What the Original Japanese Buddhism Means

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In foreign countries, religious rituals glorifying God are common, while those for ancestral spirits are rare. There are some countries that have no such customs. In Japan, holding memorial services for ancestral spirits have been practiced a lot since ancient times, compared with other countries, because the Buddhism in Japan, which originally came through the Eurasian Continent, valued ancestral spirits and spread all over Japan as such.

  • glorify 讃える
  • custom 習慣
  • compare 比較する
  • the Eurasian Continent ユーラシア大陸
  • value 重んじる

In the earliest Buddhism founded by Shakuson, the teachings of memorial services for ancestral spirits are very few. According to an episode, for example, when Shakuson spiritually saw the mother of Mokuren(目連), one of his Ten Disciples, was suffering in Hungry Ghost Realm of Hell, he suggested to Mokuren that he contribute food to as many monks and people as possible and get the monks to pray for his mother so that she could rest in peace.

  • the earliest Buddhism 原始仏教
  • found 創設する
  • contribute 寄付する
  • monk  僧侶

I think this episode is suggestive.

● the importance of contributing to others

●the importance and practical power of consideration by a lot of people

I feel that this just one episode caused Japanese Buddhist monks to perform funeral services and have a ceremonial dinner after the service. I also feel that the episode was used in its broad interpretation and as a result Buddhist monks came to live their lives depending on alms.

  • suggestive 示唆に富んだ
  • importance 重要性
  • consideration 思いやり
  • interpretation 解釈
  • alms 施し

This is how memorial services for ancestral spirits, which didn’t exist in the earliest Buddhism, led to the present “funeral Buddhism.” It goes without saying that this is different from the earliest Buddhism founded by Shakuson. It’s the original Japanese Buddhism. I interpret this incident as a good thing for Japan as a whole. I feel that holy spirits of the World of Gods of Japan concerned themselves with the establishment of this system.

  • funeral Buddhism 葬式仏教
  • interpret 解釈する
  • incident 出来事
  • concern oneself with A Aに関与する

The idea of worshipping ancestral spirits had existed before Buddhism was introduced to Japan. Though the present Buddhism in Japan has a  lot of problems, such as Buddhist monks enjoying luxury or exploiting people by the system of collecting money, it has surely contributed to the custom of directing people’s mind to their ancestral spirits periodically. The thing is it’s important never to forget gratitude toward ancestors and to direct your mind to them once in while. There are  various ways for doing this.

  • worship 崇拝する
  • introduce 紹介する
  • luxury 贅沢
  • explot 搾取する
  • direct 向ける
  • periodically 定期的に
  • once in a while 時折

If some spirits related to you are in pain in this World of Reality, they will try to make you notice their existence. Therefore you need to direct your mind to them by holding memorial services before you are forced to notice them. Otherwise, you would be made to notice their existence in some way. Also, even if the spirits in pain give up informing you of their existence, your spiritual line will be clogged, which, in turn, will affect the life force, fortune, and mental stability of their descendants, including you.

  •  related 関係した
  • notice 気づく
  • existence 存在
  • be forced to~  〜せざるを得ない
  • otherwise さもないと
  • inform 知らせる
  • clog 詰まらせる
  • descendant 子孫

A lot of people are going through difficulties in life, burdened with spiritual handicap. They are being tortured doubly hard. It is true that people, living in this World of Reality, world, have the hardships of life even if they hold memorial services correctly every day. Efforts are important in real life. But without spiritual handicap, they could overcome the hardships with a positive mind. There is a difference of heaven and earth here.

  • difficulties 困難
  • torture 苦しめる
  • correctly 正しく
  • effort 努力
  • overcome 乗り越える
  • positive 積極的な

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.

 

Enlightenment is Living a Life According to Conscience

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December 8 is the day when Joudoue(成道会)ceremonies celebrating Buddha’s enlightenment are held around the world. Hearing that Buddha reached enlightenment on that day, you would imagine that he had his consciousness change or saw an invisible world suddenly on the day.

  • celebrate 祝う
  • enlightenment 悟り
  • consciousness 意識
  • suddenly 突然

But this is not true. According to my vision of it, he had an indomitable resolve on that day. He thought then “I’ll believe in myself in this world. I’ll follow the dictates of my conscience. I won’t depend on others.” He decided that he’d live his life obeying the dictates of his conscience wholeheartedly like a rhinoceros.

  • indominable 不屈の
  • resolve 決心
  • dictate 命令
  • conscience 良心
  • wholeheartedly 脇目も振らず
  • rhinoceros サイ

What is the conscience he said about, then? It is consideration for others that everyone has by nature, which is like thinking “If I do this, it will benefit him,” or “If I do this, it will harm others.” Even the most brutal criminals have conscience common to general people. They just don’t follow their conscience. Consideration for others is what the Fundamental Being has shared with humans.

  • considerarion 思いやり
  • by nature 生まれつき
  • benefit 為になる
  • harm 害になる
  • brutal 残忍な
  • common 共通の

Shakuson(釈尊) decided that he would tell people the ways to eliminate people’s distress. He thought that to do this would benefit people in a true sense and that, in order to do this, he’d have to leave everything behind and devote himself to others.

  • eliminate 除去する
  • distress 悩み
  • devote 捧げる

He said that the main cause of people’s distress is attachment. For example, attachment to a loved one causes distress when the loved one is gone. Attachment to property causes distress when you think you might lose it. Attachment to social status or personal appearance causes distress when they’re gone.

  • attachment 執着
  • property 財産
  • personal appearance 容姿

Well, then, what should you do in order not to have attachment to these things? He suggests that people should enjoy those things with gratitude while they have them but at the same time, have the attitude of giving them to others anytime.

  • suggest 示唆する
  • gratitude 感謝の気持ち
  • attitude 考え方
  • anytime いつでも

Strangely, as you live your life, depending on not others but your conscience, you will begin to feel hidden aspects of things. You will begin to understand various things somehow. In a sense, you will begin to feel the spiritual world correctly and see the true essence of things. A broad viewpoint will begin to develop inside yourself. Since the Fundamental Being that created the universe has the same conscience, these phenomena may be natural.

  • hidden 隠れた
  • aspect 側面
  • various 様々な
  • correctly 正しく
  • viewpoint 視点
  • phenomena 現象

You, a human being, will have difficulty acting according to your conscience even if you have decided to do so. But even if you’re disheartened, you can make up your mind every time. Try to live according to your conscience, and you will find the path you’ve walked a straight one, even with small adjustments, as if it were a path rhinoceros has walked.

  • have difficulty ~ing 〜するのに苦労する
  • dishearten 落胆させる
  • every time 毎回
  • path 道
  • adjestment 修正

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.

Parents’ Faith Influences the Future of their Children

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A long time ago, I saw a TV program made in a foreign country. It featured the secret of prodigies with high I.Q. It was a documentary program, where parents whose children were prodigies with more than 150 I.Q. were interviewed and asked to answer questionnaires for the purpose of finding out things in common.

  • prodigy 神童
  • quextionnaire アンケート
  • common 共通

Though there were nothing in common in the parents’ academic backgrounds or life habits, there was one thing in common among the parents who had children with more than 200 I.Q., an extraordinary number.

  • academic background 学歴
  • life habit 生活習慣
  • extraordinary 並外れた

As young children begin to talk, they learn to ask questions, like “What is it?” ” Why?”  “How come?” etc. All of the parents with such prodigies would often take time to think about the question together with their children without ignoring the question or saying “I’m busy right now! ” or ” I don’t know.”

  • learn to~ 〜するようになる
  • how come どうして
  • together with A  Aと一緒に
  • ignore 無視する

According to a mother in the program, one day she was asked by her four-year-old son “Why is the sky blue?” and not knowing what to say, she looked up the word in an encyclopedia and read him the items related to sky one by one. The son couldn’t understand the technical words, of course. But she kept reading it to him until he lost interest in it and stood up. In the program, she said “I’m a high school graduate, so I did it to study things myself with my son.”

  • look up A  Aを調べる
  • encyclopedia 百科事典
  • item 記事
  • related 関係した
  • technical word 専門用語

After graduating from an elementary school, her son skipped a junior and a senior high school and entered a university. His educational expenses were free and he was given living and housing expenses by the government. The other parents with prodigies would also answer their children’s questions as much as they could and think about the questions together with their children.

  • graduate 卒業する
  • educational expenses 教育費
  • government 政府

What I felt after watching the TV program was:

  1. Parents need to have great affections for their children.
  2. It’s important to develop children’s ability to concentrate by having them bend an ear to what their parents are saying even if it is beyond their understanding and the ability to continue what they are interested in. These will be an important key for success in the academic field.

Doing these simple things would be of great benefit for your children,too.

  • affection 愛情
  • develp 養う
  • concentrate 集中する
  • academic field 学業分野

The problem here is whether children can form the habit of keeping listening to their parents’ explanations. Is this disposition innate or acquired? I feel it has something to do with the spiritual magnetism of their family lines.

  • habit 習慣
  • explanation 説明
  • innate 生まれつき
  • disposition 気質
  • innate 先天的な
  • acquired 後天的な
  • magnetism 磁気

Watching the eyes of a child who is surrounded by spiritual beings emitting negative magnetism due to the clogging of the spiritual line of his family line, I find that his eyes are always moving from side to side without fixing his eyes on something. Every time a spiritual being comes into and out of his physical body, his mind is reset and his object of interest changes. Such children are very restless. They will have difficulty concentrating on study.

  • surrond 取り囲む
  • emit 放出する
  • clogging 詰まり
  • from side to side 左右に
  • every time S+V SがVする度に
  • object 対象
  • restless 落ち着きがない

If the parents of such children begin to hold grateful memorial services for their ancestral spirits and clean the spiritual lines of their family lines, the children will have stable states of mind.  They will become able to concentrate on study. That is, the correct faith parents have and the memorial services parents hold have great influences on the future of their children.

  • grateful 感謝の
  • stable 安定した
  • correct 正しい
  • faith 信仰

Children whose parents have wrong faith are pitiful, for they will suffer from a spiritual handicap. Their efforts won’t be repaid rightly. Though this is due to their own karma, they will have to go through tough times in this World of Reality. How many years and experiences will it take for them to realize this spiritual truth? It’s important to view things from the perspective of conscience so as not to go through bitter experiences.

  • pitiful かわいそうな
  • effor 努力
  • repaid 報いる
  • pitiful   哀れな
  • experience 経験
  • perspective 観点
  • conscience 良心

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.

The More Spiritual Magnetism of Dead Children Remains, the More Time it Takes for them to Rest in Peace

It is reported that mothers who had their young children or babies die can see their children growing up in their dreams. Spiritually speaking, this is possible. Such mothers can recognize the children appearing in their dreams as theirs by instinct. This phenomenon is related in part to the cause of their deaths.

  • report 報告する
  • possible ありえる
  • recognize A as B AをBと認める
  • instinct 本能
  • phenomenon 現象

In case children die by accident, their life energy remains in this world. Their physical bodies contain life energy given by God which, if they hadn’t died, would have been used. Though their physical bodies are gone, their spiritual energy is extant in this World of Reality. Unless the magnetism of their spiritual bodies is sublimed in this world, their spiritual bodies linger and they can’t rest in peace.

  • remain 残る
  • contain 含む
  • extant 存在している
  • sublime 昇華する
  • linger 居残る

Strange to say, as long as their spiritual magnetism remains in the World of Reality, their spiritual bodies grow up as if their physical ones grew up normally. This is why bereaved mothers can see their children’s spiritual bodies in their dreams.

  • as if S+V あたかもSがVするかのように
  • bereaved 肉親を亡くした

In every family lines, there are a lot of children who failed to be born into this world or died when they were very young. Dating back ten generations, you would see myriad young souls are feeling resentment. So, it’s important to offer gratitude to the whole of such souls related to you without identifying individuals.

  • family line 家系
  • fail to~  〜することができない
  • date back 遡る
  • myriad 無数の
  • resentment 憤慨
  • individual 個人

When the spiritual energy of dead children were given runs out, the development of their spiritual bodies in this world stops. And it depends on grateful memorial services for them whether they can leave this world smoothly or not. The more their spiritual energy the children had before birth is, the more magnetism to be sublimed in this World of Reality remains.

  • run out 無くなる
  • depend on A Aしだいである
  • magnetism 磁気

Because of this, there are some souls in this world whose spiritual bodies grow up to be the ones of adults. In other words, it takes time for them to rest in peace. There are exceptions, however. If there are many ancestral spirits resting in peace in a family line, souls, with the help of their ancestral spirits, can be lifted up to the spirit world in a short period of time.

  • because of A  Aのために
  • in other words 言い換えると
  • exception 例外
  • lift up A Aを引き上げる

Holding correct memorial services strongly influences especially the souls of children. Dead children whose spiritual magnetism is huge and lingers in this world would have been very active in society if they hadn’t died. Also, souls of children who died of disease leave almost no spiritual magnetism in this world, which means they had a plan before birth to be born into this world with a limited amount of spiritual energy. Since they have hardly any magnetism to be sublimed in this world, they can leave for the spirit world smoothly. Though their lifetime was very short, they savored their lives in this world on schedule.

  • correct 正しい
  • influence 影響する
  • active 活動的な
  • disease 病気
  • savor 味わう
  • on schedule 予定通りに

Whenever you suddenly remember about your dead child, his/her spiritual body is near you. Remembering him/her itself is a good offering for the child. You must not forget about your dead child as long as you live. You may feel sad, sorry, regret, etc. when you think of your dead child, but be sure to have gratitude to your child at the end. Remembering your dead child repeatedly sublimes his/her magnetism lingering in this world and leads his/her soul to rest in peace.

  • suddenly 突然
  • apology 謝罪
  • be sure to~ 必ず〜する
  • gratitude 感謝の気持ち

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.

Portraits of the Deceased Cause them to Have Attachment to this World and Miss the Right Timing to Rest in Peace

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There is a custom in Japan of putting a picture of a deceased person on the wall of the room where a family Buddhist altar is, but it is no good in fact. It’s better to put it on the wall of the living room, if you insist. Holding memorial services for the whole ancestors does good to the particular deceased person. In the spirit world, it is spirits of ancestors or relatives who take care of new-comers. Pictures of the deceased make the spirits who just died unable to put everything in this world out of their minds, so they’re no good.

  • custom 慣習
  • deceaced 亡くなった
  • family Buddhist altar 仏壇
  • insist 言い張る
  • particular 特定の

After people die, their ancestral spirits are sure to come for them. So, if you want to console a deceased person who died recently, it’s advisable to hold memorial services for the whole of your ancestors with the use of two incense sticks. After this, by thinking about a particular deceased person, with the use of the third incense stick, you can console him/her as priority. The newcomer to the spirit world would be taken good care of by his/her ancestral spirits.

  • come to for A Aを迎えに来る
  • advisable 賢明な
  • incense stick 線香
  • as priority 優先的に

For example, imagine there are ten ancestral spirits in a room. A newcomer comes into the room, who doesn’t know what to do like a baby because his spiritual body hasn’t adapted to the new surroundings yet. Even if a lot of gifts are sent to the newcomer from the World of Reality, he can’t accept or digest them yet. He needs help from other ancestral spirits. Gifts addressed to him can be accepted by only him. Therefore, gifts should be sent to the room without specifying an individual.

  • adapt to A Aに適応する
  • specify 特定する

I know that the family of the deceased want to keep the pictures of the loved one on the wall of the roome where they hold memorial services, but the deceased must go to the next world. As long as there are some articles in this World of Reality that remind them of themselves, they’re strongly detained from leaving this World of Reality.

  • as long as S+V SがVする限り
  • article 品物
  • remind 思い出させる
  • detain 引き止める

The reason that posthumous Buddhist names are given to the deceased is to make them determined to go on new journeys. In this sense, if you understand the true meaning of posthumous Buddhist names, or the importance of making the deceased give up the attachment to this world, you don’t have to pay a lot of money for it. But if you can afford to do it, it’s better to follow the tradition of your family so as not to cause troubles. Since families have their own relationships with Buddhist temples concerning grave yards or religious faith, you’d better not cause friction with others.

  • posthumous 死後の
  • determined 決意した
  • attachment 執着
  • relationship 関係
  • concerning A Aに関して
  • friction 摩擦

Keeping pictures of the deceased where memorial services are held causes the deceased to have attachment to their antemortem figures and miss the chance to leave this world. Once they miss the chance, it becomes difficult to leave this world and rest in peace. So, the family of the deceased should stop wanting the deceased back and send them off. It’s ideal for the bereaved family to make the deceased leave their antemortem figures and keep on offering gratitude to them without forgetting about them.

  • cause A to~ Aが〜する原因となる
  • attachment 執着
  • antemortem 生前の
  • send A off Aを送り出す

Between 49 days and a year after death, you should put away the pictures of deceased persons. On the anniversary of the deceased person’s death day or the birthday you can take their pictures out. Well, I understand it if you want to keep the pictures of a deceased person on the wall of a room so as not to forget about him/her, but when you look at the pictures, it’s important to have gratitude to the person and a positive mind because your sadness prevents him/her from setting out on a new journey.

  • put away A Aを片付ける
  • anniversary 記念日
  • so as not to~ 〜しないように
  • set out 出発する

After all, both human souls and the energy of holy spirits will return to the Sun God, or Parental God. As long as you stick to your burden, or circumstances, in this world, you can’t go back to God. Decisiveness is important in everything.

  • after all 結局は
  • stick こだわる
  • burden 重荷
  • circumstances 境遇
  • decisiveness 潔さ

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.