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

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

I Am Grateful for Being Kept Alive.

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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.

Continued Hypocrisy Turns Into True Virtue

We experience various kinds of emotions every day such as vexation, anxiety, anger,uneasiness, depravity, joy, hope and mercy. Our minds are always changing. Emitted spiritual magnetism of each emotion makes up your aura. It’s OK for you to get angry , feel anxiety or indulge in fantasies, but the point is it’s important that you overwrite the negative emotions by emitting more positive ones.

  • vexation 悔しさ
  • depravity 堕落
  • indulge 耽る
  • overwrite 上書きする

Negative emotions and positive emotions offset each other. And the more magnetism of the two makes up the color of your aura. Therefore, after you felt distressed, got angry, or had a grudge against someone during the day, you should overwrite the negative emotions by having positive emotions of gratitude at the end of the day. It’s not good to sleep with anger because the negative emotion is recorded in your spiritual body.

  • offset 相殺する
  • distressed 苦しんだ
  • grudge 恨み
  • etch 刻み込む

If you’re told not to have negative emotions, you’ll end up suppressing them, which can cause your mental or physical problems later or trigger some impulsive behavior. In case you have anger, anxiety or sexual thoughts, you should keep at least the mind of observing yourself objectively, thinking “Oh, my!”

  • end up ~ing 結局は〜することになる
  • suppress 抑圧する
  • cause 引き起こす
  • trigger 引金になる
  • impulsive 衝動的な
  • tempt 魅惑する

Shinran(親鸞), a famous founder of a Buddhist sect, observed and appoved his foolishness, accepting it honestly. He thought that no other man in the world was more foolish, lustful and stupid than himself. And he concluded that he had no choice but live with the belief in Buddha, and seeked for the teachings of Buddha. As a result, he finally reached the absolutely peaceful state of mind, meaning “Leave everything to Buddha after you’ve done all that you can.”

  • lustful 好色な
  • conclude 結論づける
  • belief 信仰
  • absolutely 絶対的に

If I take a look spiritually at great men who made great achievements in the past, I find that many of them were such people as got angry, cried and loved someone passionately. Though they had more negative emotions than anyone else, they could have more positive emotions than the negative ones and sublimate the latter into actual good deeds. In a way, they were big men with both many good and bad aspects.

  • achievement 業績
  • passionately 大いに
  • sublimate 昇華する
  • deed 行い
  • aspect 側面

Good deeds you do in this World of Reality offset your bad thoughts and have a lot of rewards. When you are almost overwhelmed by bad emotions, you should observe yourself and do a good deed even if it is hypocrisy. If you keep on practicing hypocrisy, it will turn into true virtue. Everything you do in this World of Reality is recorded in space as magnetism, which, in turn, is projected onto your magnetism like a wave. This is how your actions make your future and the reason why the future is indefinite and changeable.

  • overwhelm 圧倒する
  • hypocricy 偽善
  • virtue 善
  • indefinite 不確定な

Consoling your ancestral spirits or other ones related to you for any length of time every day is one of the greatest achievements you can make. It’s important what you choose and practice in your limited free time. No matter how many sinful acts you committed in the past, you can be OK.  As long as you live, it is what you do from now on that matters.

  • console 慰める
  • sinful 罪深い
  • matter 重要である

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.