What the True Intention of Shakuson Lies in

森羅万象第6巻 表紙

I wrote before that what Shakuson(釈尊)transmitted directly to his disciples was Four Noble Truths(四諦) and Eightfold Path(八正道)contained in it. I perceive that the essence of these is all you have to do is accept the present situations and live with gratitude. All the other teachings are accumulated interpretations falsified by others who were born hundreds of years after Shakuson died. His true teachings are positive and full of life energy. Religions using his teachings often misunderstand his teachings.

  • transmit 伝える
  • disciple 弟子
  • accept 受け入れる
  • gratitude 感謝
  • interpretation 解釈
  • falsify 偽造する

In my opinion, the spiritual essence hidden in Eightfold Path is Seichi(正知), or to know life rightly. Well, how about Four Noble Truths, the basis of Buddhism? It is said generally that the Four Truths are:

  1. the truth that lives involve suffering
  2. the truth that the cause of the suffering is fixation
  3. the truth that the state of having removed the suffering is enlightenment
  4. the truth that the way to reach the enlightenment is Buddhism
  • basis 基本
  • fixation 執着
  • enlightenment 悟り

The basis of his teachings lies especially in the first truth, that is, you can never avoid sufferings in life. He’s saying that it is natural that you have a hard time in life and that trying to avoid or escape from it is against the truth of the universe. Yet, people , trying to avoid it, abuse God or pay a lot of money to someone saying “I can save you from your suffering if you pay me, ” and try to depend on the person. Such people will end up adding to their suffering because this is against the truth of the universe.

  • especially 特に
  • yet にもかかわらず
  • abuse 悪用する
  • add to A Aを増やす

Shakuson said that human beings cannot escape from the dark side of life, such as living itself, getting old, falling ill and dying. To be sure, it is true that no one, rich or poor, can escape from problems caused by dispositions of male and female, aging, illness and fear of death. At the bottom of our problems lie these four problems. Therefore, now is precious. Living a normal life is a miracle and what you should delight in. It’s only natural that difficulties and uncomfortable things happen. It can be said that those who can be grateful for the present ordinary situations are those who have accepted the four kinds of sufferings and got over them. They have already reached the state of mind of the 3 mentioned above and the enlightenment, Shakuson told me.

  • to be sure 確かに
  • disposition 性
  • delight 喜ぶ
  • get over A Aを乗り越える

You might think “Why uncomfortable things or sufferings happen to such an enlightened man?” – That’s right. Even if you’ve reached enlightenment, you would have problems. However, because you can truly feel that all good things and bad things happening in this short life will disappear sooner or later and that they are precious things that you can never experience again, you cannot help but be grateful for all of them. And you will come to smile even in the face of harsh conditions. You’ll feel love for everything. This is the state of enlightenment and also the state of Kannagara(カンナガラ), or always being with Inner God.

  • disappear 消える
  • cannot help but~   〜せざるを得ない
  • harsh 厳しい
  • Inner God 内在神

It is no use sitting in zen meditation. You’ll end up in daydreaming called Makyo(魔境, an unbalanced mental condition of ego-swelling that results from excessive self-consciousness, into which an ascetic of the Zen Sect of Buddhism tends to fall when halfway awakened). How many people have reached the stage of spiritual awakening since Buddhism was introduced to Japan? Though billions of people in total have practiced meditation in the world for the last thousands of years, how many of them have reached the spiritual enlightenment? The number of eminent sages will be less than ten.

  • It is no use ~ing 〜してみても無駄だ
  • meditation 瞑想
  • billions of A 何十億ものA
  • in total 述べ
  • eminent 卓越した
  • sage 聖人

It is waste to spend life time on meditation. If you’re idle enough to have time for meditation, you should work hard in society accepting everything with gratitude together with your Inner God. Have a positive, grateful heart, saying to yourself “Come what may. I’ll get over it.” This is what Shakuson wished us human beings to do. The following words will lead you from behind;

  • waste 無駄な
  • idle 暇な
  • wish 望む

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.