In the World of Reality only Efforts can Improve the Situations

A reader of this blog said, “Am I allowed to say ‘I’m grateful for being kept alive’ ?Because I live in misery and I don’t think I’m grateful for my present situations.” I replied “Repeat the phrase even if you don’t believe it.” Another reader said that she hated her husband so much that she could kill him. I replied “Say the phrase to him in silence for all your hatred against your husband.”

  • allow 許す
  • misery 悲惨
  • reply 答える
  • hate 憎む
  • for all A Aにも関わらず

Even if you keep on thinking “I’m miserable,” or “I hate him,” you can never change the reality. On the contrary, you will end up wearing negative magnetism all the more and your situations will get worse. It’s no use waiting for the time you can be grateful for the present situations. You have to make a move.

  • reality 現実
  • on the contrary それどころか
  • end up ~ing 結局は〜することになる
  • It is no use ~ing 〜してみても無駄だ
  • make a move 行動する

The World of Reality is where making efforts is important. Even when you are suffering from poverty, illness or hatred against someone, repeat the phrase “I am grateful for being kept alive,” which I received from the World of Gods, and you’ll come to see things objectively from the point of view of life and death and your hatred will disappear because the phrase is very powerful.

  • effort 努力
  • suffer 苦しむ
  • objectively 客観的に
  • disappear 消える

The souls of Amaterasu-o-ho-mi-kami (天照太御神)and Kunitokotachi-o-kami (国常立太神)dwell in the phrase “I am grateful for being kept alive”, or in Japanese “Ikashiteitadaite arigatougozaimasu.” To say the words is to call the names of the gods. In response to the call, the gods appear from the universe of your heart as Kanzeon Bosatsu(観世音菩薩), a bodhisattva of mercy and salvation, to save you.

  • dwell 住む
  • in response to A Aに応じて
  • save 救う

There is a tale in Buddhism called the Burning House. In the tale, some children are playing in a burning house without noticing the critical situation. Though an adult standing outside the house is telling the children to get out, they refuse to listen to him. Seeing the state of emergency, Kanzeon Bosatsu appears as a child of the same age and says to them “Hey, come outside! I’ve found three great toys. Amazing!” Then, the children come out of the house, dubious of what he said and they are all saved.

  • tale 説話
  • burning 燃えている
  • critical 重大な
  • refuse 拒む
  • emergency 緊急
  • amazing 凄い
  • dubious 疑わしい

To help someone, you need to tell necessary lies in some cases for the sake of the person. You have to believe that the mercy of God does exist in this world. It shows itself through your ancestral spirits, who watch over you all the time. With efforts, it would all work out OK.

  • for the sake of A  Aのために
  • mercy 慈悲
  • watch over A Aを見守る
  • work out なんとかなる

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I Ka Shi Te I Ta Da I Te  A Ri Ga To U Go Za I Ma Su

I AM GRATEFUL FOR BEING KEPT ALIVE

Do not Separate The Dead from God

In India, where Sakyamuni was born, there has been no custom of building gravestones since ancient times. They burn dead bodies and throw the ashes into the sea. It’s natural and reasonable that living things that were born on the land return to the sea because all creatures were born in the sea in ancient times and moved onto the land. I feel the custom of the deceased returning to the sea through the river reflects the world view of Shinto. There is no tomb in India, while a lot of tombs in Japan, the final destination of Buddhism.

  • custom  慣習
  • gravestone 墓石
  • reflect 反映する
  • world view 世界観
  • destination 目的地

Sakyamuni wouldn’t understand any Japanese Buddhist rituals for the dead. He doesn’t even know the Buddhist sutras written in Japanese at all. He would be surprised to hear Buddhist monks chanting them because they are meaningless, phonetic equivalents. Almost all of Buddhist sutras were made up hundreds of years after he passed away.

  • ritual  儀式
  • meaningless  意味のない
  • phonetic equivalent 当て字
  • pass away 亡くなる

Buddhists, however, believe in Buddhism or Buddhist scriptures just because they believe in Sakyamuni. The truth is the Japanese Buddhism lacks spiritual ground. They bury the dead under the name of Sakyamuni on the basis of Buddhist scriptures he doesn’t know, which is horrible. It’s no wonder they can’t send the deceased to the other world in the right way.

  • lack 欠く
  • on the basis of A Aに基づいて
  • horrible ひどい
  • no wonder 驚きではない
  • the other world あの世

Well, how did Japanese people treat the dead before the Buddhist custom of building gravestones diffused all over Japan? I feel that people in those days used to put dead bodies on the ground away from their houses and covered them with earth. When someone dies, they lay the dead body next to another and cover it with earth. If the space for the dead bodies reaches its limit, they put them onto other ones. As the result, the accumulation of dead bodies became like a small hill, which is the prototype of ancient tumuluses for the Emperor. A huge tumulus like a small hill was built for each emperor and its form was the result of accumulation of interments.

  • treat 扱う
  • diffuse 広まる
  • earth 土
  • limit 限界
  • prototype 原型
  • tumulus 古墳
  • interment 土葬

Japanese people in ancient times believed that death is returning to nature, and that the deceased become part of nature, or God. The essence of Shintoism is offering gratitude to Great Nature(=God)that gives them everything. So they offererd gratitude to the dead, too. This is why they devoted the magnetism of gratitude to ancestral spirits on a stated day or in a stated season in accordance with the movement of the sun.

  • essense 本質
  • gratitude 感謝の気持ち
  • stated 決まった
  • ancestral 先祖の
  • accordance 一致

Modern Buddhism is very costly and perform unnecessary rituals. It’s a shame that they lack the point of view, or the deeds, of offering gratitude to the dead. I hope all Buddhist sects adopt rituals that express gratitude to the dead and hold rituals at local temples to pray for the repose of the deceased. It’s unavoidable that Buddhist temples are dependant on  contributions from local people for their living expenses. I think it’s necessary for them to conduct activities based on their conscience so that local people can contribute to the temple of their own accord.

  • costly お金がかかる
  • unnecessary 不必要な
  • shame 残念な
  • deed 行い
  • conscience 良心
  • contribute 献金する

It was a mistake for Shintoism to hand over its role to hold funerals to Buddhism. Since Shintoism separated the dead from God due to the concept of impurity, Shintoism has lost its true ancient spirituality. I think Shinto Shrines have developed in such a way that they keep God to themselves and treat God as if God were a patented article.

  • hand over A Aを手渡す
  • funeral 葬式
  • impurity 汚れ
  • keep A to oneself Aを独り占めする
  • patented 特許を取られた

As more and more schools of Shintoism make up their original prayers, they have come to be self-assertive. Such prayers are meaningless for God. Ohara-e-no-kotoba(大祓詞) is the only prayer that reaches the World of Gods. It’s important to restore the deeds of offering gratitude to both God and the dead without separating them.

  • prayer 祝詞
  • self-assertive 独善的な
  • offer 捧げる
  • gratitude 感謝の気持ち

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I Ka Shi Te I Ta Da I Te  A Ri Ga To U Go Za I Ma Su

I AM GRATEFUL FOR BEING KEPT ALIVE

True Intention of Nichiren – PART 2

Nichiren criticized all the other sects of Buddhism, denouncing them to be evil sects that keep dead souls from resting in peace. His influence was so strong that he was arrested by the government which approved the other sects. He received sentence of death by decapitation.

  • criticize  批判する
  • denounce 糾弾する
  • arrest 逮捕する
  • decapitation 斬首

It is said that when an executioner was about to cut off Nichiren’s head, “a shining ball” appeared from nowhere and prevented the executioner from carrying it out. According to my spiritual reading, the executioner tried to do it three times in all. The shining ball flew around the executioner, making a buzz sound, which made him so scared that he stopped the execution two times.

  • executioner 執行人
  • prevent 妨げる
  • in all 全部で
  • buzz sound ブーンという音
  • scare 怖がらせる

But he, as a master of decapitation, couldn’t give it up. So after a while he tried to do it again. But this time, when he raised his sword, he was paralyzed suddenly and just couldn’t do it somehow. The government officials present there were at a loss, when the order to suspend the execution was conveyed by the government. It seems that when the shining ball appeared, the same kind of strange ball was witnessed at the site of the Kamakura shogunate, too.

  • after a while しばらくすると
  • paralyze 麻痺させる
  • at a loss 途方にくれて
  • suspend 中止する
  • witness 目撃する

I feel that the words Nichiren said when he was about to be killed were “Namu Kanze On Bosatsu(南無観世音菩薩), Amaterasu-o-ho-mi-kami(天照太御神).” He said these words over and over because he knew the Lotus Sutra specifies that those who call the name of Kannon cannot be killed by any sword due to the power of Kannon. He was convinced without doubt that they can never kill him because he was trying to help Amaterasu-o-ho-mi-kami. It was his strong conviction that summoned the shining ball.

  • be about to~   今にも〜するところだ
  • over and over 何度も
  • specify はっきりと述べる
  • due to A  Aのために
  • without doubt 疑いなく
  • summon 召喚する

Exempted from the execution, he was sent to Sado Island as banishment, where he devoted himself to writing letters and papers. Staying at Sado Island was a good opportunity for him to reflect on his life. During this term of imprisonment, he began to write Hokke Mandala(法華曼荼羅). In July, 1273, he also wrote the Great Mandala Honzon(大曼荼羅本尊), which became the principal object of a certain religious organization related to Nichiren which appeared in later years.

  • exempt 免させる
  • banishment 流刑
  • reflect 振り返る
  • object 対象
  • related 関係した

The Great Mandala Honzon is not the image of Buddha but the hanging roll with “Nam-myoho-renge-kyo(南妙法蓮華経)” written large on its center. Around this words, names of various Buddhas and bodhisattvas were written, including Amaterasu-o-ho-mi-kami, a goddess of shintoism. It is here that Nichiren’s true intention is hidden. I feel that the mandala he wrote in an early stage had the name of Amaterasu-o-ho-mi-kami written small at the lower part of the mandala. But as his religious community expanded, the words were written larger and larger at the upper part. Even then, he didn’t explain to any of his disciples his love for Amaterasu-o-ho-mi-kami.

  • image of Buddha 仏像
  • hanging roll 掛け軸
  • goddess 女神
  • expand 拡大する
  • disciple 弟子

When he established his religious organization and major disciples and a sufficient number of believers gathered, he secretly wrote a mandala that he had long wanted to express at last. In it, the words of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo were reduced and written small in a large number like the leaves of a lotus flower at the lower part and the words of Amaterasu-o-ho-mi-kami was written the largest at the center of the upper side. In my head it looks like Amaterasu-o-ho-mi-kami were standing on the pedestal of a lotus flower.

  • establish 確立する
  • major 主要な
  • gather 集まる
  • pedestal 台座

He showed this new mandala to two attendant disciples. They were stunned to see it. They had faith in Nichiren, thinking that believing in him was the greatest Buddhist training, and they were enjoying their positions as the leaders of the group. The two leading disciples, however, did something unexpected against Nichiren.

To be continued.

  • attendant 付き人の
  • stun 驚愕させる
  • faith 信仰
  • unexpected 意外な

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I Ka Shi Te I Ta Da I Te  A Ri Ga To U Go Za I Ma Su

I AM GRATEFUL FOR BEING KEPT ALIVE

True Intention of Nichiren – PART 1

Having studied all the Buddhist scriptures, Nichiren(日蓮), the founder of the Nichiren sect of Buddhism in Kamakura period, concluded that the Lotus Sutra is the sutra in which Buddha’s true intention is expressed most and the most powerful of all the other Buddhist scriptures. Then he began to argue with the other sects to denounce them. I think that he also visited groups of shamans or famous psychics to make them believe in the Lotus Sutra. He, with his eyes shining, challenged them with ardent passion because he was convinced that the Lotus Sutra is the strongest Buddhist scripture.

  • scripture 経典
  • sect 宗派
  • conclude 結論づける
  • the Lotus Sutra 法華経
  • intention 意図
  • denounce 非難する
  • ardent 強烈な

He, however, didn’t visit any shinto shrines to argue with shinto priests. This was not because Buddhism and Shintoism were different nor because he gave up converting them. Why did’t he denounce Shintoism? Here lies his hidden, true purpose and intention.

  • priest 僧侶
  • nor また〜でもない
  • convert 改宗させる
  • lie ある
  • hidden 隠れた
  • purpose 目的

He was born to a family of a fisherman living by the seaside. I feel that his father had faith in the sun, which had a strong influence on Nichiren’s mind. In those days, various kinds of Buddhist scriptures introduced from abroad were popular among people, about which Nichiren had a large doubt in his mind. He had part of the soul of Susanoo(スサノオ). He came to have the great ambition that, after becoming the top of the Buddhist society and unifying all the Buddhist sects, he would lead all the followers to the faith of Amaterasu-o-ho-mi-kami(天照太御神). He had a plan to restore Shintoism.

  • fisherman 漁師
  • faith 信仰
  • influence 影響
  • introduce   紹介する
  • doubt 疑い
  • ambition 野望
  • restore 復権する

In the first place, he headed for Mt. Hien(比叡山) in Kyoto to search for the greatest Buddhist scripture to excel all the other ones.  Looking through a huge number of Buddhist scriptures there, he discovered that Amaterasu-o-ho-mi-kami was described as the Eleven-faced Kannon Bosatsu (十一面観世音菩薩)in the Lotus Sutra.

  • head   向かう
  • excel 勝る
  • look through A Aに目を通す
  • describe 描く

The fundamental spirituality of Japan, or the faith of the sun, caused Shakuson to be born in India. Nichiren was born when his mother was inspired by the Sun God. He was capable of feeling the voice of Kunitokotachi-oh-kami(国常立太御神), the soul of Japan, since he was a young child. This is why he could recognize and felt the truth as soon as he read the Lotus Sutra. An ordinary Buddhist monk would have never did it even if he read the Lotus Sutra literally.

  • cause A to~ Aが〜する原因となる
  • inspire 感応させる
  • capable 可能な
  • recognize 認識する
  • literally 文字通りに

No sooner had he found the truth than his heart pulsed with pleasure, convinced of a great divine will. He visited Geku(外宮) of Ise Grand Shrine(伊勢神宮) first before he began to propagate the Lotus Sutra and founded his own sect. Staying at Joumyou temple(常明寺) in Ise, he visited Geku every day after cleansing himself in the morning at a well called the Well of Oath now. He kept doing this for as many as 100 days.

  • pulse 打ち震える
  • pleasure 喜び
  • divine will 神意
  • propagate 広める
  • well 井戸

At Geku, he prayed to God with the hope of unifying all the Buddhist sects by propagating the Lotus Sutra in order that the mercy of Amaterasu-o-ho-mi-kami may prevail all over Japan. He knew that Kunitokotachi-oh-kami resides at Geku, and was aware that Geku is a holy, special place. The historical fact that the man who tried to found his own new Buddhist sect visited Ise Grand Shrine as many as 100 times to pray to God was to bring about a very unexpected turn of affairs.

To be continued.

  • pray 祈る
  • unify 統一する
  • in order that S+V  SがVするために
  • prevail 広まる
  • reside 常住する
  • aware 気が付いて
  • bring about A Aを引き起こす
  • unexpected 予期せぬ

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I Ka Shi Te I Ta Da I Te  A Ri Ga To U Go Za I Ma Su

I AM GRATEFUL FOR BEING KEPT ALIVE

Relation of Master and Disciple is No Good for Spirituality

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There are some psychics who make much of the relation of master and disciple or pride themselves on having been a disciple of a famous teacher. It’s obvious that their spirituality is low and they are half finished psychics. The spirituality of such psychics who demand a lot of money from those in trouble is less than half of that of ordinary people working hard everyday.

  • make much of A Aを重要視する
  • relation 関係
  • disciple 弟子
  • obvious 明らかな
  • demand 要求する

Inner God of such a psychic is hiding itself deep inside. They are ignorant of true knowledge of the spirit world and obsessed with the fatally wrong idea that it’s good to be stained with another person’s spiritual color. Such spiritual teachers adopt their disciples and make them their puppets.They swindle their disciples out of money saying that they will teach the secret of enlightenment, and attach spiritual dirt to their disciples’ original spiritual bodies. The disciples exult to feel something they have never felt before, which is no more than spiritual dirt.

  • ignorant 無知な
  • puppet 操り人形
  • swindle 騙す
  • enlightenment 悟り
  • attach 付ける
  • exult 歓喜する
  • no more than A Aにすぎない

In Zen, there is a phrase, “if you come across a Buddha, you must destroy the Buddha, if you come across a master, you must destroy the master.” Ikkyu(一休), Hakuin (白隠)and Dogen(道元) said similar things, too. The true meaning of the phrase was suppressed by Zen sect because revealing what the great zen masters really wanted to say was inconvenient for the management of the organization. So the phrase has been handed down to this day without its clear explanation, interpreted as meaning “do not depend on others,” “introspect your own mind.” But the truth is its true meaning is much more serious.

  • come across A Aに出会う
  • similar 似たような
  • suppress 隠す
  • management 運営
  • interpret 解釈す
  • introspect 内観する

When Ikkyu reached spiritual enlightenment in his twenties, he thought, I feel,  “Oh, now I see clearly. I’ve gone a long way round. I hate my master. He is the very man who prevented me from becoming awake,” and felt angry. Ikkyu saw his comrades killing themselves after despairing of reaching enlightenment. He had an acute resentment of many comrads’ lives and souls being wasted.

  • go a long way round 遠回りをする
  • prevent 妨げる
  • awake 目覚めた
  • comrade 仲間
  • despair 絶望する
  • resentment 憤慨

His “bad” behaviors after his enlightenment that broke the conventions of Buddhism were irony toward masters. He was really thinking that masters confusing their disciples were misleading and unnecessary. Dogen didn’t adhere to forms, either and said “Just sit.” Ramana Maharshi, a sage of southern India, also said “Do not meditate. Just be there. Do not even think about trying to be. Just be. Do not wonder what being is?  Because you’ve already been.”

  • convention しきたり
  • confuse 迷わせる
  • misleading 誤解を招くような
  • adhere 固執する
  • sage 成人
  • meditate 瞑想する

Since you were born as a human being, you’ve had Something Great inside yourself. So all you have to do is to walk with it for a limited time. In this World of Reality, or material world, everything, including time, is in tandem. It’s important there to respect a vertically structured relationship, such as teacher and student or boss and his men, because knowledge is imparted from the one who mastered it first to a learner. The learner has to show gratitude, as a matter of course.

  • in tandem 縦に
  • respect 尊重する
  • impart 分け与える
  • gratitude 感謝の気持ち

In the spirit world, on the other hand, all souls stand in line before Something Great, or God. There can’t be the relation of master and disciples there. Spiritual masters would be nothing more than sinful, stupid men before God. Even God would get angry to see them chiseling money out of his disciples using the name of God. “I do not belong only to you,” God would say. Everyone stands in line and is completely equal before God. Just stay as you are and go through thick and thin free from care with the following phrase in mind:

  • horizontal line 横線
  • sinful 罪深い
  • chisel 巻き上げる
  • completely 完全に
  • as one be あるがままに

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I Ka Shi Te I Ta Da I Te  A Ri Ga To U Go Za I Ma Su

I AM GRATEFUL FOR BEING KEPT ALIVE

Great Necessary Lie

An author, Mr. Hiroyuki Itsuki(五木寛之)once wrote:

While Shinran(親鸞)emphasized that people should devote themselves to Amitabha, Rennyo(蓮如)came to preach that people should express gratitude to Amitabha. Asked by a farmer what Nanmandabu(なんまんだぶ)meant, Rennyo replied that it meant “Thank you very much. I am obliged to you,” and told the farmer to say “Nanmandabu” at any time day and night.

  • emphasize 強調する
  • preach 説教する
  • gratitude 感謝の気持ち
  • reply 答える

In time, people came to say “Nanmandabu, Nanmandabu” from morning to night.  When given something, they said “Nanmandabu, Nanmandabu.” When they finished eating, they said “Nanmandabu, Nanmandabu.” Such people were called Myoukoujin(妙好人). The teachings of Rennyo were popular among people in those days. I don’t utter the word smelling of incense, but I always says in my mind “Namuamidabutsu,” and “Thank you very much. I am obliged.”

  • teaching 教え
  • utter 発する
  • incense 線香

What Mr. Itsuki, studying and believing in Shinran and Rennyo, is saying contains a deep religious truth. Shinran’s teachings are the faith conscious of life and death because people in the early days of Kamakura Period were suffering from poverty and disease and also Shinran was desperate to propagate his new teachings.

  • contain 含む
  • religious 宗教の
  • conscious 意識した
  • poverty 貧困
  • desperate 必死な
  • propagate 広める

In the late period of Muromachi Period, people were a little bit better off than before. Shinran’s Nenbutsu Sect had already declined at that time though it was still known among people. Rennyo appeared in such days and became the restorer of the sect. He had a broad mind and he’s a very interesting person.

  • be better off 暮らし向きが良い
  • decline 衰退する
  • broad mind 広い心
  • restorer 中興の祖

Led by the spirit of Prince Shotoku(聖徳太子), Shinran started Nenbutsu Sect. Prince Shotoku believed in Baekje Buddhism, whose spiritual line, I feel, was different from Shakuson’s Buddhism. There is something different about Buddha statues of Baekje Buddhism, compared to those of Shakuson’s Buddhism. They are all long-faced and their haloes and the shapes of the pedestals make me imagine parts of space vehicles.

  • long-faced 長い顔をした
  • halo 光背
  • pedestal 台座
  • space vehicle 宇宙船

When I took a look at spiritual beings that supported Baekje Buddhism from the behind, using my psychic power, I had a vision of Sirius shining in the universe. This means the soul of Prince Shotoku came from Sirius. Sirius caused Asuka culture, Egyptian Civilization and Maya Civilization to rise and human civilizations to introduce “the miniature of the celestial map.”  It is expressed in the accurate azimuth angles of huge structures or arrangements of cities in Egypt and Maya, which is amazing from a scientific point of view.

  • being 存在
  • Sirius シリウス
  • cause A to~ Aを〜させる
  • introduce 持ち込む
  • azimuth angle 方位
  • arrangement 配置

It was Rennyo who spread the teachings of Nenbutsu Sect, which was supported by the extra-terrestrial beings from behind the scene. His teachings are simple and clear: Bear in mind the absolute being Amidabutsu(阿弥陀仏)and be grateful for everything all the time. By keeping Amidabutsu in mind, people can hope to receive good fortune from the invisible and feel secured.

  • spread 広げる
  • bear in mind A  Aを心に留める
  • feel secured 安心する

As people come to be grateful for everything in everyday life with Amidabutsu in mind, Amidabutsu, which they have longed for and been dependent on, fades from their awareness and they realize that they and Amidabutsu are one and the same. And at last, they stop asking Amidabutsu for help, which was their first purpose of faith, and find happiness in their ordinary lives, however hard they are. If they finish the rest of their lives with their minds being such, they can truly go to Heaven. This is true.

  • fade 消える
  • awareness 意識
  • purpose 目的
  • ordinary 普通の

At first, people begin to believe in Amidabutsu as if they asked for delicious-looking sweet bun. But as they practice their faith, the bun fades away before they know and they can get something much better. A proverb says “The end justifies the means.” What spiritual beings with wisdom do for people is very profound.

  • sweet bun 饅頭
  • proverb 諺
  • wisdom 知恵
  • profound 深い

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I Ka Shi Te I Ta Da I Te  A Ri Ga To U Go Za I Ma Su

I Am Grateful for Being Kept Alive.

Nobunaga Oda’s Origin

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Tsurugi shrine(劔神社), whose main deity is Susanoo-no-oh-kami(素戔嗚大神), is located at Echizen-chou of Nyu county in Fukui prefecture. His ancestors were administrators of manors in Oda region and his family was a prestigious one who had served Tsurugi shrine as shinto priests.

  • be located 位置している
  • prefecture 県
  • administrator of a manor  荘官
  • prestigious 由緒ある  

It’s interesting that Nobunaga Oda(織田信長)was from a town at the foot of Mt. Hakusan(白山). Taicho(泰澄), the founder of Mt. Hakusan worship, was also from a nearby town. Taicho, a historical monk with a supernatural power, and Nobunaga Oda, a radical reformer, are related to Mt. Hakusan, a spiritual mountain.

  • foot 麓
  • worship 信仰
  • nearby 近くの
  • supernatural power 神通力
  • reformer 改革者
  • related 関係している

It’s not groundless that Nobunaga Oda called himself Dairoku-ten-maou(第六天魔王), the Devil in the Sixth Heaven. I feel that the reason he called himself the Devil instead of Susanoo was because he knew by a divine oracle that his role in this world was one of a great reformer of Japan who couldn’t care less about massacres. He dared to call himself the Devil, playing the villain thoroughly. He also led himself to be murdered in the end so that the finale of the play could match with the role.

  • groundless 根拠がない
  • divine oracle 神のお告げ
  • massacre 虐殺
  • dare to~ あえて〜する
  • villain 悪役
  • thoroughly 徹底的に
  • murder 殺害する

There are many stories about the Devil in the Sixth Heaven. In the document of Heian period named Nakatomi-no-harai-kunge(中臣祓訓戒), Amaterasu-o-ho-mi-kami (天照太御神)was regarded as Dainichi-nyorai(大日如来)and she was asked by the Devil to accept a bond that allowed her to rule Japan. That is, she had the bond that allowed her descendants, or the emperor, to rule Japan, issued from the Devil, who had owned Japan from time immemorial, and it was guaranteed.

  • period 時代
  • regard  見なす
  • bond 証文
  • rule 支配する
  • emperor 天皇
  • descendant 子孫
  • guanrantee 保証する

Also, in the document named Tsuukai-sankei-ki(通海参詣記)written around the late thirteenth century, it is described that when Izanagi and Izanami took over the land from the Devil in the Sixth Heaven so that they would create Japan, the Devil made it a condition that the two gods would hate Buddhism. I’m not sure if Nobunaga knew about this, but he made an attack on Mt. Hieizan(比叡山), the head temple of Buddhism, and destroyed it.

  • take over A  Aを引き継ぐ
  • condition 条件
  • Buddhism 仏教
  • attack 攻撃
  • destroy 破壊する

The Devil appearing in these tales can be interpreted as Gozu-tennou(牛頭天王), Susanoo or Kunitokotachi-oh-kami(国常立太神). Interestingly, all prehistoric rulers of Japan were described as the Devil. However, historical truths are often tampered with by the powers of the day. In this case, I feel that the true identity of the Devil, who had owned Japan from time immemorial and terrified people, is the sealed-up, hidden indigenous god, namely Hakusan-shin(白山神), who brought all original gods together.

  • interpret 解釈する
  • interestingly 興味深いことに
  • prehistoric 有史以前の
  • tamper with A Aを改ざんする
  • seal up A Aを封印する
  • indigenous 土着の

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.

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.

 

Villains are Saved who can be Aware of their being Villains

Shinran(親鸞), the founder of Jodo Shinshu sect of Buddhism, once said “Good men can become Buddha, much more bad men.” He affirmed that even bad men could be Buddha absolutely. Hearing this, it is said, some people in those days did wrong things intentionally, claiming  that they did it to become Buddha. Since his saying became a social problem, Shinran said “You don’t need to take in poison because there is good medicine.”

  • affirm 断言する
  • social problem 社会問題
  • medicine 薬

What I feel he wanted to say is the importance of recognition and awareness. Those are great who can be aware of their being bad persons, for they have already regretted and repented of his sins. As is common more or less in this world, some people think of their evil deeds as nothing and others something bad. Some neighbors take out their garbage on the days other than fixed ones without feeling guilty, for example. They are not even aware that they are doing wrong things.

  • recognition 認識
  • awareness 気づき
  • regret 後悔する
  • repend 懺悔する
  • common よくある
  • fixed 決められた

Bad men Shinran referred to are villains who are aware that they are villains, not villains others cast stones at. There is a big difference between those who regard themselves as bad and those whom others regard as bad. This World of Reality is a dimension where it’s difficult to distinguish good from bad. Shakuson also told about the difficulty of recognizing things rightly and its importance. He suggested that if people failed to recognize things rightly, they would commit a sin without knowing it and make bad karma, which would affect their afterlives, too.

  • refer 言及する
  • villain 悪党
  • regard 見なす
  • dimension 次元
  • sin 罪
  • afterlife 来世

Then, what should you do? All you have to do is to live according to your conscience while you decrease your negative magnetism around your body by holding memorial services for your ancestral spirits with gratitude to them and being grateful to God. If you admit having done something wrong, you have only to do something good that surpasses the wrong thing. It’s best if you can do something good for others, including your family. If you can also console invisible beings such as your ancestral spirits on this journey called a life, your life is a better one.

  • conscience 良心
  • decrease 減らす
  • gratitude 感謝の気持ち
  • grateful 感謝して
  • admit 認める
  • surpass 上回る
  • console 慰める

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.

You Don’t Need Any Drugs to Feel Happy

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Every time I drive in the evening on weekend recently, I find that spaces have been increasing in parking lots of restaurants. I think closed restaurants have begun to appreciable, too. On the days when all prices of sushi become 88 yen at a certain restaurant, a lot of cars would often wait in a queue for vacant parking spaces of the restaurant, but there were a lot of parking spaces there the other day. People seem to have begun to save money spent on dining out.

  • every time S+V SがVするたびに
  • parking lot 駐車場
  • appreciable 目につく
  • in a queue 列になって
  • dining out 外食

The burst of the bubble of investment started from the U.S. has been involving the whole world. Even jobs or dietary lives of people who have nothing to do with investment have also been affected in Japan. The other day, to help American mega banks, all Japanese mega banks were practically forced to buy stocks of American banks worth hundreds of millions of yen.

  • burst 破裂
  • investment 投資
  • involve 巻き込む
  • stock 債権

If American banks should collapse, Japanese mega banks would be affected severely. What banks do first to avoid such a disaster would be to collect loans from micro, small and medium-sized enterprises. They would do it more and more mercilessly and as a result such enterprises would be forced to close stores, reduce workforce or go bankrupt. Various problems will surface next year or the year after.

  • collapse 崩壊する
  • collect 回収する
  • reduce 減らす
  • various 様々な
  • surface 表面化する

It is sad to see human beings with God inside themselves ground down by invisible money, which is nothing more than figures. Do not prostitute your soul to what you cannot take with you after death. A feeling of happiness changes all the time. Once what you thought would make you happy comes true, you will come to feel dissatisfaction with the same thing in time.

  • grind down A  Aを虐げる
  • nothing more than A Aに過ぎない
  • fogure 数字
  • prostitute 安く売る
  • once S+V 一旦SがVしたら
  • dissatifaction 不満
  • in time やがて

The level of happiness you seek for goes up higher and higher, which is not due to aspiration in the true sense of the word. No matter how much your surroundings change, you cannot have a peaceful state of mind as long as your mind stays the same. Trying to make the level of happiness higher would make you poor in spirit. True aspiration should be for you to be broad-minded and kind, regardless of your present situations.

  • be due to A Aが原因である
  • aspiration 向上心
  • broad-minded 広い心

There are many people in the world who want to have a full meal even just for once in their lives. In contrast, some people are keen on dieting and others kill themselves because of love problems. Though they are all human beings, they are seeking for different kinds of happiness seriously.

  • have a full meal お腹いっぱい食べる
  • in contrast 対照的に
  • be keen on A Aに熱心である

In this World of Reality, you can never satisfy yourself by gaining a lot of money, possessing things or trying to depend on others. It’s like drug. The more you take drugs, the less you’re satisfied, which leads to fearful consequences. The ends of drug users and those seeking for God outside themselves may the same. Both of them will end up killing their conscience, or Inner God.

  • satisfy 満足させる
  • atrophy 萎縮させる

As you come to feel happiness without drugs, you won’t need them any more. To terminate drug taking, what should you do? It you realize good points of the present situations or things you should be grateful for you can stop using drugs. Then you would have the true aspiration of making the best of your present situations. You would try your best because your present situations are extremely unusual and too good to miss. Aren’t you missing the chance?

  • terminate 終わらせる
  • make the best of A Aを最大限に利用する
  • unusual 稀有な

We humans are all destined to leave this world sooner or later. The time is to come when you leave your physical body and surroundings behind. No matter how much you’re suffering, the end will come.  No matter how happy you are, the time for you to leave will come. So, why don’t you savor the rest of your short life?  For you can never experience your present life again ever. Don’t hurry. Assume an immovable attitude.

  • destined 運命付けられて
  • leave A behind Aを置いていく
  • savor 味わう
  • rest 残り
  • hurry 急ぐ
  • immovable 不動の

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.