Conventional Memorial Services for Ancestors are Nothing but a Means

森羅万象第6巻 表紙

I often hear about domestic violence recently, but I think it’s an old same story. I think, in the days when the economy was poor, children or old people in a weak position of a family used to suffer from domestic violence. If the economy declines in the future, more and more fathers, full of stress, will take it out on his family.

  • domestic violence 家庭内暴力
  • old same story 昔からよくある話
  • economy 経済
  • suffer 苦しむ
  • decline 衰退する
  • take it out on A Aにストレスを発散する

Many years ago, I watched a TV drama based on the biographical story of Beat Takeshi, a Japanese famous comedian. Fathers often got violent in those days, which could be a criminal offense in the present age. Beat Takeshi’s father was a painter living in downtown. According to the drama, he would often be abused by his boss and customers during the day, drank alcohol on the way home, and get home with a lot of stress. On seeing his children’s face, he beat them on the basis of a trumped‐up pretext. When he saw his children studying without paying attention to him, he beat his eldest son saying “Don’t study!” and threw a cardboard box for oranges he used as a studying desk on to the street on a rainy day. His brother kept on studying, standing in the room without saying a word and shaking his body with anger.

  • biographical 伝記的な
  • violent 暴力的な
  • criminal offense 犯罪
  • abuse 罵倒する
  • trump up A  Aをでっちあげる
  • pretext 口実
  • eldest son 長男
  • cardboard box 段ボール箱
  • throw A on to B AをBに放り出す
  • anger 怒り

The children studied hard, thinking that they didn’t want to be like their father, and all went to prestigious universities. If their father had been a nice, gentle father, would they have studied so hard? In the economically poor period, there must’ve been a lot of such fathers. Children today would run away from home. To be sure, it is difficult to associate this kind of experience, or ascetic training, with some fate or spiritual being, but when the spiritual line of your family line is thick by virtue of your holding memorial services for ancestors, your reaction to the same kind of stress will be different. You could do your best positively in the face of difficulties. You wouldn’t take it out on your family members.

  • prestigious 一流の
  • period 時代
  • run away from home 家出する
  • associate A with B AをBと結びつけて考える
  • thick 厚い
  • by virtue of A Aのお陰で
  • positively 積極的に
  • in the face of A Aにも関わらす

Your ancestral spirits not resting in peace causes you to receive a negative vibe from them, such as feeling of sadness, anger or anguish, through your spiritual line. Because of this, your mind is likely to be unstable even when there’s no actual problem and you won’t be able to enjoy fun things somehow.

  • rest in peace 安らかに眠る
  • vibe 波動
  • anguish 苦悩
  • unstable 不安定な
  • somehow どういうわけか

Memorial services for ancestors have been practiced in various religious ways to this day. But they have had no effect rightly on the people who do them because of the wrong idea that chanting meaningless sutras or incantation does good to their ancestral spirits. Thinking “This way of memorial services has been practiced since a long time ago” or ” A lot of people have done this for a long time”, they have based their idea on the social habit formed in the past. There is no spiritual meaning there. It’s an absurd superstition. People won’t ascertain its effectiveness. Those who raise objections will be labeled as a heretic.

  • to this day 今日まで
  • rightly 正しく
  • chant 唱える
  • sutra お経
  • incantation 呪文
  • base 基づける
  • habit 習慣
  • absurd 馬鹿げた
  • superstition 迷信
  • ascertain 確かめる
  • objection 反対
  • heretic 異端者

Whether what I’m saying is right or wrong must be judged not by self-satisfaction of self-proclaimed professionals but by solid sense of those who do practice holding the memorial service. Who that chants meaningless incantation has reached enlightenment? Can ordinary people feel secured by chanting it? Do self-proclaimed psychics who think the conventional ways are the right thing to do actually know the spiritual reality?  Children with a pure heart would wonder at the sight of adults chanting meaningless words enthusiastically. If Shakuson saw the modern Buddhism, he would be sure to ask “Whose teaching is this? “and exclaim “What a religion this is!”

  • judge 判断する
  • self-proclaimed 自称の
  • solid sense 実感
  • feel secured 安心する
  • at the sight of A  Aを見て
  • be sure to~   きっと〜する
  • exclaim 叫ぶ

All ways of memorial services for ancestors are just a means. They are just a means or custom to direct your heart to your ancestors. Most important thing is for you to offer your gratitude to them. What you must not forget is the fact that, in the World of Reality, living human being affects you much more directly than spirits. You’re under the influence of others’ spiritual magnetism in everyday life without knowing it. It is possible that you cannot notice the effectiveness of your memorial services because of the magnetism.

  • means 手段
  • custom 慣習
  • direct 向ける
  • affect 影響する
  • magnetism 磁気

The third incense stick you offer in the memorial service can take care of this, that is, it can console living spirits related to you. Those who have another person hold a memorial service in place of them to get good results will end up in vain. It’s best for you to do it with all your heart. Memorial services you hold yourself do have effects on your ancestors through your spiritual genes. There’s no point in paying another person whose genes are different from yours to do it for you. Everything in this world never stops changing. There’s no fixed thing. It’s your present actions that determine your future.

  • console 慰める
  • end up in vain 徒労に終わる
  • gene 遺伝子
  • There’s no point in~ing 〜してみても無駄である
  • determine 決定する

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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