I often meet with Buddhist quotes about the three lower realms, saying that these are full of great suffering, while the human realm is far better and desirable. Of course, I don’t deny this, but in the same time I cannot abstain to feel disgusted, because of my own personal life and experience, even of this so called desirable human birth, so hard to attain.
For me, human life and human world is a combination of all the three lower realms, in a smaller quantity of course, but still painful enough to be compared with them. Therefore, one can find here demon like humans, preta (hungry ghost) like humans and animal like humans. Sometimes, only the outside form appears to be human, while their thoughts and actions are that of beings belonging to the lower realms.
Also my suffering, which comes from my attachments and illusions, sometimes coincides with that of hell beings, pretas or animals. I feel the fire of hate or jealousy burning myself, the hunger for having just a little warm and love from the people I am attached to, and the feeling of being abandoned and not useful, like an animal good for nothing. I feel the horror and fear of homeless animals left alone and endangered by rivals or predators. And I myself am like a predator when defending my so called possessions and my attachments.
It is also said in the sutras that human birth is more suitable for Dharma practice, but I don’t think these words were said for me. Even in this human form I am incapable of following Buddhist practices based on personal power and reach Nirvana. How can I possibly attain Nirvana when I am so often in danger of losing my mind because of hate, jealousy and aversion towards those who hurt me or abandoned me? How can I attain Nirvana by my own power, when my wellbeing depends so much of the presence of other sick persons – themselves a combination of demon-preta-animal being – with whom I am attached? Looking to my own personal life, I often think it is indeed a miracle that I am still alive or not in jail. It is a miracle I didn’t kill anybody or didn’t suicide myself. I don’t know how others are, or what kind of illusions and attachments they have, but I know that my attachments and illusions are so great and profound, that I am definitely without hope. It is for this reason that I cling so much to the Compassion of Amida, and why I don’t understand and don’t want to hear anything else in which the word “I” or “personal power” has some little significance or importance.
Do you, the reader of this blog, find some similarities with me in your own personal life, not the social life, not in the face you show to the world, but in your inner and not seen life? If you do, I wish that you will find relief knowing that people like you and me are also received and never abandoned by Amida. If you don’t, and think you are not so bad like me, then its ok, but at least you can understand why I follow this nembutsu path. You may call it, if you like, Buddhism for desperate people, for hopeless people. I think it is the only path a loser like me can follow… because it doesn’t depend on me.
Namo Amida Butsu!