The Focus of Buddhism is Not The Temporal Happiness That Lasts Only While We Have This Physical Body
A Shinran Follower’s letter to Takamori-sensei based upon the lecture held in the Headquarters on December 10th, 2017
Kyoko Sato, Chiba prefecture
This is what I learned in the lecture. The fields of human endeavour, such as politics, economics, science, and medicine, try to make us happy by fulfilling our worldly passions. All of these human activities are only concerned with how to deal with our passions. The joy we gain from fulfilling our worldly passions lasts only for the 70-80 years of this fleeting life, while we have our physical bodies. It lasts for just a moment. Human beings are only seeking out temporal happiness that will lose all meaning when we die. We spend our lives merely dealing with our worldly passions. How pitiful and tragic human beings are! The focus of Buddhism is not this temporal happiness that lasts only while we have this physical body. Rather, it teaches the way to attain everlasting happiness. Buddhism clarifies the way to eliminating the “darkness of the long night” that has been tormenting us since the limitless past. Master Shinran clearly taught the existence of an astonishing sort of happiness that we can experience without reducing or eliminating our passions. With no change at all to our worldly passions, we attain absolute happiness in this life. In that same instant, we become one whose birth in the Pure Land upon death is settled. This salvation is beyond our imagination. The one and only purpose of life is to be taken aboard the Vow-ship of great compassion and resolve the matter of our endlessly transmigrating souls. Let us take this to heart.