What becomes of our lives once we are saved by Amida Buddha’s great compassion?We learned about it through the webinar in March.
Floating on the vast ocean of brightness
Hiroshi Taguchi, Toyama Prefecture
All human beings in all times and places are living their lives for a single purpose: to attain lives of brightness. However, we do not know for what we were born or why we are living. We cannot see any light ahead of us. Our lives are filled with ceaseless suffering.
When I was in elementary school, I used to play under the clear blue sky until sunset. Every single day was fresh and bright to me. In junior and high school, I had some troubles, but I studied hard to enter my university of choice. I finally entered the university, but my life was not as bright as I had expected. As time passed, I gradually came to know the reality of human life, which is repeating the same thing every day. There was no trace of the bright, shining days under the blue sky that I had dreamed of in my childhood.
On the other hand, Master Shinran said that the sea of suffering that was his life turned to a vast ocean of brightness. He said that his life became bright and free. On hearing this, I was filled with emotion. This is the happiness that everyone is seeking. I cannot help feeling thankful to have encountered such a teaching.
Great Compassion and Lesser Compassion
Koichi Nawa, Toyama Prefecture
I was especially impressed by the difference between Amida Buddha’s great compassion and the lesser compassion of human beings. I learned that the compassion of human beings is temporary, discriminatory, and blind. When I reflect upon myself, I realize that when the East Japan Great Earthquake occurred, I offered donations and supplies out of sympathy. 6 years later, however, that sympathy has weakened and I seldom even recollect it if there is nothing to remind me of it. My compassion does not last even with regards to a big disaster like that. It is all the more fleeting when it comes to more minor things.
In addition, my compassion towards refugees in faraway countries is different from my compassion towards my own family. It often happens that something we did in order to make someone happy ends up bringing unhappiness to him instead. This is in no way saying that human compassion is unnecessary, of course. But our compassion is merely self-satisfaction.
Amida Buddha’s compassion, on the other hand, is directed toward all human beings and is based on wisdom. I learned that this is why Amida Buddha’s compassion is called great compassion. I learned that we can never be saved unless we board this great ship made by this great compassion of Amida Buddha.
Now that I have boarded the ship of Amida's great compassion, now that I am afloat on the vast ocean of brightness, the breezes of supreme joy blow softly and the waves of all woe are transformed.
----Teaching, Practice, Faith, Enlightenment, Chapter on Practice
He of the nembutsu is on the path of no hindrance. Why is this so? Before the one who has true faith, gods of heaven and earth bow down in reverence, and evil spirits and false teachings can pose no obstacle. Such a one is unaffected by any recompense for evil, and beyond the reach of every
possible good; thus he is on the path of no hindrance. These were his words. ----Tannisho, Section 7