Experience of Religious Ecstasy is just a Step toward Enlightenment

森羅万象第6巻 表紙

Famous spiritual leaders or gurus often talk proudly about their experience of seeing God or religious ecstasy. Normal people, hearing this, are apt to think of such an experience as good. They try to experience it themselves in vain, assuming that their guru who can do such a thing is great, and believe the guru blindly.

  • be apt to~  〜しがちである
  • think of A as B AをBと考える
  • in vain  虚しく
  • assume 思う
  • blindly 盲目的に

Is it so important a thing in life to have such an experience? If you had experienced it, wouldn’t you have to work any more? Would your children grow up safe and sound? Are those who experienced religious ecstasy great and respectable? The answer is NO.

  • safe and sound 無事に
  • respectable 立派な

People who make much of the experience of religious ecstasy can be put into roughly two groups:

  1. Those who make a living by talking about the experience. That is, they are just doing business. Such an experience is far from the truth.
  2. Those who choose to live a short life and die young. Some don’t get any child and commit suicide losing sight of the meaning of life.
  • make much of A  Aを重要視する
  • make a living 生計を立てる
  • suicide 自殺
  • lose sight of A Aを見失う
  • meaning 意味

Such an experience devoid of creativity is nothing more than a devilish one. What if many people in the world were such people?  Suppose such people who don’t work increase in number. Who would support social lives? Our society would decline and fall into ruin.

  • devoid 欠いた
  • nothing more than A   Aに過ぎない
  • increase 増える
  • decline 衰退する
  • fall into ruin 破滅する

According to Jugyuzu(十牛図), a set of ten drawings of cows which depict the path leading to the enlightenment of Zen meditation, the level of catching a glimpse of enlightenment is only the third level from the bottom. Those who have reached the highest level are described as leaving ascetic practices and going to town to play with people. From my experience,  I think this is the right description of enlightenment.

  • cow 牛
  • depict 描く
  • catch a glimpse of A Aを垣間見る
  • enlightenment 悟り
  • ascetic practices 修行

Looking back on my experience of seeing God or religious ecstasy, I can only say that it was beyond expression. However, it is nothing but a passing experience. If I kept on having such an experience, I couldn’t live a social life. You must not cling to having such an experience again.

  • look back on A Aを振り返る
  • beyond expression 言葉では説明できない
  • passing 通り過ぎる
  • nothing but A Aに過ぎない
  • cling to A Aに執着する

Ramakrishna, a modern Indian sage, would often have such experiences in everyday life. Walking down a road, he would suddenly fall into ecstasy and smile for hours standing, sometimes driveling. He might have been thought of crazy. Children would have laughed at him, pointing to him. It is true that he saw God, but he had difficulty living a normal social life.

  • sage 聖人
  • would~ 〜したものだった
  • drivel よだれを垂らす
  • might have pp ひょっとしたら〜したかもしれない
  • have difficulty ~ing 〜するのに苦労する

As you live hard in this real world, the time will come when you suddenly feel that you’re being kept alive and feel like crying feeling gratitude for the fact. It is then that you have already experienced the true enlightenment.

  • keep A alive Aを生かしておく
  • feel like ~ing 〜したい気がする
  • gratitude 感謝の気持ち

Human beings are one with the Fundamental Being in nature. So, it can be said that being in such a strange ecstasy for a short period of time is a phenomenon you experience when you’re away from the Fundamental Being.

  • fundamental 根源的な
  • in nature 本来は
  • phenomenon 現象

If you are actually one with the Fundamental Being or, in other words, in the state of being with God (kannagara), you cannot see such an experience as a special one because you’re in the middle of experiencing things, good or bad, together with God. In such a state, you could never make money by talking about it. Do not be glad at strange phenomena devoid of spirituality. Leading normal everyday lives itself proves that you’re in the state of Kannagara, or being with God.

  • be in the middle of ~ing 〜している最中で
  • glad 喜んだ
  • lead a ~life 〜な生活を送る
  • prove 証明する

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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