Saturday, January 16, 2010

Exclusion from the German Shinshu Sangha

Here is an official document sent to me some time ago by the leadership of the German Shinshu sangha and bellow you can see my answer. Some time ago I was invited to become a member of this sangha although I am not a German, and I guess the reason was that they liked me and my style of teaching the Dharma. But after I wrote that article and others that came after it in the section “divergences from Jodo Shinshu teaching”, they decided that I should be kicked out. Its ok, I have nothing against exclusions, I just wanted to show you that I am not the only one capable of radical attitudes, like my action of excluding books written by Unno from the library of Tariki Dojo was considered to be.


Dear Rev. Adrian Josho Cirlea,

The executive committee of BGJ-D (German Jōdo Shinshū Association) decided in consensus to expel you from our association instantaneously.
The reason for your expulsion is that you offended against the fifth article of our statute which states “An expulsion is possible when the reputation and the common interests of the BGJ-D are damaged…(Ein Ausschluss ist möglich, wenn das Ansehen oder die gemeinsamen Interessen der BGJ-D geschädigt…werden)”.
We all agreed in the judgement that you are damaging the reputation and common interests of Jōdo Shinshū in general and the BGJ-D in particular through articles in your Blog which show a self-opinionated and derogatory attitude towards renowned scholars and clergymen of Jōdo Shinshū.

In Gasshō,

Chairman Marc Nottelmann - Feil  

Vice President Ilona Evers

Second Vice President Frank Kobs

My answer:

Dear Marc, Frank and Ilona,
Thank you very much for your letter in which you inform me on the recent decisions you took.
As I repeatedly said, I did not criticized anybody in his private life, but only his written work. My attitude is not against persons, but their texts. All I said about such and such scholar is related only to their written texts, not their private lives. But of course is useless to explain this again to you, because it seems you can’t understand it or don’t want to understand it. I personally don’t wish to further explain this to you or engage in a fruitless debate on this aspect.

I do not regret for writing what I wrote and I do not reject anything. This should be known by everybody who tries by various methods to shut my voice. I am not impressed by the popularity some scholars may have or may have not, what I am concerned about is how the Jodo Shinshu teaching is transmitted to Europe and I do what my conscience dictates me .
It is of course up to you to decide what damages or what promotes the reputation and common interests of German Shinshu Association, but to say that “Jodo Shinshu in general” is affected, this is exaggerated and is not in your power to decide. 

 But after all, as Tannisho says, “we come together when conditions bring us to meet and part when conditions separate us”, so I wish you all the best on the Nembutsu path.
In some sense we separate due to your decision, but we’ll of course meet again at future Conferences. My attitude to you will be as friendly as always, no matter our differences.
 I am sending you my warm wishes.

Namo Amida Butsu,
 Josho Adrian

PS: I mention that German Jodo Shinshu Association is not the same with Eko Haus der Japanischen Kultur  and Eko-ji temple from Dusseldorf. The two organisations are different.

5 comentarii:

Shaku Tokusui said...

Well, maybe it is time for everyone to calm down and relax. This whole affair is becoming slightly ridiculous !

Josho Adrian Cirlea said...


Shaku Egen (Rick) said...

Clearly the German Shinshu Sangha leaders are more impressed by popularity than truth. Rev. Josho has only proclaimed the Jodo Shinshu Dharma as originally taught by Master Shinran and Master Rennyo. To expel him from their organization for this is a disgrace.

What most of the opponents of Rev. Josho seem to feel (and apparently this is true of the German Shinshu Sangha leaders) is an affinity for modernist writers like Unno and Shigaraki. The modernist movement denies the reality of Amida Buddha and His Pure Land, and denies the authenticity of the Pure Land Sutras as teachings of Shakyamuni Buddha, all of which were elemental foundational assumptions to Master Shinran and Master Rennyo.

Being true to Jodo Shinshu tradition and his own conscience, Rev. Josho has done the only thing he could do, namely to refute the above modernist divergence, and to do so without making it an issue of personalities. I am convinced that Master Shinran and Master Rennyo, were they here today, would absolutely agree with Rev. Josho's courageous stand.

Josho Adrian Cirlea said...

Thank you, Egen.
Now I do no longer think of their reasons. This event seems to me very far.... I posted it here only as a news/record for history, so that people know what truly happened. All I want now is to have peace and to be left alone to act as I wish and think is best. As I am no longer a member of their organization I think they will leave me alone.
And as Tokusui said, this chapter has to be over. And it will be. I am sure that at the next meeting, despite the differences, we will drink together a beer.
Of course, this doesn't mean that I will change my style in exposing the divergences. Just I refuse to give too much thought to the recent past and feel adversity to anyone.

Shaku Egen said...

Rev. Josho,

I'm glad you have equanimity about this whole thing. That is a tribute to your maturity and dedication.

Shaku Egen (Rick)

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