Friday, October 11, 2013

Beyond physical and ideological barriers

Shinran Shonin, the Founder of our Jodo Shinshu Buddhist school, stated clearly:

„Within the four seas, those who share the same Faith are all brothers”.

Rennyo Shonin, the Restorer and 8th Patriarch, also said:

“To get together, sit around, and talk to each other regardless of different rank and social status is consistent with Shinran Shōnin’s remark, ‘Within the four seas, those who share the same Faith are all brothers.’ My sole wish is that if we are sitting together, those who have questions may ask us about the teaching and acquire Faith.”

This shows a very important aspect of Amida Dharma – it’s universality and non-discrimination. Any difference regarding nationality, ethnicity, rank, social status or any other criterion which you apply in your personal view of the world, is useless here.

Our religious identity is more important than any other worldly identity. First and foremost we are disciples of Buddha and Shinran Shonin. Everything else is secondary and should never be mixed with the Dharma of faith in Amida Buddha.

The universal Buddhist flag
The Three Treasures (Buddha, Dharma, Sangha) are our true family in exile in this world. The Pure Land of Amida is our true home, the place  where we’ll be born after the death of this illusory body. There we attain true Freedom, and from there we’ll start our career of saving all beings. But until then it’s very important to be sure we receive faith in Amida Buddha and that we transmit, untainted, this faith and teaching to others.
“Receive yourself shinjin, and help others receive shinjin” – is the urge of Shinran Shonin and the mission of our lives.

Our teaching does not require from us to leave our occupations or jobs, our friends, family, our samsaric country, hometown, or personal pleasures and opinions, etc. The only requirement is that we should NOT modify Amida Dharma according to them, nor treat our brothers and sisters discriminatory based on them.

Amida Dharma is beyond the categories of our unenlightened minds and beyond the physical and ideological frontiers, beyond ethnicity, politics, race, gender, sexual orientation, etc, and because of this it cannot be treated in relation with them, it cannot be modified in accordance with them. This Dharma and the dojos or temples in which it is preached, should never be used, adapted or modified to correspond to the worldly, ethnic or ideological goal of any group.

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