The construction of the Cinema Academy, where the movie Why we live – Rennyo shonin and Yoshizaki on fire will be screened constantly, is finally completed. The inspiring movie has deeply touched the hearts of not only people in Japan but also people abroad. We have even received feedback and letters expressing delight from faraway Brazil.
Ricardo Xavier from Sao Paulo, Brazil (pictured), cried nonstop while watching the movie from the beginning to the end. He sent the following e-mail to his Buddhist friend Ms. Chizuko Masago (pictured), who always translates lectures for him. “You cannot imagine how moved I was when I saw the movie Why We Live. The way I feel right now is wondrous. I am writing this e-mail because I really want to share how I feel.”
“An indescribable excitement and satisfaction fill my heart. ” “I saw a wonderful film play out before my eyes. However, that is not all...”
Ricardo is a designer in his 30's, and he has been a Shinran Follower for 2 years. He attends every single Buddhist seminar held in Sao Paulo Shinran Center every week. Not only that, he dreams of listening to Buddhism in Japanese and is teaching himself how to read and write Japanese.
The Wonder of Salvation He sent a thank-you letter to Takamori-sensei in August. “Gassho. Every day, I have been listening to Buddhism intently with great joy in my heart, and I have been taken aboard the Vow-ship of Amida Buddha’s great compassion. I tried to give others even just an idea of how it feels to be aboard the ship, but this is not something that can be expressed. I, a “vagabond” who had been suffering and seeking the truth of Buddhism since the distant past, was able to hear the Vow of Amida Buddha in this lifetime. Thanks to Takamori-sensei’s immeasurable effort and consideration, I have watched the movie Why We Live and listened to explanations of it through translation in Sao Paulo Shinran Center. I finally encountered the unnamable, inexplicable, inconceivable salvation by the Supreme Buddha. I have been thinking about writing a thank-you letter for a while, but it was only today that I could find the right words to express my appreciation. I would like to extend my deepest thanks to you. I am incredibly fortunate to have been born in this world. You have my heartfelt gratitude. I cannot thank you enough. Thanks to a true Buddhist master who taught me this Vow of Amida, my evil nature—a being who has never done a single pure good deed—was illuminated through and through by the light of Amida. Thus, I was able to achieve the one and only purpose of my having been born human. 'I cry out to the ten directions: I am the most fortunate person in this world! Nay, I am the most fortunate person in the whole universe!' Forgive my boldness, but I want to move towards the light, embodying the spirit of the Song of Praise for Amida's Grace.”
Everything is by Virtue of Amida Buddha Ricardo’s dream is to listen to Takamori-sensei’s lectures in Japanese and spread the teachings of Master Shinran in Portuguese as a Buddhist teacher. “I'm sure that seeing the movie Why We Live will be an opportunity for more people to seek true Buddhism. I am so moved by the words of Master Rennyo, which Takamori-sensei says before each lecture: 'Day in, day out, from morning 'til night, my constant wish is that everyone may attain faith while still alive. Although this solely depends on shukuzen or one's bond with Amida Buddha, there is never a moment when it is not on my mind.' Whether or not one listens to Buddhism and whether or not one is saved all 'depends on shukuzen or one's bond with Amida Buddha'. Since everything happens through the power of the Supreme Buddha, I cannot predict exactly what will happen, but I think more and more people will surely realize the greatness of Buddhism by watching the movie.”
A Buddhist lecture held in Sao Paulo Shinran Center.
“How can we be lifted aboard the Vow-ship of Great Compassion? Master Shinran instructs us, 'Just hear the Vow of Amida Buddha'.” (Excerpt from Why We Live: Master Rennyo and the Fire at Yoshizaki)