Showing posts with label OBON. Show all posts
Showing posts with label OBON. Show all posts

Monday, August 14, 2017

2) Impermanence and death



"This existence of ours is as transient as autumn clouds.
To watch the birth and death of beings is like looking at the movement of a dance.
A lifetime is like a flash of lightning in the sky,
Rushing by, like a torrent down a steep mountain".[1]

           
Nothing that can be found in samsara lasts forever: the outer universe, the bodies of beings in various states of existence, the social status and wealth, our so called "spiritual achievements", etc.

The great world systems with their various realms and planets that appear due to collective karma of beings inhabiting them will disintegrate one day. Then other worlds will be born and die again.[2] The long-living gods of higher states of existence know death too, just like any samsaric being. Rulers of vast celestial realms as well as rulers of humans will also die and their kingdoms will dissapear. Rich and poor, succesful people or losers, all will leave their present bodies and will not take with them any of their worldly achievements or failure. Death is indeed, the great equalizer:

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Verses of advice on the coming Obon days (festival of the dead)


A friend of mine asked me to send him a few words on the coming Obon festival, so I wrote these verses, which comprise the essentials of our teaching:

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:

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Shinjin is freedom from death


Meeting with Amida Buddha after
being born in the Pure Land at the end of life
(source: amidanet.com)

Some say that we, nembutsu followers, live our daily life in a permanent obsession with death. But I say we live a life of relaxation and gratitude because the greatest matter of death and afterlife has already been solved for us by Amida Buddha.

We know we are free not only of the consequences of death which follows the end of this life, but of all deaths and rebirths of samsaric existence. We know that nobody we love in this life, or we have loved in the innumerable lives of the past, will ever be separated from us by death, because we’ll save them all once we attain Buddhahood in the Pure Land of Amida. So, how can faith (shinjin) in Amida be called „obsession with death”, when true FREEDOM is its natural consequence!


Old dwellers and newly born in the Pure Land
dance with joy and express their gratitude to Amida
(source: amidanet.com)

Namo Amida Butsu!
May you all have a meaningful  Obon!
May all beings solve the matter of afterlife through faith in Amida Buddha!


Saturday, August 14, 2010

The meaning of Obon (festival of the dead 14th-15th August)

When someone died very young a few years ago everybody was astonished. How could this happen? Why her? She was so young!
This is how every family reacts when a younger member dies suddenly.

Death looks like a thief entering unexpectedly with dirty boots in your room.
People are always taken by surprise. Even you, the reader of these lines, might be shocked if the doctor would tell you that you have cancer and only 3 months to live. Even me, the writer, might react in the same manner.
Why is that? Because for us death does not exist, it is something that always happens to somebody else or which is scheduled to take place some other time in the far future.