|Before reading Dharma texts we raise them to the forehead.|
This signifies the Dharma is supreme and above personal
views and opinions.
Saturday, May 7, 2016
Why do I call myself an orthodox priest
I was recently asked how I dare to consider myself an orthodox Jodo Shinshu Buddhist priest and say that some other nowadays teachers/priests are mistaken...
My answer is that I do NOT dare anything in relation with Jodo Shinshu! On the contrary, I am very "frightened" when I think to Amida Dharma. Since I have become a priest and started to wear the kesa of Nembutsu faith I am constantly under a great fear. It is the fear that I can make a mistake and somehow misguide people with personal ideas. And it is because I have this fear that I stick to the words of the sutras and the Masters of our lineage.
Because I am stupid and they are all-wise, because I am nothing and they are supreme, because I am unenlightened while Shakyamuni who told the story of Amida Buddha was Enlightened. This is why I am an orthodox Jodo Shinshu follower.
I am an orthodox Jodo Shinshu priest because I am responsible and I know my place and limitations. Just like I do not dare to behave like a surgeon and operate people on open heart, I also do not dare to behave like a Buddha and change His Dharma. This unique Dharma (Amida Dharma) can save beings from birth and death only if it is followed as prescribed by the Buddha and the Masters, so I do not dare changing it.
I am an orthodox Jodo Shinshu follower and priest because I have abandoned any idea of personal authority over the Amida Dharma. It is because I humble myself at the feet of Shakyamuni and the Masters of our tradition, not teaching what they did not teach, and not transmitting to others what they did not transmit, that I call myself an orthodox Jodo Shinshu follower.