Friday, February 5, 2016

Compassion as the motivation for correcting wrong views

“What is 'Great Compassion'? Those who continue solely in the Nembutsu without any interruption will thereby be born without fail in the Land of Happiness at the end of life. If these people encourage each other and bring others to say the Name, they are all called "people who practice Great Compassion."

(Shinran Shonin, KGSS)

Amida Buddha loves all beings unconditionally, both those who entrust to Him, and those who spread wrong views about Him. We should know this, and also try our best to never hate those who slander the right Dharma, but continue to look to them as our mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, because in fact, we are ALL karmically related. Even Maras, the celestial demons and their followers are our brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers. There was indeed a time, in one of the previous lives, when they cared about us and loved us as parents, friends or relatives. We should not forget this and strive to repay their benevolence by offering to them the gift of the true Dharma, and by coming after them after we are born in the Pure Land.

Again, I say to you, dear friends, Amida Buddha loves ALL beings unconditionally and wishes to save ALL. He is like the sun who sends his rays of Light everywhere. However, the Light of the sun cannot enter the rooms who have closed windows. This is the situation of those who slander the Amida Dharma and call Amida a symbol, a myth or a fictional character. Amida Buddha loves them too and wishes to save them, but they cannot receive His salvation yet, because they closed their hearts to His Light. When they call Amida a metaphor and a fictional character they are in fact denying His existence as a real, living, Enlightened Savior. And it is logicaly correct to say that nobody can ever be saved by a metaphor, or a fictional character like Hamlet or Santa Claus.... By imagining Amida to be something different than Shakyamuni said He is in the Larger Sutra, they are not having any faith in Him, but in their own ideas and unenlightened opinions. They are like ill patients who refuse the Medicine (Dharma) given freely by the good Doctor (the Buddha). Their situation is a pitiful one, and we should have love and compassion for them. However, to have love and compassion does not mean to endorse them or allow them to spread their wrong views in our temples and dojos as that would mean to participate in the harm they do to the Dharma and sentient beings.

We must know that Amida's salvation works in the field of cause and effect, so in order to be saved we need to acknowledge His existence and the existence of His Pure Land, entrust to Him (saying of His Name and entrusting is the same) and wish to go there after death. It is as simple as that and we must try to help people understand these simple truths.

We do our twofold duty of correctly presenting Amida Dharma and of standing up against divergences in order to help ALL beings, including the deluded scholars who are responsible for spreading the above aberant views. We pray and hope that they will soon experience a change of heart and do not lose their present life in vain. Please always remember that we are NOT fighting people, but delusion, wrong views and ignorance. We are not atacking anybody in their private lives, but only try our best to show the errors in the way they teach the Dharma. We do this in order to help, not to condemn anybody.

It is because we are part of Amida's chain of love and Compassion that we strive hard to counteract the various wrong views that are prevalent in our days. We are not creators of the Dharma, but faithful messengers, and our goal is to keep the Dharma Gate of the Pure Land open and clean, so that all can receive its blessings.

Namo Amida Butsu

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