Essence of service for ancestors consists in gratitude in ordinary language


Buddhism was introduced to Japan about one thousand years after Buddha passed away. A thousand years is a long time. I wonder what percent of what he said remains in the present Buddhism.

  • Buddhism 仏教
  • introduce 紹介する
  • pass away 亡くなる
  • wonder かしらと思う
  • remain 残る
  • present 現在の

There wouldn’t have been no one who had listened to Buddha’s words directly even a hundred years after his death. Therefore efforts were concentrated on writing down what he said and it was made into sophisticated thoughts and philosophies. In as long as a thousand years until Buddhism came down to Japan, there must have been many misunderstandings and mistakes because it came through a number of peoples and translations.

  • listen to A Aを聞く
  • directly 直接的に
  • therefore それゆえ
  • effort  努力
  • concentrate 集中させる
  • write down A Aを書き留める
  • make A into B AをBに作り変える
  • sohisticated 高度な
  • thought 思想
  • philosophy 哲学
  • come down to A Aに伝来する
  • misunderstanding 誤解
  • a number of A 多くのA
  • translation 翻訳

So, the essence of a memorial service for ancestors doesn’t lie in the text of a Buddhist sutra. Though according to  a traditional Buddhism, many Japanese people take the trouble to ask a Buddhist monk to come to his/her house and just offer incense sticks or read a sutra in exchange for money, it is difficult for these deeds to have some effects on ancestral spirits. To be sure, they are done for ancestors, so it’s better than nothing. But it is difficult all the same.

  • essence 本質
  • lie 在る
  • text 文
  • Buddhist sutra 経文
  • according to A Aに従って
  • take the trouble to~ わざわざ〜する
  • ask A to~ Aに〜するよう頼む
  • monk 僧侶
  • in exchange for A Aと引き換えに
  • deed 行為
  • have effects on A Aに影響を与える
  • ancestral  先祖の
  • to be sure 確かに
  • better than nothing ないよりはまし
  • all the same それでもやはり

In order to have restless spirits rest in peace effectively, devoting gratitude consciously has practical effects on them. The Japanese Buddhism has also gratitude to ancestors in its essence, but it is out of focus because of formal requirements and unnecessary manners.

  • in order to~ 〜するために
  • rest in peace 成仏する
  • effectively 効果的に
  • devote  捧げる
  • gratitude 感謝の気持ち
  • consciously 意識的に
  • practical 実践的な
  • out of focus 焦点がぼけている
  • formal requirement 形式
  • unnecessary 不必要な
  • manner 作法

But if some of you stop the conventional way and feel uneasy, it is not good, either. In that case, you can respect the tradition, but when you follow it, please devote the Japanese words the deceased can understand at the end of the service, not a Buddhist sutra of foreign origin. This is in the sense that it’s best for a person to give prayer to use a language he/she can understand the best.

  • conventional 従来の
  • feel uneasy 不安を感じる
  • respect 尊重する
  • tradition 伝統
  • devote 捧げる
  • the deceased 故人
  • of foreign origin 外来の
  • in the sense that… …という意味で
  • prayer 祈り

Understanding and recognition a person who gives a prayer has are transmitted to the spiritual worlds directly through not the language but the brain. It is not until gratitude from the relatives tells on a spiritual world that it becomes a true memorial service.

  • understanding 理解
  • recognition 認識
  • transmit 伝える
  • not A but B AではなくB
  • brain 脳
  • It is not until S’+V’ that S+V S’がV’して初めてSはVする
  • relative 親戚縁者
  • tell on A Aに左右する

Buddha’s soul came from the World of Sun. I intuit that the Sakya, who were his ancestors, was a tribe with the worship of the sun. This karma gave birth to Buddha. According to my spiritual sight, the original form of the worship of the sun was transmitted from Japan to the rest of the world at super ancient times. From the World of Sun came Buddha to the century of “the strong will survive” under the influence of the moon, with a view to laying the foundations for the future.

  • soul 魂
  • intuit 直観する
  • the Sakya 釈迦族
  • tribe 部族
  • worship of the sun 太陽信仰
  • give birth to A Aを生む
  • sipritual sight 霊視
  • original form 原型
  • rest 残り
  • super ancient times 超古代
  • century 世紀
  • the strong will survive 強い者勝ち
  • influence 影響
  • with a view to ~ing 〜するために
  • lay the foundations 布石を打つ

What Buddha wanted to say the most is simple: ”Just accept the present situation and have a thankful heart.

  • simple  単純な
  • accept 受け入れる
  • the present situation 現在の状況
  • thankful heart 感謝の心

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.


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