Saturday, August 5, 2017

Funeral verses on the death of self power mind


A friend of mine asked me to send him a few words on the occasion of Obon festival, so I wrote these verses, which comprise the essentials of our teaching. I call them Funeral Verses on the Death of Self-Power Mind:

Cremate the old corpse of clinging to your so called merits and "spiritual realisations" in the fire of the twofould profound conviction.

Conduct daily funeral ceremonies for your attachement to self power by entrusting to Amida's Power of salvation.

As the smoke offering to provide to the departed, enjoy in the merit transference of coming back to this world to save all beings.

And for the funeral monument, raise the Nembutsu of faith on the grave of different practices, teachings and wrong views.

 ***

Explanation of some terms for those who have little knowledge of Jodo Shinshu:

The twofould profound conviction (nishu jinshin):
Faith in Amida Buddha means to have, among other things, the following twofold profoud conviction:
1) to know that you are a person of deep karmic limitations, incapable to attain Buddhahood through your own power;
2) to know that only Amida Buddha can save you through His Vow Power, without asking anything from you

The merit transference of coming back to this world to save all beings:
In the practices based on personal power the practitioner “earns” virtues which he transfers for his own Enlightenment. But in the case of  Other Power (Pure Land) way, the transference of merits takes place from Amida Buddha to those who entrust to Him. This transference of merit (eko) carries the follower to the Pure Land where he attains Nirvana or perfect Enlightenment. The merit transference from Amida to the practitioner has two aspects: 

1) the merit transference of going forth (Oso-Eko) and
2) the merit transference of returning to this world to save all beings (Genso-Eko) .

The first refers to the fact that through Amida's transference of merit we go to His Pure Land where we become Buddhas, while the second one means that after we become Buddhas in the Pure Land by sharing the same Enlightenment as Amida, we return to the various samsaric realms and universes, to save all beings.

Different practices, teachings and wrong views:
In His Primal Vow, Amida Buddha asks us to do only three things: entrust to Him, say His Name in faith and wish to be born in His Pure Land after death, so we should do this exclusively and abandon any other Buddhist or non-Buddhist teaching and practice.

The wrong views we must abandon are for example, the belief in a supreme creator deity (eternalism), or that only matter exists (nihilism) as well as various other non-Buddhist teachings which run contrary to the Buddha Dharma, but also the heresies taught by some modernists who claim to be teachers of our school but support such distorted views like Amida being a myth, fictional character, symbol or metaphor, that the Pure Land is here and now, and not after death, etc. Generaly speaking, if we want to be without wrong views we must understand and agree with the orthodox teaching we find in the sacred texts of our school.


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