster 怪物
  • fang 牙
  • gang group 暴力団
  • over and over 何度も
  • gangster 暴力団員
  • request A to~ Aに〜するよう要求する
  • with a cool face 涼しい顔をして
  • client 顧客
  • think  A as B AをBと見なす
  • with a smile 微笑んで
  • won’t get away with it ただでは済まない

You can say exactly the same thing about wicked spiritual beings. But, they are much more terrible. They need no money. They call for people’s souls after all. This was a spiritual aspect of age when the World of Reality was strongly influenced by the World of the Dead.

  • exactly まさに
  • the same 同じ
  • terrible 恐ろしい
  • call for A Aを要求する
  • soul 魂
  • after all 結局は
  • aspect 側面
  • the World of Reality 現実界
  • the World of the Dead 幽界

My favorite God-man Munetada Kurozumi(黒柱宗忠)once assereted, “It is only Amaterasuohomikami that is truly pure and has no mannerism among gods.” Expressing gratitude does no harm to either any deity or gangster. When I visit shrines, I just say in the mind with awe and respect, ” I Ka Shi Te I Ta Da I Te   A Ri Ga To U Go Za I Ma Su―Thank you so much for keeping us alive.”

  • favorite 好きな
  • God-man 神人
  • assert 断言する
  • truly 真に
  • pure 純粋な
  • mannerism 癖
  • express 表す
  • gratitude 感謝の気持ち
  • do harm to A Aに害を与える
  • deity 神
  • awe 畏怖
  • respect 敬う気持ち

There are a lot of myths in the world telling us that acts of trying to realize greedy desires,depending on others, lead to divine punishment in the end.

  • myth 神話
  • act 行為
  • try to~ 〜しようとする
  • realize 実現させる
  • depend on A Aに依存する
  • lead to A Aをもたらす
  • divine punishment バチ
  • in the end  最終的には