Showing posts with label the three Dharma ages. Show all posts
Showing posts with label the three Dharma ages. Show all posts

Monday, September 14, 2009

The three Dharma ages

I will explain in this article, the teaching about the three Dharma ages by using various quotes from the last chapter of Shinran's Kyogyoshinsho.
These quotes are Master Shinran's own words or passages from sutras and commentaries that he himself used in his explanations.

Generally speaking, the doctrine of the Three Dharma Ages refers to the gradual decline of the capacities of beings to practice the Dharma and attain realization through it. Thus there is a difference between the time when the Buddha was in human body and influenced directly through His example and energetic field (Buddha field) those gathered around Him and the periods far away in the history when only the teaching remains, but not the Teacher.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Jodo Shinshu – the only effective path in this last Dharma age

-based on some verses in the Shozomatsu wasan-
(my speech at the last spring meeting in Jiko-ji temple (Antwerp, Belgium)

Buddhism has spread a lot in Europe in the last fifty years and this is indeed, very fortunate. But in this spreading and in the image that Buddhism has in the West a very important element is missing or is not so well understood. Too many voices are heard in Western Buddhism that support some already established preconceptions like: “Buddhism is a path of Liberation by oneself” and “Buddha is only a teacher or the finger showing the moon”, etc. The established image of a Buddhist is a forever calm and smiling Buddhist monk or practitioner, following a path of self liberation and improvement. This for many is Buddhism, but for Shinran, this is exactly what Buddhism is no more…
His life story and teaching shows another aspect of Buddhism which he considers it to be the real Buddhism: the true Pure Land Teaching or Jodo Shinshu in which Amida Buddha is not the finger showing the moon, but a Savior, - in fact, the best Savior of all the three worlds, with Shakyamuni being His messenger, guiding sentient beings to entrust in Amida. What a dramatic difference in the vision of what the Dharma truly is between Master Shinran and all other schools of self power Buddhism!

NEW poems by Gansen John Welch