The Age Has Come When Each of You Becomes the Founder of Your Own Religion

Tendai(天台) sect of Buddhism, which Saicho(最澄) founded in the early years of Heian age, produced the founders of Jodo sect(浄土宗), Jodo-shin sect(浄土真宗), Rinzai sect(臨済宗), Soto sect(曹洞宗), and Nichiren sect(日蓮宗), which are all representative sects of the modern Buddhism. The basic principle of  Saicho’s teachings is that everything has Buddha nature, which echos the idea of Ise-Hakusan Dou that all human beings are entrusted with Inner God.

  • sect 宗派
  • representative 代表的な
  • entrust 任せる

A major reason why Saicho produced a lot of great religious founders was that neither Saicho nor his teachings had strong religious magnetism that ties down people. His teachings were unconstrained in a good sense and he had a pure heart. His handwriting also shows that he was not an unusual person but a serious one. A different way of looking at him is that he was not so interesting a person as Kukai(空海).

  • tie down 束縛する
  • unconstrained  縛りがない
  • sense 意味

In order for you to develop spiritually, a master with a strong personality is obstructive. A lot of self-proclaimed experts say that the relationship of master and pupil is necessary for spiritual growth. This saying proves that they don’t understand the spiritual truth.

  • personality 個性
  • obstructive 邪魔になって
  • self-proclaimed 自称の
  • relationship 関係
  • prove 証明する

Conventional relationship of master and pupil would make pupils covered with their masters’ spiritual magnetism, and as a result their Inner Gods would hide themselves. Such pupils could never go beyond their masters. There are a lot seekers after the truth who feel good in taking on their masters’ color and mistake it as spiritual progress. Therefore, psychics or religious persons who worship their masters absolutely can be said to be fake.

  • conventional 従来の
  • go beyond A Aを超える
  • fake 偽物

As proof of this, Kukai, full of individuality, didn’t produce any great founders of large sects.  No one could reach enlightenment by his ascetic practices and rituals because they were too unique for anyone but Kukai.

  • proof 証拠
  • individuality 個性
  • enlightenment 悟り
  • unique 独特の

To reach enlightenment is to become one with Inner God, which has nothing to do with others. Kukai’s practices were effective for only Kukai. The most those who try his methods can do is to experience chance encounters in limited, small spiritual worlds. Do not confuse this kind of experience with becoming Buddha.

  • have nothing to do with A Aと関係がない
  • effective 効果のある
  • chance  偶然の
  • encounter 邂逅
  • confuse 混同する

Given the truth that such pupils will never be able to go beyond their masters, it follows that all the pupils worshipping Shakuson(釈尊) have been deteriorating for the last two thousand years. It is natural that Shakuson should have predicted that the age of decadence would come when his true teachings disappear. Now is exactly the age of decadence.

  • worship 崇拝する
  • deteriorate 質が悪化する
  • predict 予言する
  • the age of decadence 末法

The time has come when each of you becomes the founder of your own religion. In order to walk the path to truth rightly without getting sidetracked, it would act as a guide to hold memorial services with gratitude for the spirits related to you and remind yourself of gratitude to God. Spiritual colors of others are nothing but obstacles. Believe in your ancestors and Inner God.

  • get sidetracked 脇道にそれる
  • obstacle 障害物
  • nothing but A A以外の何ものでもない

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 Fundamental Problem will never be Solved as Long as You only Set Immediate Goals

A crazy man in Sangai(三界), the three worlds, doesn’t know him to be crazy.

A blind man in Sishou(四生), the four creature worlds,  doesn’t know him to be blind.

Born again, again, again and again, man is born ignorant from the start of his life.

Dying again, again, again and again, man dies ignorant at the end of his life.

This poem is attributed to Kukai(空海), a famous Japanese Buddhist monk. I feel that he is saying “People living in this world don’t realize their wrong deeds. All living things don’t even know that they are ignorant of the truth. Human souls are born as they are over and over again but still they remain the same. They die again and again, but still they die ignorant. It’s about time they realized they are the Buddha, or the universe itself.”

  • ignorant 無知の
  • attribute A to B AはBの作であるとする
  • realize 認識する
  • deed 行い

People are troubled by various things in this world. Why are they? Because they are afraid to make mistakes and become losers. Lives are short and only several decades, though. For example, a woman may wonder if there might be a better marriage partner, hoping to choose a man who makes her happier. Wanting to win in this gambling, she may distress herself and go so far as to ask a psychic for advice who charge money in the name of God, making her life subject to what the psychic says.

  • trouble 悩ます
  • decade 10年
  • go so far as to~ 〜しさえする
  • subject 従属した

Before you get married, you need to observe your marriage partner thinking that social status, riches or good looks are to vanish sooner or later. You should choose the one according to your conscience, asking yourself if you still want to get married to him/her even without such things. If you get married after distressing yourself, wanting to make a better choice, your marriage life is likely to fail because your criterion of judging a person is wrong.

  • observe 観察する
  • status 地位
  • conscience 良心
  • citerion 基準

If you want a good marriage, you should:

● hold memorial services for your ancestors with gratitude, be grateful to God and live your life in such a way that you can develop your conscience

● observe the other’s attitude toward his/her parents and old people. It’s important to see his/her attitude toward others, not toward you. By doing so, you can learn his/her true nature

● ask your parents or friends for opinions if you’re not sure about the other’s true nature

and so on.

  • attitude 態度
  • true nature  本性

However, the point is that marriage is never a goal of your life, just like Kukai said. If you live your life setting marriage as a goal, the eternal loop of life and death will never stop. Everything in life is nothing more than play through which you see God in yourself and others. All you have to do is do what you want according to your conscience, never afraid of making mistakes.

  • eternal 永遠の
  • nothing more than A Aに過ぎない
  • afraid 怖がって

So, if you want to get married, you have only to choose a partner in view of your conscience, never afraid of making a mistake. Once you’ve got married, you may be distressed by various things you never imagined when you were single or may experience many good things conversely.

  • in view of A Aに照らして
  • once S+V 一旦SがVしたら
  • conversely 逆に

Remaining single is also good, of course. It can be said that such people’s souls have already got through with tasks marriage life gives. I feel such souls have been increasing in number since the latter half of Showa era(昭和). They have chosen different kinds of tasks from married people’s.

  • single 独身の
  • get through with A Aを終える
  • increase 増加する
  • on one’s own 自分で

In any case, all you have to do is live in society to your heart’s content. Things can only get better as long as you do your best and live to the full.

  • in any case 何れにしても
  • to one’s heart’s content 思う存分
  • to the full  思い切り
  • as long as S+V SがVする限り

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

A Great Man Who Wrote a Moving Word – Kukai

森羅万象第6巻 表紙

The other day, a reader of this blog asked me if the cover page of my new book Together with Inner God, the sea reflecting the sky, was the image of Kukai(空海). A sea of clouds spreading between the ground and the sun is very dreamy, to be sure.

  • a sea of clouds 雲海
  • spread 広がる
  • dreamy 幻想的な

Kukai’s childhood name was Mao(眞魚), which can be interpreted as “true fish.” When the soul of Kukai came down to this World of Reality from the World of Venus, the World of Sea Dragons supported him, acting as Ubusuna-kami(産土神), a guardian deity of one’s birthplace. I feel this is why his childhood name had the word “fish.” Souls protected by the World of Sea Dragons are to be very successful in the World of Reality, for the spiritual source of wealth is the sea. So I imagine that the word “海” in his name is suggesting that he had good luck by nature that assures success.

  • interpret 解釈する
  • support 支援する
  • wealth 富
  • assure 保証する

What I felt on receiving the question from the reader was that a sea of clouds matches Kukai spiritually. And what came to my mind then was a stone monument located in Mt. Koya(高野山), on which a word written by Kukai was inscribed. There is one word on the stone monument. It is “空”, or sky.  The word “空” written by Kukai  is very unusual. The word is skew and looks like steam rising up into the air. The entire word looks as if it were about to vanish like a living thing. Since Kukai normally wrote great block letters clearly, the word written in a cursive style struck me as rare.

 

%e7%a9%ba

  • match 合う
  • stone monument 石碑
  • inscribe 刻む
  • unusual 変わっている
  • skew 斜めの
  • entire 全体の
  • vanish 消える
  • rare 珍しい

The sea lying between the World of Gods and the World of Reality concerned his birth, but after he came of age, he lived his life to the full, supported by Amaterasu-oho-mi-kami(天照太御神), the Sun God, and Kunitokotachi-oh-kami(国常立太神), the symbol of the earth, just like a sea of clouds flows in the sky freely.

  • concern 関係する
  • come of age 成人する
  • to the full 思いっきり

Kukai can be said to be an embodiment in the World of Reality of Susanoo(スサノオ), which also suggests the relationship between Kukai and Koujin(荒神),  a fierce god. Human beings, once born, are to vanish like clouds sooner or later. We’re living between heaven and earth. If we vanish at all, why don’t we live in the precious moment to the full?

  • embodiment 具現化
  • fierce 荒ぶる
  • precious 貴重な
  • moment 瞬間

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 Reason why People cannot Become Buddha

森羅万象第6巻 表紙

Everything you take for granted is a manifestation of the Original Being. To be honest is to be original (=God). When you’re honest, you may be close to God. When you can’t be honest, clinging to things, you can be said to be away from God. If you make a decision when you cannot be honest, the consequence is likely to be what you will regret.

  • take A for granted Aを当たり前と思う
  • manifestation 現れ
  • honest 正直な
  • cling 執着する
  • consequence 結果
  • be likely to~   〜しそうである
  • regret 後悔する

Holding a memorial service for your ancestors is an act of your going back to basics mentally and physically. It can purify the spiritual line of your family line with the use of the energy of gratitude. Memorial services for your ancestors, held in the right way, are also the secret ritual that you can do practically and concretely to go back to basics. When you touch your soul, everything around you will regenerate.

  • basics 基本
  • mentally 精神的に
  • purify 浄化する
  • gratitude 感謝の気持ち
  • ritual 儀式
  • practically 実践的に
  • concretely 具体的に
  • regenerate 再生する

If you suffer from diseases or a mental problem caused by spirits, you can improve the symptoms by holding thankful memorial services for your ancestors. Problems caused by spirits , however, are few in number. As I have been observing people’s troubles for more than twenty years, such cases are only about 20 percent of the whole cases.

  • disease 病気
  • improve 改善する
  • symptom 症状
  • whole 全体の

If you have a problem caused by a spirit, you can improve your situation quickly by holding a memorial service for your ancestral spirits just like a devil leaves you. But if your problems are caused by your life habit or mental attitude, it takes time to improve your situation. Before you hurry to visit a shrine, you have to amend your way of living though you may not know what to amend first. Anyway, it’s important for you to reconsider your life style before visiting a shrine.

  • put A into practice Aを実行に移す
  • life habit 生活習慣
  • attitude 態度
  • hurry 急ぐ
  • amend 修正する
  • reconsider 考え直す

By the way, there is one thing Kukai(空海) has been regretting. What he wanted us to know the most was that all human beings can be Buddha as they are right here, right now. I feel that he showed us ways to remember that human beings are already Buddha, that is, human beings are precious, vigorous beings shining like gold.

  • precious 貴重な
  • vigorous 活力に富む
  • shine 輝く

But in the course of more than a thousand years, weird rituals, secret magics or what people thought to be profitable among his teachings came to be exaggerated and propagated because they were easy to accept for people in general. I feel that only minor methods to become Buddha have been emphasized and academized, which is far away from his true intention.

  • exaggerate 誇張する
  • propagate 広める
  • accept 受け入れる
  • incidental 付随的な
  • academize 学問化する
  • intention 意図

I feel as if  Kukai were saying that even if you practice the current Buddhism, you cannot be Buddha however hard you try.  Not the true purpose of Buddhism but magic words or arts alone have been studied and his teachings aimed for the perfection of character are forgotten. It is not until your spiritual happiness expands that various methods function in such a way that you can be Buddha.

  • current 現在の
  • purpose 木t系
  • not A but B AではなくB
  • aim 向ける
  • perfection 完成
  • expand 拡大
  • in such a way that S+V SがVするように

Only a part of what I’ve mentioned above is written in Himitsu-mandara-juju-shin-ron (秘密曼荼羅十住心論)and Sokushin-joubutsu-gi (即身成仏義) by Kukai. Because his arcane teachings were conveyed to his direct disciplines orally, they are gone.

  • mention 言及する
  • arcane 奥義の
  • convey 伝える
  • discipline 弟子

Gossips or secret stories are more likely to attract attention of people and spread quickly among people than good stories useful for learning or work, which may be a mean disposition of human beings. Religions will change in the course of time because the founder’s true intention will be forgotten and his conspicuous teachings alone are emphasized and remain.

  • attract 引きつける
  • attention 注意
  • useful 役に立つ
  • mean 卑しい
  • disposition 性向
  • conspicuous 目立つ

To hold thankful memorial services for your ancestors and to remind yourself of gratitude to God would expand your inner world. With a broad mind, you would be able to do a lot of things at will.

  • remind oneself of A Aを想起する
  • at will 思いのままに

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.

Strange Effects Metals Have on Human Beings

廃墟の中の鳥居

Turning on the TV, I found a TV program featuring Sedona in Arizona, the U.S. According to the program, Sedona is now the second most famous tourist attraction as a spiritual place behind Grand Canyon and the sightseeing for that town is booming.

  • feature 特集する
  • according to A Aによれば
  • tourist attraction 観光名所
  • sightseeing 観光
  • boom ブームになる

The red huge rocks made by nature are magnificent. The color means that the rocks contain a lot of iron. Anyplace with a vein of metals underground can have effects on human bodies.

  • huge 巨大な
  • magnificent 壮大な
  • contain 含んでいる
  • vein 脈
  • effect 影響

One reason that Kukai(空海)chose Mt.Koya(高野山)as a place for Buddhist training was that there was a vein of mercury in Mt.Koya. The vermilion color used for the pillars or walls of temples is made from sulfur and mercury.

  • Buddhist training 仏道修行
  • mercury 水銀
  • vermilion color 朱色
  • pillar 柱
  • sulfur 硫黄

Mercury is poison lethal in human bodies but the undulation it gives off brings about a stable state of mind and concentration. I think the reason that the walls of temples are painted vermilion over and over is to prevent the rot of the wood and to influence human minds.

  • lethal 致死性の
  • undulation 波動
  • bring about A Aをもたらす
  • stable 安定した
  • concentration 集中
  • rot 腐敗
  • influence 影響する

Metals have various good and bad effects on human beings from mental aspects to physical ones. Also, by mixing metals the effects are complicated and wide ranging, which is related to spiritual alchemy in the Western magic arts.

  • various 様々な
  • effect 影響
  • aspect 側面
  • complicated 複雑な
  • wide ranging 多岐
  • related 関係している
  • alchemy 錬金術
  • magic arts 魔術

Sedna has a climate similar to that of desert, so even the clouds of dust there seem to contain iron. Iron is essential for human bodies, contained in vegetables too, though. But too much is as bad as too little. Anything, taken in excessively, causes harmful effects inevitably. If you take in too much iron, it will make you age faster and your skin wrinkle by weakening your cells because iron has strong oxidative effect.

  • climate 気候
  • similar 似ている
  • desert 砂漠
  • essential 必要不可欠な
  • excessively 過度に
  • inevitably 必ず
  • wrinkle 皺になる
  • weanken 弱める
  • oxidative 酸化

As a lot of greedy people who seek for weird experiences begin to come together, any sacred place turns into a bad spot which makes their fortune decline, far from uplifting their fortune, because the ground with a lot of iron inside accumulates bad energy as well as good energy. It is best to do everything in moderation in this world.

  • greedy 欲深い
  • seek for A Aを探し求める
  • sacred 神聖な
  • turn into A Aに変わる
  • fortune 運気
  • decline 下がる
  • uplift 引き上げる
  • as well as A Aだけでなく
  • in moderation 程々に

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 us alive.