Ikkyu affectionate to Rennyo


This morning, I remembered Rennyo(蓮如)somehow, who is admired as the restorer of Jodo Shinshu sect(浄土真宗). Whenever I think of Rennyo, I always remember an anecdote with Ikkyu(一休), a famous Japanese monk.

  • somehow どういうわけか
  • admire 賞賛する
  • restorer 中興の祖
  • anecdote 逸話

One day, Ikkyu, a frined of Rennyo’s, entered Rennyo’s room without permission while he was away and was taking a nap using the statue of Amitabha Tathagata (阿弥陀如来)Rennyo took good care of as a pillow. Rennyo returned to his room to find him lying. Rennyo, it is said, said to Ikkyu “Don’t touch the tool of my livelihood.”

  • statue 像
  • pillow 枕
  • the tool of one’s livelihood 商売道具

Ikkyu would go to Rennyo’s room to relax without permission every time he felt like drinking. Rennyo was the great founder of the big, new religious organization in those days and very rich. It is characteristic of Ikkyu to sleep using such a precious statue as a pillow. If a discipline of Rennyo had seen the sight, he would have been fainted away.

  • every time S+V  SがVするたびに
  • feel like ~ing 〜したい気がする
  • disciple 弟子
  • be fainted away 卒倒する

What Rennyo said then is interesting. It is also said that he said “Don’t touch my rice chest.” That unique Ikkyu cannot have become a friend of him just because Rennyo was rich. Rennyo, younger than Ikkyu, must have been dear to Ikkyu. I feel that Ikkyu favored Rennyo with a heart of gold.

  • rice chest 米びつ
  • dear 愛おしい
  • favor 気に入る

Though Ikkyu led his life as a Zen monk, his soul was linked to the holy spirit. In contrast, Rennyo’s soul was deeply related to Buddha. Every time I see Rennyo spiritually, I can feel the kind of famous dragon that appears in Buddhist scriptures as a protector of Buddhism. The figure of this dragon is a little bit strange. It’s a snake-dragon, namely a spiritual being between a dragon god and a snake.

  • be linked to A Aと繋がっている
  • in contrast 対照的に
  • Buddhist scripture 仏典
  • figure 姿

People with this snake-dragon behind have a distinct characteristic. There were a lot of enterprising men in Showa era who had a small snake-dragon behind them. Rennyo was also like such a big businessman in those days. To spread the teachings of Jodo Shinshu sect, a leader was needed who could tolerate the good and evil elements. This is why Rennyo was sent from the World of Buddha.

  • distinct はっきりした
  • enterprising man 企業家
  • tolerate the good and bad elements 清濁併せ呑む

It is said that Rennyo had at least thirty children. He must have had much more children other than that. According to a record, he had a total of five wives in his life and begot children every year. Most of the wives died young at the age of around thirty. I feel that he had much more women. I’m surprised at his unbounded energy that seems to have absorbed the energy of his women. It seems that in the age the World of the Dead was very influential, the energy of a certain special spiritual being was flowing into a man like him who ran big businesses.

  • at least 少なくとも
  • record 記録
  • beget 生む
  • unbounded 際限のない
  • absorb 吸収した

Now is “the age of the sun,” when such spiritual beings are unnecessary. If you have your Inner God, or the true God you’re trusted with, reveal itself, you can enjoy your life to the full without depending on such a snake dragon. It may have been interesting in a way to become the believer of Rennyo, but it is a shame that a lot of people are falling a victim these days of becoming “the tool of livelihood” of worthless fee-charging psychics or healers. It is lamentable that human beings trusted with Inner God should become the tool of livelihood. Have trust in your own ancestors and Inner God.

  • unnecessary 不要な
  • trust A with B  AにBを預ける
  • reveal oneself 現わす
  • to the full  思う存分
  • fee-charging 有料の
  • lamentable 嘆かわしい

生かして頂いて ありがとう御座位ます

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 me/us alive.

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